Train Smash Women Convention

Foreword: I’ve reposted this piece with fresh updates (see below), because Aintree is still a Train Smash in progress. I am LOVING this…

I have spoken before of my fatal attraction towards Train Smash Women (an explanation of which can be found here) but honestly, one can have too much of a Good Thing.

In April, you see, ’tis time for the Grand National race at Aintree outside Liverpool (the latter being, without question, Train Smash Capital of the world), which means it’s time for you, O my Gentle Readers, to nominate the most likely, and worst possible Train Smash Woman out of the ones who appear in this year’s report of Day 1 at Aintree. It’s quite simple: just go down the page, and select the picture which represents to you a Train Smash Extraordinaire (count down from the top, and from left to right if there is more than one pic across the column. Here’s pic #1, for instance, followed by pics #2 and #3:

In comments, therefore, all you have to say is “I nominate #12” or “The girl in the red dress in #3”, (for instance), and I’ll be the final vote-counter and judge. (I have to say, #32 certainly caught my attention, but there is a plethora of good choices.

Have fun.


Update #1: The fun continues… and I apologize to all my Readers if I’ve caused them to puke up their breakfast. As Mr. Free Market has said in the past, “There’s good reason never to head north of the M4.”

Update #2: It’s Ladies Day! I use the appellation in its loosest [sic] possible form, of course. One can only imagine what today (Saturday) will bring…

But even before seeing the Saturday story, my favorite for Train Smash Woman Of Aintree goes to this priceless creature:

There it is: the dreadful dye job, the horrendous eye make-up, the tits falling out, the too-short skirt revealing flabby thighs: it’s the whole enchilada… and we didn’t even get to see her shoes. I’ll bet 2-1 (seeing as we’re at a horse race) that her entire life consists only of regrettable decisions.

Fabulous.

Still to come: Epsom and Ascot.

Note: I won’t be repeating this report for Melbourne’s Gold Cup celebrations because Australians.

 

 

What The Hell?

Okay, will somebody ‘splain to me why so many women are having sex with underage boys these days? Here’s one:

A British mother-of-three who performed a “dreadful catalog” of sex acts with underage boys was sentenced to seven years’ in prison on Friday. The court heard that Amanda Tompkins performed a ‘striptease’ and sexually abused the boys while her own children were inside the house. The 39-year-old was sentenced for 10 counts of physical and sexual abuse of six boys.
According to reports by the Mail Online and the Mirror, the court heard that Tompkins invited the group of boys between the ages of 13 and 15 to her home, furnishing them with marijuana and alcohol, before engaging them in oral sex and full-on intercourse. She also told one of the boys that he’d gotten her pregnant and that she needed an abortion.

Really? And then there’s this priceless princess:

A young teacher has been criminally charged with having sex multiple times with a 15-year-old student – and may be pregnant by him. Katherine Ruth Harper, 27, was arrested in Denton County, Texas, after the boy told police about their alleged relationship.

A police arrest warrant says she sent naked photos to the boy and drove to his house where she plied him with alcohol and engaged him in sexual congress.
The warrant includes the boy’s explicit description of one sexual encounter: “One thing led to another and she told me to ‘put it in’ and I did,” he said.
Harper allegedly taught the boy when he was younger, but he later moved schools.
The warrant claims the lovers repeatedly had sexual intercourse during the 2016 summer vacation.
Their amorous relationship allegedly ran from the beginning of July and ended on July 31st – eight months ago.
Harper is now eight months pregnant – though the legal documents do not comment on the child’s paternity.

She has been charged with conducting an improper relationship between an educator and student – a second-degree felony which carried a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison.

Now I have to admit that in the past I was one of those “Where were these teachers when I was in school?” guys. But there’s something deeply disturbing about older women giving young boys booze and drugs, then having it off with them.

What angers me the most about these cases is that so few of these women get serious jail time — in fact, they generally escape with suspended sentences. And we all know that if the roles were reversed and it was older men doing the same with underage girls, there’d be strident calls from womyns and feministicals for castration or worse.

Here’s the thing: in this country, the law should apply equally to everybody, regardless of race, creed, color or gender. In fact, that’s actually what the U.S. Code states. Except that women in the last category are getting away with it. (The British bitch in the first snippet is only going to get seven years in prison, because Britain. I bet she gets sprung after one or two.)

Back in the U.S., I won’t be happy until tarts like the Harper woman in the second snippet actually get twenty-year sentences, and serve most of them. Because this is bullshit.

But I’m still trying to see what motivates these women to do what they do because honestly, I’m stumped.

Everyday Ennui

Is it just me, or is the news nowadays really boring? I’m sure that to some people, it’s fascinating to watch the intrigues surrounding The Donald’s Executive Orders, or how the Socialists in the Democrat Party are doing their usual petulant-spoiled-child snit because they can’t get their own way, and of course there’s always the Loony Left who are still running around with their hair on fire because omigod-Hillary-wasn’t-elected-and-now-we’re-stuck-with-literally-Hitler! (Pro tip: not even close. In fact, if you look at their respective proclivities and ideologies, that Stalinist sow Hillary Bitch Clinton is far closer to the actual Hitler than Donald Hairstyle-Casino Trump.)

Then there’s the non-news, usually revolving around a Kardashian or some equally foul “reality” star (all of whom, I am glad to say, I know little or nothing at all), whose latest nude “selfies” have been “leaked” to Britain’s Daily Mail or whatever, or who have fallen in / out of love with some tattooed thug / rapper / loser [some redundancy]. To me, this is like having favorite performing seals at the zoo, and following their cute antics and tragedies and joys and heartbreaks and, and, and… and is that not a good description of reality TV? Does any of that shit actually matter to anyone who doesn’t write a gossip column / host a TV show? Does anyone care that some trailer-park artiste named Mama June (who actually looked like a walrus, according to some picture I saw which attached itself, burr-like, to my memory) has lost half her body-weight and now looks merely repulsive as opposed to slit-my-wrists grotesque?

Okay, maybe I’m being too harsh. Because I’m right now at a stage of my life where I honestly don’t give much of a flying fuck about anything, perhaps the Republican “replacement” for ObamaCare really is a stinker, or it isn’t. Maybe it’s a Big Deal that Senate Democrats, that bunch of neo-Trotskyist turdbrains, are risking the “nuclear option” of a simple majority vote (having created that little bit of parliamentary legerdemain themselves, anyway) that would put Trump’s guy Gorsuch in the Supreme Court. And maybe the ceaseless yowling of the Left and their publicity arm (a.k.a. the mainstream press and TV) means something in terms of how it’s affecting Trump’s First 100 Days. (Which, by the way, is an equally-specious construct because a hundred days means sweet F.A. to anything. What if the number was 105? 110? 92? They’re all just numbers, artificial deadlines meant to put pressure on a new President, and they, along with the people who have created this artificial yardstick, mean precisely squat.)

And maybe the riots on campus and inner-city streets by the frigging loonies of the so-called “antifa” are going to continue apace without any action by the Justice Department or local police forces — right up until a couple of Korean shopkeepers grab themselves some AR-15s and start doing a little riot control on their own behalf. (You can stop all that cheering and clapping now; it’s a hypothetical.)

And maybe Russia did this, and maybe they didn’t; and ditto the Israelis, or the Brits, or the inhabitants of Outer Assholistan, whoever the hell is breathlessly “discovered” to have influenced blah blah blah, b-b-blah blah blah —  is it any wonder that we look on this bullshit as though it were just a plotline of Days Of Our World Turns General Hospital? (Are any of those shows still airing? No, don’t tell me; I care even less about them than I do about Amy Schumer’s latest fiasco, or maybe it’s not hers but her Uncle Charlie’s.)

Here’s my take on all of it: it’s all bullshit, the whole fucking lot of it. Everybody’s either lying, making shit up or telling the absolute truth, or telling partial truths. Nobody can tell the difference nowadays, so in the absence of a decent alternative, I’m not going to believe a single thing anyone tells me anymore — whether it’s the President, the Congress, the Pope, the EPA, the CDC, the FBI, the State Department and especially the lying Jackals Of The Press (JOTP) — I’m going to assume that each and every one of them is lying their asses off, and I’m going to ignore them all until the bullets start to fly.

Which is what I think will have to happen before we can start trusting these assholes again, because it’s no longer in vino veritas; it’s in telo veritas — in modern terms, truth at gunpoint.

In the meantime, I’m going to concentrate on turning the 5,000-odd photographs of my adult life into pixels so I can finally throw away that damn giant shoebox of prints which I’ve schlepped across the Atlantic and over much of the United States for the past three decades.

That will have more meaning to my life than anything that mountebank Mitch McConnell says or does. Until the bullets start to fly, of course. And I don’t even care about that — because I am, as ever, extremely well-armed myself. They can all go to hell; I’m already in Texas. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the range.

Giving Your Life Away

I don’t mean that literally, of course; I’m talking about moving from a 3,000 sq. ft. house into a 650 sq. ft. apartment, and what that entails with your stuff.

The Mrs. and I were a little magpie-ish, and I think it was because as we were both once self-employed, we watched the pennies carefully when it came to office- and business-related purchases. Both of us hated having to buy office stuff — overhead and operating costs were a constant niggle — but even worse was having to buy the same thing again because we’d tossed the earlier one prematurely. So we ended up with old desktop PCs, old laptops and an astonishing number of monitor screens (I think there were eight, the last time I looked). And having a large garage as a store room just made that worse.

And that’s fine; it’s all become junk now, and I have no problem taking it all to Goodwill. (Did you know that Goodwill is listed as a primary “green” disposer of old computer hardware? I had no idea.)

Speaking of garages, we also had an astonishing number of tools (mostly woodworking, because that’s what I know how to do). But I wasn’t the cause of the Ace Hardware catalog in the garage: it was The Mrs. who, once she’d discovered that I knew how to use those things, insisted that I buy them and show her how to use them; then, having mastered them to her satisfaction, she’d elbow me out of the way and I’d never have to touch them again. Jigsaws, scroll saws, miter saws, drill presses, belt sanders, finishing sanders, routers, planers, nail guns — you name the tool, she used it constantly. She nearly burned out the drill press.

They’re all gone, now; I traded them all with a guy who’s going to put a new floor in the master bathroom in return, and I gave them away without a second thought, because I know I’m never going to use them again, nor will I ever have enough space to do so. There’s no emotion because they’re just tools.

What I hate — absolutely hate — is getting rid of books. As I watch the Son& Heir and Canucki-Girlfriend take the books down off the shelves, I have to make the dreaded Keep / Discard decision for each one, and I have to tell you, for a man whose entire life has revolved around books, it’s like losing knowledge, piece by bloody piece.

(I’ve never bought into e-books, by the way. I tried a Kindle, but it might as well been kindling for all the appeal it had to me. Here’s the reason why: my eyesight is failing [Old Fart Problem #4], which means I have to increase the font size to see the words properly. Problem: I read at about 2,000 words per minute (always have), which means that I’d get a blister on my thumb from hitting the “Next Page” button on a Kindle. The Mrs. even complained about the noise of the constant rapid-fire clicking.)

And that’s the problem, right there: I love the feel of a book in my hands. I love the ability to flip backwards to re-read a passage that turned out to be important later on. I love the fact that once I own a book, it can’t be taken away from me electronically by some algorithm which decides that I’ve had the content “long enough” (as though there’s an expiration date on ownership).

Yet now those same books are being taken away from me, not by an algorithm but by real estate — or the lack thereof — and maybe it’s just because I’m in mourning anyway, but the loss of my books is causing me unbelievable heartache. The more popular ones are going to Half Price Books, the gutless gun-haters, because I need the money. The “good” books (in my opinion), the history books, the philosophy books, the political books — all those are going to Goodwill and Salvation Army because I want them to reach people who really need them.

The Son&Heir estimated that there were about 5,000 books on the various bookshelves scattered around the house, and I’ve had to say good-bye to all but maybe a hundred or so. For a book-lover like me, it’s Sophie’s Choice, times thousands. Here’s the main bookshelf in the library — yes, it was called the library, because that’s what it was — and all the books you see are hardbacks. All but about twenty are gone.

And the same applies to the other eight bookcases located in other rooms and the upstairs den. Two are larger than this one.

This plain sucks.

And just let some wise-ass say that this is a First World Problem, and I’ll come over to his fucking house and burn it down. With him inside.

No. Just… NO.

Via Insty, I discovered this little beast lurking in the bushes. The piece is entitled, “The race for autonomous cars is over. Silicon Valley lost” and is about how Silicon Valley won’t be able to challenge Detroit / Wolfsburg / Stuttgart / Tokyo in the manufacture of autonomous cars. Don’t care about any of that. No, the turd in the punchbowl actually comes towards the end of the article:

There is another area where Silicon Valley could play a dominant role and it’s all about accessing car-based data.

One billion people get in and out of a car every single day. They go to work, they go home, they shop, they play, they do a billion different things. Knowing where they’re going and what they’re doing can be very valuable. That data can be aggregated, sorted, and packaged. And then it can be sold to anyone.

Unlike automotive manufacturing, Big Data analytics driven by Artificial Intelligence does not require large capital investments in factories and equipment. That translates into meaty profit margins, reportedly as high as 90%.

There are basically two sets of data. One set is generated by the car, such as how all the parts and components are performing and how well the car is running. That allows automakers to mine the data for a variety of uses, such as trend analysis to quickly identify warranty issues or learn how to set more effective engineering specifications.

The other set of data is generated by the people in the car; a massive amount of information flowing in and out about where they’re going and what they’re doing. Last year in the U.S. market alone Chevrolet collected 4,220 terabytes of data from customer’s cars. McKinsey forecasts that this could grow into a $450 to 750 billion market by 2030. Retailers, advertisers, marketers, product planners, financial analysts, government agencies, and so many others will eagerly pay to get access to that information. And it’s a gift that keeps on giving. You can sell the same data again, again and again to a variety of different customers. 

I have no absolutely problem with the first data set; if it’s to do with improving the car and its manufacturer’s business, I’m all for it.

I have an enormous problem with the second data set. Here’s why.

As Longtime Readers already know, I used to work in the supermarket loyalty program business; you know, those annoying little cards you have to use to get discounts when you check out of the big supermarkets. (Basically, the supermarket is paying you for your shopping data, which they mostly use to improve things like stock re-ordering, shelf management and pricing strategy. That’s the equivalent of Data Set #1, above.) Let me be perfectly frank about this: I don’t know a great deal about a lot of things, but I know absolutely everything about customer data collection and -marketing. Over a period of five years, I set up data collection methodology and designed databases, reporting systems and marketing programs for a number of supermarket chains all over the United States. Trust me, I know whereof I speak on this topic.

Which is why I look on this Data Set #2 from the automotive industry with alarm and absolute hostility. One of the rules I set up right at the beginning of any loyalty program was that the data didn’t belong to the supermarket chain; it belonged to the customer. Once aggregated, of course, the data became ours — but individual transaction data was absolutely untouchable. We could not release any individual’s data to anyone without that customer’s explicit and specific approval — several times, I refused “requests” (demands) from divorce attorneys and once, yes, from a government agency, to have access to individuals’ shopping data.

Now compare and contrast that policy, if you will, with this breezy attitude towards data sharing:

Retailers, advertisers, marketers, product planners, financial analysts, government agencies, and so many others will eagerly pay to get access to that information. And it’s a gift that keeps on giving. You can sell the same data again, again and again to a variety of different customers. 

I have often cautioned people about this trend towards autonomous cars. Yes, it means that you don’t have to worry your pretty / pointy little head about that messy driving business while you grapple with WOW Level 13 — but what you’re doing, in essence, is giving up control of the car to someone else. (And you can dress it up with all the IT gobbledygook about “algorithms”, “AI” and “predictive planning” you want; I’ll still tell you to blow it out your ass, because at the end of the day, someone not you is going to control your actions.)

Now this. Note that in the excerpt above, the lovely little term “government agencies” is inserted right next to “and so many others” like it’s not just another fucking tool whereby the goddamn government can observe and yes, later control your actions.

One of my heroes is a man named John Cowperthwaite, who was the governor-general of Hong Kong during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and who was responsible for the greatest improvement of a country’s living conditions in history. Here was Cowperthwaite’s take on government data collection (which he expressly forbade, by the way), as told to Milton Friedman:

“I remember asking [Cowperthwaite] about the paucity of statistics. He answered,’If I let them compute those statistics, they’ll want to use them for planning.'”

If it were just planning, I might be okay with it. But what Cowperthwaite suspected, and what I know for a fact, is that governmental “planning” inevitably leads to government control. Information is everything, and we now live in the Information Age. Sometimes I wish we didn’t, because the vast mass of people just don’t care or are completely ignorant of this danger.

Here’s my last thought (for now) on this topic. The automobile was for decades a symbol of an individual’s independence. In his car, a man could drive wherever he wanted, whenever he wanted, for whatever reason he wanted, and for as long as he wanted — all without anyone but himself being any the wiser. Now, under the guise of “autonomy”, this freedom is going to be taken away from us. (At this point, George Orwell is laughing his ass off. “Freedom is Slavery”, remember?)

I once said that if I could choose the way I die, it would either be in my wife’s arms or on the barricades. Well, that first option has been taken from me, which means that if I die, it will be in a pitched gun battle with government agents who are trying to take away my old car and forcing me to use Government Autonomous Vehicle Mk. VII — and if you think I’m joking, I’m not. Fuck this bullshit.