Saturday, December 25, 2010


Believe it or not, it sometimes snows down here in Atlanta. And when it does, I get to wear my kromer!

What? You don't know what a kromer is? A kromer is a wool cap with a small brim and ear flaps that you can pull down when it gets really cold. It is the perfect winter hat. Warm over a wide range of temperatures (anything 40 degrees or below), while the brim keeps the snow out of your eyes. The height of fashion. (Note: A kromer is cool. Please don't confuse it with an Elmer Fudd had, which is not cool.) And it is very popular where I'm from, in Upper Michigan.

Want to check out kromers, maybe buy one? This is the place, Stormy Kromer Mercantile, in my hometown of Ironwood, Michigan:

The classic Kromer cap is the basic bright red (as pictured above). (That's the color kromer I have!)

A little history is in order. Kromer caps were invented, if that's the right word, by George and Ida Kromer because George needed a warm work cap while working on the railroad in the winter. Check out the History page on the Stormy Kromer website:

I like this part: "Stormy Kromer is a division of Jacquart Fabric Products located in Michigan's beautiful Upper Peninsula." I still have a canvas book bag that I got as a kid in third grade from Jacquart's.

Kromer Cap Company used to be based in Milwaukee. (My Kromer is still a "Milwaukee" kromer, by the way, not one from the new Story Kromer company.) Not sure what happened, but I think that 90% of all kromers were sold in the U.P. (I'm surely exaggerating, I don't know that for sure, maybe it just seemed that way.) When the Kromer Cap Company was going to discontinue the cap Jacquart's bought the rights to make the cap, and to the name. I'm very happy they did.

Couple pictures are in order.  First the big kromer on US 2.

And one of my daughters, wearing my kromer.

Late addendum: Coincidentally, the day after this blog post ran (I typed it up a week or so in advance), I bought kromers for my girls. Here is a picture of them in a wigwam that my dad built for them to play in. Hard to see the new kromers in the picture, but it's all I have for now.

Friday, December 24, 2010

World Map of Social Networks

Social networks fascinate me. And Facebook fascinates me. Here's an interesting map of online social networks from TechCrunch:
"World Map Of Social Networks Shows Facebook’s Ever-Increasing Dominance" by Robin Wauters

Notice that the site shows similar maps from the recent past, documenting Facebook's march to dominance.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Occasionally they tell the truth, part 9: Keith Ellison: "need to create a real crisis"

From MPR News:
"Ellison: Dems must 'create crisis' to force GOP on tax cut"

You may remember Keith Ellison for the minor controversy about being sworn into Congress with a Koran.

I'm not sure where to begin my comments. First of all I think that the need to create a crisis rather than focus on good policy tells you something about the way the left thinks. It's not about doing what's best for the country. It's about creating a crisis to get their way.

More importantly, though, is he blind, deaf, and dumb? Hello, Keith! Obama ALREADY created the crisis. Obama and Bush already ran the economy into the ground with wasteful spending and ridiculous, pork-laden, union-saving "stimulus" programs. Is this not enough of a crisis for you, Keith?

Maybe I'm reading his comments wrong. Maybe Ellison is trying to explain to us why Obama deliberately chose these destructive actions, to get us to this point. Who knows.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

NFL, TV, and Google Maps - A Great Combination!

Here is a page with a nice combination of football, TV, and Google Maps. Interesting to see which NFL games get broadcast to which parts of the country. Looks like I'll be able to watch my Packers lose to New York this week. :(
Everything you need to know about sports on television - NFL

Is that a railgun in your pocket... ?

Very interesting technology here. From Mashable:
"U.S. Navy’s Record-Breaking Electromagnetic Railgun Shoots Projectiles at Mach 7"

So the next question is: Does the second amendment protect railguns? Remember, if you outlaw railguns, only criminals will have railguns. :)

While we're on the subject, here is an interesting link from the Buckeye Firearms Association:
"Politically Corrected Glossary of Terms about Guns and the Right to Bear Arms"

It's a fun, but very useful, read about how to communicate with the anti-gun crowd. It comes across as amusing at times, but this is serious stuff. Some questions on the page are very strong:
Shouldn't we disarm the criminals first?
Why haven't we disarmed the criminals?

Then after talking with an anti-gun person for a while, they recommend this: "You know, after listening to you for a while, you've convinced me that you should never own a gun." :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bank Bailout or Socialism, you make the call

Amazing how quickly we are becoming a socialist country, where the government picks the winners and losers. Consider this post from
"Federal Reserve Reveals $2.3 Billion Was Secretly Loaned to Harley Davidson"

Is this the role of the Fed? Why is the government interfering in "free" markets? Is this what we thought we were getting when we were supposedly bailing out the banks? Amazing. Our Founding Fathers must be rolling over in their graves.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tax cuts or more stimulus?

So what do you think about the tax deal that might be (or already has been, by the time this is published) rammed down our throats? I don't like it. Yes, it's good to keep the tax rates low. But what about all the additional spending we are committing to? This is a close call but I'd vote no.

I happen to agree with Krauthammer. From the Washington Post:
"Swindle of the year" by Charles Krauthammer

Not much I can add to that. I don't know why or how Obama did this but the fact is that this will benefit him greatly. He will get TEMPORARY benefit to the economy (and re-election, he hopes) at a long term cost to the country (you can't borrow forever), while publicly appearing to distance himself from the radical left (which also benefits his re-election chances).

"In the deal struck this week, the president negotiated the biggest stimulus in American history, larger than his $814 billion 2009 stimulus package. It will pump a trillion borrowed Chinese dollars into the U.S. economy over the next two years - which just happen to be the two years of the run-up to the next presidential election."

"Some Republicans are crowing that Stimulus II is the Republican way - mostly tax cuts - rather than the Democrats' spending orgy of Stimulus I. That's consolation? This just means that Republicans are two years too late. Stimulus II will still blow another near-$1 trillion hole in the budget."

"Obama's public exasperation with this infantile leftism is both perfectly understandable and politically adept. It is his way back to at least the appearance of centrist moderation. The only way he will get a second look from the independents who elected him in 2008 - and abandoned the Democrats in 2010 - is by changing the prevailing (and correct) perception that he is a man of the left."

SPLOST, still a waste

Like many other topics on this blog, I've posted about SPLOST before (SPLOST, Sunday, May 23, 2010). But I can't help myself. I'm going to talk about it again. I thought I was done for a while but I read something the other day that re-opened the subject in my mind.

All links below are from the Marietta Daily Journal.

The first article that caught my eye:
"SPLOST list, dates still unclear" by Katy Ruth Camp

Why did it catch my eye?

"The proposal was presented in September as a six-year plan for the continuation of the 1 percent special purpose local option sales tax, mainly to be used for maintenance and renovations of the county's infrastructure. But the SPLOST was shortened to five years last week, after Commissioners Helen Goreham, Bob Ott and Thea Powell said the project list should only include absolute needs."

Commissioners also want to put a SPLOST to a March vote, at an additional cost of $400,000, rather than let so-called "special purpose" money lapse for 6 months until a regularly scheduled November election. This ought to clearly demonstrate that there is nothing "special purpose" about this tax. It is part of the ongoing funding of leviathan government.

"Some of the projects that appear to be gone after Tuesday's meeting include: renovations and upgrades to the county's public safety training facility ($620,400); room for a new judgeship and corresponding staff and courtroom ($800,000); radio frequency identification for the public library system ($1.5 million); a yet-to-be determined but significant reduction in the $10 million allotted for the Civic Center Exhibit Hall to only fixing water, sewer and electrical problems; a black box theater at Mable House Complex (up to $1 million); a rehearsal hall addition at the Art Place (up to $748,000); additional asphalt runway for model airplanes at Ernie Gilbert Field ($41,000); addition of a disk golf course and access roadway and parking at Pitner Road Park (up to $1.3 million); a new recreation center at Logan Park in Acworth ($3 million); and a Windy Hill/ Terrell Mill connector parallel to Interstate 75 ($14.6 million)."

Are you kidding me? It's great that this stuff is gone, but what does it say about SPLOST that these are the kinds of critical projects that people want to fund with this money? Is this stuff necessary? Of course not, not even close. What a waste!

I also found this online. Makes me sick.
"Tea Party says it will back Cobb SPLOST if it's 3 years or less" by Katy Ruth Camp

So much for the Tea Party being a principled group standing up for the taxpayer.

"Maloy said: 'This issue is all three of those. So why aren't we simply just opposing the SPLOST? That would be much smaller government, much lower taxes and less spending. But there are some practicalities we have to look at, and contrary to a lot of people's beliefs, Tea Parties are not unreasonable. We understand when things have to be a certain way. But we work to try to make long-term changes.'"

"Those practicalities include keeping residents safe in buildings that could harm others if they are not repaired, by repairing or rebuilding bridges that could become a safety hazard in the near future, and fixing roads that are crumbling and could cause accidents or car damage, Maloy said."

What a load of crap. Maloy is not fit to call himself a member of any Tea Party. This is the justification that people have used for ages. We "need" certain things. Maybe we do, but that doesn't justify taking more of our money. It just means that we need to stop wasting money on things we don't need. As mentioned above.

Here is another example:
"The 'special purpose': Time to put it back in SPLOST"

"Apparently, in the face of opposition not only from the public but a majority of his fellow commissioners, Chairman Tim Lee insists on going for a king-sized SPLOST and a March referendum, more concerned about avoiding a six-month gap in collecting the tax than the very real prospect of outright defeat. Then again, maybe he's looking at that guaranteed low turnout in March and a better chance of winning."

Lee is also one of the commissioners who cannot wait for a SPLOST vote in November, he wants to take our money as soon as possible. Lee is supposedly a Republican. I saw through him from the start. I voted for his opponent, and I can see I made the right choice.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Net Neutrality - Can someone please define it?

There has been a lot of talk about net neutrality in recent years, but what does it really mean? I've talked about this before (Net Neutrality, Part 2, September 2, 2010) and I can't say that I understand it yet. But the following article helps clear things up for me a bit.

From Pajamas Media:
"Just What Do They Mean by ‘Net Neutrality’?" by Charles Martin

Martin makes the point that what was originally understood by the phrase net neutrality has morphed into something much larger. And it is difficult to gain consensus when people are not even using the same definitions.

From Martin:

"The frustrating part: when you examine the arguments closely, it’s clear that no two commentators appear to be talking about the same thing."

"This led to the first push for net neutrality, of a sort that we might call net neutrality of the first kind, or 'content neutrality.'"

"The push for net neutrality, however, was quickly picked up by other people for other political purposes, starting with the idea that 'net neutrality' meant that everyone ought to have equal access to Internet service, whether they live in the borough of Manhattan, or Manhattan, Kansas, or in a cabin twelve miles by road from the nearest human habitation. This quickly picked up other ideas: that 'net neutrality' meant different ethnic groups have equal access — which would mean the government looking not just at the content of the messages, but the race of the person on the wire; or that different viewpoints ought to have equal access to the Internet — so, potentially, Fox News would be limited based on how much bandwidth the Huffington Post consumed, and even that 'hate speech' and 'lies' could be regulated."

"This is what we might call net neutrality of the second kind: not content-neutral, but instead, content 'fairness.'"

"Stated that baldly, a lot of people would object (and rightly, I believe)."

"This, then, is the question I think everyone must ask when discussing net neutrality: do we mean the content-neutral, don’t read-the-postcards net neutrality of the first kind? Or the 'fair access' net neutrality of the second kind?"