A.Dop.Tion!

A 16 year-old girl in Texas has won her lawsuit.  Against her parents.  
They were pressuring her to have an abortion and she wanted the child to live.  The discussion locally seems to be what responsibility the grandparents-to-be must incur.  My question is, “Why is this a question?”  The parents countersue if necessary, but they should tell the girl, “you put that baby up for adoption and never see it, or you can get a damn job and you and your 17 year-old STUD can support YOUR baby.  If you neglect or can’t support it, we’ll call CPS and you’ll lose it like you should have in the first place.”
 
How hard was that?

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Yes, I am a stone-hearted bastard.  I know.  Cry me a river about familial attachments.  Those parents obviously failed somewhere along the line, but it is not their financial responsibility to support their grandchild.  Their child, yes, for another year or two. 

Children (in America these days) are not emotionally prepared to care for their own children, and the law forbids them from having enough hours at a job to support children financially.  Therefore, children should not be allowed to be “parents” to a baby of their own.  The grandparents have a moral responsibility to care for their own children, and to advise them as to what is the most responsible course of action in any case. 

By far and away it is much, much better for a baby to live with a married couple who are financially able to spare enough money to pay all the birth-mother’s medical bills as well as responsible enough to jump through all the hoops required to do a private adoption.  There is exactly NO benefit to the young mother to even so much as see her baby after it is delivered.  Any attachment, any ‘open’ relationship, is only going to cause hurt and confusion.  A clean break is best.  Cut the cord, mark up the Apgars, and hand the baby off to its new family.  Done and done.

If the child insists on keeping the child and rearing it as her own, it is her own.  She wants to be an adult, she can go out and hustle up enough money to make it happen, and demand her stud do likewise.  That puts THREE young people on a path toward near-certain poverty and an early divorce, with the attendant broken family for a child who did nothing to deserve the suffering in its future.  A truly responsible grandparent will, when they see their baby relative living in sub-standard conditions, keep a sharp eye out for any *legal* excuse to remove the child from the care of its so-called parents.  If they can get a good solid CPS report in when the child is under two years old, the odds for a fast adoption go way, way up, and the baby would never rememeber its birth family at all.

Yes, it means deep emotional suffering for the young mother.  That is to be expected.  Some things can’t be fixed – normal emotions included.

What, that’s not cold enough?  How about she should have kept ’em crossed and this whole mess wouldn’t have ever happened.  How about attaching studboy’s wages for the next 18 years, to be paid to the State child support system (because he’s probably inclined to disappear as soon as possible).

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Yet Another Irritation. Thanks, Microsoft.

VirtualStore is a pain in my tuchus.  If you don’t know what this is, count yourself fortunate.  I’ll save you the gory details, but Microsoft screwed yet ANOTHER class of users by making Virtualstore active by default -with a flawed implementation- in Windows 7.  Thanks, jerks.
At least it isn’t costing me money.  Unlike this guy, who brightened my day by taking some extra time to give quality answers to the trolls an lusers who can’t understand.

WHAAAAT?!

So Austin is looking to match San Francisco’s increase in emergency hospitalizations for food poisoning by banning single-use bags at all stores.  They clutter up the streets and fill up landfills, you see.  Reusable ones are better for the environment, better for hospitals, and better for wage slaves in China.

So everybody is going to stop using plastic bags then.  Great.

Except for the largest retail grocery chain in town.  H.E.B. is exempt.  Them plus Walmart and you’re probably at the 80th percentile for all the single-use bags given out by stores in Austin. 

Way to be, Austin.  You suck.  Bonus points if you follow the example set by the Obama administration with obamacare and go around issuing waivers even though there is no provision for them in the law.

A Few Shots From the Zoo

We went to the zoo a couple of days ago, and a few of the pictures came out extra-well.  Click any of them to see them larger; I think it’s worth the effort.

This is my good side:

BLACKbird?  Who you calling BLACK?

If you must know, I am hunting.  Now shut up, you’re scaring the prey!

Security: It’s for the birds!  I bet you didn’t know they establish a perimeter before setting up camp.

Happy Drunken Indian Day!

I was having a hard time explaining to my Darling Wife just how offensive Valentines Day is to me as a loving husband and a man.  Finally I came up with this analogy, which only works because there is a certain flavor of American Indian and a certain amount of alcoholism in her family.

There is a holiday called Drunk Indian Day.  Most Indians are sober but they celebrate it anyway, because they feel social pressure to do so.  Celebration consists of (at least) buying a stupid little stereotypical-Indian doll with a bottle in its hand and its eyes crossed.  This is the Drunk Indian doll.  Purchasing one of these dolls and presenting it to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting is the way you show that you are not, in fact, a Drunkard. 

Nevermind that you are the co-ordinator of the local Alcoholics Anonymous chapter and a teetotaler and everyone knows it.  IF you don’t buy that little Drunk Indian dolly, well that just means you’re a drunk and probably spent last night in the gutter in your own vomit, instead of at the store buying the doll!  It is, after all, exptected that you buy the doll to celebrate your sobriety.

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This works equally well for Crackhead Niggers Day, where you have to go find a small bag of quartz pebbles and present them in a little tiny plastic baggie, to PROVE to society that you are not, in fact, a crackhead nigger.

This also works for Wifebeatin’ Redneck Honky day, where you have to go buy a white muscle shirt and a pack of band-aids to prove you don’t beat your wife.

The point is, to make the analogy work for the woman to whom you are trying to explain it, you have to have a really strong, very negative stereotype of some group to which they are proud to belong.  Then have some useless commercial activity and a meaningless presentation to “prove” that you do not live up to the stereotype and then have it be “Oh . . . WELL. . . ” if you fail to participate in the activity.

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Finally I think I broke through her childhood conditioning regarding Valentines Day.  The thing is, I don’t *mind* getting her flowers or whatever on one specified day!  The *expectation* and the *demand* that I produce them, THAT’s the problem.

Queen Elizabeth Hit With A Bat!!!

Well, make that, the Queen Elizabeth II, ocean liner de luxe, is showing what happens when her Captain (and her corporate ownership) gets a clue.

Threaten people’s money and they’ll do something.  In this case, threaten cruise ship companies with the potential loss of fares (and ships and crews) and they’ll start packing heat when they sail through waters known to be inhabited by Somali muslim pirates.

From a couple years ago at a couple of hijackings a week, to now it’s been months since the last successful merchant ship was taken by pirates.  You know what changed?  Nothing.  Only, the people at the top of some food chains noticed that when we put guns on merchant ships before, piracy dropped off.  Some of us were calling for arming private vessels against pirates ‘way back when it first became a real problem again.  Finally, once again, reality catches up and history starts rhyming.

This is What "Hopelessly Many" Bad Sectors Looks Like

A while ago, I had a flaky computer at home.  Among the many things I tried to use to get it backworking was gparted (on the UBCD).  gparted said it couldn’t do what I wanted it to do, because it had bad sectors.  How many bad sectors?

“hopelessly many”

This was very bad.  So when I got the hard drive replaced, I called it “bad”

and then decided “what the [deleted]” and opened it.  Inside a hard drive should be 100% pristine ultra-clean cleanliness.  I was shocked to see this on the top platter:


(that’s about a 2mm-long fleck of dust)

Then I turned it to catch the light a different way. Realize please that the actual discs in a hard disc drive are little round mirrors and are entirely featureless as far as you can see with your eye . . . normally . . .

What does “hopelessly many bad sectors” mean?  It means you better have a working backup already, because your drive is hosed.  These white flecks of dust resulted in system instability and random crashes and locking up/freezing.  You wouldn’t notice this small amount of dust on your spectacles.  On the platters of a hard disk, it is catastrophic.

Finally Got a Yellow Camera

Finally, a yellow paint marker came through the shop. Now my camera is easy to spot, and then some.

The metal casing around the rear command dial (above the CF slot) was worn THROUGH the metal by my thumb.  It’s worn through the paint since I took these pictures a month or so ago.  Oh well.  I didn’t put it on there to make it look pretty.

The long-time readers out there may recall my previous work camera was also yellow, but that was (mostly) with yellow electrical tape and it tended to slip off and leave gunky residue.

Germany to Exit Eurozone

Michael Shedlock called the top before the Great Recession, called Greece, Spain and France imploding well before they were on the downstream media’s radar, and now he’s calling Germany out . . .  out of the Euro, that is.  IF the Germans are smart, that is.

“A breakup is inevitable, just as it has been from the beginning. The key is to manage a breakup in the least destructive manner.

“Breakup Options

“Option 1: If Germany (and the northern states) left the eurozone, the Deutschmark (and respective currencies) would immediately be credible. The downside to Germany (and the northern states) is debts to German banks would not be paid back in Deutschmarks but rather deflated (but not worthless) Euros.

“Option 2: The second option is a piecemeal, destructive breakup. Should Greece and Spain leave first, those countries might experience a complete loss of faith in currency resulting in hyperinflation. The Northern states would be paid back in worthless notes, if they were paid back at all.

“Germany Suffers Regardless

“Note that Germany and the Northern creditor nations suffer regardless. …

“There are no other options, and no other choices. … “