Friday, December 14, 2018

Not Completely Clueless

Armed teachers, stronger security and better law enforcement are needed to head off another school shooting like the one in Parkland, according to a panel reviewing the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The state commission investigating the shooting that killed 17 people on Feb. 14 released a draft report Wednesday listing a series of failures by Broward County agencies and recommendations for avoiding a similar tragedy in the future.
The 407-page report, which is not final, found that deputies didn’t rush into the school to stop the carnage, and school staff committed numerous security breaches, including leaving doors unlocked and not calling a “Code Red” alarm quickly enough.
The panel also voted to include a controversial proposal allowing classroom teachers to carry guns in schools if they go through a selection process that would include background checks and training. Such a change would require the state Legislature’s approval.

Adhesives and Aluminum

I am approaching the final point of assembling the diagonal mirror spider.  This is a .5" x .800" x .800" piece of 6061 aluminum to which I am going to (hopefully) glue .5" wide 6061 aluminum legs to hold it in the telescope tube.  Because the square is tiny and has four 8-32 adjustment screws distributed around a .265" center hole, trying to use screws to attach the legs is impractical.  My plan was to use an adhesive, like epoxy.  I would also like a non-reflective black surface.

Two choices: flat black paint or black anodizing.  Obviously, the bare aluminum needs to be properly degreased and perhaps roughened with some #80 sandpaper to get a good grip with epoxy.  It appears that black anodized aluminum does not do well with adhesives because the sealant coat on top prevents a good grip: too smooth.  I have never tried to anodize, and I do not think I want to try that now. I suspect that anodizing after gluing the legs on will fail, because anodizing is done in an acid.

I really do not like how flat black paint, applied with a spray can, comes out.  It thickens the threaded holes so screws do not go in smoothly.  (I suppose that I could retap the holes after the paint dries.)  I am using black oxide screws, so they are not in need of paint.

Powder coating has the disadvantage that it typically involves heating the material to 400 degrees F.  Will the epoxy lose adherence, or just bake a little harder?  Epoxy bonds benefit from heating when curing, but what if it has already cured?  I suspect that getting everything glued, clamped, and then baked in the oven for a few minutes, then taking it to the powder coater that I use (Signs by Smith) in Boise would work.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Bump Stocks

They do not meet the letter of the machinegun law (because there is only one trigger pull per shot) but they certainly meet the spirit of the law.  If BATF does ban them, I think that they are likely within the intent of the law. 

I used to own a BMF Activator, a crank device that mounted in your trigger guard with a cam against the trigger.  Turn the crank and you could easily fire 300 rounds per minute.  Machine gun?  As much as a bump stock, but unlike a bump stock, utterly useless unless your rifle was clamped down.  Even on a Ruger 10/22, it made a lot of noise and was completely uncontrollable.  Perhaps the perfect gang weapon, most shots would hit bystanders, not targets.  How typical that the Obama Administration, in spite of their enthusiasm for gun control, approved bump stocks.

Now, how that is regulated matters a lot.  There are ways to make almost any part change unlawful.  That must be resisted.

"'Regret and Confusion," Should be the Official Motto of Snakejuice."

If you do not recognize this line, you have missed one of the funniest shows around: Parks and Recreation.  If you have enjoyed mockumentaries such as This is Spinal Tap, A Mighty Wind, or Best in Show, you will likely appreciate this.  The first season is cute.  By the third season, it is dangerously funny.  I had to stop the show after this line because I was laughing so hard that I was having trouble breathing, like when I first saw The Gods Must Be Crazy in a movie theater in Irvine.

Must Be Pennsylvania Dutch: Those Amish Radicals!

12/12/18 France24:
Around 7.50pm (1850 GMT) Tuesday, a lone man opened fire several times in the centre of Strasbourg, home to Europe’s most famous Christmas market, which attracts huge crowds of shoppers and tourists.
The suspect was quickly identified as a 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt, born in Strasbourg and already known to the police. He cried "Allahu Akbar" ("God is Greatest") as he opened fire, France's anti-terror prosecutor Rémy Heitz told a news conference Wednesday, citing witnesses....
Previously, French authorities had said the gunman killed three people. But Heitz said two people were confirmed dead while the third was brain dead.
Heitz also said police found a grenade, a rifle and four knives during a search Tuesday morning of the 29-year-old's house. They had wanted to take him into custody as in an investigation for suspected murder but were unable to find him. 
Grenade?  Who knew their gun control laws were so lax!

3.95 miles today

2 of it in snow partly uphill

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Scam? Or Missent Email?

Hi Clayton,

Congratulations on your new position with Arconic that will begin on Wednesday, January 2, 2018.

As you know, one of the criteria for employment as stated in your offer letter is having a pre-employment physical and drug screen. Your physical is scheduled for Friday, December 14th at 3:00 pm. For this appointment, you will need to bring a photo ID.

Another one of the criteria for employment as stated in your offer letter is successful completion of a background check.  You will be contacted via e-mail by Sterling Direct, the vendor who conducts our background verifications.  You will submit your application in an on line system and indicate your approval by using a "wet signature" feature in Sterling's Online portal site.  So please be on the lookout for this email.

Attached you will see four files. Below I have instructions for each. If you prefer, you can pick up hard copies of all the attachments at our Washington location.
US Export Control Form: This attachment is required for our site since we are a ITAR facility. This form must be completed and returned to the HR department at RTI/Arconic  prior to your orientation.

New Hire Paperwork: This attachment has three forms. These forms must be completed and returned to the HR department at RTI/Arconic  prior to your pre-employment physical. Our HR team is here from 7:00am to 3:30pm each day. You may also complete these forms and e-mail them back to me if you prefer.

Pre-Employment Physical Information: This form is for your records. This has all the necessary information for your pre-employment physical appointment. As stated, you will need to bring a photo ID to your pre-employment physical appointment.

Arconic – Pre-Physical Paperwork: This form must be filled out prior to your physical and will be given to the doctor. Please make sure you bring the completed form to your pre-employment physical appointment. This will not be returned to our site.

Arconic requires metatarsal safety shoes. Below are a few options for these metatarsal safety shoes.

The requirements of the shoes are as follow:
  • steel-toed or composite metatarsal safety protective footwear that MUST meet the ASTM F2413 Class 75 Standards
  • Impact (I/75)
  • Compression (C/75)
  • Metatarsal (MT 75)
  • Electrical Hazard (EH)

We reimburse up to $100.00 for each pair and allow two pairs per calendar year. We have three options for these shoes.

Option 1: You can choose from our preferred vendor, Sid Boedeker, by visiting their location, information below.  We will do a payroll deduction for the difference between the price of the shoe and the $100.00 allowance. (NOTE: If you choose to visit the vendor’s store you will not be charged at that time)

 Store Information:
  • 6822 Hazelwood, St. Louis, MO 63134
  • 314-522-8180
  • Store Hours
    • Mon-Thurs – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Fri – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Sat – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Option 2: You can review the attached catalog for safety shoes from our preferred vendor, Sid Boedeker, and order a shoe from this catalog by sending an email to with the shoe style, size, and width. Note: We are not responsible for shoes if they do not fit. If you would like to exchange or return a shoe, you will be required to visit the Sid Boedeker store.

Option 3: You can purchase your shoes from any department store that carries metatarsal safety shoes, but they must meet the above mentioned requirements. If you choose this option please make sure that you bring your shoes and the receipt the day of orientation so that the Safety Department can approve them before your start date. The receipt will be submitted to accounting for reimbursement up to $100.00. (NOTE: Please keep in mind that if the cost of your shoe is $100.00 or less you would only be reimbursement for the amount on the receipt.)

One piece of documentation that you will need to complete in advance of reporting to the location is an I-9 form, which is required by the US Government Department of Homeland Security to verify your eligibility to work in the United States.  Please complete this information online using the link below:

Before you logout, please review the list of employment eligibility documents you will be asked to present on your first day of work.  Note: The list of documents varies based on to the citizenship status you entered in Section 1 of your I-9.  You will be required to bring original unexpired documentation with you for our onboarding meeting (I’ve also attached is a list of these acceptable documents).

As part of your orientation, we have scheduled the HR Session of your Onboarding process.  This meeting will be to complete required personnel and payroll paperwork, discuss benefits and the new hire benefit enrollment process, and review important policies and procedures.  This meeting is scheduled for your first day of work on January 2 at 7:30AM.

I am also including a link to an external site that will allow you to review the benefits offered to our employees.  This site does not include prices; however please take some time to review the plans available to you so you can bring any questions you might have with you on your first day.  Also attached is a Summary of Benefits which you may find helpful prior to our meeting.    

I also wanted to share a resource to help you in your transition to Arconic, which will help you in navigating the many resources that are available. 


Please let me know if you have any questions, or need additional information.

Sara Hembry
HR Specialist
1701 W. Main Street
Washington, MO 63090
1-636-239-7816 (ext. 190107) Office |

UPDATE: It was a missent email.