Your Lying Eyes.

Who ya gonna believe? Them? Or your lying eyes?


(Courtesy A. F. Branco.)

California Takes On 2″ X 4″‘s.

Wood-pileBecause California has solved all of its problems, Marin County District Attorney Edward S. Berberian decided to sue Lowes for deceptive product labeling practices.

The main issue was that non-dimensional 2″ X 4″ pieces of lumber were not 2″ X 4″ but instead are 1.5″ X 3.5″.

The key wording in that statement is “non dimensional” as 2″ X 4″‘s are cut from freshly cut timber.

Lumber manufacturers typically cut a tree into dimensional

lumber very shortly after the tree is felled. Then, the newly-sawn (but soaking wet) lumber is kiln-dried until it reaches the desired moisture level. As lumber dries, it shrinks (as the moisture in the wood is reduced, the wood cells shrink, particularly across the grain). While the 8′ length won’t change much as the wood dries, the 2″ width and 4″ height (cross-section of the grain) will shrink considerably.

Because of this shrinkage, a typical 2×4 will usually measure out to around 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″. These numbers can vary slightly, but modern lumber manufacturers are pretty adept at delivering consistently-sized supplies of dimensional lumber.

In short, manufacturers cut the lumber into 2″ X 4″ pieces of wood, but as the wood dries it shrinks. Add to that the companies plane the wood to make sure it is somewhat smooth and you get a smaller, on-dimensional 2″ X 4″ piece of wood.

Amazingly, (well, maybe not as this is California) a California Superior Court Judge Judge Paul M. Haakenson agreed with District Attorney Berberian and issued an order requiring Lowes to do three things when it comes to labeling products such as 2″ X 4″‘s:

Who Thought This Was A Good Idea?

Just when you thought the episode in Ferguson, Missouri was settling down, the police managed to ramp it back up again.

Somehow a group of police thought it would be a great idea to wear “I AM DARREN WILSON” bracelets while out on patrol.

Wilson, if you remember, is the officer that shot and killed Micheal Brown. The circumstances surrounding the incident(s) that led to the death of Brown and whether Wilson should be prosecuted are still being investigated.

(image courtesy of the Twitter account of "mediablackoutusa.")

(image courtesy of the Twitter account of “mediablackoutusa.”)

Talk about waving a red flag in front of a herd of bulls.

You would think that the “professionals” would understand the effect wearing something like that would have on the protestors and people in the community, but no. Someone thought it would be a great idea to show solidarity and put more bricks in the blue wall.

To make matters worse, the City of Ferguson went out and hired a public relations expert by the name of Devin James.

That didn’t go as well as the City hoped either:

Resiliency Sort Of Revisited.

Be-Resilient-BeachThe other day we talked about a “Resilient Communities” meeting held here in Satellite Beach.

A few days later, our friend William Teach over at the Pirate’s Cove took note that not only is l’il ol’ Satellite Beach looking into to “resilient communities,” but the Department of Homeland Security is as well.

The vision of homeland security is to ensure a homeland that is safe, secure, and resilient against terrorism and other hazards.

According to DHS:

Three key concepts form the foundation of our national homeland security strategy designed to achieve this vision:


Resilience, and
Customs and Exchange.

In turn, these key concepts drive broad areas of activity that the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR) process defines as homeland security missions. These missions are enterprise-wide, and not limited to the Department of Homeland Security. These missions and their associated goals and objectives tell us in detail what it means to prevent, to protect, to respond, and to recover, as well as to build in security, to ensure resilience, and to facilitate customs and exchange.

From Reuters:

Pizza Hut Delverymen Now Carry Guns. And Badges.

We give police a hard time around here sometimes when it is deserved, but this story is not about police behaving badly.

After a pizza hut delivery man was involved in an accident, two Portland police officers delivered the pizza to the couple who had ordered the pizza.

(Courtesy: Steve Huckins)

(Courtesy: Steve Huckins)

Ryan Rakos was delivering a pizza to Steve Huckins and his wife when he was involved in a vehicle accident in which he hurt his back and neck. The accident was unknown to the Huckins who called the PIzza Hut to say their pizza had not been delivered. The manager of the store said he would make another pizza and deliver it personally.

While the Huckins were chowing down on the second pizza, there was a knock at the door. Huckins opened the door to find two officers with the first pizza in hand, completing the delivery.

More Educational Stupidity.

Agusta-Chapstick-ROHAn elementary school student at Stuarts Draft Elementary School in the Augusta (VA) School District has a small medical problem – her lips chap to the point where they will bleed.

There is a solution to fifth grader’s Grace Karaffa problem: ChapStick.

Yep. That simple lip balm that millions of people carry around on a daily basis to help with their dry, chapped lips.

One would think that Grace would be able to carry ChapStick with her.

One would be wrong.

The Agusta School District has a policy that classifies ChapStick as an “over the counter medication.” The policy states that if Grace needs the Chap Stick, all she has to do is get a doctor’s permission slip for its use. After that….

“Our policy is not to be so restrictive. It is really a protection for the students,” he said. As with other medications, kids can get their doctors to permit nurses to apply Chapstick in the office, or parents can come in to administer it themselves,” [assistant superintendent for administration said George] Earhart said. (emphasis ours)

The school district’s press release on this says, in part, the following:

Top 10 Movie Makeup Transformations of All Time.

While most lists and list videos are highly subjective and opinion, this list has some cool information in it. We did not know the make-up in the movie Elephant Man was the genesis for the “Best Makeup” category or that the large number of make-up artists used for the movie Planet of the Apes caused other movies to be postponed due to a lack of available make-up artists.

Movie makeup can do more than hide imperfections and beautify actors. Well-designed makeup can play a major role in creating a character. These are our top 10 makeup transformations of all time.

Forest Service Wants Photography Permits For Wilderness Areas.

US-Forest-Service-Permit-Required-ROHThe US Forestry Service is seeking public comments on a proposal that would require permits for photography in designated wilderness areas.

You read that right.

The US Forestry service wants people to obtain a $1500.00 permit to film or photograph in a designated wilderness area.

According to the Oregonian:

Under rules being finalized in November, a reporter who met a biologist, wildlife

advocate or whistleblower alleging neglect in any of the nation’s 100 million acres of wilderness would first need special approval to shoot photos or videos even on an iPhone.

Permits cost up to $1,500, says Forest Service spokesman Larry Chambers, and reporters who don’t get a permit could face fines up to $1,000.

Wilderness areas are set apart for a variety of reasons, but there are massive regulations on their use and maintaining the “pristine” nature of the area. They are designed so Americans can enjoy the beauty of the area as well as allow diverse wildlife in a natural environment.

What it is not designed to do is to not allow Americans the joy of seeing such land. Wilderness areas are not the private playgrounds of government officials seeking to expand their authority.

Allow us to demonstrate the expanse of that authority.

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