Sunday, April 1, 2018

The Magically Rejuvenated Shower Head

A little CLR in a baggie goes a long way:

I should have taken a before picture to show the low water flow with all but a few of the water jets plugged. Here is the after:

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Massachusetts Militia Rallies on Boston Common

Saturday's March for Our Lives should properly be regarded as a militia rally, if you accept U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's definition of militia as meaning all able-bodied persons (OK, Scalia actually wrote men not persons). So what can possibly be unconstitutional about insisting that our fellow militia be well regulated, like the Second Amendment says?

Something to ponder: Why shouldn't the non-gun-carrying militia such as those gathered on the Boston Common, the National Mall in Washington, DC, and in rallies around the country, have just as much say over regulation of the militia as NRA members?

Something else to ponder: Most of what is being asked for - universal background checks, raising the age for owning rifles to 21, prohibiting assault rifles, and restricting magazine capacity - is already the law in Massachusetts.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Can Trump Top Reagan and Maybe Eisenhower?

Yesterday was Ronald Reagan's birthday, and Donald Trump tweeted out this old picture of the two of them from thirty or so years ago:

That brings up one of my favorite things to say to people who are very down on our current President, "I didn't vote for Donald Trump but he is on track to be the best Republican President in my lifetime." As some of the people I say this too were born in the 1950s during the Eisenhower administration, I sometimes have to add, "But maybe not in your lifetime."

Here's how I rank the Presidents we've had since World War II. I'll rank them by political party, because a merged ranking would just provoke partisan argument (you're welcome to disagree in the comments):

# Republican President # Democratic President
1 Dwight Eisenhower 1 Barack Obama
2 Ronald Reagan 2 Bill Clinton
3 George H.W. Bush 3 Jimmy Carter
4 Gerald Ford 4 Harry Truman
5 George W. Bush 5 John Kennedy
6 Richard Nixon 6 Lyndon Johnson

Where will Donald Trump rank on that list? If he's impeached he'll go straight to the bottom. But let's say that he isn't, that the economy doesn't fall into another Great Recession, and that Trump keeps us out of any major new wars or military escalations. That puts him on track to top Ronald Reagan.

But what would Trump have to do to top the Republican President at the top, Dwight Eisenhower? Let's consider five possibilities:
  1. Middle East. Peace between the Israelis and Palestinians would bring to close a mess that got started by the partition in the Truman years.
  2. North Korea. Eisenhower campaigned for an end to hostilities, and got an armistice, but the war has never been settled with a peace agreement.
  3. Iran. The seeds of our problems with Iran go back to Eisenhower sending Theodore Roosevelt's grandson Kermit to prop up the Shah.
  4. MAGA. Economic progress on a par with the 1950s but that brings good jobs to the stagnant U.S. inner cities could also be a huge civil rights advance.
  5. Climate change. If only Nixon could go to China ...
If President Trump can do them all, he may even supplant Theodore Roosevelt as the best Republican President since the end of the Civil War. Probably not quite enough for Mount Rushmore. And sorry, Donald, the number #1 slot in the all-time list of Republican Presidents is permanently taken by Abraham Lincoln.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The European Union Cookie Catch-22

For at least two and a half years now, my every visit to the blogger control panel is greeted with this ominous message (bold added):
European Union laws require you to give European Union visitors information about cookies used on your blog. In many cases, these laws also require you to obtain consent.

As a courtesy, we have added a notice on your blog to explain Google's use of certain Blogger and Google cookies, including use of Google Analytics and AdSense cookies.

You are responsible for confirming this notice actually works for your blog, and that it displays. If you employ other cookies, for example by adding third party features, this notice may not work for you. Learn more about this notice and your responsibilities.
If I click the link to learn more, I get an even more stern warning:
If you have edited your blog in a way that hides this notice, it will be your responsibility to notify your visitors about cookies used on your blog and if necessary, obtain consent. Also, if you have added other blog features that set cookies, including third-party analytics or advertising services, you’ll need to provide additional or a different notice.

It is your responsibility to determine, based on your cookie use, what else would be appropriate. If you choose to use a different notice, be sure you still comply with Google’s EU user consent policy. Learn more on generating cookie notices.
Then there is this parting fine print:
To see the notice if you’re outside of the EU, view your blog and change the country code, for example or If you use a custom domain, you won't see the notice outside of the EU.
Since is a custom domain, that means I would have to travel to the European Union in order to determine if the cookie notice is appearing correctly.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Day by Kasey Chambers

My favorite new Christmas song:

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The 2017 Thanksgiving Week of Food

Here are some of the midwestern culinary treats over the week of Thanksgiving 2017 in Michigan and Iowa.

Cupcake at a cousin's birthday party. Forget dipping your Oreo in a glass of milk.

Breakfast at the Dearborn Inn.

Godfather's Pizza at the Bedford Country Store.

Ham balls!

Grilled tenderloin steak is the poor man's turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving dinner.

Cranberry marshmallow salad.

Pumpkin pie with cranberry juice.

Brownie and Diet D. Pepper at the Massena Sale Barn Cafe.

Lunch at the Massena Sale Barn Cafe.

Pizza to go on the ATV at the Bedford Casey's General Store.

Pork dinner.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Norman Rockwell

I came across this roadside pumpkin farmstand in Hadley, Massachusetts. Or maybe it was South Hadley.

The $1.00 pumpkin pile needs some love.

The Great Pumpkin was to be found in Norman Rockwell’s hometown, Stockbridge, Massachusetts.