Sunday, February 26, 2017

Not What I Wanted to Hear

Mrs. McG and I were lunching out today when she saw on a news channel's crawl that Bill Paxton had died.

Now I discover he suffered a fatal stroke as a result of open-heart surgery.

I was worried enough about Mrs. McG's procedure while it was happening; news like this could have put me in the cardiovascular unit while she was still on the operating table. Yeesh.

Friday, February 24, 2017

"Bother," said McG

...and deleted his Twitter account.

And no, I'm not moving over to

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

That Ain't Livin'

If it's a "living Constitution," how is it that five or more justices of the Supreme Court can shove their hands up its ass and make it say things it plainly doesn't?

If it were really alive, shouldn't it speak for itself?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Peer-to-Peer Social Networking

It's an intriguing concept, but when you get right down to it peer-to-peer social networking has existed since the birth of the internet.

It's called email. Or blogging or texting. And while it's true that it isn't truly "peer-to-peer" in the non-social networking sense, it does satisfy one major issue people have with Facebook and Twitter: it doesn't go through Facebook or Twitter.

Since yesterday Friday, Feb. 24, and for the foreseeable future, my Twitter presence is vastly scaled back. I've protected my account and unfollowed almost everyone. Follow requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis, but those I was previously following have a better chance of being approved at an end.

Meanwhile, this site remains open to the general public. Anyone who wants to read what I post here is welcome to do so.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

What Really Happened to the Unicorn

The popular legend is that the unicorns all perished in the Great Flood because they hid from Noah when he went to gather the animals into the ark.

That's actually not true. Here's what really happened:

Friday, February 17, 2017

Green Eggs and...

...ham. Minus the green eggs.

Just renewed my amateur radio license online and was surprised to not be asked for payment information. Of course, ham licenses are valid for ten years so either of two things could explain it:

1. It's always been free to renew, and I just don't remember because I last renewed it while George W. Bush was still president, or

2. The rules have changed and the FCC doesn't charge for it anymore.

A third possibility, that I screwed up somehow and that's why I didn't get charged, would seem to be ruled out because the words "no fee required" were plainly legible on the screen before I clicked submit.

But who knows, in government all things are screw-up-able. I'll believe it went through when my renewed license document arrives in the mail.

Update, Saturday morning: the FCC license search shows the renewal has taken effect; I'm good until 2027. And the updated license document is a PDF file and I already have it.

Friday, February 10, 2017

So, What Have I Missed?

With Mrs. McG recuperating at home I've had scant attention for politics. Has Elizabeth Warren managed to get Trump's scalp yet? Did Chuck Schumer succeed at gunning down Trump's Cabinet picks? Is Merrick Garland on the Supreme Court yet?

Gloat, moi?

More like muhuhuhuwahahahahahahahaha!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Thank God for Prayers which I mean, "...for people who pray." The radical Left knows just how many He has made, and that fact haunts their nightmares. But it's not the (only) reason I'm grateful.

Mrs. McG came through her surgery yesterday and is recovering today from an hours-long ordeal, well into the night, that would make a character from Lord of the Rings pale in terror. It's one thing to have those kinds of things done to you by orcs trying to kill you, but by healers? People who are on your side? And then you have to live through it???

But she's awake and able to move around her room in ICU, and in good spirits even without considering what an invasive procedure a quadruple bypass still is in this day and age of laparoscopy and laser surgery and microsurgery and robotics and so on.

And full recovery isn't going to happen overnight. Or even overfortnight.

But I still have her, and for that I cannot be thankful enough.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

More than likely...

...Mrs. McG's recently discovered coronary health issue takes Montana off the table. Follow-up care would likely keep us tied to the care provider here in metro Atlanta at a time when a possible move would be taking place.

Update, Saturday evening: After three days spent waiting for a bed to open at the hospital in Atlanta where her bypass surgery will be performed, Mrs. McG was finally transferred last night, and the procedure -- initially meant for last Thursday (the 26th), had a bed been available -- is now planned for this Tuesday.

Turns out even with a bed available right away in Atlanta she wouldn't have been able to have the operation until Tuesday, because she'd been taking Omega-3 fish oil, which cardiac surgeons want fully cleansed from the body before they incise. And the doctors only found out about the fish oil today, because none of us knew it was relevant.

Anyway, the Mrs. is doing well in the meantime and is in good spirits now that we've all had time to process the diagnosis. Her father had a multiple bypass almost 30 years ago and is going strong in his early-to-mid-70s today. He rued that his daughter got "those genes," but I think she inherited a Timex ticker.

When I was little, a heart attack was the popular standard for seriousness. While it still is a grave matter, the advancements in heart health and care in my lifetime have been incredible. You can complain about the evolutionary consequences all you like, and I'll understand, but we all want Darwin to make exceptions for our loved ones.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Spot the logic in this excerpt from Bloomberg:
Some publishers are scaling back on Facebook Inc.’s Instant Articles program, in which they host stories directly on the social-media company’s platform instead of their own websites so they load faster on phones, according to a report by Digital Content Next, a trade group.

Media companies are frustrated that Facebook restricts the number and type of ads in Instant Articles, making it harder for them to make as much money as they can selling ads on their own websites, where they can better target readers, said the group, whose members include the New York Times, the Washington Post and ESPN. Bloomberg News, a unit of Bloomberg LP, is also a member of the group.
If you want your stories to load faster, having fewer ads to load with them is kind of a no-brainer. Of course, if the ads were less resource-intensive, that would help too -- you could show your readers more ads if they weren't all Flash videos that slurp up bandwidth.

Another thing that hogs bandwidth is autoplay videos of talking heads essentially reading verbatim the same content as the text printed on the page, or worse, a different and completely unrelated story.

I blame public education.

One Meme to Rule Them All

Pretty much everything the elite Left -- activist groups, media outlets, etc. -- have said or done since early November has boiled down to one thing:

I mean seriously, if they were setting out on purpose to discredit themselves with mainstream Americans and ensure that political candidates they endorse never win another election (outside of California), what would they be doing different?

At this rate, by 2024 the two major parties will be different wings of what is now the Republican Party -- Trumpian populists on one side of the aisle, equality-before-the-law constitutionalists on the other. With a few congressional seats way up in a back corner occupied by Democrats who have to be frisked for stink bombs and Ziploc® bags full of urine or feces before being allowed in the chamber.

In recent years we've seen Democrats flee the Texas legislature to try to block enactment of a congressional redistricting map, and the Wisconsin legislature seeking to block major public employment reforms. Both groups left the state to avoid being brought back by their respective state police agencies. Where will Pelosi and Schumer lead their caucuses to avoid quorum calls? Mexico? Cuba?

Wherever they go, do they have to be allowed back?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

That Was Her Q

The eldest of our cats, Suzie Q, was released from her failing body this afternoon at the presumed age of 17. She had been fighting persistently against an upper respiratory infection but in the end its persistence was greater.

She came to live with Mrs. McG and me after the Mrs. encountered her living as a stray near the motel she stayed at on a work trip in central Georgia. Examination by the vet around that time revealed that she had a small number of birdshot pellets embedded in her body, but otherwise she seemed to be doing fine.

She was almost certainly the runt of her litter but her poise and her will to live made her the grand lady of our mini-menagerie from the day she joined it.

She is missed.

Update, Sunday -- Here is what Mrs. McG wrote on Facebook:

We had to say goodbye to our beloved calico girl Suzie-Q yesterday. I found Suzie in August 2000 at a motel in Perry, GA. She was half-grown, half-starved, and as it turned out, abused (x-rays showed 5 shotgun pellets lodged in her body.) I shared my dinner with her, then sat outside my room while she loved up on me for an hour and a half. I hated leaving her there, but it was a week-long business trip.

After I got home I couldn't stop thinking about her, and finally drove back down there to get her. I call her my "gateway calico" because 1) she gave me a new appreciation for the beauty of calicos and 2) I actually got wonky on the subject and read an entire book on calico genetics -- why the vast majority of them are female, etc. Fascinating stuff.

Over time, she went from being incredibly skittish to flopping out on the bed for a belly rub, purring madly. She was definitely the princess type, with strong opinions on what would and would not suit her, thank you very much!

This is one of my favorite pictures of her, going bonkers over my bandana after six weeks of good food and love had filled her out nicely. I hope the 16 years we spent together helped make up for the earlier hardships. Enjoy Rainbow Bridge, little girl. Love you.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Obama's Future

My reply to Local Malcontent's comment on the previous post got me to thinking about what we can expect of the next four years.
"Unfortunately the unhinged Left always makes it damn near impossible not to fall into knee-jerk defense mode."
There is a key difference in the upcoming Trump presidency though, in that the 45th President-to-be so far hasn't really needed defending -- which is good for him because he has caused a lot of us not to want to defend him.

Part of Trump's armor is simply his own willingness to respond to criticism in his patented manner -- a trait that, while embarrassing many Republicans, also has the effect of treating his Leftist critics as the unhinged crybabies they've always been. And this causes them to behave more and more like unhinged crybabies.

But there's another asset Trump has that he had no particular hand in creating: his predecessor, Barack Hussein Obama.

In his effort to denormalize gun ownership, Obama has caused more guns to be sold in America these last eight years than any other President.

In his effort to finally bring to fruition dreams of a permanent Democrat majority, he has relegated his party to the fringes of the country both ideologically and geographically.

In his effort to help inoculate Hillary Clinton against the electoral consequences of her scandals, he created an enduring narrative of her as corrupt, petty and incompetent, leading to her defeat by the least electable Republican nominee since Alf Landon.

And he says he isn't going away, at least not for long.

If he continues to speak out in his post-presidency, Barack Obama will remain the public face of his party, preventing any future Democrat prospect from assuming a credible leadership role. Remember when I cursed him by wishing him a long, healthy life after leaving the White House?

This suggests that Republican onlookers may very well emerge as Trump's most authoritative and effective critics, an eventuality that bodes well for his presidency, the party, conservatives, and the country.

Sometimes God gives us what we pray for by giving us the opposite of what we thought we were praying for. Then it's up to us to deal with it and make it turn out right.

That's what 2016 appears to have been.

Update, after DNC Chair election: Drudge's link to this item reads, "Still Obama's Party". He's not wrong.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Fifty-one hours

...until the end of an error but, let us hope, not the beginning of another. Even though the odds are it will be, in most ways that matter.

There really isn't supposed to be so much at stake in any American election.