Monday, April 27, 2015

Speed Traps

Local Channel 9 is doing an expose this week on the Colorado towns that make most of their money via the local police departments. Most of these are very small places as one would expect, but as they point out, an awful lot of small towns seem to do just fine without this sort of thing.

Big towns aren't exempt of course, it's just that when a town like Denver starts bringing in a large percentage of the municipal budget through the police department, this would be ticket writing on a truly gargantuan scale. Besides they have municipal code enforcement people to handle the bulk of that.

Not to say they don't of course. The existence of a discarded traffic cone constitutes a work zone extending about a half-mile in all directions from it allowing a doubling of fines. Careless postings go a long ways as well, the best example I know of is a 3-block stretch of North-bound Sante Fe Ave between Missippi and Ohio streets where the posted limit is
1. 45mph
2. 25mph
3. 35 mph
4. 25mph and
5. 45 mph.
In that order over a 3 block stretch. With no side streets.

To add to the fun on weekends when traffic is lighter and therefore faster, the city will put out one of its photo radar vans up near that last speed limit sign, the 45mph one and tape a piece of black plastic over the 45mph which means that the previous sign, 25mph, now controls that stretch. As the stretch in question includes the on ramp to the freeway, it looks like you are expected to maintain that 25mph all the way to the interstate. Fortunately for me, I drive this stretch during the morning rush hour when 25mph is mostly wishful thinking.

Google maps is your friend here. Start at the intersection of SanteFe and Mississippi and switch to the street view. Inch northward, ignoring the pics that seem to show the Google car running the red light, and watch both sides of the street.

What It Takes

Bill Whittle seems a bit ecercised in this one as opposed to his usual cool and calm self. Possibly because someone set him off.



All I can add is that I'm very glad I'm not that young lady from Boston College who is held out as 1. A college grad from a fairly prestigious place, and 2. A nitwit of the first order.

The money quote, for me anyway is his summary of the 5 steps to get from somewhere to complete ruin. that is
1. An economically successful scapegoat,
2. An overly powerful state.
3. A fawning media.
4. Disarmament of the populace, and
5. Time.

We already have the first three although they can be checked by a political party with political courage. Anyone seen one of those?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Gun Safety

Here's a trigger warning from Perry de Havilland
I need one of these*. I bet I'd have the squirrels in the back yard under control in no time at all and I'm sure that little can on the front end would keep the neighbors in the dark as to what was happening to the tree rats as well.

Moving right along, we have a PSA regarding children and weapons:
For all you parents and grandparents out there, this is pure gold. Get the kids doing something cooperative using toys within their motor skills.

Cold rain falling all day today. Projected to go on all day today and on to tomorrow evening.

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
And where have you been my darling young one?"

I went to the gun show to do me some shopping
I found powder and primers and rifles and pistols,
I talked politics and sold NRA members
I looked at some clothing and do-dads and gee-gaws
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
It's a hard rain a-gonna fall"

And sure enough, it fell all day.

*What? You say that's NOT a dressed up Mossberg Plinkster?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Happy Anniversary

This seems to be the 10th anniversary of the Maker Faire. This from an article:

Former O’Reilly employee Bruce Stewart remembers that first Faire day, and surely speaks for other parents, in seeing his young son’s reaction to the event: “I remember walking up to the gate with my son Kindy, then 11,” he says. “We stopped in our tracks at the sound of a very loud, fiery explosion coming from somewhere near the entrance. Kindy looked at the tall flames rising up, looked back at me, and started running towards their source. He was sucked in before we even got inside! Between robots, Legos, fire, explosions, and the great ‘build what you want out of this e-junk’ room, he was in heaven. I remember thinking: ‘I bet this is a deeply interesting and inspirational experience for kids.'”

Yeah, flames, ka-booms, smoke and noise, what more could a kid ask for?

There's one coming up at the Denver Museum of Natural History in early June. I'll be there with some kid-pleasing stuff.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Poke Yoke

A native Japanese speaker at work has explained to me that Poke Yoke is in fact NOT Japanese for Idiot Proof in spite of its extensive use along those lines. He explains that by altering the pronunciation ever so slightly, to Poe-Kah Yo-Kay one gets to the actual inner meaning of the words.
Poe-Kah is the sound made when an irate parent raps a troublesome offspring on the head as punishment for an infraction. Probably similar to the sound you get when knocking on a hollow wooden door. Yo-Kay means “avoidance”.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Safety Nannies Rejoice!

Crispin Sinclair, son of Clive Sinclair inventor of the computer of the same name, has announced the launch of the worlds safest bicycle. For only $2970.00 you too can have a recumbent bike with crash bars and a full roll cage. For an additional $1480, you can get a 1/3hp electric motor attached to help speed you on your way.

O.K. that roll cage might have helped when I got T-boned by the kid on the mountain bike but at some point you have to tell the bubble wrappers to piss off. Next thing you know this will be required on motorcycles along with air bags and seat belts. Someone will build a prototype and apply for a patent, then lobby congress to make it mandatory for all motorcycles sold in the U.S. with a "modest" royalty paid to the troll.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Blogversary

Billlls mind has been idle for 7 years now. Also somewhat earlier, (1775) the battles of Lexington and Concord were fought. All in all a good day for revolting developments.

QOTD

Found here at the conservative tree house this has to set a whole new standard to the art of obfuscation:
Let me attempt a translation: Her greatest accomplishment was in not getting tied down in petty details like the day-to-day running of the State Department which would involve knowing things like who was being murdered at any given moment or who the devil those wogs are that she has to shake hands with after a long jet flight to who-knows-where. Rather she was only concerned with the big picture of who has contributed to her election campaign charitable trust and how much.

There is a helpful set of rules the peasantry are expected to follow at the link that reads a lot like the advice the liberals give to crime victims. Remember if you tell them in a believable manner how much you enjoyed the non-consensual sex you just had with them, they may drop the requirement that there be no witnesses.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Minimum Wages

As was noted here before, radio host Michael Brown of KHOW has proposed putting a ballot question on the Denver ballot for the next election to raise the Denver minimum wage to $52.80. I think this is a swell idea and I'd certainly volunteer to help gather signatures but why stop there? Let's word the proposed new law so that the city council had only two alternatives: 1. Let the minimum wage become $52.80 or 2. Repeal the minimum wage in its entirety.

That's right, leave it up to the city council to take all or nothing.

On The Energy Front

The city of Boulder is working very hard to nationalize all of Xcel energy's holdings in the county and to run its own electric utility company. They are running into some logistical problems and have asked Xcel to supply them with power, presumably generated outside of Boulder county until they can get up and running.

As most of Boulders power seems to be generated by one coal-fired plant on the city limits, this may take a while. In the meantime I suggest that Xcell give the rest of us a break and supply Boulder with all the power they need, but exclusively from their wind and solar generation facilities, and at the full cost of same. Likewise the reliability.

During the summer this should be hardly noticeable up in the Peoples Republic as the blackouts can be explained as rolling Earth Day celebrations. It may get a bit harder in the winter though, especially if the petroleum companies get on board and refuse to sell anything but free-range, sustainable, frack-free gasoline and natural gas in Boulder county. Satellite pictures of Colorado at night will look just like the pictures of the Korean peninsula with Boulder county the blacked out area.

Update: Added link, also the state is not involved, at least not directly. Sorry.

Minimum Wages

Or maybe it should be called the Minimum Wedgie. MacDonald s would not disappear and I wouldn't lose my job as I can design robotic burger maker that could turn out identical burgers 24/7 at the equivalent of $15/hr. Possibly less.

Along the same lines there's a radio host in Denver who is threatening to put a measure on the Denver municipal ballot to raise the minimum wage there to $52.80. I'd sneak across the city limits and vote for this twice. I'd serve the bastards right.

Friday, April 17, 2015

School Lunch

We all have fond (?) memories of the lunches served to us in school but now the Presidents wife is getting involved. Here's a picture of a school lunch served in Portsmouth VA. Some complain about bad lighting, but I thing it's a masterpiece of the photographers art.
Some really gifted Photoshop artist has made this very large garden snail almost look like a fish fillet under a whole wheat roll. The other stuff is presumably Purina Snail Chow put there to keep the entree fresh.

Gun Fun Update

The results from the qualifier were posted and it seems I moved up from Novice to Marksman, and Mike, my shooting buddy moved up from Marksman to Sharpshooter so yay us!

Yesterday and today it snowed. It's still snowing. Heavy wet stuff that weighs about 50 lb/shovel full. Having put all the serious snow removal stuff in inconvenient locations, I'm still waiting for my socks to dry out from fetching the paper and putting out the trash. And the recycling. Springtime in the Rockies is when Mother Nature bangs the Summer/Winter switch up and down a few times to keep everybody on their toes.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Globull Warming

Gotta keep up to date on this hot topic. Here's an article from the Washington Post:
    The Washington Post.... 
The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulafft, at Bergen, Norway. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes.  Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.  Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds. Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.

Sure enough, the Washington Post, November 2, 1922.

Buy A Gun Day

April 15th is national Buy A Gun Day. I bought mine about 3 weeks ago to beat the rush, but looky here what's coming on the market: Your very own laser, and none of that wimpy "40 watt range" toy stuff either. This one from General Atomics starts at 75Kw and is scalable up to 300Kw. Let me tell you folks, that'll really roast your marshmallows and out to some significant distances too. Lockheed can shoot down small rockets out to 1.5 Km (about 1 mile) with 10 KW.

The best part is that the little laser looks to weigh in at about 600 lbs and is self-contained which means it only needs a swivel platform to fit into the back of a 1/2 ton pickup truck. Roughly the power of a 20mm anti-tank rifle and genuinely "flat" shooting. What's not to like?