Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Merrie Dancers

What the Scots used to call the Northern Lights.  Yes, shimmering, dancing, green, pink and moving with astonishing speed.  I have no idea how anyone gets decent video; they are moving so quickly that a 20-second exposure would be awful.

Saturday, April 22, 2017


From the parking lot of our Airbnb in Fairbanks: an aurora.  Not very spectacular, but the green made it clearly not city lights reflecting off a cloud.  Brighter than I was expecting in town.   This isn't a predicted high activity night.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Taxpayer Funded Bird Condos in SF

What happens when birdbrains run a state.

Why I Ignore InfoWars

While mentioning a FEMA exercise for how to respond to a nuclear detonation over New York City (a unlikely, but not impossible event), InfoWars goes on:
The potential for a more explosive false flag to spin out of control, by hijacking and ‘converting’ the simulated actions, is all too real.

This is closely related to the mechanism that many researchers believe was at work on the day of 9/11, nesting a false flag attack inside of a series of large-scale training operations which invoked emergency powers and simulated attacks in locations that were actually hit.
Can someone tell me what that means?  It seems to say that 9/11 was a training exercise that was actually a false flag operation.  This is the sort of "9/11 didn't happen" stuff that the Left insisted on for some time.

One of the comments captures well the lunacy of their followers:
all nuclear tests are fake because the weapons dont and cant exist.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Alaska Tomorrow Evening

for Northern Lights.  My fish eye attachment arrived today.

Tapping Steel

I do not think that I have ever tapped steel before, but I am pleased to report that with oil on the tap, cold rolled isn't much worse than aluminum.  Even with the Tapmatic I wasn't terribly concerned about breaking a tap.  I really need a bottoming tap, which arrived today.

And the bottoming tap was spiral flute.  It did a lovely job tapping a 1/2"  hole (which is 10 revolutions).

What Is Short Fat Smoking?

North Korean state media threatened to launch a "super-mighty pre-emptive strike" that would reduce South Korea and the United states "to ashes." 
The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper for North Korea's ruling Worker's Party, wrote, "In the case of our super-mighty pre-emptive strike being launched, it will completely and immediately wipe out not only U.S. imperialists' invasion forces in South Korea and its surrounding areas but the U.S. mainland and reduce them to ashes," according to Reuters. The rogue nation also claimed the U.S. and its allies "should not mess with us."

The Gospel As "Fighting Words"

“Plaintiff exclaimed a divisive message directly to a group of ‘many’ individuals while standing on top of a stool, and, in doing so, actually caused a disturbance,” the motion contends, adding that the “Plaintiff used contentious religious language that, when directed to a crowd, has a tendency to incite hostility.”
In support of its reasoning, the school cites two previous cases in which street preachers were found to have engaged in fighting words by referring to people as “sinners.”
As Tom Knighton at PJMedia points out:
The Supreme Court has affirmed the right of even the Westboro Baptist Church to speak freely. Uzuegbunam's speech would have to be pretty repulsive to extend beyond what the troglodytes at Westboro do on a regular basis.
The difference is that Westboro makes Christianity look stupid.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Interesting Films on Netflix

"Die Suche Nach Hitlers Bombe": The Search for Hitler's Atom Bomb collects evidence from French and Russian intelligence files that suggests Hitler was either very close to having a nuclear weapon, or may have actually tested a small, Kim Jong Un sized one in Thuringia.  Interesting interviews with children of people who investigated it at the end of the war.

Hence the pressure to get our bomb ready in early 1945.

Bill O'Reilly Quits Fox News

The settlement of the sexual harassment suits apparently was too much for Fox.  I was not a big fan of his the last few years as he became increasingly self-important.  I wonder if his stupid and disgraceful actions might be a consequence of that.  Fortunately, O'Reilly never made much of a pretense of Christianity.  At most a cultural Catholic.

Such a Commitment to California

The leader of California separatist group Yes California announced in a 1,600-word statement on Monday that he "intends to make Russia" his "new home" and is therefore withdrawing his petition for a "Calexit" referendum.
Louis Marinelli, who has spearheaded the Calexit campaign since 2015, set up a makeshift embassy in Moscow in December in partnership with far-right Russian nationalists who enjoy Kremlin support while promoting secessionist movements in Europe. 
"I have found in Russia a new happiness, a life without the albatross of frustration and resentment towards ones’ homeland, and a future detached from the partisan divisions and animosity that has thus far engulfed my entire adult life," Marinelli wrote on Monday. "Consequently, if the people of Russia would be so kind as to welcome me here on a permanent basis, I intend to make Russia my new home."
Talk about Russian intervention into U.S. politics; this guy was a Sanders backer.

Sign You Are in Idaho

Bumper sticker: "Black Cattle Matter."

Labrador's Town Hall Meeting This Evening

It's at Meridian High School tonight at 6:30 PM.  Other town halls around the country have had rent-a-mob's showing up to disrupt these events, so it's important that our side show up to show opposition to Soros' goons and so outnumber the hecklers that they can't fill the room.  Remember this is a school, so don't come armed.  If the rent-a-mob were to go full Brown Shirt, it would be an enormous black eye for their side, so I think this is most unlikely.

I would come myself, but my wife volunteered me for algebra tutoring a neighbor kid this evening.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Duterte's War on Drug Dealers

Even before Philippines' President Duterte's pivot to China, I found his support for vigilante murders of drug dealers worrisome.  This 4/18/17 Daily Mail article is very disturbing.
The Philippine police have received cash payments for executing drug suspects, planted evidence at crime scenes and carried out most of the killings they have long blamed on vigilantes, said two senior officers who are critical of President Rodrigo Duterte's 'war on drugs.'
In the most detailed insider accounts yet of the drug war's secret mechanics, the two senior officials challenged the government's explanations of the killings in interviews with Reuters.
Almost 9,000 people, many small-time users and dealers, have been killed since Duterte took office on June 30. Police say about a third of the victims were shot by officers in self-defence during legitimate anti-drug operations. Human rights monitors believe many of the remaining two thirds were killed by paid assassins operating with police backing or by police disguised as vigilantes - a charge the police deny.

Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook


I am going to need one or two people to read through my new book, Lock, Stock, and Barrel:
How American Gun Culture & Manufacturing Created the Modern World,  looking for typos, and sentences that need to be taken behind the barn and shot.  My wife is going to be working it over on our vacation in Alaska, so probably early May, I will want to send a PDF.

Thanks, I now have enough.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Aluminum Bolts in Aluminum Threads

Looks like galling is taking place.  (Probably two different alloys.)  If there was some way to use through holes in the aluminum, the threading wouldn't be a problem,  Two bolts can indeed be done with through holes and nuts.  But I need to apply clamping force, and nutserts seem to require a tool for installation.  There must be some simple way to do this.  I considered making the threaded part from steel, but you can'get interior right angle steel channel.  At least no one shows such; only radiused internal corners.

There seems to be some agreement that to do steel into aluminum requires a hole depth 2x diameter (which one of told me).  So perhaps 1/16" bolt?  But it won't take the clamping force,  Or perhaps go to 1/2" wall that I am threading?  Not sure if I can find 2.5" 1/2" wall channel.

3x1x14 ga. steel rectangle tube would work if I could slice off one edge.  Don't see any practical way to do that with tools that I have or can afford for a prototype.

As usual, my wife solved the problem while snuggling with me: make my own arbitrary leg width channels.  2" wide steel plate on top, 3" wide plate on bottom probably thinner than the 1/8" aluminum I have been trying to use.  A 1/2" thick, 1" wide steel plate between the edges of the other two plates; through holes on edge of top and bottom plates; tapped holes in side plate.  Bolt it together.  Bottom plate is now wide enough for the caster to bokt directly on; tap holes in bottom plate for clamping bolts which can now be steel pressing against an aluminum compression plate against the wood to be clamped.  Less holes to drill; fewer matching holes required.  Downside: drilling through holes and tapping steel; a bit more weight, but stiff.

Scenic Idaho

Spent Easter afternoon with my daughter, son-in-law, wife, and grandkids.  The destination was Shoshone Falls, but we stopped at Malad Gorge on the way.

Part of what gives us these gorgeous gorges is the Columbia Plateau basalts producing these hard to erode flat tops:
Shoshone Falls:

 The powerhouse:

Some video:

Not Niagara Falls, but a couple thousand miles closer if you live in the Western U.S.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Criminal Gun Transactions

Federal and California gun control laws being broken by...cops.

Buying and reselling "off roster" guns, only available to police.  I suspect that while the article refers only to federal violations, rhere are violations of state law involved as well because private sales require transfer through an FFL.  A lieutenant is reported to have bought 100 "off roster" guns.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Temporary Neighbors

Shot with my Pentax K10D and a 500mm lens that cost me $50 on Craig's List.
 1/90th of a second, ISO 200.

1/90th second, ISO 100.


Detective story, action adventure film, period piece.  A splendid piece of filmmaking following a Roman officer (played by Ralph Fiennes) tasked with finding Jesus' missing body after the Resurrection.  Really enjoyed it!

Neo-Nazi Furries?

Some stories are so weird that I have to verify they aren't on The Onion.  4.14/17 Daily Beast:

Neo-Nazis Are Tearing the Furry World Apart

A putsch, death threats, sex offenders—just because people dress up like animals doesn’t mean their fights aren’t human.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Took the Snow Tires Off Too Soon

Snow storm this morning.  On the way to the gym, I saw some no longer recognizable 2WD small sedan upside down and crushed at the pass from Avimor to Eagle.  This being Idaho, a dozen people were out of their cars: one guy directing traffic, the rest trying to see what they could do for the trapped occupants while waiting for the rapidly arriving emergency vehicles.

Two states are sitting in a bar, arguing which has more influence.  California says, "Bet you can't make the weather change in five minutes."  Idaho says, "Hold my beer."


Want to know how I spend my time?  Here's a spreadsheet of every American gunsmith or gun maker before 1840.

Harriet Tubman With Rifle Picture

I am looking for a public domain copy for my book, and not having much luck finding one that is clearly in the public domain.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Parting or Cutoff Tool

I am thinking this might be a good choice for making these clamping pads instead of cutting them on the chop saw.  I would guess that they produce a pretty decent finish where they make the cut.  I can also get a pretty precise length of cut.  The chop saw, unavoidably, produces at least .05" variation in length.  The lathe should do much better.

I am busier than a one-handed paper hanger, editing my gunsmithing book, and working on this new product.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Probably Around for Awhile

Annual cardiologist visit; also, he is retiring.  He tells me my EKG is unchanged since 2015, which is good.  I asked about how long before next aortic valve replacement, and he indicated no signs of degradation so something else will probably get me before I need a replacement.  Also, he says the transarterial valve replacement (TAVR) procedure's mortality rate is falling faster than expected.  This is done through the femoral artery, so no cutting you open.  This sounds a lot more tolerable.

Swivel Head Attachment

Swivel heads are what goes on end of the screw in a C-clamp.  I need something like that which screws on to 1/4"-20 bolt once it is through the threaded hole.  Swivel is not required.  I could also make it myself from a small cylinder with a tapped hole.  Suggestions.

Called toggle pads, about $6 each.  May have to make my non-swivelling version.  Probably use a parting tool on the lathe to make 1" cylinders, then drill and tap 1/2" deep 1/4"-20 threads.
Made one pretty quickly.
Some of you reminded me that on a screw, the length should be twice the diameter.  Is this for tension, or compression?  This won't ever be in tension  Good news is that I estimate there is 15 seconds of labor making these if I do it in quantity.  Material cost is near zero, so at $20/hour, about eights apiece. 

Aurora Forecasts

April 23 (two nights after we arrive) has a strong aurora forecast.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Dial Indicator Holder Question

I have a dial indicator holder that looks like this Rube Goldberg cdevice.

Can someone tell me how you attach this to the mill's spindle for checking accuracy of the table?  Does the white plastic piece at the bottom bolt on to the spindle?

Life Below Zero

Amazing show about people living in remote parts of the Alaska bush.  To call them eccentric doesn't even begin to capture it.  One woman lives nine months of the year two hours plane flight east of Point Barrow.  She has heard a grizzly bear chewing on her skull.

One family is a white father and Native.  At the 12 year old's birthday party, it was her first without a firearm as a gift.

This is a BBC production.  I wonder how this AR15 AR10 and handgun soaked show goes over with their audience.

This is Why You Make Prototypes Before Starting Production Line

It only took a few turns under load for steel bolts to strip the threads in 1/8" aluminum.  I guess that C-channel is going to be steel.  I'm not thrilled at the idea of tapping 1/4"-20 holes in steel but the Tapmatic should make it tolerable.  Steel also improves stiffness of the structure.

Hmmm.  Steel channel doesn't seem available except with radiused interiors.  Right angle interiors?  Nope.  Perhaps use aluminum bolts?

Or would using 1/4" or 1/2" thick aluminum solve the problem?

Another Fake Hate Crime

This time, the crime actually happened.  But it wasn't white-on-immigrant as claimed.  4/10/17 WFAE:
Charlotte police say a possible hate crime incident in which a threatening letter was left outside a Nepali-Indian grocery store last week signed "White America" has led to the arrest of a black man.
Police have arrested and charged 32-year-old Curtis Flournoy in connection to last week's incident, during which video surveillance shows an African-American man throwing a rock through a window of the Central Market, and setting its door on fire.
A note found at the scene and signed "White America" tells the owner to go back to where they came from or face torture. Police say Flournoy has been charged with multiple counts, including ethnic intimidation and burning a commercial building.
We know that a lot of "hate crimes" are actually made up by the victims.  I wonder how many of the real ones are done by progressives pretending to be someone other than whom they pretend to be?

Carbon Dioxide Consumption By Plants

New article in Nature about changes in how much carbon dioxide is being taken from the atmosphere by plants.  Essentially it says that the amount being pulled out of the atmosphere has increased substantially in the 20th century.  How this affects the global warming models is uncertain, but a reminder of how uncertain the models for global warming really are.

Now, plant consumption doesn't much affect how consumption fossil fuels change CO2 balance.  However, increased use may reflect increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere.  How much of this increase in CO2 in the atmosphere will just make us a "greenhouse" not just in heat, but also luxuriant plant growth, pulling more CO2 out.

Another Remarkable Coincidence

Across the Southwest border, the number of immigrants caught crossing illegally into the United States has dropped dramatically. Fewer than 12,200 people were apprehended in March, a 64% decrease from the same time last year, and the lowest monthly number in at least 17 years....

“We don’t really have a normal anymore,” said Castro, who has worked for Customs and Border Protection for nearly 20 years. She insists agents are not doing anything differently; the Trump administration’s executive orders are simply enforcing laws already on the books.
“Are you going to risk a 1,000-mile journey and pay $8,000 to be smuggled if you’re not sure you’ll get to stay?” Castro said, offering a reason she thinks fewer asylum seekers are crossing over. “I wouldn’t.
That "1,000-mile journey" refers to illegals crossing from Central America through Mexico.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Morse Tapers

Morse tapers rely on friction and a close fit to hold them in place.  The one that holds the chuck in the drill press almost stays after thorough acetone treatment abd freezing.  While not recommended, I put a bit of superglue on the Morse taper, and now it holds.  The Tapmatic puts a lot of rotational stress on the tapers; last night it pulled the Morse taper from the Tapmatic that goes into the drill press chuck.  Again, a bit of Superglue solved the problem.  I may never be able to remove these Morse tapers, but it doesn't matter.

The Other Lesson from Destroying That Syrian Air Base

Putin obviously controls Trump, right?

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Frankenstein Vehicle

I should have photographed the For Sale sign.  A 62 Rambler with a small block Chevy V8 and S10 rear end.If it had a neck, there would have been bolts.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Old Enough to Remember Marvin the Martian?

Astonishingly Thoughtful Article About American Gun Violence

1/9/17 Guardian.  While a Labour Party paper, they often do great journalism.  This article shows how gun murder in the U.S. is highly concentrated by city, by race, and even more importantly by poor education and poverty (hence the racial concentration.
Half of America's gun homicides in 2015 were clustered in just 127 cities and towns, according to a new geographic analysis by the Guardian, even though they contain less than a quarter of the nation’s population....

Even within those cities, violence is further concentrated in the tiny neighborhood areas that saw two or more gun homicide incidents in a single year.
Four and a half million Americans live in areas of these cities with the highest numbers of gun homicide, which are marked by intense poverty, low levels of education, and racial segregation. Geographically, these neighborhood areas are small: a total of about 1,200 neighborhood census tracts, which, laid side by side, would fit into an area just 42 miles wide by 42 miles long.
The problem they face is devastating. Though these neighborhood areas contain just 1.5% of the country’s population, they saw 26% of America’s total gun homicides.

Obama's Red Line & Syria

Obama made threats if Syria crossed a "red line" and used chemical weapons, but did nothing.  Trump acts.  4/6/17 Daily Mail reports widespread international support for Trump's actions:
Today world leaders praised the US strikes and urged Putin to hold urgent talks with Trump to prevent the Syria crisis escalating into a wider world conflict. 
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, speaking alongside German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, said: 'We do not want an escalation. We have to stop the hypocrisy. If Russia is acting in good faith it should stop and negotiate'.
'We do not wish to raise the stakes, but to find a solution. You can not deal with reality (use of chemical weapons) by resorting to propaganda.'
The strikes have won broad international support with officials saying that Canada and other allies were behind the move.
Britain backed the US missile strike, describing it as an 'appropriate response', as the government offered its full support to Trump's targeted assault. 
A No 10 spokeswoman said: 'The UK Government fully supports the US action, which we believe was an appropriate response to the barbaric chemical weapons attack launched by the Syrian regime, and is intended to deter further attacks.'  
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande said Syrian president Assad bore 'sole responsibility' for the US strike on a regime airbase.

Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Early Telescopic Sight

I saw this once before, and fortunately found it again:
Mr. Owen Biddle is desired to procure a Rifle that will carry a half pound Ball, with a Telescope sight…. [Pennsylvania State, Colonial Records of Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, Penn.: 1852), 10:332]
Telescopic sight in 1775?  1/2 pound ball is 227 grams.  I'm told this is about a 1 1/4" bullet.  No, it's .66 caliber. V=4/3*pi*r^3 and lead is 11.3 g/cc.  r=0.66, so 1.32 caliber.

Time Lapse Photgraphy

Bought one of these for doing time lapse photography with my Pentax K10D
$19.99 Amazon Proime and it works with many cameras besides the Pentax.  The instruction manual is awful, partly because a user interface done with a Set button and four arrows is horrible.  Someone, somewhere, has probably done a dissertation "proving" this all you need.

A 300mm time lapse (15 second intervals) of ID-55 from my dining room.  The blurry ble thing is some piece of external decor that I didn't notice.  Yes, this is for aurora photography.

This Shouldn't Be this Hard to Find

My wife's new Jeep, like most new cars has no CD player.  It has both a 3.5mm input jack and a USB port.  An ordinary CD player doesn't have the skip memory and likely the Jeep doesn't have drivers for such a CD player.  There must be an automobile CD player with either a 3.5mm or USB output rhat either runs off the USB port or 12VDC plug, but I can't seem to find one. 

The New Religion

3/31/17 City Journal:
But in Regina, Saskatchewan he would feel right at home. That’s the location of the University of Regina, one of Canada’s many institutions of higher learning. Yet Regina is no ordinary academic redoubt. It is about to host what it describes as a “Man Up Against Violence Initiative.” This will include a “Masculinity Confession Booth” as well as other workshops designed to portray the male homo sapiens as predator of women and destroyer of society.
With a surfeit of exclamation points and a dearth of biological or common sense, the university invites undergraduates to participate: “We have all reinforced hypermasculinity one way or another regardless of our gender!!. . . . Come and share your sins so we can begin to discuss how to identify and change our ways!!” The Masculinity Confession Booth will be supplemented by workshops dedicated to “Healthy Relationships and Healthy Masculinity” and a redefinition of the phrase “man up.”
Sins?  Confession Booth?  Inquisition comes next.

I Blame Trump

New applications for U.S. unemployment benefits recorded their biggest drop in nearly two years last week, pointing to a further tightening in the labor market.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 234,000 for the week ended April 1, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The drop was the largest since the week ending April 25, 2015.
Tightening job market inevitably leads to higher wages.   I expect to see the lamestream media emphasize how bad this will be for the economy.  News for Democrats: jobs matter more than transgender bathrooms.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Europa Report

Just watched this.  Entertaining, well done sci-fi film involving a doomed expedition to Europa.  Excellent CGI, good acting.  I don't like flashbacks much and this is an example.  Overall, very good science.  One error.  Just landed on Europa; reporting absolute zero as the temperature.  Nope.  Europa is close enough to Sun to be well above that temperature, even if Europa wasn't being heated by tidal friction from Jupiter.  Tidal friction is likely the cause of Europa having a liquid ocean, a big part of the plot.

If Only It Worked

Word has a citations and bibliography tool which is supposed to simplify putting citations in, and automatically create a bibliography in MLA, APA, and Chicago Manual of Style formats.  Unfortunately Insert Citation inserts something that looks like an MLA parenthesized citation--definitely not Chicago.  Yes, I picked the right style type.  How did Microsoft screw this up so thoroughly?

Curiously, Turabian, Chicago, and APA all produce the same citation which is utterly wrong.

Another Reminder Trump Is Smarter Than the Left

Don Surber shows how Trump did a tweet to lure the MSM into calling him paranoid for saying Obama tapped his phones, just in time to have Susan Rice splatter all over herself on this.

What a Creative Application

Ziad Ahmed was filling out his application for Stanford University when he came across a question which he was told to answer in 100 words or less: “What matters to you, and why?”
The possibilities are endless. But to Ahmed, the answer was simple: “#BlackLivesMatter.”
The senior at Princeton Day School in Princeton, New Jersey, believed his answer spoke for itself, and so he decided to write that and only that —#BlackLivesMatter — 100 times.
He could have just repeated #StanfordIsTooStupid and have it mean the same thing.

When You've Lost Rolling Stone...

Rolling Stone  points out the insanity of the media and much of the Democratic Party about the "Russians own Trump" trash:
The aforementioned Mensch, a noted loon who thinks Putin murdered Andrew Breitbart but has somehow been put front and center by The Times and HBO's Real Time, has denounced an extraordinary list of Kremlin plants.
She's tabbed everyone from Jeff Sessions ("a Russian partisan") to Rudy Giuliani and former Assistant FBI Director James Kallstrom ("agents of influence") to Glenn Greenwald ("Russian shill") to ProPublica and Democracy Now! (also "Russian shills"), to the 15-year-old girl with whom Anthony Weiner sexted (really, she says, a Russian hacker group called "Crackas With Attitudes") to an unnamed number of FBI agents in the New York field office ("moles"). And that's just for starters.
Others are doing the same. Eric Boehlert of Media Matters, upon seeing the strange behavior of Republican Intel Committee chair Devin Nunes, asked "what kind of dossier" the Kremlin has on Nunes.
Dem-friendly pollster Matt McDermott wondered why reporters Michael Tracey and Zaid Jilani aren't on board with the conspiracy stories (they might be "unwitting" agents!) and noted, without irony, that Russian bots mysteriously appear every time he tweets negatively about them. ...
Some 13.2 million people voted for Sanders during the primary season last year. What percentage does any rational person really believe voted that way because of "fake news"?
I would guess the number is infinitesimal at best. The Sanders campaign was driven by a lot of factors, but mainly by long-developing discontent within the Democratic Party and enthusiasm for Sanders himself.
To describe Sanders followers as unwitting dupes who departed the true DNC faith because of evil Russian propaganda is both insulting and ridiculous. It's also a testimony to the remarkable capacity for self-deception within the leadership of the Democratic Party. ...
But when it comes to Trump-Putin collusion, we're still waiting for the confirmation. As Democratic congresswoman Maxine Waters put it, the proof is increasingly understood to be the thing we find later, as in, "If we do the investigations, we will find the connections." 
Go read it in full.  When a progressive publication like  Rolling Stone calls this madness, and points out that the establishment just doesn't want to face up to why they lost, it's a bad sign.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Bear Spray

I can't fly it to Alaska, but may just buy some in Fairbanks and leave it there.  Is there a bear spray lending library in Fairbanks?  If not, why not?  The prospect of reliably hitting an 18" x 18"  target moving 35 mph sounds unattractive.  Bear spray is apparently at least as effective as .44 Magnum and less precision is required to use it.

Bring the 9mm for two-legged threats.

There is a bit of research that seems to indicate bear sprays are more reliable defenses than guns.  While many traditional sorts in bear country prefer carrying a gun, it may be tradition more than actual efficacy.  I found a skeptical article about these studies here, but also a comment from a hunter heavily armed, carrying bear spray:
So, after resting for a while, I had a thought occur to me. I had never heard of this approach before so, I got out my Bear Away and with a slight breeze coming in over my shoulders and moving in the direction of Smokey, I fired off a good steady stream in the air. After a few seconds, he began sneezing and snotting and started to bob his head up and down. After a few seconds of this, (maybe 20) he lumbered off back in the direction that he had just come from. 
I can get the bear spray out and sprayed as fast as my S&W 629, and precision matters less.  A criminal attack by a 2 legged predator will doubtless be solved by bear spray as well.  But I'll bring a handgun as well.

Even if Trump isn't Technically Correct About Wiretapping...

It is apparently indirectly true.  4/3/17 Bloomberg News:
White House lawyers last month learned that the former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
The pattern of Rice's requests was discovered in a National Security Council review of the government's policy on "unmasking" the identities of individuals in the U.S. who are not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally. Normally those names are redacted from summaries of monitored conversations and appear in reports as something like "U.S. Person One."...
The news about Rice also sheds light on the strange behavior of Nunes in the last two weeks. It emerged last week that he traveled to the White House last month, the night before he made an explosive allegation about Trump transition officials caught up in incidental surveillance. At the time he said he needed to go to the White House because the reports were only on a database for the executive branch. It now appears that he needed to view computer systems within the National Security Council that would include the logs of Rice's requests to unmask U.S. persons. 

Sorry for the Grandfather, But Someone Who Does a Home Invasion With Brass Knuckles is Not Asking for Lemonade

3/30/17 ABC channel 8:
COOKSON, Okla., (KTUL) -- A family member of one of the three teen suspects killed after breaking into a Wagoner County home Monday is speaking out for the first time.
The grandfather of Jacob Redfearn believes shooting and killing the 17-year-old and his friends was not needed....
Schumacher says his grandson didn't have a chance. The 17-year old, he says, never got into trouble.
“Brass knuckles against an AR-15, come on, who was afraid for their life," said Schumacher.

Bringing Classic Cars Back from the Grave

My wife has sometimes wished that someone would start making the 1964 Mustang.  I explained that meeting current emissions and safety standards would make that impossible or at least a rather different car.  (yes, she's a big Mustang fan.)  Jaguar is bringing back the 1960s E-type, apparently by restoring originals.

I wonder about someone bringing back the Chevy Mona 2+2 with a modern Corvette V8 and transmission instead of the tragically castrated small block that was in the Monza.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Grizzly Questions

When charging a human, what is the maximum speed?  What are the dimensions of the head down grizzly?  Going to Fairbanks April 21.  Going to build a grizzly simulator for friends to pull towards me to work on my marksmanshp.  No substitute for the real thing, of course, but having some practice firiing at a target the right height and size coming my way seems prudent.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

A Wonderful Doctoral Dissertation in Popular Culture Will Be (or Already Has Been) Written

If you've heard the song and didn't understand some of the slang, watch the video.  I fear the first draft of that dissertation will be trying to understand the environmental concerns about bears and ducks.  The final title: "Populist and Libertarian Responses to New Electronic Media."  Former CB owner.

Someone at Netflix Has a Droll Sense of Humor

"Netflix Live has been cancelled.  We miscalculated the number of people who like to binge-watch microwaves.  Dave from analytics is in trouble."

Things to Check When a Monitor Stops Working

I have a 23" ASUS display I bought a year or so ago, which is monitor #3.  It suddenly stopped working.  In preparation for a warranty claim, I turned it around to find the serial number.  The power plug looked loose (I had recently moved it).  Works again.

Many years ago, I worked very a small America branch odf a German electronics company.  A friend was tech support.  About an hour into figuring out why the customer's product had stopped working, ewith no lights visible, he asked, "Is it plugged in?"  A few seconds later, "Thanks.  Works."

Today's Fastener Question

I have some 1/4"-20 bolts that need to stick out 1.5" above the surface and pass through a 1/4" thick surface.  I want to make sure that the bolt does not go any deeper than 1.5".  I put a nut on the bolt, then a washer and lock washer andwhen I reached correct depth, I screwed the nut to the surface.  My guess is that enough turning force will screw the bolt through the nut.  Is there some form of fastener that I do not know about to do this?

Entertaining Films

USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage.   I started  watching it, this thinking it was a documentary.  No, it's a powerful drama about the ship that delivered atomic bombs to Tinian in preparation for ending the War in the Pacific, saving millions of American lives and perhaps tens of millions of Japanese lives.  (Fierce fighting and mass suicide on Okinawa suggest a far greater reaction on the home islands.)  Like all dramas, there's some romance, and some intrasailor conflict.  One of the production companies is Patriot Films, and it shows.  If you are familiar with Indianapolis's story, you know it was torpedoed on the way back from Tinian, with enormous loss of life, much to sharks. A moving story of sacrifice and courage.

Life Below Zero is a BBC/National Geographic reality series designed to make me whine less about this last winter.  These are [crazy] people who live in places that make central Nevada along US 50 seem overpopulated, metropolitan, and easily accessible.  One gal lives by herself running a summer hunting camp two flying hours east of Point Barrow.  She has survived one grizzly gnawing on her head.  Another subject broke his leg in three places and drove himself several hundred miles to the nearest paved road.  These are tough, [crazy] people.  Many never buy meat; they live entirely off the land, usually close to the Arctic Circle, but north of it.  There are more guns per hour in this show than two episodes of Cops (maybe a whole season), or one episode of The A-Team.  I would love to know what Brits and Kiwis (both places this has shown)  think of Americans from watching this show.  I should mention many of these people would only know about TEOTWAWKI because their Internet would go down.  (Yes many have laptops and the Internet.)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

AIrbnb's Web Page Needs Some Help

I reserved the wrong property.  The host immediately saw my mistake and told me to change my reservation, but when I tried to do that, airbnb's change reservation page gave me a list of other properties, most with identical names and no way to specify the item nbr provided by my host.  Their phone number tells you change through the webpage and there is no email or phone number for other queries.

Transparency in Science

The House has voted to require EPA to release the data on which policies are made. 3/29/17 Associated Press:
A bill approved Wednesday by the GOP-controlled House would require that data used to support new regulations to protect human health and the environment be released to the public.
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said "the days of 'trust me' science are over," adding that the House bill would restore confidence in the EPA's decision-making process.
Connecticut Rep. Elizabeth Esty and other Democrats said the bill would cripple EPA's ability to conduct scientific research based on confidential medical information and risks privacy violations by exposing sensitive patient data.

How Dare rthe VP Put His Marriage First?

PJmedia reports:
Late Tuesday, The Washington Post's Ashley Parker published a story about Vice President Mike Pence's relationship with his wife. By Thursday morning, thousands of liberals had attacked Pence as a sexist bigot for simple steps he reportedly takes to honor his wife and avoid any appearance of infidelity in their marriage.
"This is a medieval vision of every man as an incorrigible adulterer or rapist, lest he be restrained by his wife's presence by his side," tweeted Arnand Giridharidas, an author who used to write for The New York Times.
What is Mr. Medieval doing?  
In 2002, Mike Pence told the Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either.
He won't be alone with any woman other than his wife, and no events ivolving alcohol without his wife.  The left of course is calling this "Muslim Brotherhood" and "shari'a law."   What would have happened if President Clinton had followed those rules?

Perhaps Just An Attempt to Put One Over On the Rubes...

But unlike Obama and Clinton, he at least knows what the rubes want to see:
Obama didn't even have enough contact with Americans to know what we wanted to see.

Removed Snow Tires Too Early

It is spring and we are having a snowstorm that got me slipping a bit on ID 55.  I believe a penguin just flew by my window, with a grizzly bear wearing a jetpack in hot pursuit.

Russian Ties to the White House

No, not the current White House, the last one.3/26/17 The Daily Caller:
John Podesta, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 national campaign chairman, may have violated federal law by failing to disclose the receipt of 75,000 shares of stock from a Kremlin-financed company when he joined the Obama White House in 2014, according to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group.
Joule Unlimited Technologies — financed in part by a Russian firm —  originally awarded Podesta 100,000 shares of stock options when in 2010 he joined that board along with its Dutch-based entities: Joule Global Holdings, BV and the Stichting Joule Global Foundation.
When Podesta announced his departure from the Joule board in January 2014 to become President Barack Obama’s special counselor, the company officially issued him 75,000 common shares of stock.

Read more:
John Podesta has filed a cease-and-desist order against The Daily Caller for slanderous and libelous statements,  Not only sent to the wrong address, but Daily Caller's claim is based in part on a third party report.  Any claim of libel against Daily Caller would require proof that they knew this third party report was false, or failed to properly investigate their claims.  This is a very high standard to meet.  Podesta is out of luck.

Projection again?  Or are the extraterrestrials that worry Podesta the source of his concerns?
"There are a lot of planets out there," Podesta answered, when asked if he believed there were other living beings out in the universe. "The American people can handle the truth."
The handling the truth line should be familiar to anybody who watched The X-Files, a show about a pair of FBI agents who investigated things like UFO sightings.
Podesta also repeated the line in his forward to the 2011 book by Leslie Kean entitled "UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record."
"It's time to find out what the truth really is that's out there. The American people—and people around the world—want to know, and they can handle the truth," he wrote.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


I guess that we are headed to Fairbanks for Northern Lights at end of April!  Today is our 37th anniversary so a great gift.  Have any of you used Airbnb as an alternative to traditional lodging?  What was your experience?  Some of the choices are $20-$30 a night cheaper, with a kitchenette, allowing us to spend another night or two to improve our odds.

North Korea

I get a bit of survivalist email focused on EMP and nuclear war, which I generally ignore because it seems unlikely.  So imagine my surprise to read this 3/29/17 The Hill article by R. James Woolsey and a lesser known public official asserting that North Korea probably has the capability to deliver fission and possibly fusion bombs on the U.S.--perhaps even a crippling EMP attack from their two satellites.  I keep hoping that the Air Force's robotic space plane  has satellite killer capacity.

This isn't just paranoia promoted by our military-industrial complex.  Japan is doing mass evacuation drills in preparation for North Korean attack,  Japan is discussing revising their Constitution to allow a pre-emptive strike.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Who is Responsible for Drug Addiction?

3/28/17 Washington Post:
Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri demanded information Tuesday from five top opioid manufacturers, saying she would investigate their alleged role in the drug epidemic responsible for more than 200,000 overdose deaths since 2000.
“This epidemic is the direct result of a calculated sales and marketing strategy major opioid manufacturers have allegedly pursued over the past 20 years to expand their market share and increase dependency on powerful — and often deadly — painkillers,”
McCaskill, who is the ranking Democrat of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, wrote to company executives. “To achieve this goal, manufacturers have reportedly sought, among other techniques, to downplay the risk of addiction to their products and encourage physicians to prescribe opioids for all cases of pain and in high doses.”
McCaskill sent letters to Purdue Pharma, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Insys Therapeutics, Mylan, and Depomed, which she said make the top-five-selling prescription painkillers. She is seeking sales and marketing materials, any studies the companies might have conducted about the addictive properties of their drugs, information on compliance with legal settlements and figures on donations to advocacy groups.
The problem is real, nut notice it isn't individual addicts, or prescribing doctors.  Sort of like blaming gun makers for "overmarketing" of guns.

Too Many Whites Attend Your School; We're Cutting Funding

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Outrage has grown at Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, as the school faces layoffs and increased class sizes due to a law limiting funds for schools with a higher white student body.
The Los Angeles Unified School District provides more funding for schools where the white population is below 30 percent.
In a letter to parents, the district noted the highly regarded middle school had been above the percentage for the past couple years.
The racial formula was a condition imposed by court decisions dealing with desegregation in the 1970s.
In the South until 1948, black schools were underfunded because, "Those people aren't going to college; how good an education do field hands need?"  But that wasn't the case in California.  One of the reasons for the Serrano decision that changed school district funding in the 1970s was that wealthier districts had more property taxes available to fund schools.  Poor districts had cheaper real estate and thus, lower property taxes.  But that's completely separate from race.  Ladera Heights was a heavily black, expensive neighborhood.

Even if there was some argument in the 1970s for increased funding for non-white schools to compensate for past wrongs, that's decades ago.  Whatever flaws there were should have been overcome by now; two generations of kids later..


Muscle ache, sinus congestion, awful coughing clearing the lungs, sore throat, mild fever.  Delsym for the cough; acetaminophen for the muscles; antihistamine for the sinuses.  I am beginning to think that having contact with people, except electronically is a mistake.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Bad Idea: Having Someone Photograph You Committing a Felony

From one of the Antifa groups.  Note the Antifa wearing brass knuckles; which can be charged either misdemeanor or felony. Now the link is in.

Leftists Demonstrating With Guns in Phoenix

At least, that was my first impression upon seeing about 40 or so assorted anarchists, Brown Berets, and members of a group calling itself the Phoenix John Brown Gun Club across the street from the state Capitol, openly armed to the proverbial teeth.
I was late to the pro-Trump "Make America Great Again" march, which began at Cesar Chavez Plaza — after some confusion about the demonstration's starting at the now past-tense "Patriots Square Park" — and ended at the lawn of the Arizona Capitol.
So I headed straight to the Capitol, but the pro-Trump event was petering out. One of the cops present told me that the MAGA march consisted of a group of about 100.
However, across the street, on the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza-side of 17th Avenue were the left-wingers, some of them masking their faces, some not. Many of them were armed with long guns. You know, just like the "patriot" groups.
Some comments on the article indicate that careful examination of the video reveals that some are Airsoft toys.  Hat tip to Shall Not Be Questioned.


My daughter and her family had it.  Then my wife had it for two weeks.  Now I have it.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

To Paraphrase the Eulogy at the Start of Chariots of Fire

Let us now praise great tools.  The Tapmatic RX50 is the second most expensive tool that I have ever purchased, and worth it several times over.  I just put a 1/4"-20 combo drill and tap in it, and in just a few minutes used my cheap Chinese drill press to drill and tap 16 holes in 1/8" thick aluminum.  It takes a bit of work to get the stop installed on the drill press vise, but once that is done and you master getting the wrenches properly tight with the rubber bushing going the right way, it is so cool!

Wiretapping Trump?

In 15 October, the US secret intelligence court issued a warrant to investigate two Russian banks. This news was given to me by several sources and corroborated by someone I will identify only as a senior member of the US intelligence community. He would never volunteer anything - giving up classified information would be illegal - but he would confirm or deny what I had heard from other sources.
Lawyers from the National Security Division in the Department of Justice then drew up an application. They took it to the secret US court that deals with intelligence, the Fisa court, named after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They wanted permission to intercept the electronic records from two Russian banks....
Neither Mr Trump nor his associates are named in the Fisa order, which would only cover foreign citizens or foreign entities - in this case the Russian banks. But ultimately, the investigation is looking for transfers of money from Russia to the United States, each one, if proved, a felony offence.
A lawyer- outside the Department of Justice but familiar with the case - told me that three of Mr Trump's associates were the subject of the inquiry. "But it's clear this is about Trump," he said.
I spoke to all three of those identified by this source. All of them emphatically denied any wrongdoing. "Hogwash," said one. "Bullshit," said another. Of the two Russian banks, one denied any wrongdoing, while the other did not respond to a request for comment.
The Deep State will do whatever it takes, including pretending that Trump is paranoid about stuff the Deep State's media outlets admit.

Check Your Cisgender Privilege

From the University of Oregon's List of Cisgender (you have male genitals and think you are a man, or vice versa for women) Privileges:
  1. I am a size and shape for which clothes I feel comfortable wearing are commonly made.
When I was younger, I would go into Sears to shop for clothes.  I was not by any means thin.  I would even say I was close to obese.  And there were no dress shirts that fit me.  They were designed for men with gross beer bellies.  Eventually they started carrying shirts that had some relationship to a reasonably healthy man with some label thjat claimed that they were a more "European" fit.  This was nonsense, but they fit me.  I guess 18-20 I was lacking cisgender privilege.

Are there any Oregonians even slightly concerned at how their tax dollars are being spent?

A Logical Parallel to "I'm Feeling Female Today, I Get to Use the Ladies' Loicker Room"

Rachel Dolezal — who convincingly passed as an African-American civil rights activist in Spokane, Washington, until her inarguably Caucasian parents outed her as white in 2015 — is now stepping back into the spotlight in all her bottle-bronzed, afro-hair-extensioned glory.
Dolezal has penned a memoir in which she compares her travails to slavery and describes her harrowing childhood as a pale, blond girl growing up poor on the side of a Montana mountain.
As she toiled in the garden for her strict, Evangelical parents, she’d dream of freeing her inner blackness, Dolezal writes in “In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World.”
There are pictures of her as a teenager.  She is closer to the Aryan ideal than any of my kids.  At least the opening of The Jerk was a joke.  Not sure which publisher is bringing out this transracial nonsense, but it says loads about progressive self-delusion.

Fairbanks-Area Gun Rights Groups?

A reader suggested that if I am headed to Alaska for auroae, I should try to wangle an invite from one of Fairbanks area gun rights groups.  Suggestions?

Shooting on Las Vegas Bus

Assistant Sheriff Tom Roberts said the man, believed to be in his 50s, was riding on the second floor toward the back of the bus when he opened fire “indiscriminately.”
“He didn’t seem to have a motive,” Roberts said, adding the man appeared to have “mental issues” and was seeing things.
“He definitely was not really with it,” he said.
I will be curious to find out if there was any previous treatment history or warnings.

I Bought It on eBay

You may recall Weird Al's song of this title a few years back.  As much as it sometimes seems to be an online garage sale, there are some surprises.  ScopeRoller has historically used Jergens Quick-Release locking pins for the Toe Saver product.  These are a clever product; unless you press the button on the handle you need 9200 pounds of force to slide that pin through a 1/4" hole.  Of late these locking pins have climbed above $30 new.

On eBay I have found them for as little as $4.80, and comparably priced copies by Gibraltar.  These are new, and seem to be coming from companies that sell off remnants from larger firms.  There's no long-term supply at these prices, but these make the toe saver profitable again.  I don't sell more than 20 a year, so no problem.

Things You Don't Think About When Dating

Does this woman have goods spatial analysis capabilities?  Is she adept at seeing alternative mechanical design strategies?  The short answer turns out to be, "Yes."  We got high-centered on a fiber optics bundle raised mound in central Nevada in the 1980s.  I was pretty flummoxed, but she saw how to get us off.

More recently, as I looked for ways to reduce manufacturing and inventory costs for ScopeRoller several years ago, she saw a way to simplify the design so that four basic components covered 95% of the product line.

I have been working on a ScopeRoller product to provide mobility for Dobsonian telescopes like this:

There's no tripod and these are often quite heavy.  (Dobsonians are often signs of severe aperture lust; there must be a support group somewhere.).

I have been working on a design that conforms to ScopeRoller's current product line strengths: don't change the telescope's "footprint"; compact and light enough to ship in Priority Mail boxes worldwide; use of off-the-shelf raw materials (no specialized, custom parts); no new skills required (like welding).  I was fighting a losing battle around getting the holes and slots in three separate sheets of aluminum to align.  She suggested an alternative strategy which requires aligning holes in two sheets at a time: A bolts to B; B bolts to C.  In nerd terms, B is an interface between A and C. Another benefit is that instead of cutting slots in aluminum plate (which is very slow on the Sherline mill), I can solve the problem of how to get a 1/4"-20 bolt to screw into a threaded hole holding B and C together by using a 3/8" through hole.  This allows for a few hundredths of an inch misalignment while still locking down tightly with washer