Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More Their Guy - Our Guy

Yeah, but their guy doesn't know how our diplomacy is working like crazy, and pretty soon everyone will love our guy and us, and he'll be left with nothing but a solvent country.

photo via

Good Dog Bo

Katrina Payback

Earl, one of the strongest hurricanes of the Atlantic season, headed toward the U.S. East Coast after passing north of Puerto Rico with sustained winds of 135 miles (215 kilometers) per hour.... The system may strike North Carolina’s Outer Banks by Sept. 3 as a “major” hurricane with winds of at least 111 mph.

Obviously Barack Obama is fed up with our constant criticism.

Thomas Sowell

All five Thomas Sowell interview segments are up at Uncommon Knowledge. Be forewarned: The interviewer, Peter Robinson, is overwhelmingly white.

Monday, August 30, 2010


James Taranto notices everything:

Two Congressmen in One!

"Just as in Iraq, the President's policies and unbelievable mismanagement on the domestic front have brought pain and suffering to American people. . . . The President is destroying the fabric of America with a combined policy of war, tax cuts for the wealthy, and reductions in spending for domestic needs."--Rep. Charles Rangel (D., N.Y.), Congressional Record, Sept. 8, 2005

"It's very difficult to understand . . . when the commander-in-chief is leading our great nation involved in two wars for people to be so overtly critical of him knowing, knowing, that the enemies of democracy are listening to that--it's just not right."--Rangel, quoted in the New York Post, Aug. 30, 2010

Two Papers in One!

""More government support is needed until conditions improve. . . . [President Obama] needs to rally the nation around a big idea--a project that is worth sacrificing for, worth paying for, worth working for. . . . The economic stimulus they pushed through Congress, for all of the fight, was too small. Standing back is not doing the country or his party any good. We believe Americans are ready for hard truths and big ideas."--editorial, New York Times, Aug. 29

"A sense has taken hold that government policy makers cannot deliver meaningful intervention. That is because nearly any proposed curative could risk adding to the national debt--a political nonstarter. The situation has left American fortunes pinned to an uncertain remedy: hoping that things somehow get better. . . . Economists debate the benefits of previous policy prescriptions, but in the political realm a rare consensus has emerged: The future is now so colored in red ink that running up the debt seems politically risky in the months before the Congressional elections, even in the name of creating jobs and generating economic growth. The result is that Democrats and Republicans have foresworn virtually any course that involves spending serious money."--Week in Review, New York Times, Aug. 29

Rick Sanchez Har

From Newsbusters:

CNN's Rick Sanchez quickly apologized on his Rick's List program on Monday after inadvertently labeling Barack Obama the "cotton-picking president of the United States." Sanchez used the racially-tinged term in response to the President recently addressing the significant percentage of American population who believe he is Muslim or was born outside the U.S.

....Sanchez replied to Yellin full of frustration: "I'm just sitting here just shaking my head. He is the cotton-picking president of the United States!"

Oh Rick, lighten up. Anyone older than seven knows you weren't disparaging the president. And besides, it's only your side, the hair-trigger grievance seekers, that would analyze the sentence and go on for days about unconscious intent and such.

Me, I would be downright jubilant if the man had ever had any kind of real job.

Rambo vs. Mary Tyler Moore

Did you see these pictures on Drudge? Stark contrast, huh? You rile up one of them and he'll start blaming other people. Rile up the other guy and he'll make the Highway of Death look like a foot rub from Perry Como.

Also on Drudge a link to a video of Obama blaming Bush again. Obama: "It Took Nearly A Decade To Dig The Hole That We're In" What the headline didn't say is that it took him nearly 30 seconds to spit it out: "What we did know is that it took nearly a decade... What we di... how we doing on sound guys? Is it still going to the press? OK.... What we did know was that it was going to take nearly a decade, uh, in order fu..... Can you guys still hear us? OK, let me try this one more time.. What we did know was that it took nearly a decade to dig uh, the hole that we're in."

Sure I know it's nit-picking but it's like a story within the story: Obama blames the sound system for his starting the sentence out wrong at the same time he's blaming Bush for the economy that he has no clue how to fix.

Maybe he really did have a sound problem, even though they kept telling him it was fine, or maybe it was a teleprompter problem. But notice one thing: He never comes out and says specifically what Bush did that hurt the economy. (& I don't make excuses for Bush, for one thing that huge Medicare prescription coverage program. But Bush's mistakes were minor league compared to what Obama is spending and wants to spend)

Course, Obama won't get into specifics because specifics can be discussed. Think the bad debt/mortgage crisis was to blame? Well lets go back and look at the tapes from a decade ago and see who wanted oversight with teeth for Freddie and Fanny and who argued (sometimes with a not unpleasant lisp) against it.

Regardless, Ms. Moore, the American people are waking up to the fact that taking more taxes, from anyone, and spending the money like a drunken sailor (apologies to all drunk sailors) on liberal programs won't get us out of this mess.

In the Navy

Great contrast in recruitment themes, USA vs. Japan, h/t: Reed the Viking:

The Lumberwife's side of the family was Navy, and I have trouble imagining any of them dancing. In fact, many of the female members have a significant problem with walking. I once toyed with the idea that somehow evolution selected them for the Navy, where the decks of rolling ships would match their missteps. The Lumber-in-law-women seem to have an uneasy truce with gravity; they get around for the most part, but skirmishes break out from time to time.

In fact during the college move this last Thursday, walking back to the car, I suddenly noticed that I was alone in the crosswalk. I turned to find the wife on her back on the asphalt, victim of a curb inconsiderately placed in her path by an uncaring road builder. "Woman, stop playing! I want to get to lunch." Sadly, along with the Rob Petrie gene most of the in-law gymnasts inherited an intolerance towards any humor connected to their antics.

I just hope my sturdy Scandinavian genes will give the Lumberkid the balance she needs to navigate this world. Just in case though, I began pointing out the utility of hand rails at an early age.

Anyway, back to the Navy: Aren't the Japanese amazing in everything they do? I agree.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Maybe Things Are Looking Up

President Obama took his new economics adviser along
on the family bicycle outing in Martha's Vineyard.

Yeah, we're in good hands now.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Learning to Ride

Wouldn't it be great if the presidency came with training wheels? Helmet? check! Training wheels? check! OK, let's try to pedal to under 9% unemployment. Whoops! That's OK, just get back on, but grab the handlebars this time. Whoops, ok, you did better that time, just... what? Well, I suppose, but can we try again after golf?

We're Back

The graph has nothing to do with the post, apart from matching my mood, which is mainly blue. Dropping the kid off at college was exactly like dropping her off for a sleepover, except times a million. I am excited for her though. Remember how cool it was to be in charge of every little detail of your own life for the first time? If she wanted, she could have french fries and waffles every meal. (and follow in her dad's footsteps)

So I'm going to miss her every day, but being excited for her kind of makes it OK. She's in a good place, and she's pretty much awesome, so there's that. We didn't even have awesome when I was her age. We had to make do with cool, and nobody I knew had that.

And by the way, American colleges and universities - if you kick the parents out as soon as the kid's stuff is moved in, just who is going to help them set up their new computers?

This is Mr Beasley, sleeping on the last shirt the kid wore.

Course, I know there's probably more computer savvy on her floor of the dorm than we've got in the whole forest. So maybe that's not my best argument for being allowed to stay.

But from preschool on they encouraged parental involvement. So imagine my bewilderment when nobody on the floor wanted my help in making a baking soda volcano or a solar cooker from a Pringles can.

Course I understand why we had to leave. Back in preschool I showed up every Wednesday for roller skating, and the kid and I had more fun than anyone. But it wasn't until I missed a few Wednesdays that she learned to skate without me holding her hand.

Lumberkid runs faster than light.

Same thing with reading: eventually I had to stop reading to her so that she could do it for herself.

River - green because it envies the awesomeness on the rocks.

So if I had one of those mood status dealios at the top of the blog it would be set to "happy/sad/excited/and still not entirely sure what a paradigm is"

Have fun, and learn stuff, Lumberkid. I've already got the car gassed up and ready to come pick you up for Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bye-bye Day.

This is what we're doing on Wednesday.... and Thursday... and Friday. We're driving Lumberkid up to college, then, possibly, driving back home alone. I say possibly because there's a chance that we'll just start sleeping outside the gates, unable to let go.

Moving their students in usually takes a few hours. Moving on? Most deans can tell stories of parents who lingered around campus for days. At Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y., a mother and father once went to their daughter’s classes on the first day of the semester and trouped to the registrar’s office to change her schedule, recalled Beverly Low, the dean of first-year students.

“We recognize it’s a huge day for families,” she said. Still, during various parent meetings on Colgate’s move-in day, which is Thursday, Ms. Low and other officials plan to drop not-so-subtle hints that “activities for the class of 2014 begin promptly at 4,” she said.

Formal “hit the road” departure ceremonies are unusual but growing in popularity, said Joyce Holl, head of the National Orientation Directors Association. A more common approach is for colleges to introduce blunt language into drop-off schedules specifying the hour for last hugs.

Maybe I'll just enroll; pull a Rodney Dangerfield. I can hear it now, "But Mr Lumber, you already know everything, what could you possibly learn?" So I'm practicing looking less than perfect in the mirror. I might just pull it off.

Anyway, we're off in the morning, so probably there won't be much posting until we come back and the weeping subsides.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Department of Precrime

Here's another "seemed like a good idea at the time":

New crime prediction software being rolled out in the nation's capital should reduce not only the murder rate, but the rate of many other crimes as well.

Developed by Richard Berk, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, the software is already used in Baltimore and Philadelphia to predict which individuals on probation or parole are most likely to murder and to be murdered.

In his latest version, the one being implemented in D.C., Berk goes even further, identifying the individuals most likely to commit crimes other than murder.

If the software proves successful, it could influence sentencing recommendations and bail amounts.

This reminds me of a parts order from several years back. What? Parts order? Yeah, I got a big, rush, want-it-done-yesterday, job a few years back. So I order a ton of repair parts to be shipped overnight. But the parts don't come. So I call - my order girl doesn't know why they didn't ship - they'll call me back. Next day I call again, and finally find out that someone in their billing department noticed an ordering pattern that he thought might indicate that I was a company that was contemplating bankruptcy and would probably skip out on my bill. (despite being a customer for over ten years) Turns out he'd read an article in some business magazine where they'd sketched out some kind of predictive algorithm...

I forget if I had to do COD for awhile or what, but I definitely remember not being able to get the job done on time because of this idiot. Imagine if he'd had the authority to deny me bail because an algorithm said I was going to commit a crime.

Pow Pow Pow

Turns out it's not so easy to open padlocks with a bullet. A 5 lb. hammer does a much quicker job.


Friday, August 20, 2010

What Does It Mean?

Here's a fun site; you send in your Asian character tattoo, and he tells you if you've been walking around with "egg noodle hummingbird" on your arm for the last 12 years:


I just stumbled across your blog and thought that you could assist me in verifying the meaning of my tattoo. I did them myself late one night a couple years back while apprenticing at a tattoo parlor.


J. S.

First of all, the top character is upside down. Bottom characters 阿呆 means "fool, idiot".

The tattoo is very fitting & means "bitter [or suffering] idiot".

It seems that quite a few of them are just gibberish, and some a mixture of Japanese and Chinese. Now I have to wonder if there aren't Asian language sites that make fun our feeble attempts, like Engrish does of theirs.


mostly via

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Maybe there's a reason for all the vacations...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

This is ZBB Energy

And so is this:

The President is visited ZBB to show you where the clean energy money was going. I wonder if they were a good choice. From the WSJ:

...More efficient and long-lasting storage devices have long been the Holy Grail of renewable energy, since they would allow operators to store intermittent wind and solar energy for later use. A technological breakthrough would be a great achievement, but the problem is that the effort has proven to be both difficult and costly.

That hasn't stopped the Obama Administration, which has been investing willy-nilly in the commercial battery industry. And so last January, when the Department of Energy announced $2.3 billion in "clean energy manufacturing tax credits," ZBB was one of 183 recipients—collecting $14 million.

We wonder who in government looked at ZBB's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Since going public in June of 2007, ZBB has been hemorrhaging money. The firm lost $4.9 million in fiscal 2008 and $5.5 million in fiscal 2009. In its most recent filing, in May, it said it had lost $6.9 million for the first nine months of its current fiscal year. It explained it had a "cumulative deficit" of $44.1 million and informed shareholders that it "anticipates incurring continuing losses." It acknowledged that its ability to continue as a "going concern" was predicated on its ability to drum up additional funds.

I wouldn't mind the government spending money on research. Research will eventually pay off. But this "wouldn't it be cool if it worked?" thing belongs back in the commune with other drug fueled notions like "if we just talk to angry nations the conflict will evaporate."

photo via

I Have a Few Rules

One of them is: Don't play golf in Christian graveyards. Oh heck, I think I'll amend it to not playing golf in any graveyard at all.

photo via (cropping done by me to obscure the fact that it was a miniature golf course)

Just Wanted a Kiss

Just Had One Cupcake, But It Made Me Feel Guilty

I should probably get my prediction down now: Watch for the Obamas to be photographed eating healthy food soon. After catching the First Nutritionist eating ice cream in Florida, and gelato in Spain, she's due for some salad. She's got the "We were on vacation" defense, which is good (I use it myself) but when you're on vacation all the time....

video h/t TWS

Wait for It

We've done this theme before, but not this well.


Monday, August 16, 2010

PETA Complains!

There's something wrong with this commercial, according to PETA:

That's right. There was a monkey in it. So PETA objected. And Dodge corrected:

Who would have thought that removing the monkey could make it better?


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Getting It Wrong

What do you think the chances are that they were trying to do the Titanic thing but couldn't quite remember how it went?

Not to worry, I know magic and I'll fix it for them:

"OK, if you say so. But what are you doing with a flashlight on a boat trip?"

Take This Job and

The last indignity: having your mistakes turned into a Chinese language animation. I hate it when that happens.

Public Relations

Who didn't know that after all the coverage of the Spanish vacation, the Obamas would get some regular-guy shots out there ASAP. "See? We're just like everybody else. Gosh, we like hamburgers and blue jeans even. And by the way, it's not true that we used cashmere toilet paper at the resort."

photo via

Saturday, August 14, 2010


O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a
king of infinite space—were it not that I have bad dreams.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Those Slain Aid Workers

An early entry from the blog of Dr. Karen Woo, one of the ten aid workers killed by the Taliban:

So my Afghan honeymoon officially ended this morning; I was sat in the clinic when the bomb by the Heetal hotel went off. At first I thought something large and heavy had fallen over upstairs and not wanting to jump to conclusions I carried on typing up my notes. When I noticed that there was dust everywhere in the air and one of the nurses came round the corner saying we've got to go doc, I shifted gear and came face to face with the nastiest side of Afghanistan. A suicide bomber had driven a car loaded with explosives into the gates of a nearby compound and everyone was out on the rooftops of the villas, looking out, watching the smoke rising. About 5 minutes later and we were dealing with a casualty...

You can get an idea of who she was from her writing. It only makes the story sadder though.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Makes Ya Think

Not my transport of choice, but think how much better rush hour would be if we could just get half the people to commute by chipper.

Not the Same

My Lilli of the Lamplight

I did this for the Corner. They are soliciting artwork for their new header and once this stuck in my head, I had to finish it. I know that a German prostitute isn't the kind of mascot a respectable site is interested in, so I also sent in a paperboy on a street corner.

From the song Lilli Marlene, a German love song that became popular with soldiers on both sides in World War Two.

If Al didn't want to be in the picture he shouldn't have been on my desktop.

Democratic Duh

Fox says:

Some Democrats are upset and advocacy groups are outraged over the raiding of the food-stamp cupboard to fund a state-aid bailout that some call a gift to teachers and government union workers.

And I'm all:
Then why did you vote for it?

photo via

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Iran: We're Digging Mass Graves!

And preparing to jump into them! No, actually they
seem to have been digging up sand for sculptures.

I like looking around Fars for pictures. I found these improbable submarines while looking for the supposed mass graves. I can't read the Farsi but I'd guess these are being shown as a warning to anyone who might dare to attack Iran.

But look how big they are. They can't carry much in the way of weaponry.

Call this one: We who are about to drown salute you.