Desert Cat's Paradise
"The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." - Proverbs 27:12.
Monday, May 30, 2005
Rob has a great rant here on one of the rationalizations used to support the "war on drugs". Clicka:Comments
Gut Rumbles: fisking a comment
And while you're at it, continue reading here: Dry Counties. (This is the post where the comment he fisked came from.)
I quite agree with him, of course. It IS easier for a kid to buy a joint (or score a hit of some other more dangerous drug) than it is for him to buy alcohol or tobacco. And the reason why, is the very "war on drugs" that is supposed to prevent it.
The "war on drugs" takes the supply chain of the drugs out of the hands of responsible adults and puts it in the hands of criminals. It does NOT prevent the drugs from being available to whomever wants to buy them, and no amount of increased enforcement short of a North Korea style totalitarian regime will change that.
I for one, am not willing to trade my essential freedoms for some kind of false sense of security. You do know that one of the safest places is a solitary confinement jail cell, don't you?
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:13 AM | permalink
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Lair got mistaken for a Mexican narcoterrorist today. I won't even launch into my usual condemnation of the drug war. Just go read:Comments
This Blog Is Full Of Crap: You learn something new every day
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:20 PM | permalink
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Iowahawk has another gut-wrencher here. Especially if you live in or come from the Midwest.Comments
Beverage Spew Alert!
Newsweek Lutefisk Story Sparks Fury Across Volatile Midwest
Decorah, IA - The debris-strewn streets of this remote Midwestern hamlet remain under a tense 24-hour curfew tonight, following weekend demonstrations by rock- and figurine-throwing Lutheran farm wives that left over 200 people injured and leveled the Whippy Dip dairy freeze. The rioting appeared to be prompted, in part, by a report in Newsweek magazine claiming military guards at Spirit Lake's notorious Okoboji internment center had flushed lutefisk down prison toilets. Newsweek's late announcement of a retraction seems to have done little to quell the inflamed passions of Lutheran insurgents in the region, as outbreaks of violent mailbox bashings and cow tippings have been reported from Bowbells, North Dakota to Pekin, Illinois.
Whether the violence was triggered by Newsweek's report of lutefisk desecration or frustration over chronic shortages of Beanie Babies and Old Style, one thing seems certain -- occupying U.S. troops face a steep road to reestablish trust in this tinderbox of ancient hatreds and delicious dairy products. Some analysts say the latest outbreak represents the most vexing challenge to US strategy since its invasion the region three years ago.
"It could be months before we get the area back under control," said Brigadier Gen. Glen Hastings of the US Army's Southern Minnesota Command. "We're hoping the tractor pull and swap meet seasons will help calm down some of the...(more)
dead mousie to Little Miss Attila for the headsup.
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:06 AM | permalink
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
I just returned from seeing "Revenge of the Sith".Comments
I just have a few observations, and none of what I say below should be a spoiler for anyone who hasn't seen it yet. But those who have seen it may understand what I am saying.
First I want to point out a rather glaring plot flaw that is now too late to fill in, in a subsequent movie, as all the future movies have already been made.
IF, the ability to transcend death is something just now revealed to Yoda at the end of this movie, and subsequently taught to Obi Wan, THEN this was a teaching not revealed and never able to be revealed to Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. THEREFORE Anakin's appearance in luminous form beside Obi Wan Kenobi and Yoda at the end of the sixth movie is incongruous.
Go figure. You can gloss it over or make up explanations if you want. But it still stands as a big honker of a plot hole to me.
There were almost no surprises to me in this movie. Most of what was "revealed" in the plot was stuff I had correctly surmised already. But the cause of Padme's death did turn out to be a surprise to me. Hint: It was not childbirth itself, as has been hinted by others.
But what I found most troubling, most disturbing to say the least, is this gross libel against Jesus Christ that George Lucas built into the plot of this film (and in retrospect, the entire series). It is quite obvious if you know what you are looking at.
Lucas has cast Anakin Skywalker -- Darth Vader into the role of Jesus Christ, and Obi Wan Kenobi into the role of Lucifer or Satan. Lucas has turned the true order of the universe on it's head and set our own loyalties against us by way of the loyalties toward the heroes we developed throughout this series.
Listen for it, look for it. You will probably remember, as I did, additional material from the other movies that support the conclusion. His "immaculate conception". His status as the "chosen one" who was to defeat the Sith. His apparent failure to do so. His "death" at the hand of Lucifer--("I was your brother! I loved you!"). His descent into hell. And his "resurrection" by his Lord, who seated him at his right hand and placed all things under his command.
You see it, don't you? Or you will once you see the movie--if you choose to now.
The most unsettling revelation in this final movie of the series is that Lucas himself is in service of the Dark Lord.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:00 PM | permalink
Monday, May 23, 2005
NRO -- compromise.pdfComments
Is there now any reason to vote Republican?
For Senate candidates anyway? Certainly no reason I can see to vote Republican next time John McCain is up for re-election, and plenty of reason to actively campaign against him. He is sadly mistaken if he thinks he has an ice cube's chance in hell of becoming the next Republican presidential nominee.
There is one reason why many conservative voters have gone to the polls and voted for Republican candidates over the last ten years, and that has been to stem the tide of liberal judicial activism. By actively subverting the Senate leadership, this group of Senate "moderates" have subverted the will of the majority in this nation.
This is excoriable.
I don't even need to go over to Vox's site to hear his "See! I told you so." I see. I see.
More at Ace's Place and Powerline
UPDATE: Vox comes through, although I would have expected him to strike a little harder while the iron is hot.
I mean if ever, now is the time when the party faithful may be convinceable that their faith is misplaced. "Hang together or hang separately" is still my motto, but Vox ought to be reeling in new converts by the fistful if he'd just drop his net on the right side of the boat.
Update 2: Welcome Kevin McCullough readers! Have a look around, particularly the archives. I have to admit I haven't done a great deal of blogging on political topics since the election--I'm still slowly recovering from the post-election season blogging burnout. But I guarantee you, when something pushes my buttons, I will sound off on it. And my sad excuse of a Senator, John McCain is most certainly one of those hot buttons.
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:30 PM | permalink
Friday, May 20, 2005
I'm scared. Really, it's disturbing sometimes to discover just how much "Wally" there is running in my veins.Comments
Scott Adams has nailed me to the wall more than once with Wally.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:51 PM | permalink
Not that anyone reading this site has not already heard of this, but I would be remiss to not mention the new Huffington's Toast blog. It really is quite a hilarious parody of the forgettable Huffington Post blog created by Republican turncoat Arianna Huffington, and ghost written by a variety of clueless liberal sorts. In the process, it also manages to artfully skewer some of the rest of the Big Heads of the blogosphere.Comments
Go read and be amused.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:03 PM | permalink
posted by Desert Cat @ 3:56 PM | permalink
High of 104 F today.
High of 108 F predicted tomorrow.
Possible high of 112 F on Sunday.
Yes, I think summer has arrived in Tucson.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:06 AM | permalink
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Time to talk her up a bit. K has a long history of "blogging" to a limited e-mail list audience. I got on that list after a discussion with her in a comment thread on Little Miss Attila's site. Much of her material was forwarded stories that interested her that she wanted to share, but the original material, as well as the private e-mail exchanges led me to urge her to start the blog that she had long been planning. Now thanks to her S.O. setting up a blogspot account for her, she has launched Ksquest.
The common thread between parents and baby is the libertarian political leanings. K is a left leaning libertarian and Attila and I are both right leaning libertarians--I being a bit more of a conservative. Which makes for some interesting discussions, and a few areas that are best left untouched. But then, how boring would it be to only have friends and correspondents who agreed with everything you think?
Go, clicka, read. And check back often. I've moved her up a couple notches on the blogroll, since in all honesty she has been in the Daily Territory now for a while.
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:01 AM | permalink
Monday, May 16, 2005
Dredging through the archives I stumbled upon this bit from last year. It didn't raise any commentary at the time, even though I thought it pretty good. Queenie has resorted to reruns because she's too busy to blog new stuff. Maybe this one is worth a rerun...just because.Comments
Here's a tip for cleaning your workshop of all that fine dust that gets all over everything, especially after you do any sanding, cutting or other woodwork. Now this only works if you have a powerful roof fan or evaporative cooler. This technique depends upon having a strong current of air coming into the shop.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:30 PM | permalink
Amanita muscaria-- Rucker Canyon, Southern Arizona
This is (contrary to folk wisdom) an edible mushroom. But don't take my word for it, I'm not telling you to eat it. There is a close relative (Amanita phalloides) that is deadly poisonous. Get a good mushroom identifidcation guide and don't come crying to me if you end up six feet under.
The red, orange, and yellow toadstools with their characteristic white warts are actually somewhat hallucinogenic and intoxicating. Their effects are similar to alcohol in that they can produce a blissful delirious intoxication with some perspective distortion. They were reportedly used by Siberian Shamen and are also rumored to have been an ingredient--if not THE active ingredient--of the famous "Soma" drink of east Asia. More info here.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:02 PM | permalink
Agave (Century Plant)--Scheeley Canyon, Southern Arizona
Just a note: these photos are clickable for a larger version.
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:56 PM | permalink
Sunday, May 15, 2005Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:16 PM | permalink
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Ever have one of those days when it feels like your tail has been run through the meat grinder and you didn't even get any sausages out of the deal?Comments
I'm coming to have a deep loathing and fear of 201 N. Stone Ave.
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:56 PM | permalink
Wednesday, May 11, 2005Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:22 PM | permalink
Or something. Ha!Comments
Anyone ever discover that when a hard drive is moved to a secondary position, all of the files and folders under C:\documents and settings\(user name)\ are now inaccesible, if that user account was set to not share those documents?
Is there anything more frustrating than being able to access an unbootable drive for everything EXCEPT the files and photos stored under that (now inaccesible) directory?
I knew there had to be a way, and THIS ARTICLE mapped the way for me. Bingo! There they all are! Only downside is that I have to manually copy each and every single photo file, typing in by hand the DOS command to copy. them. one... by... one... to another directory. No drag and drop in this interface. No wildcards work for the copy command either (ARGH!)
But they are recoverable.
Now for you budding haxxorz, this technique can be used to access other people's stuff as well. Like your big sister's secret correspondence, etc., (let your creativity and imagination go wild).
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:34 AM | permalink
Monday, May 09, 2005
Rush, speaking about the President's comments regarding Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and the liberal MSM reaction to it, in describing the reaction said something like "Mabel, I'm getting the vapors!!".Comments
I know it is purely coincidence, but it's times like this I get that funny feeling on the back of my neck that the Big Guy has been reading my words. In the second to last comment here I used the phrase, "Mabel, get the smelling salts." Odd. I thought my usage of the fictitious "Mabel" in phrases like that was a fairly unique literary device. Apparently not.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:17 AM | permalink
Saturday, May 07, 2005
Some funny naughtiness here from Rodger the Photoshopper via SondrakComments
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:28 AM | permalink
Friday, May 06, 2005Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:51 PM | permalink
...shits on your head.Comments
The day before yesterday my laptop had a BSOD message on it when I walked into my lair in the evening. It was in the process of rebooting. At the time I assumed it was a symptom of the overheating problem I was having. Last night I took off the cover and removed the dust gremlins from the fins to solve the overheating problem. But the machine was still acting peculiar, taking forever to load programs or do just about anything, as the hard disk ran and ran and ran. I thought maybe a defrag was in order, but the analysis said it wasn't necessary. And the hard drive was making uncomfortable sounding noises all evening. So I shut it off before bed instead of leaving it running as I usually do.
This morning it wouldn't boot, claiming some windows file was corrupted. It asked me to restore the file from the windows disk. Unfortunately this is one of those machines that just have system restore CD's, not a full copy of windows on CD. There was no option to restore missing files. It was either wipe out the HD and start from scratch or do nothing.
ARGH! I have all my Cabo San Lucas vacation pics on that drive, not backed up elsewhere, plus most of my recent wildflower pics, plus e-mail, downloads and other goodies from the last couple of years, NOT backed up anywhere else (because I was still in the process of editing). Replacing the hard drive would not be such a biggie. It's the irreplaceable stuff on the hard drive that has me sick to my stomach.
I also have my Quicken data backed up on that drive (from a different computer in the house). Lest I lose the original data too, I scrambled to back up the Quicken data onto a third machine before I left for work.
...on my way to work, my brake pedal started to get squishy, then *very* squishy and the brake warning light came on. Damn! I'm already late for work! I pulled over into a parking lot and crawled under the van to see what I could see. Sure enough a fitting on the rear axle had brake fluid pouring out of it. So I called the boss to let him know I'll be late, poured in a can of brake fluid and limped home to get my other vehicle.
The renters are complaining of a leak from the cooler on the roof, and a clogged laundry drain. The weeds need mowing bigtime in my lot across the street. My OWN roof and the guesthouse roof needs patching and recoating (preferably BEFORE the summer rains begin). I'm in the middle of rehab work on my new old camper. Daisycat wants (demands) to be entertained. Birthdays and Mother's day coming up. I'm participating in home small group meetings through my church--we have an outreach "project" coming up (probably fixing some poor SOB's house up). I have been tearing my hair out for weeks at work, dealing with a balky software package for hydraulic transient analysis, while simultaneously managing the startup of a construction project and the design of another project. Plus now a couple of back burner projects are supposed to move to the front burner.
WHAT? DO I LOOK LIKE A MAN WHO DOESN'T ALREADY HAVE ENOUGH TO DO?!!
Like I needed this morning to add to it...
I ordered a new HD, and an external USB case for the broken one. I'm hoping I can still recover something off of it. I also ordered a 120GB Buffalo LinkStation and a 120GB Buffalo DriveStation (for extra backup storage). No more procrastination!! Backups fail to occur when backups are a pain in the ass to perform. I mean seriously now. I can see and hear you anal-retentive IT types donning your Miss Grundy glasses and pontificating about how I should have known better and performed regular backups. But nobody is really thinking about the fact that even a mere 40GB of data would take almost EIGHTY FREAKING CD's TO BACK IT UP!!! Eighty (80). That's "eight-zero". And I'm supposed to repeat that HOW often? Gah! I'd rather have a root canal.
Now it'll be automatic.
What I want to know is, if backups are as important as they are, why don't most computers come standard with an easy means of performing them? I mean, how many people have a home network to make what I'm doing practical? All it would take to make your average desktop box data backup friendly is 1) RAID Mirrored hard drives standard in all machines, and 2) A third hard drive of sufficient capacity to back up the contents of the mirrored drives with the software configured out-of-the-box to do the backup. Or for that matter, either 1 or 2 by themselves would be better than the situation we have now. I built my newer desktop unit with mirrored drives, and the upgrade I'll be doing for Daisycat (sometime...another project for my list I forgot to mention) will include mirrored drives on her machine. Drives are cheap now, comparatively speaking.
Bah! I'm fit to be tied today.
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:12 PM | permalink
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
As I noted earlier, Kelly is back. And I am remembering why I had her on the blogroll in the first place.Comments
I can't figure out how to pull any kind of a reasonable excerpt from this piece and give you a sense for the story, so just trust me, it's worth your time to go click and read: The Truth of the Flop
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:28 PM | permalink
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
First, a little background. This story purported to report on the outrage expressed by a group calling itself the "Coalition for Traditional Values" in response to First Lady Laura Bush's comedy routine at this weekend's White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. The article set off a mini firestorm in the blogosphere when vast numbers of bloggers did not recognize the site and the story as satire.Comments
I did not pay attention at first, and came to the story late, as the fallout began. In fact it was at Little Miss Atilla's site that I first became aware of the controversy, at this post: 'The Knuckle-Draggers'. Go click, read the post and the comments, then close the window and return here for the rest.
I don't know if I made myself clear in the comments on Atilla's site, so rather than carrying on further there, I will continue my thoughts here.
First off, I don't have my panties in a wad, and I'm not all hurt and offended by the vitriol expressed by so many in response to the article. I've come to expect it. And I no longer consider myself to be a social conservative on most issues anyway. But that doesn't make it a good thing, or an acceptable thing. I want to hasten to add that I'm not trying to pick on Atilla specifically either. Much of what I find objectionable came from multiple sources. She happens to be one of many who jumped hard on the social conservatives when it was presumed that this article was genuine. I'm not trying to start a blogwar here, though with the recent fratricide all over the right side of the blogosphere, it wouldn't be out of step though, would it?
Are there looney-bins in the Libertarian Party? In the South Park corner of the Republican Party? How about the right-wing doomsday survivalist camp? You can bet your lifetime NRA membership there are! And when they pipe up, and the other end of the political spectrum points and says "See! See! THOSE are the wacko nuts that run the Republican (or Libertarian) party!", do you say, "You're right. They're part of us. We're so embarrassed. But it's true. Guilty by association." Not likely. You disavow them and distance yourself from their extreme positions. You don't allow the charge to stick that they are in any way representative of the main body of thought in your corner of the political universe.
To point out again what I alluded to in the comments at Atilla's place, nearly every self-identified conservative Christian who commented on the original article said something like, "who are these people, and what, in heaven's name, is their problem?!" There is simply no way that kind of thinking represents anything but a tiny fringe of extremist thought. And just because some small number of real people of that extreme character might actually exist outside of the fake article, does not justify the kind of abusive rhetoric heaped upon the rest of the social conservatives.
But the real nail in the coffin was not the reaction of the left, but more disappointingly the libertarian and South Park Republicans. Their immediate reaction was to accept it as true, because it fit so many negative stereotypes--ugly anti-Christian prejudices that have been promulgated so successfully for decades by Hollywood and the MSM. You can't really be proud for buying into those stereotypes--even if you can find real examples here and there that seem to fit them--can you? Perhaps Atilla gets a partial pass since she reportedly grew up with some of that extremism.
Do you think my reframing the situation was over the top? Really? Is calling a group of people "dumb-as-a-board, knuckle dragging, mouth breathing, hypocritical religious nut-case wacko idiots" so much more benign than someone who drops the 'n-bomb' on some gangsta pimp ghetto fools?
What does that word mean anyway? In a single word it sums up a bunch of ugly negative stereotypes about a group of people that is mostly, if not entirely undeserved. Same same, unless you want to resort to leftist doublespeak. And yet it's just so much more acceptable, so hip, so cool, to rip on Christians and social conservatives, isn't it?
What this episode illustrated for me is just how quickly the knives come out and just how sharp they are. I found it revealing--disturbingly revealing--how much the hate-rhetoric of the left has infiltrated parts of the right. And I can't pretend to be happy about it.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:33 PM | permalink
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