A new study shows that Left-wingers swear more.

Please color me Not Surprised.

Left-wingers are more likely to use swear words than their right-leaning counterparts, a study of thousands of Twitter accounts has suggested.

While conservative-leaning individuals are, perhaps unsurprisingly, more likely to use religious terms such as “God” and “psalm”, those on the liberal end of the political spectrum are heavy users of “f***” and “s***” online.

Researchers at Queen Mary University in London analysed more than 10,000 Twitter users who follow either the Republican or Democrat party Twitter accounts.

Like I said.  I’m not at all surprised.  After all everyone knows that “Profanity is the last refuge of an inarticulate motherfucker”.

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The Not So Well Known “Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect”.

“Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”

? Michael Crichton

Keep this in mind EVERY TIME you read a News Paper or listen to/watch the news.

Brought to you because I read this post at “View from the Porch“.


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The Butte fire.

The fire started Wednesday the 9th, cause unknown, up in Amador County at 2:26PM (I’m sure that means that is when it was first reported) and quickly showed us that its large paws were not just for show.  With in 6-7 hours it was over 1,200 acres, and then the next day it got into the kibble.

From my memory, by early Thursday it was somewhere north of 15,000 acres and by Friday at 1300 I was leaving  work to pack up and evacuate.  As I write this the town of Murphys is still under an “Evacuation’s Advisory”

Mandatory Evacuation Orders:
San Andreas at Pope, West Murray Creek, Lewis, Miller, San Andreas Elementary, Goldstrike, Mountain Ranch East to Windmill, Wimbledon Drive, Forest Hill, and Turner Court. Please leave the area immediately.
(Amador County) Canyon View, Fig Tree Lane, and Ponderosa Way; Tabeau Road south of Arrowhead to Amador Road, Ranch Drive and Aqueduct Grove Road.
(Calaveras County) Town of Mokelumne Hill, East of Hwy 49 from the Amador/Calaveras County line South to Goldstrike Road. South on Goldstrike Road to the Community of San Andreas. Rural areas East of San Andreas to Mountain Ranch Road. Mountain Ranch Road to Calaveritas Road to Fourth Crossing. Fourth Crossing to Hwy 49. East side of Hwy 49 South to North side of Hwy 4 (Angels Camp). North side of Hwy 4 East to Town of Arnold. All of SR 26 from Mokelumne Hill, North to the Amador/Calaveras County line. To include the communities of Glencoe, Westpoint, and Wilseyville. San Andreas at Pope, West Murray Creek, Lewis, Miller, San Andreas Elementary, Goldstrike, Mountain Ranch East to Windmill, Wimbledon Drive, Forest Hill, and Turner Court.
Evacuations Advisory:
(Amador County) Hwy 88 from Ranch Road East to Tiger Creek Road (Red Corral and Buckhorn Areas).
(Calaveras County) City of Angels Camp, Hwy 49 South to Hwy 4 South at the city limits of Angels Camp. Town of Arnold, Northwest of Hwy 4 includes sub-divisions of Lakemont, Mill Woods and Meadowmont. Hwy 4 North to Sheep Ranch Road/Blue Lake Springs sub-division, Big Trees State Park, Town of Dorrington, Town of Murphys and Forest Meadows. Town of San Andreas. Poole Station Road, Carroll Kennedy Road, Cement Plant Road, Demearest Mine Road, Oak Valley Road, Gelding Road, Stallion Road, Deer Creek Road, Copello Road.

Actually if you plot  “East side of Hwy 49 South to North side of Hwy 4 (Angels Camp). North side of Hwy 4 East to Town of Arnold” on a map it looks to me that Murphys is in the “Mandatory Evacuation” area.  They just cut out an exemption for some large population areas.


Butte 01



Just to give  you an idea of where the fire is located.





A little closer now.

Butte 02









And closer.

Butte 03









Butte 04


We are somewhere in the blue circle.






Butte 05


Between Rocky Hill and Wyldwood.

In theory the fireline is about 2 -2.5 miles from our house.




Butte 06


However, I think the reality is that a Bull Dozer line was cut on top of Esmeralda Ridge and backfires stopped the actual fire from crossing it or reaching us.

Be that as it may, on Saturday night we could see a very strong orange glow over the ridge behind our house.

Monika called me, just after lunch Friday, and requested my presence to help pack up and evacuate my folks and our family.  About 4 or 5 that afternoon, after packing and waiting to see if it was needed we joined the row of cars evacuating from the High Country and Murphys area.

The folks rented a room at the Days Inn in Sonora and Monika, myself and company spent the night at Monika’s aunt and uncles place in Columbia.  Karl and Riley drove back home to spend the night in our house along with other neighbors who did not evacuate.  Saturday morning around 11 we picked up my folks and joined them.

Thanks to God, light winds and hard working Fire Crews Murphys was spared.  We did spend all day Saturday and Sunday with the cars packed and the trailer hooked up to the van ready to bail if the fire topped the ridge behind us, which rumor  said was imminent at any moment.

Looting has been reported (reason #25,798,045 why I carry a gun), every thing from people on motorcycles doing smash and grabs to groups of fake firefighters.  The best solution proposed that I’ve read is to hog tie them to a tree and let God decide what to do with them.

At various times on Saturday and Sunday we heard and saw fire bombers, both a Boeing 727 and a C130, flying low overhead getting setup to drop retardant on the fire a ridge or two over.

Today, unlike the last 3 days, there is little smoke and only light ash falling on us, unfortunately the winds have picked up here in Murphys.  It seems to be from the South however so that should keep the fire from us even while it feeds it.  As long as the wind does not shift we should be OK.

Currently they are calling the fire to be 71,063 acres and 30% contained.  135 homes destroyed as well as 79 outbuildings.

Monika and I personally know at least 10 family’s, friends and co-workers mostly, who know that their homes have been destroyed.  Several more still don’t know.

One of the better sites for information is

Along with Cal Fire

The latest update has this.

Fire behavior forecast:

The decrease in temperature and increase in humidity today will do little to moderate the fire activity. The grass and light fuels will be affected slightly, decreasing their receptiveness to fire brands. The lag time for larger fuels is longer than the effect of the increased humidity and will still readily burn. Due to the drought the brush and trees are at critical fuel moisture levels and will produce large number of fire brands when actively burning. This high number of fire brands will increase the potential for spotting in the lighter fuels, even with higher humidity levels. The fuels and winds have been the main carrier of fire and with the increase in wind the fire has potential to grow to the northeast. Watch for trees near the fires edge for torching and casting embers across the line. Spotting from the brush will be over X mile and from trees up to 1 mile.

The northeast portion in the Mokelumne River drainage will be active with a strong southwest wind increasing spread to the east. The drainage splits into two main branches with a dominant ridge in-between. If fire becomes established in both sides of the canyon there will be two separate head fires. The east side of the fire has transition areas from trees and brush into grass fields. Spotting into these fields is a strong possibility with the increasing wind. These spots will have a rapid rate of spread and will transition again into brush and timber. The south portion of the fire is in the grass oak woodland, which has the high potential for spot fires, however the wind should be. more favorable for control efforts. There is still potential for a spot to cross the line with the increasing wind and get into the San Antonio Creek drainage. The east side of the fire is also in the grass oak woodland and will have favorable winds during and changing directions across the line in the overnight hours. Spotting potential will be reduced in the overnight hours but is still a strong possibility.

As I sit here now I’m listening to the bombers working on the edge of  it up by Sheep Ranch.



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The Best Smartphone you can buy.*


My wife has an Apple iPhone 6, both daughters have iPhone 5s’s and my son has a Samsung Galaxy 5s.

I, on the Gripping Hand, have a Huawei Model Y536A1, that I bought at Walmart and feed monthly through AT&T.

The actual specifications do not, at first glance, seem all that world shaking, and the built-in camera is in no way as good as the camera in my wife’s iPhone, but it is adequate.  However the phone cost only me $60.

Not $60 every other month for 2 years and not $23.95 a month for 2 years.  No. It. Cost. Me. $60.  Once.

Oh and have I mentioned that since it only cost me $60 I don’t have an insurance contract for it?  That saves me another $5 -$10 a month, or $60 – $120 a year.  Hell I could throw it away ever 3 months and buy a new replacement and it would be still be cheaper at the end of 2 years then any of the phones my family has.

How does it work? I hear you ask.

Quite well.  It makes and receives phone calls very nicely.  I can send and receive texts** as well as any other phone.  It takes adequate photos for documenting things at work.  All this, plus notes, calendar, a stop watch/alarm clock, a music player (the first thing I did was put a 16GB MicroSD card in it, it will handle up to a 32GB and I don’t discount its ability to handle larger), a book reader, Spider Solitaire and any other App that I want to download from the Google Store.  Along with all the above it has a battery that will go 3+ days with moderate use plus unlimited text and talk in North America for $30 a month.

Only text and talk, for me thank you very much. 4G data is available but do I look fucking retarded enough to pay an additional $10 a month for 1.5GB of data or an extra $25 a month for 4GB (both of those prices include a $5 a month discount for signing up for “Auto Refill”)?  Don’t answer that.
The answer is no, I’m not that stupid, wireless works quite well around civilization and away from civilization I don’t care.

Have I mentioned that I only paid $60 for it?  Have I also mentioned that after I own it for 6 months AT&T will send me the key to root privileges on it.  I should mention that it came preloaded with a bunch of crap software on it.  Root privileges should enable me to take care of that.

So what is the perfect “SmartPhone”.  Dammed if I know but I think I’m on the right tack.

  1. Be a good phone
  2. Have root capability.
  3. Be small.
  4. Have a long battery life.
  5. Be a good camera.
  6. Have the ability to take a large MicroSD card.
  7. Have no apps preinstalled,  only the ability to get to the Google Store*** and download the apps and only the apps I / you want.
  8. Have wireless capability.
  9. Have GPS, and the ability to turn it off.
  10. Have very GOOD encryption.
  11. 4G capability for those who need it.
  12. Cost less then $200
  13. Be water proof.
  14. No contract needed.

You find me all that and I’ll drop my Huawei, other wise I’m sticking to it.

Have I mentioned that it only cost me $60?

1)  I’m not convinced that the word “Best” should ever be applied to a Smartphone and
2)  I’m not to sure about the use of the word “Smart” in Smartphone.

** Dammit all, I hate texts and texting.  Think about it, typing things out on a miniature keyboard is SO much more efficient then actually talking to someone, it is truly amazing that it took us, as a species, so long to figure that out.

*** I’m not that fond of the Google Store and Google itself, but it’s better then dealing with Apple.

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Windows 10

I did my “Free” upgrade to “Windows Hello Kitty” aka Windows 10 last night.

I made sure all Windows 7 updates were done did a backup and told the PC to go ahead.

It seemed to boot fast and seemed to have all my programs and settings.  Well except for my Printer Driver and Video Card.  Too bad it looks like a version of Windows designed for 8 year olds.  In fact I’ve had more then one person tell me that screen looked like an XBox with the large clunky icons.

Once I got the right video driver installed it actually seemed like a pretty responsive OS and in fact, someday I might (or might not) go back to it.

Until then it’s nice to know that Macrium Reflect restored the image I’d made the night before (I told you I did a backup) in under 10 minutes.

Maybe I’ll download one of the newer Linux Distros and give that a try.  Something about Windows HK just gives me the creeps.

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Down to the old bridge and back.

Monika and I had wanted to walk down to the old bridge over Melones ever since it started emerging a couple of weeks ago.  Last Saturday (the 4th) we did,  however talking a 14 year old into going with us, early, was not easy.  Be that as it may, Kat agreed to get up at the ungodly hour of 0645, on a Saturday, in summer, and go with us.

In fact we got out the door a little after 7 and actually started the hike about 7:15 – 7:20. Given the temperatures that weekend I would not have been upset if we had left the house at 6 and started the hike at 6:15.

It is actually a pretty easy hike down and back, the road is pretty much intact for most of the way down, on the Tuolumne County side, at least.  I’m very sure that I would not take our van down, but my old 2 wheel drive Pickup would have no problems.

Natures way of saying

Still a pretty good way above the high water



Katarina decided that this is natures way of telling mankind to “F” Off.

I’d have to say she was right.







On the way Down


Just about to the high water mark and a nice view of the new bridge.






Moon set over the new bridge.   A composite of 3 or 4 different photos.


Microsoft’s ICE was used to create the composite photo.
The Old Bridge


First sighting of the old bridge from the trail/road  on the way down.





New from the Old
Standing on the old bridge and looking at the new bridge.


BothBridgesNew and Old bridges.

RileyRiley looking sort of Rileyish.

It's Hot


It was  hot.  Riley kept trying to get to the water and going knee deep into the mud.

I think by the time we climbed back up to the car is was mid 90’s and only 10:45 or so.











20 plus years of being under water.







Someone found it necessary to drive/push this car off the road and into the lake, and shoot it 19 times by Katarina’s count.



TheOldCar 2


It was a pretty nice car at one time.






Monika and I plan on making at least one more trip down towards the end of summer.  Just to see how low the water gets.  All in all it is a pretty nice hike, just plan on going early in the morning to beat the heat, take water and look out for rattlesnakes.

Posted in Country Living, Walking/Hiking | Leave a comment


Currently it seems that they are fairly determined to prove Margaret Thatcher right.

“The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money” — Margaret Thatcher

Actually she seems to have said.

Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them.

Here’s looking at you obama, and BOTH Houses of Congress.

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I want this.

Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle

I don’t need it, but I want one. Big 5 has them for $819…. add 8% and $30-35 to the state and I’d be looking at $900 to $920 out the door and it would still have a barrel 2″ too short and a very expensive mag setup.

Not quite a true “Scout Rifle” but close.  From “The Steyr Scout Rifle Page

By the definition of the Scout Rifle Conferences held under the auspices of Jeff Cooper the scout rifle has been defined as a general purpose rifle suitable for taking targets of up to 400 kg (880 pounds) at ranges to the limit of the shooters visibility (nominally 300 meters) that meets the following criteria:

Weight-sighted and slung: 3 kilograms (6.6 lb). This has been set as the ideal weight but the maximum has been stated as being 3.5 kg (7.7 pounds ).
Length: 1 meter (39 inches)
Nominal barrel length: .48 meter (19 inches)
Sighting system: Typically a forward and low mounted (ahead of the action opening) long eye relief telescope of between 2x and 3x. Reserve iron sights desirable but not necessary.  Iron sights of the ghost ring type, without a scope, also qualify, as does a low powered conventional position scope.
Action: Magazine fed bolt action. Detachable box magazine and/or stripper clip charging is desirable but not necessary.
Sling: Fast loop-up type, i.e. Ching or CW style.
Caliber: Nominally .308 Winchester (7.62 x 51 mm). Calibers such as 7 mm – 08 Remington (7 x 51 mm) or .243 Winchester (6 x 51 mm) being considered for frail individuals or where “military” calibers are proscribed.
Built-in bipod: Desirable but not mandatory.
Accuracy: Should be capable of shooting into 2 minutes of angle or less (4″) at 200 yards/meters (3 shot groups).

Well I have a couple of spare Yugo M.24/47’s and LOTS of surplus 8×57 ammo. As well as reloading dies and bullet molds for them.

Depending on the shape of the crown, I could pay to have the barrel shortened a half inch or so but it would not be critical.

Then install a XS sight Systems, Inc. scope mount for $60

and get a Leupold Scout Scope for it ($299).

Being a oddball length receiver, pretty much means that I can’t get a Glass Stock for it so I’d get a Boyds stock for it ($100)

So far I’d be about $460 – $500 into (adding shipping costs).

I could bed it myself (sort of) and the scope base is also a “User installable item” but I would want it refinished.  Either Parkerized ($) or painted (cheap, tacky and functional.  $20 for paint).

So there it is, I could do it, but I’d be into a “P-Scout” $550 – $700+ at best.

Or I could sell a couple of Yugo 24/47s and maybe a Spanish FR-8 and just buy the damn Ruger, oops… I forgot to add the price of the scope to the Ruger.  $920 + $300 = $1,220

Dang, that makes the P-Scout look better and better.

Posted in Firearms, Rifles | Leave a comment

Range trip #21 (maybe 22, but lets call it 21)

I met a retired co-worker and his girl friend at the range yesterday during lunch.  I shot my Pro Carry and the Smith 642 with a brief side trip to the SA XD.  I also shot a clip or two from RS’s Kimber CDP.  Cute, small and pretty light for 45acp.  However, I’ll stick to my Pro Carry, I shoot it better.

The reason for the trip was simple, RS’s girl friend needed/wanted to shoot at least once before renewing her CCW.

It was due in about two months and she had not shot since getting it in the first place 2 years ago.  That’s all sorts of wrong.

Posted in Firearms, Pistols, Shooting | Leave a comment

And they try and call this a “Recovery”?

Try this.

If you like topline numbers, you’ll like the June jobs report, issued a day early because of the Independence Day headline. The US economy added 223,000 jobs in June, a respectable if unspectacular level of job growth that outpaces population growth, and the U-3 jobless rate dropped to 5.3%. It’s when one looks past the topline numbers that the problems emerge — chief among them the fact that almost twice as many people left the workforce as found jobs:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 223,000 in June, and the unemployment rate declined to 5.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, retail trade, financial activities, and in transportation and warehousing.


The civilian labor force declined by 432,000 in June, following an increase of similar magnitude in May. The labor force participation rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 62.6 percent in June. The employment-population ratio, at 59.3 percent, was essentially unchanged in June and has shown little movement thus far this year.

The new workforce participation rate is the lowest in the US since 1977. The reason that the U-3 measure dropped to 5.3% is because of the exodus from the workforce. On top of that, the BLS revised its job-growth estimates in April and May by a combined 60,000, making the entire spring look less robust than first thought — and it wasn’t that robust in the first place. The U-6 rate, considered a more complete look at unemployment, did fall to 10.5%, the lowest since July 2008.

Just for a start.  Read the whole article and then read the official report.

Just for giggles


From August 2015.

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