Sunday, August 31, 2014

Who Is A Gun Owner

The answer depends on who's collecting the data as witness the disparity shown here:
Pew and the GSS show a declining population of gun owners but Gallup and ABC are showing an increase. The bumpyness of the graphs is interesting to me as the NICS check data moves much more smoothly. This suggests that something else is going on. I got this chart from Historia Futura Praedicit where there is a fairly exhaustive analysis of some of the underlying data behind these graphs.
In 1987 Arthur Kellerman, a doctor who has done research on firearms and firearm related incidents, sent a survey asking if their was a firearm in the household to addresses that were listed in the firearm permit registries. His purpose, to see if those permit holders would respond truthfully. Of the 35 responses he received, 31 answered truthfully which would indicate that around 88% of gun owners would answer questionnaires honestly; however, what surprised him was that there were also 20 households that did not respond. When he went to investigate he found empty lots.  In other words those permit holders had knowingly lifted a false address in order to keep their real home residence a secret from the authorities. If this polls is indeed accurate, then that means that 36% of those polled intentionally tried to hide the fact that they are gun owners. This sort of phenomena has repeated with the recent 'assault weapons' registration in Connecticut. Only around 11% of all estimated assault weapons holders registered their weapon by the deadline set forth in the law.
This is rather a larger chunk than I would usually take for a quote, but the story is interesting to say the least.  Dr Kellerman BTW is the source of the famous “43 times more likely” to be murdered in their own home if they own and keep a gun in their home" statistic which he has since reduced to 2.7 times more likely with added caveats about using drugs and other factors. Also no mention of the state in which the survey information was collected, but while most states do not have a registry of firearms owners, the ones that do are places where firearms owners are rightfully paranoid and would be reluctant to tell the Nosey Survey Company anything at all about their guns.

Click on over to the HFP link and read the whole thing. I found it interesting and it informs one as to where the Anti's are getting those bogus stories about the gun culture being in a serious decline. If 43% of gun owners will attempt to conceal their ownership of firearms that skews the ownership curves much higher than the 35-45% in the graphic above. What's in serious decline is trust in the government at any level at all and in anyone seen as a minion of said governments.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Art For Art's Sake

And you thought the Eastern Europeans had no sense of humor any more after having it surgically removed by Russian surgeons.
The caption translates "In keeping with the times".

P.J. O'Rourke observed that Eastern Europe, from the Iron Curtain to Siberia is covered with monuments to the point that he described monuments to the monuments. Tedious indeed. A joke from the cold war era describes a Westerner chatting with a Czech, asking him if he considers the Russians to be his friends or his brothers. The Czech answers quickly: "Our brothers, of course!" and after looking around to see that no one was nearby adds "We can choose our friends."

Anyway, this monument is a regular target of the locals. You can see more of their aerosol photoshop work here.

Global Warming

Following the Australian repeal of their carbon tax which seemed to mostly transfer money to the Chinese, The administration is now plumping to sign another environmental treaty. Notwithstanding that the Kyoto treaty was rejected in the Senate 95-0, the president seems intent on signing this one anyway.

Odds of ratification: zero. BUT:

Pledges and reviews sounds like more hot air. The methodology is to publicly sign the treaty, blame the Republicans for the Senates failure to ratify, then order the EPA to issue rules to accomplish the treaty’s goals. The EPA complies and the Senate Dems stop any legislative veto of their efforts.

We don' need no steenkin' ratification now do we?

Elio Update

The Elio P4 is at Flatirons Crossing today and tomorrow in the upper food court. The line to sitin it was 50 yards long when I got there so I passed. I did get pictures and the P4 is lower and sleeker than the P3 I sat in last year. They have also added a windscreen wiper, R.H. roll-down window and climate controls since then. Vehicle weight is up to 1200 lb and the engine is still the Geo Metro 3-cyl they had in it last year. The new engine is still in development.

Here's a shot showing the vehicle fully occupied:
The passenger was not small but had little trouble getting in or out. No more than any other 2-door sedan.
The rear now features an opening trunk. The back seat folds forward.

Won't get a weeks groceries in there without folding the seat down.

The top speed is electronically limited to a bit over 100 mph. The reps there were discounting the modest top speed which suggested to me that some attention needs to be addressed to the overall vehicle aerodynamics before you install that Hyabusa engine and go for the land speed record. Maybe a small air dam up front and some '59 Chevy tail fins on the back. Of course this would probably cut into your 84MPG rating, but then quadrupling the available horsepower will do that anyway.

It seemed like about every 3rd person in line was ready to drive the prototype home right there so enthusiasm is quite high. It will reportedly be available about this time next year.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Future Of Transportation - Superregulation

The NHSTA is suggesting that all new cars broadcast location, direction, and speed to whomever wants to collect the data. Swell. The first people asking for the data will be local police who can use it to write the tickets electronically.

Just think, with all the paperwork taken care of by a server at city hall, the cost of writing a ticket and sending it out will descend to the point that even the most minimal offense will become cost-effective.

The counter to this will be the self-driving car which by its nature will never violate any speed law. All the more reason for municipal governments to oppose the things on "safety" grounds. The hit to municipal revenue would be catastrophic.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Two California Counties Petition To Secede

They have the signatures, but in this case they have to get permission to secede from the government they are trying to escape from. Sort of like a slave in the old south petitioning 'ol Massa to allow him to run away.
Critics question how an area with a relatively low tax base and small population could afford to pay for basic services such as schools and roads.
Schools and roads don't cost all that much especially if you don't spend money on things like diversity administrators and public transit. Remember that Hong Kong, before it's takeover by the PRC had no natural resources and imported its water from the commies and still had the highest GDP/capita in the world.

Colorado Gun Law - Castle Rock

The election results are in and the City Manager no longer has the authority to write municipal gun law. Also open carry is now allowed in nearly all places.

High fives for the people of Castle Rock.

Federalizing the Local Police

Of course. Because the does not trust anyone to have a gun who is not directly answerable to them.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Economic Refugees

In light of Burger King joining the steady stream of corporate refugees fleeing the economic tyranny of the United States, one is reminded of other regimes efforts to stem the flow of refugees. East Germany for example, famously built a fairly imposing wall to keep their people in. The only thing keeping the Obama administration from the same solution is the knowledge that walls like that work both ways and if a steady flow of Democratic voters is inconvenienced by the razor wire and land mines, the Senate could change hands in the next election.

Worse than that, Hillary might be denied her rightful place on the throne.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

September E-Postal

So here I am surfing the innertubes when here's an e-mail announcing the September target is up already:
Yup it's alligator season in Louisiana, so get on out to the swamps and bag yourself some.
The link is to True Blue Sam's where you'll find all the rules. The actual pdf target is here so don't use this one. It's limited Vickers so only 12 shots per target. It also applies the "Q-tip rule" in that solid hits are worth more than nicks.

The difference is that when you were shooting Q-tips, the skinny targets favored larger calibers. In this case a solid hit seems to mean completely inside the gator which favors the smaller bores.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Seek and Ye Shall Find

Imagine my surprise to find out that the Fed.Gov actually is quite careful to keep copies of everything. Including, it seems, Lois Lerners e-mails.
“A Department of Justice attorney told a Judicial Watch attorney on Friday that it turns out the federal government backs up all computer records in case something terrible happens in Washington and there’s a catastrophe, so the government can continue operating,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton told Fox News’s Shannon Bream.
here's no mention of a judge being involved but I'm having a hard time imagining the DOJ admitting anything like this after harping continuously that with the destruction of her hard drive, all her e-mails were permanently lost. At least without some federal judge mentioning jail time to someone.

The DOJ lawyer goes on to say that extracting the e-mails is difficult beyond human ability and therefore they don't want to  be bothered with trying. Of course this suggests that if anything catastrophic ever happened to Washington, the recovery technology would be the first thing permanently lost.

Too much to hope for I'm afraid. If there was money involved, the government would likely arise from the ashed like the Phoenix and no one's 1040 would be a day late.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Science Marches Onward - Date Rape

Actually the prevention of same. Four guys from North Carolina State have mixed an indicator chemical with nail polish to make it possible to detect a Mickey in your drink by simply giving it a provacitive swirl with your finger.

Impregnating the swizzle sticks with the indicator would probably also work and would mark an adulterated drink even after it arrived at your table. If you come back from the ladies room and discover that your stick is from a different bar, your suspicions should be aroused.

The FDA will probably ban it.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bagpipe Police

Yeah, I know what you're thinking, but it's not an organization to suppress weapons of mass destruction. It's an organization to hurry the extinction of elephants.

You clicked the link but didn't see that part? Here it is. When you confiscate an old piece of ivory and destroy it, you reduce the worlds supply of ivory, thus driving up the price. This makes the ivory poachers job more lucrative and increases poaching which adversely affects the population of elephants.

This bit of tomfoolery by the government extends to anything containing ivory including piano keys and guitar fingerboards. My brother is a musician up near the Canadian border and tells me that when he plays a gig in Canada his band has to be very careful which instruments they use if they don't want to see that old Fender Stratocaster tossed into the's wood chipper.

Learn A New Word

Chatting with a fellow in Holland about building 3-wheel motorcycles I run across this on his blog:
Snuffelwerk: To sniff around in an effort to find something. A little snufflewerk at the junkyard and I'll have that missing part for my Gremlin.

He built a trike from an Alfa Romeo which here means a racy sports car. Over there it's more likely to be a family sedan.

My contribution is Greasy Easter Egg Hunt: A visit to the junkyard in search of parts that might be useful on a project like fighting robots.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Future Of transportation - Elio

Elio will be in town with their P4 prototype:
Here we come Colorado!  We will be at the Flat Iron Crossing Mall 1 Flatiron Crossing Drive, Broomfield, CO.   August 29-31 from 10am -9pm Friday and Saturday and 11am to 6pm on Sunday.  The creamsicle P4 show
Then, on Monday September 1, we will be at Taste of Colorado from 10:30am to 8pm – P4 show.
Which would be this one.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Some biotech companies have asked the governments permission to plant some fast-growing frost-resistant eucalyptus trees in the American southeast with an eye towards supplying the paper industry. Predictably the swampies are unshakably opposed.

Now my thought here is that since the American southeast is already overrun with invasive alien species from Kudzu to carp and monkeys, why not take this to its logical conclusion and toss in some Koalas to keep the trees company. At least they're cute.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Gun Blogger Rendevous

Is breathing down my back and yours too if you have any intentions of going. If you do, better get on the stick, register and get your hotel room. Use the event code found at the link to register at the hotel.

Lots of great swag in the door prize bag and lots of shooting.

Anybody from the Denver area going?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Fox Butterfield Moment

Right here in Denver. For those of you from out of town, Colfax Ave is the main E-W non-freeway artery through Denver. It's 4 lanes wide and East of Broadway it allows parking on both sides. It's heavily used and features a very popular bus line which whenever I've tried to drive down Colfax, seems to feature a bus about every 4 blocks. Did I mention that these buses seem to stop about once every block.

The buses are known as "rolling roadblocks" by the car drivers and render the outside lanes pretty much unusable. The solution is:
A 10-mile corridor that already is tops in bus ridership but suffers from congestion problems needs another fleet of buses to cure its transit woes. At least that was the plan presented Friday by transportation officials with the city and county of Denver to fix the Colfax Avenue issues.
More buses of course. And to improve the efficiency, the buses would get one lane dedicated to them, cramming all the cars into one lane. Sure, that'll work.

More Farming

The raspberries which usually begin producing about now and continue until the first frost have now stopped producing having produced since early July. Very odd. This may be due to the modrate temps and lots more rain than average as well. The mushrooms in the back yard seldom get this big:
I can hear the strains of "Trepek" playing in my head. Picture taken with my new pocket camera an is about 40X as large as ones taken with the old one so you can probably zoom in on the individual spores in this picture. There should be a button to cut the pixel count down to something reasonable, but I haven't read the owners horse blanket manual completely yet.

FWIW: It's a Nikon Coolpix L30.
1. Cameras like this which once came with a minimal memory card are now shipped without one at all. Batteries were included.
2. The cable to connect the camera to your computer is unique to this series of cameras and is shipped with selected models. This model isn't selected.
3. A USB memory card reader that supports this cameras card and several others costs less than the very special cable.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Urban Farming

We got a bit more rain the other night and it now seems that I've got too many apples and not enough tree. Possibly a by-product of the thinning of the tree last fall. Last night a limb came down, about 3 in in diameter and 8-9 ft long. I weighed the loose apples I cleaned up off the ground and estimated the ones still on the downed branches.

It looks like I'm tossing about 75 lbs of apples from the one broken branch.

The rest of the tree is still loaded. Anyone got a cider press?

Great Minds

Think alike. Notice how this fellows rant

Sounds a lot like this one

only without the kickin' guitar work and the hint of LSD usage.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August E-Postal

It's a fox hunt! Annoy the swampies and try your skill with pistols only this time:
Go to True Blue Sam's and download the real thing and check the rules. This time you need 3 targets, one freestyle, one left hand and one right hand. 4 shots per target as quick as you can reasonably get them off.

I know I can get off 4 shots in no time at all and if I'm lucky, the fox will keel over from a heart attack because it's unlikely to be a gunshot wound.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

QOTD - Economics

A friend sent me this one:
    "Bureaucracy is the epoxy that greases the wheels of progress." 
 James Boren
Boren has a whole book on the topic. Hint: He is NOT a fan of bureaucracy.

And then I happened on this short video over at The Blaze:

Clear, concise, solid economics in one easy lesson.

The Future Of Transportation - 3 Wheelers

First off the Elio people will be in Denver for 3-4 days:
Aug 29, 2014 - Aug 31, 2014 Denver, CO Denver Area Mall Stay tuned for details
Sep 01, 2014 - Sep 01, 2014 Denver, CO Taste of Colorado! Stay tuned for details

The mall in question has not yet been identified. If I find out, I'll let you know.
 Second, Can-Am Polaris is trotting out their fire-breathing 3 wheeler in October or at least one of the local Honda dealers is advertising this.
Definitely sportier and less practical. The 2-in-front that i built some 20 years ago resembled this much more than the Elio. Note that only your head is higher than the tops of the tires. The C.G. is right down near the axles. On mine when you hit the brakes, the vehicle would squat. Spin out, you might. Roll over? Never. Mine, of course, lacked the spiffy fiberglass. It looked like a fugitive from a Mad Max movie.

For comparison, here's what we know:
                                    Elio                         Polaris
Weight                       1200 lb                      1700lb
HP                               55                               170
Engine                       1000cc                        2400cc
Price                          $6800                         $19,999 (est)

The Elio is an all weather rig. The Polaris is definitely not. Passing a car in the wet would leave you waterlogged. Still, it's a lot like what sports cars used to be like before the federal government got into the design phase.That Can-Am is about a year ahead of Elio getting to market is probably the result of them building 2-in-front motorcycles for some time. Of course it's possible that the reason Polaris is ahead of Elio is because this new vehicle is a snowmobile with tires mounted on it.

Update: Sorry about the misnomer there.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Scottish Festival

Now here's a lot of pipers:
The group was about as deep as it was wide, and of course they belted out "Scotland The Brave". For myself, I stood quietly trying not to break into song.

Oddly enough, the lyrics at the link don't have any of the verses I learned although they're along the same lines.

Friday, August 8, 2014

What's Going On?*

James Taranto finds these headlines because he gets paid to find them. The fun part is that they pose some really big questions absent the actual article or sometimes even with it.

"Obama Interrupting Summer Vacation With Trip to DC"--headline, Associated Press, Aug. 8
If the president is interrupting his latest vacation, it must be something monumentally bad. Like George Soros funding an impeachment operation.  Then there's this. Did you ever wonder what some of those aging rock stars were doing?

"Supreme Court Sets Execution Date for Ringo in Ruby Tuesday Slayings"--headline, Columbia (Mo.) Tribune, Aug. 8, 2014
All this time I thought he was a fairly harmless fellow. Conductor on Thomas the Tank Engine.

You don't really need to find out
What's going on
You don't really want to know
Just how far it's gone...
    D. Henly


When you buy a firearm at a big box store the standard procedure is to take all your information, send it to the government, then the sales clerk will take the packaged gun and escort you to the door like some nee'r-do-well bum that don't actually ever want to see again. Makes you feel really wanted.

This may not be all that bad an idea at least in some stores for if one of the other customers sees the clerk carrying the gun and calls the cops with a terrified "man with a gun" complaint, it will be the clerk and not you who gets gunned down.

TIP: Don't walk too close to the clerk carrying your new firearm. A nervous policeman is a notoriously bad shot.

Scottish Festival

This weekend in Highlands Ranch. Scottish dogs, Scottish booze, Scottish food (but don't let that frighten you off. You don't have to eat it.) Scottish music, British cars, Irish and Welsh stuff, and muscular men in kilts doing manly things like tossing telephone poles. Entertainment includes the Carlos Nunos Band. Carlos plays a lot of instruments including the bagpipes and is reportedly quite good.

I've not heard him, but he puts me in mind of this ditty:

All info here.

Biological Warfare

If this isn't grounds to roll out the DDT and fog all of Dixie, I don't know what is. Seems there's a tick out there whose bite inflicts the bitten with an allergy to meat and some dairy, including ice cream. Imagine spending a day outside hunting and/or fishing and then finding you couldn't enjoy all the tasty critters you'd bagged.

Oh can you imagine
a sorrier sight
than a man bit by wood ticks
who can't take a bite?*

*tune of Away With Rum, a liberal anthem from the turn of the 19th century.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Life As We Don't Know It

This is the chrysalis.

You can make out the mouth parts, 2 eye stalks, and the near side leg. When it emerges, it's going to be hungry.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Gun Fun! - Hi Points

Now here's a fable of what you might do with a Hi Point pistol assuming you had too much money and far too much time on your hands. Tongue firmly in cheek, here's the unobtanium coated optically enhanced Hi Point .45:

I want to know where they found that deep-sea divers helmet they mounted on the slide. Looks like someones aquarium is missing a small statue.

In spite of this it still works.

 Found at Bearing Arms.

Science Marches Onward! - Transparent Mice!

Now how in the hell did western civilization ever get as far as it did without this gem:
This involves a certain amount of processing of the mouse and it's not immediately clear that the mouse survived the experience. One must suppose that it did, otherwise inspection of the internal organs would be done the old-fashioned way which pretty much guarantees that the mouse does not survive the experience.

July E-Postal Results

Here they are. For those of you who shot this one and decided that your score was too low to send in, notice that only one of us actually managed to break 50% of the theoretical max. I hit it with the Hi Point, but Steve R beat it with his S&W Model 66. Nice shooting! The bonus was for scoring a hit on all 5 Q-tips regardless as to where you hit them. Not many of those either.
July E-Postal

Class 1A Iron sights – rimfire pistol

Shooter Web presence Gun Cal Score Bonus
Mike B

.22 20
Billll billllsidlemind Ruger Mk 1 .22 40 Y
Morgan L
Ruger Mk 1 .22 25
Ruger Single 10 .22 20
Steve R
Ruger Mk 2 .22 5
Steve R Shot left handed Ruger Mk 2 .22 5
Steve R
Ruger 4 in Std .22 15
Steve R Shot left handed Ruger 4 in Std
TrueBlueSam Truebluesam Ruger Mk 3. red dot .22 15
Mrs. TrueBlueSam
Ruger Mk3, red dot .22 15
Pattie Ann
Ruger 22/45 .22 5

Class 1B Iron Sights – rimfire rifle

Shooter Web presence Gun
Morgan L
HK MP5 .22 45
HK MP5 .22 10

Class 2A Iron Sights – center fire pistol

Shooter Web presence Gun
Mike B
S&W MP40 .40 10
Chester J
Springfield XDM .45 25
Chester J
Charter Arms Target Bulldog .38 35
Steve R
Rossi 851, 4 in .38 10
Steve R
S&W 66, 4 in .38 60 Y
Steve R Shot left handed S&W 66, 4 in .38 5
Steve R
Ruger LCR 9mm 25
Merle M
S&W 624, 4 in .44 spl 10
Merle M
S&W M625, 5 in .45 15
Merle M
Charter Arms Target Bulldog .44 spl 15
Pat B
Ruger Blackhawk .357 55 Y

Class 2B Iron Sights – center fire rifle

Shooter Web presence Gun

Class 3A Optical sights – rimfire pistol

Shooter Web presence Gun
Merle M
TC Contender, 2x scope .22 20

Class 3B Optical Sights – rimfire rifle

Shooter Web presence Gun
Marlin 795 .22 35
Morgan L
Marlin 795 .22 40

Class 4A Optical Sights – center fire pistol

Shooter Web presence Gun
Merle M
TC Contender, 2x scope 9mm 15

Class 4B Optical Sights – center fire rifle

Shooter Web presence Gun
H.P. 4095
55 Y
Mike B
Beretta CX4

I will freely concede that this target was over the top for difficulty, but if we don't challenge ourselves we won't get better, right? I'm sure that when some of you see me at GBR, you'll show your appreciation by letting me hold the stop plate in the steel challenge match.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Projection, Perhaps?

Here's a Florida county sheriff who favors gun control. All the usual stuff, AW ban, expanded background checks, etc. All the sheriffs in CO tend to favor an armed citizenry and the Florida Sheriffs Association is quite neutral on the topic, so what's with this guy?

Could it be a case of liberal projection? It turns out he has flunked his firearm competency test twice now and may well be assuming that if he can't pass it, probably hardly anyone else could either and with that low a level of ability it might be better to just disarm the citizens and leave the gun toting to the experts.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Propellentless Thruster

This staple of science fiction has reportedly been successfully tested in a lab in China and works although the boffins associated with the test are at a loss as to why. I can think of at least one good reason why they see thrust without propellent but I'll wait until someone with more alphabet after his name either suggests it or proves me wrong.

In the meantime this will be a contest open to all as to why the thing works or only appears to work.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Driving In Denver

If you are involved in an accident in Denver, weather in a car or as a pedestrian, there's a 20% chance the other fellow will leave the scene, without stopping if his car still works. In a lot of cases, it transpires that the runner is here illegally, has no license or insurance and doesn't want to be deported although so far none have been.

In an effort to reduce the hit and runs, Colorado will now offer drivers licenses to illegal aliens. The thinking goes that when Pedro or Mohammed, as the case may be, runs over or into someone, his ability to produce a drivers license will dissuade him from fleeing the scene. He will, of course be issued a ticket and a summons to court, which I hold out little hope of him honoring since no real I.D. seems to be required to get the license in the first place. Pedro becomes Miguel and Mohammed becomes Muhamed and the miscreant disappears into the paper shredder.

It is also stated that the new license will not be useable as I.D. to board a plane or to vote. Since no I.D. is currently needed to vote here anyway, this won't cut into the Dems base noticeably.

OTOH, this sets up a defacto registration of illegals in Colorado as the DMV will have a complete record of everyone who got such a license with their address and photo so on the off chance that being an illegal ever becomes illegal, we would have a good start on picking them up.

Don't tell anyone this. It will depress the demand for the licenses.


So 2 Americans with Ebola are being brought to the U.S. so the disease can be further studied. Not to worry, even though the disease id contagious and incurable, precautions are being taken. Both patients are being placed into isolation bags where they will stay until they can be placed in an isolation ward. And I'm sure that all their colleagues back in Africa gave them a high five or a fist bump through the plastic bag as a sendoff.

What could go wrong?

Immigration In Perspective

A friend of mine sent me this link to a short but telling lecture on immigration. It's only a couple of minutes and hits the mark well.

Why do they come here? Because they're poor and want to do better or because it's possible to live much better without doing anything here? Why are they not doing better at home? The quick answer is because the evil gringos stole all the land with nice houses and paved roads. So why are there no nice houses and paved roads back home? Something to do with the politicians running the place?

A business acquaintance in Puerto Rico once apologized to me for the endemic poverty there pointing out that the island was very small and had no natural resources. I pointed out to him that Hong Kong was only 25 square miles and had to import their drinking water from the PRC. They were still the highest GDP/capita in the world. I could smell the smoke from the wheels turning in his heat the rest of the trip.