Saturday, July 2, 2022

California Wows again

From the department of YMBSM comes this news.  As the nation tries to survive the highest fuel prices in American history... California RAISES their gasoline tax.

From the highest gas prices in the nation to the highest WITH an extra kick to the giggle beads.


W: 335.2

A few days ago a new Instant Pot arrived.  The last one did not survive the 14 year old teengirl in the house (She has NO idea where those critical components went).

Since I decided the Instant Pot will see more use as I try to cut electric usage in the face of historically high increases, I upgraded to a larger model with more features.

(Side note:  So far I have cut our electric usage 22% from last year, which means our bill only rose in a slightly staggering way.)

This morning the air fryer add-on got a workout.  Very thick hand cut bacon, and cheap-sale factory finger-link sausage.

The goal was to get both crispy while losing the fat.  I'mma gonna go ahead and say Mission Success in a total of 25 minutes of cook time, and two pot cleanup. 

Wait.... the Secretary of Transportation was stranded by an airline that refused to honor the ticket he paid for, and he's CROWING about making them refund for what they failed to provide? What a useless waste of O2 he is.

A passing question. Should a politician be disqualified for voting on revenue bills if they can be shown to have ignored or avoided their own personal tax burden?

Friday, July 1, 2022

Blackberry wine, day 2, the yeastening...

The next batch of this season's wine: Blackberry.

With this run, I'm shooting for a semi-sweet with a clean flavor and a light touch.

I think I may have had an epiphany regarding how yeast works in wine-making, and how to control flavors.  We shall see, but I have high hopes.


W: 335.2

Liberal world order?   Um....

Ring Ring (cell phone).   "What?"

Man with small penis: "Mr. Welling?  My name is Tom, and I'd like to talk with you about The Trooper Fund.   We are collecting donations to support...."

Me: "Whoa there... Tom was it?   I hear the words you are speaking, but the message coming through is you have a very small penis, and you compensate by trying to rip people off".

MWSP: "What?"

Me:  "I know Tom, it really sucks to be so badly endowed.  But you know there's no shame in a micro-dick, right?  In fact, I kind of find it to be a turn on, you know?  Why don't you call me tonight and we'll....."

MWSP:  "What the fu... CLICK"

Meh. Doing business with gangsters has risks. Just because the gangsters have their own anthem and flag doesn't mitigate the risk. Suck it Shell. You knew who you were in bed with.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Grill Dome service

Is excellent!

My brand new 10 year old well used Grill Dome kamado grill did not survive the great treefall of 2022 unscathed.  The firebox looked like my eyes after drinking too much, and the fire ring was cracked too.

The Grill Dome website said out of stock.... oh no.... so I called and left a message yesterday.  Call back today (24 hours from a company with about 7 employees).  That's better than any company I have called in years.  Most never call back at all.

I described my problem, and he magically found the correct firebox in stock.  He then counseled me on fire rings, and how they work fine even when cracked.

While I had him on the phone, I asked him about grill racks and the fancy three-level system the new Kamado uses.  He said "Oh yeah, I have one that will fit your older kamado perfectly.  Sold!

They are shipping tomorrow.  Color me tickled.



W: 336.0

This chart represents Brent crude futures against recessions.  As expected and obvious, oil takes a dive during recessions as energy needs drop with the economy.

Also expected and obvious, the Biden recession is knocking and it promises to be a doozy, so we can expect the oil market to depress along with the economy.

My question is.... buy on the dip?  It may be a years-long dip; Do I have that kind of patience and life span?

This 5 year on XLE is not rendering any clues to my poor intellect.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Box + Nip = "Hey man. Good NiBorg!"


Strawberry wine, day 6

The primary has done its job on day 6.  Brix checks 2.  It was 25 at throw, with another pound-per-gallon of sugar halfway through.  It's slightly sweet, although a little weak on flavor.  Alc is right up there though.  

I may do a strawberry syrup and add it after it stabilizes to boost flavor before bottling.

Now I'll leave it in secondary to get happy with itself and clarify a while.  I suspect with the fiber content of the fruit I'll end up using a clarifier to get it right. 

After that, the bottling!


W: 339.1   At least my bounce stayed under 340.  Small victories are still victories.

Per a discussion with Carolyn today, I believe most people have their limits of tolerance. I know I have mine, which I'll happily make as clear as I can.
Just in case anyone wondered, which I don't expect is the case, but I like to be straightforward.
I judge friends by their actions, more than their words.
I'm willing to discuss almost anything, with almost anyone, as long as we stay truthful and civil.
I do NOT betray a trust, even for folks who are no longer friends. It's a point of honor, which no one else but me gets a vote on.
Who I will not tolerate are people who take satisfaction in being mean for any reason, and who advocate for violence against other people without sufficient cause.
I have little wish to deal with people who refuse to think, and deeply enjoy people who challenge me to think myself.
I have no wish to treat with people who knowingly lie, or should know they are lying but refuse to see it.
I am a hypocrite, and consider it a human failing I fight almost daily. I don't expect others to be better than me, but I have no time for folks who revel in hypocrisy.
I have no wish to control any other persons thoughts, actions, or circumstances, and will have little or nothing to do with anyone who thinks they can control mine.
I bristle when I see someone taken advantage of, for any reason. I've walked away from people who chortled about doing so, and never spoke with them again.
I have no space for anyone who has no regard for children or animals, or who uses them for their own gain. I have no room for anyone who uses other people, period.
Lucky for me, there are a LOT of people in this world who pass this filter easily. I'm happy to call some of them friends.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022


W: 335.0 !

58 degrees this morning, and a high of 76 today.  Beautiful weather!

On day 4 of a gout flare.  Today I'll keep it up and iced, but this afternoon I must go fetch the rent-a-teen for yard work.   I expect to fire up a cigar on the deck and give directions via pointing my Stick Of Command.

The column is actually well-written, interesting, and informative. The title is honestly spot-on too.  The writer hits home on the racism inherent in the hydra of gun control laws.

That said, I'll go with 'Headlines that will be surreptitiously changed in the middle of the night' for $200, Alex.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Lol...... (A bit crude, but so true).

 A: "Dude, did you hear there's some kind of thing going on where women are gonna refuse to have sex till the abortion thing gets figured out?"

B:  "Doesn't bother me.  I don't stick my dick in crazy".

A: "But Dude.... what if your girlfriend does that?"

B: "You mean refuse to have sex to punish me for something I didn't do and have no control over?  Wouldn't that be crazy?"

A: "Yeah, that would be nuts!".

B: "Then no worries.  I don't stick my dick in crazy".

Strawberry wine, 4 days in....


I started this batch on the 23rd.  Today is the 27th. 

It began with a Brix reading of 25.  Yesterday morning it measured under 5, so I dosed another 4 lbs of sugar in the 8 gallons of primary.  Today it reads at 5 on the nose and is still *very* lively in fermentation.

I chanced a taste today and found it lighter on flavor than I might wish.   Nice alcohol level.

I think once it's done in secondary and I've stabilized it, I'll cook a batch of strawberry syrup and punch the flavor up a bit.  Thankfully I have an experienced pro at winemaking as a coach to guide me!


W: 338.2  sigh...

The LA times asks "Oh Lordy Lordy, what we gonna do about all dem black people wit guns?"

Seems they are 'discomfited' by the idea of non-white gun owners.

I hear they have cookies....

"More than 1 million voters across 43 states have switched to the Republican Party over the last year, according to voter registration data analyzed by The Associated Press. "

Yeah... don't be cocky, Pubs.  No one knows if a million voters are enough to swing the margin of fraud.

Sunday, June 26, 2022


W: 338.0    Dancing the fatty watty dance...

The strawberry wine last night, a full day after throwing the yeast:

Saturday, June 25, 2022


Ironical department of irony....

 The irony of congress-critters walking out of a hearing on legislative branch insurrection so they can go outside and urge protesters to a violent insurrection of the judicial branch has not escaped me.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Well then....

I guess it's time for the 2022 edition of 'mostly peaceful' looting, arson, and murder.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Today, on the 23rd of June in the year 2022, a batch of strawberry wine began life.

Rumors that the grouchy old bastich who started it may have (GASP) followed a recipe are unprovable at this time.

I have family from New York state.

The latest Supreme Court decision is going to piss off a LOT of police officials up there. They've been selling signatures on carry permits for generations, and the 'wrong kind' need not apply at all.

My prediction? Most of the police officials in the state are going to ignore the ruling, and it will take years of expensive litigation and a few massive judgments to clear that sewage pipe.

An Open Statement Opposing Proposals for a Gas Tax Holiday (From leading economists)

In recent weeks, there have been proposals in Congress and by the President to suspend the gas tax for the summer. As economists who study issues of energy policy, taxation, public finance, and budgeting, we write to indicate our opposition to this policy.

Put simply, suspending the federal tax on gasoline this summer is a bad idea and we oppose it.

There are several reasons for this opposition:

First, research shows that waiving the gas tax would generate major profits for oil companies rather than significantly lowering prices for consumers.

Second, it would encourage people to keep buying costly imported oil and do nothing to encourage conservation.

Third, a tax holiday would provide very little relief to families feeling squeezed.

Fourth, the gas tax suspension would threaten to increase the already record deficit in the coming year and reduce the amount of money going into the highway trust fund that maintains our infrastructure.

Signers of this letter are Democrats, Republicans and Independents. This is not a partisan issue. It is a matter of good public policy.

Henry Aaron
Senior Fellow
The Brookings Institution

Gilbert E. Metcalf
Professor of Economics
Tufts University

Joseph Stiglitz, Columbia University (Nobel Prize in Economics, 2001)

James Heckman, University of Chicago (Nobel Prize in Economics, 2000)

Daniel Kahneman, Princeton University (Nobel Prize in Economics, 2002)

Roger Myerson, University of Chicago (Nobel Prize in Economics, 2007)

Eric Maskin, Institute for Advanced Study (Nobel Prize in Economics, 2007)

William Sharpe, Stanford University (Nobel Prize in Economics, 1990, President American Finance Association, 1980)

Angus Deaton, Princeton University (President-elect, American Economic Association)

Charles Schultze, Brookings Institution (President of the American Economic Association, 1984, Chairman Council of Economic Advisers 1977-1981)

Alice Rivlin, Brookings Institution (President of the American Economic Association, 1986, Director of O.M.B. 1994-1996)

Peter Diamond, M.I.T. (President of the American Economics Association, 2003)

Jeffrey Frankel, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (member of Council of Economic Advisers, 1997-1999)

Richard Schmalensee, M.I.T. Sloan School of Management (member of Council of Economic Advisers, 1989-1991)

Michael Jensen, Harvard Business School (President of the American Finance Association, 1992)

Clyde Prestowitz, President, Economic Strategy Institute (Counsellor to the Secretary of Commerce, Reagan Administration)

Robert Shapiro, Sonecon, LLC (chief economic advisor to 1992 Clinton Campaign)

Sheldon Cohen (Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, 1965-1969)

Michael Greenstone, M.I.T.
John Shoven, Stanford University
Wallace Oates, University of Maryland
Barry Bosworth, The Brookings Institution
Bob Bixby, Concord Coalition
Alan Auerbach, University of California, Berkeley
Jonathan Skinner, Dartmouth College
Diane Lim Rogers, Concord Coalition
Martin Weitzman, Harvard University
Lawrence Goulder, Stanford University
Austan Goolsbee, University of Chicago, GSB
Gerhard Glomm, Chairman, Economics Dept. Indiana University
Roger Morris, Indiana University
Willard Witte, Indiana University
Elyce Rotella, Indiana University
Eric Leeper, Indiana University
Arlington Williams, Indiana University
Susan Monaco, Indiana University
Robert Campbell, Indiana University
Michael Alexeev, Indiana University
Robert McIntyre, Citizens for Tax Justice
David Cutler, Harvard University
Martha Blaxall, George Washington University
Jeffrey Liebman, Kennedy School of Government Harvard University
Seema Jayachandra, Stanford University
Frank Ackerman, Tufts University
Ken Cordell, University of Georgia
Catherine Wolfram, University of California, Berkeley
Julie Nelson, Tufts University
Nancy King, Yale University
Richard Howarth, Dartmouth College
Jeff Romm, University of California, Berkeley
Joseph Cortright, Impresa Inc.
Beth DeSombre, Wellesley College
David Lindauer, Wellesley College
Jan Kregel, Levy Economic Institute
John Gowdy, R.P.I.
Alan Krupnick, Resources for the Future
Winston Harrington, Resources for the Future
Tim Wolf, Global CFO, Molson Coors Brewing Company
Nancy King, Yale University
Gloria Helfand, University of Michigan
Ulla Grapard, Colgate University
Susan Feiner, University Southern Maine
Robert Schwab, University of Maryland
Marilyn Power, Sarah Lawrence
Andrea Cohen, Tufts University
Paul Courant, University of Michigan
Chris Avery, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Robert Stavins, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Alan Deardorff, University of Michicagn
Rebecca Blank, University of Michigan
James Galbraith, University of Texas
Loretta Fairchild, Nebraska Wesleyan University
Roger White, Frankliln and Marshall College
Anne Mayhew, University of Tennessee
Gillian Hewitson, Franklin and Marshall College
William Waller, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Adriana Lleras-Muney, Princeton University
Myra Strober, Stanford University
Marcellus Andrews, Barnard College
Noelwah Netusil, Reed College
Yannis Ioannides, Tufts University
Jim Levinsohn, University of Michigan
Richard Thaler, University of Chicago, GSB
Chih Ming Tan, Tufts University
Thomas Swartz, University of Notre Dame
Todd Easton, University of Portland
Duncan Foley, New School for Social Research
John Weyant, Stanford University
Charles Wilber, University of Notre Dame
Adam Jaffe, Brandeis University
Ian Parry, Resources for the Future
Dani Rodrick, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Jon Faust, John Hopkins University
Paul Portney, University of Arizona
Stephen Cohen, University of California, Berkeley
Joel Darnstadter, Resources for the Future
Ilyana Kuziemko, Princeton University
Ron Stanfield, Colorado State University
Paul Davidson, The New School
David Popp, Syracuse University
Haynes Goddard, University of Cincinnati
Robert Gertner, University of Chicago, GSB
Stanley Black, University of North Carolina
Patrick Conway, University of North Carolina
Buck Goldstein, University of North Carolina
John Akin, University of North Carolina
Wojciech Kopczuk, Columbia University
Mary King, Portland State University
Jesse Rothstein, Princeton University
Leemore Dafny, Northwestern University
Erin Mansur, Yale University
Jeff Zabel, Tufts University
Gar Alperovitz, University of Maryland
Harley Shaiken, University of California, Berkeley
Michael Haneman, University of California, Berkeley
Jeffrey Perloff, University of California, Berkeley
Sheila Olmstead, Yale School of Forestry and Environment Studies
Edward Barbier, University of Wyoming
LeRoy Hansen US Dept. of Agriculture
Shanna Rose, New York University
John Weyant, Stanford University
A. Myrick Freeman III, Bowdoin College
Michael Bernstein, Tulane University
Richard Revesz, New York University
Immanuel Wallerstein, Yale University
Jonathan Isham, Middlebury College
Wayne Gray, Clark University
Radhika Balakrishnan, Marymount Manhattan College
Charles Kolstad, University of California, Santa Barbara
Erzo Luttmer, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Randall Dodd, Johns Hopkins University
Todd Schatzki, Analysis Group
Lori Bennear, Duke University
J. R. DeShazo, U.C.L.A.
Hilary Sigman, Rutgers University
Marianne Ferber, University of Illinois
Joshua Fischman, Tufts University
Martha Campbell, SUNY Potsdam
Sanford Jacoby, U.C.L.A.
Bruce Kogut, Columbia Business School
Jaime Ros, University of Notre Dame
Arleen Leibowitz, U.C.L.A.
Daniel Mitchell, U.C.L.A.
Eban Goodstein, Lewis & Clark College
Milton Lower, retired
Thomas Power, University of Montana
Lloyd Orr, Indiana University
Sarah Reber, UCLA
Margaret Levenstein, University of Michigan
Linda Wilcox Young, Southern Oregon University
James Sweeney, Stanford University
Mark Lemley, Stanford University
John Tschirhart, University of Wyoming
Jerry Nickelsburg, UCLA
Richard Gilbert, University of California, Berkeley
David Kiefer, University of Utah
Diana Strassmann, Rice University
Stephanie Seguino, University of Vermont
Patricia Koss, Portland State University
Gregory Rosston, Stanford University
Barry Bosworth, Brookings
Barbara Hopkins, Wright State University
Enrico Spolaore, Tufts University
Brigitte Madrian, Harvard University
Erich Muehlegger, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Ernst Berndt, Sloan School, MIT
Mark Kleiman, UCLA
Jo Beth Mertens, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Wojciech Kopczuk, Columbia University
Mir Ali, University of Toledo
Marianne A, Ferber, University of Illinois
Victor Niemeyer, economist, San Jose, California
Jennifer C Olmsted, Drew University
Steven Clemons, New America Foundation
Christopher Carroll, Johns Hopkins University
Eileen Appelbaum, Rutgers University
Peter Dorman, Evergreen State College
Anne Case, Princeton University
Donald A. Coffin, Indiana University Northwest
John Adams, University of Virginia
Rosanne Altshuler, Rutgers University
Tomasz Zylicz, Warsaw University
Robert H. Frank, Cornell University
Gary Biglaiser,University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Randy Albelda, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Howard Shelanski, University of California, Berkeley
Jeffrey Vincent, Duke University
George Norman, Tufts University
Carl Shapiro, University of California at Berkeley
Kade Finnoff, University of Massachusetts Amherst
John F. Stewart, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Maggie McMillan, Tufts University
Ray C. Fair, Yale University
Faye Duchin, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Alexander Rist, Economist, Seattle, WA
Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research
Mark A. Peterson, UCLA School of Public Affairs
Herman B. Leonard, Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School
John Agnew, UCLA
Frank Levy, MIT
Jens Ludwig, University of Chicago
Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Boston University
Kevin Miller, University of Michigan
Alexander Pfaff, Duke University
William Brainard, Yale University
Ernest Bartell, University of Notre Dame
Michael O'Hare, University of California, Berkeley
Ben Zipperer, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Matthew D. Shapiro, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Gary D. Libecap, University of California, Santa Barbara
Sabina Shaikh, University of Chicago
Stephen W. Salant, University of Michigan
Harold Pollack, University of Chicago
J. Bradford DeLong, U.C. Berkeley
Douglas Rediker, New America Foundation
John Fitzgerald, Bowdoin College
Mark Thoma, University of Oregon
Cyrus Ramezani, California Polytechnic State University
Billy Pizer, Resources for the Future
James Barrett, Redefining Progress
Laurence Seidman, University of Deleware
Susan Ariel Aaronson, George Washington University
John Connor, Purdue University
Mike Moffatt, Richard Ivey School of Business
Ann Velenchik, Wellesley College
Tran Huu Dung, Wright State University
James D. Hamilton, University of California, San Diego
Rudy Fichtenbaum, Wright State University
Alex Tabarrok, George Mason University
Thomas Palley, Economics for Democratic & Open Societies
Josh Hendrickson, Wayne State University
Michael A. Stoll, UCLA Mir Ali, University of Toledo
Richard F. Kosobud, University of Illinois at Chicago
John E. Murray, Univ. of Toledo
Justin Wolfers, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Jonathan Wiener, Duke University Law School
Scott Barrett, Johns Hopkins SAIS
Richard McIntyre, University of Rhode Island
John K. Horowitz, University of Maryland
John Irons, Economic Policy Institute
Erik Brynjolfsson, M.I.T. Sloan School of Management
John C. Brown, Clark University
Hong Yan, University of South Carolina
Paul Shea, University of Kentucky
Art Woolf, University of Vermont
Donald J. Harris, Stanford University
Ranjit S. Dighe, SUNY College at Oswego
Betsey Stevenson, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Jeremy Sandford, University of Kentucky
Thomas Shea, Springfield College
Arik Levinson, Georgetown University
Toni Whited, University of Wisconsin, Business School
William Craighead, Miami University
Barry Mishra, Anderson School of Management, UC Riverside
Philip Rothman, East Carolina University
William Polley, Western Illinois University
Hisham Foad, San Diego State University
James Morley, Washington University, St. Louis
Christopher Flinn, New York University
Dan Richards, Tufts University
Monica Singhal, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Chris Udry, Yale University
Hank Farber, Princeton University
Jens Hilscher, Brandeis University
Chris Knittel, University California, Davis
Gbenga Ajilore, University of Toledo
Rachel McCulloch, Brandeis University
Chad Brown, Brandeis University
Kathryn Graddy, Brandeis University
Richard Weil, Brown College
Valerie Bencivenga, University of Texas
Anne Carter, Brandeis University
George Hall, Brandeis University
Lynne Kiesling, Kellogg School, Northwestern University
Gary Jefferson, Brandeis University
Andrew Seltzer, Brandeis University
Barry Ickes, Pennsylvania State University
Jonah Gelbach, University of Arizona
Michael Coiner, Brandeis University
Alfonso Canella, Brandeis University
Elif Sisli Ciamarra, Brandeis University
Catherine Mann, Brandeis University Business School
Peter Mann, Texas Tech University
Mark Witte, Northwestern University
J. Barkley Rosser, Jr., The James Madison University
John Whitehead, Appalachian State University
Thomas Masterson, Levy Institute, Bard College
Robert Guttmann, Hofstra College
Laurence J. Malone, Hartman College
Stephan Hamilton, Cal Poly
Yilma Gebremariam, Southern Connecticut State University
David A. Poyer, Morehouse College
Michael R. Butler, Texas Christian University
Can Gerbil, Brandeis University
Allen J. Scott, UCLA
Martin Heintzelman, Clark University
Edward D. Letterman, Augsburg College
John Gilbert, Utah State University
Roy Weinstein, Micronomics
Gernot Wagner, Environmental Defense Fund
Douglas Diamond, University of Chicago
Edward Sullivan, Portland Cement Association
Robert Amstrong, Consultant, World Bank
Sherrilyn M. Billger, Illinois State University
Karl Seeley, Hartwick College
Gorm Kipperberg, Colorado State University
Marty Finkler, Lawrence University
Lawrence Christiano, Northwestern University
Mirko Wiederholt, Northwestern University
Chris Goemans, Colorado State University
Peter Meyer, University of Louisville
Stacy Sneeringer, Wellesley College
Roberton Williams, University of Texas
David Gold, The New School of Social Research
Roxana Julia, Skidmore College
John Messier, University of Maine at Farmington
Peter Williams, University of North Alabama
Ikuho Kochi, Colorado State University
Ezra Friedman, Northwestern University School of Law
Rick Fenner, Utica College
Atanu Dey, Chief Economist Netcore Solutions

A Red Flag proposal....

It seems the biggest issue people have with 'Red Flag' laws is the inevitable abuse as people take out their personal agendas on innocent victims. This fear is amplified by the complete lack of checks and balances written into the laws.

I propose a solution.

First, a mandatory one-year minimum sentence (without parole) for anyone found to have maliciously abused the laws.

Second, automatic removal of qualified immunity for any police, prosecutor, or judge involved in a case of malicious application of the law.

Third, in a proven case of malicious application of the law, the firearms will be returned to the victim within 12 hours, and a penalty paid by the jurisdiction to the victim of not less than $10,000 plus all attorney fees involved, with the penalty doubling for every 12 hour period in excess of the initial 12 hour period where every firearm has not been returned intact and in good condition.

Fourth, any individual found possessing a stolen firearm belonging to a victim of malicious application of the law will be prosecuted under federal law and subject to a minimum ten years sentence in federal prison.

What would anyone in authority have to be concerned about here? I mean... if they are investigating properly and are certain each case is legitimate there is nothing to be afraid of. If they are not stealing the property of the victim, and if they keep proper track of the victim's property... what is the issue?

In other news, strawberry wine!

I have 24 pounds of strawberries defrosting in the sink, with which I hope to make a batch of tasty wine.

Towards that end, I ordered myself a new 7 gallon fermenter carboy on Amazon.  It was supposed to be delivered today, but I see they have handed it over to the tender mercy of the US Postal Service.

Reality dictates that I'll probably be driving up to the brewing store and buying a fermenter in person now, and I'll end up with two unless the USPS just flat loses the one I ordered.

If I have TWO fermenters, I guess I'll need a second batch of wine to keep them busy!

Homemade hummus, for the win.

No picture. Ya'll know what hummus looks like... and it's not pretty.

Chickpeas, Tahini, roast garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and a dash of Cholula hot sauce. Processor for a few minutes, adding chickpea liquid till the consistency is right.

First taste? I may never buy it at a store again.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

More 'Struth.....

Watching retirement investments these days is like watching a slow-motion train wreck. We can scream in pain all we want, but the damage was done before we even began paying attention.


'The Law' is a tool, a weapon. Its effect is determined by who wields it and who it's aimed at.


I just had an internal chuckle...

Der Bidenistas wish for a 3-month federal gas tax holiday (18.4 cents per gallon). They describe it as 'breathing room' while they dream up something to undo the party damage of their energy policy changes.

My thoughts. First, even IF that 18.4 cents actually reached the pump, it would vanish almost instantly in the general rate of increase from low supply and high demand. Second, three months would have US voters hit with an 18.4-cent gas tax increase right before the election.

Go for it Joey... go for it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Wared Da Wabbit Go?

Fascinating rabbit holes....

Da Supremes just issued a ruling regarding states that want to cut 'religious' schools out of school funding.

On one side, there is (Gasp) Ma Seperations!

On the other side, there is (Gasp) It's our money too!

For any of it to make any sense at all, one must study several constitutional amendments, and reach definitions of the terms Church, State, and Religion. Any one of these could be a lifetime study.

For instance.... what is religion?   Can it be defined?  Does it require there be a church, or even a god (or gods)?  Hinduists and Buddhists have no specific god, or at least none have popped up and claimed the title yet.

Speaking of a church, how do we know one when we see it?  The Amish have no 'church' buildings, but certainly do have weekly observances and gatherings.

What qualifies as a religious activity?  Many religions instruct their followers to be kind to others and 'do good works'.  Is being nice to people a religious activity?

Does religion require belief?  Organized and recognized religions are all over the board on that.  Some encourage questioning and discussion.  Others suggest thoughtless belief is proper.  Not a few others require unquestioning belief... under threat of violent reprisal.  Yet, are there not many secular organizations or movements which require 'belief' in the same fashion?  Most major political parties require members to set aside reality and their own observations and support the party line... which can be said of several recognized religions as well.   Several social non-religious movements require 'belief', or at least setting aside disbelief under pain of personal destruction... just like many recognized religions. 

Peach jam...


6 pounds of frozen peaches

3 pounds white and brown sugar, split evenly.

1.5 cups of lemon juice

8 ounces Bourbon

Two tablespoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Simmer for hours, stirring very often, till it reaches 218 degrees.  Ladle into jelly jars, and process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Yields 8.5 8-ounce jars.

Monday, June 20, 2022

6-20-22, 5 days post treepocolypse

W: 337.6

With help from our landlord (& son), our insurance secret-agent man, and The S-Clan, we are well on our way to having a backyard again. The patio and deck are clear, and we have a second woodpile drying for next year.   Over the next few days, I expect to build at least one more wood pile, and probably two large burn piles. 

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Ouch, again.


Used 22% less electricity than the same period last year, but paid 6% more than last year.   Got it.

4:30 am.... and the sky is falling

Okay, not the sky.  Just a really BIG tree.

Thursday evening I used the grill on the back deck, and all was well with the world.  Friday afternoon around 5 pm I was cleaning carboys on the back deck and noticed tree branches just over my head that weren't there before.

Huh... the tree branches were attached to limbs, that were attached to a tree.... a BIG tree... that was suspiciously closer than it had been the day before.

Pushing aside the branch, I investigated.  Uh oh Batman, not looking so good.   The tree was leaning towards the house.  Leaning hard.

The tree is so large I can't get it in one picture.  Moving off to the neighbors yard I got a better idea of the lean.  OUCH...  No way that's coming down safely without a crane or a bucket truck. Arrangements were made.

At 4:30 am this morning the tree came down the rest of the way. It's now laying on the house and the roof.

No crash, only a sustained rumble with many many thumps.  But, no crash.

Damage assessment will happen after the tree is lifted off the house.  At this point, I believe we are INCREDIBLY blessed. No windows were broken.  No limbs rammed through the walls or roof.  Maybe the hot tub is damaged, but too early to tell.  The deck is in one piece too.

The tree guys are supposed to be here at 7am with a bucket truck and other gear of destruction.  Once the tree is off the house we will get a better idea of any damage.

The estimate yesterday to deal with it was only $1500, which astonishes me.  That just gets the tree down though, and the landlord is paying that tab.  I'm going to ask how much to limb it and cut the main trunk into firewood lengths.  My wittle chainsaw is not up to a 24" thick Hackberry trunk.

Fingers crossed!

Friday, June 17, 2022

Blueberry jam!


About 6 pounds of blueberries, maybe 3 pounds of sugar, roughly 1.5 cups of lemon juice, and a couple of tablespoons of cinnamon. 

Boil for hours and hours, stirring a LOT, till it hits 218 degrees.  Jar up and can by the boiling water method.

Yield:  10.5 half-pint jelly jars.

Oil refineries, a few thoughts

We've seen 5 petroleum refineries close since Biden took office, and another two are slated to close over the next two years. There are many reasons, but the chief among them is the cost of upgrading to meet current government regulations.

To put this in perspective, in 2016 we had 141 oil refineries in operation.  By the end of 2021 we had 129. In other words, our capacity to turn crude oil into usable products has dropped significantly.

Match this with two more thoughts. First, it's been almost 50 years since the last new refinery opened in the United States, and second... industry experts believe it's simply impossible to open a new refinery under the current conditions of ever-changing regulations. They simply can't finish one before the regulations change enough that it will have to be reconfigured before it can be in operation.

Under the best of circumstances, it takes years to build a refinery. Under the current circumstances, it's not possible in any amount of time. It takes thousands of workers and hundreds of engineers to build a refinery, but only one government regulator with an agenda to shut it down.

What we have is what we have, and how much refining capacity we have now will go down in the future. It's inevitable in the face of constant tribal hostility to fossil fuels.

I bring all this up to say this... buckle up my friends, and figure out how your family can survive in this brave new world. It's all you have left.