Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Not Always A Bug

Sometimes it's a feature if you know how to use it. This was sent me by a friend. I believe I've seen it before, but it's entertaining in its own way:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Price Of Electricity Will Neccessarily Skyrocket

Said the presidential candidate. Of course at that time the price was skyrocketing any way so what's a bit more. As they said in Russia before the time of the revolution: The shortages will be divided among the peasants.
Now look at the graphic, go read the rest of the article here and try to remember what happened when.
1903: Federal reserve established. The value of the dollar has gone down pretty steadily ever since but even so, the price of electricity declined even faster.
1973: Arab oil embargo. Congress passes a law forbidding U.S. producers from raising their prices. The cost of refined petroleum products stays at cost-plus percentage. The higher the cost, the bigger the percentage.U.S. pretty much ceases production of oil. Congress baffled.
1977: President Carter establishes the Dept. of Energy to find ways to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Hard to believe that's what they were supposed to  be doing.
1979: Three mile Island. Public panics, otherwise promising energy source is foreclosed. Iranian government overthrown. We are reminded that Muslims don't like us very much. Price of crude goes up.
1980 Reagan elected: Nothing much changes, but the inflation rate comes down from 14%.
1988 Bush elected. Nothing much happens, but at least our taxes went up.
1992 Clinton elected. Wife gets caught promoting nationalized health care behind closed doors.
1994 Republicans take House and Senate. Nothing much happens, but at least our taxes went up.
2000: Bush elected.
2001: We are reminded that the Muslims still don't like us very much. Various altercations break out, price of crude goes up.
2006: Dems take house and Senate. Veto proof.
2008: Dems add White house, declare war on coal and ban exploration everywhere. President uses EPA to limit energy production. Works better than an oil embargo.
2014: Fracking produces oil and gas bonanza in spite of its being limited to wells on private property. Middle East in flames, but the price of oil hasn't gone up much. I wonder why.

Pander Bear Escapes Zoo

Behaves pretty much as expected. To commemorate the Eid feast celebrating the end of Ramadan for Muslims the president said:

On Sunday, President Obama and First Lady Michelle released a statement thanking Muslim Americans for their many “achievements and contributions… to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy.”
Perhaps he'd like to cite some of these achievements.  The P.M. of Turkey once describes democracy as like a trolley which you take until you get where you're going, then you get off.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Thinking Exercises

While I was coaching the Odyssey of the Mind competition in a local Jr. High, one of the exercises we did was to encourage thinking outside the box. We did this by taking an ordinary object, say a pencil, and handing it to the person on our left and asking "What is this?"  The easy answer is "A pencil." which would get the group one point. The pencil was then passed to the next person with the same question. The rules were that you weren't allowed to use the same answer twice, and clever answers like "A vaulting pole for leprechauns" or "an emergency tent peg on your camping trip" would be worth 3 points.

This is a great exercise and gets the creative juices flowing. The problem is that once you get into that sort of mindset you tend to keep using it in your daily life. If you normally do creative work, this is good. If you're in a more doctrinaire occupation you can quickly get tagged as a trouble making wise ass. Still, it helps break up the boredom.

Here is a small screenshot of a 2nd grade math test from the Common Core school of thought regarding mathematics.

Q1 There are 23 students in Ms. Lakes class. What is the total number of fingers of all the students in the class? Show your work.
A1: 180 since thumbs don't count and Freddy has only one arm.

Q2: There are 6 cars in the parking lot. What is the total number of wheels in the parking lot?
A2: 25 counting the spares and allowing for Ms. Lakes car which has been stripped.

Notice that I didn't even mention the bicycles and skateboards in the lot. Try this yourself and notice the strange new respect you get as your friends and co-workers recognize your newly developing creativity.

CAUTION: When Officer Friendly pulls you over and asks "Do you know why I pulled you over?" is probably not the best time to try this. Might make a fun bar game though.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Presidential Pardons

Presidents issue pardons sparingly through their careers, usually reserving the effort for the last 2 weeks before they leave office to insure that their supporters stay out of jail. In Obamas case he may be planning an early start. I suppose if you've already written off the Senate and are thinking that a successful presidency will be one you get to actually finish, then getting started on the pardons 2 years early makes sense.

Speculation runs wild ranging from a modest blanket pardon of the 149 or so inmates currently working on their tans in Gitmo, to a more ambitious version that involves issuing a delay of deportation and a temporary work permit for some number of illegal aliens ranging from 1 to all 11 million.
The White House won’t comment on how many undocumented immigrants could be affected. “I don’t want to put a number on it,” says a senior White House official, who says Obama’s timeline to act before the mid-term elections remains in place.
With some 22 million citizens either unemployed or underemployed, doing something like this just before an election looks to me like some kind of electoral suicide. Whatever it takes I guess, but I would think that the presidents advisers would be telling him to keep this under wraps until after the elections.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Getting Our Share

Of the illegal waifs surging across the border. It now transpires that Colorado got some 221 of the little darlings as Mayor Hancock and Gov. Chickenpooper equivocate on the topic.

The right question to ask them at the next press conference a would relate to what they're doing with them.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Why No One Trusts Polls

Here's a poll in which the most highly placed person running for president was Hillary Clinton, followed by Mike Huckabee. Think about that for a bit, and ask yourself; Where would I find such a collection? A science fiction convention perhaps?

Perhaps, if it turns out that the male leads were all leading the poll, and D. Vader was running 4th, out polling all the real people.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Acting Presidential

Texas Governor Rick Perry is sending 1000 of his National Guardsmen to the 800 mile border with Mexico. That's one every .8 miles. Who knows, it might help. It would help more if he'd sent the guardsmen to Washington.

Beretta Moves To Tennesee

Beretta has decided to move its entire manufacturing operations from Maryland to Tennesee.

Magpul's slow departure from Colorado will eventually cost us 2-400 jobs and some TBD millions in taxable income. Colorado already has some 25,000 unemployed so the change will be not noticeable. If the unemployed move to keep their old jobs, then there will be 2-400 fewer conservative voters in the state. If they go on the dole, there will be 2-400 people who owe the state for their existence. All in all, a win-win for the Dems.

I suspect the demographics would be similar in Maryland.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Dangerous New Computer Virus

It has spread slowly and has been named the Lerner Virus. It affects only computers that hold e-mails from Lois Lerner who is suspected of being the author of the malware. It seems to wait for queries for Lerner e-mails, then retroactively destroys the hard drive of the affected computer.

Interestingly it seems to be able to destroy hard drives as much as 3 years in the past. The time-traveling aspect of the virus is what separates it from most others.

Polling

The further away from an election, the faster and looser polling outfits get to play with the numbers. With the presidential elections  2-1/2 years out, one can predict anything at all and get paid for it. Boosting a candidate's ego for fun and profit is the name of the game. Here's a poll that has Hillary beating all (selected) Republican comers except Rand Paul in a presidential race:
To really make the Hildabeest feel good they should have included uber-rino John McCain in that poll

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fashion

D'Wife is heavily involved in the St. Andrews Society which is a support group for people afflicted with being Scottish. This is an entertaining bunch as the therapy seems to involve Dark beers and single malt Scotch. An elderly fellow had decided to donate a bunch of regalia to the society which would then auction it to raise money. He being a fairly shrimpy fellow, D'Wife insisted I try some of it on once we got home.

I admit I make a brave sight in a traditional shirt and doublet although the kilt was about 4 inches too long. Not my Tartan either. Quick show of hands: How many of you knew the Welch wore kilts and played bagpipes at one point?
I may have to bid on the shirts and doublet. Kilts are expensive and this tartan is not very common. We'll see.

Gun Show - Summer Doldrums

The ammo scalpers are still out in force at least with respect to .22 ammo although most everything else in easing back toward normalcy. The presidents ban on Kalashnikov rifles is having little or no effect as Romanian and Bulgarian copies are readily available.

My favorite target and tool vendor was a no-show as was his backup. They were replaced by 3 or 4 steel target vendors which does me no good at all. Reloading components were up another 10% across the board although I didn't see any shortages. The brass knuckle and butterfly knife vendor who held the table opposite ours has also disappeared.

The population of jewelry, food, and health product vendors is up noticeably.

My favorite conspiracy theorist today was convinced that the alleged move to equip the armed forces with a different pistol is a subterfuge to give all the Berettas to groups like the Post Office, Homeland Security, and the EPA. He was a bit fuzzy as to the purpose.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Slow Bloging

So are people generally behaving like nincompoops? Yes.
Are our elected leaders doing the same? Yes.

As Hamlet said:
To be, or not to be--that is the question:


Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them.
 
I favor the arms approach even if it's just singing in the wilderness. You got to have faith in humanity in spite of the historical experience. Still as Kipling remarked:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master,
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
 
 On the bright side, I've got the earliest crop of raspberries I've ever had. Probably means the ice age starts next month.
 
 

E-postal

I tried the Q-tip target last weekend in both versions, the plain white and the one with the stripe on the stick. The plain one reminded me of last years GBR where Lizzie (hi Lizzie!) shot the gumballs on the golf tees target in a cross wind. One side of the target came loose and was being blown over the rest of the paper so that the actual target was only visible about half the time. Lizzie found this challenging and shot the whole thing by first picking the gumball she wanted, then waiting for the wind to hide it and shooting through the back of the target.

She got a pretty respectable score, too.

Visibility on the white Q-tips is right up there with shooting the back side of the target. So next year I'm thinking of using a standard 5-bull target only requiring you to staple it up face down and shoot it from the back.

Or would that be a bit much?

Going to the Tanner tomorrow. .22 was down to .09/rd 2 months ago. What do you suppose it will be this weekend?

Shot the Q-tips with my daughter, who seldom gets out to shoot. I beat her with the pistol, but she edged me out with both rifles. I need more rifle time.