Sunday, December 10, 2017

Why Am I Not Surprised?

Rep. Hastings (D-FL) was accused of sexual harassing am employee which resulted in a $22,000 settlement.  You may recall Hastings was impeached and removed from the federal bench because he solicited a bribe from a defendant.   His response was,  "is it because I'm black?"  This worked so well that Florida voters sent him to Congress.

Roll Call

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Breitbart is Not High on My Trust List Anymore

But this seems pretty important.  One of Roy Moore's accusers has another reason to pursue him.  11/15/17 Breitbart:
“As it turns out, in 1999 Ms. Nelson filed a divorce action against her then-husband, Mr. Harris,” Jauregui said. “Guess who that case was before? It was filed in Etowah County and the judge assigned was Roy S. Moore, circuit judge of Etowah County. There was contact.”
I see why Alabamians are likely to elect Moore.  They can smell the stink from this sewer because they are closer to the septic tank.

12/8/17 U.K. Guardian:
Moore faces – and denies – multiple accusations of sexual misconduct towards teenage girls decades ago, including one involving a 14-year-old.
Beverly Young Nelson was 16 when, she alleges, Moore groped her and tried to force her into a sex act in his car. Nelson has offered as evidence a 1977 high school yearbook that she says was signed by Moore. The inscription reads: “To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say Merry Christmas. Christmas 1977. Love, Roy Moore, DA. 12-22-77 Olde Hickory House.”
Olde Hickory House was the restaurant in Gadsden, Alabama, where Nelson worked when Moore, in his 30s at the time, allegedly assaulted her. The entire note was initially implied to have been written by Moore, which he denied. Nelson acknowledged on Friday that the date and location annotations were hers.

Need Some Cross Ballpoint Pen Refills?

I am trying to find replacement cartridges for a pen from the Cato Institute that has irrational sentimental value.  I thought I needed Cross pen cartridges, so I ordered a pack of 6 from Amazon.  No, not the right cartridges.  Need them for a Cross pen?  Returning them was more than shipping.  Happy to mail them to you, no charge.

Hard to Top This as Revisionism Gone Wild

12/8/17 Daily Wire:
Ever the innovator, Pope Francis suggested during a television interview on Wednesday an update the Lord’s Prayer, the "Our Father" given by Christ to his Apostles. The pontiff rejects the common translation of the final verse, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” as a poor translation because it implies that God rather than Satan leads people into temptation.

Odd Static Problem

I have some wireless headphones that I use with my TV.  They plug into the 1/4" jack on the antique stereo receiver to which the TV output goes.  The stereo puts out the right signal to the similarly antique speakers.  As soon as I remove the headphones from the charging cradle: static.  I suspect either headphones or charging cradle/wireless transmitter has gone bad.  All the connectors are tight.  Any other guesses?

How Do You Know Christmas is Coming?

ScopeRoller is getting orders.  Maybe closing it is premature.

Darn Useful for Finding Your Missing Android

Isn't "Little Lost Android" the name of a famous short story?  Lost my phone.  The Life360 app on my wife's phone told me it was in my house.  But where?  Ringtone off for church means you can't find it by calling it, but this page lets you force it to ring for 5 minutes even if ringtone is off.  It has to be on, and connected to your Google account, but it helped me find it in my bathrobe pocket.  Just listen for the Darth Vader theme.  This page lets you see where you have been, going back many  months.  Google as the new CIA:
Unlike the Android Device Manager, the Timeline feature of Google Maps doesn’t focus on tracking down a lost phone. You can use your location data for many different things such as looking up past travel routes or last night’s pub crawl tour. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

The New BiPAP

The target for AHI (some measure of hourly obstructive apnea events) is <5.  The old machine was usually giving me 14-20.  The new one,  .6 and .8 the first two nights.   I have high hopes as nights of high quality sleep accumulates.

The Emoji Movie

Went to my 9 year old granddaughter's birthday party.  The entertainment included she and her classmates playing flute and trumpet. We also watched the Emoji Movie which like all children's films was predictable,  but with a lot of inside tech jokes.  Think Tron with a cellphone as the environment.  There are two senior citizens: emoticons.

Things You Find at Wal-Mart

My wife went shopping,  and found a large stinking deposit in the aisle. She warned a another customer who thought it was a gag.  An employee claimed that it was a problem of every animal is considered a service animal.

The Revolution Better Not Be in Winter

The left occasionally alludes to the fact that caring out disarmament dreams might actually provoke armed resistance,  and seem fine with that.   The last two nights have been so cold that I was reluctant to roll the telescope out to try out the equatorial platform.   My lungs hurt when I go outside in 15-20 degree weather.  I may wait for spring to try this out.  Please,  if possible ,  do not start the revolution in sputtering.

Why Body Cams Do Not Help

Reason has the most disturbing piece of body cam video of a police officer shooting a young man for no obvious reason.  12/8/17 NBC News reports the officer was acquitted.  And no, he wasn't black.
The detective investigating the shooting agreed Shaver's movement was similar to reaching for a pistol, but has said it also looked as though Shaver was pulling up his loose-fitting basketball shorts that had fallen down as he was ordered to crawl.
The investigator noted he did not see anything that would have prevented officers from simply handcuffing Shaver as he was on the floor.
There are days that police departments seem more risk than benefit.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Not My Fault

12/7/17 Reuters:
Franken, 66, a former comedian who had been seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party, said he would be leaving in a few weeks. Even as he did so, he denied some of the allegations against him and questioned others.

Riotously Funny Book

My daughter's birthday gift was Lunatics by Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel.  As you might expect from Barry, there are laugh out loud moments in every chapter.   The one with the chaee afrerthe kidnapped lemur steals the insulin pump from a member of the Oprah Winfrey Book Club should give you a feel for it.

Why Everyone Needs a Drill Press and a Micrometer

The trash compactor pedal stopped working.  Analysis showed that the mount that held the right pedal screw had torn through allowing the screw to pull out through the front door.   Considering the compactor is 11 years old,  I cannot complain.  So the solution was to replace the little mounting plate that the screw goes through.  My wife looked closely enough to see that the plate was held on by two tiny screws,  not welded or riveted.   I love products designed to be repaired!   So I made a replacement plate that exactly replaced it.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Houses Passes National Carry Reciprocity

12/6/17 New York Times:
WASHINGTON — The House on Wednesday easily passed a sweeping expansion of the right to carry concealed firearms virtually anywhere in the country, putting the fate of the National Rifle Association’s top legislative priority in the hands of a divided Senate.
The same bunch that persuaded the court to strike down sodomy laws and "one-man, one-woman" marriage laws is going to ask  "What about states rights?"  The answer is "They largely died when the 14th Amendment was ratified.  The first nail in the coffin lid was Brown v. Board of Education.  The last was Obergefell.  Don't make tools you don't want others to wield."

What Does It Say About How Swampcritters See Congressmen That This Sounds Like a Threat?

12/5/17 Washington Post:
Morse told The Post she quit her internship after Conyers drove her home from work one night, wrapped his hand around hers as it rested in her lap, and told her he was interested in a sexual relationship. When she rejected his advances, Morse said he brought up the then-developing investigation into the disappearance of former federal intern Chandra Levy.
“He said he had insider information on the case. I don’t know if he meant it to be threatening, but I took it that way,” Morse said in an interview. “I got out of the car and ran.”
You may recall that Levy's disappearance and murder ended the career of Rep. Gary Condit (D-CA).

Amazing comment on the story:
All men sexually harass women. If you are a woman that was as much as ogled by a male republican law maker or republican candidate, you need to come forward. If we shut down the republican party, we shut down the NRA and have common sense gun control nationwide.

Drugs Are Bad For You

And for the Lizard People.  11/30/17 KOMO:
PARKLAND, Wash. -- A 55-year-old Eatonville man armed himself with an AK-47 and a pistol over the weekend to battle "the lizard people," the Pierce County Sheriff's Office said.
The man told law enforcement that President Trump had called to warn him.
The man ended up being sent to a hospital for treatment and a mental health evaluation....
The Sheriff's Department says the man told a deputy that he had "snorted methamphetamine to lose weight" and that he was taking prescribed morphine.
"The meth doesn't make me crazy, man," the Sheriff's Department says the man told the deputy. "The lizard people are real!"
He said President Trump had called his house in Eatonville, warned about the lizard people and said the "alpha dragon" had taken his family hostage.
The man explained that he stopped at the Parkland intersection because the lizard people had surrounded him and because he needed to follow the president's directions to fight them.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Boise Car Stereo Shops

Amy recommendations from you Boiseans?  Wife still wants a CD player in her Jeep,  and Jeep says,  "No way, " so I guess I have to replace the existing stereo with one that includes a CD player.

First quote from Aspen Sound was $560.  What?

Best Buy had a stereo including BlueTooth as well for $100, and installation was about $70, but the wiring harness to fit the Jeep put the total close to $400.  I wa ready to pay this, but no installation possible until January.

So I got frustrated and reanalyzed the problem.  The USB drive is not the problem.  I spent some time reading the Jeep's radio manual.  (The last thing anyone ever does.)  I figured out how to make it better than having a CD drive.  Put every CD my wife will ever want on the drive, or perhaps 2 or 3 32GB drives.  There is a browse drive feature that requires you to stop and look at the radio display instead of fumbling around with a CD trying to stuff it in the drive.  (This qualifies as a safety feature.)  It would still be nice to have Bluetooth for the phone, but next time we may not buy from year end stock and have more choices of radio.  

Monday, December 4, 2017

Weirdest Spam Ever!

SubjectJoin the illuminati.
Bringing the poor, the needy and the talented to limelight of fame, riches, powers and security, get recognized in your business, political race, rise to the top in whatever you do, be protected spiritually and physically! Do you agree to be a member of the illuminati new world order? If YES! then kindly reply us back on our direct recruitment email only at:
For more instructions on our membership process.
The Illuminati.

Fortunately, California Has a Very Restrictive Gun Control Law, Especially About Assault Weapons

12/2/17 CNN:
(CNN)A man was shot Friday after police say he opened fire at a hospital in Bakersfield, California.
Police responded to the Bakersfield Heart Hospital after they received reports of an active shooter.
Assistant Police Chief Greg Terry said the suspect first fired several shots into a glass door at the rear of the building and then entered the hospital with a handgun and an assault rifle.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Meaning of Christmas

Here’s what it costs to take photos with Santa around the nation:
At The Grove in Los Angeles, Santa’s Workshop draws hoards of walk-up visitors that queue in a lengthy line, so reservations are recommended for an expedited experience. The only problem is, this guy is so popular that reservations are no longer available. And, if you do decide to wait, photo packages begin at $40 which include emailed images, but if printed images are what you’re after, prepare to pay $60 for one 5×7 and two 3×5 photos. If it’s any consolation, 5% of Santa House proceeds benefit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles—which might help justify the pricey photo opportunity.
In New York City, there’s a photo studio dedicated to taking portraits with a silly Santa who lets subjects tie him up with lights or pull on his beard. New York Santa Photographer occupies an Upper West Side studio and for $135, one receives two high-resolution images with a print release included. A closet of holiday themed props is available for use, but minor retouching on images costs $325 and all that plus 50 holiday cards and envelopes runs $500.
From A Charlie Brown Christmas before it was stripped out for being un-PC in the 1970s:

Utterly Inappropriate

11/29/17 Florida Times-Union:
A young Jacksonville man who ambushed and shot a Jacksonville police officer multiple times during a traffic stop in 2016 was sentenced to life behind bars Wednesday.

Kevin Rojas was smug in court when the officer called Rojas a coward and said he would have a tough time in prison. The officer then took out a tube of K-Y Jelly, a personal lubricant, and said: “You are going to need a lot of this.”
Probably true, but not something a police officer should say.

Last Night's Dream Was Beamed in From the 1980s

"I need to order more film for my Pentax ME Super from Amazon.  Can I get an autowinder for it?"

Yes, There is Fake News, Like the Left Claims

12/21/17 CNN:
ABC News announced Saturday that it has suspended investigative reporter Brian Ross for four weeks without pay after Ross was forced to correct a bombshell on-air report about Michael Flynn.
"We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday. The reporting conveyed by Brian Ross during the special report had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process," ABC said in a statement. "As a result of our continued reporting over the next several hours ultimately we determined the information was wrong and we corrected the mistake on air and online."
Pot. Kettle. Black.

If This Guy Had Been a Republican Fundraider, You Would Hear It Over Loudspeakers This Morning

ST. LOUIS • Veteran Democratic fundraiser Matthew Lieberman has been charged with multiple felony gun crimes after allegedly firing a handgun and shouting racial slurs at eyewitnesses at two businesses Tuesday.
Lieberman pointed a handgun at someone at the Amoco gas station on Skinker Boulevard and Highway 40 (Interstate 64) while using racial epithets just after 11 p.m. Tuesday, according to court documents. He then allegedly fired multiple shots at the building from his car.
In court documents, investigators said surveillance footage showed Lieberman with the gun, and bullet casings at the scene matched the make and model of bullet casings found in Lieberman’s car.


We have been having snow of and on for a couple of weeks, but this is the first that had actually stuck.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Newest Targets of Inappropriate Urination

No, this is not a story about the media.  While the ThunderShirt seems to have calmed down our ThunderCat, Tater, there are still some problems.  The latest victims were our toaster (Thursday) and a Hanukkah card we were about to send (Friday).  I understand Tater's hatred of the puppy, but what has the toaster ever done to justify this mistreatment.  Fortunately it was not running at the time.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Stores That Have Bulletproof Glass Are Nuisances

PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - A controversial bill is currently working its way through city hall designed to regulate 'stop and go' liquor stores. One part of the bill would force business owners to take down bulletproof glass inside their stores. But at what cost to their safety?...
City Councilwoman Cindy Bass proposed the legislation, seeking to regulate the small stores in her district that she claims sell liquor but little else.
“Nuisance establishments like stop-and-gos harm neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia in several ways,” Bass told Philly Mag. “First, they contribute to increased crime. On any given day, you can find people in front of these businesses selling ‘loosies,’ or loose cigarettes, and engaging in other nuisance behaviors like loitering, public drunkenness, possible drug sales, and even public urination.”
But the bill proposed reads, in part: "No establishment shall erect or maintain a physical barrier."
Who would have thought armed robbers had a voice on the city council?  That list of crimes pales compared to the murder of a small businessman.

The Steinle Death makes a good case that the jury's verdict of accidental death was not completely absurd,  and that the prosecutor should have tried for a manslaughter charge,  which could easily have fit the evidence.  It all helps to have the government not leaving its guns out to be stolen.

Jury As Ultimate Judge of Facts

Also jury as ultimate evidence of California credulity.  12/1/17 Daily Mail:
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, who has been deported five times, was acquitted of second-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon on Thursday after Steinle, 32, was gunned down on July 1, 2015.
The shooting sparked a nationwide debate on removing illegal immigrants with criminal records and ignited Trump's campaign rallying cry to stop funding sanctuary cities.Though Garcia Zarate admitted to shooting Steinle in the back, he has maintained that the gun went off accidentally.
He was also not found guilty of involuntary manslaughter or assault with a firearm, and was only convicted on being a felon in possession of a weapon. ...

The semi-automatic handgun used to kill Steinle was stolen from a federal Bureau of Land Management ranger a week before the shooting. 
The defense has said that Garcia Zarate found the gun wrapped in a shirt under a chair on the pedestrian pier and it went off by accident when he picked it up.

Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
"It went off accidentally": Yeah, right.   A friend's father was convicted of murder while claiming the failure of the safety caused an accidental shot that killed his wife's lover in the dead guy's home, where he had gone to confront the adulterers.  A jury in the Central Valley was not as credulous as this jury.

Headlines That Make the Rest of the Story Hardly Necessary

Meredith Vieira Found A “Huge Bag Of Sex Toys” In Matt Lauer’s Office

And there's a video 

When You Think the LGBTIIQABCDEFGH Activists Cannot Go Any Crazier...

12/1/17 New York Times:
LONDON — A prominent Anglican cleric and gay rights campaigner known for contentious gestures has urged believers to pray for Prince George — age 4, and third in line to the throne — to find the love “of a fine young gentleman” when he grows up so as to advance the cause of same-sex marriage in church.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

There Must Be A Real Lack of Joy in Many Bicoastal Homes Tonight

Outraged Garrison Keillor fans deluged Minnesota Public Radio Thursday with complaints about the firing of the humorist over alleged workplace misconduct.
Some say they will no longer support MPR, one of the nation's largest public radio operations, which depends heavily on financial contributions.
MPR said Wednesday it was cutting ties with Keillor, creator and former host of the popular public radio show "A Prairie Home Companion," over an allegation of workplace misconduct. The network did not give details, but Keillor told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he had put his hand on a woman's bare back while trying to console her.
I confess this seems a bit lacking in harassment unless there is more to the story.  I have never understood the leftist enthusiasm for A Prairie Home Companion.  It sounds like a leftist's well-intentioned misunderstanding of flyover country.

The Equatorial Platform

It was incredibly cold last night, but clear., so I dragged Big Bertha out.  The whole assembly rolled pretty easily (still need to apply final surface layer when it gets above 50 degrees again to even out the surface).  The Moon was my target,  and that is a mistake.  It does not move at the same rate as the stars in right ascension,  and it moves in declination as well.   I think it was taking,  but the real test will be on some extrasolar objects,  some night when I get started earlier in the evening when our is only freezing.   To my pleasure,  one of my wife's cools weather suggestions worked very well.  Wellingtons hold in heat very well,  because they have no mesh and go over the pants.

Monday through Thursday next week are supposed to be clear although cold.

Again: A Black Man Accused of a Crime, So It Is Racism South Carolina State reports Rep. Clyburn is claiming that accusations against Rep. Conyers is because his accusers are white,  comparing it took Susan Smith's attempt to blame a black man for murdering get children.  When will we get past the,  "Is it because I am black?" Excuse making?

The Sign I Am Waiting to See

Our eggs and sausages are sautéed in Red Bull.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


The proofs of Lock, Stock, and Barrel are in my inbox.  I need several people to look it over for typos. Interested?  It is about three hundred pages.  I still need to go through and update page references and index it, but I need fresh eyes to look for typos, and only typos.  Bad sentences or structural problems are too late to fix.  Perhaps just a few chapters to spread the load?  And yes, you will get a copy when it prints.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Ban Electric Drills and Aluminum Next

11/24/17 AP:
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A gun control group founded by former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords asked two web hosting companies on Friday to shut down websites selling parts and machines that help make untraceable homemade firearms known as “ghost guns.”
The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence asked the providers that host and to disable the websites for violating the hosting companies’ terms of service.
The sites sell kits, components and machines that help create homemade semi-automatic weapons. It’s legal to build a gun in a home or a workshop, and advances in 3-D printing and milling have made it easier to do so. The kits can be purchased legally for a few hundred dollars without the kind of background check required for traditional gun purchases.
Hat tip to Shall Not Be Questioned.

Our Moral Superiors Speak

A week after CBS host Charlie Rose was outed as an alleged serial sex harasser, one of the network’s former associate directors says she was told by a boss that she would have to sleep with coworkers to get anywhere in the company.
“I was in a state of shock,” said Erin Gee, 44, who worked for CBS for 17 years and recently filed a Manhattan federal suit alleging rampant sex discrimination at the network.
Gee said one of the most offensive incidents occurred in 2011, when she was talking with her boss at “CBS Evening News,” Robert Klug, about a workplace dispute.
Klug, now 58, said “she should ‘have sex’ with [the] video editor who had been difficult to work with to ‘break the ice,’ ” according to court papers.
Just an allegation right now, but if Roy Moore should not be elected because of allegations, CBS should stop reporting news.

Mirror Cell

Traditional mirror cells hold the mirror in place with clips that are flat metal with a 90 degree bend. One part is held to the outside of the cell where the hole for the screw can be far from the edge of the clip.  Attaching on the front face of the cell gives limited room for the screw hole.  I think I have been successful, even though the hole is. 151" diameter,  .090" from the edge of the clip.  I still need to assemble and make sure that it all works.  My clips are a bit longer than I want (blocking light and adding reflections, even once painted flat black) so I will mill them to length tomorrow.  My wife thinks working to hard on these things is part of my voice issues when I lecture,  and I think she is right.  Monday is so nothing day.

The mirror cell is about .37" too deep,  so I can either pad the bottom with double sided foam tape or turn the outer tube by that much.  I am getting tired of the work involved;  so I think I will go with the foam tape.

So Glad British Gun Control is Working

Offences involving firearms
 Offences involving firearms7 increased by 27% (to 6,696) in year ending June 2017 compared with the previous year (5,269 offences). This was driven largely by a 25% increase in offences involving handguns (up to 2,791 from 2,224) and partly by an 18% increase in offences involving imitation weapons such as BB guns8 (up to 1,721 from 1,457), a 53% increase in offences involving shotguns (up to 652 from 427) and a 47% increase in offences involving unidentified firearms (up to 933 from 635). The latest rise continues an upward trend seen in firearms offences in the last few years, however, offences are still 31% below a decade ago (in the year ending March 2007; Figure 11).
Over the last year, over two-thirds (32 of the 439) of police forces recorded a rise in offences involving firearms. The force that showed the largest volume increase was the Metropolitan Police (accounting for almost 50% of the increase in England and Wales).

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Thundercat Has Thundershirt

Our vet recommended this as a last step before Prozac.   (You do not want to see our cat in the mass murder headlines.)  Ie is called a Thundershirt.  It calms pets down from thunder and  unpleasant fellow pets.  To my surprise.  He tolerates it,  and seems to be calmer.  Our is the same color as he is,  so it does not show up well.

Gun Control Advocates Want to Imagine Gun Culture is Dying

Post-Trump, background checks have certainly fallen, but 11/25/17 USA Today:
WASHINGTON — The FBI was flooded Friday with more than 200,000 background check requests for gun purchases, setting a new single day record, the bureau reported Saturday.
In all, the FBI fielded 203,086 requests on Black Friday, up from the previous single-day highs of 185,713 last year and 185,345 in 2015. The two previous records also were recorded on Black Friday.

Friday, November 24, 2017

"Clothes Make the Man. Naked People Have Little or No Impact on Society."

Or so Mark Twain is alleged to have said.  But Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) seems to have missed the memo.  11/23/17 Detroit Free Press:
WASHINGTON — A lawyer who formerly worked for U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, and later ran an ethics watchdog group in the nation’s capital confirmed for the Free Press on Thursday that Conyers verbally abused her, criticized her appearance and once showed up to a meeting in his underwear.

Why Keeping Islamic Extremists Out of America is Not "Islamophobia"

At least 235 people have been killed after a gun and bomb terror attack at a packed mosque in Egypt's North Sinai province today. 
Another 130 people are reported to have been injured, making it the worst terror attack in the country's modern history.
The terrorists reportedly detonated a bomb in the mosque's creche before firing on fleeing worshippers while blocking escape routes with burnt-out cars. 
Egypt's military has begun conducting air strikes around the area of North Sinai, security sources and eyewitnesses said....

The suspected Islamic State attack took place at the Al-Rawdah Sufi mosque in Bir al-Abed, near El-Arish, during Friday prayers. Extremist Sunni jihadists have previously targeted Sufis - a mystical Islamic sect - for deviating from orthodoxy. 

Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
Progressives insist many Muslims are moderate and sensible.  True; I have worked with some.  But how long before the crazies start murdering Muslims here for being insufficiently crazy?

Black Friday: Whose Stupid Idea Was This?

US shoppers’ lust for Black Friday bargains this year has reached absurd new levels, evidenced by a viral joke that morphed into a disturbing new trend to help shoppers beat Wal-Mart and other big box store crowds by disguising themselves as temporary holiday employees. It started when Twitter user @OverlyLiked announcing he would be selling his Walmart vest for $100.
“I’m selling this Walmart vest for $100,” he wrote. “Use it to skip the line during Black Friday. You can even walk in, grab what you want, and walk out."
The violence and incivility show how much Christmas is a cultural identifier in America, not a religious belief.  Some stores in the Boise area were starting Black Friday at 6:00 PM on Thursday.  What a nice demand to put on your employees. :-)  This is why I do not shop on Black Friday: every customer is providing a corporation with an excuse to mistreat its employees.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Progressive Fake News

11/21/17 Newsweek explaining how to have a "woke" Thanksgiving (to annoy your "deplorable" family):
1. Center the struggles facing Native American communities.
It’s common knowledge that the history behind Thanksgiving dinner that we learn in grade school is a myth: The pilgrims in Massachusetts were far from friendly to the Wampanoag, and the entire premise of a “friendly dinner” between the two stems from President Abraham Lincoln, who after the Civil War offered a lovely—but mostly false—story of comradery among foes.
Of course, like nearly all progressive claims, it is false.  Here is the only contemporary account of what became the current holiday from Mourt's Relation Or Journal of the Plantation at Plymouth (1865), p. 133:
If Lincoln gave such a story, I can't find it in  Of course, being progressives and Newsweek, they do not even know how to spell "camaraderie."  And Lincoln was assassinated within days of the Appomattox surrender, but I don't expect progressives to know this, either.

Strange Notion of "Right Way"

WALLER COUNTY, Texas- A woman in the Brookshire area is accused of sending explosives to three government leaders in 2016.
According to the six-count indictment, 46-year-old Julia Poff mailed explosives to Governor Greg Abbott, President Barack Obama and Commissioner of the Social Security Administration Carolyn Colvin on Oct. 12, 2016.
Other court documents say Gov. Abbott opened the package, but it failed to explode because he didn't open it right. If opened correctly, documents say "it could've caused severe burns and death."
She was allegedly upset with Gov. Abbott for not receiving support from her ex-husband.[emphasis added]
I think he did open it the right way.

Finally! A Democrat Calls Out the Clintons

11/22/17 CNN:
As a wave of stories unfold about sexual harassment and assault by men in power, a senior Democratic leader says her party should reflect on how it handled such charges when they were leveled against former President Bill Clinton.
"Not only did people look the other way, but they went after the women who came forward and accused him," says Kathleen Sebelius, the former secretary of Health and Human Services and Kansas governor. "And so it doubled down on not only bad behavior but abusive behavior. And then people attacked the victims."
Sebelius extended her criticism to Hillary Clinton, and the Clinton White House for what she called a strategy of dismissing and besmirching the women who stepped forward—a pattern she said is being repeated today by alleged perpetrators of sexual assault—saying that the criticism of the former first lady and Secretary of State was "absolutely" fair. Sebelius noted that the Clinton Administration's response was being imitated, adding that "you can watch that same pattern repeat, It needs to end. It needs to be over."
She distinguishes Sen. Franken from others because Franken has apologized, while others have denied the claims, with no apparent awareness that some of those accused might be innocent. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken

My boss called me into her office Monday morning.  There had been rumors floating around that something big was coming.   My first thought was a layoff.   In government service this is not common.   I mean, if the government is doing it, whatever “it” is, it must be something so critical that we cannot live without it, right? 

Our operation was hardly typical of government service.   Is time travel and historical research in the ordinary realm of common or needed governmental services?  And of course, being in a black projects budget made us so invisible that the ordinary pressure groups that protect agencies did not apply.  Indeed, the group most affected by what we did, historians (if they knew) would have regarded us as trouble.  Our research could not be published in the professional journals: who was going to be persuaded by an interview with Cotton Mather, when (and especially when) we had an audio recording of it? 

For the most part, we salted the past with documents that provided evidence to correct what was missing or had been misinterpreted.  This was not really inside the charter that CIA had created for the Historical Integrity Verification Project, but it made some of the professional historians who worked for us feel better about the hefty paychecks they received.  I was pleased as well; my work as a Time Detective had turned what had been a boring GE class at University of Iowa into a fascinating hobby; I was actually willingly reading the books and professional journals now, not just when told to prepare for a mission.   I enjoyed physics class in college because we put our knowledge to hands on experience with air hockey table experiments.  Hands-on works for history, too.

“Nick, you have doubtless heard the coffee pot chatter about a new phase of the project. You are going on a mission as part of it.”

I was thrilled that whatever it was, I was important enough, or skilled enough to be part of it.  But I kept my mouth shut to avoid sounding arrogant. Jane recognized by my silence that I was waiting for her to spill the beans.

“As you know, we have long been fearful of breaking the past. Even a minor change, a lost locket, an extra deposit in a colonial outhouse, might cause some subtle but potentially critical change in our present.  The Company originally funded our work in the hope of making such minor changes to effect positive results in our time without destructive side effects.” 

She paused, and I interjected, “Prevent Communism without destroying too much of the positive results of modern history.   Without the Cold War, modern electronics would not exist and the space program would likely have never developed.”

“Precisely.  We seem to have figured out how to determine the consequences experimentally.  What changes will happen to the future if my car stalls on the railroad tracks this evening?”

“With or without the speeding locomotive coming down the tracks?  With or without an ambulance standing by?  With or without a busy ER?  And was that ER upgraded to a Trauma Level 1 facility ten years ago because the local state legislator put this piece of necessary pork in an appropriations bill?  And what bribe, or pretty and easy lobbyist persuaded him to do so?””

She held up her hand.  “Okay. you have been reading Isaac Asimov's The End of Eternity. I get that.  You know the enormous number of forks in the path of history--like looking 20 moves ahead in a chess game with 10,000 pieces and 2000 locations on the board.

“It turns out that every fork produces a separate temporal result—parallel universes if you like.  We have figured out how to examine those parallel universes.  Some have surprising results, not too far from the dead butterfly causing primates to not be the dominant sentient species.”

I was briefly floored by the prospect of all the possible forks and therefore the number of parallel universes.  “How many have they found?”

Jane smiled and went to the whiteboard.  Don’t think of them as truly parallel universes.  She drew a circle labeled A at the top of the board, then two lines below it, each leading to another circle, followed by more circles with lines.  “A-left is the result of one choice.  A-left-left is another choice in A-left.  A-right-left and A-right-right are often very similar.  In A-right-left, his name is Abraham Lincoln; in A-right-right, his name is Ezekiel Lincoln.  In some cases, we cannot identify what is actually different; the difference is there, but we either do not know what to look for, or the change is too subtle.  Perhaps someone has blue eyes, not brown.  In other cases, the differences have no measureable effect; Johnny still marries Suzie, but they meet at a disco instead of a high school dance.”

“So history can be self-healing.  Interesting.  How do you determine what’s different?”

“I don’t know if you noticed that new building across the street,” and Jane gestured through her window.  “The neutrino measurement system examines each fork and stores all the information it can gather.  The storage requirements are huge.  Now we can’t store every forked universe, so we only store the ones that have easily identified differences.”

“So how far out do we go?  Or do our changes not alter anything beyond the Earth.”

“Pretty obviously, the Space Age dramatically transforms the problem.  We are terrified of the number of forks (nearly all irrelevant to Earth) caused by Voyager’s pass by of Jupiter in the 1970s.  Every little dust collision makes a tiny fork in the future, at least at that distance from the Sun.  We limit our probing to Earth for that reason.”  Jane loved to spin these sort of hypotheticals (or at least I assumed that they were hypotheticals) to show how smart she was.  And it worked; I was in awe of the number of forks that hitting 500 dust particles that far away must have caused.

“So, what’s my task?”

“We have identified an event in 1698 that could cause a fork.  We want to change that event, and see how it expresses itself on our fork compared to the fork not taken.”  She sounded and looked dubious.

“So why the concerned expression?”

“You are going to prevent the death of a little girl, Patience Williams.”

My curiosity was now fully piqued.  “I would think that you would be overjoyed to save someone’s life, especially a child.”  I knew Jane had three children.

“It’s hard to see this as a negative, but messing with history, even in a controlled experiment still seems risky.”

I asked, with some concern for this little girl, “Can we reverse the experiment if needed?”

“Sure.  We analyze the experiment in its own branch, created by sending one of the physicists to Hawaii for two weeks before the first fork experiment.  It makes a minor branch, with no other significant effects.”

“The horror—two weeks paid vacation when it is snowing here.  So what do I do?”

“Patience Williams gets lost in the forest outside Salem Village in November, 1697.  She never comes back.  We have recently located her remains.  Our examination of her remains indicates death was natural causes, likely hypothermia.  You need to lead her back to town.  Try not to allow public adoration to swell your head or become too widespread.  That adds too many possible branches.”

“Do I know where to find her?”

“We’ll drop you a few hundred feet from where we found her remains.  She may be in a bad state by that point, although the weather was not that cold.  Keep her warm, and return her to her home.”

The next day, I entered what all of us had by this point come to call ‘the Time Machine.’  I put on my dark glasses, passed through the flash of light interface and fell to the ground.  I turned in all directions in the gathering gloom and saw a little girl of about six walking through the forest.  I saw her trip over a log, followed by a scream.  I reached her and saw her holding her badly bruised knee. 

“Sir, it hurts,” she sobbed.

“Let me help you find your way home.” I picked her up and was immediately struck by the smell.  This late in the year, bathing became less frequent because of the problem of heating bath water.  She wasn’t very heavy and it felt good to carry this sweet little girl back to Salem Village.  I knew from previous missions which was the Williams farm.  I knocked on the door and handed Patience to her mother.  “She fell in the forest and hurt her knee.”

The mother took Patience, and asked, “And who may I thank for helping Patience?  You are not from around here.”

“Ryan, Goodwife.  I am a traveler on the way to Salem Town.  I was walking through the forest and heard her scream.  If we do not look out for each other, how can we call ourselves children of Christ?”

“Would you care to join us for dinner?”

“No, thank you.  I still have some distance to travel this afternoon.”

A few minutes later, I was back in the laboratory.  Jane motioned me towards her office.

“Did we learn anything?”

Jane looked ready to cry.  “Yes, she needed to die in the forest.”

“What?”  I was incredulous that the death of this little girl played some important role in history.  Worse, while I have no children, I still found a soft spot for little Patience.  The prospect of her freezing to death in the forest was quite upsetting.

Jane saw my anger and quickly tried to defuse it.  “Let me show you what we recovered in the control branch.  On the screen of her computer I saw a video of a funeral sermon being delivered by Rev. Parris.

“Why little Patience died is another of those mysteries that Almighty God burdens us with.  There must be some purpose for this tragedy, even if we cannot immediately understand it.  We pray for wisdom in handling our grief at this tragic loss.”

Next, she showed an image from the Boston Gazette, dated April 4, 1720.  The headline reported the execution of Patience Williams for poisoning men in the tavern where she worked.

My head was now spinning.  “So I only saved her from freezing to death so she could be hung two decades later?”

Jane became increasingly uncomfortable.  “It took a while to figure out in the control branch, although it was instantaneous in our branch.  We just looked in the storage vault for their report.”

As I have previously related, one of our researchers had transferred antiques to the present by burying them in a chest in the forest, then retrieved them in the present day.  This has since become our method of relaying information from past to present.  Time travel forward, very slowly.  It appears that the vault is present in the control branch as well, providing a parallel universes communications channel.

Jane again looked pained.  “Patience was terribly abused a year after you saved her by a traveler passing through town, perhaps a sailor.  Like many children, she said nothing, and just buried the hurt inside.  She drifted into Boston as a young adult, and became a barmaid in a harbor tavern.  She started poisoning customers, largely sailors, which is why we suspect a sailor was her attacker.  Ben Franklin stopped in for a beer as a very young man and passed away.  Imagine the impact that had on the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and Revolutionary War American diplomacy.  So the control branch passed a no-go message to our branch before you left.  An hour ago, you did not go back and save Patience in the forest.  Your memory of this persists, as does mine, but the parallel universe where Patience murders Ben Franklin is gone.”

I cringed at the memory of little inadequately bathed, cold Patience and wanted to cry.  “Could we go back and off this monster who destroyed Patience’s innocence?  I would gladly use some vacation hours to do so.”  Now I was really mad.

“We thought about that, but that sailor has a complex, poorly understood connection to some of the Green Mountain Boys in Vermont after passing through Salem Village.  We might be able to figure it out if we could see and travel to 1690s Vermont.  But we can’t.  No one is happy about this, you know.  But Rev. Parris might be right.  Robert Frost’s poem ‘The Road Less Travelled’ comes to mind:

“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Brain Dump: Early 1960s

In 1962, my family lived in Chula Vista, a suburb of San Diego nestled against the Mexican border.  (The last time I visited, I noticed the Jack-in-the-Box ordering box for drivethru had the Spanish in larger letters than the English.)  We lived in an apartment on Woodlawn Avenue, apparently 544, according to online maps and my reconstruction from memory, immediately north of the elementary school (maybe junior high) my sister Marilyn attended, which is now Mueller Charter School.  Not immediately adjacent, but very close was the I-5 freeway.  I have a vivid memory of helping my mother and Marilyn put up some silly poster covered in matchbooks as part of her pursuit of some student body government post.  (Was she matchless?  I do not remember.)  It was cold.

Travel was fairly rare for us.  We were definitely not well off.  Complicating the matter was that my father was sought by the FBI, and so he generally worked away from home.  The FBI would sometimes enter without warrant or probable cause to search for my father and threaten my mother that her kids would be taken away.  Finding my father on these accidental "interstate flight to avoid prosecution" charges could not have been a high priority task, because we drove to San Pedro almost every weekend to visit him.

My father worked at Todd Shipyards as a welder repairing ships.  He rented what in retrospect was a very odd house on top of a hill which seems may still exist on an unaccountably unbuilt hill.  It wasn't very big and it was ancient, even in 1962, but big enough for him to live in while working graveyard and swing shift, repairing I believe both commercial and Navy ships.  There were spectacular views from front and back of the house and lots of black widow spiders that caused my mother to put the fear of God into me.

We started driving north when my mother got off work.  I have no strong memories of the car except one bad one.  I have this odd impression that we arrived at my father's place in the wee hours of the morning.  Roads were slow at the time; the Interstates were far from complete, and state highways were often stop-and-go through every little town.  I do know that when we arrived, the smell from the kitchen was overwhelming.  My father always had a pot roast ready with onions, carrots, and potatoes.  Even at 5, this was an overwhelmingly good smell and flavor experience!

Cars, even new cars, which we never had, had no seatbelts.  I can remember standing up in the middle of the bench seat next to my mother.  It was quite common to make "car beds," collections of blankets that provide something that would help kids fall asleep.  Perhaps they provided some padding for minor crashes.

The only strong memory I have is a blackout, then waking up hours later in the bed of my Uncle Lloyd's pickup.  A drunken Marine from Camp Pendleton had rear-ended up, destroying the car.  My siblings have no memory of me being hurt, but for many years, I had a night terror, in which I was lying in the back seat of that car, and suddenly something monstrous raises its terrifying face to the window.  (If you have never experienced a night terror, good for you.  They make nightmares seem pretty pleasant.)

The weekends with my father were wonderful.  I always loved my father immensely; he was kind to me in a way that my mother simply could not manage.  There was a grape arbor over the walkway to the house and it was a lovely place where we often ate dinner outside on Sunday afternoon.  There were not enough beds, so we were often camped out on blankets all over the house.  Amazing how much easier it is fall asleep at that age.  I have several very positive memories of learning there.  Marilyn drilled me on my multiplication tables.  I was not in first grade yet.  My brother taught me to read so young, that I have no memory of not reading.  I always assumed that I learned at 3 1/2.  My sister Susan's memory is that I was 2.  I know that by first grade I was reading, learning, and memorizing from my brother's high school chemistry textbook.  This was a great advantage.  I went from child care to first grade at St. John's Elementary School, skipping kindergarten.

Returns to Chula Vista were disheartening.  I have memories of arriving in north San Diego to a very hard to miss Flying A gasoline station sign.

There will be more.

One other trip to San Pedro memory.  For some reason, our mother put Marilyn and I on a bus to San Pedro.  A Greyhound for the long trip to San Pedro.  We then rode a city bus to the base of the hill on which our father lived.  While that may sound like a crazy thing to do, in the early 1960s, it did not seem so.  By the end of the city bus trip, there were guys making either  catcalls or inappropriate remarks to my sister who would have been 12 or 13.  The bus driver told them to knock it off and they did.

How Small is My County

The county-wide newspaper The Idaho World has this headline today:
Volunteer Fire Department Saves Parrot!
The body explains it was actually a macaw.

It's been an exciting week in Boise County!

Odd Technical Question for You Deer Hunters

Coming home a couple night ago, there was a woman in a Jeep who had just hit a deer.  She told me it was bleeding from the eyes.  It wandered off road.  This being Idaho, she sounded absolutely ashamed to not have a gun.  (Tourist?)  From 15 yards, I could see the left hindquarter had a 5" x 2" skin opening with bloody flesh exposed.  Probably an animal in need a mercy shot. 

I normally keep in my car a Firestar loaded with 124 grain JHPs.  This being Idaho, I worry very little about criminal attack, but an injured animal does concern me.  A deer already anchored by the ultimate major caliber, a motor vehicle (go ahead, calculate the grains and foot-pounds) is simple: A head shot would be sufficient.  Heck, even a .22 LR might be enough to enough to put it out of its misery.  But what would a 9mm JHP do in a torso shot at 15 yards.  Anything at all?  Or just increase its agony?

I hate to see animals suffer.

Navigation Systems of 1954

Road & Track unearthed this 1954 Chevrolet "how-to" for vacationing by car.

It wasn't quite this bad on my first vacation car trips: to the Seattle World's Fair in 1962; to Yosemite sometime in the mid-1960s; to New Mexico in 1964?

There Must Be Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth in Democrat Circles Right Now

Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore holds a 10-point lead over his Democratic opponent, according to a new poll.
The Emerson College survey found that Moore has the support of 55 percent of the Alabama voters polled, compared to 45 percent for the Democratic nominee, Doug Jones.
The poll was conducted from Nov. 9 to Nov. 11, after The Washington Post published its report in which a woman accused Moore of initiating sexual contact with her in 1979, when she was 14 and he was 32.
The poll does show improvement for Jones from the last survey conducted in September. That survey gave Moore a 22-point advantage.
The poll also found that President Trump has a positive approval rating in Alabama, with 58 percent approving and 36 percent disapproving of him.
I have been skeptical of these accusations because Moore has been a divisive figure in Alabama politics for decades and none of these claims appeared until after the Republican primary.  Before the primary, it  might have put a RINO up against a Democrat.  Afterwards, it would seem to make the Democrat a shoe-in.  It appears that Alabamians are not buying the claims.  I rather doubt that they would support him if they believed them to be true.

Sen. Franken Better Pay Attention

Just 22 percent of Minnesotans in a new survey say Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) should stay in office.
A KSTP/SurveyUSA poll finds in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against Franken, only 22 percent of Minnesotans think he should remain in his post, compared to 33 percent who say he should resign.
Another 36 percent think he should wait to see what comes from a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into his behavior.
I'm guessing a big fraction of that 22% are guys you would not want your daughter, sister, or wife to work for.

How Can You Tell a Member of Congress is Progressive?

The number of accusers.  11/21/17 BuzzFeedNews:
Another former staff member to Michigan Rep. John Conyers alleged that she endured persistent sexual harassment by the congressman, according to court documents.
A former scheduler in the Conyers' office attempted to file a sealed lawsuit against him this February in the US District Court for the District of Columbia that alleges she suffered unwanted touching by the Democrat “repeatedly and daily.” She abandoned the lawsuit the next month, after the court denied her motion to seal the complaint.
The woman was not involved in the 2015 sexual harassment and wrongful dismissal complaint that Conyers settled in 2015, which was revealed Monday by BuzzFeed News, and is now under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.
The lawsuit centered on behavior that took place later, from 2015 to 2016, but involves similar allegations. The woman said that shortly after she started to work for Conyers he began to make sexual advances in the form of inappropriate comments and touching.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Charles Manson Dead

If there was ever an argument for the death penalty, only Charles Ng tops Manson for it.  I was on a backpacking trip through the Sierras with my oldest sister and cousin the weekend of the murders at Sharon Tate's house.  Of course, he was sentenced to death, and saved by a California Supreme Court that voided all existing death sentences. 

That Carolyn and Michael didn't leave their whiny 12 year old relative in the forest showed enormous self-control.  In retrospect, this was one of the best experiences of my life and one that I wish that I had repeated a few years later when a 20 pound pack would not have been such a burden.  As an adult it would have been wonderful.  Today, I do not have the stamina or adequate joints for it.

The barbarism of Manson and his successful brainwashing of what Manson later accurately characterized as the "throwaways" of middle class society, was well examined in prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi's Helter-Skelter.

I Had No Idea Using the Word "Tranny" Called for Police Activity

The University of Minnesota-Morris has threatened a student radio show with cancellation after one of the hosts used the word “tranny” on-air, with campus officials offering several shifting reasons for pulling the show from the airwaves. The College Fix has obtained exclusive video of the moment when the students were pulled from the air during the middle of their show.
“Deplorable Radio” is a weekly show on KUMM hosted by students Brandon Albrecht and Tayler Lehmann. Albrecht told The College Fix in an email that the programming is “a mix of politics, music, and some random musings about current events locally and around the world.”

Sunday, November 19, 2017

M1911 Full Length Recoil Spring Guide Rod

WIlson Combat sells one for $30.  Experience with it?  My current M1911 works flawlessly, but comments suggest that it improves tightness of fit (thus accuracy) and smoother functioning.

All Cultures Are Equally Valid

Especially the more traditional.   Newsweek reports that local Madagascar tradition of exhuming family dead,  redress ing them,  then dancing worth them,  may be spreading bubonic plague.

No Easy Way to Summarize This Article

Except state legislatures need to look at how public funds are being misspent.  11/16/17 College Fix:
White inventor of ‘white fragility’ tells University of Texas: Whites must stop becoming teachers

Obamacare Death Rattle

11/16/17 New York Times (of all places):
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Consumers here at first did not believe the health insurance premiums they saw when they went shopping for coverage this month on Only five plans were available, and for a family of four with parents in their mid-30s, the cheapest plan went typically for more than $2,400 a month, nearly $30,000 a year.
With the deadline for a decision less than a month away, consumers are desperately weighing their options, dismayed at the choices they have under the Affordable Care Act and convinced that political forces in Washington are toying with their health and well-being.
Of course it is Trump's fault.  He has only been in office since January and already stuff that has been building for at least a year is his fault.

Defending Al Franken AND Roy Moore

HotAir presents a Facebook posting by a Democrat running for governor of Ohio where he claims that he is defending Franken "on behalf of all heterosexual males," then boasts of sex with "50 very attractive females."  Unless he is boasting of rape, he clearly does not understand the complaint about Franken.  Worst of all, this idiot is a current Ohio Supreme Court justice.

Marvelous comment at Instapundit:
Anyone in public office who has a Faceplant account needs to have their head examined.


A recent meteor strike caught on an auroa webcam:

Friday, November 17, 2017

Nice Clear Sky

To try out the equatorial platform,  and it is below freezing.  Will I build up the courage to try this?  Or watch Men in Black?

It's Not a Tax Cut Bill

The limiting of mortgage interest deduction to $500,000 mortgages, is clearly a "soak the rich" bill.  Republicans need to call it that.

More Signs of the Evil of Trump

11/17/17 The Hill:
Thirteen states this year have seen their unemployment rates drop to the lowest levels ever recorded since the federal government began keeping track of state-level data more than four decades ago.

Eight years after the bottom of the worst recession in modern history, the states seeing economic booms range from the bluest of the blue, like Hawaii and California, to the deepest shades of red, like Idaho and Texas.

In October, the unemployment rates in Alabama, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Washington all met or beat their lowest rates ever recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), according to the agency’s monthly report issued Friday.

California, Colorado, Idaho, North Dakota and Oregon also hit new lows earlier this year. 
I wonder how much is the boom, and how much is the decline in illegals making jobs available.