About the most exciting thing going on around here at the Lakes Region this weekend is the annual Rotary Ice Fishing Derby.
**************Just a quick note for those of you using Mozilla's Firefox browser.
Apparently there's a bug in version 27.0 (the most recent release) that is causing problems with the browser locking up. When it happens it 'eats up' CPU resources, and depending upon your particular computer, can slow everything down. For those of you with computers containing multi-core CPUs, you'll notice one or two of the cores at close to 100% usage while the others are normal. The only way to close the browser when this happens is to use the Task Manager to kill the firefox.exe process.
Go to the Processes tab to close Firefox. If you go to the Applications tab and try to kill it from there it either takes a really long time to close the browser or it won't close at all.
I have Firefox on all of our computers here at The Manse and I use it at work as well. For some reason I have the options for Firefox on the Official Weekend Pundit Main Computer set to download and install updates automatically, always a big mistake. I probably forgot to change it . All of the other machines are set to check for updates and to notify when a new one is available. I always wait a while after a new release and check the Mozilla forums to see if any issues pop up that may affect my use of Firefox. If there is nothing that appears to be a show-stopper in the newest release, then and only then will I install it.
I have noticed other bugs that can be annoying but are more related to the Flash Player Plugin, and when that happens all of the CPU cores will show high usage, ~50% or higher on all of them. This is particularly prevalent if you have a lot of tabs open. Restarting the browser usually fixes the problem.
**************As if the government isn't nosy and overreaching enough, now the EPA wants to ban wood stoves unless they are EPA approved. This is going to have one hell of an unintended consequence.
As more than one news story or blog post has mentioned, this is going to have one heck of a negative effect on a lot of people who use wood to heat their homes.
The way the regs are written, it is a watermelon environmentalist version of Cash for Clunkers, except there is no cash for the clunker. Old wood stoves cannot be traded in for upgrades, but must be rendered inoperable and then broken up for scrap. They can't be resold.
I have to admit that my first thought was that these environmental idiots have no idea of the negative effect this will have on those of us who have no choice but to heat with wood, particularly because heating with fossil fuels will strain household budgets past the breaking point. (It costs us about $1300 to heat The Manse with wood versus $4000 to $6000 to heat with propane. Wood is a renewable source while propane, kerosene, and heating oil are not.) Some folks can't afford new wood stoves, which can run $2000 plus. Used stoves can go for as little as $500, particularly in private sales.
From more than a few sources it appears this EPA overreach occurred due to the old “Sue and Settle” collusion tactic used by the EPA and watermelon environmental groups to create ever more draconian regulations, many which wouldn't pass muster in Congress.
**************Have any of you out there been watching the Winter Olympics? Nah, me neither.
About the only news of interest coming out of Sochi is how effed up things are, a sign of the cronyism that rules in Russia. It appears the Russians can't even pull off modern day Potemkin Villages any more.
I have to admit I was fired up over the last Winter Olympics in Vancouver, but this time I've had little if any interest. I don't know if it's the times we live in or whether everyone, including many of the networks, have just lost interest. Then again, the athletes themselves have changed from being world-ranked amateurs to professionals in too many of the sports. For instance, how many NHL players are competing in Olympic hockey? If I want to watch them play I'll tune in to or go see an NHL game.
**************Raised on Hoecakes revisits the “97% Consensus” claim made by the CAGW faithful, a figure that has long been discredited. But that hasn't stopped them from still using it.
It's almost as bad as the South Coast Today, a Cape Cod newspaper, claiming that they will no longer cover contrary views of climate change because “100% of scientists” attending a UMass-Dartmouth conference agree AGW is real. But nowhere do they list who attended, how many attended, or their bona fides. Were they actual climate scientists? (I include geologists, atmospheric physicists, meteorologists, atmospheric chemists in that group, to name but a few, but not political scientists, economists, or other useful idiots.)
**************Something some of the Blue states are still unwilling to acknowledge despite plenty of evidence: More people are voting with their feet, leaving high cost/high tax/high regulation states for less costly, less taxed, less regulated states.
That has certainly been the case with New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and, of course, California. These states and a few more have been experiencing net out-migration to less restrictive states. Yet it seems these Blue states are unwilling to make the changes necessary to halt it. Instead, they tighten their economic grip with even higher taxes and more regulations, as if that will somehow slow or stop the loss of people moving to states with more jobs, more opportunities, and lower costs.
**************Is there a right time to raise the minimum wage? As Glenn Reynolds answers, “No. Next question?”
So many across the country seem to think this will somehow magically solve the problem poverty and/or joblessness. But as we have seen time and time again, all it tends to do is cause the loss or elimination of entry-level jobs, and pushes others with higher wage jobs into the lower pay tier.
About the only time I've seen where a rise in the minimum wage didn't cause this problem was when the unemployment rate was around 4% and employers were offering above minimum wage to get the workers they needed. That isn't the case now as we are still in the grips of a recession, claims by the White House to the contrary notwithstanding. All raising the minimum wage will do is drive unemployment up and depress wages elsewhere...except of course for those labor unions whose contracts are indexed to the minimum wage. But I expect a number of union laborers will lose their jobs when their wages go up, not because of increased productivity, but because of an artificial increase in the cost of labor.
**************Question of the Week: Why does global warming look so white?
Do the words Fallen Angels mean anything to you?
(H/T Pirate's Cove)
**************At first I thought I was seeing things.
As I was unloading a couple of baskets of laundry from the trusty F150 and carrying it too the laundromat in order to use one of their clothes driers, I saw it.
The trusty Dodge Intrepid.
Our old car now being driven by its new owner. I knew it the instant I saw it.
The dead giveaways were the now bare antenna mount on the rear glass and a parking sticker from Deb's place of employment on another window.
I walked over and introduced myself to the woman driving it, explained that the car she was driving used to belong to us before we traded it in, and told her how I knew it to be so. I thin k she was a little astonished at first, but as I went over some of the things that were unique to that specific Intrepid, she started nodding her head.
She did tell me that she was pleased with it as it ran quite well, but that it was going to need a new power steering pump. I knew that. I also knew that it would need more than just the pump to correct the power steering issue, but I didn't tell her that. I only mentioned that it would probably be a good idea to check the entire system as some Intrepids were known to have bad hydraulic actuators on the steering rack as well.
It was nice seeing it again.