Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold"

Newt Gingrich has come out in favor of the gold standard. If there is one certain thing that civilized man knows, it is do the exact opposite of what Newt Gingrich proposes.

Following the George Costanza strategy, in realizing that every motivation possessed of Newt Gingrich is vile, venal, small, selfish, short-sighted, mean-spirited, half-baked, and superficially witless; that every single decision for the country he has ever made has been wrong; the nation should thus do the exact opposite of whatever it is that soft-serve shit-of-a-man proposes.

To do so (the opposite of everything Gingrich recommends) would see an American hegemony last for the next thousand years.

Well, fortunately, pretty much everyone who has a say on the subject thinks that returning to the gold standard is a monumentally stupid fucking idea. Of course, that should clue you in that it makes perfect sense to Republicans, along with a lot of other really cool ideas, like austerity (because that is working so well in Europe), and redefining rape as a legitimate act between a man and a woman.

You know, back in the late 80s/early 90s, business went through a quality fad. W Edward Demmings had had good success in Japan. All sorts of quality gurus popped up proclaiming that quality was the magic pixie dust that would turn around a moribund business environment. Nobody stopped to consider that maybe the Japanese success story through Dr. Demming's prescription might have been the combination of the two, or throw in a command economy, some combination of the three. But, pixie dust is like cocaine, and once you are on it, it's hard to kick the habit. I read a book by a self-proclaimed quality guru named Tom Peters. After about a chapter in, I realized the guy was full of horse-shit and that the quality fad was just that - a fad.

Interestingly, Newt Gingrich read the same book, and, being the supercilious, shallow, sloppy-thinking, little rectal orifice that he is, saw in it the basis for a popular revolution of government. Legend has it that Gingrich's meetings with freshman congress-people - complete with a Powerpoint presentation! - was a confused clusterfuck which had to be postponed again and again as word arrived that all of those quality methods Gingrich lauded... didn't work (hah!). My understanding is you would be hard-pressed to find a bigger Republican clown car of a Congress until... oh, the dipshittery of 2010.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Occupy Humanity


I know that researchers are having a tough time making electronic components using graphene as a substrate. Silicene shows a bit more promise, but now there's research at MIT that suggests molybdenite is a better candidate for next material beyond silicon.
Tom├ís Palacios, the Emmanuel E. Landsman Associate Professor of EECS at MIT says he thinks graphene and MoS2 are just the beginning of a new realm of research on two-dimensional materials. “It’s the most exciting time for electronics in the last 20 or 30 years. It’s opening up the door to a completely new domain of electronic materials and devices.”
Couple all this with the meta revolution in metamaterials and metasurfaces, the advent of a room-temperature microwave laser hundreds of millions of time more powerful than current masers, and I suspect we are going to see some pants-shitting optics and electronics stuff in the near future. Sooner rather than late, I hope.

In the meantime, I was considering an update of the Invasion of the Body-Snatchers scenario, but more in terms of Occupy Humanity. Aliens want to physically occupy our bodies (as opposed to replacing us with pod peoples), and more specifically just shoving aside our personalities into oblivion so they can take over our brains and enjoy a new life on this Earthly colony. But as it turns out, they need eight billion, three hundred fifty million, two thousand, two hundred and forty human beings for their entire population. Were this a half-hour Twilight Zone episode (a light-hearted one, obviously), I would see if I could get John Cleese and John Lithgow to reprise their roles as aliens al a a salute to 3rd Rock From the Sun.



In my episode, they reveal themselves as the Alien Livestock Managers of Planet Earth to an attractive young couple. Once their identities are made clear, the male of the couple, asks if they plan on eating their brains.

"Oh, no! " exclaims John Cleese, "We need those brains to run your bodies".
"...well... we might eat some brains" interjects Lithgow, "you know, out of curiosity!"

When it turns out that there is still some time to wait before all 8,350,002,240 bodies are available for Occupy Humanity:

Lithgow: "I'm really quite impatient. I'd like to try a newer model" (looks a male of young couple) "Perhaps you, right now!" (turns to Cleese) "You can have her! Then we can try out sex!"

Cleese: (disgustedly) Eeww-ww! (then cheerfully) Alright!"

(They move menacingly towards young couple).

(FADE)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Book Report: "The Servant Economy" by Jeff Faux

"The future ain't what it used to be". --Yogi Berra

I had a tough time working my way through The Servant Economy by Jeff Faux. Not because it is intellectually challenging or particularly long, but because it is just one long descending downer of a book. Faux digs a really deep hole for the protagonist known as Uncle Sam, and in the end, doesn't provide much of a rope to get him out again. Of course, anyone who has paid any attention to long-term forecasting of world trends pretty much expects some type of cynically dystopian future, but Faux keeps on hammering until not even Old Sam's top hat is showing.

As usual, I ended up dog-earing the pages of nearly a quarter of the book with memorable quotes. I'll not inflict them upon you, merely to say that, if you haven't thought much about so-called "free trade", you'll be thinking a lot about it afterwards.

Working our way backwards, the narrative goes something like this: Can we really expect the United States of America, 5% of the world's population consuming 25% of its resources, to continue enjoying the pampered lifestyle of the post-WWII boom years? When the 21st century will require 2.5 Earths to continue the mandatory 3% compound growth of Anglo-Saxon (or Chinese Command and Control) Capitalism? Especially when the ruling class (I'm sorry, but I can no longer call them the governing class plus supporting business partners) has deemed the global extractive network system for the exclusive use to the highly inclusive and sequestered top-earner's club for basically ever?

To quote from the opening page, anyone who has paid any attention to current events recognizes that:
  • Most Americans had experienced stagnant real incomes, shrinking financial security, and fraying social safety nets.
  • The nation had been buying more from the rest of the world than it had been selling and was borrowing to finance the difference.
  • Despite the erosion of U.S. economic power, the governing class - Democrats and Republicans alike - insisted on maintaining its global hegemony, whatever the cost. 
Faux understands that, like all superorganisms, the United States will continue for a good long century or three past it's prime, mainly through hysteresis of power. It's got the soft and hard power, the connections, the street cred and reputation, and, yes, the monkey clever shrewdness, the utter callousness, and sheer brutality to keep it all going. America will be long in its decline (if the world's land, air, and oceans can hold out), but Americans will not.

To further quote, the nation is no longer rich enough to continue to finance America's three principal national dreams:
  1. The dream of the business elite for subsidized, unregulated capitalism
  2. The dream of the political elite for global hegenomy
  3. The dream of the people for a steadily rising standard of living. 
So, uh, guess which dream goes unfulfilled? Ah, you guessed it, number 3!

Faux spends the first two parts of the book providing a clear synopsis of American politico-economic history up to the first term of Obama, and does a very nice job of succinctly explaining how America, with no competition in a bombed-out world of the latter 20th century, quickly lost its pampered status by around 1978. The good times could never have lasted, regardless. Nixon (the last liberal, yes, I think so) attempted to keep the good times of the New Deal going. Carter attempted to introduce the nation to an adult conversation about our place and future in the world (and also planted the seeds of privatization which led to the Age of Reagan that we are still in). Reagan told everyone to go back to bed and sleep late, have a Sunday brunch, while dismantling public institutions and crippling labor and private industry through "free trade". And every president since Reagan (including our Blue Dog President Obama) has been stuck in his sandbox, financial kitty turds and all.

Faux presents the argument that any way out of our natioanl dilemma involves a Catch 22 of government intervention - in the form of a strategic long-term social and industrial plan not unlike what successful "socialist" countries such as Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Finland have pursued. The catch is the American public not only distrusts government, they consider it far more inept and inefficient than private industry (despite all evidence to the contrary). The ruling class, no slouches they, realize as much, but since they are not hurting, and the hurt applied to the poor, working poor, and middle class has zero effect on them, they have no reason to change the trends.

So, our bleak future extends to the horizon. This is part 3 of the book. The interesting thing to note is, despite the intolerable conditions our inept and incompetent elite fuckups have put us under, Americans endure all sorts of shit. We don't revolt. We just bitch. We may revolt. And if it happens, one would expect about the same as any other modern revolution, which is to say, chaos, anarchy, and then a return to power of a different flavor of incompetent fuckup, who generally is still controlled by the ruling class. There is, of course, the ever present threat of right-wing dictatorship here in America. One has only to look at our national character when pushed to the wall (vis the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party, or the "sovereign citizens" movement of ugly nihilism and irrationally violent self-interest). This is not to say we don't have our positive attributes of altruistic community activism, but power being the thing that it is, I'll bet ugly wins out.

However, entropy being what it is, and laziness a major component of the American landscape, it is doubtful we will enter a Road Warrior future. Instead, look to even more frayed and tattered social systems and institutions, a shoddy and increasingly unsafe, shabby, and ugly infrastructure of roads, bridges, sewers, power grids, buildings, and water systems. An increasing concentration of privilege and opportunity towards the favored and fortunate rich, much less so for everyone else. Increases in illiteracy, innumeracy, previously preventable endemic disease, poverty, want, and squalor. In short "A Third World nation with First World prices". Or, if you will, as it turns out, the inevitable finale of Western Capitalism circa 2030, ironically, is Soviet Russia circa 1978. Fun times ahead! But Faux gives you some one hundred pages of the fun stuff. In more agonizing detail! If only there had been charts and graphics to ease the pain.

Is there any hope? Faux argues not from either party, and don't expect a moderate third party to appear.
Under the Democrats, it's takes a little longer for things to turn to shit. Under the Republicans (especially if they end up with all four portions of the government this fall), things very quickly turn to shit. (Perhaps as early as 2014).

Faux argues for some transformational politics (short of revolution). Well, but only if we don't have to rely upon the American people for it. At least not the current crop, who seem to have swallowed the conservative line of bullshit so far the hook is lodged deeply in their collective craw. If helping others is "socialist" or "commie", if those living under less fortunate circumstances than you are considered "lazy" "moochers" and "parasites", if you feel you owe your to wealthy, then, damn, you are just a fucking slave, and go lick the boots of the rich that ride in on you.

Faux offers a short piece of rope, and I've heard the suggestion before from OWS, a constitutional amendment to deny the personhood of corporations and eliminate corporate political donations. I see that as fairly ineffectual, and highly unlikely to come to pass. Progressives? OWS? No, especially given the monumentally execrable public relations ineptitude that resulted in the nation considering the OWS movement as a "hippies looking for handouts" joke. It was a terribly managed image formation, but not surprising, given funhouse lens it passed through via the corporate media.

It's a very depressing book, in keeping with the times, but worth reading. It will suck the hope out you, as it did me, temporarily, but as a cynical optimist, I'm not quite ready to move to Norway or Finland - or start building IEDs - just yet.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Aluminum Sculpture in Grant Park

Here's a quick follow up on the sculpture I helped assemble for the weekend sculptor guy. It got installed yesterday near Grant Park, just east of LSD by the lake. Here's a picture. It doesn't look all that bad.

The sculpture is all aluminum, about eight feet high by twelve long. Maybe six feet wide at the widest. Total weight is probably around six to seven hundred pounds, and I felt every pound on my back at one point or another. (See the curvy tall wedge on the left hand end? That connects to the remainder via an internal pipe, and I hefted the whole thing up with my legs while they fastened it together. I think I'm rated to near 1,000 pounds, but don't tell OSHA).

I received (checking myself out right now, naked, and did you really need to know that?) twenty bruises, thirteen superficial cuts and scrapes on the fingers and arms, one deep cut on my right forearm, a knot on the head, four 2nd degree burns (all on the fingers), an abrasion on my knuckle from a slip at the belt sander, another from grinding a point on a tungsten electrode for the TIG torch, sore muscles (still!) and one ruined pair of jeans.

In payback, I welded about forty feet of seamed edges, ground down same footage, sanded and buffed about one hundred square feet of sheet metal, and probably sent a good ten pounds of aluminum powder and chips to the landfill. I honestly don't know how many grinding wheels, sanding belts, and emory cloth we went through.

Hearing about how fine aluminum powder can be explosive, we tried setting it on fire. No dice.

Now, I finally get to work on my own shit. Not quite as big.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Serfs Up!

Away from the college, and, upon my return, they have picked up on the whole hands-free hygiene mania. The restrooms now have those motion or obstruction activated soap dispensers and the Dyson airblade hand dryers. In a nice little marketing symphony, the soap dispensers cater to your infantile behaviors, in that, when they dispense soap, a little motor noise and a blue light is activated, so that you get a Fisher-Price reward with the foamy soap cum into your fingers. The airblade dryers, on the other hand, freak me out, in that they look and feel like they are going to chop your hands off at the wrist. All this, I suppose in our fruitless and fetishistic American quest for decontamination.

Me? I agree with George Carlin. An immune system needs PRACTICE! And, like George, may he rest in peace, I wash my hands when I get shit on 'em, which happens two-three times a week TOPS!

Anyway, back when I had a real job, I once worked in a ten-story glass and steel building whose floor plan looked like a rectilinear lightning bolt. You know, rather than a slant bolt, there was a right angle kink in the lines, kind of like the straightened-out sig rune used in the old Nazi SS insignia.

For a time, I had a cubical on the fifth floor that was at the internal corner of the lightning bolt. And soon after I and others was moved there, we noticed that pigeons kept on slamming into the glass windows. It got to be regular thing. Bam! Bam! slammed the pigeons, almost two or three times a day.

At first, we all figured, well, stupid pigeons. But then, one day, I happened to be in another part of the building delivering some kind of useless data print out to some drone executive, and I noticed his office had a bird's eye view over to the cul-de-sac pigeon death window target barrier. And there I saw something hilarious.

It turns out a flock of crows were regularly herding pigeons into that barrier. One or two crows would scare a flock of pigeons and chase them down the length of the building towards the internal corner. The pigeons would head right for the windows, and then in an attempt at aeronautic skill, try to veer off to the left at the last moment. But, a second group of crows would dive down at the pigeons from the roof, cutting off their escape route. The pigeons, trapped and panicked, would slam right into the windows. They would fall stunned to the ground, probably with broken necks, and then the crows would eat them.

Stupid pigeons? No. Smarter crows.

To me, this demonstrates the difference between r-type and K-type selection, and their role in competition. So, in evolution, r-type selection for survival is basically the Chinese Wave "overwhelm with sheer numbers' strategy - usually involves making a whole bunch of babies, not investing too much time or effort in raising them, and accepting large losses so that just enough survive. Insects do this a lot, prey species do this, and, for the largest part of American history, corporations with cheap mass production of shoddy goods. K-type selection for survival involves a small number of offspring, heavily invested in terms of time, energy, and information, and with a very high survival rate into adulthood. Predators typically use this strategy.

The interesting thing is people don't seem to recognize these two variations of competition, or that one can use different strategies, or even switch them.

So, you got pigeons and crows, if that's a competition. Perhaps a better example is the war between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during WWII. The Germans spent a great deal of time and effort producing small numbers of high quality, superior tanks, like the Tiger II. The Soviets cranked out the T-34s and the KV-1 and -2, often with the casting seams and welds not ground down to a finish on them. Why bother? Most would be blown up within the week, and they did not need to be pretty, just functional, and plentiful. Well, aside from the ghastly strategic ineptitude of Herr Hitler, there was still a mismatch of numbers on the battlefield. The Tigers could take out the T-34s, but there were many more of them. This would be the ongoing horrifying r-type strategy of the Soviet Union involving men and materials, and we know how that went for the Nazis.

How about the opposite outcome? Has there been something like this? Well, again, look to Germany. They produce high quality industrial products which, in the commercial marketplace, are in heavy demand. The shoddy methods of the Americans and Chinese allow for a larger number to be produced, but the choice, when it matters, always favors the German product. If, as a craftsman, I plan on abusing the tool, I'll get an American or Chinese POS. If, on the other hand, the tool will have limited or specialized use, or the job required more efficacy of control and consistent results, the German is favored.

Strangely, when applied to people, it generally doesn't work out quite as you would expect.

Take, for example, the labor history of America. Here you have a country specially coddled and protected for centuries, possessed of a natural moat in the form of two oceans, with no real military competition on the North American continent. Plentiful "free" land to the west, with some of the most productive soils in the world, provided a source for growth and a safety valve against class unrest to the ruling elites of the eastern coast. Couple this to government largesse towards business interests and a willingness practice trade protectionism through tariffs, and one would assume that things would be good for the working man. With labor was a scare resource - even with growing population of immigrants - one would assume, as Benjamin Franklin did, that this would result in high wages for workers. Prior to around 1850, this was true, but soon enough, the opposite became the norm. But from 1845 through the next ten years, the US population grew by an astonishing 30% (way beyond the biological maximum of the "native" settlers) as immigrants escaped the strife and unrest of (failed) revolutionary Europe. Labor was artificially made surplus by the bottlenecking of immigrants in the slums of eastern cities through a) the political obstruction of territorial settlement by aristocracy of the Southern states, and b) a series of deeply recessionary economic upsets brought about by corruption, fraud and stock market manipulations.

Fortunately (for immigrants), the Civil War broke the logjam on Western settlement, and a social crisis was averted. Nevertheless, the business elite, noting that mass unemployment depressed wages, took note, and did everything they could to continue the trend. As a results, through ruling class ineptitude, a nation that, by 1870, should have had the largest economy in the world, produced no more than 8% of global GDP. Germany, by contrast, with none of the advantages of the United States, accounted for as much, and with much higher literacy rates and scientific accomplishments.

Do we have to ask what Germany was doing right, and the US was doing wrong? Short answer? Public social programs, coordinated industrial and economic policies, strong public education, maybe?

Yeah, well, you know what? I've kind of run out of steam writing this essay. I guess my brain hasn't fully recovered from doing robot work the past two weeks. so, maybe I'll add more to this later when I can think coherently.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Atomtronics

I've been busy assembling the weekend sculptor's big abstract geometric aluminum sculpture for installation this Thursday. I'm not exactly beat down by the work, but these 9-12 hour days for the past eleven days have taken their toll. I've got more than my fair share of bruises, cuts, scrapes, abrasions, and burns on me. Not to mention sore muscles. And I recently acquired a close to  world record 2nd degree burn blister on my right index finger, where I had to hold a bracket while it got welded in place, and it set my leather welding glove on fire, but I had to keep holding on till the job was done. I then threw the burning glove to the floor, but too late, I got myself a burn. I need to figure out a clamp that works on nonmagnetic metals. An articulated clamp. I actually, I did, but I can't say more in case it is patentable (which means I do a google search).

So, I've been behind on my science news reading (which is the only news that is news).

I'm starting to suspect that my prediction regarding ultracold things may have some legs to it. The topic of atomtronics is starting to heat up. Plus, some scientists in Germany are starting to figure out how to cool down large masses to near absolute zero. So, the industrial mass production of supercold shit seems to be inevitable. I look forward to the cool things that will come out of left field as a result of this.

Other news. I know wireless power has been a dream going back to Tesla. I also know that small devices can be powered via radio waves. No they have figured out how to cheaply mass produce devices that are powered by radio waves. These funny little patches are conceived to be used for information on things like price tags, logos, and signage similar to the way QR codes are used.

But, as I surmised with QR code abuse, I can't help but think that these rectenna devices could be used to load malware on your mobile. And, given that they are cheap to produce, and fairly innocuous and easily hidden, what's to stop people from leaving them everywhere? No worse than what occurs now with mobiles, I suppose, but, a little computer patch on a dumpster or a bulletin board sign ready to upload a virus to your mobile makes life just a little more interesting for the plugged-in.

Me? I'll stick to my stone knives and bearskins.

Back to work!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Paul Ryan: Satanist?

Do I really think Congressman Paul Ryan is a Satanist? No, he doesn't dress sharply enough for that.

Those ill-fitting suits he wears, trying to bulk that skinny frame of his, but basically caricaturing him into more of the look of the Beaky Buzzard from Bugs Bunny, just aren't cut well enough for a Satanic fashion statement.

I met some Satanists (Laveyan Satanists) in Bellingham, Washington one time, and they looked sharp.  I mean really sharp. Like Milan Fashion Week on the catwalk sharp. He was dressed in a black pinstripe banker's suit that easily set him back a grand. She wore just a skin tight slinky black silk dress with a slit up the side and six-inch stiletto heels to show off her shapely gams. I think they wanted to do me, but, I'm just not the submissive victim type, so we will never know how that scenario would have played out.

So, the connection? Satanism? Paul Ryan? Answer: Ayn Rand.



I love that part of the clip where Clara Edwards from the Andy Griffith show shouts out "Hail Satan!"

Ayn Rand was a Satanist? No.

Anton Lavey borrowed heavily from her pseudo-philosophy known as Objectivism, which was informally laid out in books like The Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged. The core morality being "It's Okay to Be a Selfish Asshole" (not surprising, considering Ayn Rand was a narcissistic, manipulative sociopathic type).

Most people who are exposed to Ayn Rand are exposed when they are young and their personalities not fully formed, or fully malformed and irredeemable. My take is Paul Ryan, pampered and privileged offspring of a well-to-do business dynasty in Janesville, WI, who - aside from a brief turn at burger flipping at McDonald's - has never had a real job in his entire life (according to John Boehner's standards), was the perfect stooge to fall prey to that particular diseased mindset. You know, indoctrinated into social darwinism, and the view that their world consists of heroic business suits battling a dystopian business-hating America, where workers exploit bosses, grasping bureaucrats set up obstacles to success, and parasitic nuisances siphon off valuable capital to support cadillac welfare lifestyles of hedonistic substance abuse and irresponsible procreation. And clearly, in an Orwellian ethical judo flip, altruism breed sloth, unfettered capitalism is morally upright, derangement is sanity, might is right, and devil take the hindmost. All that fucking neoliberal bullshit that has ruined this society over the past thirty years.

Were I a paranoid type, I would say it all seems, in retrospect, part of the plan. A plan involving, in the short term at least, a President Romney, a Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, a Speaker of the House Eric Cantor, and a Paul Ryan to do play havoc with a federal budget into the year 2020?

Starting with the now-vilified Alan Greenspan, acolyte of Rand, trying to fuck up the economy as much as possible, leaving hard-working decent Americans vulnerable and questioning their better judgement, to the point where "every man for himself" is starting to sound pretty good. A world where, clearly, things like stewardship, service, integrity, helping others, are all fruitless and naive superstitions. A world where one should feel on the right side of history, with a proud and assertive lack of compassion fro the less fortunate. A world where lack of a social conscience is an advantage. A world where the best possible solution to all problems involves the abandonment of any societal support, which serves only to enervate the already weak and inferior individuals. That which does not kill you makes you stronger.

Might as well be Anton Lavey
The only missing ingredient in Ayn Rand's fucked-up reality-denying worldview, the one sane concession that Anton Lavey made was the rejection of the "no force or fraud" argument supposedly propounded by Objectivists. I say "sane" in the sense that force and fraud is recognized as part of reality. It occurs. It exists. It is a part of the universe. Why, capitalism would not exist without force and fraud. Why Rand chose to deny this I cannot say.

Fraud exists at the genetic level. There are creatures that pretend to be what they are not. Harmless flies and snakes that pass themselves off as dangerous bees and venomous snakes, among just a few examples. And if Nature pulls it off, why, it's almost benign when compared to capitalism, which generally consists of lying, cheating, and stealing. Fraud exists as a long-term, systemic, routine conduct in the business world. Fraud is such a regular feature that it is only rarely prosecuted as a crime. At best, punishment, if it occurs at all, exists only as civil actions, arbitration, lawsuits, with no admission or denial of guilt.  Financial services regularly promote and push dodgy stocks, game the market, manipulate prices, and use insider information for personal gain. What could be more rationally self-interested than that?

And force? The entire three hundred year history of capitalism, from the first stock trades in Holland and England, to the conquest of the American West, could not have occurred at all without the forceful extraction of talent, labor and resources. Why, is there any counterfactual possible where the Western world enjoys world preeminence without the conquest and subjugation of the New World? Without chattel slavery? Impossible!

So, the whole "no force no fraud" principle is just one big wet turd of a delusion. At least the Satanists recognize that. Do libertarians? Does Paul Ryan? Ron Paul? Rand Paul? The people who insist that there be no governing except for the police, the courts, armed services, perhaps some infrastructure, but all the rest, regulations, public health, education, provisions for the general welfare, gone, or only as privatized services on a for-profit basis, in short, anything public that attempts to deter force and fraud? Allow me to fucking guffaw in derision.

So, let's not kid ourselves. The soul of the nation, if it has not been forever tainted in cynical denial, is now currently being fought over by the satanic forces of the Randians, versus those of us who still believe in community. And I hate to be a Manichean drama queen about all this, but I for one feel that we need to recognize those who would send us down the path of Rand and libertarianism, the Tea Party stooge faction of the Republicans as, yeah, Satanically Evil.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Off the grid

I've been camping and hiking the past week. No Internet, no TV, no radio, no phone. Can't say I missed it much. In fact, I didn't miss it at all. What did I miss? Ice water. Hot showers. Air conditioning, on one day. Otherwise, no not really much at all.

My legs and back are sore, but the good kind of sore. First thing I did was to get a chocolate malt. The next thing I did was to take a long, hot shower.

I hate to sound like one of those armageddon creeps, but if the time comes, I will definitely miss chocolate milk, and coffee.

I understand the US is doing well at the Olympics. Go, Gabby!