Monthly Archives: December 2007

Toil and trouble

Since the internet was down most of the day, I decide to do some more stuff around the house. I take advantage of a short break in the rainfall to apply some quick drying concrete to some areas between the driveway and the foundation. I find that it really does dry in 10 minutes or less. Happily I’m able to finish before then. That does not seem to solve all of my basement moisture problem.

Since it started raining shortly after the cement was dry, I opt to install outlets in the basement. For some reason, all but one of the junction boxes do not match the descriptions in any of my wiring books. The ones that does does not seem to be connected to the circuit box in any findable way. Being a coward when it comes to live electricity, I opt not to install the outlet in that box.

Happily, while looking for further junction boxes, I come across a working outlet set up to the furnace! I count the day a win.

Civil Rights at work

This is a good thing

NRA seeks hundreds whose guns were seized after Katrina
The National Rifle Association has hired private investigators to find hundreds of people whose firearms were seized by city police in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, according to court papers filed this week.

The NRA is trying to locate gun owners for a federal lawsuit that the lobbying group filed against Mayor Ray Nagin and Police Superintendent Warren Riley over the city’s seizure of firearms after the August 29, 2005, hurricane.

In the lawsuit, the NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation claim the city violated gun owners’ constitutional right to bear arms and left them “at the mercy of roving gangs, home invaders, and other criminals” after Katrina.

It’s nice they’re doing it for everyone, not just their members.

The Christmas meme

Soob (using a Christmas picture I used a while back) has tagged me with the Christmas meme, here we go…

  1. Wrapping or gift bags? – An even mix of both
  2. Real or artificial tree? – Real, no question, it’s just not Christmas without a fire hazard somewhere
  3. When do you put up the tree? – Actually I haven’t had a tree in years. I do have a Festivus pole.
  4. When do you take the tree down? – It used to be new years day, not it’s not that relevant
  5. Do you like egg nog? – a little bit on Christmas Eve and Day
  6. Favorite gift received as a child? – Probably an erector set. That was a long time ago though.
  7. Do you have a nativity scene? – Hah, no.
  8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? – There are no bad gifts, but “Poisonous Plans, the book” comes closest. The Hustler trading card set I got one year was probably the most inappropriate. Fortunately I was advised to open that early.
  9. Mail or email Christmas cards? – Neither. I ‘ve never sent those out
  10. Favorite Christmas Movie? – The Wild Strawberries, I don’t know why, but it gives everything a sense of contrast.
  11. When do you start shopping for Christmas? – Usually the last day I can get free shipping on things.
  12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? – Corn pudding and broccoli casserole, by a substantial margin
  13. Clear lights or colored on the tree? – Colored
  14. Favorite Christmas song(s)? – This one – also the Tom Lehrer Christmas Carol and Sorriest Christmas by the Diggers
  15. Travel at Christmas or stay home? – I usually travel about 20 miles to be with family.
  16. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? РProbably, but I choose not to.
  17. Angel on the tree top or a star? – Star
  18. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning? – Morning
  19. Most annoying thing about this time of year? – Hearing baby boom generation pundits talk about a “War on Christmas” because the holiday isn’t exactly how they remember it when they were twelve.
  20. Do you decorate your tree in any specific theme or color? – Invisible!
  21. What do you leave for Santa? – A copy of Atlas Shrugged
  22. Least favorite holiday song? – No idea
  23. Favorite ornament? – One that doesn’t fall
  24. Family tradition? – The weird round robin phone calls with distant relatives. And the togetherness.
  25. Ever been to Midnight Mass or late-night Christmas Eve services? – Every Christmas actually.

I think everyone else has been tagged.

Monday links

This is an insightful post

From an Econolog post about raising children

Laugh if you like, but I want to give me kids a better life than I had. I don’t want them to be bullied or mocked by teachers or other kids. Since adult life is far more civilized than childhood, sheltering your kids is not “delaying the inevitable”; it’s skipping pointless suffering.

That strikes a chord with me. People have been much nicer in adulthood than in school. Civilization begins with voluntary association I suppose. If I were feeling hyperbolic, I would say that the only thing forced association in the form of mandatory schooling prepares you for is prison, but that’s not accurate. It’s certainly not the only thing anyway.

Quote of the morning


When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true. Unless it’s really a meteorite hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life. Then you’re pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for. Unless it’s death by meteor.