Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Chair of the DNC Explaining Why Democrats Are Not More Successful

Yes, pastors, Fox News, and the "NRA newsletter" (whatever that is) are the problem.  It has been 37 years since I heard a pastor give even a slightly political sermon.  Most are pretty conservative, but they know that their mission is saving souls, not politics.  You can see why the left would like to drive Christians out of business and close down churches.

Why Realistic Toy Guns and BB guns Should Be Banned

2/12/18 Baltimore Sun:
Last week, the beginning of an explosive corruption trial involving eight members of Baltimore's elite Gun Trace Task Force revealed that a handful of Baltimore cops allegedly kept fake guns in their patrol cars to plant on innocent people—a failsafe they could use if they happened to shoot an unarmed suspect, the Baltimore Sun reports.
Detective Maurice Ward, who's already pleaded guilty to corruption charges, testified that he and his partners were told to carry the replicas and BB guns "in case we accidentally hit somebody or got into a shootout, so we could plant them." The directive allegedly came from the team's sergeant, Wayne Jenkins, the Washington Post reports. Though Ward didn't say whether or not the tactic was ever used, Detective Marcus Taylor—another cop swept up in the scandal—was carrying a fake gun almost identical to his service weapon when he was arrested last year, according to the Sun.

Why Do We Lose to People This Ignorant? California Voters Probably Think This Legislator is Smart

Monday, December 10, 2018

Question for Gimp Experts

That overexposed section in the upper right; any way to reduce its brightness?  Perhaps select it and reduce brightness?  Or do I just have no recoverable data (all the pixels are 65535)?

Sunday, December 9, 2018

One of My Best Pictures of the Wonderful Woman I Married in 1980

As Close As a Gun Owner Should Get to NYC

The Face of the Mendenhall Glacier

Miracles of Unsharp Mask

Having Too Much Fun Waiting For the Clonepezam to Make Me Ready for Sleep

A neighbor.  1/4000th sec.; ISO 1600; 200mm.

Some Comet Whose Name I Forget

ISO 1600, 93.28 seconds.  (How did I get the tracking right?  You can see a little oval distortion of the stars.)

Looking Down on the Peasants Who Keep Our Housing and Automotive Systems Operating :-)

Good and effective people that the elites hate, because "deplorable" and they know how to do something with their hands, besides sexually abuse actors and interns.

I Took This Picture?

With my K10D in December of 2007.

One of the Weirdest Things I Ever Tried

The world's lowest grade fiberglass.  That's a construction tube used for pouring concrete columns which I then coated in fiberglass and epoxy, sanded, painted, and put together.  It worked but did not remove enough weight for that miserable little mount.  The original tube:
 Part way through pseudo fiberglassing it:

Supports while epoxying, sanding, and painting:

During the epoxying process:

Mounted by straps to a Losmandy dovetail:

Assembled on a Celestron CI-700 mount:

Title Lock

My FedEx driver told me a scary story of a scam where identity thieves take out a HELOC (home equity line of credit) using forged IDs to borrow money against your house that you will be responsible for repaying.  Obviously a lender that is not on their game will be left holding the bag, but I can see how this might ruin several months getting this straightened out.  Anyone have, or know someone who has experienced this?

Marvels of GIMP

I was going back over some old trip photos.  Before and after GIMP:

Someone Explain This Again, Please

In GIMP I can open a picture that is apparently in "clayton\Pictures\Pictures\2009\2009-06 (Jun)"

If I go the command line, directory C:\Users\clayton\Pictures\Pictures\2009\2009-06 (Jun) has the pictures.  But under My Pictures in Windows Explorer, 2009 has only three directories and none of them are 2009-06 (Jun).  I know Windows tries to be clever, not showing you everything it should.  But how do I get the missing directories to appear?

Somehow, I fixed it with right click Properties, Location.  Still would like to know what silliness this is.

What You Find on the Outskirts of Moscow, Idaho

Quick, call Fox & Mulder!

Why You Always Weight for the Drill Press Ride to Come to a Complete Stop

This was after a couple weeks of healing.

Recent Reader? I am Half Tempted to do Some Calendars Through CreateSpace

And maybe a scenic Idaho calendar

The panoramas really justify clicking them to see the detail.

Today's Joyous Machining Discovery

A couple weeks back I mentioned my discovery that tapped holes should be lightly countersunk.  The funnel helps direct the screw into the threads.  Today I was doing a mass production of sleeves for ScopeRoller, and I looked carefully at the tap/drill combo that I use for 1/4"-20 holes.  What is that above where the tapping threads stop.  It appeared to be a countersink.  Sure enough, when I took the tap/drill combo all the way down to the surface, there was a slightly unpleasant clatter, but the holes are now countersunk.  The screws slide right into the threads.  That is one less step that I need to perform when making these.  That's one less tool change when making them, and to be blunt, my countersinking was not beautiful.  Worse, after countersinking, I usually needed to tap the hole again.

Let me again sing the praises of Tapmatic.

Three Nice Guns the Owners Will Never See Again

12/6/18 KIVI-TV:
BOISE, Idaho - Transportation Security Administration officers at the Boise Airport say they found three loaded guns in the past three days during the routine screening of carry-on luggage belonging to departing travelers.
About 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, a TSA officer found a .45 caliber Smith & Wesson M&P pistol -- loaded
with six rounds -- in a carry-on bag belonging to a passenger traveling  to the Seattle-Tacoma
International Airport.
On Wednesday, Dec. 5 at about 8:30 a.m., a .40 caliber Glock 23 -- loaded with eleven rounds -- was discovered in a carry-on luggage belonging to a passenger traveling to Salt Lake.
And on Thursday, Dec. 6 at about 5:15 a.m., a TSA officer discovered a 9 mm LH9-MKII semiautomatic
pistol -- loaded with thirteen rounds -- in a carry-on baggage belonging to a passenger headed to Denver.
How hard is it to check your carry-on before you leave the house?  If you are carrying for a road trip, why is it in your luggage?  It won't do much good there.  And the fines and confiscation mean you need to check before you drive to the airport.

Saturday, December 8, 2018


Discover Card called to ask about a suspicious attempt to charge $258 with FedEx, which they declined.  Very good.  Then they canceled that account number, and in two days had my new cards delivered by...FedEx.

How You Can Tell Someone is Faculty at An Elite University

12/6/18 Guardian:
The head of politics at Cambridge University has called for children as young as six to be given the vote in an attempt to tackle the age bias in modern democracy.
Prof David Runciman said the ageing population meant young people were now “massively outnumbered”, creating a democratic crisis and an inbuilt bias against governments that plan for the future....
In the latest episode of his podcast, Talking Politics, he said lowering the voting age to 16 was not radical enough to address the problem. 
He said: “I would lower the voting age to six, not 16. And I’m serious about that. I would want people who vote to be able to read, so I would exclude reception [age-children].
“What’s the worst that could happen? At least it would be exciting, it would make elections more fun. It is never going to happen in a million years but as a way of capturing just how structurally unbalanced our democracies have become, seriously, why not? Why not six-year-olds?

I can see the campaign ads now: "Cocoa Puffs For Breakfast!"

Still Clearing Out Fibber McGee's Closet

A Toshiba Portege docking station.  I bought one of these Toshiba Porteges for $100 used.  It was so incredibly cute, and worked well.  It escaped a couple years ago, and I just found this dock in the closet.  No power supply; I think it was the one that powered the notebook.

When Spam Really Stinks

Dear Valued Customer,  
Apple iMac, MNEA2LL has shipped.
Order ID 48539730866
Approximate Arrival:
Dec.  15, 18
You can view more details with the "Tracking Editor"
 Oder Details
Shipped to:

Total Before Tax:
Tax Collected:
Shipment Total:
Tip: Signature required upon delivery.
Thank you.

Amazon.com LLC
Our Recommendations
Loctite Blue 242  Threadlocker 6-Milliliter Tube (209728)
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Of course, I ordered nothing of the sort, nor was I was stupid enough to click the "Oder Details," link.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Downside of Being Interrupted on Projects is Forgetting What You Have Already Made

I had already made the diagonal mirror holder some weeks ago.  When I mated it to the piece that holds it, I discovered there is not enogh clearance around the hexnut that holds the screw in place to turn the 6-32 collimation screws.  I made that .696" square a bit smaller than necessary (trig was never my friend) and too small to work.  So I am cutting a .845" square now.  That will be big enough.

Stuck Threads

I am busy trying to machine the diagonal mirror holder, a 1.18" diameter rod with a 45 degree cut and a 1/4"-20 through it to hold a screw that goes into the spider that holds to the inside of the tube. 

This is slower than I expected. at least partly because the chuck that attaches to the tilting table has locked itself to the 3/4"-16 adapter that the 10-32 screw uses to bind that adapter to the table. Adapter has a through hole.  A 10-32 screw goes through that hole into a 10-32 hole in the tilting table.  I cannot get the 10-32 screw to hold that part to the table. Threads are okay; just retapped the hole in the table. The 3/4"-16 part may be sliding on the table face. 

Next step is a lock washer to hold the screw tighter to the adapter of the adpter to the table.  It is a through hole in that adapter; so I see no obvious way to remove it. I tried heating in warm water, but chuck and adapter are both steel, so no net expansion. Perhaps dry ice on the adapter to get a more dramatic and sudden shrinkage. Extreme solution: left hand tap into that through hole, throw it away when it is out.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

How Do You Know Someone is Concerned About Climate Change?

12/4/18 Daily Caller:
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s re-election campaign spent just under $300,000 on private jet use in October, Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show....
Sanders’s private jet use comes despite the senator’s hard-line stance on climate change, which he has consistently called “the single greatest threat facing our planet.”

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Lack of Posting

1. It has been a busy day.  I went down to Mustang for snow tire swap on the Jaguar.  Even ice does not scare it with the Michelin X-Ice tires.

2.  I am busy preparing for the Spring semester of American History.  We have switched from a pricey online textbook to a free online textbook, which is requiring some lecture rearrangement and general improvements to my PowerPoints.

3. I am again working on the rebuild of my 3" f/4.5 reflector.  Lots of machining.  Part of why I wrote C programs to do various machining operations instead of using shell scripts to produce gCode, was that I could not gCode subroutines to work.  Problem solved.  I needed to trim half an inch off an aluminum cylinder (which is a bit short to do on the lathe), so I wrote a shell script that copies a subroutine in slicesub.nc to stdout, then uses for to produces calls to remove .01" at a time.  (A Bridgeport this is not.)

g17 g20 g54
o101 sub
     g01 x#1 f1
     g01 y#3 f#2
     g01 y#4 f1
o101 endsub
cat slicesub.nc
for i in `seq 0.01 0.01 .2`;
    echo "o101 call [$i] [.1] [1.5] [0.0]"
echo "m2"
echo "%"
I should make it for elegant, using command line arguments to set feed rates and slice width, but it is cold in the shop.  Tater is on my lap, purring, but even he is not enough heat.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Snow & Tires

Yesterday's effort to get our snow tires swapped for our three-season tires (there are no all-season tires in this part of Idaho) were fruitless.  But rather than drive down to the valley, we drove to Mustang Towing & Tire in Horseshoe Bend.  $100 and 45 minutes later, we had a Jeep that could climb our driveway.  The Jaguar is tomorrow.  Nice people at Mustang Towing, doing their best to explain to recent California refugees that you either get snow tires or plan to get towed a lot (they do both).

Process Servers

This has been a concern of mine for some time.  Some years ago, a co-blogger and I were sued by a despicable outfit called Righthaven, whose goal was to make billions (think of Dr. Evil) by suing everyone who it believed had violated copyright on newspaper stories.  I discovered along the way that "fair use" is a judicial construction with neither statutory nor discernable case law definition.  That was bad.  Fortunately, one victim pursued discovery far enough to find that Righthaven did NOT own the copyright for which they were claiming infringement.  But by then, many others had settled for many thousands of dollars.  Righthaven went bankrupt.  I'm sure the bottom weasel attorney running RightHaven is probably chasing ambulances or condom makers for Michael Avenatti now.

What I did find out in the process is a dirty little secret of civil litigation.  My son just ran into this dirty little secret.  The process server swears that they have personally served the defendant.  The first process server was aggressive and rude when she discovered the defendant did not live at my son's address.  The second one just left the summons on the doorstep.

When Righthaven sued me and my co-blogger Dave, I knew it was coming because a newspaper reporter in Las Vegas called me to ask about the suit.  So I never answered the door when a process server showed up.  She later swore that she had personally served me, and described two vehicles in our driveway that were never there.  When they served Dave, the process server claimed to have served the defendant's adult son.  (Dave was 22 at the time.  She made no attempt to verify who she was serving.)

I later found out that there are many process servers who provide "sewer service," claiming to serve papers but not doing so.  One, coincidentally in Las Vegas, was found with 12,000 summons that were sworn as served, but still in the process server's home.

So why does this matter?  If you are served and do not know it, you will lose by default in court.  How do you prove you did not get served?  As much as I like the idea of privatizing government functions, allowing for-profits to serve summonses creates an opportunity for dishonesty and injustice.  I have served a summons before, on a sister's soon-to-be ex.  I am beginning to think that only government agents with no profit motive or personal interest should be allowed to be process servers.

So I told my son to inform the court that a summons had been falsely served.  I am hoping this will save the defendant from a default judgement, and put a perjuring process server behind bars.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Machine Tool Porn

Machine tool porn. My little Sherline CNC mill is getting jealous.

Snowmaggeddon 2?

Boise area two winters ago--but unfortunately it seems like it was barely yesterday--suffered what we now call Snowmaggeddon.  It is beginning to feel that way today.  We knew that we should have put the snow tires on last week.  We put the snow tires in my wife's Jeep and headed to church this morning.  We were going exactly 1 mph down the driveway and still slipping a bit.  Down in the valley, no open tire store could do a tire swap. They were that busy.

Coming back, we slid slightly off the driveway and into the ditch nearby.  After digging snow out from under the wheels, and using some asphalt composition roof strips to get traction, I was able to get the Jeep out enough to park it at our neighbors' place at the base of our driveway.

We neglected to put the reflective markers at the edge of the driveway before the snow fell.  When the Sun reappears on Tuesday, it will not be easy.  I am thinking of using steel tubes, heated with a blowtorch, to drive them into the ground on the edges of the driveway, then reflective tape at the top.

Coming Down the Glacier in Training This Morning

1 mph in the Jeep.  I should have put the snow tires on this week.

A Mass Murder That Won't Make CNN's Story of the Day, Week, Month

11/29/18 AP:
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Four people found shot to death in a basement last week were victims of a scheme-gone-awry to sell a small stash of drugs found during home renovations, police said Thursday. Three men are in custody.
From the pictures of the accused and names of the victims, it would appear that they are not members of the only race whose mass murders matter to the gun control crowd.