The approaching destruction of the basement

Jan 21, 2006 | | 0 comments |

The wholesale tearing-apart and reassembly of our basement got one step closer today with the walk-round and sucking-of-teeth that goes with getting a quote for such a project.
It's gonna cost. But it'll be a lot cheaper to rip the ceiling out of the finished basement and re-wire the house than it would be to rebuild after a fire caused by 1950's wiring.
Suffice to say I'm not looking forward to this.

Must be a slow news day.

Jan 20, 2006 | | 0 comments |

The media, being hyper-sensitive to mining problems as they are right now, have reported another mine fire in West Virginia, where this time, two men got separated!
In other news, and under the banner of "duh!" oil companies have put the price of petrol up based on the Osama tape. Nothing like a good scare to get people to pay more for petrol.
Yes, it's a slow news day.

Osama has surfaced. Or not.

Jan 19, 2006 | | 0 comments |

A new Osama tape? Damn...must be an election year. Oh that's right - the mid-terms. After all, the last Osama tape was right around the 2004 election. How terribly convenient.

This seems to me like the ground work being done by someone in B*sh's regime to ramp up the panic factor in America again so that people will be scared into the correct voting results for the mid-terms. My guess is that there will be a couple of high-profile bombings in the next couple of months, likely not in America because I doubt B*sh could get away with that again. More likely to do with American properties abroad. Soft targets like embassies for example. Italy has announced it's pulling out of Iraq, so the even money is on B*sh regime pulling a fake bombing somewhere there. The olympics perhaps - it's high-profile enough.
Then B*sh will go on TV and give a sort of "I told you so" speech and everyone will panic and vote for the Republicans in the midterms.

It's all just too easy to predict now.

I think the important things to remember today are the facts:

"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him." G.W. B*sh, 13th September 2001

"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority." G.W. B*sh, 13th March 2002.

The most important fact of all:

Most senior members of the Bush camp are all followers of the Project for a New American Century. The PNAC, is a Washington-based think tank created in 1997 that, above all else, desires and demands one thing: the establishment of a global American empire to bend the will of all nations, but that at the same time concedes that we would need another Pearl Harbor to get public support for their little project. Dick Cheney is a founding member of PNAC, along with Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Perle. Paul Wolfowitz is the ideological father of the group and Bruce Jackson, a PNAC director, served as a Pentagon official before leaving government service to take a leading position with the weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

On September 20th 2001, Bush released the "National Security Strategy of the United States of America." It is an ideological match to PNAC's "Rebuilding America's Defenses" report issued a year earlier. In many places, it uses exactly the same language to describe America's new place in the world. For example PNAC demanded an increase in defense spending to at least 3.8% of GDP. Bush's proposed budget for next year asked for $379 billion in defense spending, exactly 3.8% of GDP.

PNAC could be the government under the government - they're certainly the people running the country and if they've demanded good mid-term election results for the Republicans, all the puppets will fall in line and people will have to die.

What is it with Americans and late fees?


We've lived here for five years and there's still things I just don't about the Americans (like why they think B*sh is such a fantastic person). Late fees is one of those things.
Ric Romero posted another consumer report today (look him up on wikipedia if you want to know who he is) about video rentals by mail:

"There are several services, including the well-known Netflix that ship movies right to your door and you return them whenever you want. And, you never pay a late fee. Shawn Roberto and her daughter, Elizabeth, rent plenty of movies, but they haven't paid a late fee in a very long time. That's because they use Netflix, the online DVD movie delivery service."

Great. So Mr Roberto doesn't pay late fees any more, but instead has to wait two days for each movie to be delivered, instead of just going to the rental place, and on top of that he now pays $20 a month instead of late fees.

I'll let you in on a little secret : we've never paid any late fees either and we don't use NetFlix. We use a method known as "taking the movie back on time" instead. It's an amazing concept. We rent the movie, and we take it back the next day, and they give us a dollar back in credit. It's genius in its simplicity!

Better still, we've discovered how to get Hollywood Video to pay us to watch the movie. How? Simple. We wait for a new release to come out, which they normally do on wednesdays. I go in at 10am on the following saturday morning when I know they won't have any copies left because of the friday night rush. Most places do a guarantee-or-next-time-its-free service on the new films. I get the raincheck and go back on sunday, pick up the movie free with the raincheck, watch it and take it back monday morning. They credit $1 to my account. OK so I have the same 2 day wait as Mr Roberto, but I don't pay $20 a month, and Hollywood Video are slowly filling up my account with credits. It's been a long time since we actually paid for a movie rental.

I just don't get it. All the movie rental places give you five days to take stuff back now. What is it about Americans and movie rentals? Why can't they figure it out?

And yea...

Jan 18, 2006 | | 0 comments |

For it did verily snow until the ground didst become covered in a white blanket and the view to thine other buildings doth become blocked with falling snowflakes.

Yes. It's snowing. Big time.

Bob's blog

Jan 17, 2006 | | 0 comments |

One of my cubemates has started his own blog. Expect to hear about lots of biking-related accidents.
Diabetic Biker Bob

The continuing saga of pellet gun kid


This morning, the father of Mark Penley (the wanker who painted his pellet gun to look indifferent from a real 9mm and took it to school) says he told the police his son wasn't a danger and that it was a pellet gun. He's now got a lawyer which means he's either going to sue the police for shooting a kid who was mouthing off at them and waving a gun at them, or he's going to sue the manufacturers of the pellet gun for making it look so real.
Look Mr Penley. It's tragic that your son was an idiot and got himself shot by the police. But face it - if you're the frontline SWAT guy and you get the message from the kid's father that the gun isn't real, yet when you've instructed the kid to put it down and he hasn't and is waving it at you, who are you going to believe? I know who I'd believe - the kid with the gun.
His friends described him as "a nice quiet kid" this morning which is doublespeak for "psycho in the making". I think the Penleys are going to have to come to terms with the fact that a Playstation, a TV, endless meals at McDonalds and a nanny probably aren't the best way to bring up a child. My guess is they probably had him on drugs for something too.

PNN banned from Iran

Jan 16, 2006 | | 0 comments |

This is too funny. CNN (The Pentagon News Network) has has been banned from working in Iran for having quoted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying his country is seeking nuclear weapons. Apparently their translator learned his craft from "Iranian for Dummies" because what Ahmadinejad actually said was "technology" not "weapons." I know, I know. Being the pro-B*sh mouthpiece, CNN's mandate is to keep people scared, but I guess they didn't think they'd get caught out.

The amazing disappearing reappearing snow.


On saturday night, everyone from the national weather service right down to the plastic weather forecaster on 2 News (complete with plastic smile and plastic hair) was telling us we'd be digging out on sunday morning because "the storm of the season" was coming and we'd see up to a foot of snow in the valley. We got up yesterday to find that it hadn't even rained, let alone snowed. Big whup. They were wrong - what's new? So we went out to get on with our day and the heavens opened about 11.00 and it snowed furiously for most of the rest of the day. So the snow did arrive, it just did it when everyone was awake and out and about instead of asleep at night. The result, predictably for Utah, was record numbers of crashes on the roads.
The total in the valley was nowhere near a foot - about 3 inches in Sugarhouse, but it still gave me a chance to exercise the snowblower this morning :-)

Power windmills : the chosen tool of the Nazis.

Jan 15, 2006 | | 0 comments |

New York is approaching the point where they will no longer have enough power to meet the demand, to the governer is planning to put up wind farms to supplement their power needs. This is an applaudable attitude - clean, limitless power - more governers should take this stance. The problem in NY is that people are apparently morons. They've been hold anti-turbine rallies and meetings where they discuss windmills' potential dangers and drawbacks. They complain about the potential effect on their property values and the aesthetic impact on the area's scenic countryside. In other words, NIMBYs. They want more power but they don't want power windmills. But the most incredible thing is some of the arguments they use to claim that power windmills are dangerous. I kid you not:
- the sound of the spinning blades and whirring machinery (which most people find inaudible from fairly close distances) sounds too much like the noises Nazi troops tortured Jews with during the holocaust.
- power windmills cause people to have strokes brought on by the sunlight as it pulsates through the spinning turbine blades
- the EM field from the generator causes mange in cattle
- women living near the wind farms are having as many as five menstrual cycles a month

The list goes on and on. All this shows is what an uneducated bunch of morons these people are. If I was George Pataki, I'd say "suck it" to this lot, and put the power windmills in. If these fuckwits don't like it, they can move and take their ineducated lunacy elsewhere. Hell - these complaints are generating so much hot air, there ought to be a method of putting these people in a sealed room and generating power that instead. The more they complain, the more power for New York.

This is hauntingly similar to some of the reasons one of B*sh's "experts" gave him to argue the case against power windmills and for oil. The most amusing of which was that the windmills disturb local wind patterns which in turn disturb global weather.

Windmills must clearly be dangerous then. If only there was another country that could test windmill technology. A country that used them for power, grain, water pumping. Like - ooh - I don't know - the Netherlands?

Wake up and smell the oil-polluted air, America. Your president is a dumbass, but you don't need to be. Windmills are a clean, free source of infintely renewable non-polluting power. Fuck - if I could get a personal power wind generator through the planning process in city hall, I'd have one in my back yard.

Original story.