Sunday, September 10, 2017

In case you haven't been to Seattle ...

... here's something you won't want to miss.

Councilmember Kshama Sawant.  Trotskyist.

Elected by the people of Seattle to run their town.

On Boeing:

For decades, Boeing executives and billionaire shareholders have carried out systematic economic extortion by pitting cities and states against one another, forcing a race to the bottom for the living standards of workers, and crushing labor unions. 
 And now on Amazon:
we need to unionize, and to take these behemoths into democratic public ownership, so that they are run not for profit for a few, but in the interests of the majority of working people and of society. 
It is, of course, due to the innovation and productivity of the free market that people in the Seattle area (75,000 of them at Boeing and 24,000 at Amazon as of 2015) have these lucrative jobs and why Washington state and Seattle benefit from the taxes that they pay.

It doesn't bother me much that socialists don't learn from the lessons of the Soviet Union, Cuba, and Venezuala (to mention the first three failed socialist economies that come to mind), or that they think that Sweden and Norway provide a legitimate counter example (they don't, those countries are still living off the oil revenues of the 70s and are starting to have to scale back their socialistic tendencies).  There are people everywhere who are less than intelligent and motivated by envy.  What really bothers me is that over 50% of the voters in her district, Central Seattle, agree with her.  100,000 people apparently think, to the extent that they think rather than react, that Trotsky had it right.

So here's where I move from facts into snark and speculation.

From Sawant's Wikipedia page, she moved from Mumbai ("unhappy with the caste system") and then quit studying software engineering in favor of economics ("shocked by the poverty she saw").  What is unclear from any of the articles is whether she actually ever worked as an engineer and who taught her the garbage that she actually thinks passes for effective economic policy.  The idea that she moved from Mumbai and then was shocked by poverty once she arrived in the United States is ridiculous.  I'd also guess that since she is apparently "living" on $40,000 of her council salary while using the rest to promote various socialist causes, that she won cash and prizes when she divorced her actual software engineer husband.  She clearly isn't living off the salary of her current husband who has a degree in psychology and works as a "Socialist Alternative community organizer".

Either way, her political success makes me skeptical about the possibility of the United States actually returning to the free market capitalist policies that led to the wealth and success that are now funding the social welfare programs.  We are not, by any stretch of the imagination, a free market society and haven't been for about a hundred years, but it takes a while to destroy all that freedom and success.  Meanwhile, the slide continues with the help of Trotskyists like Sawant and her husband and the ignorance and complicity of large blocks of voters.

Monday, August 28, 2017

In which I act as my own attorney

Case dismissed!

OK, wasn't quite as awesome as I had hoped.  The deputy sheriff who wrote the ticket didn't bother to show up for his subpoena.

Aside: If you or I don't show up for a subpoena don't they issue a bench warrant?  If the officer doesn't show up they dismiss the case.  No personal cost to him for failure to respond to a legal obligation.  Hmm.  Seems inequitable.

Anyway, my argument was going to be as follows:

  1. Washington state requires that you wear a helmet that meets the standards of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218.
  2. FMVSS 218 requires that the manufacturer of the helmet test the helmet and certify that it meets the standard in order to legally sell the helmet, indicating said compliance with a variety of labels and stickers (aka the DOT sticker and a few other labels).
  3. Three court cases in California (Buhl v Hannigan, Bianco v Hannigan, and Easyriders v Hannigan) established that the legal obligation of the motorcycle rider ended when he purchased a helmet that was properly labeled and had not been subjected to a recall.  All three court cases further concluded that it was not, and could not be up to the officer to determine whether a helmet met the requirements.  The Buhl court went so far as to label as "absurd" the assertion that the officer could decide whether or not a helmet is properly fabricated.
  4. The Washington State Supreme Court (City of Bremerton v Spears) cited the California court cases and concluded that Washington's helmet law was "not impermissibly vague" since all the consumer had to do was purchase a helmet that had been properly labeled and they would be complying with the law.
So there I am, in court, having been cited for wearing a helmet that had all the proper labels, and having been told on the side of the road by the Deputy that my helmet was clearly illegal because (insert list of things that officers can not decide on the side of the road according to the four court decisions), and the Deputy doesn't show up so I don't get to make my argument.

Well, the good news is that my citation was dismissed; the further good news is that it turns out the traffic commissioner couldn't have done anything other than dismiss my citation anyway.

The bad news is that now I have to write a letter petitioning the WSSC to enforce their ruling (or at least put the various LE agencies around the state on notice that there is a ruling and that they are to enforce it correctly).

I am sort of wondering what happens when I get pulled over again by the same deputy and issued the same citation.  He patrols in an area that I have to ride through to get to work.  At what point can the court actually order the deputy to stop issuing these tickets, or do I have to take a day off work every time to get it dismissed over and over.  I suppose at some point in this hypothetical I could file a lawsuit claiming harassment but the recently resolved ticket won't help that case since it wasn't dismissed for cause.  Sigh.  Makes me not particularly want to ride my motorcycle to work, even though the weather is perfect.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Power ride

Didn't get a decent vacation this summer (although to be fair I did go to Maui for spring break) so decided, with school starting this week, to take a couple days and do a power ride, just to get some miles.

Left home Friday morning.  550 miles later I'd ridden through Winthrop, Wenatchee, Ellensburg, Toppenish, Goldendale, White Salmon, and finished in Vancouver.  Sore but a beautiful ride.

Lunch at Country Boy's BBQ in Cashmere.  Always good.

Day two, Astoria (cool bridge across the Columbia), Aberdeen, Hoodsport, Port Townsend for the ferry, and home.  400 miles.

No pictures because that requires stopping.

Lugged camping gear around, just in case, (but since I've been camping on the motorcycle for 25 years I have that down to a science anyway) but didn't use it this time.

Today I am tired, suntanned (at least on my face and arms) and feeling good about getting at least one decent ride in this year.  I need to try to get out earlier but it just seems like more and more of my friends are flaking on any decent riding.   My number one riding buddy bought himself a camper trailer and a quad and spends all his spare time camping with quad friends.  No motorcycle trips in two years.  So there's that.

ebay etiquette (ebiquette?)

Had a fellow contact me about a motorcycle part I have listed.  It was up for $100 starting bid and had about three days left to go.  Wanted to know if I would sell it to him immediately for $100 (a Buy it Now for those of you familiar with ebay).  I agreed and told him that I would change the listing to allow it.

Now, in order to have a Buy it Now price of $100, the bid price has to be less.  Ebay's policy is that the BIN price must be at least 30% higher than the starting bid.  This has never been a problem in the past.  I set the BIN price to the agreed upon amount, lower the starting bid to whatever it needs to be to allow the BIN, and the buyer purchases the item.

This jackass then puts in a bid for the lower price.  When I cancelled his bid and emailed him about it he got all butt hurt and claimed that if I was going to lower the price why shouldn't he take advantage of the lowered price.  I explained in my response why the price had been lowered (see above) and suggested that if he still wanted to BIN he could, at the price he had offered.  His response "apparently you'll sell it to anyone else for less but not to me.  I'll just find one somewhere else."

Like I said.  Jackass.  Twenty years of selling stuff on ebay and this may be the most annoying buyer I've encountered.

I blocked him.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

New addition to the family

of waffle irons, of course.

The waffle iron collection continues apace.   You can read the history here, and here, and here.

Recently, through a cousin, I acquired the iron of my aunt and uncle (older on my father's side).  Been sitting for a bit as I don't generally eat carbs anymore, but this morning, I wanted a waffle.  Or two.

The new iron is a Universal (Landers, Frary & Clark) E9364 which is the Marie Antoinette pattern.  They were made during the late 20s and early 30s.  Not particularly rare but I collect for personal interest, not for investment.

This is a nice waffle iron which needs some serious cleaning but the second waffle out was perfect (the first was a bit overdone but that's a part of finding the correct timing plus the fact that it had been sitting for some presumably large number of years and needed the conditioning).  

This iron only takes about four minutes versus the five minutes of most of my other irons so it may run a bit hot.

What is most interesting about this particular waffle iron is the temperature indicator.  A little tab pops out by the handle to tell you when the iron is at the correct temperature.  Very ingenious.

Anyway, there it is.  The latest addition to the collection.  I figure that maybe, someday, people in the younger generation might want their (great?) grandparents antique waffle iron and they will be sitting here, cleaned up and operational, ready to go back to the family.

Cleaning.  That's a post for another day.  I need to look into lye baths.  That's how Toaster Central did them when I sent in my grandmother's but they also re-wired the whole thing and I'm not sure what the lye does to the wiring.  TC doesn't do waffle irons anymore so I have to do a bit of digging and figure out

Tab clear

Stuff I've read through and was waiting to save, or been meaning to address, but haven't.  Too many tabs on my browser, so here goes.  Maybe you'll find something interesting.

The Complete Guide to Surf Training  - self explanatory

Dress Up: What we lost in the casual revolution - I haven't given up my jeans and t-shirts but I regret the loss of Cary Grant, Ronald Reagan, et all and their styles.

Peace Rose - my grandmother's favorite, so as I do the new landscaping plan for my house I'll be adding some

A Sense of Belonging - the importance of a shared culture, which the multi-culturalists and diversity crowd are destroying in our country and in the west.

Islam, Tolerance, and Thomas Jefferson

How to build a bluestone patio in one afternoon - HAH!  Great instructions but "one afternoon"?  Not in the real world.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

This old garage: Drainage day finished

Day one can be found here.

The south side of the garage is (basically) done.  Connected the new pipe (I used the corrugated pipe that comes wrapped in a filter sock already) to the east and west existing ends and to the main drain line running towards the house.  Three loads of 1-1/4 clean crush and it is almost full.  I'll have to add one more load of gravel once I finish putting new gutters on the garage and connecting the downspout to the drain line but that has to wait for the garage to be painted.

Aside: a bit of frustration on the painting.  Person I asked to do that said he would wait until we had some consecutive days of nice weather so it would be good and dry.  We've now had two months of consecutive hot and dry weather and the garage isn't painted.  The last couple days have been cool with sprinkles and today is heavily clouded.  I hope it is going to be done as I don't want it to sit through another winter with exposed wood after the money and effort I put into renovating it correctly.

I'm not thrilled with where the concrete blocks meet the sidewalk because the sidewalk runs at an angle so I'll need to see if I can get a block cut somehow to fill in the join but it isn't bad and now I don't have to slog through wet grass and mud to get to my garage door.

Next, the north side.  Should actually be easier because it's a straight shot with no electrical or joins. 

When I say "easier" remember that's relative.  I'm still out there with a mattock and a shovel digging a twenty foot trench, not the type of work that I would choose as a career.

Looks like I might have to re-trench out into my yard (past the picture above).  There is a drain pipe at that end that I connected to, but the yard doesn't drain.  It didn't use to flood but now it does quite badly.  I suspect that they collapsed the old drain when they ran the natural gas piping to the house.  I will, at some point, carefully trench in that direction following the existing pipe until I find that break.  Maybe I can dig under the gas line and just have a bit of a low spot in the drainage.  Shouldn't keep it from draining as there can be a LOT of water back there in the rainy season (ie most of the year up here).