Monday, May 31, 2021

Ready to Move Off-Planet

 My frustration at seeing all the best aspirations of my generation (race-blind, individuals not groups, meritocracy) with no future among the under 40 generation is making the inevitable not troubling so much.  But a planet available to live out my remaining years...


 I have not used it in a year and a half.  I needed to tap several pieces of plastic.  Nothing worked.  I either had the chuck holding the Tapmatic stop holding it, or the arbor holding the chuck let go.  It appears that the vibration and reverse motion of a tapping head makes the semimagic molecular binding of arbors stop working.  

I fiddled long enough with the rod that stops the motion of the Tapmatic and the torque setting so that it started working, but the arbor kept coming loose.  So I put some Loctite on the arbor, and I am letting it sit.

That was a waste of $8.  Loctite holds it not at all.

Is there a way to remove the arbor holder from a Harbor Freight drill press?  Or is it throwaway?

I used isopropyl alcohol AND acetone on the taper this time.  Much better.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Why Trusting Popular Wisdom is So Dangerous

I am reading Bill Bryson's book The Body: A Guide for Occupants and he mentions something disturbing.  I already knew this with respect to the McMartin Preschool child abuse case in the 1980s: children can be persuaded to believe what the therapist wants them to believe, in order to convict people of crimes that could not have taken place.   Bryson points to an article in the 12/3/2003 Guardian that found that it is not just children. 

"We can easily distort memories for the details of an event that you did experience," says Loftus. "And we can also go so far as to plant entirely false memories - we call them rich false memories because they are so detailed and so big."
She has persuaded people to adopt false but plausible memories - for instance, that at the age of five or six they had the distressing experience of being lost in a shopping mall - as well as implausible ones: memories of witnessing demonic possession, or an encounter with Bugs Bunny at Disneyland. Bugs Bunny is a Warner Brothers character, and as the Los Angeles Times put it earlier this year, "The wascally Warner Bros. Wabbit would be awwested on sight", at Disney.

This is why totalitarianism is so powerful.  Over time, many will be persuaded that Jews or whites are the cause of all economic or other oppression.   They will remember the incidents. 

Lovely Morning on Back Patio

Drinking tea after treadmilling 

Saturday, May 29, 2021


ZeroHedge is reporting on BigTech/Lamestream Media suppressing news of ivermectin and its astonishing success in treating COVID-19.

I used to discount the claim that Big Pharma actively withholds treatment that saves lives.  The alternative is that the public health sorts do not want this to end.

Garbage Masquerading As History

   It is not just the 1619 Project.  I received this email:

Did you ever wonder why you need a special privilege to carry a concealed weapon when the 2nd amendment claims to give you  the right?

i posed this question to a retired ATF agent who had something like 30 years of service, he had no answer.

The only explanation i can come up with is the Cestui Que Vie Act concept of King John, 1666, that after London burned down he declared everyone in the British Kingdom to be "lost at sea" and in order to reclaim your land and inheritance one had to come forward and declare that they were found to be "living", competent to handle their own affairs and of majority age.

If you were paying attention in Western Civ, you should remember that King John reigned in the 12th and 13th centuries.  The great barons forced him to sign Magna Carta in 1215.  There is no need to identify him as John I; he was such a disastrous king that no later monarch has even considered John as a regnal name. 

The Cestui Que Vie Act 1666 provided relief for tenants of landowners whose life could not be established and were presumed dead if overseas at least seven years. 

That seems to be a major law change that took place and has carried forward to present day law.

My question to the ATF agent, "why do you need a permit from the government when you have a right granted to the people by the 2nd amendment" may be answered by the general state of affairs that have developed since 1871 where a new civil government was formed, a corporation that relied on the 14th amendment (said by some to have not been properly ratified)  define a new slave class where all the people of the US were presumed to be US citizens and somehow connected with Washington DC and no longer people of the land and heirs to the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The corporation is bankrupt and "we the people" are security for the debt. Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act in 1913 and we have been slaves to the banking cartel ever since.

i seem to be rambling but just trying to highlight what comes to mind about our national situation and some of that that has lead us to this point of  history. i don't claim to be a scholar. LOL 

Good thing, too. The only place that I can find this Cestui Que Vie Act nonsense is on Facebook, which seems to have replaced ardent but wrong conspiracy theory pamphlets of the 1960s. 

Why Laws Limiting Gun Sales During Civil Unrest Make Sense


"Seven Persons Killed In A Riot; Jail Is Stormed," Albuquerque Morning Journal, Nov. 18, 1918, 1.

What a Glorious Night!

Lyra was just becoming visible in the eastern sky as the stars came out.  With only a little hunting using the 1x finder and the 35mm eyepiece in between Sheialat and Sulafat, M57, the Ring Nebula was visible.  It always at low power makes you think you are not in focus on a star but everything else is crisp except the smoke ring.

Next, I went to the 18mm 2" diameter eyepiece.  At 111x, it shows both more detail and color.  If you have enough aperture (17 5") you can see the green of ionized oxygen.  (In smaller scopes, it is monochrome because there are not enough photons to excite the cones of your retina.)  I think that I saw the star near the middle which blew off its outer atmosphere to form this ring.  It is 2.6 light-years in diameter and 2283 light-years away.

The rubber threshold ramp works as expected.  Movement in and out are easy.  I have used a rope through two holes in the base to move it in the past.  Bringing it back into it the shed caused me to add a rope at the far end: a pushme/pullyou from Dr. Doolittle.

The solar accent lighting my wife put around the pad do that I do not tumble off in the dark is too much light for some of my lower power eyepieces.  I may have to put some black velvet around the top open tube to reduce this problem.

Friday, May 28, 2021

That Finderscope Bracket

The scope rings I turned from 2.75" acetal rod. I will trim a flat spot on the bottom to get a firm attachment point on the base.

My Wife Decided the Telescope Shed Needed Decoration

Remember All the Bad Things That Would Happen if School Staff Could Be Armed?

Teachers so irrational that they would shoot badly behaved students?  (Well, perhaps if they are teaching CRT; there might be a point about irrational teachers.)  Students taking a teacher's gun?  Instead, I am aware of one chemistry professor at Idaho State University who shot himself in the leg without drawing his gun.  (Pocket pistol is a size; keep it entirely enclosed in a holster to avoid keys in the trigger guard.  An elementary school teacher in Utah who shot her toilet while she was sitting on it.)  And this:

 5/27/21 KMOV4:

OGDEN, Utah (AP/Meredith) — An armed school employee in Utah held off an attempted kidnapping suspect at gunpoint until officers arrived, police said.

The incident occurred Tuesday when a man grabbed an 11-year-old girl at Lincoln Elementary School's playground in Ogden. Police say he tried to pull her away until the school employee demanded he leave.

The man let the girl go and the employee took all the children inside, then produced a gun and held the man off when he punched a window in an apparent attempt to force his way inside, police said.

The worker called 911 and the man was arrested on suspicion of attempted child kidnapping. Police say the employee has a concealed-weapons permit and possessed the gun lawfully.

Too Stupid to Stay Out of Prison

5/27/21 KTVB:

BOISE, Idaho — A Boise man is facing a felony charge after police say he tried to smuggle a foot-long hunting knife onto an airplane at the Boise Airport Wednesday.

Nathanael P. Resman, 39, is charged with Unlawful Carrying of Weapon on Aircraft or Sterile Area of Airport with Intent to Avoid Detection.

According to police, Resman did not mistakenly bring the knife to the airport, but had intentionally taken steps to hide it from security.

Surprise, surprise!

If you are old enough to remember Gomer Pyle, USMC, please say that like Jim Nabors.  5/28/21 San Jose Mercury-News:

"San Jose mass shooting: VTA killer evaded California’s tough gun laws"

Why it is almost like murderers do not respect laws in general.  Who woulda thunk it?

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Are You Old Enough to Remember the Monkees?

My wife and I watched Daydream Believers the other night. It starts out with an intentionally anachronistic sequence I think intended to hook people under 40.  From then on, it is a mixture of what made their TV show so fun for kids of my generation, while telling the story of how four young men who could not even play their instruments decided that they really did need to learn how to be the band that Don Kirshner created in a studio with anonymous musicians; how they threw away a fun and profitable show; and a disastrous pairing with drugged out Jack Nicholson to make a movie that by comparison, 200 Motels made sense.  (As a girlfriend of the time whispered in my ear as we watched it at the Fox Theater in Venice, "It makes a lot more sense if you take acid first." I am sure it did.)

If you have the chance to watch how four lucky guys briefly became successes, do so.  "Last Train to Clarksville " will always hold warm memories for me of the 1960s before they went completely crazy!

Turning Down a Piece of Stock Too Large for Your Lathe Chuck

Why would you do this?  My wife and I were moving the 5" refractor to the new telescope garage.  It has ScopeRollers on it, but they really are not intended for rolling across uneven lawns.  I wanted to take the telescope off the mount, then the mount off the tripod, and move each individually.  My wife disagreed and you all know what happens when you are right and your wife is wrong.  Even if you are right, the consequences of insisting is worse than what usually happens.

So the telescope tipped over and my finger ended up somewhere that a few fractions of an inch further would have broken the finger under the mount. The mount and telescope suffered no damage (except to their dignity), but the cast aluminum finderscope mount broke.  They were two clean breaks so I was able to epoxy it back together and it is close enough to the original to work.  (The epoxy filled in one of threaded holes for the adjustment screws well enough that I had to buy an m3x0.5 tap to clean up the threads; turning a steel screw did not quite clean the epoxy out.  Epoxy is harder than I thought.)   This is an orphan scope, so no replacement finderscope brackets are available.  Maybe sitting on a shelf somewhere in China....

Still, it looks ugly and I found myself thinking, "I can machine a replacement."  Of course, that means two rings (2.61" OD and 2.20" ID), in which the finderscope rides.  The obvious choice is aluminum.  It is a bit slow to machine on the Sherline, so I making itb in acetal.  

But acetal tubing in small quantities is pretty expensive.  I decided to buy a piece of round acetal rod, turn it down to 2.61", then use a Forstner bit to bore a 2 1/8" hole and a boring bit for the remaining .02".

I had access to a 3.25" piece of round acetal rod very cheap and without shipping time.  (From the scrap bin at Interstate Plastics in Boise.)  My biggest chuck accepts 3" OD pieces, which I had forgotten when I bought this.  (Yes, I have a 6" 4-jaw lathe chuck that will go on the Sherline, but it is a nuisance to set up for making one piece: riser blocks for the headstock, tailstock, and toolholder.) While looking for a jig to hold this piece of 3.25" round stock in position on the chop saw, I found my forgotten box of acetal which included a 2.75" piece of acetal to fit in the 3" chuck.

So what follows is a suggestion for anyone in the same position who does not find that smaller workpiece.  It should work.  If you are a machinist who has been led here by a search engine, tell me in the comments how well it worked.  

1. Start out with a center finder to put a pilot hile in the center.  

2. Use a drill press to put a hole smaller than your target ID through the workpiece.  (Probably a lot smaller because concentricity and runout are going to make the resulting hole less than perfectly centered.)  

3. Now mount the workpiece on the interior jaws of the chuck.  

4. Turn the outside diameter to roughly your target diameter.  Now your workpiece fits in the exterior jaw configuration.  Bore that center hole to get a properly centered and correct ID.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021


When I saw this quoted and linked by Instapundit, I assumed it was parody of the racist crap that falsely labels itself Anti-racism.

Alas, no.  But if there is anything that better typifies privileged whites than adults bicycling, I cannot think of it.  It is time for privileged white bicyclists to give their 5 pound carbon fiber bicycles to poor blacks.

Monday, May 24, 2021 incomprehensible

1. How do you select all photos?

2. How do you create a folder?  Trying to share my wife's Maui pictures with our daughter. 

How Do You Know Someone is A Gun Control Activist?

 First look for political statements:

6/5/20 WROC:

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — “A shot from a gun can’t be undone.” That’s the main message that Mayor Lovely Warren and the Rochester City Council are trying to get across Friday, and through Sunday.

Mayor Warren and City Council declared June 5 as Gun Violence Awareness Day. Originally, it was part of a national movement, created to remember Chicago teenager Hadiya Pendleton. She was shot and killed after performing in President Obama’s second inaugural parade. The day is happens the first Friday of June.

Then live with someone charged with midlevel drug trafficking and unlawful gun possession.  5/20/21 Daily Mail:

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren's husband has been charged as part of a seven-month narcotics ring investigation after police seized $60,000 worth of cocaine, $100,000 in cash, three unregistered handguns and a semi-automatic rifle in raids on the mayor's home and six other properties. 

Timothy Granison, 42, was pulled over by police in his car Wednesday as part of the drugs trafficking probe and was found to be in possession of a large quantity of cocaine, authorities said.

Investigators then carried out a raid on the home he shares with the mayor and seized two firearms - a semi-automatic rifle and a loaded handgun. The couple's 10-year-old daughter Taylor was home alone at the time. 

The bust was part of a raid on seven homes over the last 24 hours to take out a mid-level drugs gang that has been 'infecting the streets of Rochester', Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley said at a press conference Thursday morning. 

You Gotta Watch This

 Spaceplane into space and landing.

DOJ is Not Completely Compromised

 5/23/21 Epoch Times:

The Department of Justice (DOJ) seized $90,000 from a Utah man who sold footage of Ashli Babbitt being shot during the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, according to court filings filed by federal prosecutors.

John Earle Sullivan, a political activist who reportedly attended Black Lives Matter protests last year and who allegedly agitated rioters inside the Capitol, was also charged with new weapons charges, according to the documents unsealed last week.

From a DOJ memorandum: 

The defendant also spoke to someone on speakerphone, stating, “I brought my megaphone to instigate shit. I was like, guys we’re going inside, we’re fucking shit up…. I’m gonna make these Trump supporters f—all this shit up…. But I mean you’ll see.  

Saturday, May 22, 2021

If You Are a Robin, This is a Bad Idea

Build a nest on a low branch in a yard with two bird dogs.  My wife fenced the dogs away from the tree, she thought, but Rosie managed to get under or over the fence and killed three of the four.  My wife, like most women, has a powerful protective instinct for small helpless creatures.   This is why screaming infants with colic survive. 

Worse than we thought.  They were fledglings; their first flights only reached Springer Spaniel mouth level.


Most businesses we have visited the last few days have either taken down mask requirements or only require them for the unvaccinated.  A few still have masked employees (perhaps not fully vaccinated yet).

Of course, everyone is hiring.  One Dollar Tree has closed because they could not hire workers. 

Friday, May 21, 2021



I had a burger this evening.

I suddenly remembered a vegetarian from long ago, a Dutchmen who worked for us as part of some exchange program that I never understood.  We were eating lunch in the company cafeteria and he asked, "Why do you eat meat."

"I like the taste of it."

He stuck out his finger and said: "Here."  

I should have feigned an sweeping attack.

Sadly, he spent a lot of time comparing President Reagan to Hitler.  I finally called his bluff and asked him what he knew about Hitler.  "He started a war a long time ago."  He was a college graduate.

Too Suggestive for Hawaii?

 When visiting the aquarium on Maui (well worth the rather steep price), I was startled by this exhibit's apparent bowdlerizing.

Threshold Ramp

 The floor of the telescope shed is 1" high, with a small ramp up to the floor.  Pushing or pulling the telescopes up by 1" is a slight struggle.  While the telescopes are not top heavy, it is still a bit unnerving to tilt them while negotiating that lip.  There are threshold ramps, intended to simplify wheelchair access.  This one has a 1" rise and is 43" wide.  Can anyone suggest another source for such a ramp.  Maybe not sold as a threshold ramp perhaps.  I ordered this one.  It is only 3/4" high, but it should fit on the little small ramp before the floor level.  At most there might be a fraction of an inch of gap which the casters should easily cross.  Made in USA!

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Greater Idaho

 5/19/21 KATU:

The movement to create a "Greater Idaho" is gaining some traction after five Oregon counties voted to keep the discussions going.

A representative for the grassroots group, Move Oregon's Border for a Greater Idaho, Keaton Ems, says the idea has been going on for decades, but the movement didn't officially get underway until right before the pandemic.

Last November, Jefferson and Union counties were the first to vote on moving forward with it. Now, following Tuesday's special election, voters in Malheur, Lake, Sherman, Grant and Baker counties have approved the measure that would require county commissioners to discuss joining Idaho.

The critics are of course present, making what at first appearance seem reasonable concerns.  5/19/21  Legrande Observer:

The devil is in the details. The devil is also in hard realities. Veteran Mike McCarter, president of Move Oregon’s Border, wrote an opinion piece in local papers supporting MOB, which wants to force 850,000 Oregonians to become Idahoans and force 75% of the land in Oregon into Idaho.

This fellow veteran looks at just eight of a thousand devilish details and realities that would result from MOB’s plan.

1. Snowplows. Those plows that keep our highways and freeways open are owned by Oregon. Will Oregon donate millions of dollars of plows to another state? Is Idaho going to spend millions to buy plows and pay drivers to service nearly all the snow country of Oregon, which is now largely paid for by western Oregon gas taxes? Who will keep our highways clear? MOB volunteers?

 Would Oregon agree to let them go?  Reasons why they might.  Joining Idaho also reduce costs to the state government of Oregon.  I have no doubt that those counties are a net drain, having no big tech companies, multimillionaires, but lots of poor people.  

Without those narrow-minded conservatives, the progressive majority would have no opposition to their dream list (some of which will be found unconstitutional, but spending a few million dollars per case to virtue signal is a reasonable state expense):

1. Handgun ban.

2. Assault weapon and large capacity magazine ban (except for authorized members of social advocacy groups such as Antifa and BLM).

3. Legal sales of all hard drugs.  Possession is already lawful, but shouldn't BIPOC teenagers have a chance to make something more than "chump change"?

4. Improved social equity by assessing a state income tax of 100% on incomes above $1 million and dramatically higher taxes on "property" which is largely owned by beneficiaries of "white privilege."

5. Following California's lead and aiming for prohibition on gasoline engine cars sales.

6. Require all new houses to be entirely solar powered.  (Yes, it is Oregon, so you will need vast amounts of battery storage to get through an Astoria winter.)

7. Prohibiting schools (public or private) teaching American history outside the 1619 Project.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

This Song

My wife finds The Carpenters painful because her mother loved them, and therefore they are a reminder of growing up in an alcoholic home.  But is there a song sweeter and more optimistic than this?

It brings back memories of our salad days and our honeymoon when my notion of attainable wealth was pretty limited.

Grant Duwe's book Mass Murder in the United States: A History

 While deficient in some ways (20th century only, overly reliant on the New York Times and its indices) it has a lot of interesting sociological analysis.  On p. 114:

As discussed later in Chapter 6, gun control proponents used a number of mass public shootings during the late 1980s and early 1990s... to bring about a ban on assault weapons.  Contrary to the claims noted earlier, assault weapons are used very rarely in mass killings; in fact, there were only 16 incidents that involved assault weapon use, and all of those took place since 1977....

Compared to other mass murders, incidents involving assault weapons have, on average, about one more fatality (see Table 15). The biggest difference, though, is not the number of fatalities, but the number of victims wounded.  Table 15 indicates, for example, that assault weapon massacres produce twice as many wounded victims as other mass killings, or roughly four more wounded victims per incident.  It is important to point out, however, that 11 of the 16 cases (69 percent) involved offenders who were armed with other, non-assault weapon guns.  Moreover, it was unclear in eight of these cases whether the offender used an assault weapon.
You might find it interesting, and I love to see serious scholarly work actually purchased and read.

The Season That I Love Here

 It is in the 60s.  I opened up windows all around the house.  A cool and refreshing wind blows through.

The Night Started Clear

 I rolled the refractor out; it is always a joy using an apochromatic refractor.  The 85mm eyepiece (10x) gives a very wide and crisp field, but has some dust on the field lens that needs cleaning.  Even when the sky was not yet dark, 175X gave a crisp Moon.  Tracking was beautifully accurate.  I definitely need to put the 12" extension on the mount or extend the legs; I was on the ground at one point trying to look through the finderscope.  Then the clouds rolled in from the East.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Follow the Science

 5/16/21 Newsweek (!):

Texas Governor Greg Abbott caught heat from Democratic lawmakers when he announced on March 2 this year he would fully reopen the state by the next week. Mississippi lawmakers declared a similar reopening plan about the same time.

The idea was to get more people acclimated back to normal life, including businesses at full capacity and sports arenas full of fans again. For Texas, the governor wanted businesses back at 100 percent and placed filled up again, from school halls to dance halls.

President Joe Biden called such reopening plans as "Neanderthals thinking."

"I hope everybody has realized by now these masks make a difference. We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way we are able to get vaccine in people's arms," Biden said in the White House on March 3....

On Sunday, just a couple of hours after a major PGA event in Dallas and the NCAA FCS college football national championship in Frisco, Abbott reported that the state had no COVID-related deaths the previous 24 hours, and that the seven-day positivity rate was the lowest it's been since records have been taken—which was March 2020....

Abbott also said COVID hospitalizations was at its lowest in 11 months.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

They Are All Tragedies, But Some Seem Especially Sad

 The last sentence especially so.

Erwin W. Lutzer We Will Not Be Silenced: Responding Courageously to Our Culture's Assault on Christianity

 Lutzer describes how America is headed into both spiritual and secular collapse, by way of the multiple ways in which the idea of truth is denigrated, and how its proponents use an intolerance that would make most Bible-thumpers recoil in horror.  It is up to date,  discussing the role that BLM and the current pandemic have played in accelerating this decline.  He calls on Christians to remain faithful to Christian values and not follow "progressive Christians" down the path of excuse-making and cowardice.  He makes extensive use of both primary and secondary sources, properly cited.  This is not just a rant by someone losing the culture wars.


 I just completed the spit test.  Many of my relatives have done so.  My daughter's tests showed some Finnish ancestry (a bit of a surprise).  My wife's showed a bit of North African ancestry (an even bigger surprise; she is as fair as you can be without being a Finn).  I am looking forward to the discoveries!

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Treasure Valley Residents

Sorry about the weather.  Getting the telescope garage complete and loaded with telescopes should cause either weeks of overcast or rain.  This is the amateur astronomer's corollary of 'wash your car, causes gullywasher" rule.  When I first bought Big Bertha some years back, we had three solid weeks of overcast.

I spoke prematurely.  Except for the Crescent Moon overwhelming the dark, viewing was good. I was able to roll Big Bertha out in about two minutes and back in again ditto.  I need to wax Bertha's altitude bearings to smooth motion a bit and mark true north on the concrete but otherwise all is wonderful. 

And unlike my mountain home it was a very pleasant temperature in shorts.

More Evidence Dr. Fauci Was in Over His Head

 5/15/21 Epoch Times:

States and stores on Friday said they were largely dropping their mask requirements after a top U.S. health agency advised that people fully vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19 could stop donning face coverings.

The governors of at least 10 states and officials at a slew of retail giants, like Walmart, announced they would no longer require masks, at least for those fully vaccinated against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus....

Delaware’s governor, Democrat John Carney, said effective May 21 residents will not be forced to wear masks anytime they are indoors with people they do not live with....

Kentucky, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Vermont, and Virginia also relaxed or eliminated masking requirements. Some also eased or rescinded social distancing mandates....

President Joe Biden in March called rescinding mask mandates “Neanderthal thinking” and top health officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci condemned the easing by governors like Greg Abbott of Texas. But the states that relaxed or removed restrictions saw a drop in cases, befuddling Fauci.


My wife and I started assembling the telescope storage shed this week with assembling individual subsections.   We had arranged to hire a friend to help us but he decided heart surgery sounded like a better way to spend his time.  

This was theoretically a 2-3 hour job.  After 3 hours of pre-assembly, our son came over last night and we spent four hours assembling.   We reached this stage last night.

Doors should be pretty quick to do.  At current housing prices around here...$400 a month.  Bring your own 5 gallon bucket.  Water from the hose.  Showers in the house by appointment.  

It may look small but all three telescopes will roll into it.

In the process, my wife's love for little helpless creatures came into play.  Frogs hiding behind wall panels to avoid the cat and dogs. At one point the dogs tried to climb a conifer.  Some foolish robin had built a nest with three little freshly hatched babies, so we constructed a temporary barrier to keep the dogs out of the tree.

Now that CDC has given the (mostly) all-clear signal we can invite all our friends who helped with the move over for barbecue and star party.

It is made by Suncast (in the USA!).  The instruction were clear and detailed.  In a few places part numbers were wrong, but they were not enough to prevent us from figuring out the correct parts.  Wayfair sold it to us for $999, free shipping.

It is 6'10" x 6'10" inside.  At first I feared it would need to be anchored with either bolts or cases of ammunition, but the shipping box was >300 pounds, and with 200 pounds telescopes inside, it is not going anywhere.

Paid Ransom?

5/13/21 Daily Wire about payment of ransom by Colonial Pipeline says what Biden will do:
Yesterday, the White House announced that it would respond to the shortage by forming a blue-ribbon committee to explore the possibility of forming a second committee to develop proposals....

A committee to form a committee?

Friday, May 14, 2021

CDC Says the Chipped Are Now Free

 Except if you are immune compromised, you can stop masking and social distancing:

If youi thought this would go on forever, this is good news.  If you are not vaccinated get it done and join us outdoors.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Another Bunny Hop Market Day

Two cringeworthy days because of inflation numbers.  Today mostly recovered with no obvious good news, except that stock prices fell so much that buyers saw some opportunities. 

Top of the World, Looking Down on Creation

 Yes the song the Carpenters recorded.  But also from Haleakala:

Great Moments in Deadpan Internet

 The Center for Applied Eschatology

The Top of Haleakala

 The Danish exchange student was amazed as we rose through Denmark's highest altitude.  Here is the summit.

And observatories:

The dome is a solar observatory; the weird one is USAF space junk tracking.

Maui's Highway of Death

 It runs around the west end of the island with many parts one lane; it has dropoffs that will remind you of California Route 1 through Big Sur.  There are lots of roadside memorials, and a lot of abandoned vehicles being slowly stripped of parts.  My son-in-law was driving a Suburban down a road better suited to a moped.  But the views!

This Masking Thing Outdoors is Unneeded, According to the New York Times

5/11/21 New York Times:

‘A huge exaggeration’

When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines last month for mask wearing, it announced that “less than 10 percent” of Covid-19 transmission was occurring outdoors. Media organizations repeated the statistic, and it quickly became a standard description of the frequency of outdoor transmission.

But the number is almost certainly misleading.

It appears to be based partly on a misclassification of some Covid transmission that actually took place in enclosed spaces (as I explain below). An even bigger issue is the extreme caution of C.D.C. officials, who picked a benchmark — 10 percent — so high that nobody could reasonably dispute it.

That benchmark “seems to be a huge exaggeration,” as Dr. Muge Cevik, a virologist at the University of St. Andrews, said. In truth, the share of transmission that has occurred outdoors seems to be below 1 percent and may be below 0.1 percent, multiple epidemiologists told me. The rare outdoor transmission that has happened almost all seems to have involved crowded places or close conversation.

Saying that less than 10 percent of Covid transmission occurs outdoors is akin to saying that sharks attack fewer than 20,000 swimmers a year. (The actual worldwide number is around 150.) It’s both true and deceiving.

This isn’t just a gotcha math issue. It is an example of how the C.D.C. is struggling to communicate effectively, and leaving many people confused about what’s truly risky. C.D.C. officials have placed such a high priority on caution that many Americans are bewildered by the agency’s long list of recommendations. Zeynep Tufekci of the University of North Carolina, writing in The Atlantic, called those recommendations “simultaneously too timid and too complicated.”

They continue to treat outdoor transmission as a major risk. The C.D.C. says that unvaccinated people should wear masks in most outdoor settings and vaccinated people should wear them at “large public venues”; summer camps should require children to wear masks virtually “at all times.”

These recommendations would be more grounded in science if anywhere close to 10 percent of Covid transmission were occurring outdoors. But it is not. There is not a single documented Covid infection anywhere in the world from casual outdoor interactions, such as walking past someone on a street or eating at a nearby table.
Inside probably still makes sense, but outside?  No.

When we arrived on Maui, the signs said masks were required everywhere outdoors with pictures of people wearing masks on the beach.  No one actually wore masks on the beach.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Colt 1903 Hammerless for 3D Printed Muggers

I have wanted one for some time; functional but ugly so having it refinished in bright nickel will not diminish its historical value.  (I am bidding on one right now. I am high bidder at $250.)  Not for practical use.  It is just a lovely piece of Art Deco design.  I found a DXF file of one and a friend 3D printed it.  It looks pretty good, right down to the magazine base plate lettering (this DXF was for a 1908).

Statute of Northampton (1328)

Because their side keeps claiming a 1328 law should be used to interpret the right to keep and bear arms, please read for typos here.


The Statute of Northampton (1328) has been claimed as an ancient prohibition on civilians carrying deadly weapons in public. Analysis of its history, contemporary statutes, and subsequent interpretation reveals that the official translation was in error, and the Statute prohibited only the public wearing of armor, and even though only if likely to provoke fear.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Flying Is Not What It Used to Be

Keep in mind that when I started flying there were no metal detectors. Then idiots started hijacking flights to Cuba.  Not out of solidarity with Castro, but often hoping to get closer enough to kill him.  This is why he was willing to work with the U.S. on extradition of hijackers. 

There used to be lockers beyond the metal detectors.   Then an insane guy known as the ABC bomber started putting bombs in lockers.  First at the Airport, then a Bus station.  I do not remember C. 

At some point the poor oppressed Palestinians stayed hijacking planes and holding passengers hostage and sometimes killing them. 

You could at one time walk right up the gate to welcome arriving friends and bid adieu to friends.  Then 9/11.

The WiFi on Southwest Works Barely

Too slow to set up a money transfer on  Then I saw why: HughesNet.  I had no idea that high latency could be so debilitating. 

Bastiat's The Law

I am reading it on Kindle.  It is a bit wordy (19th century hammering the point home), but can be boiled down to "The elitists think the masses are too stupid to run their own lives.   The elite are enlightened and virtuous!"

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Beautiful Day on Maui

When you arrive at the airport you are shown pictures of people on the beach wearing masks.  Yes you need to wear masks in all other public places but there seems to be some sanity.  No one is masked on the beaches.  

Warm water, snorkeling, waves, sea turtles, enough sunlight that I put on SPF 50 for the first time in decades.

I confess that if not for the silly gun laws, I would be strongly tempted to move  out here.

A victory in Young v. Hawaii would be a strong incentive. 

Trump Asked

 3/17/21 CNN:

Washington (CNN)Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged Americans to get vaccinated to help curb the Covid-19 pandemic, calling it "safe" and "something that works."

"I would recommend it and I would recommend it to a lot of people that don't want to get it and a lot of those people voted for me, frankly," Trump told Fox News' Maria Bartiromo.
"But again," he continued, "we have our freedoms and we have to live by that and I agree with that also. But it is a great vaccine. It is a safe vaccine and it is something that works."
    The comments -- which amount to Trump's most energetic endorsement of vaccination -- come as vaccine hesitancy among Republicans continues to threaten the US' path to herd immunity. While 92% of Democrats either have gotten vaccinated or want to get vaccinated, that number plummets to 50% among Republicans, a CNN poll conducted by SSRS shows.
      Though Trump had urged his followers to "go get your shot" during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference last month, his decision to quietly receive the vaccine without public fanfare earlier this year drew sharp scrutiny and contrasted with his successor and predecessors.

      The paranoid stuff that I see floating around is more likely to delay herd immunity and slow down economic recovery. 

      New Citation

       State v. Christen, 2019AP001767-CR (Wisc. 2021), at p. 19 citing Second Amendment Limitations & Criminological Considerations..  The challenge in this case involved a 2nd Amendment challenge to a drunk brandishing a firearm in his home:

      Christen, his roommates, and his roommates' friends had been drinking alcohol on the evening of February 2, 2018. There was conflicting testimony about how much and to what extent there was arguing and pushing among them. However, the testimony was uncontroverted that Christen did arm himself. The jury was called upon to weigh and consider the evidence and determined that Christen went armed, was intoxicated, and did not act in self-defense.

      The defendant challenged his conviction on Second Amendment grounds.  The State was not buying that and neither did the jury.

      However, there is no evidence in the historical record indicating that individuals under the influence of intoxicants were understood to present a "danger" to society much less temporarily disqualified from using firearms. To the contrary, the common law restricted firearm possession by those who committed "very serious, very dangerous offenses such as murder, rape, arson, and robbery." Don B. Kates & Clayton E. Cramer, Second Amendment Limitations and Criminological Considerations, 60 Hastings L.J. 1339, 1362 (2009). 

      Don and I never addressed the issue of drunks with guns.  That the State cited the paper by Don Kates and I bothers me not at all.  I am quite confident that waving a flintlock pistol around while drunk and engaging in a loud aggressive dispute in 1789 Boston would have caused either the constable or the night watch to have taken away Mr. Christen's flintlock and charged him at least with disturbing the peace, and likely with aggravated assault (or whatever it would have been called in 1789).

      Fortunately For Him, I Was Getting Gelato

      On Vacation

      Nicer Beach

      Spectacular Meal

      Bistro Casanova in Kahului.  Most flavorful Italian restaurant I have enjoyed in many years.  I had fettuccine Bolognese with meatballs.   The rest of our party was similarly impressed with their meals.  Lunch portions were, "Dinner? Are you kidding?" sized.  I think my meal was about $16.  For a resort island 2500 miles from many of its likely suppliers, that seems very reasonable. 

      Wednesday, May 5, 2021

      Very Early Science Fiction

      This story was written in 1858 or 1859.  I first read in an anthology titled A Century of Science Fiction.   The title is "What Was It?" When you start it seems like Gothic horror or at least supernatural.   By the end, it is clearly early and disturbing science fiction. Well worth reading. 

      Tuesday, May 4, 2021

      He Even Looks Like George Soros

       Maybe I will also at that age.  5/3/21 New York Times:

      WASHINGTON — He is not as well known as wealthy liberal patrons like George Soros or Tom Steyer. His political activism is channeled through a daisy chain of opaque organizations that mask the ultimate recipients of his money. But the Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss has quietly become one of the most important donors to left-leaning advocacy groups and an increasingly influential force among Democrats.
      Newly obtained tax filings show that Mr. Wyss’s foundations donated $208 million from 2016 through early last year to three nonprofit funds that doled out money to a wide array of groups that backed progressive causes and helped Democrats in their efforts to win the White House and control of Congress last year.
      Mr. Wyss’s representatives say his foundations’ money is not being spent on political campaigning. But documents and interviews show that his foundations have come to play a prominent role in financing the political infrastructure that supports Democrats and their issues.
      While most of his operation’s recent politically oriented giving was channeled through the three nonprofit funds, Mr. Wyss’s foundations also directly donated tens of millions of dollars since 2016 to groups that opposed former President Donald J. Trump and promoted Democrats and their causes.

      Monday, May 3, 2021

      We Are Making Progress

       4/28/21 Newsweek:

      A new ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday from among more than 1,000 U.S. adults found that Americans overall are less supportive of new gun control legislations than they were just three years ago. People between the ages of 18-29 saw the sharpest decline in backing for new weapons laws, with fewer than half now saying new legislation is needed to reduce the risk of future mass shootings or to block "red flag" buyers.

      In April 2018, the last time the ABC/Washington Post survey was conducted on this issue, 65 percent of these young Americans said they support gun control laws. That percentage is now 45.

      Not to Worry, They Caught These Two Fraudulent Votes Before Counting

       4/30/21 Bucks County Courier Times:

      Two Bucks County women face charges of voter fraud after authorities say they filled out mail-in ballot applications for their dead mothers in separate incidents ahead of the November election, the county District Attorney’s Office announced Friday night.

      The allegations come after the Bucks County Detectives investigated 22 complaints of voter fraud and other irregularities in the presidential election that saw record voter turnout here.

      While the investigation resulted in charges against the women, District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said his office found the incidents were isolated and there was no evidence of “widespread or systematic election fraud here in Bucks County.”...

      According to a statement from his office, a handwriting analysis confirmed that Dooner’s mother did not sign either the application or the ballot and those documents were signed by Dooner after her mother had died.

      A handwriting analysis also confirmed that Fisher’s mother did not sign and her election documents were signed by Fisher after the woman’s death, according to the DA’s Office.

      Your Democrat friends will say that it was only two votes and they were caught.  How many mail-in ballots did they check?  It says they inspected 22 reports of fraud and found two.  So 9.1% of the cases they investigated were fraud.  I am sure this sort of fraud rate could not have affected the election.

      Voter ID

      4/30/21 CNN poll finds 64% of Americans believe requiring voter ID would make elections more fair. 

      Count on the official media to keep pretending this is voter suppression. 

      Saturday, May 1, 2021

      This Must Drive the Gun Banners Crazy

      Go to and enter "Gun sales": the number of official news media reporting on this are amazing.  Of course, they are trying to spin this.  4/29/21 NBC News headline:

      "Gun sales to Black buyers have surged. Gun store ownership by Black people has not.

      "Out of 6,000 gun stores in the U.S., just a handful have Black owners."

      The article itself interviews black gun store owners and black gun owners, emphasizing that many blacks feel uncomfortable buying guns in gun stores where no one looks like them.

      I do not doubt this.  When I bought my first gun in 1981, a Colt Government Model at Martin B. Rettig in Culver City, California, I was a bit uncomfortable.   But looking around the store I saw a number of black customers.   They were all dressed in their best "go to church" suits.  I suspect that they were concerned that the widespread perception of black people as criminals required their best possible appearance.  (The white customers were dressed casually.)

      This is most unfortunate.   Their perception of how whites would see them was even then not an accurate reflection of how whites saw them.  Unfortunately, a few bad people can make those of us who do not burn crosses look like bad people. Obviously, coming in dressed in do-rags would have been a problem, but there were plenty of styles that had I worn them at 23 would have made me stand out as suspect also.

      I look forward to the day when black men and women feel comfortable buying guns from white people because they know what most whites believe: the content of your character matters, not the color of your skin.

      A friend contributed this:

      Terry's Story

      Working at the San Francisco Gun Exchange in the mid-1970's, I saw a fair share of the dark side, Black Panther women looking to buy the Valmet M62 ( a super well made variant of the AK-47 in semi-auto ), The Symbionese Liberation Army ( while holding & Stockholm Syndroming Patty Hearst ) likewise sent in a disguised  female sympathizer to buy a crate of ammo, and so forth.  Black folk were treated politely and appropriately but most were fairly well dressed.

      One busy day a noticed a shy black fellow standing in the middle of the sales floor amazed by the array of guns surrounding him, and the usual downtown San Francisco lunchtime crowd of Standard Oil execs, Formost McKesson execs, Banking barons, FBI agents and a host of collectors all come to view what new today.  This large fellow was wearing somewhat soiled denim coveralls with a white T-shirt and work boots.  Later I would think of him every time I saw 'The Green Mile'.

      I beckoned him over ahead of the usual customers wanting to yak and asked if I could help him.  He said shyly that he was looking for a gun, I asked rifle or handgun, a handgun it was.  I walked along the handgun display cases ' Colt run $400-ish, Smith & Wessons $300-ish, Rugers $200 ish' and as we arrived at the last case, 'Harrington & Richardsons, around $100'.  "Now let me tell you what I think I am seeing here:  Your hands tell me you are a hard working guy, woodwork, no metal, a machinist maybe, you live in the projects or an old neighborhood in Hunters Point and the good folk in your hood have always counted on you, the big brave guy, to chase the hoodlums away, but they have changed, become meaner and they carry knives and are willing to use them, perhaps even threatened you already, and you realize the cops can't be there when you need them and so you are here, tell me sir, are you a God-fearing man ?"  " Yessir, a Baptist" he replied. "Good, but the guardian Angels might have suggested you get some worldly help, and thats why you are here.  So you are concerned about assailants, not Wharf Rats or Raccoons or vicious dogs right?"  " I am afraid so" he replied.  "OK, and your budget is not enough for these other display cases, am I right?"  "Yessir, what have you under $100 that would work for defense"  " I would recommend a Harrington & Richardson break top in .38 Smith & Wesson caliber, $79, a box of ammo for $10, tax and all out the door just about $100."  "Is it quality? is it Safe? Would you own one?"  " Yes there is nothing wrong with this brand, they have been around for 100 years, they are well-made and suitable for defense, but are not fancy, they are a farmer - type gun, a working guy gun, just keep it clean and oiled and it will serve you well".  I showed him how to operate it, described how to clean it, and even told him that if he must defend himself, to turn his huge torso sideways to reduce target size, aim straight down his arm and squeeze.  We completed the transaction, he waited the 5 days 'waiting period' and having passed the California State Police background check, returned to pick it up.  He was dressed the same way ( he had apparently come a long way on his lunch hour to do this ), he asked a few final questions and as he left I bid him good luck and God Bless, and I noted that he walked out taller, straighter, more confident and smiling and greeting the suits entering the store as they were now equals.

      I sometimes wonder what ever happened to him, did he chase off the hoodlums ?  Did they lay an evil trap and finally do him in?  I can only hope that the ruffian cowards he faced saw something they had not before, a determined, armed man standing up to them.

      ( copyright 2021  excerpt from  'Notes from the South End of Purgatory'  T. Allen Hoover )

      permission granted Clayton Cramer to use in blog/firearm education

      Watching YouTube While Taking a Break From Grading Papers

      A collection of Reddit discussions about long-term consequences of killing in self-defense. The expected guilt about taking someone's life, even in legitimate self-defense, seems to not be an issue.  One was a 10 year old boy defending himself from rape by a babysitter with a bat.

      Run-On Sentences

       A comment on a student paper that you may find perhaps useful:

      If you find yourself naturally pausing, there is likely a comma or semicolon needed.  (Read that last sentence aloud right now; do you hear a pause?)  Could the parts after and before the pause be complete sentences?  If so, it is a compound sentence; put a semicolon at the pause.  If either side of the pause could not be a complete sentence, this is a complex sentence; you need a comma.  If you find that you have multiple pauses, look carefully at how long your sentence is.  You may be trying to put too many ideas in a single sentence.  

      Remember Mad Magazine's Stupid Answers to Stupid Questions?

       Christian Post:

      When police first questioned 51-year-old Lara Lynn Ford about why she stole nearly $1.4 million from Ed Young’s Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, the congregation’s former business manager’s initial response was “Umm stupid.”

      Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Experience?

       It sounds like ECT meets Scientology but without the negative effects.  A friend suffers from severe depression and none of the antidepressants are helping her.  Published reviews:

      The introduction of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) have rekindled interest in the use of brain stimulation methods for the treatment of psychiatric disorders. TMS enables the clinician to focally stimulate specific areas of the brain noninvasively and painlessly. The efficacy of TMS in the treatment of depression has been extensively studied. TMS has also been shown to have some beneficial effects in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

      TMS was introduced in 1985 by Anthony Baker at the University of Sheffield in England. It was designed to be a neurodiagnostic tool used to produce an evoked potential in muscle tissue by activating neurons in the motor cortex. TMS is based on two basic principles in physics: Ampere's law and Faraday's principle of electromagnetic induction....

      George, et al., studied the efficacies of rTMS in patients with depression in a double-blind crossover design. Twelve patients were given either active rTMS or sham treatment. The study suggested that daily left prefrontal repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation has antidepressant activity.

      Klein, et al., in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study assessed the efficacy of slow repetitive TMS (rTMS) in patients with major depression. Seventy patients with major depression were randomly assigned to receive active rTMS or sham rTMS in a double-blind design. It was shown that patients who received active rTMS had a significantly greater improvement in depression scores compared with those who received sham treatment and provided evidence for the short-term efficacy of slow rTMS in patients with recurrent major depression.

      Berman, et al., in a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial, studied the efficacy of rTMS in treatment resistant major depression. Depressed subjects, who had failed to respond to a median of four treatment trials, were assigned in a randomized, double-blind manner to receive either active or sham rTMS. Adjusted mean decreases in HDRS scores were 14.0 (±3.7) and 0.2 (±4.1) points for the active and control groups, respectively (p<0.05). A two-week course of active rTMS resulted in statistically significant but clinically modest reductions of depressive symptoms, as compared to sham rTMS.

      Toro, et al., studied the efficacy of rTMS in drug-resistant depression. In this randomized, double-blind study, 40 patients received either active rTMS or sham rTMS to the left prefrontal cortex. The authors of this study concluded that real, but not sham, HF-rTMS was associated with a significant decrease in the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and that left prefrontal high frequency-rTMS was effectively associated with antidepressant treatment. But the size effect was small.

      Th cost is pretty high; enough so that because insurance companies now cover it, I suspect that it does not qualify as experimental or quackery.