Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Fun IDPA Stage

This one is called Evil Roy and comes in 2 versions. The setup is 3 targets on a single stand, about 2 inches apart front to back. Target #1, nearest the shooter is, of course, a no shoot.
Next two back are threats mounted on limited motion swingers. #2 swings out to the left, and #3 swings out to the right. Both of them move just far enough to expose about half of the target, then immediately swing back behind the no-shoot and stay there. You get about 1 to 1-1/2 seconds to shoot both of them. Twice each.

The rig is triggered by a plate mounted above and behind the target stand.

On signal, you shoot the plate and get your sights on whichever side you think gives you the best vantage, then it's 2 shots on each of the disappearing targets.

Fast? Oh you betcha. I think only 2 of us out of 20 actually got off all 5 shots to complete the stage. Par time was about 3-4 seconds. The best shooters averaged about 8 points down. Everyone else was down around 14. Considering that if you missed everything including the no shoot, the worst you could do was -20, this is a very tough stage.

This week we saw the same setup but with 2 plates. Shoot 1 plate and the opposite side target pops out. Shoot the other plate and the other target pops out. Just as fast, but you only have to shoot one of the varmints at a time. "Good" is under 10 seconds and 2-3 points down. About 1 shooter in 5 got into that group.

Fun Stuff.

Monday, February 11, 2019

National Inventors Day

Today is National Inventors Day as observed in the United States, so I am encouraging all you inventors out there to roll out your latest and greatest
and show us what you've got and tell us how it's going to help save/conquer/destroy the world. Help carry on the traditions of Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and Gyro Gearloose.

U.S. Popularity Overseas

We keep getting told that the U.S. under Trump is universally despised outside our own borders. Some fact-checking reveals that this is not so.

At a festival in Tuscanny, Trump is portrayed as a sort of God-King and in a favorable manner:

There is video of this here. The time on the video is in hours but be of good cheer, the part you really want to see in in the first 3 or 4 minutes.
This is impressive. It should be preserved and saved for use at the 2020 Republican convention. The video is in Italian, so I don't understand a word, but the size and animatronics are impressive.  Dazi Vostri means Your Duty in Italian. The body, arms, head, and eyes all move.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

AOC's High-Speed Rail To Hawaii

Perhaps we could bring Elon Musk in on this as the basic infrastructure looks just like his Hyperloop scheme to get people from the suburbs of LA to the train station in mere minutes.
Submerged freeway. More at the link, so click it.
Submerged tubes containing high speed rail and hyperlink facilities will certainly do the trick. On top of that, the floating support pontoons up on the surface can be enlarged to carry service centers, rest stops, scenic overlooks, and in a financial coup, a couple of Chinese air and naval bases, the leases for which can go towards funding construction and maintenance.

We can be assured that the PRC outposts will not be used as a basis for the Chinese to lay claim to the Eastern Pacific as territorial waters or a claim that Hawaii should become a province of China.

It's one of the things I liked about being in engineering: Nothing is impossible. Now let's talk costs.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Small Pickup Trucks

The Chinese have seen the niche and leaped to (almost) fill it. This one is a  bit under sized but as they say, might be suitable for localized work.
There are 2 articles on this citing different prices ranging from $5000 to $8950.
Presumably the U.S. model will have door coverings. Vehicles like this are legal on the streets if you have the red triangle on the back and they are limited to 30 mph max. With a 75 mile range, I'm guessing they use lead-acid batteries. Probably uses the same tires as the Harbor Freight trailers which limits the thing to 45 mph max anyway.

Note the rather Spartan dashboard:
I guess you need a smart phone if you want the deluxe package. Either the photo is backwards or this is an export model intended for Japan or Australia.

If they show up it might be fun to fit one with one of the Subaru 22hp V-twin motors from Harbor Freight.

Details here and here.

Gun Law - The New Approach

Got an email today from a former elected politician who was wounded by a deranged gunman, celebrating the change of leadership in the House:
  Amazing. Just amazing. Thanks to the work we’ve done together over the past several years, the House just concluded its first hearings on gun safety in almost a decade.
You demanded change last November, and we got it. Finally, we have a Congress that is willing to stand up to the gun lobby.
Standing up to the gun lobby seems to include prohibiting anyone with opposing views from testifying at their hearings including a sitting member of the house who was also shot and injured by a deranged gunman. That both deranged gunmen were Democrats who passed the very sort of background checks that Giffords & Co are pushing doesn't seem to matter.

The Dog(s) That Didn't Bark

Among the myriad observations on the SOTU one finds these: There were 2 that I thought stood out, First was Global Warming/Climate Change and the second was the national debt. AOC actually covered the first by announcing that if we didn't do something, we'd all be dead in 12 years. This position has been taken by one doomsayer or another for the last 60 years or so and people are tired of hearing it. Good move on Trump's part letting the noisiest whack jobs be the spokesmen for the cause.*

The second is far more important and really should have been addressed. Trump should have mentioned the problem and announced that he would be sending out a memo asking the heads of all agencies to reduce their spending by some minuscule amount this year vs 2018. 1% would come across to the American people as trivial even though the standard within the beltway is an automatic 6% increase year on year. Giving everyone a 1% haircut is also something that can be done without having to hold hearings and debates with endless sob stories about how the American people will be thrown to the wolves if the Department of Hairdressers doesn't get its increase to cover the population increases.

*UPDATE: See? I told you so!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Green New Deal - Investments

The Green New Deal being fronted by the extreme left has all the usual bells and whistles they've been pushing for the last 50 years or so including a complete disavowal of all hydrocarbon fuel sources plus NO mention of nuclear at all.

Never mind that wind farms require a backup power plant burning something to provide enough power to allow for heating of the wind generators in winter. An even larger plant is required if you want to continue to supply power to the end users when the wind dies down. Wind farms in Scotland, for example, are connected to the grid in France which is mostly nuclear, for this very reason.

As investments go I'd suggest bulk cargo ocean freighters as we have no neighbors capable of supplying the U.S. with power on calm  winter days. We're going to need massive shipments of dried cow chips to make up the shortfall even if we install dryers in every feedlot in the country.

Feedlots will have to be upgraded to include:
1. a digester to extract methane from the fresh manure to be burned in
2. diesel powered generators to supply power to the
3. dryers which will render the manure dry enough to burn in a
4. solid fuel burning generator which would then send any power not used at the feedlot out to the grid.

See? Green!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

2018 NICS Final

Sorry, should have had this up a month ago:
Ignoring the 2016 Hillary panic, gun buying is increasing at a pretty predictable rate.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Safe Injection Sites

This item is a policy statement from the Colorado Republicans:
There are no heroin injection sites in the United States and we don't need the first to be here in Colorado. Even the Governor of California has vetoed legislation similar to the bill Colorado Democrats in the state legislature have discussed introducing. The Denver City Council has already passed an ordinance allowing for such sites, but it can’t be implemented unless and until the state changes state law.

Today, House and Senate Republicans hosted Steffan Tubbs, Peter Boyles, and Mark Crowley to share what they’ve learned about Vancouver's injection sites. The pictures and data they gathered on their investigative trip, and which they shared today, underscore the danger such a proposed site would pose to Colorado. For example, as they shared in their presentation today:
  • Since Vancouver's first injection site in 2003, British Columbia's overdose deaths have increased by more than 725%. 
  • Overdose deaths of British Columbians 10 - 18 years old are up 260%.
  • The number of heroin users in Vancouver is up from 4,700 overall in 2000 to over 7,300 at just one of the six injection sites in 2017.

Your House and Senate Republicans will continue to take a stand as this issue emerges at the Capitol. You can see Minority Leader Neville's interview here on why injection sites are bad policy. A policy that incentivizes self-destructive behavior and increases the number of overdose deaths is the opposite of compassionate.

For more details, data, and documentation on the effects of heroin injection sites on individuals and neighborhoods, you can visit KNUS's "No Safe Sites" page here.     
After thinking about this for a bit, I'm inclined to conditionally take the opposite position. 
1. Any and all such sites must be located at least 1/2 mile from any principally residential area. This will reduce the crime for the residents. Ideally I would like to see this done in City Park, in the block immediately West of the capitol building between the capitol building and City Hall. I am reliably informed that heroin and cocaine are pretty much freely sold at the nearby McDonalds, one on 16th st and one on East Colfax.

This puts everything within a block or so of the capitol building. Unfortunately it is also adjacent to the Denver public library which is already over run with just the sort of people you'd expect.

2. The result, as Sen Neville points out, would be death and destruction among the users who would have no check on their behaviors at all. Lots and lots of them would wind up dead. Is this compassionate? It is for the rest of us. It would probably spur a big increase in CCW applications from the residents 1-2 blocks away as well as an increase in Republican voter registrations or at least conservative unaffiliateds. Overall, a win for the good guys.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Privatizing The Border

Here's a suggestion from Cato:
Cato Institute's Alex Nowrasteh has proposed creating an additional visa category called the gold card that would give foreigners the option of working and living legally in the United States— but not citizenship—after paying a tariff. Congress could adjust tariff rates by age and education to guarantee that all immigrants make a net positive fiscal contribution. This would potentially cut back illegal flows and give the country much greater operational control over the border than physical barriers ever could. It would also generate additional funds to go after drug traffickers or criminals who pose a genuine security threat.
Let me carry that a step further. How about a quasi-governmental outfit, along the organizational lines of the Fed, with a monopoly contract to mind the border. The Acme Border Company (ABC) is put in charge of the border with the charter that as it sells the Gold Cards, it keeps a percentage, minus a fixed fee for every fence jumper caught on this side of the line or Gold Card holder found guilty of a felony offense.  ABC would also be responsible for upkeep of the border barrier which they have an incentive to do in the most cost efficient manner.

Thus ABC would want to install climb and tunnel resistant structures in urbanized areas, and a modest fence or vehicle barrier with cameras out in the hinterlands.

If the government paid ABC for each fence jumper they caught, ABC would have an incentive to leave a hole in their barrier and truck "fence jumpers" to the hole on the Mexican side, put them on company trucks on the US side, and run them back to the government game wardens for the bounty. Split the bounty with the jumpers, and voila! instant money. Let ICE catch the jumpers and the government dock ABC for each one caught and suddenly jumpers have a negative value giving ABC an incentive to beef up weak areas as they are found. If ABC spots some jumpers, they can notify ICE who can then come pick them up at no charge to ABC.

This organization could thus be self financing with Gold Card fees set by congress and adjusted annually. One presumes that the issuance of Gold Cards is the province of ICE and would include at least some sort of background check.


Now my position on this topic is to keep it at some remove as I don't see myself as having a dog in this fight. Some of the new laws seem to be a bit overboard, as in the Virginia law that seems to make a 4th trimester abortion legal. This looks to me a bit more like infanticide than anything else and I may be misinterpreting the whole thing, but jumping into the handbasket early on insures one of a good seat.

Anyway it always seemed to me that it wasn't until the 10th to 18th year that parents actually begin to get serious about late term abortions...

One way to address this problem is to treat it before it becomes an issue. Currently 5 genes have been identified that control a persons final height. When all 5 are expressed, you wind up growing to around 7 ft tall. This may help if you want your kid to go into pro basketball, but if he or she turns out to be a complete klutz, it's all for naught. So far the genes for intelligence have not been identified but once that's done, arranging for enough height genes to get junior over 6 feet and an IQ over 125 should put him on the right track for a high paying job in middle to upper management somewhere.

There's a kit for that. although the actual operation is a bit spotty, and the equipment to do an IVF is not included. Don't let that stop you. Nothing ventured, nothing gained after all

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Peasants Are Revolting

Boy, you can say that again. The Bolsheviks currently running (?) this state are complaining that the Republicans, lacking any other recourse, are threatening them with recalls if they proceed with some of their more egregious proposals.  Near the head of that list is the NPV, or National popular Vote bill which would allot Colorado's 8 or 9 electoral votes to whomever wins in Cali, New York and Illinois or Florida.  This will make presidential elections no more important than the off year ones and thus depress turnout, reducing the amount of ballot harvesting required to swing the state.

Darned conservatives, they would bitch if the legislature funded chauffeured limos to take them to the camps. The Dems are aware of this:
Republicans are going to complain no matter what happens, House Speaker KC Becker of Boulder complained to the Colorado Sun.We suppose Republicans should just sit quietly on their hands while Democrats legalize drug injection sites all over the state for heroin and meth addicts. Well, everywhere except neighborhoods where Democratic lawmakers live.
This from a story at Colorado Peak Politics which though conservative, disallows comments except through Facebook.  For those of you who don't live here, Boulder is the home of the state's so-far only assault weapons ban which is so unpopular that even the hippies up there are refusing to comply with it.

The next 2 years here should be carefully watched and studied as a perfect example of the difference between a pure democracy where a 51% majority can impose their will on the 49%, and a democratic republic where the rights of the minority are protected.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Science Marches Onward

News is now out that scientists* have genetically modified some chickens to produce anti-viral and anti-cancer chemicals in the whites of their eggs. Great news that, potentially lowering the cost of producing the drugs.

OK now all you gene boffins: Let's have some eggs containing cholesterol reducing drugs so my bacon and eggs breakfast will not only taste great, but will leave me healthier. And don't stop at modifying the chickens, get to work on the pigs as well. Tack some life-extending hormones into the bacon and there we are.

Before taking this to the market, perhaps they should look in to some modifications to the eggs, you know like coloring the shells. White for basic eggs, brown to designate the anti-viral infused ones, green for the THC infused versions**, and maybe red or pink for the ones containing opioids. No word yet as to how this might affect the meat. Who knows, maybe Tijuana Fried Chicken will challenge the Kentucky version.

*Mad Scientists of course, but they don't like to advertise this.

**You know it's coming.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

The New Regime In East California

Michael Bloomberg has come out as opposed to legalizing pot, which we did 2 years ago, saying that this is a stupid idea. He has also come out in favor of "safe sites" for junkies to shoot heroin and other injectable drugs. This will be portrayed as showing that Mr. Bloomberg is not completely opposed to shooting, just as long as icky guns aren't involved.

The E. Cal legislature here is looking at opening the first such site this year across the street from the capitol building. This is a brilliant move on the part of the Donks who currently enjoy one-party rule there as it will make visiting the capitol to register objection to their assorted shenanigans even more distasteful than it is now. Imagine heading downtown to register your objection to the latest tax increase, and finding that in addition to there being no parking within walking distance of the capitol, the building is now protected by a "moat" of junkies either waiting for their daily allotment of "soma" or operating under the influence of it.

This, of course, will be on the outside of the 10 foot high security barrier (don't say wall) running around the building itself and the exclusive parking garage currently located on the south side of the capitol. Card access only to the garage of course. A short tunnel under 14th st would keep the legislators and their staffs from having to interact with the riff-raff or the newly installed moat monsters.

Currently the legislature is considering a bill to allocate our electoral votes to whomever wins the national popular vote, meaning whomever wins Cali, N.Y. Illinois. and Florida. This will make going to the polls a complete waste of time here which should keep costs down for the Donks.
East California