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Sep 19, 2005

And in other news, a poll shows scallywags agree that th' sky be blue

The post-Katrina polls are starting t' come in, and it appears that some more o' th' electorate has realized that Maximum Leader Genius be a lying asshole. Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

But assessments o' Bush on th' hurricane dipped after th' speech: 56% say he has taken steps t' help victims mostly fer political reasons, not because he cares about them.

Avast, me hearties. I suspect that choosing Karl "Natural Born Scumsucker" Rove t' be in charge o' th' US$200 billion candystore fer big Evil Party backers may not have given th' impression that th' B*sh Junta wanted t' give. Avast, The stupid press conference in Jackson Square (in what may be th' least damaged part o' th' City o' New Orleans -- at least it be th' least damaged part that hoi polloi are allowed into) where th' whole world got t' see th' 2005 Parade o' Pathetic Excuses were bein' also not one o' Karl's greatest hits. Aarr!

Shiver me timbers. I suspect that, deep inside th' bunker at Mount Doom, that Karl be offering blood sacrifices fer another category five hurricane, just so that th' Evil Party can do something other than sit aroun' with their fingers in their noses while th' bottom falls out o' another part o' th' Gulf o' Mexico. My suspicion be that Karl's hopes fer a speedy emergency management regime would be foiled by th' teeny detail that DHH and FEMA are completely filled with th' incompetent bozos that th' B*sh Junta appointed, and even if Karl went in dressed in full bondage year, waving a whip and screaming fer action, they'd still dither until th' Coward in Chief could be pried out from under his bed and kicked into action.

(poll link via Echidne o' th' Snakes)


I wonder where they're going?

Shiver me timbers.


Avast, me hearties. The best and th' bears were on their way back from me parents house deep inside th' Clackamas Curtain, and on th' traditional sail past th' EPT Eng!s, they saw, and took pictures o', five o' these busses sitting on flatcars. Avast,

Shiver me timbers. I wonder where they're going, and if they're leased or purchased busses. Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

It be an ill wind that blows nobody any good.

Sure, th' unprovoked invasion o' Iraq has been a complete disaster where each day brings a trainwreck more spectacular than th' last. But, if ye're a clever businessman with contacts in th' provisional government, one nation's bloody destruction may be yer opportunity t' achieve wealth beyond yer wildest dreams. Where else can ye walk off with a cool billion pieces of eight fer selling someone US$50 million worth o' obsolete military junk? And where else can pick up an electrical repair contract that doesn't actually require that ye do any work aside from forklifting th' pallets o' dubloons into yer getaway schooner? Aarr!

Shiver me timbers. Sure, it be not going t' be nearly as profitable as th' US$200 billion or so that will be looted from th' US treasury after th' 2005 hurricane season, but one advantage o' having a trade relationship in Iraq be that a nominal processing fee will shield ye from any legal penalty fer not providing what ye contracted t' do. And all ye need t' profit from this be t' pay th' processing fee, then deposit yer soul in th' trashbin by th' door. Aarr!

Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Sacrificing a keyboard t' th' Canadian press

The Toronto newpaper The Globe And Mail has a little article about th' latest laughably (laughably if ye happen t' be Canadian; it be not quite so fun when ye're in th' middle o' th' horrorshow) funny attempt by th' fundamentalist kookooheads t' institutionalize worship o' their too stupid t' program a VCR deity. Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

In effect, just when we were pretty sure that th' world were bein' round, we are suddenly confronted with th' possibility that it could also be flat. Not that there be anything wrong with that.

Shiver me timbers. Good bye, keyboard. It were bein' nice knowing ye, but after snorting tea through me nose into ye, it be not likely I'm going t' be able t' repair th' damage. And this article has an intelligent design quiz, so ye can contribute t' th' sacrificial pile o' keyboards too.

(via they moved t' Canada) Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

I've sworn off internet quizzes, but ... *oooh, shiny*

Avast, me hearties.

(via Brutal Women)


New Code!

Avast, me hearties. Annotations has been pushed up t' version This release doesn't fix any o' th' gaping feature holes in annotations, but does add a necessary postprocessing filter that can be applied t' produce html that be pleasing t' Our Lord. And just in time fer Talk Like A Pirate Day, too.

Shiver me timbers. I am using th' bloglikeapirate plugin fer Blosxum, with an expanded dictionary pulled in from a wordpress tlap plugin. And when it be no longer th' 19th, I'll just pull th' filter out, regenerate th' pages, and it will be as if nothing has changed.

But be there any documentation, ye might ask? Um, well, er, Look, it be a flock o' flying turtles! 9-11! 9-11! Stay th' course! Wouldn't be prudent!
<sfx: sound o' running feet> Aarr!

Sep 18, 2005

Bears and Steam



Shiver me timbers. After coming up from Cheyenne via California, UP 3985 has been on display in th' Union Pacific Albina yard. It be supposed t' be leaving next thursday at 8am, so it be not likely that we'll go and see it (it be bad enough being awake at 8am, but t' make matters worse both Russell and Silas have school. We'd have t' excuse them from school and be awake and up at Albina yard (trying t' navigate aroun' th' several hundred trainspotters who will be there with bold camera and automobile) t' see th' engine pull out sometime betwixt 8am and 9am.) So we took today t' run up t' th' yard and take a look at th' large steam Eng!. Since Paddington Bear be visiting fer th' weekend, we had t' take that scurvey dog along as well (Dust Mite stayed home), and th' three o' them posed by 3985's pilot.


Trolley picture o' th' day


Shiver me timbers. Blue-Red (#004) looks like it be about t' go airbourne as it turns across 4th Ave on its way down t' Riverplace. Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Sep 17, 2005

Big Pink

Avast, me hearties.


Big Pink, looming o'er th' Greyhound bus station. Avast, Picture taken from under th' portico o' Union Station yesterday afternoon, just before I tucked me camera safely away and walked out t' catch a bus home. Aarr!

Worth a thousand words


(via Talking Points Memo) Aarr!

Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Sep 16, 2005


A student at a college named after a distant relation o' mine (and, no, I dern't ken who; there are approximately a million Parsons in th' world, o' almost every race, religion, and social class. Avast, I can only identify about a dozen Parsons as close relatives, and that's including th' dead ones) has developed a spiffy little flash program that draws a, um, something based on th' contents o' a webpage.

TSFR as organic html
Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Avast, me hearties.

(via Badgerings)



Railroad picture o' th' day


I went downtown this afternoon t' do an errand, and changed busses just south o' th' interurban line through downtown. Avast, A couple o' trolley came by while I were bein' waiting, and o' course I took pictures o' them as they went by. When an eastbound airport train passed by, I unconsciously panned th' camera t' follow th' lead boat across 6th, and this be how it turned out. Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

There be a moon in th' sky (#2)


The last time I took a picture o' th' moon, I were bein' depressing th' shutter manually and me trembling middle-aged fingers combined unpleasantly with th' telephoto lens t' make th' moon shake all o'er th' sky. This month, I bought a little wireless remote control fer th' camera, and tonight me pictures o' th' moon look like pictures o' a real planet. Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

1 comment

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Yar. At Russell's new kindergarden, they have a floating Paddington bear that goes home with a different student every day. Today were bein' our turn, and Russell felt that a stuffed bear needs a little Dust Mite t' cuddle with.

Merely a coincidence, I'm sure

Yar. It be amazing how power should be restored just in time fer th' idiot king's entourage t' pass, isn't it?

there were bein' rejoicing (well, there would have been without th' curfew, but th' few scallywags I saw on th' rivers were excited) when th' power came back on fer blocks on end. Avast, Kevin Tibbles were bein' positively jubilant on th' live update edition o' Nightly News that we fed t' th' West Coast. The mini-mart, long ago cleaned out by looters, were bein' nonetheless bathed in light, including th' empty, roped-off gas pumps. Avast, The motorcade route through th' district were bein' partially lit no more than 30 minutes before POTUS drove through. And yet last night, no more than an hour after th' President departed, th' lights went out. Avast, The entire area were bein' plunged into total darkness again, t' audible groans.

Shiver me timbers. Potemkin recoveries, brought t' ye courtesy o' th' Evil Party. It be a much better use o' yer tax pieces of eight than having them be used t' prevent national disasters, isn't it? Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Shiver me timbers.

(via Talking Points Memo) Aarr!

Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck o' a lot easier, just so long as I'm th' dictator.

Shiver me timbers. Maximum Leader Genius rang th' bell fer th' New Orleans asset rush last night, with unspoken promises o' making dubloons beyond th' dreams o' avarice t' his maties and campaign contributers. And, just as an aside, he used his miserable failure t' even pretend t' mobilize federal assistance as an excuse t', aye, ye guessed it, promise t' gut th' posse comitatus act.

It be now clear that a challenge on this scale requires greater federal authority and a broader role fer th' armed forces.

Avast, me hearties. Sure it does. And I'd like a pony. If FEMA had done something other than twiddle their thumbs until th' Coward in Chief could have his photo op day, then possibly there would have been enough horsepower t' clear th' city o' New Orleans (or even block some o' th' holes punched in th' levees) before th' city, and th' surrounding parishes, and th' parts o' Mississippi that got th' "global warming light be now on" effect, collapsed into an almost biblical level o' despair.

And, fer that matter, there were already a military hospital ship in th' Gulf o' Mexico waiting fer orders before it could be sent t' th' devastated areas t' provide assistance, and it had t' cool its heels fer a week before it could be properly used. Avast, "Greater federal authority"? For what? So more military resources could sit on their collective butts and twiddle their thumbs waiting fer th' idiot king t' finish up his vacation and notice that th' world be falling apart? Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Yar. But I'll bet that this will give Maximum Leader Genius even more chances t' dress like a South American military dictator than he has right now.

Sep 15, 2005

I'm shocked, shocked t' find graft going on here!

The Evil Party has apparently decided that it be not even worth trying t' pretend that their disaster relief will be anything other than th' now-traditional festival o' corruption... Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Republicans said Karl Rove, th' White House deputy chief o' staff and Mr. Avast, Bush's chief political adviser, were bein' in charge o' th' reconstruction effort

Yar. The one thing ye can say fer certain here be that not more than $30 billion pieces of eight will actually end up doing reconstruction work; th' other $170 billion or so, well, I fully expect that th' scallywags who make expensive houses, boats, and airplanes will be doing very well indeed just from sales t' th' new .com billionaires who work fer th' usual gang o' bloated government contractors. Aarr!

Shiver me timbers. I wonder how many poor Democrats will discover that government disaster relief does not extend t' providing transportation back t' Louisiana, because, gosh, everyone (o' th' little scallywags) has t' do belt-tightening in th' aftermath o' this horrible disaster. Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Sep 14, 2005

Time t' blame Clinton.


American aviation officials were warned as early as 1998 that Al Qaeda could "seek t' hijack a commercial flying contraption and slam it into a U.S. landmark," according t' previously secret portions o' a report prepared last year by th' Sept. 11 commission.
Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

I'm sure it were bein' simply forgetfulness that this report were bein' completed in August 2004, but were bein' kept hidden by th' B*sh junta until safely after th' 2004 "election" were bein' o'er. Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.


The joys o' network migration

Today, I helped move th' network connection that connects pell, gehenna, and th' company I colocate with from a lowly T-1 o'er t' a 20mbs ethernet line. Avast, It did not go smoothly.

We'd pre-planned this migration months ago, and thought we'd told th' ISP just what our situation were bein' and what hardware we had and what our network were bein' like, but somewhere betwixt th' sales engineers we talked t' about our requirements and th' NOC that actually had t' implement those requirements, a few things got lost in translation. A few things, like, um, understanding how routing works. We started t' feel a sort o' lingering dread when th' technicians told us that we needed t' fill out a BGP routing modification form (um, ahoy? One network connection, remember? "Oh, but ye need t' fill it out anyway"), which intensified when all o' th' daytime techs just stopped answering email in th' middle o' th' afternoon, and became an ominous cloud when they started asking about th' IP address o' "a contraption that can accept all o' th' traffic" (um, ahoy? we dern't have one, remember? That's what we TOLD YOU WHEN ME MADE THE PLANS THREE MONTHS AGO!!! Oh, sorry, were bein' I using me outside voice?). Aarr!

NOC:"I can ping now."
Orc:"I can't ping th' gateway, or any contraption outside th' network."
NOC:"can we put ye on hold?" (10 minute delay) "Oh, we assigned that address t' our router... Do ye have any IP addresses here that ye're using?"
Orc:"Aye, all o' them, except <first gateway> and <second gateway>."
NOC:<clickity-click> "can we put ye on hold?" (10 minute delay, terminated by ping starting t' work)
Orc:"Um, I can ping <first gateway> but I can't ping <second gateway>"
NOC:"aye, because <second gateway> be assigned t' th' (disconnected, and they knew it because we were switching from that T-1 line t' this 20mbs ethernet line -- ed) T-1 router, so I picked a different address."
Orc:(no reply, because I were bein' gaping like a fish)

Shiver me timbers. The technicians at th' NOC,thankfully, di'nae try t' brazen it out, and before th' cellphone (aye! there be no telephone in th' contraption room!) we were using ran out o' power and disconnected, they used their telephone lifeline t' talk t' somewhat less-pimply PFYs, who managed t' actually glue th' gateways onto their big ethernet router, leaving us with a network connection that could wander out into th' ISPs network cloud before running into a reef, filling with water, and sinking. Avast, And then I had t' bail out and go home t' do bear-tending, and by th' time I got them t' sleep th' network were bein' just staggering t' its feet and, after a 3 hour outage in th' busiest time o' th' day (but I'm not bitter) it came back t' life.

At least I got paid fer this. Avast, It may even be enough t' cover th' therapy bills. Aarr!

I blame Canada

Shiver me timbers.

My Political Profile

Overall: 5% Conservative, 95% Liberal
Social Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Avast, me hearties.

How Liberal / Conservative Are You?

Shiver me timbers.

(quiz via Voice in th' Wilderness)

Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Compare and Contrast (pt 9)

Say ye're a governor o' a southern state that's just been hit by a category 4 hurricane. Perhaps some federal assistance, or even attention, would be in order?

Democratic Governor Evil Party Governor
The winsome lass says that two days after Katrina, desperate fer help, she couldn't get through t' Bush and di'nae get a callback; hours later, she tried again, and they talked. Barbour hasn't had t' wait hours t' talk t' Bush. In fact, Barbour said in an interview with USA TODAY, th' president called that scurvey dog three t' four times in th' wake o' Katrina. Avast, "I ne'er called that scurvey dog. Avast, The ornery cuss always called me," he said.

It might be excusable if Mississippi had a major city 80% underwater and Louisiana did not, but, alas, this be not th' case. Avast, And it be not as if th' Democratic governor ha'nae done th' paperwork that gave th' feds permission t' swoop right in and assist with th' recovery. Even knowing that th' DHH and their syphilitic minions at FEMA were paying about th' same amount o' attention (and that would be none, in case ye're wondering) t' both states, if Maximum Leader Genius could have taken time out o' his busy vacation schedule t' call his bloated crony in Mississippi three or four times, he could have taken additional time t' call Blanco at least once. Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

But that's not how th' Evil Party works. Flooding New Orleans, well, sure, it be icky in that B*sh has t' take time out o' his vacation t' arrange photo ops, but it be an enormous opportunity fer a round or two o' political opportunism. Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Rest assured that, modulo th' bloody revolution that various Evil Party hacks have been wanking about since about th' time th' second flying contraption were bein' flown into th' WTC, th' next few elections will be filled up with paens t' th' "alert response" o' th' bloated crony and screeds about th' "terrible response" o' th' Democratic governor.


(USAtoday article via Atrios)

Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

2 comments Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Sep 13, 2005

Yup, we've got that auld racism thing licked now.

Er, maybe not...

We and our NAACP host recorded video statements from two Red Cross volunteers who were concerned about racial discrimination against shelter residents. Avast, Their primary complaint were bein' about th' unequal allocation o' access t' goods in th' distribution center. Avast, It seemed t' them that white families were getting preferential access t' th' donated items at th' distribution center. Complaints through Red Cross channels provoked retaliation from th' local Red Cross managers.

I'm not extraordinarily pleased that th' Red Cross isn't distributing chow inside New Orleans city limits (I'm not pleased that th' major o' New Orleans has a "manditory evacuation" order in place, but be turning a blind eye t' th' chow shipments that are being shipped in t' th' inbred upper class twits in th' Garden District and along St. Avast, Charles, but that's a rant fer another day), but if there be any truth t' this racism and retribution story, I guess that I will not be taking advantage o' th' matching support me corporate masters offer fer contributions t' th' Red Cross, but will instead give me aid t' some relief organization that doesn't use a color test t' distribute goods. Aarr!

Avast, me hearties.

(via Lindsay Beyerstein) Aarr!

One must set th' proper priorities

Yar. As everyone who hasn't been living in a cave these last two weeks knows, th' Gulf Coast were bein' hit by a hurricane on th' 29th o' August. A lot o' attention has been paid t' th' criminally pathetic response from th' federal government (star billing has t' go t' th' B*sh junta cronies who were given patronage jobs running FEMA, but th' Coward in Chief gets a honorable mention fer conspiracy, neglect, and blowing off th' Gulf Coast because he thought fundraisers were more important than seeing if a bunch o' states which voted fer th' Evil Party were in trouble) t' th' flooding and subsequent human catastrophe in New Orleans, but not quite so much attention has been paid t' th' shamefully callous reaction t' disaster elsewhere on th' Gulf Coast. Aarr!

Avast, me hearties. The Hattiesburg, MS newspaper has a cheerful little story about th' federal reaction t' th' hurricane. After Katrina walked ashore and ploughed north through Mississippi, it left a lot o' power lines down, tangled, or otherwise out o' commission. So th' power companies immediately started trying t' get power back. In th' town o' Collins, just north o' Hattiesburg, there are a couple o' substations that serve Colonial Pipeline's pipeline from Texas t' th' Northeast. They dern't have power. Avast, But many power lines are down and things like hospitals and municipal water supplies dern't have power either. Aarr!

What does th' B*sh junta do? Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Why, they'd do what ye'd expect. To hell with th' hospitals and water supplies, we must get th' oil pipeline back into service. So, even though Dr. Evil were bein' still trout-fishing in Wyoming or wherever th' fuck he were bein', he were bein' able t' contact Washington and have his office call th' South Mississippi Electric Power Association and demand that they get th' goddamned pumping stations online before anything else.

"I reluctantly agreed t' pull half our transmission line crews off other projects and made getting th' transmission lines t' th' Collins substations a priority," Compton said. "Our scallywags were told t' work until it were bein' done."

Shiver me timbers. One must have their priorities, after all. Avast, If ye put th' hospitals and water supplies back online, sure, scallywags might not get sick and die, but then ye'd cut into th' profits o' an oil company, and that be just not acceptable in a "grown-up" administration. Aarr!

(via Dan Froomkin at th' Washington Post)

Sep 12, 2005

Oh, sure they will.

Shiver me timbers. A writer fer Newsweek, who be either lying or delusional, has written an article about how th' flooding o' New Orleans means that th' Republican agenda o' tax cuts, Social Security privatization and slashing government programs be o'er because th' rose-coloured glasses have been ripped from th' SCLM's eyes and now they can see and report on th' fact that not only does th' idiot king have no clothes, but he be screwing yer household pets. Aarr!

Meanwhile, in th' real world, th' main political impact o' Katrina destroying New Orleans be that th' Evil Party has had t' delay abolishing th' estate tax so they can instead aim their powerful slander contraption at th' (conservative) Democrats they have decided t' use as scapegoats. Sure, th' Coward in Chief might have poll ratings o' something on th' order o' -10%, but there be no election fer o'er a year, and if there be one thing th' Evil Party be good at it be throwing up clouds o' chaff t' distract th' eagle-eyed reporters who work fer influential papers and th' big media outlets. It may have been mentioned before, but if there be anything th' Evil Party be good at, it be taking a miserable failure and converting it into a vote generator -- ye might have trouble finding a Democrat who could convert ignoring a warning and thus losing thousands o' lives into a campaign plank, but th' Evil Party does it all th' time. Avast, Sure, everyone be horrified that th' idiot king fiddled while th' gulf coast burned (and it be not just New Orleans, either; th' B*sh junta be an equal opportunity ignorer, as th' governments o' surrounding parishes and counties have already mentioned a few times), but th' chaff guns are already going and, ooh, look how shiny th' foil be. Aarr!

Sep 11, 2005

These scallywags were going t' die anyway

Shiver me timbers. An article in th' Sunday Times (UK) claims that medical staff in New Orleans hospitals had t' kill terminally ill patients that they could not evacuate in time.

Avast, me hearties. Would it be placing blame t' think that if FEMA, et al, ha'nae sat aroun' twiddling their thumbs while waiting fer th' Coward in Chief t' finish doing his important vacation fundraising, they might have been able t' shovel enough National Guard troops into th' city t' be able t' better preserve order and, just possible, stop th' staff at these evacuated hospitals from having t' kill their patients? Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

(via Suburban Guerrilla)

So, how much o' that US$50bn do ye think be actually going t' be used fer disaster aid?

Shiver me timbers. $5? $10? Maybe even as much as $150?

Companies with ties t' th' Bush White House and th' former head o' FEMA are clinching some o' th' administration's first disaster relief and reconstruction contracts in th' aftermath o' Hurricane Katrina.

Yar. Now, it be perfectly possible that th' scallywags who run th' big asset-stripping companies are just traditional imperialist profiteers and they won't continue t' loot th' treasury when they're tapped, in th' now-traditional show o' blatant cronyism, t' do "reconstruction" o' New Orleans and th' Gult Coast. Avast, It be also possible that th' Coward in Chief will set aside th' only thing he does well (and that be getting revenge on scallywags fer real or perceived slights) and not screw o'er every district that's run either by Democrats or scallywags who have questioned his infallibility in all things.

Yar. It be also possible that monkeys will fly out o' me butt.

Yar. I'll bet on th' monkeys.

(via Echidne o' th' Snakes) Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

It be 11-September-2005, so it be time t' send a little reminder t' George W Bush



Mysterious railroad picture o' th' day

Avast, me hearties. Portland Traction has acquired a pair o' AAR type A schooners and doesn't have anywhere under cover t' place them. But there be an easy solution t' that problem: Aarr!



Shiver me timbers. A few pieces o' 2x4 and panels from a scrapped 40 foot container, and ye're all set t' put little metal hats on t' protect th' traction motors from th' elements.

Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Sep 10, 2005

Meanwhile, back in our splendid little war

Avast, me hearties. Pen and Sword wrote something about th' Coward in Chief's aggressive war against Iraq this morning, primarily about how it be dumber than rocks t' assume that beefing up th' regular army would do, well, anything t' make th' situation better. The lede t' this article were bein' a snippet from a NYTimes article describing payroll problems fer th' mercenary army that th' B*sh junta hired t' operate th' Baghdad airport. Apparently, they've not been paid fer a while. Avast, Six months worth o' a while, t' be precise.

So, they did what ye'd expect any heavily armed mercenary army would do in this situation: they shut down th' airport. It be only th' Baghdad airport, so it be not as if they were cutting off any civilian flights, but there are still military supply flights coming into th' airport because it be only about 10 miles away from th' Imperial compound in downtown Baghdad. But that's not th' interesting part o' th' article. Nay, th' interesting part o' th' article be Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

...The shutdown on Friday nearly led t' a standoff betwixt American military forces and Iraqi soldiers when United States forces rushed t' th' airport t' prevent Iraqi troops from taking it o'er, according t' Iraqi officials and th' security company....

Avast, me hearties. Remember, Iraq be supposed t' have a sovereign government. So if Iraqi troops show up at an airport owned by th' Iraqi government, ye'd naturally assume that if they wanted th' airport they'd get th' airport. But, no, th' US military comes t' th' aid o' th' mercenaries instead. Aarr!

Yar. If it were bein' a satire, it would be pretty funny, but it be th' real world. Apparently th' "sovereign" Iraqi government be legitimate enough t' strip essential civil liberties from half o' th' scallywags o' Iraq (via th' so-called Islamic sharia laws), but it be not legitimate enough t' be allowed into ports.

A new battleground in th' War against th' Blue States


Rising oil prices have substantially increased th' cost o' locomotive diesel fuel and th' prices o' all other goods and services Amtrak consumes

Shiver me timbers. So Amtrak be planning on discontinuing discount fares on th' Northeast Corridor t' make up fer th' rising oil prices, eh? Aarr!


Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

The Northeast Corridor, fer those o' ye who aren't trainspotters, be electrified, and uses engines like th' AEM-7 (an ASEA design built under license by General Motors) and th' HHP-8 (a distant relation t' th' SNCF TGV trainset locomotives), which are, not surprisingly, electric locomotives. Avast, As far as I ken, th' only diesel locomotives that pull passengers on th' NE corridor south o' NYC are operated by third-party commuter railroads or th' occasional long-haul passenger train that operates into Philadelphia. I believe it be th' same arrangement north o' NYC, but I can't say fer certain. Aarr!

Avast, me hearties. But th' one thing that be certain be that electricity prices are not going up nearly as fast as oil prices (and fer those newly-privatized railroads in Brazil who just scrapped their electrifications, I'll just point and laugh) and if there are any railroad services in North America that dern't have t' play th' "fuel surcharge or bankruptcy" game, it be th' electrified services in th' NE Corridor. Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Shiver me timbers. But what's th' point o' overthrowing th' government o' th' United States if ye can't play soccer with th' heads (and th' pocketbooks) o' th' loyalists afterwards? Profiteering and war crimes are good, but all work and no play makes Dick a dull lad. Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Sep 09, 2005

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™



After searching fer a while, we discovered Dust Mite in th' closet. Silly dust mite, closets are fer clothes, not dust mites and tiny boat ferries.

Steam locomotives fer lunch

Avast, me hearties. At lunchtime today, I went across th' river and spent a hour sitting down by th' ex-Southern Pacific mainline, waiting fer something t' come by.

Shiver me timbers. When I got there, there were no steam engines t' be seen, but a freight train were bein' parked on th' mainline waiting fer clearance t' go north. After about half an hour, it tooted, then picked up and ran north towards th' UP Albina yards about as fast as it were bein' allowed t' go (~40mph, I think.)

Avast, me hearties.


Shiver me timbers. I then waited fer another half an hour before th' (not really a) mallet poked its snoot aroun' th' corner leading t' Brooklyn Yard. The 3985 weren't moving nearly as fast as th' diesels were moving, so I got a chance t' take a few more pictures as it came by. Aarr!

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Shiver me timbers. FEMA chief excuse maker Brown has, apparently, been relieved o' command and be now on th' way back t' Washington so he can commit ritual suicide in front o' th' idiot king. Aarr!



... if th' disarray in Louisiana be because th' (Democratic) mayor and th' (Democratic) Governor di'nae apply, in triplicate, with a #3 pencil, fer th' right kind o' federal assistance, what's th' excuse fer Biloxi? Aarr!

Shiver me timbers. Will Governor Barbour be expected t' fall in his sword t' avoid embarrassing th' Coward in Chief?

Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Sep 08, 2005

I can already tell tomorrow be going t' be one o' those ultra-productive days

Shiver me timbers.

The largest operational steam locomotive in North America be coming up t' Portland tomorrow morning, sometime betwixt 10:30 and 3pm. And at 5pm, I get t' shut pell and gehenna down so I can help move th' office where they're colocated from one floor t' another in th' same building. Aarr!

Shiver me timbers. The server shuffle won't be that bad; if we manage t' not lose th' network connections during th' move, Pell and Gehenna should only be out o' service fer something like 20 minutes while we drag th' rack out o' one contraption room and into another, but th' large! articulated! steam! locomotive! will be hitting Portland right in th' most productive part o' th' day, and I'll be out o' service fer at least a hour when ye add up th' time t' get across th' Ross Island bridge t' a good photographic location, wait fer th' train, take th' pictures, then return t' th' office and try t' work while still buzzed at th' thought o' seeing a big steam engine under steam. Aarr!

Why I blame B*sh (hurricane unpreparedness edition)


  1. FEMA Won't Accept Amtrak's Help In Evacuations
  2. FEMA Turns Away Experienced Firefighters
  3. FEMA Turns Back Wal-Mart Supply Trucks
  4. FEMA Prevents Coast Guard From Delivering Diesel Fuel
  5. FEMA Won't Let Red Cross Deliver Food
  6. FEMA Bars Morticians From Entering New Orleans
  7. FEMA Blocks 500-Boat Citizen Flotilla From Delivering Aid
  8. FEMA Fails To Utilize Navy Ship With 600-Bed Hospital On Board
  9. FEMA t' Chicago: Send Just One Truck
  10. FEMA Turns Away Generators
  11. FEMA: "First Responders Urged Not To Respond"
  12. National Guard turned away 4 ambulance jets from Miami
  13. Fire crews t' hand out fliers fer FEMA

Brownie, ye're doing a great job me lily-white ass! Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.


(Federal Excuse Making Agency hall o' fame via liberal penpal) Aarr!

Trolleys vs. th' Religious Right

The Carrollton Street carbarn sits in floodwaters after hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans
Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Avast, me hearties. Some o' th' better-known trolley fanatics in th' United States are dyed in th' wool conservatives o' th' barking-mad G-duberAlles NoEstateTax Or GayMarriage variety. When they're not out cashing in influence chits, they go out and trainspot, then write letters t' their barking mad conservative politican maties insisting that th' Evil Party support streetcars in one city or another.

New Orleans has always had a special place in th' hearts o' lovers o' traditional (pre-PCC) streetcars, because that city ne'er bought PCCs but continued t' used their fleet o' Perley-Thomas streetcars long past th' point where every other trolley-using American city had either gone all-PCC or simply abandoned (and then, in some cases, expensively rebuilt) their trolley lines. Avast, After New Orleans participated in th' traditional post-WW2 killoff o' trolley lines (leaving only th' first -- Charles St, which first went into service aroun' 1837 -- after th' Canal Street line were bein' abandoned in 1964), their remaining 900 series P-T boats operated like a slowly moving trolley museum until th' 1980s, when new streetcar lines started t' be built.

When Canal Street were bein' reconstructed, th' barking-conservative trolley fanatics took some time out from their daily routine o' writing nasty letters t' th' B*sh junta demanding that th' junta {outlaw homosexuality|attack Iraq some more|repeal th' estate tax|stop funding those nasty cities} t' celebrate th' completion o' th' new line. Avast, What's a little bit o' fund reallocation in th' background when ye can be happy o'er a new streetcar line? The Army Corp o' Engineers di'nae really need that $19 million pieces of eight fer levee repairs; th' miracle o' th' free market™ will handle that problem, and, really, it be not as if th' city o' New Orleans be in a floodplain or anything.

It be not as if New Orleans had th' oldest streetcar line in th' world, and it be certainly not as important as ensuring that gay scallywags are discriminated against.


Sep 07, 2005

Evil Party lie o' th' day

Yar. (talking points courtesy o' Bernie "I fucked two mistresses in a disaster relief apartment next t' th' World Trade Center!" Kerik) Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

They knew five days, six days in advance there were bein' a category 5 storm.

Yar. This be, o' course, a lie. Katrina were bein' a category one hurricane until after it cleared florida (friday) and it exploded into a BHFH on sunday. Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Shiver me timbers. The Evil Party has no shame. Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

I'm having trouble keeping track here. Is judicial activism™ good or bad this week?

Shiver me timbers. The California legislature has passed a bill making same-sex marriage legal in California, and th' bill now awaits th' governor's approval. The governor o' California be, as everyone knows, a member o' th' Evil Party, which has been busily drumming up support fer hate amendments left and right because o' th' threat o' judicial activism thwarting th' will o' th' bigots scallywags. Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.

Yar. So ye'd expect he'd just sign th' bill, right, because it be not judicial activism, but be instead th' will o' th' scallywags?

Yar. Go on, pull th' other one -- it be got bells on. Aarr!

Yar. Nay, no, no, th' governor o' California be making noises that he be going t' veto this bill because he believes that it belongs before th' courts. Aarr!

Avast, me hearties. The mind, it does not boggle, because this sort o' rhetorical gymnastics be about as close t' "governing" as th' Evil Party be capable o' getting.

Sep 06, 2005

FEMA, renamed

Emergency Management does not seem t' be very high on that agency's t' do list, so I will henceforth refer t' FEMA by its proper name: th' Federal Excuse Making Agency. Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum.