November 2018


Criminal Mastermind Alert, 3

One might wonder why she would have given him her phone number.

According to a story in the Fort Collins Coloradoan, Ghaifan walked into a room the housekeeper was cleaning, kicked out the doorstop to close the door behind him and asked her “if she wanted to have some fun.”

When she declined he continued to walk toward her, pinned her arms against the wall and “attempted to kiss her,” said the report.

The hotel employee pushed him away as he continued to try and kiss her. Ghaifan then asked for her phone number, which she gave him.

Well, she didn't know who he was, and she would have needed some way to identify him to the police.

He later sent her a text, which police used along with physical descriptions to identify him.

She was smart. He... was not.

©   McGehee

Proponents of Lousy Idea Blame Defeat on Opposition

If only the opponents of this lousy idea hadn't been permitted to spend money telling people why it was a lousy idea.

The $26.1 million campaign over whether to keep Montana’s Medicaid expansion program alive by hiking the state’s tobacco taxes was the most expensive ballot issue in Montana since at least 2002, and likely in state history, according to reports.

The hefty price tag was driven by one tobacco company that spent heavily in Montana and in South Dakota to successfully defeat tobacco tax ballot measures earlier this month, campaign finance reports filed Monday with Montana’s political practices commissioner show.

The $17.2 million in cash, loans and in-kind donations from Altria Client Services, the lobbying arm of the company that makes Marlboro cigarettes, made up 98 percent of all the contributions to Montanans Against Tax Hikes, the committee formed to defeat the ballot measure.

Obviously there's no substantive reason why voters might have rejected it, right? It could only have been the eeeeevil corporate lobbyists and their eeeeevil money, right?

The Montana proposal would have raised cigarette taxes $2 a pack and taxed vaping products for the first time to partially fund the state’s cost of the Medicaid expansion program that provides 96,000 low-income adults with health coverage. The program will expire in 2019 unless state lawmakers extend it.

“The proponents tried and failed to bypass the Legislature and permanently lock into place a program designed to be re-evaluated,” said Charles Denowh, the treasurer of Montanans Against Tax Hikes.

(Emphasis mine.)

Those silly yokels. Don't they know they're supposed to defer to their moral superiors, who are obviously incapable of promoting bad law, bad economics, and bad science?

It just goes without saying, right, that icky, eeeeevil corporations are always wrong, regardless of facts!

©   McGehee

Ya Plunks Down Yer Nickel and Ya Gets What Ya Pays For

Last month I posted this about my new sorta-laptop:

It doesn't have an SDcard slot, nor a normal USB port, but I'm awaiting delivery of an adapter that will plug into the USB-C port and let me use an ordinary mouse. A single adapter from where I ordered it runs 89¢ plus shipping, but I ordered two and my total outlay is just $5 — plus a wait of ... almost three weeks for it to arrive.

There are Bluetooth-equipped "Mobile Surface Mouse" options from Microsoft, but they run about $40. I already have a spare USB optical mouse — if I can use it, why not?

I've been using the spare mouse for a while using one of the adapters I ordered, but its port for the mouse's USB-A plug either was, or has become, too loose to maintain the connection reliably, so I've chucked it and am now using the other. It's snugger, but that may change over time. I may have to find a more expensive — as in, not Chinese-made — adapter to make this work.

Also, you may have noticed strikethrough type in the first sentence of the excerpt above. That's because this gizmo does have an SDcard slot, hidden on the back under the kickstand. I haven't acquired a card for it yet — the 128GB solid-state drive is only about ⅓ full — but it's on my wishlist.

©   McGehee

Thoughts My Brain Made

Am I imagining things, or didn't the internet used to attract a better class of idiot?

©   McGehee

The Football Holiday

On Thursday, it began with the Dallas Cowboys hosting the Washington Red Inks Redskins, winning 23-31. That game wasn't even over when the Egg Bowl — Mississippi State's annual rival game against Ole Miss — convened at the latter's home field. Ole Miss was disqualified from any bowl games even had they played well enough to warrant an invitation, but keeping the rivalry trophy would have been some consolation. It was not to be. Boy howdy was it not to be.

Now it's Saturday, and Wyoming is in Albuquerque playing the New Mexico Lobos. As I type this, the third quarter has almost run out, and the Cowboys lead by 14. I can't watch this week's game though, because it's on a channel our local cable system doesn't carry. Instead I'm watching the Iron Bowl, Alabama hosting Auburn.

Mrs. McG being an alumna of an SEC West school, we root for Mississippi State and whoever's playing 'Bama. In the Iron Bowl we always root for Auburn. The Crimson Tide could be winless and in last place nationally, and Auburn smugly ranked #1 with lopsided wins against every team they've played, and we'd still root for them to win this game.

Okay, if Mrs. McG's Bulldogs were one of the teams Auburn had stomped, probably we wouldn't root for the Tigers to win the Iron Bowl — we'd want to see them both contrive to lose...

Also this weekend, I was able to beat, here in metro Atlanta, the lowest price for gas that I paid last month in Kansas. After months hovering in the $2.60-$2.80 range we're now in the $2.40-$2.50 range. In Hutchinson I paid $2.459, but today I found a station charging $2.399.

Update: Wyoming won, 31-3.

©   McGehee

A Broadened Definition of “Peer”...?

Headline on a news item about an ongoing trial in Wyoming:

Cercy jury recessed for night, beings deliberating again Wednesday morning

One would expect the jury to at least be limited to human beings.

Update: They've fixed the headline (now it says "start" instead of the scrambled attempt at "begins") but left the link alone. Heh. They're good sports.

©   McGehee

Cowboys defeat Falcons

Two days in a row.

At home on Saturday, the University of Wyoming Cowboys eked out a late win against the Falcons of the Air Force Academy. On the road today, the Dallas Cowboys scored a tie-breaking field goal in the last three seconds against the Atlanta Falcons.

It was a good weekend all around for us, kicked off by Mississippi State's 6-52 win at home against the Arkansas Razorbacks; we assume Starkville feasted on barbecue pulled pork last night.

It wasn't as good as a win against Alabama might have been, but we'll take it.

©   McGehee

Tag! You’re It!

Georgia renews car tags on the owner's birthday — if more than one name is on the title, the birthday of the first person named — and that means we get to renew our tags this time of year.

What used to require either a visit to the local tag office or the sending of a check by mail and a nervous wait to see whether the check ever arrived at its intended destination, now can be done online with a credit card. Even the "convenience fee," a pittance collected on each online renewal batch, has been abolished, which means if I wanted to, now I could renew our utility trailer as soon as the notices arrive, and do our respective cars immediately upon the smog checks having been done. This was something I didn't know until minutes ago when I batch-renewed all three tags, and I don't know whether I'll stop doing them in a batch next year.

Any renewal method that requires the tags to be sent by mail, however, does carry a $1 mail fee. It's still less than the "convenience fee" was.

Another savings stems from the recent opening of a new quickie oil change place not far from Mrs. McG's work commute, which charges (for now at least) only half what other places charge for the smog check. Clearly this service is a loss-leader, subsidized by what they charge for their other services. My usual oil change place hasn't been keeping me impressed like it used to, so I may give this new place a try next time the oil-change dash light comes on.

Of course, if all goes as hoped in the next few years, smog checks will be a thing of the past for us. Unless, that is, the new House majority somehow manages to enact a mandatory national emissions check requirement regardless of local need, and it somehow manages to get past a GOP Senate and President Trump.

©   McGehee

Two Down

One to go.

Senator Bill Nelson, both Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams have — ungraciously, kicking and screaming the whole way — lost their respective elections. One hopes that when the hand recount ratifies Gov. Scott's victory for the U.S. Senate seat you temporarily occupy, you will draw a contrast with your two fellow Democrats by accepting the outcome with dignity.

After all, a losing candidate who questions the legitimacy of an election is, as none other than Hillary Clinton reminded us all just before the 2016 election, un-American.

Update, Saturday: Nelson and his people all seem to realize he can't win, but the party is shamelessly fund-raising off the futile hopes of millions of low-information Democrats. Dignity, so it would seem, is for chumps.

©   McGehee

Riddle Me This

Q.: If you don't like crowds, what's the best day to go to a seafood restaurant?

A.: Taco Tuesday. Unless the place serves fish tacos.

Q.: Like crowds or hate them, what's the worst day to go to a seafood restaurant?

A.: Throwback Thursday.

©   McGehee

Criminal Mastermind Alert, 2

So you ducked out of the jailhouse and called your mom to pick you up, just as she was getting pulled over for blowing a stop sign, and you decided the first thing you wanted to do with your stolen freedom was have pancakes?

Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Dan Boswell says it just so happened that during that same phone call, Pence was pulled over for running a stop sign, so authorities identified her car, and tracked her phone to the Newnan IHOP.

Gullatt had been slated for work release. Now he’s charged with felony escape and his mother is charged with aiding and abetting.


It seems fitting, since the item from the other day took place in Wyoming, that I should link to this one via a Wyoming news site.

©   McGehee

Waving Triggers Snowflakes

Just like Charles Johnson of Little Green Foot-in-Mouth mistook the Tennessee state flag for the emblem of a South African pro-Apartheid political party, and wacko leftist NPCs have bought a 4chan hoax meme about how the "OK" sign means "white power," it now appears that almost any waving gesture triggers the snowflakes as resembling a Nazi salute.

About the only wave likely to be safe from misinterpretation is the childlike one employed on stage by the late Red Skelton. But I'm sure that wouldn't last.

©   McGehee

Criminal Mastermind Alert, 1

So you gave a false name to avoid getting thrown in jail for something you did. And you got thrown in jail anyway for something the guy whose name you gave, did. But his sentence was only two days, so it was still a win, right?

While in jail, Sheriffs realized Heller did not match the appearance of the other man. He was immediately charged with perjury, forgery, and interference.


Next thing you know, people with outstanding warrants will start selling their own identities.

©   McGehee

It’s All About Redistricting

Why are Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams acting like such sore losers in their increasingly futile quests to become governor of Florida and Georgia, respectively? It's because they want Democrats to oversee the redistricting process in these two states — indeed, as many as possible — after the upcoming 2020 census.

The Democrats have become dependent in recent decades on California to provide them with a big chunk of their seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, but after the 2010 census California failed to gain seats for the first time since it became a state in 1850. It's not unreasonable to think that it will even lose seats after 2020 — especially now that the longstanding citizenship question will be restored to the census questionnaire after a relatively brief absence.

They may be nuts, but they're not stupid. They know that holding onto (or perhaps regaining) a House majority past 2020 depends on squeezing more blue districts into other populous states to compensate. Even with a Republican-majority Legislature, any district map unfavorable to Democrats would have to overcome a gubernatorial veto if either Gillum or Abrams succeed in their efforts. And that's even before the inevitable lawsuits. Politics may be hardball, but redistricting is Calvinball — and what's at stake is who gets to be Calvin.

The new House apportionment will be interesting to see, and the new district maps will be in place for the 2022 election cycle. It will be a fascinating four years.

Stock up on popcorn and antacid.

©   McGehee

The Great DMV Battle of 2004

Over at Dustbury, Charles shows us yet another example of Yahoo! Answers imbecility for our entertainment, in which a car buyer wants to know how to take 600 miles off the title of a car that had all of 92,400 miles on it when he bought it — the seller had estimated 93,000.

As it happens, I know of a way — but he ain't gonna like it.

Back in 2004, with Mrs. McG's blessing and assistance, I bought a 1996 Ford Bronco. I'd had one previously, a 1981 we'd bought in Alaska in 1999 in driveable (and I use the term loosely) condition and driven the following September some 4,500 miles to our present environs. It had no air-conditioning, though, which made it uncomfortable to drive in a Southern summer, and got somewhere south of 12 miles per gallon. Long story short, the '81 wound up getting towed away in 2002, and I hadn't yet managed to get the Bronco-owning out of my system. So a couple of years later, here I was at the county tag office trying to register the '96 — only to be told the title couldn't be generated because of an odometer discrepancy.

Turned out that the seller had had the truck long enough to decide to sell it, but not long enough to have transferred title and gotten it registered in his name, until the day we met so I could test drive it. On his own title application, he had estimated the odometer reading, and then I, boy scout that I was, had ignored the number printed on his title and written down the correct number — which was lower than his estimate by a few hundred miles.

The DMV instructed me to have the seller sign a notarized waiver agreeing that my figure was correct, and that's what I did. Assuming that would be the end of it, I sent the papers back to the DMV in Atlanta and waited to receive my title.

Instead what I received was a directive that I must now find the previous seller — the person who'd sold it to the guy I'd bought it from — and have them sign off on the odometer reading.

That's where I dug in my heels. I wrote letters to my state legislators and to the then-Governor, Sonny Perdue. I laid out several reasons why this new requirement was unreasonable and would be counterproductive. I also pointed out that the whole point of policing odometer readings was to prevent fraud, but that the difference between the seller's estimate and my reading was insufficient — on a truck with nearly 100,000 miles on it — to have made an appreciable change in the value of the truck.

I heard back from one legislator (who went on a few years later to be elected to Congress and even briefly be considered for Speaker in 2015 instead of Paul Ryan), and it's possible he communicated with Gov. Perdue's office about it. At any rate, I finally got my title, along with an apology from the then-director of the agency. I forget how long I was driving the Bronco around without a title, but it was long enough that being one of the few people who ever won an argument with Patty and Selma was a significant consolation.

So, if the Answer Yahoo really wants to raise a bureaucratic stink over 600 miles on a title certificate, I can assure him he will have driven off that 600 miles (if he hasn't already) long before he gets his way.

Which, unless he is already known and respected by certain politically influential people, as I was 14 years ago, he may very well not.

©   McGehee

Could Be Worse

The Democrats could have somebody sane and/or coherent to be the next Speaker. I'm with Dennis on the long term outcome.

Ed Rendell wants the Democrats' new House majority to get things done in the next two years: Don't just investigate, legislate! Dream on, Ed — virtue signaling is the most important thing for the Left now. It affords the opportunity to say things that will sound good to their fellow Leftists without having to find out whether the things they say will actually work. By the time the presidential nominating process for 2020 is underway, the federal government may look even more Republican than it did last weekend.

Here in Georgia, our election for Secretary of State is headed to a runoff, thanks to a Libertarian spoiler. For Governor, Stacey Abrams can't win — but Georgia's stupid runoff system means she may get a chance to lose again next month — depending on how the count from last night ultimately turns out.

By contrast, Wyoming — in the Mountain time zone, so that the polls stayed open an additional two hours while we here in Georgia were already counting — settled its races long ago. There's something to be said for being the least populous state. There was a Speaker squeaker when the count initially showed the next state House Speaker-to-be losing to his sole opponent, a Libertarian, but absentee ballots saved him and he won by a few dozen votes. It wasn't even midnight yet out there.

Update: The Wyoming Speaker-to-Be, isn't. The expected-to-be-outgoing Speaker sought and won a second term, which isn't the normal way out there. Maybe the would-be successor's near-loss on Election Night had an impact on the incumbent's decision and that of the caucus?

©   McGehee

Got Pie?

I do. Found a zipfile online with the upgrade to Android 9.0 formulated for my Nokia phone, and followed the unusual instructions to install it. It didn't even involve invoking the bootloader; put the file on the phone (in the right location), use the phone app keypad, and let 'er rip.

I wasn't even absolutely sure I was doing it right, but it worked. I don't know if this procedure is just for Nokia phones, or for all Android One handsets, but I like it. Google should adopt it OS-wide for those of us who don't want to wait however long the passive wait-until-it-appears-on-your-phone way might happen to take.

©   McGehee

What Just Happened!?

The sky is getting light and it's not even 7:30 a.m. yet!

I blame Trump!

©   McGehee

Duck Season? Wabbit Season?

Nope. Spam season.

After months of averaging less than one piece per day in my spam folder, now I'm getting inundated. And no, the political stuff has actually dwindled in the last week or so. These are notices of singles in my area, offers of shiny new non-prescription alleged medications, alerts of security breaches (about to happen) to my online accounts, that sort of thing.

No Nigerian royals asking for my help in spiriting billions out of their country though — those types of scams have given way to the robocalls about how I will be taken under custody by the local police, or the like — though (knock on wood) I haven't gotten one of those in, well, a while. Small favors, and all that.

©   McGehee

Okay, if Not Late September...

...how about the Tuesday before the fourth Thursday in November?

That way the following Thursday really would be a giving of thanks, that that's finally over with. For at least a couple of days.

©   McGehee



November 2018


Original content and design © 2018 Kevin McGehee. Images and excerpts are © their respective owners.