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All KINDS of stuff. Mostly ideas... politics, science, religion, fishing, food ....stuff that your mom told you wasnt polite to discuss.

47(+1)th Topic - Gods and Decibels

*** Yes, Yes... I know what I said, but this just popped out of me the other day (and yes, I DO feel better)..... ***

So... I was thinking he other day about the decibel. Not a difficult concept - the logarithmic difference between two things (think of input vs output), but every description of electric or audio communication involves the concept of a decibel, mostly in respect after Alex Graham(notThe Cracker) Bell.    It is ultimately used to accurately describe how systems that exchange energy and information (nerves, computer networks, the party line you had to use as a kid... WHATEVER) work.  It also needs stuff like noise(aka entropy), and a couple of things we can put aside for now.

So why is any of this important?  
1st of all, who says it is? Lets see if we can find out.
I'm going to look at it as a factor of "belief".  We gotta start somewhere.  I wont call it religion because that word is WAY overloaded.  This isnt a rigorously measured test, it's strictly a seat-of-pants approach based on my experience.
Ive known people who seem to have no innate need to have, or need to know, a "Truth" of any sort.   And thats fine; the ones Ive known are and were, by and large, good people.  No one seems interested on forcing these beliefs of theirs upon others; I like that.  Many did seem to hold that what we call life consists of a lot of smaller truths (lower case "t").  I suspect some of these folks like decibels, I'm sure some could care less.
But most people DO seem to want to have a set of Capital T Truths.  And thats fine; the ones Ive known are and were, by and large, good people.  Seekers and Believers.   My experience is the less comfortable a person is with uncertainty the stronger the need.  Some like decibels, some could care less.
Listen, I'm not really talking about things like how people should behave (at least for right now).  I'm talking about nature and I'm talking about God.  Natural vs Supernatural forces and laws.
Ive known people who say "theres no problem", that the 2 can coexist jus' fine.   And that IS fine; the ones Ive known are and were, by and large, good people.   No one seems interested on forcing these beliefs of theirs upon others; I like that.  Often called Secularists.  Many (not all) like decibels.
I've also known people who say "sorry, there is no Supernatural". And thats fine; the ones Ive known are and were, by and large, good people.  Often called Septics.  There are some that seem interested on forcing these beliefs of theirs upon others; I wish they'd quit it.  I believe most like decibels quite a bit (being a Natural Law, and all).
Ive also known people who say "sorry, Gods Laws trump all".  Please note there are a LOT of different Gods cited and a LOT of different laws.  But thats fine; they are and were, by and large, good people.  Often called True Believers.  There are more than a few that seem interested on forcing these beliefs of theirs upon others; I wish they'd quit it.  I suspect most of them couldn't care less about decibels.
So is there any correlation between belief and decibels?  Yeah; Maybe some.  Is any of this important? .............................

47th Topic - So Long and Thanks For All the Fish

I had been contemplating this topic for a month or 2. It has become apparent that this is the time for it.
In the last and forth book of his trilogy, Douglas Adams describes the dolphins leaving Earth just before its destruction.  Before departing, they communicate a short note which I stole for the title of this topic.  My lawyers have girded their loins for the impending lawsuit from both the estate of Mr. Adams, and representatives of the marine mammals.  
While I do not foresee any immediate Armageddon, I would like to thank you all for your close attention and support and wish both of you the best wishes for our precarious future.  When I started out on this blogging (or whatever its called) adventure, I wanted to present reasonable topics containing minimal hysteria.  I wanted topics that were interesting and a little thought provoking and present them from my viewpoint that I did not want to be perceived as any sort of Absolute Truth (since that doesn't exist), but just something that you, the reader, could swish around in yer brain and then take or leave or leave.  
I ended up staying away from politics more than I would have otherwise wanted.  I'm not exactly sure why, but one main factor its that at least amongst here in the LLC Blogs, it is impossible to discuss a political issue of any kind without generating ridiculous hyperbolic comments filled with childish name calling.  The last time I saw people mutate a name into some childish taunt was on a playground.   Frankly, the practice is too immature for even a playground.
Another main factor was that the state of political affairs around us just plain saddens me.  Be it our wonderful Governor driving our great state into the ground, or the downright scary reaction to the scary Paris bombing by the scary crazy people, or the lack of any meaningful restriction of guns amongst the wackos amongst us, or the number of people that think the Worldnet Daily or Fox News are examples of journalism.
And then there's THESE rising stars:
* Donald Trump has no problems with all Muslims in this country having some special ID.  A Muslim Kristalnacht in this country is the next logical step (or already developing... numerous events in "red" areas).  He's the leading contender to be the GOP nominee to hold the launch codes.
* Ben The-Pyramids-Were-For-Storing-Grain Carson compares refugees to 'rabid' dogs.  He's the 2nd leading contender to be the GOP nominee to hold the launch codes.
* Jeb Bush thinks only Christian refugees should be allowed. When pressed on how would you know if they're really Christian or not, he hadn't a clue.  Nothing says "presidential material" quite like engaging the mouth before consulting the brain.  He's the 3rd leading contender to be the GOP nominee to hold the launch codes.
An astonishing number of states will be refusing to accept any Syrian refugees.  DO YOU KNOW WHO *WILL* (continue to) BE ACCEPTING THEM????    FRANCE!!!!   Thats right; the country that gets made fun of by the right for being cowards, has more bravery guts and character than the asshats here that are reacting out of Hyperbole Fear and Hysteria.
BTW, How come nobody talked about keeping Saudis out of this country after 911?  Or even today; I mean it's their Wahhabism that is the ideological root of ISIS, AlQueda and the Taliban.  In not asking rhetorically; I really want to know why these guys are never seriously discussed.   Check out this link for a history lesson and some perspective; as usual things, are not very simple or straight forward.. 
Also, why do most Saudi men remind me of Frank Zappa?
To all those wonderful commentors that bravely hide behind pseudonyms - have a nice life.  Personally, my days of commenting are over (for now), but feel free to bark and belch in the section provided below.
Please have a happy and healthy holiday of your choice in the upcoming season, but remember, they all owe their existence to the solstice; what can I say, I'm a sucker for a natural/mathematical phenomenon.  
Remember that nice young Andy Kristensen that had a blog and promised he'd be back??  I'll make no such promises, but its not impossible.  
Try to be nice to the recipe lady.

46th Topic - (More) Pickin & Grinnin

 Astute readers will recall ( that this is the time of year for the anual East Troy Bluegrass Festival.  Well, it just came and went and Im here to report is was wonderful as usual.

I was there all day Saturday (working hard (!) in the AM), and for me the highlight was when the band broke into the song about how after 30 years of hard farming, the family farm had to be auctioned off (!topic/   Its a great bluegrass song extremely well performed by the (relatively) local KR Bluegrass, but let me tell you, it was the saddest damn song Ive heard in a long long (long) time.   The very next song they decided to cheer us up with was Orphan Train (  Exceuse me!?!?!    Are you singing about a freaking Orphan Train!?!?!?!    
From that point on its was a bit more upbeat, but how could it possible not??

I love me some blues but "When I woke up this morning, the blues was on my mind"????
Ha, dont talk to me about the blues till youve boarded the Orphan Train after you lost the family farm!!

Sunday morning the Festival does a Gospel Worship.   While I stongly support (surprise surprise) their right to do that, I have absolutely no desire to take part.  Now understand, as I do, that gospel music IS a big bart of the bluegrass tradition and repertoire, and I love it for that and I love many of the songs themselves, but when I showed up Sun afternoon (after I felt that the Packers had things under control), there was a family group that prior to each song told us how Jesus was this and Jesus was all that (and a bag of chips) and without Jesus we were lost and doomed and whatnot.
Well Im happy you're in love with Jesus, Im just fine with that, but if you think you can tell me what supernatural path to follow or tell me the nature and future of my soul.... without me asking you.... well, screw you (quite frankly).   Besides, your huge ( family was musically mediocre.

There!  I feel better.

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45th Topic - PeeSee

 Fairly recently the whole concept of Politically Correct speech seems to have poped it's head out of it's hidey hole, and you'd think it was some kind of freakish spawn of satan that no one ever saw before.

The root of the term PC (as it will be henceforth referred to) traces back to Marxism, and it was a desctription of any ideology or process that was pure enough to be blessed by whatever mao suit wearing comrade that was currently using the term.
Starting in about the 80's it was being used selfmockingly to describe livestyle choices ("real or even fake fur is very un-PC").  At some point, the idea of it being a light hearted adjective was lost and people on the left started to use it in earnest.  Here is an add from (the very left) Mother Jones from 1985:
I have no idea if it was intended as satire or not.  At some point, the term attained a foothold in the American Psyche.  And it was often taken as seriously as a heart attack.
There was, and is, some group-think and accompanying rules that are not healthy for any free society.  Google "politically correct overboard" and take your pick.  The crux of them is one group or another "takes offense" and some percieved slight, real or imaginary, and demands justice in one form or another.  There are insidents in academia that'd curl your hair (if currently straight), and I deplore them to the core of my soul.  On the other hand, there are people claiming to be victims of PC that when studied, deserved what they got.  Like EVERYTHING, the devil's in the details.
Presidential candidate Martin O’Malley got booed when he responded to a group of #BlackLivesMatter activists by telling them that “all lives matter.”   What???  All lives ?DONT? matter?   Check out   Does it make (at least a little) more sense now?
For some on the right, "P.C." began to be a vague way to refer to anything left of center. "Un-P.C.," meanwhile, became a phrase people used to pat themselves on the back, thinking themselves free of Orwellian thought control.
But for many years now, PC has really just meant being polite, or at the very least, not an asshole.  If someone named Richard wasnts to be called Rick, and you keep calling him Dickey, dont be surprised to be taken off his Christmas card list.  Not using the term Spic, Chink, Whop, Kike and the loveable Ni**er is not even PC, but I have personally heard folks use each and every one of those, followed by a very sarcastic correction (often with airquotes to impress on the heartfelt effort to "be PC").
So along comes whats-his-name-and-his-hair positioning himself as the proud champion of un-PC.  And drooling throngs are ready to join him.  Right now the term "anchor baby" is being derided by loonytoons as being PC and therefore not acceptable.  Look, you or him or anyone living here should be free to speak as freely and offensively as they want, keeping in mind that consequenses/pushback can and should be expected, as well as can and should be doled out.   Chastizing Christians who see fit in treating some people like 2nd  class citizens does not constitute persecution.
But things are getting out of contol.  The wheels are falling off.  We're careening over the cliff.  Watch out below.  It seems like the comeback for the terms Spic, Chink, Whop, Kike and the loveable Ni**er are just arround the corner, and its more than un-PC.  its the end of civilized behavior.

44th Topic - What a Tool!

 Look at us with our opposable thumbs!  Aint we something??

From the lever to the inclined plane on up to CNC machines, mankind in general is pretty good with machines and tools.  I in particular have had a long and pleasant relationship to machines.  My dad was quite handy and exposed me pretty early to Erector sets and the like.  I eventually fell in love with the electricity side of machines, but I have a deep admiration for anything that does its job simply and well.
I remember reading something by Kurt Vonnegut where he describes an Indian (as in India) holiday where we honor those things that serve us well and make our lives a little less toilsome.  Houswives would put a flower or 2 on their vaccuum cleaner, or folks would festtoon their scooter or bicycle with something gay (as in bright and happy).  It turns out, I dont think there actually is such a holiday.
Too bad.  Its not the worst idea in the world.
The other day, I broke the wooden handle on a iron rake that I often use, particularly to stir the firepit whern I burn brush.  This was the same rake my father in law used to stir the firepit when he owned the house I currently reside in.  It would be easier and almost the same cost to buy a new rake, but I just couldnt do it.  A new ash (hopefully borrer free) handle was purchased.  I then discovered that I owned three (thats right.  dont ask) similar rakes and I resigned myself to return the handle.  I wasnt happy about it and I still have the steel head that I cant bring myself to toss.
My lawn tractor is named Phred, and is almost 30 years old.  His full name is Pred II and my father in law bought him to replace Phred the 1st.  When we moved out to "Lake Country" my wife wanted (among other things) a John Deer cap.  I told her I would gladly get her one once she earned it by leaning to run Phred (despite Phred being a Simplicity).  She now proudly wears her cap whenever she mows, and we both talk about Phred like he's a member of the family.  He's gone thu a busted axle, a PTO rebuild and I cant count how many oil changes and blade sharpenings.  Sometime in the future (fairly soon, I think), it wont be worth fixing him any more.   It will be a bittersweet day when Phred III joins our family.
Not all tools are worth respectful treatment.  There are a lot of crappy tools out there, and many come from a outfit called Harbor Freight.  Ive heard it said you should always buy the best tool you can afford.  I think to make a absolute statement like that is nonsense.  My theory is if you need a tool to use only occasionally (at the very most), its fine to buy a cheap tool made by our Chineese neighbors and friends.  Ive bought stuff that has held up amazingly well, and Ive bought stuff that disintegrated after the one job I needed it for.   I have a drill press from HF that has served me VERY will for about 25 years that Im emotionally (Platonically) attached to. 
Thru a long series of events, Im ready to get rid of an old rickety wodden lader that came with the 1st house I bought almost 35 years ago.  The owner was maybe 80.  I cant bear putting it in the garbage so I put it by the road, hoping someone will stop and give it a good home (or at least a ride).
(it looks so lonely)

So what is it with our attachment to tools?
Or is it just me. and I should start looking for a 12 step program?

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