Sunday, December 26, 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

WOD Alert!

I used this one in a conversation with my daughter the other day, she asked me what it meant and I realized that I don't remember ever having looked it up:
co·gent   /ˈkoʊdʒənt/ Show Spelled
[koh-juhnt] Show IPA

1. convincing or believable by virtue of forcible, clear, or incisive presentation; telling.
2. to the point; relevant; pertinent.
Use cogent in a Sentence
See images of cogent
Search cogent on the Web


1650–60; < L cōgent- (s. of cōgēns, prp. of cōgere to drive together, collect, compel), equiv. to cōg- ( co- co- + ag-, s. of agere to drive) + -ent- -ent

Friday, December 24, 2010

Well, I don't think it's possible to miss out on that whole White Christmas deal

at this point.
That cone of snow on the left is taller than I am. I was standing in the bed of my stepson's truck to take the picture. It's FWD, so the camera was up about 9 feet.

Here's the snow depth. I'd say that's pretty respectable for down here.
This pic is a companion to my weather report over here. But that was settled snow a week after the storm. Here we've added five inches of fluff. Easy shovelin'.

Why not toss in a picture of the tree.
'Liina and I made that Belle ornament. Or, rather, we painted the ornament made by whoever the Disney licensee was. I thought it looked great with the light shining through it like that.

Monday, December 20, 2010


And an eclipse as well!  A lunar eclipse, though it will begin well after midnight.  But that's when our snowstorm is supposed to end, so maybe some night owls will be able to see it.  Since my soul was apparently born somewhere off the west coast, it's quite possible that I'll be up.

I'm not sure who these people are - the article appears to have been translated from Chinese - but they say:
The NASA has recently reported that this is the first time an eclipse has coincided with a solstice since December 21, 1638. And next occurrence will be until 2094. The most spectacular in the sky does not end there because the Ursids meteor shower will also take place.
The Universe is being very entertaining tonight.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The weatherman said it'd get up to 30 today.

I don't know what the high was, but it's frickin' 9 right now.

At least we won't be shocked by anything we see in January, eh?

I was readin' Germanic Myths and Legends the other day. I'm not now, because I have no idea where I set it down. Oh, here it is! Right behind me. German Myths and Legends, rather, by Donald A MacKenzie.  German mythology is the same as Norse mythology because the only people who wrote it down were the Icelandic saga-ists.  Snorri Sturluson and that other guy...  I guess I shouldn't know his name; the Poetic Edda is anonymous.  Correct me if I'm wrong.

I'm sure I brought that up for a reason...

Oh, yeah, the weather has me thinking about Ragnarök.  Ragnar means 'gods', rök means 'wreck'.  Now you know.  The German name is so much more poetic sounding: Götterdämmerung - Gods Twilight.  Sounds downright lovely, doesn't it?

Completely changing the subject, my daughter did her Christmas program at church today.  I went and filmed that.  I cursed myself the whole time for not bringing the darn tripod.  So the video is all jiggly.  The younger girl and I watched it and then we went back and watched a bunch of others. 

My God, she was the cutest little thing when she was two and three!  It's incredible that I could take that for granted.  And the older girl was just lovely - and smart and funny and energetic.  I'm afraid my taciturnity has infected her of late.  But it seems like the tough period is over.  She's starting to make funny jokes again.

I'm afraid I kinda freaked out when she went quiet on me.  Uh, in my case, I suppose that looked like I made one extra worried-sounding statement a week.  I think it's just that I need to let her know that like her.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hey, kids! It's Bill of Rights Day!

Prob'ly shoulda said somethin' this mornin'.  (That's closer to how I really talk.  You could take out the 'th's too, actually, but I didn't 'cause I figured the words needed to be somewhat recognizable.)
I did some thinking about the First Amendment today.  It pretty much says that you can think anything you want about anything and say whatever you want by any means you want and the government can't stop you.  The Federal government, anyway.  The Constitution wasn't supposed to stop the states from stopping you, though most, if not all, of the states have adopted the Bill of Rights in their own constitutions.  At the least, it's a good moral principle and a good moral example of how speech and expression should be handled.

Some of us have difficulty understanding where the line is between expressing views on political or conscientious matter and the incitement of mayhem.  Not a big problem for those of us who hold The Non-Aggression Principle as the basic social standard and try to apply it to all of our actions, but most people have never heard of it.

So, anyway...  Hey, if the government is quartering any troops in your home at your expense, tell 'em to knock it off.

And, in regard to Free Speech, think about this:

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's the Snowstorm of the First Half of December!

Actually, I think it's the biggest one of the century, so far.

Chopping from the comments on the previous post:

I've been shoveling the driveway since 9:30. Oh, I stopped for half an hour to drive the truck around and let the wind blow the giant drift off it. Can't park in the garage right now; there's a sauna in pieces.

I still have about a third of the driveway to clear. I just came in because my toes were about to go numb.
You can get in and out of it now, but I have to finish the job because ...who can say that this will be the last snowstorm we'll have? I'd be seriously behind the eight ball if I left it like it is.
We only got about a foot of snow.  Maybe 13 inches.  They usually get bigger amounts south and west of here.  I think that sucks.

Here's what I look like.  I don't know if Blogger's thingy shows what I titled it, so I'll tell you; I called it "Winter Dorkiness."

I thought this one came out great.  I think those kids down the road are looking to make some money shoveling people out.  They're dragging a big load on a sled.  Could be a body.  I didn't stick around to ask.

Oh, I guess the Metrodome collapsed - it's like a big balloon - so they'll have to play today's Vikings game in Detroit tomorrow.  Somebody's got a good picture of that.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

We're having a snowstorm here today

I stuck my camera out the front door and snapped a couple pictures.  Wanna look?

Salerno's done it: a clear explanation of price theory

It would undoubtedly be helpful to read the examples he describes at the beginning of the article, but this is very clear even without them:
Now despite countless instances like these that we all regularly encounter in our market activities, most people still take for granted the view that costs of production basically determine prices. Furthermore, they believe that if prices greatly exceed costs, it is the result of price gouging, monopoly, or some other nefarious scheme on the part of producers. But as Carl Menger, the founder of the Austrian School of economics, brilliantly explained nearly 140 years ago, past expenses incurred during the production of a good are completely irrelevant to the determination of the current price of a good. For Menger, the market price of a good is determined solely by the relative valuations of goods and money by the buyers and sellers of the good, in conjunction with the number of units of the good currently in existence. The records and memories of how much money was spent to enlist the labor and other resources needed to produce the good have absolutely no effect on how much money people are currently willing to exchange for a unit of the good.

But Menger went even further and demonstrated that the (anticipated) selling prices of goods actually determine the costs of production for a good. Using the example of tobacco, Menger argued that if people completely lost their desire for consuming tobacco, not only would the prices of cigarettes, cigars, and pipes fall to zero, but raw tobacco and the machines specifically designed to produce these items would cease to command a price greater than zero, no matter how much it cost to produce them.

For Menger and modern Austrians, then, the ultimate source of value is the ceaseless efforts of individual human beings to use their scarce resources and money to improve their well-being by interacting with one another on the market to achieve their most cherished goals and desires while renouncing less-important desires and satisfactions. The actual market prices and costs of production we observe are simply the objective manifestation of this war of scarcity in the human soul. It is the current or future goods we have to sacrifice and the opportunities for satisfaction that we have to renounce that are the only relevant "opportunity costs" of the things that we purchase. These subjective and immediate experiences of renunciation and sacrifice — and not some recorded sum of money that one guy paid another guy to perform a production task last month or last year — these are the costs that will influence our decisions about what to buy and what not to buy and, thereby, determine the prices we pay during this Christmas shopping season.
The point in talking about this is that people are constantly demanding that the government pull it's guns out to protect them from high and low prices - depending on whether they're currently the buyers or the sellers - regardless of the availability (the current - usually temporary - state of scarcity) or the desirability (the current - also usually temporary - state of demand) of the good under consideration. Boiled down, they want a guy with a gun to take what they want from someone else and give it to them. Never considering that, if it's not worth the original producer's time and resources to produce it, it will not exist. Or it will not be transported to their location. It will remain rare in that location and become rarer until it ceases to exist.

That is the formula for de-civilization.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

It's that time of year again!

Time for another swipe at the old mythology. Here's a bit of Ebenezer Scrooge and Economic Freedom by Russell D. Longcore
Look at the headlines coming out of Washington today. The DC criminals wish to punish the wealthy for accumulating wealth, while it works to lighten the tax burden on the poor and middle class. Belle must have been a closet Socialist, since she had no respect for Scrooge's work ethic. And, in her defense, we might say that Scrooge spent too much time at the office. But wealthy people don't get wealthy acting like wage-earners. They put their time and capital at risk, and reap financial rewards. Belle would not have had a philosophical problem spending Ebenezer's money if she had married him.

When Scrooge is with the Ghost of Christmas Present, the Ghost states plainly that if Cratchit's situation does not improve, Tiny Tim will die. But ol' Spooky lays the blame at the feet of Scrooge, not the boy's own father! As we mentioned before, Bob Cratchit had other options to working for Scrooge. Mrs. Cratchit gets mad when Bob raises a glass in toast to Scrooge... like it's his fault they are poor. Then Bob tells about his son Peter, who is trying to get a job that pays five shillings and sixpence a week, and about daughter Martha, who is an apprentice to a hatmaker. These two children are apparently contributing their incomes to the family, as they should. But Scrooge is not to blame for their predicaments... they alone are responsible for their lives.

In another scene, Scrooge's nephew Fred, says: "His wealth is of no use to him. He don't do any good with it. He don't make himself comfortable with it. He hasn't the satisfaction of thinking—ha, ha, ha.—that he is ever going to benefit us with it." Ever hear a more exacting expression of a mentality of entitlement? According to the author, Scrooge has some duty to spread the wealth that HE earned.

When the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come appears, Scrooge sees himself dead lying under a sheet while the Laundress, the Cleaning Lady (Charwoman) and "Old Joe" ransack Scrooge's house and steal what belongings they can carry off. Dickens makes no assertion that this is theft.
Dickens was a marvelous writer, and A Christmas Carol is, doubtless, his greatest product...he even manages to tell a great deal of Scrooge's side of the story. But he never digs very deep into economics. He has a very shallow understanding of it.

To his credit, though, - to his very great credit! - I think his stories about children are the biggest contributor to the improvement of childrearing that has occurred since his time. Having Tiny Tim and Oliver Twist in your head will eat away notions about 'little brats.' I sincerely doubt that anyone who has read those two books was a terrible parent.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Friday, December 03, 2010

Julian Assange is right and the people calling for his execution are wrong

Not to mention, evil.

Apparently they don't really believe in Jesus.

What does Jesus say about how to behave in battle?

People join the military (and police forces) to defend their family and friends from enemies, foreign and domestic. That's a very noble motive, no question about it. But that's not really what our military is up to. Our soldiers (and policemen) are the cutting edge of our government's efforts to f$*& everything up.

Here's some William Anderson:
In the post-World War II era, the "experts" that run our Administrative State not only have bankrupted this country, they have driven out productive people and productive entities, involved our armed forces in intractable wars (none of which have been declared by Congress, as the Constitution requires), put troops all over the world, and created a police state at home. Furthermore, they have managed to get away with it and have convinced Americans that any attempt to do away with this sorry state of affairs is an act of treason.

And what is the response when this folly is exposed? Yes, arrest those who have exposed it and give more power to those people who have been destroying our economy and our future.
There are also some great comments there. Like this:
I don't see much difference between what Assange and Wikileaks are doing from Daniel Elsberg and the Pentagon papers. And if the Wikileaks data dumps get us out of unconstitutional wars and illicit foreign activities as the Pentagon papers got us out of Vietnam, all the better. Critics can cry and moan and yell treason all they want but firstly, publishing the Pentagon papers was upheld by the Supreme Court as a first amendment right, and secondly how can Assange, a national of Australia be treasonous to the U.S. - as he holds no claim of loyalty to our nation in the first place?

Moreover, if it is believed that Assange should be assassinated for putting people in danger and hurting nation's diplomacy and reputations, then what should become of the actors in our government who's foreign policy, covert actions, and special interests have killed countless people around the world and hurt our national reputation and standing in the world?

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Here's a point I don't think I've heard before

From Bryan Caplan's Anarchist Theory FAQ:
If everyone drives on the right side of the road, isolated attempts to switch to the left side will be dangerous and probably unsuccessful. But if everyone drives on the left side of the road, the same danger exists for those who believe that the right side is superior and plan to act on their believe. Similarly, it is quite possible that given that a government exists, the existence of government is a stable equilibrium; but if a system of competitive protection firms existed, that too would be a stable equilibrium. In short, just because one equilibrium exists and is stable doesn't mean that it is the only possible equilibrium. Why then is the state so pervasive if it is just one possible equilibrium? The superiority of this equilibrium is one possible explanation; but it could also be due to ideology, or an inheritance from our barbarous ancestors.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I made this my wallpaper

My daughter found this in the yard. It's dated July, but that's no guarantee that that's when the picture was taken.  She took the picture and that's her hand.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The kids and I just got back from watching "Megamind"

All the adjectives in the trailer here are dead on. Foremost, it's a hilarious movie. I'd go see it if I were you.

The Onion's got a pretty butt-kickin' article:

Mom, Jeremy Won't Let Me Create An Atmosphere Of Sustained Menace By Daniel Gellman.

Read it all the way to the bottom.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Somethin' else y'all should read:

Kenneth E. Hartman, "The Trouble With Prison":
Most prisoners are uneducated, riddled with unresolved traumas and ill-treated mental health problems, drug and alcohol addictions, and self-esteem issues that are beyond profound, bordering on the pathological far too often. The vast majority has never received competent health care, mental health care, drug treatment, education or even an opportunity to look at themselves as human. Were any of these far less draconian interventions even tried, before the descent into this wretched cave, no doubt many of my peers would be leading productive lives. Nothing else works is not a statement of fact; it is the declaration of an ideology. This ideology holds that punishment, for the sake of the infliction of pain, is the logical response to all misbehavior. It is also a convenient cover story behind which powerful special interest groups hide.

Prison employees benefit by our failure. This startling fact contains within it a monstrous truth. These well-organized government workers created the victims’ rights movement, a sad shill for the prison-industrial complex. Using the handful of politically active victims of crime to obscure their actual agenda, propositions are passed, laws are changed, and policies that could prevent victimization in the first place are suppressed. Both of these groups, working in tandem with the corporations that supply and construct prisons, pour millions of dollars into the political process to achieve a system guaranteed to fail. But this failure by any other measure – high rates of recidivism, high rates of internal disorder, growing prison populations serving longer sentences – results in greater profits to the corporations, increased membership in the unions, and ever growing piles of dollars to buy still more influence.


The TSA can conduct a full-body search, prison-style, on everyone who gets near an airport: we can lock down the country, and treat everyone like a potential criminal, conducting random searches on the streets like they’re already doing in New York City. We can turn the country into one big prison yard, and still the terrorists will get through, eventually.

They’ll get through because we’re creating new enemies every day, many thousands of them, as we extend our perpetual "war on terrorism" to new regions, and claim more blood sacrifices on the altar of our new god, Revenge. The conduct of our foreign policy for the past decade or so ensures that the supply of terrorists will be endless, as the relatives and loved ones of our victims come gunning for us. By hook or by crook they will get us – unless the cycle of revenge is stopped.
I guess, perhaps, I haven't come right out and said it, though I think it: The Probligo's analysis of American foreign policy is, and has been, correct.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Here's something you may not know

I found this thanks to Arther Silber's article, "All You Know Are Lies":
The US rate of unemployment, if measured according to the methodology used in 1980, is 22.5%. Even the government’s broader measure of unemployment stands at 17%. The 9.6% reported rate is a concocted measure that does not include discouraged workers who have been unable to find a job after 6 months and workers who want full time jobs but can only find part-time work.
Silber's quoting Paul Craig Roberts.

I feel what Silber says about it deeply:
In our world today, if you are minimally conscious and honest, profound anger and bitterness are major indicators of psychological health. Given the suffocating cocoon of lies in which we live, it requires an almost unfathomable amount of sheer willpower to try to pierce the noxious air of our culture.

I look forward to his next article.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Drama of the Gifted Child

is available as a free download here. Get it and read it.

There is nothing more important that I could say right now.

Acrobat Reader will even read it to you if you prefer.

Monday, November 01, 2010

There's something important

here that I need to deal with later.

Nope. I was mistaken. I figured some Homer Price fan must have a more singable version of "42 pounds of edible fungus" than I do. I get the impression that they do, but they're not singing it on YouTube.

This gal's got the lyrics.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

For anyone who wants to know how Presuppositional Apologetics works

Against somebody who's too smart for it, check out the discussion to this post.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Hm. This sounds familiar.

From Stef's new book, Against the Gods:
Historically, the word “God” has never meant, “things that may exist in other dimensions of the multiverse, as described by modern physics.” “God” has never referred to some unknowable X factor, Schrödinger's cat, the unified field theory, the cosmic craps player so derided by Einstein, or any of the other trappings of modern science.

No, let's not empty the word “God” of its true and original meaning, which was a cosmic and spiritual father who created the universe, breathed life into mankind, burns the wicked and saves the innocent, and so on. This meaty and monstrous superman, this thunderbolt-hurling patriarch of our dim and brutal histories, this frustrated and enraged slaughterer of rebels and sceptics – this fearful and omnipotent beast should not be reduced to some pale and conceptual ghost hiding out in the dim theoretical alleys between the atoms.

Using the word “God” to refer to some theoretical possibility of mind-bending modern physics is to take a word steeped in the superstitious blood of our earliest collective histories, and attempt to propel it like some time-bending slingshot forward into the future – an exercise in futility, since this old and very brittle word cracks and collapses in the face of such insane velocity.
Considerably more poetic than I put it a year and a half ago. I'm saying that I agree and appreciate the further development, not that I'm accusing him of stealing my idea. Development will grind to a halt if people don't stop abusing notions of intellectual property.

Stef's redone the audio here.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I just did a search of my blog

[That's my blog, spammer.  There's no committee or team here.  Although, for a while, invadesoda was posting here.]  for what I've said about the Bill of Rights.  You should too.  Here's a link to the full listing.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Feels like I got some exercise out of that deal.

I ran a 4 mile race today. I've never raced that distance before, so whatever my time was was a PR [personal record]. I did it in 34:53. I think, let's see if I can double check that.

Not yet, at least. It was the PACER 1st Annual Run/Walk/Roll Against Bullying. I was looking for a 5K, but the cause and the location - supremely beautiful Normandale Lake in Bloomington (MN, for those wandering by) - cried out to me.

There were tons of kids there. It was good to see all the kids, some in wheel chairs, all happy and well-behaved, with no one yelling at them. It looked to me like they took their cause seriously. They were living it.

Kids are good when you understand what they're trying to achieve and try help them.

That park is just awesome in the fall. Most of their trees still have their leaves and they're just twenty miles south of here. They and we are both past our peak for fall colors, but they've got a lot more than we do right now.
I got that picture from these guys.

The maples around the parking lot are all grown up. They'd just been planted the first time I walked around there. When I was delivering paper and copy supplies for Beckwith (who were based in south Edina) I used to walk around the lake on my lunch hour. When I became a floater, I sometimes worked in the building across the street, so I got to do that in all seasons for the next seven years. I don't think I've been back there since about '98. I feel regret when I'm going near there and can't stop by.

I wonder what people would have thought if I'd walked up to one of those maples, put my hand on its trunk and said, "You've grown so big!" I'm pretty sure they were all liberals, so their edging away would only have meant that they were giving me a private moment with my tree.

I wish I had done that.

I saw a bald eagle in a tree there while I was walking around before the race warming up. He (or she - what do I know?) stayed there while we ran past him twice. I saw that he did turn around and face the trail the first time past. The second time I was pushing harder, so I just checked that he was still there.

Walking back to the car, I saw another one flying way up above the parking lot. I checked to see if my guy was still in his tree and he was. I could see him from a spot about thirty yards from the truck.

Last weekend we went up to the in-laws place on Lake Vermilion, 200 miles north, and the only trees that had any leaves were the willows down by the water, but they glowed a beautiful golden from dawn 'til after sundown. We were stowing the docks for the winter and it was hard to take my eyes off them. The tamaracks are gold up there now, too. Highways 169 and 53 go by and through a lot of boggy land, so it was like driving through the leprechaun's cache at the end of the rainbow on the way home.

It's been a gorgeous autumn.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Kevin Carson's back and better than ever

Well, I'm quoting him again here, anyway. He hasn't really gone away. His last couple of articles have really kicked butt. Oh, I guess I've only read two of the last four - the second and the fourth of these:

If You’re Not an Extremist, You’re Not Paying Attention
Posted by Kevin Carson in Commentary • No comments
Kevin Carson says America’s real owners need a population just smart enough to keep doing their jobs — but too stupid to look at the man behind the curtain.

Oct 12, 2010
Is the South Fulton Fire Department Really an Indictment of Libertarianism?
Posted by Kevin Carson in Commentary, Feature Articles • 17 comments
Kevin Carson on the Cranick fire incident.

Oct 8, 2010
Only the Guilty Need Fear? Tell It to Anne Frank
Posted by Kevin Carson in Commentary • 6 comments
Kevin Carson on gullibility and a long history of criminal government.

Oct 6, 2010
Why Self-Organized Networks Will Destroy Hierarchies — A Credo
Posted by Kevin Carson in Commentary • 11 comments
Kevin Carson explains why we’re going to win the struggle for humanity’s future.
Here's the conclusion of the fire department article:
By the way, there’s one thing we should never lose sight of in all this: what the actual statist alternative is. Lots of people point to the harshness of letting the house burn down for nonpayment. But keep in mind that having one’s house auctioned off for nonpayment of taxes is more common than house fires, and that it entails just as much of an effective loss of your house as having it burn down. The modal statist alternative, as practiced in most places, is to fund fire services with mandatory taxes — and unless taxation is backed in the last resort by punitive measures almost as harsh as having your house burn down, it’s prone to exactly the same moral hazard problems as a voluntary payment system.

That’s a favorite tactic of critics of libertarianism: to compare the actual performance of voluntary institutions to the good intentions of the state. But any social system can be expected to work optimally if it’s staffed by angels.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hey! Looks like the Swedish Academy has done some good!

They do, now and then.

I've never read anything of Mario Vargas Llosa's.  I think I'll have to, now.  This War at the End of the World looks pretty good.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Did the TCM today.

Pretty close to 4:30.  I'd guess 4:32 something, but I forgot to stop my stopwatch at the finish, so I don't know for sure.  I caught it at 4:34, after I'd picked up my medal, spaceblanket and a banana. 

Once again this year, it was cool out, but sunny.  It went from about 34° (F - approximately 1° C) to maybe 55° while I was running. Didn't even need to hunt shade.  Very little wind.  Perfect day for a marathon.  You gotta wear a couple layers at the start and shed them as you go, but it gives you something to do down the road.  Besides hunt the hottest babes to run behind.*

*No, I didn't - but a couple did pass me and run in front of me for a couple miles.

Edit: HOLY CRAP!!!  I was aiming for 4:30 and LOOK AT THIS!!!

Watch out what you tell your subconscious, eh?  [Don't call me a "sub-" conscious.]

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Where and Why I run

Actually, these are all in Brooklyn Center, MN.  In fact, they're all taken within a couple hundred yards of each other, and the Bridge, the Duck and the Puddle were within 50 yards.  The Bridge is one mile exactly from my house.  West southwest, if you care that much.

I took some pix at another park I like to run in, but none of those were as good as these.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kent McManigal writes some pretty awesome stuff

I highly recommend him. Here's a 'graph from his article A problem with authority:
This man [who taught McManigal how to start fires with a bow drill] was an authority and he had authority. He didn't need to force anyone to behave as though he were an authority. There was no coercion and no implied threat. You knew he had authority by his actions and his expertise and his results. If he told you that you were doing it wrong, you would be wise to listen, yet he would have let you try your own way if you refused to follow his suggestions. Your success or failure was no threat to his authority. I have now started hundreds (or thousands) of fires in this way, and taught the skill to others, all thanks to one true authority.
I like the point he's making with that example and the brevity with which he makes it. This kind of authority makes the world go around. The other kind stops it.

Here are his article archives.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Equinox Wednesday

Get your robes ready.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I didn't know that

Robinson Crusoe Island

Robinson Crusoe Island (Isla Róbinson Crusoe), is the largest island of the Chilean Juan Fernández archipelago, situated 674 km west of South America in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago is made up of three islands, Robinson Crusoe, Alejandro Selkirk (not shown) and the much smaller Santa Clara.

Robinson Crusoe is mountainous, with a rolling, rugged terrain, formed by ancient lava flows from volcanic eruptions.

This mountainous island has a population of nearly 600, with all of them living in the coastal village of San Juan Bautista. To reach the island, the flying time from Santiago, Chile is about three hours.

The island was first named Juan Fernandez Island after the Spanish captain who first landed there in 1574. However, it was a sailor named Alexander Selkirk that made the island famous as he was marooned here for over four years from 1704 to 1709, and became the inspiration for Daniel Defoe's classic novel, Robinson Crusoe.

We visited the island in late January, 2010, and we have a series of Photos!
I sure I'm just displaying the deficiency of my education.  I wonder if he's related to the Selkirk who stranded a bunch of Scottish farmers (crofters) near Winnepeg.

Hey, I just happened to run across this article...  But before I mention that, I need to say something about the Tsunami that destroyed the village (of 600 people - all the inhabitants of the island -- Wikipedia has links to articles about it) back in February.  I don't know what to say, other than 'that's terrible!'  Only five people were killed, fortunately, but they've had a lot of work to do.

The article:
On my last day I climbed up from San Juan Bautista into the one area of pristine rainforest. Here, in the crater formed by the island's highest point, El Yunque, an anvil-shaped peak, lives this island's true treasure, a creature five inches long: the Juan Fernandez firecrown, Sephanoides fernandensis. It's a hummingbird.

The man who took me into the forest was Federico Pirol, a conservationist who had come to the island to count the nesting firecrowns. He believes there are fewer than 400; of these, perhaps only a dozen will be breeding.
Breeding has become increasingly difficult because the vegetation in the crater is being consumed by fast-growing, all-conquering maquis, colonies of brambles and shrubs. Pirola must weed them out, and it is a Sisyphean task.

"We need volunteers to come and help us," he told me. "The Yunque crater is the last original patch of rainforest left on the island, maybe 13 hectares or so, and if it dies, then so do these birds. Maybe English people would come here and spend some weeks in the crater. It will be a hard task for them. But they will be helping to save a most precious and spectacular creature."
So there are a couple of calls to action from Isla Robinson Crusoe.

Happy Constitution Day

Personal has an excellent test of your Constitutional knowledge.  I recommend it.

My favorite trivia question about the Constitution is: who wrote the 27th Amendment.  It was ratified in 1992.

Cool September days ROCK!

I just ran 7.5 miles in 67 minutes and I feel fantastic! 

It was about 60° F when I started and it headed down from there - and cloudy too, so I didn't have to deal with that nasty overheating that we big, fat guys are prone to.

After all this running, my legs look skinny to me and my extremities are fairly ripped, but my core is still quite well padded.  My clothes are pretty loose, but I swear to god I look just as fat as ever.

Today's workout was quite an extraordinary contrast to Monday's run, when I basically gave up after two and a half miles and ended up doing a hair over 5 miles in an hour - even stopping to walk for a couple hundred yards, but there were probably a number of factors at work there.  First and foremost is that I think I doubled up on my blood pressure pill that morning.  The main evidence for that is that, when I started walking my pulse was only 90 bpm.  That ain't right.  I checked several times.  Also, I was flippin' starving when I got home from work.  I had a bowl of cereal and headed out for my run at about a quarter to six.  I ran the first two miles pretty fast, though not as fast as today - and it was about 65° out, so that shouldn't have been a major factor - and - oh yeah! - it was only two days after a 20 mile run.

Even with all that, I felt much better after that run than before it.  I was tired for a while, but not bone tired like I had been since the run and all day Sunday, continuing into Monday.  I might have had a bit of an insulin dump into my system after ingesting the carbs.  I don't guarantee that claim. 

I felt weird while I was running fast, like I wasn't completely in contact with the ground.  That's another thing that makes me think it was an OD of the BP drug.  I remember taking one after starting to eat breakfast, but it's my habit to take one immediately upon entering the kitchen. 

I know I wasn't all that brilliant at work that day, but I don't think I actually effed anything up.  But, sometimes it's hard to say right away.  You find that out months later when somebody hands you the thing you made and you see dumb errors that you normally apply five fail-safes to avoid.  And, of course, then it's too late and you have to work with the thing they gave you.

Holy crap!  It's one AM!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I wonder if I would be the first to recommend to Tea Party

Conservatives and libertarians that they read the Annals of Congress
Debates and Proceedings
. The First Congress is the most interesting and it ends with the passage of the excise tax on Whiskey which caused the Whiskey Rebellion.

Here are the heroes and villains:

I have to wonder if the recorder of the speeches is responsible for their beautiful clarity, or if the speech makers themselves were that brilliant. I'm inclined to think that political pressure was applied toward that end. As it is today.

Friday, September 03, 2010

I've added Mike P's The Emptiness to my blogroll

I can't say as the guy's got a post that I consider a favorite. They all kick butt. Just start at his latest and work back from there. Actually, because of his brilliant use of the comic book images, that could easily be my favorite. (What were those guys on when they came up with Bizarro World?)

I deleted a couple more statists while I was messing with the blogroll, but I meant to add in Strike the Root and They'll probably be there when you read this, depending on how quick you are.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

214# this morning.

Cause for celebration. The oldies station is playing Three Dog Nights' "Celebrate!" right now. Coincidence?

I ran 8.35 miles last night in 81 minutes, running the last mile faster than the first. I wish I'd been in that kind of shape when I ran the 15K. It helped a lot that it was 75 and dry.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

This is from a piece called "The Bankrupt Finnish Welfare State"

by Kaj Grussner (link to article):
As a rule, the tax authorities don't care about the law, in the rare event they even know it. Not only that, but it is clear from the way they act that they consider every penny to be their money, and may only be retained by the taxpayer at their discretion. It even happens that they make up arguments that are blatantly false and without any legal ground whatsoever in order to levy more taxes and impose various other sanctions. When the taxpayers challenge their outrageous claims, they simply ignore the challenges and press on as if nothing has happened — even though the constitution mandates that all decisions and rulings made by a government agency must be based on law and thoroughly explained.

This doesn't seem to apply to the tax authorities though, and neither do other legal principles. In all other matters, you are innocent until proven guilty, but if the taxman charges you with something, it is you who has to prove your innocence. If you fail, you're guilty, and it is the tax authorities who decide whether you fail.

This type of behavior is certainly familiar to the American public, as the IRS has subjected them to all kinds of violations. However, these violations, taking place no less regularly in Finland than in the United States, fly in the face of the aura of utopia that seems to surround the social-democratic welfare states of Northern Europe.

The statists may be very comfortable with high taxes, but even they tend to become squeamish when they hear of the havoc wrought upon private individuals and their families by the tax authorities. And it is of course the private individuals and small businessmen who suffer the most aggression, because they seldom have the knowledge or the resources to defend themselves. Billionaires and big corporations at least have a fighting chance; the little guys don't. So much for the compassionate society.
Hey! I just looked at his blog (linked on his name). Stef's going to interview him. Cool!

Most of the article is, in fact, about the bankruptcy of the welfare state in Finnland. The tax bureaucracy is part of it. Grussner, btw, is a tax lawyer there.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Paul Bonneau's got four fantastic articles

at Strike The Root. [I don't think I have a link to them here. I'll have to fix that.]

Here's a piece of one:
I have to laugh at libertarians and anarchists depending on the murderous state to defend their life via the "right to life," and even more so depending on the "right to property" as they dutifully pay their taxes (surrender their property). I guess that means there is only a "right to a state-determined amount of property," eh?

The real reason to stop believing, is that "there is no there, there" (as Gertrude Stein once said of Oakland). There is nothing protecting you. It is a phantasm, just a meme in our heads--not a very useful one at that--which the state violates with astounding regularity. Stop believing in this statist propaganda, folks. If you want protection, then protect yourself, or join with others in a voluntary association to do it. If you want property, have enough that can be protected with your gun, or by your friends with guns.

That's not to say that you can't ever use the state to help you in this protection, but keep in mind that doing so is exactly like employing the Mafia to protect you. Yeah, sometimes it will come out your way, but the cost will be high. And they are not the most reliable folks to depend on, and will turn on you when it suits them. Oh, and never forget that protection implies submission.
I do have a link to The Libertarian Enterprise, don't I? I put his link in to show that he's published elsewhere as well.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I'm speechless with admiration

for this new, young writer, Patrick Coleman, who absolutely kicks the asses of the critics of WikiLeaks. Not to mention Utilitarianism, the failings of which (and its predecessors as well) have led to the relativistic morass of modern society.

I suppose I have to support my contention that this fellow is brilliant with a quote:
We have all seen the movie or TV show in which the police are attempting to bring down an organized crime ring, but in order to do so they need to put a witness on the stand. If they put the witness on the stand, however, it is a near certainty that the gang will go after the witness along with his family and close friends. Knowing this, the police decide to take precautions, such as putting the witness and his immediate family in protective custody. But despite the police’s best efforts, the witness is somehow found and killed. Of course, if they had not tried to put the witness on the stand, the witness and his family would very likely not be in danger, but they would also be willingly leaving violent criminals on the street. Who do we blame for the death of that witness? The murdering gangsters, or the people taking every responsible step they can to stop the murdering gangsters?

The answer, I think, is evident. The US government has plunged itself, the people under its rule, the occupied portions of the Middle East, and arguably the entire world, neck-deep into a mire of destruction. It has facilitated and maintained an environment whose only product is death, and whose only escape is truth; but the truth, in this case, is dangerous. The ruling class would have us believe that our ignorance is necessary for our security, when it is really only necessary for their continued theft and expansion. Were it not for the actions of unaccountable and sociopathic politicians, bureaucrats, and corporate interests, over 900,000 Iraqis, Afghans and coalition troops would still be alive today. Are we really going to believe that people who are responsible for extinguishing that many lives, the overwhelming majority of which were innocent, and have shown no sincere care or remorse for their atrocities, actually possess the empathy to be concerned about the remote chance that a few people might die because certain details might have been missed in Wikileaks’ three month harm minimization process? I think not. And in the tragic and, unfortunately, likely case that more people do die, keep in mind that it is because a coalition of violent governments started a war, not because peaceful activists tried to end it.
This is the footnote explaining the estimate of Iraqi civilian deaths from the linked website.

So, yes, I'm coming out 100% against the current wars.

Earth Crossing Asteroids

It's frickin' hopeless. Trying to keep them from hitting us, I mean. You gotta watch this video. I'm going to quote the guy's whole explanation, in case you're a complete newb to Youtube and can't figure out where he hid it:
View of the solar system showing the locations of all the asteroids starting in 1980, as asteroids are discovered they are added to the map and highlighted white so you can pick out the new ones.
The final colour of an asteroids indicates how closely it comes to the inner solar system.
Earth Crossers are Red
Earth Approachers (Perihelion less than 1.3AU) are Yellow
All Others are Green

Notice now the pattern of discovery follows the Earth around its orbit, most discoveries are made in the region directly opposite the Sun. You'll also notice some clusters of discoveries on the line between Earth and Jupiter, these are the result of surveys looking for Jovian moons. Similar clusters of discoveries can be tied to the other outer planets, but those are not visible in this video.

As the video moves into the mid 1990's we see much higher discovery rates as automated sky scanning systems come online. Most of the surveys are imaging the sky directly opposite the sun and you'll see a region of high discovery rates aligned in this manner.

At the beginning of 2010 a new discovery pattern becomes evident, with discovery zones in a line perpendicular to the Sun-Earth vector. These new observations are the result of the WISE (Widefield Infrared Survey Explorer) which is a space mission that's tasked with imaging the entire sky in infrared wavelengths.

Currently we have observed over half a million minor planets, and the discovery rates show no sign that we're running out of undiscovered objects.

Orbital elements were taken from the 'astorb.dat' data created by Ted Bowell and associates at

Music is 'Transgenic' by Trifonic:

Quite a few journalists, bloggers and tweeters are attributing this to NASA or Arecibo Observatory - while they do fine work they had nothing to do with this. If you write a story you can credit it to Scott Manley.
I assume szyzyg is Scott Manley. What an amazing and terrifying video. Of course it makes space look more crowded than it really is, the objects aren't millions of miles in diameter.

Apparently nobody knows anything about this song:

Feelin' low, cuz I know that it's all over now
And nobody cares for what happens anyhow
There's no use to cry
Cuz life passed me by
It meant for me to lose when I was born.
Dad's the only person I ever heard sing it - I have no idea whose song it is. Or... I imagine the title is "Feelin' Low," but I don't know that, even. I googled every pair of words in there -- nothing. Actually, I didn't spell "cuz" as I have here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I got my Kingston 19-in-1 USB 2.0 Flash Memory Card Reader

Easiest thing in the world to use. Just plug it into your computer, let it fire up the drives, plug in your SD card and - bada-bing-bada-boom - there are your pictures! In this case, 253 of the most disappointing images ever produced. Actually there are about twenty good ones. Mostly the ones my daughter took of spring flowers.

I've got a "before" training picture in there that you probably won't see. I let the younger girl play with the camera a bit, so there are about fifty blurry pictures of the cat and the dog...the ground, her eyeball, the inside of her mouth... She got a couple of good ones too, but I'll be throwing a lot of them out.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Buncha dumb punk kids

who'll never amount to nuthin'!


[Edit - 8/27] I should probably say that the ones I know, I like very much.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Does anybody know why I can't download my camera anymore?

For the past few months, when I plug in my camera and turn it on, it's been making a different noise than it used to. I can take pictures with it but I can't get the computer to recognize the camera.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tom Sowell conveys the core of his message

-the message of his many books and articles--in four paragraphs [here]:
Native intelligence may indeed not vary by neighborhood but actual performance-- whether in schools, on the job or elsewhere-- involves far more than native intelligence. Wasted intelligence does nothing for an individual or society.

The reason a surgeon can operate on your heart, while someone of equal intelligence who is not a surgeon cannot, is because of what different people actually did with their intelligence. That has always varied, not only from individual to individual but from group to group-- and not only in this country, but in countries around the world and across the centuries of human history.

One of the biggest fallacies of our time is the notion that, if all groups are not proportionally represented in institutions, professions or income levels, that shows something wrong with society. The very possibility that people make their own choices, and that those choices have consequences-- for themselves and for others-- is ignored. Society is the universal scapegoat.

If "luck" is involved, it is the luck to be born into families and communities whose values and choices turn out to be productive for themselves and for others who benefit from the skills they acquire. Observers who blame tests or other criteria for the demographic imbalances which are the rule-- not the exception-- around the world, are blaming whatever conveys differences for creating those differences.

Espresso Drops! That's what I need!

Concentrated espresso packets, like those soy sauce ones. When somebody hands me a bland-ass cup o' coffee, I want something to juice it up. ...That's manly, I mean.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Big Race today.

I finished the Minnesota Half Marathon. St. Paul is really a beautiful city, even down at the waterfront. I got 2:13:somethin', gun time. Waiting for them to post the official chip times, hopefully later today. That might knock off a minute or two.

Ah! Here we are! This is my line:
538 261/317 63/73 2168 Erkkila, Alan 46 M Brooklyn Center, MN 2:13:49 2:13:16

The first number is my overall place, then sex place (there were 46 guys slower than me), division place (ten putzes in the 40-49 division), 2168 was my bib number, there's my name, age, gender (in case you doubted it - actually they just took my word for it, they didn't ask for proof), home town, and then there's my gun time and chip time. You notice that I only gained (or lost, depending on how you look at it) 33 seconds. Ah, well.

I wanted to beat 2:12, but, heck, I got close.

Here I am! In the blue hat.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Ah, it's been a while since I quoted Kevin Carson:

The next time you hear complaints about someone having a “bad attitude,” keep this in mind: It’s entirely because of people with “bad attitudes” that you’re not a slave. For the fact that you’re not working on a chain gang building a pyramid, you should thank all those whose previous bad attitudes won your present degree of freedom. Their bad attitudes echo down to us through time as the principal obstacle to your re-enslavement in the here and now.
It's from here. That's not the only great thing he said; read the whole thing.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Feelin' a little stiff this evening

Bullsh**! I feel like an old man!

I ran 15 miles today. I quit four miles out from the house and walked back from there. That's 15 miles running plus four miles walking, btw - just so there's no ambiguity there. Didn't feel in the slightest bit tempted to do any intervals. It was humid as hell, but not too hot - cloudy...the sweat wasn't evaporating much, so I took it kind of easy. I was carrying a bottle of green tea (diet, unfortunately - not a great choice), and a bottle of FRS Quercetin. They seemed to work OK for me.

Got the big 1/2 marathon in St. Paul next Saturday. It'll be a flatter course than the one from my house to Cedar Lake. It was just a roller-blading race for years before they added the running race - what the hell, they have the course all laid out, might as well make a few more bucks out of it, eh? It's right along the bank of the Mississippi on Shepard and Warner roads. I don't remember much for elevation changes there, but it's been a long time since I drove on them.
I've also started repainting the house. That's been keeping me busy. It's way past due. We were considering residing, but the finances are a bit uncertain these days, so painting it is. The cedar siding holds paint just fine, but the redwood stuff on the gable ends hates to be covered up.
The puppy's tally for chewing up things we care about: 3 shoes, 2 belts and 2 baseball caps. I'd like to blame another belt on her, but it just broke because it was cheap, Chinese crap. She's chewed up quite a few other things, but that just gave us the excuse we needed to throw them out.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I see this all the effin' time...!

"Tenants" - people - are inhabitants of rental property!

"Tenets" are rules.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I have the urge to quote a little Voltairine de Claire

It was the intention of the Revolutionists to establish a system of common education, which should make the teaching of history one of its principal branches; not with the intent of burdening the memories of our youth with the dates of battles or the speeches of generals, nor to make the Boston Tea Party Indians the one sacrosanct mob in all history, to be revered but never on any account to be imitated, but with the intent that every American should know to what conditions the masses of people had been brought by the operation of certain institutions, by what means they had wrung out their liberties, and how those liberties had again and again been filched from them by the use of governmental force, fraud, and privilege. Not to breed security, laudation, complacent indolence, passive acquiescence in the acts of a government protected by the label "home-made," but to beget a wakeful jealousy, a never-ending watchfulness of rulers, a determination to squelch every attempt of those entrusted with power to encroach upon the sphere of individual action - this was the prime motive of the revolutionists in endeavoring to provide for common education.

"Confidence," said the revolutionists who adopted the Kentucky Resolutions, "is everywhere the parent of despotism; free government is founded in jealousy, not in confidence; it is jealousy, not confidence, which prescribes limited constitutions to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power; our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no further, our confidence may go... In questions of power, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."

These resolutions were especially applied to the passage of the Alien laws by the monarchist party during John Adams' administration, and were an indignant call from the State of Kentucky to repudiate the right of the general government to assume undelegated powers, for said they, to accept these laws would be "to be bound by laws made, not with our. consent, but by others against our consent--that is, to surrender the form of government we have chosen, and to live under one deriving its powers from its own will, and not from our authority." Resolutions identical in spirit were also passed by Virginia, the following month; in those days the States still considered themselves supreme, the general government subordinate.

To inculcate this proud spirit of the supremacy of the people over their governors was to be the purpose of public education! Pick up today any common school history, and see how much of this spirit you will find therein. On the contrary, from cover to cover you will find nothing but the cheapest sort of patriotism, the inculcation of the most unquestioning acquiescence in the deeds of government, a lullaby of rest, security, confidence--the doctrine that the Law can do no wrong, a Te Deum in praise of the continuous encroachments of the powers of the general government upon the reserved rights of the States, shameless falsification of all acts of rebellion, to put the government in the right and the rebels in the wrong, pyrotechnic glorifications of union, power, and force, and a complete ignoring of the essential liberties to maintain which was the purpose of the revolutionists. The anti-Anarchist law of post-McKinley passage, a much worse law than the Alien and Sedition acts which roused the wrath of Kentucky and Virginia to the point of threatened rebellion, is exalted as a wise provision of our All-Seeing Father in Washington.
Anarchism & American Traditions

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hey! This guy's got a good blog!

This is a great analysis of an old TV movie that used to plague us back in the days of the CBS-NBC-ABC TV oligopoly.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I need to post this Max Keiser show

Lloyd deMause

The Childhood Origins of the Holocaust
There is one exception to the conclusion that democracies have less wars. It is a result of the concept outlined earlier that social violence is mainly caused by fears of losing the mommy’s love and approval because you try to exercise your freedom and individuation (the psychohistorical term for this fear of freedom is “growth panic”).11 Psychoanalysts often term this “abandonment depression,”12 and demonstrate that people who have abusive or neglectful childrearing fear all progress, all success, all freedoms and new challenges, and react with annihilation anxiety, fears that the fragile self is disintegrating, and by displacing their rage against “bad self” enemies. This is why wars are found far more frequently after periods of prosperity and social progress — wars after prosperity being 6 to 20 times bigger than those during depressions13 — plus no great-power war in the past two centuries was started during a depression.14 So the cycle of war historically begins with progress which leads to growth panic, fears of loss of maternal support, fusion with Motherland and finally war against all the “Bad Self” enemies of the Motherland.

But careful empirical studies of wars have also shown that the nations that are among the most prone to war are those that are in transition to democracy.15 This makes sense in terms of our “growth panic” model of war: democratizing nations are more belligerent because only a small portion of their populace are more advanced childrearing modes (psychoclasses). These more evolved psychoclasses — like liberals in Germany and Austria before the two World Wars — produce an explosion in industrialization and new social and political freedoms. But the less evolved psychoclasses — who were still in the majority — felt the new successes and freedoms were “selfish” and feared the loss of approval of the internal voice of their Killer Parent alter, and so had to oppose modernization and democratization . . . then fuse with the Killer Motherland and find “enemies” to punish. That is why genocidal wars have been specialties of fast-changing democratizing states which are “leaping into modernity.” As Michael Mann puts it in his book The Dark Side of Democracy, “murderous cleansing has been moving across the world as it has modernized.16 Even the United States carried out a genocide of American Indians while they were democratizing, following Thomas Jefferson’s directive claiming they “justified extermination.”17 Once these periods of democratizing wars are passed and the majority of the nation is able to achieve what I term “socializing mode” childrearing,18 mature democracies have in fact never gone to war with each other.19
Let me get those footnotes...
12. James F. Masterson, The Search for the Real Self: Unmasking the Personality Disorders of Our Age. New York: The Free Press, 1988, p. 61.
13. Joshua S. Goldstein, “Kondratieff Waves as War Cycles.” International Studies Quarterly 29(1985): 425.
14. Raimo Vayrynen, “Economic Fluctuations, Military Expenditures, and Warfare in International Relations.” In Robert K. Schaeffer, Ed., War in the World-System. New York: Greenwood Press, 1989, p. 121.
15. Edward D. Mansfield and Jack Snyder, “Democratization and the Danger of War.” International Security 20(1995): 5-38; Michael Mann The Dark Side of Democracy: Explaining Ethnic Cleansing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
16. Michael Mann, The Dark Side of Democracy: Explaining Ethnic Cleansing, p. 4.
17. Ibid, p. ix.
18. Lloyd deMause, The Emotional Life of Nations, p. 249.
19. John A. Vasquez, “What Do We Know About War?” In John A. Vasquez, Ed., What Do We Know About War? Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 200, p. 367.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Well, I know I can complete a half-marathon.

I ran the distance today for the first time this year. We won't talk about the time. I know a guy who did one in 2:12 already. I'm not close to that yet.

Damn near fainted while showering up. Napped for four hours afterward. At least there was no blood. I hate it when there's blood.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Fourth of July weekend.

We camped out at the in-laws over the Fourth of July Weekend. Set up the pop-up trailer in their yard, so we could have the puppy inside with us at night. I ran the Vermilion 10K in 59:11. I'm happy with that time.
That's what I posted on Facebook.

Elaboration: We got out extremely late - 8:30 Friday night. Stopped to grocery shop at the Cloquet Walmart. Ended up there for an hour because a clerk misdirected my wife to the batteries. Got to the cabin at 2AM and started setting up the pop-up trailer. In bed by 3:00. We hadn't gotten around to doing a practice run on the pop-up, so getting it up in an hour wasn't bad.

I got up at 6:30 to run my race. I was primed to run 9:30 miles. I ran 9:32. I think that's just awesome!

I can't really remember what went on the rest of the day, but I know I crashed in a chair before sundown.

We went swimming on Sunday. I got a good sunburn on the parts I hadn't tanned yet. Most parts. There're some that never see the sun. Crying shame, I'm sure.

The highlight of the weekend was, we took out the boat Sunday evening at about 8:30 and drove around the point. The water was reflecting the copper-colored sunset mingled with glints of cerulean and deep navy blue, the clouds were pink and purple and was just beautiful. Then, everyone in the universe started shooting off fireworks. Pretty amazing displays, most of them.

Oh, also, yesterday, I helped my father-in-law cut down a big balsam tree that was hanging over the driveway. I didn't have much for roots, so the wind had blown it over. Too bad they couldn't keep the tip of it alive until Christmas, it would have made a perfect Christmas tree.

So that's what's new around here.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Mindsight, by Daniel J. Siegel


The title looks like it's just another pop-psych book, filled with dumb buzz-words and magic psychobabble that you'd look like an idiot dropping into a conversation, but Siegel goes deep into the latest science on the workings of the brain, illustrating with case stories from his own psychotherapy practice. Well-told stories and clearly explained science.

Get it. It'll help.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Robert Heinlein on Duty

“Do not confuse 'duty' with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.”
Care of Stephen Browne.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Have I mentioned that Robert E. Howard is one of my favorite writers?

A guilty pleasure, I guess.

I just finished watching The Whole Wide World, with Renee Zellweger and Vincent D'Onofrio. "A true story about the true love of the greatest pulp fiction writer of all time."

Where the hell was I when this movie was out? Oh, I know: we were having our first baby. That knocked a whole lot of BS out of my head. I didn't get around to throwing out my Conan collection, though. My daughter just pulled them out of my paperback shelf and read them last year.

If you decide to read one, "Beyond the Black River" is the best story. I think it's in Conan: The Warrior. Ah, yes it is. There are other great ones, but there's something more in that one. Je ne sais quoi.

It's a beautiful movie. Howard was more than the bios in the books, apparently - though he was quite a lot in those. The movie is based on the memoir by Novalyne Price of her time with him. Brought a tear to my eye. Get it and watch it.

Oh, Novalyne Price's book is One Who Walked Alone.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

How can we have sustainable government?

Here's the PDF he mentions. It's just a two-pager, so have no fear about downloading it.

"But what about the poor?" you ask?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Raise kids to be entrepreneurs!

Here's the way to do it.

Thank you, anarchei!

Ah, crap, I gotta go to bed.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I didn't notice: my last post was my 2500th!

But few of my own words, of course.

Speaking of someone else's words, here's J. Neil Schulman praising Glenn Beck's.

I'm pretty sure the Overton window isn't named after the Overton who wrote An Arrow Against All Tyrants. No, the link I found, there, proves it wasn't. Ol' Richard certainly did his part to move the window, eh?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

You know what sucks?

When you accept that all political parties' critiques of all other political parties are essentially correct, it really leaves you very little to say about the topic. The Democrats are right about the Republicans, the Republicans are right about the Democrats, Conservatives are right about Liberals and vice versa, Marxists are right about Capitalists - and again vice versa...

We're talking about the Capitalism as it really exists, not the pure Free Market that has never existed except in Iceland and Ireland, and, well, actually anywhere where a government was nominally acknowledged but actually ignored, like colonial Pennsylvania and the back country of... well, any back country.

Take the oil spill. Of course they f'ed up! They're all standing around pointing guns at each other and everybody who looks at 'em instead of concentrating on getting petroleum products to me. 'They' are everybody sticking their noses in between the hole in the ground and me - all the "governmental affairs" specialists in the various companies lobbying for special privileges and wheeling and dealing for special restrictions that only hurt their competition, all the environmental groups lobbying for their personal hobbies, all the bureaucrats fighting for their cushy jobs and all the politicians preening before their constituents so they can keep their cushy jobs.

We've got to do whatever we can to stop supporting the lot of 'em.

By the way, on Probligo's blog I repented of ever having supported George Bush or anything he did. That certainly doesn't mean that I support anything Obama's doing - anybody who thought he return us to Clinton's '90s was an ignoramous - but that should all be clear from my first two paragraphs.

I think it was Kropotkin who wanted us to grow societies until they choke out governments (I'm using the terms as Tom Paine used them). That's the plan.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Sad news on the spare blog

I lost an old, reliable friend.

It'd be tasteless to let you think I'm talking about a person or a pet. I've posted the last days in the life of my first powertool over there.

Monday, June 07, 2010

I haven't been able to find the old camera

I haven't really had a lot of time to look, though. The main drain in the laundry room backed up right when we (all right, I mean my wife) needed to do six loads of laundry. Well, part of that need was created by the back up soaking all the clothes on the laundry room floor. So, after we got tired of vacuuming up the water and lugging the bucket around to the shower drain, we jury-rigged a hose directly from the washer to the shower drain. Somebody still had to watch to make sure that didn't overflow - it hasn't, except when I covered the drain with 'Liina's tub when I was giving her her bath last night and the washer started draining just as she finished. I didn't know it was running because I had the dehumidifier and the ceiling fan running to help the rug dry out from the first flood.

Anyway, I went to Menard's to see what they had to unclog it. Being kind of a Tim Allenish sort of guy, I bought the strongest thing they have: concentrated sulfuric acid.

I have a recommendation: use something else to unclog your drain.

No, I used the stuff carefully and conscientiously, but the whole house smells like a giant pig took a dump in it. And it's still too early to check and see if it worked or not.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Hey! We just doubled our chance of having a good time on a Friday night!

Nooo, nobody changed their sexual orientation! Jeez!

We bought a pop-up camper. I'll show you some pix of it and talk about them tomorrow. $500. But it's older than the guy we bought it from.

Yeah, the canvas needs work, and there's a little bit of fiberglass work to do too, but it seems pretty solid otherwise.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

I'm fine

Running. I've got a race Saturday, the Manitou 15K around White Bear Lake. I liked that run back in 2007 so I wanted to do it again. I ran about that distance just now in 110 minutes, compared to 93 minutes for the race back then, but training isn't racing. Plus, I think it's warmer now than it will be Saturday morning. They're predicting thunderstorms.

I'll post the results on the other blog (linked at the bottom of my link bar).

We went up to the inlaws place on Lake Vermilion for Memorial Day weekend. Sid and I put the track system in, so we could take a boat ride and we enjoyed a cruise around Birch Point and back. Very nice. The lilacs are still in bloom up there and the wild roses are blooming in the ditches.

The kids went in swimming and the puppy thought she'd join them. I think she's decided she's not a water dog. The waters pretty cold yet. The ice typically isn't off the lake until the second week of May.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Following the dictate of Xerxes, or whoever it was,

I worked up my sweat today by teaching the Little One to ride a bike. We're not there yet, but she's getting better. I'm just holding her under the arms to help her balance. I keep bashing my ankles on the long bolts that formerly held the training wheels. I need to remember to wear boots next time.

It wasn't hard to work up a sweat, it was 93° and humid as heck today. I'm sure it was hotter whereever you are, but that's by far the hottest it's been this year up here. We're lookin' at thunderstorms for the next couple days.

Oh! I forgot to mention, we got a puppy the other day! A schnoodle! Cutest little thing! Definitely a lap dog.

Awesome News! Mark Twain's unpublished papers are about to be published!

After keeping us waiting for a century, Mark Twain will finally reveal all
By Guy Adams
Exactly a century after rumours of his death turned out to be entirely accurate, one of Mark Twain's dying wishes is at last coming true: an extensive, outspoken and revelatory autobiography which he devoted the last decade of his life to writing is finally going to be published.

The creator of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and some of the most frequently misquoted catchphrases in the English language left behind 5,000 unedited pages of memoirs when he died in 1910, together with handwritten notes saying that he did not want them to hit bookshops for at least a century.

That milestone has now been reached, and in November the University of California, Berkeley, where the manuscript is in a vault, will release the first volume of Mark Twain's autobiography. The eventual trilogy will run to half a million words, and shed new light on the quintessentially American novelist.
They make much of salacious details in the article, but, having been tantalized most of my life by biographies of Twain/Clemens, I want to see what he really thought.

H/T Lowkey at FDR.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I've just been adding tags to all my posts lately. Besides running and fathering. What I really wanted to do was make it easy to see what else I've said about running.

It's forcing me to reread old posts. It's funny to see that I haven't written all that much that I disagree with now.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Been running a lot lately.

Well, not a lot compared to what I will be doing. For those who haven't seen the other blog lately, I've signed up to run another TCM. The TC 1-mile is tomorrow. I had today scheduled as a rest day, but I didn't feel overtrained in the slightest, so I decided to go run a slow 2 miles (+ whatever - I ran for twenty five minutes; half street/half trails so it's hard to measure) tonight. I ran it all straight away from the house and then walked back in 45 minutes.

I need to keep records of all that because the company is offering fabulous prizes for people who do a crapload of that sort of thing. Speaking of which, I haven't told the form that I ran 32 minutes Saturday, and 26 each yesterday and Monday.

No adventures so far. I'm too experienced at this to screw it up. [I'm tweaking my inner gremlin. Hope he's got a sense of humor. "(Snort!) Sense of humor?! I'm THE ONE with a sense of humor around here? You'd better hope I have a sense of humor, with you callin' me a gremlin all the time." Well, let's not put the therapy session online.]

Thursday, May 06, 2010

What kind of a name is Cali Supernova?!

I don't know, but I'm copyrighting it for commercial purposes.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Hey! A guy brought up some questions

for Stef from the book I'm reading/working through on the Sunday show! [Which I missed on Sunday because I'd rather be out playing with the kids and doing yardwork on a beautiful day than hanging out in my basement, when I know that the show will be available as a podcast within a few days, and I'm not feeling as deeply troubled by anything as to need to call in myself. Of course, that was Sunday. If I'd had to deal the things I had to deal with this morning then, I'd have had cause to call in. But things seem better now, so I'll not go into that.]

Stef took four calls (in 2½ hours) - all brilliant - the first of which is on Self-Therapy. It constitutes a great review of the book that'll have you clicking my link to pick it up. Stef hadn't read it, but one of the FDR guys read a passage and asked what Stef thought of it. It wasn't all praise, he chides (hilariously) therapists and Buddhists for being too loose with the forgiveness for evil people.

Check out the podcast. (It's #1653, if you find you have to go here to look for it.)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Étienne de La Boétie

"Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces."
co The Mises Store.

Hm. Can't link it right now. Wonder what's up. Here's the ebook.

Friday, April 30, 2010

"The State is just

this bitch that we've been married to for the last 10,000 years."

--Stefan Molyneux, podcast FDR 1645.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ask them 'why?'

Jay Earley, in his book Self-TherapySelf-Therapy: A Step-By-Step Guide to Creating Inner Wholeness Using IFS, A New, Cutting-Edge Therapy, asks me to name a couple of my protectors and answer some questions about them.

I think it will be easy to do. There are quite a bunch of them in the room, waving their hands and excitedly shouting, "pick me!" I'm going to pick two of the tough guys in the back, who aren't waving their hands: The Distractor and The Mumbler.

I'd like to make this funny, but I won't. The questions:

What is it's role in helping you manage your life and interact with the world?

How does it relate to other people?

How does it protect you from pain?

What is its positive intent for you?

What is it trying to protect you from?

Mr. Distractor ("Don't call me an "it.")
Mr. Mumbler ("Don't call me an "it.")

I'll get back to this later.