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Monthly Archives: January 2014

In his treatise The Law, Frederic Bastiat warned us about the greatest evil in a society: the conversion of the law into a system of plunder. Take a look at this cartoon from Doug Ross (illustrated by Biff Spackle), and see if you don’t think Bastiat was right on the money. Read More

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I wonder if the Congress will even bother to counter this move. Who needs a Constitution when you can have an imperial Presidency? Never mind that this will produce the nasty unintended consequence of reducing the number of jobs for which federal contractors must pay a wage. It seems that we (through our feckless elected representatives) are just going to sit back and let this egomaniac do whatever the hell he damn well pleases, regardless of the destruction wrought.

In case you’re wondering about the pen and phone reference to executive orders, see here.

President Obama, in the first of potentially many executive actions tied to his State of the Union address, will unilaterally increase the minimum wage for workers under new federal contracts to $10.10 an hour, from $7.25, in an effort to build momentum for a minimum wage hike for all Americans. Read More

This looks like such an amazing idea and project. This BreakThru Films production will be a full-length animated film featuring the paintings, drawings, and people in Vincent van Gogh’s life. The whole thing will be hand-painted in the style of van Gogh. It’s only 18% funded with 10 days to go, so if you have a few extra bucks, go over and give them a couple. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/438026311/loving-vincent-bringing-van-goghs-paintings-to-lif/widget/video.html

For a coffee maker?

I’m working on a contract with a financial services company near Richmond, VA, that has very nice facilities and treats their employees with some great amenities. One of them is a Van Houtte Latte lounge coffee maker, which is provided free of charge, and makes about ten different kinds of coffee and hot chocolate drinks. It’s very nice, and I use it about twice every day.

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I noticed that after you make all your selections and push the big blue button to make your drink, that there’s a status bar showing the progress of your drink. It counts off the progress by percentage – in units of 1 (it always stops at 96%). Is that really necessary? Wouldn’t it suffice to just show the bar, and when the bar is full, you know your drink is done?

IMG_9450IMG_9451IMG_9452Pavilion viewStaked outWork in progress
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Pine Forest Pavilion, a set on Flickr.

I got the idea for this back in April of 2013 when we were harvesting wood from a 50+ year-old chicken house that my uncle was removing to build his house on my great-grandfather’s farm in Nottoway County, VA. For several years, I’ve thought it would be great to have a place to get out of the sun or rain when we were down at the pond fishing, and it would also be a nice place for us to gather for picnics.

Initially I was going to try and use the red oak from the chicken house, but it wasn’t really straight enough to use for this purpose. I’ll probably build some furniture for the pavilion out of the chicken house wood. Read More