Sunday, November 19, 2017

QOTD - Insults

Found this quote at Ace of Spades:
“When someone calls you a racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe because you happen to disagree with them about tax policy or same-sex marriage or abortion, that’s bullying. When someone slanders you because you happen to disagree with them about global warming or the government shutdown, that’s bullying. When someone labels you a bad human being because they disagree with you, they are bullying you. They are attacking your character without justification. That’s nasty. In fact, it makes them nasty.”
― Ben Shapiro
What Shapiro left off is the ending: Following an accusation of this sort, one should gracefully and politely acknowledge the accusers tacit admission of defeat.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

TEOTWAWKI - EPA Funding

I just got an email from a lefty group announcing the impending end of at least part of their world.
Well you’re not going to like this: Funding for the entire government expires December 8. Donald Trump, Scott Pruitt, and fossil fuel cronies in Congress want to use an emergency bill funding the government to slash the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by 31%!
Only 31%? Fiddling small pocket change! As I suggested earlier, the swamp draining project is much bigger than we are being led to believe and the best way to approach it is the classic old car solution: Jack up the radiator cap and drive a new car under it. The analogy being that the Trump appointee to head the agency in question, in this case Mr. Pruitt, is the already new radiator cap. The solution is to reduce the agency's budget to whatever is required to pay the rent on its buildings, let everyone but the custodial staff go, and allow the new head to start over from scratch, making his own decisions as to what actually needs to be done in line with what the fed.gov is actually allowed to do.

Mr Pruitts budget might even include funding to add to the custodial staff enough extra floor sweepers to make up the committee to work up next years budget request.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Wildlife Update

With the weather cooling off it seems the local wildlife is moving in to the neighborhood.
Yep 'ol Wile E. has been spotted multiple times, and has eaten one cat and severely injured another and a small dog, all within a block of my house. My neighbor across the street tells me he has seen him emerging from between my house and my neighbors place presumably after checking out the chickens the fellow over the back fence keeps. All this during daylight hours so he's not impressed with anything or anyone yet.

These things are quite smart and quickly learn when trash day is in a neighborhood and will watch you from concealment across the street to get your garage door code for use later to get in and eat your Schnauzer while you're at work. If they haven't, it's only because they have trouble pushing the keypad buttons accurately with their noses.

It now seems prudent to accompany my dog when I let her out back to do her business, and D'wife is suggesting a noisemaker to help impress the coyote. Fine. I have both small and medium caliber noisemakers. It's illegal to discharge a firearm inside the city limits, but there are exceptions to this and Wile E. is one of them. Just have to be careful of the background. Now that I think about it, this may well be the situation for which a weapon-mounted flashlight is called for.

The Gun Crime Blame Game

England is noting a big increase in gun crime for some reason, as is Australia. In both cases, confiscation is the rule of the day which suggests to me that the approach not only doesn't work, it's counter productive. In the lands of the disarmed it seems, the man with the one-shot popgun is king.

Perhaps the next time a mass shooting occurs, or even a minor affray with only 1-3 bodies to stack, perhaps we should be just as quick to blame not the shooter or the gun, but those who made the situation not only possible, but attractive to the perp. Let's face it; people are neither predictable nor are they particularly rational, at least not often enough. As a result, we sometimes get "muckers" out to run up a new high score and more often we get criminals who favor armed threats to part people from their valuables. Guns are not difficult to obtain. The mugger probably knows a burglar who found some on one of his adventures. The mucker has only to ask around to be introduced to someone who needs money more than a gun and doesn't care what the purchaser plans to do with it. In most cases, the purchaser seems pleasant and normal to the seller anyway. They are also not all that hard to make from scratch.

In any case the reason mass shooters run up such high scores is not so much because of the rate of fire of their guns, but  that they 1) pick a high density target rich environment, and 2) pick one where they face a minimum likelihood of armed resistance. Mass shooters seldom seem to operate longer than 5-10 minutes, and when confronted, politely off themselves, thus minimizing the risk to the responder.

Next time a newsworthy gun crime happens, let's immediately place the blame where it belongs, on the enablers. Those who stand firmly on the side of the mugger, the rapist, the mass shooter and their ilk by demanding that their victims be completely unable to defend themselves. Around here that would include Joe Salazar, currently working on running for Governor. He famously came out opposed to allowing campus co-eds to go armed for fear that the flighty little darlings might get nervous at someone walking behind them and simply shoot them as a precaution.

Most gun laws are state level issues, and the enablers work in state legislatures, but there are several who work at the Federal level who can be legitimately blamed as enablers of mass shooters. Let's make it abundantly clear that what runs up the body count is not that someone has a gun, but that only one person seems to have a gun.

Sound like a plan?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Solving Colorado's Transit Problems

For probably only 2-3 times the cost of making I-25 and I-70 both 12 lanes wide over their full lengths, we can have a car-carrying hyper loop system which will make it so much easier for the tax paying public to flee the state before the full bill comes due.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Winter Shooting

IDPA shooting can get to be somewhat more of a challenge than usual in the winter at some of the ranges. The Clear Creek County Sportsmans Club is located in Clear Creek Canyon and nestled right up against the steep slope of the south side of the gulch. The individual berms are perpendicular to the canyon so as to use the mountain side as a back stop. Nice back stop. I rather doubt that most pistols could put a round over the top of it.

The bad news is that this time of year, the sun only barely clears the ridge line and if there's been any snow recently, it only melts back as far as the shadow of the mountain. Last weekend this meant that most start positions were right at the beginning of a sheet of packed snow about 1" deep. Also the sun doesn't actually become visible until about 9:30. Officially the temp was about 35 deg but standing on the frozen ground in the shade made it seem colder. One of my fellow shooters, bless his heart, gave me a couple of hand warming packets which kept my fingers from falling off as long as I kept them in my pockets.

Unfortunately we had a shortage of safety officers so I would up being scorekeeper for most of the match which meant handling the clipboard and noting the scores. By stage 2 the sun had poked over the mountain and things got a bit more reasonable. The next problem was that since most of the shooting was being done in the unmelted portion of the berms, keeping your footing was a big consideration. No one fell so I suppose the speeds were a bit slower than usual. The other thing was the brass picking. All the brass was landing in the packed snow where it promptly sank nearly out of sight and was frozen tightly into place. This resulted in a much lower than normal percentage of recovered brass for everyone. If I got 50% of mine back. I'll be amazed. My partner told me he didn't get any back at all.

I had brought my carbine for the side match, but the much reduced speed made it look like it would be rather late getting going, and the sun had already "set" on the berm to be used by 12:30. I figured I was cold and tired enough for one day so I flaked out.

Got the results. I finished just above halfway down which is doing well for me so I'm happy. Cold? Sure. Considering that it's at 7900 ft altitude and it's early November, I guess you can't be too surprised. A few miles further up the road and the ski resorts are open.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Texas Shooting QOTD

Found at Joe Huffmans:
STOP THE SHOOTINGS. STOP REPUBLICANS
Saurus
November 5, 2017
Comment to At least 26 dead in South Texas church shooting, officials say

I am reminded of a comic (Wizard of Id) in which the King asks a kid what he wants to be when he grows up. The kid answers "I want to be a brave knight like Sir Rodney."
The King answers "Make up your mind kid, you can't have it both ways."

Saturday, November 4, 2017

PSA - Time Change

From a tweet on Kurt Schlichter:
Daylight Savings ends tonight. Don't forget to set your Glocks back.

Gun Sales - Feeling Safer?

As of October, gun sales seem to be in a bit of a doldrum, at least compared to last year when President Hillary was looking inevitable:
One might almost think that Hill has usurped O'Bummer's crown as gun salesman of the century although her influence only lasted one year and cannot, of course, be compared to his 2-term cumulative numbers.

November-December is usually busy at the gun show and I'll be there tomorrow so I guess I'll see. I had been noticing the place being rather under attended for some time though.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Selling Us Out Slowly

The Hearing Protection Act is currently languishing in a House committee with 164 co-sponsors and no vote in spite of house rules demanding one. The bill has been swept in its entirety into the SHARE act, which is languishing on Paul Ryans desk as he won't bring it to a floor vote.

Rep Jeff Duncan is the sponsor of the HPA and is proposing yet another mashup to try and get some movement for this suggesting that the HPA might be scrapped if National Reciprocity is added to SHARE. NR has less chance of passing the Senate than the HPA so either approach is legislatively pointless although forcing floor votes in both houses would provide advertising fodder for Republicans in the upcoming elections.

Duncan being the sponsor of both bills is trying to get some movement on SHARE this year.
According to Duncan, there are several options including dropping the silencer provision altogether and replacing it with other gun language. He said one idea could add language that would ban or require more stringent licensing for buying bump stocks, a plastic attachment added to semiautomatic weapons that allows them to fire far more rapidly.
Since the "bump stock" relies on 2 phenomena common to all semi-auto firearms, namely recoil and self-loading, any attempt to limit bump stockery would either be completely ineffectual or end up completely banning semi-auto firearms with a trigger pull weight equal to or less than the recoil force. Just what you wanted eh? A varmint rifle with a 12 lb trigger?

Paul Ryan is solidly in line with the Dems on this so if you want to see any movement, he would be the one to write or call weather you live in his district or not.

Hillary Wins Halloween

On Halloween, we're supposed to dress up as the scariest thing we can think of and go out and try to frighten people. Hill said she planned to dress up as "President of the United States".

O.K. Hill, you win, hands down. That's about the scariest thing I could imagine.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Practice, Practice, Practice

It is, after all, how you get to Carnegie Hall. Joe Huffman has a picture in a post describing equipment use in WWII. Included is 41.5 Bn rounds of ammunition. Joe points out that we go through, collectively, 10-12 Bn rounds of ammo per year currently, just practicing.

Interesting to think that we are currently going through ammo at about the same rate we did fighting a two-front war. Probably a large percentage of what  we currently shoot is .22 rimfire, but skills learned with a .22 are transferable to other calibers.

UPDATE: Fixed spelling error. A Wookie mistake I'm sure.

Happy Birthday

Remembering this Tweet:
No reason for her to give up. There are some 150-odd other countries she can try in, several of which do not have extradition agreements with the U.S.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Medical Advice

Patient: It hurts when I do this.
Doctor: Don't do that.

See? Some problems are easily dealt with. Now for your viewing enjoyment, here are some nice Fall colors:
Note that most of the color here is summer green. 10 point bonus if you can recognize the yellow stuff. It's one of my favorites in the Spring.

84 degrees today. Over the next 36 hours, it's expected to get down to 25 deg with some rain and maybe a bit of snow. Sounds delightful.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Gun Control or Crime Control?

Seems you can't fool all the people all the time, eventually they get wise to your scam. Seems support for gun control, even after a very large atrocity is a rather short lived phenomenon. Of course it didn't help that even the loudest voices for new gun laws quickly admitted that none of their proposals would have made any difference at all to the outcome of the Las Vegas shooting. I find it encouraging that journalists are now thinking to ask that sort of question at all instead of just taking the press releases and running with them.

Along those lines, I mentioned some years back, seeing a large wall-sized map of north-east Denver and NW Aurora, famous for places you don't want to visit, behind a high ranking cop who was giving a presser on one topic or another. The map had push pins in it, arranged into tight clusters about a mile apart. It mad me think that if the PD had air support, they could drop 250 lb bombs onto a handful of carefully selected addresses, and drop the municipal crime rate to near zero overnight with minimal collateral damage. Here's an article suggesting I was right.

I suppose that if you become a professional perpetrator, you quickly enough find yourself on a first name basis with the local cops, the DA, and the judges who would all quickly tire of seeing tour face. To avoid long term incarceration and keep your job as a perp, you would need to cultivate others to do your perpetrating for you, being careful of course to assure them that turning states witness, while it might keep them out of jail, would not guarantee them a long and happy life.

Colorado Gun Laws And Candidates

This year we elect the lesser known candidates, those running for City Councils and such, usually as non partisan races which means that they all say they're fighting for you while steadfastly toeing the party line. This sort of false flag candidacy should be illegal. The Socialists should be required to publicly admit it.

Next year the governors race is open as the current Marxist is term limited out and is currently campaigning for a position as trade minister in India. Already it's getting close to easier to list the names of those NOT in the running for Governor, but here's an article from the Denver Post describing 9 wannabe governors by their positions on guns. In general, there are no real surprises here with the Dems coming down firmly on the side of the criminal class and the R's more generally supporting the citizens right to self defense of their lives, liberty, and property.

Tucked into the article is a handy chart breaking down 6 of the candidates by position on different issues:
At this point, it's a no-brainer, with Mr Brauchler walking away with my vote. There are, of course, other issues, and I'm eagerly anticipating candidate positions on fixing the roads vs throwing more money down the light rail rat hole, and possibly declaring the Peoples Republic of Boulder County to be an autonomous area, tearing up the roads into it and building a "great" wall around it until they come to their senses.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Virtue Of Joining The Mob

Article here questions the virtue of joining an angry mob. It's at WSJ so may be behind a paywall.

So Weinstein turns out to be everything the media was hoping Don Trump might be. His problem was not what he did, but that he got outed by the part of the press that is somehow still practicing journalism. Worse, it turns out that enough people follow that part of the media that the other half was forced to acknowledge it. A perfect example of the Alinsky rule about demanding the other side live up to their stated doctrines.


Is there no virtue in joining an angry mob? In theory, miscreants are dealt with by the justice system which investigates, arrests, tries, and punishes wrongdoers. As everyone knows however, sometimes the system gets corrupted. Blind eyes are turned, friends are let off with a warning, trials end with wrist slaps or dropped charges, and business resumes as usual.  At some point though, that part of the public who are not members of the good 'ol boys club, see an injustice as being beyond what reasonable people should be expected to tolerate and someone winds up decorating a lamp post. This is frequently enough to cause the rest of the chain to get to a reasonable degree, more in step with the community mores.

Is this virtuous behavior? Maybe. Maybe not. But sometimes it's necessary.

Disaster Relief

It seems the recent weather in Florida and Texas is impacting my lifestyle all the way up here in Colorado! I like to make my breakfast pancakes with some Hominy added to the batter. It improves the flavor and the protein content. Just the other day, I used the last of the supply here. Today D'wife tells me that King Soopers is out of the stuff on account of the suppliers down south being temporarily shut down due to weather.

Outrageous! Where's FEMA when you need them?

Oh well, I hear things are getting back to normal or what passes for that in Dixie, so I expect to see my favorite pancake stuffing back on the shelves shortly.

Endorsement

Things you learn as you go along:

If you take an ordinary car and fit it with headers and a less restrictive exhaust system, like the previous owner did to my Camaro, the sensors in that system will report slightly different data to the computer, which causes the computer to panic and demand that you take the car in for therapy. Turns out this is a well known problem and the solution is a professional mental adjustment to the computer. Resist the temptation to do this yourself with a ball pien hammer, and take your car to a reputable speed shop.

I took mine to J&S Performance and Tuning and the folks there knew exactly what to do. Download the software in the ECU, revise a couple of numbers, and load it back in. The car now runs smooth as glass and the dashboard remains free of "service engine soon" lights. For a significantly larger fee they could also get me about 10% more horsepower, but considering where I'm starting from we both agreed it probably wasn't worth it. OTOH, if you drive a GM car and are frustrated that it's producing less than a respectable 450 hp, these folks can help. I looked over some of the cars in their shop and believe me, 450 hp is strictly for the economy cars.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Gun Control - What We Do Instead Of Something

3 years in to Colorado's strict new gun control laws and the crime rate hasn't moved much at all except pretty much in concert with the national averages.

Another election coming up. What do you bet the refrain will be that "We'll make it work THIS time!"

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Reloading Tool

I shoot a .40 Glock. This used to mean that the brass it ejected showed a bit of a bulge near the base. It also meant that the decapping/sizing die didn't always resize the brass completely, leaving a bit of the bulge behind. I have replaced my barrel with one from Lone Wolf, which works a treat. I recommend them. Go buy a barrel. Their barrels are made to somewhat more exacting specs than the factory barrels, which means that the cases must be sized all the way down to seat smoothly. Brass shot from the LW barrel is better supported, and doesn't show the bulge but other peoples brass, found at the range frequently needs a bit of help.

The method is to push the brass completely through the final sizing/crimp die before anything else. The problem is that some of those cases DO NOT want to go through that die, so I give them some help. First decap and preliminary size. Then drop the case into a final sizing die, mounted in a centrifugal press:
The die slides to the left for loading. The rubber band pulls it into position, and the pusher above, pushes it through. The pusher is connected to a crankshaft which is engaged to a flywheel when the trigger is pressed.
It's quiet, running on a 1/10 hp motor, and the now properly sized brass is ejected out the bottom into the paper box. This press is rated at 1 ton so it's not working very hard here. The flywheel is turning at about 150 rpm when it's running.



Maker Faire

Went to the Maker Faire
The builders and bots were there
We filled the room and made things go boom
you really shoulda been there.

The above essay should remove any doubts anyone has as to my abilities as a poet. Still, it was a fun event. One group had a B-25 front fuselage, made by their students complete with a honkin big sound system that simulated the sound of the engines and the firing of the machine guns. The rest of us could have done with less of the sound effects.
 The turret on top swiveled. I explained that if I were in charge, this would be the coachwork on a nice pickup frame so I could drive it around town from the cockpit.
An outfit with steampunk lighting fixtures was there. St Vrain Metal Works makes fixtures from plumbing pipe and polished brass, most come with a dimmer disguised as a water valve. This one featured an artificial horizon and propeller.
The bulbs are from another outfit that makes them especially for the Steampunk market.
Lots of 3-D printers making various stuff:
Transportation issues were displayed with this Chinese electric 3-wheeler

I have no idea what the badge says.
Jeffco Open School, where I sometimes help had several of their robots including Chad Pi
looking very jaunty in my sunglasses. He runs on a Rasberry Pi processor, and has several motions including jaw and eyeball movement, nodding head, motion, and a set of snappy lines he delivers at random. Next year he should be able to repeat back text which would be cut-and-paste entered. I figure all he needs then would be a dignified wig with a bit of gray on the temples and the local news reader will be out of a job. Change to an Afro or a long blonde wig during commercial breaks and the entire news, weather, and sports staff is out of work. The stations will save a fortune.

There were autonomous vehicle races outdoors which I managed to miss while I was manning the table inside.

These things are fun, even more so if you bring the kids. I brought the golf caddy trike (scroll down, it's on here somewhere.) and let the kids take it for a spin. It's entertaining to watch a kid get on the thing, get focused on the throttle knob, and drive into a wall after forgetting what I told them about how to stop. First turn the throttle OFF!, then use the front brake lever. The rear brake lever DOES NOT WORK! In one ear and out the other.





Thursday, October 12, 2017

Things I Learned Today

1. To remove and replace the plastic front bumper cover on an '02 Camaro requires the removal and replacement of 37 fasteners. Nearly all of them are accessed while lying on your back.

2. Air passing through the grille on this car serves no useful purpose. Cooling air and intake air is drawn from under the nose.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Gun Law - Slip Of The Tongue

Sen Chris Murphy, in an interview with CNN, seems to have let a bit more of the cat out of the bag than he probably intended. He came right out and said that universal background checks were the next big thing for the Democrat party, then ran this line through:
What we know is that states that have tougher gun laws, that keep criminals from getting guns that keep those dangerous weapons like ar-15s out of the hands of civilians have dramatically lower rates of gun violence.
So it's not out of the hands of Democrats Muslims people who shouldn't have them, it's out of the hands of civilians entirely.  Someone should ask him if he had in mind all semi-auto center fire weapons.

The Camels Nose

Our old buddy Diane Feinstein has introduced S 1916, the Automatic gunfire prevention act. It currently shows 38 cosponsors, is as poorly written as you'd expect and includes this gem:
(v)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), on and after the date that is 180 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, it shall be unlawful for any person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a trigger crank, a bump-fire device, or any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment, or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semi- automatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun.
This covers everything from your finger to your shoelaces and belt loops. In theory at least you could be arrested and charged for wearing lace-up shoes. I don't expect this to get much traction, but with the NRA suggesting its willingness to sell us out in exchange for a promise to consider other legislation next Tuesday*, I would suggest you let your representatives know that this steaming pile of legislative legerdemain is NOT ACCEPTABLE.

To that end, the AzCDL has a site that will send a letter, partly written by them but with a big section you can personalize, to both of your Senators and your representative, regardless of where you live. I just used it, took out a big chunk of the personalized section and added a line about why no one really needs a Prius as they have a lifetime carbon footprint larger than a Hummer, and support slave labor in the Chinese Lithium mines. Feel free to edit that section to your own taste.

And don't forget to ask that the ATF be abolished.

*Reference to a request for funds to buy a hamburger.

Seasonal Entertainment - Punkin Chunkin

Season change here is when Mother Nature grabs the switch from Summer to Winter and bangs it up and down several times just to keep everyone on their toes. Last night the first snow hit, projected to be 2-5 inches of heavy wet stuff that melts on contact with the streets and sticks to all the foliage. Since none of the trees here have lost any leaves yet, I'd say that the next week or two will be a busy one for the tree people or anyone with a chainsaw. The power just came back on, so here's a post.

Last weekend was the official Punkin Chunkin contest as the Delaware site remains tied up in a lawsuit. I've been helping the Jefferson County Open School with their entry, the Dead Ent Resurrection as they hoped to better last years toss of 430 feet and second place in their class.
Here they are, putting some between shot repair work in. Seems the improvements put a bit more strain on the arm and some of the structure. Their practice of taking the machine apart and stacking it outdoors uncovered probably didn't help either, but they made 493 feet this year and reportedly took first place in their division, so yay us!

Other friends of mine included the local SCA chapter with a historically correct machine


 Complete with decorative young ladies and armored knights
Also there was a centrifugal machine, Inertia II, which had some issues with its release timing

In this pic the tapered arm is spinning at a pretty good clip. the whistle of the air is impressive. Motive power is from a 454 cu in Chevy engine. In the foreground is Sonic Pumpkin, a compressed air gun.
Big 10 Inch is a perennial contender. The air guns were able to consistently get out beyond 4000 feet although I did not hear of any reaching the elusive goal of 5280 ft this year. The Kamikazi is the redecorated effort of Mike B who added 22 ft of barrel to get into the 4000+ club this year.
Looks like the condensate might be building up in his tank. Building these things is always a problem as most of us live in the 'burbs and no matter how friendly the neighborhood, there's always some curmudgeon complaining about artistic endeavors like these, especially if it's being done out where it can be seen.
In the foreground is a linear catapult of the sort the Navy favors for launching planes. The big one behind it features a huge collection of garage door springs and is called "Not In My Driveway" which was named by the builders wife.

The red and white machine is called Pluto and features 2 articulated arms plus a sling. This one has broken into the 2000 ft club and was built just down the road from me. I think there's more cement in its counterweight than in my driveway.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Art Of The Deal - Bump Stocks

Swapping bump stocks for reciprocity or anything else may not be as easy as all that. If the stocks suddenly become illegal or heavily regulated, what do we do about the zillion or so already out there? A six month amnesty is about all I can think of and I'm also guessing that the compliance rate won't be any too high.

If fitting a bump stock makes an otherwise legal gun an illegal machine gun, again, what do we do about the ones already out there. Does turning in a bump stock provide proof of ownership of an illegal machine gun? If so does the 5th amendment excuse anyone from turning one in?

The bump stock was originally approved as an aid to the handicapped to assist them in shooting.* Banning the stocks would then be a violation of the Americans With Disabilities act. Now what?

*Whoever suggested this deserves the Brass Balls Award for extreme chutzpah. Whoever bought off on that argument needs professional looking after. I understand it went down in the O'Bummer administration.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Live By The Pen And The Phone...

...Die by the pen and the phone .

The Clean Power Plan would have had us dependent on windmills, solar panels, dried cow chips, and unicorn farts to power the entire U.S. economy. In return for this, the overall average global temperature would rise .02 deg C less than it would if we lived like Americans.

Gun Law - The Art Of The Deal

You offer to trade something you have no particular use for for something you actually want. Case in point is the NRA weighing in on the post-Vegas panic and offering to not object if the ATF puts a ban on bump stocks if the congress will get off its collective dead ass and give us CCW reciprocity.

A nice trade if we can get it.

The problem here is that the ATF can polish their apple with nothing but a rule-making memo, but the congress can't agree on the color of the sky given only 6 months to debate it.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

New Word For The Dictionary - Twitzkrieg

Ex: “the months-long twitzkrieg between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump.”

Found in a Post by Eugene Volokh

What They Think Of You

"They" being the general public, and "you" being you, a representative of the general public.

Here's a graphic from a Cato institute survey of peoples attitudes on the topic of financial regulation.
The message here is that the left has no faith in their fellow man, but an overwhelming urge to help him out. To my observation, the lack of faith is abundantly justified, I just find my sympathy quotient dropping rapidly in proportion to the degree to which my fellow mans problems are self-inflicted.

The article is well worth reading and I note that a lot of mistaken ideas are laid at the feet of inadequate economic education. With a minimal exposure to the basics of economics, a lot of the "crises" would be eliminated before they even had a chance to get started. OTOH, the education system, being primarily controlled by Marxists, would be in a position to fail us horribly by teaching  that when properly run, socialism works.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Good Government

Yeah, I know it's kind of an oxymoron. Sometimes though you have to envy the tinpot dictator who, upon identifying a problem, can call in his head of internal security and hand him a short list of names, maybe only one or two, and send him off knowing that the problem children on the list will not be bothering him tomorrow. Next item will be sending out notifications to a couple of trustworthy and competent underlings of their promotions, effective tomorrow.

The IRS, for example, seems to be in need of some shaking up. I mean, would you select Equifax to manage taxpayer IDs? Just be careful next year when you're doing your taxes. The real addresses to which you send the checks have not changed. Do not send anything to an IRS collection center in Nigeria, Indonesia, or North Korea.

Pundit Proposes Jim Crow Gun Control

Steven Miller, writing (where else) at the Wa Po is calling for more gun control in the form of an approval process last seen in the late 1800's in the deep south. He even imagines strong support for this among Republicans:
Since 1972, a majority of Republicans have supported a law that would require a police permit for a gun purchase.
The original version of this required police permission to acquire a pistol with qualifications including "good reason" and "good character." These laws lingered on the books into the 1960s and were widely understood to mean that people of color would NOT get any kind of permit at all, as they were commonly thought to be lacking in the character department, and their idea of good cause would result in creating a hostile work environment for the boys in the white sheets.

 My favorite charts are the ones showing "Simulated probability of support" against political orientation. It is widely known that a good Power Point presentation with lots of charts and graphs is the definition of irrefutable evidence so I guess that's settled, at least in the WaPo building.

As an afterthought, I'm hearing that the Vegas shooter also owned 2 airplanes. Think what he could have done by putting a couple of small bombs in the back seats of a Cessna 172 and crashing it into the crowd.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Las Vegas - Can't Catch A Break

Looks like the left can't catch a break even when things look like they're finally going their way. Big mass shooting? Check. Shooter a white guy (finally)? Check. Shooter used a fully automatic weapon? Check.

Now things start to fall apart. ISIS is claiming he's a Muslim, but no confirmation yet. If he is, the story begins to fall apart since you can't criticize a Muslim for practicing his religion. Ban automatic weapons? Mostly already done what with Federally required paperwork and extensive background checks required. He either got the gun legally, which means the system flatly doesn't work, or he got it illegally, which means the same thing.

The concert venue was a gun-free zone, but with the shooter several hundred yards away, that would be of no import.

Hillary is screaming that a silencer would have covered the gunshots completely but the video I saw featured the crack of supersonic bullets echoing off the surrounding buildings which would have been clearly audible anyway.

Nothing known about the shooter yet, but historically the way to bet is that he's some sort of lefty.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

QOTD - Puerto Rico

From Raconteur Report w/ H/T to Peter Grant:

Calling it an island of lazy dumbasses run by a Democrat kleptocracy isn't racial profiling, it's predictive modeling based on decades of experience.

The main thing Puerto Rico brings to the table is the ability to make the District of Columbia, or Venezuela, look like well-run entities by contrast.
Click the links and read the articles.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Future Of Transportation - Smart

Ashes to ashes, and recycled pop bottles to body panels:
Several lawyers are attempting to represent the squirrel.

Mad Science

The "Buzzed Brainstorming" program at the Denver Startup week was fun and generally well received, featuring Dr. Jim Gunderson, founder of Gamma 2 robotics, John Morse, owner of DuBach Tool, Gerald Bohmer, retired, and myself. Being on stage playing a Mad Scientist with someone who holds a doctorate in a scientific field is a great way to make you feel like the kid in grade school whose lunch consisted of paint chip sandwiches, but oh well.

Suggested solutions to various problems included using the cooling pads in an evaporative cooler as root matrix for either tomato plants or coffee trees, a modification of Elon Musk's Hyperlink as a transport system from every house in town to the town landfill, and a proposal for a completely self-contained office cube that recycled everything and produced unlimited coffee for the occupant.

As advertised: Half-baked answers to half-baked questions. My only complaint was that we were scheduled as the very last presentation of the week and most of the attendees had already begun heading out. The official farewell social event is on Thursday night so anything on Friday tends to be rather an afterthought.

Oh well, as we say: "Bwahaha! Fools! I'll destroy you all!"

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Denver Startup Week

The convention this week for entrepreneurial types is quite the shindig:
DENVER STARTUP WEEK BREAKS ATTENDANCE RECORD!
More than 17,500 people have registered to attend Denver Startup Week this year continuing to solidify our standing as the largest - and best - free entrepreneurial event of its kind in North America!
I've been to a couple of the presentations so far and found them quite informative. Go here for the event schedule and select the day you want. Better yet, scroll down through the remaining days and see if there isn't something that interests you.

Headquarters is at the Champa Commons building, and the events are held in meeting rooms, cafes, and corporate cafeterias all over downtown. Large parts of downtown are under construction, and parking is pricey so the best approach is to use the public transport to get as close as you can to your event and walk from there. I'm observing large numbers of scooters chained to the bicycle racks and after hoofing it 6 or 8 blocks, this looks like the way to go. The drizzle we've been having is not normal, and even then, it's only light drizzle. Bringing a bicycle would also work although I recommend a super sized lock that encompasses BOTH wheels and the frame. Bring your seat with you when you go in if it's any better than average. The beggars there have very light fingers.

Also on Friday:

Buzzed Brainstorming with Tipsy Technologists from The Denver Mad Scientists
Popular
Friday 9/29
4:00pm — 5:30pm
174 attending
Propose your hair brained idea and witness the making of an original design sketch by a real, live, Mad Scientist. The Denver Mad Scientists are an underground club of Makers who have appeared on Mythbusters in addition to Maker Faires, Makezine, and Mile High Con while also involved in general shenanigans throughout the Denver area. Join us to see if you can 'Stump the Chump' with your idea, however whimsical or practical, and walk away with a head full of ideas and possibly a new way of thinking.
This is my event, with 2 or 3 other "Mad Scientists" we will be offering possibly humorous solutions to your problems. Be there or be square.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Gun Laws

The Hearing Protection Act has been included in the SHARE act and has been voted out of committee. Dems are attempting to block by demanding further committee hearings although this is rated as unlikely to happen.

HR 38, the CCW recip act has 212 co-sponsors which speaker Ryan doesn't think is enough so he's not bringing it to the floor for a vote. I didn't realize that Ryan was an anti-gunner.

Text of the bill is here.

Couple of notes on HR38:
You may carry your carry gun wherever you go as all states right now have statutes allowing for concealed carry. Some just don't issue the permits (may issue).

“(2) The term ‘handgun’ includes any magazine for use in a handgun and any ammunition loaded into the handgun or its magazine.

So this gets around New Yawks SAFE act and NJ's hollow point ban. Good. Don't expect many votes from the Dems from there.

UPDATE: Revised to reflect more careful reading of the bill text. Thanks to Richard for pointing this out.

Minor Project

Found this powered golf caddy on Craigslist at a very reasonable price and thought it might make the basis for a fighting robot. I also thought it might make several other things, say an electric tricycle.
Came with battery and charger. The handle and front wheel extension are easily removable. Adding a small bicycle to this isn't very hard and can be done on either end of the bike. Putting the caddy on the bike as a replacement for the rear wheel makes a conventional trike, the disadvantage is that it's a rigid frame and a bit top-heavy. One could also use the caddy as the front wheels if a steering head is mounted under the bottom bracket which would allow the bike frame to lean when steering the machine. The disadvantage here is the relative complexity of the thing. I went with the easy route

Added support plates and an axle to hang the small bike on and voila!
 The bar on the bottom is to keep the assembly from folding itself up.
 Big wide "racing " slicks.
Speed control moved to the handlebars and off we go. Only problem so far is the rather modest (abt 6 mph) top speed since the caddy was intended for use by a walking golfer. The gearbox is a proper marvel with 2 stages of quiet running helical-cut gears.
Changing the speed would entail finding 4 new gears (expensive) or replacing the gears with sprockets and chains, which seems a lot easier and less expensive. Additionally there's the possibility of replacing the heavy 12V lead-acid battery with some 18V lithium units from a cordless drill or something. This cart is an old one and the company has upgraded to Li batteries. The new battery pack is expen$ive.

At this point I haven't much into it and could probably sell it as a kid's toy. Alternatively I could just sell the bike and continue with the original plan for a fighting robot. We'll see.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Gun Laws

From the Colorado RKBA newsletter I get:
Meanwhile: ...In New Jersey, we have worked to pass some of the toughest gun-control legislation in the country, and we cannot afford to have those efforts rolled back by an overreaching federal law that would put the safety of our citizens and law enforcement officers in jeopardy. In a nation where many of our elected officials are in the pocket of the National Rifle Association, buying a gun has become as easy as walking down the street and buying a gallon of milk. Because many of our lawmakers refuse to stand up to the NRA, we have experienced a slow and dangerous creep of access to tools that are being used to compromise our community and law enforcement. This federal [“reciprocity”] bill would be another vehicle that would allow special interests to sell more guns in a nation where 300 million firearms are already in circulation. This makes me [Louis Cappelli Jr.] sick... (It's unclear whether Cappelli is in Bloomberg's pocket or is an unpaid disciple but his figures certainly reek of Bloomberg sourcing. In the Garbage State, a freeholder – Cappelli's title – is a county legislator.)

This is unconscionable. Just the other day I drove 1/2 mile to a store and bought  1/2 quart of milk, checked it in the self-serve lane where even a 6-pack of weak beer will bring a clerk to check my ID and paid for it with no questions asked at all. No photo ID and no background check at all. I demand that my state legislators immediately write a strongly worded letter to both my municipal  and county police demanding that the store manager and the clerk on the self-serve line be arrested. If we don't act now to close the milk store loophole, the next thing you know people will be buying full gallons or even the deadly frozen varieties including the notoriously armor-piercing Rocky Road and giving it to children. Right now you can drive to Kansas or Nebraska where there are no shopping cart limits, buy all the milk you want, and legally transport it back into Colorado. You can even get the notoriously smooth and quiet Buttermilk without having to pay the $200 federal tax or submitting your fingerprints to the ATF.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hurricane Season

Hurricane Jose seems to be circling aimlessly out in the Atlantic.

Someone must have told him we were checking papers now.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Can The National Guard Take Your Guns?

Maybe. In the US Virgin Islands that's what the governor has authorized the guard to do in order to make sure the guard has an adequate supply of guns and ammo to keep order through the upcoming hurricane.

I'm having a hard time seeing this as any sort of necessity at all. The guard is equipped with the usual armament in 9mm, .223, and 12ga and shouldn't lack for any of this. The guard is also limited to some fixed and modest number of people, all of whom live in the soon-to-be-affected areas.

Somehow I'm seeing this as creating a safe working environment for the looters.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Greasy Easter Egg Hunt

What D'wife calls a trip to the junkyard looking for parts. In today's case it was a front axle for a 2000 jeep belonging to a friend and a couple of small marker lights for me. Took us 1-1/2 hours from walking in to pushing the wheelbarrow out in 90 degree weather. Definitely greasy too.

He'll need to replace a couple of parts before installing it into his Jeep, but at this point that's a bench job. I removed the old "black out" markers from my car, which certainly lived up to the description, and slipped the "new" ones in. It seems the new ones don't light up either so more troubleshooting is in the works.

This morning the sun was a dim red ball rising in the East. This afternoon it was a dim orange ball shining through the smoke from the fires in Wyoming. This evening my neighborhood looks like the fires must be in the next block or something.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Having It Both Ways

A microwave that can warm your pizza AND chill your beer. There's hope for the 21st century after all.

New Frontiers In Marketing Fake News

I was subscribed to an offshoot of the Washington Post, referred to in some circles as the National Laughingstock. This also gets me a news (?) letter called the Post Most, presumably hot topics from the paper. If I want to persue one of the articles, a click transfers me to their sign in page which offers me 2 social media subscription models and a login button in case I'm already registered, which I am.

Click the login button and I'm transferred to yet another page trying to sell me something I don't want, and still not a sign of the article I wanted to read or a path to it.

Today I gave up. If they don't actually want me to read their rag, then fine, I unsubscribed it. Seems counter productive to getting their messages out though.

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Past Of Transportation - Zebra 3

'76 Gran Torino, parked in front of my friendly local mechanics place. Complete with the dash light.



Thursday, August 31, 2017

Kims Rocket Launches - What's Missing

Launch after launch with all Kims rockets landing solidly in the water and the latest doing so after managing to miss Japan, a large target and not far away.

What I'm noticing is that there never seems to be a target, even a derelict ship or a wayward barge to act as a bulls eye for all these rocket launches. Of course it might be caution on the part of Kims rocket scientists. Bad enough when the rocket explodes prematurely without the additional embarrassment of the inert warhead landing a couple hundred miles off target. Best to tell the boss that the impact was perfect. We were aiming for the exact spot in the middle of the ocean that it came down on.

Kim has more launches scheduled, with the Pacific Ocean the designated target. Watch the news to see if there is so much as a rowboat within 200 miles of the impact points.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Transportation Bargains

In addition to flood damaged cars soon to hit the market from Houston, you might also be able to score a deal on a slightly used airplane:
Low mileage, well maintained, always hangered...

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Aluminum Cased Ammo

I have nothing in particular against the stuff, indeed my carbine shoots its smallest groups using Blazer aluminum cased 180 grain ammo. The issue here is that when using this stuff in a carbine, the pressures are higher. As an example I recorded 1400 fps from the above mentioned Blazer, a boost of 250-300 fps over what I'd see from my pistol.

The extra  velocity means extra strain on the cases and for 2 of the 15 I shot last weekend, it was a bit too much.

When this happened I noticed a bright flash from the ejector port and picked up a black powder stain on my index finger. I was pulling the trigger with my middle finger as I'm missing a bit of my trigger finger. Interesting pattern, no?

I was recording all my muzzle velocities but didn't think to note which shots were the ones on the blown out cases. Checking the numbers however I see that all the velocities were very consistent around 1403 fps except for two at 1382 and 1375. So not much loss but noticeable if you're looking.

Tomatillos

"Little tomatoes" as they are called go well in salsa and the like. While walking the dog I happened on a small patch of them next to the park lake.

Click to enlarge and note the seed pods, about an inch in diameter
Inside is a single pea-sized fruit.
Sorry for the fuzzy pic. Should have used a tripod. Diced up, these things are an essential ingredient in salsas. In a sloppily assembled burrito out on a fishing trip, dribble the filling out onto the ground and they sprout enthusiastically and seem to require little more than sunlight to thrive.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Privatizing Tyranny

I was reading a QOTD on Samizdata when I was struck by the realization that the much feared tyanny of Big Brother is happening, not so much from our elected officials, but through acquiescence on the part of the public to allowing private enterprise to do the dirty work for them.

You can't attack the LGBTEIEIO community yourself, but there's a large death cult which is actively being supported by the community that actively supports putting them to death in very photogenic manners.

It would be a violation of the first amendment to silence the speech of anyone simply because you disagree with them, and congress is forbidden from making laws to that effect, but if a private company, say Times Corp or Google decides that some ideas do not rate coverage, than it will be as if they never existed.

If you think that some groups either need support or just bear watching and you want to donate money to them you can of course, just not through Pay Pal which has a position opposing the second amendment and supporting violent jihad.
UPDATE: This move attracted so much bad publicity that Pay Pal has lifted their ban. For now anyway.

I guess the new MO is not to pass laws but to allow private industry to effectively ban or promote certain favored behaviors.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Entrepreneurialism - How It's Done

Here's a clip from Jay Leno's Garage on the Vanderhall Venice vehicle which is being produced in a small factory in Provo Utah by some 32 people at a rate of 500/year.

Compare and contrast this to the Elio, which while not as fast or sporty, seems a lot more practical. Sorry, I can't find any of their videos. Total production for Elio in the last 5 years has been limited to 5 or 6 prototypes and a bunch of press releases. They have a stake in a factory building in Louisiana big enough to support a space program in which nothing is being produced.
Vanderhall says they plan to expand next year to produce 1000 vehicles/year.

If you're going to be an entrepreneur, item 1 on your list is to get your product out in front of the public, even in small quantities.

Gun Fun - Hi Point 4095

The latest iteration of my ongoing quest to tighten up the manufacturing slop in an otherwise nice gun.
I take full credit for that flyer at 6 O'clock. The other 3 shots were done without any funky outside help and according to my scoring overlay represent a group of just barely over 1 MOA. I had known the gun to be capable of less than 2 MOA as I shot several groups with it by mounting a pistol scope to the barrel alone. The issue has always been the attachment of the bolt shroud to the action via 2 floating pins.
I removed the pins and pressed 2 threaded inserts into the action, removed the swinging pin catches and pressed steel inserts into the plastic stock. The screws over the brass washers hold the bolt shroud solidly against the action with no clearance or funky floating doohickeys to introduce error.

Shot at 25 yd as that was all I had available on short notice. I'll get out to the longer ranges pretty soon. Also I find the gun isn't impressed with my low recoil 165 gr handloads and definately likes the much hotter Blazer 180 gr stuff.


The Lefts Battle Plan?

Peter at Bijou Renaissance Man has a good post up analyzing the tactics the left is using in Charlottesville and other places.

Paul (in comments) is taking it to the next level which is a government sponsored conspiracy. Unfortunately this is a very short step. The left is probably ecstatic over finally finding an issue that will bring the right out onto the streets where they can be goaded into violence in their own defense. Similar to the Muslims, they carefully escalate the violence against the citizenry until someone hits back, then the wailing about oppression begins and the press repeat it unquestioningly. This technique is serving the Arabs in Israel well to the point that their productions are commonly referred to as Paliwood Studios starring such regulars as Flat Fatima and the perpetually dead child.

Best approach by the right would probably be to follow Gandhi's nonviolent approach and let the brownshirts severely injure or even kill a few of them, and wait for the next election. The police do what the chief tells them to do and the chief does what the Mayor tells him to do. Everyone knows this.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Japanese Beetles - 2

Took the buoy mentioned below out to the local pond and tossed it in. The anchor line is about 6 feet and to judge by the movement of the buoy the lake is only 3-4 feet deep 20 feet out.
The wind was pretty strong, about 7-10 mph blowing straight in at me so the trap was immediately surrounded by a cloud of bugs. Unfortunately all the usual wildlife was hanging out of the far shore so the beetles slowly blew to the near shore. After an hour or so a lone duck came by to see if I'd feed it. I tossed it a couple of beetles and it quickly found the washed up ones. An hour later the duck and all the bugs were gone. Looks promising so far.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Revising History

There's a joke that describes a Russian citizen being asked by a reporter if he was worried or confused by the future. He answers "No, the future is fixed and secure. It's the past that keeps changing." Here's the definitive example
Today we do this sort of thing in the U.S. by removing any mention of things the left wants forgotten. These links from Drudge today:

Kentucky Mayor: Confederate Monuments Will Be Moved...
Protesters Aim at Tennessee Capitol Bust...
Gainesville takes down...
Vandalized in Atlanta...
Baltimore statues to be destroyed...
Monument toppled at old NC courthouse...
WIRE: Charlottesville Just The Beginning...


The new improved history will show that the Republicans supported slavery and the Democrats abolished it in 1964 when LBJ signed the emancipation Proclamation and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

Those who do not study history will be doomed to repeat it. Those who do will be sent to the camps.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

QOTD - NYT

In a motion to dismiss Sara Palin's suit for libel, the New York Times argues:
For example, the Complaint alleges that the allegedly false statement of fact that are the subject of the Complaint were contradicted by information already set forth in prior news stories published by the Times. However, these prior stories arguably would only evidence actual malice if the person(s) who wrote the editorial were aware of them.
Which claims that it's unreasonable to expect that the editors at the Times actually read their own paper. Not entirely implausible as the first rule in propaganda is to never begin believing your own propaganda.

This might fly a bit higher if the claim were worded differently. For example: We claim that since everyone knows that the Times is a premier source of fake news, the Complainant should have recognized that the statements concerning her were deliberately false and thus were not to be taken seriously.

See? Now that I could almost believe. It would also help if the paper being sued was the Onion instead of the New York Times.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A Well Laid Ambush At Google?

There is more background on the Damore kerfuffle at Google. Seems he may have already filed a complaint with the NLRB over the toxic situation there.
By firing James Damore, who apparently had filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, Google may have created significant legal jeopardy for itself.
If he had already filed the complaint when he posted his missive, then it sounds like he's a very canny fellow who set up an ambush, then baited the company into charging in to it. It sounds like he had a pretty good case to start with but now it's just a matter of the size of the settlement, the trial being simply a formality.


There should be some kind of award, say the Mastodon, for getting your adversary to voluntarily jump into a deep pit filled with sharp sticks.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Law Prof Demands Role Play Regulation

A busybody law prof at George Washington U is demanding that the Federal government step in and begin regulating the use of silicone sex dolls.
Saying there’s evidence rape sexbots may significantly increase the chance of rape to real women, the law should “no longer stand by and blindly ignore a major potential problem by doing nothing,” he said in an email to The College Fix.
Sexbots, especially those which can be programmed to act as if they are being raped, and those which act and appear to be young children, are already here and in use, Banzhaf said.
“The obvious first step would be to have hearings and do studies to determine just how serious the threat is, whether there are any real benefits to having sexbots programmed to simulate being raped, and then what if any new laws, regulations, etc. might be appropriate,” he said.
So in the first paragraph he says there's evidence, but in the third, he seemingly refutes this and demands hearings and studies, presumably to gin up the desired evidence, a clarion call for junk science if ever I heard one.

Be interesting to see which lawmakers step up to get positions on the committees investigating the use of sex bots.

Noting that geneticists have discovered some 3 or 4 genes that make dogs friendly, I suspect that a similar number of genes will be discovered that compel people to obsessively try to micromanage other peoples affairs. I nominate Prof Banzhaf as a carrier of these genes. The disorder can be named for any famous person determined to be so afflicted. Ralph Nader or Dianne Feinstein come to mind although the possibility of getting the affliction named Banzhafs Syndrome might be enough to persuade the professor to join the study.

More EPA Fraud

It seems the EPA has been promulgating rules based on less than wonderful data. I'm shocked! Shocked! to hear that a trusted government agency would use dubious data to help justify its existence. And mushroom-like growth.

Toxicologist Albert Donnay says he’s found evidence a 1989 study commissioned by EPA on the health effects of carbon monoxide, which, if true, could call into question 25 years of regulations and billions of dollars on catalytic converters for automobiles.
OTOH I've been pointing out for years that the requirement for catalytic converters was based on the American auto industry's inability to meet the EPAs standards when the Japanese did it  without the use of a converter. The Japs simply designed a cleaner engine, while GM ran to congress and demanded that everyone be required to put a converter on their cars and pay GM a nice royalty for the privilege.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Food - Breakfast

I like an omlette for breakfast now and again, usually made with meat of some sort, hash browns, and cheese. One of these will keep me going until 2 PM easily. It also leaves me kind of logy if I don't have a non-stop project going.

Here's the solution: In a frying pan toss 1 strip of thick cut bacon or equivalent weight of other meat.
Add 3-4 tablespoons of this instead of any potatoes:
Note that they don't call it veggie mix or anything like that. It's "Bold Fiesta Protein".  The ingredient list is on the bag, just below the word Protein. In the lower right corner it notes that it must be cooked before using, so do that beforehand and store it in a container. Click the pic to make it readable.
Cook until the meat's done, add an egg, pre scrambled with Cholula sauce, and top with cheese. Serves one old guy.

Keeps me going until 2 pm and I never feel logy. Supposedly this stuff is better for you than potatoes but that can be adjusted with your meat selection. Delicious!

No one paid me for this endorsement. It's just too good not to share.


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Japanese Beetles

These little pests are rapidly becoming a big deal around here, appearing in large numbers in some places and not at all in others. Along with this there is a thriving cottage industry in ways to get rid of them without resorting to nuclear weapons, which only help until the next generation of grubs emerges.

Larkspur greens puree'd into a "tea" kills the bugs. Can be made just like classic sun tea or in a blender but it is not recommended using the blender for foods after.

As a friend of mine commented, avoiding alkaloid poisoning is pretty high on my list. I think I'd try the pepper and garlic spray first. Or maybe the mint, pepper, and onion spray. Recipes for home made beetle toxins can be found here. I bet some of those home made toxins make the dead bugs mighty tasty. Feel free to try them and let me know.

Traps are popular but have the traditional drawback all traps for pests have in that they must first attract the pests. One fellow noted that placing a five gallon bucket under a bag trap resulted in about as many bugs in the bucket as in the bag, suggesting that the bugs aim, when falling into the bag, isn't very good. Anyway it still leaves the problem of what to do with large numbers of possibly not dead yet beetles. I flush mine down the toilet but be advised to do this when the bag trap in no more than 1/4 full. Dumping half a bag of beetles in the toilet looks like a Rhinoceros just had a bad case of diarrhea in your commode.

I'm trying to enlist the local parks and recreation dept in the battle by attaching the pheromone part of the beetle trap to a small buoy to be anchored out in the many small park ponds around here. The theory is that the large numbers of beetles the trap attracts will hit the trap and fall into the pond where the pond critters will find them tasty. Here's a model of such a buoy: It only requires a 1 L bottle with about 3/4 of a pound of ballast to hold it upright. Not shown is a hook on the bottom for the anchor string to keep the thing from blowing around.
 
Here's the finished prototype floating in a bucket. If you look closely you can see a couple of beetles already floating in the water.


Yes, it draws them in in great quantity. I'm estimating that this rig was getting about 1 bug/minute in my back yard.
 The arrangement on the right replaces the bag with a small do-it-yourself bucket containing about 1/2" of soapy water. A couple drops of dish soap as a wetting agent kills the varmints pretty quickly and it's easier to dump than the bag.