Friday, August 27, 2010

Please sir, may we have another

A nice little garland of stories on the Denver Post's front page right now.

Two University Hospital clinics balk at government insurance;

Colo. tells Cotter Corp. to redouble mine cleaning effort;

Xcel socks Denver with nation's second-highest electric rate increase;

Economic growth slows to 1.6 percent in the spring; and (just so it's not all doom and gloom)

Stubborn side has helped Sotomayer prevail.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Odd hunger extinguished

For a couple of weeks the d-blog has been craving bologna. On dark rye. With yellow mustard. The d-blog hasn't eaten bologna for a decade at least, but yesterday bought a package and some cheapo mustard (already had the dark rye) and made himself a sammich.

It was gross. Bologna is inherently slimy. Billy Bob got the last couple of bites.

One other craving recently is for Taco Bell's Taco Supreme (with extra hopefully-not-salmonella-infused tomatoes).

The d-blog is not, as far as he knows, pregnant.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Why couldn't it have been a clown car?

The Post:
Numerous injuries after Tiny Town train derailment

The Tiny Town train derailed this morning, causing five passenger cars to tip over.

Capt. Daniel Hatlestad, spokesman for Inter-Canyon Fire Rescue, said 30 people were on the train, 20 were evaluated and 15 taken by ambulance to area hospitals.

Hatlestad said although most injuries were bumps, bruises and scrapes, some people may also have broken bones. "There were many children involved. The patients range from small children to grandparents," he said.
Tiny Town, for those not Coloradoewok, is an allegedly one-sixth-size town that's been a tourist attraction since about 1920. The train itself is a steam engine that chugs along at about ten miles an hour. Bonk. It was probably terrorism. Here are a couple of pics of the tragedy.

Update: One imagines it went down something . . . like . . . this.

Update II: Must have been a Toyota train:
The train at Tiny Town that derailed on Wednesday did so because of operator error, initial findings of the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment have concluded.

In interviews with investigators, "the engineer of the train admitted he accelerated the train - the locomotive - versus braking when he was entering a turn," said Cher Haavind, spokeswoman for the state agency. "He should have been going three miles per hour, and he admitted he was going at a much higher speed."
Eight miles an hour would more than double it.
As he entered the turn, said Haavind, the train operator realized he was going too fast for the turn, "panicked" and reached for the wrong lever in the locomotive.

Instead of grabbing the brake lever, he pulled the lever that actually accelerated the train, said the spokeswoman.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Global warming hysteria, 1989

Check out this snippet. Sidenote: Larry King looked pretty good back then for already being 85 years young.

If you played a drinking game based on the fallacies, sensationalism, and unwarranted assumptions just in this three-and-a-half-minute promo or whatever it was, you'd be in the the hospital. Or the morgue.

That was 21 years ago (points out the guy who almost flunked consumer math). Anything seriously changed since then, either in the climate or in the hysteria of warmenists? Nothing much in the former; in the latter, of course, global warming has become "climate change." That's about it.

(via commenter Leigh on this Tim Blair post. Gotta note the one guy's reply to Leigh's comment: "I see they hired Ted Baxter’s brother to narrate the show.")

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quote of the Day!

From Roll Call:
A House Democrat [Steny Hoyer] who previously helped lead the charge for closing [Guantanamo] had this to say when asked why he is no longer demanding action on the issue: “I forgot.”
(via commenter "Adam" on this Althouse post)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Nickel and dimed

1. Just re-registered the venerable Escort. For the last half-dozen years it's been around $26 to do so. This year? Sixty bucks. More than double. Small cheese, but for most vehicles the fee is going to go up by the same amount for another two years. In other words, I'll be paying well over $100 to register by 2012.

2. During the early-mid aughts drought years, Denver Water mounted a huge ad campaign urging Denveronkians to conserve water.

It (along with mandatory watering restrictions) worked! In fact it worked so well (around a 30 percent reduction in water use, IIRC) that Denver Water not once, but at least twice raised rates because they weren't getting enough revenue (allegedly) to maintain infrastructure. Until fairly recently DW mailed bills every two months; ours was generally somewhere in the $50-$60 range. Now it's every month, and the bill this month was $47. Again, a near doubling.

3. The city is apparently going to do some work on one of the streets running by the D-blog manse. They set up "no parking" signs for the length of both sides of the block last Wednesday, forcing everyone who normally parked there to find new places.

The signs are still there. No work has been done. Worse, some of the people forced to find new places to park (including a couple of tenants) neglected to check the street sweeping signs in their new spots. Tickets all 'round! (recently raised from $20 to $25).

Denver and Colorado: livin' the Democrat dream.

Update: Okay, one more, and by far the worst: Xcel, Colorado's public gas and electric supplier--trendy misspelling is required for the names of mega-monopolies these days--just instituted a two-tier system of charging for electricity. Up to 500 KwH, just under five cents per; over that, nine cents. Again, almost double. This being an apartment building, we naturally go well over 500 (this month 1194 KwH). This alone added $82 to my bill (that's our thing: we pay utilities). Again, nearly double last year's bill from the same month.

And all in the chase for the retarded will-o-the-wisp of global warming. Right now Xcel is spending that extra money converting four coal-fired plants to "cleaner" gas, on "renewable" energy, and on "enhancing" their "public outreach" to teach us why this is worthwhile. A little while ago I chided a couple of funny-looking guys over at JWP's for being Eeyores about the future. Not so sure anymore. As a small (5'10") businessman, I know I can't sustain much more of this. If Cap-n-Trash happens, I'm (eventually) done. What am I gonna do? Raise rent 400 bucks a month for every tenant?

Update II: You know, when I took the GRE I scored almost average on the math portion. Don't know if this speaks to the relative innumeracy of GRE-takers or my huge throbbing natural intelligence (having almost flunked "Consumer Math"--i.e., "Making Change" in high school), but I made a mistake in the Xcel example. I would still have been charged for the KwHs over 500, but at the old rate, which means the increase in my bill purely from the plus-500 KwH hike is about $41. Still, this is roughly a 25 percent increase (check my math).

Update III: Also should add that this hike runs only from June through September of each year. It's specifically designed to limit people's use of a/c. Mike Rosen (a local guy who's the only talk-show host I listen to when I can) had some spokesginkess from Xcel on a few weeks ago who pushed the line that the hike was all about "choice," as in, "we want to make people aware that they have a choice to run their air conditioning or not."

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Wart disturbs universe at rally for Lynne Stewart

In Foley Square, NYC. Nothing new. "We have ways, we have means, we have capacities. What we have to have is consciousness and will. If you're going to bring this system down, it has to be brought down in terms it understands. In the terms by which it maintains itself." [. . .]

That is, of course, violence. He says the U.S. has been a fascist state since 1919 (assume he means the Palmer Raids, etc.). Lenny, Mumia, Rapidans all figure in. Warning: Drummers abound, and Wart, wearing a t-shirt that says "Patriot Act" with the red circle and line through it and clutching a dead ciggie, can't help matching his cadences to them:

God, what an asshole.

(via Don DeBar on Vimeo)