Last week's snow/sleet mix require some plowing and sanding on the part of our town. Unfortunately that meant the plows also piled that mix up at the top of the driveway, seriously narrowing the width of the entrance. That same pile froze solid before either BeezleBub or I could get out there to remove it. So yesterday I spent a couple of hours with the ice chopper and shovel to cut it down to size and remove as much as I could. Even after that time there was still a considerable amount of ice that no amount of chopping would remove easily, so it's going to stay there until the sun can work its magic upon it. Unfortunately I will have to wait a few days for the sun to reappear as we'll be dealing with cloudy/snowy weather for the next couple of days.
***********As if we need a reminder (and some people do), this is one rule you should remember: Don't mess with a Gurkha, even if there are 40 of you against one of them.
During World War II, there was little the Japanese army feared. The one thing they feared above all others: the Gurkhas. Experts in guerrilla tactics and psychological warfare, it wasn't uncommon for them to sneak into Japanese camps at night, kill every other man, and sneak out again. Imagine the effects of such attacks on those troops when the survivors would wake in the morning only to find that the man sleeping on either side of them was dead.
A 35 year-old Gurkha soldier named Bishnu Shrestha was riding a train when he suddenly found himself in the middle of a massive robbery. 40 men armed with knives, swords and guns stormed the train and began robbing the passengers.
Bishnu kept his peace while the gang snatched cell phones, jewelry and cash from other riders. But then, the thugs grabbed the 18 year-old girl sitting next to him and forcefully stripped her naked. Before the bandits could rape the poor girl in front of her helpless parents, [he] decided he had enough.
He pulls out a kukri (i.e. a knife) and proceeds to kill 3 of them, injure 8 of them, and causes the rest to flee. During the battle, he suffered a severe knife injury to his left hand, from which he's now recovered.
***********Besty links to and comments upon the unions' demand for “more.” The biggest problem? There is no “more” to be had without destroying the very engine that drives the economy. But don't try to tell the unions that.
(H/T Maggie's Farm)
***********David Starr ponders the lengthy time it's taking for the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to make it to operational status.
Having been involved with the defense industry for 20 years, I can safely say that this is a very sophisticated weapons system capable of doing things no other aircraft has done before (taking on the roles of the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, and AV8-B Harrier jump jet on one airframe). The hardware isn't the issue at this point. It's the software, and it has to be perfect before it's deployed. (In my experience software always takes longer than hardware, and the more sophisticated the hardware, the longer the software takes to get right.)
***********As I mentioned here last weekend, the trusty Ford F-150 failed its emissions test. The OBD gave two fault codes showing both banks of cylinders on the mighty 4.2 liter V6 were running lean. A week after resetting the fault codes and putting 200 miles on the odometer since then, the 'Check Engine' light has not reappeared. So yesterday I took the trusty F-150 back to my mechanic to be retested and it passed.
Blame it on the effin' ethanol in the gasoline.
(As an aside, ethanol does nothing to reduce emissions from fuel-injected engines. It only affects carburetored engine emissions.
One major effect of ethanol in gasoline? Poorer fuel economy. Add to that the problems when the ethanol settles out of the gasoline and ethanol is a loser all way round.
***********Bogie reminds us of one simple but very important rule recently releared when it comes to the winter survival packs in our vehicles: Always, Always,
***********Prsident Obama may be wondering why the business community isn't investing any of their cash, implying they haven't been paying attention to overlooked investment opportunties. Unfortunately for him, just the opposite is true.
This viewpoint is the most likely one, considering President Obama has gone this route before. No business wants to be ordered to invest their hard-earned cash under questionable economic conditions. Businesses invest when they see an opportunity to expand their business and make more money. To do otherwise will be like pouring that money down the drain with little hope of seeing a dime of it again. That's a sure way to go out of business. That's something the Community Organizer In Chief needs to understand.
But another theory is that the business community has been paying very close attention — most particularly to the president himself — and what it sees is cause for concern.
Under this theory, businesses may not see the president as having made a gentle suggestion that they reconsider investment opportunities that are attractive on their own terms. Instead, they may fear he's made a demand that they deploy their capital or face consequences.
***********Glenn Reynolds links to and comments upon the $100 billion in GOP proposed spending cuts for the current fiscal year. As Gay Patriot put it: “With deficits like those we’ve been running, a $100 billion-dollar cut is little more than a rounding error.”
A better idea proposed is an across the board 10% cut. As commenter John Hyer wrote:
Amen to that.
When some guy from the EPA comes out and says that cutting their budget by 10% will lead to massive poisoned water supplies, everyone will roll their eyes. I don’t know a single family that hasn’t cut their budget by 10% and most by 40%, and none of us had to sell our children!!!! Someone in Congress has to learn to address these issues frankly like Christie in NJ. Tell the brutal truth, and let the other guy explain that it’s not fair that his pay only went UP 2%.
***********Sarah Palin slams Time magazine for reporting fabrications about her and her activities as true. Even US Weekly pulled their report and apologized for the error.
I guess the folks at Time feel they aren't required to apologize for “fake, but accurate” reporting. Maybe they should check in with Dan Rather about that particular bit of arrogance.
***********Speaking of Sarah Palin, Clifton B wonders whether her latest move, bringing on Michael Glassner as chief of staff of SarahPAC, is a move towards a run for president in 2012.
Like Clifton, I have to say the answer is yes.
(H/T Pirate's Cove)
***********Allen West (R-FL) rocks!
His keynote speech at CPAC certainly brings it home, “capturing the spirit of the Tea Party and the conservative movement...”
Check out the two videos of his speeches at the post linked above.
***********One last chore taken care of today: BeezleBub changed out the kitchen faucet. The one we replaced two years ago was leaking and it was a real pain. What's worse is that it started leaking not 6 months after we installed it. It wasn't until that happened that we found out it was one that attained a poor rating from Consumer Reports, something surprising considering the manufacturer of said faucet.
Friday Deb and I picked up a new one (a Moen) with a extendable spray head. BeezleBub installed it today. And now all is right in the (kitchen) world.