White Lightning Axiom: Redux: December 2005

Thursday, December 22, 2005


Bird Flu claims two more

Oh, this is not good. Not unexpected but a very bad turn:I'll expect to see more of this coming out of China too where Tamiflu was used to innoculate birds as well.

Technorati Tags:


T minus 8 hr

Swim night, went well. Alexis is a bit too independent but does get a bit of exercise. We went to Pippo's Fantastico after that. I had the Sea Bass (yummy) while the kids stuck to the old stand-by of spags-n-balls or cheese ravioli. The Mrs, chicken, white sauce, etc. There were leftovers of course. I finished mine though. Interesting enough, the establishment was rather empty so our tyrants in training did not disturb too many people. Additionally, Jake took it upon himself to flirt mercilessly with the waitress. At one point he latched on too her wrist to look at the (ohhhh, shiny) bracelet she was wearing and would not relinquish. Masher.

The big drive is coming soon. I'll be heading up either in the wee hours of the morning tonight or the post-rush hour times in the afternoon to pick up the OutLaws. Usually, we would insist that they take the train to the local drop point at Cornwall Heights but that is not going to happen. Thanks, of course, to the TWA Local 100 and their ILLEGAL STRIKE. Fire the lot of 'em I say. But enough of that ... I've got some packing to do. You see, since this is my last day at the client site, I need to remove all my worldly belongings from the sensory deprivation cube I've been crated into for the last 2 or so years. On the up-side, I'll be returning to the Home Office for an evening event and to drop off my cruft. We have an annual Secret Santa/Pirate Pollyanna every year and it can be a bit of fun. Since I've been away, we have lost a few employees and replaced them with people I do not know. It should be interesting. New people to victimize!

Technorati Tags: | |

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Title This!

Come on, give it your best shot...

Technorati Tags:


Now that we have that all cleared up ...

This pretty much lays the framework for an AWSOME defense:Ummm, let's hope that the 3 Judges in Turkey don't buy it either.

Technorati Tags: | |


Brain in a pan ... Ghost in the machine.

This makes me exceedingly nervious:Ummm ... HOLY SHIT! This is the thing that SciFi disaster movies are always based on. Hellooo ... SkyNet? And these new thinking machines ... will they have 'Rights'? Ohhh boy. This stuff should be front page news. Heck, they could open your skull, pop out a lump and slide it into a machine ... think about that for a minute.

Technorati Tags:


I spy with my little google eye ...

Heh, this makes sense of why the UN wants control of the internet:Or try to take it down...A lot of huff-n-puff over nothing really. Honest!



Well, work was actually interesting. Not so much that I had any work to do but that I was able to help JrPM with a problem regarding the destruction of the staging B2B environment. Apparently, there is a new security protocol going through a rush implementation and this involves some significant changes to underlying schemas and encryption mechanisms. Due to the short-sightedness of some engineers, the staging environment JAR was abruptly modified for one purpose and all peripheral systems that used that as a building block became corrupted. JrPM was in the middle of a knowledge transfer on how to test Incoming Order Feeds using the B2B interface when this was discovered. Apparently, the responsible parties were rather brusk and disinterested in repairing the damage. It was a long and angst ridden path where the torpid legions of inaction covered their ineptitude with extraordinary levels of hostility and vituperation. In the end, the solution was known to us but the permission was not forthcoming. Fortunately, we found an authority who would engage and resolve our little dilemma with alacrity. Ahh, the triumph of sagacity over malaise filled Reprobates!

Speaking of Reprobates ... the traffic on the way home was a disaster. Apparently there was an accident 15 miles away that managed to back up every roadway in the region. It took 1.5 hours to get to the manor. That is 90 minutes of time I'll never recover, 60 of which I should not have lost. An hour into the trip, I saw the location of the misdeed. There were skidmarks, fluids and shattered glass scattered about the eastbound lanes mid-way between Willow Grove and Fort Washington. No wreckage to be seen but at point, the traffic suddenly picked up just in time for the exit. Which was backed up ... onto the turnpike. Friggen construction. It's enough to make you want to quit your job and never travel again.

Oh, and we have started to wrap presents at home just in time for everyone to start arriving. This should only take 120 man-hours to complete.

Technorati Tags: |

Tuesday, December 20, 2005



This is the kind of headline that makes you spew your morning coffee out your nose. I can imaging the nervious twitches at the weekly NSA briefings:I'll wager that the Sheriff isn't all to concerned in so much that this haul is probably long gone across the Mexican border by now.

Technorati Tags: |


Turnpike Nonsense

This should have been taken care of a long time ago:Where did these people learn about traffic management!? Instead, they are making my life friggen miserable here between Ft Washington and Valley Forge. ARGH!

Technorati Tags: |


Dark days

Nice, boring, mundane day. Excitement would be nice if came in the variety that I saw in our utilities bill. Last month, we were smacked with a bill for 112$ and this month (Nov) we found a 130$ bill. The gas usage did not change but the electric went down. Not sure if this is a result of the new miser bulbs or if it was the week we spent out of the house up in Ithaca. I'm guessing the later had more impact than the former. Of course, we will be in the house for nearly the last two weeks of the year so I'm expecting the next bill to jump 100% like it did last year. Likewise for Feb. If only we could heat the manor with angst and the encyclopedia sized bills. This is not including the fact that our wood supply may run out faster than expected.

Speaking of faster than expected, I've only got 3 more days at our client site. Three more mornings of being able to see my prison building from the turnpike fifteen minutes before I can get there. Well, make that two. This morning I did stop off at the regional postal distribution center to drop off our letters. Late, as usual, but we got it done. Typically we would have loaded the crate onto an AC-130 but our current automated air-wing is distributing white pine missiles over the barren landscape of Greenland. Getting ready for that global warming and all. Add all those trees and they'll suck up the CO2 and turn it into oxygen which will promptly cause another ice-age. I'm devious that way.

Technorati Tags: | | |

Monday, December 19, 2005


Bird Flu concerns open a market for Fraud in the US

If you have email, you get the pharma spam for Viagra and other dubiously available drugs. Now, the Bird Flu has opend the gateways for Tamiflu Fakes:I'm not pleased in the least. This kind of counterfit production in China is not the first of it's kind.?

Technorati Tags:

Sunday, December 18, 2005



Sunday was primarily spent in preparation for the company holiday gathering. We were to drop off the kids a the Seliga's house at roughly 1500 hours and then proceed to center-city Philly. The Food there was good but I could not take my mind off the kids. I find it hard to believe that it took us roughly 3+ years to abandon our children to somebody's care outside of day-care or the grandparents. It was disquieting to not need to jump up every 15 minutes in order to referee some dispute or extinguish a fire. We returned at 2200 hours to find everything in order. They went to bed with little prompting (read: fell asleep on the way home) and Jake got up at 0130 to go pee. Oddly enough, he ran right back to bed and went to sleep after a kiss and a hug. The Mrs and I slept in this morning for an hour and a half. The only reason we got out of bed was because the hounds started making a racket. I suppose this is the calm before the storm, eh?

Technorati Tags:

Saturday, December 17, 2005


Saturday night is all-all-right.

Saturday morning was actually quite tame. More enjoyable actually, since we started bringing the kids to swimming on Wednesday nights instead of the crack of dawn on the weekends. Getting breakfast made and herding the kids out the door nearly ended up in tragedy every time. No, this is preferable. Of course, Jake ended up in our bed again last night so when I extricated myself this morning, the Mrs and the Elder Son of Catastrophe immediately spread out to fill the newly made available space. Fine. I'll just go tend to the lawn-nemesis hounds and relight the fire in the wood stove. Once that is out of the way, it's on to breakfast: a pound of bacon, loaf of toast, a chain of sausages and whatever other vittles I can rustle up. Nothing is off the menu except scrapple. Even I wont eat that stuff.

Last night, I had to finally cave in and bring the car into the mechanic's. I just could not deal with the intermittent issues with the electrical system. I was fairly certain it was the battery, but just did not have the bandwidth to go out of my way to pick up a new one and install it. Of course, it that was not the problem I would still have to bring the car in so I just weighed the odds and figured it was best if I assumed the worst case scenario. After I dropped off the car, I had to walk to the Day Care/Child ReEducation Camp which was about a mile or so away. No great feat except for the obvious lack of sidewalks anywhere in suburban Philly. The shoulder of the roadways look like something out of Mad Max ... refuse and wreckage strewn about. All that was missing was gangs of scavengers.

I eventually made it to the semi-run down plaza that the swim club is located behind and I make a pit-stop at a warm little store on the corner. It's a candy-store (one that I imagine my kids will be visiting in the future) and picked up a few pounds of jelly beans. Some for the Mail-Person, some for my coworkers, a few for the kids, the Mrs and Myself. While I was there, I had to set down a cache of mail we had received that consisted mostly of Greeting cards, junk and a cell phone bill that is paid automatically via CC. In my anticipation of sugar-madness, I left the mail sitting on the counter. It did not hit me that my absent-minded behavior was so blatant till I had met the wife and we were already in the manor with our coats and boots off. Nutz. Hammer my way back through the rushing river of traffic like a red salmon scraping its way past bears, rocks, falls and other insurmountable obstacles.

Flash back to Saturday morning. I'm waiting till the Mrs is done with her shower before I leave the kids in front of the tube to scrub off the last remains of a nights sleep. Not more than 7 minutes into my warm, relaxing shower, the Mrs barges in and proclaims that the contractors that I had set a meeting with for 1000 had arrived. Fifteen minutes early no less. That NEVER happens! Well, while they survey the property (I've disarmed the mine field as well as the cyber attack drones) I quickly throw on my work clothing and dart out to meet them. These are the guys who are going to install my solar attic fans. We talk briefly and they note that my description AND evaluation about where the fans should go is right on the money. It takes all for 75 minutes for them to install the fans while I was putting up more lights on the eves of the roof. They were quite happy that I had a ladder all set up and that the slope of the roof was low enough for them not to need to tie themselves off. I had shoveled off most of the snow on the roof when I was putting up lights so that was an added bonus to them. No sitting in snow while it melted and invaded the clothing with semi-frigid water. Not that I've had to do that while trying to attach lights while staring down at the thorn encrusted bushes 20 feet below. Yeah. Anyways, they wrap up their work and I lay out the Thousand Dollars the units cost me. Good thing they have a great track record and significantly bullet proof warranty. One step forward on the fight to reduce our power consumption ... now where it that pamphlet for the heat pump/fuel cell/solar panel installations.

Speaking of power/gas consumption, I had to restock the wood brackets. It looks like we will have enough wood to last us for 10 more weeks. Hmmm, that will get us to the end of February but I'm not sure it will be enough. I'll probably have to order some pre-split/pre-seasoned stuff from the Guy on Buck Road. One more month (4 weeks) should do it. The alternative is a bit expensive actually. I would have to rely on natural gas to heat the house in that last month of winter and we all know how much of a tight-wad I can be about that! Yeah, I balk at paying a hundred dollars for heating gas but lay out a thousand for a couple of attic fans. Sheesh. I lay out serious dinar for food or gifts and all but I just can't sand paying for electric, water and gas.

Yes, spending money. When I picked up the SuperSaturn and drove it off I did not blink twice about the battery installation it required. Yes, I ruined the battery. The triple draining and then the cold-snap did it in. Chris the Mechanic could not get it to hold a charge. Damn. I've got to stop doing that. Having to replace the battery every two years is not acceptable. The Mrs, Tyrannical Twins and I stopped off and transferred the cargo/personnel on the way to the Seliga's house. She was going to do some 'Last Minute Shopping, Part XIV' while the kids went MAD at our guest's home. Needless to say, their pets noticed a disturbance in the force before we got within a mile and hid in their concrete bunker at an undisclosed location. We were there from 1400 till some time around 2300 hours. The kids were actually quite nice and did not set anything on fire or drink all the liquor. Of course, this acceptable behavior came at a price. Some time in the wee hours of the morning, Alexis woke up in a coughing fit and we had to immobilize her so we could give her a dose of cough syrup. I nearly lost a finger! She spent the rest of the night sleeping in our bed where the Mrs would normally be. She even got the part where she sleeps in the middle and jams her knees into my back correct. Something that is passed on from mother to daughter I guess. Since Jake woke up a bit later due to all the commotion, the Mrs retired to the futon with him and slept blissfully till mid-morning. Family Bliss, eh?

Technorati Tags: | | |


CNN.com - Russia nuclear plant blast:�1 dead - Dec 16, 2005

Great, never saw this happen before:Remember, these are the guys helping Iran build their Reactors. A little slip of the fingers can create a DYI Glass Crater and a permenantly uninhabitable zone for humanity. I wonder how well radioactive oil burns.
Technorati Tags: | |



I'm a bit tweaked from an incident I was engaged in when I went off to the Local Post Office to drop off gifts. The day was sunny and most of the snow/ice had melted. The puddles of water riddled the parkinglot and flowing runoff was everywhere. It was a short trip to the Governmental Institution so I was not going to much beyond the speed limit. This was apparently much to slow for a woman in an import SUV who roared past me as I pulled into the lot. She swerved in front of the SuperSaturn and promptly beached her mammoth vehicle over two of the three handicapped parking spots. Excuse me!? Even better, as I pulled in beside her in the third spot, she leaps out of and dumps a letter in one of the mail-collection boxes. There was a non-hp spot not more than 3 meters from where she let her abomination rest and she could not take 5 extra seconds to be a COURTEOUS CIVIC MINDED INDIVIDUAL and park somewhere else when there is an obvious need for these spots to be open!? ARGH! I was about to shuffle off my faux rage after I managed to get the 3 large and heavy boxes out of the car when I was nearly run down my some jack-ass in a Lexus who promptly pulled into the spot that the witch just vacated. HEY! Watch it! He managed to block the access from the parking lot to the side walk so I was required to go around to the driver's side of his car. As I head for the curb-cut, the ASS-WAD leaps over the railing and swings his door open right in front of me. Now here I am, arms full of packages and DICK-HEAD is doing his best to make sure I'm inconvenienced to the greatest extent. I was really quite perturbed about this. If I did have to adroitly contort my body to avoid dumping everything on the ground I would have confronted him about his completely unacceptable behavior. I should have dumped the packages on his car but the SPINELESS WONDER was incredibly oblivious to everything beyond his belly-button lint. Merry Christmas, jackass! Fortunately, there were no lines inside the office and I found that it helped my enraged emotions settle quite some. I need to start keeping a pad of sticky notes with various inflammatory monikers to assist me with carrying out a program of civil instruction for these courtesy challenged ... jerks.

Technorati Tags: |

Friday, December 16, 2005


Relief agency to end aid to N. Korea

Stunning turn of events:All I can think here is 'Soylent Green'. They already tried eating pine trees, all that is left is dirt and people.
Technorati Tags: |


Northeast US Kyoto Redux

Now I had thought this to be a bit of a misguided effort, but if they could accomplish something it would be likely to be at least an agreement that something should be done. Not for the right reasons, but in this case the ends would justify the means. (Take a note from Iraq)Well, duh. That's why Bush did not sign the Global one in the first place!Frankly, I'm surprised that they did not realize this going in. Hello? Anyone listening out there? Now if they started to drill for natural gas off the coast of the NE, maybe they could afford this. Not that there is any gas out there except one large deposit on Martha's Vineyard. That kind of gas would be good for Wind Turbines too but they don't want any of that kind of proletariat nonsense despoiling their view. Now of course, PA chose to be an observer of this but is having it's own little schism in the same area.Isn't there some program that gives auto consumers a rebate on hybrid cars? Then I saw this article about the Hybrid Philly Fleet in the news and my head exploded.Friggen politicians. Where is Shakespeare when you need him!
Technorati Tags: | |


T minus 5

The commute to the manor last night was the standard fare given the weather. I, however, found no solace or comfort amongst the snow, sleet, rain, freezing rain and standard stupidity of my fellow automotive operators on the PA Turnpike. They did manage not to gridlock the local roadways with multi-vehicle pile-ups and for that I must give them credit. That, and the six inches of super-corrosive halite mixed with cinders that was heaped on every square inch of asphalt. In spite of the salt-flats mimicry, it still takes 75 min to get home, and at points I had to diverge to local roads in order to avoid highly congested areas. Fortunately, had foresight to get dinner YESTERDAY and that saved me quite a bit of hassle.

Since I was sitting in queue for lights under which only three of four vehicles seemed to be able to pass, I was thinking about something I noticed earlier this afternoon. Every so often I feel the urge to see who is dropping in but not commenting (aka: lurkers). So I bumbled off to the SiteMeter tracking site and found this. Essentially links to an unsettling observation I noted at Tish's place. Funny that this thing is till getting hits eight months later. Funny in a sad voyeur sort of way.

Oh, and the traffic this morning. At 0645 it was a breeze. It was 41 degrees and nary a patch of ice in sight. Go figure.

Technorati Tags: ||

Thursday, December 15, 2005



I'm not sure how this one snuck through ...This will be a very interesting election should this come to pass.
Technorati Tags: |


No gas for YOU!

When I first read the headline for this, I though "Isn't there a Law or policy against shutting off the gas in the middle of the winter when children/elderly are involved?". Well, yes, as noted previously.Well, the other shoe has been dropped apparently.So much for the compassionate city owned utility.
Technorati Tags: | |


Man (animal) kills wife and 3 young children .. over chores

This is the kind of thing you wish you would not hear of:The picture of the children is heart-rending. Why couldn't he just walk away.
Technorati Tags: |


Truth, fiction, odd confluence

This just makes me say "Hmmm":So, the Catholics (who took a lot of heat about the Inquisition and such) are now sliding up with the Jews (big brother religion) against the Muslims. Can you say 'End of Times'? Or perhaps, sanity. Of course, some of the other nonsense that is coming out of Iran makes this fairly small tatters.
Technorati Tags: | |


Bird Flu one step closer to Europe ... Final stop in the Americas

First Turkey, then Hungary ... now this:It's coming and there is not a damn thing we can do about it except find a cure. Yet another unstoppable export from China. Thanks guys, what's next? HIV infections from clothing?
Technorati Tags: |


Just pretend it's balmy ...

Well, we went swimming again last night and boy were there a lot of kids this time. A whole damn phalanx of them gurgling about in the pool. Like a mini-invasion horde of brightly colored SEALs. Afterwards, we went to Maggio's for dinner. This is the same place where I order the Thursday Night Pizza every week. Since I was there, I figured I would order the pizza now with dinner and take it home. When I went to pay for the final tab (dinner went very well btw), the guy who I always see when I pick up the pie was there. He was a bit shocked 'You're a day early!'. Heh, yeah. After a brief and friendly interchange, I left my typical 20% tip and we headed back to the 'New and Improved Haupertonian International HQ and Manor ... now with MORE LED LIGHTS!'. It was a bit chilly inside ... 58. The fire I lit before I had left 3 hours ago did not do much to change that. There were a few embers left, but nothing that could combat the stubborn blanket of cold that had the manor in it's tightly clenched fist.

Given that it was somewhere between 0 and 8 degrees last night, the car reacted poorly of course. I had it hooked up to a trickle charger last night in hopes of avoiding my morning jumper cable dance. I went out and started the car at 0630 with no problem. Of course, I should have left it running for a bit. The next time when I was really ready to go, the electrical system slumped and went dead. Argh. If this continues, I'm going to have to consider either replacing the battery (AGAIN!) or hooking the car up to the house current every night to keep it juiced up. Might as well have an electric golf cart at that point. Given the hazards of driving on the turnpike, that would probably not be a recommended course of action. I can see the headlines now. It would be akin to that jackass who tried to drive a zamboni from Wisconsin to Philly several years back. Speaking of absurd ... we are supposed to get freezing rain and sleet during rush hour this afternoon. I should have LOTS to write about tomorrow.

Technorati Tags: |

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Peak Oil South of the Border

A story of a third (second?) world nation gaining energy independence:Okay, tons of ethanol mostly because they do not have a problem with sugar cane like we do in the US. Not that we could not grow loads of it in Florida or the South East, it's that durned Sugar Program. The question I have here is how are they producing the Ethanol without investing 120% of the energy return? Wiki says that they burn the non-sugar biomass instead of petro ... which of course generates CO2.

Technorati Tags: | |


Of men and mice

As noted in the story, there is a 'Yuck' factor that may have been inadvertently crossed. A lump of cells jammed into a mouse's brain ... good thing this is in San Francisco where Christianity has been outlawed. The Eco-Nuts (anti GM folks) are there in force though.There is more but the crux of the matter has already been laid out. Where do we stop and what are the implications of going too far? This should muddy the waters for philosophers given that they still have not come up with a good answer to the 'meaning of life'. I expect to hear very little of this until after the next election cycle.

Technorati Tags: | |


T minus 8 and counting

Hmmm, usual cruft at work, on the road, etc. Big news here is that it's colder than a brass door knob in January on an Eskimo's out-house. I'm sure our gas bill is going to be above 200$ this month. Speaking of cold, the Mrs bought me 5 more strings of lights and NO STAR for the top of our tree. I really only needed 2 more strings but I guess she figures that I could bring that auxiliary fusion plant on line to power these buggers. I'm hoping all this power drain does not melt our already strained power grid. As for the Super Saturn, well, I believe it has psionic powers. It felt that I intended on sending it to the ancient car graveyard and suddenly it started to behave.Shiver me timbers! This morning, the windshield fluid pump and the rear defroster would not function but when I drove back home it was in perfect working order. It must be the cold. Probably draining the battery to a point where the system is shutting down non-mandatory subsystems ... like the anti-ecm battery and the micro-singularity generator. Looks like we may be able to squeeze out those extra 3 years I need to pay off the FamilyTank. Flash forward to the next morning and the battery is AWOL again. I'm going to have to put the trickle charger on it overnight. It's nearing zero now and the old mare is not taking it well.

Speaking of near zero, the manor did not clear 60 degrees last night. Not sure what went amiss but I had the stove going all night. Probably just did not tend it enough. On top of that, Alexis decided that she was unimpressed with her dinner and on the last bite, heaved up her meal all over the table and herself. It was intentional. She was upset that since she took TWO HOURS to eat dinner, she would have one hour less of play time. I have vague memories of my Big Little Brother doing this when he was just a tyke too. So we bathe her and send her off to bed. Perhaps we will have better results on her next evening meal since we will be eating out. Swim night, don't you know.

Technorati Tags: |

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Diving back in

Another Monday, another week to be ground down like an old graphite pencil. The drive in today was merciful for me, not so much for others. A tractor-trailer dumped a load of steel rolls on the east bound turnpike between my exit and US Route 1. Fortunately for me, this did not add to my woes but assisted me a bit. The truck managed to spew debris on the westbound lanes as well which gated some of the fellow automotive pilots who I would be competing with for space. Closed down the turnpike ... what a mess. Other than that, the work day was fairly uneventful. Just a couple nibbles that I swatted away with my usual concise and curt statement of facts. The real excitement happened near the end of the day. I have a couple of purchases that I needed to return to the Local Home Depot Temple here in KOP. I had purchased an attic fan (version 3 - class 7 tornado power) and a motor for the fan that was dying in the upper attic. Initially, I was going to replace the motor and put a new fan in the lower attic but found an ad in one of the local trash mags that peaked my interest. Apparently, you can buy solar powered attic fans! The concept is actually quite sound. You only need the fan going when it is hot and it is only hot in the summer when the sun is baking your shingles. If it is covered with snow in the winter or it is cloudy it should not be running anyways. The downside is that you have to buy this from an authorized dealer. They apparently cost 400-500 a pop but have a really good warranty if needed. On top of that, I get a discount for having the silly coupon from the magazine. The guy is coming out next weekend at 1000 hours to do a 'first take' to see what he has to work with. I'll see if I can pressure him into cutting down the price a bit since I could probably install the one fan that will be replacing the old fan.

One last thing ... the SuperSaturn is starting to act up. It has had a problem with the key alert bell dinging even though the keys are not in the ignition and NOT dinging when the lights are left on. Now, the rear defroster is no longer working and the windshield fluid pumps are frozen. Not sure if this is the beginning of the end or just another bump in the road. I would really like to keep the car till we have the Family Tank paid off but this may not be in the cards. I'm no longer hot for a diesel ($2.65/gal!?), however, I am considering a Ford Escape Hybrid. They are actually fairly competitive given their size and all. We'll see. Perhaps if the weather heats up a bit (it was 8 this morning) this will 'go away'. My inspection is not till February so I'll have a pretty good handle on our financial state by that time. If repairing the heap costs more than 300$ then it is a wash and the car is going to have a short lifespan in the vehicle fleet.

Technorati Tags: ||


Kyoto American Style

This is how it should be done. The states decide what to do and the Federal government sets the standards. Those who prefer to put in the extra effort are rewarded with funding, those do do not, need none.

Notes:After years of assailing the U.S. for refusing to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, E.U. leaders admit they will miss their own Kyoto guidelines, and have actually increased greenhouse emissions by 1.1 percent.

Report Card:
Changes in greenhouse gas emissions from developed countries, 1990-2003.

Over all among these countries there was a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions of 5.9 per cent, from 18.4 billion tonnes CO² equivalent in 1990 to 17.3 billion tonnes CO² equivalent in 2003.

Country Per cent
Spain +41.7
Monaco +37.8
Portugal +36.7
Greece +25.8
Ireland +25.6
Canada +24.2
Australia +23.3
New Zealand +22.5
Finland +21.5
Austria +16.5
United States +13.3
Japan +12.8
Italy +11.5
Norway +9.3
Denmark +6.8
Liechtenstein +5.3
Netherlands +1.5
Belgium +1.3
Switzerland -0.4
European Union -1.4
Slovenia -1.9
France -1.9
Sweden -2.3
Croatia -6.0
Iceland -8.2
Britain -13.0
Luxembourg -16.1
Germany -18.2
Czech Republic -24.2
Slovakia -28.3
Hungary -31.9
Poland -34.4
Russian Federation -38.5
Belarus -44.4
Romania -46.1
Ukraine -46.2
Bulgaria -50.0
Estonia -50.8
Latvia -58.5
Lithuania -66.2


The thing that gets me is that it is NOT the co2 we should be worried about. Excessive co2 will promote excessive plant growth. Balance will eventually be restored. Nothing like the biomass for co2->oxygen conversion exists for methane though. Most importantly here ... what is the emission level of a nuclear power plant?

Technorati Tags: |

Monday, December 12, 2005



TrekMedic251 slid this one to me over the weekend:
I need to Name 5 Weird Habits, and then tag 5 people after I'm done.

  • I like to tuck sheets under feet.
  • I sneak a peek at the kids at night before I go to bed.
  • I make 1 lap around each car in the morning after letting dogs out (No, it's not OCD)
  • I lay out everything (clothes, lunch, etc) for the next day before I go to bed
  • I never leave leftovers ... clean plate and all. Kids starving in Africa, blah-blah-blah.
    Toni, Amanda, Dave, CC and Lei
    Technorati Tags:

  • Sunday, December 11, 2005


    loosing power ...

    Ok, Sunday. The day of rest (read: Utter panic, do everything at the last minute day till exhaustion lays you low). I got up early and get everything ready so that we can get to the 0830 mass. After dumping the kids in the bed next to the Mrs, taking care of the dogs, packing 'fun stuff and food' for the kids, getting a fire started and grooming myself, the kids tell me that they would prefer to stay under the covers with Mom. FINE! I know very well that after I return from mass, they'll be asking to go to church. Not today though, we have an arranged visit with a Chuck-e-Cheese knock off called 'Jungle Jim' at 1030 today. We are all set and leave at about 1005 ... just enough time to get there. About 15 minutes into our trip, the Mrs's cell phone rings. It's my father. He is calling us from 225 miles away to tell us that our burglar alarm is going off. This means we need to turn around and drive back to the manor and see what the Hounds of Hell have done to set off the alarm. Certainly it is not an armed intrusion, the cyber-nano-bot sentries would have stopped that and nobody could clear the anti-personnel mine field with cross-field covering fire from the 125mm autoguns. Alas, when we do arrive it is Area 6 reporting movement ... the dogs. ARGH! Cancel, disarm, reset ... leave. We make it to the MOM (Mothers of Multiples) gathering by 1100 and set the kids loose like jackals upon a fresh kill. Funny thing about the location, it used to be a bar that I went to every so often. When you become a parent, the world changes WITH you. The kids grind through tokens like they are exotic matter string ripping through a black hole. Of course, they manage to rack up 221 tickets in the process. Just enough to trade in for 2 five cent plastic frogs. I think they go for 25/dollar in the crap-o-rama stores. It only cost 10 bucks here! Good thing that the kids enjoy the games. We trick the kids into leaving after 1330 and they acquiesce only because of false promises.

    On the way back to the manor, we stop off at one of the local produce dumping grocery stores and load up on milk, yogurt and fruit. Here, I have not choice but to stop off in the Meat Section and bask in the pink and red glow of fluorescent light reflecting off the pre-packaged delectables. Then I spot it, my true love. Spiral sliced ham at ONLY 1.69$ a pound! I lunge at the largest one I could find and haul my slain quarry back to the cart. Alexis is horrified at a piece of meat larger than her being dumped into HER cart and insists that I put it as far from her as possible. Little does she know that she will be dining on this delectable quarter soon enough.

    As a final act of defiance in light of the coming Monday, I begin draping the manor with lights. Billions and billions of shimmering LED lights. Putting the non-LED icicle lights along the roofline is actually the most frightening and dangerous part of this. Since I crammed a load of R30 insulation into the attic years ago, we have quite a bit of snow remaining on the roof. I went about shoveling it off and a funny thing happened. A police cruiser rolled by, slowed down in front of the house and did not continue on till I waved at them. They were probably checking up on the manor from the alarm earlier in the day. Seeing some figure stomping about on the roof probably gave them a moment to pause and say "WTF!?". All in all, I was out there till after 1800 putting up strings of lights and I'm still short 2 strings. I'll have to give the Mrs Carte Blanche to go out shopping for them so I can wrap it up. The kids are impressed with the current state though. This year, I took a page from Gramp's book and put up hooks instead of stapling the lights. Makes it easier to put them up in successive years.

    Technorati Tags: |

    Saturday, December 10, 2005


    Cold Spirits

    My recidivist son has taken up the habit of waking in the wee hours of the morning again. He starts at 0200 and begins a mantra of 'Mommeee, daddeee, help meeee!' and slowly raises the volume till the racket is enough to rip asunder the flimsy veil I like to regard as slumber. Of course, all the experts say that you should not bring them into your own bed or they may develop attachment issues or problems with self image. These bozos are probably getting a good night's sleep. In that vein, I go into the room and notice that Alexis is not happy about having a howler monkey as a bunk-mate. No kidding hon. I lean over his bed and he immediately latches onto me like a possum cub. Quickly, I saunter back to the interim master suite and drop him in between the Mrs and myself. She has not stirred a bit and does not notice that Jake is intruding till 0800 when he starts to get restless and sits on her head. Literally, not figuratively.

    I leave those two alone so they can sort out who commands the lion share of the bed while I go take care of the hounds. Upon hearing the floor creak, they begin their morning ritual of low barks and nerve grinding whimpers till I let them out. While they are busy trying to outwit each other, I take the 55 gallon drum of ash that we have produced over the week and filter out all the unburned coals. Cheap penny pincher that I am, I take these nuggets and toss them back into the firebox. I have a simple rectangle of 2x4 with a quarter inch screen attached. If it falls through, it's going back into the soil, if not, back into the manor. Every BTU counts, you know. After I throw the unburned carbon back into the stove, I light up the fire and start getting ready for the Breakfast With Santa deal that is being managed by our family friends, the Seliga's. It goes pretty well actually. Pancakes, chaos, screaming kids, Alexis being distant and surly when seated next to Santa ... as usual. Her vicissitudes when it comes to emotions is legendary. She can go from a sweet little chatterbox telling the world about Santa to a petulant, bellicose little burr in seconds. She would have made the most surly union worker wither should they have crossed paths. At least she did not whip out a Glock and try to do away with the Jolly old Soul. We managed to excise ourselves from the gathering with the grace of a pregnant three legged blind yak and get on with the day. I dropped off the Mrs and the 2 sprouts at Target while went off to get my haircut and MY barber shop near the WG Air Base. I got there just as one of the barbers was finishing up so I had ZERO wait. The funny thing about this visit is a man walks in right behind me and eventually sits down in the next seat. When asked how would he like his hair, he points at me and say 'I'll have what he's got!". Now, my flat top is nice, but the man has just a little cape of hair from ear to ear and a big old shiny chrome dome up top. Everyone burst out laughing at that point. Good one, old fellow, good one.

    Shopping at Target is typically not a difficult trial for me. Today, however, the hordes of zombie shoppers made the environment stink of angst. On queue, when I found the Mrs and the Terrible Twin Tyrants, Jacob insisted that now would be the best time to use the local facilities. Gotta do this in every place we go at least once. Fine. After weaving through slow-moving wide-loads and surreptitiously circumventing the dazed cart wanderers, we squeeze out a couple tablespoons of fluid and make the return trip to the opposite corner of the giant-box facility. While there, I pick up a half dozen chains of LED Christmas lights for the manor exterior. The neighbors down the street put up a nice display this year so I'll have to one-up them a bit. We made a bee-line for the checkout lines and were happy to see that nearly every 'cattle chute' was manned (womanned?). Pay, pack and escape. Flee to fight another day. I really wanted to get out of there since my next stop was the DMV.

    Oh, the woe of the DMV. Actually, our DMV gives out little numbers like a deli and you get to sit and mind your own business. No worrying about what line you're supposed to be in or any nonsense like that. As much as they have tried to make the waiting area as stress free as possible, there is no reading material so you end up face-surfing the whole time. Everyone noticed the young woman with 4 inch heels on. We all looked down and snickered when she stumbled on her way out the door too. Winter, appropriate foot wear, 'nuff said. Other than that guilty little reprise from boredom, there were the standard FATHER-child pairings. Not sure why that is. No Mothers, just Fathers with their teen-age wards. On of the high-points of the day for the public servant I was paired with was me calling him SIR. He was stunned. A polite interaction? Indeed, he was even more amazed when I only required ONE photo for my driver's id. Not like the usual dozen or so for the people who came before me. I almost never need to present my ID so the photo really means close to nothing to me. I did not spend 15 minutes primping and priming myself for the photo either. Good thing I only have to do this every 4 years. I need a drink. Badly. The worst part of this urge is that the Mrs and Co. went off to SuperFresh in the same plaza that the DMV is in. This grocery store has an attached Liquor Store. Strange for Pennsyltucky where all the liquor stores are franchised via the PLBC. After giving her a long, loving kiss outside the gateway to inebriation, I tell her to send in a search-party if I do not come out in a week. Or if I call AMEX to up our credit limit.

    Not much else came of the rest of the day. We picked up the Mrs' car from the shop. Needed an inspection so I had dropped it off on Friday. Back at the manor, I hid all my liquor and ill gotten booty (bought a 30$ spiral ham ... mmmmm). While the Mrs and Alexis made cookies, I napped with Jake for a few hours. He was doing his best melt-down renditions and I was just plain wiped out. One thing I did forget to mention is that we finally picked up our Christmas tree on Friday night. This year, we abandoned all the fragile ornaments and stuck to the stuffed, metal and edible ones. The top half of the tree is packed with candy-canes. I can see the desire in the kids eyes when they level their gaze on that forbidden fruit. I'm sure they'll find a way to get at it. They always do.

    Technorati Tags: |


    farm talk

    The other day, Lileks wrote about the farm and it's visceral memories as the generations slowly trickle away from the homestead. Our common heritage. The origin. It made me think back and dust off those old memories of weekends that we would spend out there in rural Minnesota. I distinctly remember wandering out the the slew behind the homestead across the street from a largish lake. There was a snapping turtle there that seemed to be older than time itself. It would graciously snap twigs in two for us as we poked at it. Then there were the omnipresent spiders, ticks and skeeters in the ditches by the road on the other side of the white-pine wind-break. And if the ditch was filled with water, we would stop short and make pine-needle forts with fallen branches. Of course, being called in for dinner/lunch with your hair full of pine needles was a medal of honor.

    The best thing about the farm was Grandma. She always had a pile of Jolly Ranchers around the house somewhere or chocolate setting in the cold-room out back. She also had a heart bigger than the world and a love of children that she passed on to us. Never a shortage of creamed-(beef/beans/whatever) at the dinner table either. Of all the places we went on the farm; the pump-house, the quanset hut, the hay-loft ... the one place we did not dare intrude was the basement. I'm not even sure if it is stone, cement or block. For all I know, Al Capone's booty is laying about in plain site down there. It's a forbidden zone that was not denied us, but we never challenged the unspoken warning. Nobody (at least none of my cousins would admit to it) went there. Like now, the fact that some of my uncles are getting on in years and are considering selling off their shares. It's something that pulls at me because I feel that I must pull that silver cord back to me and keep at least the thinest fiber available for my scion. If they so choose, they will have the chance to recliam their heritage. I've talked briefly to my father about this and it looks like I'll need to start saving a considerable lump of liquid assets if I am to start buying 'shares' for the future of the family.

    Technorati Tags:

    Friday, December 09, 2005


    Public schooling at it's finest

    One of many, MANY reasons I intend on sending my child to private school:Next to the private school I'm thinking of, there is a church, a community center, an Ace Hardware store (where everyone knows my name) and a Dunkin Donuts (never seen it w/o a police cruiser in the lot). The school in question also busses children to a local day-care for parents to pick them up later. They have an arrangement where they will watch the kids till 1800 ... this is the day-care my children currently go to. And yes, they love my children too.

    Technorati Tags:


    Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out ...

    It's about time we took a page from the French and started to get serious about this:If you come here, come here to be an American and not a seditious parasite.



    Last night was ... calm. Well, I'm actually not sure if it was REALLY calm seeing that I busied myself with various activities to keep my mind off of what was to be a grueling morning the next day. No, I refilled one wood bracket, did the kids laundry, disassembled some of their older toys so I could put them back in the boxes and pretty much just diddled about. I learned from the kids that if I keep moving, sleep will not pounce and lay me low. I had to keep busy so that when I got to bed early, I could sleep. It was supposed to start snowing you see, and the repercussions are much to terrible to consider if I should sleep in.

    I had set the alarm for 0500 and as alarm clocks (usually) do, it went off. As I typically do, I paddled the snooze bar for an extra 15 min of bliss under the warm covers. Eventually, I came to my senses and peeked outside to see what the wrathful fury of winter had lain on our doorstep. About a half inch of fluffy white powder. Good, good. I can shower up, take care of the hounds, light a fire and hit the road before things really get started. The forecast predicted an inch in the early hours then 4-7 inches after 0600. It was off a bit. I lingered in the shower a little too long and had to empty out the sooty ash from the wood stove and did not get underway till 0545. By this time, that little veil of tender snow had become a thick wet quilt of slippery cruelty. This is the first really big snowfall of the year so I fully expected anyone on the road to either be a trucker (professional driver, knows what the hell he is doing) on his way through, a Northern Son like myself (who knows how to drive in snow) or a blathering idiot waiting to either be struck down or to ram his/her SUV into some poor unsuspecting soul. I label every driver on the road and do my best to stay clear of that last category. We get the whole gamut of precipitation except hail along the way: snow, rain, sleet, hail ... and of course freezing rain. That last variety is the worst since it preserves your vehicle in a thin yet impenetrable layer of ice. Your locks wont work, your windshield wipers are frozen in place, all sorts of bad things. I manage to get to the client site by 0645 and find that there are a few people with the same thought on their minds. Get here ASAP and wait it out. Within minutes of sitting down, the Mrs calls to tell me that the Day Care/Interment Facility is closed. Good thing she had scheduled today as a vacation day months ago. Somebody was smiling on us since I KNOW the kids will certainly want to go out and play in the snow. Dogs too. I think the Mrs is going to have a pretty good day. Let's hope the predictions of this clearing up by noon are as accurate as the other ones.

    Technorati Tags: |

    Thursday, December 08, 2005


    Winter Heating Woes Alleviated?

    This is a good thing ... mostly.Delaware declined this honor. Their loss actually. Now it seems that they don't want NJ to have this boon either.

    Technorati Tags: |

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?