Jul 312009

I got confirmation yesterday that Fingers’ fat belly was not due to an excess diet of cheezburgers: she’s had a litter of 5 kittens. Currently resting comfortably in a window well, of all places.

Here they are, and here she is catching some shade under the deck.





 Posted by at 11:09 pm
Jul 312009

Looks like the brain fart someone had about replacign the origianl Futurama voice valent has been blown away by a breeze of freakin’ reality. As in “the reality is, without the original cast the show will tank.”

E Online:

 a Futurama rep tells us, “[We] hope to have deals with all five by end of day.”

 Posted by at 10:58 pm
Jul 312009

Ah, American politics sees another high point in public relations:


Grover Norquist and his organization, Americans For Tax Reform, sent a press release out yesterday afternoon claiming that Congressman Taylor had changed his position on healthcare. The statement that Americans for Tax Reform released was absolutely false. Congressman Taylor’s position on this issue is clearly stated on the front page of his website at www.taylor.house.gov.

Congressman Taylor stated that, “Americans for Tax Reform are lying sacks of scum, and anyone who knowingly repeats this false information is also a liar.”

Huh. Classy!

What got his panties in a  bunch?


 On March 1st, 1996, Gene Taylor signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, promising his constituents he would oppose all income tax increases while serving in Congress . Apparently, he did this just to get elected, as his written word has turned out to be worthless. When Republicans controlled the Congress from 1996 to 2006, he never had the opportunity to vote for a tax increase. The first Congress he had the chance to vote for a tax increase, he did.

He has broken his Pledge so far three times now at Pelosi’s bidding: on January 18, 2007 (Roll Call No. 40) , on July 27, 2007 (Roll Call 756), and on December 6th, 2007 (Roll Call No. 1140).

 Posted by at 10:45 pm
Jul 312009

From the Tax Foundation

According to IRS data, the top 1% of income tax payers now pay *more* than the entire bottom 95% of taxpayers.

What this means is, if those 1.5% –  1.4 million people – decided “enough” and quit… the tax revenues would drop by 40.4%. About 0.47% of the entire US population pays nearly *half* of the bill for the rest.
<> Galt’s “Strike” is getting closer every day. I must admit I’d find it amusing if that top 1% decided to rest on their accomplishments for a year… take no income, cash out their interest-earnings accounts and such, live off their savings.

 Posted by at 11:14 am
Jul 312009

Yet another Hiller Aerospace Museum special, this time showing photos of the Boeing SST mockup… most specifically, showing photos of photos that showed the construction of the mockup.






More to come.

Oh, and by the way, ya mooches:  If you like this artwork and/or the other stuff I post, you can support the cause by Buying My Stuff, which includes aerospace drawings and documents, as well as the journal of unbuilt aircraft and spacecraft projects, Aerospace Projects Review.

Or you could just Donate. Do I need to start runin’ one of them “griftathons” where I dial back on the uploads and witty reparte until y’all cough up the required quantity of cash? Huh? DO I???

 Posted by at 12:31 am
Jul 302009

A few days back I finally got word from Best Buy that the “lemon policy” was kicking in with my camera, a 2-year-old Canon SD860. The camera was *not* a lemon per se, but it had had its share of troubles and Best Buy policy was to replace it if it had to go to the shop 4 times (it had gone 5 times). The closest to an equivalent camera was the Canon SD960, which was just released in March. Apart from being 12 megapixel rather than 8, and some tinkering around with the ergonomics and user interface, it’s pretty much the same camera. Except for one thing…

I always set my SD860 for the maximum image size and maximum resolution/minimum image compression. As a consequence, with a 4 gig card I could get 1138 photos. But when I set maximum image quality settings on the new camera, rather than getting fewer that 1138 images, I can get over 1200. When I downloaded the first test batch of images… yep, the were smaller filesize than the old pics, despite the fact they were larger (4000X3000 pixesl rather than 3264X2448 pixels). How is this possible? Well, one minor change.

The old SD860 had three image quality settings: Normal, Fine and Superfine. These controlled the JPG compression ratio of the files. The new camera, after poking around online and confirming, has reduced the options to Normal and Fine. Which means all the pics now  have slightly higher compression than the old ones. GAAAHHHHHRRRRR. There’s no good reason for making that change other than specifically to annoy me.

Additionally, there is as yet no CDHK “hack” for this camera, so all the neato fast/long exposure shots can’t be done. Come on hackers, get on the ball!!!

 Posted by at 4:53 pm
Jul 302009

Some photos I’ve seen floating around the web for a while:





I know *nothing* about these photos… when taken, where, what happened next. All I know is that the photos are heatbreaking. Here, like this:


(If you recognize this, then you know what I mean.)

 Posted by at 12:41 am
Jul 292009

I’ve heard of this sci-fi novel over the years, but never read it. Finally I saw that a graphic novelization of it is available for free online here:


In short it is an alternate history/alternate reality story with two separate and divergent worlds of 1985. The first world features a United States that is a far-leftists wet dream… cars are virtually impossible to obtain, it’s illegal to make a profit, guns are not allowed the citizens, the government is in complete control. In the other world, where the bulk of the story takes place, the history of the US went quite a bit different, starting with the Declaration but really picking up at the Whiskey Rebellion. The result is that by this worlds 1985, a true “libertarian” world has come to pass in North America. It’s the sort of place both Heinlein and Rand would have found most entertaining.

As with Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” the Message can get a little heavy at times. Perhaps the novel thinned it out a little, dunno. But even so, it’s an entertaining romp, well illustrated… and thoroughly depressing. Not because  what they describe is dystopic (well, the first world we see certainly is), but because as you read it, you realize that such a world just might be possible… but it ain’t *our* world. Our world is far closer to the dystopia shown at the beginning
The central character is a cop from the first world, accidentally cast into the second. He’s a decent guy, but he’s lived his life in a culture with certain assumptions that clash with the assumptions of the other. For instance, in his world the regular peons aren’t allowed guns; in the second world, *everyone* walks around armed. Here’s where the Message hits, and hits hard. But still… can you *really* argue with any of the points being made here?

image3.jpg  image4.jpg  image5.jpg  image6.jpg

Go forth and read it. if you like it, buy a paper copy. In any event, suggest it to your liberal/anti-gun friends.

“Anyone who objects levels the deadliest insult possible: ‘I won’t trust you until you render yourself harmless.'” 

 Posted by at 11:34 pm