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On the Occasion of IB’s 5 Millionth Hit September 20, 2013

Posted by geoff in News.
6 comments

It’s been quite a ride since this blog was founded more than 7 years ago. Started as a joke back when starting your own blog was rare, it quickly took on a life of its own. It was a pioneer in including images in blog posts and developed a large following back in 2009 with The Unemployment Chart and Michael’s commitment to making sure that Every Day Had a Post.

When I think back about the blogging experience, I kind of wish I could go back to 2004 – 2005 when it was all new and the possibilities were limitless. We all pretty much hung out at Ace of Spades HQ, which was small enough that the threads were short enough that you could read every single comment anyone made. Online social media hadn’t fractionated, and the number of blogs was still few. Haiku contests and flame threads were novel, the trolls roamed freely in seemingly limitless numbers, and Cranky, Patty Ann, and Harrison were still with us. In short, perfect conditions for forming a tight-knit wise-cracking group on the cutting edge of online political media.

Good times, good times.

But here we are in 2013, having reached 5 million views, 135,000 comments, 5641 posts (1863 from Michael alone), and 284 flags – a prodigious set of achievements for a goofy little hobby-blog. More impressive is the cadre of great folk who have stuck it out through the years, forming and maintaining great friendships despite the distractions of Real Life and the hammering of my relentlessly serious barrage of political and economic posts. We’ve aged together, seen our kids grow up together, and pushed DinTX in various bodies of water together.

I think we’ve taken blogging farther than we ever thought it could go.

So drink up this evening!! I hope to share a cup with many of you at the Dallas celebration (where by “share a cup” I mean “what-the-hell-do-you-think-you’re-doing-get-your-own-damn-beer.”). Make sure you get there!!

Zip The Snake September 20, 2013

Posted by Retired Geezer in Entertainment, Handblogging.
4 comments

Yesterday Mrs. Geezer and I drove to Twin Falls to ride the Zip Line. It was lots of fun.

I shot it with my phone so the quality isn’t the best.

Turn the volume down a little, the wind noise gets pretty annoying.

Behold!

http://zipthesnake.com

Blog Stats Bumped to Top of Sidebar September 20, 2013

Posted by geoff in News.
16 comments

Today only ======>

Pictures of Naked Swedish Girls September 20, 2013

Posted by Michael in News.
7 comments

Are beneath the dignity of this site, which would never stoop to such blatant whoring for hits.

Except for that one time!

Redskins Are Cool September 20, 2013

Posted by geoff in News.
9 comments

I remember playing cowboys and indians as a kid. Despite the fact that the cowboys were invariably foreordained to win, at least half the kids wanted to be indians. Why?

Indians were cool.

Indians were the original American ninjas: strong, stealthy, low-tech, and skilled with weapons. Even though kids knew their mock death was inevitable, playing the part of an indian was irresistible.

Indians were cool.

Which brings us to the Washington Redskins, who have been taking flak for daring to keep their 80-year-old name. Somehow, people think that four generations ago people named their team the “Redskins” because they had insufficient respect for Native Americans (whom I prefer to think of as “Indians” because I’d rather not saddle them with a crappy dorky name). As if they wanted to name their team after a group they despised.

It’s obvious that that wasn’t the case. The name was adopted precisely because it evoked the image of proud, indomitable warriors, just as the names of the “Braves,” and the “Fighting Sioux” were. But now the politically correct faction is telling us that those indomitable warriors are weak – so weak that they need their name protected for them by the “enlightened” folk. So much for their ninja warrior rep – now they’re pitiful and pathetic.

At this point I’m willing to let the PC crowd have its way. Perhaps then they’ll see that recasting Native Americans as helpless victims isn’t a step up at all. Rather than the Redskins, we can call them the Washington Oppressed Minorities, and with that name complete the crushing of the last vestige of pride and self-respect held by the Native American population.

I think the genuine regard we backwards children held for them was much kinder and respectful.

Indians will be lame.

I’ve Got the Power September 18, 2013

Posted by Retired Geezer in Gardening, Science.
16 comments

Longtime IB readers will have already been bored to death seen photos of the Camp Geezer Powerlines.
Here’s a couple more:

DSC00167

Here’s another photo that was used on the Album cover of a music group from Finland:

~

In this next picture, see if you can spot the two Red-Tailed Hawks, one on each pole.
Click to embiggen.

DSC02531

Update:
One thing you can’t see in this photo is Justin Bieber twerking with Miley Cyrus while talking like a Pirate … (as far as I know.)

*does that hand-dusting thing and walks away*

4,999,325 Hits!! September 18, 2013

Posted by geoff in News.
7 comments

A mere 675 to go.

Don’t forget that these hits don’t count authors on the blog (if they’re signed in to WordPress) – that illustrious list includes: Michael, Retired Geezer, Brewfan, Lipstick, Kevl, Dave in Texas, lauraw, Skinbad, Sobek, digitalbrownshirt, Mrs. Peel, Eddiebear, Pupster, Wintersetruss, Wiserbud, ComposMentis, and me. So those hits could represent a higher moral character than you might otherwise expect.

As to why you’re pretty much seeing only posts from me and RG of late, I think the simple answer rhymes with “hazy shirtrags.”

Anvil Cloud September 15, 2013

Posted by Retired Geezer in Nature Shit, Science.
8 comments

I searched the Whole Internets for an image of an Anvil Cloud but I couldn’t find one that looked as much like an anvil as this:

anvilcloud

Unfortunately I didn’t have a nice camera with a zoom lens, only my phone. You can click it to embiggen.

Selling California to the Chinese September 13, 2013

Posted by geoff in News.
8 comments

I constantly toy with the idea of moving back to SoCal, but I’ve been discouraged lately by the prices: real estate is heating up, with homes selling at prices almost 25% higher than last year. Seems like good news, “But how?” you ask. Good question – it’s not like our labor market is all that.

The clue comes a bit later in the article I linked above:

Cash buyers made up 27.6 percent of total transactions last month compared with 30 percent in July and 32 percent in August 2012.

These days “cash buyers” mostly mean people from China, who find that our real estate market is more stable and lower priced than the market back home.

But let that soak in for a second. 30% of home sales in Southern California are likely to be foreign (esp. Chinese) buyers. The same thing is happening in the Bay Area, and may even be more prevalent there. And commercial real estate is seeing the same levels of investment from abroad.

Same thing happened in the 1980s with Japan, so these waves of foreign real estate purchases come and go. But when the waves get this large they give me a queasy feeling.

And they’re certainly no indicator of economic recovery, much as realtors would like to think so.

Economic Reporting, Obama Fan-Boy Style September 13, 2013

Posted by geoff in News.
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Just reading a Bloomberg article on today’s Initial unemployment Claims data release. Bloomberg rightly reports that today’s very low number of 292K initial claims doesn’t mean much because:

  • The week included Labor Day, and
  • Two states under-reported due to “computer network conversions”

So far so good. But in the very next sentence they say:

The pace of job cuts has waned since the end of last year, setting the stage for faster payroll and income growth that would help propel consumer spending.

“Stronger job growth may be on the horizon,” said Millan Mulraine, director of U.S. rates research at TD Securities in New York. “When we start seeing improvement in the labor market, I think that will provide another tailwind for confidence, and spending, going forward.”

Yup – data is meaningless and misleading, but somehow our inference should still be that the job market is improving. Because…Obama!!

I used to like the Initial Unemployment Claims data as a harbinger of future unemployment rates (there are probably 20 posts with plots of claims at this site), but with the massive ineligibility for unemployment benefits, the flight from the labor market, and the transition of many from unemployment benefits to disability benefits, I felt it lost its value. Just as the unemployment rate itself did.

Now, the only employment indicator that matters to me is full-time jobs divided by the civilian non-institutional population. And that metric still doesn’t look very good.

The Plot to Turn Men Into Chicks September 13, 2013

Posted by geoff in News.
13 comments

Not satisfied with our already-excessive population of metrosexuals, medical researchers are touting the virtues of estrogen for men:

It is the scourge of many a middle-aged man: he starts getting a pot belly, using lighter weights at the gym and somehow just doesn’t have the sexual desire of his younger years.

The obvious culprit is testosterone, since men gradually make less of the male sex hormone as years go by. But a surprising new answer is emerging, one that doctors say could reinvigorate the study of how men’s bodies age. Estrogen, the female sex hormone, turns out to play a much bigger role in men’s bodies than previously thought, and falling levels contribute to their expanding waistlines just as they do in women’s.

So middle-aged guys need more estrogen? Yeah right, like I’d fall for that. So I ran a computer simulation of the likely effect of estrogen on the typical IB guy. Here are the shocking results:

marlboro_man Dave-Navarro-Metrosexual
Typical IB Guy, Before Estrogen Treatment After Estrogen Treatment

For those of you who are non-technical, let me explain these result carefully. Quite simply, in layman’s terms, the additional estrogen turns IB guys into Hostages. Hostages with cooties. I think we can all appreciate the magnitude of the peril.

HoneyHoney September 12, 2013

Posted by Retired Geezer in Pop Culture, Science.
2 comments

Interesting sounding trio.
Here’s their song “Thin Line”.