Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Belt in That Previous Posting is About to Require Replacement

I have one more inward hole.  Even if I added another  (I use a drill press for that), the long end would be flapping in a foolish manner.  The good news this morning was 207.4 pounds, about 18 pounds from where I started aggressively dieting after my second myocardial infarct.

Advantages of Being a Blogger

People send you stuff to review.  Nice stuff, generally.  This is a review of some nice stuff.  Someone at Craft Holsters wanted to send me a holster for my Colt Government Model.  Happy to oblige.  It is a traditional leather OWB pancake holster with a thumb break.  It is made in Italy, but shipped from Slovakia.  (Nice to see capitalism alive there. Even several decades of Soviet rule cannot destroy the desire to make money by making and selling stuff people want, instead of making it for the State Committee on Production of What The Glorious Workers Would Want If They Weren't So Darn Stupid.)

The second picture more accurately shows the color and finish of both sides.  Even my wife, who has a very utilitarian view of guns (protecting her and the dog from varmints and coyotes: coyotes have an excuse for their behavior) declared it beautiful, and it is.  

You will notice three belt slots, allowing two different carry positions.  Like all proper pancake holsters, it holds the gun high and tight for concealment.

It is a nice tight fit on my Colt Government Model.  This is a lefthand model, for the same reason the stroke in 2014 did little damage to my speech centers: I'm lefthanded.

I put on the sport jacket that I wear when teaching and of course the gun conceals as it should.

This is the H1 model, $56.95, which seems reasonable for a stiff (good for retention) real leather holster.  The thumb break closes between the hammer and the firing pin, as it should.  Opening it was about right for ease of opening with a quick press of the thumb.  I struggled a little closing it, but that may just be because the leather is new.

Wow! Selfies Have Value Other Than Expressing Narcissism

11/13/18 WWL channel 4:
Why had police come to his work and arrested him? Why was he being accused of these horrible crimes? Who was accusing him?
She said he broke into her home in Temple.
She said he sliced an "X" into her chest with a box cutter.
She said it happened on Sept. 20, 2017 around 7:20 p.m....
On the night of the alleged attack, he was with his mother, Erin, at a Northwest Austin hotel about 65 miles from the accuser's home.
"I'm thinking, 'this is awesome. By the grace of God, she said it happened on the day when I can say totally, 100 percent, where he was at," Erin Precopia said.
There were sworn affidavits from several people who were with him that evening.
There were pictures to prove it, and they were posted on Facebook.
Timestamped. Geo-located.
An alibi.
"Most of the time, we deal with gray matters," attorney Rick Flores said. "It's not normally black or white. But this is one of those cases where I could definitely prove he did not commit this offense."
Charges were dropped; the accuser has not been identified because she has not been charged with a crime.  Why not?  Rape was not claimed, but  Believe All Women. 

Finally, A Sensible Use for a Prius

The Drug Whose Name We Dare Not Speak

My neurologist prescribed klonepin some months back to help the speech and swallowing issues that are side effects of the two strokes in 2015.  (Bihemispheric strokes often impair speech even for those of us lucky enough to be left-handed.) 

I have spent more than a week trying to get the neurologist's office and the pharmacy to coordinate refilling it.  It clearly helps the speech and to a lesser extent, the swallowing problem.  My wife, daughter, and son-in-law all said it helped, but I was not convinced.  Being off it for two weeks had persuaded me they were right.

Anyway, I finally did the long drive to the neurologist to get a paper copy of the prescription since emails and FAX machines were clearly the enemy.  When we reached the office, the prescription had finally reached the pharmacy.  When the receptionist asked what drug, she said not to say the name, but to write it down.  At which point my wife muttered "Gub."

If you saw the greatest comedy Woody Allen ever made, Take the Money and Run, you know what scene this is

Because life imitates art, some years ago, I needed a cashier's check made out to Southern Python Gun.  Because "gun" is a word you do not want to say in a bank.  I wrote out the name of the company and the amount (for three Barrett Light .50s) and went to the bank.  The teller was insistent that the check was to be made out to Southern Ohio Gum.  Unlike the movie, at least I did not have to argue with the manager as to whether I wrote "gum," or gun."

What Used to be a Firing Offense and Crime is Now Part of the Job Description

11/14/18 Daily Wire:
A physical education teacher in Florida was punished for refusing to oversee a biologically female middle schooler who identifies as male potentially get undressed in the boys' locker room. The school, stunningly, allowed the female student to have access to the boys' locker room without so much as informing the male students who would be sharing the locker room with the girl or the students' parents.
According to a compliant letter from Liberty Counsel to Pasco County School District, the female student caught "boys (literally) with their pants down, causing them embarrassment and concern by the fact that they had been observed changing by an obvious girl," reports The Federalist.
Teachers and administrators were barred from speaking about the transgender policy, and when a male P.E. teacher refused to supervise the boys' locker room with the female student, he was reprimanded and told he would be transferred to a different school.
I'm sure they can find a replacement on the local registered sex offenders' list.

And why do anyone still have kids in public schools?

The Murder of Kashoggi

The Saudi government is prosecuting the killers.  11/15/18 New York Times:
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor said on Thursday that he was requesting the death penalty for five people suspected of involvement in the killing of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi at the country’s consulate in Istanbul.
Speaking to reporters in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, a spokesman for the public prosecutor said that the 15-man team sent to confront Mr. Khashoggi had orders to return him to the kingdom, but after he resisted they decided on the spot to kill and dismember him.
Some have suggested that this might have been an internal effort to embarrass an increasingly modernizing government (about to reach the 18th century). Their version suggests angry and incompetent.

Believe All Women!

11/14/18 Daily Wire reports on a Tampa cop fired after a woman he pulled over claimed a sexual assault:
The woman, according to Escobar, York’s attorney, refused a full medical exam and would not give blood and urine samples. She insisted, oddly, that they focus on her underwear and a tampon she was using at the time of the alleged incident. The tampon was never found.
A DNA swab of her underwear, taken from the front material, found York’s DNA. Normally this would be the nail in the coffin for someone accused — and at first it looked that way for York. But his attorneys argued that the DNA — known as touch DNA — could have gotten on her underwear some other way. You see, touch DNA refers to the skin cells one leaves on an object after they have touched it. York’s attorneys argued the woman rubbed her driver’s license (which York had touched during the traffic stop) on her underwear to transfer the DNA.
Her story to investigating officers kept changing.  Worse:
One of the detectives assigned to the case never interviewed the officers who first spoke to York’s accuser at the hospital. This detective didn’t even read their reports until her deposition with Escobar, the attorney said. This detective also refused to record the accuser’s interviews because, she said, she might change her story later and this would not allow her to do so. [emphasis added]
You can see why the DA dropped the charges, and how innocent people get tried for, and convicted of rape.  If the accuser's story changes, that might create doubt as to the truthfulness of the accusation.  Not recording an interview to allow her to change her story is clearly bad police work. 

And that touch DNA evidence has all sorts of opportunity's for misuse.  We found Mr. A's DNA on the murder weapon.  Perhaps he touched it in a gun store a day or two before Mr. B came in to buy it.  Admittedly, gun stores usually wipe down the gun (at least to get the drool marks off), but touch DNA seems a pretty questionable form of evidence.

Oh and Tampa PD won't rehire this guy.  I am guessing the SJWs now run that department.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

This Has to be Fake News

11/14/18 Fox News

A man drive his truck into a courthouse while drunk to make sure police would take seriously his report that his drug paraphernalia had been stolen.  Too stupid to stay out of jail, but probably not too stupid to reproduce ala Idiocracy.

Talking to Journalists

A reporter from the New York Daily News asked some questions:
Hi Clayton,

Thanks so much for getting back to me, I hope your health progressively gets better!

I’ll send over a few questions if that okay with you… I really want to capture the increased incident of  police and armed black men. Activist seem to believe there is racism at the core of these incidents.

1.       What was your response to the shooting of Jemel Roberson two days ago?
I confess that I missed this.  The police officer clearly reacted too quickly and wrongly.

2.       Do you believe racism is something that is a factor in these shootings?
I think it is important to distinguish between racism and prejudice.  A racist would assume that a different race is intrinsically different or inferior, and often that is expressed as hatred.  Many people have prejudices based on race, sex, or other identities that may not be associated with hate.  There are times that those prejudices may have a rational basis when applied to unknown members of that group.  Let me give you an example.

Many years ago, I was walking home from college on a pedestrian path that was pretty isolated.  There was a 10 foot high concrete wall on one side, and a chain link fence with a stream and forest on the other.  Ahead of me about 50 yards was a young woman also walking away from campus.  There was no one else around.  Because I was a bit taller than her, I was slowly gaining on her as I walked this path.  After a couple minutes, I realized that she had increased her pace; soon, she was almost running. 

My first reaction was, "Why is she afraid of me?  I am a nice person; I will not hurt her.  Is it just because I'm a man?"  The answer, I am sure, was Yes.  Nasty prejudice.  But a rational prejudice.  She did not know me.  Effectively all rapists are men.  That means that men are 2x as likely to be rapists as people in general: unknown men are a disproportionate risk.  Few men are rapists; there were 124,000 rapes in America in 2015 ( in a nation of 160 million men, and because rapists are usually serial offenders, there are probably far less than 124,000 men who are rapists.

What if she assumes the worst about a man, and he is harmless (like me)?  She gets a bit of a cardio workout from trying to get away.  What if she assumes a man is harmless and he is a rapist?  The consequences may be quite severe.  So her reaction qualifies as a rational reaction to her prejudice.
Police officers are in a similar situation.  If they know that a black man that they are approaching is a criminal (based on previous interactions with that individual) they will respond one way.  If they know him to be harmless, they will not assume there is a risk.  But what about the unknown person?  A bit more than half of those charged with murder in the U.S. are black (, or about 4.5x disproportionate to the black population of the U.S.  (Victims are also disproportionately black; murder, like rape, is almost entirely within race).  Will a police officer assume an unknown black man with a gun is a threat to him?  Very likely, and based on the same rational prejudice that a woman in an isolated place feels when a strange man shows up in an isolated place. 

Adding to this fear is the widely perceived hatred of police from rap music, at least as it is portrayed in popular media.  Should this officer have waited until there was a real threat?  Yes, but when you afraid, in a very rapidly moving situation, it is easy for your fears to win the battle over your training.  Bad, but understandable.

Training methods also matter.  At one time, pistol targets in human shape were always black, for contrast.  There was concern that this might bias officers to regard a black target as a threat.  Today, most of these targets are blue, not black.  This is a positive change.

3.       What would say about the NRA’s lack of response to shooting like this ae. Roberson, Castile etc.
NRA is dominated by police officers and people on the side of the police.  They tend to avoid public statements on such cases, until the data is fully available.  Tactically erroneous, but unsurprising.

4.       Is there a divide between gun control and the 2nd amendment?
The decision DC v. Heller (2008) recognized that there are a number of gun control laws that are consistent with the Second Amendment: laws intended to disarm those at special risk to public safety such as felons, domestic violence misdemeanants, those subject to domestic violence restraining orders; the severely mentally ill.  Most of the currently popular gun control measures do not fit this framework.

5.       Is there anything else you would like to add that may be beneficial to this story?
The major victims of gun violence are black people, concentrated in cities with historically restrictive gun laws (Chicago, California, New York).  I think it no coincidence that these are the places where black people are at highest risk of gun violence.  Gun control does not cause it; nor does it prevent it very well, but gun control is cheaper than looking at the hard problems underlying this violence: lead poisoning (leaded gasoline, paint in older buildings), poor educational systems, poor or non-existent male role models.

Again, thanks so much! I’m hoping to have this story out in the next couple of hours if time permits for you.

Doctors on Guns

The American College of Physicians is recommending solutions to what it says,"continues to be a public health crisis," and "Firearm violence continues to be a public health crisis in the United States that requires the nation's immediate attention."  You would never know that murder rates are now below 1965 rates.  To quote Snopes:
FBI statistics show, in fact, that the 2015 murder rate was among the lowest of the past 47 years, and indeed the lowest of any year between 1965 and 2009.
Their requests include:
ACP supports strengthening and enforcing state and federal laws to prohibit convicted domestic violence offenders from purchasing or possessing firearms. Domestic violence offenders include dating partners, cohabitants, stalkers, and those who victimize a family member other than a partner or child. ACP supports federal legislation to require that such domestic violence offenders be reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. 
Individuals convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor should be prohibited from purchasing and possessing firearms based on existing federal law. The federal government should encourage states and localities to create a process for these individuals to surrender firearms they already possess. 
Too late! 
Already federal law.  To quote ATF:
Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence
Does the prohibition on receipt or possession of firearms and ammunition apply if the person was convicted of an MCDV prior to the enactment of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(9) on September 30, 1996?
Individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders, including temporary orders, should be prohibited from purchasing and possessing firearms and be required to surrender their firearms for the duration of the order.
Both federal and state laws prohibit violent domestic offenders from owning or having contact with firearms, as firearms are often used to threaten, injure, and even kill the victims of domestic violence.  
Also requested:
The College supports a ban on firearms that cannot be detected by metal detectors or standard security screening devices, including but not limited to 3D-printed firearms. 
Way too late.   18 USC 922(p) is the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988.
It shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive any firearm - (A) that, after removal of grips, stocks, and magazines, is not as detectable as the Security Exemplar, by walk-through metal detectors calibrated and operated to detect the Security Exemplar; or (B) any major component of which, when subjected to inspection by the types of x-ray machines commonly used at airports, does not generate an image that accurately depicts the shape of the component. Barium sulfate or other compounds may be used in the fabrication of the component.
More evidence of their ignorance:
The College favors strong penalties and criminal prosecution for those who sell firearms illegally and those who legally purchase firearms for those who are banned from possessing them (“straw purchases”).
Straw purchases are already illegal.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has partnered with the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) — the trade association for the firearms industry — in designing an educational program to assist firearm retailers in the detection and possible deterrence of “straw purchases,” the illegal purchase of a firearm by one person for another.
How seriously can you take requests for laws that are already in place?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Simple Question: Car Batteries

My backup generator has a battery that needs replacing soon.  The battery in there is an Interstate Batteries mt-26, 525 CCA, 655 CA.  I would prefer ordering from Amazon.  I know CCA indicates how many amps it can deliver for 30 seconds at 0 degrees F.  That's the only relevant number, right?  Amazon does not to list CCA!

Reasons Why You Should Never Do Anything That You Might Be Ashamed Of

Today's scam:
You can complain to the cops but nobody will help you.
I dont live in your country. It means nobody can trace my location even for 3 months.
I upload a virus on your OS.
We turned on your web-camera, during your porn-site visit.
Now I have the video material with you, caressing yourself.
Having VNC connection we downloaded your contactlist and if you ask us to stay silent I want to receive 430 $ in bitcoins.
Use this wallet address for payment
(something like a credit card number)
You have 30 hours after reading this message to complete the transaction.
There is no need to write me that you have sent money to me. This bitcoin wallet was connected to you, my system will delete everything automatically after transfer verification.
If you need 48 hours just reply on this letter with +.
All the best. Dont forget about the shame.
Don't visit sites like that, and you know this is extortion based on smoke.

Foot and Hand Warmers Make Freezing Astronomy Almost Tolerable

Almost.  I may not do much until spring.  The hand warmers seemed more effective than the foot warmers.  My fingers never numbed.  Taking a glove off to change eyepieces or put the camera in the focuser was unpleasant.
ISO 100; 1/100th sec.; prime focus.

Attempts to do eyepiece projection reminded me that I need to use the Scheiner mask to get a sharp focus, which was not worth the effort in such cold weather.
25mm eyepiece projection; ISO 100; 1/4 second.  As the magnification increases, of course, light available drops and longer exposures are required.
12.5mm eyepiece projection; ISO 100; 1/6 second. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Rosie in the Collar of Shame

We just picked her up.

Dog Horror Movie

Rosie went running under a wild rose bush yesterday and managed to tear a pretty substantial cut in her ear.  It was like CSI:ThePound when Rhonda and Rosie returned home:

When she exited the bathtub, she shook the water off, and the bathroom wall had a spray of blood on it.

The blood kept squirting out of this 1/2" long tear, so we took her to West Vet Emergency Veterinary last night. It will be a bit more than $1000 to get this fixed.  Glad we don't have car payments this month.

When Even Journalists Tell Acosta, "You Are Doing It Wrong, It's a Sign

11/9/18 SF Chronicle column by Ruben Navarette (not in any way a right-winger) calling out Acosta'a behavior:
Still, Acosta deserved the rebuke. He was arrogant, rude and sanctimonious. He was sent to cover the story, and he made himself the story. He was supposed to ask questions, but instead he tried to “challenge” the president about the refugee caravan. He asked several questions, instead of one. And when he got answers, he rejected them. He used up time that could have gone to his colleagues. He hogged the microphone, and — at his worst moment — wrestled for control of it with a White House intern, as if it were his own private property.
Someone at CNN needs to slip this guy a note. He stopped being a journalist a while back, and his recent performance — and that’s the right word — at the White House demonstrates it.
In the end, I don’t care much about how Acosta treated Trump. He has a job to do, and it involves questioning the powerful.
I care more about how he treated his media colleagues, which is to say like he was the only reporter in the room — or, for that matter, on Planet Earth. Their deadlines and live shots were just as important as his.
And I care most about how he treated that poor intern who learned the hard way that the most dangerous place to be in Washington is between Jim Acosta and a microphone.

Serious Firefighting

11/11/2018 USA Today reports on the use of the world's largest air tanker: a converted 747.  I've watched helicopters dropping fire retardant to save my neighborhood and they are impressive.  A 747?  Like the Hiroshima bomb to a blockbuster.

How Do the Technically Less Adept Get Anything Done on a PC?

My wife and I use to self-publish books (her, mostly) and a couple days ago it started complaining that the version of Adobe Flash Player was too old.  A link was supposed to install the latest version.  Adobe of course, is relying on you to not notice that it is installing a "free trial" McAfee security application.  This was not intrinsic to the subsequent problem, but soon she was getting popups from McAfee trying to get her to buy the product.  Annoying, especially if you do not realize what Adobe had installed.

The real issue is that Chrome requires you to enable Flash Player through the lock icon to the right of the URL.  This took me a while to figure out.  Problem solved, but these sort of details drive her crazy!  She is  intelligent but computerphobic and problems like this are why.

Virally Spread Apps

There is an Android app called Marco Polo, which I guess has a legitimate use.  Before I knew it, it had sent an invite to everyone on my contact list.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Profound Reminder of What Happens When the Criminal Justice System Fails to do Its Job

Aug. 13, 1875 Chicago Tribune  describes a series of murders in Williamson and Jackson Counties in Illinois, none of which were mass murders, but are still sobering reminders of where anarchy leads--not a Heinleinian utopia like in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, but just pointless murders.

Good News! Whatever Was Causing Problems With the Chronicling America Website Are Gone

I changed nothing, but I no longer have to click the PDF link to search and see text.  Much improved.


There is a channel on YouTube called "The History Guy" which has just now given me information on a second mass murder.  (The first was one that I already knew about.)  This is about a family ax-murdered in 1874 in southern Illinois.  I am searching 1874 newspapers right now, and while I might have found it, a lot historical research is like this: happenstance discoveries.  Gruesome details in “Further Particularsof the St. Clair County, Ill., Butchery,” ChicagoDaily Tribune, Mar. 22, 1874, 1

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Gun Control 1874 Style

Gibson Co., Tenn. (1874)
8/26/1874: Sixteen men were arrested for threatening “to arm themselves to resist the Ku Klux.”  A masked mob removed them from the jail, “murdered four of them, mortally maimed two, and removed the other ten, of whom nothing has been heard….”
Category: lynching
Suicide: no
Cause: terrorism
Weapon: unknown[1]

[1] “Mass Meeting Tonight,” [Memphis, Tenn.] Aug. 28, 1874, 3 (quoting the governor’s proclamation about this incident); “The Gibson County Horror,” Jackson [Ohio] Standard, Sep. 10, 1874, 1.

The Thousand Oaks Mass Murder

11/8/18 CBS News:
Dean said his department had several previous contacts with Long, a former machine gunner and decorated veteran of the war in Afghanistan. Those included a disturbance call to his home in April, when deputies found him acting irate and irrationally. 
The sheriff said the department's mental health crisis team was called at that time and concluded that Long did not need to be taken into custody under a "5150" order, an evaluation that determines whether a person needs to be involuntarily held for up to 72 hours because they are a threat to themselves or others. The episode was thought to be possible post-traumatic stress disorder because of his military background.
 11/9/18 Wall Street Journal:
Facebook post published to his account around the time of the attack said, “I hope people call me insane... (laughing emojis).. wouldn’t that just be a big ball of irony? Yeah.. I’m insane, but the only thing you people do after these shootings is ‘hopes and prayers’.. or ‘keep you in my thoughts’... every time... and wonder why these keep happening…,” a spokeswoman for the company confirmed.
PTSD alone is not, nor it should be a basis for a 5150 hold; many PTSD sufferers are not dangerous to others, but before Lanterman-Petris-Short Act of 1967 created 5150, "acting irate and irrationally," would have been enough.  The victims' parents demanding gun control in one of the leading gun control states is bad enough;  failing to address the part that destroying the mental health system plays in this is of course ignored.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Seeking an Unusual Tool

Sort of a glorified keyboard macro that lets you start a sequence that includes Ctrl-F (to do a find in a web page) but also able to search for a displayed button (like "PDF" or "Next>") and click that button.  There a number of keystrokes and clicks required to go from one PDF page, back a level, then hit Next> to go the next matching page then click PDF then Ctrl-F to find the word "murders".  If you know of a handy macro tool like that, could you inform me?

Trying to Find Mass Murders in Old Newspapers is Slow

In 1870 and 1871, most uses of the word "murders" refer to Klan activity in general and almost never specific incidents.  In 1872 and later, we start getting serial killers, one a family with a trap door in their grocery store, where they would beat the captives to death with a hammer described as something you would use for breaking up stones.

Racists Helped Republicans to Retain the Senate!

11/7/18 USA Today:
Democrats got about 68 percent of the Latino vote, slightly higher than the 66 percent won by Hillary Clinton in 2016, while Republicans garnered 30 percent of their vote, just above the 28 percent Trump earned two years ago, according to exit polling. 
Asian voters sided with Democrats 77 percent of the time in Tuesday's elections, and Republicans received 23 percent of their vote, the exit polling showed. 
Something the left refuses to face is that legal immigrants and citizens of Hispanic heritage often resent the line jumpers.

The Thousand Oaks Mass Murder

11/9/18 Fox News reports the mother a victim wants gun control.  This happened in California.  What more does she want that California lacks?  I do not see any mention of the gun used, so I am guessing it was not a black rifle.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Cold Out There

Thermal underwear.  2 pairs of pants.  2 t-shirts. My insulated snow boots.  2 layers of socks. Watch cap. Thick warm gloves.  Parka. Ready.

Of course, you do not want thick gloves when handling eyepieces, and the metal barrel ones really remind of how rapidly metal sucks warmth out of your skin.

I was reminded of how much I have forgotten since 2014.  I used to know where to find the Ring Nebula between the two southernmost stars of Lyra, and how to find M13, because I did not have digital setting circles which have suddenly become  not useful.  (Equipment failure, or pilot error?  Not sure.)

I'm tired and back inside, trudging through 1871's murders again.

Coming Civil War

11/8/18 Washington Post:
“I called my wife,” Carlson told The Washington Post in a phone interview. “She had been in the kitchen alone getting ready to go to dinner and she heard pounding on the front door and screaming. ... Someone started throwing himself against the front door and actually cracked the front door.”
His wife, thinking it was a home invasion, locked herself in the pantry and called 911, Carlson said. The couple have four children, but none were home at the time.
But it wasn’t a home invasion. It was a protest.
According to now-deleted social media posts shared by Smash Racism D.C., a local anti-fascist organization whose members have been tied to other demonstrations against prominent Republican figures, activists showed up outside Carlson’s home Wednesday and they had a message for him.
“Tucker Carlson, we are outside your home,” one person could be heard saying in the since-deleted video. The person, using a bullhorn, accused Carlson of “promoting hate” and “an ideology that has led to thousands of people dying.”
Of course, the comments section is full of justifications for this sort of thing.  This is where a belt-fed weapon for when they actually break through the door makes a lot of sense.

If you are a reader who does not have a shotgun, handgun, and a rifle, you might want to fix this soon.   I fear the left won't stop until they start smashing in doors, killing people indistinguishable from themselves in the name of smashing racism.  At some point they are going to start promoting race riots.

Not Every Democrat Rep. is Going to Be in DC

11/7/18 KXAN:
AUSTIN (KXAN) — A re-election celebration is underway in Pod 2 of the Montgomery County Jail after inmate number 232573 claimed victory in Texas House District 27. That inmate is known as Rep. Ron Reynolds, D-Missouri City, to the people on the outside. 
Reynolds was unopposed in the race for District 27 and the latest vote totals show Reynolds garnered 47,305 votes in Tuesday's election. 
Reynolds was booked into the county jail on Sept. 7. He's serving a year-long sentence after a 2015 conviction on five misdemeanor counts of using a middleman to chase ambulances in order to solicit clients for Reynolds’ law firm.
Whoops!  He is a member of the Texas House of Representatives, not the U.S. House.

Another Obscure Excel Question

Deaths/incident by weapon type.  I have a column with all the weapon types: A.  I have a column where I total the incidents by weapon type: =COUNTIF(massmurder!AD3:AD297,A2)

I want to sum the total dead in massmurder!AD3:AD297 by weapon type, but excluding cells which are =SUM formulae, because some rows are sums of dead per decade or century.  I would think that there is a way to say sum all numbers in a particular column if the cell in that row matches some other cell.  And then excluding rows that have a SUM function in that column or the word "total" in a cell in that row or some other cell that is distinctive (the subtotal rows have a sum of incidents where individual rows are blank in that column).

This may be easier to do by exporting the spreadshheet as a CSV file, then using grep and awk to produce a CSV file containing the data that I want.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

New Scam

At my CWI email address:
From: Copyright Violation
Sent: Wednesday, November 7, 2018 3:19 PM
To: Clayton Cramer

Subject: Copyright Violation Notice

An important message for - legal action will be taken if you do not respond:
We have information leading us to believe that your IP address was used to download or share TV show and movie content without authorization (additional details are listed below). Unauthorized or unknown content is also a security risk for computers, devices, and networks.
As the owner of the IP address, to prevent documents from being filed with legal counsel, you must pay a settlement by November 10, 2018. This settlement also acts as a confirmation that you will no longer possess, download, or share content without authorization or permission.
Click here to confirm the above and pay your settlement fee
Additional details of your violation are listed below: Type: BitTorrent
Torrent Hash: 008b8e86335059fsds303406jg-392875a18ca64
File name: S05E01 WEBRip XviD-FUM[ettv]
File size: 424 MB
If you fail to pay your settlement fee and confirm your compliance, we will contact you to discuss the ramifications and specifics of further legal action.
This is an unmonitored, automated email address. We do not accept email responses to this message. Do not reply.
1. Of course, I do not own any IP address at CWI. 

2. I barely know what BitTorrent is, much less use it. 

3. The only stuff that I download from YouTube is always downloaded at home.

4.Domain is currently returning an "IP address not found" message.

5. More amusing is the link above:

But someone. somewhere will be bamboozled into paying these crooks.

Machining Lessons

Somehow, I knew that tapping should be done with oil, but forgot it, perhaps because I have tapping 1/8" wall aluminum tubing.  I had to do some 1/4" wall, and my luck ran out, breaking my 1/4"-20 drill/tap combo.  Of course, I could not turn it out of the workpiece.  So here's the question: is it the cooling effect of the oil or the lubrication that matters?  Would water be as effective as oil?

I mentioned a few days back my discovery that tapped holes are supposed to be countersunk to help guide the screw into the threads.  I have been using a countersink that I inherited from my father.  It seems to be doing the job, but I think it was really intended for wood, so I have just ordered a countersink set intended for metals.

I have been considering replacing the acetal inserts that hold the casters in the ScopeRoller products with aluminum.  Aluminum is half the cost.  Today I made my first set using aluminum inserts and discovered the additional labor and oil do not create any real savings.  The inserts are held in the aluminum sleeves with 8-32 socket head screws.  With acetal, I can just drill a .140" hole in the acetal, then use a power screwdriver to screw the screw in place; acetal allows it to self-tap.  When the insert is aluminum, I need to tap the hole first.  For a variety of reasons because of my setup, this is a very slow process.

If I can find a way to combine the drill and tap in process, then the aluminum makes sense.  Unfortunately my model of TapMatic does not go down to 8-32 taps.  I would worry about breaking a tap that small under power.

As I was trying to fall asleep, it occurred to me that part of the struggle I was having is that is a bit of a struggle drilling and tapping the inserts when they are in the sleeve and in the drill press vise.  These are not tight fits so if I turn the assembly from side to side, the insert moves and getting the tap into hole I drilled gets harder.  Solution: glue the insert into sleeve so it does not move when I drill the holes.  Epoxy alone is not enough to hold the insets in position.  I would have done that with the acetal inserts to make them easier to drill, bu there is no glue that sticks to acetal.

Don't Democrats Learn the Constitution in Government Class

11/7/18 The Federalist:
Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., revealed plans for House Democrats to investigate and impeach Justice Brett Kavanaugh for alleged perjury and investigate and impeach President Donald Trump for alleged treasonous collusion with Russia.
U.S. Constitution, Art. I, sec.  3:
The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.
And somehow the Senate that just confirmed (with more Democrats than it has now) is going to do this?  The House can pass bills of impeachment every day if it wants, and nothing happens.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Incredibly Clear, Incredibly Cold Night

Milky Way, Pleiades very clear, but my toes were numb and my fingers were getting that way.  These are supposed to be ice weather GoreTex gloves.  Maybe I am just a wimp.Electric socks and electric gloves?  I just ordered the HotHands packs for hands and feet; cheap enough to experiment with before spending money on electric socks and gloves. 

William Herschel did not let a cold night stop him from finding Uranus.  His sister Caroline would pour boiling water over the ice that had frozen his boots to the ground.  I'm not that committed.

The Kavanaugh Smear Helped Republicans

At least in the Senate: 3 seat gain so far with some races undecided.  CBS News is projecting Democratic majority in the House, but so far only 302 of 435 seats decided.

Entertainingly that CBS News article keeps updating the House seats count as they are decided.  It is now 158 Democrats won, and 165 Republican wins.  Yet they still show:
  • Before: 195 / Now: 158
  • Net Change: 23

and for Republicans:

  • Before: 240 / Now: 165
  • Net Change: -23

This makes no sense.  The number of undecided races is so large that to say Democrats gained 23 seats and Republicans lost 23 must only refer to races already decided.  Their projection of Democratic control of the House could be as accurate as the 2016 projections.  Current count shows Democrats with 221 seats, three more than they need for a majority.

A Friend Just Voted in Boise

He said cars were circling the block trying to find parking.  Much more crowded than the 2016 general election.  Very few young people; mostly us old farts.  I wonder if the continual Blue Wave screeching has motivated conservatives and demotivated young people (who are generally more liberal or progressive).

My wife and I went to vote about 4:30.  Parking was a problem (in Horseshoe Bend!).  Very crowded.  I hope this is an omen.

"You Can't Legislate Morality." Who said it about what bill?

Although majorities in both parties voted for the bill, there were notable exceptions. Though he opposed forced segregation,[41]Republican Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona voted against the bill, remarking, "You can't legislate morality."
Interesting fact to annoy your liberal and progressive relatives with: how Representatives and Senators voted by party:
The original House version:[22]
  • Democratic Party: 152–96   (61–39%)
  • Republican Party: 138–34   (80–20%)
The Senate version:[22]
  • Democratic Party: 46–21   (69–31%)
  • Republican Party: 27–6   (82–18%)
The Senate version, voted on by the House:[22]
  • Democratic Party: 153–91   (63–37%)
 Republican Party: 136–35   (80–20%)
Yes, a larger percentage of Republicans voted for it than Democrats.  Thus, the claim that the South went Republican because of racism makes no sense.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 has a similar history, with Sen. Everett Dirksen (R-IL) being a sponsor:
Dirksen did not originally intend to support voting rights legislation so soon after supporting the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but he expressed willingness to accept "revolutionary" legislation after learning about the police violence against marchers in Selma on Bloody Sunday.[14]:95–96
And yes, Sen. Dirksen is famous for, "A billion here, a billion there, after a while it adds up to real money."  It appears that he never said it:
They had one gentleman report to them he had asked Dirksen about it on an airflight and received the reply: "Oh, I never said that. A newspaper fella misquoted me once, and I thought it sounded so good that I never bothered to deny it."

Monday, November 5, 2018


I just raised prices for the ScopeRoller products because I am getting too many orders to fill them as expeditiously as I would like, while still writing the current book and preparing to teach in the spring.  What a problem!

The Headline Says It All

11/3/18 Washington Times:
Another Kavanaugh accuser admits to fabricating rape story

Any Clever Excel Solution?

I have figured out how to extract total number of incidents by decade, by cause, by weapon type.  Now I want to extract the number of dead by weapon type.  Here are the columns that I have:
There is a 1 in every weapon category in which a weapon of that type is known to have been used.  In many lines there is a 1 in more than one weapon column.  I would love to extract the total dead (column H) by weapon type where there is one only weapon type marked. 

If not possible for all weapon types, then extracting number of lines and total dead for every line where EXPLOSIVE or ARSON is the only weapon type.  (I am pretty sure that these two weapon types are very disproportionately responsible for the deaths per incident.  Things like bombing an airliner, or burning a bar or private school--93 dead--produce a lot more deaths than axes and hatchets: even mass murderers get tired from swinging something heavy and slippery.)

Sunday, November 4, 2018

The Only Good News About That Problem With the Chronicling America Website

I have found a clumsy workaround.  When I click the link on the index page, the page remains black, but red stripes show where the word "murders" appear.  If I have a pretty clear notion of where those spots are on the page, I can download the PDF and try to find those stories.   If not, I download the horribly mangled output of the OCR process and search for the word "murders."  (How they know where words appear when the OCR output is so badly scrambled leaves me scratching my head.)

It is a problem in both Chrome and Vivaldi but not a problem for any of you.  It really slows down this process.  I can make neither heads nor tails of the HTML responsible for these pages that might explain these problems.  Any suggestions?

It turns out that thevPDFs are not just images, but searchable text.  Not as nice as seeing the text in context, but still nice.

Things That I Did Not Know

When you drill and tap a hole, you are supposed to slightly countersink it.  This provides a funnel that directs the screw or bolt into the first threads.  I can really feel the difference in getting them started.


Saturday, November 3, 2018

Believe All Women!

11/2/18 WBKO:
Carlotta Lynn Merchant reported on Oct. 18 that someone wearing a ski mask and clear gloves forced entry into her home on N. 6th Street and sexually assaulted her.
On Oct. 23 police say Merchant called the detective assigned to the case and confessed to staging the crime scene and making up the sexual assault so she could get sympathy from an estranged boyfriend.

Chronicling America

When you click on this URL, do you see a newspaper page, or a black image with a few red stripes?

Eclipse is So Slow

I cannot imagine going back to using javac, jdb, and emacs, but it is amazing how slow it is.  Actually, the temptation to go back to emacs and javac gets stronger and stronger.  Especially on the antique Compaq NC6000 that controls the mill: there is no 32-bit version of Eclipse Oxygen.

Still a Felony, But a Funny Felony

Woman robs convenience store wearing "Oversized Dog's Head Costume."  Her booking photo is odd because she kept spitting on the officers.  Mental illness or drugs?  How can you tell the difference?

Friday, November 2, 2018

Java Coming Back to Me Slowly

ArrayList[] argList = new ArrayList();
argList.add(new ArgList("-zs", ArgValues.FLOAT));

That first line has the error "Type Mismatch: Cannot convert from ArrayList to ArrayList"


In C this would be something like

argList[] args = [{-zs", "FLOAT}. "-ze", FLOAT}];

I was trying to do this the hard way:
ArgList[] argList = {
new ArgList("-zs", ArgValues.FLOAT),
new ArgList("-zi", ArgValues.FLOAT),
new ArgList("-ze", ArgValues.FLOAT)};

North Dakota Democrats Put This on Facebook


Can't East Indians Get Real Jobs?

I received a voice mail the morning of Nov. 2, 2018 from an 800 number which was obviously spoofed, because they left a Washington State phone number.  The message was with a correct American accent, but there were minor defects in wording that told me the script was written by a non-native speaker.  The voicemail said that there had been irregularities with my Social Security account which might require legal action.  When I called the number that was in the voicemail, a guy with an East Indian accent answered it "Social Security" and asked for my Social Security number.  I assume that if Social Security called me, they would know it.

When I questioned whether he was really part of the Social Security Administration, he said that if I doubted it, he would pass my file to the local office for legal enforcement.  There are a lot of gullible sorts who would hand off their Social Security number.

I have reported this to SSA as fraud.

The next call from the spoofed number with Social Security as the caller ID was a message from Officer Jack Dawson warning that I needed to get back to them to avoid turning off my Social Security check.

The callback number is in Port Angeles, Washington.  I called the sheriff's department and they tell me that they are getting a lot of calls about this fraud, and the number is not actually in Port Angeles at all, although the exchange is.  Somehow they are re-routing calls from a Port Angeles exchange to somewhere else.  I would love to know how.  Have they taken control of the phone company switches?

Today's call: still defective grammar and word use, but the American accent is a computer-generated voice.  Somewhere, there should be a phone company that cares about the security of their phone numbers.  But who?  Who owns the switch in Port Angeles, WA?

Here's a company that provides local U.S. numbers for India.

Just noticed: the number they are spoofing to call me really does belong to Social Security.  These crooks are good at their "job."

Is There a Stronger Argument For Shall Issue in California?

10/30/18 KPIX:
OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A BART rider was placed under arrest Monday after the suspect was accused of pulling out two chainsaws while on a train in the East Bay, authorities confirmed.
A BART commuter shot video that was posted on Twitter Monday afternoon that showed the man waving around a chainsaw on a train. The person posting the clip said it happened on a train traveling from Fremont to Richmond....
Jalina Bluford, the woman who took cell phone video of the man in action, knew something was wrong....
In the clip, the suspect later identified as 47-year-old Patrick Bingham, picked up a red chainsaw and flicked the switch on it several times as he waved it in front of himself, yelling threatening comments.
At one point, he is heard to say “cut your freaking head off.”
“He did say a couple of things. He said something about ‘I’m the ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Then he said, ‘No, I’m the BART massacre,'” explained Bluford. 
Paging Captain Obvious!  Now if he had been naked, there would have been no problem.

When Advertising Defeats Itself

Every time I follow a link to the U.K. Mirror, I get so many popups and ads that I do not even end up reading the story or the ads.  I have AdBlock installed and an 18Mbps connection.  I wonder if they have noticed the counterproductive results.

Why U.S. Troops At Border

Daily Caller reports that Mexican police say that migrant caravan has Molotov cocktails and guns.

And You Thought Hollywood Is Crazy

10/29/18 KOB channel 4:
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A local actor is trying to right a wrong after years of pretending to be a wounded veteran, in the hopes of landing roles.

"The film industry obviously took a different angle. That I was different. And so they liked that," said Todd Latourette.
The actor says he is bipolar and wasn't taking his medications 17-years-ago when he decided to cut off and cauterize his own arm.
Talk about commitment to your profession!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

PVL Is Not the Dog I Thought

I saw $.0071 per unit at $2.66.  But that was a monthly dividend. It is yielding 14.8%.  I just bought back my 500 shares at a lower price than I sold it for.