Wednesday, January 31, 2007

They Have Nothing Better to Do

California's legislature apparently has no serious issues that need dealing with so they are looking for laws to pass, like outlaw lightbulbs.

All the criticisms of the lightbulb are valid but that is no excuse to outlaw them. Does this idiot who wants this law realize that many poor people would need to extensively rewire their homes to make the changes and to do so within code? Maybe he's being lobbied by the electricians union or maybe he's just a busybody.

Monday, January 29, 2007

I Am Beyond Being Suprised

Huxley's Brave New World was a satire written in response to H G Wells' vision of a utopian future in which life is beautiful and meaningless, pleasant and empty.

While I would not mind an easier, more pleasant life, I am not so sure I want a life where I cannot make a difference, where I have no choices but want what I am programmed to want, and where dreams of new accomplishments and their subsequent fulfillment are non-existent.

Yet there are "intellectuals" in the academic community who are saying that Huxley was unfair and that his vision is actual a wrongly darkened view of a glorious human future. To be fair they acknowledge that some things Huxley saw would be wrong, but those are easily changed in a manner that they suggest. Basically the work is a defence of social engineering.

I just wonder where these people come from.

I am not going to challenge this person point for point at this time; it's probably not even worth the effort to do so. I just find it astonishing that some people would want such a world but you know there are. In fact they are very common in some circles.

What Did This?

What in the world would cause a 100 lb block of ice to fall to fall out of the sky and hit a car in Florida of all places? I don't think they make hailstones that big. It could have fallen from an airplane or maybe there is another, equally unlikely, possibility.

This is one of those situations where something obviously happened and all possible answers are unlikely. Who knows?!?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

I Suprise Myself

If I was stranded in the wild with no food or water, how would I do? Gawfer linked to a quiz that gives you some idea of how well you would do.

Would you survive in the wild?
Your Result: Yesiree!....

You could live in the wild if you wanted to! You know what to eat, do, and stay away from! You could get shelter, food, water fast and easy-and the right treatments to injuries, snake bites etc...You know the outdoors like the back of your hand!!

Not to sure...
Wouldn't last 2 minutes!.....
Most likely you'll survive....
Would you survive in the wild?
Quizzes for MySpace

I did pretty well. Now I just need to survive the shock.

The Original Blessing

Theologians like to talk about original sin alot but there is something else that is original in every man and woman and comes from God.

Vayibra Elohim eth-haAdam betsalmo (And God creates man in His image)

batselam Elohim bara otho (in the image of God He created him)

zacar unqabah bara otham (male and female He created them)

(Genesis 1:27)

Though it be buried under miles of sin and its consequences, every man, woman and child who ever existed is a living, breathing image of God.

God creates. Every time we build a building, paint a picture, or put together a fine meal, or whatever, we reflect His creativity.

God loves. When we love another we reflect God.

God gives life. When we procreate we reflect God. When a doctor saves a life he reflects God.

Our potential is infinite (though less than God's Whose infinity is greater than ours.)***

If we terraform Mars someday in the future, the deed will reflect the image of God as the Creator.

If we revive a person from cryonic freezing, it will reflect the image of God as the One Who gives life.

We are God's creation, His children and His image. That is pride enough to lift the head of the lowliest of men. That we have darkened that image with sin is shame enough to shame the greatest of men.

*** An example of one infinity being greater than another from math. There are twice as many whole numbers as there are even numbers yet there is an infinite number of both.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

We Did Not Need This

Michigan's already staggering economy is going to have to absorb another blow, and this time it is not the auto industry, but the much praised high-tech high-paying jobs that are supposed to be our future.

Pfizer, the drug giant, is closing an operation in Ann Arbor which will cost the state another 2410 jobs, not to mention taxes, and the effect on service jobs that depend on the soon to be displaced workers. There really is no bright spot in this news. The fact that even more Pfizer jobs will be lost in New York is certainly no consolation. They will still have 4000+ employees in Michigan but the loss of more than a third of them will be felt in the state.

Part of the reason, but not the entire reason, was problems with the drug torcetrapib, which was supposed to replace lipitor. Plus they have lost the patent on two other key drugs. That is a problem that all companies face; they need to keep developing new products and technologies to compete and stay profitable; R&D is part of the life blood of many companies, some of whom have stock-holders and board members who don't seem to understand that.

Another point this brings up is that the state and its communities cannot depend on one business or one company or even one industry to save them. Flint and Saginaw are economic sinkholes because they were towns that depended entirely, not only on one industry, but only one company. When a company town loses its company it dies; industrially diverse communities such as Lansing, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor are doing considerably better than the cities that depended entirely on cars. (Though I am not saying they are prosperous.)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Let's Rewrite History Here

I support a persons right to believe and follow, or reject any religion they please, though I obviously believe that they are wrong; they do have the right to be wrong and to practice and defend their religion. Still some religions do suprise me from time to time.

There has been a recent revival of worship of the ancient Greek Pantheon. If someone really does believe in the Greek gods they are free to worship them.

Still some things they are saying cause me to raise my eyebrows.

Dressed in ancient costumes, worshippers standing near the temple's imposing Corinthian columns recited hymns calling on the Olympian Zeus, "King of the gods and the mover of things," to bring peace to the world.
"Our message is world peace and an ecological way of life in which everyone has the right to education," said Kostas Stathopoulos, one of three "high priests" overseeing the event, which celebrated the nuptials of Zeus and Hera, the goddess of love and marriage.

I have many Greek myths and stories from the Hellenistic culture and have yet to see that. It looks to me as if they are imposing modern values on an ancient belief system to make it seem morally superior to us narrow-minded Christian bigots.

"Our hymns stress the brotherhood of man and do not single out nations," said priest Giorgos Alexelis.

Actually I thought each of the gods and godesses had a favored city state, but . . . they are free to believe as they wish. I will not try to stop them or interfere with or destroy their holy places, as I have no right or desire to, but I am still going to groan, shake my head, and say that they are misguided at best.

I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father except by Me. John 14: 6

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Awards for 2006

I don't know if it's official or not, but the . . . we get awards for

Smoking a cigarett while your skin is completely oiled in flamable medication.

Disassembling a Rocket Propelled Grenade with brute force.

A professional electrician repeating Ben Franklin's famous Kite experiment.

Last year's Darwin Awards have been decided. Don't know if it's official but it is tragically funny.

I have known a few people who came close to earning the honor. We had a plant manager who climbed up to the top of an operating press and got his backside crushed between two gears; the press operator found out he was up there when he heard a loud scream. I also had a young neighbor who had an "erotic escapade" with a calf that almost left him . . . non-functioning. Fortunately I do not know anyone who has been killed by their own stupidity.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Speed Limits

Going a bit over the speed limit? Who doesn't do it? Sometimes if you're doing the posted limit you're holding up traffic.

Me? I usually do the about the limit, maybe just a little faster. (I don't get on the freeway much but that is another story.)

Our county sherriff's department has a well known policy of not stopping you for less than 10 over unless they want to see you about something else. (Though there is a village here that is notorious for nailing out of town speeders.)

The American Spectator has an article on speed limits and suggests that they be replaced with the idea of safe and reasonable speed. That leaves too much to interpretation and can be misused. I would instead suggest that speed limits be re-examined and made more realistic, while maintaining safety. There would be less speeding if speed limits were set to the natural speed of most traffic in the situation.

But then what would some towns do for revenues?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Too Close For Comfort

I recently watched an independently made movie, that was locally made and based on a real event that happened in this area when I was 15. A 20 year-old wife and mother disappeared without a trace until her body was found a couple of months later, well out of town. The town was in a panic as nobody knew what had happened; I remember riding the school bus and seeing fathers out waiting to meet their daughters off the bus while authorities told women to go no place by themselves and to move in groups of at least three.

The police had over a dozen solid suspects here in town but in the end they were all exonerated. The culprit was a wandering serial killer/rapist from another area who had just happened to be in town that day. He was eventually caught and convicted and is now spending the rest of his life in prison.

The movie was filmed locally, though the names of the towns and people have been changed.

It kind of bothers me because, though I did not know the woman, I know people who did know her and I also knew a cousin of hers' whom I haven't seen in some time. It was troubling because it was a real event in my memory and the woman is part of our local lore. Seeing an actress portraying her being raped and murdered was stunning because that reality is part of the community I live in. We are a safe community where murders are something that happens elsewhere -- usually (we average a murder every 2 or 3 years in our city and surrounding built up areas (about 30 - 40k people)). That event sent shockwaves through our community that were felt decades later. Like I said, I know people who knew her, and as much as it bothered me, I wonder how that seen seemed to her surviving family and friends. Movies based on real events must really put a strain on people who were involved or knew them.

And that poor girl. She did absolutely nothing wrong. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time and a wandering psycho saw her, wanted her, took her, and killed her. Her last moments on earth were moments of terror. May God grant her peace. But if it happened to her, could it happen to someone I loved? The answer is yes but we can't live in fear of every stranger. The overwhelming majority of strangers would never even consider such a thing and all we can do is teach our daughters, sisters etc. to be careful and how to protect themselves if they have to.

Monday, January 15, 2007

It's Still Illegal in Michigan

I have always assumed that Michigan had joined the "civilized" cough . . . cough world and decriminalized adultery. I guess I was mistaken. Glad to admit it.

I don't know that I want people spending their life in prison (or being stoned) for it, but it is good that is on the books as a crime. Even a law that is seldom enforced says that society does not consider this to be acceptable behavior. I would favor keeping the law but only enforcing it when

a) a cheated upon spouse who has been absolutely faithful demands it

b) someone is being exceptionally flagrant about it.


c) when other criminal activities are involved.

We need to take marriage and marital fidelity more seriously than we do.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Tip the Hat to Conservative UAW Guy

He has a brilliant posting on bumperstickers for the cars of gun control supporters and a great button for them to wear.

Check it out.

They would make great gifts.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Nothing to Add

I will post this link without comment except ask that you read it.


H/T Klein Verzet

To Potential Imigrants

Do you want to come live in America? That makes me feel good about my country that others want to come here and I welcome people of any nation, race or creed so long as you play by the rules. My Grandparents on my mother's side were from Sweden and I would be a hypocrite to welcome them and not you.

The rules are simple.

1.) Come in by the rules.
If you sneak in or come illegally I am naturally going to wonder what you're up to. Honest people don't sneak around. We have enough dishonest people who were born here and don't need any more.

2.) Learn our language.
We speak English here. Don't expect us to change everything to accomodate you. It's easier for you to learn one language than it is for me to learn a dozen. We are not all Anthony Burgess (who was fluent in over a dozen languages). If you don't want to learn our language then you don't belong here.

3)Work for a living
We complain that things are bad here but they are better here than most of the world; the fact you want to come here is proof of that. But don't come here for a handout. We are the most generous people on earth for those with real needs but we don't appreciate being made fools of. Working for a living also means that you pay taxes like the rest of us. We already have enough welfare recipients and don't need any more.

4) Obey the law
While we do have a few absurd laws, most of them are sensible and not that difficult to obey. America has it's full quota of criminals and we are not in the market for any more.

5) Respect the lives, property and beliefs of others as well as America's culture.
You don't have to agree with them or even like them. You're free to disagree and even argue but you're not free to force people to change. As far as our culture goes, you will find that we will be as tolerant with you as you are with us. Add your culture to ours, don't try to get us to replace our culture with yours.

In others words:
Be an American.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Is this the Answer?


The GM Volt

Is this the car that will save GM?

The Volt is a hybrid electric/gasoline car that GM hopes to have in production by 2010. If used in gasoline mode it will get 50 mpg and if used in electric mode, with gasoline used to keep the charge up, it will get 150 mpg but will have a shorter range (about 40-50 miles between recharges) and less power.

But GM is also behind Toyota and Honda in hybrid vehicles

Time will tell.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


So Mitt Romney wants to run for president and this brings up new questions.

Could a faithful Mormon properly be President of the United States.

Some on the left (and right) are concerned that, because Mormons believe their church president is the mouthpeice of God, it would turn America into a theocracy. You remember of course that John Kennedy faced the same questions about the Papacy. While I question the reasons of some of the questioners, the question remains valid.

What is a theocracy?

The ACLU seems to think that laws that reflect religious tradition are theocracy, a definition that I consider a crock. A government is a theocracy when religious authorities have veto power over government policy and election results.

I do not know where Mitt Romney stands on the issues so I don't know if I could vote for him or not (even though his father, George Romney, was a fairly good governor here in Michigan). My question for any Presidential candidate would be, would you go against the wishes of your church President.

Personally I believe that church can and should be the moral guide of society as a whole and the government, but church leaders don't always understand foreign policy or economics and as such, should stick to what they know - - right and wrong.

I feel that some, but not all, of Romney's religious critics don't believe that anyone who takes a traditionalist religion seriously is qualified for the presidency which creates a religious test for the president of a different source. Personally, I don't believe the American people would ever vote in a true religious fanatic.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Something I Occasionally do

One of the things I enjoy doing on a computer is font creation. To create a complete set of fonts from already existing images takes anywhere from 45 minutes for a set of dingbats or printing, to several hours of editing and reworking for cursive fonts.

Here is an image that has several sets of "dingbats" I have done.

The top one is images taken from Archie Comics which I must be careful about sharing because of copywrite issues.

The second and one is based on military rank insignia followed by a third one consisting of rating symbols for the US Navy

After that there is series of Heraldic Images

The last one is based on the periodic table which I plan to extensively rework.

Then there are some true fonts. The first one is taken from my own penmanship (such as it is) and letter for letter it looks like my writing, but no person writes with such regularity as to easily turn there cursive into a font and the letters needed to be edited so that they could fit together. As a result the letters are my own hand, but they are not fit together naturally as they would actually look if I had handwritten the words.

Printing is actually much easier to make into a font because you don't have to line up the letters perfectly and the natural irregularity of human writing is not a problem. The first line of printing is my own, followed by the brother who frequently comments here, his daughter's printing and his "angel's" daughter's writing as well.

I got the software from TUCOWS and it has a 30 free trial period and costs $65.00. I purchased it about a year ago. It is called "High-Logic Font Creator".

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Is This a Suprise?

Shocking survey here. 2 out of 5 bosses are less than stellar human beings. They don't keep their word, they pass the buck, they bad-mouth people. In other words, they're human.

Now truthfully, some can be downright nasty, but I've been in management shoes as well and know that some employees can be just as nasty and create just as many problems. When I was a fast-food manager my biggest problem was one hate-filled hourly who had the owner's ear (a relative) and created problems for everyone (including the owner though he didn't discover it until she left and all the problems with that store mysteriously disappeared.)

Yes, I have worked for horrible managers, incompetent managers, crooked managers, and also some very good ones. My current management is for the most part decent people in a bad bind which frequently flows down on us.

I kind of wonder though, what is the point of the study? It's kind of like making a study to see if cats walk on four legs. Whenever there is power the power-hungry and greedy are drawn to it, not necessarily the good and competent; such is human nature. I hope someone didn't get a Ph.D. or a Masters for this pointless study. Someone probably did.