Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

We Get Mail

Killing Trees For No Good Purpose

I'd forgotten precisely how much crap can get stuffed into your mailbox in the course of a week.

In addition to the usual detritus of grocery circulars, one-sheet adverts, and pizza coupons, I've been deluged with the sort of "help" a new homeowner needs.

Each day since acquiring the house, I've received at least one (and usually more) offers for some form of mortgage insurance, cable service, alarm service, or landscaping.

I'm a little shocked at how quickly I got on the new homeowner mailing list, to be honest.

Most of the stuff gets circular-filed without a glance, but there are a few that get a closer look.

There's a damnable strain of junk mail that mimics official correspondence.  Usually there's a line of VERY fine print that states the contents are an ad for services, but you need to look closely.
I got one asking to register the house as a homestead.  Had a bunch of legalese, and implied that gloom & doom would visit me if I failed to do so.

Vultures, all of 'em. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

This, That & The Other Thing

Fun In The Suburbs Of The Great Swamp Metropolis

Wow.  Another week goes by with no blog activity.  That's starting to be the new normal...

I can't even blame Facebook, 'cause I don't post there either.

I blame the possum.

T'was a hot steamy night last weekend, and I'm sitting by the front door at something after 9 pm awaiting the pizza guy.  I'd been wrapped up in one thing or another all day long, and never made it out to get some food.

In the moving-out process, the pantry's as bare as a baby's ass, and I probably should have just gone to bed, but when hot pizza and chicken wings are but a mouse click away...

At any rate, I'm sitting there futzing on my phone when a possum wanders up to the front door like he's selling Amway.  A coon or a cat would have looked up, seen me on the other side of the glass door, and scampered off.  Not so, the phlegmatic possum.  It just sat there and... sat there.

Fearing the interaction of possum and pizza guy might result in a severe lack of pizza, I finally got up and banged on the door to shoo him off.  I got a nice toothy grin for my trouble, but it did continue its mosey down the porch to parts unknown.

Haven't seen him since.


Still no ETA on the relocation to the new digs.  There's still some electrical & plumbing issues to sort out before I feel OK being there full time.


Anybody know the cheapest place to get mattresses?  I don't anticipate having overnight guests all that often, so I'm looking for some bedding that's not a complete POS, but I can't spend $500 per guest room, either.  Any advice is appreciated!

Monday, July 13, 2015

God's Little Quarter-Acre

Fortunately, I Was Pretty Good At Geometry

Forgot what this survey cost me.

Might as well get some mileage out of it...

(Click Pic To Embiggenate)

Still Here

Tighten Your Belt, Cletus!  It's A Free Ice Cream Famine!

Yes, we're still open for business.

No, no new content just yet.

Personal life is edging out the digital existence for the time being.

Back real soon!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Settled Science? Someone Tell Uncle Sol...

Warm This Up, Hippie!

Seems that there's a couple of stories in the Brit papers regarding the possibility of a mini-Ice Age descending on Old Blighty in the near future.

Naturally, they're hedging their bets in the narrative, claiming that it'll have no long term effect on their sacrosanct AGW.

Feh.   Look, I'm not going to argue that we as a species are capable of influencing the global average temperature.  My point is, it just doesn't matter.

If Uncle Sol decides to get retrospective for a few years, we're gonna get colder.  If he gets a bit effusive, we're gonna toast.  That's what happens when you have a furnace composed of 99% of the Solar System's total mass only 93 million miles away.

To misquote Denis Leary, "You can have all the Glowbull Wormening you want!  You can have a big Glowbull Wormening cakewalk right through the middle of Tiananmen Square, and it won't make a lick of difference because Uncle Sol calls the shots, OK????"

When the sun runs out of hydrogen and balloons into a red giant, remind how much better off I'd have been in a Prius...

Thursday, June 18, 2015

"The Nearest Run Thing You Ever Saw In Your Life"

"Hard pounding, gentlemen. Let's see who pounds the longest."
- Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

Two hundred years ago today, 200,000 men marched into a small farming valley in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands (what is now southern Belgium) from three different directions.  The fate of Europe would hinge upon the day's events.

Seeking to push through the thin coalition lines of the British, Hanoverians, Dutch & Brunswickers led by Lord Wellington, Napoleon's Grand Armee sought to advance upon Brussels and seize the capital city.

Time was of the essence, however.  Advancing on Napoleon's right was the Prussian army under Marshal Blucher.  Napoleon could (in theory) easily beat either army singly, but if the Alliance and Prussians linked up, it would be disastrous.

Napoleon was not known for losing battles, however...

Just prior to noon, the first cannons began to fire.  In the long hours that followed until the late summer sunset, thousands of soldiers would lie dead & wounded amidst the orchards and wheat fields.

Against all odds, Wellington's thin red line held against Napoleon's 80 gun Grand Battery, repeated attacks by French heavy cavalry, and finally, the attack of Napoleon's Imperial Guard.

With the late afternoon arrival of the Prussians, Napoleon had lost his gamble.  His army melted away back towards France, and his time as l'Empereur was finis.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Camera Question

Just In Case Anyone Still Reads This Thing...

It appears that I'm in need of a new digital point & shoot camera.

I've had a Canon Powershot A1000 for several years now, and it's been a perfectly acceptable camera.  It replaced an older Canon Powershot 580 that was my first foray into the digital pocket camera realm.

I've kept the Canons in a side pocket on my ditty bag, just so it's always at hand if I need it for UFOs or chupacabra sightings.  Up to this point, though, the best action photo taken with one was the NASA 747 out of Ellington AFB piggybacking the Space Shuttle over Houston's skyline.

I pulled out the Canon the other day, and it has suffered some form of injury.  The zoom slider is all wonky, and it feels like perhaps the camera took a hard hit.  Dunno how, maybe someone kicked my bag one day.

So... I need a replacement.  Got no clue what the current crop is like.

Any ideas?  Recommendations?  I prefer one that will digest lithium ion AA batteries to ones that have internal batteries.  SD card a must.   Prefer buttons to swiping/tapping screens.

$10 per megapixel about right?

Muchas Gracias!

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

No House, No How

Money? In Short Supply For The Next 30 Years

Man, this home buying shit is for tha boids....

I had been led to believe the worst part of all this was the final day of closing the sale, with hours of paperwork and the cutting of huge checks to the lenders.

Nope, it's the slow drip of your bodily humors going to satisfy the armies of leeches that attach themselves to the purchase process.  Each one standing in the way of progress with yet another mandatory fee or bill for service.

"Enjoy your new home" now translates in my ears as "Fuck you, PAY ME!!"

It cost me $150 to get the utilities turned on just long enough to get the home inspection done (another $385).

Now, due to the recent huge rainstorms and floods, the area was declared a disaster area.  This triggers a requirement to do a final inspection by the lender to make sure they're not lending money on a damaged house.  Guess who has to pony up another $150 for the utility fee.

Currently, we're going in circles with the insurance agencies over flood insurance.  Latest quote for an annual policy?  $2564, paid up front.  That's in addition to the regular homeowner's policy of $2116, which at least can be rolled into escrow.

Hmmmph.  I may have to rename my abode from Castle Anthrax to Casa Fuck you, PAY ME!!