Strange Evening

My neighborhood is not one where you typically find bodies in yards, unless they are birds or squirrels that succumbed to predators or youthful folly. So you can imagine I was a bit nonplussed when I turned down a residential street to get away from some unusually heavy traffic and I found what appeared to be an unconscious person in a yard, with two dogs. The dogs were not aggressive, but they did seem to want me to notice them and possibly do something (Border collie mixes). Continue reading


Back Home

Howdy all. Got in last night. I’m doing wash and sorting mail and books (more of which are coming from Germany via book-rate mail).

Almost Home

Good lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll be back on the real computer tomorrow. Right now my brain is saying “Why are you functioning? It’s 0230 vacation time!


Because it is 18:30 layover time. And the sun is way up in the sky.

What Purpose Government?

Welcome Instapundit Readers! thanks for Stopping by.

After reading the news yesterday about the French students and others who have decided to protest the presidential election no matter who wins, I started thinking about why. Granted, these are people who do not like any of their options in the run-off, but when you look at the protests and “protests” in France and in the United States, their arguments come down to one thing: the government is not doing what they believe it should.

In other words: what is the duty of government? What is its overarching purpose? Continue reading

Tuesday Tale

An excerpt from one of the North American Power stories, featuring Leigh Kendall, geologist and trouble-shooter.

Jake Nutter, the driller in charge of the John Marshall # 5, started pulling the bit as soon as he heard the sound and felt the vibration in the platform change, but he was too late. The heavy steel pipe dropped almost out of sight and all the available drilling mud vanished down the hole, pulled into a void that should not have been there. “Damn and blast it,” Jake swore. Once everything had slowed and the drill bit stopped, the roughnecks on the rig floor started pulling the pipe up enough to add additional sections, while the mud man worked to keep the critical fluid moving into the hole so it didn’t try and collapse. This was the fourth time in a week that something had gone wrong with this well, and although he wasn’t superstitious, Jake started to wonder.

He took a moment to climb down from the drilling platform. A hot summer Texas sun glared down on the crew and Jake pulled a clean-ish bandana out of his back pocket and wiped the sweat from under his hardhat. Typical August, and not as bad as some places he’d worked, Jake grimaced. I’ll go work in the Amazon before you get me back in Saudi he promised yet again. In Brazil you only had the environment working against you, not the environment and people too. The driller kicked a rock, making a puff of reddish dust as he walked over to where the geologist and the mud man were looking at the rig readings. “Not supposed to be a hole,” Jake stated.

Amos McKenna, the geologist, spread his hands in a “don’t look a me” gesture. “Here’s the seismograph, and here’s, well, something that’s not supposed to be there.”

“There’s nothing there.”

“Nothing’s not supposed to be there,” Amos growled. “We’re past the gippy layers and now that we’re under the Rodrick shale, we shouldn’t be hitting anything but sandstone until we reach the Lipscomb granite.” He pointed to the log from the John Marshall #4 mounted on the side of the trailer. Continue reading