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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Rant

I drove two miles to the grocery store late last evening. There was hardly any traffic, but the three cars I ran into, sorry, 'encountered', were all driven by insufferably rude idiots. I don't know what started it, perhaps I was just a bit irritable, but when I got home I put on a show for my family detailing loudly the exaggerated faults of these three morons. When I was done, I immediately calmed down. In point of fact, none of these three did anything that was really dangerous. A little rude perhaps, or maybe not technically within the law, but even I slip up occasionally.
    This morning I'm reading a post by Dustbury, and he points to an article about Gamergate. I'm not sure whether Gamergate is a website or an event, ala 'Watergate', but the crux of it seems to be that a bunch of people were posting rude remarks on the internet ANONYMOUSLY. Well, shit, that explains that.
    I've never quite understood this anonymous business. When I was five or six years old I wanted to be called 'Steve Donovan' (Western Marshall). When we moved to Bexley I decided to change my name from 'Charles' to 'Chuck', but that was simple pragmatism, not because I liked the name. Every class at Bexley involved taking out a new sheet of paper and writing your name and date at the top. Since there were like six or seven classes every day, and since 'Charles' has seven letters and 'Chuck' has five, this saved me writing a dozen letters every day. That may not be much, but like seven and a half cents an hour, it adds up over time.



    It's bad enough that I have to keep track of umpteen different logons and passwords. For all the nonsense ones (i.e. ones not involving money) I try to use the same ones, but that doesn't always work. Seems like every website assigns you a new logon and has their own requirements for a password.
    In any case, if someone says something you don't like, and they do it anonymously, just press the DELETE key. Don't give them the satisfaction of getting irate, because whether they know it or not, that is exactly what they are looking for: rage to fuel their rage, rage to justify their rage. Nothing worse for them than being ignored.

   

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Keep your friends close

Iranian Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri, left, walks with Iraqi Prime Minister Heidar al-Abadi, center, during a welcoming ceremony at Tehran's Saadabad Palace on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

. . . and your enemies closer. Of course it helps if you know which are your friends and which are your enemies. I wish I knew. I also wish I knew what the hell we are trying to achieve in the Mideast.

Iron Sky

Nazi bombers from the moon! Actually a US Air Force B1-B bomber flying above Kobane, Syria.

Roller Derby in Portland - Rose City Rollers


If you go, you need to provide yourself with a stage name. My friend Jack used 'Hydraulic Jack'. I would use 'Three Jawed Chuck'. Gearheads, what do you expect? Next bout November 14.

The Derelict


I really like this picture. I'm not sure why, the car doesn't do much for me, though I do like the idea. 
I think it might be because that's how the world looks when I am driving.

People are nuts. This is a 1952 Chrysler Town & Country station wagon that has been worked over internally. The drivetrain (engine and transmission, etc.) has been replaced with a modern one, the seats have been reupholstered, and all the little stuff has been restored to operate correctly.  If you look closely, you will notice that the body proper and the front clip (hood and front fenders) are slightly different colors. That's because the front clip is from a 1952 DeSoto. Since DeSoto was made by Chrysler, it makes sense that it would fit. The change was made because the builder liked the Desoto's grill better, because of the teeth, perhaps? Hot Rod has the story. This line stood out:
The doors close with the solidity of a Mercedes, something we've never been able to accomplish on any of our personal cars.
Seems I heard once that the big car companies have entire departments devoted to how things sound, like the doors closing and the sound of the exhaust.

Via Posthip Scott.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Eye of the Cake


Stu mentions Cakes and Ale, I follow the link and discover that, among other things, it is a book written by W. Somerset Maughm. I've heard of Maughm, I've probably read some of his books but it's been so long I couldn't tell you what they were. But he has a fixed place in my mental firmament, along with the likes of Faulkner and that other guy whom I can't quite remember. It will come to me. Michener, that's the one.
    Anyway, I'm always on the lookout for something new to read, so I start in on the sample pages on Amazon. It starts with a discussion by a writer of another writer, not nearly so talented, but much more successful who wrote a bestseller titled Eye of the Needle. Hey! Wait a minute! I've heard of that, it was a movie with that tall lanky guy from Mash (Donald Sutherland) playing an Irish-Nazi spy, or some such. The movie came from a book, but this book was written by Ken Follett, not by Roy. What's going on here?
    Well, Cakes and Ale was written in 1930 and Ken Follett wrote his Eye of the Needle in 1978, so W. isn't talking about Ken's book. Whether there was a previous book with that title only Google knows, and he (she? it?) isn't telling.

A note about the picture. It took me a while to find something that fit. I came across a cropped version of this painting on  a book cover. It took me a while to track it down. Most of the versions I found were very yellow and most unpleasant. Wikiart was no help. Finally, just asking Google Images for "dinner party painting" uncovered this one. I also found one that was similar but the 'tone' was all wrong, so I dismissed it. Then I looked again and I realized that in gross characteristics, it was the same picture. But the devil is in the details, and in the cheap, hand-painted knock-off, which is what it was, they hadn't worried overmuch about the details.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

LCS 7 Detroit Side Launch

The Lockheed Martin-led industry team launched the nation's seventh Littoral Combat Ship into the Menominee River on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. The future LCS Detroit was formally christened prior to her launch by Mrs. Barbara Levin. Barbara is Senator Carl Levin's wife. He is a Democrat from Michigan.


This is screen shot from Google Maps. When the satellite images get updated, the boat won't be there any more.

Okay, Lockheed I've heard of, but the Menominee River? Where's that? Turns out it forms part of the border between Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It empties into Lake Michigan. About 50 miles North of Green Bay.

Update: Just realized that the boat in the video and the boat on the map are facing opposite directions. Did they turn it around before they launched it? Or are we looking at two different boats?