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  • A lot of folks are shocked, yes, shocked, I say! that the Central Intelligence Agency has probably found ways to exploit weaknesses in devices connected to the Internet.
    •   Personally, I’d be pissed if I found out that they hadn’t developed these capabilities.  I know it’s a surprise to a large section of the populace, but gentlemen do indeed reach each other’s letters.
    • If only the intelligence and law enforcement agencies had earned enough trust from the American nation that we could know with some certainty that such tools would never be misused or turned against us.
  • I believe that I’ve parsed the illegal immigration problem into two camps:
    • Those, like me, who see immigration into the United States as a privilege we extend to those we feel deserve it, regardless of the prospective immigrant’s origins.
    • Those who believe that immigration into our country from other parts of the world is a human right, which we as a nation have no right to moderate, regulate, or object to. Interestingly enough, I can find no historical example of a nation that survived long after opening its borders for every Tom, Dick, and Harry who wanted to come on over and set up their yurts.
    • I still believe that a wall on the border is nothing more than a dam that can be overcome by the draw of jobs in El Norte.  Cut off the supply of jobs, either through litigation, legislation, or defenestration, and the flow of illegal immigrants will be reduced significantly.
  • The brawl over repealing/replacing/reforming Obamacare is gaining steam, both in the halls of Congress and in the media.
    • Somewhere along the way the nation went from looking at comprehensive health insurance as a fringe benefit brought by hard work at a good job to seeing it as a human right that has to be paid for by the productive minority.
    • Here’s my suggestion –
      • The ACA is repealed in total. Buy insurance, don’t buy insurance, not my problem.
      • Medicare is not touched in any way. Lord knows old folks have earned it after putting up with the Baby Boomers, Gen X, and the Millenials for the last 3/4 of a century.
      • Medicaid is clawed back to cover only poor families and those who are incapable of supporting themselves.
      • The bar for being declared incapable of supporting yourself gets raised quite a bit.
      • The American taxpayer provides precisely zero toward the healthcare of anyone who is capable of working and paying their own way, but doesn’t.  I’m a big fan of “Those who refuse to work, do not eat”.
      • To make up for this, donations to charity hospitals, clinics, and other health programs would be 100% deductible from personal and corporate income taxes, with no limit to the amount that could be donated. Let those who want to screech that the rest of us aren’t doing enough put their money where their mouth is.
  • There are some who say we can’t kill our way out of the Islamic terrorism problem.
    • I say we can’t know that unless we really try.
    • We spend too much time trying to be loved.  I’m about ready for everyone to realize that it’s more feasible to be left alone because of the terror our displeasure strikes in the hearts of men.


  • The good news today is that I was able to rise from my bed and go to work without wishing I could just lie down at the side of the freeway and die.
    • The bad news today is that I wanted to lie down at the side of the freeway and die during the drive home.
  • If I ever want to go into writing horror stories, all I’ll need for inspiration is to catch a bad head cold, take a large dose of green death NyQuil, and sleep for about 13 hours.  The fever dreams must have been close to what Stephen King saw when he was still writing horror.
  • I finished the rough draft of “Lady of Eyre”, the last part of the current Minivandians book, and sent it off to alpha readers.
    • Of course, being doped off my gourd on cold medicine made the writing easier.  Whether it’s at all readable remains to be seen.
  • When using tissues with lotion embedded in them, it is not suggested that you use them to wipe your eyeglasses off.


Warning:  I wrote this before I had coffee and after a night of stress dreams.

  • Your business is none of my business until you start making me pay for your business.  At that point, it is most certainly my business.
    • Corollary – If you stop making your business my business, I will be happy to go back to minding my own business.
  • Standardized testing at the end of the school year seems unfair to the teacher if it’s to be used to decide if they’re doing their job.
    • I mean, what if the students were woefully ignorant of the subject on day 1?
    • How about this:  Do standardized tests at the beginning of the year, then give the same test at the end.  Evaluate the teacher’s performance based on the difference between the two tests.
    • I know, there I go again, thinking it’s a good idea to see if the billions we dump into the public education system are actually going toward educating students.
  • Another way to say “America First” is “What’s in it for us?”, and I’m perfectly OK with that.  If we can’t articulate what the United States is getting out of any relationship or commitment, be it tangible or intangible, then why are we doing it?
  • One thing that I think is missing from the way we educate people is that we don’t tell folks that while they are still being educated and trained, their opinion on all but an exceedingly small number of subjects is most likely worthless.
    • For a lot of folks, this condition does not change after their period of education and training is over.
    • At the moment, I may or may not be part of that group.  I’m gonna go make coffee.


  • Things that will wake me up better than a hot cup of coffee #1287 – Irish Woman standing in front of the freezer in the basement and crying out “NO! OH NO!”
    • It would appear that when I was putting away the meat we purchased on Sunday, I neglected to make sure the door was shut completely before finding my way upstairs.
    • Irish Woman has been shopping the sales and bulk pricing to fill up the freezer over the last few months.
    • We lost about 1/2 of our meat stores, and the freezer was quite full.
    • Most of what we didn’t lose was still cold to the touch and partially frozen, so it went into the stew pot, oven, and crock pots to get cooked so it could be repacked and refrozen.
    • My loving and oh-so forgiving wife did that today while I was at work.
    • She’s let me live so far, but the evening is still young.
  • Someone needs to tell the press that there is absolutely no way that the Trump campaign had constant contact with the Kremlin.
    • Everybody knows that the GRU has its headquarters over on Khoroshovskoe Shosse, and FSB headquarters are down at the Lubyanka.
  • It’s Pinewood Derby Time again.  This year, rather than mess around with dremels, chisels, knives, and sanders, I took the plunge and bought a coping saw.  What took me almost three hours last year took about an hour this year.
    • It’s quite interesting how many folks will volunteer information on how to cheat on these cars when you say you’re building one.


  • I’m sad to say that, even after months of lobbying on my behalf, I will not be chosen as President Trump’s pick to take the open seat on the Supreme Court.
    • That’s probably a good thing.
    • That whole “Fell asleep trying to read the statutes on distilling of spirits while doing research for Irish Woman” thing is probably what torpedoed my eligibility.
  • Recently, our cable company gave Irish Woman a great deal on internet, TV, and phone which brought our bill down lower than just having Internet.  So, we’ve gone back to cable TV.
    • I’m thrilled to say that now we have access to all of the infomercials, political rants on sports channels, and television shows about home decorating, making illegal moonshine, and sifting through the over-stuffed homes of dead people that we could ever want.
    • No, really, I’m thrilled.  Can’t you tell?
  • Girlie Bear asked me to purchase this tee shirt for her today.
    • Being the indulgent father I am, I purchased it.
    • I also wished her luck doing all of the pushups she would be told to do for wearing it.
    • When she asked why she would be doing pushups, I replied that her ROTC instructors were actually good at war, while she was merely an energetic puppy showing her teeth.


  • There’s just something nice about a bartender who is willing to take the time to explain to you why she is stuffing maraschino cherries into miniature mason jars and lighting hardwood splinters to smoke them.
    • Apparently they go in a cocktail of some kind.
  • I was very disappointed tonight.  Our local liquor store stopped stocking a rather yummy ginger beer that I really liked.  In its place, they have all the banana-cherry-bubble-gum-kiwi-sweet-and-sour malt liquor beverages I could ever want.
  • A week into the Trump presidency, and the biggest argument so far has been about the size of the crowd at the inauguration.  Speaking for myself, the number of people who showed up to the ceremony is a useless bit of trivia.  You know, like the popular vote tally for a presidential election.
    • OK, I wrote that before the whole immigration restriction shit storm started.  Now, that’s an argument of unexpected proportions if I ever saw one.
  • A thought occurs on the H1-B visa program, which allows businesses to bring in foreign skilled labor if they can show that they cannot find American workers to do the work:  Why not make the government fee for such visas equal to the amount the company is going to pay the foreign worker in salary and benefits?  This would ensure that foreign workers aren’t a cheaper alternative to Americans. The money could be put toward training programs and scholarships to train Americans, thereby lessening the need to  hire someone from overseas.
  • I’m something of an introvert, who is married to an extravert.  She works from home, so has limited physical contact with people all day.  I work in an office, so I have pretty regular contact with people all day.  Usually this works out because I can reserve some of myself just for her and she has enough social interaction throughout the day so that she’s not absolutely lonely.  The bad days are when she’s locked away for nine hours while I never get a moment to myself all day.  I come through the door groaning “PEOPLE!” and she’s jumping up and down, happy to see me, chanting “PEOPLE PEOPLE PEOPLE!”
  • Moonshine learned the hard way this morning that one does not try to sneak breakfast potatoes when they are still cooking in a cast iron skillet.
    • He’s OK, but it was the yip heard ’round the house.


  • I met Girlie Bear and her young man at a range near their university this morning.  The girl child has shot .22 rifles before, and tried my CZ-82 once or twice, but she wanted to try some other handguns now that she’s a little older.
    • Today, we had a Glock 17, a 1911, and a S&W Model 13, as well as the 10-22.
    • I’m proud to say that my little girl preferred the 1911.
    • The young man liked the Model 13, once he got used to it being a bit off from his experience shooting Colt revolvers.
  • Even after not shooting it for a long time, I can still make a pretty decent group with the 1911, but I was all over the paper with the Glock.  Going to need to remedy that.
  • Girlie Bear shot her .22 like she was still on the school rifle team, which meant about one shot every 30 seconds or so.  That’s a great way to concentrate on fundamentals and such, but when you’re paying for your range time by the hour, it can make your father twitch a bit.
  • I was curious to see what not having the Obama anti-gun cattle prod would do to firearms businesses.   I am happy to report that there were still quite a few people shooting at the range and buying guns this morning.
  • Prices are still way out of whack.
    • A severely beat-up Chinese Type 53  carbine was marked $300.
    • Still-in-the-cosmoline round receiver Mosin Nagants were $260 apiece.
    • Mosin-Nagant’s in plastic stocks were going for about the same price.
    • An antique Smith and Wesson .22 revolver was priced just under $700.  Arguably, it seemed to be in pristine condition and it did make both of the male components of our shooting trio drool on the counter.
  • The young men working the counter at the range looked quite excited when I told them that Colt was going to be making revolvers again.  It’s almost as if there’s a market for such things that’s been neglected for years.
  • I decided to not take the freeway home after we got some lunch, and had a nice drive through the Kentucky countryside.
    • I also drove through half of Lexington and all of Frankfort, which wasn’t quite as pleasant.
  • Gas in the cities was about 30 cents a gallon more than several smaller towns along the way.  Not exactly sure why that was.
  • Got home to find that there was no running water in the neighborhood.  Upon calling the water company, found that somebody had taken it upon himself to fiddle with a valve on our water main.  The water company dutifully sent someone out to turn it back on, but something happened and our water main ruptured.
    • So that happened.
    • As of 10 PM, we have no running water.  I braved the wilds of Walmart to get some extra drinking water, since we will be drinking and washing with what we have on hand.
    • If I ever find the assbite who messed with the water main, I’m going to be feeding him to the chipmunks one toe at a time.
  • I’ve heard back from the beta readers for Lost Children, the next book in the Minivandians series, and have acquired a printed copy to do final checks and edits before releasing it.  Lord willing and the water don’t rise, it should be out by the end of next week.
    • Watch this space for news and another snippet.


  • Things that did not end well #293o2457 – Crash the Siamese Psychopath stalking a full grown Canada Goose who was having a stroll down our street.
    • Idjit only backed down when Mr. Goose spread his wings and dared him to come closer.
    • The one time I take the dogs out and leave my phone inside, this happens.  I could have been rich, or at least Internet famous.
  • I had lunch with Girlie Bear and her young man yesterday.
    • It went well.  He’s a nice guy, respectful, firm handshake, and stopped being jumpy after about 15 minutes.
    • He gained points by admitting that his deer rifle is a .30-30.
    • I’m taking the two of them shooting on Saturday, so we’ll see how that goes.
  • Freedom’s Light has gone live on Amazon, and it seems to be doing well.  Nick Cole has an excellent write-up.
  • Today I learned that the way to get out of a long prison sentence for something I most definitely did is to ask to be castrated and threaten suicide.
  • Moonshine tried to get out of my investigation into a disappearing cinnamon roll this morning using the soulful eyes routine.  He failed spectacularly.
  • I am not allowed to put the term “Are you illiterate or just stupid?” into a business email.
  • The inclusion of an extended human interest story during a news broadcast is an excellent excuse to test out the mute button on my TV remote.


  • I took the family to see Rogue One again.  Irish Woman hadn’t seen it.  It was good the first time, it was better the second time.
  • Carhartt jeans are soft, durable, and look nice.  They seem to be able to stand up to just about anything, and don’t dissolve when half of a large movie soda is dumped down the front of them.
  • Pigheadedness must be an evolved survival characteristic in Irish women.  My loving wife has had a nagging cough for several days, won’t go to the doctor, and when short of breath, argues with me that she is fine.
    • I presented her with a hefty snort of nigh-time cold medicine, some stinky chest ointment that smelled like a koala, and banished her to bed.
  • New Year’s Eve, after our dinner guests had left, consisted of the last third of a Disney movie, some ice water, and an early bedtime.
    • Woohoo!  Born to be wild!
    • Girlie Bear stayed up until midnight, but didn’t seem too enthused when she got up at 6. She seemed to appreciate the pot of coffee I made, so I’m not entirely lost to my daughter.

Thought for the Day

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

— The Gospel of Saint Luke, Chapter 1, Verses 1 through 20

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