Thursday, June 23, 2022

The one where I finally get Covid

Well, I finally succumbed.  Three days of feeling sort of miserable (headache, body ache, fever).  About a week and a half (so far) of chest congestion and low grade fever, which is annoying.  I'm showering twice a day now as I find myself sweating in the late afternoon/early evening and then feel gross when bedtime rolls around.  Napped a few times which I never do under normal circumstances.

I doubled up on my Vitamins C & D, took my Ivermection anti-viral, gargled morning and night with a menthol mouthwash to knock down the viral load in my throat; in other words, all the preemptive treatment that regular doctors don't seem to want to recommend but none of which have any negative side effects so why on earth wouldn't you do them?

Honestly didn't seem any worse than regular flu, just different, although this ongoing chest congestion is annoying.  OTOH I always get ongoing chest congestion when I get sick and it's always annoying, so there's that.

On the positive side I now have a piece of paper that says I had Covid so maybe I can go to Canada and visit my parents.  All the Canadian websites are vague about what exactly having that piece of paper gets you, but they also all mention the piece of paper, so...

This Old House - Foundation and porch

Realized that I've done more to my house but not posted here about any of it.  Wow, It's like I've lost interest in blogging or something.  Well, here goes.

Decided to get the front porch redone as "Step 1" of the needed renovations.  Pictures below show old and new porch.  Was originally planning on doing it my self but thankfully came to my senses and hired a friend whose crew had some down time between major projects.

Needed leveling first as there was some rot underneath, stemming from the fact that the original front porch wasn't enclosed and I'm pretty sure that the initial enclosure was done in a bit of a slap-dash manner.  This was where it got interesting.

My house (two stories of 113 yo home) was supported on 4x4 posts sitting on pieces of busted up concrete rubble.  The contractor replaced all the 4x4 with piers and 6x6 posts and started to level it out.  Got it leveled and then went into the house to check on something, giant bubble running through the dining room about a foot and a half from the center wall.  Turned out that the main joist was a foot and a half off center line.  Resupported along the center line and moved the joist over to where it should have been.

Then tore out the front porch floor, removed the front door, replaced the 2x4 joists in the front porch with 2x8s, then redid the floor with a laminate that we had chosen.  

Not only does the floor of the house no longer bounce as I walk around (except for the kitchen which is upcoming) but I have a beautiful front porch that doesn't leak when we get a rainy windstorm.


Next step, upstairs bathroom.  Same contractor will be doing it as it turns out they cut the joist when they put in the original bathroom, so the house is sagging right there.  No way is that a DIY project for me.  Below is a teaser of the current bathroom.  And yes, they did glue the bathtub tiles to the original window.


Monday, June 13, 2022

Best wishes for the wrong reasons

I'm not particularly interested in having Donald Trump as President again.  I suspect that we would get four more years of Trump making little or no effort to get good legislation passed; sending out public announcements in any way he could to blame everyone he could for the lack of action; legal challenges to everything he did and then, after four years of him doing good stuff again, the next President doing exactly what Biden did, which is overturn the good stuff.  Had PDT been willing to push congress we could have had pipelines, border security, drilling, etc all enshrined into law, laws which would have been much harder for the Left to overturn just due to the process involved.  Trump is also nearing 80 years old.  He needs to retire.

Which brings me to the January 6th Committee hearings.  These are a joke.  They are a dog and pony show designed to distract the American people from $6 gasoline, 8%+ inflation, high unemployment, transgender activists grooming their children, gun confiscation schemes, Russia, Ukraine, China, Taiwan, etc.  They also want to prevent Trump from running for President again.

I won't go over all the idiocy on the committee but suffice it to say that two Democratic members of the committee have, in the past, voted NOT to certify the results of a Presidential Election, once for Bush and once for Trump.  So if encouraging Congressional members not to vote for the results of the election is some horrific democracy destroying action, well there you go.

So what are my best wishes?  Honestly, as idiotic as it all is, what if they did somehow figure out a way to prevent Donald Trump from running.  What's the worst case scenario?

Trump doesn't run.  Trump supporters are pissed that he wasn't allowed to run.  They show up in droves for DeSantis.  Trumpism without Trump I have heard it called.  All the good parts, none of the bad.  DeSantis wins in a landslide for two terms and, if he picks a good conservative running mate (not making Ronald Reagan's mistake) a potential second eight year term.  Sixteen years of solid conservatism making actual gains and pushing back against the left's agenda.  I'll leave the specifics mostly to your imagination but I'll tease you with colleges paying taxes on billion dollar annuities if they don't lower tuition; strict border controls and felony disqualification of illegal border crossers; elimination of birthright citizenship; oil leases and pipelines no longer subject to the whim of the President; etc.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

How do you ban body armor?

Apparently NY is about to.  Other states have but can't remember which off the top of my head and can't be bothered to search.

That raises a question, however.  Body armor consists of a carrier vest and plates.  

The carrier vest is a simple construction made of heavy material, outfitted with pockets.  I could probably make one in three or four hours if I started with a rough plan and some material.  I have several old Singer machines that I'm sure would sew that heavy material.  So step 1, complete. 

The plates are pieces of steel that have been curved for convenience and comfort and coated for extra safety against ricochet and spalling (bits of metal flying off when hit).  I could make flat plates with readily available tools (I probably have most of the tools now but if I wanted I'd go buy slightly heavier duty tools at Harbor Freight).  I'm guessing I could buy an acetelene torch set to heat and curve the plates although this probably isn't the most efficient method, but I think it would work.  Then I could get them powder coated in town for about $5 per plate.  To inhibit rust.  Not sure what coating would help with spalling, etc or if this coating would be easily applied at home, but that's not really the point.

I've just finished making my body armor.  How does the state define it to be illegal?  Does it require a vest and plates to be illegal?

So what if I put a chunk of steel in my backpack.  Protects my back from stray or targeted rounds and in a more serious situation I could swing it around to my front.  I have body armor.  Is it illegal?

I buy a couple thick paperback books.  AP Calculus study guides come to mind.  In fact, I already have them.  I sew a pocket into my backpack and insert said books.  Not as effective as a steel plate but pretty effective against a low velocity or spent round.  I have body armor.  Is it illegal?

I envision a new industry where you can buy vests with pockets (perfectly legal) and curved steel plates (perfectly legal), just not at the same time.  And it will be more of a pain in the neck than it currently is because you will have to figure out what you have to buy rather than just clicking the button that says "Buy body armor".

Oh, and this won't stop a single mass shooting because turns out no one has ever killed someone by attacking them with body armor.  That takes a weapon of some sort.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Words have meaning

"Four companies supply America's most popular baby formulas: Abbott, Perrigo, Nestle, and Mead Johnson. These companies are huge and hold a monopoly"


A new definition of monopoly with which I was not previously familiar.   How many companies does it take before "the exclusive possession or control of the supply of or trade in a commodity or service." no longer exists.

Just wondering.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Dune - a few comments

So I actually enjoyed it.  A few things that stuck out but overall wasn't too bad.  Keep in mind, however, that I am judging it based on the original Kyle Maclaughlin version which was horrendous, and the abortion that was Lord of the Rings, which was less horrendous than the first Dune movie but still pretty bad when it came time to judge it against the books.  So that's the background.  Here's the things that bugged me:

1) Soundtrack.  The whole movie was so full of ominous mood music that it was hard to actually just follow the plot.  It almost never stopped.  There was one point, about 3/4 of the way through where it did, when Paul and Jessica were in the desert and it was noticeable mostly because it was such a relief.  Whoever did the music should never be allowed to do a movie soundtrack again.

2) Why were the Fremen warriors in Paul's visions wearing motorcycle helmets?  Strange. Doesn't really matter but I just never envisioned the Fremen looking like that.

3) Why did Liet-Kynes commit suicide and kill Saurdaukar?  In the book he died in the desert and the scene was used by Herbert to introduce us to a key point regarding the relationship between spice, the sandworms, and water.  Her death in the movie served no purpose at all for the story.

4) Battle scenes when the Harkonnen invaded were choppy.  Lots of Atreides troops running towards battle without armor or weapons while Harkonnen troopers mowed them down.  Also the little vignette where a bunch of troops on the stairs have a standoff with Harkonnen and then more troopers drop down behind them.  Again, the whole scene seemed ill thought out and pointless.  I just think this whole bit could have been done more coherently and smoothly with some thought.  Instead someone seems to have thought that lots of smoke and special effects would suffice.  Perhaps filmed to indicate the effectiveness of the surprise attack but it just seemed incoherent to me when I was watching it.

Ended very abruptly.  I had no idea it was supposed to be more than one movie so was a bit surprised when it suddenly stopped.

So there's that.  I'm looking forward to the next one (two?  three?  Beats me.  How many are there supposed to be?)

Sunday, January 30, 2022


 Would you like to volunteer to help force people to serve in the military?

Volunteering with Selective Service