Saturday, March 25, 2006

How about a year of the Carnival of Cordite?

There's a whole year's worth of delicious gunny goodness to be had in this week's 52nd Carnival of Cordite. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some reading to do.

Friday, March 24, 2006

It rose from the muck

(Via Head's Bunker)

Wanna buy a T-34--cheap?

Smart-assness aside, this is actually a very cool story. I'm glad it's going to be properly preserved--it may be unique in the world.

Survival Tale, Part III

Well, I should have known that this story wouldn't have a happy ending...

Warrant Issued for Parents of Stranded Oregon Family

It seems that Mr. Higginbotham has outstanding warrants on drug and weapons charges.

Authorities and Elbert Higginbotham said he was house-sitting for a friend in Heber, Ariz., when police raided the home. Higginbotham said he knew drugs were in the home.

But he said: "We weren't dealing in any way shape or form. We told the cops who were doing it, and now they are making it out like we did it."

Maybe he gulity, maybe not. In any case, that thumping sound is me, banging my head.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Survival Tale, Part II

The San Diego Times-Union has this story on the survival adventure of the Higginbotham family.

They confirmed a suspicion of mine that, being in a 36' RV, they had power and heat during their time in the snow. That was fortunate for them, and makes things much easier (as well as more pleasant).

They also confirmed my assumption that these folks were, at some level, survival oriented (although the story sort of makes that sound like a bad thing):

Elbert Higginbotham was a self-described survivalist who spent many years in the desert with no electricity or running water. Six years ago, he stockpiled rations for the never-realized Y2K disaster.

What I find the most interesting is local law enforcement's view of these people going missing and their actions, compared to the views and reactions of those who actually know them. Let's do a compare and contrast

Law enforcement says:

"“It's not against the law to be missing,"” he (Ashland Police Detective Brent Jensen) said.


The younger couple did not show up for work and phone calls went to voice mail. Peter Stivers works for a 7-Eleven, his wife for a video rental store.

"These are not lifelong careers,"” Jensen said. "They are minimum-wage jobs. It is not unusual for people to decide they want to take time off."

That sort of sounds like, "Hey, these people are at the bottom of the ladder, so they're expendable." Nice.

Now here are the views and actions of friends and coworkers:

Relatives filed a missing persons report three days after the family was due back.

OK, given they were on a road trip, that sounds reasonable.

Renate Cherry, who owns the 7-Eleven, said Stivers had been due for the midnight shift March 5 and knew there was a problem when he didn't show up.

Which seems to me to indicate that, bottom of the ladder or not, Mr. Stivers was a good employee who was always punctual. He didn't care if it was a minimum wage job, he still took it seriously.

There's been a lot of discussion over the years on just how hard it would "disappear" yourself in this country. The answer seems to be get yourself a minimum wage job, then just...go. The cops won't put much effort into looking for you.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Survival Tale

A Y2K stash of food, along with some luck and keeping their heads, enabled an Oregon family to survive 2 weeks in an RV, trapped in the snow in a remote area about 80 miles north of the Oregon-California border.

While is a perfectly reasonable question to ask why they decided to take a 36' motor home into this area, I'd rather concentrate on the idea that when something bad did happen, these folks were prepared and kept their heads, doing mostly the right things. They made it out alive and in pretty good shape.

Good going, guys.

Poster child for slanted science

(Via Drudge)

Whiny children, claims a new study, tend to grow up rigid and traditional. Future liberals, on the other hand ...

So sayeth Jack Block, a researcher at, wait for it...University of California-Berkeley.

I wonder how you get libertarians?

Bad cop--no email

This one comes to you from the "hard to believe" section:

Budget constraints are forcing some FBI agents to operate without e-mail accounts, according to the agency's top official in New York.

The CNN article goes on to say that there is an "endless stream of complaints" coming in from the field, but that 75% of the agents have external email accounts.

Well that's comforting. So the agents have send data that probably shouldn't be sent via insecure channels to places like GMail or Hotmail just so they can do their work? That ought to make us all sleep better at night.

What's next--carrier pigeon?

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Only somewhat?

(Via Geek With a .45)

I have to work harder....

You Are Somewhat Machiavellian

You're not going to mow over everyone to get ahead...

But you're also powerful enough to make things happen for yourself.

You understand how the world works, even when it's an ugly place.

You just don't get ugly yourself - unless you have to!