Monday, November 28, 2011

The East Coast Retreat Dilemma

The East Coast Retreat Dilemma:

If you live on the East Coast, and civilization collapses, where do you go?

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Hit 25K tonight, which bodes not well for hitting 50K by the end of the month! But I am tolerably pleased with the 25k I have.

Thanksgiving in Australia

Thanksgiving is not a purely USA holiday, in that Canada celebrates it (in October, because by late November they're having blizzards and what they're thankful for at that point is that the polar bears haven't broken in); however, Australia does not. So, in the spirit of correcting this obvious oversight, Josh and Gwen made their own Thanksgiving feast. A twelve pound turkey, mashed potatoes, herbed carrots, stuffing, cauliflower au gratin, green bean casserole, sweet corn, rolls, gravy, butterscotch pies, cider and wine. Not sure which relatives were there, but judging from the Skype conversation, it was a great success. The start of a tradition?

Friday, November 25, 2011


My Camry rolled over 150,000 miles today

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Drove out to my mom and dad's place in the mountains of Virginia, about 300 miles / 500km /5.5 hours. Mom and Dad, Elizabeth and David and their kids (Julia, Jack) and guest Oliver, and Tabitha and Chris and their kids (Ian, Kathleen, Emma, Luke), plus Zoe and two other dogs.
Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, zucchini casserole, carrot souffle, cranberry fruit salad, yeast rolls, black eyed peas, corn on the cob, plus a few other items. There were several desserts, but I concentrated on Tabitha's butterscotch silk pie.
After that, the kids showed off their skills at piano or gymnastics, and then we had a couple of family board games (specifically Qwirkle), and then things quieted down. Later in the evening, you could hear dogs--coyotes?--howling.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Real Rate of Inflation

I was looking around today to see what the real rate of inflation is--not that I don't trust the Government to tell the absolute truth, you understand, but just to check.

Quick introduction at World Net Daily. Longer one at ShadowStats.

Chart at ShadowStats. What the government says now is that it's about 3.5%. If you calculate it the way they did in 1990, the result is about 7%; if you use the 1980 formula, it's 12%.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Power of the Web

Back in the dark ages--that is to say, when I went to college, early 80's--if you wanted to research something, you went to the library. Maybe you asked a professor or a librarian where to start. Then you went to the card catalog. That was like a database where each record was on a separate, small piece of paper that was not linked to anything else. Then you went and found a book that wasn't quite what you wanted, and either made do with that or looked in the bibliography and hoped you'd find something better. Rinse and repeat.

Want to find out the words to an Egyptian ritual, or how to load a flintlock, or what units were in a battle two hundred years ago? You don't have to spend all day at the library to get the answer. Ten seconds with a search engine, check the top few results, keep moving. We take web searches for granted now, but thirty years ago, twenty years ago, it was magic.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


13181 words. Over a quarter done. Of course, we're over a third into the month, so I have some catching up to do.

Friday, November 11, 2011


I've been looking around for a laptop for a while; today I found a $450 Asus that was reduced to an open-box price of $319, so I picked it up. I believe Asus describes it as "Brown Suit" but I prefer "Mocha color". I suspect I'll end up adding some gears and brass filigree to the case and calling it "Professor Babbage's Patent Galvanic Difference Engine".

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Over 9000 !

Did another 1000 words tonight, which puts me over 9000 for the month.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Kickstarter: Schlock Mercenary game

Kickstarter page is here; Howard Taylor talks about it here.

Eggnog season

First eggnog of autumn. Lots of nutmeg. Yum.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Guy Fawkes Day

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
Gunpowder treason and plot.
I see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Got over 2000 words written today, which brings me to 4207--a bit behind pace, as I should be at 6670, but I'll make up some of the deficit tomorrow. Our Hero has discovered a mystery...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


At work, sometimes I get up and walk around, just to be away from my desk for a couple of minutes; sometimes I walk through the sales floor. One of the sales guys said "Every time you do that, I feel like I'm seeing a shark fin slicing through the water. I get this sudden urge to look around and count my kids and make sure they're all still there."
And that's as it should be. :-)