Sunday, January 23, 2011


Made this for the filk last night.

4 cups sliced apples (I used apples and pears)
1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and juice from a lemon

Mix and dump in a 9x9 baking dish

Mix 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup oats and 3 tbs butter with a pastry cutter and sprinkle over the top.
Bake @ 350 for 45 minutes.

Friday, January 21, 2011


From Stuckinmassachusetts :

The Bill of Rights is a sum-total package; we take all the freedoms enumerated therein or we take none of them. For far too long both the left and the right have viewed the BoR as a buffet, where some rights are added to the dinner plate with gusto while others are left to languish - or worse, removed entirely from the menu.

Well said.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Regular readers here know TJIC, a frequent commenter here. It looks like the jack-booted thugs in Massachusetts are after his guns due to his somewhat inflammatory, but constitutionally protected free speech.

Some details from Borepatch.

Let me explain this in little words to the Arlington Massachusetts PD: expressing an opinion that the entirety of congress is a bunch of traitors that have violated the constitution and ought to hang by the neck till dead is NOT a threat. It's protected political speech.

It may be outrageous, or inflammatory, or even incorrect (after all, I can't think of anything the Gentleman from TX 14 has done that is traitorous or anti-constitutional) but it is nonetheless protected free speech. Taking TJIC's property without due process is a violation of his civil rights under color of law.

If they can do this to Travis, they can do this to you if they decide they don't like your politics. Remember the bumper sticker from the Clinton Administration: Is your church BATF approved? Same thing, different scale.

If you write a blog of any sort, or state a public opinion of anything, you are TJIC
We are ALL TJIC.

And the Jack Boots all were polished,
and the uniforms were neat
they all were so polite that day - they smiled so bright and sweet
they looked just like they boy next door, they did it all so well
they looked a lot like you and me...We did it to ourselves.
-J. Bethancourt

Monday, January 17, 2011

Oil Change

I think I just remembered why I don't change my oil any more and PAY someone else to do it.

The local place up the road give me an oil change and a car wash for $36 +tax. Unfortunately they close at 18:00 and I normally do not get home until 18:00. This really needs to be done before the weekend. That's ok, I can change my own oil right? It's not like it's hard, just annoying. Besides, I need to return a gas cap.

Go to the auto parts store. Hmmn, oil costs a LOT more than I remember. I always use either Valvoline or Castroil, doesn't matter because they are priced the same. So lets see, 6 quarts of 5W-30 and an oil filter comes to $30 +tax.

Get home, try to get the old oil filter off. Fail. Get giant pair of channel locks. Succeed in poking a hole in the filter but not otherwise budging it. Hmmn, I could reach it better if I took off the front tire. Jack up front of truck, remove tire. All right now I can get on this thing. Suceed in poking second hole in filter...

I know I've got an oil filter wrench around here somewhere. Nope.

Big-assed pipe wrench? Actually worked.

20 minutes later I've got it done, other than some new stains on the driveway.

Hey, I think I remembered why I pay someone else to do this.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Why Americans Hate their Government - ADEQ Edition

A week ago I got my viehicle registration renewal form in the mail. It included the dreaded note : Emissions Check required.

This was expected actually.

In Arizona you have to get a smog check on your viehicle every two years if you live in either the Phoenix Metro or Tucson Metro area. Basically then, 90% of the population has to put up with this BS.

Step one; Drive 12 miles to the smog check location. Burn 1 gallon of gas in the process.

Millage of the truck when we started the smog check : 122,766 miles

Step two; Wait while the guys at the smog check place drive your car on the treadmill for the IM147 test. Here is the fun part, the operator has to drive a particular acceleration profile. If you miss the profile they have to try again.

My truck is a stick shift. My truck is a stick shift equipped with Fords old 300 CI in-line 6 cylinder engine. (all torque, no horsepower)

Guess how many times the guys had to drive the profile. Hint, it was more than 3 and less than 5.

The truck passed the emissions test with no trouble otherwise. After they run your car on the treadmill you get to

Step three: check to make certain your gas cap makes a good seal on the tank.

One of my gas caps failed. *grumble*

Pay $28 for the privilege of having your car tested.

The rest of the steps we shall leave unnumbered.

Drive 12 miles to Checker Auto. Pay $9 for a new gas cap. Drive 12 miles back to smog check place. Burn 2 gallons of gas in the process.

Wait in line. As expected, they have to do the entire test all over again, because the computer won't let them simply retest against the failed portion.

Run the profile. Miss the profile. Several times. Finally one of the guys figures out that the DOS computer is not talking to the Windows computer. (yeah the computer that measures the exhaust components for NOX and hydrocarbons is running DOS)

Back truck out of test land and into adjacent test lane.

Rerun the test about 12 times. It finally passed when the supervisor held the measurement probe against the exhaust pipe. Apparently the problem was fairly straightforward:

My exhaust was too clean. Yup, the hydrocarbons were coming in at 6 out of an allowed 25, so the computer kept rejecting the data as too low.

Finally they get to test the gas cap again. Pass - no surprise there.

Mileage when done testing 122,812 miles. Subtract out the 24 miles to get to Checker auto and back and they ran my truck for over 20 miles on the stupid treadmill.

In their defense, the technicians were very professional and apologetic about the whole thing, and worked very hard to keep the lines moving for everyone else.

Oh, and there are big signs stating that "enhanced testing is the result of Federal Law"; i.e. don't blame us, it's the Feds fault. Of course it's really jointly the Fed and ADEQ's fault for having such a poorly designed procedure.

So let's see, not counting getting there and back, we wasted about 50 miles of driving, 3 hours of my time, and a quarter tank of gas because my gas cap did not quite seal properly.

This is why we hate our government, because the whole process is inane and stupid. And since the test is over, I'm sure my readers can guess which cap is back on my rear tank.

On Tucson

From one of my local firearms forums:
Tucson is Phoenix's little sister, you know the one that never shaves her legs, want's to save whales and free the illegals, and shows up to family events with a Tofu casserole smelling like pot. - Gunslinger808

So spot on there I'm not even sure if it's funny or not.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Saturday we got our granite installed in the kitchen. Thus Sunday I spent cursing the sink and plumbing hookups. After 3 trips to the hardware store, I got it reassembled and working.


Shopping tip of the day

Midway USA has Browning hi-power mags on sale. The good 15 round Mec-Gars. If you need hi-power magazines now just might be a good time. What with the gun grabbers preparing to dance in the blood of the slain and all.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

More Guitar Geeking for TJIC

Joe Bethancourt just posed a youtube video of him playing the cedar/rosewood Breedlove I talked about the other day.

I think he has it tuned down to double-drop-D. Sounds like it at any rate, I can't see his chording hand well enough to know for certain.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tonight's BBT

Sheldon plays a theremin on tonight's Big Bang Theory.

Why do I suspect this will lead to a run on theremin sales?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Today is 12th night, and I am feeling way too crappy to take down Christmas decorations.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Just got back from Fiddler's Dream. Double concert set featuring Joe Bethancourt and Leslie Fish.

Was nice. They held it in the fellowship hall since they needed the extra room. Joe bright 3 guitars (C.J. old Maple Martin 12, a 000C Martin Signature series, and a Cedar/Rosewood Breedlove.

He had the Breed tuned down to double drop-D, and it had some serious low end growl to it.

Les played Monster.

Joe played one song by a local called "Confederate Souvenirs" that was simply an outstanding example of songwriting. Picked up a couple of Joe's CDs since I have all of Leslie's already.