15 December 2009

Wow. That's definitive.

As I have gotten closer to purchasing a "man rifle" (as opposed to a "deer rifle"), I have been trying to find any and all information available on the couple of weapons that I am considering. AR family rifles seem to be the most popular "man rifles" out there for a variety of reasons, but they have always been nagged by questions of reliability under adverse conditions. I LOVE the idea of an M14/M1A, but I have found a number of sources indicating that M14s have their own reliability questions. In fact, I was beginning to wonder if M14's benefit from their "reputation" as much as ARs are hurt by their's...

Then I came across this post, which pretty much confirms my suspicions. It's pretty definitive.

13 December 2009

Hole version 2.0

I don't know if you can see it, but there's a brown dot in the middle of the lightest shade of blue on the map. That represents less than two inches of snow cover. Guess where I live? That's right, the least snowiest part of Upstate New York (along with the area around Fort Niagara). It sucks. Warmest part of Upstate New York, least snowy part of Upstate New York... How the hell is it that my wife's family is from here?!?

09 December 2009

Global Warming

"Global Warming! Global Warming! Ahhhhh!"

Admittedly, I believe that global warming is occurring. I also believe that it is, to some unknown extent, affected by human activity. With that said, I am sick and tired of reading about global warming like it's a killer asteroid hurtling at us from space. I am also sick and tired of people blaming every abnormal weather development - be it snow in Texas or warmth in New England - on "Global Warming." It's bloody irritating.

In the past, I've been guilty of blaming "Global Warming" for epically-sucky winter months (see A.D. 2006 December). In addition, I've written about how global warming could affect the climate here in the Finger Lakes region of New York. I think I've written about its potential effects elsewhere, too. However, despite my occasional descents into Chicken Little-type hysteria, most of my writings discuss the potential FUTURE effects of global warming. Why the future? Because most of the weather events that get attributed to global warming - dramatically-warmer-than-average temperatures; snowfall droughts - are simply normal variations in the weather. Global warming is not to blame for these regular ups and downs. Instead, global warming threatens to raise average temperatures over a long period of time. To put it another way, don't blame "Global Warming" for the warmest November on record. Blame global warming for the fact that in fifty years, average temperatures in November will be slightly higher...

Okay, where am I going with all of this? As a few people know, I've been scheming to build the perfect hockey pond for going on a year now. In searching for information on the internet, I came across a web page today that blamed "Global Warming" for the fact that "the few community lakes or ponds that do still exist [in southern Ontario] they [sic] don’t freeze over until the end of January due to global warming." To say that I was beside myself would be an understatement. What an asinine comment!

I live in one of the warmest areas of Upstate New York, which, last I checked, is warmer than ANYWHERE in Ontario. (Yes, even you, Windsor, Hamilton, and London.) Despite "Global Warming," our ponds always manage to freeze over during the winter, providing us with at least three weeks of good skating in all but the most abnormal years. During most winters, there is approximately a week of skating in December, all but a few days in January, and three weeks or more in February. We have skated as late as the third week in March. For anyone to suggest that "Global Warming" is threatening southern Ontario's hockey traditions is ridiculous. To date, global warming has had a minimal impact on skating in southern Ontario and across the northern tier of American states. In the future, global warming may dramatically reduce skating opportunities in these areas, but to say that it has already done so is ridiculous.

To the Chicken Little Canuck who thinks global warming has turned Ontario into Southern Ohio:

Don't be a hoser. Think before you write.

14 November 2009

Weather Update

Six of the last eight days had high temperatures at least eight degrees Fahrenheit above normal. The other two had high temperatures that were exactly the historical average. Seven of the next nine days are forecast to have high temperatures at least eight degrees Fahrenheit above normal. Two days are forecast to have high temperatres three degrees above normal.

I know, I know, the weather forecast could change dramatically. However, if the weathermen are anywhere near accurate, we will have thirteen out of seventeen days with high temperatures signficantly (at least 8 degrees Fahrenheit) above average, fifteen out of seventeen above average, and 0 out of seventeen below average. November is usually one of my favorite times of year because it is usually the month in which we begin to have regular snowfalls. Not this year. It has snowed for twenty minutes in November, and that didn't accumulate. I know the forecast only goes to November 21, but there is a real possibility that this November could be the first November without snow accumulation since I moved here.

All I know is that one of my favorite times of year is disappointing. I sincerely hope the situation improves.

08 November 2009

Winter Weather Update

For the most part, we've had slightly above average temperatures since the unseasonable cold in mid-October. Today was extremely warm, with high temperatures reaching the mid-60s F. Tomorrow promises to be even warmer, with possible record-high temperatures in the mid-to-upper 70s F. Despite the warm weather, we did have 20 minutes of intense snowfall last Thursday, A.D. 2009 November 05. One cold day (high temperature of 34 F.) followed before we resumed our above-normal temperatures.
If this is how it's going to be, give me my f***ing reservation.

15 October 2009


Incredibly, it began snowing this morning! This is the earliest that anyone in my family can remember it snowing in this area (my in-laws have lived her since 1977). Not only is it snowing, it's accumulating! I took the above picture this afternoon about 13 km (8 miles) from my house. At 16:00 it was already accumulating on the hilltops. (The spot in the picture is about 610 m/2000 ft. A.M.S.L.) It started accumulating at my house (about 350 m/1150 ft.) around 19:30. We're expecting about 1 cm tonight - not much, but more than we're used to this time of year!

03 October 2009

First Hard Frost?

Well, we had another frost on A.D. 2009 October 02. This time the temperature was 33 degrees Fahrenheit and somewhere between 50 and 85 percent of the lawn was crunchy from ice. I decided that I would call it a "hard" (killing) frost if the tomatoes were dead when I got home. Well, two of the four lost their tops, and all of them had a little browning at their leaf tips. My wife says that constitutes a killing frost, but I was hoping for something a little more definitive. I'm still thinking about what to call it...

26 September 2009

The time has come...

...to fire up the wood stove. Mom and sister are here from Georgia, and they're complaining that the house is too cold (61 degrees F.). ...So is the wife, for that matter. Tomorrow morning I'll start a fire, making A.D. 2009 September 27 the first fire of the season.

20 September 2009

First Light Frost

The growing season is still going (strong), but it nearly ended this morning. It was 35 degrees Fahrenheit (about 1.6 degrees Celsius) this morning, and there were patches of frost throughout the landscape. Our backyard was particularly frosty after having been mowed yesterday afternoon. I was very pleased to see some ice again (my favorite season is winter), and I look forward to even colder dips in temperature (and the subsequent killing of the pollen-producing weeds that are currently plaguing me) in the near future.

09 September 2009


A place to live and be free. Requirements include a limited government, individual freedoms, gun rights, and the lowest taxes reasonable. Countries led by arrogant Marxists need not respond. In return for a chance to live and be free, you will receive two (2) hard-working rural Americans with graduate educations. Interested parties should leave comments at the end of this post.

01 September 2009

Autumn is here! (at least temporarily)

Wow! Autumn came in like a rocket! Sunday, August 30 was chilly by late August standards with a high temperature of 62 degrees Fahrenheit. The following day was also autumn-like, with sun and a high temperature of only 63 degrees Fahrenheit. This morning was the coldest since May with a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius). Awesome stuff!

23 August 2009

Browning Hi-Power

While in Pennsylvania over the weekend, I went to a wonderful gun shop and was able to handle a Browning Hi-Power for the first time.

(I have NEVER seen a Hi-Power for sale at any of my local gun shops, and have been told that they're almost impossible to get. That must not be true elsewhere, because I saw half a dozen new and used models at two gun shops in PA.)

In any case, I had pretty much narrowed my pistol interests to 1911s and the Hi-Power. I LOVE 1911s, and I hope to always have a few around. The Hi-Power is the only other pistol in which I'm seriously interested, so I was eager to check one out.

After getting over the excitement of actually coming across a Hi-Power, I asked the attendant to pick it up and...

...it didn't feel right. The grip was too thick. The blowback would take a bite out of my fleshy hands. Having had such high hopes for the Hi-Power, I was disappointed. I really had hoped that it would be a nice complement to the 1911. Unfortunately, that was not going to be the case. Right then and there I came to the conclusion that the 1911 is "my" gun. It would've been nice to find another handgun to love, but I'm a one pistol man.

A few thoughts on Pennsylvania

I was in Pennsylvania the past couple of days for a family reunion. This trip, there were a few things that struck me about Pennsylvania:

1. Once you get off of the unglaciated sections of the Allegheny Plateau, both the physical and cultural geography change considerably.

2. The differences between the governments of New York and Pennsylvania are evident in the prevalence of billboards, poor road quality, and hideous sprawling development that is so common in Pennsylvania.

3. While Pennsylvania's government has created some less-than-ideal situations, it has also created some positive ones: gasoline was less expensive, sales taxes were lower, firearms and ammunition were readily available, and there fewer general restrictions on behavior.

My conflicting feelings about Pennsylvania illustrate perfectly the conflict that exists in my political and philosophical beliefs. I strongly promote the rights of individuals above the interests of the community; I adhere to Ayn Rand's notion that "[t]he smallest minority on earth is the individual," and that "[t]hose who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." At the same time, I strongly support the protection of agricultural and undeveloped lands from residential and industrial development. For years I have tried to reconcile my beliefs, but I don't know if I'll ever succeed in doing so. I am, for the most part, a libertarian. However, supporting restrictions on private property is about the least-libertarian thing you can do.

I'd like to hear from others who may struggle with this same issue. Is there anyone out there who believes in a VERY limited government, but also seeks to protect the countryside from randomly-placed businesses and McMansions? Drop me a line to let me know how you reconcile your conflicts.

13 August 2009


Why is Scotland so beautiful? I would permanently settle there if it was any more free than here. GREAT history, GREAT culture, GREAT geography, GREAT climate (if, like me, you believe that temperatures below 20 degrees Celsius are ideal), and, from everything I read and hear, GREAT people.

04 August 2009

Australian men are the least egalitarian?

I think that the results of this study confirm one thing: Australian men are the least domesticated, most masculine men in any of the countries studied.

The idiot news agencies in Australia seem to be reporting this as a bad thing: "our men don't treat women properly." The idiot news agencies in the United States of America seem to be reporting this as a good thing: "our men are great husbands!"

Screw them all.

I'm with you, men of Australia. Kudos for not selling out your manhood and keeping lit the candle of Western Civilization. There is no doubt in my mind that the domestication of men and erosion of traditional gender roles is inextricably tied to the decline of our societies.

30 July 2009

Change Blindness

Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, or other, please watch this.

29 July 2009

I'm still here.

I'm still here, but sometimes I wish "here" was Idaho or Wyoming. Not that either of those places will be much different from here in another couple of decades. Still, if there's hope anywhere, it's probably there.

Those of you who think Texas is the promised land are right, but it's not your promised land, amigo.

Health care is a "right"?

Just read.

Do you still think health care is a right? If you do, get the hell out of my country.

07 June 2009

Ghetto Mancala

For those of you who don't know, Mancala is a family of board games primarily from Africa. The majority of variants involve a scenario in which "players begin by placing an equal number of seeds, prescribed by the variation in use, in each of the pits on the game board. A turn consists of removing all seeds from a pit, sowing the seeds (placing one in each of the following pits in sequence), and capturing based on the state of board." (http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mancala)

Sometime around age 11, my family purchased an inexpensive Mancala board and I began playing a variant called "Kalah" with my sister and step-brother. For a year we played regularly, but the game eventually lost its appeal.

The other day, I looked up some information on one of the tropical plants that I had grown in Texas. I began researching the plant's genus and came across some information on the nickernut. The nickernut is used in place of seeds in Caribbean Mancala games, and with that information, a flood of childhood memories returned to me.

I quickly researched Mancala games and re-learned how to play them. I decided to introduce my wife to the game later that evening. There was only one problem: I didn't have a Mancala board!

That's where "Ghetto Mancala" comes in.

In my part of the United States of America, improvised versions of things are often called "Ghetto something." The best example is "Ghetto Lemonade" - water flavored with lemon juice and small packets of sugar. In any case, I decided that, in order to play Mancala with my wife, I would have to create a "Ghetto Mancala" board.

The requirements? Twelve "pits" (six to a side), two "houses" (places to hoard captured seeds), and the seeds themselves (usually nickernuts, glass stones, or marbles). A "real" Mancala board looks like this:

My "Ghetto Mancala" board looks like this:

Oh yeah! Half an egg carton, kidney beans, and two baby cups! It worked well. The only problem was that it was a pain to scoop the kidney beans out of the egg carton with your fingers. Still, it worked, we played (until the little one decided to steal our "seeds"), and it was fun. I'm making a wooden Mancala board out of an old piece of oak that was rotting in our garage. When that's completed I'll only have the memory of the time that we played "Ghetto Mancala." ;-)

24 May 2009

Libertarian Republicans the last best hope on Earth?

I believe that the Libertarian Republicans are the last hope for the Republican Party (and the United States of America). For reasons that I don't fully understand, many "George W. Bush Republicans" have dismissed the Libertarians within their party. Today I opened an e-mail that seeks to refute those "Neoconservatives."

I'm serious folks, join the Ron Paul Revolution.

16 May 2009

Hockey Pond

So I've just about given up on creating a high-quality hockey pond on my property. It seems that we just don't have a good spot for one. Faced with this realization, I'm getting serious about Plan B: build a backyard rink.

As every inch of my property is hopelessly sloped, I'm going to have to grade an area to make it level enough for a rink. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to take out some overgrown vineyard before I can do that. Convincing my wife to let me clear the patch that I have chosen may be tricky. It's the most level place on our property and right next to our backyard. Unfortunately, it's a section of vineyard that she had hoped to put back into production. I'm afraid I'll have to bribe her...

In any case, I'm looking at putting in a rectangular rink measuring 14 meters (about 46 feet) by 8 meters (about 26 feet). Ideally I'd construct a rink 15 meters x 10 meters, but my best liner option is only 32 feet x 100 feet. This way I'll get two liners out of one roll of plastic, halving my cost.

I want to make a metal goal, but I'll look into that after the school year has ended. For now, I'm ordering the plastic for the liner, planning how to make the boards, and beginning clearing of the vineyard. Now that I have a definite plan for this winter, I'm psyched!

Wish me luck!

First post in more than two months...

It has been more than two months since my last post - blame facebook. Earlier this year my buddy finally convinced me to join facebook. It has been fun, but it has had terrible consequences for this blog. I have no intention of deleting this outlet-for-my-random-thoughts, but I can't guarantee that it will ever regain its former "glory." [Note: I use the word 'glory' VERY loosely.]

In any case, today's blogging subject is the A.D. 2009 Bones season finale. For those of you who aren't familiar, Bones is a drama series on the FOX American television network.

My wife and I began watching Bones when it premiered back in A.D. 2005. My wife was/is a fan of star David Boreanaz, and decided that we would be loyal viewers before the show had even aired. It was extremely convenient that I enjoyed the show so much. Season one was excellent and season two was great. However, the show began tending toward the gimicky in season three. Nonetheless, it was still good television. Unfortunately, all of that changed in season four.

This past season was marked by a plethora of gimicky and mediocre episodes that were interspersed with an equal number of terrible and fantastic episodes. Unfortunately, the worst episode of ANY Bones season was this year's finale.

If you haven't seen the season finale, you're not missing much. The basic plot is as follows: Booth and Bones are married club owners in a dream that Booth has while in a brain surgery-induced coma OR in a fictional short story that Bones has written (which is promptly deleted). At the end of the episode, Booth awakens from his coma to ask a joyous Bones "Who are you?"

The episode was a joke. Media outlets have been reporting that it was to have been the episode in which Booth and Bones finally consummate their relationship. Instead, a fictional Booth and Bones consummate a relationship in a dream/fictional short story. To top it off, Booth has apparently lost his memory at the end of the episode. Quite simply, the plot is out of some low-budget "B" movie. Why should I be surprised? Both of the last two episodes were like that. I've been threatening to give up Bones since midway through this past season. My wife grew angry with me every time I predicted increasingly outrageous plots, but yesterday, for the first time, she agreed with me.

I'll finish with a note to television show writers: You manage to screw up most good shows in an effort to squeeze out as much milk as you can from each cash cow. For once, end a show before you've ruined it for the viewers. Make season five the final season of Bones. Have Booth and Brennan end up together. Have Hodgins and Angela end up together. Get rid of the gimicky interns. Get back to your original formula for success - interesting criminal cases supplemented by a growing attraction between your two main characters. Please, just this once, don't screw it up.

03 March 2009

Think, people!

When will America realize that left-of-center government is bad?

According to a February 2009 study by the Mercatus Center, states that voted for the Democratic candidate in the A.D. 2004 U.S. Presidential election tend to have lower rates of overall freedom. In the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, the 28 states won by B. Hussein Obama included 20 of the 28 states with the lowest overall freedom ratings, including every state ranked 35th or lower. Ironically, B. Hussein Obama won both New Hampshire and Colorado - the two states ranked highest in overall freedom. Aside from those two, he carried only one other state in the top ten. An average of the rankings of the states carried by B. Hussein Obama results in the number 31.32. Averaging the rankings of the states won by John McCain results in the number 18.09, indicating that, on average, states with higher rates of overall freedom tended to vote for John McCain.

To dramatically oversimplify the results: free people vote for Republicans and subjected people vote for Democrats. The question is, "why would Americans elect people who consistently take away their freedom?" Unless the answer is "They're a bunch of idiots," I have no idea.

State debt levels also lead one to question the wisdom of voting for Democrats. In the A.D. 2008 U.S. Presidential election, B. Hussein Obama won 18 of the 28 states that, in 2002, had the highest public debt (per capita). That included 8 of the top 10 and 15 of the top 20 states with the highest public debt. Twenty-five of the states carried by Obama were in the top 40, while three were in the bottom ten. Again, a logical individual would question the wisdom of empowering a party that consistently builds public debt. Again, our conclusion must be that Americans aren't logical.

Finally, one can look at cost of living rankings and conclude that Democrats promote a high cost of living. Of the 28 states won by B. Hussein Obama, he carried 10 of the top 11 and 25 of the top 29 states with the highest costs of living. Obama carried none of the twelve states with the lowest costs of living.

People, get your head out of your ass and stop voting for those who would bring us down.

Note: I understand that the information in post has been presented in an unscientific way. However, I believe that my conclusions are valid. I understand that opponents of my conclusions might argue that I have made some ideological leaps in drawing them, but I firmly believe that any "leaps" I have made would stand up to academic scrutiny.

"I want to be a part of it - New York, New York!"

"New York is by far the least free state in the Union (#50 economic, #48 personal). One of us lives in New York and can attest to the fact that few New Yorkers would be surprised by such a finding. Sadly, equally few New Yorkers seem to believe that anything can be done about the situation. New York has the highest taxes in the country. Property, selective sales, individual income, and corporate income taxes are particularly high. Spending on social services and “other” is well above national norms. Only Massachusetts has more government debt as a percentage of the economy. Government employment is higher than average. On personal freedoms, gun laws are extremely restrictive, but marijuana laws are better than average (while tobacco laws are extremely strict). Motorists are highly regulated, but several kinds of gambling are allowed statewide (not casinos, except on reservations). Home school regulations are burdensome, but asset forfeiture has been reformed. Along with Vermont, New York has the strictest health insurance community rating regulations. Mandated coverages are also very high. Eminent domain is totally unreformed. Perversely, the state strictly limits what grassroots PACs may give to candidates and parties, but not what corporations and unions may give."

Source: http://www.mercatus.org/uploadedFiles/Mercatus/Publications/Freedom%20in%20the%2050%20States.pdf

If you're an American (or find America fascinating), this study is really interesting reading.

28 February 2009


B. Hussein Obama and Eric Holder disdain the United States Constitution. Though I knew B. Hussein Obama disdained the U.S. Constitution before he was elected, I still find it ironic. Upon taking office, he swore the following oath:

"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

B. Hussein Obama has not only failed to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, he has violated it. I grant that EVERY President of the United States has violated the Constitution is some way or another, but there are only a couple of dozen that have done so as blatantly as B. Hussein Obama. (Yes, George Walker Bush was one of them.) Is there any recourse for his breach of oath? Unless Congress or the Supreme Court respects and is willing to uphold the Constitution, there is not.

I do believe that I can feel the hope already.

24 February 2009

State of the Empire

I didn't watch the General Secretary's State of the Union [Empire] address. However, I was eager to watch Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal's Republican response. Let me start by saying that I really like Bobby Jindal's record. However, that was the worst State of the Union response that I have ever seen. It was terrible in so many ways that I cannot begin to list them...

Since the General Secretary's ascension, I have casually followed the Republican party's decision-making. If the G.O.P. hopes that Bobby Jindal can become their Barack Obama, they are sorely mistaken. While I like Jindal, it appears to me (and a few million other Americans) that Bobby Jindal is merely "a poor man's" B. Hussein Obama. It's not that he isn't relatively handsome, good at public speaking, and squeaky clean - it's the simple fact that he wasn't first. Kobe Bryant may be as good as Michael Jordan, but, if given a choice, who wouldn't pick MJ?

19 February 2009

More great change courtesy of the General Secretary

I don't use the word "hate" very often, but I really do hate B. Hussein Obama.


15 February 2009

I must admit that, at first, I had my doubts about the General Secretary. However, after a month in office, it is clear that our hope is being fulfilled and that a great change is indeed taking place. The remnants of the previous corrupt, tyrannical regime are being obliterated. The General Secretary has proven his commitment to the revolution by attempting to silence those who would hinder our progress. Now, after 233 years of bourgeois domination, the citizens of the Motherland have united to effect the change that we have so long desired. Long-live the revolution!

06 February 2009

20 January 2009

Putting it into words...

I've been having a hell of a time putting my thoughts into words the past few months. I think a lot of my troubles stem from the hour at which I've been typing (late). In any case, I'll try one more time:

To those of you who come across this blog (if anyone does), I want to convey my feelings about the future of the country of my birth. While I believe that the United States of America is on the verge of collapse, I do not believe that our society is on the verge of collapse. I'm sure that some visitors may read my doomsday-ish posts and think that I'm a crackpot, but I'm not. I'm simply a man who cherishes the government created by his forefathers. In my opinion, the United States Constitution is the greatest plan of government in the history of the world. Is it perfect? No. Is there a better plan? Not of which I am aware.

With that said, my fears about the future of this country do not revolve around societal collapse, enslavement, communism, or any other horrible fate. Instead, they stem from the reality that the United States Constitution has become nothing more than a symbol. There was a time when the Constitution WAS our country, but that time has long since past.

I have little doubt that the United States of America will continue to exist and be a world power. It is my belief that we will continue to become more European-like in our form of government. That is, we will expand government services while slowly reducing basic freedoms of choice (in the name of public safety/health). While this has proven remarkably popular in Europe, it is quite at odds with the traditional American form of government.

I foresee the European-style of government being immensely popular in the United States. I think that the country will continue to thrive and attract immigrants from around the world. To have these things we need only to sacrifice one thing: those small freedoms that so many of us take for granted.

For me, no number of government services can equal the smallest freedom.

18 January 2009

What has happened to my once-great country?

The federal government of the United States of America is no longer a government based on the rule of law. The election of Barack Obama has highlighted its transformation into a government based on the whims of man.

I do not blame Barack Obama for creating this situation - he did not. However, he did take advantage of it like no other presidential candidate in American history.

Obama's popularity - both perceived and actual - illustrates how the majority of Americans have abandoned traditional American political principles in favor of rhetoric about "change" and "hope." It also illustrates how America has abandoned Republicanism in favor of Democracy.

In a republic, the rule of law limits a government's excesses, protecting its citizens from abuses of power. In a democracy, the people determine a government's actions. While this may sound preferrable, it leaves minorities vulnerable to the whims of the people. For example, a majority could pass legislation prohibiting the practice of a certain religion. Should adherents of that religion be forbidden to worship as they choose? Absolutely not.

Unfortunately, the days of such safeguards in American government are nearly gone.

While many Americans believe that the election of Barack Obama marks a positive change, a thoughtful minority fears that America's "noble experiment" may have finally failed.