October 30, 2014

Picking a fracking fight

The eyes of the (energy) nation are on Denton, Texas, a city that borders my little burg, as a grassroots effort managed to put a fracking ban on the municipal ballot.  There is a ton of money being thrown at the vote, as well as various civic organizations taking sides, and a whole lotta folks with their panties in a collective wad on both sides of the issue.  The Chamber of Commerce is against the ban, the North Texas Fair and Rodeo took the same position, and the two universities that call Denton home refuse to choose a side, which ticks everyone off.  Those 'for' the ban, are generally individuals with backyard interests and a lack of science to back up their health scare claims.

And for reasons of full disclosure I will mention that I am in the gas biz, though fracking isn't what we do.  My position does avail me of endless pages of studies, documents, key note speeches, and other information that I am able to vet and base my opinion on.  But my intent today was not to argue the merits of natural gas and how we harvest it.

Yesterday, at an industry event, one of the sponsors was handing out the I (heart) fracking buttons pictured in yesterday's post.  They were the most popular items in the place.  Usually the booth giving away cigars runs out first, but yesterday everyone wanted that button.  I had to pull some strings to get one.

Today, I have a few last minute errands to run in Denton before we celebrate Bang's 17th birthday this evening.  I think my first stop should be to purchase a GoPro camera that I can strap to a hat and capture the reactions to my fracking button.  Considering the vitriol of the fight they have going on, I wouldn't be surprised if the camera captured an assault, death threat, or, even better, a science debate with a NIMBY tree hugger.

October 29, 2014

October 28, 2014

No rain, but it's pouring

We have a plumbing issue of an emergent nature.  One of our two water heaters is acting up.  By acting up I mean leaking, in an unpredictable and frightful manner.  And, as luck would have it, it is the heater that services all of the showering facilities in the house, thus necessitating a swift resolution.

Complicating matters is what I don't know.  Mr. H, as I have mentioned a time or twelve, isn't handy in a home improvement kind of way.  He is smart in a number of other areas, but was raised in a firm "call a guy" environment, when things go awry around the house.  He was the only one home when the first symptom cropped up.  Unfortunately, he didn't know to check the appropriate doohickeys and settings, so I have little information to go on.

I am more of a fix-it girl, but sometimes calling a guy is the best answer.  Times like this, it is the only answer because the Harper Handwoman service is overbooked in other departments.  I have to be out the door by o'dark-thirty for an all day corporate event tomorrow (okay, okay, it is a clay shoot, but it is for work), the following day is Bang's birthday, the next Halloween, and then the weekend (also known as pay-through-the-nose or S.O.L time, should a repairman be needed).  Mr. H is going to have to call the plumber, and I am going to have to pray that he remembers everything I told him to ask, before agreeing to repair or replacement.

Here's to letting go of some responsibility and hoping that it doesn't cost me a $1,000.  Do you think the plumber would mind my husband standing over his shoulder with a cell phone, Skyping me while the issue is diagnosed?

October 27, 2014


My prediction, that once seemed a stretch, has come to pass, and two years earlier than I even thought it might be realized.  Obama's golf count exceeded 200 - in fact, counting this past weekend's activity, the total sits at 202 rounds during his term-and-a-half, having played 45 times this year alone.

And, SNL did a great job of commenting on every other facet of the Obama administration this weekend:

October 23, 2014

Canadian jihadists

RIP Nathan Cirillo.  A Canadian patriot and soldier, serving a short rotation at a national monument, in what should be a ceremonial guard position - the sort of job that's highlights generally include reminding young people not to climb up on the statue, and posing for tourist photos.  Instead, yesterday, Cirillo was gunned down by a madman with ISIS ties.

And, Canada enters the fray.  Not that they weren't concerned, or involved in the 'global war on terror', but until the hit-and-run car incident on Monday, and this act, they had not suffered the sort of high profile native-soil attack that other nations have endured.

These acts wither in comparison to the horror our, and other, nations have faced at the hand of terrorists.  And yet, we seem to share a common bond in the blathering of media wonks that know just exactly why insane jihadists do what they do:
It is always stunning when a country that has brought violence and military force to numerous countries acts shocked and bewildered when someone brings a tiny fraction of that violence back to that country. Regardless of one’s views on the justifiability of Canada’s lengthy military actions, it’s not the slightest bit surprising or difficult to understand why people who identify with those on the other end of Canadian bombs and bullets would decide to attack the military responsible for that violence.
How absurd.  Is this reporter actually trying to make a 'they started it' argument to validate some level of understanding to explain the actions of a homegrown terrorist?

October 22, 2014

Let's make some money...

Okay you Pinteresty creative types.  The pictures below show pieces of 12" steel pipe with various cuts and welds.  These are used to test welders.  For every welder we put on a job, each of them will have tested by cutting and welding one of the straight pieces and one of the pieces with a perpendicular piece attached.

We have piles of these things that are usually just sold for scrap, or trashed in some way.  Surely there has to be something that can be done with them.  They almost look like something, already - I just can't figure out what it is.

October 21, 2014

Ebola Lies

I realize I sound like a broken record, but this really ticks me off.

For weeks now, we have been told that there is no reason to panic about Ebola exposure.  We are faced with a constant barrage of quacks on television condescendingly telling us the difference between panic-induced reactions, and the science that we should be relying on in relation to the risks of contracting Ebola.  

Direct contact with an infected person's bodily fluids is required, they said, and then proceeded to fill 53 barrels with the personal belongings of the three Dallas-area patients, and send them off for incineration.  

Yesterday, the contact group of the first victim was released from quarantine.  We are told that none of them contracted the disease.  

How in the world can that be true?  How did the family of Thomas Duncan care for him during at least 4 days of Ebola symptoms without contracting the virus, while two nurses that cared for him using CDC protocols and protective gear, did?

I have no trust in this government or their response to this outbreak.  My heart breaks for Duncan's family, as they have lost him, as well as any personal keepsakes from his life.  If the two nurses recover, they will return home to apartments void of their clothing, carpet, and other personal items.  How is that justified, when 'science' says Ebola can't live outside the body for more than six days?