Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Nuclear Power

Clearly an article written by someone who knows nothing of which he speaks.

Here We Go Again

The Sky Is Fallling!!!!

Every statement regarding "Climate Change" in this article has been clearly refuted in other publications. Incidents of extreme weather, such as the hurricanes that devastated Haiti and Myanmar, have grown more frequent. Probably untrue and unprovable either way. In fact, NOAA reports ocean cooling over the last five years.

Insurers predict that 2008 will set yet another record for economic losses. True, but not because of ACC. More development is occurring in areas prone to hurricanes, consequently more economic losses.

This is nuts. It's Kool-Aid and we're drinking it. Is anyone listening?

Death and Gaza

H/T Owen at Boots & Sabers.

So knowing the culture of death that surrounds Palestinians, why would a "Free Gaza Movement" even concern themselves? Checking the Free Gaza website, it appears to be a mishmash of Leftist activists and the usual anti-Israel groups.

I'm thinking the Israeli response was too meek.

Renewable Energy in Winter

The Beer: Found a new on-line resource. Beer100.com. Check it out.

The Bicycle: Always be sure your bicycle in securely in the trainer before climbing on. Otherwise, it can hurt. A lot.

The VRWC: More reasons why "renewable energy" can never be the panacea the Eco-whackos want.

Fact is, renewables will never be reliable enough to meet all energy needs. They will remain a niche at best. Recall that the sun shines at about 1000 watts per square meter....at the equator.....at the equinox....at noon.....on a perfectly clear day. In these here parts, this time of year, it's about 300 watts per square meter and doesn't get much better than 500-or-so. And remember, that's peak. Anything off optimal conditions reduces the available energy significantly. And oh...solar panels are only 10-15% efficient.

Anyway, read the article. It's illuminating (no pun intended).

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Family

Just for the record, I'm on my third wife (yeah, I know). I hope I've learned a lesson or two along the way.

My current wife's parents are exceedingly generous to my children and grandchildren just because I married their daughter. It's embarrassing that they treat my kids better than do two-thirds of my own family.

And it's bad enough that some in my family don't bother with my kids, but on top of it, they pull crap with my kids (and wife #2 sometimes) just to poke a finger in my eye. I think I'm a pretty good guy, and I can take a pretty hard hit. But leave my kids out.

Office of the Senator-Appointee?

There's a reason she remains elusive.

Caroline Kennedy has no qualifications other than being a Kennedy. She favors same-sex marriage and opposes vouchers. As a Democrat, it's just about a given that she supports abortion on demand. A little "choice for me but not for thee". It's interesting that the NYT would even reference Uncle Teddy as architect of No Child Left Behind, considering how much the Leftists and the press ridicule it (oh...that's right. It's the NCLB that was authored by the Evil, Stupid Bush that they hate).

Ms. Kennedy would not say, for example, whether she supported proposals to abolish tenure for teachers and offer them merit pay instead.

Of course not. She has to play both sides here, so be sure to be elusive.

One of the main assets she could bring to the Senate, Ms. Kennedy suggested, was her celebrity itself. It would be useful, she said, in bringing attention to New York’s needs and fighting for a bigger share of federal stimulus money.

Smell the pork here? She learned well at her uncles feet (insert car joke here). She claims to be "for working families". Something we hear all too often. I'd argue everyone other than Senators and Kennedy's are "working families". Bill Gates works. Donald Trump works. And I'd argue they work harder than a guy making minimum at Wal-Mart.

Read the article. It's enlightening.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

So Much for Free Speech on the Web

This is just the start.

How long before there is an "Internet Fairness Doctrine"? But as usual, it's "do it for the children". Parents have plenty of tools at their disposal (including not ignoring their children and using the computer as a baby sitter).

"Snowzilla"

The city doesn't have anything better to worry about?

OK....maybe I don't know the whole story.

Climate Change Resource

This is from people a lot more informed than me. I'm sure my friends at Skeptical Science have an answer....somewhere.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas in Texas

The Beer: I've just returned from College Station, TX, where we visited the kids and grandkids. It was the best of Christmases, it was the worst of Christmases. More to follow. Oh..the beer...of course, I had a Shiner...or two (three, four.......). And right now, I desperately need one.

The Bicycle: My daughter was thrilled to death with the bicycle. I hope she really enjoys it and gets miles and miles out of it.

The VRWC: What is it about Christmas that brings out the worst in people? Maybe I'll talk about that more, maybe not.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Physics of Santa

Quite possibly the funniest thing a science geek like me has ever seen. Been around for years. Enjoy.

The Physics of Santa Claus

No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.

There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total - 378 million according to the Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each.

Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, and assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of his sleigh, jump down the chimnye, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course we know to be false but for the purpose of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc.This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.

The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 punds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (refer to point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal load, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload - not even counting the weight of the sleigh - 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth.

353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecrafts re-entereing the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy per SECOND, EACH! In short, hey will burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create a deafening sonic boom in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousanths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal* forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force. In conclusion - If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead by now.

* Please note that centrifugal is a made-up non existent word. The real word should be centripetal. Centrifugal is a made up force that physics people HATE! So please, everyone use the world centripetal, not centrifugal. Thanks!

Merry Christmas....or Whatever

All of my Christian friends: Have a Merry Christmas. To those of you who are not Christian, enjoy whatever you celebrate at this season.

For those who are offended, have an relaxing, enjoyable, non-partisan, not-necessarily-religious, non-sectarian, but-if-you-don't-celebrate-anything-I'm-cool-with-that, winter solstice time.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Report: Obama Clears Obama

Did anyone expect differently?

Seriously, of course an investigation commissioned by The Office of the President-Elect would find no wrongdoing by the President-Elect and his staff. If this were the Bush administration, the Democrats and MSM wouldn't stand for this. They would be demanding a special prosecutor to find out what Bush knew and when he knew it.

And I know this will surprise readers of this blog, but expect Fitzgerald to be fired when the new administration takes office. You know...just like President Bush fired a bunch of prosecutors? And the silence will be deafening.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

At Fault? Just Sue!

This is an embarassment. And Daddy the Judge seems to think it's ok.

This comment is priceless: "The injuries and property damage sustained by (Shelton and her family) were not the result of intentional acts, but were accidental and caused by the negligence of the uninsured/underinsured driver," Shelton's attorney Mark Sandoval wrote in the lawsuit.

How would the insurance of the truck driver have resulted in a different outcome? The death, damage, "mental anguish" and "pain and suffering" were solely a result of her actions. Daddy should be ashamed. And resign.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Karma Runs Over Dogma

The Beer: A co-worker traded me six-packs. He made a nice lager and nut brown (I've tried both). We'll also be comparing our cranberry concoctions.

The Bicycle: The ten-speed is ready to go. I wanteed to take it on a test ride, but the foot of snow we got last night killed that idea.

The VRWC: I read that Eliot Spitzer was one of Bernie Madoff's "victims". Maybe ol' Eliot should have spent a little less time destroying Dick Strong and a little more time finding out why Bernie was "too good to be true".

Karma, anyone?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Is it Genetic?

So, Caroline Kennedy's qualifications for Senate is.....?

I mean, seriously, I thought Hillary was unqualified. On the other hand, I often wonder how most Senators became qualified for that position and why we consider them to be so.....above the fray(?).

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Opinion Posing As News

Opinion posing as news. The Leftists are in a full court press.

Politicians Or UAW?

I'm not a Union guy. I'm probably the last guy who is going to defend Union activity. I believe Unionization has been one (of many) factors in the decline of manufacturing in the United States. I work for a company that has a UAW shop and while, dealing with individuals in the Union is generally pretty easy, dealing with the Union as a whole can be a major pain in myess.

All that said, it's beginning to look like the Senate/UAW negotiations went south because the Senators don't understand Union contracts, Union mentality or UAW/Automaker history. On the other hand, I don't think the Union understands the gravity of their situation. And the wages are not the big part of the problem - it's the legacy costs. Wake up.

Understand that I am against bailouts in general. I think the "love" needs to be spread around. Right now, the only ones taking it in the shorts are the responsible, hard-working, tax-paying, I-might-scramble-sometimes-but-I-meet-my-bills-even-if-I have-to-get-another-job citizens of this country. There is zero reason to bail out mismanaged, overpaid, underworked, sometimes criminally negligent or worse, business. Whether Wall Street or Main Street, Detroit or Dallas, Silicon Valley or Rio Grande Valley, government intervention only prolongs the agony. The losers will lose, the winners will win. Sooner is better.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Greek Riots

This is distressing. Greeks are so dissatisfied that the riots also seem to be garnering sympathy from the citizenry. That there are sympathy protests going on throughout Europe is also cause for concern. I don't recall this happening in my lifetime and possibly not since 1930's Germany. If our government isn't concerned, they should be.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Big 3 Bailout

I'm not happy about this. My fear is that the Big 3 may no longer be viable and we just threw a bunch of money down a rat-hole. I also fear that this is a bone to the UAW. I'm hearing calls for the head of GM to step down, but no such call for the head of the Union. Both are complicit here.

And a "Car Czar"? At what point has any governmental entity shown the ability to make good business decisions?

This is particularly troubling:

On Monday, members of the United Auto Workers, active workers and retirees, were on Capitol Hill to make the case that the auto industry deserves financial help from the government.
Frank Hammer, a retired GM worker, rejected the notion that the major automakers are suffering severe problems because of high wages and costly benefits for workers.


"The blame lies directly with the reckless behavior of Wall Street and the politicians who have removed all constraints on their unbridled greed," Hammer told reporters at a news conference.

"We urge Congress to endorse the bridge loan immediately, although we reject the notion that auto workers must make further concessions for its approval," he said.


If both parties are unwilling to make significant concessions, car makers will be mired in the same mess they are currently in. I also don't see how this statement makes any sense on its' face?

To the comments that failure to bail out the Big 3 will lead into a recession, the same thing was said about bailing out banks or the recession would get worse.....we bailed them out and the recession got worse anyway. To reward Ford, Chrysler and GM for mismanagement isn't going to fix the problem.

And what of other companies going to bankruptcy? The venerable Tribune Co. filed Chapter 11 today. Why shouldn't they get a bailout?.

This could work....then again, it may not.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

More Global Warming Bunk

I'm having trouble with this one.

Right out of the box, I'm a skeptic. The nature of the Scientific Method has always been to test the theory to see if it can be disproved (theories cannot be factually proven, since it is impossible to test for all cases - that is the root of my skepticism).. The Global Warming (or Climate Change) dogma is taken as gospel. Nowhere do the believers try to disprove the theory. Even the theory of gravity is tested by true scientists. There are no facts in science. Only theories to be disproven.

Which brings me to this article. The first thing I notice is that the years 1961-1990 are taken as the benchmark average. Why? What is special about those years? I also notice the years from 1830-2008 are shown on the graph. I'd argue that global temperature from the years 1830-1940 are probably skewed to colder because the bulk of temperature readings would necesssarily come from the northern 1/2 of the northern hemisphere. Why do I say that? Most of the population which would have maintained good, widespread records of temperature would live in that part of the world at that time. Recall that up until about 1900, much of the world remained undeveloped and or colonized by Europeans.

I also notice that there is never any uncertainty analysis in Global Warming research. Uncertainty analysis is exactly what it says and gives and idea of how accurate the data really are.

For those of you at Skeptical Science, I'm not saying anthropogenic global warming isn't happening. I'm just looking for the research a high schooler would do.

Christopher Thomas Review to be Private

Guess what the outcome of this will be?

As you may know, this is something of a quest for me. Justice must be done here. That the caseworker responsible - maybe irresponsible is a better word- is still assigned to the sister is amazing (maybe not, considering how this has all played out). I am reasonably certain there would be no investigation without the public outrage over this.

Revels Robinson, too, said she had been both personally and professionally affected by Christopher's death.
"We are all very saddened and very much affected by this very, very difficult situation," she said.


I can't buy this. If it were true, Revels Robinson would have resigned already. As I have said before, this is not the first time under her watch. Her incompetence at managing this service plunges into new depths.

Reggie Bicha, secretary of the state Department of Children and Families, called Christopher's death and the abuse of his sister "inexcusable and unacceptable." Major changes in the Milwaukee County child welfare system will be made as a result, Bicha said. He didn't elaborate on what those changes might be.
"I am very troubled by what I have learned so far," he said.
"The public has demanded answers," he said. "So have I."


Again, not the first time this has happened. Where has the state been? I emailed Jim Ott and Alberta Darling regarding this and received good responses from both. I emailed the Governor's office and have heard nothing.

We need to keep banging away at this until there is accountability.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Keeping Us Safe

The Beer: Hail to the 75th Anniversary of the end of Prohibition.

The Bicycle: The 10-speed is soon to be a complete work. I'm pretty excited.

The VRWC: I was headed in different direction with this, but thought I'd check, rather than going with what I heard. A local talk guy said the Lefty blogs were going nuts over the piece, seeing it as a hack job on The Chosen One. I checked Daily Kos, Huffington Post and some lesser Lefty blogs and while they're still unhinged, I was unable to find any reference to the Noonan piece.

For all I can tell here, it's a pretty thoughtful column covering much of what the Right and the Republican Party is thinking right now. And anyone who doesn't think the Mumbai attacks didn't open some Democrat eyes, start paying attention. Senator Obama is having his eyes opened right now, not only from classified briefings, but also from Mr. and Mrs. Clinton who, thought they did little about it, are very familiar with the threat.

Those who wish to do us harm wished it long before President Bush and will wish to harm us long after. The do not care what party holds office, they don't care about pretty words of peace and love and they don't care about a flower in every gun barrel or swords to plowshares. Whatever their cause, the damage was done long ago and the desire for revenge lives long in the Middle Eastern cultures. The Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism makes clear that the threat remains and will remain. We will eventually be hit again. Senator Obama and his new administration will need every tool at their disposal to prevent serious consequences to the public. The Left and their media thralls will try to blame Bush, but the electorate will have none of it.

Hence, the Democrats will not want to see, "unlike Obama".

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

America's New Kennedy?

Give me a break here. That said, I've long been a proponent of driving change in our Cuba policy. McDonalds, Coca Cola and Levis went far in ending the Soviet Union. Trade and tourism would bring dollars to an impoverished nation. It's pointed out in the article how our relationship with Cuba undermines relationships with the rest of Latin America and gives rise to guys like Chavez. If we are a good neighbor, I think we have a better shot at having good neighbors. At least, in this hemnisphere.

Skeptical or Not?

I've had many visitors from the site skepticalscience.com. This is a site that is skeptical of us global warming skeptics. But apparently, there is no stomach for real debate. There have been no comments either way. Conclusion? Either those visitors agree with me, or they can't refute my information.......

Edit 0651, 11/29/08 A third possibility....they are gathering enough information to make an informed choice.

Show of Hands, Please?

Anyone still think Hugo Chavez is anything but a tin-pot dictator?

Threatening elected representatives because they are the opposition doesn't exactly scream Democracy and Freedom.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mr. President-Elect, Are You Listening?

I don't think they want to talk.

Lamest Duck?

What a big steamin' pile.

He's too classy to do it, but if it were me, I'd leave the White House in January, telling the new President, "Good Luck". Then I'd enter the Marine helicopter, turn around and, with head and hands held high, firmly extend both middle fingers.

Time will tell.

Beyonce

I don't normally watch The Today Show. I'm burning a couple vacation days this week, so I'm at home. My wife has Today on for background noise. Beyonce is the featured artist. I just saw the performance (Crazy in Love).

One word......Damn.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Those Who Can, Do.....

The Beer: Frozen cranberries do not puree well. It sounds like rocks bouncing around the food processor. That said, the job is done and the Cranberry Wheat is in the secondary fermenter, with a planned bottling this weekend.

The Bicycle: The 10-speed is cleaning up very nicely. It clearly has not been ridden much....if at all. Part are still going to be an issue.

The VRWC:
Those who can't, well....... you know how that goes.

My mom was a teacher for a lot of years. Taught 4th, 5th and 6th grades in Oconomowoc. I saw a lot then. Then I went to college and saw a lot there. Between jobs, I did some substitute teaching. Saw a lot there. My conclusion, based on what I've seen is that there are too many people who go into teaching because they can't do math and science.

I know I'm going to hear about this, and that's ok. I understand that teaching is not an easy job (at least if one does it well). But the pay and benefits in this state are unbelievably good. Is it too much to ask that teachers be expert in their subjects?

WEAC claims to want the best education for our children. Prove it by holding teachers accountable for expertise.

Pardon Me?

I don't recall this much "hoo-ha" in the MSM over the Clinton pardons. Anyone recall Marc Rich? Note that the article in Time is well past Bush's inauguration.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Obamanomics?

The Beer: IPA - India Pale Ale. So named because in addition to being a flavoring and aroma agent, hops are also a preservative. The British, in their infinite beer wisdom, heavily hopped beer destined for the far reaches of their empire, specifically India.

The Bicycle: The 1977 JC Penney-labeled 10-speed needs a 5-speed SRAM chain (or any other 5-speed chain, for that matter). Nobody seems to make one anymore. On the other hand, the tires still hold air. They don't make 'em like they used to.

A friend is on a bicycle tour of New Zealand. I'm jealous. Those of you stopping in from that part of the world, give a shout-out to my peeps, Mr. and Ms. MPA.

The VRWC: I'm not convinced the President-Elect is going to do all the "wonderful things" he claimed in his campaign. With the crappy economy, most, if not all of the giveaways will be near impossible. Most will require money that just isn't there and mandates on employers will slow any rehiring. Unless the new administration decides some type of real tax cut is in order - for example, lowering the 25% tax rate to say, 15% - to put money back into consumers' pockets, this could be a very protracted recession. The federal investment in infrastructure is laudable, but it is only make-work. Real expansion of competetive manufacturing is what will bring the economy out of its woes. That means the government allows the losers to lose and the winners to win. I don't see that happeneing. It's not "fair".

Edit 1115 11/23/08: Apparently, Nancy Pelosi is reading my Blog. ;-)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gun-totin' Lefties?

I find this extremely odd. Does it mean if you own an unregistered firearm that you can't be Disciple of the Chosen One?

The Operative Term Here is "Bear"

Here is what happens when one anthropomorphises dangerous animals without making it clear that they are not really cute little fuzzballs.

Skeptical Science

Skepticalscience.com has named me "Skeptic of the Week". It doesn't appear to be a good thing. See, skepticalscience is a "skeptic-skeptic". That is, they are skeptical of Global Warming Skeptics. But I say, "Good". I don't want anyone to drink my kool-aid any more than I want them to drink the Global Warming kool-aid. My point is now, and always has been question everything you are told by government and media. There is always an agenda. Sometimes that agenda is for good, sometimes bad, but it's almost always propaganda. Somebody is selling something. Look at the evidence critically and locate multiple sources. Then make a decision on what you believe. If you choose to believe the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory, good for you. You did your homework first.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Where's the Leadership?

First, welcome to everyone stopping by from skepticalscience.com. The response has been overwhelming. I'm such a neophyte that I didn't even know I'd been linked.

So, where's the leadership? Our Democrat friends so want to throw a bone to the United Auto Workers, but they are unwilling to take the chance of being blamed. A couple days ago, Senator Reid wanted President Bush to come up with a plan. Now he wants the automakers to come up with something? Really? If the automakers had a plan, don't you think they would have dealt with this already?

But there is a bigger issue here. The Democrats are in charge now. Soon, they will own three branches of government. Is this how they will lead? The Democrats blocked everything for the last eight years, made the term,"Bush's Fault" extend to the mutant cucumbers in my garden and successfully took over government using "The Big Lie". It's time to lead.

A little advice for the Democrats: Be careful what you wish for; we live in interesting times.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

President-Bashing

The Beer: Cranberry Wheat, just in time for Thanksgiving is in the fermenter (ok, it won't really be ready to have with turkey, but it will be pretty darn good).

The Bicycle: This summer, my 92-year-old neighbor gave me a 1977 JC Penney-labeled 10-speed with Shimano components. My mission is to clean it up and take it to my daughter in Texas. She just started riding again and this should be a good starter. The hardest part is going to be the tires. Since it isn't quick-release, getting everything aligned may be a problematic. If I can get a SRAM chain, it might make all that easier.

The VRWC:
Does anyone still think the bad guys want to talk? Americans love to President-bash. It's a national sport. But no outsider should be talking smack about the President. (Nor should Amnericans bash the President outside this country, but that's another topic).

Oh, yeah.. Quit referring to Al-Zawahiri as the No. 2 guy. Bin Laden is dead, or at least incapacitated. Al-Zawahiri is calling the shots.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Global Warming of Incompetence?

THIS...is too good.

The Global Warming Agenda is nothing more than another "Big Lie" by the Left. Since the data haven't shown any global warming in over 10 years now, it must be invented. At best, this is sloppy science, at worst, something much more sinister.

To believe in the Global Warming Myth, one must believe that 50 years of good, reliable global temperature data is adequate to explain 5-or-so billion years of climate. One must believe that a 0.38% increase in historical Carbon Dioxide levels is enough to change global temperature. Keep in mind that the focus of the Global Warming Agenda is carbon dioxide, but water vapor and methane are said to have have a much higher contributions to alleged global warming. One must believe that solar irradiance is less contributing to climate than human activity. One must suspend common sense and belief.

The current claim in the media is that the Arctic Ice Cap is at it's lowest point in recorded history. I am in no position to dispute the measurements, but I am in a position to look historically. Since the European discovery of the New World, explorers have been looking for a "Northwest Passage" through the Arctic. What could have tempted them to believe it was so if there was perennial ice throughout the Arctic. I suggest that they had evidence that it could be so. Greenland was named so because at one time it was farmable. Is it not reasonable that Arctic ice may have been at such an ebb in the 1300's that it became common belief that the Arctic was passable even 200 years later?

Look, don't believe me. Gather all the evidence you can, look at it wiht an open mind and an eye to historical fact. Then decide. I think you'll go with me.

Wisconsin Drunkenness?

I'm shocked, just shocked.

This is a state where it is not uncommon to see people with multiple drunk driving offenses get probation. One cannot purchase alcohol to take home after 9 pm, but one can get toasted at a bar (or tavern, as they are called here) until 2 am and drive home. Drinking in Wisconsin is a destination, not a social activity. It's not, "Let's go dancing and have a cocktail or two", it's, "Let's go drinking". It's been this way my entire life. I've lived throughout the United States and I have never seen anything that compares.

Problem? Absolutely.

More Bailout

Can I get a piece of this action?

Of course not. I've been responsible, informed and living within my means. Let's continue to bail out the people who brought us to this point. What assurance do we have that these same people, with a little more money in their pockets won't go out and spend beyond their means again? The Obama wants to put strings on every other bailout; how about this one?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Racism?

I'm going to need more proof than the say-so of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

SPLC is an organization that needs racism to survive. If it isn't there, it has to be invented. Show me the money....Not anecdotal evidence.

Not Gonna Let This One Go

I don't get as much traffic as many blogs. But those of you who stop by need to help out. This cries out for Justice and accountability. The Department of Children and Families has failed again and again to protect innocent children from abuse. Email your legislators and the governor. Make a stink. A really big one. I expect this to come down to "inadequate funding" and no accountability unless we demand it.

Budget Cuts?

This will never happen. Even if it does, if you read between the lines, it's the same old Doyle. All he's doing is shifting the tax burden to the local level or, in the end, the taxpayer. If he drops state school aid, local districts will have to pick up the slack. Increased taxes on oil companies and hospitals only increases costs to the consumer. "I don't want to increase taxes". But you know the governor will. It's what he does best. Increasing taxes in this economy is the worst possible choice. People are already avoiding spending. Take more of their money and they will hold tighter to what little is left. Business and industry is already fleeing Wisconsin's "tax hell". Milwaukee is in line to be the New Detroit.

Jim....buddy.....how about finding some real cuts. When my employer goes through tough times, the hard decision is to let people go. But it's the decision that let's the remaining keep their jobs by keeping the business viable. Considering the insane pay and benefits for Wisconsin state employees, isn't it possible there are some who can be let go? I'm sure there's plenty more to cut if you want to look.

Friday, November 14, 2008

This is Horrible

Who is going to pay a price for this? The breakdown of a system that was supposed to protect the innocent has shown itself another uncaring bureaucracy.

Is this what we've come to?

A Thousand Times NO!

The Beer: I have decided to brew a Cranberry Wheat. One of my co-workers is brewing the same and I thought a blind taste test might be fun.

The Bicycle: Rumor has it that a major bicycle maker has an opening that might interest me.

The VRWC: NO! Stop it, stop it NOW!

On what planet is this a good idea? The Big Three have so much long-term obligation that the only way for them to maintain viability is through bankruptcy. A bailout only prolongs the agony. GM has 10 times the retirees as employees. They aren't selling cars. They are nearly underwater in a good year. (Full disclosure: My father-in-law is a GM retiree.)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Energy Geek Strikes Again

The Beer: The Belgian Wit went very well with home made pizza.

The Bicycle: Guess it's time to show the bikes a little love and get them cleaned up for the winter. To be physically ready for next year (at my age, I can't just jump back into it at the end of March), I'l need to start a new regimen.

The VRWC: I think I've shown here that solar and wind energy can only be a niche. Neither is reliable enough to meet all needs. Also, the sun's irradiance at the Earths' surface is not adequate for 24/7 energy. So what's the plan?

Here are some plentiful, reliable and "clean" solutions.

  1. Nuclear. This is my favorite, but I admit to being biased. Opponents love to bring up the waste issue, but if we recycled the fuel, the waste issue would largely go away. Yes, I can prove it. How much time ya got?
  2. Geothermal. While it can be "capital intensive", the application is sound and directly available to everyone from the homeowner to the large utility. The theory is simple. A few feet below the Earths' surface, temperature is fairly constant. It can make a good heat source in the winter and heat sink in the summer for the average homeowner or business. Deeper, sometimes much deeper, temperatures are much higher (see "volcanos"). High enough to generate steam in a boiler or directly. The steam can be used to drive a turbine-generator set to provide electricity. Now, use that to generate hydrogen to power cars. Or use the heat to make clean drinking water from seawater. Almost inexhaustable energy. Downside? I suppose someone will come up with a doomsday scenario based on taking heat from the planet and slowing rotation or something, but I doubt it.
  3. Fusion. Possible, but 50 years of research has yielded little. I'm doubtful that it will be viable in my lifetime. Theory is sound, but practice is riddled with problems to go with the promise.

That's about all I got. Everything else I've seen has severe limitations.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Yikes

Go to change.gov. It's truly frightening to read some of the plans.

  • Enact a "Windfall Profits" tax to give each taxpayer a $1000 Emergency Energy Rebate. Seems to me that rebate will be eaten up by the higher energy charges due to the new tax.

  • In Healthcare, the term "fairness" comes up way too often. This is akin to "spreading the wealth".

  • Pay Equity: This is really scary. Now, I believe that people performing the same job for the same employer at the same performance level should be rewarded equally. That's about where I draw the line. Having the government be the arbiter of "fairness" is fundamentally a bad idea. There are entirely too many variables that go into this.

This is tip-of-the-iceberg stuff. But a majority of the voters drank this kool-aid.

May we live in interesting times.

Unhinged

The Beer: Honkers Ale. Outside of the Cubs and the Bears, Chicago is a great city and brews some great beers (not as great as Milwaukee brews, but great none-the-less).

The Bicycle: 36 degrees and snowing/raining and generally crappy. I'll till and plant garlic instead.

The VRWC: The Obama-Love continues. The media has admitted being in the tank for him. (H/T, Neo-Neocon) I don't think any of this will last. He'll fail to deliver on the important stuff while silencing opposing voices in the name of "fairness" and saving us from our guns and religion. Don't get me wrong here. The MSM will LOVE "fairness" and gun control, but they won't be happy that he can't be all things to all people.

All that said, let's not get nuts here. We are better than the unhinged Left and don't need to go that way. We need to oppose bad policy as it comes up and support good. There may be times when Direct Action is necessary. The Pelosi-Reid-Obama gang may attempt to marginalize the Right and run roughshod over us. If they do, it will be necessary to take to the streets. It will be necessary to get the "blue flu". We may have to decide that our rights and our voices are more important than making it to work on January 21, 2009. It may be necessary to become unhinged.

But not yet.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Post Election Depression

The Beer: I stopped at Hops Haven in Sheboygan today and had the sampler. Excellent.

The Bicycle: Rain today. Cold coming. Yuck.

The VRWC: Markets are down 10% since the election. Are they speaking to us? Rahm Emmanuel? That doesn't sound like a guy who wants bipartisanship.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Loyal Opposition

I will be the Loyal Opposition. I will oppose policy I disagree with. I will not oppose Barak Obama, The President of the United States in the same way the Democrats opposed President Bush at every turn.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Voted, Now The Waiting

The Beer: Ah, drunkenness, that sweet solace that ends so badly.

The Bicycle: I can't ride drunk (I can, but it, too ends badly).

The VRWC: I am prepared for the beating we are about to take . I have a bottle of very nice red, the Liberty Ale is in the freezer (fitting because tonight may be the end of Thomas Jefferson's dream).

The sun will come up tomorrow.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Moment of Truth

OK. Here we are. We have advanced to the precipice. What's it going to be?

I look at the two candidates and I don't really like either. But I also look at what is best for our country's security and place in the world, what is best for our economy and what is best for me, and I can only go to John McCain. I have looked at all Senator Obama stands for and cannot find one thing with which I can agree. Everything he brings to the table looks an awful lot like Marxism. People say to me, "He can't be that bad". Or, "There's no way he can institute that kind of policy". My response? It's a new paradigm. At no time has there been the potential for an overwhelming majority in both houses of Congress. Never before has there been a Congress as Leftist as this one. And never befpore has there been such a far Left, nay, Socialist, presidential candidate as Barak Obama. It can happen and if the predictions on the election come true, it will. And will will never be able to return.

I fear for the Republic.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Beer: Both are bottled and awaiting a few days before taste testing.

The Bicycle: Looks like a nice day tomorrow. In spite of the knee, I'm going to shoot for a morning ride before the Packer game.

Speaking of football, the coaching during the 4th quarter of the Badger game was so bad that Brett Bielema should be fired just based on that.

The VWRC: Is it not enough that we get 6 months of crappy winter weather? I got my license plate renewal today. $95. Are you kidding me? Last year it was $55.

I don't mind paying taxes as long as I see something for it. But here, the schools and roads are generally crappy (although I'm in an area with pretty good schools, overall Wisconsin schools suck), "services" are nearly non-existent and I can't figure out where the money goes. My renewal notice says to go the the DMV website for fee information. YOU go to the website and try to find where the money goes. I got nothin'. Unbelievable.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More Personal Destruction

Woe be unto anyone who asks The Great Messiah a question he does not approve of.

Is this what you want from your government?

And yes, I'd be saying this if it were the other party.

Duh.

Saw this and had to post it. There's so much to comment on in this one article and I just don't have time. Of course she's a national political figure. She's the GOP VP candidate.

And don't get me started on the term, "nuclear waste dump". It's a perjorative term that brings visions of a Waste Management truck pulling up and crapping out a bunch of radioactive "stuff". Nothing is farther from the truth and the media has been seeling this garbage (no pun intended) to an uninformed public for nearly 40 years.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Aaaarrrgggghhhhhh!!!!!!!

The Beer: Both are in their secondary fermenters and will be ready to bottle this weekend.

The Bicycle: I got skills. I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I have operated and maintained both a naval and a commercial nuclear power system. I have professional certifications. I'm not an idiot. Really. SO WHY CAN'T I CHANGE A FREAKIN' BICYCLE TIRE WITHOUT SHREDDING THE TUBE?

The VRWC: The Barak-star was on TV tonight. I'm depressed.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Politics of Personal Destruction

The Beer: The Winter Ale is in the Primary and ready to transfer. The Liberty Ale is in the Primary and just starting to ferment. I'm guessing the corn sugars break down a little more slowly. I expect to bottle next weekend.

The Bicycle: I'm apparently not real good at changing tubes, but at the rate I'm getting "pinch flats", I'm going to get real good, real soon.

The VRWC: I was going to blame Bush for this, but I see the MSM has gone over to blaming Sarah Palin for everything now.

I see a pattern here. The Left so fears anyone who shows strong leadership or leadership potential on the Right that personal destruction becomes necessary as a survival tool. It's clearly an orchestrated effort between the Democrat party, the MSM, Hollywood elite and the intellectual elite.

Before 9/11, President Bush was labeled as "stupid" by the Left. Despite wide acclaim by both sides during his governorship in Texas, he was a dolt, by elitist Washington standards. He talked slow and he talked "funny". But he was thought to be generally harmless and could be marginalized easily. Rove and Cheney were the brains of the outfit. Post 9/11, he showed significant leadership skills and his popularity started to climb. Almost immediately, the Leftists began their campaign of personal destruction. Stories of his "immobilization" in front of a class of schoolchildren in Florida emerged. The runup to the Iraq war brought more criticism, the evidence be damned. 12 years of talking apparently wasn't enough. Iraq was invaded and Saddam removed. It was an exceptionally rapid victory and Mission Accomplished. And it was. But the MSM made sure to make fun of the photo op on the carrier and the Left began to bang the Post Vietnam anti-war drum. (as an aside, I notice every military conflict involving a Republican President is "another Vietnam". Can anyone tell me how long we've had troops in Bosnia and how much longer they will be there?) The vilification intensified and the Presidents' approval ratings fell. The President never fought back and that was his undoing. The destruction is now complete.

Now, the Left fears Sarah Palin. Once again, a candidate from outside Washington who talks funny. But she shows leadership potential and may challenge Obama in '12 or Hillary in '16. She must be destroyed. Read the stories in the MSM. It's already started.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Yum!

The Beer: Ingredients are on order for a Winter Ale and an ale using a recipe from the late 1700's. I should be brewing next week. I have already secured agreements in the Beer-for-Deer program. Either beer should go well with the spicy roasted pumpkin soup I prepared yesterday. Recipe as follows:

1 medium pumpkin
3-15 oz. cans of chicken stock (or as needed).
Seasoning to taste

Cut the pumpkin in half and seed. Place cut side down on a cookie sheet and roast at 200 degrees until soft (we took about 6 hours). When the pumpkin cools, scoop out the meat from inside - I don't know if you can use the skin or not. Place the pumpkin "meat" in a large saucepan and cover with the chicken broth (more or less to get the consistency you want). Add spices and bring to a simmer until very soft. I use curry, cumin, salt, pepper and a jalapeno (cayenne, banana or other hot pepper works fine). Puree with a hand blender or in a food processor. At this point, I add 2 bay leaves and a couple sage leaves. Allow it to simmer for a time and serve. I serve in a bowl with crostini and fresh cilantro.

The Bicycle: I did ride from work on Thursday. About 40 minutes. I'll do it again. But I admit to being a little creeped out walking throught the office in spandex.

The VRWC: No conspiracy today. There's just too much.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More Energy

The Beer: A fellow homebrewer at work went to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver recently. Said it was the best beer thing ever. Maybe I can go next year.

The Bicycle: Since it's getting cool and dark, I'm going to look at riding during lunch at work. With the new "digs", it should be pretty easy to get an hour-or-so in.

The VRWC: I noticed that since credit dried up, the price of oil has plummeted. It could be coincidental, since oil was on the way down anyway, but I think there is at least some connection between credit, speculation and price.

More Leftist uninformed drivel. The efficiency of a power plant is driven by physics and design, not by the fuel used. A biomass plant and a coal plant of the same capacity and design cycle will run pretty much at the same efficiency. And there is little-to-no reduction (and maybe even an increase) in carbon dioxide emissions. The comment below is made without attribution or explanation.

"Contrary to claims in the op-ed, there are plants currently operating and being proposed that far surpass the proposed Alliant plant's biomass capacity. In Wisconsin, Xcel will burn 100% biomass at its Bayfront plant in Ashland - more biomass capacity than Alliant's proposal. Better yet, Xcel will rely on 100% biomass for a truly renewable solution that actually will reduce global warming pollution."

It is simply stated as fact by the author. I'd like an explanation of how burning biomass is either more efficient or less polluting than any other fuel which is burned for generating electricity. What is the biomass? Dung? Trees? Trash? How much is required? Environmental Impact Statement? What calculations did the author use to make her claims?

Does anyone look at this stuff critically? People with knowledge of the subject should be beating this stuff to death. The Left is wrong. Dead wrong. They continue to lie about the largest energy supply in the world and we accept it as gospel.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Questions Which Should Be Asked, But Won't

The Beer: I'm getting ingredients for Winter Ale. I'll use some of the batch in my "Beer-for-Deer" program. Papa Sierra and Juliette Lima are the best participants.

The Bicycle: I'm having some ankle problems that are going to suspend any riding for the forseeable future.

The VRWC: Questions everyone should be asking, but the MSM won't:

  • If Sarah Palin is not qualified by experience to be Vice-President, how is Barak Obama qualified by experience to be President?
  • What is the relationship between ACORN and the Obama campaign?
  • Who is funding ACORN's voter registration program?
  • Why does any mention of ACORN and their relationship to vote fraud in Milwaukee (and nationwide) only rate a page 6 column in the Milwaukee paper?
  • Why is it not ok for Sarah Palin to fire a state trooper who is not (allegedly) a very nice person? He's a guy who (again, allegedly) tased his own child. What am I missing here?
  • What is the relationship between Bill Ayres and Barak Obama? How would the MSM treat a similar relationship between John McCain and a member of a far Right revolutionary group?
  • What is the relationship between Tony Rezko and Barak Obama?
  • Why is it racist to vote against Barak Obama if one disagrees with his policies?

Throw more down if you got 'em.

Monday, October 6, 2008

I'm Depressed (But the Economy Isn't)

The Beer: I think everyone is drinking heavily these days. Pick your poison.

The Bicycle: My daughter has rediscovered the joy of bicycling. Now, to set the hook. ;-)

The VRWC: Here is why polls mean nothing. Asking the uninformed for their opinion accomplishes nothing. Nobody with any knowledge of the subject believes we're headed for a new Great Depression. We'll struggle a little, but it will be fine. I'll just never be able to retire.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

"Climate Change", My @$$

With this being the 48th Anniversary of Sputnik and the advent of the Space Age, it's also a good time to talk a little about alleged "climate change".

Now, I realize that whoever wins the Presidency (pretty sure it will be an Obama landslide), we are going to get the full-court (unintentional, but apropos pun) press on draconian regulations to combat the alleged climate change. Big Environmental (use that term along with "alleged climate change" often) has the upper hand right now. It's pretty clear that the high cost of energy does result in a behavior change. They will be pushing for carbon taxes and any number of regulations to push us back to the days of long ago discredited mass transit (and the higher taxes that come with it) and urban living. The Left can't stand the idea of people making their own decisions and living where they wish.

Looking at this whole thing historically, Earth's climate has been in a constant state of change. It is only since the dawn of the Space Age that we have had reasonably good climate data. Prior to that time, data relied on ships at sea and remote locations for climate data, making it incomplete and unreliable. I don't think anyone can argue that good worldwide climate data has existed for more than 100 years and I argue that it has only existed for less than 50. With Big Environmental being the same people who claim the Earth is billions of years old (I happen to agree on this count), how can 50-100 years of data be a reliable indicator of a changing climate?

It doesn't pass the smell test.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

More Mortgage Bailout

Stop in for more truth. It is no surprise that Democrats not only block any regulatory oversight of Fannie and Freddie, but will brook no criticism of the head of the organization. See for yourself.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Burnin' Down The House

Go see my good friend Phel Jones for the scare of your life. See the "Burnin' Down The House" post. Google the facts. You want to see how we got to this financial mess and who is to blame? You obviously have the internet. Do you have the courage to believe the truth?

Bills of Goods

The Beer: I've been drinking the Lawnmower, which my wife thinks is the best ever.

The Bicycle: It's getting chilly. And dark. It's time to maintain the bikes and dream about warmer weather.

The VRWC: Looks like we've been sold a bill of goods.

Not to be confused with this bill of goods. This piece hits the proverbial nail. I'm done bailing people out of bad decisions because we "feel" sorry for them. Looks like I'm not the only one. The taxpayers are going to take it the shorts regardless, so let's share the love here. Why would we want to give money back to the same people responsible for this mess. And now I hear that Barney Frank wanted to give a "slush fund" to "community organizing groups" like ACORN. Are ya freakin' kiddin' me? I'm beyond upset over this. Oh...and the bill increased the debt ceiling to $1.3 trillion. That tells me they don't think the $700 billion is enough.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

End of An Era

Paul Newman gone at age 83.

No Good Deed

In the , "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished Department" and the "Wall Between Church and State" department.

Does anyone else see the disconnect here? I'm guessing both the guy complaining and the Pastor of this church are both Obama voters. Any minister worth his salt would be a lot more concerned about bringing his flock to Jesus than endorsing a candidate.

Full disclosure edit: The organization sponsoring this protest against the IRS is a Right Wing org. So I could be wrong about the Pastor. I still don't think a minister worth his salt is endorsing a candidate from the pulpit.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Left vs. Right

Is it just me? Or are those of us on the Right more likely to hold our politicians accountable than the Left?

Meltdown and Bailout

I don't really care how you come down on the current economic issues, but if you stop and think for a minute, you'll realize that none of this could have happened without the complicity of the government. And it didn't happen overnight. When you throw out perjoratives like, "Wall Street Fat Cats", you take away from who the real culprit is (or rather, "are"). It's us. We have determined that our greed and avarice are more important than anything else....including our children. This whole mess is but a symptom. Start looking honestly and you will see where the real responsibilty lies and what the real cause is.

More to come.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

AAAaaarrrrggggghhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

This is infuriating! 500 years of observing and cataloging sunspots and observing sun activity and "some" scientists believe it affects weather and climate? I'd argue the rest of them don't deserve the degree they got from the Crackerjack box.

Plan on cold and snow. For a while.

Aftermath?

The Beer: It's time to start the fall/winter brewing season. If you have any ideas, please pass them along. I also plan to start some all-grain brewing before spring.

The Bicycle: Meh.

The VRWC: I tend to go with the Senate. I don't like any of this. Many financial advisors are telling their clients to bail on the market. This isn't like 2001/2002. I'm holding. Do what you want. Long term, long term, long term.

An Obama campaign volunteer stopped by sunday. I was pleasant, she was pleasant. I hope she saw that we on the right are not the devil incarnate. I don't believe they are. Wrong, but not necessarily evil.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Bailout

The Beer: Central Waters Brewing Company Happy Heron Pale Ale. Very nice, but not exactly a Sierra Nevada clone. It's from Central Waters Brewing Company. First time I've seen it. MPB was kind enough to buy a six for our post-ride soiree.

The Bicycle: 25 miles at Maywood. The Maywood Earth Ride is a pretty well run fund-raiser for the Maywood Earth Park in Sheboygan (hey...I'm a Teddy Roosevelt conservationist....not an enviro-whacko. I'll put my money where my mouth is).

The VRWC: I'm still trying to understand what has happened in the financial markets this week. WSJ, via Opinion Journal has a good summary. I offer this without comment, because it really isn't my forte. Time will tell if this is good or bad.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Where From Here?


The Beer: A nice Scotch Ale on a cool September evening would be nice.

The Bicycle: I got a couple short ones in this week. Maywood on Saturday. P and I are riding 25. Then a little time at Kohler for sightseeing and stuff, then to MPB's casa for dinner and fun. MPA can't come, but they will be there in spirit. I'm to the left of the guy waving (that's MPB). Picture is from last year.

The VRWC: Wild week in the markets. I don't quite know what to say except that this is no worse than the late 70's, the mid 80's or 2001-2. Hang in, we'll come out of it. Don't panic. Everyone else is doing that for you.

Anybody need an Environmental, Health and Safety guy? I'm pretty good at it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sarah Palin Against the Full Court Press

I thought the basketball reference was appropriate.

I'm betting there is nothing here, but the Democrats will keep coming, if only to raise suspision. She must be destroyed. At all costs.

Where is the Tony Rezko investigation? Where is the Bill Ayres investigation?
Owen at Boots and Sabers does a nice job of showing us how to clobber a Lefty professor.

Here's how you respond to reasoned debate if you're a Lefty:

  1. Use terms like "neo-con" and "elitist".
  2. Make sure you don't recognize your own stand as "elitist".
  3. Make sure to post, "Grin. I was only raising the question, Owen." Isn't that, "I'm just sayin' "?
  4. Challenge your opponent to debate in a public forum, "over coffee". Preferably at your academic institution where you know you will have a sympathetic audience.
  5. Call Free Market, "Corporate Welfare". Remember, you've never held a job in the private sector, but being in academia, you are, "The Great Oz", so you know these things.

So, don't challenge the position; change the subject. Use name-calling and, "I'm just sayin' ". It's a no lose.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sauce for the Goose

The Beer: I normally get my brewing stuff from www.midwestsupplies.com. But these guys here have some exceptionally cool stuff . I'm an "extract brewer", but I'd like to try my hand at all-grain. Northern has cool stuff for doing that.

The Bicycle: Between rain and mechanical problems, my mileage is almost zero. I'm not sure that's a bad thing. If it's dry, I can ride on weekends until at least Thanksgiving. I've got one ride scheduled (Maywood), then I think I'm pretty well done for the season.

The VRWC: There are so many stories and rumors around Sarah Palin. Most, if not all are already shown to be false. She fired a trooper who tased his own kid? No problem. Doesn't answer questions well in front of the media? I know a Democrat presidential candidate who can't make answers up on his feet either. Oh and questionable relationships? I'm still waiting to hear the media talking about Obama and Tony Rezko and Obama and Bill Ayres.

Probably asking too much.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Oil Shale

I'd like to correct a statement I made here on energy. I claimed 4-14 trillion barrels of oil locked up in shale. Not correct. It's more like 800 Billion. Here is the link. That said, it's still more than we have used to this point. There is no oil shortage. And there won't be for many years to come. It is our unwillingness to exploit our own. $4 a gallon for gas? In the words of that genius "Pogo", We have met the enemy and it is us.

How to Lose an Election

The Beer: I'm drinking a very nice California Cabernet tonight (yes, I drink something besides beer.

The Bicycle: Out for a decent ride for the first time in about 3 weeks and I can feel it. At this age, one loses fitness in a hurry. No flat tire, although the brake pads need adjusting to keep them from rubbing on the rim (wierd. They didn't do that before). It's getting cooler. I don't like it.

The VRWC: The Obama campaign has come up with the best way to lose an election: Focus on and viciously attack the Vice Presidential candidate. For whatever reason, the Democrats feel they need to go after Palin, instead of McCain. Voters don't care about Palin (at least the undecideds don't). The afternoon talk guy here (Mark Belling - WISN radio) made a good point: Democrats can't muster enough hatred for McCain because he's been such a "bipartisan" guy. This is the same reason conservatives are less-than-happy with the selection. But we all recognize the down side of an Obama presidency.

This is priceless. But it's also the reason Democrats can't stand her. Let's see....4 years of McCain, followed by 8 of President Palin? I can handle that.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Obama and the Military Vote

The Beer: I had a Lawnmower yesterday. Pretty good. My wife says it's her favorite from this summers' brews.

The Bicycle: Madone tire is fixed, but my hip isn't. I strained it Friday night by, of all things, bowling on ("on"?) Nintendo Wii. Some friends just got one. It's pretty wild. I think I understnad the technology, but....wow. "I gotta get me one of these!"

The VRWC: The Lefty blogs are brimming with stories that the Military vote is going 6-1 for Obama. I first heard this from the UAW Chief Steward at work. Pretty straight-up guy and Obamaton. He's voting (what he believes to be) his self-interest. But I digress. So I Googled, "Obama Military Vote" and came up with a bunch of hits on Left-Wing blogs, including that perky little girl from CBS. So does anyone know? I've seen nothing in the news either way. I'd think if it were true, the MSM would be all over it. I emailed an old Navy buddy who is still pretty connected (Army Reserve with duty in Iraq), but haven't heard back yet.

Anybody?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Big Environmental

The Beer: If I'm going to make an Octoberfest, I should get after it. I've never had particularly good success with Octoberfest-style beer, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't keep trying, right?

The Bicycle: I'm in flat-tire hell. Two in a week plus the tube debacle. 10 miles out today. Brought a tube, but did I bring an inflator? Of course not. Almost makes me happy to see the season end.

The VRWC: Phelony Jones asked me to post a definition of "Big Environmental" A little background first. The Left loves to use terms that make people afraid of some kind of overlording, all-controlling entity like "Big Business" or "Big Oil". I've decided that two can play that game. "Big Environmental" refers to any of a number of allied Luddites opposed to technological progress in the name of the environment. The groups include, but are not limited to, Earth First!, Sierra Club (once a respectable conservation group), Natural Resource Defense Council, Greenpeace, Environmental working Group...you get the idea. They are all well funded, Leftist in political orientation, unwilling to compromise and willing to use any tactic from legal intervention to "Direct Action" (i.e., domestic terror) to get their way. They own the Democrat Party. If you are against them, then you must be against "a clean world for our children". They use, The Precautionary Principle, meaning that if there is any potential risk from an activity, it must be regulated out of existense or outright banned. It's amazing what you can find by Googleing the term. Environmentalism is a religion to them, not a science. Evidence of this is the "Global Warming Dogma". The mantra? "Global Warming is happening and there is no debate". If there is a debate, you are a "Global Warming Denier".

The hypocrisy of the Big Environmental is well documented, even in this blog. Other opportunities to turn the tables? Big Labor. Big Welfare. Big Government. Use them early and often.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sarah Palin

The Beer: I actually had Miller Lite at my brother's place Monday. But I don't complain about free food, free beer and free help.

The Bicycle: Monday was also a day of boating and waterskiing frivolity, leaving me in no condition to ride. Washout predicted for the next couple days.

The VRWC: I'm seeing a pattern here. Any politician who is a threat to Leftist power must be personally destroyed. They did it to the President the moment he showed any leadership after 9/11 (he coulda been a contenda). Now they must do it to Sarah Palin. More qualified to be President than the Leftist candidate, Ms. Palin must be painted as incompetent and one of those gun-totin' religious-types. If she were a Democrat, and her story the same, she would be the darling of the Left and the MSM. I can hear it now: "Oh, she's so wonderful and one of the 'regular people'. She's had such a tough go of it, but look at how she's clawed her way to the second highest position in ther land. Yes, if only it could be that way for everyone. But the evil Republicans are keeping them down. Wonderful Sarah fought The Man, including Evil Big Oil and won. Oh...she's so wonderful. And with a pregnant daughter and baby with Downs' syndrome! How wonderful is our sister-in-arms!"

But she's on the Right. She must be destroyed by the hypocritical Left. More reason to despise all they stand for.

Phelony: A Big Environmental post is coming soon.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tax Breaks for Energy

The Beer: I'm trying to decide what the winter lineup is going to be.

The Bicycle: Very comfortable on the Modovincere. I might still have to make adjustments.

The VRWC: Hmmmmm..... I'm ok with tax breaks for energy. The Left isn't....unless it's their energy.

Wind and "The Grid"

The Beer: I had to drink MGD Light last night. But since I don't complain about free food, free beer and free help, no complaints.

The Bicycle: Never change a tire and tube under the influence of alcohol. I can't come out well. So as the Madone awaits maintenance, I've made some adjustments to the (pre-Raleigh) Univega. I'm hoping for a more comfortable ride today.

As an aside, the Harley 105th is going on this weekend. For the 100th, we left town (living in downtown Milwaukee, there was no choice. Here in the northern 'burbs, not so bad). Last night was Springsteen. My brother had a line on some tickets, but couldn't use them himself and asked if I wanted them. We were at a Jazz party at a friends' house. An awesomely good time and much better than being around drunk bikers and listening to a political lecture by "The Boss".

The VRWC: As a voice crying out in the wilderness, I continue to hit energy issues and here is another.

There are a few things you have to understand here:

  • At any point in time, there is only enough energy out on the grid to cover all the needs plus all the losses. The losses are due to the limitations of physical laws. If you followed along in high school, you probably understand. If you didn't, you probably write energy articles for the New York Times.
  • The electrical grid is not Balkanized. There is a good reason to have many companies interconnected. It greatly increases the reliability of the grid. I'd explain, but there isn't enough space here to do so. Read the book Overload by Arthur Hailey.
  • Big Environmental has blocked expansion of the grid for decades. They have used every tactic from chaining themselves to trees (a personal favorite of mine. I say, "cut the tree down anyway and they won't do it again") to the big lie about electromagnetic fields - which is still used to great effect regarding cell phones.
  • An electric utility will purchase any energy out there which is cheaper than what they can make. They would be stupid to not do so. The fact is, even though the grid is, I would argue, antiquated and overloaded, wind power (mostly) just ain't cheap. It's not a question of moving it, it's a question of economics. The U. S. leads the world in wind power generation. In some areas, the generation cost is 4-to-6 cents per kwh. That's competetive, but intermittent. Wind (and solar) cannot supply baseload energy.

Bottom line here is that the article is misleading. There are a number of reasons why some wind farms can't get to market. It's not the lack of a road.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

More Energy

The Beer: Had a Lawnmower last night. It was awesome.

The Bicycle: Didn't feel much like riding last night, but I got up and went anyway. Figured, "base miles". I was within about 1/2 mile of the house and had a flat. Called my bride and she picked me up. It was all good ('cept changing the tire).

The VRWC: I'm probably boring you to tears with this energy thing, but that's kinda too bad. We're busy drinking the "renewable energy" Kool-Aid and I aim to stop it single-handedly if I have to ("....Redneck. You are talkin' to the duly appointed Sheriff of Rock Ridge.")

I went to this site to calculate the solar energy that lands on my roof every day. They are trying to sell various solar energy systems. Great. I filled out the on-line information and it came back telling me I could get a solar (photovoltaic) system for the low-low price of $73,383 after rebates ($94,500 before), at a monthly payment of $464 over the next 30 years and an annual average utility savings of $2229 (I'm thinkin' it should be an annual savings of $3000 for that kind of money). Somehow out of this, they get an ROI (Return on Investment) of 223%. What kind of voodoo economics is required to come up with that? Over 30 years, I'm paying more than I would staying as-is and I'm getting an ROI of 223%? That only works in Crazy-World.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

MoreEnergy

The Beer: Requires energy.

The Bicycle: Was made using energy.

The VRWC: I'm going to keep banging away at this energy thing until somebody "gets it". The following was sent to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this evening:

Rosemary Wehnes of "Big Environmental" would have us believe that the evil oil companies are only out to screw us (Don't believe the story about the oil that got away, Sunday, 8/24). She fails to make her case with any logic; only the tired rhetoric that Big Environmental has used for decades to scare the populace into compliance.

Big Environmental doesn't want you to know that "renewable energy" requires more energy to make than it provides. Current technology makes ethanol a break-even at best while using ridiculous amounts of water. In addition, putting our food supply in our fuel tanks is raising the cost of food and starves third-world people (to throw a little scare tactic of my own into it). There are two ways to get hydrogen for the "Hydrogen Economy" that Big Environmental is pushing. You can strip it from natural gas, making the natural gas useless, and I suppose, releasing carbon, since natural gas is a hydrocarbon. You can also make hydrogen by dissociating water molecules. Again, requires more energy than it provides. Let's try the solar energy Big Environmental is pushing. A recent news article touted a solar energy facility in California which provides 600 megawatts of solar power. First, you can't build an outhouse in California without Big Environmental showing up on your doorstep to protest. So how do you score 12.5 square miles of habitat to produce a crummy 600 megawatts? By way of comparison, the Energy Information Administration states 4,064,702 thousand megawatt-hours were generated in the U.S. in 2006 (the latest available numbers). That comes to a daily average of 464,000 megawatts, if I have my numbers right. Since the sun only shines about half the time, our solar installation is only going to give us an average of about 300 megawatts. So we will need only about 20,000 square miles of habitat to have solar cover our energy needs. Of course, this assumes it isn't cloudy and we are somewhere around the summer solstice. Big Environmental might say, "Your mileage may vary". I'm pretty sure oil companies and electric utilites and coal producers combined don't use up that kind of real estate.

It's Big Environmental's big (dumb) ideas that will rob our grandchildren.

Biden: Change We Can Believe In?

The "Ultimate Outsider" has chosen an ultimate insider as his running mate. So much for credibility.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

More Solar

The Beer: IPA goes down very nicely. I've given away over a 1/2 case already and early results are good. Got $10 for a mixed sixpack. I don't know what I'm going to brew next, but I found the best beer label EVER. It's Ale House Flaming Damsel. I can't find a good pic of it to link to, so you'll just ahve to go out and find a six-pack.

The Bicycle: The Madone is back as of yesterday. I plan to ride later today when it stops raining. I also put in an application at the Bike Shop. Can always use a buck-or-two and would like to learn the skills this way, instead of trial-and-error.

The VRWC: The MSM Full-Court-Press is on for Solar Energy. 64 MW. Great. 300 acres. Only when the sun is shining. Maybe they'd like to tell how much it generates in MWh over the course of a year. It's not (64 X 8760). Is anyone else going to question any of this?

By the way, for those of you who can't do the math, the 100 Gigawatts he's quoting here will require 1/2 million acres. Remember the maximum Solar energy falling on the earth is a little over 1000 watts per square meter....at the equator....at the equinox....at noon....on a perfectly clear day. That's 10-100 watt lightbulbs....for half a day. Maybe.

EIA data shows current peak demand at around 800 GW, so we're talking 400 million acres to replace all the evil other sources of electricity. Good luck with that. At best, solar will only be a niche. I don't want to minimize the contribution (although, you can argue that's exactly what I'm doing). But it isn't the future.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Need a New Chainring

The Beer: This could get interesting. Film at 11 (Kentucky Fried Movie reference, as if you've seen it).

The Bicycle: My trusty steed needed more preventive maintenance (yes, it's preventive, not preventative) than I gave it. After 2500 miles on mostly the 52 chainring, the chain will stretch and result in chipping of chainring teeth. Note to self: new chain every 1000 miles.

The VRWC: It may have become obvious by now....maybe not. I'm a bit of an energy geek. I "get" this stuff. At least a lot more than the average human. Go here for a wealth of energy information. Unfortunately, if you have already swallowed the kool-aid, you either won't "get" it or you won't believe it. You'll see it as a Bush-Cheney-Big-Oil-Cartel conspiracy. But facts are facts. Unless we choose to go back to the stone age, solar, wind, biomass and other "renewables" will never make it. Do the math (oh, I forgot, most people can't do math....you're idiots). Seriously...I have no time for people who are unable or unwilling to look at the facts, do the math and realize that the Left is all wrong. ALL WRONG! Are you listening? This environmental panacea they push can't work. Period. It violates every physical and thermodynamic law. Newton is spinning in his grave so fast, you could couple him to a generator and make 60 hertz (you have no idea what that means, do you? Do you even know who Newton was?).

Let's add something else here. The air and water are demonstrably cleaner than any time during my life. Maybe any time since the start of the Industrial Revolution. But here is the headline. But nobody mentions that this is because THEY CHANGED THE RULES! EPA recently changed the definition of "compliance". Since the air continues to get cleaner, they have to change the rules ("We have to keep our phoney-baloney jobs"...another movie reference you are too simple to understand...prove me wrong).

Many pseudo-conservatives would be all, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean you were stupid." I won't say that because most who read this are. We have failed the most recent generation. They know how to feel good about their failure and little else.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Make Up My Mind

The Beer: IPA is bottled. I'm done with the summer brewing. A friend is interested in going commercial. I'm intrigued. But I'm not quitting my day job....yet.

The Bicycle: 40 yesterday in PR time. Easy 45 today. I don't like going easy. A little bursitis in the left shoulder, but nothing like a little Ibuprofen to fix that.

A little cycling advice:

  • Lose the Ipod. You're gonna get hurt. You don't know I'm there because you can't hear me. That means we're both gonna get hurt.
  • Wear a helmet. It isn't going to save you in a massive accident, but it will save you. I'm living proof. So is my brother-in-law.
  • If the trail isn't wide, go single file. I don't want to fall off the edge because you're too freakin' busy yakkin' to pay attention.
  • Watch for traffic, car or bicycle...or pedestrian. And if you are a car or pedestrian, watch for bicycles. And if you wouldn't do it to a car, don't do it to a bicycle.
  • Be courteous.

The VRWC: Bisphenol-A Is Safe. No...really? A zillion studies were performed indicating there's nothing wrong with it, then a couple months ago one says, "maybe there is" and the entire world panics. No, "Let's take a closer look at this". Huh-uh. Full-Court-Press to eliminate it.

What has gone wrong with society? Are we that afraid of everything? We're more than willing to drink the kool-aid on very thin evidence (see "Global War...."er..."Climate Change"). Even when the all-knowing, all-caring government weighs in and says stuff is ok, we want to believe the worst. Why then, do we believe when the government says something is bad? We have completely lost any ability to look at a situation rationally and come to a rational decision.

Wake up. Pay attention. You might learn something

Friday, August 15, 2008

Don't Get Me Wrong Here

The Beer: A taste of the Lawnmower indicates it's going to be a nice beer for the end of summer. IPA will bottle over the weekend. I hate cleaning bottles.

The Bicycle: I'm back in the saddle and doing well, but the Madone needs a bath. Really bad.

The VRWC: This is not completely accurate. Nor is it accurately complete. I'm not against solar power. At all. But let's be truthful about it. OK, it will generate 800 megawatts. But for how many hours? Just prior to sunrise, it will generate a big, fat zero. That value will rise throughout the day to something less than 800 megawatts most days, since the 800 megawatts is based on the optimal (MPB - is that correct use of the word?) sun conditions. One cloud, anytime off the Summer Solstice and the sun at other than apogee, the output will be less than 800 megawatts. But the purveyors of this tripe have to make it look as good as possible, so the consumer doesn't know what a big, steamin' pile this is. That is made clear by this comment: "The companies said they were forbidden by contract terms to talk about price, and a spokeswoman for Pacific Gas & Electric said her company was trying to obtain the best possible deal for ratepayers by not telling other suppliers of renewable energy what it was willing to pay." That type of contract wording would never fly with another technology. Build a nuke, and that price has to be blasted over the pages of every newspaper in the country and touted on TV as an indication of what a gigantic failure it must be. No, the only reason for not giving rate payers the price is because they would scream bloody murder when they found out how badly they were getting ripped off.

And the 12.5 square miles of land (read that as "habitat")? How did that ever get past the Environmental Impact Statement. In California, you can't build a shed on your own property without the do-gooders telling you "no" because there is an insignificant "endangered specie" nesting within 100 miles.

This is misleading at best and hypocritical at worst. Either way, electricity is going to get more expensive in California.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Coincidence? I Think Not

The Beer: The Lawnmower is bottled. The IPA is to be bottled this weekend.

The Bicycle: Slowly getting back on. Set a new PR last night in my 20-mile. I should ride more often when I'm, "not feeling that great".

The VRWC: Here's a Conspiracy Theory for you:

We know that Big Environmental (use that term as often as possible) is extremely well funded. We also know that, while in the long term, market manipulation is difficult at best. But is it possible that as Big Environmental saw oil prices surge they saw an oppotunity to get the behavior they have been unable to get through legislation and litigation - a movement in the energy habits of the American people? As energy prices began upward, Big Environmental pushed for greater use of ethanol. As energy prices continued to climb, is it possible that Big Environmental used their gigantic funding to help artificially inflate the price of crude? It gets blamed on speculation by hedge funds, increased use in China and India and lack of refining capacity (also courtesy of Big Environmental), nobody "follows the money" and Big Environmental has their behavior change. All at a huge cost in jobs, food and third-world starvation. Reduces the "population bomb", too.

Oh, while were at it, the phenomenon formerly known as "Global Warming" (now "Climate Change" because the warming has ceased) made it cold enough over the past 12 months that crops are late or stunted or nearly non-existent. Hmm.

But it's all just Conspiracy Theory. Big Environmental wouldn't do that....would they?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

RIP, My Man.

Bernie Mac. Gone. One of the funniest, no doubt.

Edit: The same weekend....the loss of Issac Hayes. He of Shaft and Chef fame.

"Good-bye children"....."Damn Right!"

Stuff

The Beer: The Lawnmower is in the secondary and should bottle this weekend. The IPA still has another week to capture the bitter, citrusy goodness of Cascade Leaf Hops. I have a request to start my winter brewing. Some of the deer hunters at work have offered a Deer-for-Beer deal that I have a hard time refusing.

The Bicycle: Weather, after-work committments and a poor reaction to a new medication thwarted my efforts to get out on what may have been the nicest week all summer. I'll get out today, sore though I may be. Which is a nice segue into what I did last night.

We had a Team-Building exercise "at work" last night. The reason it was "at work" is because it wasn't "at work". At about 5:30, my bosses staff (that includes me) gathered at Road America for some go-karting. 6.5 HP Honda Engine on a go-kart. 50 mph max over about a 1/2 mile track. Wow. I'm still sore. Three go-rounds of nine laps each. Our ages range from late 30's/early 40's to 56. I'm second-oldest at 52. I had no idea how much effort was required to really race a go-kart. The first round was practice and I got a late start (last in line at the start. They got me out the gate so late that the guy in front of me was out of the first turn already). The second and third rounds went much better. No crashes, no spin-outs and finished third and second. I have to admit, my upper body is still a little sore. A little bruising in the ribs. Or Maybe that's all from dinner.

After the event at Road America, we drove up to St. Anna to a (very popular) place called Schwarz's. We waited about an hour-or-so, but the beer was good (and the boss was paying). The meal was worth the wait. Prime Rib (King's Cut, of course-with some left for lunch today). Medium Rare. Best Ever. Eight of us got out, with cocktails, at $325 before the tip. No wonder the place is popular. I might add that they have the most attractive staff in the state. The trip home was about an hour and I rolled in after 11. Well worth it. Much better than those other "Team-Building" thingys. You know: "Ropes Courses", "Trust-me-to-catch-you" crap.....

The VRWC: I was going to talk about automobile emissions testing, but I've bored the you-know-what out of you at this point, so I'll take it up later.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Global-You've-Got-to-Be-Kidding-Me

The Beer: The Lawnmower is fermenting, the IPA is waiting.

The Bicycle: Crappy weather yesterday and visit to the doc today prevents bonding with my trusty steed.

The VRWC: In what Universe does this make any sense? The last paragraph has been changed from the print version found in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, which reads, "In a related development, scientists say this summer's cooler arctic weather should prevent a repeat of last year's melting of the polar ice pack".

Someone explain 2 things to me: First, why the contradictory information? Second: Why is it deleted from the electronic version?

Remember, it's not that Anthroprogenic global warming isn't happening, it's that we just don't fully understand the data.

Right.