December 31, 2017

Headed Back

Wrapped up the week visiting family and friends back in Indiana.  Was really nice to see my parents, cousins, old pals, and so forth again. 

Mom and I did our kitchen thing, cooking meals for 20+ people three different nights... it's what we do, don't judge... and the holiday cheer flowed freely.  A little too freely some nights, and I'll have to take a few days off the booze to recover, but so be it.

Hit the road this morning, headed back to Colorado.  I made it to Grand Island, Nebraska, today, after about 11.5 hours on the road.  For the most part, I-80 was clear and dry, save for a 30 mile stretch around South Bend, Indiana, that was slicker than two snakes in a bucket of spit.  Had to drop speed to 30 mph or so, and pay a lot more attention to driving, but I made it through.

It's colder than a well digger's ass outside.  The radio weather lady was talking about wind chill nearing 30 below tonight, so not fit for man nor beast.  I was actually feeling good, despite a numb butt, and probably could have pushed all the way to Fort Collins tonight (another 5.5 hours), but I just didn't want to.  Besides, getting stuck or broke down in 40 degree temps is one thing... Breaking down at 11pm in -15 temps is dangerous. 

At any rate, I'm checked into the hotel for the night.  Finish the drive tomorrow, should be home around noon Mountain time.  Plenty of day left for me to unpack, get my truck washed (it looks white in some areas, due to the excessive salt), unpack, do some laundry, and rest a bit.  Have another short week coming up: Work Tue-Wed-Thur, then fly to Maryland on Friday to pay respects to an old friend at his memorial service on Saturday, then turn back and fly home Sunday.

I'll be asleep long before midnight, so an early Happy New Year wish from me to you.

Cheers,

December 21, 2017

Hitting the Road

Tomorrow I'll be loading up the truck with dogs, my suitcase, and a box of gifts and hitting the road to head back to Indiana for a week and change.  I didn't get to see family last year for Christmas, having exhausted the bulk of savings with the move, new apartment, and expenses assorted and sundry (plus I was the FNG at work, and didn't have any vacation time built up). 

The plan is to head up I-25 to Cheyenne, take a right on I-80, and make it to Iowa City.  I'll be meeting up with an old friend of mine tomorrow night for a bite to eat and a beer or three.  Saturday, a short 6 hour drive should bring me to my parent's house. 

I've got dinner planned with two old friends from high school next week, Pops has a few days off after Christmas (a bonus, as he's a railroad conductor and usually has to hit the rail on December 26th to haul freight), and while I'll take my laptop, I have no intention of thinking about work at all.

Will be driving home December 31-Jan 1, and back to the office on Jan 2nd. 

Posting will be light the rest of the year (not like I blog all that much anymore anyways), so do yourself a favor and check out the bloggers in the side bar. 

Y'all have a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Blessed Solstice, or whatever it is you celebrate. 

Be safe, be kind, and be well. 


December 20, 2017

New Books for Christmas

Over at Daddy Bear's Den, Tom is offering a great deal on his "Tales of the Minivandians" series.

Y'all could do to read them.  I've read two of the three, and just ordered the final installment. 

Get with the clicking.

December 15, 2017

People Have Lost Their Minds

Net Neutrality Supporters: "Trump is a fascist dictator!"
Also Net Neutrality Supporters: "Trump must regulate the internet!"

The cognitive dissonance is strong with these folks.

(It amazes me how many people panic and wail when the government decides to regulate our behavior just a little bit less...)

December 12, 2017

Good Snark


This initial post-election propaganda was understandably somewhat awkward, as the plan had been to be able to celebrate the “Triumph of Love over the Forces of Hate,” and the demise of the latest Hitlerian bogeyman. But this was the risk the ruling classes took when they chose to go ahead and Hitlerize Trump, which they wouldn’t have done if they’d thought for a moment that he had a chance of actually winning the election. That’s the tricky thing about Hitlerizing people. You need to be able to kill them, eventually. If you don’t, when they turn out not to be Hitler, your narrative kind of falls apart, and the people you’ve fear-mongered into a frenzy of frothing, self-righteous fake-Hitler-hatred end up feeling like a bunch of dupes who’ll believe anything the government tells them.

Read the whole thing.

December 8, 2017

Witch.... Er, Warlock Hunt

Over at The American Interest, I read this article, which is really quite well done.

Some excerpts:

Among us, it seems, lives a class of men who call to mind Caligula and Elagabalus not only in their depravity, but in their grotesque sense of impunity. Our debauched emperors, whether enthroned in Hollywood, media front offices, or the halls of Congress, truly imagined their victims had no choice but to shut up, take it, and stay silent forever.
...
But speak I must. It now takes only one accusation to destroy a man’s life. Just one for him to be tried and sentenced in the court of public opinion, overnight costing him his livelihood and social respectability. We are on a frenzied extrajudicial warlock hunt that does not pause to parse the difference between rape and stupidity. The punishment for sexual harassment is so grave that clearly this crime—like any other serious crime—requires an unambiguous definition. We have nothing of the sort.


I think this is accurate.  We've reached a point where the mere accusation of impropriety, whether real or imagined, is satis faciam to eviscerate a man's job, societal value, and ruin his life.  We see this in many different facets of society, from Hollywood actors to politicians, and we've found them guilty based on mere accusations.

Continuing:

In recent weeks, one after another prominent voice, many of them political voices, have been silenced by sexual harassment charges. Not one of these cases has yet been adjudicated in a court of law. Leon Wiesenthal, David Corn, Mark Halperin, Michael Oreskes, Al Franken, Ken Baker, Rick Najera, Andy Signore, Jeff Hoover, Matt Lauer, even Garrison Keillor—all have received the professional death sentence. Some of the charges sound deadly serious. But others—as reported anyway—make no sense. I can’t say whether the charges against these men are true; I wasn’t under the bed. But even if true, some have been accused of offenses that aren’t offensive, or offenses that are only mildly so—and do not warrant total professional and personal destruction.


Emphasis mine.

Make no mistake, I'll gladly stand beside any woman who was sexually assaulted or harassed and call out the vile scum that did it, be that scum a man or another woman (and yes, that does happen).  But I, for one, am getting a bit frustrated with the degree to which we're now defining "sexual assault".  Complimenting a woman on her appearance should not be considered sexual assault.  Holding the door for a woman is not insulting her ability to open a door on her own.  Not everything a man does should be considered inappropriate just because the woman feels it is.

More:
I could destroy them all—just by naming names and truthfully describing a flirtation or moment of impropriety. All of the interchanges I’m replaying in my mind would meet the highly elastic contemporary definition of “harassment,” a category vague enough to compass all the typical flirtation that brings joy and amusement to so many of our lives, all the vulgar humor that says, “We’re among friends, we may speak frankly.” It becomes harassment only by virtue of three words: “I felt demeaned.”
(Again, emphasis mine.)

That's a pretty significant point.  Doesn't matter if the woman involved participated in the bawdy humor or acts, doesn't matter if she didn't say "Please stop talking to me in this manner", doesn't matter if she didn't say anything then.  As long as she FELT demeaned, that's sufficient to destroy the man in question.  And I don't think that's the sort of place we want to go.  It leads to a society where men will simply avoid any and all interaction with women, for fear of anything they say or do being interpreted wrongly, thus ruining their career.

Further, it makes me wonder: Given the loose definition that we've now come up with for harassment, what business owner would want to take the risk of hiring women, knowing that in 10 years, that woman could point back to an event that happened in her 6th month of employment, and claim harassment?  Certainly, not hiring women would be a detriment to your business -- women bring different and worthy input to any company's culture, of course -- but which would be worse: Losing that female input, or dealing with the fallout of a harassment or sexual misconduct charge (real or imagined)?

Final excerpt:
We now have, in effect, a crime that comes with a swift and draconian penalty, but no proper definition. It seems to be “sexual behavior” or “behavior that might be sexual,” committed through word, deed, or even facial expression; followed by a negative description of the woman’s emotions. Obviously this is inadequate. Human beings, male and female, are subject to human failings, including the tendency to lie, to be vengeful, to abuse power, or simply to misunderstand one another. It is hard to define sexual harassment precisely, because all of these human frailties are often involved. But we must nonetheless reason out together a definition that makes sense. Mass hysteria and making demons of men will get us nowhere we should want to go.


I strongly encourage you to read the whole thing.  MUCH more at the link.

Good food for thought.

December 7, 2017

Let Me Cross the Street

I've seen a smattering of folks claiming that the passing of the Conceal Carry Reciprocity bill is going to cause the streets to run red with the blood of the innocents.

I'm not going to dive into the pros and cons of the bill, since I seriously doubt it's going to get 60 votes in the Senate to pass, but I do want to address something.

Take a look at this photo:



This photo is from Google Maps, and shows a North/South street just left of that building with the orange roof.

The town is Union City, and that North/South street is the state line between Indiana and Ohio.

Now, when I lived in Indiana, Union City was about 40 minutes drive from my home, and due to Indiana's refusal to allow carry out beer on Sundays, it wasn't unheard of for me to make a beer run on a Sunday to Union City, since you CAN get carry out beer in Ohio on Sunday.

But there's a problem: Ohio does not recognize Indiana's LTCH (License to Carry Handgun) permit.  So, having gone through a background check with the Indiana State Police, and having been issued a permit to carry a concealed weapon, all of that was null and void on the east side of that North/South road.

If I'm left of that center line, I'm good.  Cross the street and I'm committing a felony.

That's what this bill does.  It lets me cross the street without instantly becoming a criminal.