Saturday, November 30, 2019

Be Ready to Laugh

You probably know that yesterday's terrorist knife attack in London was interrupted by a guy wielding a 5 foot long narwhal tusk.  Here are the inevitable narwhal tusk attachments for the AR-15.

Commonsense marine mammal tusk control is all we ask.

Why Gun Bans Do Not Work

“Inmate scam”, Santa Rosa (Cal.) Press-Democrat, January 20, 1993, A5.

Incredible!  That gun control laws fail to keep handguns out of New York City is not surprising.  But all those guards, metal detectors, strip searches, and who knows what else, can’t even keep guns out of New York City’s jails!  Does anyone seriously think that our national borders stand a ghost of a chance of keeping guns out?

Friday, November 29, 2019

Cleaning Out My Closet

This appears to be a Cyclop 1 Night Vision scope, like this one on eBay.  It comes in a leather or leather-like bag.
This is the scope itself, and what is apparently a camera adapter that goes where the eyepiece is located.  I have ever never used the adapter.  The scope has a little refresh button on the side that you use if you have been viewing for ten or more seconds.  It is of course a green image.  I have no idea how much light gain you get, but it makes even completely black interior rooms visible.  There is a black cover on the front to protect the receptors when powered up.  There is an almost invisibly small hole that allows testing without endangering the receptors.
It includes an infrared illuminator that makes low visibility objects visible.  The instruction manual is in Russian, but the only markings are in English on the illuminator.

History: shortly after the Wall came down, a friend in Munich acquired this for me.  He thought it was looted Red Army equipment.  I am sure it was a commercial product (English warning).  It uses AA batteries and a 12V battery.  It works but I have no use for it.  The one on eBay is listed at $195, and is the last one available.  Make me an offer.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Need a Wireless Mouse

I have an Inphic.  You charge it through a USB cable, then insert a transmitter in your USB port.  Works great, but my intended use was for travel.  Of course, if you leave in your travel bag for months on end, it will not be charged when you need it.  For desktop use, it seems like a good choice.  I can ship this to you in a Priority Mail box.


Chrysler is trying to sell me the above-mentioned extended warranty, that goes out to 160,000 miles.  (Our 5 year, 60,000 mile warranty on the Jeep is about to expire.)  It has a $100 deductible and costs $142.97/month. 

I like extended warranties because repairing any substantial failure on newer cars is often huge.  But we recently sought a solution to an intermittent problem where all the dashboard warning lights (nio parking lights, no turn signal lights, no brake lights) come on but none are really a problem.  The 2017 Jeep Renegades had a recall on this problem but not the 2016s.  It clears itself by going into park.  It has happened twice.  Of course, they can't reproduce it, so they can't fix it.

Extended warranties from third parties are generally worthless.  This is the first long-term extended warranty I have seen offered by a manufacturer.  Coming from Chrysler, I am a bit skeptical.  Anyone have experience with this program?  $1700+ per year plus deductible means a very expensive covered repair (or multiple minor repairs) to justify this extended warranty.  For ordinary people, having a fixed monthly cost is probably a good strategy, but if you have enough in savings to cover a $1000 repair every year (or even $1500) without problem or serious pain, it may not make sense.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Weird Stuff in My Closet

We are probably moving to Eagle in the spring, so I am starting to thin out stuff that I do not need. A Russian night vision scope, various power bricks for obsolete PCs, docks for obsolete PCs, a 100W car adapter specifically for laptops (what was I thinking?), IBM PC/XT Technical Reference, Microsoft C 5.0 compiler, Microsoft Macro Assembler.  (I presume these will run in the command shell of Windows 10.)  I will put up pictures and descriptions to give my readers first shot before trying eBay.

Some is useful: a spare docking station for the HP notebook that controls my mill and the power cord.  Nice to have a spare especially for something hard to replace.  I also found a USB-powered set of speakers with the tiny audio output jack.  I can now play music on that antique while milling.  They aren't great speakers, but in the garage next to a mill, high fidelity is not that important.

Go See This Now!

Harriet.  Story of Harriet Tubman, progun, evangelical Christian, runaway slave, freedom fighter.  Awesome film!  Why Obama discussed putting her on the $20 bill eludes me.

Monday, November 25, 2019

A Plug for One of the Great Albums

Jeff Wayne's Version of War of the Worlds.  Imagine H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds adapted to a late 1970s rock musical, with Richard Burton narrating and Justin Hayward singing.  The dialog is largely taken directly from the novel.  It was not a big success when it came out, except for "Forever Autumn":

Sunday, November 24, 2019

It's Called a Warning for a Reason

William Richard Scheuch was arraigned on the charge in Boise on Tuesday. According to court records, in September 2015 a federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent met with Scheuch and issued him a warning notice for dealing firearms without a license. The agent also gave Scheuch a federal firearms application. Scheuch did not submit the application.

Following that warning, Scheuch allegedly sold firearms on at least four occasions between May 2016 and May 2017, including one sale in a Boise parking lot on Aug. 26, 2016. During that incident, Scheuch allegedly sold two semi-automatic rifles for $4,800 to an undercover agent.
ATF does not always play fair, but if you get a warning not to do something that is clearly a federal crime, why would not even try to get an FFL?  A felony conviction is a lifetime firearms disqualifier.  I doubt this guy is indifferent to guns.

Surprisingly Thoughtful Piece on Gun Control in Idaho

An 11/22/19 BuzzFeed (!!!) picture of Idaho gun rights activists that shows them as reasonable and effective lobbyists for gun rights.  One interesting fact in it that may interest those of you terrified of California refugees:
A recent study conducted by Boise State University found that 56% of California transplants moving into the Treasure Valley — held up as the bastion of liberalism in the state — are Republican. Instead of turning Idaho blue, or even purple, they’re confirming its conservative identity. “Idaho could change,” the study’s author, Jeffrey Lyons, told the Idaho Statesman. “But if Idaho changes, you probably shouldn’t be blaming the Californians. It’s probably something else.”
Certainly describes nearly all that I have met.  The only antigunners that I meet are natives.


Preparing for an NPR Gun Control Town Meeting Jan. 21 here in Boise:

Great News Story

“Inmate scam”, Santa Rosa (Cal.) Press-Democrat, January 20, 1993. A5.  If you can find and get me a scan of it, I would be very grateful.

NEW YORK -- It's a new twist on the old insurance scam: inmates shooting themselves, or each other, with an eye toward the almighty dollar -- the taxpayer's dollar, that is.
 According to the city's Department of Investigation, it works like this: An inmate or an accomplice fires a gun through a pillow or towel, causing a minor leg wound.  As fast as you can say "lawsuit," he's demanding up to $8.5 million in damages for inadequate protection by jail         officials.
 The Department of Investigation believes that about 10 inmates in the last three years have had themselves shot so they could sue or demand lower bail or cushier digs.[i] 

[i] “Inmate scam”, Santa Rosa (Cal.) Press-Democrat, January 20, 1993, A5.
They can't even keep guns away from jail inmates!

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Went Shooting Today

I replaced the plastic recoil guide on the Mustang with a stainless steel one and the Mustang seemed to be shooting a bit more accurately, as might be expected.  (More consistent recentering.)  This is only a 2 3/4" barrel so you have to be realistic in your expectations, but at typical gunfight distances it is good enough, even in my hands.  It is gratifying to see skills return after not doing enough shooting the last few years.  The 6 round Colt magazine (5 was the original Colt offering) was refusing to hold open on empty.  I do not remember this problem in the past.  I mixed mostly from laziness, a variety of TMJs, FMJs, and JHPs in each magazine, with no failures of any sort, other than that failure to hold open.

The Firestar 9mm was refusing to either reliably extract or eject*, especially on the first round.  I was going to go test it again after cleaning, but managed to get the slide stop in before the barrel link.  (The more pistols you own, the more details of disassembly and reassembly there are to remember.  Fortunately, the Mustang, Browning, and 1911 are nearly identical.)  It is now pretty hopelessly stuck.  I searched and found at least one other person who managed the same stupid.  A gunsmith finally coaxed it out for him.  I will go visit QPR Precision Gunsmithing in Nampa this week.

This may be the solution.

If you accidentally insert the takedown lever and it snaps in place, before the lines on the slide and frame line up - it locks the barrel in the forward position and it locks the takedown lever so it can't be removed.
The fix for this is:Push the slide all the way foreward.Grasp the guide rod, in between to coils of the spring, with a narrow pair of needle nose pliers.'Pull the guide rod towards the front of the gun until it protrudes from the slide.Now, grasp the rod where it's protruding from the slide and pull it out the front.While doing that, move the slide toward the rear.
The slide will now go far enough back that the two lines can line up & the slide stop can be popped out.
Assemble as normal & take care to get the slide stop through the kidney shaped hole on the barrel where it's supposed to go.

I hope this can save some people a trip to the gunsmith.

The actual solution.  I pushed slide as far forward as it would go, pressed down on the back of the barrel through the ejection port.  There was now enough space to slide a piece of Delrin behind the barrel through ejection port.  This locked it far enough forward to press the slide stop out from the right.  Then I could remove slide to the front, remove recoil spring, guide, and barrel and reassemble.  I will go shooting again soon to see if the jam is ammo type specific (JHPs vs FMJs, although I doubt that).  Just in case I ordered a spare extractor spring from Sarco. collector of all oddball parts you could ever want.

*I could see the spent round in the chamber, partly out, but not enough to allow #2 to feed into the chamber.  The Firestar is not a free fall magazine, and especially not in this state.  Not a circumstance I have ever had from this pistol before, and therefore not a carry gun until I get this fixed.  This may be a weak extractor spring.  These are still available from Sarco for $2.25.  If I could get my Discover card out without waking my wife I would have already ordered it.

A number of YouTube videos suggest that the Firestar is sensitive to case dimensions.  I will try again with high quality ammo.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Need An Idaho Enhanced Concealed Weapon License?

Sure you do.  It adds a few states of reciprocity.  A friend is teaching it.
Tuesday November 26th, 2019Saturday December 14th, 2019
NRAPersonal Protection Handgun CourseIdaho ENHANCED Concealed Weapon License12 hour course 8am - 8pmNRA Personal Protection in the Home Course exceeds Idaho 18-3302K ENHANCED Concealed Weapon License requirement, certificate recognized by all states as firearms training (Though NOT for certain states' CCW , see list below)

$150 Course Fee includes NRA handbook, fliers & NRA Course Completion & Idaho State Police Training Certificates. Classes are small (7 at most). PAID advance registration is required to reserve your seat. Class is open to Instructor-approved citizens who have no felonies or other legal gun-ownership disabilities. Liability Release form signature required.

Course consists of approximately 5 Hours Classroom, 2 Hours on the Shooting Range, 2+ Hours Legal Instruction, 2 hours written test and wrap-up. Includes Basic Handgun Safety, Familiarization, Hands-on Firearms Handling, Shooting Skills & Instruction. Personal security & avoiding violent confrontations will be covered in depth. Safety & Awareness are critical.Several hours will be spent on the firing range bringing student skills up to standards. Idaho State Law and Federal Law regarding firearms, concealed weapons, self-defense and after-event issues will be taught by a licensed Idaho attorney (formerly served as a public defender, a prosecutor and as an Idaho State deputy attorney general, and often competes in IDPA and IPSC shooting events)BRING: warm jacket & hat (it gets cold and windy at the desert shooting range) and a button up shirt or turtleneck so no hot brass goes down your shirt to ‘brand’ you and make the event unsafe, eye and ear protection and handgun & at least 2 boxes of 50 rounds of factory ammunition ( Idaho law requires 98 rounds ), lunch snacks drinks notepad highlighter pencil post-its (Don't have a handgun or eye/ear protection? let me know I have a few loaners & can help you select the right one)T. ALLEN HOOVERNRA Certified Instructor                 NRA Training Counselor          (208) 631 3003                               PO Box 6232 Boise ID 83707          www.TALLENHOOVER.comTHE IDAHO ENHANCED CONCEALED WEAPONS LICENSE IS VALID IN: IDAHO ( & Idaho public colleges) ALASKA ARIZONA COLORADO  DELAWARE NEVADA NEW MEXICO PENNSYLVANIA
 DELAWARE NEVADA NEW MEXICO PENNSYLVANIA SOUTH CAROLINA VIRGINIA LOUISIANA MINNESOTA WASHINGTON WISCONSINas well as states that accept the Basic License: ALABAMA ARKANSAS FLORIDA GEORGIA INDIANA IOWA KANSAS KENTUCKY MAINE MICHIGAN MISSISSIPPI MISSOURI MONTANA NEBRASKAMICHIGAN MISSISSIPPI MISSOURI MONTANA NEBRASKA NEW HAMPSHIRE NORTH CAROLINA NORTH DAKOTA OHIO OKLAHOMA SOUTH DAKOTA TENNESSEE TEXAS UTAH WEST VIRGINIA WYOMING. VERMONT (no lisc reqd) Oregon non-reisdent licenses easy to obtain with Idaho ECCW.Total 41 states allow CCW w/ID ECCW. note: List per Idaho State Police 9/2018 - states laws change constantly, this list may not reflect current status. Yellowstone National Park accepts CCWs that are valid in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming (see website) Federal Park Service webpage indicates that which CCW holders may carry in Yellowstone park (but not into buildings of any kind)
may carry in Yellowstone park (but not into buildings of any kind) Shooting, even is self defense is prohibited, so don't unless you are being eaten, and then prepare for legal repercussions.
NRA Basic-Level Courses: Home Firearms Safety, Basic Pistol, Basic Rifle, Range Safety Officer, Personal Protection Outside the Home Become an NRA Certified Instructor:
INSTRUCTOR-Level courses, CALL for information:
NRA BIT Basic Instructor Training course $100 (the first class required) Offered weekday evenings by arrangement.
NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course Instructor course $350
NRA Personal Protection (in the home) Instructor course $350 (BIT&Pistol are prerequisites) NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home Instructor course $350 (BIT&Pistol & PPith are prerequisites) NRA RSO Range Safety Officer $125 NRA CRSO CHIEF Range Safety Officer $150 (BIT & RSO are prerequisites) NRA Basic Rifle Shooting Course Instructor course $350NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home Instructor course $350 (BIT&Pistol & PPith are prerequisites)
NRA RSO Range Safety Officer $125
NRA CRSO CHIEF Range Safety Officer $150 (BIT & RSO are prerequisites)
NRA Basic Rifle Shooting Course Instructor course $350 Group & Individual classes available upon request. Liability Release form signature required. A written test will be administered (it is possible to fail this course).Instructor reserves the right to dismiss anyone, anytime, without refund. All rights reserved. No Warranties are Expressed or Implied. Copyright 2019 Hoover Police SupplyThe next NRA Personal Protection Class will be November 26th, a Tuesday.I have 4 seats available at this time.
You may register at this link to the NRA Training Website (Be sure to use full legal name and birthdate and address when filling out the registration form)

The December Class will be December 14th, a Saturday.I have 4 seats available at this time.
You may register at this link to the NRA Training Website (Be sure to use full legal name and birthdate and address when filling out the registration form) 

Black on Black Lynching

We are so conditioned to think of lynching as a crime committed against blacks by white racists that we tend to forget white lynching victims.  But these two incidents involve black victims, black murderers, and a black lynch mob.

Sunnyside, Tex. (1897)
Before 5/1/1897: Robbers seeking $30 stolen from “a German named Brenham” and supposed to have been conveyed to a “Henry Daniels, an old negro,” forced entry into Daniels’ home, beat to death Daniels, raped his stepdaughter “and a seven year old child.”  They then threw the seven year old down a well, and burnt the house down around Daniels and his stepdaughter.
Category: family non-resident
Suicide: no
Cause: robbery
Weapon: blunt object, drown, arson[1]

Sunnyside, Tex. (1897)
Before 5/1/1897: Authorities and local citizens hunted down the gang responsible for murders in previous entry.  The gang confessed under the weight of the evidence, including a bloody shirt.  They were taken from custody by a black lynch mob and hung.
Category: public
Suicide: no
Cause: lynch
Weapon: hanging[2]

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The President's Harsh Immigration Policies

See PBS.  Not Trump, but Obama.

1/28/16 Washington Post:
The Obama administration failed to protect thousands of Central American children who have flooded across the U.S. border since 2011, leaving them vulnerable to traffickers and to abuses at the hands of government-approved caretakers, a Senate investigation has found. 
The Office of Refugee Resettlement, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, failed to do proper background checks of adults who claimed the children, allowed sponsors to take custody of multiple unrelated children, and regularly placed children in homes without visiting the locations, according to a 56-page investigative report released Thursday.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Baby Telescope

I thought that I would share baby pictures.

This is the mirror cell.  What it replaced was made of plywood.

From the side.

You may have noticed the black rings.  These came off a 5" refractor which suffered cross threading of the M6 thumbscrews, so I retapped the holes to 1/4"-20.  I used weather stripping to get the ID of the rings to fit this 4.5" OD PVC tube.

The rings are attached to this base.
I drilled 1/4" holes in each end.  These holes should be counterbored to make the hex head bolts flush, but my mill is at Sherline for some TLC.  Attempting to counterbore with a 3/4" end mill in my drill press, even at 500 rpm, just shook the drill press vise and produced no useful counterbore.  When the mill returns, I will do this.  The 1/4"-20 bolts screw into the bottom of each ring.  In the center of this plate is a 1/4"-20 hole for attachment to a camera tripod. 

Looking down the mouth:
Yes that screw and wingnut should be painted flat black now that the diagonal holder is properly positioned front to rear.  

I am going to paint a phosphorescent paint stripe down the tube for aiming.  A finder on a scope that has a magnification range of 10-50x makes no sense.

The 31mm diagonal is a bit too large for this 3" mirror.  In daylight, this gives a black dot in the middle of the field of view for the 35mm eyepiece.  The only solution would be a 25mm diagonal, but such a diagonal holder size would preclude collimation adjustment.

I could just barely make ut Saturn's rings at 39x, and I can understand why Galileo was confused.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Mass Murder Apparently Averted by Armed Civilian

11/18/19 USA Today:
DUNCAN, Okla. – Three people were killed Monday in a shooting outside a Walmart that ended when a bystander pointed a gun at the shooter, police and a witness said.
Police responding to a call shortly before 10 a.m. local time found a man and a woman dead in the front seat of a car in the parking lot and another man deceased outside the car, Duncan Police Chief Danny Ford said.
“It appears several rounds were fired into the car, and a handgun was found on scene,” Ford said.
It is not clear if the murderer was going into the Wal-Mart or not, but this armed bystander may well have averted a mass murder.   CBS of course makes no mention of the bystander's part.  Nor does CNN.  What a surprise!

USA Today has updated the article:
Duncan resident Aaron Helton, an Army veteran, said he was at the Walmart around 9:45 a.m. when he heard nine shots and saw the gunman, weapon in hand. According to Helton, another man walked up, put a pistol to the gunman’s head and told him to stop shooting. Helton said he saw the shooter was turning the gun on himself and looked away.

UPDATE: Reader with sources inside Duncan PD says gun was drawn but no confrontation took place before suicide.  It would be easy to misread.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Another Strong Argument Against Gun Buy-Backs

11/16/19 Law Enforcement Today:
Chicago, Illinois- According to an AGG report, William Stewart Boyd traded his father’s old .38 caliber Smith & Wesson snub nose for less than $100 in a gun buyback in 2004. It was supposed to be destroyed, but somehow the same handgun with serial number J515268 was found next to a dead body involved in a police shooting eight years later.
Boyd, a judge in Cook County, had taken the handgun to a South Side church in Chicago, Illinois where he handed it over to a pair of plainclothes officers with badges on their belts.
Great question – somehow, this Smith & Wesson .38 ended up in the hands of 22-year-old felon and gang member Cesar Munive – a man previously convicted of sexual abuse of a minor, unlawful use of a weapon, and battery. 
During an interaction with the police in July 2012, Munive was shot and killed by Cicero (Illinois) Officer Donald Garrity. 
Judge Boyd, rightfully, wants to know how the gun got into the hands of Munive. 
There’s some grey area in that story.  Officer Garrity has a long history of disciplinary problems and is currently collecting a disability pension for PTSD.  Garrity was disciplined for using a “high powered rifle” during a traffic stop, threatening another officer, and was stopped once for going 90 mph in a 30-mph zone. 
Dead felon's family says gun was planted.  Right now, I would say there is reasonable doubt that he was armeed.

History With a Purpose

The Second Great Awakening & Moral Reform Movements

Discussion Forum for this chapter:
What is a revival meeting?
What distinguished the Methodists from more traditional Protestant churches?
What did people do for entertainment and excitement on the frontier?

The Second Great Awakening

This refers to the widespread evangelizing of Americans, especially on the frontier, in the period 1800-1840.  Unlike the First Great Awakening, this largely reached the unchurched.  Frontiersmen because of both a desire for isolation and lack of existing churches on the frontier were generally not church attenders.  Many had moved to the frontier to get away from rules and controls. But  many (especially as they aged and faced the inevitability of death) still felt need for a deeper meaning to life.

This is a very emotional appeal, even more than the 1st Great Awakening.  Circuit evangelists would address hundreds to thousands at large outdoor revival meetings.   In the backwoods, these meetings were a source of excitement, even if you were not a believer.  The frontier is pretty boring.  In some villages, people would up at 4:00 AM, because the stagecoach arrives!  Imagine a world without Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!

These revival meetings were great social occasions; young ladies went because they were interested in the message; young men went because they were interested in the young ladies (and some in the message, also).  All sorts of things are going on in the bushes that the preacher would not have considered appropriate.  Yet the effect of these frontier revival meetings is significant.

Evangelist Peter Cartwright described what happened at one such revival: Two young men had been quarreling over the affections of a young lady; both were threatening to kill the other if he did not withdraw (what she saw in either of these characters escapes me); both showed up at this event, heavily armed.  Had they run into each other, the results would likely have been deadly — as many such incidents were in this period.

“On Sunday, when I was addressing a large congregation, and was trying to enforce the terrors of the violated law of God, there was a visible power more than human rested on the congregation.  Many fell under the preaching of the word....  Both these young men were in the congregation, and the Holy Spirit had convicted each of them; their murderous hearts quailed under the mighty power of God, and with dreadful feelings they made for the altar.... I went deliberately to each of them, and took their deadly weapons from their bosoms.” [Peter Cartwright, Autobiography of Peter Cartwright, the Backwoods Preacher (Cincinnati: Jennings & Graham, 1856), 238.] 

One of them marries the young lady; the other becomes an evangelist; they become good friends.
 Consequences of This Evangelical Thrust
There is not only improvement of individual morality: There is a decline of dueling and violence, as young (and sometimes not so young) men recognize the evil of murder and the insults and improprieties that led to the duels; but an improvement of the society by both social pressure and law.  General social disapproval makes public drunkenness increasingly  held in contempt (similar changes are going on Victorian England).  There are a lot of legal changes reflecting new sensibilities.  Most of the goals were traditional Christian ideas: temperance; ending prostitution and extramarital sex; preaching the Gospel, here and abroad; abolition of slavery; the idea of “separate spheres”: that women and men had separate areas of duties and influence.

Because men increasingly worked outside the home, and at least middle class women worked in the home: a woman's sphere included child rearing and home making.  (This was a big job when you cooked on a wood stove, not in a microwave, and laundry involved a washboard at the nearest creek).  Lower class women were still doing piecework at home.  This separate spheres increased the society's perceived need for sexual morality.  This was not just a women's issue; many men recognized the both spiritual and physical damage done by prostitution; the STDs had no cures and in the long run would maim and kill you.

Other reform efforts brought on the Second Great Awakening: Improving the conditions of poorhouses; Separating the mentally ill from criminals in workhouses and poorhouses; building mental hospitals for the purpose of helping the mentally ill —as opposed to asylums, where they were not a threat to others.  Treatment — not simply isolation or protection of the ill.

Originally, this meant avoiding drunkenness.  The Bible teaches against drunkenness, not against alcohol.  Beer and wine were still among the safer ways to get water in some parts of America.  Why the concern about drunkenness?  For the same reasons that substance abuse is a problem today: domestic violence; rape; crime (violent and theft); poverty (drink heavily long enough and like today, your job options become limited).

So how did "temperance" come to mean complete abstention from alcohol?  I hope the following sentence will not be a surprise. For some people it is not possible to drink in moderation?  Over time, temperance started to mean “no drinking at all” for this reason.  Water fountains like this

Alcohol consumption starts to drop, dramatically, because of social pressure (and not just in America).  Restrictive liquor licensing laws become more common locally and at the state level.  Maine bans manufacture & sale of alcohol in 1851.  Employers start to require temperance pledges of employees as a way of reducing demand, rather like the way many employers started drug testing of employees some years back.
 Sexual Morality
 What drives this?  There are already many laws on the subject from the colonial period prohibiting adultery, fornication (any sex outside marriage), prostitution, and what most state laws delicately call the "abominable crime against nature" or the "unspeakable crime against nature."  Aside from the moral concerns...  Syphilis caused insanity, blindness, and death; Men who ran off left women and children dependent on the rest of the community for support; Big cities especially start developing a “sporting life” culture: brothels; bars with lesbian sex acts.

There is also concern that prostitution might lure some young women into it because of the money.  Many prostitutes in the South were slave women — often slave girls as young as 13.  By the 1830s, New York City has about 10,000 prostitutes, out of 300,000 people.

Some modern ideologues have reimagined prostitution as a feminist liberation movement: they are self-employed and not subject to the narrow-minded morality of others.  It is hard to read accounts of this period and see any liberation in this.  Prostitutes die young, horribly diseased and often victims of violent crimes.
 Christianity & Slavery
 An interesting tension develops; evangelical Christianity becomes increasingly important in the culture of the South because of the Second Great Awakening.  It seems to have reduced the most brutal abuses (branding, castration), and improved material treatment of slaves (food, clothing).  Not surprisingly, slave owners start to cherry-pick the Bible for verses that defend holding slaves. 
When scientists start to justify white racial superiority as a result of evolution, evangelical beliefs become the basis for the slave owning class to reject this claim.

Slaves are overwhelmingly Christians; many had been Christians in Africa (Congo was Catholic dominated by the 17th century), or Muslims.  Both groups converted readily to Protestant Christianity.  This provided consolation and hope in the darkest times of slavery.

And the modern relevance?  These sort of revival meetings are not ancient history.  Greg Laurie's Harvest Crusade is coming to Boise next year.  My hope is that people worshiping the flesh and the various leftist religions (climate change, "anti-racism," socialism) will find the True God and recognize that changed hearts matter more than the worship if institutions.

If you are a Christian in the Treasure Valley and your church is not already involved in this outreach, it should be.  If you are one of the unchurched, there is an alternative to whatever misery currently has you captive.  Been there, done that.

Bayonet Mass Murder

The gun control crowd, as you know, are utterly intent on banning rifles with bayonet lugs.  To which we respond: when are gangs or mass murderers using bayonets?  I just found my first bayonet mass murder.

Oakland, R.I. (1897)
4/14/1897: An employee of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Reynolds beat to death with the butt end of a musket and bayonetted the couple and their 4-year-old adopted daughter, then burned down the house.  The newspaper account described the murderer as “undoubtedly a raving maniac... he was found in the barn, chattering unintelligibly.”
Category: family
Suicide: no
Cause: mental illness
Weapon: blunt object, bayonet[1]

[1] “The Work of a Maniac,” [New Haven, Conn.] DailyMorning Journal and Courier, Apr. 15, 1897, 1.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Always Read the Fine Print offered this 3" screwless vise marked down to $74.95 on closeout:
This high precision toolmakers screwless vise has a one-piece body. The body and jaws are hardened to Rc 58-62. All sides are flat, square and parallel to 0.0002". There are horizontal and vertical vees on the inside face of the movable jaw to hold round objects.This screwless vise has slots along the sides so you can clamp it to the mill table with a clamping kit.
The jaws are 1.357" deep and open to 3.94" capacity.
The vise is 7.72" long, 2.76" tall and 2.875" wide.
These vises have blemishes, cosmetic defects, and/or light rust, but function normally 
What I received:

They appear flawless to me.  There is some light protecting oil of course.

Frankenvise is fine for the largest projects where the extra fractions of an inch in jaw opening matters, but this will be what I use most of the time.  It is like a bigger, easier to use version of Sherline's 2" vise.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Nuclear Stress Test

I am likely still emitting gamma rays, but my heart is fine.  This is likely cold-induced asthma.  Back to my GP for a solution.  This indicates breathing through my nose, not mouth, will help; the opposite of what I have been doing.

Baby Telescope

I moved the primary mirror .5" closer to the diagonal and it is now a decently functioning telescope.  Most of the work on this rebuild was making sure that I could collimate it.  (The previous diagonal holder was a stalk that was held in the eyepiece focuser by a screw.  There was no practical way to adjust the diagonal's position relative to the primary mirror.)  I was able to collimate it to a level that it has never seen before!  I will need the primary and diagonal recoated.  From using it this evening on Bogus Basin, I have some confidence that it will make a fine scope for the Moon, the Orion Nebula, and other low magnification objects.  (I never had any delusions that my first mirror was great.)

How to mount it is the next issue.  I had originally put a 1/4"-20 hole in the bottom of the tube, but this is unsatisfactory.  The first time I mounted it on a camera tripod, it barely attached at first.  I did this 25 years ago.  Now I know that you should chamfer threaded holes.  So I did so, and perhaps too aggressively; this is not a very thick PVC tube.  It seemed to thread on, then rolled off into my fortunately present hands.  I have some 4 5/8" ID rings which I will turn into 4.5" rings with a layer of foam rubber.  These rings have 1/4"-20 holes in the bases.  I just need to make an assembly on which to mount these rings.

This will have to wait.  My mill is at Sherline getting fitted with limit switches, and trying to figure out why Axis X on the controller keeps blowing its fuse.

I turned on the TV and put the baby telescope (telescopette?) on the table.  Even at 50x (a 7mm eyepiece) it was nicely sharp.  Maybe I did a better job on this mirror than I realized.

Fortunately, This Was in California

Background checks on all firearms transfers; gun storage law to keep guns from kids; limits on magazine capacity; a "roster" of legal handguns that can be sold; assault weapon ban.  11/14/19 ABC News:
Two 14-year-old boys and a 16-year-old girl are dead and two other students are injured after a classmate opened fire at a high school in Southern California Thursday morning, sheriff's officials said.
The 16-year-old male suspect was taken into custody and is in the hospital in "grave condition" from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.
Detectives reviewed video from the scene which showed the gunman in the quad of Saugus High School in Santa Clarita when he took a gun from his backpack, shot five people and then shot himself in the head, authorities said. The early morning school shooting was on the suspect's birthday, authorities said.
Helluva a birthday present. 

First Jaguar Repair

The "Check Engine" light came on.  One of the six oxygen sensors had failed. I am glad that I bought the 7 year, 100,000 mile extended warranty.  Although because these are emissions related, I suspect that they would have been covered anyway.

I saw the new Jaguar EV400 in the service driveway awaiting delivery to the owner.  All electric, pretty four door sedan.  0-60 in 4.5 seconds, and priced as you might expect.  Range about 240 miles between charges.  I think I am going to stay a gasoline man for another generation or two.  $70,000

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Forgot I Did This

Why the Dickey Amendment Was Passed

It appears from this article that this article in NEJM provoked it. While there is no direct statement: "guns should be banned," this quote conveys some of the language that is pretty clearly intended for that purpose: "Despite the widely held belief that guns are effective for protection, our results suggest that they actually pose a substantial threat to members of the household. People who keep guns in their homes appear to be at greater risk of homicide in the home than people who do not. Most of this risk is due to a substantially greater risk of homicide at the hands of a family member or intimate acquaintance. We did not find evidence of a protective effect of keeping a gun in the home, even in the small subgroup of cases that involved forced entry."

That they excluded lawful uses is pretty indicative of cherry-picking the data: "Although our case definition excluded the rare instances in which a nonresident intruder was killed by a homeowner, our methodology was capable of demonstrating significant protective effects of gun ownership as readily as any evidence of increased risk." They assume that "a nonresident intruder was killed by a homeowner" is rare, and exclude defensive uses that do not lead to death of an intruder. Here are 1155 gun defensive uses involving home invasions. And 492 residential burglary cases. And 326 residence robbery incidents. Many did not leave a bad guy dead. Excluding such cases is misleading.

If you have any connections with other bloggers, encourage them to link to this.

Trekz Titanium Bluetooth Headphones One of You Sent Me

Very cool.  You should get a check for postage in a few days.  Nice to leave the phone on the nightstand while shaving.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Gun Control as Suicide Prevention

They are banging that drum again. Fatality % by suicide method:
I suppose we could ban belts, cars, water, and bridges, but I am skeptical that these are anymore practical.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Changing Frankenvise's Neck Bolts

One of you nice readers sent me some self-adhesive magnetic strips so the constantly falling down aluminum parallels could be used.  The Sherline vise, which I find clumsy to use, is aluminum, so these helped not at all.  Frankenvise, a squared up 4" drill press vise, had a valley at the bottom of the fixed jaw that made them useless for another reason: they would fall down into the valley.  So I milled the vise until the valley was largely gone (milling away the mesas and cutting the cliff's overhang on the fixed jaw).
Yes, I used a roughing mill so there are a series of lines in the fixed jaw, but that provides more grip (that's my story and I'm stickin' to it). How flat is this?  Left to right is +-.01"; front to back is +-.005".  This is not a precision vise, but for most of what I do that is good enough.  Those ridges on the bottom face are cosmetic; they do not show up as the dial test indicator goes across them.  If appearances mattered, I would take my fly cutter to them, but that hole on the right side makes cosmetics irrelevant.  The casting was clearly irregular and that section was thinner than the left side.  But anything there is supported by the rest of the fairly flat surface so it's ugly but functional as you would expect from something named Frankenvise.  And yes I have already used parallels with it.

Those Evil People at Hobby Lobby

You could actually support yourself at $15.70/hour (that's $2638/month gross) with health insurance.  A working couple could perhaps buy a house on $5200 a month gross pay.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

I Hate Using Firefox, But Opera No Longer Recognizes Mouse Clicks

It will not open a link unless you right click and ask to open a new tab.  How could you screw that up?

Not Quite There

The focal point is a little too far in to get a decent focus.  I can either move the mirror assembly an inch closer to the eyepiece focuser or find a lower profile focuser.  The rack and pinion unit that is there now is so stiff as to be unusable.  It is also a force fit eyepiece tube.  These are out of fashion now, and for good reason.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Why Orange Man Bad

11/7/19 Reuters:

Billionaires' wealth falls for first time since 2015

Hence the obsession with impeachment by the billionaires' party.

Bluetooth Headphones

I have some wired headphones for my cellphone, but they are sufficiently annoying because of wires that the bluetooth earwigs are getting attractive.  I am sure all of you are ahead of the curve on this.  Experiences?

Nuclear Stress Test

No, not a North Korea problem.  The symptoms that I have been having of shortness of breath when under cardiovascular stress (like climbing my absurd driveway) caused the cardiologist to schedule the ominously named "nuclear stress test."  (The symptoms are much like the period before the horrendous aortic valve replacement surgery.)  Fasting, then a 4 hour test where they inject radioisotopes, look at blood flow, then inject a dilating medicine and check the blood flow again.  The good news is that if the aortic valve is failing, they no longer cut you open.  They do a transarterial valve replacement.  They run a cathether to the valve and put another valve on top of the old one.  Not without risk, but no worse than cutting a hole in your chest, and far less painful.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Diagonal Holder Complete

I bought the spider from Astrosystems.  A nice piece of work far better than the rest of the hardware goijng into this rebuild of Tiny.  But he does not make diagonal holders small enough so I built my own:
The 1/4"-20 screw goes through the center (thorax?) of the spider.  The wing nut holds it in position.  The four 8-32 socket head screws move the aluminum 45 degree piece back and forth against the acorn nut (which has a 1/4"-20 hole through it).  The mirror holder is 1/25" diameter aluminum rod turned and bored to accept the head of that 4" fully threaded 1/4"-20 screw, then milled at a 45 degree angle on the mill.  The spider is in the tube, and when this is in place, the mirror holder is under the focuser.

Tomorrow, I will have Signs by Smith powder coat it flat black.  I thought of black anodizing the aluminum, but the minimum shop charge plus the fact that some of the steel pieces are shiny and can't be anodized, made powder coating seem the best choice.

I thought they did powder coating.  I guess not.  I believe you can electroplate steel black.  Any of you ever done that?

Everyone Knows This

Psychiatrists Cannot Distinguish Insane People From Sane Ones.  11/2/19 New York Post article about the Stanford professor who falsified data to persuade others of this:
In 1973, Rosenhan published the paper “On Being Sane in Insane Places” in the prestigious journal Science, and it was a sensation. The study, in which eight healthy volunteers went undercover as “pseudopatients” in 12 psychiatric hospitals across the country, discovered harrowing conditions that led to national outrage. His findings helped expedite the widespread closure of psychiatric institutions across the country, changing mental-health care in the US forever.
Fifty years later, I tried to find out how Rosenhan had convinced his subjects to go undercover as psychiatric patients and discovered a whole lot more. Yes, Rosenhan had charm. He had charisma. He had chutzpah to spare. And, as I eventually uncovered, he was also not what he appeared to be....
Rosenhan’s eight healthy pseudopatients allegedly each followed the same script to gain admittance to psychiatric hospitals around the country. They each told doctors that they heard voices that said, “Thud, empty, hollow.” Based on this one symptom alone, the study claimed, all of the pseudopatients were diagnosed with a mental illness — mostly schizophrenia.
And once they were labeled with a mental illness, it became impossible to prove otherwise. All eight were kept hospitalized for an average of 19 days — with the longest staying an unimaginable 52. They each left “against medical advice,” meaning the doctors believed that they were too sick to leave. A total of 2,100 pills — serious psychiatric drugs — were reportedly prescribed to these otherwise healthy individuals....
I also started to uncover serious inconsistencies between the documents I had found and the paper Rosenhan published in Science. For example, Rosenhan’s medical record during his undercover stay at Haverford found that he had not, as he had written in his published paper, only exhibited one symptom of “thud, empty, hollow.” Instead, he had told doctors that he put a “copper pot” up to his ears to drown out the noises and that he had been suicidal. This was a far more severe — and legitimately concerning — description of his illness than he had portrayed in his paper.

Gun Control Advocacy As Projection

I have long thought it odd that gun control advocates assume that nearly everyone is one stormy argument away from murder or suicide.  Over the years, I have seen other stories like this.  11/2/19 Washington Examiner:
A mother in Texas was found dead alongside her three children on Friday in an apparent triple murder-suicide.
Ashley Auzenne, 39, was known to have been battling depression and anxiety in addition to physical ailments such as arthritis and lupus at the time of her death, which was ruled as a suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Her three children, Parrish, 11, Eleanor, 9, and Lincoln, 7, were also killed by gunshots and their mother is the only suspect. She had just finalized a contentious divorce from their father, Murvin Auzenne Jr.
Auzenne was a vocal advocate for stricter gun control in the United States with multiple social media postings calling for an end to gun violence and Facebook profile pictures that bore the hashtags #Enough and #EndGunViolence.