Another Redwood Project

This was what dad & I built last weekend. Would have been nice to have him back this weekend to project manage once again, along with mom, but they're getting ready to head out any day now with the 5th wheel for two weeks, so they weren't up to it. Had I told dad what I had in mind, I know he'd have come anyway, so I didn't. I know mom wanted to stick around home, so I left well enough alone. So here's where it begins, with a load of construction grade heart redwood (conheart); 2x6 & 2x4, all 8 footers. So, what's it gonna be? Any guesses? More photos & descriptions below the fold. Rotor takes time out from stalking squirrel & other small prey to have a look at what I'm up to. Nuke doesn't much care for the noise of construction, so she remains well clear. It just won't do to have visible hardware on the table top, so the drill bit with the tape is the mark to drill down such that the 3 1/2" #10 screws will go just far enough, but not too far. Then, of course, the carriage bolts are recessed, such...


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Betting on Thoroughly Good

Left the cabin Tuesday 'bout mid day to get back to San Jose for some business; then, Bea & I decided to come back up for another whirl yesterday. Got back up here early afternoon, probably until Monday morning. Snagged two tickets to see George Thorogood & the Destroyers, along with Buddy Guy. Looks like Charlie Musselwhite'll be there too. The venue is the Ironstone Winery and its Amphitheater, just 15 minutes down the hill. Last summer, we saw Earth, Wind & Fire, and wow, did those seasoned veterans put on a show. It's not even particularly my quotidian sort of music, but I just loved being there, out on the lawn on a warm summer's night. Here's Ironstone's lineup for this season. I could have had tickets for the seats close to the stage, but I like being back on the grass. Here, have a listen to George. And now Buddy. When Eric Clapton says of Buddy that he's the best guitarist alive, it may not be objectively true (assuming objectivity ought to have anything to do with it), but it does mean that you really ought to pay attention. Well, I'm off to collect bits & pieces for...


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Laf

Laf. Laf. Laf. Don't care, really, but this bit Billy links is the real reason I posted. There has been a little buzz surrounding John Edwards and his alleged affair. Because the only source has been the National Enquirer we have decided not to cover the rumors or salacious speculations. So I am asking you all not to blog about this topic until further notified. Translation: we might have to unavoidably confront the truth. Actually, it's good. I predicted this a long time ago. The MSM thinks that "blogging" is the key to them remaining competitive. So, now they have "blogs." Laf. Do you get it? Fucking, fucking morons. Actually, not. They're smart enough. Just fucking doomed.


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Diet Wars

Since blowing my top the other day, I've waited until a few of the excellent reviewers out there had a shot at the recent diet study. I'll point you to three excellent, substantive, thorough reviews. Otherwise, you'd have only fat-faced liars like Tara Parker-Pope of the NYT. First up: Stephan at Whole Health Source, who notes that the diet, indeed as I suspected and speculated, wasn't particularly low in carbs. Also: And finally, it caused the biggest improvement in the triglyceride:HDL ratio. This ratio is the best blood lipid predictor of heart disease risk I’m aware of in modern Western populations. The lower, the better. They didn't calculate it in the study so I had to do it myself. Click over to see the chart he created; and: Other interesting findings: despite the calorie restriction, diabetic participants on the AHA group actually saw a significant increase in fasting blood glucose. I've speculated before that wheat and sugar may cause hyperphagy, or excessive eating. We can see from these results that reducing carbohydrate (and probably wheat) reduces overall caloric intake quite significantly. This squares with the findings of the recent Chinese study that showed an increase in calorie intake and weight,...


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Clueless Moron Update

Via reader Kevin, I see that the woefully ignorant Vox Day is still harboring his delusions that "The New Atheists" are running away from him in fear. Dumbass.


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A Little Project to Keep Doggies In

Mom's in Reno visiting her sister, so dad came up to the cabin Saturday, arriving early afternoon. I had designs in mind and he, who turned 70 a few months back, figured prominently in them. As a former rocket technician and then jet engine mechanic, he's the perfect perfectionist. I wanted to get his take before commencing, then it was a trip to the lumber yard and hardware store for the necessary bits & pieces. Dad was project manager, while I did the cutting and operated the screw gun. Here's the result for the two sets of stairs, front & back, that access the deck surrounding the cabin on two sides. Tolerances aren't to absolute perfection, but we both agreed that all was close enough for rocket work. We really had a great time.


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Fuck Obama

Yep. Here, too. For the umpteenth time in a row on a weekly basis, 'fuck obama' is the top search term on HonestyLog.com. Finally, this one has been unseeted, which, for the last two years since its posting, has been the post most responsible for brining natural search to this blog. Now, it's Fuck Obama. Hallelujah. Fuck Obama. Fuck...Obama. Yep: fuck that prick. His potential First Whore-Bitch, too. Come here for concise political commentary. You know, this is just going to be all I have to say about this phenomenally stupid erection election. George just can't be beat on that score. So, alright, guys: give for the cause & link 'er up.


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Cabining

Here's where I'll be for the next four days. Yes! It's been since sometime in April, so three months. Far, far too long. Ever. Just spent the last two hours since arrival whipping things into shape (water service; hot water service; cobwebs everywhere to dispose of, inside & out; and the outside deck that circles half the house: tree bits and and lime green tree pollen par tout).


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I Know

From my brother this morning in email, what a shocker! And, i'll bet it wasn't even a real low-carb diet (<60 grams/day). I've seen stuff well in excess of 100 or even 150 grams being called "low carb." For many, real effectiveness is under 30, or even 20 grams per day. There's more of the asinine and bias, too. The low-carb diet set limits for carbohydrates, but none for calories or fat. It urged dieters to choose vegetarian sources of fat and protein. "So not a lot of butter and eggs and cream," said Madelyn Fernstrom, a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center weight management expert who reviewed the study but was not involved in it. Dumb-ass fucks. Jesus. And even still... Average weight loss for those in the low-carb group was 10.3 pounds after two years. Those in the Mediterranean diet lost 10 pounds, and those on the low-fat regimen dropped 6.5. More surprising were the measures of cholesterol. Critics have long acknowledged that an Atkins-style diet could help people lose weight but feared that over the long term, it may drive up cholesterol because it allows more fat. But the low-carb approach seemed to trigger the most improvement in...


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The Wondrous Craigslist

Still batting 1000 on craigslist.com. First is was the Coleman pop-up trailer I sold for $4,500. Then a black leather sofa for $800, then a nice mountain bike ($350). There's more: in each case, these items were sold for cash on the same day I listed them, for free. This morning, 'bout 11:30 am, I placed an add to sell my two first gen iPhones, an 8 gig ($100) and a 4 ($75), firm, cash only. I handed off the 8 gig inside an hour, and it was so easy, I upped the price on the 4 to $100 and was flooded with responses. All in all, $200 and both are done deals within a couple of hours. I understand the lure of an auction to get the most the market will bear, but there's a huge value to me of not having to take hardly any time at all, and to have a done deal and cash in hand within hours.


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Stupid if it Fails; Brilliant if it Succeeds

On the heels of my last post, I came across this from Karen. I head about this yesterday from my co-founder on a drive up to San Francisco to meet with a micro-fund venture capitalist. Interesting. Yea, crash & burn, but is that because the business plan stunk, or just the way things work out, sometimes? Essentially, they were funding their rapid business expansion through cash incentives given to them by mall owners across the country eager to both lease space long term and to partake in a potentially hot new retail chain. Commercial real estate is quite a different animal from residential. Giving seemingly huge incentives can be very important to success. Personally, I think it's a brilliant idea that was probably botched in the execution and/or the business cycle went against them. You have only so many avenues to grow a company rapidly, and if you want to play in women's clothing retail, that's what you have to do. First you've got the initial investment in time, money and sweat from founders; then cash from friends & family if you're lucky enough to have such access. Then you get seed capital, and eventually, venture capital in several stages...


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Is It Time?

As some of you know, I quit trading the markets full time at the end of 2007. I'll not be looking back. I'd rather work on a startup any day. That said, I do still poke my nose under the hood of the financial markets from time to time, and I think we may have finally hit bottom, from which a rather explosive rally could develop. Yea, I know; I know. America's comeuppance is for a complete meltdown, depression, bankruptcy and asset crashes all over, and the ensuing misery that ought to befall such a financially irresponsible nation. On the other hand, of far more importance is that I haven't seen such an opportunity to be buying (stocks, real estate) or starting a business in a long time. Guarantees? No, certainly not, but you will be far better off in the long run if you do the opposite of what everyone else does. Go lean and mean when times are great. Then, when recession or other financial woes hit, you can more likely weather the storm; and then when things are at their worst, begin your expansion and big risk taking. Just looking at all the negative sentiment in headlines...


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iNote

Completely out of character for me, I stood in line 2 1/2 hours yesterday at the Palo Alto Apple Store in order to get the new iPhone 3G. I originally went to the store at the Westfield at Valley Fair here in San Jose. Long line, of course, so I decided to take a drive to the PA store for shits & giggles. Long line there as well, outside even, but the people standing in it were of a completely different caliber. In essence, I got sucked into shooting the shit with cool and diverse strangers for a couple of hours and it turned out to be pleasant and fun. Yep, love the new phone. I had 3G before, so that was a tradeoff in going to the iPhone originally. Now, all is right with the Universe. The new OS, 2.0 (which works on the original iPhone as well) is a great enhancement. It's turned it into a mobile computing device of important proportions. Check out the applications already available. There are hundreds, many free. There will be thousands. I sat at breakfast this morning browsing a bunch of them. Lots and lots of interesting stuff. One I find intriguing...


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Lipid Panel

Following up from this, I don't see how you could have a better lipid panel than this, which is a clip right off my Med record on Kaiser's website, results obtained yesterday: Total Cholesterol is really a bullshit number, because observe that I could get to an "ideal" <200 by making my HDL worse, like say 50. Triglycerides way low, just like you want, and HDLs stratospheric, also, just like you want. LDL is only 4 points off "above optimal" figure of <100. The ratios are as follows: Total/HDL = 2.1 (average is 4-6 and ideal is 2-3; I'm on the extreme end of ideal) HDL/LDL = 1 (average is .3-.4 and ideal is above .4; again extreme end of ideal) Triglyceride/HDL = .4 (optimal is <2, so again, extreme end of ideal) While my fasting glucose seems high at 109, free insulin was only 6 (standard being 4-29, lower the better) and Glycohemoglobin (HGBA1C %) comes in at 4.8 (standard range 4.6 - 6 with the lower range being optimal). Glycohemoglobin is the percent of hemoglobin with sugar bound to it and doesn't change very rapidly over time, while a blood glucose test is sugar levels at that moment,...


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Elevator Pitch

Sometime within the last month or so, I am suddenly getting the "wow, you've really lost weight!" accolades from virtually everyone I know, and even people I don't actually know, but who've seen me around -- like waitresses in restaurants I frequent. Everyone wants to know "the secret." What's the magic? Bea hates it when I get started, and has taken to warning people. And, I'm getting a bit tired of going over the whole story myself; because just like with politics, and the silly notion that humans ought to be free and not the living equivalent of Soylent Green, I know it's going in one ear and out another. Maybe I ought to charge $49.95 for "the secret" and be done with it. It might actually be profitable, where people wouldn't pay me a cent for my political views (lies, impossible promises and delusions are sweet, and always free). While I work out the business plan on that, I'm playing around with a 30-second elevator pitch. It might go something like this: Well. I was on this wonderfully healthily low-fat diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains most of my life. As a kid, I developed an...


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Doctor Visit

Three years since a physical, which didn't go very well. Blood work not that great; fat -- & getting fatter -- puffy face. The doc was not impressed. Drink way less, stop smoking, eat more veggies, fruits, whole grains and so on. I'm working on the drinking of spirits too often, too much, and on the smoking as well. And obviously, at least for the last year, I've far from followed the SAD (Standard American Diet). But I went in and got me a physical today. The nice lean Dr. from Hungary (I eliminated all the fat faces), with 40 peer-reviewed articles under his belt in fields such as hematology, immunology and diabetes, was quite impressed once I showed him my prior self, thanks to the photos I keep on my iPhone. I even had a chance to discuss fasting and he was quite surprised that I knew that gene expression seems to mimic that of caloric restriction which we already know extends lifespan in virtually every species it's been tried on. He agreed that we have much to learn re-learn from the dietary habits of indigenous peoples (I have lots in the queue on that score) who have to...


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One For All You Smileys

All my life I'm getting admonishments from those brave enough -- like mom -- to "smile." It's not a natural facial expression for me, folks, even when I'm plenty happy and content. Plus, my natural frown serves me well. People don't fuck with me, and they don't pester me. They tend to stand off and I've heard from others that I come off as "unapproachable." Suits me fine. The less banality I have to deal with, the better, I say. So let me throw you a rare bone, taken just this week with my bro-in-law, Sam who's looking good into his 50s.


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Photo Update

Looks like I need to do some shopping, eh? Thing is, probably another 4 inches of circumference is going to come off, as the sub-cutaneous belly fat and abdominal external obliques ("love handles") melt away. That's definitely the most stubborn fat for me. It's like I'm leaning out from the bottom up and top down and the midsection will be the last to go. I'm particularly pleased with how the shoulders are leaning out, even with some vascularity beginning to show. Progress is rather slow, but it's steady and consistent and so I'm satisfied. The last couple of photo shoots here and here. Later: Just to preclude the questions; 47 years old, 5' 10", just a smidgen under 200 pounds. Rough estimate is that 180 will leave me at about 10% BF. Whatever the figure, I'll get there. And how? Just as I've been doing to get this far. First, an intermittent style of eating that's always low in carbs with no grain products at all. No vegetable oils except olive, coconut, palm and sesame seed. Meat (and fish and shellfish), some veggies, some dairy -- mostly cheese -- some fruit -- mostly berries and melons -- and some nuts,...


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Politics and Delusions Roundup

Here's a few things I'd wanted to blog going back a bit. Billy calls it "psychosis." I call it "automatic lying." Take your pick with regard to Senator Harry Reid, D-NV. See if you can manage to get through all four minutes without your head exploding. Via my cousin Steve, who defends large companies against bullshit tort claims in large and complex business litigation, this excellent WSJ Op-Ed by Bret Stephens: Global Warming as Mass Neurosis. A second explanation is theological. Surely it is no accident that the principal catastrophe predicted by global warming alarmists is diluvian in nature. Surely it is not a coincidence that modern-day environmentalists are awfully biblical in their critique of the depredations of modern society: "And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." That's Genesis, but it sounds like Jim Hansen. And surely it is in keeping with this essentially religious outlook that the "solutions" chiefly offered to global warming involve radical changes to personal behavior, all of them with an ascetic, virtue-centric bent: drive less, buy less, walk lightly upon the earth and so on. A light carbon footprint has become the...


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