Friday, December 31, 2010

A Career In Engineering

People (students) have asked me if going into engineering is a good idea in the great scheme of things. I always answer in the affirmative. It's a great place to exercise your creativity, and generally make the world a better place. At Listverse, I found a set of explanations of the origins of words, and relating to engineering is the story of Thomas Derrick:

A Derrick is a lifting device designed for moving large objects. They are used widely in engineering, and are also used to drill for oil and gas reserves. Thomas Derrick was a hangman in Elizabethan England. Derrick was a convicted rapist who was facing the death penalty. In an event that could be straight out of a spy film, Derrick was offered a pardon by the Earl of Essex, if he worked for the state as an executioner. During his time as a hangman, he designed a new system with a topping lift and pulley, as opposed to the rope over a beam method. Derrick executed over 3,000 people. One of whom, rather ironically, was The Earl of Essex, the man who pardoned him.
Some days at work are arguably better than others. I've had bosses who made me consider spending some time developing a death ray.

Click the link, and check out the other 9.

Gun Stuff

Did you know that your average EBR will fit into a 3/4 sized electric guitar gig bag with room to spare? The gig bag comes with backpack straps for hands-free carrying, and the accessories pouch will hold enough ammo to deal with the zombie apocalypse. Typical price is $14-$25.

One caution, the tactical accessories on your EBR should be limited to a small to medium sized scope and maybe a flashlight, although the flashlight can also live in the pouch. If your rifle is fitted with headlights, tail lights, turn signals, and a winged lady hood ornament, all bets are off.

Update: Starting the new year off with an Uncalanche! Thanks Unk, and it can only get better from here on out.


Of a sort. It is to laugh when you hear someone from the "diversity at any cost" coterie suddenly begin bleating for " intellectual purity" in our institutions of higher (?) learning.

Time To Write

The new congress convenes in about 3 weeks, and it's important they hit the ground running. Already there's talk of the senior Republicans going all squishy and reaching across the aisle. It's time to remind them why, exactly, they got tossed out in the 08 elections, and why they're miraculously back in, at least partially, now. Stretching out the time frame for reforming a regulatory agency is a way of doing nothing and claiming to be doing something. The e-mail below is an example, and could be used to ask for large budget reductions for any runaway regulatory agency such as the EPA, DOEd, Interior, FCC, etc.

As always, don't forget to add the line requesting the BATFE be abolished.

Dear Rep. XXX:

I have been reading that legislation to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is to be considered in the upcoming session. I also hear that the Republican party may be getting soft on the notion of reigning in a regulatory agency that serves primarily as a cash cow for committee members.

Now is the time to take a firm stand on this and other budgetary issues, and de-fund and phase out F&F in as short a period as can be arranged, preferably not more than 2 years.

Runaway regulatory agencies are a burgeoning problem, and F&F is only one of several. As a cost-saving measure, please also support or sponsor legislation abolishing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives as they serve no useful purpose, and have become the embodiment of the jack-booted thug.

The Republican party has about 6 months in which to show they are serious about budget and economic issues or go the way of the Whigs.

Yours Truly

Thursday, December 30, 2010


It looks like we're going to get our first snowfall of any consequence tonight, and I spent yesterday cleverly prepping the ol' snow blower. Of course I now that the snow is falling, I find I need one more part.

You know you're in trouble when you type the name of your tool into Bing, and get a whole page of references to antique farm and garden equipment shows and collectors.

I did, however, discover that by cutting a small hole in one of the guards, I can reach a critical bolt with a socket wrench on an electric drill, and voila! electric starting. I think all gasoline-powered lawn equipment should have a receptacle for a rubber ball or something on a shaft to be used to start recalcitrant equipment after months in storage.

Frontiers In Science - The Brassiere

Some time back, shape memory foams were developed by NASA to make helmet and seat liners that better fit the user. Later these materials found their way into commercial mattersses that molded themselves into whatever shape you put onto them.

They have the property of expanding and becoming relatively more rigid when heated, keeping in mind that we're talking about foam rubber here, which is none too hard to begin with.

An Australian has hit on the idea of incorporating this stuff into bras, which will custom mold to whatever shape is put into them, and by expanding with temperature rise, becomes a push-up with excitement or sport bra with exercise.
The bra boosts the cleavage when it detects a rise in body temperature, said Nielsen.Such as when a woman gets a little flushed when she gets excited. It can kind of do some of the flirting for you," he said.

Moreover, if a woman is exercising and it detects a rise in body temperature, it can expand to offer more support when needed," he added.
Get the whole story here.

Somehow I have a vision of this thing causing a B-cup girl to seem to grow to a C-cup upon spotting a nice piece of beefcake walking into the room.

Parting Shot

Just when you thought you'd seen the last of the outrages the lame ducks hit us with, or tried to, there's one more thing. As soon as the congress officially left town, the president hits us with a basket full of recess appointments.

You would think that a Democrat president, with 59 loyal boot-licking lackeys in the Senate, and 2 or 3 RINOs who can be bought without too much trouble, could get his appointments through the committee and onto the floor where they'd be whooped through on a party line vote.

You'd be wrong. This pack of bozos are so distasteful that even the 111th congress wouldn't approve them. Dirty details here.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Global Warming

There are a whole groups of folks with logical constructs that runs along the lines of

1. We are not wrong!
2. The sun is rising.
3. The earth is warming.
4. Unless we get massive taxpayer funding, we're all gonna die.

Metaphorically speaking in general. Pointing out that if you wait a few hours, the sun will be setting is futile. See step 1, which is not negotiable. Here's a fellow with an astounding 85% success rate at predicting long term weather patterns:

This sort of reasoning is popular among economists too, but the presence of one on every virtual street corner differing only in the details of step 2 has reduced their value.

What is needed is a derisive and catchy descriptor that can be used at a moments notice like a bucket of cold water on a wicked witch. Chicken Little is good, but a lack of studies in classical literature has reduced its effectiveness. I blame the teachers unions.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Economy, The Future

As the department of labor announces that "long term" unemployment will have a new definition starting next year, to extend the range covered from two years to five, the Conference Board, apparently a business group, announces that consumer confidence has fallen to yet another record low. "Unexpectedly" too.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I haven't seen any crowing in the news about how Christmas sales have ridden in like the cavalry and saved the economic day.

After a while one begins to wonder if the sun rises unexpectedly in the East every morning for some of these people. Still, their unblemished record of being wrong is not encouraging with regards to prospects in the upcoming year.

Speaking of the upcoming year, it's time for everybody to toss out a piece predicting events in the coming year.

1) The Broncos will not go to the super bowl, never mind winning it.

2) Kim Jong-Il will die and a coalition of generals will make his kid disappear, then begin resolution talks with the South OR Kim Jong-Il will die and the next chapter of the Korean war will break out. Obama will remain scrupulously neutral.

3) At some point, countries in the Euro zone with growing economies and not too badly out of balance budgets will decide that they don't want to support the spendthrifts. To that end, a national version of bankruptcy will be established, with Italy becoming the trustee for Greece with a warning that if anything goes wrong, both countries go to France. Spain will be turned over to Germany and a sternly worded letter will be sent to Portugal warning them to toe the line or join the Spaniards. O.K. this one's a long shot.

4) The drug war in Mexico will spill over into the U.S. with a major battle and high body count. Obama will remain scrupulously neutral.

5) The Supreme court will strike down Obamacare and the FCC's Net Neutrality. Both 5-4.

6) Unemployment at the end of the year will still be above 9%.

7) Despite being one of the biggest black holes for money in the state budget, the Light Rail project will not suffer any significant setback.

What do you think?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mayors Against Illegal Guns

As a group, they seem to be having a good deal of troubles of their own. But say, if I was an elected politician, and I had a closet full of legal, moral, and ethical shortcomings, I'd be opposed to letting my constituents have guns too.

One of them might decide I needed shooting, and heck if I was the judge, I'd probably agree.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

This about sums it up doesn't it?
Actually, this model could work out fairly well. Everybody gives everybody else something imaginary, everybody gets a good laugh and a nice meal, then the day after, everybody goes out and gets themselves the one thing they really wanted at a deep post-Christmas discount.

I imagine giving all my readers a coupon good for the motor vehicle of their choice. My readers can imagine giving each other a coupon good for free gas and insurance for 1 year.

Now, everybody go out tomorrow and buy that book of the collected works of Geffory Chaucer you've always wanted.

Merry Christmas.

Quote of the Day

It's gotten so cold in Merrie Olde England that one has to travel to central Alabama to find temps so warm here. There is an explanation, though:
The gulf stream is blocked with the oil spill that BP created. This has been confirmed by several scientist here in the US. It will have a devastating effect on the US east coast and parts of Europe, including the UK for years to come.
Found on Jammie Wearing Fool, a comment on a Daily Mail article Here.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Rule By Decree

With the loss of the House, and a significant weakening in the Senate, the president is no longer able to get anything he wants the old-fashioned way, in enacted legislation. Fortunately for him, the legislature has voted itself largely irrelevant anyway.

Unelected bureaucrats in any of the myriad agencies the congress has created are empowered to make "rules" which carry the force of law, sparing the congress the embarrassment of having to argue and vote on them out in public.

The president gets to appoint a majority of the people sitting on these boards, thus we have a 3-2 split in favor of the D's at the FCC which just voted 3-2 to impose net neutrality on the internet. I had thought the net was doing fine with little or no control at all, but what do I know? The U.S. Congress, and at least one federal judge thought so as well, but so what?

The process of pulling a rogue agency back in line is difficult, especially if you don't have a veto-proof majority in both houses. Stroke of the pen, law of the land, at least until the next guy can get in and change it.

Same deal with the EPA which has decided that CO2 is a dangerous pollutant, and is planning to issue "rules" soon which should largely shut down both energy production and oil refining in the U.S. by late next year.

If it weren't for the swell parties and free jet airplanes, there would be no reason for the legislature to actually hang out in Washington at all. The President can simply have his appointee at the Just-us department find a friendly federal judge to order that something he wants be done, then have the 3-2 majority of the directors of the appropriate agency decree that it be done to his satisfaction.

Anybody see anything wrong with this?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Missile Defense

So the Iranians are setting up missile bases in Venezuela and giving Hugo Chavez permission to use them as he sees fit. Meanwhile, back in Washington, the U.S. advantage in missile defense is being traded to the Russians for something, maybe a draft pick to be named later. What's going on here?

Look a bit deeper, and it all becomes clear. The Iranian missiles can reach only the southern parts of the country, and Barry does not see Ahmadamnjihadi as an actual enemy. So as long as the threat is only to the redneck red states, the policy is "The enemy of my enemy is my friend".

Makes perfect sense.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bottle Rockets

Tis the season to be providing your kids with fun toys, hopefully of the type that foster an interest in science and technology. Also without your having to polish your negotiating skills with the local constabulary. In that spirit, here's the method for turning a 2-liter pop bottle into a fun demonstration of propulsive science.

The easy method is to start with a clean, dry 2-liter bottle, with the cap. Drill a hole in the cap. Diameter is not terribly important, but 1/4 at a minimum, and 3/8" at a maximum seem to work best.

Get the Isopropyl alcohol (IPA), and pour 1/4 to 1/3 of a capful into the bottle. That's capful, not cupful. screw on the cap, and shake the bottle a few times.

Lay the bottle on a smooth surface, pointing in a safe direction. Using a lighter, applied from the side (hot exhaust!) hold the flame to the hole in the cap until the vapors inside the bottle ignite.

With a loud whoosh, the bottle will propel itself up to 30 feet downrange. Squeeze the spent bottle a few times to refresh the air inside, and attempt to re-ignite. Spend the next 15 minutes arguing weather the initial shot was too rich or too lean. Refuel and repeat.

For you wannabe rocket scientists with access to machine tools, enlarge the hole in the cap to .81" and make a real rocket nozzle:
The bottle cap goes on over the right end. Debate endlessly weather this actually makes any difference to the flight characteristics.

Use IPA and air only and you won't damage the bottle beyond some wrinkling caused by the heat. Eventually you'll want to replace the bottle with one that still has a straight center axis. We have tried other flammable liquids but not noted any difference in performance. IPA is easy to come by, and easy to handle.

Builders assume all risks, so if you figure out how to blow this up, don't come crying to me. Remember: IPA and air only.

Fun With Ethanol

Thanks to Popular Mechanics for this little fun with chemistry trick. I had no idea that ethanol mixes could be convinced to spontaneously separate simply by adding a bit of water to the mix.

Or that the trick is easier if you add more ethanol to the mix, as the government is proposing, in spite of evidence that it causes higher pollution, increases our dependence on foreign oil, increases fuel consumption, and inflates our grocery bills.


"Obama orders breastfeeding policy for federal workplace"

Geez, not only no layoffs, but a benefits package above and beyond the call of duty. I feel I'm doing good to get free coffee.


IOTW has a piece noting that the most searched terms, in terms of definitions include the words "austerity", “pragmatic,” “moratorium,” “socialism,” and “bigot”.

With the high levels of sophistication I put into this blog, I can't see any of my regular readers having any trouble with these words at all, but, as the caterpillar said, "Who's to be the master, you, or the word?" So here are the definitions, as interpreted from the point of view of the government, or their mouthpieces.

Austerity, N. The practice of keeping wage increases down to 6% in the face of a 25% increase in staffing at our agency.

Pragmatic Adj To completely sell out your principles in return for enough pork to improve your chances at re election.

Moratorium N The practice of stopping all services normally provided by an agency. Ex: Policing of the border by the DHS.

Socialism N A practice covered in Washington by the DADT doctrine. At present, only Bernie Sanders is out of the closet. Identifiable globally by the number of people dead as a result of implementation.

Bigot Adj. Anyone who disagrees with the speaker. Widespread overuse has devalued any impact the word once had.

You're welcome, pleased to be of assistance.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The State Of The Nation; Holiday Humor

Andrew Klaven has a 9-minuter video up on PJTV that has to be one of the most entertaining things I've seen this year.

What would the New York Times sound like with even a tiny bit of honesty added?

What did Tim Geithner really say to Joe Biden in their discussion of the U.S. financial condition?

What is the future of the TSA, and the people it serves?

Great entertainment to brighten your holidays.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Quote of the Day

From Joan Peterson, board member of the Brady Bunch to prevent gun ownership:
It's just natural to want to shoot someone when you don't agree with them or have a beef or you're drunk and can't quite think straight.
In all fairness, I believe she may have been speaking a bit facetiously, but only just a small bit.

Me? I'll be at the Tanner Gun Show tomorrow selling NRA and CSSA memberships and maybe my last 3 t-shirts.

Auspicious Signs

Roger, the real King of France, reminds me that the upcoming congress will be the first in 64 years in which no member of the Kennedy family will be seated.

It's a start. Most of the remaining troublemakers are in their 70's and should be "retiring" over the next 20 years or so.

There's also a comment regarding groundhog day that I found fairly amusing.

Intellectual Levels

Maybe I need to work on my vocabulary, or something.

Results by reading level for site:


Just making up a few bits of obfuscational vocabulary should do it. It works for some of the others.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Legos and Christmas Cheer

Since it's Legos, it must be safe for work, and it certainly expresses my feelings toward my fellow man, or at least a sizable number of them.

Now, wasn't that fun?

Shamelessly swiped from Firearms Blog, although I seem to remember seeing it in a couple other places as well. F.B. has info on where the accessories came from so you can order up several sets for your in-laws kids.

Update: Unfortunately, this format seems to be a bit narrow, or the you tube format is not adaptable somehow. Full width here.

Update 2: Aha! I've figgered it out, and didn't even blow up the blog.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Future of Transportation, Data

I should have seen this one coming: A device that plugs into your OBDII receptacle, communicates with either your iPhone or Droid, and reveals your cars innermost secrets. Even allows you to reset the "check engine" light.

Now you can call your mechanic, and he can see instantly what's wrong with your car and, since you have the same data, he's limited to offering to repair what's actually wrong.

Also the teenagers worst nightmare: If you take the car over 55mph, or hold the throttle to the floor for more than .15 mile, the car calls your folks and rats you out. Worse yet, add one of those key-fob cameras to the mix, and when you bring your date home, her daddy will be waiting on the porch for you, shotgun in hand.

While the first part sounds like a much-needed advancement to automotive technology, I can remember when the latter part would have been greeted with horror. Today, for some reason, it doesn't seem like all that bad an idea.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Future of Transportation, Coal

Hot Air has a bit on another coal-powered car. It's small, natch, has 3 wheels, which makes it a motorcycle in many states, and runs on compressed air.

Top speed is 40 KPH and range is 150-200 Km which puts it firmly in the same range as a golf cart, but not as good as the Tuk-Tuk.

They also put the single wheel up front, which is a disaster waiting to happen. They didn't go into what it was made of, but fiberglass, one layer, seems to be a good guess. As a motorcycle, that's one more layer than you usually get, and in the winter I appreciate all the layers I can get.. No big battery is required, but a middling sized one would be required to run things like headlights and maybe a heater.

I suppose you could turn this into a hybrid by adding a small contractors compressor in the boot, running on gasoline to pressurize the tank.

Is There A Santa Clause

There might well be, The AG from Virginia has taken the government to court over the constitutionality of Obamacare, specifically weather the government has the authority to require the citizens to purchase something they may or may not want, and the betting is leaning toward 'no'.

Due to the great urgency with which the bill was cobbled together, a key phrase was left out. This one insists that no matter which parts of the bill may be later found unconstitutional, the rest of the thing stands, like a shambling zombie with one or more limbs missing.

An appeal is expected whatever the outcome, and the government will be expected to argue that, in accordance with Wickard v Filburn, since the air the citizens breathe must have passed over another state at some point, the citizens who get sick and seek health care are engaging in interstate commerce and are subject to federal government micromanagement.

My early bet is a 5-4 decision in favor of the citizens.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Marching Forward

Note the new addition in the left-hand side bar. A sparkly-new search tab that will find whatever you're looking for on this blog. Type in things like "squirrel trap" or "2 bore" or "Swedish model" and find the post(s) you were looking for.

O.K. so I'm easily entertained.


Since everybody else has weighed in on this, I feel the need to pile on. Over at Samizdata, there are multiple arguments over the finer points of international law, the applicability of the U.S. first amendment to everybody in the world. and weather Manning and Assagne actually committed crimes.

Manning stole the information, and Assagne received it and distributed it, presumably to his own benefit. In most places, even disregarding what exactly was stolen, this would land both of them in jail as thief and accessory.

The information included intelligence sources and methods, which results in sources drying up, frequently in pools of blood. Definitions vary, but in several states, actions that result in a murder render the participants accessories to murder, significantly elevating the seriousness of the charges.

My observation is that 90% of the information is stuff that anyone could reasonably conclude, which suggests that our State department, in spite of fancy trappings, isn't half as clever as they'd like us to think. Sandmonkey provides observation from the middle east and notes that the average tinpot dictator in that part of the world is more worried about the Iranians than the Israelis.

That Assagne is still alive and well tells me that nothing was revealed about the Russians that everybody didn't already know, and that the CIA is in the same league as the State department.

A Day At The Range

As a member of a hunting and fishing club, one of the things we have to do is routine maintenance at the range. On a recent weekend, this involved mowing the weeds and cleaning out the shed in which the pistol match gear is stored. The range itself is out on the eastern prairie of Colorado, which is home to a variety of wildlife, ranging from deer, to coyotes and prairie dogs. And mice. Lots of field mice.

The pistol range is a largely barren area, about 50 yards in diameter, with backstops to the East and Southeast. In the center are tables, sturdily made of 4x4’s and 2x4’s about 3 ft square. There are also a few chairs. The shed is 10 x 10, and about 75% full. It sits up on bricks, which means it provides a great shelter underneath and inside for rabbits and mice. Lots of mice, who build nests, reproduce prolifically, piddle and poop on everything, and chew everything not made of metal. Needless to say, they are not popular with the range boss, so rodent control was on the agenda.

Outside, this involves moving some barrels and watching R.B. do his version of some obscure rodent-stomping dance to shouts of encouragement from the club members. There were 7 mice under that barrel, and R.B. got every one of them, eventually.

Next was the inside, which we rendered barren, and discovered a mouse nest the size of a football in the framework halfway up the inside wall. As the nest was moving, R.B. swept the whole thing into a bucket, and took it outside to the center of the range, between two tables, and before an attentive audience, upended it onto the ground. Out runs one mouse, easterly.

He zigs, he zags, he avoids 3 stomps, he reverses course and runs between R.B.’s feet, back to table #1. R.B pursues around the table. Mouse breaks cover and runs south, avoiding more stomps, and making it under table #2. R.B. pursues around the table. Mouse breaks cover and runs south, getting under the chair ahead of the boots of doom. R.B. lifts chair, which exposes the mouse, but this sets R.B. off balance for an accurate foot move. Mouse makes it back to table #2.

At this point, the mouse has avoided about 10 attempts on its life, and some of the spectators are beginning to side with the mouse. The single-minded pursuit and fancy foot work of the R.B. has not gone unnoticed however, and I overheard someone speculating as to how this might be how persons of pallor do the Bugaloo. Dancing with the Stars could be in his future, although the footwork was more akin to Riverdance.

R.B. moves table #2, and the mouse breaks for table #1. He evades 2 more attempts, but the third one connects, flattening him quite thoroughly. Possibly a bit too thoroughly, as the residue proves slippery, and R.B. loses his footing, sliding part way under the table, and barking his shin on a 2x4.

To thunderous applause, he is helped to his feet. In recognition of his superhuman effort, he was ceremonially awarded both ears and the tail. It was suggested that the Fastest Mouse in Colorado be mounted and presented, until it was noted that in his present condition, he was probably beyond the skills of even a talented taxidermist.

Between the 10 or 12 of us doing the cleanup, we had probably brought 20 or 30 firearms of various calibers and types, but no one was carrying while working. Besides, where would be the fun in that? The things you see, as they say, when you haven’t got a gun. Or a camera, I might add. You had to be there.

Death and Taxes

Obama has now appeared on TV and grudgingly admitted that Bush was right, and unless Bush's tax policies are continued, the economic recovery (?) is at risk.

He even went so far as to bring an ex president on stage with him to back him up. To be really effective, I suppose it would have helped if the ex president had been Bush. Actually having Clinton endorse the Bush tax cuts was a nice bit of symbolism, since the Bush cuts were put in place to get the economy out of the doldrums brought on by Clintons last big tax hike, and having Clinton endorse them is a tacit admission that raising taxes is generally a bad idea.

Actually, since they've been in effect for 10 years now, we should probably be referring to them as the Bush tax rates, and the impending Obama tax hike, back to Clintonian levels.

Meantime, back at the ranch, the congress is addressing the proposed tax bill with the gravitas we've come to expect from the biggest collection of self-absorbed porkers in the known universe. The bill is, on the extreme left, being reviled as a wholesale giveaway of the governments money to the folks who actually produced it in the first place, without acknowledging this at all. The more pragmatic among this band of thieves is imagining it will pass no matter what, and are hanging pork on it like ornaments on a Christmas tree. Subsidies galore, from high-speed rail to ethanol.

Some have suggested that the real conservatives should sit back and let the radicals have their way, as this will allow the cuts to expire at the end of the year. Everybody with a job will immediately see a reduction on their paycheck, and investors will be rewarded for buying tar, feather, pitchfork, and Tiki-torch futures. Come Jan 20, when the blowhards re-convene, the now republican majority house will be able to introduce legislation making the cuts permanent.

Here's where I can imagine this getting to be fun. The 2011 Senate will have a 53-47 Dem majority, but there are as many squishy D's as there are "moderate" R's. Additionally, the tax increase, if not dealt with, will still be there in 2012, when 19 of the 33 Senate seats in play currently belong to D's. Keeping the higher tax rates is a recipe for extinction, so it passes the Senate.

Would Obama sign it? Good question, notwithstanding the certainty of another "shellacking" if he doesn't, but members of the "reality-based" party sometimes demonstrate a tenuous hold on the concept. Still, if he's reminded often enough that he actually endorsed them, I'd give about 60% odds he'd sign.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

All The News

It happens that another newspaper group has decided that there's more money in suing people than in trying to furnish news. The model for this line of thought is Righthaven, who owns the copyright tights to everything a national group of birdcage liner producers publishes, and will sue for big bucks if you so much as quote a single line on a blog.

My thought on this is that pointing out bias and errors in the MSM is too much like shooting the proverbial fish in a barrel, and as long as a blogger never runs out of material critical of a paper, the blogger will prosper, and the paper will bleed subscribers. Lawsuits are a great way to stifle criticism, especially if the blogger doesn't have the deep pockets of a paper.

To that end, another group, MediaNews Group, has gotten on the bus. Their membership includes the local rag, Pravda On The Platte, so no more subsidies from casa Billll for them.

For local (to me) news, may I recommend Complete Colorado, which styles itself after Drudge, but specializes in Colorado news.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bringing Home The Bacon

This picture was found over at Grouchy Old Cripple, who is more fun than his name suggests. Originally thought to be the result of some Cajun mistakenly training the wrong animal to be his hunting retriever, one of the commenters suggests that this is an Australian Salty, which would explain the rather aggressive practice of fetching the pig from up on dry land.
To me this looks like an opportunity for a twofer, pig in the smoker, and spiffy new luggage, including gun case. I understand lizard tail cooks up well too.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Insert Your PAC Here

Got a PAC with tons of money, and need a name to make bribing congressmen seem legit? Press the button below and get a catchy name:

Or maybe you have a rock and roll band that needs a helping hand in the name department. Hmmm, catchy line there.

I got Main Street for Kodos.

Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.
H. Simpson

Source = Sunlight Foundation

Quote of the Day

Thanks to Gateway Pundit for pointing this one out:

“Do we want to extend those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires at a time of huge deficits. I would argue vociferously we shouldn’t.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., shortly before the votes.
The votes in question were on weather the Bush tax cuts should be allowed to expire, and to what extent. The quote may require some translation.

"Do we want to let the people who create jobs in this country to keep their money and use it for such at a time when the government is spending money even faster than we can print it? I would argue vociferously we shouldn’t."

Unlike the climbing unemployment rate, this was not exactly unexpected.

A Better Mouse Trap

I didn't invent this, but there's a good story behind it. Seems that way back when, the Lockheed Corp. was acquiring a brand new building out in a relatively undeveloped area. When the building was finished, and the employees moved in, it turned out that the building was infested with mice, who had lived well off the construction crew's lunches.

The company announced that poisoned traps would be placed, and the problem would be quickly solved, but this being Southern California, some of the employees objected. The company, being out of ideas, announced a contest to design a humane live trap, and this idea won, being quick and cheap.
made from a plastic bucket, a bit of coat hanger wire, a strip of aluminum with a hinge made of wood glued to the bottom, it's pretty simple. The brown circle out on the end is a blob of peanut butter stuck to the bottom. The mouse runs out on the plank, overbalences it, and is dumped into the bucket.
The plank resets itself, and waits for the next mouse.

The traps worked well enough to fill to 2 inches deep over a weekend, and the mice were taken outside, away from the building, and dumped.

From what I heard, they weren't taken far enough away, and promptly came back. At this point, they ceased to be "cute" and were dealt with more harshly. Adding 3 or 4 inches of water to the bucket will prevent the mice from returning.

You have to be sure the mice have a way to get up to the plank in the first place, but they can climb anything rougher than the plastic bucket, so this shouldn't be a problem.

I suppose the variation on this for the mechanically challenged, would be to use a bucket with a lid, and place a plastic funnel in a large hole in the lid, having cut the bottom off the funnel to leave a hole big enough to pass a mouse, say 1-1/2". Make sure the bottom of the funnel is 4-5 inches from the bottom of the bucket to keep them from jumping out.

This works best when you have large quantities of mice to deal with, and is a bit bulky for catching one or two, but it does work, and will catch multiple mice in a single night.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Election Shenanigans

As the magnitude of the defeat they took in the last elections slowly sinks in on the Donks, the mechanisms they usually use to pull out a narrow victory in a closely contested election shift into overdrive.

Normally if a candidate is losing by only a few votes, i.e. under 1%, a bag or two of undiscovered ballots can usually be found in the trunk of an abandoned car in a seedy neighborhood, surprisingly producing enough votes to put the endangered candidate in to office. Recently this has been extended to finding 2 whole machines which had somehow eluded the election commission in Queens, which added 80,000 votes to the totals.

Additio9nal sleuthing has turned up some 120,000 more ballots form unnamed locations which, while not affecting the outcome of any election, proved to be a big boost for the left-wing candidates.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Law and Order

In Oregon, they do things differently. The City of Portland has passed five new gun laws which they are sure will make a big dent in crime there, notwithstanding a lack of evidence to this effect where they've been tried elsewhere.

My favorite is one, unique to Portland, forbids persons convicted of gun crimes from hanging out in areas with a high gun crime rate:
Three ordinances would hold adults responsible if their gun gets into a child’s hands, penalize gun owners who don’t report the theft or loss of a firearm, and designate shooting hot spots and allow the city to exclude certain gun offenders from them.

While the theft reporting and child protection laws have been passed in other major cities, criminal justice experts say the exclusion zones that would restrict gun offenders from areas designated as high in gun violence would be unique to Portland.
As long as I find it impossible to do this kind of thinking, I can see I'm never going to make it to high political office.

Taking the idea to it's next level, they could forbid known criminals from frequenting high crime areas, and thus reduce the crime rates in the seedier parts of town. Of course this would cause the crime rates in otherwise crime-free areas to rise, but as long as the overall crime rates stayed at politically acceptable levels, one assumes the town councils jobs are safe, which is what matters.

Just think, you would be no more (or less) likely to be raped, robbed, or murdered in Portland if you lived in the public projects or a gated subdivision. The next best thing to utopia.