Sunday, September 30, 2018

Teleconferencing Before the Internet

March 14, 1866 Chicago Tribune:

Overhang Shelters

On the road to Carlsbad Caverns were several Indian sites where they had relied on overhangs in the limestone for shelter from rain (when they had it), wind, and I suspect what few critters there regarded us as prey.  These really are not caves, because they are much wider than deep.

Gorgeous yellow and lime green butterflies.  The lime green ones did not show up very well.

Sherline 3 Jaw Chucks No Longer Grip Well

I thought the problem I was having was that the hollow tube of acetal was flexing and this the chuck was letting go.  But even a solid cylinder lets go now and ditto for small pieces of aluminum.  Operations that used to be easy to do are no longer possible without the workpiece flying.  The chucks are pretty dirty.  Would taking the jaws out and doing a thorough cleaning help?  Our am grasping at chips?

Just Deleted My FascistBook Account

I have a Gab account, but my concern about the destructive effects of social media are strong enough that I doubt that I will ever use it.  Much of this tragic mudslinging incident of the last two weeks is egged on by social media.  I suspect if social media had existed in the 1850s, we would have to war before 1861, and probably with more barbarism.  And why put any legitimacy or money into FacistBook's pocket.

Instapundit observes that we have reached the point where: "PIERS MORGAN IS A VOICE OF SANITY:"  And it is true: After talking about how compelling Dr. Ford's testimony was:
I stopped writing when Brett Kavanaugh walked in to begin his testimony, but this, I felt certain, would be the theme of this column.
There was nothing Kavanaugh could surely say or do that could possibly alter this impression?
I was wrong.
Kavanaugh’s performance was one of the most stunning, raw, breath-taking displays of raw, raging fury that I have ever seen on live television.
He was surging with passion and indignant anger, and emotion; SO much emotion.
He cried, he sighed, he sniffed, he snorted.
And he ranted.
This was a man right on the edge, exploding before our very eyes at what he perceived to be the horrific injustice of what has befallen him.
Kavanaugh’s not just any man.
He’s one of America’s most experienced, respected judges; so a man who until two weeks ago, was considered to be someone of total integrity, someone beyond reproach.
And by the time he’d finished, I believed him too.
His tears, when they came, felt real. His testimony felt real. HE felt real.
But they can’t both be telling the truth, can they?
The bottom line is I don’t now know whom to believe, and I defy anyone else to either.
Ford and Kavanaugh were both equally convincing.
They both came over as decent, civilised, eloquent people.
They both were inherently believable.
The facts of this case remain unsubstantiated, disputed and debatable.
It comes down to whom you believe most, and I just don’t know the answer to that question.
Who can say, honestly and with any certainty, where the truth lies?
I can’t, can you?
What I can say though is that this was one of the most disgusting, disgraceful things I have ever witnessed.

No, Not a Terrorist

9/21/18 NBC Los Angeles reports on the arrest of a Saleh Ali for possession of bombs in his car 350 miles from home.  He had prior convictions for terrorist threats, but no, this is not a terrorist incident.

I See a Lot of Leftist Commenters Claiming That Trump Did Not Follow Through on His Wall Promises

9/28/18 The Hill shows construction under way.

They Do Not Know Their Place

9/29/18 AP story about how many women are backing Kavanaugh.  Many believe Dr. Ford was a victim, but not of Kavanaugh, which is also my opinion.  Memories can be very defective, which is why eyewitness testimony is among the least trustworthy evidence in court, and especially decades later.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

I Had My Daughter Create a Web Page for My Books  Why a separate page?  One PR firm said my web page was oldfashioned and they could not consider me as a client for that reason.

Looking at the Irrational Rage on Facebook About Kavanaugh

Makes me worried that if the blue wave does not happen in November, we may see widespread leftist violence.  These people are insane.  Three allegations (one not terribly persuasive because her memories are weak and her claimed witnesses, one a friend of hers, deny it happened)  another one that does not even claim that Kavanaugh was certainly the wrongdoer, she was drunk, and one that is simply not credible and appears to be a Chan4 prank on Avenatti) have turned into proof that Kavanaugh is a rapist.  These people are relying on Democrat majorities impeaching Kavanaugh and Trump; if they don't get them, all hell will break loose.

How to waste an afternoon

Trying to turn a piece of actual with a tube in it.  The walls flex too much to get a solid grip on a slippery material like acetal.  I have done this stupid before and forgot.

Acetal is so flexible and slippery that once you have drilled a hole down the middle, the lathe chuck cannot get a solid grip because the outer part of the tube flexes under clamping force. I will cut the exterior down to size before drilling and boring the holes. If that doesn't work, aluminum.

Why Abortion is Not Going Away

The real reason for this endless mud throwing about Kavanaugh isn't the rape allegations, but fear that he will be part of overturning Roe v. Wade (1973)--a decision even some feminist regard as tactically and judicially unsound.  But because I know many of you are worried about the overturn:

Overturning Roe v. Wade (1973) will not abolish abortion.  When it was decided, abortion was legal and nearly unlimited in five states.  What it will do is return this decision to the state legislatures or people (through initiative process).  My guess is that at least 20 states will keep abortion legal, although perhaps with a few minor restrictions.  Oregon, for example, where it was unlawful before 1973, will keep it legal, probably throwing in some free joints to help her feel better about her "choice."

The pro-choice crowd can take the money they are spending on political and legal efforts to keep abortion legal until T-5 minutes and pay for airline or bus fare from North Dakota or Texas to California or New York State.  This is a big inconvenience for those who either can't figure how to use birth control, can't remember that getting wasted at a party with strangers is a bad idea, or are the relatively rare victims of rape or incest.  Still, this is not something women need done every month, or even every year, unless they fail to learn from past mistakes.

Even states where abortion was illegal before Roe v. Wade, like Oregon, had very high rates of legal abortions to save the life of the mother (166 abortions for every 1,000 live births).  Pretty clearly, doctors were not letting the law get in their way, and they aren't going to do so after an overturn.

Friday, September 28, 2018

It Appears the Second Lynching Failed

I see the committee had approved confirmation.  Sen. Flake wants a one week delay for more investigation.  That will accomplish nothing and I am sure he knows it.  I hope McConnell goes ahead and calls the vote Tuesday.

I hope this disgraceful character assassination puts some people into voting Republican in November.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Why Do Airbus Airliners

Always sound at landing like the structure is bolted together instead of welded, and half the bolts are loose?  I feel better in a Boeing or Canadair.

New Fitness Craze

Hot Yoga passe?  Only $10/month to join aerobic earth moving.  We have 30 tons of road mix to spread on our puncture weed garden.  A great workout.  (If you have experience with this plant, you know that no one plants it; but the gamma ray dose required to kill is not advisable on this planet.)

More Evidence Progressivism is Stupidity Cubed

More than a year old, but still amazing.  9/17/17 Seattle Times  article about why jurors are reluctant to serve at the King County Courthouse.  Of course, the streets are littered with human feces.  But:
Some committee members expressed concern about addressing the symptoms of the area’s problems without getting to the cause. Councilmember Larry Gossett said he didn’t like the idea of power-washing the sidewalks because it brought back images of the use of hoses against civil-rights activists.
Yup.  Cleaning sidewalks is like using firehoses on civil rights activists.  What is he comparing civil rights activists to?  The stuff they want to wash off the sidewalk?

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Crazy is Strong in This One

9/26/18 Daily Wire:
Michael Avenatti released his "very credible" witness on Wednesday alleging that SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh participated in a gang rape ring when he was just 15 years old in the early 1980's.
Avenatti's client, Julie Swetnick, claims that she attended not just one, but several parties where women were drugged with spiked drinks and then raped by scores of boys. Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge were allegedly "present" at these parties; Swetnick does not claim Kavanaugh assaulted her or participated in the gang rapes, nor does she name a single person beyond Kavanaugh and Judge. Not a single corroborating witness has come forward to support these wild claims that somehow escaped six FBI background checks.
She attended several of these parties?  Slow learner?  By the way, I wait for Avenatti to release evidence that Kavanaugh was a guard at Treblinka.  The progressive desperation is showing.

Too Weird for Me to Directly Quote

but I would hope even the most serious SJW progressives would call this unnatural.  I'm sure the turtle agreed, as it died.

Petroglyphs National Monument

Just a few miles from Albuquerque, we had an abbreviated visit because we were about to fly out and the direct sunlight was intolerable.  (There was a nice cool wind, but direct sunlight at that altitude makes hiking unpleasant for Rhonda and me.)

Albuquerque's National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

This is a Smithsonian museum devoted to nuclear history (both weapons and peaceful uses) and it is awesome.  I linked to the Wikipedia page because the museum's page has a certificate error.  It has a detailed history of the development of nuclear science and many of the delivery systems.

They have a B-29 and a mockup of the Trinity Site tower and plutonium bomb:
Inside they have not a mockup, but one of the other four Fat Boy bomb casings (minus the pit, of course) which shows the detonators and wiring harness.  Have 15 kg of plutonium?  I think I know where to go to complete your nuclear science project.  Your junior high school science teacher will be so surprised!

Delivery systems:

and the cases for air drop:

and the ultimate stupid idea delivery system, the nuclear shell cannon:

They also had a series of exhibits explaining the decision to drop the bomb, and a section on Cold War brinksmanship and civil defense.  They also had a section on popular culture manifestations of peaceful nuclear science, including Dr. Brown's Delorean.  Admission was $10 per person, the day we visited.

White Sands National Monument

I have another vivid memory of the 1967 vacation: arriving at White Sands National Monument just after sunset to set up camp. I suspect it was a full Moon because the sands seemed unnaturally white to me.  The sand is gypsum, not silica.  It has some odd qualities: it insulates better and if you stick your hand in, the sand underneath is actually cold.  (You can see why wallboard is made from gypsum.)

Unsurprisingly, dwellers have some interesting adaptations:

Carlsbad Caverns Unexpected History

Rhonda found this as we drove away.
These four domestic terrorists held hundreds of people hostage in a cave 750 feet underground
With hazy objectives and a lot of liquor, they seized Carlsbad Caverns
Like most actions taken under the influence with firearms (or even without), the results were beyond stupid:
“I’m tired of Mexicans coming in and taking our jobs. No, make that all aliens. They ought to kick them all out. They’re making $20 billion in welfare . . . ” complained Mark. Eugene Hiram Meroney, a Native American and “easily the most intelligent and articulate” of the bunch according to Cantwell, talked about how the nation was repressing his people. They expressed frustration over increasing gasoline prices and OPEC. Cantwell is permitted to see the hostage, Linda Phillips. “She is extremely calm considering her plight,” he wrote. 
Even more startling:
In February 1939, the Superintendent of Carlsbad Caverns National Park Thomas Boles wrote to Robert Ripley’s “Believe It or Not” and Floyd Gibbons’ “Headline Hunter” radio program about what he considered to be an unbelievable story; a ranger had fallen into the 754 foot elevator shaft at the park and survived!...
With the tickets all purchased, Ranger Thompson began his prepared speech to the assembled tourists. He opened the elevator door (there was no failsafe to prevent this when the car was not there) and turning to the crowd stated “Let me see your tickets” while he backed in. A woman shrieked “Look out” but it was too late; Thompson plunged into the abyss. ...
Thompson knew the elevator and quickly realized the cables were his only hope. He grabbed on and thanks to the thick cable grease he was able to slow his decent while preventing severe friction burns. After falling nearly 100 feet and sliding an additional 40, Thompson found himself clinging to the cable in the dark elevator shaft. Calling out for help to the glimmer of daylight far above him, Hieb and two other employees brought a second car down the parallel cable, inching ever so slowly to where Thompson was still hanging on in the shaft. While pulling him in the men found Thompson “none worse for the experience other than a well greased uniform and a few blisters on right hand and a friction burn on left arm.”

Carlsbad Caverns

I have strong and positive memories of the Caverns from my 1967 vacation with my parents and youngest sister.  Rhonda was thrilled with it.  When I visited in 1967, they used a variety of colored spotlights on the features, and they were beautiful.  Now they are entirely white lights.  I asked a ranger about this.  She explained the heat was causing mold to develop, so they are now entirely LEDs.  Still awesome.

Texas Hill Country

San Antonio and surroundings were as flat as I expected.  The hill country west of there, on the way to New Mexico is an area that I have never seen before; surprisingly interesting and pretty.  The road cuts through limestone made the journey of many miles well worth it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

What Happened to the Guy Responsible for Denny's Decor

That is my wife's explanation for the Aloft hotel in San Antonio.

The pixelated pillows and the vertical hold carpet (for those who remember analog TV) suggest time in electronics:

I Am Shocked

9/25/18 Baltimore Sun:
A top Harford County Sheriff’s Office official, while praising Aberdeen Police for their response to last week’s shooting at a Rite Aid distribution center in Perryman, criticized gun laws that he said allow a person with acute schizophrenia to own a gun.
Maj. William Davis, chief of the agency’s police operations bureau, told Aberdeen’s mayor and City Council members Monday that the suspect, 26-year-old [redacted], of White Marsh, had been diagnosed with acute schizophrenia, but she answered “no” to questions about whether she had been diagnosed with a mental illness when filling out paperwork to purchase a handgun.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Seeker-Friendly Church

I am profoundly skeptical of the whole seeker-friendly church marketing strategy (and that is what it is), but we saw an especially tragic example on a church in Alamogordo.  "What do we have to do to get you in here?"    The cynical response is, "Free meth!" The correct response is, "Preach the gospel.  Use words if necessary."  The example your members show will attract far more members then your social media presence.

Someone Has Not Mastered English

Today's spam is from someone addressing me as groovy guy, and describing herself as a 27 year old shiny girl.  (I think she meant she was "bright.")

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Somewhat Urgent

How do I save a boarding pass image in a browser as an image on a cellphone?  If I was sure that the airport had working Wi-Fi, I could just click the link to display the boarding pass, but that often does not work.
The problem was that during check-in, American Airlines lets you email each passenger's boarding pass to one address.  I have email on my phone, but my wife does not.  (Technophobe.)  I was therefore able to display my boarding pass on my phone, but not on hers.  Nor could I send her boarding pass to my email address.  I eventually solved the problem by entering two different email addresses that I have, but this still does not solve the problem of intermittent Wi-Fi in airports.  But I could send printable boarding passes and print them at what is clearly the nicest Best Western that I have ever stayed in, in Albuquerque.  My wife says I get flustered when I am tired, and she is right.  One of the biggest long term consequences of the strokes is that I tire very easily.

Interesting Analogy

My wife pointed out yesterday that white entertainers in the 19th and early 20th centuries wore blackface to make stereotypical fun of blacks in minstrel shows.  This is now considered offensive and would likely lead to ferocious criticism. But what is a drag queen but a man engaged in stereotypical female behaviour?

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Permian Basin

Profoundly American. Hard working men and corporations, turning what used to be a weird and useless natural resource (petroleum) into the basis of an industrial civilization.