Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Best Gun?

It's the one you've got in your hand when you find you really need it. There are differences of course, and the study below goes into several of them. It also makes some questionable assumptions about the circumstances under which you anticipate using your gun, but just keep your own likely situation in mind as you watch this:

Found at hellinahandbasket.

Local Politics

Jarid Polis continues to try to buy the Colorado Governorship with tepid endorsements all around. Here's my contribution:
It appeals to his base, and pretty much sums up the candidate in one sticker.
Fiddly difference, same message. As usual, print out on landscape paper, tape into back window, remove post election.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Privatizing Tyranny

Of late the left has come up with new and improved ways of getting their agenda enacted, this time without having to bother with a troublesome legislature. The very latest is anti-gun Gov. Cuomo's effort to cripple the NRA by threatening any bank or insurance company that does business with them with delisting or at least crippling in the large New York market. Here he gets around any prohibitions against interfering with interstate commerce by simply threatening a long and expensive deluge of red tape. In the end I suspect he would lose, but getting from here to there would take six to 10 years and cost a fortune.

Shopify has announced that it will no longer support sales of anything gun related, and defines this using the boilerplate Bloomberg definitions pushed by the most restrictive states.

Twitter and Facebook are busily suppressing all the conservative messages they can find conveniently just before the elections so that any legal efforts to make them honor the first amendment probably won't get a hearing before the 2020 elections. Their argument is that as private businesses they can do as they please, which reminds me of the signs I used to see in businesses in the '50s stating "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone." which was weasel-speak for "We don't serve blacks here."

My bullet and reloading stuff supplier, Rocky Mountain Reloading, was recently hit with a notice that their brass and lead component business was outside the realm of what their financial services supplier wanted to serve and that they had zero time to go somewhere else. This involved ginning up a new website as well.
You may be asking yourself why we would be switching to a new website when we just barely launched the one we had back in December. Well, we are free to finally make this announcement. We were one of the gun related companies that was targeted for destruction through elimination of our credit card processor. Luckily we had the foresight, knowing that it could become an issue, to put it in writing that they would not ever drop us because of our involvement in the firearm industry. Even so, we were issued a termination letter with threats to hold our deposits for up to six months. At the time we had over $40k in deposits for them to hold. We wouldn't have been able to pay our bills and we have been in a very bad position. Anyway, we contacted a lawyer and informed them that we were doing so and we were able to get them to allow us a window for finding a new credit card processor. That in-and-of-itself would be no big deal but the current website provider only had Paypal and our processor as payment options. Neither of which would allow bullet or casing sales.
Again all this because the financial wonks have caved to the leftists and can use the "we're a private business and can refuse service to anyone." argument. If you reload, check them out. Good product, good prices.

My own bank, Bank of the West has been overtaken by the PC movement as well. When I first started there it was a local operation and very friendly. They're still friendly enough but they've changed hands several times and the current parent company doesn't want to have anything to do with the tobacco, energy, or firearms businesses. The energy industry supplies a lot of jobs here in Colorado and I like it when people have jobs. They tend to vote Republican in order to help them keep more of their hard earned money. I'll be reluctantly be looking for a new bank then.

So we see, more and more, the infringements on our rights are coming less directly from the government, which wouldn't be allowed to do that anyway, and more from private industry which depends on licenses and approvals from governments to exist. Tyranny by proxy, neatly privatized and all legal. Expect a lot more of this if no one figures out how to stop it.

By way of stopping it, I'm told that if Twitter and Facebook were to be declared to be "common carriers" they would have to accept anyone and anything at all. Shades of the good old days. This would require legislation however, and requiring those two to allow free speech would open any politician supporting such an idea to charges of supporting Nazis and pedos from people who like having their opposition silenced.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Fun With Headlines - Mad Maxine

From Drudge
PELOSI: Maxine Waters 'Strikes Fear in the Heart' of Trump...
Mad Maxine strikes fear into the hearts of all rationally sane folks.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Health Issues 2b - Recovery

It seems that most of the digestive problems were caused by the pro-biotic I got. I quit taking it and 95% of the problems disappeared. What I would really like now is a Cuban sandwich and a beer but the system, while functional, probably wouldn't like that sort of stress. Next IDPA match is a week and a half out so I'm probably going to be good for that although I suspect I'll set some club records for speed. At the low end.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Health Issues 2 – Prostate Cancer

A column in todays WSJ is suggesting that discussing ones setbacks in life may well be good for you as you frequently enough find others in similar situations with whom you can discuss your problems and possibly discover solutions.

I have been diagnosed with Prostate cancer. This is not as bad as it sounds at the topmost level as it was caught at an early stage and treatment is simple and quick. That is for certain definitions of the word “simple”. Preparation includes inserting 4 short pieces of gold wire into the prostate so the targeting x-ray can actually see where the prostate is. The staff is provided with directions from the urologist as to where the cancer is located with reference to the wire locations. X-radiation therapy is applied using the very latest Allaudium Q-39 planetary nebulizer, an example of which in action can be seen here. All that was missing was the earth-shattering ka-boom.

The example shown has the machine working on the patients neck (Thyroid?) and emitting a red beam. In my case the patient was reversed and the machine was working on my crotch. In operation it's like having a 1-ton Labrador retriever carefully sniffing you so as to carefully commit to its memory all your pertinent statistics. No there is no red beam although there is a red laser cross hair roughly centered on the area of interest. The big head on the machine is the X-ray generator.

The many and varied angles it shoots from enables a session to hit the targeted spot from lots of different angles at one sitting and reduces the treatment time from 45 days to 5. I have now completed 5 treatments of 30 minutes each so by now all the bad stuff has presumably been shuffled off the mortal coil. That part was easy and painless although the side effects began to show up after treatment 3.

Most of my readers should be familiar with the 4 rules of gun safety, of which #4 is “Be sure of your target and what's beyond.” In this case, what's beyond is my intestines. Seems the cancer requires a fairly forceful push but my intestines don't take as much persuading. As a result I'm now on probiotics to try and restore my digestive functions. It also seems my lower intestine was weakened to the point that whereas in the past I'd get a polite warning about visiting the loo followed by a somewhat stronger one. Not any more. I get one warning and that's NOT advisory. It says I'd better be within 10 yards of the facilities OR ELSE! Even worse, no one has been willing to hazard a guess as to exactly how long this should be expected to drag on. Best guess so far is about 2 weeks.

There is a list of dietary restrictions that goes with this process that basically boils down to “Anything you eat will come back to haunt you in about 4 hours so remember the 10 yard rule. Attempting to follow this has lost me about 10 lbs in the last week. So the cancer is gone in 5 easy treatments and now all I have to do is nothing until my guts recover from the collateral damage. Other restrictions include No Bicycles which I'm finding out has to do with introducing vibratory stimulus to the lower intestine area. When you apply vibration to something thick and slow moving, it becomes thin and fast moving. Riding a motorcycle is less stressful, but has the same end result. Walking around also introduces vibration and the dog is missing her morning walks.

The probiotics are a pricey set of pills to be taken for about 2 weeks. One of my friends suggested that knowing what the effect on ones gut flora is about to be, perhaps the treatment center should work in a step involving refining a stool sample from the patient before the procedure and saving the refined flora in the fridge until after completion at which time it could be replaced in one or two passes to give the patient back 100% of his original biota. I ran this by the folks at the treatment facility who had mixed reactions to the idea although they all agreed that this might be a good application for the fecal transplant technology.
Renew Life brand Digest Smart eliminates gas way better than Beano and Garden Life brand Raw Probiotics (refrigerated) for men 51 and older is recommended for us older farts.

Mad Science department:

I also suggested a money saving method of doing this which was met with somewhat less enthusiasm. One visits the Salvation Army store and picks up a blender and a coffee maker. Rub them through your dish washer until your sterilization standards are met. Place stool sample and about 3 cups of distilled water in the blender, and reduce the mixture to brown liquid. Set up the coffee maker with the filter holder over the carafe, and pour the liquid through a coffee filter. This should yield a couple of cups of what the old Chinese physicians referred to as "yellow soup". Repeat the filtering process until all solid material has been removed. Use an eyedropper to load up some gelatin capsules with the soup and put them into secondary capsules, and refrigerate. Post treatment, take 2 in the evening before bed time for about 2 weeks. That should do it. DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor. Do this at your own risk. Not responsible for anything. There are outfits that do this sort of thing and if you find one in your neighborhood, they might be able to help you out. It certainly adds a level of professionalism to the process though.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Behind The Headlines - Empathy Is Overrated

From today's BOTW:

What Would We Do Without Experts? “She’s the world’s top empathy researcher. But colleagues say she bullied and
intimidated them.”
Makes perfect sense. You'll get more out of the sheep by being the sheep dog than you will by trying to become one of the sheep.

Behind The Headlines - OH 12 Finds More Ballots

I'm going to guess they were in a grocery bag in the trunk of an abandoned Cadillac with Illinois plates in a seedy part of the district.

Rest of story here.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Health Issues

A whole host of testing, prep, treatment, and probably some post treatment testing. As a side effect, my gut flora has been trashed. Treatment ends Thursday. Recovery of the flora will likely take a bit longer, meantime I'm just not feeling very frisky.

Details later.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Near Record NICS Checks

But does it actually mean anything other than a chance to write a flashy headline?
Here's the month-to month with a projection for the year:
Except for summer of 2016 and December of 2015, the curves follow a fairly predictable path. Here's a chart of July numbers:
With the MSM predicting the inevitability of a Blue Wave, perhaps now would be a good time to buy up some gun stocks. If it doesn't pan out, you can always sell them before they return to normal.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Bathtub Drone

Some of us thought the bathtub drone project looked like fun so we're researching the idea. Testing indicates that nobody's lawnmower is going to fly with a passenger but it seems that treadmills use motors up to 3 hp, 6 of which look like they would do the trick. The big holdup right now is propellers. Seems you can get small ones at the hobby shop at pretty reasonable prices, probably because they get crashed and broken often enough that mass production drops the prices. When your payload gets to 220 lbs however, the required prop tends to be the sort that real aircraft use and those don't come cheap. The other problem is that if I were building an electric ultralight, one prop would suffice and one that size wouldn't be too bad. On a drone where you need 4 to 6 props, the size falls between large hobby and small aircraft and is much harder to come by.

Preliminary testing suggests that 1-1/4 hp/motor would lift a large drone if the pilot were limited to a lightweight dummy and the actual pilot were operating it from the ground. This opens up the path for building the structure and sorting out the control software first, then upgrading to more powerful motors later.

As has been noted before: Engineers should never be unemployed.

Fun With Headlines

From the Best  Of The Web column I get, this:
No Greater Progressive Love 
“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wants 5 more years on the Supreme Court, and people are offering their organs to keep her healthy,”, July 30

Far more likely is that Bernie Sanders has figured out that with the increased death rate that nationalized medicine routinely generates, there should be an adequate supply of other peoples organs along with other peoples money to pay for the procedures.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Musical Interlude

Let me say up front that I do not use weed. I even voted against the legalization of the stuff here. Let me also say that I like music, all sorts of it. My life has a continuous sound track running in my head which is kind of nice. I also like to build things weather the need is urgent or not. I mentor students at a local K-12 school helping them to build robots.

Building something for me can be kind of a manic experience, blazing along at full speed until whatever it is rolls out in all its glory. On that note, first listen to the tune "I Smoke 2 joints" by the Toyez

Next, consider these alternative lyrics:

I buy 2 Screws
I make 2 drafts in the morning
I make 2 drafts at night,
I make 2 drafts in the afternoon
And I think I got it drawn up right.

I make 2 drafts in time of peace
And two in time of war
I make 2 drafts before I make 2 drafts
And then I throw 'em on the floor.

(My contribution to paper recycling.)

Me neighbors they come tell me all that bangin noise it's bad
The Po-lice came an told me, this project's a little too rad.
They say it rolls too fast or it throws too far or the smoke don't smell so sweet,
So knock it down or get it outta here 'cause I can't do my testin in the street.

I buy 2 screws in the morning
I buy 2 screws at night,
I buy 2 screws in the afternoon
And I run them all down tight

I buy 2 screws in time of peace
And two in time of war
I buy 2 screws before I buy 2 screws
And then I buy two more.

(Ace Hardware loves me.)

I cut 2 bars in the morning
I cut 2 bars at night,
I cut 2 bars in the afternoon
I trim 'em till they fit just right

I cut 2 bars in time of peace
And two in time of war
I cut 2 bars before I cut 2 bars
They don't fit, I just leave 'em on the floor.

(I got a messy floor.)

Me neighbors they come tell me all that bangin noise it's bad
The Po-lice came an told me, this project's a little too rad.
They say it rolls too fast or it throws too far or the smoke don't smell so sweet,
So knock it down or get it outta here 'cause I can't do my testin in the street.

Sort of an anthem to all you makers out there.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Conestoga Project 5.0 - Final?

One can hope. My customer tried the bike and trailer out and pronounced it to be about 98% done. Seems the offset pedal cranks don't quite get her legs far enough off the motor. We found some extensions for the pedals at the local bike shop that moved them about 3/4" (20mm) further out but after trying them out we decided to get some just a bit over an inch (27mm) long.

One advantage to the extensions is that a 50mm extension on the right hand side would allow the use of the stock pedal crank and chain ring set which would be MUCH easier than trying to adapt something to the crank that came supplied with the kit.

Don't know where those sizes came from, but that's the sizes they come in. Of note is that the longer ones were out of stock while the short ones were available. This should be a clue as to which ones actually work.

Here's the assembled combo:

Cruizin' along. We're thinking that it might be easiest to simply throw a pup tent over the trailer when it's parked than to add the structure to support a fixed cover.

Test snooze. GSXR the dog is checking to see if there's room for her as well.

Friday, July 13, 2018

New Social Media

I feel like starting a new social media company. No censorship, and if you're offended, tough. Say anything you like and I don't care. I think I'll call it "Woodpecker" . Just sit down and bang one out.

I even saw a great inspiration for a company logo:
Whaddya think? Woodpecker. Say anything.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Cali Backs Off Gun Registration

Cali's latest anti gun law required all owners of "assault weapons" to register them by electronically sending in 3 photos of each gun in question showing left side, right side, and a close-up of the serial number. There's more, but given that everyone had about 2 weeks to comply, the system failure was easily predictable.

My camera is a Sony Cyber Shot, a typical pocket camera. It has a default picture size of about 2Mbytes unless you set it to something reasonable. Or maybe you want close-ups of flowers in which you can count pollen grains, whatever. I bet most people leave the default settings on their cameras and collect very detailed snapshots.

Now multiply the 6Mb of snapshots by the number of people with "assault weapons" trying to get registered in 2 weeks. Yup, crashed the system. The program has been halted, probably only temporarily, but who knows. Governments are notorious for being the last to upgrade anything so there's probably some poor IT wonk trying to explain to a senior bureaucrat why it's going to take about 50 years to get all those pics downloaded over the states 1200 baud modems.

Just a thought, but any time the government demands photos, set your camera to the highest level and make any snapshot you send a 6Mb file.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Gun Debate - Pulling Out The Anti Gun Rug

The DOJ has thrown in the towel in a lawsuit brought by Defense Distributed which opens up a lot of doors and windows. See the story here.

But wait, there's more. In the settlement, the DOJ said:
Significantly, the government expressly acknowledges that non-automatic firearms up to .50-caliber – including modern semi-auto sporting rifles such as the popular AR-15 and similar firearms – are not inherently military.
Removing the antis "Military style firearms" and "weapons of war" argument from the table.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Does This Look Like Fun?

Here's some Germans with a drone apparently capable of carrying a human passenger over some distance. Noting that Google also has a one-man drone they're flying on Lake Mead in Nevada, I'd say that the flying cars we've been waiting for are being prototyped right now. They just don't look like cars with wings.

Seemed like so much fun that I started collecting old battery powered electric lawnmowers for the motors. Seems the ones I got all had lead-acid batteries which I already know are prohibitively heavy, but that's why they make Lithiums, right?

Some time back when I was toying with the idea of an ultralight aircraft, I noticed that the magic minimum horsepower requirement for reliable flight seemed to be about 12HP. What this suggests is that the mower motors are dismally underpowered with the 24V types putting out about 1/4HP at 3400 rpm with a 24x10 propeller. Almost enough to lift itself. The 36V motor I got was rated at 1 HP at 4000 rpm which is certainly enough to get itself off the ground but...

The 36V motor listed a part number and maker from Canton province, PRC so I checked them out. They also make motors for treadmills rated at 2-3HP 4000-4500 rpm. Now we're talking. 6X2 or 4X3 = flying. Best part is that people put treadmills up on Craigs List for free on a regular basis. All I have to do it go get them, remove the usable parts, and toss the rest.

The 24V motors will get donated to the school robotics club. The big problem now seems to be sourcing appropriate propellers at a reasonable cost. Suggestions anybody?

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Extend Your Life?

Study suggests that 8+ cups of coffee a day can help you live longer. I think that all it actually does is keep your body fidgeting after you die, giving the illusion of extended life.

Of course the rattling coming from inside your coffin at the funeral might be disconcerting to the attendees, but just think of it as your last joke on them.

Unless of course it turns out you are in fact still alive in which case the joke is on you.

Zap Your Brain

I've seen this before with various claims attached ranging from a cure for depression to increasing your IQ. I suppose you could do it yourself by making a simple puleation circuit with 2 knobs, one for pulse width and one for intensity, 0-9VDC and embedding the rig in an innocuous sweatband.

Sure: Try different settings for a week each, and test yourself every Sunday by asking yourself if committing a heinous crime sounds like more fun than inventing anti-gravity.

I'm experimenting with motors, amp draws, and the like in the garage right now. All this without the benefit of an electronic headband. Just think how much fun this would be to pull the drain plug as you fly over the Antifa rallye.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Conestoga Project 4A

So it all bolts up and starts up and runs.

 The motor kit came with a cheesy clamp for the muffler which I now can't find, to keep it from vibrating and cracking.

 Gotta get that on. The rear sprocket bolts to the spokes and stays centered fairly well, but I'd feel better if the spacer I made to center it on the hub was metal and welded to the sprocket.
The motor started on the second or third pull of the rope and idles well. The machine accelerates just fine with no pedal assist at all with my 160 lbs on board. The motor manual is quite adamant about getting 10 hours of run time and an oil change before visiting Bonneville so I don't know how fast it will go but as a bike booster I'd say plenty fast enough.

Billlls rule of engine swaps says that any engine will fit any frame*.
*Note carefully that some fit MUCH better than others.

This motor kit is intended to fit a heavy weight cruiser bike and NOT a modern derailleur rig. OTOH if you really want to do this, it's not impossible. Keep in mind that I have a lathe, a small bench mill, and a MIG welder in my garage and access to the big stuff if (when) I need it.

Thanks as well to DuBach Tool and Machine, 3910 S. Mariposa St, Englewood, CO without whose assistance and supply of leftovers this project would have taken much longer. Got some small parts you need stamped out in quantity? Give him a ring.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Future Of Billll

Nothing really momentious, but I will be at Westercon  04 July 2018, Wednesday to 08 July 2018, Sunday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in the Denver Tech Center. I will be part time helping my friend Bob Pfeiffer, noted rock mavin, sell geodes for the purchasers to crack open, part time seeing the sights, and full time representing the Denver Mad Scientists as a mentor for budding young world dominators.

I believe that the 4th will be an initial opening and setup day with the festivities kicking off on the 5th. Look for the rock fragments in the vendors area.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Conestoga Project 4 - Motorizing The Mountain Bike

Got the chainring adapter done and by cutting the teeth off the chainring that was provided and making an aluminum ring to carry the 3 chain rings. Had to sink the crank into the ring on the back side to get the chainring locations right.
Next the motor mounts. 2 separate pieces with the front one slotted on the bottom to hold the motor as far forward as possible, this in an effort to provide clearance for the air filter.
It is planned to replace the hose clamps with real U-bolts at some point, but I haven't gotten there yet.
The 2 phillips screws replace 2 Allen head screws that caught on the toe straps that were fitted to the original pedals. Tolerances are that close.

Also noted was the idler pulley as provided with a tall bracket tended to let the drive chain swing in and out and try to jump the rear sprocket.
Moving it closer to the sprocket pretty much fixed that.

The muffler provided would have passed through the front frame tube. I need to find some tubing bits to route it around. a 45 down and a 90 on the bottom should do it.
Throttle and kill button are hooked up and I need to connect the crankase vent tube to the air filter.
Should be easy he said blithly... That and add oil and gas. Oh yes, and final tightening of all those nuts and bolts.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Privatizing Tyranny

From Greg Smiths newsletter:
On 6/25/2018 9:07 PM, Steven Wenger* wrote:

Still Smoldering on the Financial Front: ...In the wake of high-profile mass shootings, corporate America has been taking a stand against the firearms industry amid a lack of action by lawmakers on gun control. Payment processing firms are limiting transactions, Bank of America stopped providing financing to companies that make AR-style guns, and retailers like Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods imposed age restrictions on gun purchases. The moves are lauded by gun-safety advocates but criticized by the gun industry that views them as a backhanded way of undermining the Second Amendment. Gun industry leaders see the backlash as a real threat to their industry and are coming to the conclusion that they need additional protections in Congress to prevent financial retaliation from banks. “If a few banks say ‘No, we’re not going to give loans to gun dealers or gun manufacturers’, all of a sudden the industry is threatened and the Second Amendment doesn’t mean much if there are no guns around,” said Michael Hammond, legal counsel for Gun Owners of America. “If you can’t make guns, if you can’t sell guns, the Second Amendment doesn’t mean much.” The issue has already gotten the attention of the Republican who is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho sent letters criticizing Bank of America and Citigroup, which decided to restrict sales of firearms by its business customers, over their new gun rules in the wake of the Florida high school shooting in February. “We should all be concerned if banks like yours seek to replace legislators and policy makers and attempt to manage social policy by limiting access to credit,” Crapo wrote to Citigroup’s chief executive... The gun industry acknowledges that there’s nothing requiring companies from doing business with gun manufacturers or dealers. Monthly reports from the federal government show background checks to purchase a firearm are up over last year so far, so the early actions apparently have not put a dent in sales. Still, the industry believes it needs stronger laws against financial retaliation in the future. “We may have to seek legislation to make sure it can’t be done and that you can’t discriminate against individuals from lawful exercise of a constitutional right,” said Larry Keane, senior vice president and legal counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which represents gunmakers. “Imagine if banks were to say you can’t purchase books or certain books aren’t acceptable. That would be problematic and I don’t think anyone would stand for that kind of activity by the banking industry.” (As I recall, total NICS checks have trended higher but not necessarily those for gun purchases. NICS is also used by many states to check applicants for carry permits.)

It's called privatizing tyranny. No legislature can legally forbid the ownership of firearms although some try very hard. The banking industry however can do as it pleases so if you can't make or sell guns, then the peasants won't have them. In practice this will only drive the prices up which will impact the poor the most. It's almost as though the banks have found a way to bring back the antebellum black codes which were designed to keep guns out of the hands of poor whites and blacks.

IANAL but an industry wide practice to deny basic civil rights to identifiable groups of people sounds to me like the basis for a whopping big RICO suit.

*Corrected the authors name.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Good News Week

"... someone's dropped a bomb somewhere.." No wait, it's not that, it's this:

Seems both coffee and alcohol are good for you, at least this week. Click the link, and take the part about moderation with a grain or two of salt.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Life In The 21st Century

NOTE: If you notice your car spitting chunks of catalyst out the tailpipes, it's a pretty good bet it's not going to pass the emissions test which is required every 2 years.
Replacement cat: $428.

Car is quieter and according to the State, clean as the proverbial whistle.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Conestoga Project 3

Spent today fitting parts from the motor kit to the intended bicycle, a Giant mountain bike.

1. The motor kit is intended to be mounted on a heavyweight cruiser bike. The sort of thing we used to call a "paper boy bike". They don't mention this in the advertising. The pedal cranks have a large outward offset presumably to keep your knees off the motor. The right hand crank has a sprocket welded to it which would be used to drive the bike absent the motor. The sprocket is a 1/2" pitch type which means it won't run with the 12mm (I think) chain that derailleur bikes use. The welded assembly also means that putting a 3-ring chain set onto it is going to be a non-trivial job. I'm about half way through it.

2. The motor is about 8-1/2" tall which means that the mounting plate needs to be way down low in a modern mountain bike. Especially in an aluminum frame bike whose tubes are about twice the diameter of the steel ones of yesteryear.

2 heavy iron castings are clamped to the frame tubes as shown, and the sheet metal motor mount is bolted to them. Some grinding was necessary to get the bracket to fit between the tubes and the forward side slots needed to be lengthened. Likewise, 2 new holes needed to be drilled and tapped into the rear cast iron support piece to get everything to mate up.

3. The motor also is fitted with an air filter and oil filler on the rear side, both of which hit the seat post before the motor mounting bolts will align with slots in the mounting bracket. Assembly procedure seems to be to mount the bracket to the motor, mount the motor and bracket to the iron frame mounts, rotate the motor in from the left side into the frame, then add the 2 saddle plates last. Relocating the motor mounting slots looks like a requirement if I plan to keep the air filter and oil filler plug intact.

4. The drive sprocket is fairly straight forward. 2 thick reinforced rubber spacers go on the inside and outside of the spokes, and bolts clamp the sprocket to the outside.
I added a spacer to hold the sprocket centered on the hub. So far it seems pretty sturdy.

5. Not necessary at this point, but what the heck, I mounted the gas tank. Again the mounting is intended for a steel framed bike with smaller tubing diameter but with a bit of judicious hammer work the supplied brackets fit.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Fake News?

Here's 2 headlines. Take your pick:

1. House Democrats Draft Legislation That Would Make It A Hate Crime To Eat At Chick-Fil-A

2.Colorado schools board omits gun benefits in standards

Item 2 describes Colorado board of education policy to discusses only the dangers of gun ownership and none of the benefits.

So far only one of these is real but give it time, there's an election coming up and the Donks need an issue very badly.
Comrades, turn in your weapons! What could go wrong?

Monday, June 11, 2018

Conestoga Project 2

While the motor kit did not come with any installation instructions, It seems there are a bunch of videos on line that explain the process fairly well. I don't think that all the 50cc motor kits are made by the same company, but I would venture to guess that there's a lot of over-the-shoulder-looking going on in China.

When they can't spy on us and steal our technology, they spy on each other, hence these kits look a awful lot alike. What they don't mention in their ads is that the kits seem to be oriented towards mounting on a one-speed heavy duty bike. What we used to call a paper boy bike. Assembling one to a mountain bike could present some new challenges, but at this point it looks like the big items are accounted for.

Going over the assembly videos, I've accounted for about half the fasteners that came in the plastic bag. The rest must be spares to be used when the first set vibrates loose and falls off. Note in the picture 2 posts down that there are 2 large sprockets, one plain and one with a pedal crank attached. I think the pedal crank with sprocket is intended to go on the right side of a one-speed bike to deliver a lower starting ratio to compensate for the extra weight. The larger one gets attached to the rear hub on the left and is driven by the motor. The hole is sized to fit a coaster brake hub. I'm guessing I'll have to make an adapter to go between the derailleur hub on the mountain bike and the drive sprocket to get it to center up.

The pedal crank with the sprocket goes on the right and has 5 holes in it that don't quite match a derailleur set of chain rings. Some modification may be in order here.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Use Of The F-Word

Charles Krauthammer has an essay up regarding the use of the F-word in let's face it, less than polite conversation including its use through 2 or more layers of auto glass and even on the floors of the U.S. Congress.

In the House, where the membership is often indistinguishable from the denizens of dive bars located in some of the seedier neighborhoods, there is less concern with decorum but in the senate, the suggestion should be sufficient.

In declining a members suggestion regarding legislation one should pointed refuse to go into any detail regarding his or her intelligence, personal habits, ot qualifications for the office, and then refer the errant member to other declination to participate put forth by long gone members far more loquaciously gifted than anyone currently warming a seat. One should ask that the member consider the older statement with only the phrase "and the horse you rode in on." appended.

Conestoga Project

The bicycle pulled camping trailer project continues with the arrival of the motor for the bicycle. The opening bars were played 3 or 4 posts down.

The gasoline booster motor kit came yesterday and got opened this afternoon.

What fun! 2 smaller boxes inside the larger one, one containing the motor and motor care and operation instructions, and the other containing most of everything else. Notably missing were any assembly instructions at all. This thing takes after the Dacia automobile company whose attitude was that people of insufficient mechanical aptitude shouldn't be privileged to own one.

I've figured out what most of the stuff is for and where it will eventually wind up living. There are a couple of parts whose function I don't see but will surely find a happy home somewhere if possibly not on the bicycle. Also included is a large bag of screws, nuts, and washers, many of which will no doubt prove useful in the assembly process. This is the sort of challenge an engineer can appreciate as most of us tend to ignore any included instructions anyway. We figure that if you know the intended function of the device, the form of the individual pieces should be a dead giveaway to their ultimate location and attachment. We also understand that most manufacturers include some spare parts for the entertainment of the more creative types in hopes that eventually one of us will complete the assembly of the first working quantum cosmic infindibulum and a part with the donor company's logo will appear in a prominent location.

It could happen.

Friday, June 8, 2018

High School Civics In 4 Easy Lessons

Start here. Links to all 4 are on each page. A great read and useful as a replacement for having slept through the course when you were in high school.

Oh yeah, it's funny too.

Monday, June 4, 2018

The Parkland Snowflakes Magical Mystery Tour

Found here.
In a news release from March for Our Lives, the organization said students are calling for "universal, comprehensive background checks; creating a searchable database for gun owners; funding the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence;" and "banning high-capacity magazines and semi-automatic assault rifles."
The above items are the sort of thing the left would sell their mothers into slavery for but don't generally mention as in most districts this would result in a resounding defeat. Handily, they have a busload of sock puppets to advance the agenda for them.

The item that jumped out at me was the searchable (hackable) database. If you are a burglar and need to supply someone with a Beretta 9mm, what easier way to pick your starting points than a searchable database. Likewise if you are a city council person who has just added the Blastomatic 2000 to the towns list of banned firearms and want to know which houses the police should visit, well, this is it.

Ever wonder why you never see David Hogg smiling? If I had Mike Bloomberg's hand that far up my a**, I wouldn't be smiling either. The proper response to this sort of tomfoolery is a variation on an older one:

 "Sod off, Snowflake."

Oh and one other thing, Who's financing this national road trip?

Trump Raising The Price Of Beer

Oskar Blues Brewing Co. has figured out that Trumps proposed aluminum tariffs will impact the price of a case of their wares by between $.20 and $.24/case of 24 cans.

Tempest in a growler if you ask me.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Projects - Keeping Busy

My oldest daughter, by some other parents, has decided she likes camping, and would like to do this from her bicycle. Fine, there are several hundred like-minded souls wandering around the Denver area on bicycles, camping wherever they find themselves when the sun goes down, but let's take it a bit further. She found some pictures of camping trailers moved by pedal power on the net, and wants to go that way.

OK then how about a trailer about 6 feet long to tow behind a bicycle with a waterproof "lid" of some sort.
 Here's a basic frame in need of some sort of flooring and a top. Maybe just ribs and a tarp like a Conestoga wagon. Or maybe something more artsy like a Corrugated plastic set of walls more like a little Airstream. The frame is 1x1x1/8 aluminum tube, bolted together, with wheels and hitch hardware from a Schwinn kiddie carrier trailer. We are trying to source some 10mm Coroplast to use for flooring but so far this is proving elusive. And expensive.
Here we are carrying my regular bike. It pulls easily so far although with flooring, covering, and a set of camping gear it might not be so easy. Never fear, there's a solution:
This rig goes for as little as $168. I saw one on the road the other day and I have to admit I was impressed. The old boy riding it got across 6 lanes and up to around 20mph in short enough order and with so little noise I could barely hear the motor running. Sharp looking rig too.

At the rate I'm going, I should have some finish pics ready to go by around the end of this month. Don't hold me to that.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

QOTD - Extended

Found at Ace of Spades:
The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.Gilbert K. Chesterton
The same might as well be said about capitalism.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Gun Law - Mission Creep

A California (where else?) legislator is attempting to expand the states Red Flag law to give essentially anyone the right to ask for an order to confiscate anyone else's guns.  They get an inch, and in the next session, they amend the inch to cover as many miles as they can get.

So if pajama boy with his sticker-bedecked Prius is one of your co-workers, you cannot yet ask for a restraining order against him on the grounds that he is a demonstrably extreme lefty and thus far more likely to come in to work one day and shoot the place up in a fit of pique. This is a shortcoming of the red flag legislation that urgently needs to be addressed in all states that have such. Equal protection for all I say, it's in the 14th. Call it the workplace psychosis amendment.

Given the symbolism of red flags and all, I think this is a perfectly reasonable amendment and no Red Flag bill should be without it. Of course this may impact the legislative support for the things, but we all need to make sacrifices now don't we?

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Fitbits Latest Feature In Beta Test

Fitbit would never make a watch that accidentally shocks its owner, so I'm guessing that the next iteration of the watch will include as a feature, a built in motivator for users. If you haven't reached some percentage of your desired daily level of exercise by some predetermined time, say 3 PM, the watch will deliver a jolt to the wearer to encourage them to get with some form of activity. NOW ya lazy slacker!

If no activity is detected within a moderate length of time, say 5 minutes, another jolt is delivered. Not to worry. If the watch detects no heartbeat, it can call the EMTs.

Remember, never attribute to stupidity that which can be explained by simple corporate intent.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Gun Laws - All Of Them

Ever notice that anti gun laws, at the end of the day, invariably seem to benefit the criminals?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Boulder To Ban Assault Weapons Tonight

The Boulder City Council is meeting tonight to consider on first third reading, a bill to ban assault weapons from their socialist utopia. The ordinance was first proposed a couple of weeks ago and met with stiff opposition. It was significantly rewritten, but kept the original title, so the new version counts as the first, and the first reading of the new version counts as the second reading of the first. Opposition was still stiff and proposals were floated to put it out as a referendum.

Based on the pushback the council was getting, it looked like the referendum would fail, so the re-re-written act will be considered tonight and if passed, will become law without having to deal with obnoxious peasants.

Per local channel 7:
The current version of the proposal reads in part, “Assault weapons are semi-automatic firearms designed with military features to allow rapid spray firing for the quick and efficient killing of humans.”
The law also has the usual exemptions for the police without actually explaining why the police would need to quickly and efficiently kill large numbers of humans. It's possible of course that polling is showing the large bloc of students at the University may be drifting away from the party plantation, not wishing to culturally appropriate Venezuela, and may be in line for more direct persuasion that just being forced to listen to elderly Marxist professors droning on in lecture halls.

In the latest version, if you acquire an "assault weapon" before June 15 you may keep it, but you must:
  • Get a background check
  • Obtain a certificate from the Boulder Police Department saying they own the weapon
  • Find a safe place to store the weapon
  • Only possess the weapon on their property or at a gun shop
  • Report theft within 48 hours
Presumably the BPD will issue identification to the owners:
 Perhaps in the form of a shiny brass badge which must be affixed prominently to their outer garment at all times. After June 15, the guns become officially toxic in that you will no longer be able to buy, sell, or inherit one of them.

It has also been suggested that the law as currently written, may well be unenforcable. The Boulder police chief says he has no plans to do a door-to-door looking for the guns but his men may enforce the law if the opportunity presents itself.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

IDPA – PCC – Lessons Learned

I got my second shot at the PCC qualifier today, this time in the down sized format. I learn something every time, so here it is.

In the full scale format, where the targets are at 15, 25, and 50 yards, having a low power scope is a swell idea. Especially at 50 yards. My scope is adjustable, 2-6 power with a 50mm apeture so I get a nice wide field of view. This is good when you move from one target to the next as you worry less about whether you're looking at the right one or not. NOTE: make sure your adjustable scope is set to the lowest magnification at the start. You want to see as much as possible and not just the -1 number stamped into the cardboard somewhere. When I shot the full sized qualifier, I lost the most points on the closest strings, which isn't supposed to happen. On subsequent strings, I changed the magnification to 2X.

The alternative setup for the qualifier is to change all the setup dimensions from yards to feet, including the target size. Here it is on an 8-1/2x11 sheet of paper.
Download the pic and print it out. You can set up a stage in a room and shoot it with an airsoft pistol for practice or you can take some copies to the range and set them up at 15, 25, and 50 feet to dial in your PCC. 

In 1/3 scale format, again 2x is plenty of magnification but what you need to remember is that at very short distances, your rifles point of impact will be 2-3 inches below your point of aim. Nearly everyone today had that problem. Additionally, with the target being only 1/3 of normal size, a 2”-3” drop will be equivalent to a 6-9” drop on a full sized target. Thus aiming for the torso A zone will get you hits on the lower edge of the target if you're lucky. Aiming at the head will get you hits in the torso A zone. If your scope has multiple ranging marks, you need to dial it in at 50', then move up to 25' and 15' making note of which mark is your new POI. Yeah, yeah, everybody knows this. So why did almost nobody seem to know this today?

At this point, I need 3 cheat sheets, one for IDPA close qualifiers, one for normal IDPA qualifiers, and one for USPSA events which run out to 200 yards. 

Most PCCs make 1200-1300 fps at the barrel which is very similar to a .22lr hi velocity. The best way to set one up is probably to zero at 35 yards, which gives another zero at 125 yards, and 18" low at 200. Now work out the hold overs for the close in stuff, and the hold under for 100 yards and make a cheat sheet.

Red Flag Gun Laws

Colorado's Red Flag Law was killed in committee this year, but don't worry, it will be back if the Donks hold either house in the next session. Sean Sorrentino comments on Facebook:

So imagine, if you would, that you're a person whose only motive is to prevent violence from occurring. You have no interest one way or another about guns. Let's say you knew a person was a danger to himself or others and he had a gun. Would you
A) Immediately take this person who is a danger to himself or others to a mental ward so he can be treated for whatever is wrong with him?
B) Take his guns, but leave him free so he can buy a new gun from Ice Dog and Ray Ray down on Dot Ave in Southie and then go murder whoever set him up with the restraining order?
Seriously, which would you choose?
Stop making the Due Process argument. No one cares about that but us, and we're already convinced. Insist that your representatives add a line to these laws in committee. Add words to the effect that if a judge finds a person to be dangerous to himself or others that he be taken directly to the mental ward for a 72 hour evaluation. If he's safe enough to release, he doesn't lose his guns. If he's too dangerous to release, then he gets committed. Anyone who wants to prevent violence by unstable, dangerous people wouldn't leave unstable, dangerous people on the street where they can still cause mayhem.
Italics are mine.

So instead of taking someones guns first and letting them go through legal hell to get them back, why not just lock them up for 72 hours and see if losing their job on some vindictive ex's say so sits better with them than having their property taken and effectively held for ransom.

If a law can be abused, it will be sooner or later. Keep thinking about this. No one wants crazy people to have guns. Knives work nearly as well and aren't regulated yet. Figure out some easy quick way to evaluate someones sanity that can at least suggest whether or not a more in-depth evaluation is needed. It shouldn't take 72 hours and should include an evaluation of the accuser as well.

Remember Wednesday Addams when asked about her Halloween costume: "I'm a psychopathic mass murderer. We look just like everybody else."

Thursday, May 10, 2018

QOTD - Socialism and Millennials

Found on Breitbart:
“If I was a kid right now and they asked me why I don’t want to practice socialism, I’d use their own language to get out of it; I’d say, ‘You know why I don’t want to practice socialism, because I don’t want to culturally appropriate Venezuela.”          Dennis Miller on Breitbart News

Oregon Goes For The Gold - Gun Ban

Some folks in Oregon have an initiative that would ban most guns and require them to be turned in. The petition title mentions exceptions, but comments on the petition note that none actually appear in the document text.

Quick summary:
Any semi automatic gun, be it pistol or rifle, that is “capable” of accepting a magazine that holds 10 or more rounds would be banned, along with any such magazine, be it a fixed magazine or detachable.
All these would be banned, which covers a rather large percentage of all firearms currently extant.  Seems you would also be responsible for any crimes committed with any firearm you own or ever owned up to 5 years after you sell it.

Even in Oregon I don't see this going very far but you never know. Step 1 there is to get the petition recognized, which has happened.

Step 2 is a comment period which they are currently in. Normally a ballot initiative gets 10 or so comments but this one has over 1000. Topics include a permanent title for the initiative. Some of the suggestions are interesting. If the courts approve the wording and title, there needs to be a second round of signature collection to get it on the ballot.

Step 3, if it gets that far would be the vote from the people of Oregon.

Judenrein at Denver University

Well, not exactly Juden, but in this case, they have effectively driven out the Young Americans for Freedom and the Federalist Society. The target is different, but the philosophy remains the same. Tuition at D.U. is steep so only the best-heeled liberals can send their offspring to it and if they tend to be of a conservative bent, they need to learn to keep their opinions to themselves.

This is a university! You can't take a conflicting opinion here!

It's embarrassing to find oneself living so near such a bastion of bigotry.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Ammo Comparisons 2 - Mo Data

The Ammo To Go people have been shooting the gel blocks and have added 16 more loads to their already extensive data base.

Click the link and see what they found out. Ignore the complaints in the comments about the terrible negligence in failing to test 25 different manufacturers offerings in such popular(?) calibers as .32 magnum, 9mm Makarov, 44 Magnum and .454 Casul. They do cover the better known ones of .380, 9mm Luger, .40 S&W, and .45ACP.

The latest additions focus on defensive ammo which means hollow points.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Survey Says: Convention Of States

The Convention of States group, which is advocating for exactly that to consider possible amendments to the constitution, has completed a survey of its followers asking among other things, what it is that they see as the most important issues facing the country today.First results are out, and shake down like this:
Top Five Biggest Threats to the American Republic Today1. Illegal Immigration 20%
2. Erosion of Individual Rights 19%
3. Runaway Spending 17%
4. The Media 12%
5. Politicization of the Education System 11%
6. Infringement on 2nd Amendment 9%
7. Money in Politics 6%
Put this way, gun rights doesn't figure very highly but when you consider that gun rights are individual rights, and toss them in with erosion of individual rights, you get 28% seeing erosion of individual rights as the biggest issue out there today. The above list and a quick summary of some of the other results appears in a Paul Bedard column here.

Full disclosure: I'm a member of the COS group and participated in the survey. FWIW I don't believe the survey was given to anyone outside the group so it's not a representative survey of the general population. I'm not on Facebook or Twitter so I don't know if they've been banned, blocked, excommunicated or whatever or if they even have a presence there. The group sounds like one Z-burg would ban as "hate speech" if he knew anything about it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Boulder Gun Ban Advances

The Peoples Republic of city of Boulder has passed on "second" reading a much modified version of its previously proposed ban on assault weapons and magazines holding more than 10 rounds. If it is passed a third time, the city will have their ban without having to submit it to any pesky peasants who might, even in Boulder, go so far as to reject it.

As per usual, the ordinance bans weapons "capable of spray firing and killing the greatest number of people in the shortest time" and includes an exception for the police. As also per usual, no one on the city council wants to explain the envisioned circumstance under which the police might be called upon to perform such an action.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018


Spring having put in a one day appearance today, I took the bicycle out for a ride. 28 miles later I can report that the strength training I've done over the winter is paying off as I didn't get winded on the uphills and managed to keep a decent pace for the entire trip.

A bicycle group I sometimes frequent, Pedals and Pints, is having a Cinco de Mayo ride this weekend. Looks to be ridiculously easy at this point although the addition of a couple of beers along the way will slow the ride down a bit. Some of my less athletically inclined friends hear that they will be expected to actually pedal some 12 miles and immediately wimp out. Their loss. Pedals and Pints is a very sociable group.

A typical ride with P&P runs 10-20 miles, starts at a brew pub and visits 2 others on a round trip. My idea of a nice ride is 30 miles and using that as a round trip, there are over 60 brew pubs within that range of my house.
The only way to go.

Rifling PVC - Bigger

This is a perfect example of why engineers should never be left to their own devices or unemployed. Following on from the earlier successful attempt at rifling a 1" barrel, I've now prepped a 2" barrel.
This is probably my favorite size as empty caulk tubes are a near perfect fit and fly like lawn darts. So here's the button, fitted with 6 cutters.

The .410 dart is for scale. For this one I added a couple of ball bearings and an axle with which to push/pull/whatever the button through the pipe. Turned out I just put a piece of pipe over the all thread and hammered the thing to the bottom, then did the same the other way to get it out. The bearings let the button turn as the cutters are angled at 7 degrees. It worked.
Getting decent pictures is tough but you can see the 6 grooves 1/16" wide running down the pipe. Test darts were one "Nerf" dart made from pipe insulation, and one caulk tube with one wrap of decorative felt to give a tight fit into the barrel.
Results on this one were inconclusive. I may need to cut the grooves again to get them a bit deeper. Or something. Probably also need to make a cutter with a more aggressive twist although large bores like this seemingly don't need as much.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

QOTD - Economics

Found here.

“Real Socialism” has never been tried in the same way that “Real Capitalism” has never been tried.

The difference is that “almost socialism" resulted in the impoverishment and death of hundreds of millions of people.

While “Almost Capitalism" has lifted billions from absolute poverty.

@Mark Antro

Gun Rights - Under The Radar

The Peoples Republic of Boulder has an anti-gun measure before the city council right now that so far has garnered opposition in the council meeting, and a protest out on the street. The outdoor protest happened in spite of inclement weather and at least some aspects of it such as open carry of firearms were already banned in Boulder. The police took a neutral view of this and limited actions to informing people of the relevant Boulder ordinances.

The city council has been sufficiently alarmed by public opposition to their proposed "assault weapon" ban that one of the bills supporters is now opposing a suggestion to put the measure on the ballot this November to let the public decide. Seems he doesn't think the public can be trusted to limit their civil rights in a politically correct manner and is asking that the measure be passed by the council without any further input from the peasants as quickly as possible.

Bloombergs sock puppet groups are also worried that if the measure is not rammed through quickly, there will be more demonstrations and public sentiment will be swayed to support the second amendment.

Restraint shown by the police in the face of a peaceful gathering is certainly laudable with no word as yet as to whose idea that was. I suspect that had the demonstration been one by say Antifa that involved rock throwing, assaults, and the burning of a building, that the Mayor would have told the police and fire departments to stand down rather than risk infringing anyones civil rights to free speech.

Gun Stuff - Over The Top

The opposite of silencers, these things add to the noise and flash of your gun. Works best with ammo loaded with the slowest burning powder you can find. Fit one of these to your .44 snubbie and load with a +P dose of Power Pistol and when used against a late night home intruder, one shot should take out all your windows, knock everyone on their asses, and set fire to everything in the room in which you fire it. The final resting point of the bullet is of no real consequence. In fact, if you should hit the intruder, he'll probably thank you for the quick end to his suffering.

Shown here on an AK platform with a short barrel which should add to the fireworks. Pic of this in action at the link. Spectacular!