Sunday, January 28, 2018

Mass Transit - Another Way

Everyone likes mass transit and thinks it should be used more by other people so as to make their movement, by POV (privately owned vehicle) easier. It's been noted that 95% of transport is by POV because public transit is slow, dangerous, and over priced. Drew Willsey has an idea to address the overpriced part: pay the riders.

This would add to the cost of keeping and maintaining the RTD, but since fares contribute very little to the costs, making them a payment to the riders wouldn't change things much. That is until you actually change the dynamic of riding transit. I'm retired so I don't regularly go anywhere. Thus if I decide to go downtown for some reason, the $2.60 for a day pass seems reasonable, especially in light of the car-hostile nature of downtown with respect to parking.

If I had to go to work there, I might need more incentive. After all, the 1 hour ride each way 5 days a week, is a significant chunk out of my life that I could be using for something else. Pay me $1 every time I get aboard, and I've got a start toward entertaining the family on the weekend.

RTDs operating budget is what it is and tripling demand for services will necessarily triple the budget. They get their money from a dedicated tax plus 50% of auto license fees right now and I don't see the taxpayers voting a big tax increase to cover this. If they quit trying to build a railroad empire, costs would also drop significantly but I'm having a hard time seeing the upper management giving up the prestige of being rail barons either.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Sartorial Splendor

Or maybe I'm just a fan of H.P. Lovecraft:
Everything is available on Amazon, conveniently enough.

Added link. The hoodie is from Gamiss. If you visit their site your browser will be plastered with their ads for the next 2 months. 

Commenting On Womens Appearance

May soon be illegal in France. May also soon be a non-issue in France when the new immigrants pass a mandatory burka law, but in the meantime, one imagines the following comment:
Pierre: "Oh look, Jaques, at the amazingly attractive building behind the woman in the red dress over there!"

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Fun With Headlines - Trump-Mueller

From Gateway Pundit today:

IT’S A TRAP=> POTUS Trump Says He Would “Love To” Interview With Mueller Under Oath


My thought: What makes him think Mueller would tell the truth even under oath?


Sometimes the gags just write themselves. D'wife got me a card:
So she posits this question and asks that I tap my cane 3 times if I agree.

Me: What?
Wife: Asks again, louder.
Me, trying to remember which button makes the hearing aid louder: What?
Wife, now about ready to hit me: Asks again, very loud. Yes, I did find the right button.
Me: No cane, bangs knuckles on table slowly, "Knock,   knock,..., " How many if I agree?"

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Shutdown Benefit

It seems the budget deal, for 3 whole weeks, includes a few easter eggs for us peasants that we didn't know about. The part that affects me is the repeal of the Obama Medical Device Tax. For those of you who don't know, there are 2 categories of things used to help the hearing impaired: Personal Sound Amplifiers, and Hearing Aids. Sounds like the same thing, no? The difference is about $1500-$2000. Each.

The PSAs on the low end simply amplify everything which doesn't really help much since hearing loss tends to favor certain frequency ranges and if you can't hear the upper frequencies very well, amplifying the other ones won't help much. The better ones have programability built in to make some ranges louder while affecting other ranges less. These run $500-$600 each. Real "Hearing Aids" are programmable across a wider range and are considered "medical devices" and are subject to the tax. They also can include features as connectivity to your phone and/or TV so as to specifically amplify those appliances.

Don't know if this will help me as I'm getting new aids next month, but one can hope.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Russian Methodology

More properly, Czarist methodology. Back in the day, one of the Czars had a royal garden to supply fresh produce to the palace, including cabbages. He reputedly appointed several of the cabbages to his cabinet. When policy didn't work out, he would publicly announce that several members of his cabinet had been beheaded for their incompetence. This worked as long as no one asked which ministers had been executed or demanded to see the heads on pikes at the palace gates.

The technique survives today although with a bothersome press on the loose, a scapegoat must be named and publicly shamed or fired. Since the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore, the mayor has had to walk a PC tightrope between reducing the police presence while at the same time, reducing an unacceptably high crime rate. Naming a "kinder, gentler" police commissioner seemed like a good start and the usual suspects acclaimed the reduced enthusiasm of the cops on the streets.

The reduced enthusiasm was probably more a reaction of the street cops to the well founded feeling that upper management no longer had their backs, thus arrests went down and crime went up. Last year set a record for murders in Baltimore. The mayor has risen to the occasion and fired the police commissioner, arguably for doing exactly as he was told.

This bodes poorly for his replacement who would take the job knowing that he needs to do what the boss wants or get fired. The boss wants both less crime and fewer arrests. Sucks to be commissioner in Baltimore.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Trump Is...

First off he's not Hitler. No one who was Hitler could have that many Jews in his family and recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capitol.

Second off, he's not Stalin, the lefts current fallback position. If he were, most of the Democrats would love him and besides he hasn't sent anyone to the gulags he hasn't built. No matter how richly they might deserve it. The walls he wants to build are specifically to keep people out, not in.

Now imagine a figure whose existence inspires fierce loyalty among his followers and terror among his enemies. A figure who causes insanity to afflict his enemies just by getting up in the morning. A figure who seemingly cannot be stopped but only delayed.


Trump is Cthulhu!

Flying Cars, Sort Of

Boeing has acquired a smaller company that has itself developed an "octorotor" craft capable of lifting 500 lbs. The reactions on the military oriented blogs run toward panic at the thought that the crazy in the basement next door could attach a 500 lb bomb to his new drone and drop it somewhere socially unacceptable.

Here at Billlls, we look at things a bit differently. Take that 8-rotor, add 4 spindly legs and a canvas bosuns chair, and you're off to work driving with the same controller you use for your drone toy. Probably get some extra distance too from you weighing less than half the machine's rated capacity.
Land in a designated EV parking space and charge up your batteries while you're charging up the company ladder, and buzz back home at 5 PM laughing at the traffic below. The best part is that no long runway is required, just roll out the garage and up you go.

Even better, do away with the wireless controller and put a small joystick on a hanging stalk, then forget about high tech jammers down below. Cup holder goes on the other stalk. Just stay away from the high tension lines and radio antennas (don't ignore the guy wires) and you're good to go. License this as an experimental aircraft to get around some of the bothersome FAA regs and hope it doesn't make so much noise as to bug your neighbors.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Russians and the NRA

From the Colorado RKBA newsletter:
A media frenzy has erupted in the wake of a Thursday morning report by McClatchy that the FBI is possibly looking into whether a “top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin” may have “illegally funneled” money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump’s White House campaign.


Spying - How It's Done

Inspired by someone's poster of Al Capone saying "Capone Foundation, Why didn't I think of that?", and in view of evidence seemingly confirming that one of the main functions of the infamous "Trump Dossier" was to bamboozle a judge into signing a warrant that would allow eavesdropping on the Trump campaign under the guise of a national security investigation, here's my contribution.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Taprooms vs Bars

One of the biggest suppliers of beer to local type bars, Molson-Coors, is complaining that local microbreweries with taprooms are cutting into their business in a noticeable way.

Bummer dudes. First let's see what exactly is being compared.
N.B. = Coors, Miller, Bud. Options = regular or light.
T.R. = The house brews. 6-12 variants ranging from light to black. May include fruit or other flavorings. YMMV but you knew that in advance.
Neighborhood bar = grill in back producing burgers and fries. Probably better than fast food but not greatly.
Taproom: These places seldom have a food production facility, but they cover the legal requirement to supply eats by contracting to a food truck to park outside. The truck is sometimes as much of the attraction as the beer inside and every one is unique, some much better than others.
N.B. = Loud background music, usually R&R, and wall-to-wall TV's tuned to various sports channels. Noise level demands yelling to make yourself heard across the table.
TR = Softer background music and probably only one TV, frequently tuned to a news channel. Fox if you're lucky, CNN if you're not. If you're really lucky, there won't be a TV. Conversation is easily possible.

So why did you go to whichever place you went to in the first place? My idea of a drinking establishment is a dimly lit place with many small (2-4 seats) tables with classical music playing softly in the background and a couple of larger tables in the back room for party groups. Craft beers and single malt whisky. Food = appetizers.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Relocating The BLM

There has been much talk lately about moving the BLM out of Washington to a location closer to the lands they allegedly manage. While on the one hand, this is greeted with horror, as the social scene out in the sticks is comparatively non-existent, there might be some saving features to the idea.

First off let's consider just how far out in the sticks the BLM might get moved. For most in D.C., Denver might be about as far as anyone could reasonably be expected to tolerate. In spite of being in the middle of nowhere, it does have a decent airport so junkets to necessary meetings wouldn't be all that difficult. Keeping in mind that top management would, of course, have to stay near the government teat in D.C. and no one would reasonably expect them to travel to the middle of nowhere to meet with underlings.

The locals would probably not notice the move at first, at least not until the imposing 20 story building with the glass facade was opened on the Federal Center out in Lakewood at which point the traffic situation would become so bad as could be no longer ignored. 6th avenue, the main feeder to the center, could be made a toll road from I-25 to Golden which would keep the hoi-poloi out of the way of the nobility. Free toll passes to all government employees, of course.

Next up we'd consider locations further west and closer to the federal principalities. Boulder comes to mind where the political climate very closely matches that of D.C. Problem with that is that no one under the grade of GS-21 can afford to live there.

Next up would be Dillon or Glenwood Springs. Both small towns with a limited supply of Opera houses, but plenty of upscale shopping and dining as they cater to the upscale skiers, especially Glenwood, the low income bedroom community to Aspen. Keep in mind that low-income is a relative term here.

Left up to me, I think I'd put them in Cortez. This is convenient to 2 Indian reservations and several national forests, parks, and monuments, plus being near to the big city amenities of Durango and Shiprock N.M.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Odds Of Dying - Fun With Statistics

Click here for an article listing the 25 most common reasons for your demise. It is with some satisfaction that I note that riding a motorcycle is less dangerous than walking or driving so I think I'll keep the motorbike. The bicycle is listed as being safer than either one of those so I'll keep that too.

Of course more people die in car accidents than motorcycle accidents simply because more people are driving, but don't let that get in the way of your argument for a nice bike.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Deportations - QOTD

To paraphrase Joe Stalin:

The deportation of one person is a tragedy.
 The deportation of 1 million is a statistic.

Gun Tech - Eggleston Bullets

Eggleston Munitions in Colo Spgs sells polymer coated bullets in all the usual sizes and at very reasonable prices. I bought a couple of sample packs to try out in my pistol and in my carbine. The pistol batch was 165 gr conical flat point primarily for use in my Glock 22 at IDPA matches. As distances are short, pinpoint accuracy is not really an issue so I didn't test for that, rather just for MV, as I normally load light.

For comparison, I usually load a RNFP plated bullet from either Barrys or Rocky Mountain Reloaders. When loading for the pistol all I need is enough velocity to qualify in the SSP class which would be a power factor of 130. This means anything over about 825 fps. I usually get about 850-875 loading over 4.0g of Titegroup so no problem there.

I loaded up 30 rounds as usual, and took them to the range with the chronograph. Zowie! 972 in the pistol and 1073 in the carbine. About 100-125 fps faster in the pistol and about 75 fps faster than I usually get from the carbine.

They look like a collection of Barbie lipsticks, don't they. Also available in Orange, Pink and Black.
As I was loading the bullets, I noticed that the seating die needed a good deal of adjustment to get to 1.140 cartridge length. I got to looking at the bullets and comparing them to the plated ones and discovered that the Egglestons were about .022" longer than the RMRs and dropping one of each into the seating die I found that the Egglestons were seating .03" deeper than the plated bullets probably due to the different nose shape and the spherical shape of the die face. The deeper seating would explain the faster MV as this would give higher pressures.

By way of comparison, the 180g bullets I got were exactly the same length as the RNL bullets I had purchased earlier. Doesn't hurt to check, eh?

Since one never sees a target beyond 15 yards in IDPA, the pistol ammo works fine in the carbine. USPSA, however has carbine stages that run to 200 yards (note they do NOT specify the caliber) thus some extra boost is needed and accuracy is at a premium when using a PCC. I have tried multiple different hand loads, and multiple different commercial ammo for this and so far no one, including Eggleston, has been able to do better than Blazer aluminum cased 180g.  Go figure.

I like the Egglestons. They take less powder and cost less, work fine, and if you load for 2 different guns or multiple situations, you can get them in different colors to differentiate.

UPDATE: OK be that way. All the comments this post generated are over at Uncles place.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Gun Laws - Colorado

The legislature is in session, do you know where your watch and wallet are?

So here we go again with the House (Donk) and Senate (Rep) rolling out this years collection of new rules without which the population of Colorado will doubtless be decimated by something spread by unregulated stuff somehow. S-52 however, proposes to repeal the magazine restriction law the Dems whooped through back in '13 limiting all firearm mags sold after mid '13 to 15 rounds, which happened to be the capacity of the Golden police chief's duty gun. No shit, he had to excuse himself from the hearing room to go count them.

Click here to contact your Senator and Rep on this.

The original bill was widely seen as providing a safer work environment for a variety of miscreants who seemed to have the more powerful lobby in the capitol in spite of SRO opposition.

This year I cynically predict will be no different with the bill passing the Senate, and being referred in the house to the "kill committee" for a quiet disposal. What we found out was that Tom $tyer has enough money to credibly threaten any wavering Donk with a WELL financed primary opponent if they voted the wrong way.

Cali has moved to the next stage, that of confiscation and the operation is currently in court. Here's a bit of an amicus brief filed with the 9th Circus on this one:
The awareness that a defensive shooter is capable of firing enough rounds to defuse the threat affects every party to a potential attack. Reserve capacity is a credible deterrent to criminals--especially for a victim confronted by multiple assailants. For example, the five criminals chased off by the Detroit woman in the example above would have had less reason to fear her if she had only a 5-shot revolver. Additionally, a defensive shooter can confidently act knowing she will not suddenly exhaust her ammunition and become a defenseless victim--like the Texan woman in the example above.

Violent confrontations are inherently unpredictable. As [Florida State U. criminology professor Gary] Kleck explained, "victims of crimes generally cannot plan for or anticipate crimes to occur at a specific time and place ... Victims who wish to defend themselves with firearms usually have to make do with a single available gun and its ammunition capacity." If a victim sees one assailant, she cannot know if a second assailant may be hiding nearby. If she sees two, there may be three. When a defender has a greater reserve, she will fire more shots at the first attacker knowing that she will have sufficient ammunition to deal with a possible second or third attacker. Obviously, the more shots the defender fires, the greater the possibility that the attacker(s) will be injured and the lesser the chance that the defender will be injured.

Moreover, when a defender has only a limited number of shots, she must make a calculation before each shot to determine whether she can successfully make a threat-ending shot now or whether it is worth the risk to wait a few moments in hopes of a better opportunity. These critical moments the defender spends hesitating and analyzing the situation could be the difference between life and death. By constricting reserve capacity, California's ban increases the risk of injury for victims and reduces it for attackers. That is the opposite of the Second Amendment's intent and purpose.
The logic is there, but the appeal to a legislators, or judges, feelings isn't. If the legislator doesn't feel that he or she is about to lose his or her job, then other arguments are wasted.

Commentary Request - Bump Stocks

As most of us know, attempts by the ATF to come up with verbiage to somehow regulate (ban) bump dtocks are now in progress. So far, nothing they have come up with actually does this without banning a host of other stuff, mostly related to accuratizing your rifle. Banning "any modification that increases the rate of fire of a semiautomatic firearm" can be construed by say, President Harris, to cover cleaning your gun and oiling the moving parts.

Here's a bit from the Colorado RKBA newsletter I get:
A Reminder from GOA: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has requested comments from gun owners on pending regulations that could ban bump stocks. Gun Owners of America URGENTLY needs you to speak up by the January 25th deadline set by the ATF and help us incinerate this proposal before it even hits the House floor. The proposal to ban bump stocks is nothing but a political game orchestrated by Nancy Pelosi. Most gun owners don’t even own bump stocks, but Pelosi knows that the second Republicans give her an inch, she’ll take a yard and stab them in the back. This is a dangerous slippery slope that we absolutely cannot cross. This is exactly why Gun Owners of America has officially taken a no-compromise stance. Our Second Amendment is clear. We have a right to bear arms. Period. Our Founding Fathers were wise enough to know that if we start sacrificing our God-given freedoms for a false sense of security from a nanny-state government, we’ll be left with neither liberty nor security. Every gun owner needs to realize that if the ATF can unilaterally ban bump stocks, THEY CAN BAN ANYTHING THEY WANT. We need to fight back... ( GOA's links eventually lead to the previously shared link for The Federal Register, which only provides for comment by postal mail or fax. However, the second link offers suggested text for your comments.)
Clicking on the links at the bottom will eventually get you to the ATF's commentary site where you can suggest that they have been given a fools errand that ultimately will either ban nothing or else ban everything.

The obvious solution, to me anyway, is to repeal the GCA '68. Think about it. Having done this, the demand for bumpers dries up and they disappear from the market, after having driven the price of real machine guns down to a competitive level. See? Problem solved.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Guns and Pot - The Easy Fix

Pot is a schedule 1 drug, like it or not, which is illegal at the Federal level. It is not illegal to one degree or another at several state levels and herein lies the problem. To my observation, potheads are not typically aggressive. The big problem with them seems to be a proclivity for driving 20-30 mph under the posted speed limits and other comparable behavior.

To get around AG Sessions urge to enforce the laws as written, the painfully obvious solution is to change the law. This is easier that you think:

A Bill For A Law
In Congress (insert date here)
By (Insert congress critter here. Include several of his friends if possible)

(1) That Title 21, §1308.11, section d, line 23 is deleted in its entirety.

(2) This bill shall take effect upon enactment.

This still requires a bit of clerical touch-up, but that's the whole thing right there. 2 lines, problem solved. Write your congress critters and ask them if they know anyone with experience in carrying legislation who would like to be the bills primary sponsor. Several states, having already legalized pot for both medical and recreational use, this shouldn't be very hard. Encourage them to then co-sponsor.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Laws - Federal vs State

From a newsletter I get:
Medical Marijuana vs. the RKBA in Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State Police officials are stirring up protest among Pennsylvania gun-owners who are also potential medical marijuana patients. “It disturbs me greatly to see the Pennsylvania State Police put on their website references to federal law while ignoring the fact that it is legal under Pennsylvania law,” says Patrick Nightingale of Greenfield. Nightingale is a gun owner, a criminal defense attorney, and a recent applicant for a medical marijuana card. What disturbs him is a State Police statement on their website, citing federal law, telling medical marijuana card holders, “It is unlawful for you to keep possession of any firearms which you owned or had in your possession prior to obtaining a medical marijuana card, and you should consult an attorney about the best way to dispose of your firearms.” Not true, says Nightingale. “Firearms are woven into the fabric of our country. It’s the second most important right in the Bill of Rights,” the attorney says. Here’s the issue. Under Pennsylvania state law, medical marijuana is legal and is no bar to gun ownership. But under federal law, it’s illegal and could keep you from owning a firearm. So the question is – will Pennsylvania state authorities, including the State Police, enforce the federal law over the state law? ...
So if the state cops (who answer to the Governor) decide that Federal law trumps state law, then all you MMJ folks must immediately turn in your guns. In Colorado, the issue has been side stepped although Mr. Sessions and Senator Gardner are about to go round and round on this in the immediate future. In Cali, if the Governor doesn't like federal immigration law, he instructs the state police to not enforce it. Now what?

In general I've been informed that federal law is the law of the land and whatever it says, the states may not say otherwise. There is a thing called the Cole Memo which told the federal cops not to take MJ all that seriously. Compliance has varied from state to state. The MJ issue is coming to a head as AG Sessions is no friend to the pot industry and is taking a hard line on this. Pot is currently classified with Heroin, LSD, and meth.  
The classification is in the federal regulations and I'm not sure if that's the purview of the congress or one of the alphabet soup agencies.

The root of the problem is, as usual, money. The states have discovered that selling drugs is a very profitable line of work and that they can bring in more money by becoming part of the operation than they can by taxing most legal industries.

Denvers Green Roofs - Banking On Global Warming

Denver voters have passed a law mandating that all new structures of over 25,000 sq ft have provision up top to plant stuff and grow it. All older structures getting a roof replaced, must get the garden treatment as well, the alternative in both cases being to install solar panels.

A quick look shows that roofs in this area must be built to hold 25-30 pounds per square foot to account for snow loads in winter. Dirt is generally accounted to weigh about 100 pounds per cubic foot on the low end. I'm going to assume that it takes about 2 inches of dirt to support growing lawn grass based on digging up my own lawn. That mean a new roof on a commercial building would need to be built to support 41-46 PSF to handle the new loads. So getting a new roof now means getting structural upgrades to the underlying feature.

Oh and by the way, are the load bearing walls beneath the roof rated for the higher loads or will the property owner have to tear down the whole place to accommodate the green roof? Or is this just a back door to compel purchase of solar panels? Either way, the price of commercial real estate in Denver is going to go up substantially.

OTOH, this will make similar buildings in the outlying areas more attractive and help Denver deal with its traffic problems by funneling traffic to the 'burbs instead of down town. Imagine Denver as a ghost town surrounded by taller industrial and commercial buildings.

Trump Solves Global Warming - Research opportunity

Over at Bijou Renaissance Man, Peter has found a post from Gab that demonstrates Trumps solution to the global warming issue. Assuming of course that you still feel there's an actual issue here in need of your tax money.

Commenters are noting that the alleged cure seems to be a bit stronger than many would think to be appropriate, including one fellow observing conditions along the Rio Grande more appropriate to, say, Iowa this time of year.

Irish coffee has been a popular remedy for cold weather in the past, but now I suppose we'll be seeing "Messican Coffee" made with coffee and a shot of Tequila.

No, I have not tried it. I'm blaming this on an acute shortage of medicinal supplies(1)
If someone would like to be the guinea pig(2) for this one, be sure to write up your results, assuming you remember them.

(1) Jose Cuervo

(2) Heirchy of jobs:
      1) Astronaut
      2) Test Pilot
      3) Development driver
      4) Guinea Pig
      5) Lab Rat
   The big difference in the last 2 is that you don't miss the lab rat if things go seriously wrong.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2017 NICS Checks - Final

December finished out with 2,586,138 checks run which ranks 4th overall for the years I have on my chart. At this rate it will be toward the end of Trumps first term until we match the overall numbers racked up in the specter of a Clinton presidency.
Forgot to change the notation on the upper graph. The total is now final for the year.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

How Government Works - Cali Style

As of yesterday you can't buy ammo in Cali except through a licensed ammo dealer who gets to charge a fee* for providing you the privilege. As of today, there is no procedure for issuing the licenses so you effectively can't buy ammo until this little oversight gets fixed.  From the comments here:
“It’s getting worse quick. Prop 63, the back ground checks for ammo, goes into effect tomorrow. Virtually no gun or ammo store has received a license to sell ammo yet. Our Sheriff has been writing, e mailing, and calling CalDoj for the last week. He’s been posting the correspondence and conversations on the Sheriffs FB page. He’s caught them in several lies. But the final answer was these ammo stores will just need to close their doors until the licenses are ready. His final reply was that was totally unacceptable. It’ll be interesting to see if our county ammo stores are selling ammo tomorrow. Sound like our Sheriff is ready to go to war with the state.”
I'm expecting some "Irish Democracy" here with people bringing ammo in from delivery points out of state, which is also set to become a felony soon. Outside of "Real California" which I'm defining as that chunk of the state West of I-5, South of the San Joaquin River, and North of San Clemente, I'm not expecting to see much enforcement, if any.

I will also be looking forward to a rapid drop in gang-related shootings as the ammo supply dries up.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Animal Abuse

That would be when your animal (dog generally) abuses you by insisting on a nice 3 mile walk in 20 degree weather, stopping every hundred feet or so to sniff a new patch of grass in minute detail and deigning to pee on about every 3rd or 4th spot.

Greatly entertaining for the dog of course while undermining their status by making stay-at-home cats look better by comparison.