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.


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


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.


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.


Jimmy Fallon says this will never happen because no one wants President Biden. He makes a good point there but then says he wouldn't mind.

Makes sense. A president just as inept and clueless as Obama, but you can make fun of him without being called racist. Late-night comedy gold.

Hillary would love it. She who reportedly detests Obama, would run for president depicting all Republicans as racist bastards who politically lynched our dearly beloved first black president. Republicans, being the wussies they are would fail to run ads listing all the scandals that followed the Obama presidency and describing them as "all you need to know about the Democratic Party".

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Watch Your Language

I've gotten some flack from the grammar Nazis about one thing or another over the last several years, including my sometime use of the "Oxford comma" which even people who disapprove of it will admit it's sometimes needed. Here's a helpful reminder:

 Weird Al is still one of my favorite artists.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Holder Advocates For Vote Fraud

It's how Democrats get elected, so why not? He also bashes opponents as racist for opposing anything his boss wants.

So here are some of those new racists. (scroll down, the link sucks).


Enough with the deep philosophy, here's a couple of comics. First there's False Positive, a Tales Of The Crypt done by Mike Walton. Click on the link and see if the other half lives in any sense of the word.

Second is Schiver Bureau, Steampunk Sherlock Holmes vs the Powers of Darkness in London of some indeterminate age featuring airships, and automobiles made by the Mad Max Auto Works of about 1935. A work in progress, it won't take long to get caught up.

Something to while away your no doubt copious spare time.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


The critters seem to be largely under control around here as I've only gotten 8 in the last 3 weeks so the apple and plum futures continue to plummet in the face of decreasing scarcity.

OTOH, plans for the Billll's pipe and bucket squirrel trap have seen a setback as I just learned that in Conneticut at least,that
No person shall take or attempt to take any gray squirrel, rabbit or other fur-bearing animal protected by law by the use of … dynamite or other explosive compound, or by fire, smoke, brimstone, sulphur, gas or chemical ….
Which undermines my planned improvement to the trap that would include disposing of the dead squirrel to some location, TBD but certainly far, far away. I guess if you live in Connecticut, you have to dispose of them yourself.

Meantime, down in Georgia a raptor center there has 4 baby owls they need to feed and are soliciting local hunters for spare squirrels.

Gun Sales and Ammo

From the chart it looks like gun sales are back down to something like normal:
So in theory ammo production should be catching up. I'm still finding stories about people buying up Wal Mart's stock at 7:30 in the morning and trying to scalp it at the gun shows, but again, I'm seeing the gun show prices dropping as well.

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Modest Proposal - QOTW

From a nationally renowned and highly respected law professor:
MY LAW REFORM PROPOSAL: When police trespass on your property to stop you videoing them, you should be allowed to kill them, put their heads on pikes as a warning to others, sell their organs to Chinese organleggers, and use the money to buy billboards mocking their superiors for lawlessness.
It’s a modest proposal, but it would probably reduce misconduct.
Shamelessly ripped from the pages of Instapundit.

Should you actually do this and subsequently find yourself in need of legal representation, I'm sure Mr. Reynolds will be happy to recommend someone with qualifications in this area.

Actually, if you do this and only need legal representation afterwords, you're doing well. The police get famously testy about mere civilians suggesting that their job performance might be less than perfect.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Imposing Religious Doctrine

For one religion to attempt to forcibly impose its doctrine on members of another faith is generally looked upon unfavorably as the first amendment defends the free exercise of religion. In the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby the Supreme Court essentially said that those who worship the government may not impose their theology on those who don't.

The ruling is narrowly limited to the imposition of government doctrine to specifically religious beliefs so modification of say Catholic doctrine is still exclusively the job of the Pope.

It leaves open the question of whether the practice of human sacrifice is exclusively the privilege of the federal government or if other religions may also practice it.

Colorado Gun Law - Could Be Worse, Could Be Massachusetts

A proposed new gun law in Mass is being hailed as a major improvement over it's original form. Seems to even buy a gun there you need to be vetted by the local authorities and issued a FOID card. The original law made issuing the card a "may issue" affair which everyone understands is a "may not" situation. The new, improved version makes the FOID card a "shall issue, unless" proposition which the Mass Gun Owners see as an improvement.
... which the licensing authority shall issue if it appears that the applicant is not a prohibited person.
Notwithstanding other provisions of paragraph (1) to the contrary, the licensing authority may deny the application or renewal of a firearm identification card, or suspend or revoke a card issued under this section, if in the reasonable exercise of discretion, the licensing authority determines that the applicant or card holder is unsuitable to be issued or to continue to hold a firearm identification card.
All the details and a slick video describing the whole process is here at Bearing Arms. Watch the video, it covers the whole thing nicely.

Why am I left with the impression that the GOAL folks would think of it as "a great step forward for the 2A.." if they were taken to the camps in municipal buses instead of the traditional cattle cars. Massachusetts: Live free or there.

Bloombergs Colorado

A rustic place indeed although Denver has an airport
Here's runway 17L at DIA. They shoo the cows off to let the airplane take off or land.
In Colorado, we got a law passed. The NRA went after two or three state Senators in a part of Colorado where I don't think there's roads. It's as far rural as you can get. And, yes, they lost recall elections. I'm sorry for that. We tried to help 'em. 
Darn right he did, he dumped a bunch of money on the losing candidates only to discover that the hayseeds don't like him very much.
Colorado Springs is still working on the city budget for paving the roads
 Although downtown looks plenty spiffy without the ass-fault stuff. Pueblo is a bit smaller, but catching up rapidly as you can see:
They even expect to get the phone service FDR promised them almost any time now.

Bloomberg's official title of Mayor of Colorado makes the Governor answerable to him although after the upcoming election, the title of Deputy Mayor may be bestowed on someone else and Governor Chickenpooper can go back to brewing beer, which I for one won't drink.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

QOTD - Carpe Deium

Sometimes you have an idea that just demands immediate action, any delay is unthinkable, execution is right here, right now, or not at all:
Then again perhaps some minium of forward planning might, just might, be in order.

From The Whiteboard.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

QOTD - Libertarians

Actually it's not the Libertarians I'm quoting here but rather a couple of hard-line statists:
Reasonable people debate how best to regulate or how government can most effectively do its work -- not whether to regulate at all or whether government should even exist.                                          Nick Hanauer & Nick Liu
"Reasonable people" of course believe in governmental infallibility sort of like Catholics have a doctrine of papal infallibility. Those in the know know that the pope is only considered infallible when he speaks ex cathedra, or as the voice of the church, which he does on occasion. The rest of the time he's a priest like all the others, with a fancy hat who can make mistakes just like everybody else.

The article is a fine example of the reducto ad absurdum argument in that it takes the Libertarin viewpoint about the competence of government to perform any task at all and runs to the assumption that a real Libertarian is no different from an anarchist.

Remember that the only thing standing between us and efficient government is cantankerous citizens. Just try not to think about how many of them will need liquidation to get there from here.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Elio Update

For those of you in the Denver area, the Elio folks will be at the Taste of Colorado,
 Aug 31, 2014 - Sep 01, 2014 Denver, CO Taste of Colorado! Stay tuned for details
 And remember that for the "sport" model (strictly aftermarket) there are lots of 1500-1600 engines with outputs up to 200 hp available.

Alternative Currencies

There are alternatives to the USD or the Euro out there. One rapidly growing in popularity is the Bitcoin. Of course if you find the Bitcoin a bit esoteric and hard to grasp, in Cameroon there's always the beer bottle cap.

Local breweries are competing for customers by putting prize markings on the underside of the caps which are being used in place of the local currency, the CFA Franc. At
1 USD = 482.483 XAF one can see the appeal.

The value of a bottle of beer tends to remain constant regardless of the inflation the local piaster.