Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Little Doggone

video

Sad to report that my bestest little buddy Lucky has passed away. He died last Sunday, Dec. 28, about 1 in the afternoon. He went peacefully, I thought he was only sleeping. Lucky was with us for almost 14 years and I estimate that to be his age in human years, dog years = 98, dude had a pretty good run. Check out his video, it was shot out in the backyard, from the shadows you can see this is midday in the height of Summer, as I recall, a very hot day. It's hilarious how he scurries around, all the while casting meaningful glances at the back door, he really wanted back inside that cool house.
I'm gonna miss that guy.

Friday, December 26, 2008

When can I get one of these?


h/t Paul Krugman

I'll be farting through silk once as I activate this bad boy!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Quote of the Day

It's not an actual quote for today, but a notable comment from Matt Groening's character Montgomery Burns, "I'd give it all away for just a little more".

That seems to be the credo of Henry Paulson and other gazillionaires driving the bailout of America's financial institutions. You may recall last year when progressive in Congress tried in vain to procure $8Billion for children's health care, that was shot down, can't panic the bond markets. Now the banks are in crisis, spare no expense, hundreds of billions of your dollars are being passed out like party favors with no guarantees that the money will be employed in the public interest.

Here's a question for you, if the failure of banks and various institutions is such a crisis, and may require a stimulus package of as much as $7 TRILLION ( about half the GNP ) to be thrown at it, why not just nationalize them and see if we can get some oversight for crying out loud!? The same goes for our critical industries such as the Big 3 automakers ( if they were nationalized maybe we'd see fuel efficient vehicles manufactured in this country someday ). Airlines are sure to fail, but other transportation modes are of more concern, specifically shipping. The railroads are more important than any of the institutions that are getting all the attention now, indeed, neglecting this vital linkage would be a serious national security risk.

I'm not saying that these businesses should be confiscated, government can and does seize or commandeer private property in emergencies from time to time, but public interest demands that any bailout funds must be administered responsibly. At this point I can't detect the transparency you'd like to have in this process. So, where is the money going?   

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Prismatic Clouds

I saw these clouds just before sundown, this type of cloud is at a high altitude and composed of ice crystals, that's how the sunlight is diffracted, creating the prismatic effect.                                                                             

As usual, click on the images to enlarge.





Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The wind turbine in the back yard

video

I built this with PVC tubing and scrap wood, it's suitable for generating electricity, just needs to be mounted to an alternator or a generator. Getting the electricity into usable form is more complex and expensive than making a giant pinwheel like this, but you have to start somewhere, and it's nice to watch on windy days.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Quote of the day

" Today we're a nation of tattooed barbarian "consumers" with no impulse control, a swollen sense of entitlement, ruled by a set of authorities ranging from one G.W. Bush to the grifter-billionaire pantheon of Wall Street CEOs...."

Jim Kunstler   October 13, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Quote of the day

" I’ve been pointing out that the dictatorial powers Paulson has sought would accrue to the next Treasury secretary, who might well be Phil Gramm. I’ve been trying to come up with a liberal-leaning name who might seem equally horrifying to Republicans, and the only one I’ve come up with is … me."

Paul Krugman  Sept. 23, 2008

Update: 10/16/08
I posted this quote just three weeks before Dr. Krugman received his Nobel award for his work in economics, makes this comment seem a bit less tongue in cheek. He has said that he doesn't have the temperament  for government work, though he's done it before, could he refuse to serve if tapped by Obama? Time will tell.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Deadly Mantis

This Praying Mantis flew into my yard today, it's manner of flying is striking to see and immediately caught my attention.                                                                                                                                                               




Yikes, lady! Don't bite my head off!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Aspen Gold

As promised about two weeks ago, I said the aspen would be turning, here's the evidence.                  

The picture above is from Fremont Pass, south of Leadville, CO.



This one's near Buena Vista.


As is this one.


 No aspen here, I couldn't resist this dramatic peak on Fremont Pass, I think this is Quandary Mountain.


Impressive needles on the ridge line of what I presume to be Quandary Mtn.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Republicans has got Dignitude

I'll just let this speak for itself. OK, I can't confirm it isn't photoshopped, but it would violate the spirit of this blog not to post this tasty find.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Flat Tops Wilderness

I took a short trip to northwestern Colorado last week to visit one of my favorite unspoiled areas of the state, I'm talking about the Flat Tops Wilderness, there isn't much there (in the way of civilization), and that's how I like it.
Frost has touched these ferns among the aspen here, in a couple of weeks the aspen will quake and exhibit their gold.


This photo was taken on a hike near Marvine Creek where I was camping.


Eight miles later, Big Marvine Lake, there's no road to this place, you get here on foot or horseback. Area outfitters have a nice business of bringing campers and fishermen up here on horses, dropping them off, then picking them up a week later.


I was struck by the image of these pines growing on the sides of this sheer cliff face, there can't be much room on those ledges. They appear to be good sized trees, 20 to 30 feet tall, I should think.


On the opposite side of the lake is another cliff at some distance, it's hard to judge the height of this feature, the scale of everything in the back country is a bit alien to a city dweller, but I have topographical maps that seem to indicate an elevation  gain of 1000+ feet. I was too tired to climb it anyway.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Gitmo on the Platte-link


The city of Denver has prepared for the worst by converting a municipal warehouse into a makeshift prison in advance of next week's Democratic Convention. They were going to have razor wire on top of the pens but that idea was nixed, too reminiscent of the Gulag, I suppose.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Wall Street Journal publishes opinion piece by Hillary

Rather than linking to this opinion piece I'll just post the whole thing here, for educational purposes only.




August 6, 2008







No Crisis Is Immune
From Exploitation
Under Bush

By HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

August 6, 2008; Page A15

Tucked away on the Cayman Islands sits Ugland House, an unassuming, nondescript building of modest scale and size. However, according to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), this five-story office building is home to more than 18,000 corporate entities, nearly half of which have U.S. ties.

In the past few years, the number of corporations flocking to places like the Cayman Islands to evade U.S. taxes has exploded. One of these companies, former Halliburton subsidiary KBR, has used offshore tax havens to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in federal taxes. To no one's surprise, instead of cracking down on KBR, the Bush administration has rewarded the company in April of this year with a 10-year, $150 billion contract in Iraq.

There appears to be no crisis, tragedy or disaster immune from exploitation under the Bush administration. The examples of the waste, fraud and abuse are legion -- from KBR performing shoddy electrical work in Iraq that has resulted in the electrocution of our military personnel according to Pentagon and Congressional investigators, to the firing of an Army official who dared to refuse a $1 billion payout for questionable charges to the same company. In another scam, the Pentagon awarded a $300 million contract to AEY, Inc., a company run by a 22-year-old who fulfilled an ammunition deal in Afghanistan by supplying rotting Chinese-made munitions to our allies.

But the fraud and waste are not limited to the war. In the weeks after Hurricane Katrina, for example, FEMA awarded a contract worth more than $500 million for trailers to serve as temporary housing. The contractor, Gulf Stream, collected all of its money even though they knew at the time that its trailers were contaminated with formaldehyde.

While touting fiscal responsibility, President Bush and his administration have lined the pockets of political cronies like Halliburton and Blackwater. While calling for earmark reform, the president has allowed no-bid and questionable contracting throughout the federal government to dwarf earmark spending by a 10-to-1 ratio.

If we're going to get serious about putting our nation's fiscal house in order, let's talk about putting an end to billions in no-bid contract awards to unaccountable contractors. Let's talk about the number of lucrative contracts and bonuses being paid for duties never performed, promises never fulfilled, and contracts falsely described as complete. And let's talk about reforming the federal contracting system so that we can take on the real waste, fraud and abuse in our federal government.

I've proposed a comprehensive overhaul to root out corruption in no-bid contracts and other shady deals. Reforms must include the following:

- Instead of rewarding companies that exploit tax shelters and incorporate in tax havens, let's ban the federal government from contracting with companies that hide profits offshore.

- We should put in place safeguards so that contracts are awarded to responsible companies that abide by the law and complete the work they're hired to do.

- Let's put a stop to the disgraceful practice of giving bonuses to contractors for work never performed, which has been allowed to happen in Iraq and throughout the federal government according to the GAO and inspectors general.

- We need to increase transparency and competition in the contracting system, and to stop the ideological privatization of critical governmental functions.

In 1941, as the U.S. mobilized and entered World War II, then Sen. Harry Truman proposed and chaired the Senate Special Committee to investigate the National Defense Program. Over the course of three years, Truman set about investigating a president of his own party in order to discover and eliminate wasteful and fraudulent spending. By some estimates, the "Truman Committee" saved the American people some $15 billion -- more than $165 billion in today's dollars.

Truman took on the war profiteers because he understood that when the lives of Americans hang in the balance, we cannot afford to misuse even a single dollar. In the Democratic Congress, we've proposed a new Truman Committee to address the waste, fraud and abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan that has already taken place, a proposal stymied by the president and his allies. And my proposal would prevent waste, fraud and abuse in future contracting.

Of course, we need far more than a Truman Committee. We need the Truman spirit in the White House, where the buck finally stops.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sunroof


I'm calling this a sunroof even though it's not in a car.


Here you can see the underlying structure, I modified steel straps to create the brackets that tie right into the house's roof trusses. I feel this will hold up well under a normal load from snowfall (say two feet), but I'm not so sure about an extra large dump, I've got some ideas to improve the load bearing ability of this roof in that case.

Monday, July 14, 2008

If today's Congress had presided during Watergate-link

Just go to the link.

Greenwald Explains What Happened-link

It will never stop being jarring that Pulitzer-Prize-winning revelations from the New York Times that the President and the telecom industry were committing felonies for years culminated in the full-scale protection of the lawbreakers and retroactive legalization of the criminality by the "opposition party" which controls the Congress.
That's Glenn's sad reflection near the end of his column last Saturday, 7/12/08. He starts with a blurb for Jane Mayer's new book, ""The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals". The tenets of Jane's book add fuel to the raging bonfire of evidence that the "Rule of Law" has gone by the wayside in this country( as it applies to the executive branch), aided and abetted by a compliant Congress.
Go
Read

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Submitted without comment-link



Click on the images (2) for larger, easier to read versions.

Friday, July 04, 2008

A fishing trip

I enjoyed a short fishing trip near Buena Vista, CO on July 1, 2008.

The Contiental Divide

That's Taylor Reservoir.

A nice Rainbow Trout from the reservoir.



Monday, June 23, 2008

R.I.P.

Fuck, Shit, Piss, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker and Tits.
George Carlin is dead and Carrot Top still lives.

Behold, my super awesomeness!

Ever wonder which superhero you're most like?


Your results:
You are Superman

Superman
70%
Green Lantern
70%
Spider-Man
65%
Batman
65%
Supergirl
65%
The Flash
65%
Hulk
60%
Robin
57%
Catwoman
55%
Iron Man
50%
Wonder Woman
35%
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...



Thursday, June 19, 2008

Enema Memorial

AP photo
LOL!  This statue was just dedicated at the Mashuk-Akva Term Spa in the Russian city of Zheleznovodsk. If you can't make it out it's an enema bulb being hoisted aloft by three angels, there are many spas like this in the Caucasus Mountains that are known for their mineral waters which are said to provide beneficial enemas. To your health!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dick Cavett in N.Y. Times- link

Great article in the Times by Dick Cavett, delivered in the style of James Wolcott. The link will take you to the article, he's got some hilarious comments about the speaking styles of General Petraeus & Ambassador Crocker during their visit to a joint session of Congress last week, as well as some remarks on the contents of their talks.
Here's a sample:
I find it painful to watch this team of two straight men, straining on the potty of language. Only to deliver such . . . what? Such knobbed and lumpy artifacts of superfluous verbiage? (Sorry, now I’m doing it…)
I guess he's alluding to what he thinks they're full of. Check it out, if you haven't already done so.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Elizabeth Edwards-link


Follow the links to a huge smackdown of John McCain's health care policies my friends.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Some Recent Photos

Just trying out a new filter I've got, it'called a star or cross filter.

When the weather warms a bit I think I'll take a stab at night photography, this filter should provide some interesting effects.

Friday, March 14, 2008

An Ounce of Prevention

What's all this fuss about Radioactive Immunity, and why do so many people oppose it? Seems to me that it would be very desireable, if John McCain somehow became president the survival of life as we know it might depend on such immunity.
Just think of the good that could be done in Iraq, where DU munitions and armor have been spread hither and yon. By providing inoculations to the Iraqis the survivors might be able to survive even longer.
And here in the U.S. those inoculations may prove to be just as beneficial, as the energy crunch sets in there's sure to be more nuclear power plants in our future. Eventually one or more of those will go Chernobyl on us, best to be ready.
Terrorism is still a considerable threat in this country, and experts agree, what the bad guys really would love to do is explode a suitcase nuke or dirty bomb somewhere on American soil. While immunity offers no protection against blast effects, those of us not blown to smithereens could rise up, dust ourselves off and proudly flip our middle fingers at those filthy jehadist bastards.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Colorado Caucus



I attended the Colorado Democratic Caucus

in my precinct on Super Tuesday.

All the experienced caucusers said the turnout was

the best they'd ever seen.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Recent Photos

A crack in the ice


Portrait of the artist as a shadow






A huge cottonwood






An oak leaf




Clinton campaign chairman open to Ann Coulter endorsement-Link

That's the title of this short article in today's Denver Post, I think it's a little misleading, if you actually read what was said;

McAuliffe: I don’t know what to tell you. She’s never said a nice word about Hillary Clinton in her life. Listen, we’ll take every vote we can get, I guess is all I can say.
PoliticsWest: So, you’ll accept that endorsement?
McAuliffe: Listen, anyone who wants to help us, I’m all for it. Hillaryclinton.com, if she wants to send a check.


"Conservative gadfly Ann Coulter", now that's charity!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Why the right loves a disaster-link

Excellent op-ed in the L.A. Times today by Naomi Klein who you may recognize as the author of "The Shock Doctrine: the Rise of Disaster Capitalism", note the link to the article above.
The book was published in September of last year and now resides high on my must read list.
Her op-ed piece starts as a critique of some of the wackier rightwing ideas about "economic stimulus" that are floating around in the wake of the recognition (shock!) that the U.S. is deep in a recession. In describing these schemes she just happens to to present the thesis of her book.

A crisis hits, panic spreads and the ideologues fill the breach, rapidly reengineering societies in the interests of large corporate players. It's a maneuver I call "disaster capitalism."
That's the gist of it, a kind of opportunism that brings about changes which would otherwise be enormously unpopular. She cites several disasters that made such changes possible; 9-11, Iraq, Katrina.

Every crisis is an opportunity; someone will exploit it. The question we face is this: Will the current turmoil become an excuse to transfer yet more public wealth into private hands, to wipe out the last vestiges of the welfare state, all in the name of economic growth? Or will this latest failure of unfettered markets be the catalyst that is needed to revive a spirit of public interest, to get serious about the pressing crises of our time, from gaping inequality to global warming to failing infrastructure?
A good question, I recommend this article and if that proves interesting check out this video.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Additions to the Blogroll

Today there are two new links in the Blogroll to the right. You'll see Crooks and Liars, which is John Amato's excellent video blog, there's always some great stuff there if you have the bandwidth or the patience to wait for downloads you'll see some great topical video.
Also, and I can't believe I haven't added this yet, you'll find The Conscience of a Liberal, Paul Krugman's blog, hosted by the N.Y. Times. Professor Krugman writes a column for the Times that I read religiously but that wasn't really enough for me, so I was elated when he started his blog a few months back. Enjoy!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008

naught ocho

Welcome to 2008, lets hope it goes better than 2007, I've already noticed that today starts the final year of Bush's reign of error. On a somewhat depressing note it's a leap year, so there will be an extra day.
If nothing else the year should be interesting if only for the elections, presidential and the lesser offices. People are talking about change, let's see if it happens.
I hope to do some blogging about politics in the coming months, the Democratic National Convention will be right here in Denver and that may give me the opportunity to log some fairly interesting posts. In addition I plan to continue with the usual fare that has made me a legend in my own mind, because I ain't tired of it yet.
So drop by anytime at all.