Sunday, May 20, 2018

.380 ACP and Coyotes

A coyote was stalking wife and the puppy last night.  The neighboring game warden thinks from the behavior that she was seeking food for her pups.  My guess is that .380 ACP would probably be sufficient for coyote at 15 yards.  (If it farther away, it isn't a threat to either.  I am aware of pack hunting, but I suspect the first gunshot will tell the rest of the pack to call Domino's.)

FMJs should easily penetrate such a light and thin creature.  Should we load with JHPs?

Friday, May 18, 2018

Today's Tragedy

Revolver and shotgun.  Wanted publicity.  Obvious need to regulate assault media.

Adventures in Paleocomputing

When I last inflicted my memoirs on you, I was a high school computer geek.  Graduation was coming and I had picked USC.  I had very limited horizons and hopes.  I graduated 23rd in a class of 1000+. While my SAT scores were okay (top half of the top percentile on verbal but only 97% on math), these were unlikely to get me into CalTech.  I applied to Harvey Mudd, USC, and UCLA (where I had been taking Russian and computer science classes while in 12th grade).  Harvey Mudd had me on the waitlist; USC accepted me and offered enough scholarships to make it cheaper than UCLA.  Tuition at UCLA was about $600 a year; USC about $2900.  So I decided on USC.

In the last few weeks of 12th grade, the company that sold the school district the new Interdata Model 7/32 minicomputer was American Business Computers.  They were a small band of sleazy operators.  (You will find out more later.)  One of their contracts was that they had offered to write the software for operating a company that made European car parts.  The guy in charge was named Neil.  The Interdata computers were 16-bit word size.  Pretty obviously, 16 bits will not handle typical commercial transactions.  $655.36?  Floating point was seven bits of mantissa so that won't work either.  NO, BUT YOU COULD ONLY GET SEVEN DIGITS DECIMAL PRECISION   WITH THE FLOATING POINT FORMAT.

Even worse, this guy could not write a binary to decimal unpack in assembler language.  If you do not recognize "unpack," how do you turn the binary number 01001010 into the ASCII equivalent 74?  And how do you pack 74 back to the binary equivalent?  Now while many of our contemporaries were drag racing or seeing how many different drugs you could use in a weekend without dying, we were engaged in ferocious competition to see who could write the most efficient pack and unpack subroutines in assembler language.  While Neil had persuaded the customer to use hexadecimal part numbers (4EF2, 1C0B), they were somewhat resistant to using hexadecimal for billing customers.  "I owe you $EC54?"

Worse: I was later told that this company was Mafia-owned.  So were many of their competitors.  When they found out that each of them was getting the same "custom" software, the salesman moved to Australia to avoid a contract hit.

Anyway, Neil explained the urgency of being able to do 32-bit arithmetic on a 16-bit machine.  Add, subtract, multiply, divide.  Add and subtract were easy.  Add the lower 16 bits and add the carry bit to the upper 16 bit operation.  Subtract was similar.  Multiply and divide were not so easy, but with a little help from my friends, problem solved.

He paid me ($80: big money for a poor kid just graduating high school) and offered me a summer job: $80 a week.  So I had to drive from Santa Monica to Irvine every day.  Gas was about $0.39 a gallon.  (About an hour of transit time then;  now, retirement age at the end of the first day.)

First he assigned me to a customer named Trinetics in Long Beach.  I have no idea what they did; the owner had a thick Southern accent and was a nice enough guy.  The only part of the experience I remember was having to run the source code (assembler language) through the assembler (which converted mnemonics like AHM to the machine code 4A).  It also resolved variable addresses and symbolic constants, much like #define in C.  Then all the individual object modules with references to variables in other modules would be run through the link editor, which would resolve the undefined addresses.  The source code was on punched paper tape:
To assemble and link required reading through the source three times (resolving forward references with no temporary storage): about nine hours of waiting for feed errors which sometimes tore the tape.

For reasons that I no longer remember, but probably did not reflect well on the interpersonal skills of a 17 year old introvert with his first job, Neil moved me to the parts manufacturer project.  There I tried to clean up the mess that Neil's unique programming techniques had produced.  We had promised 4 separate data entry terminals.  Neil could not figure out how to read keystrokes, writing them was easy.  I remember one part of the puzzle was the Programmable Asynchronous Line Adapter (PASLA).  The intent was an interrupt-driven interface.  When a keystroke happened it would produce an interrupt, at which point you would input the keystroke.  But I did not really understand interrupt service routines yet, so I hacked together a sense-status loop approach: keep reading the status bits until they showed a character available and read it.  Terribly inefficient but better than nothing.

It was not a bad month or so.  The company served soup for lunch to all its employees and I learned a lot.  But the high point of technical learning was in the last month.  At the time the idea of Plug Compatible Modules was a dangerous idea: you bought RAM and I/O parts only from the maker of your minicomputer.  Then a troublemaker named Keronix started offering PCM RAM at much cheaper prices.  Eventually, after upsetting Data General, Keronix mysteriously burned to the ground.  (Coincidence, I am sure.)  

Anyway, we had bought a 64K Keronix memory card (these were a foot or two square) for one of the Interdata minicomputers.  The operating system would not boot.  So I was assigned to figure out why.  I had a slightly out of date listing of the assembler language of the operating system.  But there was no way to use the O/S debugger; it never got that far.  

What I did: minicomputers had front panels through which you could read and write memory locations.  As breakpoints, I would insert the one word BS * (branch short to your current address).  I worked my way through the O/S from where control was given by the boot process until I found the guilty party, removing that BS * and putting the original instruction back in, until I found the instruction that caused the failure.

To read from the hard disk, the O/S would set up the DMA so that when the OC (Output Command) executed, it would read the requested sectors from the disk into the requested RAM.  At which point, bit 13 in every word in the first 16K of RAM turned off!  The instruction after the OC was now an illegal instruction.  Obediently the illegal instruction trap fired.  The first instruction of every interrupt service routine including this one was DI (Disable Interrupts).  But with bit 13 off, that first instruction was now illegal, and off it went, chasing its own tail.

The Keronix RAM was okay; the Interdata disk controller was out of spec; the DMA request was turning off bit 13.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

How Did This Happen?

In the midst of a news story about how Trump's Surgeon-General dealt with a medical emergency on an airliner there is a picture of him.  Wait a minute, why did that racist Trump pick someone that dark?

Why Linux Is Not Winning the War

I am trying to get the Debian Linux version in the shop to print to the HP LaserJet in my office (IP  Settings->Printing: Add.  Network Printer is the obvious choice:

It asks for the Host.  The IP address? Then Find button?

AppSocket/HP JetDirect goes a bit farther.  But there is no driver for my M426fdw, which is neither antique nor new.  (A few years old.)  I can use the 1536 driver, but then when I bring up properties, I get:
Any suggestions?  I really prefer Linux, but I cannot recommend it to anyone who is struggling with Windows.

This may be the solution.  (No, and not needed.)  Could not install on Debian 7.1 (the special version for CNC).  But somehow I can print from the install under VMWare, so I may try the same sequence from the shop PC.

Works!  In case you run into this struggle: AppSocket/HP Direct, Enter the IP address in the URI field, Forward, then enter it again on next screen and it searches for drivers.  Still none specific to my M426fdw, but using the M1536 printer profile works.

Actions Have Consequences

5/15/18 NPR:
California has seen a record rise in cases of sexually transmitted diseases and a spike in the number of stillbirths caused by syphilis. It marks the third year in a row that the state has seen a rise in the spread of STDs.
More than 300,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and early syphilis were counted in 2017, according to the latest report by the California Department of Public Health. Health officials said the upsurge constitutes a 45 percent increase compared to five years ago.
But what is "particularly concerning" to the department is that the number of stillbirths due to congenital syphilis increased to 30 — the highest number reported since 1995. And the overall cases of California babies born with the disease — passed through the placenta from their mothers — has more than quadrupled since 2013 to 278 last year. It can cause severe neurological problems, deformities or blindness, among other serious ailments....
The ubiquity of "hookup" apps is another contributing factor. "The internet and smart phones have made it very, very easy to create social and sexual connections between people," Bauer said, adding that short-lived relationships, during which many people don't bother to exchange meaningful contact information, makes it challenging to notify previous sexual partners of dangerous infections.
The data out of California are consistent with the most recent nationwide numbers available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which logged more sexually transmitted diseases than ever in 2016. More than two million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were diagnosed in the United States that year and early reports indicate 2017 may be another record setting year. 
You only need to look at the syphilitic damage to bones to realize how serious this is.  Part of what provoked an increase in sexual morality laws in the early to mid-19th century was syphilis.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Reality Optional Zone

Why universities are increasingly held in contempt:

As Instapundit observes:
I predict that it will be harder and harder to argue that higher education adds value, either for individuals or for society.
I keep wondering why Republican state legislatures do not defund the identity politics departments of state universities.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Idaho Gov. Race

I had already decided against Brad Little for Governor, both because of his endorsement by squishy conservative Gov. Otter and because his ads against Labrador have become increasingly nasty; they also have a smell of deception.  This article says:

An Idaho government watchdog group says left-wing labor union bosses and environmentalists have been “masquerading” as conservative Republicans to convince the state’s citizens to vote for liberal Republican gubernatorial candidate Brad Little.
“In a recent mailing, the Independent Republicans for Idaho PAC tells voters that Little is ‘safeguarding conservative Idaho values,’” writes Wayne Hoffman of Idaho Freedom Foundation, adding that the PAC further states, “Brad is the proven conservative leader who will stand up for the things we hold dear: family, freedom and a future worth fighting for.”
“The question: Who are the “Independent Republicans for Idaho?”
Hoffman asks, observing that the PAC shares the same address as the Idaho Education Association (IEA), a state teachers’ union that has been battling school choice and promoting a statewide pre-kindergarten program, the latter of which Little also supports.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Progress 99.2 kg

Nope a huge drop but any progress is good.

FBI Report on Active Shooters: 2016-17

It is here.  On p. 2:
11 shooters killed by police
8 shooters stopped by citizens
18 shooters apprehended b y police

Odd Things You Find When Reading Through Texas Statutes

Until 1974, Texas Penal Code included “Homicide is justifiable when committed by the husband upon the person of any one taken in the act of adultery with the wife, provided the killing take place before the parties to the act of adultery have separated.” [Tex. Penal Code, Art. 1102 (1916), Shaw v. State, 510 SW2d 926 (Ct.Crim.App. 1974)]

Why only men? Texas men back then never committed adultery

If you hear her husband entering the house, withdraw from the premises at once

Sunday, May 13, 2018

And Yes, Southern Illinois is Indeed What I Expected: Flat

The Hyatt Regency Elevators Were Something You Might Find in the Death Star

Can I Sell This on eBay?

(About 2 feet across.)

Rhonda's Nature Preserve

That's what we call the back 4 acres:

Marmots and Prairie Chickens

That's why wife making the prairie chicken accompaniment:

The Dallas County Courthouse

From when the Duke operated the manorial courts.

Why I Live Here

From the porch outside the master bedroom:
It is a big image, it may take a while to load.

Still Looking For That Pot Of Gold

What Racist Trump Official Said This

"There is no country in the world that can support unlimited migration."

5/12/18 Associated Press:
"We can't tell everyone, 'Come, stay here,'" Christian Kruger, the director of Colombia's migration agency, said in a recent interview. "There is no country in the world that can support unlimited migration."

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Obscure Machining Question

I have a piece of 1" diameter,  7/8" high piece of brass I need to cut a 45 degree slice.   (It needs to be cut at a 45 degree angle to hold a diagonal mirror.)  The obvious solution is to mount the vise on a tilting table at 45 degrees and cut across.   The problem is that to make a 45 degree cut requires cutting 1.225 inches from the highest part of the cylinder but that goes below the jaws of the vise which jaws stick up .9" from the base of the vise.  I put various thicknesses of spacers under the workpiece to get it high enough to have room to mill off 1.225" from the top, but that is not enough spacing.   Any suggestions?

Thanks for the suggestions.  Mount a lathe chuck on the tilting table to hold the workpiece.   The lathe chuck does not stock up very hard,  and I can clamp down on the workpiece worth enough force to nor pop out.

That Degree in Post-Modernist Transgender Puppetry Isn't Paying the Bills?

5/11/18 CNBC:
Today, Oprah Winfrey gave an impassioned commencement speech at the University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Her speech was full of common sense advice, including, vote, eat a good breakfast, pay your bills on time, recycle, make your bed, aim high, say "thank you" and ask for help.
And always obey the law of gravity!
Winfrey insisted that young people should not be discouraged from working a job that isn't perfect in every way. "Your job is not who you are, it's just what you're doing on the way to who you will become." 
So you can't pay back your student loan buskering as a trans-gender mime?  Not to worry!

Yup! Knife Murder Problem Solution

The mayor of London is proposing a ban on junk food advertisement on city-owned transportation systems.  And yes, obesity is a larger (fatter?) cause of death than knives (or guns, in America), but no one chooses to be stabbed or shot (unless there's some new sexual practice that I have missed) unlike eating.  And of course, Mayor Bloomberg is applauding.

Another Reminder That Profit Should Not Be A Business' Only Concern

From KUTV:
(KUTV) — Vendors and gun companies are backing away from Dick's Sporting Goods after federal documents surfaced, showing that the company has hired lobbyists to lobby for gun control in Congress.
The Pennsylvania-based company announced in February that they would stop selling assault-style rifles and raise the purchase age to 21. The decision followed the notorious Parkland school shooting in which 17 people were killed on Valentine's Day.
Two months later, the company destroyed all the guns and accessories it stopped selling — a strong statement on how the company feels about its inventory.
Destroying guns instead of returning them?  Virtue signalling.  Gun makers are putting the Second Amendment ahead of profits by refusing to sell any goods to Dick's. 
Mossberg® Terminates Relationship with Dick’s Sporting Goods
 NORTH HAVEN, CT – O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc., a leading American firearms manufacturer, announced today its decision to discontinue selling products to Dick’s Sporting Goods, and its subsidiary, Field & Stream, in response to their hiring of gun control lobbyists in April 2018.
 Effective immediately, O.F. Mossberg & Sons will not accept any future orders from Dick’s Sporting Goods or Field & Stream, and is in the process of evaluating current contractual agreements.

5/11/18 Fox News:
The Mossberg announcement came just one day after MKS Supply, which makes Hi-Point firearms, also announced it would pull out of Dick's. Last week, gun manufacturer Springfield Armory said it was halting business with the sport’s supply company, too.
“We believe that refusing to sell long guns to adults under age 21, while many young adults in our military are not similarly restricted, is wrong. We believe that villainizing modern sporting rifles in response to pressure from uninformed, anti-gun voices is wrong,” MKS Supply president Charles Brown wrote a statement. “We believe that hiring lobbyists to oppose American citizens’ freedoms secured by the Second Amendment is wrong. Dick’s Sporting Goods and Field & Stream, in purportedly doing all of these things, have demonstrated that they do not share our values. [We’re] standing by the American people by refusing any further sales to Dick’s Sporting Goods & Field & Stream.”
As Instapundit observes, get woke, go broke.  So is Dick's relying on the gun control supporters for their future business?

A New Low in Idaho Political Ads

I thought the ads attacking Tommy Ahlquist, Raul Labrador, and Brad Little were bad.  This arrived in yesterday's mail and it so enraged me that I had no choice but to pick it apart. I had no idea until yesterday that someone named Steve Yates even existed.  Now once I point these out to you, you will recognize them as dishonest and manipulative, but most voters will just read and emote.

A "highly paid registered foreign agent for the Republic of China."   Quick what country will most Americans immediately think of?  Formerly Red China (the People's Republic of China), a major military competitor, or Taiwan (the Republic of China) a longtime U.S. ally?

Note that "agents funneling cash to his campaign" has a negative connotation (like secret agents?), and it is unlawful for non-citizens to contribute to U.S. political campaigns.  If the people who put this flyer together have evidence of such a crime why are they not bringing this to the attention of the U.S. Attorney's office?

"all in exchange": an accusation of quid pro quo or bribery.  And "past special favors"?  Which ones?  And again, an accusation of a bribe, but why not call the U.S. Attorney?  That would end Yates' campaign in a hurry.

"IF HIS ACCOMPLICES ARE NOT ON OUR SIDE, WHOSE SIDE IS STEVE YATES ON?"  Accomplices implies criminal behavior.  Relying on the common misperception that "Republic of China" means the U.S.'s enemy, the People's Republic of China, makes this a very effective emotion manipulator.

The reverse side:
The complaint is that Yates is selling his business experience but that his business went under.  The evidence is an email his wife sent out to their friends (including at least one who having provided this email, is emphatically no longer a friend) begging for help.

1. A business failure might be caused by many things: bad business skills; overexpansion; a collapsing economy.

2. The date of the email is blacked out.  Was this 2016, 2009, 2001?  Who knows?  And that is why it is blacked out.

3. Many sections are blurred out, for the purpose of emphasizing some parts, but what is blurred out appears to be text that might make people who have ever been in financial trouble sympathetic.  We can only guess what the blacked out text in the body of the email might say.  I am guessing it would present a different version.

4.  The picture of Yates against the Republic of China flag is heavily freckled with what appear to be growths on the top of his head.  The aspect ratio is also distorted, making him far less human looking than the picture on the other side.  Would you vote for someone who looks so odd?

5.  "other than help from our Bishop."  Anywhere else in America, this would tell you he is Catholic.  In Idaho, this tells you he is LDS.  As I learned in 2008, LDS voters will vote for a pro-gay politician if he is a member of their church.  But letting non-LDS Idahoans know that Yates is LDS will sour at least some non-LDS Idahoans against Yates.  Clever decision to highlight this one otherwise irrelevant phrase.

So who is funding Idahoans Fighting Corruption?  The only large donation is from a Bryan Smith.  He seems to have funded a number of Republican candidates over the years so apparently not a Soros plant.  Why this rage and manipulation?

Friday, May 11, 2018


I have been watching the series Combat! On YouTube.  Really awesomely done. Gritty, compassionate,  an enormous amount of money spent on sets.  For a weekly series this was very expensive.

Not Backing Down

How Do You Make Sure You Are Taken Seriously As An Intellectual, Not As a Sex Object?

5/9/18 Fox News:
A Cornell University senior delivered her honors thesis after stripping down to her bra and underwear in front of her teacher and classmates -- at least two dozen of whom also undressed -- in a bid to "stand against oppressive beliefs and discrimination," Campus Reform reported Tuesday.

I Know People Who Might Fly There to Help With the Cleanup

Imagine if Google Refused to Accept Ads on a Referendum Where Pro-Choicers Needed Ads Run

5/10/18 Irish Times:
Google’s decision to ban all ads relating to the abortion referendum is a significant departure for the tech multinational and an important moment in the referendum campaign.
It is a blow to the No side, which had planned an intensification of an already heavy online advertising campaign in the closing weeks of the campaign before polling day on May 25th.
The spokesman for the Save the Eighth campaign John McGuirk railed against Google’s decision, at a joint press conference with other retain campaigners.
They insisted that Google’s decision – which takes the unprecedented step of banning all ads, including those from Irish citizens and campaigns – amounts to “foreign interference”, by depriving the retain campaign of one of its most important platforms.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Russian Interference in the 2016 Election

SAN FRANCISCO — Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released thousands of Russian Facebook ads on Thursday, offering the public its first in-depth look at the troubling messages used to heighten tensions among Americans during and after the 2016 U.S. presidential election....
Patterns quickly emerge in sampling the ads. Many of the hundreds of ads placed in April 2016 targeted racial divisions in American society, encouraging African-American political activism by imitating the language and messaging of the Black Lives Matter movement with posts highlighting racist incidents and others the resilience and beauty of the African-American community....
Facebook pages with points of view that span the political spectrum from "Blacktivist" to "Heart of Texas" bought ads. Some of the more than 3,000 ads denounced Donald Trump, others his Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton.
So they tried to do what our leftist news media are still trying to do?  Split us into hate-filled groups?

More Reasons That Stormy Daniels Is The Only Real News

5/10/18 Idaho Statesman:

American drivers paid more for gas, but overall consumer prices rose only modestly in April, a sign that inflation remains mild.
The modest pace of consumer inflation may send a reassuring signal to the Federal Reserve, which is considering how quickly to raise interest rates this year.
A booming economy can drive up inflation, which will cause rising interest rates.

Oh Yes, Australia No Longer Has Gun Mas Murders

5/10/18 Washington Post:
CANBERRA, Australia — Seven people were found dead with gunshot wounds at a property near the tourist town of Margaret River in Australia’s southwest on Friday in what could be the country’s worst mass shooting in 22 years, police said.
The bodies of three adults and four children and two guns were found at a property at the village of Osmington, Western Australia state Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said....
This could be the worst mass shooting in Australia since a lone gunman killed 35 in Tasmania state in 1996, prompting the nation to introduce tough gun controls.
Australia’s gun laws are widely acclaimed as a success, with supporters including former President Barack Obama saying Australia has not had a single mass shooting since they were implemented.
The generally accepted definition of a mass shooting — four deaths excluding the shooter in a single event — has been met only once in Australia since then. In 2014, a farmer shot his wife and three children before killing himself.

BLM Shooting Range Near McCall?

I will be up at McCall for a church event in a couple weekends, and during some free time would like to verify functionality of these Wilson 8 round 1911 magazines.  Ideally, some BLM land safe for shooting, but any range in the vicinity of McCall will do.

Today's Interesting and Bizzare YouTube Videos

The Big Picture about MPs.  So profoundly optimistic.

One about occupation duty in Germany.   Immediately after the discovery of the Holocaust,  the very harsh nature of the portrayal of the Germans is unsurprising.

A History Channel documentary Weird Weapons of World War II says that the bat incendiary bombs were never used.  Project was canceled because the A-bomb made it irrelevant.

Sanctuary Counties

5/7/18 American Military News:
A number of Illinois counties have passed resolutions declaring themselves as “sanctuary” counties for gun owners in an effort to stop the state legislature from pushing gun control measures, the Associated Press reported.
If the state legislature passes gun bills in Illinois – such as increasing the minimum age for owning a gun, a limit on magazine capacity or a bump stock ban – these Illinois counties would prevent their employees from enforcing such laws.
If states can declare themselves sanctuaries for illegal aliens, then doing so for rights explicitly protected by the Second Amendment is a no-brainer.  I look forward to Idaho doing the same when Democrats again take control of Congress and ban semiauto rifles.

Think Charles Laughton playing Quasimodo in the 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame.

And We Wonder Why Chicago Has a Gun Violence Problem

5/8/18 CBS Chicago:
CHICAGO (CBS) – A Tinley Park man facing attempted murder charges for allegedly shooting a man seven times in a traffic accident is teaching fifth grade at a Cicero middle school.
Police say Andres Rodriguez was working in Joliet when the incident happened last July. The district placed him on paid administrative leave after he was charged.
Two weeks later, the Tribune reports he started a new job at Unity Middle School as a substitute teacher.
Parents are not happy that the man teaching their children is facing attempted murder charges. He is free on half million dollars bond.
He has not been convicted of anything yet, but it seems foolish to have such a person in the classroom.

More Reasons Why Trump Must Be Removed

5/10/18 Marketwatch:
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The number of people who applied for U.S. unemployment benefits in early May stood at 211,000 for the second straight week, keeping initial jobless claims near a 49-year low. New claims were flat at 211,000 in the seven days ended May 5, the government said Thursday. Economists polled by the MarketWatch had expected claims to total 215,000. The average of new claims over the past month, meanwhile, fell by 5,500 to 216,000 to touch the lowest level since December 1969. [emphasis added]

A Profoundly Disturbing News Story

Either a paranoid con man or a retired spook with serious problems.  Either way, a tragic ending.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

More Evidence That The Swampcritters in Hollyweird Need a Higher Tax Rate

I am sure it is great pizza, but:
For any New York City expats in Los Angeles, JetBlue Airways will seriously deliver pizza from Harlem to your doorsteps for less than $20 starting Wednesday, May 9.
The airline reports on its website that it will deliver a limited amount of 350 pizzas from Patsy's Pizzeria of East Harlem from Wednesday through Friday, May 11. JetBlue says it will deliver up to a customer's door in "select areas in LA" on a first come, first serve basis. 
JetBlue will start taking orders at midnight Wednesday, and customers can select either a 16-inch plain cheese pizza for $12 or a 16-inch pepperoni pizza for $15. The airway will allow customers to track their order on its website as the pie flies from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport. 


Other than being part of the Putin/Trump conspiracy, any experience with their .45ACP 230 gr. FMJ?

What Happened in Dallas?

I am starting to do a somewhat more informal version of my old Shotgun News column: little bits of news and commentary for Gun Shows TodayShotgun News paid me.  Hopefully this venture will at least get me some more blog readers. 

There were 87,000 attendees at the NRA Annual Meeting.  The local news covered the anti-NRA demonstrations, none of them near the Convention Center, which seemed to be at most a few dozen people (and they wonder why they keep losing).  The only anti-NRA material I saw was a giant sign truck with a picture of Putin saying something to Wayne LaPierre in Russian with a translation claiming Putin had NRA put Trump in office.  Everytown for Gun Safety was taking credit for what may be the least effective political ad in recent times.  If you want to persuade NRA members, "Everytown for Gun Safety," immediately discredits the ad.  Anyone who is paying attention knows Trump has given the Russians several recent black eyes.  A lot of wasted money;   Who else was this to persuade?  The businesses awash in NRA members?  I hope the truck was running on biodiesel for the good of Mother Earth.

The Firearms Law Seminar is an NRA-sponsored CLE for lawyers.  If you need CLE units to keep your license current would you rather go to one in your specialty (probate law, contract law, and what even more boring of a speciality?) or one that interests you, like gun law?

I was the lunch speaker.  This means you are competing with clinking utensils, dishes, and "Please pass the butter."  I was nervous beyond belief, because I am still battling with the throat and brain not communicating properly.  There were perhaps 200+ people in the room.  I managed to overwhelm the clinking of utensils because I am such an interesting speaker! :-)

I had no problem holding their attention with the images I chose including this one:

The entire presentation is here.  I was told by one of the organizers that I was the best lunch speaker ever.  As a result, I had trouble squeezing my swollen head through the plane door to return to Boise. I had sent 15 copies of Lock, Stock, and Barrel to sell just above my cost of $35.  My wife said there was a long line of disappointed people.  Next time, 50 copies.  I autographed number of copies, including a copy for Dick Heller of D.C. v. Heller (2008).

I have never been to an NRA Annual Meeting before.  Think of the Big Reno Gun Show but much bigger and more crowded, with very little you could buy and take home.  I did get a chance to look at Colt's bright stainless Government Model.  I am tempted to have Colt redo mine in bright stainless.  Not  very useful for a carry gun burt gorgeous.

There, I Fixed It is Always Worth Reading

A Solution Looking For a Problem

Not sure why, but too much money in Middle Eastern hands always seems to come up with solutions to problems I do not understand: two Jeeps assembled together side by side in Morocco.

Found this gem at There, I Fixed It.

I Guess Trump's Brash and Adversarial Foreign Policy Has Its Advantages

5/9/18 Washington Post:
PYONGYANG, North Korea — Three American men who had been imprisoned by North Korea are on their way to the United States, President Trump announced Wednesday after they were released to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his visit to Pyongyang.
“I am pleased to inform you that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the air and on his way back from North Korea with the 3 wonderful gentlemen that everyone is looking so forward to meeting,” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning. “They seem to be in good health.”
Pompeo and the men should be landing at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington, D.C., at 2 a.m. local time. “I will be there to greet them,” Trump wrote in a second tweet. “Very exciting!”
Remember: diplomacy is saying, "Nice doggie," while looking for a rock.

"Explosives require careful handling. Sometimes they blow up in your face."

A marvelous column at National Review by Victor Davis Hanson.  Just go read it.  For all Trump's faults he has at least as many virtues: his ability to make the left engage in razor blade seppuku is among the best.

The So-Called Blue Wave

I am beginning to think that this is more like "Hilary has it in the bag."  5/8/18 Indianapolis Star:
In a huge upset against two well-established names in Indiana Republican politics, wealthy businessman Mike Braun won Indiana’s high-stakes GOP Senate primary.
Braun, who fueled his bid with millions of dollars of his own money, defeated U.S. Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita in what has been called the nation’s nastiest and most expensive U.S. Senate primary....
Braun will now face off against Sen. Joe Donnelly, who is widely considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the November election. The race will be one of a handful that determine which party controls the Senate next year.
Swamp creatures beware.  I do not think personal wealth is the only qualifier for election, but it gives you independence from the swamp. 5/8/18 The Hill reports VP Pence's brother has won the primary for Messer's seat:
Messer, who decided to run for Senate this election cycle instead of seek reelection, was coming in second place to political newcomer Mike Braun in the GOP's Senate primary. With 45 percent of precincts reporting, Braun had roughly 41 percent of the vote to 29 percent each for Messer and Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.).
Greg Pence is strongly favored to win his House seat in the November midterm elections due to the demographics of Indiana’s 6th District, which encompasses rural areas in the southeastern part of the state, including suburbs of Cincinnati and Indianapolis.
President Trump won the district by more than 40 points in 2016, while Messer performed similarly over his Democratic opponent that year.
Another RINO out of the House, likely replaced with a real Republican.  5/8/18 NBC News reports that Blankenship lost the Republican primary in West Virginia.  He was a candidate only a Democrat would want, convicted for his part in the dearths of coal miners in one of his mines.  While claiming to be Trump, Jr., Trump made it clear that anyone else would be a better choice.  Will Morrisey defeat the gun grabbing Manchin in the general election?  Do West Virginians support gun control?

In Ohio, a Trump Republican (almost oxymoronic) won the Republican primary to run against the Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown.  The 5/9/18 Dayton Daily News shows 760K votes in the Republican primary. Midterm vote counts in mid-term elections are typically 3-4 million voters.  If every Republican voter votes for the nominee, that is a long ways toward victory.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

I Think This Qualifies As An Endorsement

5/8/18 New York Times:
WASHINGTON — President Trump’s nomination of Gina Haspel to lead the C.I.A. has revived debate over the agency’s post-Sept. 11 interrogation program and still-murky questions about her involvement. Now, on the eve of her Senate confirmation hearing, a striking voice is trying to join that fray: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.
Mr. Mohammed, the principal architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, was captured in March 2003 and tortured by the C.I.A. This week, he asked a military judge at Guantánamo Bay for permission to share six paragraphs of information about Ms. Haspel with the Senate Intelligence Committee.
And the 5/8/18 Washington Post says:
We should be thrilled that the woman behind this major counterterrorism success has been nominated to become the first female director of the CIA — and only the second person ever to rise to the agency’s top post after spending her entire career in clandestine operations. But instead of being grateful that a seasoned, experienced intelligence operative has been chosen, Senate Democrats are threatening to kill her nomination.
This is insane. Gina Haspel is quite possibly the most qualified person ever nominated to lead the CIA. She has experience in virtually every agency discipline, from counterterrorism to counterintelligence and offensive intelligence operations — including personally recruiting spies and directing covert operations....
Democrats complain that President Trump has repeatedly attacked our intelligence community. But derailing Haspel’s nomination would be a greater attack on our intelligence professionals than anything Trump has done. Haspel is beloved by the CIA’s rank and file because she is one of them. Were the Senate to reject her, the nominee’s former colleague said, “it would send a really chilling, devastating message.”
Little wonder that so many senior Obama-era intelligence officials — including Leon Panetta, John Brennan, Michael Morell, James R. Clapper Jr. and Jeremy Bash — have urged the Senate to confirm her. To vote down someone so obviously qualified as political retribution for the CIA’s now-defunct interrogation program would be a travesty. President Barack Obama’s Justice Department concluded that no crimes had been committed. Moreover, as CIA veterans point out, Brennan was himself deeply involved in the interrogation program, and was confirmed 63-34 as Obama’s CIA director, with only two Democrats and one independent voting against him. Why the double standard for the first woman nominated to lead the agency?

Crossbow Equatorial Platform Continues to Exceed Expectations

Last night,  I rolled out under clear skies.   The platform tracked Jupiter and Venus well.  The next step was to use the Sky Commander to hunt for a deepsky object,  but the instructions require me to read them in daylight to make sense.

Wait a Minute: the Laffer Curve Was a Fraud, Wasn't It?

5/7/18 Washington Times:
The federal government took in a record tax haul in April en route to its biggest-ever monthly budget surplus, the Congressional Budget Office said, as a surging economy left Americans with more money in their paychecks — and this more to pay to Uncle Sam.
All told the government collected $515 billion and spent $297 billion, for a total monthly surplus of $218 billion. That swamped the previous monthly record of $190 billion, set in 2001.
CBO analysts were surprised by the surplus, which was some $40 billion more than they’d guessed at less than a month ago.
Obviously, the check to IRS from me and my fellow malcontents is a one time thing, but it suggests that the "experts" are not as good at predicting revenues as they think.  A rising economy might indeed overwhelm the nominal deficit.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Another One Bites the Dust

NY A-G Eric Schneiderman, assault weapon ban advocate has resigned after allegations of violence against women.    I have long believed gun control advocacy is a sign of people with self-control problems that they project on to others.

It gets worse: 5/7/18 New York Post:
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called his Sri Lankan girlfriend his “brown slave” and wanted her to refer to him as “Master,” the woman says.
Harvard-educated activist writer Tanya Selvaratnam told the New Yorker magazine that her yearlong affair with Schneiderman “was a fairytale that became a nightmare” — and quickly escalated into violence in the bedroom, even as he begged for threesomes.
“Sometimes, he’d tell me to call him Master, and he’d slap me until I did,” Selvaratnam said.
“He started calling me his ‘brown slave’ and demanding that I repeat that I was ‘his property.’”
Selvaratnam said, “The slaps started after we’d gotten to know each other.
He is a Democrat; they know how to address people with dark skins.

Another part of this was his threats to use the powers of his office against women who stopped seeing him.  That turns brutish behavior into a criminal act.  Trump has been accused of many things so far, but not that.

Karl Marx's 200th Birthday

And the people you expect are celebrating, like Michael Moore:
Happy 200th Birthday Karl Marx! You believed that everyone should have a seat at the table & that the greed of the rich would eventually bring us all down. You believed that everyone deserves a slice of the pie. You knew that the super wealthy were out to grab whatever they could
So a hundred million people had to die and far more live in terror and hunger; you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs.


As I asked at a Southern Illinois University symposium a few weeks back: In what prison is Kathy Griffin being held?  The same one where the previous Hitler locked up the Dixie Chicks?  And if Trump pulled a Hitler and nationalized the media, why do they keep criticizing him?  Progressives make bad analogies because they know no history.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Time Has Come, the Walrus Said

To speak of many things, of laptop bags for antique laptops too big to be believed.  Like this,  and this

Houses in California Too Cheap

5/6/18 Yahoo News:
There's no question that solar power is entering the mainstream, but California is about to give it a giant boost. The state's Energy Commission is expected to approve new energy standards that would require solar panels on the roofs of nearly all new homes, condos and apartment buildings from 2020 onward. There will be exemptions for homes that either can't fit solar panels or would be blocked by taller buildings or trees, but you'll otherwise have to go green if your property is brand new.
The plan doesn't require that a home reach net-zero status (where the solar power completely offsets the energy consumed in a year). However, it does provide "compliance credits" for homebuilders who install storage batteries like Tesla's Powerwall, letting them build smaller panel arrays knowing that excess energy will be available to use off-hours.
The new standards are poised to hike construction costs by $25,000 to $30,000 (about half of which is directly due to solar), but the self-produced energy is estimated to save owners $50,000 to $60,000 in operating costs over the solar technology's expected 25-year lifespan.
Like all green predictions, I am guessing that these estimates will be off by an order of magnitude at least.  Tesla must be buying legislators right and left.

The Case I Used for My 11.6" Laptop Was Bigger Than I Wanted

It was originally for a 14" or 15" laptop.  It was not very heavy, but my wife complained that its exterior dimensions made it clumsy on airliners.  She was right.  I bought this instead.  Several inches smaller in width and depth still with a crossbody strap.  The power supply brick, a spare battery, and the wireless mouse all fit in center and side pockets.  Takes up less space under the seat or in the storage bin. 

Nice touch: on the back of the case is an elastic strap that exactly and tautly slides over the pullout handle on the rolling suitcases.  One less item to carry over the shoulder on your way to the ticket counter and from baggage claim.

Clearing Out Stuff

Received more than $300 for a Colt 4x20 scope, the type originally sold for the AR-15 (cost me about $140 30 years ago); $37 for an older Bushnell 4x-12x40mm BDC scope.  Eventually want to clear out my collection of stuff I don't need.

TQTHL Battery

This is a high capacity (6200 mAh) battery for my Samsung S4 Galaxy.  At first awesome.  6 months later it us at best about as good as the original battery and slow recharge as well.  Beginning to see these extended capacity batteries as very poor solutions; not worth the extra money.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Why the News Media Keep Losing the Gun Control Battle

I had dinner with an NRA employee the other night who told me that during the CNN Town Hall and Propaganda meeting, NRA's new member web server crashed because of volume.

Another Darwin Award Winner

Yahoo News is reporting:
A man was mauled to death by a wounded bear this week when he foolishly tried to take a photograph alongside the apex predator...
Let's not make light of this but who is stupid enough to think trying to take a selfie with a bear (and a wounded one at that) could ever qualify as an a bad   idea?

Friday, May 4, 2018

If You Were Not at the NRA Firearms Law Seminar in Dallas

Here is the PowerPoint.

In Dallas for NRA Annual Meeting and Firearms Law Seminar

Pouring rain.  Yesterday was hot and humid.  This is better.   Went to the NRA Foundation banquet.   A typical fundraiser with so much screeching about prizes that I was unable to talk to my table mates.  I confess to being a little offput by the eye candy grabbing raffle tickets.   This IS the 21st century.   Nice eye candy,  though.

More Bad News

The unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent in April, an 18-year low, even as nonfarm payrolls rose by just 164,000, according to a report Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected payroll growth of 192,000 and the jobless rate to drop by one-tenth of a percent to 4.0 percent. The official jobs tally initially showed an increase of an upwardly revised 135,000 in March....A more encompassing measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers and those holding part-time positions for economic reasons fell to 7.8 percent, the lowest since July 2001. Unemployment for blacks fell to a fresh record-low of 6.6 percent, down three-tenths of a point.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Today's Army Training and Propaganda Films on YouTube

One was introduced by Vic Morrow, with a segment of filming his then current series Combat!  This caused me to look for and find the entire series, which I never watched when it was on TV.  It was actually pretty good.

Another film was about Special Forces, showing a Utah National Guard Special Forces unit.  Yes,  Utah National Guard.   I would have thought Special Forces was all regular Army.

He Did Not Choose Poorly

The funniest line in movie making, of course, when American Nazi picks an ornate chalice and immediately dies and decomposes in a few seconds.

The stock market has been suffering a kangaroo market of late (up,  down, up, down).  Ordinarily this would be a source of consternation since my portfolio is stock heavy.  But curiously, when the Dow Industrials take a big hit,  my portfolio often gets a bit healthier.  Whoever is managing my mutual funds is doing a great job.

Sonoma County Company Moving to Boise

4/30/18 Sonoma Index-Tribune:

It’s the end of an era. Price Pump has grown and thrived in Sonoma for 70 years. But before the end of this year, the manufacturer of high-tech pumps will pull up stakes and move its headquarters – lock, stock and pump – to Boise, Idaho.
“It has simply become too difficult and too costly to run a manufacturing business in Sonoma Valley,” said Price Pump President Bob Piazza.
“To pick up and move is traumatic,” he acknowledged. “Some of our employees have worked here for 45 years.
Piazza, 74, shares the emotions of his employees. He has lived in California his whole life and he will also move with his wife of 53 years to Idaho....
Piazza offered all employees an all-expenses paid trip with their families to Boise to see the area. A dozen employees have taken him up on the offer and the vast majority came back excited to move....
Piazza’s long litany of complaints about the business climate in Sonoma center around hiring, the cost of living in California, taxation and labor laws. He has been getting more and more frustrated with “over-regulation” by the county and state government.
“Over the last few years, I found that I can’t ignore all the good reasons to move any longer,” he said. “We’re certainly not the only local manufacturing company that has fled the area.
“Our competitors are now based in Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana and overseas,” he said. “Large corporations don’t want to do business here.”