Friday, June 5, 2020

What's Bugging You?

Found this while attacking the stump in my back yard.
It's a pupae of a moth, and it's 1-1/2" long by 1/2" in diameter. Way back when, we kids would find these and our parents solemnly explained that we had found a which-a-way bug. When held with the pointy end up and squeezed gently, the pointy end would wiggle in a circular fashion. If you asked the bug "Which a way did (insert someones name here) go?" the angle of the tail, when you backed off the squeezing, would reliably indicate the direction in which the person would be found.

It seldom took more than one try to disprove this, but if you put the thing in a jar with a thin layer of dirt and a mesh cover, you would eventually see the moth emerge. By now I've forgotten what kind of moth it was but I seem to remember that it was one of the larger ones.

This one was dead when I found it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Global Warming - Another Half-Baked Solution

And as usual, a solution looking for an actual problem. First lets look at global temps for the last 2000 years. The data is derivative, but plausibly reliable:



A slow downward trend with a slight rise which is being sold as catastrophic end of the world sort of event. Historically, the planet seems to have a maximum temp that it never exceeds:
Only about 1.5-2 degrees warmer than present. Also note the downward trend, crammed into the far right hand end of the graph. 

What interests me is the cyclic pattern of about 110,000 years when the planet is plunged into a global ice age which seems to last a lot longer than those short warm periods. Someone better than me at math could apply a Fourier Transformation to this and show the various event cycles that result in this periodic function. Maybe there's a small black hole in a wildly elliptical orbit that does this by disrupting the asteroid belt and bringing on extinction level meteor impacts.

Whatever, this solution to the problem of global warming, involving spraying the upper atmosphere with Sulfur compounds to reduce the sunlight coming in leaves me unimpressed. The last time this was done, the dinosaurs went extinct.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Gun Sales - Up Again

Topping the 3 million mark for only the third time ever, bested by the run on guns at the COVID outbreak in March, and the panic over possible new gun regs following a terrorist attack in San Bernadino. Certain people, by their behavior can sell guns at rates only dreamed of on Madison Avenue.
Currently the left is making it abundantly clear that if the "kinder, gentler" coup attempt against PDT doesn't work. more violent means will be perfectly acceptable.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Fun With Headlines

Gateway Pundit makes a practice of lacing its stories with links to other stories. Sometimes....
TRENDING: VIDEO: Leftist Protester Killed, Dragged by FedEx Truck in Downtown St. Louis after Mob Shuts Down Highway and Attack His Truck
Trump was beaming with pride! 
“When you see a site like that, it’s incredible,” Trump said.
This seems more prone to misinterpretation than  others.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Unforeseen Consequences

Looking at an article on getting college campuses open again this fall, and considering other articles suggesting that a large part of going to college can be done from home electronically and at much lower cost, I'm wondering if there isn't an unforeseen opportunity here for the right.

College towns are notorious for being hotbeds of leftist thought, probably because they provide 15-20,000 ignorant kids being taught by a few Marxist professors, and kept in line by an equal number of diversity administrators. Now imagine that the coursework is being taught online. If a student has a question, the same computer that brought the lecture, can also search the answer to his or her questions. In some cases, the students parents might also be available.

Since the students are staying home instead of being concentrated in the academic camp, there's more incentive to register to vote where you live. This reduces the supply of lefty votes in the college towns and gives the working parents who actually live there more clout.

Hmmm

UPDATE: If the CDCs guidelines for opening primary schools are carried into colleges, no one will want to go there anyway, and the party of micromanaging nannies will fall into even more disrepute.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Lockdown - Day 737

So it's time to crush and bag the cans. Fortunately I'm ready:

The key to really getting good output is finding tires with a square profile.
This flattens them better. I suppose if it were up on casters, it would be easier to deploy and I could put a small waste basket underneath to catch the flattened cans. Oh well, the snow shovel also works well.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Lockdown - Day 735

I may have lost count of the days, but I can assure you that all 35 pneumatic tires here are inflated to their recommended pressures. I am also ready to comply with the governors "All masks, all the time" regulations:
I still need to add a stiffener to the stovepipe of the hat.

The first IDPA match since January will be this weekend. I added some upgrades to my gun, but haven't been able to test them, everything being closed. Oh well, I've probably forgotten how to shoot anyway, so it won't make much difference. I did build a couple of shooters in my spare time:
 These are made from 5/8-11 fasteners and are chambered for .22 cal air gun pellets. Motive power is a large pistol primer. Seems a friend of mine had some that got wet and he doesn't trust them any more. So far I've only had one fail to fire.
That white block is the sear. You pull the firing pin back, and insert it between the knob and the breech plug. A little tug, and BAM! The black part of the barrel is a piece of PVC pipe that limits how far you can screw the barrel into the coupling nut. It has a #1 hole drilled through it which is used to swage the pellet to the barrel size so you can load it from the front. I need to fire this through my chrony  since I know you will all be wanting to know the power factor this thing makes.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Stopping Vote Fraud

Or if not completely stopping it, at least making it somewhat more difficult.

Breitbart is reporting that Rep Rodney Davis (R-IL) has introduced legislation making the most egregious forms of ballot harvesting illegal throughout the U.S.
 Ballot harvesting, in the way House Democrats are trying to nationalize, allows any individual to pick up any voter’s ballot for any reason and deliver it to the polling location, completely unchecked.
Lists are publicly available noting the party affiliation of every registered voter in every precinct. Using these lists, anyone could visit only homes with persons registered to one party, or simply visit all the homes in a precinct and "lose" the ones signed by anyone in the "wrong" party. It's easy, and very effective especially in nursing homes.

If you ever needed an excuse to write your congress critter and ask him or her to support a bill, this would be it. Hammer the Donks to support clean voting and oppose fraud and make sure everyone you know knows how they voted on this.

No number on it yet.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Transportation - The Fully Enclosed Motorcycle

OK one more time for this approach. Here's an all electric one person vehicle that the manufacturer does not claim to be a 3-wheel car
Not bad looking. It drives the rear wheel only which I suppose is less expensive and complex than driving both the front wheels although I suspect this will prove problematic on an icy, snow-packed road. Of course if you don't expect to see many of those, then this may be just what you want. Looks like a pretty good choice for either commuting to work or for your kid at college.

Range is listed as 100 miles, and top speed as 80-85. The usual caveat for electrics is that you get to choose. You won't get both. If your kids college is over 100 miles away, you don't need to worry about them coming home for laundry every weekend.

MSRP is about $18,000 which is a bit on the high side for a commuter motorcycle, but includes all the amenities you've come to expect in a car, including 2 doors and bluetooth.

The full-width body no doubt makes for a fairly roomy interior and a flat floor makes getting in and out from either side easy. This may sell well in places like Yuma and Florida where golf carts are popular even though I'm having a hard time seeing where your clubs would go. Maybe there's an aftermarket for a club caddy with highway rated tires to be towed behind.

Made by Electra Meccanica, currently at a motorcycle plant in China, they plan to move production to Vancouver in about 2 years. At the link there's even a calculator you can use to compare operating costs with various gasoline powered vehicles for gas prices as low as $1/liter (about $4/gallon).

They also have a 2-seat roadster in the pipe with more impressive performance and priced at $50K-$100K depending on where you source the price.

Here's another write up by a professional journalist with more info.

QOTD

Found at Power Line I think:
QOTD:
Every time a new gun law is proposed, banning this gun or that on the grounds that it is only intended for killing "the greatest number of people in the shortest time", I go to the hearings and ask the "sponsor*" why the police are always exempted. I have never gotten an answer.
*The sponsor of a bill is seldom the actual author. Most legislators couldn't write a coherent paragraph, much less a complicated piece of legislation. All too often, "carrying" a bill is equivalent to carrying water for a big donor.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Small Victories

The governor is easing up on us and today the salons were open, at least some of them. One near me had an opening and got me in and removed my Corona Mullet. They manned every other chair, allowed no one in without a mask, and pretty much touched nothing but hair. A very professional job. They also had no inside waiting chairs. You waited outside in your car and got called in when your turn came up.

If anyone is looking, I'd recommend the Great Clips at Quebec and 470. Bring a mask.
Sorry for the lousy picture.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Fundamentals of Electricity In Motorcycles

I learned the basics of electricity by buying and driving British motorcycles. In the 60s this was probably the quickest way to learn all the ins and outs of the topic. Either that or take up long distance hiking. In those days, most if not all motorcycles came with only one fuse, right next to the battery. If anything at all went wrong, it blew and the whole bike went dark.

There was a quick way to diagnose any electrical problem at all back then, since most of them involved a wire somewhere that had rubbed against something until the insulation was gone, and shorted out, blowing the fuse. The riders job was to find the rubbed spot and move it away from the ground spot at least long enough to get you home.  You did this by sitting on the ground next to your bike, where you could see most of the harness, remove the blown (15-20A) fuse, and prepare the 50 amp slo-blo. This done by wrapping the blown unit in some foil from your cigarette pack. Yeah, everyone smoked.

Place the new fuse in the holder, and push it together with the key on, and watch the bike carefully to see which wire began smoking. Voila! you found the culprit. Move the afflicted wire away from whatever had damaged it, perform the smoke test one more time to be sure you got the problem, then start up and motor on down the road.

The Japanese changed all this by copying the wiring from computer assisted cars into their motorcycles. Now you have to figure out where they hid the fuse box, pull all the fuses out until you find the bad one, figure out which of several components on that circuit was misbehaving, and figure out how to get the bike to run at all long enough to get you home. Not easy without a set of tools and a multimeter.

When my Little Red Bike suddenly quit the other day, it wasn't hard to figure out that the fuel pump had quit, so the issue was either a blown fuse or a blown pump. Since the fuses were all behind a panel held in place with 2 5mm socket head screws and I had no 5mm Allen wrench, which it was didn't matter, I needed a trailer. I arraigned for that, got the bike home where when I turned the key, the pump hummed merrily and the motor fired right up. I hate intermittent problems. They know when they're close to a tool set, and disappear.

Previous owner had replaced the stock fuel pump with an aftermarket one from Auto Zone. Nothing wrong with that, but the wiring was not plug and play so he added about 6" of extra wire and a couple of quick disconnects. Here's your lesson for the day: QDs work OK under normal circumstances, but motorcycles are not normal. Under high vibration, they can become slow disconnects, the sort of thing Joseph Lucas probably invented. Mr Lucas is also known for having invented the intermittent windscreen wiper. Also the intermittent headlight and ignition system. The QDs are now gone, the wires are soldered, and the bike seems to run fine.

Monday, May 4, 2020

The Walter Duranty Award

They aren't calling it that yet, as of today it's called the Pulitzer Prize, but the NYT has won yet another one for their trophy case, this time for the 1619 project in which they re-write American history to claim that the big reason for the American revolution was to preserve slavery in the colonies.

This will sit next to the 2018 Pulitzer for covering the Russian Collusion of Donald Trump, a masterpiece of modern science fiction journalism.

The award is expected to be renamed for Walter Duranty who, in the '30s won a Pulitzer for his fawning coverage of Joe Stalin, assuring everyone that all was going well in Russia, no one was being arrested, no one was starving, and no one was being shipped to Siberia.

Gun Sales - Another Record!

OK here we are up to April. The curve is following the usual directions, but significantly higher than expected. Government actions in Virginia and Canada are probably spooking people on top of diktats from several other state and local sources.

When the left gets the chance, they waste no time securing their grasp on power. If they see no chance the Republicans will use ballot harvesting, graveyard voting, and importation of foreigners to the polls, then there is no reason for them to hold back.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

New Canadian Gun Laws

Which I suppose will become the new standard for us. Kevin notes that the list of banned items includes some 18 rocket launchers including ground-to-air and RPG type stuff. The bears in Canada must be meaner than I thought.

From an RKBA newsletter I get, I added the boldening. Note that while every anti-gunner out there says this, all of them, without exception, includes an allowance for the police to use them. For an example, google Tiananmin square.


On 5/2/2020 2:14 PM, Greg Smith wrote:
https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-us-canada-52505765

O Canada: Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has introduced a long-promised ban on assault-style weapons following the country's worst gun massacre in April. New rules would make it illegal to sell, transport, import or use 1,500 varieties of assault weapons. The ban is effective immediately [May 1] but there will be a two-year amnesty period for law-abiding gun owners to comply. Mr Trudeau also said he would introduce legislation, which has yet to pass, to offer a buy-back programme. Unlike the US, gun ownership is not enshrined in Canada's constitution, but gun ownership is still popular, especially in rural parts of the country. Mr Trudeau made a point of saying that most gun owners are law-abiding citizens, but argued that assault-weapons serve no beneficial purpose. "These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only – only to kill the largest amount of people in the shortest amount of time," he said in a press conference on Friday. "You don't need an AR-15 to bring down a deer." ...RCMP have said that the shooter was not licensed to own firearms, but had what appeared to be an assault-style weapon, as well as other guns. The RCMP did not specify which kind, so it is unknown if it will be covered by the ban... (A great deal of firearm technology has military origins. That said, Trudeau's claim that, “ These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only – only to kill the largest amount of people in the shortest amount of time” would seem to describe bombs, artillery and tripod mounted machine guns. He will likely get away with this specious argument in Canada, where not even defense of the home is considered a lawful use of a firearm.)