Archive | June, 2011

The Sun Never Used To Set On ‘Em

19 Jun

I quote:

We still send imperial based tools all over the world,there are still old DeHavilland bi planes flying in New Zealand and Australia,we’ve sent whitworth and BA sockets or spanners to aviation museums from the UK to USA and railway engine enthusiasts from Darlington to Darjeeling.There are countless examples of British engineering over fifty years old still working or being lovingly restored in the most unlikely places.There once was a ‘Great’ Britain.

Need a Whitworth spanner? They’ve got ’em.

(Bumped into this site on a Wiki-wander on the topic of the standard threads for microphone stands. Here in the ‘States [and mostly up Canada way], you’ll find 5/8″-27 UNS; RCA was fond of 1/2″ [or was it 3/4″?] water-pipe or conduit thread. The rest of the world, claims the mob-edited encyclopedia, is like as not to be using 1/4 or 3/8 BSW. Since those Whitworth threads are, except for thread profile and angle, twins to the selfsame size of SAE hardware [1/4-20 and 3/8-16], they seemed a little light to me. And what do the Russians use?)


This Just In: Nation Half-Ready For Obamacare

18 Jun

According to The Christian Science Monitor[1], some fifty percent of all Americans have already made their adjustment to the Federal invasion of healthcare: they’re relying on prayer for healing.

Oh, all right, “consider the source;” I certainly don’t have any moral right to stand in the way of someone succumbing to appendicitis or rheumatic fever according to the light of the their own religion (or, for that matter, not succumbing; these things weren’t a hundred percent fatal before there were effective medical solutions and a postulated Thumb on the scales of fate couldn’t hurt). But despite the editorialist’s use of the statistic to fuel musings on the impiety of Government[2], I think it may be a little more something else: even now, if you get just a skosh into the paperwork and red tape that almost every interaction with Modern Medicine entails, you’re liable to prefer trying simpler solutions; with the Feds driving, it’ll only get worse.

Might as well pray. If nothing else, it’s a more dignified death than drugged up an’ stuffed fulla wires and tubes.

(I am NOT gonna debate the possible efficacy of prayer in healing in comments; start it up and you’ll be deleted without mercy. If it works, how it works, that is between you and your $DEITY; it’s not the point of this screed. I don’t consider it worthy of debate; not because I think it is trivial but because it is a question that, if answered, could easily be used to infringe on the individual freedom of religious belief: when you debate it, you are actually arguing for the right to “prove” your religion and go Convert The Heathen by main force. Do that on your own time, dammit; I am a heathen and I shoot back). _____________________________________________
1. And I guess we should all be grateful someone is monitoring it.
2. In my opinion, it’s not nearly impious enough; indeed, whenever any set of beliefs ceases to be questioned and becomes Received Wisdom, the Feds ought to be banned from involvement: lock ’em outta Hinduism an’ Global Warming, out of Scient010gy and Protestantism, out of Cold Fusion an’ UFOlogy, every last thing, no matter how obscure or widely believed, no matter how much or how little history it’s got, if it even smells like religion, Uncle Sam should have to set it down and move slowly away. –Yeah, dream on; we otta all get shiny unicorns to ride, too. Or at least a mule and some land. Don’t hold your breath.

That Was Refreshing (Also, Moooozik)

18 Jun

Went to bed at, like, 10 pm. Woke up about fifteen minutes ago. I needed that.

Culture mavens will be pleased (???) to know that Weird Al has already written and performed the song “Polka Face.” Oh yeah. (The pun seems to be irresistible — prefer the original, retracked as a polka? Okay.)

I suppose crawling back in bed and pulling the covers over my head won’t help, will it?

June BlogMeet!

17 Jun

Halp! Need suggestions.

Looks like 26 June will be our weekend, but the place…? It should be the right kind of weather for the patio at Brugge and I do have a hankerin’ for Belgian steak.


17 Jun

>Ow ow. Ow ow ow. Ow.

All the lights are too bright and sounds are too loud. Sharp sounds have a dull echo. I suspect some kind of alien is going to come bursting out through my left-side sinuses any minute.

Either that or it’s a migraine.

>The Most Transparent Administration Evar

16 Jun

>Except not.

Yeah, I know Mr. the President Obama’s presented-in-secret transparency award made the chuckling rounds of our corner of the blogosphere awhile back already; this latest complaint, however, comes from his own pet Left* (as appears to increasingly be the case): one D. Ellsberg, et al, in the frikkin’ Guardian.

Think he’ll listen?

* Y’know, in a number of ways, I’d be way nicer to the Left if their leaders lived up to their own hyperbole when elected. If, instead of or in addition to merely tellin’ me they were gonna End The War (whichever The War happens to be on at the time) an’ conduct the Affairs of State in the Clear, Clean Light of Day sans all skulking and skullduggery, eternally eschewing the cloak, the dagger and even fibbing, they actually went and did it, they would find no greater cheerleader than me. But the reality is, all their sneers at their GOPposition’s use of sneaking appear to be in reality over the way the Right is not very good at getting away with it. And that’s just sad. I’m sure I’ll get one of those “But Teh Gummint has just got to have sekrets!” lectures. I’m not so sure that’s true; it might inhibit the foreign adventuring but I see that as more of a feature than a problem.

>Soft Drink Surprise

15 Jun

>Came home last night to be told, “Ron sent you something.”

So I’m runnin’ through every “Ron” I know (three), trying to figure which one would have have done that, when Tam names the one I had not considered, “Ron at Locally Grown Gardens!”

H’mm, he’s a first-rate guy but I try to spend money at his place, figuring if we all do that, he’ll stay in business: when you have (within an easy bicycle ride!) a farm market that also serves wonderful prepared food, owned and operated by a genius chef, that’s something you want to support.

One of his sidelines — along with eggs, butter and a selection of remarkable spices, flavorings and condiments that can be found nowhere else — is soft drinks. Soda pop: a huge selection, all of it good, most of it obscure or brands I’d thought forever gone. One of the very best of the relatively unknown brands is Fentiman’s, a British marque over a hundred years old. Their sodas are “botanically brewed,” and they are slightly more fanatical about purity of the ingredients than a German brewer; with their preference for very old recipes, the result is a unique line of soft drinks that appeal to adult palates. When the first couple of flavores showed up at Locally Grown Gardens, I was moved to go online and learned there were many more, including Victorian Lemonade and Dandelion and Burdock soda. I happened to mention this to Ron and next I knew– He’d stocked the entire range!

Dandelion and Burdock is particularly good. It tastes like summer; it tastes like what Bradbury describes in Dandelion Wine (IIRC). But they’ve come out with another one, so new you can’t find it on the North American site yet: Rose Lemonade!

And Ron, knowing my tastes possibly better than I do, made sure to send home a couple of bottles with Tam when she stopped by to pick up some vegetable starts for the garden here at Roseholme Cottage.

…Words do not describe the floral, lemony and pleasantly tart taste, with a hint of ginger under the rose petals. The very thing after a long day!

We will be buying more.