sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Monday, September 1, 2014

Cupa Mud?

In the US Navy, coffee was dispensed from a massive Silex machine and the black liquid that spewed forth into china mugs, scalding hot and laced with caffeine, had been brewing for -- who knows how long? Weeks - months, years? It kept sailors warm and alert on bitterly cold nights while standing watch. The US Marine Corps conferred the title, "Life Blood of the Marine Corps" on this favored stimulant beverage.

Sometimes it poured from the Silex with the general consistency of mud. If you added powdered milk (creamer), you could get it to the consistency of syrup. Adding a few teaspoons of sugar helped the scalding bitter 'life's blood' go down.

However, I don't think that even the most cynical salt envisioned the explosion of drive-through coffee shops (particularly in the Pacific Northwest) the spawned such household names as Starbucks.

How do you compete with the likes of Starbucks if you are an entrepreneur?

A Better Mousetrap?

How do you rake in $2 million in three years selling drive-through coffee?
(Fox News) EVERETT, Wash. – Authorities say the owner of bikini coffee stands in Washington state banked more than $2 million in just three years because her baristas were also selling sex acts. 
Snohomish County prosecutors charged 52-year-old former nude dancer Carmela Panico with promoting prostitution and money laundering, alleging that she was the madam of drive-thru brothels throughout the county north of Seattle.

The answer would seem to be that you sell more than just coffee at the drive-through coffee hut.

Adding the oldest profession to hot addictive beverages may not be politically correct, but it was a stroke of marketing genius (while being felonious). 

Will the Washington State prosecutions end up in a ban on 'grab-n-go' where the coffee servers wear bikinis? My sense is that they won't. Now undercover officers will have to spend their days driving through coffee shops, ogling near naked women and drinking coffee (while being paid by the taxpayers to perform this vital service) in search of a violation.

It's a tough job, but that's why the police are there, watching out for us 24/7/365 - the thin blue line - the first line of defense. When you see that police car at Java Juggs, you'll know that justice is being done -- all for the sake of the public. 

Evidence is being dutifully collected of this offense to public decency in the cold, wet, Northwest. While you sleep, the police are prowling these dens of iniquity in search of SIN.

I wonder if this will spur more young men to seek a career in law enforcement? My guess is that it will as they ponder 'duty'.

Will the young officers end up dating baristas? Do bears scratch in the woods, son? Those young women are to police officers as kryptonite is to Superman.

A Cupa Mud - was never as sweet.

Sunday, August 31, 2014


That's the percentage of private sector employees who are represented by a labor union. 6.7% - that's it. Big Labor no longer represents private-sector workers' interests. Instead, it has become nothing more than a big government shill that puts hard hats on to capture a public relations illusion from decades past. (IBD)

Should we discontinue Labor Day or might it be better to change the name to something more appropriate? Party Day! Trying to show that labor unions represent private sector workers these days is more or less like putting lipstick on a pig.
Before you begin to delve too deeply, recall that September 11 is the day that President Obama designated that we celebrate community organizers. Did anything happen on that day? The World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks by radical Islam 2001, The Benghazi Massacre 2012? Who would know. America follows the President's lead in putting all that behind us because it happened "a long time ago". As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said so memorably, "At this point, what difference does it make?"
Today's Big Labor supports politicians who are committed to destroying unionized mining jobs through the EPA, scoff at the value of more than 10,000 union jobs created by building the Keystone XL pipeline, and actively push for amnesty for illegal aliens who can only drive down the cost of labor, hurting wages. The gravy train these days can be found in public employee unions. A public-sector oriented union's focus will naturally be on helping politicians who support expanding the size and scope of government, even at the expense of the private-sector workforce.

Most Americans will not be thinking about any of that tomorrow when they're at the beach, in the mountains or having what fair weather fun they can before winter asserts itself. Absent that, they will be in the malls celebrating back-to-school sales or other incentives to spend money. It's the beginning of the NFL and college football seasons.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Teaching Children to Fish

When my girls were young, we spent time in the ocean on my boat -- most weekends, weather permitting. The boat slept 6 comfortably and thus, it was essentially boat camping, usually 25 miles off shore in the lee of Catalina Island. I had a small inflatable dingy with a small motor on it and we could motor into Avalon for ice cream or pizza if the craving hit.

They loved to go fishing. Mostly it was the bragging rights. I don't have a scanner handy and back then photos were paper, not electrons in the digital sense of photos. I'm posting a few photos that I have scanned in from that era. Sadly, I don't have any with them posing with their fish to show the kids at school. Their regular hauls were impressive. They were never skunked.

This is how it worked.

I put on SCUBA gear and kicked over the side, with the fishing line in tow and a fresh squid on the hook. I had a black light that caused the monofilament to glow so that I could keep track of it and keep from getting tangled.

I would hunt for the perfect fish, offer the squid and the kids hauled them to the surface. They took turns. They thought that's what fishing was all about.

Now that they're older and they have a better concept of fishing, they still feel cheated if they don't catch one trophy fish after another. Did I ruin my daughters for all time when it comes to fishing? Quite possibly.

More recently, my younger daughter went fishing and expressed to her boyfriend that, "fishing with daddy was far more fulfilling." Young men who wish to measure up need to buy a boat and SCUBA gear. Go big or go home.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Daily Outrage


Outside of the US, the Obama Administration is viewed outside of the US as being completely incompetent. My default setting is to defend the US in almost any situation. However when it comes to our handling of the Caliphate, it's difficult to step in there waving an American flag with any degree of credibility.

The only place where President Obama has any credibility is among his own people, because as you all know, the American voters returned him to office for a second term. Elsewhere in the world, people simply scratch their heads in amazement. The Americans, who can send men to the moon and build an "invisible" airplane, can't tell a fraud when they see one. 

Mandarins in the Pentagon are spending sleepless nights casting chicken bones and reading tea leaves to determine whether ISIS (and the Muslim World) is a threat to the security of the US. They could simply read history going back to Charles Martel and Charlemagne...but that would be far too simple. Those are the same people who feel that history shouldn't be included in the Common Core curriculum, possibly because history is clearly Islamophobic.

Historical precedent notwithstanding, the US and the rest of the world still needs to figure out how they want to deal with the Caliphate. This president loves Islam. So don't look for leadership anywhere but on the putting green.


Newly released Census data reveals nearly 110 million Americans – more than one-third of the country – are receiving government assistance of some kind.

The number counts people receiving what are known as “means-tested” federal benefits, or subsidies based on income. This includes welfare programs ranging from food stamps to subsidized housing to the program most commonly referred to as “welfare,” Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.  (Fox News)

No society will survive wherein you have to rely on a smaller and smaller group of wealth producers to support more and more people who are not contributing to that wealth.


The news today is rife with companies either leaving California for another state (such as Ashima Devices) or companies leaving the USA (Burger King enroute Canada) because the US has the highest corporate tax in the world.

I was shocked in visiting Norway that their taxes are LESS than in the US. I didn't think that would be the case. In Norway, that applies to both citizens and corporations.

I guess that all that freedom I enjoy does indeed require a hefty price tag.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Big Move 2 Big Little City

This is representative coverage of the press conference that was held at Reno-Stead Airport yesterday with Governor Sandoval and a number of Nevada luminaries. Some of you asked for links. Now it's official, is moving its headquarters and manufacturing presence to Reno, NV. Most of the research and development will remain in Pasadena, CA (near Cal Tech and JPL) for the next few years.


Reno Gazette Journal:

Police Work - Who says it can't be Fun?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Missing People in Mexico

They never roll the fire department for a wash-down in Mexico
I have always wondered why. It's S.O.P. in the USA.
I don't go down to Mexico much anymore. No reason to. I did it for work back when--and I don't do that work anymore. Three months after Mexican authorities triumphantly announced a dramatic reduction in the officially-recognized number of "disappeared", they have walked this back significantly. Read on below the TV Series part for more on that.

There is a TV Series on Fox called, "The Bridge". It's a very good television series and the drug lord that they feature, "Fausto Galvan" is based loosely on a bad guy that I know personally. I recommend watching it. It's in the second season so you should try and watch the first season to get the show in context. It takes just a bit of getting used to. Watch two or three episodes before you make up your mind.

Now onto reality from art, which is roughly the same thing. Yesterday, Assistant Attorney General Mariana Benitez announced to reporters that the number of Mexicans who disappeared since the country’s drug war began in 2006, according to official calculations, is 22,322. In May, Interior Minister Miguel Osorio Chong put the figure at 8,000. So which is it, and why the seemingly massive difference? 
Assistant Attorney General Mariana Benitez said 12,532 people went missing during the 2006-12 administration of President Felipe Calderon, who declared war on drug traffickers. An additional 9,790 have disappeared since President Enrique Pena Nieto took office on Dec. 1, 2012.

Benitez said that the list of people reported missing during Calderon's government had gone up to 29,707, but that authorities arrived at the figure of 12,532 still missing after finding the rest alive or confirming their deaths.

She said a second list started with the Pena Nieto government showed 23,234 people reported missing between Dec. 1, 2012, and July 31, 2014. She said 13,444 of those had been located, leaving 9,790 still missing.
Of course, the news suggests that Osorio Chong provided a completely misleading account of the number of new disappearances since Enrique Peña Nieto took office (in May, he said roughly 3,000 had gone missing in 2013 and early 2014 ). Under normal circumstances this would be scandalous, but the plain truth is that that the Peña Nieto administration, like the Calderon administration before it, has consistently relied on using misleading statistics to cast its security strategy as a success.

But even setting this aside, the new numbers are unsettling on their own terms. Assuming Benitez’s account is accurate, 23,234 people have been reported missing in less than two years under Peña Nieto, compared with 29,707 over the course of six years under Calderon. That means that disappearance reports, if they remain stable, are on track to more than double those under the previous government. 


Now factor into this the arguments pro and con over whether to secure America's southern border. Then again, maybe I'm being far to subtle in making my argument.

NOTE: President Obama claims 2 million deportations because the Obama Administration changed the way deportees are counted. Obama said anyone turned back at the border and denied entry into the US is counted as a person being deported. Does this sound right to you? They never set foot in the US and are counted as being deported.

There may be moments when I'm a huckleberry, but not this time.