Free men are not equal, equal men are not free.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Based Shatner

William Shatner of Star Trek fame has, in addition to his work on Star Trek, his Star Trek work after the show, his other TV shows, one of the most memorable Twilight Zone characters, and a few reasonably OK Sci Fi novels, has also shown a willingness to stand up to PC nonsense that other cast members notably have not.

So recently he’s punched back against the idiots ruining the already smoking wreckage of Star Wars.
Yes, he punched back at Chuck Wendig. That's not the only SJW doing work for Star Wars that's punched at Shatner, and Shatner--showing that he knows the Internet better than younger folks young enough to be his grandchildren--reveals that he's based by his response. (Oh, and apparently he knows the Three Laws of SJWs by heart also.)
I’m buying shares in popcorn.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Cars


Peter Grant has published two pieces the auto industry, and the issues it's likely to see in the near future.

From "Proof the US Auto Industry is in Serious Trouble":
We've already seen how the US auto industry (and Europe's, too, for that matter) is threatened by a tidal wave of vehicles coming off lease over the next few years, as well as technological obsolescence.  Used car prices are predicted to drop by as much as 50% over the next few years, which will undoubtedly force new car prices to decrease as well - otherwise few will be willing to pay them, since the new-to-used differential will be so great. 
There's another reason why vehicle prices are going to have to drop.  It looks as if many of us are struggling to afford them at any cost.
He then follows that up with more evidence - including pictures of used car inventory parked in overflow lots like airport runways, etc.

I can speak first hand to some of this as my three cars now are as follows: a 98, a 2000, and a 2008. In large part because the two older ones still work and so why replace them, and well...

Had a 2002 car with 140k miles that got sandwiched in an accident. No worries, found a used 2000 of the same basice body style and less miles for less than the insurance company paid me. Then the previous 2000 car, a fairly nice luxury model of german make cleared 200k miles and finally, finally, a couple years back, gave up the ghost so hard on the transmission that it would literally cost more to fix the car than the blue book value to purchase it - if one could be found.

Unlike the previous totaled car, no such luck. Also, still recovering from the double whammy of clients closing their doors after the 2008 collapse, and kids medical bills, didn't have cash on hand for something we could trust. So went for a reliable Japanese make from the late 2000's, and will be getting the loan for that cleared within the next year as I've overpaid it every month.

In the meantime, I've observed:
  • Better gas mileage from V6 cars from the mid 90's than modern, "efficient" four cylinders. A lot of the blame here is on weight - all of the extra airbags and safety equipment - despite the better efficiency and horsepower for the engine size.
  • Used car prices go up, and new car prices go up far, far faster. Thanks to cash for clunkers killing the available pool the prices have been driven up on anything remotely reliable. Even if I wanted a new car vice a recent model used, it will be a while before I see the point in spending that kind of money for the latest gadgets. 
  • Used car places - especially the more reputable, new-dealer style ones like Carmax -  are selling cars like hotcakes, with financing, because poeple don't want to have a clunker, but end up in debt for 4-5 years on a car that is often out of warranty, and needs repairs on systems, no matter how reliable the brand, before it's even paid off.
  • Frankly, the market for $2-4000 vehicles is at best a crapshoot, with poor maintenance, falling off body parts, failed accessories, etc. being the norm.
  • While we're on failed accessories - one other reason I hate new cars. Sure, the gadgets are cool, and so are power locks, but I've tolerated one flaky door lock on the 200k car that finally died for it's last few years (hey, got 15 out of it), and seen power windows, locks, radios, climate controls, and other electronics and motor-related things go out on cars. The more parts or complexity you add, the more things there are to go wrong. Thank god consistency of manufacture has kept the failure rate fairly low.
  • Repairs have gotten hideously expensive. The V6 I specifically drove was a friend's Intrepid from the mid/late 90's. Comfortable, adequate power, handled well, and better mileage than many early 2000's economy cars. That said, Chrysler learned the wrong lesson from its then -merger with Daimler-Benz. One of the two cooling fans went out. They were no longer manufactured as separate fans but a combined unit, and the cheapest I could find for a replacement fan set was $500. By comparison, a '92 Saturn cost me all of $150 parts and labor to replace the fan.
  • Stupid design choices. I'm specifically looking at Dodge and Chevy here. I've climbed into smaller Kia's that felt less claustrophobic, and Dodge's have developed a knack for placing sharp angles right where my knees rest.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Be Afraid. aka The Children Are the Future

The elft is going nuts over the boy scouts, 40k strong, cheering the president on at the national jamboree:
Trump could barely make it through his prepared speech as it was regularly interrupted by shouts from the audience. One scout yelling “I love you” to the president sent the crowd into the aforementioned chant. Trump applauded their efforts and asked, “Did President Obama ever come to a Jamboree?” 
The crowd jeered loudly and Trump promised to come back again.
They're terrified. That's 40 thousand kids, many of whom will grow up not being leftists and good little progs. Some hilights of the speech below:



As an aside, remember when "the children are the future" (teach them well, etc..) - odd, in retrospect, from a crowd that uniformly seems to believe that children are an inconvenience, and that hedonism, feminism, and promoting gay and hedonistic lifestyles, all without kids, is the order of the day.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Dunkirk, and Other Things

First, saw Dunkirk on Friday, because Nolan. Not much to add to the commentary I'll link to, but it is an excellent movie. Nolan not only explores his fascinationwith time and playing with it, but immerses us in a tight, visceral story of men trying to survive, and if not drawing victory from the jaws of defeat, then salvation and hope from the jaws of utter annihilation.

I'm becoming convinced between the Batman movies, Interstellar, and Dunkirk, that, while Nolan has certainly avoided signaling "I'm not a liberal" (hey, look at the people in his movies and some of them are still welcome on Colbert to promote his stuff), he nevertheless unabashedly stands for western civilization and its virtues.

Castalia house discusses it, as well as the Chicago Boys. Daddy Warpig also discusses it (and why, sadly, Valerian is best avoided) in the latest geek gab (below):


Long and the short for Valerian is don't.

Castalia's also discusses Office Space.

Walker discusses how Harmony Gold is being a bunch of greedy dicks:
The time for a Robotech feature-film was, oh, 1989. Not 2017, 2018, or whatever. Harmony Gold tried thrice to keep this ball rolling: Robotech: The Movie (where the Megazone 23 stuff got added), Robotech II: The Sentinels (it could've been good), and Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles (failed pilot). The problem is always the same: the original fanbase found the original series and transfered fandom loyalties to them, so they didn't care about the new stuff.

The music of the original series is superior. The stories of the original series are superior. The sequels for the one original series that actually took off, globally, are far superior. The only reason that the current tabletop RPG has any fans is due to the ease of using the product line as a defacto TRPG for those original series; the new stuff gets used only as fodder for those really into Genesis Climber MOSPEADA. (Or as fodder for RIFTS.)

In short, there's no "there" there anymore. No one who's come into anime since the boom of the 1990s will give a shit about this live-action adaptation. No one overseas will care either, so there's no market for it. This isn't a film project; this is a tax write-off that allows some folks to collect a check and discharge a contract. We just get a film as collateral damage.
I liked the Mospeada segment, but Southern Cross was, frankly, forgettable. Megazone 23 was nifty though, both parts 1 and 2.

Last, but not least, the Didact discusses gym etiquitte and the people you may meet there, with video.
To be as fair as possible, just about every serious lifter started out as one of those clowns in the beginning. That, in and of itself, is fine. We all started out somewhere, we all made mistakes. We learned from them, adapted, and overcame. That is how things should be in the gym.

For those gym newbies who are just starting out and honestly do want to improve and gain strength and mass and power, I have nothing but sympathy and respect.

However, that respect is contingent upon your attempts to improve your form, your lifts, and your general approach to fitness. Continue making the same stupid mistakes with regard to form and etiquette, or continue to disobey the Commandments of the Lord of Iron, and do not be surprised if the rest of us simply respond with scorn and derision.