Sunday, January 28, 2007

Unwelcome Guests

Way way back, in the way way backs of my blogging efforts, I wrote this. Now there used to be several stray cats prowling my neighborhood, but recently I've noticed their disappearance, likely due to the efforts of animal control and a few of my fellow well armed vigilante neighbors. Since then, I've noticed the predictable appearance of something else. Something else that is not only unwanted, but something else that I predicted way way back in the way way backs. Contrary to popular belief, stray cats are not a bad thing.

When some people look at a cat, they see this precious, delicate, little creature that was put on this earth merely to be the object of their ridiculous coddling and pampering. Oh you precious widdle kitty come give mommy wuvvies goo goo ga ga blah blah blah bullshit.

When I look at a cat, I see a small but efficient creature, with powerful jaws, sharp teeth, small but effective claws, and lightning fast reflexes obviously designed by nature to be a hunter of small, fuzzy, nasty, disease carrying things. The mangy bastards actually hold a special place in my heart provided that they're absolutely wild and therefore not possibly mistaken for potential pets by the fairer and more sensitive members of my household. Wild, stray cats live outside, animals belong outside, what's the problem? The removal of these feral assassins of rodentia may seem the thing to do, but it isn't. Humane possibly, but not altogether wise as I'm about to demonstrate.

It started innocently enough. First there were a few shredded items in a drawer, then the pitter patter of little feet above the ceiling at night. We named him Gus and sat out a few boxes of D-Con.

Now however, things are getting really out of hand. A recent investigation revealed several holes chewed through the baseboards in out of sight areas in the backs of cabinets no doubt connected to a system of routes and thoroughfares within the walls of my happy home being speedily negotiated by the deplorable little fuzzy vermin otherwise known as meeses. Last night, one was found basking comfortably in one of my daughter's dresser drawers totally oblivious to the fact that he was about as welcome as Hillary Clinton at a Merle Haggard concert.

May I be so lucky as to have total obliviousness be my last and final thought upon this earth.

Then the little fuckers chewed into my bag of dried kidney beans that I was saving to make a pot of my world famous elk burger chili with.

This has gone too far.

This means war.

Mrs. Justin agrees.

Fuck with my beans and you're fucking with your life.

In the past we've relied on mercenaries, aka cats, to thwart this invasion but in spite of their best efforts the enemy has somehow advanced forces past the lines. These hired soldiers are quite effective killers, but they lack coordination and direction therefore I am now required to take over command myself, to fortify our defenses, and to be the foot soldier in this campaign, an act that will require many sacrifices no doubt, mostly in the form of what I call Bob Vilaisms.

Anyone that knows me knows that I absolutely, positively, despise projects in the form of home improvement. I'm quite happy therefore to leave my home somewhat "unimproved" lest I be required to take up saw and hammer in the manipulation of wood into something other than it's raw form . . . aka tree. If houses were made of steel, I'd have the nicest house on the block likely spending weekend upon weekend with my welder, grinder, and cutting torch in hand adding on new rooms, creating all those decorative thingamajigs that house people like, sealing up leaks, painting over rusty spots, ect, ect, ect. Houses however are not made of steel, at least mine isn't, it's made of wood. Did I mention that I hate working with wood?

Obviously however, meeses don't hate working with wood, because they've found ways to bore themselves walkways through the stuff and therefore access my goodies. This whole problem could've been thwarted had mankind been smart enough generations ago to begin building houses out of steel, but they weren't. Let's face it, any mouse that's tough enough to chew through a piece of channel iron can just have the friggin house, I'm not getting in his way, but I haven't found any holes in iron yet, only wood and sheet rock. Did you know that meeses can chew through sheet rock? I didn't. I knew there was a reason why I hated that shit almost as much as wood, sheet rock that is. Awfully delicate and dusty stuff to work with, and obviously not even strong enough to keep a little ol' mouse at bay. Maybe I could mold a house out of solid concrete? Would that be mouse proof?

Anyway, I think I've come up with a solution that won't require me to itch my way through several hours of exposure to the sawdust that I so dread.


I'm thinking 10" wide aluminum roof flashing glued and nailed to the baseboard in the backs of the offending cupboards, along with an Expando-Foam, metal window screen cocktail around any pipes that I haven't already skirted with thankfully rodent tooth proof metal shields.

Wish me luck.

Combat commences . . . . . . . . . . NOW!

If You've Been Looking For An Excuse To Pray, Here's One For You

UPDATE: I managed to catch a quick bit of footage on the news last night of the area in which young Loic's body was found. The septic tank in question did not have the customary heavy concrete lid that I'm familiar with, it looked to be made of lightweight plastic or fiberglass in the footage as a police officer picked it up and moved it. It is quite conceivable therefore, that the little fella may have either moved it himself, or possibly even just stepped on one side of it and fell in the tank totally accidentally with the lid falling back over the opening afterwards. Either way, this is a terrible way for someone to pass, especially an innocent child. Everyone has to make improvements on their property from time to time, but please, if there's any chance of young children being present, make sure that areas such as this are secure.

Well it seems that Loic Rogers has been found, unfortunately however, he was not found alive and well as we had all been hoping he would. For anyone who's been living in a cave for the last several days, I'm referring to the 3 year old boy that turned up missing in Evergreen a few days ago. His body was found in a septic tank only a few yards from where he disappeared. It is of course conceivable that this could be an accident, and for the sake of everyone involved I certainly hope so, but if it was an accident it was a stupid and preventable one. I don't mean to be judgemental, but ever since that story several years ago that made national news with the little girl that fell down the well requiring a huge but thankfully successful rescue effort, anyone that would leave a hole in the ground like that not covered when there's likely to be little kids around should really have their heads examined.

The fishy thing however, is that the lid was on the septic tank when the little boy was found. According to the story, the tank had already been checked earlier with no results, perhaps the lid had been replaced at that time but there's no way the boy could've fallen into a septic tank and then replaced the concrete lid by himself. The investigation is ongoing however, so I guess we'll have to wait and see what comes about. Once again, I certainly hope that this is an accident but if it's found that it isn't, I'll gladly volunteer my services when it comes time to "deal with" the perpetrator. There is a special place in hell for those who enact crimes against innocent children, and I'd be happy to help speed the responsible party's arrival there.

I wouldn't make it too speedy though, getting there is half the fun after all.

I have more to say, but I'll do so in a separate post. This one is dedicated to a little boy that didn't deserve what he got. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, just as they have been since we first heard the news that the boy was missing.

Monday, January 22, 2007

So I Was Brousing Through The Bills In The Legislature . . . .

Found a bunch of legaleze and mumbo jumbo, then I happened across this. Just when I thought the political situation in this state was beyond hope, I find a bill that actually makes sense. Now to me this is just common sense, but in our modern day and age these are rights that actually need to be spelled out in black and white for some people to understand. Read it, love it, tell your representatives to support it. You have a fundamental God given right to defend yourself, and the idea that it even needs to be legally protected is absolutely ridiculous, but these are the times in which we live. The rights protected by this bill don't go nearly far enough as far as I'm concerned, but at least they're a step in the right direction.

I also found this. I've heard a bunch of talk about bills requiring headlights to be used at all times and personally I think it's a bunch of hooey. In a day and age when we're all concerned about energy use, I think it's rather ludicrous to make people run their headlights in broad daylight. The juice to run those lights has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is your car's alternator. The amount of rotational force that said alternator will rob from your engine is in direct proportion to how many electrical devices are placing a demand on the electrical system of said automobile. This includes the vehicle's headlights. All that long winded crapola translates into a reduction in fuel economy, albeit minuscule, but when one considers the number of vehicles on the road on any given bright sunny day, it could translate into a really significant amount of unnecessary fuel consumption. There are times however, when vehicles become practically invisible, and I really wonder why people aren't smart enough to turn their lights on strictly out of a sense of self preservation. This bill addresses just that.

A relative of mine took a trip back East a few years ago and told me about a state with a similar law, West Virginia if I'm not mistaken, and although I seldom agree with anything imported from back East, I thought it was a good idea. I still think it's a good idea and I honestly wouldn't mind seeing this bill pass. Just in case you're too lazy or busy to click the link and read it yourself, it basically says that any time you need your windshield wipers, you need your headlights. Makes sense to me, I've been doing basically just that for years but some people seem to think that it's not necessary to run their headlights unless it's pitch black darkness. In times of reduced visibility like snowstorms, fog, during periods of heavy rain (what the heck is that?), or even on particularly cloudy days, whether or not you have your lights on could mean the difference between life and death. Keep that in mind the next time I'm coming at you in my truck. Fully loaded I'm grossing at or over 100,000 lbs., trust me, you want me to see you. Considering the fact that the last legislature had to make it a law to change lanes for parked emergency vehicles however, it doesn't surprise me that they once again feel compelled to legislate common sense. We could save a lot of money on politicians if people would just pull their heads out of their asses.

Just when I was starting to regain hope however, I find this little jewel. Now tell me, how much sense does it make to allow people to burn tires, slag, or hazardous waste in order to dispose of them, but not to create energy? If you're going to let people burn them anyway, why not let some good become of it? Nevermind the fact that huge heaps of tires are piling up all over the world and as of yet, no one's found a particularly good use for them. Is it not feasible that someday, someone could invent a device that could burn tires, which create a tremendous amount of heat by the way, and somehow do so in a manner that wouldn't emit copious amounts of hazardous emissions? Wouldn't it then make perfect sense to allow ourselves the latitude to make use of said technology rather than insuring that Montana will be the only state in the union not doing so when the time comes because we're too busy calling a special session of the legislature and arguing about it while everyone else is generating electricity with "clean tire" fired power plants? Oh well, we Montanans are used to sucking hind tit when it comes to high technology.

To me it's just as ridiculous as the fact that we're not harvesting used fry oil from behind every restaurant in the state and turning it into biodiesel, just a stupid waste when we could be turning a bothersome waste product into basically free energy. This all comes about from the whole fracas involving the cement plant in Trident using metal slag in their furnace. No matter how many times somebody tells these environmental retards, they just can't seem to get it through their thick skulls that they weren't going to burn the shit, they wanted to use it as an ingredient . . . . . big difference. Do me a favor my tree hugging friends, take five minutes and do a little research into how things work before running your mouth in direct response to the jerk of your knee.

Raping and pillaging the environment - Not good.

Letting a free and potentially viable energy source go to waste because some people are too stupid and emotional to see it for what it is - Not good either.

This one isn't too bad. I personally would like to see the use of unmarked police vehicles completely prohibited except for in extreme cases such as surveillance of established suspects, but at least this one gives us the right to make sure that a cop is really a cop before we're required to treat him or her like a cop. Hell, anybody can get online and order a red and blue flashing light and wire it up in the grill of their outfit, that doesn't make them a police officer. It would give them a decided edge in the commission of a plethora of different crimes however. I say paint the damn things black and white like they're supposed to be, put the big ol' bubble gum machine lights back on top of them, and get out there and enforce the law instead of hiding behind billboard signs and playing tax collector. If a highway patrol car is parked out in plain sight along the highway, everyone that sees that car is going to slow down and drive more carefully. If a patrolman in an unmarked car pulls over another car, then maybe they slow that one down, but what about all of the others that didn't even know it was a cop? They might not write quite as many tickets, but it would go a lot farther towards making the highways safer, as well as remove pretty much all question as to who the real officers are. Somebody just might go to the trouble of wiring up $50 worth of lights in order to rob you, rape you, or steal your car. They're not nearly as likely to outfit an entire phony patrol car and buy a full uniform however.

I finally got tired of picking through the bills one by one, I only made it about a quarter of the way through, and decided to do a search to see if anything was being done about the biodiesel issue. I found this. Now how much sense does this make? To be honest I really don't know. I like the fact that under this bill, all diesel fuel sold in the state would have to be at least part bio, but I don't like the fact that under this bill, all diesel fuel sold in the state would have to be at least part bio. Yeah, it's a double edged sword.

With the new low sulphur requirements that recently went into effect, we're likely to see a lot of broken down older diesel vehicles sitting alongside the highway. Vehicles like my old Ford pickup that aren't designed to run on ultra low sulphur diesel fuel to be exact, as well as a lot of newer vehicles since from what I'm told nothing made before 2006 is really designed for the stuff including heavy trucks. Sulphur in diesel fuel acts as a lubricant, and since the entire fuel system of a diesel engine is lubricated by the fuel itself, when you take away the sulphur it's like running an engine with no oil. It won't be long before expensive fuel system components begin to fail. Now biodiesel however, has five times the lubricity of even the "old" diesel fuel, which means that even a small amount used as an additive in this new low sulphur crap would drastically counteract the negative effects of taking the sulphur out of the fuel without any of the negative environmental effects that led to the reduced sulphur levels in the first place. In that aspect, it's a win win.

What I'm afraid of however, is that by requiring the use of biodiesel in all fuel, we'll inadvertently drive up the cost since the infrastructure to support it isn't in place yet. If we had a thriving biodiesel industry in this state already functioning, I'd be all for it, but we don't, and we're not likely to for some time.

Here's a better idea, pass a bill to allow people to make their own biodiesel unhindered by legal hang ups. Let me pass a test, or take a class, or whatever, and get a license that will allow me to buy my biodiesel ingredients from chemical suppliers without paying the "meth tax" which is my name for the outlandish prices that I've been quoted for lye and methanol. I know that industrial users aren't paying $500 for a 50 lb. sack of lye, so I'm led to believe that it's just a ploy to root out the meth makers. When somebody gets caught using their biodiesel license to buy meth ingredients, which is sure to happen sooner or later, hang their ass. Seriously. Get a fucking rope and string them up from the nearest tall tree, let their sorry ass swing as an example to the rest of the fuckers. Or better yet, legalize meth and let the idiots kill themselves and save the rest of us the trouble. That way even I could be "green" and my old sulphur loving Ford could continue to live a long and happy life. The meth users would become extinct long before it took the final trip to the big wrecking yard in the sky.

There were only two other bills even mentioning biodiesel, and they were both the same crap I've seen before designed to stimulate industrial production, nothing to do with private individuals unless they want to sell the stuff.

Seems that independence is a dirty word.

Anyway, that's all I've found so far. I'll pick through some more as soon as I get the time.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Numb Nuts Is At It Again

Seems some people just don't know when to die. As if the previous unsuccessful round of court battles wasn't enough to certify this asshole's nomination for Yellowstone County's Most Likely To Find Sugar In His Gas Tank Award, Mr. Biggs is once again going to court in an attempt to close down the Shepherd Ah Nei ORV riding area. Of course FFOR is on the case, as are several other local motorized recreation groups, and I've heard that the almighty Blue Ribbon Coalition is even going to get involved. Hopefully this time the douchebag will find himself slinking home with his tail between his legs once and for all.

Get a clue dipshit, nobody's going to pay 4 million samolians for your crappy little 20 acre plot of sagebrush, ORV park next door or not. Buy a damn 4 wheeler and be happy that you don't need a truck and a trailer to haul it like the rest of us. Maybe if you had a little fun once in a while you wouldn't have such a corn cob stuck up your ass. I will dare to say however, that if you don't quit pissing off a large percentage of the local population on a daily basis, you're quite likely to eventually find something else stuck up your ass that will be even far less pleasant than the aforementioned corn cob. Somebody just might decide to make good on one of those threats you keep receiving.

Of course you can help put this sadly misguided and seriously outnumbered moron in his place by joining one of the previously mentioned organizations, or by getting in touch with FFOR, and purchasing one of their raffle tickets. $20.00 gets you not only a chance to win a brand spanking new Honda ATV, but also a snowball's chance in hell of actually having a place to ride it. I've never met a 4 wheeler I didn't like, especially a new one, so you can bet that I'll be picking up one or five. Don't be surprised if there isn't a nifty online order form, this may require an actual phone call to accomplish. These are Montana rednecks we're talking about here, not uber geeks, but I can assure you that if the FFOR is putting it on, this raffle is legit. Get your tickets now before they're all gone and let's send a message to Mr. Bunghole . . . . . . again.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

I Ain't Got Much, But These Folks Do - Linkapalooza 2007

First of all, I'd like to direct everyone, everyone with an ear to the Montana Legislature anyway, over to Sarpy Sam's. He's got a whole category of posts started with the central focus being the actions of said legislature. Sam's doing a great job of covering this, and you can find all of his legislature posts here. I'm quite curious myself just exactly how bad the legislature is going to screw with my way of life this time around, and Sam's making it a lot easier to keep tabs by explaining things in plain English. Last time, I practically yanked my hair out in an attempt to decipher all of the legal mumbo jumbo over at the Legislature's own website. Thanks Sam. Now I'll be able to see if anyone's smart enough to propose a bill making the home manufacture of biodiesel as streamlined as possible.

In a post a while back, I linked to this page over at the Mugi site . . . . . and then the server crashed so nobody got to see it. I talked to Morgan via MSN video message during the Christmas holiday, and he assured me that it would be up and running again as soon as he got back to Spain and got some time to fool with it. It's working now, so go check it out. While you're over there be sure to take a look at Morgan's Flight Training Europe Course 56 page and read all of the diary entries. It's pretty interesting stuff for a wannabe pilot like me anyway. I've noticed a marked increase in traffic since Morgan got the Mugis in Montana page working again, so I'd also like to welcome everyone that's bouncing over here from that direction. While I'm on the subject, Morgan has a lot of cool new products available for the new year in the Mugi Shop, so go give it a browse as well. While the shipping on bulk Coroplast from England is a bit prohibitive, the smaller items can be sent airmail for a very reasonable price and he has some really interesting, and in some cases, hard to find items. Still no Tea Racer kits though . . . . .

Some may have noticed that I recently added a link on my sidebar to Rosellen Westerhoff's site. Rosellen not only does an excellent job of creating outstanding portraits of peoples' dogs, but she and her husband Bruce also train and compete with their Belgian Malinois in the sport of Schnutzhund. Don't feel bad, I didn't know what it was until Bruce explained it to me either. Basically, it's something for the dog lover to do besides primp and polish floofy dog shows. Schnutzhund is for working dogs that know how to kick ass and take names when the need arises as well as an excellent showcase of a dog's agility, temperament and training. Originally created as a way to find and demonstrate the breeding worthiness of German Shepherds, the competitions are also open to other working breeds like Dobermans, Rottweilers, and the aforementioned Belgians. The dogs are put through a series of trials that test their ability to not only behave with absolute obedience in spite of distraction, but also their ability to root out, attack, and subdue an individual both on command, and by reflex. A good Schnutzhund dog will even be trained to instantly go for the gun hand of an armed perpetrator, a very useful skill I'm sure for any K9 trusted in police service or for personal protection which is where a lot of these dogs end up.

Oh yeah . . . . I was trying to concentrate on Rosellen's artwork until I got sidetracked by the bad assed attack dog subject. For a nominal fee, she'll take your photographs of your favorite four legged friends, and meticulously recreate them in colored pencil. The results are truly beautiful works of art and a worthy addition to any den, office, or living room of someone who loves their dog or dogs. I understand that she's also been working recently with pictures of horses, but I'd really like to see what she could do with an elk or grizzly bear myself. At any rate, go check out her site and drop her a line if you're interested.

I've made a few references here lately to the fact that I've been working on this, but just in case you've been too busy to click on the link, I'll go ahead and say that I've recently decided to try RC helicopters this spring. Actually, I decided to a long time ago, I recently actually acquired an RC helicopter however which is a basic requirement if one hopes to learn to fly one. The Align T-Rex is among the most capable electric powered RC helis in the world, regarded by many to be the best actually especially among the smaller models, and I'm hoping that I can manage to do something with it besides making nifty little dirt marks in the grass and getting really good at replacing busted parts.

I bought the motor and speed control at the same time I bought the kit, but decided to leave the rest of the radio gear until later when I'd asked around a little as to what was the best equipment for the job. For Christmas, my wife decided to reverse the traditional gender roles and gift me with a little bitty box containing something tiny and ridiculously expensive. No, she didn't get me a diamond ring, but a gyro for my helicopter which brought me one step closer to completing it. The airframe is all assembled, the motor is in as well as the speed control although I've still got some wire routing issues, and I'm currently working on a mounting bracket for the gyro that will put it under the tailboom and hopefully out of harm's way should the worst come to pass.

I still have servos left to buy, and although I've settled on what I'm going to use for the tail rotor I haven't quite made up my mind what I want manhandling the swash plate. I've got a few ideas, but I'm in no hurry since the weather isn't exactly going to be too good for flying for a few months anyway. I've decided to invest the colder weekends wisely by taking the time to get everything set up as close as possible to perfect before I let a friend of mine, who also happens to be an expert T-Rex flyer, give it a good once over and possibly a test flight if he's up to it. When everything is just so, and John gives it the nod, then I'll take the sticks see what I can do. You can see what he and the T-Rex can do here.

What I was really hoping to shed light on here however, is the phenomenal efforts put out by an individual named Bob White, known on the RC forums as "Finless Bob". Bob, on his own time and absolutely free of charge by the way, has produced an entire series of extremely thorough and informative videos on the care and feeding of various different RC helis. A helicopter is a complicated little bit of machinery, and if one hopes to get one flying well, it must be set up absolutely perfect from the start and lovingly maintained throughout its life or the results will be far less than favorable and likely even tragic. Bob's videos go way beyond the basic information provided in the instruction manual, and not only show in outstanding detail, but also explain in plain English everything a person needs to know from the moment they open that box of a zillion little pieces and screws to the day they win their first aerobatic competition. I doubt that a person could otherwise find nearly as much information all in one place even if they paid for it.

I've watched his entire series on the T-Rex 450, and the amount of knowledge that I've gained was well worth the time it took for all of the videos to download and then some. There's loads of other videos that he and others have made on this page over at featuring not only build and setup information, but also flying pointers as well as a lot of fun stuff like demonstrations and even some pretty wild crashes. Be sure to check out the footage of the turbine powered Bergen, there's some serious dollars flipping around in the sky on that one. Thanks again to Finless Bob and the HeliFreak gang.

Well that's about all I have today folks. I hope the new year is off to a good start for everyone and the weather hasn't been too cruel wherever you may be. Time flies when you're having fun so I say why not have as much fun as possible so summer will get here sooner? I'm off to look for some, fun that is, take it easy and if it's really easy take it twice. ;)

PS - Hey Mark, if you haven't puked yourself to death or turned to liquid and ran out your own asshole yet, is this the CAP you were talking about? The gal that flies it is named Debby Rihn-Harvey, and you can find a lot more info here.

There's a picture of another blue and white one here, but I haven't figured out who flies it or who it belongs to yet.

This chick however, is likely to serve as an alternate someday in one of my patron blog babe posts if I can't find any new pictures of Amy. ;)