Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Family news

I went to the bank to deposit a check  and then with Ruby and cousin to Waltermart to shop. Bought a bunch of junk that I needed, like a large sponge to clean up water on the floor and decent nail clippers that actually can clip toenails. (lots of stuff here is very shoddy, but cheap...good quality is a problem).

We ate hamburgers before coming home.

It's still very hot out.

The second white dog had one puppy that died, after the small white dog's four puppies died...they were premature. I don't know if it was the heat, a virus, or poor nutrition, or the fact they both were full of ticks and anemic. At least now I can use stronger tick shampoo on them.

Still pregnant: The small white dog who is the mom of the other two, and Lolo's dog Blackie. So far it looks like they will carry the puppies to term (all of them were in heat the same time: which meant lots of fighting visitor dogs outside at the time).

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Your government keeping you safe

Well, Homeland security couldn't be bothered to check up on students who the Russians warned them were terrorists planning to bomb the Boston Marathon last year, but don't worry: They will keep you safe from...chocolate easter eggs.
They can't get Mexican illegals or Dagestani terrorists en route to blow up the Boston Marathon, but they could, if only those guys made the mistake of traveling with a Kinder egg.

Mark Steyn reports how in a previous trip he ran into trouble:

"Oh, just some Easter eggs," I said, breezily - and instantly regretted it.
The hitherto somewhat somnolent agent sprang visibly alert. "Easter eggs?" he said, with a palpable menace in his voice.
"Not Kinder eggs," I replied, trying very hard not to roll my eyes. "Just regular home-made Québécois Easter chocolate."
He de-bristled, and waved us through. "Close call, Dad," said my daughter.
Indeed. I'd smuggle in a dirty nuke before I'd risk another Kinder egg in the car. Three Easters ago, the United States Government gave me a delightful seasonal gift of a Department of Homeland Security "Custody Receipt for Seized Property and Evidence". Late the previous night, crossing the self-same Quebec/Vermont border posr, my children had had two boxes of "Kinder Eggs" ("Est. Dom. Value $7.50″) confiscated by Customs & Border Protection.

Insomnia download of the day

Ten hours of the clucking chicken singing the chicken song....

Chicken item of the day

PDF of the talk HERE.

headsup via Improbable research

History lesson for today

StrategyPage has a history of countries that were once empires, and now are beginning to think they should be empires again.
Nothing like "glory" to make headlines so people forget reality.

 many Chinese never forgot the imperial glories. The Chinese government, like their counterparts in Russia, Iran and the Islamic world are calling for the return of past glories and power in order to distract people from more immediate realities (corruption, bad government and a long list of related complaints).

as this earlier essay notes, the Philippines is in China's crosshairs as the weakest link.

lots of background stuff for those who only hear headlines by the clueless ideologues of CNN.

and they end on this cheerful note:

 Today, these obscure disputes have the potential of escalating into the kind of nuclear nightmare that most people are justifiably terrified by. This limits the activities of empire builders if both sides have nukes and remain rational. You can’t always rely on that last item.

Important lesson for today

How to blow bubble rings....underwater.

What's going on?
A vortex is a swirling parcel of fluid. 'Torus' is the name for the shape of a doughnut or a ring. The proper name for a bubble ring, therefore, is a toroidal vortex. Apart from being one of the most mesmerising and joyful things to look at, these toroidal vortex bubble rings are also surprisingly easy to blow. You don't need any special skills, fancy equipment or expert knowledge of physics. Nature does all the work for you.

if  you can't get the video working at the link here is one from Youtube:

Monday, April 21, 2014


an article about Jeepneys, with lots of photos.

We still have intercity jeepneys to travel to Manila or other local towns.

And they linked to this youtube video by one of our local wags:

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Factoid of the day

MigrantRights reports a new film to orient garment workers going to work in Jordon...which has some interesting factoids:

Jordan has a thriving garment trade which takes place largely in Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ). Products from these special economic zones, which were established in 1997, can be exported to the US duty-free as long as they contain a certain percentage of inputs from Israel. QIZ’s were initially created with a view to providing jobs for Jordanians, but today around 70% of employees in the garments factories in these zones are South Asian women.
WTF? Cooperation with Israel?
And note all those workers are now imported. What does this say about Arabs willing to work? Are Palestinians refusing to work or are they being exploited so refuse to work, or is it that the companies prefer to hire hard working women from south Asia?
This hints at a possible reason:
Labour standards at these zones have been called into question by both local and international human rights groups in recent years. Last year, 100 Nepali women requested repatriation after facing abusive and exploitative conditions at the Dulay Industrial Park, located in one of the country’s QIZ’s.

Yes, Nepal exports a lot of workers...which says a lot about the American green types who see Nepal as Shangri La (or Tibet, which China is trying to bring into the 20th century).

partly related item:

All those Sherpas killed taking up supplies and setting lines on Mt Everest were hired by a bigshot American network for a TV wonders if they were pushed into doing these things in dangerous areas to fit the TV schedule, where schedule was more important than safety....

Tashi told his visiting relatives that the Sherpa guides woke up early and were on their way to fix ropes to the higher camps but were delayed because of the unsteady path. Suddenly the avalanche fell on the group and buried many of them, according to Tashi's sister-in-law Dawa Yanju.

And, of course, poverty is the reason so many locals work as guides.

Family news

Happy Easter.
It is 90 degrees, and I let Lolo sleep in instead of going to the crowded hot church. his asthma is bad, and I tend to faint.

Emie is having a party so we go there for lunch and maybe supper.

Chano is going to various business related parties so we haven't seen much of him.

And lots of orders for similar parties for our organic salads.

Rice harvest is going on too.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Answering the really important questions of the day

When Thor hits Captain America’s shield, where does all the energy go? That was the question inMatt’s excellent post with an answer from material scientist Suveen Mathaudhu. Suveen suggested that the energy of these collisions must go somewhere – maybe in the atomic bonds of the material the shield is made from. The shield would be sort of like a capacitor.
Homework. Obviously, this brings up many more questions. Here is your homework assignment.
* What happens to the momentum? Think of some creative way to explain how Captain America can use the shield to take a huge hit and not violate conservation of momentum.
* Is the shield made of vibranium? If not, then what? Oh, you think the shield is made of adamantium instead of vibranium? Well, I can hear your complaints. For me, the answer is simple. Stephen Colbert said it was vibranium. I guess this isn’t a homework question then since I answered it.

see: I told you Colbert was a geek...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Family news

House cleaning day... and will have to go to the bank and get lots of money for Easter gifts to the staff.

The small white dog had four puppies, but two died. We hope the other two will live. One is white and the other looks like Papadog...

Lolo is okay. Ruby's friends all went home but she still has my new computer. I am using my old computer to blue screen of death (so far)...

Headlines below the fold

Our prayers go out to the families of the Korean ferry disaster.

A town will be in mourning...reminds me of TWA800, where a dozen kids from a PA town were on a field trip and died.

These things happen in the Philippines every couple of years. But was this an "on/off" ferry, or was there a reef nearby?? Not mentioned in the articles I read.


StrategyPage has the good news from Afghanistan that you won't read in the paper:

The taliban gets headlines but didn't stop the election. And then there is this:

Afghan public health officials recently revealed that life-expectancy had increased from 45 years in 2001 to 63 years now. This, plus the rapid economic growth since 2001 means Afghanistan is no longer the poorest country in Eurasia. The increased life expectancy is largely the result to improved sanitation and medical care, especially for newborns and children under five. One reason for the growing hostility towards the Taliban is the continuing efforts of these Islamic radicals to limit the spread of better health care and economic improvements in general. The most obvious example of this is the continuing Taliban opposition to vaccination programs, which the Taliban consider a Western effort to poison Moslem children. Then there is education, which has rapidly increased, despite constant, and often fatal, Taliban resistance...


AustinBay at strategypage has a summary of the Ukraine crisis, and how "the big lie" works.


and this critique of women in combat at strategypage notes:

 None of these proponents of women in the infantry have ever served in the infantry, but they understand that if they proceed without proof that women can handle the job, that decision could come back to hurt them (not to mention getting a lot of American soldiers and marines killed first).
So far the tests, overseen by monitors reporting back to civilian officials in Congress and the White House, have failed to find the needed proof. The main problem the military has is their inability to make these politicians understand how combat operations actually work and what role sheer muscle plays in success, or simply survival... 
Yet women have often been exposed to a lot of indirect combat. As far back as World War II, 25 percent of all troops in the army found themselves under fire at one time or another, although only about 15 percent of soldiers had a "direct combat" job. In Iraq women made up about 14 percent of the military personnel but only two percent of the casualties (dead and wounded). Most women do not want to be in combat but those who do get the job have proven that they can handle it. Moreover many proponents of female infantry fail to appreciate the fact that all these women in combat incidents was not the same as women in the infantry or special operations.


We couldn't see "the blood moon" here due to clouds. Lots of stupid "prophecy" stuff around the net on this, which is superstition, not religion...


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The alphabet for those over 65

 New  Alphabet :
 is  for apple,  and B is  for  boat,
 That  used to be right, but now it won't  float!
 Age  before beauty is what we once  said,
But  let's be a bit more realistic  instead. 
Now The Alphabet: 
 for  arthritis, B's the  bad  back, C's the  chest  pains, perhaps  car-di-ac?
is  for dental decay and  decline, E is  for eyesight, can't read that top  line!
 F is  for fissures and fluid  retention, G is  for gas which I'd rather not  mention. 
 high  blood pressure--I'd rather it  low, I for  incisions with scars you can  show.
J is  for joints, out of socket, won't  mend, K is  for knees that crack when they  bend.
L 's  for libido, what happened to  sex? M is  for memory, I forget what comes  next.
N is  neuralgia, in nerves way down  low, O is  for osteo, bones that don't  grow! 
 for  prescriptions, I have quite a  few,  just  give me a pill and I'll be good as  new!
Q is  for queasy, is it fatal or  flu? R is  for reflux, one meal turns to  two. 
is  for sleepless nights, counting my  fears, T is  for Tinnitus; bells in my  ears!
U is  for urinary; troubles with  flow; V for  vertigo, that's 'dizzy,' you  know. 
W for  worry, now what's going  'round? X is  for X ray, and what might be  found.
 Y for  another year I'm left here  behind, Z is  for zest I still have-- in my  mind! 
I've survived all the  symptoms, my body's  deployed, 
 And  I'm keeping twenty-six doctors fully  employed.


Recycling in the good old days

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the much older
woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the

The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this 'green thing' back in my earlier days."

The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations."

She was right -- our generation didn't have the 'green thing' in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over.

So they really were recycled.

But we didn't have the "green thing" back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our

Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper

But too bad we didn't do the "green thing" back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.
But she was right. We didn't have the "green thing" in our day.
Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right; we didn't have the "green thing" back in our day.
Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or
plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right; we didn't have the "green thing" back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn't have the "green thing" back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service in the family's $45,000 SUV or van, which cost what a whole house did before the "green thing." We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the "green thing" back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smartass young person...
your email of the day from TiaMaria

Family news

It's Holy week, so the country is now shutting down so everyone can travel home for the holidays.

Our fiesta is May1, so Florinda is here and I hear Chona will arrive tomorrow. Everyone in the Philippines who work overseas come home when they can at the time of the local fiestas, many of which are now, between the winter harvest and the start of the monsoon when people start the next planting.

Ruby had her friends from the church youth groups over for an all nighter party: I downloaded loads of "Christian" movies, old fashioned Hollywood films, etc. in case they get tired of talking over their troubles with their parents, friends, and school.

They were fairly quiet, so I guess everything went okay. I am happy that she finally has some local friends: she homeschools and up to now mainly socialized with her cousins.

to keep them safe, Chano locked the "white"dogs in the side garden, behind our bedroom (three house dogs, which are smaller than our watch dogs). At midnight, I got tired of them whining so left them out. Maybe the reason for the whining was that the small white dog Sophie was in labour: She had two puppies this morning. One was still born. Alas, she is not a healthy dog, partly because she got pregnant under one year, and partly because her mother steals all her food if we don't watch out. I give her extra food, but she is still very thin.

Sigh. I plan to get her fixed, but we were short money after the typhoon. Now, with my social security etc. finally coming, I am buying stuff left and right that I put off for the last year or two.