Friday, February 28, 2014

Jaguar XK-8 Road Report

I have now had my latest indulgence, a ’99 Jaguar XK-8 for two months now so here’s what I’ve learned.

1. The Jaguar XK-8 is a luxury car. Prior to 2004 it isn’t really a sports car. Sure it has 2 seats and a convertible top, but a sports car shouldn’t weigh 2 tons, or if it does, it should have enough horsepower to move itself at a respectable rate.. The ’96-99 series has all the quirks a brand new vehicle is prone to, plus low horsepower and high weight. For ’00 to ’03 the aluminum engine got iron sleeves and a big boost in reliability. ’04 and up the car got a slightly larger engine with 100 extra horsepower, and an all aluminum body which shaved 500 pounds off the weight. Now we’re talking.

2. Everything in the car works with a small electric motor to drive it. This includes the door locks. There’s something under the hood that hums into position when I put the key in, and hums back to a rest position when I take the key out. I haven’t found out what it is yet.

3. The heater is fairly conventional except that it has its own motor to circulate the hot water. The pump on the motor evidently can’t handle this.

4. The convertible top is hydraulically actuated, including the latch above the windscreen. The hoses are plastic and move slightly when the pump is running. This causes some wear between the hoses which, over time, can rub a hole in the lines. The cure is a separator to hold the tubes apart. The lines are connected to the cylinders with QD connectors and O-rings. The O-rings are good for 50-70K miles before they begin to weep. Mine are due.

5. The electronics in the car are sensitive to fluctuations in battery voltage. The clever module that runs the windows down about ½” when you open a door, and runs them back up when you close it begins to fail when the battery voltage gets down to 11.5 volts. The windows go down, but don’t go back up. This is a nuisance when parking the car. The window needs to go down because it normally seats into a recess in the convertible top. This makes for a nice quiet ride, but in winter, ice can form on the drivers side window which prevents the window from going down. This makes getting the door open very difficult, so remember to scrape the ice from the side window before trying to get in.

6. The headlights can be set to come on when the car judges it necessary. Likewise dimming on the rear view mirror.

7. Owing to what was described as a “software glitch”, if you start the car from cold, and run it for less than about 2 minutes, say to move it up the drive after washing it, then shut it off, the “cold start” mode remains engaged and the fuel injectors remain open, draining the contents of the upper fuel line into the engine, effectively flooding it. For the first couple of days after you’ve committed this sin, the engine will not start. Period. When it does start, if there is any excess fuel in the engine, the engine will knock a bit, causing the knock sensor to send an error code to the engine. To correct this, all the spark plugs must be removed and the engine cranked with the gas pedal to the floor (which shuts off the fuel flow while you’re cranking!) until the engine is dried out. Alternatively you can let the car sit for 5 days and the excess fuel will drain/dry on its own. Mostly.

8. When you get certain error codes, like the knock sensor one mentioned above, you also get a “performance restricted” notification. What this means is that the ECU has limited the engine to 3000 rpm and floorboarding the throttle will not speed the car up past about 30 mph no matter how fast the traffic is bearing down on you from behind since at full throttle the tranny won’t shift until you get to 4000 rpm. OTOH, if you let off the gas, the tranny will complete the up shifts and allow you to reach freeway speeds. Just not right away.

9. The 17” low profile tires need to be inflated to 45 psi to get them to fully seat on the rims. It says so on the tires. What it does not say is that they should be run at 32 psi and unless you tell the tire monkeys this, you’ll drive off with your tires at 45. Great gas mileage, lousy traction. The folks I bought the car from were unaware of this.

10. The big items on this one are the rocker cover gaskets and timing chain tensioners. The gaskets are O-rings carefully selected to shrink slightly with age allowing a very small bit of oil to seep down onto the exhaust manifold. When you stop, the odor of burning oil permeates the car. The replacements, I’m told, are slightly larger and don’t have this problem. The chain tensioners turned out to be made of a plastic that degrades in the presence of hot oil such as you might fine inside an engine. Jaguar (Ford) has known about this for a while, but still sells the original plastic tensioners as replacements at the dealerships. Independent shops have metal replacements which they assure me will last indefinitely.

11. The car does fine on snow and ice, even better if the tires are at 32 PSI. The Automatic Stability Control kicks in if you begin to lose traction, reducing the engine output significantly. This usually happens when the steering wheel is turned slightly which blocks your view of the warning display, which helps keep you calm.

12. The car gets 20-22 mpg in town and 25-27 on the highway. That’s enough better than the pickup to make it slightly cheaper to drive, even with premium gas.

13. Parts and repair work are expensive. I presume that most Jaguar owners die of ulcers or heart failure from wondering WHAT WAS THAT NOI$E!

All cars come with quirks, some more significant than others. So far I’m liking the car even while not looking forward to doing the mechanical maintenance this summer. This is not my first British sports car by a long stretch, and while it is an order of magnitude better than any I've had before, my position that they are the most fun you can have driving when they work is unchanged.  

Economics: Cooking The Books

The government has "unexpectedly" revised its numbers for Q4 2013 growth from 3.2% to 2.4%, a 25% reduction. This is not an adjustment. When you're off by this much is't evidence of fraud at fairly high levels.

The upshot of this is that 2013 growth is now 1.9%. Folks, this isn't growth, this is wheezing on life support. This also goes along with increasingly rosy unemployment numbers, steadily declining as a result of people simply dropping out of the market. If you've given up looking, you're not unemployed.

Amusingly, the anemic performance is being blamed on the weather. For those of you old enough to remember, or who had a good history teacher, the Soviet Union used to consistently fail to meet its quotas for agricultural production beginning with the collectivization of agriculture and continuing through the ultimate collapse of the system. This was always blamed on "bad weather" to the point that wags in the west began extrapolating that the Soviet scientists were successfully experimenting with weather modification to be used as a weapon against the west. The problem seemed to be that the tests were conducted inside the Soviet Union to maintain secrecy and as a result only damaged farms there.

In the 50's we didn't have the internet. It's place was taken by publications like the Weekly World News, the National Enquirer, and pamphlets distributed by the John Birch Society. Look at the improvements we've made in 60 years: Today economic failure is still blamed on bad weather, but the bad weather is now blamed on capitalists instead of Russian scientists.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Voter I.D.: Fraud Not Required

The federal District court in Tennessee has thrown out a lawsuit seeking to overturn the states voter ID law in effect saying that you don't have to catch a burglar in your house to justify putting locks on the doors. This is the most sensible ruling I've heard on the topic to date what with most other cases getting sidetracked with arguments about how racist protecting the franchise is.

What The Angry Peasants Want

So having run the dictator out of town, what's the first thing the peasants suggest they want to keep from having to do this again?
As of today Ukrainian Gun Owners Association will start to work on the preparation of amendments to the Constitution, which will provide an unconditional right for Ukrainian citizens to bear arms. 
 Their proposed wording sounds kind of iffy to me but maybe it sounds better in Ukrainian. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

What Can A Bunch Of Angry Peasants Do..

Against a well equipped military or militarizes police force? Well, quite a bit if they put their minds to it:

I recall similar results against T-33 tanks in Hungary back in '56. Of course when no backup came, the Russian army rolled in in force and that was pretty much the end of that. One can easily win the battle but lose the war.
Found here at elmtreeforge.

Update: Speaking of winning battles...

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Feds Cut Off Farmers Water

But don't worry, to paraphrase something I heard somewhere else; "The price of food will necessarily skyrocket, but the Delta Smelt will be protected."

Extended story here.

A kinder, gentler holodomor I guess.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Job Change

Not me, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is being given the job of United Nations Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change. Sweet gig I guess what with the graft, corruption and child prostitution the UN is famous for.

If we're lucky, he'll be sent to some city that desperately needs his expertise. 

Beijing come to mind.

Colorado Mini Maker Faire

So I've let myself get signed up to run a table in this and it looks like I'll get a 30 foot nerf range to let kids try the Pedal Air Gun with All New Guaranteed Non-Lethal foam darts at much reduced pressure. Plus some other interesting stuff TBD.

Denver Mini Maker Faire - May 3rd & 4th, 2014 @ National Western Complex

More info on the Faire is at

So pop on over and see what's on offer. Meantime comments at this post will be the contact point for the Denver Mad Scientists Club in case any of the membership has anything they want to demo there. My table is available to multiple exhibitors from that group. 

I'd like to send you to their web site, which used to be rather nice, but the disk drive holding the site crashed 10 or 15 years ago and no one in the group knows how to fix it. Other than that, it's a bunch of really clever and creative people.

Update: And finally, please put Wednesday, March 26th at 6pm on your calendar for a Denver Mini Maker Faire meetup at Club Workshop in Denver.  We will be filming!  Connect with your fellow Makers and bring your makes, pictures, prototypes or any other item that you would like to get on camera.  Publicity for Makers is part of being a Denver Mini Maker Faire Maker and we are putting together a few promo videos of our Makers to share with the world.  This is your chance to get on camera!  So get your friends and family to sign up to be a Maker so they can be on camera, too! 

As a side note I think I'll call my exhibit the Family, Lawn, and Garden department of the DMSC.

World To End Saturday

So it must be time to clear your pantry of all that booze and bacon you've been hoarding. The Jorvik Viking Center in York, England is basing their prediction on recent climatic events which they describe as 3 winters with no intervening summers.
The past two summers have been cold and wet, so declaring that Ragnarök (otherwise known as the Twilight of the Gods) is upon us is a subjective call
Anyone who has had dealings with Vikings in the past however will tell you that predictions of the end of the world made by Danes usually have nothing to do with climate change and usually only apply to the residents of the town or village the Danes had surrounded. The predictions of the end of the world could also be mitigated or eliminated by paying a sum of protection money to the Danes although this reputedly only caused them to return the next year with further demands.

East Bloc Humor - Not Just For The East Any More

There's a lot of old East Bloc humor now making the rounds in this country. Not that the president, who regularly channels Benito Mussolini, would be causing the upswing in popularity of the genre, but:
In America now, the survey takes you.

Bruce Tinsley is a very funny cartoonist.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Home Security and Journalism

The local news in Detroit is reporting that a local mother met an attempted home invasion with gunfire, thwarting the effort.

When the thugs were driven off with the first shots, one of them retrieved a dropped pistol and attempted to return:
No matter. His tenacity was rewarded with a second shotgun blast, and he took off again into the night. None of the suspects were hit by any gunfire.
Here's the "shotgun" in question:
 I have a similar one. Less rust though. I had no idea that shot shells were available for it. Maybe she had it loaded with those "snake shot" loads. I'd wonder about their ability to cycle the action though. I guess we learn something new from journalists every day.

O.K. here's the video.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Future Of Transportation - Trucks

Safeway has rolled out a much-modified tractor that reportedly gets 75% better mileage than its fleet of conventional trucks. Not to be outdone, Wal-Mart has debuted a tractor unit that looks like it was hijacked from the set of the latest Transformers movie:
Optimus Prime, with the Wal-Mart livery removed. Should have left it on, we'd have never recognized him.

Sensing an opportunity, the President has jumped in and joined the affray announcing that he will order the EPA to demand that heavy trucks double their mileage and be quick about it. After all, anything that a room full of engineers can do in 3 years can certainly be duplicated by imperial decree in 6 months.

XL Pipeline Solution

It occurs to me that there is an easy solution to the foot-dragging the president is doing on the XL pipeline.

Step 1: Build the pipeline on both sides of the border, right up to the border.

Step 2: Recognize that is is current practice to ship the oil by rail in tanker cars across the border.

Step 3: Park a tanker car straddling the border where the two ends of the pipeline would otherwise meet and connect the pipe to their respective ends of the tank car.

Step 4: Turn on the oil. Besides in 2017 the last chunk of pipe can replace the tank car being used as a splice. Of course we would have to pay the railroad the freight rate for all that oil traveling by rail 50 feet, but that should be cheap by comparison to the hundreds of miles they ship it now.

See? Easy. We Americans can do anything.

Violent Liberals

Of all the people you wouldn't normally expect this sort of thing from, the Jefferson County PTA is making threatening noises and implying GUN VIOLENCE against the Jefferson County Board of Education which recently has a full set of conservatives elected to it.

Being solid liberals we presume that the gun violence being suggested would NOT involve anything defined as an Assault Weapon or any firearm with a magazine that held more than 15 rounds. Background checks would have to be performed on all designated shooters in any case. There is a No Firearms rule for all county buildings where any school board meeting would likely be held, so we presume that the actual shooting would be limited to the parking lot.

Why are liberals so violent?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Motorcycle Maintenance

Went over to help a friend with his motorcycle Friday. Some (long) time ago I use to do this for a living and he had an odd problem. Seems he had replaced the ECU with a "high performance" one, and shortly after that the engine began refusing to run longer than to get through 3rd gear. Sounded to me like a fuel starvation problem to me.

Start with the gas tank outlet which has evolved to a Q.D. fitting with a check valve. Remove fuel line and push check valve seat open. Fuel drips out one drop at a time. Not Good.

The Mechanical manual for the bike shows the valve as having a short filter attached to the inside, just like the Bad Old Days. Remove check valve and discover that the picture was of a short section of a long hose connected to something way up inside the tank. Remove hose from valve and find the valve works just fine. Blow air up the hose and find it doesn't.

Check the book and discover that inside the gas tank are enough doo dads to assemble a Kholer Magic Flush Eco-Dyne toilet. To get at this, one first removes the seat, then the trim running up the middle of the tank, then the retainer ring using Harley-Davidson special tool # XXXYZZZ.VV. Alternatively a ball pien hammer and a big flat nosed punch will do fine. Some things never change. Wiggle and jiggle the assembly and it will slowly come out. Visualize a mammal giving birth to a starfish.

Disconnect the other end of one of two hoses, move the assembly far enough out to work with, remove a large clip which frees a housing, and inside the housing is a fuel filter. I swear only trans-dimensional engineering would have made this thing harder to get to. Yep, the filter was good and properly clogged. It looks like a Fram unit, $5 at O'Reily Auto or $25 at Harley Davidson. Plus labor. Fuel filters are routine maintenance replacement items. Replacing one should not be up there with open heart surgery.

Reassembly is the reverse of the assembly. My friend just had spinal fusion surgery and won't be needing the bike until July at the earliest so I can wait until another warmish weekend to reassemble the thing.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


The State Department is planning to create a new ambassadorship to the Arctic Regions. Since Jay Leno was offered the ambassadorship to Antarctica, one presumes this would cover the north polar regions. Traditionally the plum jobs go to big campaign donors, sometimes irritating the recipient country. This doesn't seem like a plum assignment although the embassy location has yet to be announced so who do you think will get the job?

I'm betting on Hillary Clinton. There are several reasons for this not least of which is her demonstrated ability to suck all the campaign cash out of a room no matter how much it might be needed to support Obama cronies who have made the endangered species list.

Secondly is her ability to conform to the big rules of diplomacy, those being to keep a low profile, and speak to nobody which Hill demonstrated during her tenure as Secretary of State.

The other item is the embassy location. Here I'm betting on Point Barrow, Alaska which conveniently fronts on the U.S. claims to the polar cap and equally conveniently has little space for members of the press.

What Do You Know?

The NSF has released (pdf format, 53 pages) the results of a wide ranging survey about scientific literacy and opinions on various topics from geneticly modified food to nuclear power. The survey covered both the EU and the US and in general the US came out slightly better. Good for us. In the Scientific literacy department a set of twenty-two questions were asked with true/false or multiple choice answers. Results varied from question to question. Ex:

5. Although the data clearly show a difference in how respondents answer to different question types, these data do not provide guidance as to what caused the difference. A
range of explanations are possible.
7. Twenty questions used a true-or-false format. These included: (1) “Hot air rises” (true; Europe correct: 91%, United States correct: 95%); (2) “The continents have been
moving for millions of years and will continue to move in the future” (true; Europe correct: 86%, United States correct: 80%);

The somewhat depressing questions:
9) “The earliest humans lived at the same time as the dinosaurs” (false; Europe cor
-rect: 61%, United States correct: 43%)

21) whether the sun moves around the Earth, whether the Earth moves around the sun (correct), or neither the sun or the Earth moves (Europe correct: 80%, United States correct: 82%)
Now having 18% of your population believe #21 is embarrassing. Still we are probably talking about the bottom quintile on the ol' bell shaped curve. I'd be more concerned with the results from #9 at this point.

Don't be intimidated by the size of the paper. The literacy results are on page 48. Other items to note is that skepticism about AGM increases with the economic development of your country, and a distinct majority favor the development of nuclear power.

Read as much of it as you can, and feel free to skip the boring bits to get to the results.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Model Gun Legislation

Arizona has a preemption bill in its House that may be a model for other states to use. You can find the complete text here for your perusal. It's not terribly long and manages to say what it needs to say without any textual modification clauses.

This is the sort of thing you can print out and give to your legislators who will (hopefully) read it, smile, and send it down to the clerk trolls where it will be put into a format compatible for your state, and then offer it up for legislative consideration.

In case the link doesn't work, the bill is HB2517.

The best part is at the end, in blue type and all caps which generally means it's a recent addition. It makes government officials who violate the law individually and personally liable for damages and fines. That part alone is worth clicking the link to read.

A Functional Death Ray

Or you could think of this as just another green bird killer. Back when I worked for a Big Aerospace Company, one of the cleverer mechanical engineers there got us into the "power Tower" idea. This involves several acres of mirrors focusing sunlight onto a heat  exchanger which would be used to boil water, etc, etc. It was fairly ambitious as it involved writing software that would control a lot of individual mirrors very precisely over a long period of time during which the sun inconveniently would appear in a different spot not only as it moved across the sky, but every day the arc would be slightly different, more so as the day does not mesh with the year on this planet.

Getting the thing started involved first bringing the mirrors part way up to a "cleaning" position to allow the window washers to remove the previous days dust, then bringing them up to a preliminary position with the entire field focused slightly off to the side of the tower with the heat exchanger in it while overall field orientation was checked, then swinging the entire field over to place the focus on the heat exchanger. If the field is not focused on a single spot, the power would be degraded. Likewise if the spot wasn't centered properly. One other thing: If the preliminary focus was good but the transfer to the heat exchanger ran slow or if the daily tracking algorithm didn't work during the preliminary setup, the focus of the beam would track slowly across the concrete tower. Concrete, though tough and generally durable, was never meant to stand up to this kind of heat.

I asked one of the engineers on the project and yes, the occasional bird would fly through the beam. Halfway through anyway, and would be replaced by a shower of burnt feathers. The local predators must have thought this was manna from heaven with KFC ranging from rare to well done falling out of the sky. The saving virtue of this is that the "stay out" zone varies in intensity and birds approaching from the right direction would quickly learn to stay away.

We sold one commercial installation to the Chinese who from what I heard, never finished it. Current estimates are that power produced in this manner will cost about twice what conventional power runs which in the green world is remarkably cheap. The local power company has a contract to buy the power and the costs will be passed along to the grateful consumers which would include Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

We have covered the roof of the building where I work with solar panels and while the fixed photovoltaic panels do not directly compare to the dynamic mirrors at the Ivanpah facility, there is a large screen inside that shows exactly what we are getting. Without exact numbers, I would guess that on a clear day we get about 2 hours of full rated capacity around noon, plus 3 hours of average 50% capacity in the morning and evening. This adds up to 5/8 rated capacity for an 8 hour period while the sun is up which further works out to 20.8% rated capacity over a 24 hour day. On a cloudy day this can drop by between 2/3 and 1/3 depending on the cloud cover.

Lotta money for something with 6-21% efficiency.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Big Win In Cali!

The Ninth Circus Circuit ruled that:
In a 2-1 decision, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that by requiring citizens to prove “good cause” — rather than just the right to self-defense — in order to obtain a concealed weapons permit, San Diego County is in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution.
Cali sheriffs have been notoriously stingy with the permits, limiting them for the most part to celebrities, politicians, and campaign donors. The ruling is expected to severely curtail the current process.

Found at the Blaze, where the rest of the story lies.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Gun Reviews - How Not To

Here's a review of the Just Right Carbine. Hat's off to the fellow for going out in 11 degree weather to record his day at the range. The JRC is an AR-ish PCC that takes Glock magazines, like a Kel-Tec Sub 2000 in Mag Pul clothing. O.K. good start.

No muzzle velocity data. He has some nice gear, but no chrony? He mentions that the trigger is rough. Very rough. Also the mag release is located right at the center of gravity where it's most comfortable to hold the gun with the left hand.

Accuracy: Using the red dot sight and 10 rounds to determine holdover, it scores rather less than 50% hits on a 24" square target at 300 yards. This does not inspire much confidence, notwithstanding that those 9mm rounds aren't going to be traveling very fast at that distance anyway. 24" at 300 yards is 8 MOA which is mediocre at best. Next time put some paper up at 50 or 100 yards and show us your best group.

Price: MSRP is not mentioned. It is a blowback gun in spite of the AR-like construction so shouldn't be too expensive.

I like PCC's, they let you do all the carbine-y stuff without costing $1/round to pull the trigger. It would be nice to know a bit more about this one.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Petards, Hoisting Upon

This is a few days old, but still entertaining. An anti-gunner with a CCW (?) is caught carrying in a grade school in violation of a law he worked to help pass. He's charged with a couple of felonies which would disqualify him from doing any more discreet toting for the rest of his life.

What I expect next is for the "celebrity clause" to kick in that forgives the whole thing as an honest mistake on his part. Watch the news carefully. The exoneration will be reported on page 75 in the middle of the obituaries, in very fine print.

Hog Eggs

This is too good to pass up. It is now widely reported* that the latest breakfast sensation is a hog egg omelet since the hard-to-find eggs come with the bacon already infused into them.

*Indianapolis and Denver.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Nothing Suspicious Here

This sort of thing used to be a great example of black humor when someone was found dead and the coroner ruled the death a suicide from "3 self-inflicted gunshot wounds to the back". But no, it seems this sort of thing can actually happen:
A coroners spokeswoman Thursday said Talley was found in his garage by a family member who called authorities. They said Talley died from seven or eight self-inflicted wounds from a nail gun fired into his torso and head.
 Nothing to see here folks, move along now.

GOP Proposes Bill To Forbid EPA Use Of junk Science

This is unfortunately only a partial solution to an out of control agency.
Republican lawmakers in the House are pushing legislation that would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from proposing new regulations based on science that is not transparent or not reproducible.
Found this at Fox News.

The rest of the problem is the EPA encouraging greenies to file a lawsuit demanding that regulation of something should be implemented as it affects the environment and thus comes under their jurisdiction. The EPA pursues only perfunctory argument and the judge orders them to expand their mandate to cover whatever it was.

Agency expansion by judicial fiat needs to be curbed as well.


Let's see...
Russians and Turks competing? Check.
Down in the Crimea area? Check.
A visit by the Czar Putin? Check.
Mass distribution of condoms? Check.

A marvellous contest was set for the day,
a visit was made by the Czar.
The streets they were lined
with harlots reclined,
in honor of Ivan Skavar.

Sorry, but once you've heard the other lyrics to some of the old classics, you tend to forget the originals and when you do hear the original, you have a hard time not laughing. It's like listening to Dance Of The Hours and not thinking of Camp Granada.

Polar Ice

This is the year in which Pope Al assured us we would see no polar ice unless we elected him and raised our taxes. I have no idea how the polar region is doing, bit just have a look at the Great Lakes. The polar bears will be trotting across in search of Detroiters to eat any day now.
More pix at the link. I bet the folks in Buffalo wish Erie would freeze which would temporarily stop the lake effect snowfall.

Next we'll be seeing the pack ice sliding down over the Canadian border.

I hate winter.

Sub Station Attack

A fellow called into a talk show I was listening to and described himself as a power company employee who actually works at the sub station in question. He made some excellent points:

1. The substation is normally unmanned. These are transformers, and don't require people in lab coats to watch them.
2. Significant layoffs had just been imposed on the workforce by the power company and some of the targets were upset over this.
3. Anyone who ever spent more than a little time at the station would know about the safeguards and alarms that are normally installed there.

This points to an inside job by a disgruntled former employee to me and makes the idea that some non-connected terrorist has somehow become an expert on sub station operation seem a bit remote.

Much was made of the use of an "AK-47" to shoot up the transformers. Keep in mind that the media can't tell an AK-47 from a '71 Gremlin, and that the SKS is every bubbas favorite truck gun. I'm sure that the shell casings were 7.62 x 39 but so what.

What bugged me was when the employee was asked if the FBI had interviewed him since he was working in the district at the time of the attack, and he answered "no". I suppose that exonerating the IRS was taking up all their resources, and still is.

Thanks to the scandal-like coverage of the event, every one in the country now knows how to attack a sub station. FWIW: In an earlier report* I read, about 2-3 months ago, it was suggested that surrounding substations with opaque fencing and an alarm on the gate would at least provide a credible first line of defense at minimal cost.

*Yes, it was reported much earlier than last week. No one cared to comment at the time. To me this is all old news.

Occam's Razor, folks.

Fighting Robots

Some 28 years ago the Denver Mad Scientists Club (tm) invented fighting robots as a nerdly diversion. It entertained us and kept us off the streets and (mostly) out of trouble. What could go wrong, right?
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has seen the future, and it ain't pretty. They're a regular read for me.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

QOTD - Nincompoopery

While it is true that Texas has produced some of the greatest of the great, is it not also true that it has produced its fair share of crooks and buffoons?

As she spoke, Jackson Lee claimed that she hoped that Congress could “give President Obama a number of executive orders that he can sign.”
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who in spite of a lengthy career in the House, still seems a bit unclear on her job description.

Found at Wizbang.

Doing Something About The Weather

This is great news indeed as I'm thoroughly fed up with week after week of sub-freezing temperatures. The Obama administration has announced plans to open multiple "Climate Hubs" around the country:
The new climate hubs will be established in Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oregon, and New Mexico.

There will also be three sub-hubs in Michigan, Puerto Rico and California.
So if you're having problems with the weather, like drought, floods, low temps or high ones, simply trot down to your regional climate hub and file a complaint. Operators are standing by to handle your particular problem. Press 1 for weather-related problems, press 2 for help with Obamacare, and press 3 for voter registration information in Spanish.

The Democrats: Taking care of you the Chicago way.

Remember, the next recall election is November 4th.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Colorado Gun Law

Several pro gun bills have been introduced this year with SB-94 already consigned to the "kill committee" with the execution scheduled for 1 PM Monday. Here's a summary:

GOP gun bills in the house:
HB 1041: allows carrying concealed handguns without permits, Reps. Jared Wright and Chris Holbert.
HB1151: repeals ammunition magazine prohibition, Reps. Holbert and Lori Saine.
HB 1097: sales and use tax holiday for firearms, ammo and accessories, Rep. Clarice Navarro-Ratzlaff .

GOP gun bills in the Senate:
SB 094: repeals requirement for background checks for private transfers and repeal fees for checks, Sen. George Rivera.
SB 038: prohibits governments from restricting firearms in an emergency, Sen. Scott Renfroe.
SB 090: expands exemption on background checks to include step, Sen. Randy Baumgardner.
SB 100: repeals magazine ban, by Sens. Baumgardner, Rivera.
SB 135: allows firearms purchases from non-contiguous states if legal in both states, Sen. Greg Brophy.
The Dems are scaring up some clergy to testify against HB 1151 apparently on the premise that if a thug should bust a cap in your ass, you should do the Christian thing and turn the other cheek. I personally would favor the advice of Gandhi and return the miscreant's fire.

At this point all bills are being read once in chamber and referred to committee. In the Senate, that would be the Veterans and Military Affairs given the current makeup of the chamber although I heard that HB 1401 had been sent to the Judiciary committee. The Dems hold a solid majority in the House, so I don't hold out much hope for the bill there in any case.

If you write to a committee member but you don't happen to live in his or her district, be sure to mention that you are VERY seriously considering moving to that district, which qualifies you for a ballot in that district under the Vote Fraud Act of 2013.

Further detail at the Denver Pest.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


Found this at the Shoe site:


(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

* Your guardian angel is on vacation...drunk on her butt in Cancun. She'll be back in a few days but give her another week before you try something stupid. Massive hangover.
Sounds like good advice for any day.

Visited my new indoor range, the Arvada Rifle and Pistol Club. They now have electricity. Still no heat though, so Tuesdays meeting will be another 2-jacket affair.