On this day

in 1848, James Marshall discovered gold in California. Gold can still be found in the bottom of your pan there today.

The Talented Mr. Strong

So here's my Superbowl take from Latte-Land.

To start it off, I am not a Seahawks fan. I have never really liked Mike Holmgren. I will never consider Matt Hasselbeck a Superbowl caliber quarterback. If it were soley about the QB's, I'd take Peyton 'Choke-in-the-big-ones' Manning over Hasselbeck any day.

I think that the Steelers will have a tough offensive day. All season, Seattle has had great success getting pressure while rushing three or four. I don't expect that to change. And I can't wait to see Lofa Tatupu and Bettis crack heads.

But the key to the game, to me, will be Mack Stron versus Troy Polamalu. Mack is the best blocking back in the game. He DOES NOT miss blocks. Troy is agile and quick enough to get blocked and still fuck up the play.

If Holmgren tries to block Troy with linemen (even the PBL members) or receivers, it's going to be short duty for the Seattle offense. Every running play needs to have Mack putting his hat on Troy. Other wise, Mr. MVP will be seeing a lot more no-gainers. On pass plays, I won't be surprised to see Mack staying in to pick up Porter or Troy on blitzes.

My pick for the game: Alexander out with another concussion and Roethlisberger out with a separated shoulder. After 12th Overtime, Holmgren and Cowher agree on a Superbowl Deathmatch. Seattle wins after Holmgren summons doppelganger and triple-teams Cowher with Craig Stadler and Andy Reid.

Too close to call.



Something is stirring deep down (You! Out of the gutter). Like Ron, though for different reasons, I feel like I'm ready for something new. Working for the Lazy B is surprisingly boring. I've been here nearly 8 years and haven't used my engineering skill at all. Engineering judgement, slightly more.

Working here is definitely not fulfilling. No challenge, red tape, no expectation to perform. Management seems to always be focused on schedule and cost, never about quality in product or performance. So maybe it's time to get serious about moving.

I'd love to work here. I would, in all likelyhood, be able to keep my Top Secret clearance (major plus). The town is small and still affordable (major plus). The company is small and, for now, cutting edge (major plus). But I still don't get the feeling that I would be fulfilled.

I've also toyed with the idea of starting a company. I'm not sure I could pass the PE as I haven't ever done anything in mechanical design since college. I have system design skills...requirements development and management. I have system integration skills...integrating hydraulics, electronics, and structures. I have test skills...testing systems mentioned above. Sadly, at least in my head, those skills are only useful to large companies in large cities. (I'm sure most large companies agree with the Lazy B and assume anyone can be molded into possessing these skills, thus will not pay large sums of money to employ them.)

So basically I have no idea what "my company" would do. To steal and butcher from Bruce Willis in Armageddon, I want to get paid to sit around thinking shit up. I'm pretty good at it, though I can usually find flaws with my ideas. I'm pretty good at finding flaws in things too. It's made me an expert at functional audits.

And I hate cooking. So I can't start a restaurant with Ron, though my wife might want to...


In the Wilderness

Yesterday, in her State of the State address, Governor Gregoire stated
I believe health care is a basic right and not a perk.
I have to disagree.

When I try to determine what is a right, I think of what I would have or be free to do if I was in the wilderness with no government or law to tell me or others what to do. I would have the right to protect myself. I would have the right to say or write what I pleased. I would be free to worship as I pleased. I would be free to associate with whomever I chose in all my dealings. My property would not be taken by others without just compensation, determined by me. I would be free to find food and water through whatever means, so long as I do not violate the property of others. I have the right to travel where I wish barring violating the property of others. I have the right to medicate myself with whatever pills, injections, concoctions, potions, herbs or plants I choose.

These are all rights that in some way have been limited or taken by the government.

Things others would be compelled to give to me do not fall into those categories. While I have the right to pursue food and water, no one is required to give it to me. If I cannot get it on my own I should starve. If I do not have a car, I shall ride a horse, or a cow, or an elk. If I cannot capture such a beast that is unowned, I shall walk. No one is required to provide me passage or mode. I would protect myself with a gun. If I cannot get a gun or ammunition, I shall use a rock. If a rock is not in reach, I shall use my hands. No one is required to protect me. If I don’t like the way you look or sound or smell or what god you worship, I shall not deal with you in any way. You are allowed to treat me the same way. I can make a poltice, or a splint, or find some nightshade to relieve the pain. No one is required or obligated to give me heal my wounds.

These are all "rights" granted by government.

I have no right to sustenance provided at the expense of others. I have no right to transportation or passage through the property of others. I have no right to protection. I have no right forcing you to deal with me. And to Mrs. Gregoire, I have no right to health care.

Finkbeiner misunderstands

The Seattle Times praises State Senator Bill Finkbeiner for changing his position on the gay rights bill. Whatever. The thing that actually motivated me to blog today was a comment Senator Finkbeiner made on the John Carlson Show last night.

Finkbeiner said something to the effect of, "I tend to be a libertarian on personal and business issues." I think he misses, quite widely, one of the firm tennants of libertarianism. That being, that as an individual you have the right to associate, whether in personal dealings, business, financial, educationally, with whomever you wish.

What Finkbeiner says, in supporting the revision of the discrimination laws, is that if you own property, you cannot decide to whom to rent your property. If you own a business, you cannot decide who you hire. Your freedom of association is subjugated to a state mandated right of others to your business and property.

If Finkbeiner was truly "libertarian" on these issues, he would be pushing for the complete removal of the discrimination statute. If he was truly "libertarian" he would understand the difference of preventing the state from discriminating (clearly a violation of citizens rights) and preventing an individual from discriminating against whomever they choose(a Constitutionally protected right).

UPDATE Rhetorical: What happens in the case of a white supremecist rental owner and a Phillipino renter? The discrimination clearly protects the white supremecist's "creed" while also protecting the renter's race. Which takes precedence?