The Arts Mechanical

When Sarah Hoyt talked about the new normal she didn’t discuss just what that means.  Well, while it’s not a conspiracy, in order to keep the price point in inflation, many of the things that we buy for consumption have been shrinking for some time. Like ice cream containers.  Or package sizes in frozen foods.  And one thing that most people haven’t noticed, but probably should have, toilet paper.

Slowly but surely, toilet paper rolls have been shrinking.

Toilet paper squares, the individual sheets that connect to make each roll, were once 4.5 inches wide and 4.5 inches long. That standard, however, has shifted, or at the very least loosened its grip on the industry, to a point where companies are selling sheets that are a half-inch shorter or thinner, or both.

A reader wrote in to a columnist at the Los Angeles Times saying he has noticed a roughly 26 percent…

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Behind Door Number One

Wide Awake But Dreaming

First off, before I get started, I gotta do a little pumping of fists and a bit of boasting.  Over on the other blog to which I contribute, The Snarking Dead, the person who got me into the recapping game, Rachel, put up her recap for the season finale of Game of Thrones, The Winds of Winter, on Monday my time.  It started getting hits, slowly at first, before taking off like wildfire consuming a bunch of religious fanatics, and up to this point, about forty-eight hours later–well, here:

Numbers don't lie. Numbers don’t lie.

Since that’s a bit hard to read unless you open it in a new window and enlarge, it’s 13,845 hits for that particular post.  So I tip the cap I’d wear if I could find one to fit my big head to my co-conspirator in snark, for that is remarkable, and the sort of numbers I’d…

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$15.00 Per Hour For Flipping Burgers Isn’t The Issue: It Is About A Survivable Wage

Truth Troubles

Republicans and business owners do not want a $15.00 per hour minimum wage for people who do menial work. The comment that keeps resonating in my memories are those made by these folks who say the job simply isn’t worth that high of a wage and they are correct, it’s not. But the issue is not the question of if these jobs are worth that much pay just as these same politicians are or are not worth what they are being paid, by us. The question is being staged simply as value. Is the person flipping burgers worth paying $600.00 per week (15.00 x 40 hrs a week), probably not, but this issue isn’t about the employees value to the company, it is about your value as an employer to the employee. Simply put the workers are working there at your company everyday trying to make a living for themselves…

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It was early morning when we stepped quietly into the cozy dining area of the bed and breakfast. A quick glance told us we were first, so we took a seat at one of the several small tables arranged intimately throughout the room. Soon other guests trickled in and sat where they liked, usually leaving the empty “buffer” table between themselves and those already seated. A few “good morning” nods were traded but no one spoke. We were, after all, strangers.

Each table solemnly eyeballed the others to see just who chance had decided they spend that particular weekend with. No one in the room knew the other guests, but by luck of the draw and an online reservation we were about to share breakfast. Bad hair, puffy eyes, and all. It’s an awkward silence that wins as strangers size up one another.

That silence was broken when the friendly…

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Gun Control Aims to Disarm the People, Not Save Lives


May 17, 2016

It’s impossible, in this day and age, to pick up a stranger’s password-protected mobile phone and send a text. It’s easy to steal anyone’s gun and fire away … So President Barack Obama wants the government to assist in the development of smart-gun technology, which has the potential to reduce the number of preventable deaths.  – Bloomberg

Obama’s is trying to control guns again. And this is the proximate cause for articles like this Bloomberg opinion piece about how necessary it is to stop gun violence by any means necessary.

But the larger issue is one that is not often pointed out.

It is actually quite unbelievable that this incessant effort to make guns more difficult to use is entirely motivated by well-meaning individuals  who want to protect our loved ones from deadly weapons.

Anyone who has had even occasional interactions with US governments at…

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February 1944 (1)

Pacific Paratrooper

93rd SeaBees on Nissan Island 93rd SeaBees on Nissan Island

1 February – Operation CATCHPOLE (operations against Eniwetok and Ujelang Atolls in the Marshall Islands) is begun to occupy and defend Eniwetok Atoll.  This will furnish a striking base for operations against the Marianas. During the operation, the 7th Air Force aircraft operating from newly acquired bases in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands neutralized airfields in the Marianas and continued to pound by-passed airfields in the Marshalls.

1-4 February in an effort to reinforce Nissan Island, in the Green Islands, enemy submarines I-185 and I-169 left Rabaul carrying troops.  Due to heavy seas, only 77 soldiers made it to shore and the boats returned to their base with the remainder of the reinforcements.

USMC-II-32 (473x640)

1-8 February – In the Marshall Islands, Kwajalein Atoll would cost 372 American casualties and the islands of Roi-Namaur totaled 737.  After 8 days of battles, the Japanese had 11, 612 casualties.


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