Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gun Fun: Bowling Pins

Bowling Pins this Saturday. The weather:
Saturday: Partly cloudy, breezy and warmer with morning lows forecast to be from 11 to 16 degrees, afternoon highs from 45 to 50 degrees.
Do we know how to have fun or what?

Update: I won 7 of 11 tables, our winner had to break a 4-way tie, and wound up taking home the trophy that his wife had told him to lose. Not to say the trophy is ugly, but when I won it, my wife complimented me on my marksmanship and suggested I should be sure to throw the next match. This may explain why so fer people have won it twice.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Ever have memories you'd like to erase? Now there's a drug that makes it possible.
It seem that a memory is a reconstruction your neurons make from a collection of disassembled parts every time you bring it up. The drug in question defeats the neurons efforts at reconstruction so that the next time there's no mechanism to do it.

You take the pill, wait a few minutes, then relive the memory by reading a written account of it, during which your brain unsuccessfully attempts to freshen up the labels on the parts, and after some number of repeats, you find that you can't bring up the memory at all.

Presumably you will need to make some effort to keep your mind from wandering while you are waiting for the drug to take effect, and while you're reading the account of that drunken party, oh look a squirrel, geez it's going to be rush hour when I get done here..

Afterward you won't remember the party, and hey, what's that cute furry thing out there in the tree? My registration slip says I own a 93 dodge. Has anyone seen one of those parked around here? Holy smoke! I don't remember traffic being this bad!

I wonder if the Talking Heads were in fact the Beta test group for this?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Got Gas III?

Here's a chart from Speaker Boehner:

This notes everything the administration has done since day one to achieve their stated goal of imposing "European level" gas prices on us. That's about $10/gal.

What they leave out is the effort to impose North Korean level energy consumption on us by sequestering the biggest Uranium deposits on the grounds that the tailings might completely fill the Grand Canyon or something.

We're Number Two!

Second best-liked state, that is. Beaten out by Hawaii for the top slot.

What's not to like? Something for everyone. Shall-issue concealed carry, a governor who belongs to MAIG, the world's largest cow town, and an entire gated county for the rich and famous.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hope For Change At The Stupid Party

One can hope for change, but as has been noted, hope is not a plan. Senior members of the RNC are tossing about ideas that they hope will bring out stronger candidates in the future.
The RNC adopted a new rules system a little more than a year ago in order to try to control the mad scramble for early primary dates that had occurred in years past, partly because of the view that John McCain locked up the nomination too quickly and that a longer process would have helped the GOP find a stronger candidate.
Without acknowledging that the media will gleefully endorse their favorite candidate in the Iowa caucuses, and continue to endorse him to the bitter end. This helps people like Romney and hurts the lesser known but likely stronger candidates. The new rules do not seem to have made any difference as the likely nominee will be the fellow who finished second to the fellow who lost to Obama the last time.

This fiddling about the edges will accomplish nothing. Here's a suggestion to address the most obvious mistake, letting the DNC moderate the Republican debates. I expect to see plenty of this sort of thin in the upcoming campaign, and by now have a clear picture of the sort of question the press will be asking of the candidate.

Mr. Romney! Do you intend to stick with that weird-o religious cult you belong to? And a follow-up, do you have any plans to add any more wives in the immediate future?

Mr Gingrich! Do you still beat your first wife? And a follow up: Do you still beat your second wife?

Mr Santorum! Which do you feel is more important; fighting Satanic influence or keeping all women barefoot and pregnant?

Of course the problem with insisting that all moderators be conservatives with an interest in the candidates positions on conservative topics is that the media may be less interested in covering the events. NRO notes that Hugh Hewett has suggested this format change:
Come the 2016 election season, the RNC should set the number, dates, and locations of debates. They should be fewer in number than the 20-odd we will see before this year is out, so that they are not so unduly agenda-setting. And the party should partner with local party officials, conservative think tanks, alternative media, tea-party groups, and grassroots organizations to determine formatting and questions.
Somehow I see Fox being the only network willing to carry debates in this format, and the MSM filling the debate time slots with ratings-week editions of their top rated shows to suppress viewers. You get the choice of the debates or CSI: Miami Beach performed with all the actors and extras topless I guess.

"Muslim" Judge in Zombie Mohammed Case Speaks Out

Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, they have a letter apparently from the judge in the "Zombie Mohammed" case who explains what actually happened. Predictably, it differes in significant detail from the stories getting tossed around the internet with the speed of Swiss Nutrinos.
This story certainly has legs. As you might imagine, the public is only getting the version of the story put out by the “victim” (the atheist). Many, many gross misrepresentations. Among them: I’m a Muslim, and that’s why I dismissed the harassment charge (Fact: if anyone cares, I’m actually Lutheran, and have been for at least 41 years).
It's stuff like this that makes me a bit reluctant to pose on every flashy story that surfaces. On the one hand, It makes it look like I get all my information from the Sunday editions, but on the other, it helps me avoid putting up a lot of "oops, never mind" type posts.

So click the link, read the post there, and be (hopefully) completely and correctly informed.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Got Gas II?

Update from the post down the screen a bit. Theo Spark is reporting that gas in some grab-your-ankles locations is already at $5.50, and in the comments you can see references to $3.95 to $4.50 in more ordinary parts of the country.

Meantime Zero Hedge has some charts and maps that help explain the discrepancies.Link

Friday, February 24, 2012

Climate Is What You Expect...

...Weather is what you get. Wednesday we were told to expect a light dusting of snow. Thursday I awaken to find about 6 in of "dust" on the driveway. We are now 2" away from the all time record for snowfall in February.

At this rate I'll never find those car keys.

Harbor Freight has a small metal detector at a very reasonable price. Just not reasonable enough for the single use I expect I'd put it to.

Breathing New Life Into Your iPod

Here's the first installment on an actual working stormtroopers mask which in the far future will be what provides power to the entire outfit.
For the moment it allows you to power small devices like the one shown. Worn by politicians, in an election year it could power a teleprompter or recharge a Chevy Volt.

Now imagine what your voice is going to sound like as it passes through the whirling fan blades.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Combining Programs

The first lady's dietary programs are being combined with the president's health care program and certain aspects of the DEA's war on (some) drugs.
And you have to admit, the price is pretty reasonable.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Perusing the innertubes today, I find that the Bradys have issued new and improved scores for the various states with respect to gun control.
Cali added one point by requiring dealers to retain records of sales for ALL guns into the foreseeable future. Can't go get 'em if you don't know where they are now can you?

I noted Colorado, one orange state in a sea of red. What did we do wrong? Even New Mexico, a reliably blue state full of welfare dependent Indians on federally controlled land has not yet sunk to this depth. So I looked. There it is! We got 7 points for closing the gun show loophole and requiring even the few private sales that go on there to be subject to background checks.

That's 7 out of our total of 15. Our legislature is currently looking at modifying the background check process to eliminate redundantly using both a state and federal agency, which won't help our score, and expanding our castle doctrine to include businesses, which I expect will be killed in the dependably blue Senate.

Nationally, some 14 other states have dropped an aggregate 33 points for an overall drop on 4% in the last year.

Got Gas?

Over on Power Line there's a discussion of the relation between gasoline prices and presidential popularity. The accompanying graph rather suggests a correlation
although you can see where other events overtook the effect such as the beginning of the Reagan economic boom, the effect of Bush I's breaking his "no new taxes" pledge, and the Bush II reaction to 9/11. A somewhat more rigorous analysis here suggests that while a president may well be held responsible for rising gas prices, bringing them down is of limited value. Current predictions of gas in the upper $4 range for the summer and possibly into the $5's in high tax locations like California do not bode well for the current administration.

More interesting in my mind is the second graph on Power Line that shows demand for gasoline has fallen to about 60% of what it was as late as 2007. I realize that a lot of people have purchased Prius's since '07, but they would have to represent about half the traffic on the roads to have that big an effect. I can think of several factors that could contribute to a 40% drop in gasoline consumption, but nothing that accounts for the bulk of it.

Hope For The Future

Or Mad Science, depending on your point of view. As long as kids like this can get support and encouragement, even the sky will impose no limit. I know I always wanted a reactor in my basement although the thought of having to give up half the basement to cover the shielding annoyed me more than a bit.

You have to be concerned though at what might have happened if child services had gotten wind of some of the stuff he had been collecting.

Business Opportunity

Researchers in the Netherlands have announced that they have figured out how to grow test-tube muscle tissue. The type currently being produced is a mixture of pig and horse, which the Brit's reporting the story refer to as "hamburger".

There's a reason why the joke has it that in Hell your cook is English.

Anyway the process is slow and labor intensive and the estimated price is EUR250,000 ($329,949.80), with no units given, so we don't know if that's for a single burger, a Dutch kilo, or a British whole cow, but however you slice it, the price will eclipse the $250/lb currently paid for White House favorite Wago beef, and should make it the new favorite there.

If the researchers are quick on their feet, a $500M grant from the US Dept of Agriculture should be obtainable with a 1% kickback to the president's super-PAC. Better move fast as this opportunity may well disappear come January '13.

Quote of the Year

At least until something better comes along. I found this one on Theo Spark. Go read his place, it'll brighten your whole day:

"President's Day is when President Obama steps out of the White House, and if he sees his shadow we have one more year of unemployment."
"Shelly's six-year-old daughter"
This kid has a bright future ahead of her as a political analyst or a talk-show host.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Stock Trading

Zero Hedge has a piece reporting that due to improvements in computer-assisted data interpretation, it's now possible for a program to take a company's quarterly financial report and turn it into something that looks like an article written by a human.

At the same time, there are word searching programs that can take human interpretation of companies data and turn this into buy or sell recommendations, which the program can then act on.

It's not too hard to see this getting out of hand as both positive and negative feedback mechanisms take over. The smart financial geeks are looking for software that can spot stocks that move more than say 10%/minute and execute buy or sell orders the instant the movement drops below 5%/min. A person quick on their feet could conceivably end up owning General Motors for $100 if your timing was right.

Of course you could just keep an eye out for news that Acme Solar Wind Farms had just gotten a $500 Billion loan guarantee from the government and start shorting the stock

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Shooting Down Drones

An animal rights group has their panties in a knot over their photo drone getting shot down when they tried to take video of a pigeon shoot. According to witnesses it took one shot from a small-caliber gun to bring the machine down.

Really people, just think how fast it would have hit the dirt had the shooters had a chance to practice a bit:

H/T to Smallest Minority, who has this video in larger format.

Update: Added link to photo drone story.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wind Power

For those of you who are looking for a way to get off the grid, or at least pull over into the slow lane, Honeywell is offering a wind turbine you can mount on the roof of your house. This baby is advertised to produce 1500 KWh/year on average, compared to an average home consumption of 11,000KWh/year for about 13% of your annual consumption. At $11,000 installed, and with an estimated lifespan of 20 years, that's $.36/KWh you'd be paying.

Compare this to the current going rate of between $.083 and $.10.7/KWh depending on whom you ask.

The thing weighs as much as a big-block V8 and that's before you add in the lateral loads from the wind blowing against it. Having an engineer do a load calculation for your roof first is recommended. Check an available wind map to see if you can expect the kind of winds needed to run the thing, and then step outdoors and look around your house. If you live on a barren hill crest in southern Wyoming, the rig may well provide all the power you'll ever need but if you live in an urban neighborhood with mature trees, you might as well forget it.

It has no real problems that can't be largely fixed with a generous infusion of Federal money equal to the purchase price of the windmill and the replacement cost of your roof and as long as the Feds can print all they need, this shouldn't be a problem.

Consumer Reports reviews the device here and seems rather cool to it.

Terror Theater

The DHS has announced that Denver and Boulder counties are "hotbeds of leftist terrorism".

Hotbeds of leftists I'll grant you, but I don't seem to remember much actually going on lately unless you count the pestiferous Occupiers. Perusal of the article reveals that the majority of the incidents that made the cut happened in the '70s so I imagine Big Sis and the DHS have by now identified all the guilty parties and are closely monitoring their Geritol intake.

The complete report, in pdf format is here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines Day

Over the noon hour the local DJ decided to solicit listener suggestions for love themed tunes. When I tuned in, he had gone through "Love Hurts", Love Stinks", and two others of the same ilk whose titles I now forget.

He observed that his listeners seemed a bit unclear on the concept of the day being put forth.

I liked the observation that love is like a knife fight. When you get close enough together, someone gets hurt.

Then again, maybe not. YMMV. Good luck to you all.

Hail To The VEEP

I Own The World is taking a look at the qualities a presidential candidate might look for in a VP pick. The traditional quality selected for is that the Veep be able to carry some voting bloc that the wannabe Prez might not carry. In 1960, the Northeastern liberal JFK for example, picked a good ol' southern boy to help carry the south.

Some years later, Walter Mondale thought he could pick up a lot of chicks at the polls with his Link"Ferraro". Nice try, but it didn't work.

Various qualities are put forward, and names are attached to each.

O'Bozos technique seems to have been to pick someone, who terrifies would-be assassins into inaction at the thought of his succession: Joe Biden.

On the other side,for the same reason there's Ron Paul.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Alternative Energy

Any source of energy can be considered an alternative to whatever you're using now, but to be a viable alternative, it has to compete on the basis of both cost and reliability. As you are filling out your taxes this year, consider that some portion of the amount you throw down the D.C. rathole goes to XL energy, or whomever your local supplier is, to subsidize the "green" investments they are forced to make.
TANSTAAFL, baby! You're going to pay for this one way or another.

The nice graphic above was shamelessly copied from a really good article at Power Line on the topic of Crony Capitalism as practiced here in the USA. Indonesia can't teach us anything, or maybe they did.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mad Science

Since I'm a big fan of this sort of stuff, here's the link to the video. How to make a fully automatic airsoft gun out of a soda bottle and some easy-to-find bits and pieces. It's enough to make me wonder if this could be applied to paint balls without creating a bottle of paint?

The comment about it needing a longer barrel seems like a good one too.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Concealed Carry

What gun to choose is an important decision. Put down your drinks and go here to be informed as to how to make this choice.


Obama has given the Catholic church one year to revise their theology with regards to birth control and abortion. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has declined the invitation.

The joke will soon be on them. Obama will declare the College of Cardinals to be in recess, and appoint his own Pope who will certainly see things his way.

Friday, February 10, 2012

How's Your Weather

Some years back I caught myself alternately complaining about the stifling heat of summer and the bitter cold of winter, and I said to myself:"Self, you can't have it both ways. Pick one." So I picked winter.

Can't ride the bicycle, can't ride the motorcycle, and sometimes can't go to the range. Last weekend the Steel Dog Shoot (prairie dogs) was cancelled as the life sized steel silhouettes of the rodents wouldn't have been tall enough to even see the ears sticking up out of the snow. This weekend more snow is forecast. What fun.

Two weeks ago we got about a foot of snow on a Friday. I cleared the last of it off the driveway on Saturday with the trusty blower. I'm not 100% sure, but about 90% that sometime in the process I dropped my car keys on the drive and the blower tossed them into the 2 foot drifts that now line either side of the drive. I'm driving on the spare key and at this point I despair of finding the originals any time before April.

Too bad nobody I know has a metal detector.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Privatizing The Police

It's what the remaining citizens of Detroit are doing. Apropos of the line about "When seconds count, the police are only minutes away", or in some cases hours, people are finding that being armed can significantly shift the balance of power. Increasingly the courts, formerly famous for giving the resisting citizen more jail time than the perp, are siding with the citizens.
“It’s not about police response time because often the act has already taken place by the time the police are called,” said Sgt. Eren Stephens. She said citizens have a right to defend themselves.

“Anytime a life is lost, we’re concerned,” she said. “But we can‘t be on every corner in front of every home. And we know that there are citizens who will do what they have to do to protect themselves.”

Or as chief Wiggums put it" C'mon people, we can't be everywhere at once. Why don't you just take the law into your own hands?"

H/T to Uncle for this.

Colorado Caucuses

So the Colorado caucuses are now winding down, and with only my precinct reporting, Rick Santorum is the big winner with 11 votes, edging out Mittens O'bamany with 9, 1 for Newt and 2 for Uncle Fester.

Later results may change this result. In the end, it doesn't matter as the Colorado primary is in June, by which time the race will be decided.

According to the rules of Republican primogeniture, Romney, having finished second to McCain in the last election, is the designated heir to the candidacy in this one. Newt, finishing second to Romney, will be the nominee in 2016 should Romney lose, and Santorum and Perry will duke it out in 2016 to see who gets the nomination in 2020.

OR: The Tea Party could emerge as a force to getting out an otherwise reluctant Republican vote which gives Romney the win in spite of himself, then either forms a real new party or preempts the existing Republicans to oust the RINOS and put foreward Mitch Daniels, Scott Walker, or Bobby Jindal as future presidential candidates.

Remember: 2012; It's not just an election, it's a restraining order.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

First Amendment

In the ongoing kerfuffle over the president giving the Catholic church a whole extra year to revise its theology to his taste, I wonder if anyone noticed that that would be granting a special privilege to a specific religion in violation of the first amendment? Everybody else has to conform NOW.


Pravda-by-the-Platte has come out today to advise any republicans who actually read that paper that Mitt Romney is the One True Paladin of the Republican Party. This is entirely predictable, as Romney is the most left-leaning of all the candidates to date with the exception of Jon Huntsman, who vanished like Ambrose Bierce ages ago.

Keep in mind that this paper also endorsed Dole and McCain in the primaries in the past, and turned vehemently against them in the general election. This is now proven methodology to get what they want (Clinton, Obama) and I expect no less in the future.

The paper also has a practice of endorsing both Republicans and Democrats in local elections and calling itself bipartisan. They do this by endorsing any Republican fortunate enough to be running unopposed, and every other Dem on the ballot, regardless of anything.

Not to worry, as this is the traditional behavior of the Republicans, to nominate the fellow who finished second to the previous nominee. This should be the last big chance the Republicans get. A big win this year is looking more and more likely even in the face of their record of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
This map may be pessimistic as the Illinois vote depends on the Dem machine in Chicago finding enough lost ballots to overcome the Republican vote in the rest of the state*, and if Gov Walker can overcome the union attempt to unseat him in Wisconsin, why should the whole state not come along in the general election? Washington State is blue because the state supreme court ruled that vote fraud is O.K. as long as the ballots are secret.

Still, they don't call it the Stupid Party for nothing.

*Don't laugh. It's how John Kennedy got elected.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Statistics means never having to say you're certain, but they can reveal stuff that some would keep hidden, and hide what might be damaging to reveal. I've been carping about the government cooking the books on unemployment for ages here, and the folks at Zero Hedge have been helping by doing all the heavy lifting. After seeing what they have produced, half the internet is reduced to saying "what they said!".

The latest exercise in wool-pulling is the triumphant crowing about 243,000 people finding jobs last month. First keep in mind that in a growing country it takes 150,000 or so new jobs a month just to break even and keep the unemployment rate static.

The second thing to remember is that when people give up on finding work, they cease to exist as far as the BLS is concerned. Do the math, which isn't that hard, and notice that when the unemployed quit looking for work, the unemployment rate falls. Find work for 243,000 and push 1.2M off the statistical cliff, and voila! unemployment drops by about half a point.

If you assume that all those people who have quit looking for work haven't won the lottery or something, and actually would like a job, the actual unemployment rate is now 11.5%.
Cooking the books.

Update: I am now hearing that those 1.2M people didn't drop out of the workforce, but were actually eliminated by the Census Bureau. Zero Hedge evidently didn't get the memo, so his numbers are off. I wondered about that myself since I know that people drop out of the workforce, which makes the unemployment numbers look better, but not usually in such large quantities. My position that the numbers are being jiggered remains unshaken. The exact amout is TBD. With labor force participation heading for the basement anyway, it's useful to understand that when it reaches about 58%, unemployment will appear to be zero.