Thoughts On A Sunday

I got a ton of work done around The Manse this weekend. Of course it helped that I took both Thursday and Friday off from work to get a head start.

The lawn has been mowed (for the most part – BeezleBub took care of the 'flats' and I struggled with the slope). Old stain has been stripped from one of the three decks in preparation for new stain, something long overdue. Weeds have been attacked with some of the nastiest stuff I could find that wouldn't also wipe out half the planet at the same time.

All in all it's a good start. Hopefully I can get the rest of the maintenance stuff finished next weekend.


Is the Mann Hockey Stick finally dead? According to Rand Simberg, it is.

It's about frickin' time.


Knowing the pathology of BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome), this doesn't surprise me in the least.

So now that Bush has been out of office over three years, isn't it about time for his successor to take responsibility for his own actions (or inaction)? Apparently not.

It seems that Bush will be held to blame for things like the humungous budget deficits until 2019, if not forever. Never mind that his total deficits were less than Obama's first budget deficit. (Of course he really has never had a budget because the Democrats in Congress have refused to generate one for four years now.

I'm just waiting for them start blaming him for things that happened before he was even born. It's only a matter of time.


By way of Scary Yankee Chick comes 48 things that will make many of us feel old.

The one that gets me is #14. I remember when I thought those things were tiny compared to the 5 ¼” and 8” floppies. They also held a lot more data than the two older floppies.


Oh, yeah, I like this one!


As bad as traffic was last weekend, with what appeared to most of eastern Massachusetts having decamped for the Lakes Region, it was even heavier this weekend.

The few errands I had to run yesterday morning took quite a bit longer than usual due to the longer lines of traffic at stop signs and traffic lights. The parking lots at WalMart, Lowe's, Hannaford's and Shaw's (two local supermarket chains) were full. Parking was at a premium at 8:30 in the morning! Usually the peak traffic time on a Saturday is between 10 and 11AM, but not yesterday.

I don't know if this can be taken as an indication of how busy this coming summer will be because I've heard others talking about how owners of some marinas are saying slip rentals are down from previous years.

One good thing: gas prices have been falling slightly and probably won't reach the $5 gallon level many predicted at the beginning of the year. However I have seen some marine gas prices around the lake hovering around $4.09/gallon.


By way of Bogie comes this piece about what Google is calling Project Glass.

Basically it's augmented reality, popping up all kinds of information in your visual field and allowing you to perform a number of actions with voice commands and visual cues.

Enhanced reality has been around for a while, with the military being one of the groups developing the technology. (The military has demonstrated the technology, using it to help maintenance personnel service vehicles and aircraft and for use on the battlefield to help ground troops and air support have a better awareness during combat.)

I do have a few problems with the idea, the biggest one being that it is likely to make our already distracted populace even more distracted. It can also lead to an even bigger dependence on the technology.

An example of this increased dependence was brought up during lunch with a vendor supplying the company I work for. He talked about the problems he had when the GPS in his car failed he had no idea how to get to the various customers he had to visit. He was totally dependent upon it to get where he needed to go. As he said, he didn't pay attention to the route he took because the GPS told him how to get to his destinations. He had no “picture in his head” of the routes to take as he would have in the past. That is definite downside to the technology.


In light of Facebook's IPO faceplant, I have to agree with the sentiment penned by John Aziz:

The truth is that Facebook is a toy, a dreamworld, a figment of the imagination. Zuckerberg wanted to make the world a more connected place (and build a huge database of personal preferences), and he succeeded thanks to a huge slathering of venture capital. That’s an accomplishment, but it’s not a business. While the angel investors and college-dorm engineers will feel gratified at paper gains, it is becoming hard to ignore that there is no great profit engine under the venture.

Aziz also brings up the fact that Apple wasn't all that successful in the beginning either, and that Facebook might be able to figure out how to pull everything together to create a sustainable business plan.

I am a Facebook user, but I am not a fanatic. I log in to my account once or twice a month just to check on friends and to visit the two or three interest groups to which I belong. This less than stellar participation could be due to my age (though I know lots of folks my age and older logging in to Facebook several times a day) or because I have better things to do with my time. I spend enough time in front of computers as it is. I don't need or want to spend any more than I already do.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


It appears NBC has a new post-apocalypse show for the fall line up, depicting life after a massive EMP (Electro-Magnetic Pulse) attack that wipes out all of the worlds electricity and electronics. The NBC show, Revolution, takes place in Chicago 15 years after the attack.

This isn't the first post-EMP drama on network TV. Fox's Dark Angel (2000-2002) took place in post-EMP Seattle. The focus of this show was more on a group of transgenic humans and not the actual post-Pulse world, unlike NBC's Revolution.

(H/T Instapundit)


The effects of the progressive esteem-building educational system have come home to roost, having created a generation that cannot learn because they have never really been challenged in school.

The unteachable student has been told all her life that she is excellent: gifted, creative, insightful, thoughtful, able to succeed at whatever she tries, full of potential and innate ability. Pedagogical wisdom since at least the time of John Dewey — and in some form all the way back to William Wordsworth’s divinely anointed child “trailing clouds of glory” — has stressed the development of self-esteem and a sense of achievement.


It sounds good. The problem, as traditionalists have argued (but without much success), is that the utopian approach hasn’t worked as intended. Rather than forming cheerful, self-directed learners, the pedagogy of self-esteem has often created disaffected, passive pupils, bored precisely because they were never forced to learn.

'Rewarding' them for merely showing up doesn't teach a student anything...other than how to be lazy. The “everyone wins, nobody loses” self-esteem building has done nothing but teach these kids that they don't have to actually do anything to receive praise or to move ahead. Unfortunately once they're out in the real world, whether it be out in the work force or at college, they find those touchy-feelie programs are nowhere to be found and they're shocked to learn that they actually have to perform to a set of standards or meet the expectations of those who don't care about their self-esteem.

Self-esteem is greatly overrated. There are plenty of people in prison, and even on death row, that have great self-esteem. It certainly didn't serve them very well, did it?

All this progressive educational system has done is to create a generation (or more) of intellectual cripples incapable of functioning in the real world.


Wizbang covers the EPA's effective annexation of Alaska, proving once again that rogue agency is out of control. Never mind that the United States Supreme Court ruled the EPA could not use the Clean Water Act as a catch-all bludgeon to take control of millions of acres of land and waterways, bypassing state and local regulatory agencies and laws. That hasn't stopped the EPA from doing just that.

Of course such actions have certainly made the watermelon environmentalists happy. It also means they're urging the EPA to use the same method to kill any other projects they don't like.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer has arrived (even if the calendar says it hasn't), the summerfolk are here in droves, and there's still too much work to do around The Manse.