June 19, 2022

Link Dump

I've been super busy and frankly COVID took a LOT out of me. 3 weeks later I'm still dragging. Also dealing with a kidney stone. Nevertheless I worked all sorts of overtime this week.


Anyway, in lieu of original content, here are some links of varying degrees of importance that may be of interest.

A double shot from Tim Pool. Back to back this week, he had on Dennis Prager and then Frei and Barnes. 

Note that both vids are 2 hours

I never really thought Dennis Prager would be on Tim Pool. He's every bit as good a guest as one would expect.  The lawyers/legal analysists Frei and Barnes are always interesting and informative and they don't disappoint here. Pool generally provides a good, informative show but these two are better than average. Unlike last week, neither of these episodes had a SWATing or bomb threat to add to the tension, but both hold their own and cover a lot of what's going on in the world that's not getting a lot of coverage elsewhere. 





When they tell you their plans, LISTEN!

Donald Sensing gives a good overview of the DEF shortage, and why it is likely to be catastrophic.

Normally, when faced with a dangerous communicable disease the government's advice and indeed orders have been to practice social distancing and to quarantine if exposed. They have been quite emphatic on this point. 



The Chinese, who claim not to have had anything to do with the virus they released upon the world now claim to have found intelligent aliens

In between all the cussing, Razorfist has some interesting thoughts on Westerns. 




Pipkin Pippa...Laconic Lagomorph is Legit.


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June 13, 2022

On The Fires and Other Mishaps Befalling U.S. Food Processing Plants

In the comments to a previous post, commenter StargazerA5 noted reports of food processing plants that have been blowing up over the past few years. 

Here is a list I was able to nail down of 25 that have happened this year. Most really don't look like "enemy action"...but there have been at least 25 this year. 

That seems like a large number.

Here they are, with links to news articles.  I gleaned this list mainly from the My Patriot Supply newsletter, Tim Pool's channel and loose talk on Discord.


Seven percent of the 80,000-square-foot Van Drunen Farms freeze-drying facility in Momence, Illinois was burned and declared a "total loss.” This MAY be one reason freeze dried 'survival food' has gone up so much in the last few months, though it had been skyroketing before that. 


An explosion of unknown origin heavily damaged a feed plant that provides feed for aquaculture, cattle, horses, and poultry.


An explosion destroyed a potato/corn processing plant. Other reports I've seen noted correctly that this plant was responsible for supplying most of the western U.S. However, all omitted the little detail that what this plant supplied the western U.S. with was potato chips and nachos. This is not as big a catastrophe as some might suppose. 



A massive fire at a fertilizer plant miraculously resulted in no injuries, despite tons of ammonium nitrate on site. Still, the nation's fertilizer production took a hit. 


A fire destroyed a meat packing plant in Wisconsin. 



The largest Soy-processing plant in the U.S. caught fire. It appears to be a fire in a filter used to de-dust the air and prevent fuel air explosions, but I'm not sure. The article mentions concerns about this disrupting soy production in the U.S....um....



A fire at a dairy facility. 



This one has been widely reported and it was a serious fire that caused injuries. the plant will be down for 18 months. However it made snack chips and cookies....so this is not exactly vital infrastructure.  


A fire at the Nutrien Ag Solution facility (fertilizer plant?) in Sunnyside, Washington may have been a near-run-thing since an evacuation order was issued for a half-mile radius of the facility. The fire burned through 1.7 million pounds of sulfur used for fertilizer. No one was injured in the fire, but there's even less fertilizer now. 
 


A large fire (took 24 hours to contain) at a Hot Pocket factory. No one was killed, but the Hot Pockets got hot. 



Feb. 23, 28 and March13 there were a series of fires in and around a Dairy in PA. They have all been declared accidental. The cause given in the article is electrical fire. 



This was a consequential fire. A 1.2-million-square-foot Walmart grocery distribution center burned for multiple days in Avon, Indiana—350 fire fighters and 30 fire agencies fought the blaze, which consumed massive stocks of food bound for locations all over the country. This has reportedly put a strain on Wal-Mart's supply chain. Note that the BATFE is still investigating the fire’s cause, 3 months later. 



A fire a tater-tot factory.



Not a food PRODUCTION facility, but a storage facility for a charity. This is probably not part of any large scale campaign, but is one of these stories that has been widely reported, sans context. 

 


No injuries. But no onions.



This looks to have been quite serious, the loss of more meat-packing capacity is most unwelcome now, though there will likely be plenty to spare by fall. I like how the report mentions that the cattle were "rescued". As they were at an abattoir, I suspect their reprieve will be short. 
 


A plane crashed into a potato processing plant. This is tragic, but did not disrupt the plant in any way. It does not seem suspicious, but this was the incident that seems to have gotten people talking about food plant terrorism last month. 


This looks to have been a close call due to the large quantities of anhydrous ammonia on site



Organic food distributor Azure Standard lost its headquarters to a fire on April 19. This was offices, not a production facility and it is unlikely that a serious effort to disrupt food supplies would waste resources on something as niche as organic foods.
However!
The facility has the word "Azure" in its name. This gives the sad lonely weebs who run this blog a dubious but sufficient rationale to post a pic of Zara, from Azure Lane that is appropriate to the season, but not the workplace.


 



This one is interesting because the were able to go into their file and use a 'stock photo of a Nutient AG Solutions plant burning'. (see photo in article #9 above, this is the second from the same company on this list)




OH MY GOD!1!! Another plane crash! Why are planes kamikazeing in to our food processing plants!? 
Actually, a plane crashed near a FPP, on property owned by the plant where plant equipment was stored. The plane was also carrying passengers. The article mentions two passengers killed but does not mention the pilot. Like the other plane crash above, this does not seem to be suspicious, but it's one of the ones that really got people talking about this matter. 
 


A fire at a soy processing facility  [political/cultural joke goes here]. As it happens, this is only about a 45 minute drive from Brickmuppetburg. Minimum impact, no one killed. Included for completeness. 



Train derailments seem to be up this year, probably due to cascade effects of the supply chain chaos. While it TECHNICALLY involves food infrastructure it's not really evidence of targeting food production. But, hey, it got us to 25.



200,00 chickens killed on an egg farm in a massive fire. Honestly they frequently kill more chickens right now culling for chicken flu (which is very much a thing now). A fire in one of these chicken farms can start because of dust/dander and they are terribly fast when they do. This would not be worth mentioning but for all the rest. 



Not much is known about this one, but it seems to have been minor due to the quick response.


25 of these incidents seems like a lot and a few few of the fires are suspicious, but that doesn't indicate a conspiracy. 

The two plane crashes that have caused so much worry among some don't appear to have anything to do with any plot to incite famine. 

What I suspect is happening (in most instances) is that we are seeing the results of the hysterical COVID response. People are overworked because of personnel issues due to the disease and they are making mistakes. Also, maintenance has been perfunctory at best everywhere for over two years (this is also because of COVID) so I'd guess that contributes to why things are breaking. That certainly sounds plausible in the case of the plant where the dust filters caught fire. Note however that I am not a mechanic, nor an engineer. I have a degree in history so my opining on this phenomenon is just a layman spitballing.

I expect things are going to get worse before they get better. 

Be careful out there. 

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June 11, 2022

7 hours to Go

Still having tech issues which I ascribe to Apple operating systems and architectures, but I'm confident that I'll either have fixes or my current work arounds by 21:00 EDT / 01:00 GMT/UTC. 



We'll be streaming for a few hours (two or three at least) so feel free to stop by, point and laugh. 

UPDATE: It worked! The game wouldn't run right but we showed the 1916 version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and then did a Just Chatting stream.  There were a few glitches with OBS but they didn't derail the stream, and they were worked around in a few seconds.
 Over 2 and a half hours, we topped out at 6 people in chat, at least two of whom were not 'bots!  
Thanks for stopping by Avatar-ExADV! 

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I'm Gonna' Have to Post This Now...

...'cause it probably won't be funny or make sense by the end of the year



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Back to Work

After yet another hiatus, there is more banality below the fold.


As compensation. Here's some Klee. 

more...

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June 06, 2022

78 Years Ago

Point Du Hoc was taken.



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June 05, 2022

When Someone Tells You What They Want To Do, BELIEVE THEM

Especially if their mask comes off. 


This blog is based in the U.S.A. and that has the happy benefit of being in a nation that is kept from falling into a state of anarchic autocannibalism or Hobbesian totalitarianism by it's institutions and laws, which form a set of checks and balances on the ill-considered passions of the people as well as their leaders. 

History, of our nation as well as others has taught us that when those safety rails are torn down, then terrible sorrow of one form or another will soon follow. This holds true even if the reasons for removing those guardrails was noble and somehow not clouded by hysteria and emotional passions. 

Thus, one should ponder closely any politician that utters such a phrase as this...

"If the filibuster obstructs us, we will abolish it. If the Supreme Court objects, we will expand. We will not rest until we've taken weapons of war out of our communities."

Or this...
"spare me the bullshit about constitutional rights”

Be sure to watch the short videos, and read the context (which is absent from most of these videos.) 

SPOILER: the context doesn't help. 

Whatever the the merits of a particular political goal might be (and with the goal in question the merit is near zero) removing all of the legal system's arrestor switches and the political system's pause buttons then one is guaranteeing that something very dark will soon come to pass. 

The left of today assumes that they will always have the power and that removing the governors and guardrails from the engines of society will only bring suffering upon their enemies. Their current feral mindset does not allow them to recognize that the club they wield could easily be lifted by those they now drive before them, and that those who pursue power without mercy might find themselves begging for it from those they now torment. 

Such clubs are hard to put down.

If institutional safeguards and constitutional rights are removed, then which ever side might win a given political contest, ALL of us will ultimately lose. 

Paul Schofield has timeless thoughts on the matter here:




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June 03, 2022

Streaming Update

While suffering from COVID, we here at Brickmuppet Blog endured some power failures, internet connectivity issues, and what I assume was a drop bear infestation. However, Wednesday, both power and internet were working and I did a short, unscripted test stream. 



There is still an awful lot of scuff, particularly audio issues at the beginning, and the stream was completely unscripted (being just a test) but this was the first stream where stuff mostly worked.


Heh, "Mostly"
He still can't get his PNG to work right, Steam is not linking up to his Twitch, at all, he hasn't received his HDMI capture equipment yet and there is a reverb in his headphones that causes him to sound like a drunk cretin at points. 

Hush. 

Despite that, I finally got my streaming software (OBS) to work with my Mac to the point that I could do a 'Just Chatting' stream. One of my plans for the channel is to at least once a week do some silent movies, 'cause if it's pre-1928, it's usually DMCA free. (There are exceptions but those are fairly easy to find). There is a big enough backlog of decent silents to last at least two years. 

I had 5 people in chat at one point, at least one of whom was not a bot. 


"It's a small victory, but I'll take it."

Actual premier with Obligatory Power-Point is set for June 11. If the vidya gaming setup still isn't working by then we'll do a just chatting/movie stream anyway.
   

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An Interesting Talk With Peter Zeihan


Shorter version: We in the U.S.A. are screwed like everyone else, but we are less screwed than anyone else and have a bit more time.  

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A Follow-Up on SNR

About 2 weeks ago I reviewed the pilot of Strange New Worlds and made, what is for post JJ Abrams Star Trek, a bold assertion.


I do not immediately despise this show!

Like Charlie Brown pondering Lucy and the football, I held out hope that  this fairly decent pilot might, against all odds foreshadow a good series. 

I do not have CBS all access, so I cannot speak firsthand to wether this forlorn hope has come to pass. However Dave Cullen, a certified card carrying member of the 'Irish New Trek Haters Club' suggests that the series has not been bad, and, most surprisingly,  that the most recent episode has actually been quite good.



This is high praise coming from Cullen, who has been exceptionally vociferous (and IMHO fair) in his criticisms of the recent offerings of the franchise.

I particularly like that the presence of the Gorn in this prequel, far from being the expected crime against canon is being cleverly handled in such a way as to fit with established lore. 

I'm still not likely to get CBS All Access, but I keep hearing good things about the show and might well be persuaded to get the DVDs. 

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Gracious!

All that talk about how COVID is "Just the flu" is somewhat misleading.


I haven't been THAT sick in years.

Not only was I having difficulty breathing, my blood pressure skyrocketed to 177/110, I ended up going to the hospital. 

After I was discharged I had great difficulty getting up the stairs, due to general weakness.


However, it's quite likely that I had a mild variant. I say this because I never lost my sense of smell or taste (at least any more that those senses are rendered wonky with any head-cold),  I never had the headache so often reported or the GI issues. 

But every time I coughed, I felt like my skeleton was trying to escape from my skin.

Because of the nigh insurmountable obstacle my stairs presented, I ended up sleeping on the downstairs couch for a few days.

Four days ago I started to improve markedly and by day-before-yesterday I felt much better.

I'm still a bit weak, but I have no other symptoms. 

Today, my state quarantine period ended and I went to work. However, UPS policy is to wear a mask for 5 days after symptoms end and, well, I can't wear a mask any more because of the stroke. I have face shields, and the boss decided that was fine but after about 10 minutes my weakness visibly caught up with me. Since we were over staffed, for a change, the supervisor decided to give me the option  home. I took him up on it. I'll report to work normally on Monday. 

I'll finally get paid again in two weeks.


"Damnit!"

Glad I've got a cushion and plenty of food stocked up. 
For a lot of people, loosing 2 weeks pay and gaining a hospital bill would be a disaster, and that is what a huge swath of our population is facing from this bug right now, assuming they don't have any co-morbidities that cause Winnie-the-Flu to leave them dead or crippled. 

This bug looks like it will be with us from now on, like a flu but far worse. We've got to learn to live with it without going bonkers or paranoid. And given the likelihood that this was a result of well intentioned but ill conceived experiments in bio-preparedness, we need to reassess our policies in that area. 


Corona-Chan remains smugly confident that we won't.

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May 30, 2022

Remember Those Who Gave All To Defend Our Rights When Being Asked To Forfeit Those Rights

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May 26, 2022

An Important Correction!

On May 23 of 2022 this blog stated that this years flu vaccine was lacking in efficacy. 


Upon receiving further information, it now appears that this is NOT, at least to the best of our knowledge actually the case.

Do not be dissuaded from your flu shot gentle readers!



It was the Moderna COVID19 vaccine and boosters that didn't work on my mutant weeb ass.





THE SUSPENSE IS OVER! I finally have the 'Rona!

I've been visited by Cronachan and contracted the Pinko-Pox,  Chi-Com Cough, Whuhan-Bat-Soup-Death-Plague, Xi Syndrome, The Fauci Fever, The Bolshevik Bug, The Maoist Malady, Winnie the Flu, The 2020 Gain of Function Award!


"I feel like poop." 

BUT, I'm, well...I'm off work for another week. Hopefully, I'll be able to do something besides cough and hurt for some of that time. 

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May 23, 2022

Decadence


Rudyard has a good overview of the phenomenon.
It's a much better take than several of my history professors, who would angrily declare that "countries don't fall do to decadence" and seem to feel that expressing  concern about decadence is a warning sign of being a NAZI .

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The Flu Shot Didn't Work This Year

OK.


All I know is that MY flu shot didn't work this year.


"Suck!"

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10 Weeks

A U.N. study of the upcoming food shortage has determined that there is currently about a 10 weeks supply of grain on the planet. 


 I knew this was coming, and had heard about rationing being set up in places like Spain and Egypt but I honestly thought we'd have 'till September or October. 


 Art by TaekwondoNJ

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May 22, 2022

Strange New Worlds

The new Star Trek series has premiered.


After the middle fingers to the fans that were Star Treks Picard and Discovery, faith is weak. 

Nevertheless, the pilot episode was run on YouTube last week and, being a trekkie of some 40 years, I watched it.

I do NOT immediately despise this show.

It looks good. The pilot was decently written and it felt in many ways like a decent Next Generation episode. There was a lot of extraneous drama and plot contrivances shoehorned into the pilot but the episode did not actually suffer for it. 

For those familiar with Trek lore the Pilot is a first contact story that deals with the origins of "General Order One". The episode takes place immediately after the finale of Star Trek: Discovery and is still cleaning up the mess that show left.  Enterprise is getting repaired and Captain Pike is on sabbatical. He's contemplating a vision of his future he received towards the end of STD, which he was given so that the misandric, feminist writers of that atrocity could have the sadistic satisfaction of having a strong male lead scream like a 9 year old girl dropped into a pit of tarantulas. Suffice it to say that plot point left a mark. However, notwithstanding the legit trauma itself, Pike's concern's about the matter are quite professional and rational.

Meanwhile, Number One receives information that a warp signature has been detected from a quarantined system a few hours flight time from Earth.  Starfleet is still trying to put itself back together after the events of the previous series, and doesn't have any first contact teams in the core of the Federation at the moment (They stay on the frontier).  Eager to give her crew a First Contact Award, Number one asks for and gets permission to take a few off duty Enterprise Crew on a mothballed, but barely functional Hermes class scout to pop into the newly star-fairing system and say "Hi!".

Things do not  go as planned, and what should have been an easy day away from the shipyard on fun collateral duty becomes an interstellar incident with far reaching influences upon subsequent events.

It was not a GREAT episode, but it was a quite solid one. It actually has something useful to say about bureaucratic overreaction, which is not a lesson I expected from a Star Trek show in current year. 

The pilot has been pulled from YouTube, but there are several trailers, this one giving a good overview of the cast, which I rather like a lot.




Well, except for La'an, who's surname looks to be a crime against canon and who appears to be a parody of a Mary Sue in a Star Trek fanfic. OTOH, if you're gonna do a Mary Sue, this is the place to do it and the actress  (who looks to be quite good) seems to lean into it with considerable gusto. 

Aside that the cast looks GREAT and, unlike Discovery, the (possible) Mary Sue is not the lead, and to be fair, actually looks to have real potential, this being quite explicitly an ensemble cast. 

So I am cautiously optimistic.

On the other hand, I have memories of another pilot, not so long ago that looked to have quite a lot of potential. 

That optimism was misplaced. 

So a decent pilot is not going to get me to subscribe to CBS-All Access. 

I'll wait. 

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Remedial Groundskeeping.

Banality is below the fold.


As compensation here is TokyoGenso's take on what the Tokyo Big Sight would look like if the groundskeeper had a stroke:


more...

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May 10, 2022

Status of Streaming

Well, there continue to be technical issues. 



The channel has broadcast several short test streams. However, there are multiple issues. One is that APPLE seems to be blocking most of the best png-tuber programs. Currently, the channel is using Fugi-Tech's REACTIVE, which is an excellent tool for collaborations but less versatile for general streaming. There are other issues too that mostly seem to revolve around Mac compatibility...

The net result is that progress is much slower than anticipated.  And the short test streams are truly demoralizing studies of the intersection of scuff and cringe.

My speech has still not fully  recovered from the stroke so this horror show can be cynically passed off as a sort of therapy.  (IRL I used to be a  both an actor and a DJ believe it or not.) 

I currently aim to be streaming 4 days a week. The  new date for the full debut stream (with obligatory power-point) is June 11. 

A big thanks to those V-Tubers who have offered advice and support. 

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May 04, 2022

This Could Be Taken a Number of Different Ways.

Reportedly, according to people who claim to both speak Russian and watch Russian TV, the Russian public health establishment has told health care workers to prepare for a cholera epidemic





The Telegram post that is the basis for this is here. It's a Ukranian site and the motivation to spin people up over this is obvious. 

It's quite possible that with sewage and water systems smashed by Putin's little war that there have been a few cases and the Russian health experts are trying to head off the inevitable tragedy. It's also possible Putin has lost the plot and called in some assistance from Biopreparat

The latter theory is likely to get all the press as it fits their previous speculation and current narrative perfectly. 

Either way, this is the sort of thing that can inflame rage bring this mess to the next level of horror. 

Even if this story and the allegedly impending outbreak do NOT result in military escalation, the unspeakable horror of a cholera outbreak amongst refugees cannot be overstated. 

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