Welcome to my website. I am a descendant of Scots Highlanders who were hunted like dogs by wealthier and better connected neighbors, and even targeted for extermination by a deluded King. If I’m skeptical of those who claim to be better than me, I come by it honestly.
I live southwest of Atlanta and I’ve had a web presence since 1996. I’ve also lived in Sacramento and Fairbanks; I may live in the South now but I’m a Westerner (not a Left Coaster) by temperament.
I favor individual liberty with all its attendant private responsibilities; I owe allegiance to a Constitution that limits federal power; I believe the strong need to protect the weak, mainly by ensuring the weak have the freedom to make themselves stronger.
And I believe faith should be reserved for higher principles, and not wasted on the promises of fallible, mortal men; no one will ever care as much about your life, your loved ones, or your hopes and dreams, as you do.
Thursday August 28, 2014
Given what it says in the introduction above, some might wonder about my opinion of the Scottish independence referendum scheduled for September 18.
Well, sentimentally, I want to see Scotland independent -- at least as much as Australia and Canada are. Failing that, I think the United Kingdom needs to federalize, not merely devolve. Mainly what that means is the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland legislative bodies being joined by a separate England-only counterpart. Without an English legislature and executive, the devolutions in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh don't make rational sense.
More calculatingly, the political differences between Scotland and the rest of the UK are stark; the Scots still believe strongly in socialism and want it to move forward, while elsewhere socialism has worn out much of its welcome and voters would like to leave it on the ash heap where it rightly belongs.
So long as Scots continue to send socialists to London, Britain's progress into the 21st century will be hobbled. Clearly with the Adam Smith types no longer being heard, the only way for the Scottish to learn is the hard way -- without resort to what Lady Thatcher aptly referred to as Other People's Money™.
So I very much favor a yes vote next month. It will be good for all concerned.
Monday August 25, 2014
For a while I was collecting email addresses the way Obama collects scandals. I have Gmail, and I have an iCloud account from my young-and-clueless iPhone days, and I have a Yahoo account that comes with an email address (though why I have it is a mystery), and -- until today -- I had an Outlook.com email address along with a Live mail address, both of which were offered by Microsoft to distract people from the fact that it's all Hotmail. I still use the Microsoft account because of SkyDrive OneDrive, but I have no use for the mail accounts. So I dropped the email addresses.
I'd like to drop the iCloud address (and its associated Me.com address, the Apple counterpart to Live.com) but Apple doesn't play that. All I can do about that is just never use an Apple gizmo, or iTunes, ever again.
Friday August 22, 2014
About Damn Time
Today, for the first time in the nearly 15 years we've owned the house Wife of Slog and I moved out of two years ago, I was able to park my car in that house's garage.
When we were moving in I made it clear that we needed to make sure the garage was available for us to park our cars in.
Soon we'll finally have it on the market and then -- quickly, we hope -- off our hands.
Update, Sunday August 24: Just met with our realtor today, who offered good advice and very encouraging initial feedback.
Monday August 11, 2014
No thanks to Snake Plissken
Twenty years ago today I made good my escape from California and moved to Fairbanks, Alaska.
Friday August 8, 2014
But not on Grand Opening day
Effective immediately, and excepting only the Christmas shopping season, I will no longer be ordering items online via Cabelas.com
Of course, I’ll be compiling a shopping list before going all that way, and using the catalogs and website to do it. I’ve been in a few of the chain’s stores -- one in Utah and two in Nebraska -- but I’ve been waiting to have one close to home for... well, decades.
Saturday August 2, 2014
This must be how the TV detectives do it
Those who have read Murder in Coweta County or seen the TV movie starring Johnny Cash and Andy Griffith will remember Mayhayley Lancaster, the backwoods fortune teller who helped Coweta County Sheriff Lamar Potts solve the 1948 murder of Wilson Turner.
My mother-in-law recently read the book, and not being from around here she was impressed at how many local place names she recognized. For example, the crime scene was at a tourist camp in Moreland, a few miles south of Newnan, where U.S. 29 and U.S. 27A part ways in their separate southward travels. The orange structure still standing at the site’s southwest edge may date from when the tourist camp was still there.
As for Mayhayley, a recent edutainment TV segment on the case prompted me to look for information about her, and the most easily obtained datum was her burial site, the cemetery at Caney Head Methodist Church in Heard County, a few miles northwest of Franklin. The church flourishes still, and can be found from Franklin by taking Georgia 100 to Roosterville Road, thence to the fading Roosterville itself where an unwary passer-through will miss Caney Head Road if he doesn’t spot the church sign at the intersection to his left. Like I did at first.
Mayhayley’s gravesite is on the side of the cemetery nearest the road, a bit more than halfway from the church to the end of the fenced area. It’s a Lancaster family plot with a few other graves there including that of a Confederate veteran whom we took to have been her father.
In my reading I had also found a description of the house she lived in during her later years, with a sister who took care of her. That and some related family names led us right to the place. We only drove by -- it seems to be occupied still -- and I won’t give details on how to find it. Even so, anyone sufficiently motivated ought to have little trouble finding the clues and piecing them together.
I don’t know whether the current residents have any relationship to Mayhayley or any desire to talk to strangers about the house’s history, and since this hunt was a spur-of-the-moment inspiration I don’t plan on trying to contact them.
A preening phony “pragmatist,” usually an Establican, who would rather cooperate in the implosion of civilization than risk being called names for trying to prevent it. A proglodyte‘s best frenemy.
UD now crowdsources approvals, which would undoubtedly have prevented Establican and proglodyte from being approved these days.
Tuesday July 22, 2014
Coming around again, I think
Wednesday July 2, 2014
Car Insurance Ads That Should Have Been Rejected, But Weren’t, 1
“What good is insurance if you get punished for using it?” asks the stupidest TV commercial I’ve seen all morning -- for Liberty Mutual auto insurance.
What good it is, is to train you to drive more carefully.
Mandatory liability insurance isn’t to protect you when you cause damage with your car -- it’s to protect the poor innocent person whose property you damaged because you weren’t paying attention to your driving.
“Nobody’s perfect!” whines the spokesidiot. Well, duh. If anybody were, liability auto insurance wouldn’t be mandatory.
Years ago, when I was at fault for an accident, my insurance paid, and my rates went up. I was more careful after that. That’s how it’s supposed to work. The trend toward protecting people from the consequences of their behavior is increasingly pervasive. It’s pernicious and destructive and unsustainable.
Civilization is made possible by grown-ups, but as it fails to ensure a working supply of grown-ups in each succeeding generation, it dooms itself.
Wednesday June 25, 2014
Don’t gimp my tech
Both my phone and my tablet have successfully installed Android 4.4.4 in a perfectly routine manner and I have every reason to believe my backup phone will too the next time I boot it up.
Maybe if they were carrier-hobbled devices I might consider rooting one or another of these, but not a Google Nexus. The benefits are scant and the downsides, in crippling OTA Android updates, are too great. Never again.
Recently our cable system added a channel called FamilyNet. It carries shows like “West of Wall Street,” and “Texas Country Reporter” -- essentially it’s a rural-focused channel in the mold of RFD-TV, and in fact as those links demonstrate its program lineup largely coincides with RFD-TV’s.
And one of the programs it carries is “Hee-Haw.” Which has inspired me to republish something I’d posted on my blog back in 2006:
For CBS it was quite a gamble
But they didn’t appreciate what they had
With Buck Owens, Roy Clark and Archie Campbell
Twenty years in syndication is more than a fad
Where, oh where are you tonight?
Why did you leave me here all alone?
I searched the world over and I thought I found true love
You met another and <pffft!> you was gone!
If you wonder where oh where I am tonight, or any night, I just might be watching TV.
Been a while since I’d have been willing to say so out loud.
One side effect of watching old “Hee Haw” episodes is the number of old country songs I’d forgotten I liked. My music library is expanding accordingly.
Friday May 30, 2014
Pimp my tech
I have three Android devices, all of them part of the Google Nexus line.
The phone I carry came with Android Kitkat, but its predecessor and my tablet came with Jellybean -- and when Kitkat came out over the air both refused to install it. I couldn’t figure out why this was happening or what to do about it.
Until last night. I was weeding out apps on my current phone and my tablet, and I discovered that one app on the tablet, left over from a time I had rooted it, couldn’t be removed. Some online research disclosed that the only way to remove this app was to re-root, and then unroot.
By tonight I had relocked both the tablet and my backup phone, on which the same issue had the same symptom and cause, with Kitkat installed. Now I just have to wait for Android 4.4.3 to be offered to my gizmos to see if that fixed the OTA update problem altogether.
By the way, the backup phone’s replacement touchscreen goes dark when the phone is in use, and doesn’t wake up when I take it away from my face. I suppose if I ask whoever I’m talking to to do the hanging up, I could find out if that wakes up the screen. If not, I’ll just do what I did upon discovering this problem -- force a reboot.
I’m sure there’s a logical explanation for the problem but it is just a backup phone.
Update, June 10: Both phones have updated, starting with the backup, the Nexus 4 with the slightly defective touchscreen. The tablet still hasn’t detected that the new OS is available, but it should happen eventually. It was detecting Kitkat all the time back when it couldn’t install it.