Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

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!!