Friday, February 22, 2008

Please Protect Us From Ourselves!

For the uninformed, on 6 February, (earlier this month), 2,000+ motorists stranded themselves on the Interstate between Janesville and Madison, WI. This occured during the worst snowstorm of 2008, and I'll say it again - they stranded themselves. Many sat there for 9-12 hours, until National Guard, DNR Game Wardens, and State Patrol crews started rescue operations.

The local news rags now echo the wailing and gnashing of teeth from those who wish to blame everybody but themselves for their predicament. I find the unmitigated gall of the whiners totally unbelievable, especially since local news television and radio broadcasts forecast the storm well in advance, and repeatedly warned folks to stay off the roads. One mental midget was clearly upset that he had his 2 month-old baby in the car with him for the duration. Hello, McFly? Reckless child endangerment charges come to mind...

We received 13.5 inches of snow at Casa de' G-98 that day. Granted, I'm somewhat jaded, being a graduate of the USAF Arctic Survival School (aka, Cool School), among several others. I called in to work and stayed home - my momma didn't raise an idiot. However, it doesn't take a survivalist education to become aware of what one can and cannot do in adverse conditions. If the roads look like this, and the authorities tell you to stay off of them, they're not doing it to hear themselves speak:

I see today that the governor has issued an apology, but it's not the right apology. Here's how it should've read:

Citizens of Wisconsin,

Please allow me the opportunity to apologize for the unfortunate situation which occurred on Wednesday, February 6, 2008.

I’m sorry that the people involved in the traffic situation are idiots.

I’m sorry that they didn’t have the common sense to stay off the roads.

I’m sorry that they didn’t think to equip their cars for winter driving.

I’m sorry that they are a poor reflection upon the people of the great State of Wisconsin.

I’m sorry that they expect someone to jump in and save them after they make poor decisions.

In general, I’m sorry that people continue to remain helpless and unable to take care of themselves.


Governor Jim Doyle

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Gem of an Article from the Wayback Machine

I make no bones about the fact that I shoot black powder cartridge rifle rounds, and a goodly amount of black powder gets converted into smoke and noise thanks to the hobby. Much is said about the characteristics of current Holy Black compared to what our forefathers used, and I've been buying higher-grade Goex Cartridge to improve the quality of both my creations and their subsequent results. Some recommend I make my own, but that pushes my safety envelope a bit much. I can easily drive to my supplier and pick up several pounds for about $11.00/pound, so I'm in no big rush to come up with an alternate source.

However, I've been keeping a little shard of days gone by, namely, the June 6th, 1896 edition of Harper's Round Table, for some time now.


Because it has a darned interesting article in it, describing the gunpowder works at the DuPont factory near Wilmington, Delaware.

It's time to share this piece of history, if not for the technical information, then for the journalistic style of the period. So I scanned the whole article, and created an Adobe .pdf file for y'all.

Hell, even the watercolors are neat.

And yes, they used willow as the wood of choice for their charcoal, grown on the DuPont estate.

Read about it here:

Which explains what went inside my other piece of history, still quite full:

Winter decided to visit, and never left...

Here it is, 17 Feb 08, and it was a mix of freezing rain, sleet, and snow that shut down the city buses, the malls, and pretty much all commerce. We broke the all-time snowfall record during the last storm, so the novelty has pretty much worn out by the time this stuff started falling this morning.

Bernie wanted to go out and play, so I humored him.

Since I had the camera out and about, here's one of my maple trees covered in ice:

Note the robin's nest:

Otherwise, not a very productive day. Maybe the roads will be better tomorrow - I noticed that the snowplows are finally making their way around town.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The new album's out...

Using the rules posted here:

I've created a new band, album title, and album cover.

Behold, Buffalo National River's debut album, New York Traffic Lights:

Mosrite guitar solo on Track #2 by your's truly.