We’re Really Official Floridians Now

Yea! We’re really official Floridians now. The title for Big Red came in last week and got forwarded over to our local DMV office and we went by there this morning and finished up the titling and registration for him in FL…got tags and the title application copy in hand and the real title will go back to USAA until we finish paying the loan off.

Connie has choir practice today then it’s Bingo at the Elks. Hopefully her luck from last Thursday night at the Bingo here at Seminole will carry over…she won 3 times for a total of $90 then and brought home a Maple Donut for Neil.

Tomorrow it’s packing day then we’ll be off to the dentist early Thursday morning followed by heading out for Midlothian to see the human kids and grand baby Alex for his birthday…really looking forward to seeing everybody although we’re definitely not looking forward to the weather which will have temperatures in the 30s the whole time we’re there…brrrr. If I was a polar bear it would be one thing…but I ain’t so I’m definitely not going into the woods.

Neil has a new idea…he’s going to start getting a lot more kale in his diet…only he’s going with kale that has the silent k at the beginning…I dunno who thought that up but he’s a freaking genius I tell ya.

Not really anything else to report although we did find a few interesting things on the net this week.

After the SEC Championship Game last Saturday which was won by the Alabama Crimson Tide…they destroyed Florida 54-16…at one point in the third quarter Florida had 60 yards or so of total offense compared to -7 for the Tide who had a penalty and a punt on their only possession of the game so far…anyway at that point the score was Alabama 16 Florida 9. The Florida coach probably had a really hard time understanding that. Florida ended the game with a total of zero yards rushing after you took off the QB sack lost yardage but had 32 yards for the game on actual rushing plays. Alabama helped their cause with 2 more non offensive touchdowns for an NCAA leading 14 for the season and 3 long drives with touchdown runs in the second half. They did surrender their first touchdown since October and the first opening drive touchdown since early in the 2015 season. Anyway…saw this one about the game.

AlligatorArms

I see they’ve started the election recount in Wisconsin.

WisconsinVoteRecount

Fixed it. Nailed.

FixedIt

Meanwhile…in Colorado I guess there’s a road with this name.

MeanwhileInColorado

You had one job label maker.

CookingYourDog

Remember…watch out for the bad one.

Snakes

Cyas.

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I Really Don’t Understand This

Clearly…it’s a sign that 19 year old teenagers should not be allowed to be Presidential electors…members of the Electoral College.

This isn’t really political…I’m just trying to understand this.

Secretary Clinton carried the state of Oregon by 53% to 37%…and hence the Democratic Party chosen electors will be voting next month when the Electoral College. That’s fine.

However…I saw an article today on Yahoo News…about this 19 year announcing that he’s going to be the 7th faithless elector in this election…or at least the 7th who’s publicly announced he will do so.

Now Oregon electors are legally bound to vote for who they’re supposed to vote for…but this moron has decided to ignore that and pay whatever fine is associated with being a faithless elector.

It would be perfectly understandable…I would do it but I could understand the logic at least…if he was a Republican elector who refused to vote for his party’s nominee.

That isn’t the case though. He’s announced that…instead of voting for Secretary Clinton as he’s legally bound to do…he’s going to vote for a different Republican for President as a protest vote against Mr. Trump.

Now I’m only a bear of course…and obviously not very smart, that’s Kara’s domain…but I can’t figure out how not voting for Secretary Clinton and voting for a different Republican as a protest vote against Mr. Trump…well that doesn’t make a lick o’ sense at all. Nope…not a lick.

We’re continuing our approach to just doing nothing this winter…Elks a couple nights a week for Bingo, chicken or fish, or Fun Night…but that’s about it. Tomorrow we’re headed out for lunch for Connie’s birthday…she’s gonna be the big Social Security eligible number…but we’re not doing much else. Seeing our friend Jeff, visited with other friends Dennis and Janet who arrived from Indianapolis today and just mostly moseying along.

On to interesting stuff.

I’m pretty sure I’ve posted this one before…it’s a bow on comparison of the RMS Titanic…the largest passenger liner launched at the time…with the Princess of the Sea of today’s liner fleet…and it’s not the largest cruise liner currently in use. Simply mind boggling.

TitanicSizeComparison

Seems the movie Wizard of Oz was being broadcast on some channel recently…this is the synopsis of the film as listed in the TV listings in the paper.

BestFilmSynopsisEver

In Minnesota…the two photos below were taken…two, count ‘em two…days apart last week (late November).

DifferenceInTwoDays

Some guy wandering through the woods found…or maybe staged…this one…but it looks really cool like the tree base is glowing.

GlowingTreeLeaves

Meanwhile…I guess it’s really dry in Tennessee…where the was the wildfire in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge this week.

MeanwhileInArizona

And the best one of the week…no, I haven’t seen the cat, why?

HaventSeenCatWhy

Cyas.

 

The weather the first day was way better…

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Politics…Again…Darn It

I keep telling myself to just let it go…but then I see idiots saying stupid things…and I just canna help m’self as Scottie used to say. I was soooo hopin’ that after the election was over we could go back to seeing tweets about computers, eagles, or anything else but politics. Seems to be a forlorn hope though…

Before I get into all of that…good news on the Eagle front down here. Harriet and her new beau M15 returned to the nesting site in September and have been doing nesting things for the last couple of months. Along with that…there was the requisite amount of wild eagle sex…which is mostly pretty boring to watch as he just sits on top of her for 15 seconds and it’s over…but apparently according to the blog this happened multitudinous times. Anyways…Harriet laid her first egg of the season on 11/22 at 1703 and is currently incubating it. If history holds there should be another egg by Friday or Saturday of this week. I’ll keep ya posted.

First up…I keep seeing articles on various news sites talking about the popular vote…and how Secretary Clinton’s popular vote is 600,000, then 1.1 Million, now 2 Million, and who knows what it will get up to next.

I keep asking myself…what do these morons not understand about how the Constitution and Presidential elections work…it’s right there in black and white (well, black and yellowed parchment actually but I digress) that THE POPULAR VOTE DOES NOT MATTER in Presidential elections. Simple…we’ve got the Electoral College and there is zero possibility that anything even remotely related to the popular vote will change this other than amending the Constitution. 

I don’t recall protests in the streets when President Obama was elected and reelected…and I don’t recall too many Republicans carrying signs saying “Not My President” after those elections either. Sure…there was a little grousing and even some cross the line comments from morons…but the majority of Republicans accepted the result and moved on. Sure…Congress didn’t pass many of his policies and wants…but then it was a Republican controlled body for the most part of his 2 terms…and the simple fact is that Republicans and Democrats have different wants and policies and each body (legislative and executive) pushed for the polices they wanted. Now I personally would think that they should compromise and each get some of what they want…you know, like they used to do back in the days when politicians tried to be statesmen and lead instead of bicker…but control of both of our parties have been seized by the far left and far right respectively…and for them it’s my way or the highway. (I really wish we could go back to the days when the White House and the Majority and Minority Leaders of both houses sat down and figured out a way to move the country forward with nobody getting everything they wanted and each side accepting some things they were against…that’s called negotiation and compromise…but again I digress.)

Now I’ll admit…it’s not all Democrats…and not even all liberals…that are saying this. There are a goodly number of progressive political people, commentators, talking heads, party strategists and the like that keep saying “Move on…we lost.” They’re trying to analyze why she lost and there again a goodly number of those aforementioned people who are saying “it’s not Comey, the election wasn’t rigged, the campaigns would have been completely different on both sides if it was a popular vote election…but it’s not so just move on, analyze what went wrong, and try again in four years.

Secondly…there’s all this hue and cry from the liberals who are NOT in the aforementioned groups with common sense…about alt-right, Nazi salutes and the like. Saw one yesterday about some white supremacist guy who gave the Nazi salute at a convention of like mentioned far right wing wackos. That was a valid headline…but then the angry liberals piled on and I saw numerous posts about how if you didn’t recognize how wrong this was you were either with them or in denial about a “grave crisis”. Then it turned out that there were 275…that’s, right…less than 300 people…at this convention and it’s just a fringe group. Didn’t see any of the angry liberals spouting that little fact…just calling all Trump supporters white racists…or -obic-ists as Neil says for being whatever -obic and -ists as the liberals claim. They simply cannot comprehend why those ignorant deplorables clinging to their religion and guns (to borrow words from some recent Democrats) are such -obic and -ists that they didn’t vote for her. They’re obviously racists…every darned one of them…even though most of his supporters were likely voting against her and her sleazy behavior over the years rather than for him.

Thirdly…I now see that Jill Stein is asking for a recount in WI and PA which both went for Mr. Trump and in MI which hasn’t been called yet but he’s leading there. The reason for this recount is that a statistician found “serious discrepancies in her vote totals” in WI…but not in the other two states.

Now this statistician investigated the vote totals in counties in WI that used paper scanned ballots and those that used electronic voting machines. She got 7% fewer votes in counties with electronic machines. The Democratic machine immediately concluded that the sole and only reason for these discrepancies was that the machines were “hacked”. The statistician came out later and disagreed with their conclusion…he said that merely there was a difference and it may possibly have been due to hacking or any of a dozen other reasons.

The guys from fivethirtyeight.com…which is a non-partisan site…well they say that it’s actually demographic differences that are more likely for those vote differences based on their analysis. Now there’s been no evidence of hacking uncovered…but the Democrats who want the recount in WI have concluded that the most definitely hacked electronic voting machines would have given her 30,000 more votes if they had been paper ballots…and since she lost by 27,000 votes she clearly would have carried WI except for the voting fraud engineered by the Russians, Republicans, alt-right people, or the vast right wing conspiracy. No idea how many votes they’ll claim to have been not counted in PA or MI…but surely it will be enough for her to have carried all 3 of those states and hence the EC.

So I’m asking myself…just what do these people expect to happen. A recount…which is what Jill Stein has asked for…will just count the existing votes again in WI…and this very rarely changes an outcome. So Mr. Trump still carries WI in that case. Now there’s this “audit” of the electronic voting machines that the Democratic machine wants…I’m not sure exactly how you audit an electronic voting machine…and I’m not sure why you wouldn’t also audit the paper ballots except that Mr. Trump won by larger margins in those counties…but suppose they find some ironclad evidence that 100% of those electronic voting machines were “hacked” by…well let’s just call them The Bogeyman. I’m pretty sure that this evidence wont’ be forthcoming…there will be no real evidence of fraud but there won’t be any evidence of non-fraud either as you simply can’t prove a negative…it ain’t happenin’.

So anyway…assuming they find this proof…how does she get any more votes? They’re claiming 30,000…but based on what…just voting differences from different counties with different demographics. That would be like the Republicans claiming that because Mr. Trump won by 25 percentage points or whatever the number was in SD that clearly any results that favored Secretary Clinton were the result of more of this alleged “hacking”. Obviously…as any moron should be able to understand…different states, counties, urban vs suburban vs rural, racial or ethnic makeup of the local population, economic status of the local population…well those account for differences in the outcome of things like elections since each of those demographic differences just might have the slightest possibility of influencing how that particular social/economic/racial/whatever person might vote.

Sheesh. To quote our current POTUS…elections have consequences. Get over it. 

Ok, on to more interesting stuff.

Our friend Ray sent us this little test yesterday…it’s a simple, fool-proof method of determining whether you are a Democrat, Republican, or Southerner.

OK, here’s the question for you.

You’re walking down a deserted street with your wife
and two small children.
Suddenly, a Terrorist with a huge knife
comes around the corner,
locks eyes with you,
screams obscenities,
raises the knife, and charges at you…
You are carrying a
Kimber 1911 cal. 45 ACP, and you are an expert shot.
You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family.
What do you do?
THINK CAREFULLY AND
THEN SCROLL DOWN:

Here’s an image to look at while you’re considering your answer.

Bit specific there, eh?

BitSpecificThereEh

OK, here are the answers that let you determine what you are.

Democrat’s Answer:
·Well, that’s not enough information to answer the question!
·What is a Kimber 1911 cal. 45 ACP?
·Does the man look poor or oppressed?
·Is he really a terrorist? Am I guilty of profiling?
·Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?
·Could we run away?
·What does my wife think?
·What about the kids?
·Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?
·What does the law say about this situation?
·Does the pistol have an appropriate safety built into it?
·Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children?
·Is it possible he’d be happy with just killing me?
·Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me?
·If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me?
·Should I call 9-1-1?
·Why is this street so deserted?
·We need to raise taxes, have paint & weed day.
·Can we make this a happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.
·I need to debate this with some friends for a few days and try to come to a consensus.
·This is all so confusing!

………… ……… ……… ……… ……… …….. ……… ……… …
Republican’s Answer:
BANG!

………… ……… ……… …….. ……… ……… ……… ……

Southerner’s Answer:
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
BANG ! BANG! BANG! BANG!
Click….. (Sounds of reloading)
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
BANG!
BANG!
BANG!
Click
Daughter: ‘Nice grouping, Daddy!’
‘Were those the WinchesterSilver Tips or Hollow Points?!
Son: ‘Can I shoot the next one?!’
Wife: ‘You are NOT taking that to a Taxidermist!

Here’s a shot of our new microwave in the rig…we burned up the old one. Many thanks to our friend Jeff for providing more arms to lift it into place.

NewMicrowave

This seems about right…

SeemsAboutRight

That’s it for today…ya’ll all have a happy turkey day with your families, friends, significant others, wives (and may the latter two never meet). We’ll be not having turkey ‘round these parts…steaks and grilled ‘shrooms on the barbie for us along with some French bread with roasted garlic and roasted carrots and rosemary taters. Jeff’s in charge of dessert…some sort of cake he’s baking we think but we changed our minds on dinner twice already so who knows what he’ll actually show up with. We got a bottle of Pinot Noir to go along with dinner and a bottle of this excellent Port Wine made in Alaska that we picked up summer before last to go along with what the Brits would call “afters”.

We’re starting to get revved up to go and visit grand baby Alex early next month for his 2nd birthday…well Connie is anyway…Neil will get revved up when we’re on the road there. 

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We’re Official Floridians…Almost…Well Kinda Sorta

Before I get to that…let me tell ya about yesterday. Nov 20 is Neil and Connie’s anniversary and yesterday was their 40th. We saw something on the internet early yesterday morning that said that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip were married on Nov 20 back in 1947. When Connie told Neil that…he told her that the Queen had chosen a most appropriate wedding day. So…Connie tweeted about it and…at least according to Neil…she went viral. She’s got 239 Likes so far and 16 retweets…imagine “Sooo many likes” if you’ve seen the recent Geico commercial on TV with the Amelia Earhart character.

One of them was this soap opera star from a show that Connie used to watch back in college…she and the actress had 3 or 4 tweets back and forth about our anniversary and how cute the Alex munchkin in her avatar is.

So…enough of that. Today we headed down to get Connie’s FL drivers license…finally got the form last week and she was successful and is now a fully licensed and insured FL driver and voter. Tried to do Big Red as well…still waiting on the title to get here from SD so we’ve still got SD tags on him at this point. Insurance company is fine with that but we’re going out of FL on Dec 8 so hopefully it comes in before then or else we’ll have to get a temporary FL tag just in case. We did resolve an issue they had with our insurance coverage and whether we needed this extra form based on weight…they aren’t interested in the total trailer weight but just the weight of the truck and the portion of the trailer that sits on the truck hitch…this is only 17,000 pounds or so and we’re well within the limit of 26,000 where the extra paperwork is needed.

We also picked up our new microwave/exhaust hood to replace the one that burned up a couple of weeks ago…Neil put the bracket up this afternoon and our friend Jeff is coming down in the morning to help them live it up and put the final couple of screws in to get it mounted.

We’re continuing to march forward on getting our address changed at all the places it needs to be changed…our FL address is in effect and most everybody has been notified.

Nothing much else going on…we’re having Jeff down for Turkey day dinner…but we’re eating steaks and not turkey.

On to interesting stuff.

I don’t know who this dog belongs to or why he’s banned from the park…but he looks like a lot of fun to me.

LotOfFunDog

To steal/paraphrase a line from the movie Jaws…he’s gonna need a bigger pump.

NeedABiggerPump

Simply fabulous…if he could speak he would be saying “My humans are assholes.”

MyHumansAreAssholes

It’s not just any biscuit now…

NotJustAnyBiscuit

One of the few election related supposedly funny things we’ve seen that’s actually humorous.

ImigrantTakingMyJob

Gotta wonder what’s going on at Dillard’s here.

SayWhat2

The least missing cat…ever.

LeastMissingCatEver

And finally…we thought that damn boat would never sink in the movie.

RoseAndJack

Cyas.

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Has The Country Gone Crazy?

Warning…this post concerns civics…not politics.

Or is it just a matter of a lot of people failing high school civics lessons?

Or is it a matter of millennial who’ve been brought up that everybody gets a trophy whining?

Or something else entirely…I just can’t figure out what the heck is wrong with people.

Let me say this this is not a political post. I could give a rat’s ass who you voted for in the election last week. This country is a constitutional federal republic…not a democracy as many may think…and it’s your right to vote for the candidate of your choice on Election Day. What isn’t your right is to attempt to change the outcome because you don’t like it. What isn’t your right is to demand that the Constitution be changed illegally just because you don’t like what it says…there’s a way to amend the Constitution…see below…but any fool should know that rioting in the streets ain’t it.

Around these parts…we were a house divided. I ain’t telling ya who voted for who since it’s a secret…let’s just leave it at “it weren’t unanimous”.

Now before you get going and say that Bush vs Gore was an attempt to change the outcome of an election…it wasn’t. It was using the state mandated procedures for close elections to conduct a recount and the rules for deciding whether a recount was required/optional and when/how said recount starts, stops or ends and how it’s conducted.

So…this democracy thing. A democracy is where the population gets together town meeting hall style and votes. Back in ancient times…Athens had one. Rome didn’t for much the same reasons the US doesn’t. In more modern times…a pure democracy is just no longer feasible as nations became too large and the population too spread out with slow/limited communications for that to work. Yeah…we’ve got the internet today but communications was not the primary reason for abandoning a pure democracy. The founding fathers were also a bit worried about using a popular vote because (a) it was pretty uncommon for large countries back when the US Constitution was adopted and (b) they were concerned that landowners…basically the aristocracy…might get their interests outvoted by the uneducated masses numerical advantage.

So…the founding fathers established the Electoral College instead…with proportional representation based on each state’s population and left the selection of the electors up to the states. Back in the day…they were appointed by the state but in more recent times the electors are elected by voting for candidate A or candidate B (or C) for President. Granted the Electoral College concept might have some disadvantages…but it was a compromise at the time and the founding fathers thought it was the best way forward.

Anyways…we had the election the other day and according to the tally Mr. Trump has an Electoral College majority over Secretary Clinton…and hence he and not she is the President Elect. Our current President and Secretary Clinton have accepted this fact. In fact…76% of her supporters according to a Gallup poll released yesterday have accepted the outcome as legitimate.

Given all that…what’s with these morons.

As I write this…over 3 million votes have been placed on a petition at change.org calling on the Electoral College to disregard the outcome of the election and elect Secretary Clinton as President instead of Mr. Trump.

There are numerous problems with this…first off it’s completely unknown how many of those votes come from US citizens and how many come from foreigners who have none/zero/zilch say in elections in the US of A. Second…it’s not gonna happen anyway…members of the Electoral College are almost exclusively chosen by their respective political parties and the likelihood of say Democratic electors in states that the Secretary carried voting for Mr. Trump is about as vanishingly small as the opposite. Second…the results of the Electoral College vote have to be accepted by the Congress…and with Mr. Trump’s party holding majorities in both houses both before and after the election…well, this ain’t happening either.

Then there are those 10s or 100s of thousands depending on who’s doing the counting…and it might be claimed to be millions by this afternoon…who are demonstrating in then streets calling for a change in the outcome and carrying signs that say “Not My President”.

Well…again…there are numerous problems with this.

First and foremost…it’s not right. We had an election…he won…and it’s time to move on. Believe it or not…after Bush/Gore and after Obama/McCain and Obama/Romney…the sun still came up the next day for those on the losing side…and Western Civilization as we know it didn’t come to an end. Sure…there were a minority of citizens who carried on about silly stuff…but for the majority of our citizens the winner became our President even though we may or may not have agreed with his policies. There weren’t demonstrations in the streets by tree huggers after Gore lost…and there weren’t demonstrations in the streets by caucasian folks after McCain and Romney lost. Even around our house…and we most definitely didn’t vote for our current President…still recognized President Obama as the leader of our great nation. We lost and we moved on.

I’ve been seeing the protestors in the streets on the news…and the vast majority of them appear to be what would be called Millennials…a generation brought up by helicopter parents who insisted in no winners and no losers…and everybody got a trophy even if it’s for best T-shirt. Heck…even Connie and Neil’s human kid got them for various and assorted things while he was growing up…but he was taught at home that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose…and that you get over it and try harder next time. I wonder how many of those protesting morons actually voted last week…or did they just stay home until their candidate lost…too interested in their cell phones to get off their lazy asses and go to the voting station.

Do they not understand how elections work? Do they not understand how the Constitution works? Do they think they should get their way just because they say so? The Electoral College and the Presidential election process are the law of the land as specified by the Constitution ratified in 1788…and there is no, repeat no, repeat ZERO possibility that demanding that Congress pass a law overturning the Electoral College can change the Constitution…or that the results will change simply because you want them to. It ain’t like college campuses where at the presence of a few signs the administration will buckle and institute safe places or trigger words that can’t be uttered on campus.

Secretary Clinton is…as of this writing…in the lead in the national popular vote by about 600,000 votes…thus the strident claims by demonstrators that she “won” the popular vote and deserves to be elected by the electoral college. Turns out though…that she may or may not have actually won the popular vote. She does currently lead in the counted popular vote but not necessarily in the cast popular vote. There are about 7 million absentee ballots which have not been counted at all…this is because states don’t bother counting absentee ballots unless there are more absentee ballots than the difference in the election day vote totals. If there aren’t enough absentee ballots to change the results…they don’t get counted. Now historically…most absentee ballots are cast by members of the military and their families…and historically absentee ballots tend to break about 2/3 Republican and 1/3 Democrat. If all of these ballots were counted and the historical averages were attained…Mr. Trump would pick up about 4.7 million votes and Secretary Clinton about 2.3 million votes…an he would be leading in the popular vote. Since the federal government has no power to require states to count all votes cast absentee or otherwise…election procedures are left to the states by the constitution…it’s clear that we really don’t know who won the popular vote.

None of this popular vote nonsense matters though…the electoral college system comes straight out of the constitution and isn’t easily changed. The founding fathers deliberately set it up so that it’s hard to change the constitution…to prevent the whims of a few or a temporarily popular idea to become part of the constitution.

Their human kid…and many others…characterize the constitution as a moldy, outdated 250 year old piece of paper that shouldn’t be paid attention to…it should mean what we want it to mean instead of what it says. Those of earlier generations…particularly those with military service who swore an oath to it…have different ideas about the validity of the constitution.

For those of you who might have failed (or slept through) high school Civics class…there is one and only one process for amending the US Constitution. Again…this was a compromise back in 1787…but it’s served us pretty well through the years and it’s frankly amazing that the concepts in a 200+ year old document are still relevant today and haven’t been overcome by technical and technology innovations.

First…an amendment must be proposed by either a 2/3 vote in both houses of congress…thats’s 67 Senators and 290 Representatives…or they can be proposed by a Constitutional Convention which must be called for by 2/3 of all state legislatures…that’s 34 states since the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and other territories ain’t states. 

Second…the proposed amendment must be approved by either the legislature or a state ratifying convention in at least 3/4 of the states…that’s 38 states.

Third…well, there is no step 3 and there is no other process by which the electoral college can be abolished…although I suppose there could be a constitutional amendment to change the rules for constitutional amendments…but that amendment would have to be ratified by the old process before it took effect. Or there’s that whole let’s have another Constitutional Convention, toss the old one out and write a new one idea…but yeah, that probably ain’t gonna happen either.

Now what about this whole “popular vote—will of the people—majority rules” thing. While I can agree that at least theoretically this has might be a better idea and it does have some valid points…the Electoral College is still the best way to proceed in my view. It’s for different reasons than envisioned by the founding fathers…but at least in my thoughts the reasons are valid and should overrule the single popular vote concept.

The biggest reason that it should remain is that elimination of the Electoral College would basically eliminate and disenfranchise the voters in small states and concentrate the electing power of the people in the hands of large cities. For example…let’s consider New York City. Like most large cities…NYC over the years has become a Democratic stronghold because the policies of that political party tend to favor large cities and their inhabitants. Places like Idaho tend to be Republican for the same reason. Let’s consider population…NYC has 9 million people and while not all of them are voters the numbers are easier to figure out than eligible voters. Idaho has 1.6 million people and is the 39th largest state by population. In fact…you have to add up the 10 smallest states by population to be approximately equal to NYC. Now add in LA, Chicago, Detroit, Boston, Washington DC, Houston, etc and you can what going with a strict popular vote would do.

No national candidate would…ever again…bother to campaign in New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, either Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, or Wyoming (those are the 10 smallest population states) because it simply wouldn’t matter…campaigning in NYC and Philadelphia would get more votes. As a practical matter…they would campaign in NH, ME, RI, DE and VT since they’re in the northeast and are relatively small so it’s not hard to go there while you’re in the NYC or Philadelphia area.

Now personally…I think that it would be fairer for states to allocate electoral votes based on the same method that Nebraska and Maine do…the state popular winner gets the 2 electoral votes based on Senate seats and the others based on House districts are awarded based on the popular winner in that district. That seems fairer to me…and close in concept to a popular vote election. I’ve got no idea how this would have changed last week’s election…haven’t seen anything on it on the web and I don’t have enough interest to figure it out myself…but go ahead and do it if you want as the numbers are all out there in the internet and let me know in the comments. Me…that would cut into my beer drinking time:-)

I ain’t gonna say that there aren’t conflicting opinions that support going to a popular vote for the Presidential election…but see above if you want to change it. Again…follow the process.

In summary…I’m appalled not by the outcome of the election…after all it’s an election and by definition there’s a winner and a loser…but I am appalled by the outrage being expressed and by the demands to overturn it because “my candidate didn’t win”. I wouldn’t be appalled if Secretary Clinton was the winner either.

Bunch of whining assholes if ya ask me…they need to sit down and shut up…and maybe vote next time in the hope that their candidate will win. Seems like we’ve reared and educated an entire generation of me first whiners who don’t know the first damn thing about how government works, think they should be handed 100K+ salaries just because and have to go to their safe place whenever anything mildly controversial is said. What happened to going to college to be challenged intellectually, having reasoned but polite discourse/debate, and learning that something other than your particular viewpoint not only exists but is a good thing. 

Speaking of “the process”…how about the Alabama Crimson Tide yesterday. Both the offense and defense did their jobs and they came out with a run away win and clinched the SEC Western division when Auburn lost to Georgia later in the evening. We’re in the SEC Championship in Atlanta regardless of the outcome of the Iron Bowl two weeks hence…but the Tide will rightly be favored in that game. They might lose…after all it’s the biggest game of the year in the state and the clearly “superior” team has lost many times through the years. That’s why they play the game of course…any given team on any given Saturday and all that. Georgia is now coached by Kirby Smart who was the defensive coordinator under Nick Saban for many years at Alabama…he’s been completely Saban-ized over the years and his defense is starting to look remarkably similar to Alabama’s and the offense is trusted to not make mistakes and score enough points to win.

***Added this below later on**

Found out some more stuff that I thought was applicable to my discussion above later on…decided to just add on rather than edit what I originally said.

The following states contain more than 50% of the US population in total…NY, CA, FL, and TX. Do we really want those 4 states to control elections?

Concerning the possibility of an amendment to change the Electoral College to popular vote…even if Congress approved the amendment for submission to the states…if 13 states vote against it then it’s not going to be ratified. There are 15 states with 5 or less electoral votes…it’s hard to see any of those states voting to dilute their national election significance.

Another illustration of the 50% of population and concentration idea. The blue areas on this map contain in total >50% of the US population. Should those small areas be allowed to overrule the remaining 95% of the country’s landmass?

 

50PercentUSPopulation

Here’s the Trump/Clinton voting map broken down by congressional district. Note how it almost duplicates the above population map.

What these two images really show is that large city populations as shown in the one above tend to vote Democratic. Rural and non urban areas tend to vote Republican. This isn’t because the rural/non-urban people are deplorable…and it’s not because the inner city residents are minority or poor. It’s because different segments of the population want different things. Poorer people in the cities want more social safety nets and what Republicans would call social giveaway programs. Rural/non-urban want the government to mostly stay out of their business and not do what Democrats would call social responsibility and Republicans call redistribution of wealth. Redistribution of wealth is what normally happens under socialism or communism…and we’ve seen how well that works out. The USSR failed miserably…and while socialist states like Denmark/Norway/Sweden are doing reasonably well…their tax burdens are large and driven by Robin Hood-ism…take from the rich and give to the poor. Not so sure how well that’s working either.

TrumpClintonMap

OK…on to interesting stuff.

Most apropos for a post election week post.

HurtFeelings

Second most appropriate…I’m going with the Founding Fathers and the 99.8 million who didn’t bother to exercise their voting rights…you don’t get to complain about the rules if you’re not playing the game.

Election Blame

Please join Millennial International and sponsor a millennial today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGvrmltfMrA&sns=em

Where baby airplanes come from.

BabyAirplanes

This totally needs to happen.

BatmanShampoo

Anybody ever had Amazon do this to their purchases…we have. Bubble wrapped bubble wrap.

BubbleWrapSquared

I can get behind this sign.

ICanGetBehindThis

Poor Fido.

PanoGoneWrong

Cyas.

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Becoming Floridans and How Did This Happen

Well…we worked some more on becoming Floridians and it’s a lot harder than what we’ve been told…but then we did try disregarding the advice of our new mailing service so we’re partially to blame.

We’re using St. Brendan’s Isle up in Green Cove Springs near St. Augustine…it’s in Clay county about 300 miles from here. They recommend coming up there and doing everything at their local tax collector office as they’re used to seeing full timers and one doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel.

We decided to try the local Lee County office down here first…and headed down there yesterday…passports, social security cards, mail with our new address and a whole pile of documentation.

  • Neil’s drivers license is done…easy peasy
  • Connie’s drivers license isn’t done…Dr. Smiddy didn’t fill out her form for the vision certification correctly so we gotta schlep back down to Naples and get a new one. 
  • Rig title and registration is done…slightly harder than Neil’s drivers license.
  • Big Red title and registration…well…that ain’t done. First off they have to have the title in hand to do it…other states take the title application, give you a tag, and send off to the lien holder for the old title then send the new title off to the lien holder. FL makes you have the title sent to the DMV first…so we got the letter sent off to USAA and they say it will be 3-6 weeks to get to the DMV here. We’ll get a letter from the DMV when they have it and can go back in. Second problem with this one was they claimed that since the truck pulls a trailer and the combination is > 26,000 pounds we need to have a Certificate of Combined Single Limit Insurance…essentially a certification that you’ve got liability and Personal Injury Protection on the truck. Our agent at Miller Insurance and the guys at National Interstate Insurance say this is only for commercial vehicles and that the combined truck/rig weight is not applicable to privately registered vehicles. They also tell us they’ve got numerous medium duty trucks registered in Florida without this certificate. So we’ll have to fight that one out when we go back…we may go ahead and get a temporary tag so our license and registration will match if we go back to get Connie’s license.

It’s never easy.

The remainder of this is not a political post…just wondering how it was so wrong. Neither candidate deserved to win…but at least in our view Trump will do less damage to democracy than Hillary would because he really doesn’t understand how inside the beltway works. She as an insider knows well how to game the system. 

Trump won the election as you know…but all the polls showed Hillary winning by 4-6 points nationally which is on the order of 7 million votes. Trump won most of the swing states and the popular vote looks like it will be within a couple hundred thousand votes out of 120 million cast.

Clearly…at least from what we’ve seen over the last months…each of them had a few hard core voters but the majority of their support was more “I’m voting against the opponent” rather than fully supporting who they voted for. Clearly…again to us…is that Bill Clinton’s womanizing and last week’s additional revelations about potential more evidence in the her email scandal had little effect on the outcome…as many voters interviewed in exit polls said they made up their minds more than a month ago…before the recent kerfuffle.

So…how did the pollsters get it so wrong. It’s unlikely that the polls themselves were rigged…but it’s also been pretty obvious for at least the last several months that Trump supporters were being demonized by her campaign and most of the media. My theory is that folks who were going to vote for him either self selected out of polls or lied so they wouldn’t be demonized…so that the pollsters didn’t have random samples any longer.

Neil said weeks ago that she would probably win…but that he wouldn’t be surprised at all if he won since he had already beaten the odds and all the other professional politicians to win the nomination…so beating one more in the general election wouldn’t be that surprising.

Me…I think that it was mostly a vote against the status quo…us regular people are so fed up with the idiots in Washington DC that this was a “Throw the bums out.” vote.

On to interesting things of the week.

There’s this theory called the Buffalo Theory that attempts to explain how survival of the fittest works in the wild. Cliff from Cheers did the most outstanding job of explaining it to Norm.

Buffalo Theory

Think mom wants grand kids?

ThinkMomWantsGrandkids

Cheer up dude.

CheerUpDude

Freeloaders…

HenYouHadOneJob

Cyas.

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Household Excitement…and Mebbe Somebody Can ‘Splain This to Me

So…we had some excitement yesterday. Let me set the scene for ya’.

Connie had found this great looking recipe for Lemon Chicken Francaise…basically you pound the breast thin, dip in flour and then egg (no breadcrumbs though) and saute so you get a thin crispy coating. Then you set those aside and make sauce out of wine, lemon juice, parsley, and capers.

Well…everything was going great. Chicken was done and crispy, noodle side dish was done and Neil was making the sauce. He pulled the pan off the burner and waited a couple minutes for it to cool off…Connie says it was less than that but they’ve agreed to disagree. Anyways…he thought it was cool enough to deglaze the pan…so with it off the burner but still on the stove with the burner on under the noodles he poured a teaspoon or so of wine into the pan to check if it was cool enough to deglaze. Unfortunately…the wine boiled…which means the alcohol in it boiled as well…and the vapor was ignited by the burner that was on. So the pan caught on fire for a few seconds. Neil’s probably deglazed 100s of pans with wine over the years and never had that happen before. The pan went out pretty quickly…but as fate would have it…the filters under the microwave for the vent fan were almost due for their monthly cleaning…which meant that they had some grease up in them…so the filters caught on fire.

Neil quickly grabbed a pot holder and pulled the filters out…dumping them into the sink where Connie put some water on them and they went out. With the filters gone…the fire in the bottom of the microwave also went out.

So a lot of excitement…but not much beyond that other than the fact that the microwave is toast. Naturally…since the rig is going on 5 years old…that model is discontinued so we’ll have to find some replacement and then Neil and our friend Jeff will install it. Depending on the exact dimensions of the replacement we’ll have to…maybe…cover up part of the hole in our tile where the old one mounted but we’ll figger out something.

Jeff came down last evening and we removed and carried the burned up one outside…otherwise the smell would never, never get out of the rig.

The recipe…by the way…was pretty decent but we over-lemoned it just a tad.

Ok, let’s move on to where I’m just the tiniest bit confused.

Now there are two different kinds of phones you can buy…iOS devices from Apple and Android devices from a variety of makers. Yes, I know there’s Windows Mobile and a couple of other minor players…but basically it’s iOS and Android. Over the 9+ years since the iPhone’s introduction…market share for Apple has varied back and forth between about 10% and about 20%. Now we’re an Apple household…but that’s beside the point for the purposes of me not understanding.

Last week…an “industry expert” posted the market share for Apple vs Android for the Jul-Sep quarter and Apple’s share had declined from the previous quarter to 12%. Immediately the Apple is Doomed naysayers came out all over the twitters and blogosphere and all I saw for a couple of days was that Apple was doomed and Tim Cook who replaced Steve Jobs as CEO was a complete moron. Never mind that they have going on $250 BILLION dollars of cash on hand. Never mind that they’ve been Doomed since 1984 when the Macintosh was first introduced. They’re doomed I tell ya…doomed.

So day before yesterday the website investorsreport.com reports the profits for the same quarter when Apple’s market share was 12% and it turns out that Apple’s share of the total smartphone industry profit for the quarter was 104%. Yes…Apple’s smartphone profits were more individually than the industry as a whole. Samsung was the second most profitable company of the quarter with 0.9% of the total profit and every other smartphone maker lost money in the quarter.

This…of course…bears out the old fallacy…at least to me…that market share is what counts. It’s not…it’s profit that counts. The reason that Apple has low market share compared to Android is that they’re the only maker of iPhones and the “Android” market share is divided among a dozen or more companies…none of which are making any money. This bears out the fact that Apple makes money simply because they choose not to try to compete in the low end, no profit segment of the market. iPhones are premium products priced accordingly…although not any more expensive than comparable Samsung or HTC models…but those builders profits on high end models are wiped out by the cheap junk they also sell.

Turns out that this thing about Apple taking the lion’s share of profits isn’t a one time thing. Here’s a graph I found of the global smartphone profits going back to 2010…and they’ve pretty much always had most of the profits. Doomed they say though.

SmartphoneProfits

So what I’m confused about is just why is Apple doomed. Largest (or second largest depending on the day) capitalization in the stock market, a quarter billion dollars cash in the bank, making all the profit in the global smartphone industry…but they’re doomed. How come BMW…which has a single digit market share…isn’t doomed? Seems simple to me…Apple, like BMW…isn’t interested in bottom feeding market share…they’re interested in profits…which is after all what a corporation is supposed to do.
 
I dunno…doesn’t make sense to me but mebbe I just don’t understand.
 
Speaking of elections…we’re so glad that we’re almost out of political season.
 
Here’s another thing I don’t understand. There’s this guy named Mike Rowe who you may know from the shows Dirty Jobs, Somebody’s Got To Do It, and the voice over guy for Deadliest Catch.
 
Anyways…he writes this blog…it’s a lot of commentary very similar in vein to Paul Harvey from days gone by…and last week he posted a column entitled Off the Wall, How The Universe Works is Constantly Changing where he wrote about how we went a couple of weeks before from knowing absolutely that there were about 100 billion galaxies in the universe but that a new estimate put it at at least 2 trillion galaxies in the universe. The thrust of his column was that science constantly gets better and we’re ‘smarter’ than we were 50 years ago…and that this would continue in the future. In the article he says that anybody that says anything is “settled science” is clearly not a scientist but either a politician or a salesman for a particular point of view. His point wasn’t about climate change or not…but about the futility of saying that anything is settled science. In fact…he didn’t even mention climate change.
 
Naturally though…he got lots of negative comments…which he knew he would…claiming he was a climate change denier and that clearly climate change was a proven fact and that burning fossil fuels was the single cause of this change. Never mind that those claims are based on limited data…after all…we’ve only been able to measure temperature for about 210 years total and the scientists have drawn world temperature curves for the world going back 10 or 20 million years. Trouble is though…those curves may or may not be scientifically valid. They’re all based on ice samples from Antarctica…and aren’t based on temperature at all but rather the amount of dissolved carbon dioxide in the ice…and it assumes that the carbon dioxide doesn’t move which we know isn’t true. If you go up to the Arctic all of the ice was frozen from sea water…so it obviously contains salt, right? Turns out that ice that’s more than about 20 or so years old doesn’t have any salt in it because the salt…being heavier than water…gradually falls through the ice to the bottom leaving the ice at the top fresh water ice. This is how Neil drank water when he was up on the ice pack shooting torpedoes back in the late 80s. So since the ice cores from Antarctica were vertical and since carbon dioxide is a gas and lighter than water would tend to drift to the top of the ice which is the newer ice. Since more carbon dioxide equals higher temperatures…obviously the temperature at more recent times is higher than it was 10 million years ago…right? And let’s not even get into the fact that there is no such animal as a single number for “global temperature”. 
 
Our opinion is…and has been for years…that it’s definitely getting warmer over the past 100 years or so…but it’s not proven…or not proven…that the variation is anything more than random climate fluctuation…and even if it is there’s no real proof that it’s due to burning coal, cow farts, volcano emissions, or changes in solar flux…all of which also vary over time.
 
So anyway…after the blast o’ crap that Mr. Rowe got he wrote another column titled The Worst Place In The Universe which attempted to address the…in his opinion unwarranted…criticism of his prior column. In it he talks about a potential planet much larger than Earth somewhere outside the orbit of the object formerly known as the planet Pluto…anyway this planet apparently simply has to be there because we can observe the effects of it’s gravity even though it’s been there along and we’ve simply never found it. He reports that he was in a bar named Grumpy’s listening to two scientists debating the inevitable consequences of ignoring climate change. They asked him for his opinion and he answered “Beats me.” He was then accused of being a “denier”. The thrust of this column was that he just can’t understand why people with skepticism are called deniers if it’s about climate when skepticism is the basis of what scientists are supposed to do.
 
Anyways…go and read the columns. In fact…you should read Mike regularly as well as listen to his podcast “The Way I Heard It. He encourages free thinking and making up your own mind…he’s a really good read and listen.
 
Ok, on to interesting stuff of the week.
 
I think you can definitely trust Ajani here. The human kid Bryan had a similar problem when he was at Longwood University…his username and email were bnlauben…go ahead and sound it out and you’ll get it.
 
TrustHim
 
Not sure that Disney understands this whole Pirate Concept.
 
DisneyPirates
 
Seems legit to me.
 
SeemsLegitToMe
 
Would you call this Hydroelectric power?
 
HydroElectricPower
 
This is my kinda prepper I think.
 
BaconSeeds
 
And finally…we figgered out what we are ‘round these parts…we’re senagers.
 
Seenager
 
Cyas.
 
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