Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for September 10th, 2016

Bad cat news: The Killer Cats Are Winning!

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Worth reading, especially for cat lovers.

I will note for the record that our cats (Molly; TYD’s cats; The Eldest’s cats) are all indoor-only cats. They don’t venture outside, as much for their own protection as for the protection of wildlife: they face various outdoor dangers (traffic, other animals, parasites, disease, and so on), and we feel responsible for our cats’ safety, and also don’t want to deal with the outcomes of bad encounters.

But it’s good to know the general problem, and why all cats should stay indoors.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 September 2016 at 12:21 pm

Hillary Clinton is another Colin Powell victim

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Jennifer Rubin is a conservative columnist for the Washington Post, and I have frequently disagreed with her columns. However, unlike Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Marco Rubio, and others, she is not a hack who will support Trump regardless of what he says and what positions he takes, and in this column she shows that facts matter.

Suspicion falls on a high-level administration official. Colin Powell, who cultivates a saintlike image as a man above politics, knows that the accused is blameless. He nevertheless remains silent so as not to besmirch his own image. The accused twists in the wind and suffers personal and professional calamities, which largely could have been avoided had Powell spoken up earlier. The tale of Hillary Clinton’s emails? Actually, that was the Scooter Libby episode.

Libby, chief of staff to then-Vice President Dick Cheney, was falsely accused of leaking the name of CIA employee Valerie Plame. The real culprit was Richard Armitage, as his boss, Colin Powell, knew all too well. Powell and Armitage remained silent, but prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald (who also knew Armitage was the culprit) investigated Libby, whose poor memory led to a prosecution, conviction and later a partial pardon. Powell apparently felt no guilt in countenancing investigation of an innocent man. He learned no lesson, it seems.

Along comes Hillary Clinton, no computer whiz. New to the job, she asks Colin Powell about how he dealt with emails. In this case, it was a good thing she was using email. We now have that email exchange in which Powell tells her: “I didn’t have a BlackBerry. What I did do was have a personal computer that was hooked up to a private phone line (sounds ancient.) So I could communicate with a wide range of friends directly without it going through the State Department servers.” That sounds not so different at all, especially to a non-techie, from having her own server at home, doesn’t it? Powell confided, “I even used it to do business with some foreign leaders and some of the senior folks in the Department on their personal email accounts. I did the same thing on the road in hotels.” He acknowledged warnings from intelligence services, but he “went about our business and stopped asking.” He also advised that BlackBerry records could become public. He counsels, “I got around it all by not saying much and not using systems that captured the data.”

You now understand how Clinton could have understood that, generally speaking, Powell did what she did. “Not using systems that captured the data” could very well have sounded to a layperson like “not using a server that captured the data on the State Department’s system.” She, like Powell, used insecure systems in hotels. Nevertheless, Clinton was painted as a liar, and Powell even indignantly claimed at one point that the Clinton team was always trying to “pin” the email problem on him.

It was Powell who was playing it too cute by half. He knew the advice he had given Clinton. He knew his own workarounds. Why didn’t he speak up, even if it meant casting himself in a poor light? Libby probably has wondered the same thing. Now Powell defensively writes in a prepared statement something about not being aware “at the time of any requirement for private, unclassified exchanges to be treated as official records.” He adds, “I stand by my decisions and I am fully accountable.” How about offering an apology for rotten advice to Clinton and for remaining mum, which made him look good and her much worse?

And James Comey, frankly, is partially to blame for making Clinton seem like an abject liar. He surely knew about the Powell-Clinton exchange, which is much more favorable to her than his sterile account and conclusion that Powell did not, in fact, do what she did. (He had no homeserver.) You also get a much better idea why she was not prosecuted; it was pretty darn close to what Powell did and, in any case, she relied in good faith on his advice.

Now, Clinton had an independent duty to comply with updated security protocols. She should not initially have said no classified emails were sent or received. She, like Powell, clearly was doing this to avoid allowing some material to be captured (not for “convenience”). But the entire scandal has a much less ominous feel when you have the details of the Powell-Clinton exchange. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 September 2016 at 8:51 am

Those who commute by automobiles: Please read this airline pilot’s cogent advice

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This PDF contains (in some detail) some excellent advice that will greatly help you avoid those accidents in which a car “came out of nowhere” (i.e., it came from one of the blind spots he discusses). It begins:

A Fighter Pilot’s Guide to Surviving on the Roads…

John Sullivan is a Royal Air Force pilot with over 4000 flight hours, and a keen cyclist. He regards himself as ‘a simple fighter-pilot’ and in this article he describes why collisions can occur and, in layman’s terms, how some of the techniques of flying fighters can be used to increase your chances of survival on the roads. All proceeds from this article are going to charity.

Who hasn’t formed these thoughts, or similar, at some point while cycling or driving? Probably in response to a vehicle that had just moved directly into your path – and you might congratulate yourself that only your alertness and superior reactions saved the day. If you were cycling then I expect that you may have even shared your thoughts, loudly, with the offending driver, and if you were driving then I imagine that there would have been some accompaniment from the horn section. Hopefully you were able to prevent the collision.

Now, before we go on, who can say that, at some point in their own driving history, they have not been about to manoeuvre – pull out from a T-junction, etc – when a car or bike seemed to come out of nowhere? Hopefully, it was just a close shave, and no doubt quite frightening. You may have wondered how you failed to see it, and probably concluded that they must have been driving ‘far too fast’ or you would have seen them. Perhaps, on such an occasion, you were the recipient of that loud and urgent query, ‘Are you blind?!!’

Well, here’s the bad news – yes, you are. For small but significant periods of time you are completely incapable of seeing anything at all. Most of the time, as I shall explain, this is not a problem. But if it means that you fail to see a vehicle that is just about to occupy the same point in space and time as you are – then this is a big problem!

The good news is that understanding why we sometimes do not see things allows us to adopt some defensive strategies that tip the odds back in our favour. This article then, is a fighter pilot’s survival guide to avoiding collisions…

Read the whole thing.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 September 2016 at 8:45 am

Posted in Daily life

Short-handled 1970 Super Adjustable goes to auction

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Super side

This razor ihas just been listed on eBay. It’s in very good condition.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 September 2016 at 8:25 am

Posted in Shaving

Crown King superfatted shaving soap and Phoenix Artisan Bakelite slant

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SOTD 2016-09-10

The brush is the RazoRock Artificial Badger from Italian Barber, and a very nice brush it is, too. The fibers are as soft and resilient as Plissoft, but differ in appearance.

I have mentioned that I am impressed with the Phoenix Artisan soaps I have used recently, particularly in the quality of the lather and how good they make my skin feel after the shave. I’m told that they use a superfatted formula, with some additional oils added post-saponification, and I believe some other soap makers do this as well. It’s just that I particularly noticed it in the Phoenix Artisan soap for some reason. The ingredients in Phoenix Artisan soaps made according to his current (version 3) formula:

Potassium Stearate, Glycerin, Potassium Cocoate, Aqua, Potassium Kokumate, Sodium Lactate, Potassium Shea Butterate, Potassium Castorate, Sodium Stearate, Potassium Avocadoate, Parfum [Fragrance]

His Crown King soaps use the same ingredients but in addition have cocoa butter:

Potassium Stearate, Glycerin, Potassium Cocoate, Aqua, Potassium Kokumate, Sodium Lactate, Potassium Shea Butterate, Potassium Castorate, Sodium Stearate, Potassium Cocoa Butterate, Potassium Avocadoate, Parfum [Fragrance]

Both soaps are well worth trying. If you have very oily skin, you may not care for them, but men with dry or normal skin will like them, and during winter I think everyone would like them given how dry indoor air is in very cold weather.

The Crown King soap I used today is Alt-11, whose fragrance is based on the tobacco flower, just as is that of Alt Innsbruck. And indeed the soap does have a wonderful fragrance. It’s a very nice soap—and I’m pleased to see that Crown King also has that seasonal favorite, Pumpkin 3.14.

With my face well lathered, I picked up my Phoenix Bakelite slant and set to work. I didn’t really detect any difference between this production model and the prototype, but perhaps I will in a side-by-side shave. At any rate, I found this to be quite a good slant for me, and at the price it’s an enormous bargain.

Three passes, a BBS result with no problems or nicks, and then a splash of Phoenix Artisan Sandalwood aftershave.

Altogether, a great way to start the weekend.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 September 2016 at 7:58 am

Posted in Shaving

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