Saturday, September 14, 2019

Little Red Motorbike

Mounted a set of leather bags. Nice bags. You'd think this would be an easy job. You'd be wrong. Turned into a 15 step process involving relocating the turn signals and fabricating some support structures. Came out nice though:
One other thing I've found is that carburetor cholesterol* can be treated with judicious application of Mineral spirits at a rate of about 80:1 in the gasoline. A 35mm film can of the stuff in 2.3 gallons of gas seems to work a treat.  Slowly but surely, the bike is running better and better with the last tank of gas getting me just over 50 mpg.

Next up will be dealing with handlebar vibration.

*Buildup of glop in the carb as old gas evaporates. The issue here is quite like the same problem in people with treating cholesterol with a drug to dissolve it and getting chunks of now free-floating stuff causing clots which then cause strokes. In the bike this freed up some amber-colored sludge in the aft carb which got under the float needle and caused uncontrolled peeing of gasoline down over a hot engine.

QOTD - Gun Bans

Sen John Kennedy (R-LA) (not those Kennedys) responding to a letter signed by numerous CEOs anxious not to see calls for boycotts of their goods by the noisy left:
"And about that poll, first, I have got to see the poll that say what folks say they say. I know how to write a poll question. I can make a poll walk, talk, and whistle the Battle Hymn of the Republic."
 Most of us have figured that part out by now and see polls saying that 92% of everyone favors stricter gun control while also seeing reports that New Jerseys magazine turn in law has netted a total of zero magazines.

The disconnect here is right up there with Hillarys 95% chance of winning the presidency, and as someone else observed; Trump hasn't had unfavorable poll results this bad since election night 2016.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Scenes We'd Like To See

Shades of the old Mad magazine:

Got to be careful what you wish for. There are people out there who shouldn't have sharpened crayons.

Warning Labels

Since they worked so well when attached to things like cigarettes, a Cali (where else) lawmaker is proposing they be stamped onto guns:
Sure, that'll help. Somewhere between 66% and 75% of gun deaths are suicides So that should reduce the total of gun deaths significantly. But why stop there? Print this warning on tape and require every hardware store to attach it as a tag to every piece of rope over 1/4" in diameter and longer than 10 feet.

Make the warning tape adhesive, and require it to be attached to every bottle of sleep aids containing more than 10 pills. Ban the sale of large capacity magazines of such medications containing more than 10 pills while we're at it. 

Respondents to the survey at the link think neglect of the mental health system is the biggest factor in the number of gun deaths, although this would primarily address only the occasional mass shooting. Those get the headlines even though they don't account for the bigger part of the deaths. More to the point would be thug control but this would affect certain privileged groups more than others so that's likely a non-starter.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Colo Dems Push Gun Control, Defend Thugs

It looks like Colorado Dems, DeGette and Neguse, are pushing a national Red Flag bill which would allow pretty much anyone to SWAT pretty much anyone they didn't like. Due Process? What's that?

(Ken) Buck introduced an amendment to the bill that would make the law apply specifically to known gang members, who he says are responsible for 80% of all gun homicides. But Democrats killed that amendment.
“We need to get guns out of the hands of violent criminals. That starts with law enforcement another tool to disarm gang members. We should target red flags against known criminals, especially gang members. This approach will have the most meaningful impact in reducing gun violence,” Buck said.
The problem here is that the thugs work and vote for Democrats, and wouldn't be able to do that if they are currently in jail, so no, the law cannot be specifically applied to thugs.

NICS Checks - Heading For A Record

Although the actual increase isn't all that large, it looks like we're heading for an all 2M+ checks year. Also remember that gun sales account for only about 70% of the totals:
Click for full size.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Gun Control "Compromise"?

An interesting proposition from Wayne Root:
But nonetheless, I’m willing to compromise. I’m willing to give Democrats a crown jewel of what they’ve crusaded for, for decades.
I want President Trump to call their bluff. Democrats want “universal background checks” on all gun sales. Let’s give it to them…
As soon as Democrats agree to Federal Government-Issued Photo and Fingerprint ID for every voter in America.
Universal background checks don't actually work unless accompanied by universal gun registration which nobody on our side likes but cheat-proof voter ID is something that can work but would likely cut in to the Donk voter base which means they won't go for it unless the ID card is not required to actually vote.

While we're at it, let's eliminate mail-in voting which is far too easy to cheat on.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Conspiracy Theory

I had always thought that this might be just a bit too much for the mainstream, but then again;

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Winston Smith, Call Your Office.

The city council in San Fran has unanimously voted to declare the NRA to be a domestic terrorist organization.

If the NRA is a terrorist organization, then membership in it will reduce your social score to the point that you are not allowed to purchase a firearm. Thus the NRA becomes the most potent gun control organization in the country and membership in it will raise your social score to the point that you are permitted to buy a firearm.  If you can believe both of these propositions at the same time, you qualify for high political office.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Gun Debates

Every culture in the world has a homily in its lore about entering into debates with crazy people. Notably they all say the same thing: Don't.

Sometimes the crazies get together outside the asylums and form political parties and even though any knowledgeable person would recognize the insanity immediately, the arguments can have a superficial persuasiveness that can get them into office.

They offer "reasoned discourse". They lie, but here at Red State is a set of standards for any discourse involving guns. Again, any knowledgeable person will know in advance that they will never be met.

Executive summary:
  • If you can show how any law you propose will only effect future mass shooters, we’re willing to talk.
  • If you want to make it illegal for weapons to be sold privately, nice try.
  • If you demand limiting the availability of a model of weapon based on extrinsic characteristics, dude, you are a clown.
  • If you want the same people who get you banned on Twitter deciding if you can own a firearm, we don’t want to hear it (here | here).
  • If you want gun ownership restricted so you can feel safer, buy an nightlight and comfort blankie, check under your bed for the boogie man and leave us alone.
There's more. RTWT.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Out of Town

I was out of town shooting this weekend at the Cameo Shooting and educational facility in Palisade CO. Did anything happen?
The hotel owner was one of the participants:

The Cameo range facility is the biggest and fanciest in the country. Here's part of the backstop.
As a by product of the location surrounded by rock walls like this one, every shot would echo several times off the various formations. You gotta be there to appreciate it. Definitely worth the trip.

You also get to meet the nicest people:
 Offer him a banana:

Lots of scenery
This is Glenwood Canyon
And the trees stop growing at about 11.200 ft altitude:

To put the best possible spin on it, I finished 2nd in my class Most of the points I lost were due to brain farts rather than anything related to my shooting. More pics at the Cameo facebook page. As I'm not on Facebook. I can't get there from here.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Safe-2-Swat Law Used In Loveland

Loveland has a policy“Safe-2-Tell”, that allows anyone to anonymously report anyone else for doing anything that "bothers" them. This results in a police visit and a suspension from school with no contacts to allow a student to keep up with lessons.

The students refer to this as the "Safe-2-Swat" rule as judgement is passed and penalties assessed with no due process. The victim is required to prove to a board of 6 school board officials that they are definitively NOT a threat to anyone.

A student at a Loveland high school is now being forced to go through this process for going to a shooting range with his mother.

UPDATE: The bad publicity seems to have gotten to the school administration.
Someone called the anonymous line “Safe2Tell,” and reported they feared Nathan was threatening the school. “Safe2Tell” is designed for youth to be able to give tips to their school and police about threatening situations. However, Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams said the line has been dubbed “Safe2Swat,” by kids who use the line for both practical jokes and to get even with other students they may have a conflict with.
Swatting is a term that is used when someone deceptively sends police and other emergency services to another person’s address through false reporting of an emergency or criminal action.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Ammo Testing

Nothing exciting here but this coming weekend I'm going to the IDPA stste championship match at Palasade and this being a level 4 match, they're doing everything by the book including checking everyone's ammo through the chroney. I decided to check mine just in case.

This being a lost brass match I didn't want to use my reloads but it turns out I have 250 rds of Blazer 155 gr and 100 red of Tul 180 gr.

My reloads, 180 gr RNFP over 4 gr Titegroup - about 1000 fps
Tul 180 gr RN over Russki powder                  - about 800 fps
Blazer 155 gr over something. Hot Damn!       - avg 1375 fps

All of these qualify  but the blazer is super hot. Tul and Blazer are both Aluminum cased so I won't miss that "brass". I'd prefer something a bit less lively than the Blazer, that or a muzzle brake but oh well, I don't expect to make any exalted level there so I run what I've got.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Everybody Talks About The Weather...

Some people use it as an excuse to raise taxes, others simply change their dress to match. Trump denies considering using nukes on hurricanes although someone suggested that back in the Eisenhower administration where it was roundly dismissed.

Meantime T.S. Dorian is heading toward southern Florida.
I suppose Trump might consider giving this a try if the eye of the storm passes over the liberal enclave of Miami ostensibly as an effort to save the more conservative rest of the state. Anything might be possible in an election year.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Little Red Motorcycle

Topped off the tank today to discover that I seemed to be getting about 32 mpg. This is about half of what I was expecting but I'm optimistic that this will improve as I start using the bike to actually go places rather than just going around the block in the lower gears to check how things are working.
Didn't come out half bad I think.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Smackdown of the Week


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

When Technology Fails - Facial Recognition

Some facial recognition software was recently tested in California which identified a bunch of legislators there as criminals. The criminals legislators objected to this for some reason and now insist that the software not be included on police body cams.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Gun Laws - How Well Do They Work

Mr T 2's twitter feed is reporting that Colorado's violent crime rate took a big jump after we got universal background checks, magazine capacity limits and other feel-good laws in 2013:
Source is Colo Bureau of Investigation according to him. Looks like violent crime was in decline until the legislators stepped in to save us.

Others have noticed.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Will It Run - 10.1 Details

One of my friends mentioned that I had left out the steps between step 8 and step 10. Not so, step 9 was back in early July featuring me bitching about the stock carbs being really bunged up. Step 1 involved me throwing up the hands and fabricating an intake manifold to accept a single side draft carb of the same size as the originals.

Found a Mikuni knock-off that came with 2 spare jets and a rubber adapter to attach it to whatever engine you want. This thing also came with a page of instructions written in Chinese with translations that sometimes resembled English.
Click to enlarge. From what was readable, the jetting that came with the carb was the richest and was intended to work on a 125cc 2-stroke. Swapping to the smaller jets and dropping the needle one notch has the 535 running like a normal motor and the plugs show no soot deposits any more.

The carb has a raised lip that attaches firmly to the rubber adapter provided, which BTW has a spacer feature in the middle that reduces the port from 32mm to 28mm. The adapter was replaced with a piece of radiator hose with an Oring spacer that has no restrictions at all. The manifold has no engagement features so the hose needed to be as long as I could make it and some punch dimples added to the manifold spigot for traction. This works.
The engine is a 90 degree twin. There's a fellow selling a cast Aluminum manifold with gentle curves and a real Mikuni carb for about $600 which I'm sure works a treat. This one cost $28 for the carb plus some sweat. The perfect is the enemy of the good enough as they say.

The ChiCom carb was intended to work from a gravity feed fuel tank, so reducing the fuel pump pressure seemed prudent. The above Delrin block has a hole thru it on the bottom from fuel pump on the right to the carb on the left. The passage in the middle is drilled about halfway through and is connected back to the fuel tank. Down from the top is a small hole through to the lower passage with a check ball and spring. Excess fuel is passed up to the return line and the pressure is adjusted with the set screw at the top, barely visible. This reduces the delivered fuel pressure to 2 psi which the carb can handle. Crude, but effective.

Meantime I had a pair of carbs from a newer 535 fall into my lap from an unlikely source. They seem to be all there and not bunged up. The only thing holding me back is that the aft carb has coagulated gas holding the float needle in to the seat with the tenacity of Super Glue. At some point the  needle will loosen up and I'll finish the cleaning and try them out. Who knows, they may work. 6 years, a model change and 3-6 revisions so they must be better, no?

Friday, August 9, 2019

Will It Run - 10 - Final?

Looks like it. Minor mods to the carb mount and some tweaking of the jets and the thing seems to be running well. Slightly sticky throttle leading to fast idle, but that's most likely a lack of lube on the cable. Drove it up to the bank just now and the rear spark plug looks like it's never been in an engine. Nice.

Spent today fitting a small faring to it. PITA to get on or off, and yes I should have painted it first, but I wasn't sure it would actually fit so I've got a blue faring on a burgandy bike. I'll fix that later. Looks like I put about 90 miles on it just getting it to run.

 Fuel pressure regulator and ChiCom carb. That line from the bottom leading up is an overflow. Any other place I point it would drool gas onto a hot engine.

It had 7382 when I started. Lotta trips around the block.

Bring Back The Asylums?

Mass murders seem to have all too often, the common feature of a killer with multiple screws loose or missing. After a while one begins to wonder if there are more of these running around loose, and why now? Clayton Cramer is working on a study (maybe another book?) on this topic and is collecting data on all the mass killings he can find records of back to the 1600s So far the results look like this:
This graph doesn't go all the way back, but it's what he has the data for now. The two spikes are interesting to say the least. Have we been seeing more than out fair share of mass killings lately? Seems we have. When did this get started? seems in the 80s. What happened in the 80s? Global Warming? Ronald Reagan? Oh yes, how about deinstitutionalization? If you clear out and close down the state mental hospitals, where do the former inmates go? Why out on the streets. Most of the latest batch of killers are too young to have had anything to do with this turn of events, but they might well have been involuntarily incarcerated had the old programs not been cancelled.

Now think about the First steps program whose purpose is to empty out the state prisons. Well intentioned, but I'm suspecting this will end about as well as its predecessor. As a by-product I suppose we can expect the sudden uptick in violent crime to lead to further calls for gun control.

Never let a crisis go to waste, even if you have to create it yourself, eh?

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Scott Adams Loses It

Todays periscope is exceptional in that Mr. Adams, normally a wise voice of reason, starts out well by pointing out that if someone proposes a solution/cause/whatever regarding gun violence that hits only one thing, they are either lying or stupid. On this I agree, and think that the third possibility is both. Are mass shootings caused by violent video games? Probably not, but they make a convenient scapegoat. Are they caused by availability of guns? Well, it's difficult to perform a mass shooting without one, but absent a gun there are lots of other alternatives, several of which are arguably more effective. This makes a fairly convincing line of argument as far as it goes.

So next, at the 24 minute mark. he goes off into this fantasy about how guns affect the personality and mental state of the owners. Has anyone, he asks, ever acquired their first AR pattern rifle, and not posed with it before a mirror to see how "cool" it makes him or her look, and imagined how many people he could kill with it? He also suggests that the styling of such guns encourages that kind of thinking.

My guess is that that number must be statistically as close to zero as not to matter. Some people, maybe a lot of them, buy clothing or cars on that basis. Being a consummate nerd, I pretty much didn't, although the style factor did come in a time or two. Lately with cars, although I plead midlife crisis on those. I have never, however, ever bought a gun based on its "cool" factor.

Any one who poses in front of a mirror to see how cool they might look while killing a large number of people was already planning to kill a large number of people before he acquired the gun.

He also suggests that if the guns looked less menacing, no self-respecting wannabe mass shooter would use one while committing his crime. All this would do is encourage the sale of a can of black spray paint to go with your new Evil Clown Rifle. It would also bollix the concept of painting toy guns in bright colors to more easily distinguish them from real ones. Some criminals are already painting the barrel thingies of whatever function red in order to lull the victim/police into not shooting them until they get close enough to give the thug an easier shot.

Anyway who would think to stop this guy as he entered a Wal-Mart:

Monday, August 5, 2019

Five Questions, Seven Answers

Five Easy Questions and Seven Easy Answers

Over at Mike Adams asks “Five Simple Questions regarding the El Paso shooter. Here are some answers:

Five huge questions are screaming out for real answers:
 Well, actually seven, but so what?
#1) If there’s only one shooter, why did so many eyewitnesses report multiple shooters at the scene?
Back in Viet Nam, when five VC observed an American helicopter shot down, all five reported it and the news dutifully reported five helicopters as having been shot down.
#2) Why did the local police arrest and hold three suspects in custody, as was widely reported by the media before the story was changed to a “lone shooter?”
Cops arrest everybody even remotely suspicious, and sort them out later. This is only prudent practice.
#3) Why does the so-called “manifesto” appear to be written by someone far older than 21 years of age? (Answer: The manifesto is a hoax. It was not written by the individual who was arrested as the shooter.)
Cut and Paste is your friend if you can't write deathless prose. Just find something you agree with and put it up.
#4) How does one man kill 20 people and wound another 30 people with a single magazine that only holds 30 rounds? The surveillance photo shows no chest rig, no battle belt and no spare magazines.
Firing into a tight group with an AK rifle, you would expect multiple hits an many of your shots. As we note in IDPA: Shoot-throughs count.
#5) If the shooter is on a suicide mission, why does he bother to wear both eye protection and ear protection? Answer: Because he knows he will survive his “mission” and be taken into custody after surrendering to police. It wasn’t a suicide mission at all. Eighteen months from now, the world will have forgotten the name of the shooter, and the media will never report anything about him again. (He will likely be relocated under the witness protection program, living under a new identity after having completed his “mission” for the deep state.)
Maybe he just wants to maximize his body count and he knows he'll have trouble doing this if he's hearing or vision impaired. He may be crazy, but he's not necessarily stupid.
BONUS QUESTION: If you hate illegals and want to protect America, why would you mass murder Americans shopping in an American store? Wouldn’t you theoretically want to target illegal aliens if that’s who you want to destroy? Nearly all the people who were shot were Americans. It makes no sense to hate illegals and then turn around and mass murder Americans.
Speculating here but if you want to promote gun control, like the fellow in New Zealand, you attack the people who vote for candidates who support it, increasing their motivation to elect gun-grabbers.
ONE MORE QUESTION: Why was the shooter’s online profile changed from “Democrat” to Republican / Trump supporter / QAnon follower? Clearly the deep state is modifying his online profile to match their own conspiracy theories and official narratives about QAnon followers being “domestic terrorists.” This is Orwellian-level psyop stuff being run on the entire nation…
Knee-jerk reaction by the left. They need this sort of thing to be done by a gap-toothed redneck in a Trump hat in the worst way so every time a “progressive” does this they try to cover it up.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Gun Law - Cali

U.S. District judge Staton has ruled:
Stanton opined that a ban on M-16s can stand under scrutiny of District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), because such guns are “outside the scope of the Second Amendment.” She then turned to a ban on AR-15s, saying, “Thus, if a weapon is essentially the same as the M-16, it is not protected by the Second Amendment merely because gun manufacturers have given it a different model number and dubbed it a ‘civilian rifle.’”
Somewhere in the 2nd there must be a "scope clause" that defines the limits as to what sorts of armaments a person may own. I'm looking at the word "people" and not seeing much of a limitation there, and the word "arms" and seeing no definitions or limits there either. Back when the amendment was written, people owned wall guns and field artillery so if we must invoke limits, allowing for modernization that would cover up to 155mm artillery and rifles presumably up to 20 or 30mm.

This looks to me like a good candidate for the Supremes, although even with todays court, giving them an opportunity to make such a ruling strikes me as rather dangerous.

Friday, July 19, 2019


Found at Moonbattery, this gem from Corey Johnson of the NYC City Council:
“I do think that there are too many parking spaces in New York City,” Johnson said bluntly. “We have over 3 million [on-street] parking spaces in New York City … and we should reclaim that space and use it for the public.”
This was met with guffaws of laughter here in Casa Billll, which is a good long way from New York. Firstly, who does he think is using those spaces in the first place, Aliens from outer space?

My take is that if you think about it, there is nothing, I mean absolutely nothing that's done in NYC that can't be done just as easily, quickly, and more cheaply in DFW. Well except maybe for docking ships. In Texas they do that in Houston. Visualize if you will a phone call to your broker, a member of the New York Stock Exchange:

ring, ring: Howdy! Thank yew fer callin' Megamoney Brokerage. How kin ah hep y'all today?

OK, it lacks the stuffiness of money so old the Smithsonian has samples of it on display, but once you get over the overtly helpful ambiance, you'll find the job gets done just as fast as ever.  And never fear, those cowboys will not be bothered in the least at any sum you throw at them. They're already used to it.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Fun With Headlines

Haven't read the article so feel free to tell me I'm guessing wrong:
Pinkerton: Why the Democrats Would Rather Fight Each Other Than Trump
For the same underlying reason the Scots claim they never lost a battle: If both sides are Scottish, then the winner is always a Scot.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Fun With Cartoons

The comic strip Shoe is in reruns and has been for some time now. Included on the site, at no extra charge, is the work of an editorial cartoonist who seems to not view the president favorably. Usually his stuff has all the subtlety of an Antifa rally, but here's one that lends itself to multiple interpretations:

Imagine if you will, that President Harris has named Eric "Duke Nukem" Swalwell to be her Disarmament Czar. Imagine that he starts out near home base, in Alexandria VA, demanding complete and total disarmament of the citizens. Imagine that he is unhappy with the level of compliance from the citizens, and rolls out his trademark move. Imagine the reaction of the Never Trumpers, shown here in the foreground.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Suppressors - How Well Do They Work?

The folks at Ammo To Go have run some tests on suppressors with both pistols and rifles and published the results here. Spoiler: Rifles don't get noticeably louder or quieter with changes in barrel length, and everything gets about 25 dB quieter with a can. Nice, but only the .22s get below the hearing damage level.

While barrel length doesn't seem to make much difference on the rifles, I have noticed that shooting PCC class in IDPA that the pistol caliber carbines are enough quieter than the pistols that the shot timers sometimes have trouble hearing them. Add a can, and they could become quite user friendly. Alas, no PCCs were tested.

One might note that in the case of the Virginia office shooting, the use of a suppressor on a .45 cal pistol likely had no effect at all on any ones ability to hear the gun and locate the shooter.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Visit Colorful Colorado

This could work out. Fly in to DIA, arriving in the morning, and without leaving the airport, do a pub crawl, visiting no less than 6 micro breweries and sampling their wares, top it off with a nice Bacon Gooseburger (maybe at Chick Fil A?), then take a nice nap in a VIP lounge, and catch a late afternoon flight home with a bag full of souvenirs.

Could be a fun day.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Killing Geese

Not like they lay golden eggs or anything, just poop all over the place. As migratory* birds, they are protected so us peasants aren't allowed to thin the ever increasing herds ourselves. We'd even get a ticket if our dogs were to bag one on a walk, so the only check on the population is the coyotes and foxes who are woefully outnumbered.

Denver, being exempt from federal game laws, has decided to trap some geese and feed them to the growing homeless population as gooseburgers. Yummy, I guess. On the bright side, the homeless population should increase to accommodate the supply of geese, but on the down side, the homeless population will increase to match the numbers of geese and human poop will replace goose poop.

Not everyone has thought this all the way through, either:
Sure, killing geese gets rid of them in the short term, but they just come back, says Marc Bekoff, professor emeritus of ecology and biology at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Yo! Prof! It's called a renewable resource! With a well staffed agency, led by some schmott fellow like you, at a nice 6-figure salary, we could manage the homeless and goose populations here to achieve a stable balance.

*They seem to have forgotten how this is supposed to be done and simply stay here pooping on golf courses and sidewalks all year round.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy Independence Day

Best one around here in years. The firecrackers in my neighborhood sound like a major firefight and the street is hung with a really thick pall of powder smoke. A really noisy message being sent to all government agencies around here: It's independence day and instead of cowering indoors or in the back yard with sparklers, people are out front in the streets with the really colorful, noisy stuff.

A celebration of individual liberty and a big FU to the forces of darkness. Brings a smile to my face.

Gun Sales Still Strong

Here we are in the summer doldrums and the unusually high gun sales noted last month continues pretty much unabated. Could this be Trump waffling on silencers, the Pelosi House proposing massive gun control, or a reaction to Antifa getting the go-ahead from the Portland police? Or could there be something else going on?
We are now outselling the Hillary Panic of 2016. Harris is currently expected to get the nod from the Dems, and she has promised to begin confiscations in her first 100 days, the constitution be damned. Makes for a great stump speech but I don't think it would get very far in the real world.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Vox Calls For Armed Resistance

Vox is suggesting that it's time the left began arming themselves against the < insert insult here > right by way of being prepared to defend themselves.

James Hodgekinson was just a warm-up? All those cops the BLM people shot don't count either? Keep your CCW permit current and buy more ammo.

Will It Run 9 - Carbs

Mikuni carbs are fairly complex and the ones on the Virago are the worst I've seen. Someone took them apart at some point and had a couple of very small parts left over at the end. Idle mixture screws are normally a simple screw with a pointy end and a spring to hold it in place once you have (mis) adjusted it to your own personal preference.

I will note that my 84 Honda Sabre still has the anti-tamper covers from the factory installed on all 4 carbs and the engine runs fine. The Yamaha's screws are located deep down a hole where you might well not even notice them, then covered with a plug. They also include a washer and an O-ring along with the spring which must serve some fairly important purpose or they would not have been included. The O-ring and washer were the leftovers on both carbs.

The main jet needles have been through one model change and 2 revisions so I ordered 2 of the latest versions. Needles were ordered 6/23 from Omaha, and the o-rings 7/1 from Seattle. I can't wait to see which one gets here first.

Friday, June 28, 2019

The Democrat Platform

Things I've noticed over the years:

The Dems adopted the DFL platform which was pretty much the CPUSA platform back in the 30's. The abject failure of those ideas over the years has never been a reason to change, so they simply lie about what they plan to do. This results in the Dems winning elections whenever they can find a candidate with good hair and no voting record who can lie with a straight face. This election will be no different.

In the debates, which they presume the Reps will not be watching, they put forth what they want to do. So far we have
  • Tax increases.
  • Gun confiscations.
  • Slave reparations
  • Decriminalize illegal immigration.
  • No more deporting of illegal immigrants.
  • Abolish the private health insurance currently held by over 150 million Americans.
  • Give free health insurance to illegal immigrants.
I'm sure there will be more, but since they don't like to talk about it you'll have to follow their pontifications while they're on the stump but make no mistake, these items ARE the party platform whether they write them in officially or not. Note no mention of the debt. Oh well the Reps probably won't mention it either.

The SCOTUS has ruled that gerrymandering is strictly a state issue so look for lots of it post census. Some states have laws limiting this but you know no legislator worthy of his baksheeh would sponsor such a thing. Maybe a popular referendum if that's permitted.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

QOTD - Bernie

In an editorial in today's WSJ Bernie opines:
"His (Trumps) policies coddle fellow oligarchs while leaving ordinary people at the mercy of the free market."
And he wants to be president, assuring us that Socialism will work this time with himself at the wheel.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Best Idea Yet

Dave Burge has a suggestion for schools trying to figure out what to do now that Robert E. Lee Sr High is no longer PC. In an effort to help with the exorbitant cost of changing the signage and the mascot, here are some suggestions:

Bruce Lee Dragons 
Christopher Lee Vampires 
Brenda Lee Apologists 
Stan Lee Marvels 
Spike Lee Joints 
Stagger Lee Knives
 Sarah Lee Calories 
Tommy Lee Sextapes

Lee Van Cleef was also suggested and I will propose they become the Lee Van Cleef Badasses.
How about the Lee DeForest Tubes?

I'm sure there's more.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Apropos of Nothing

But possibly related to my impending geezerhood, I went out today for a medium length bike ride. 25-30 miles. There is a spot where University Blvd passes under I-25 where the sidewalk consists of a narrow strip of concrete with 6 inch curbs on either side of it, and includes a 90 degree turn at every spot where it proposes to cross a street. The streets it crosses are the on and off ramps to/from the freeway and the short bit (4x4 square) has the sharp turn to access it. On the other side, this is repeated, in one spot with a 120 degree right turn to be started before tour bike has completely cleared the off ramp. Off the concrete is a dropoff into the weeds which will require you to pick up your bike and place it back on the pavement.

I suppose I will recover from the scuffed knee eventually.

I have done rides like this 2 or 3 times this year already and had no real problems from them but today my knees are taking the rest of me to the Hague to be charged with crimes against humanity

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Gun Fun

Must be one of those specialty rounds for the 12 ga:
This post is a test.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Will It Run 8

Always something. Tried to take it over to a friends and only made it 2 miles before the engine died with a dead battery. Seems the voltage regulator was also kaput. Got a replacement which arrived NIB and 2 days earlier than predicted, put it in and the problems seemed to go away. NOTE: The VR has to dump about 6 Amps of current when the battery is fully charged and gets too hot to touch very quickly. Probably gets too hot to work shortly after. The original mount was a bracket on the rear of the engine case, right next to the exhaust collector can. Good thinking.

I built a new bracket with a big finned heat sink and mounted it on the opposite side from the exhaust system. This seems to be working. the regulator is running much cooler and the engine seems to like having a full shot of power to the ignition.

Side view
Rear view. Big fins. Lots of air.

Need to put 5 miles on it around the 'hood to prove it is now ready for prime time. The neighbors will be somewhat annoyed, but tough.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Reducing Gun Violence

Here's an idea that's guaranteed to work. First off I will state that it depends on your definition of gun violence, and I'm using the lefts definition which is that anyone found dead as a result of a bullet is a victim of gun violence. Stay with me here.

Here is a study of gun deaths in my state, and here

is a breakdown of the reasons. Click to enlarge. Note that here in Colorado the number of gun deaths ascribed to suicide seems to be about 75%, which is somewhat above the national average.

Recently our legislature has proposed to set up state-sanctioned "shooting galleries" (pardon the pun) where druggies of every type could go to use any drug they wished with state agents standing by to give first aid in case they look like they may have overdosed. This got voted down when it was suggested that the first such park be located across the street from the capitol building. My variation on this sort of overlaps the physician-assisted suicide idea in that id eliminates the physician who, after all, is supposed to be primarily interested in keeping you alive.

If you're feeling despondent, simply drop by one of these new offices, and pick up a single-use Fentanyl  kit which consists of a sterile syringe with a lethal dose of Fentanyl in it. Cost to the state should be near zero as the municipal police evidence lockers likely contain enough to go around. Take this anywhere you like, and shoot the whole thing. Voila! You're dead, and the death is not attributable to firearms. Instantly, the gun death rate is reduced by 75%.

Of course there will be abuses. People will pick up their free kit and only use half of it. The junkies will still be there, but the drug dealers will be severely impacted by the low-cost competition, driving some percentage of them out of business, plus it seems reasonable to expect that some percentage of the free dope users will eventually OD anyway. This should reduce the overall homicide rate as well without as many dealers competing for the best sales locations.

Is this a win-win or what?

Friday, June 7, 2019

NICS Checks - A Meaningful Record?

People like to proclaim "New Record" every time NICS check numbers exceed the previous year by some small amount, without taking into consideration that with the population increasing, the numbers can be expected to go up regularly.

Last month however, the numbers took a significant jump, putting May ahead of every May so far by a generous margin and ignoring the traditional trend of declining going in to the Summer:
Not sure what might be causing this, maybe more disposable income among the population (possible), maybe increasing expectation of violent revolt (unlikely). or something else. Theories, anyone?

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Will It Run? 7

It turns out that the gas tank filler necks across the various models of Virago are similar enough that the caps are interchangeable. Sort of. The standard flip-top cap will click into place in the under seat tank if the neck hasn't been bunged up too badly. If it has, one must obtain Yamaha special tool, # XV535-GT-RT-O1, or gas tank reshaping tool #1.
Yes, I know, this looks like a carefully bent screwdriver with a broken handle
but notice the careful shaping and polishing. There must be at least 5 minutes of careful thought and artisanal work in this. It reaches under the catch ring in the filler neck and pulls it back out so the fingers on the cap can engage it. Sort of an inverted pry bar.

And here it is:
Somewhat oval but with the edge pulled back out.
Voila! the wrong cap, but it snaps right in!

Whatever, it works. I also removed the remaining pint of gas from the tank and while the engine would run on it, it smelled a bit gamy. Fresh gas and I'm pretty much done. Got the plate and insurance so now it's off we go.

My variation on the song is that the motor sounded fine until it quit running with a flattened battery after 2 miles. The charging system is still not working.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Trump Acts On Mental Health

President Trump set up appointments at Walter Reed hospital for mental health evaluations.

Reps Pelosi, Waters, and Lee failed to show up.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Will It Run? 6

Removed and reseated the carbs, this time using YamaGoop (r) sealant, and noting that while the intake spuds are almost identical, the operative word here is almost. The last fellow got the back one on the front and vice versa and got the clamps on wrong as well. All this seems to have eliminated an air leak in the intake so the motor runs much smoother now.

I installed the new stator and a replacement turn signal relay, and while the system voltage is now consistently in the 12.5 range, the turn signals are completely inoperative. Oh well. The final assembly leaks no oil and runs smooth.

Speaking of oil, since I needed to replace it anyway, I got oil and a filter and had at it. The filter is removed by first removing 3 screws on the right side and getting behind the cover. All 3 screws are different lengths, and all 3 were in there to the point that a cheater bar was required on the allen wrench. The first 2 came off with a scary pop as the threads broke loose, and the 3rd one gave me a wallered out screw head. No sweat, I'll drill the head out. Which I did after ruining 2 otherwise nice drill bits. A Cobalt bit from Ace Hardware finally did the job. The recalcitrant screw turns out to be an M6 x 95mm Socket head.

Ace Hardware doesn't have anything this long. Neither does the bigger, fancier Ace. Nor does Fasteners Inc who normally have everything. As it happens, neither does the Yamaha shop although they say they can order the screw from New York. The friendly local motorcycle salvage yard didn't have one either but they did have one about 5mm shorter which turns out to get me about 3 turns into the threads. By 3 PM Friday it looked like my last hope was a metric specialty shop conveniently located on the opposite side of town. Maybe Monday.

Last things to address are the gas tank which had the egg-shaped filler neck, and the front tire which refuses to seat on the rim. If I can beat the tank back to some semblance of round, I believe the flip-top cap the previous owner bought will snap in and out and do the job. This will be tricky. I may farm the tire job out and attribute this to laziness.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Return Of Spring

It got all the way up to 70 degrees today, so I celebrated by riding a 28 mile loop on the local trails. The hobo jungle between Hampton and Dartmouth is still there. Some of the encampments are expanding into split-level dwellings with tasteful driftwood siding to set off the blue plastic tarps. Some of these folks are obviously unemployed architects.

The confluence of Sanderson Gulch and the Platte river is being upgraded to a flagstone lined mountain stream motif to about a block back from the river. If anyone ever visited there, they would certainly be impressed.

The rest of the gulch up to Heart Failure Hill is as usual.

Heart failure Hill is reached by going West on Jewell to Kipling which isn't a bad ride. Alternatively you can go North on the Kipling trail to Jewell, which will make the name seem quite apt. Note that going South on that stretch of Kipling Trail is quite exciting in that it's easy to reach 30 mph going down, narrow trail, limited visibility, and as you go under the tunnel, there's a narrow 90 degree right hander with a decrepit chain link fence on the outside to help break your plunge into a small creek about halfway down so the heart failure is possible both ways although accompanied by abrasions and contusions on the downhill side.

Civic improvements to the Bear Creek trail at Wadsworth include two telephone poles with perches on top big enough to sit 2 golden eagles in the prairie dog town there. Should be some great bird watching opportunities here this year.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Will It Run? 5

I may have spoken too soon. Driving around the block seems to flatten the battery, and a voltage check shows battery voltage lower with the engine running at high speed (12.4V) than when the motor is shut off (13.6). The book says I should be seeing 14-15V with the engine spinning in the upper rpm ranges.

Repeating the input voltage check with the original voltage regulator in the circuit gives the exact same results so it looks like I don't actually need the replacement unit and I can put the original one back into service which will get rid of the kluged up installation job

A resistance check on the stator wires gives readings way off what they are supposed to be and the recommended solution is to replace the stator. These things range from $30 brand new to $120 used on e-Bay so I'm thinking $30-$50 including gasket or pull mine over the weekend and see if the local salvage yard can help me. The part looks to be common across several models, but that wouldn't be the first time someone had told me that in error.

The backup thing to do is to visit the local Yamaha dealership and confirm that the part is in fact common. They also have a way of confirming my suspicions that XV535 bikes are made mostly from unobtanium by NASA contractors using space-certified parts.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Will It Run? 4

Well yes. It runs and I drove it around the block (3 x 3 block) today to prove it. Now it needs some minor stuff like a new turn signal relay and to figure out why the headlight doesn't work. The lamp that came with the bike seems to be undersized for the retainer ring, and the other one I picked up is way over sized.

The last bugaboo seemed to be a pair of hopelessly fouled spark plugs although cleaning out the float chambers and jet passages can't hurt. The insides of the carbs looked quite clean.

Runs nice, sounds nice, and even idles thanks mostly to having the right switches on the handlebars. Makes me wonder if the original voltage regulator is in fact good after all.

At this point I could get insurance and a plate for it. Only problem is that the DMV is closed for the weekend.  Oh well, Monday. Meantime I can work on the petty details.

UPDATE: Seems the headlight lens for this thing lists for $127 and the turn signal flasher/relay assy is $163. Seems awfully steep for relatively ordinary parts. They also seem to route a lot of the rest of the harness through the flasher relay widget so simply switching to more common parts is a bigger deal than it should be.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Will It Run? 3

I got the left hand switch set today and hooked it up. It sort of looks like it won't work completely until I've cleaned  it out as the switches feel like they've been lubricated in tar. Nevertheless, I get spark, fuel pump working, and starter function so I'd say I'm pretty close to hearing it run. If only the tiny battery was a bit bigger.

Top to bottom: H-L beam, Turn, Horn. Horn does not work yet.

Top to bottom: Run-Stop, Fuel tank on/reserve, Starter

Bloody damn cold in the garage too. The passing polar vortex left 3" of snow (officially) and got the temps down right next to freezing. Currently in the mid 40's and projected to stay there until Friday when we'll see 70's. Springtime in the Rockies.
The right turn signal switch gets me flashing on the right front and left rear. The left hand switch gets me a plaintive buzzing noise from the general area of the signal relay. I'm not seeing this as a big problem. The headlight still doesn't work under any circumstance. I need to soak both switches in some sort of solvent, then lube them with conductive silicone oil.

The fuel pump comes on with the key and there is now an odor of gasoline in the garage so it's going somewhere. A squirt of ether got me a couple of pops but no sustained running so there may be petrified fuel in the carbs although I was assured that the bike ran last year.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Springtime In The Rockies - Fine Scottish Morning

The Pedals and Pints group* has scheduled a bike ride in my neighborhood, coinciding with the arrival of the latest cold front that has dropped feet of snow on the Sierras. At start time it's to be 52 deg and overcast while we have out warm-up beer at Blind Faith Brewery. We then take off riding the uphill part South along the Platte river to Living The Dream overlooking the Platte Valley. By 3 PM we have only a 15% chance of rain for the return trip which might end at Locavore or might end at Jackass Hill Brewery which at least is on my way home.

If I get home soaking wet and freezing and thus die of pneumonia, I'll post about it.

*Happily combining the pub crawl with the urban bicycle tour. A fun group.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Will It Run? 2

Found the right hand switch set and that's on the way. The gas tank cap I got with the bike fits almost every Yamaha ever made, the exception being the one I got. Finally found the part number for the right one: Price = $182. It can be had for as little as $112 if you search but gee, that seems a bit steep for a gas cap. It also seems that when someone got the bike and found he had no key, he used the screwdriver on everything, leaving the filler neck slightly egg shaped. If he would only come around and bring that screwdriver, I could show him one more place where it could be used.

Money For Nothing

I was riding my bicycle along the Platte a couple days ago and discovered a brand new hobo encampment along the river. These things are becoming more and more common as Denver works hard to outdo Seattle in its welcome to ihe professionally indigent. The sight of one fellow with his shopping cart piled high with bicycle wheels finally set me off and got the wheels to spinning so here, to the tune of Money For Nothing, is my tribute to folks who make their living sponging off the rest of us:

Now look at them yo-yo's that's the way you do it
You camp by the river in a little tee pee
They ain't workin' that's the way they do it
Money for nothin', welfare checks for free

Now that ain't workin' that's the way they do it
Lemme tell ya them guys ain't dumb
Maybe get a blister on your little finger
Maybe get a blister on your thumb

Wage slave or salary man workin for a living
Gotta be there 9 to 5
We gotta build disposable doo dads
You need 'em badly, gotta make you believe

See the little beggar with the shopping cart and cardboard
Yeah buddy that's his own beard
That little beggar got his tarp tent and camp site
That little beggar works 2 hours in a day

Wage slave or salary man workin for a living
Gotta be there 9 to 5
We gotta build little plastic doo dads
You need 'em badly, gotta make you believe

I need a sign that'll tug at your heart strings
All I'd need is a Sharpie and a box
Look at that hobo, standin in the median
He's got a bit of Merlot in a little paper box
And he's down there, what's that? Bottle of Mad Dog?
Suckin' on the bong like a chimpanzee
That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Get your money for nothin' get your checks for free

Wage slave or salary man workin for a living
Gotta be there 9 to 5
We gotta build disposable doo dads
You need 'em badly, gotta make you believe

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Will It Run?

In the spirit of numerous You Tube videos, here's my Will It Run project.

I had about decided that my 84 Honda V65 Sabre was getting to be larger and heavier than I wanted to horse around any more. Driving to work on the freeway was a treat, but I don't do that now, just run back and forth to the hardware store. So here's this 87 Yamaha Virago 535 at the bargain basement price of $400. Looks to be nearly all there, and allegedly ran last year but currently having some electrical problems. Complete with a clean title. Just what I wanted, having been a motorcycle mechanic in the distant past, this should be a relatively easy fix.

Not bad for a 32 year old bike, no? The "clean" title turned out to be in the name of the original owner when the bike had but 2 miles on it and the finance company had released its lien, so it was clean. The owner had even gone so far as to sign off as the seller and whomever got the thing had never bothered to transfer the title. Fortunately they had also not bothered to sign anywhere either so I'm the second owner. The title formats have been changed several times since this one was issued, and the wife was convinced I'd be lucky to get out of the DMV without handcuffs, but it went through although it did take more than average amount of consultations with higher ups.

Spiffy aftermarket seat and handlebar grips and a headlamp dangling from the wires. Should be no big deal to get up and running, right? Closer inspection, after I got it home, revealed that the fuel pump was a NAPA aftermarket unit attached to the stock wiring harness but not turning on. Also the original ignition switch had been turned with a screwdriver, the key having long since gone missing, and cut out of the harness leaving 3 short wires peeking out at me. It also had 2 cables hanging out with large connectors on them and no obvious connection points.

So far I've found out that the handlebar switches are from a larger/later model Virago and while the cables plug neatly into the rest of the harness, the pin assignments do NOT match anything which is why the ignition module begins humming when you signal a left turn. Also the wiring on this is unique to 87 and 88 only in this displacement so finding a workable set of switches could be difficult.

The gas tank, which looks stylishly small, turns out to be only a cosmetic shell. Notice no gas cap. The actual tank is under the seat. The cap is missing, and the neck looks like it was resized a bit with a hammer.

Shorting a wire to the starter spins the engine over smartly so that's good although there's no spark or fuel pump running. Wires for that are routed through the handlebar switches which pretty much don't work yet.

Found a left hand switch set at Sunshine Motorcycle Parts and it's on the way. Still need the right hand set. Spares that came with the machine included an ignition switch with key and the wrong connector, the handlebar switches from the wrong model Virago, and grips that fit way too loosely.

More as it develops.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Fun With Headlines

Who writes these things anyway? This one was too good to not mention. From The Wash Post:

Washington Post: Cory Booker ‘Stands Athwart’ the ‘Pitchfork Populism’ Against Big Tech

Visualizing Mr. Booker athwart a pitchfork, I have to admit, brings a smile to my face. Story here.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Plant Life

Can't all be sturm und drang now can it? I've got a couple of Juniper trees in the back yard and one of them is producing some interesting fruit. Normally all one sees on those trees is the little blue berries that are reputedly used for making Gin, but this spring one of them produced some large black  nodules with soft spikes on them. About 1/2" diameter, plus the spikes.

Today the nodules have "hatched" and the black spikes have turned into orange bananas, albeit, rather small ones. Here's the side of the tree:

That's a petal from the apple tree next to it
You can see a blue Juniper berry in the upper left. 
Here's a close-up of one of the fruits:
The center is about the same color the original spiky ball was

Here's a close-up of a large one, just about to pounce.

I've never seen my tree do this before, so any ideas? If you eat a bowl full for breakfast, do you gain super powers or just turn into Groot?

Update! Ask and ye shall find! This is Cedar (or Juniper)-Apple Rust Fungus which grows on the Cedar (and Juniper!) and spreads to the Apples within a few hundred feet. Harmless to the Juniper, it degrades the quality of the fruit from the apple although the apples are still OK to eat.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Highlands Ranch Shooting

The school in question is only about 4 miles from me, about the same distance as Columbine so I'm beginning to wonder if there's actually something in the water around here or if we just have an abnormal population of whack jobs in the general population.

As of right now, little enough is known that a detailed story isn't possible BUT unlike most of these things, both shooters are in custody and only one person is dead so detailed information may actually be forthcoming.

So far Gov. Polis has not issued a carefully prepared statement calling for more gun control, but I expect that will happen very shortly if not today.* What is known about the shooters is that the 19-year-old male (the adult) is a vehemently anti-Trump liberal, and the 18-year old (the juvenile ) is a female in the process of transitioning to becoming male. Both of them sound like perfect candidates for the Red Flag process which becomes effective(?) in January of next year, maybe.

Frankly I see this as confirmation of my own personal theory on gun control, namely that if we simply disarm and prohibit gun ownership to all Democrats, we can at a single stroke, reduce mass shootings like this by about 95%. Given the political proclivities of criminals in general, this in theory would also nearly eliminate gun-involved violent crime. In practice however, as criminals tend to ignore the laws anyway, that aspect would probably go on unchanged.

The good news is that the male shooter was rushed, knocked down and disarmed by one of the students at the school. This is consistent with what I've been told about dealing with a shooter when you have no weapon of your own and retreat may not be a viable option. A gun is a distance weapon and is hard to aim when you have multiple assailants piled on top of you trying to disarm you. I hear the hero here is planning to join the Marines when he graduates. Sounds like he'll do well there.

UPDATE 1: Sure enough, later this same day I got a form letter from the Giffords group calling for more gun control and asking for money. No mention of any mental health issues of course as that might cut in to their voter base.

Update 2: Seems the local politicians set up a "vigil" for the one dead student in order to press their anti-gun agenda and lo and behold, most of the students dragooned into attending didn't buy in to the narrative and walked out, put off by the use of Kendrick Castillo, who died defending his fellow students, as a prop. Amazingly prominent pols and anti-gun groups were able to attend a next day event:
The event also featured two Democratic politicians, Colorado Congressman Jason Crow and Senator Michael Bennet. Moms Demand Action, a group that advocates for gun control legislation, also had representatives at the event.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Colorado Gun Laws - Monkey Motion

RMGO is announcing that they have found a loophole by which they can get our Red Flag law annulled. It seems that any law wending its way through the legislature must, if requested by a member, be read in its entirety on two separate occasions in each house in which the request was made, otherwise it doesn't count so to speak. RMGO claims this request was made in not one, but BOTH houses, and the bill was never read and is thus void.

The opposition claims the request was not correctly worded so the reading was not actually required. Who knows, they may be right. If not, then the law goes away for a bit. If it does, the first item on the agenda when the legislature re convenes will be a by-the-book passage of the bill that will closely resemble the knighting of Danny Kaye in the Court Jester. If we're lucky, the process will happen in the capitol building and not in the Dank Shaft hearing room of the Lost Superstition Mine Building between 12 AM and 6 AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

In any case I expect no opposition will be tolerated and the elapsed time to signature will be a new state record.

Of course if it distracts the legislature from other mischief, then good, but I doubt it will delay anything very much.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Gun Sales - NICS

Here's the April update with no surprises at all really:
Just the normal post-tax-rebate dropoff. A new record for April? Sure, but the curve normally creeps upward year-on-year.