Sunday, February 25, 2024

Tax Preparer Joy

TurboTax has a professional tax preparer service.  You upload all your documents and their preparer does your tax return.  Can I do it directly through TurboTax?  Yes, but my tax returns usually run to 40+ pages and I would rather pay someone to do this for me 

Best of all, the woman who was processing the return noticed that some of my 1099-NECs were from gun rights groups.  She asked my occupation (as the IRS asks).  I explained retired but then I explained my other writing work.  "Proud Georgia gun owner with a concealed weapon permit," she informed me.

A Shameful Period of American History

And done by a Democrat of course.  You all know about Executive Order 9066 forcing relocation of Americans from the Western U.S. of Japanese ancestry including citizens.  Now we now know that this paranoia was not entirely without cause even if its unselective nature was unjustified.  But look at this 9066 order and see if there are any other groups included:

There are similarities.  Hostility towards Italian-Americans was strong in the interwar period although for different reasons.  

The numbers interned or forced to relocate were less.  But the careless portrayal by the Left of this exercise of Democrat executive power as strictly racism is insufficiently nuanced and inaccurate.

Italian and German immigrants could be naturalized, but Japanese were not eligible for naturalization until 1952.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Coloring Engraved Letters

There is a trick to make the stamped lettering on handguns stand out for photography so Colt's Patent Firearms Co. is very visible.  I think the technique involves spreading a thing layer of white paint across the surface then wiping away the surface layer.  Keep the gun flat until the paint or White Out dries.  When your photography session ends you use some solvent to clean out the letters you were trying to make more visible.

I ask because I am thinking a couple steps ahead about setting circles.  These are practically obsolete today with modern go-to controllers but they are a common component even on modern mounts and provide a backup navigation method.

My thought is to put a 4" diameter piece of black acetal on the rotating table (which still needs the Sherline CNC upgrade).  Write program to rotate the table one degree at a time, cut a 1" line, use the font library to scribe 0, then one degree rotation, cut a .25" line, ditto for 2, 3, 4.  Then a .5" line. Return to .25" lines until the next 10 degree line.  Continue around the circle.  Now apply a layer of white (or maybe even phosphorent to make it more visible in darkness) paint to the  surface.  Wipe off excess.  Allow paint in the scribed lines and numbers to dry.  Paint really does not stick to acetal.  Apply clear layer of polyurethane to hold the paint in place.  This seems like a solution.  

Why acetal, not carbon fiber?  There is no load on setting circles and they are about the same density as carbon fiber even a little lighter.  Aluminum is also a choice and paint will stick to it.

Things That Make My Day

Making an offer on a new house and your wife asks, "Is this too nice of a house for us?" and saying, "No."

It was built when mortgage rates were still very low and the builder offered it at $1.3 million. 
As interest rates rose, demand fell off and several purchasers backed out at progressively lower prices.

It looks every bit a million dollar house.  Beautiful Silestone counters, not quite the von Trapp mansion entrance, built on a hillside with foundations poured directly on basalt bedrock.  More than 3100 square feet on an acre plus situated in an obscure location.  Visible from the street but with an unobvious set of roads to it.  The sky is actually perhaps half a magnitude darker than our current house.  There is also nowhere immediately available to developers to build more subdivisions.

The hope is that the current house sells fast enough to avoid a bridge mortgage.

Oh yes, why I bank with First Tech Federal Credit Union.  I was asked for a mortgage pre-authorization letter for Monday.  I emailed the loan officer Saturday morning expecting a response Monday.  Within an hour I had a letter for a $720,000 mortgage!

Slow Progress on the Telescope Mount

The squares that will hold the needle bearings need 6-32 holes both for set screws to hold the bearings in place and for screws to hold the square in the ends of the two housings.  

A single screw to do both would be attractive but I could not find one exactly the right length without using ugly washers on the outside of the housings.  Even then, trying to turn in the screws to do two different tasks while maintaining alignment seemed troublesome.

So, I used my .1065 carbide drill bit to start.  I used the adjustable slide stop that I made a week or two ago to hold each square in the same relative location to avoid having to keep swapping edge finder with drill bit.

You may wonder if each of these squares was so similar in dimensions that I could get consistent results.  In truth, no, but this is why when you are holding a threaded part inside another assembly, you make the hole in the larger assembly a bit larger than a through hole.  If the tapped hole is a few hundredths off, there is enough wiggle room for everything to fit well enough.

Four holes per side, four squares.  A short gCode program to drop the drill bit to the top of the workpiece, then .4" down at 1 ipm and then out again.  Turn the workpiece 90 degrees and hit Run again.

Next step: use a reamer. If this term is unfamiliar, a reamer is a very precisely sized, very exactly concentric cutter that is encouraged when tapping carbide.  Same program but after setting z to 0 for the reamer's length.

Next step: I thought that I had bought a 6-32 carbide tap. No.  If made in USA they are $100 and up.  I did eventually find a German made one on eBay for about $25.  It will be here in a day or two to tsp those 16 holes.

Two More Victories

 Fouts v. Bonta (S.D.Cal. 2023) struck down California's baton ban:

While Professor Baron or Escobar may have found

news accounts of criminal attacks with a billy in 19th century newspapers, evidence of

misuse does not disprove the common sense observation that law-abiding citizens may

have kept billies for lawful uses. Clayton Cramer, Plaintiffs’ expert, observes that any

criminal misuse of a weapon will receive more attention by news media than the many

non-criminal uses or simple possession of the same weapon.39 Consequently, with the

billy’s presence and use in America throughout the 1800s, statutory analogues for other

weapons are not relevant.

From Hawaii: 

Grell v. Lopez, US Ct App, 9th Cir, August 7, 2023, held the butterfly knife ban violated the Second Amendment as binding on the states through the 14th Amendment.   On February 22, 2024, the 9th Circuit ordered that the case will be reheard en banc. 


Wednesday, February 21, 2024

When The Atlantic Admits It...

 2/21/24 The Atlantic:

There’s Just One Problem With Gun Buybacks

They don’t work. 

Then they discuss the antiques turned in, some perhaps not functional. 

But the antique arsenal at the Durham event demonstrates one of the recurring flaws of buyback efforts: You mostly get guns that wouldn’t be used in crimes anyways. Most gun crimes in the U.S. are committed with handguns, but few modern, operable ones get turned in. Although AR-15s are a flash point in the gun-control debate because they are used in many of the worst mass shootings, they are far, far less common than handguns. Birkhead told me that Durham’s buybacks had yielded a few AR-15-style rifles, and he spoke almost wistfully about a high-quality SIG Sauer P220 that had come in that day and would have to be destroyed. Most of the weapons turned in, however, were either shotguns or elderly pistols. “Obviously, we don’t see a lot of shotguns used in the street crimes, but we do see some,” Birkhead said.

Any Recommendations on Tritium Sights?

 Not for the Walther, for the Colt Mustang.  If I have to travel to an unsafe state that recognizes Idaho or Oregon licenses, this is what I carry.  Tiny, not very light, but it keeps recoil under control for conversational distances.  Yes, I would need my gunsmith to install them.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024


GCode has a couple codes for cutting arcs and circles: G02 and G03.  I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to use it and I think I have figured it out. (No, I am still having trouble figuring this out.). In both cases, you specify the destination position and the radius of the circle.  (There is an i, j variant of this command which is supposed to be better at checking for consistent radius but I am hard pressed to see the advantage and the radius version is obvious.). G02 goes clockwise and G03 goes counterclockwise (or is it the other way around)?

Anyway, you are at xs, ys. You specify the destination xe, ye and a radius of the circle or arc.  It then cuts from xs, ys to xe, ye so as to describe a circle or arc around that radius.  The inner diameter will be r-mill diameter; the outer diameter will be r.  This matters if you want to cut a hole in the workpiece of size r-mill diameter or cut a circle r diameter.  If your destination is your current position, you get a circle.  

It seems to be a bit less exact than I expected.  I have been working in scrap acetal. 

G00 x.4375 y.4375 f5 (position at one side of the circle)

G03 x-.4375 y.4375 r .4375 f1 cuts an arc that it .8720" across.  I need to cut a hole .875" diameter in a piece of carbon fiber, so I will try this with r.4380 in a piece of acetal first and see what i get for diameter.

Things I Do Not Need But Always Wanted

Walther PPKS .22LR.

No, not because "Q" assigns it to James Bond (along with a S&W Featherweight .38) at the beginning of Dr. No), but because it is a very clever and timeless design.  A good engineering design will pull me under every time.  This is .22LR so not what you would carry in Khandahar, Oakland, or San Francisco, but a low recoil plinker that should build practice skills at a low cost.  (Not only the ammunition but the gun as well.  This is about half the cost of a PPKS in .380.)

Still: it is small enough to conceal very easily and light.  The Cramer Rule of Living Somewhere Uncivilized is that the mouse gun you have on you and with which you have gone through a couple boxes a month is a more effective defensive arm than the .45 ACP that you do not have on you because of its weight or bulk.

Ideally, you live somewhere that a handgun is not needed.  Since I moved to Boise, I have had few occasions where I felt a need to carry: at high density events which seems attract mass murderers is about it.  Of course, traveling to Connecticut a few years ago, I was glad that I was armed; their state capital city seemed remarkably dangerous.

Nice touch, the rear sight is adjustable for windage with included tool; they include several alternate front sights and tool for adjusting elevation.

I own an American Arms PK-22 which was a licensed copy of the PPK.  It does not lock open on empty magazine and uses a heel magazine release instead of the just below the slide push button release on this PPKS.  It is slightly smaller and only holds seven rounds.  It is also ugly and feels much less sophisticated.  It also cost me about $120 20 years ago.

Sunday, February 18, 2024


The always interesting Cody's Lab presents Pop Can Thermite.

He starts with aluminum cans and sand.  He melts the cans to dispose of paint and other impurities, uses a lathe on the cast aluminum to make filings, then a ball mill to make powder.  

Electromagnet to extract magnetite from the sand.  Then he mixes it with the aluminum powder.  He does not reveal the ignition powder, but my guess is magnesium powder and either ammunition propellant or black powder.

Fire of great heat is produced.  During WW2, thermite bombs were the terror of London because you can only put them out with sand.  Water disassociates and burns.

The next and more intriguing step is to pour magnetite into cans, crush them, then use thermite to light them.  They burn just fine.

Thermite can be used for welding, burning through tank armor, cutting structural steel, I think, and producing a low grade of iron from a very common iron ore.  Add some coal to produce purer iron as a first step towards iron tools, spears, swords, etc  The scenarios under which these can be used in any post-apocalyptic novel are endless.

Of course, having a few pounds of aluminum powder already is obvious.

Why Are Students in Debt?

University of Pennsylvania president annual compensation above $22 million.  That is $60,000 per day.  If any corporate CEO was paid that well, the left would be screeching.

A Fearsome Future

Awesome documentary about the Gulags.  I suspect if Biden is re-elected, we will see this.

Why So Many Public Schools Fail to Teach Literacy to BiPOC Students

770 KTTH:

Students in a Seattle English class were told that their love of reading and writing is a characteristic of “white supremacy,” in the latest Seattle Public Schools high school controversy. The lesson plan has one local father speaking out, calling it “educational malpractice.”

As part of the Black Lives Matter at School Week, World Literature and Composition students at Lincoln High School were given a handout with definitions of the “9 characteristics of white supremacy,” according to the father of a student. Given the subject matter of the class, the father found it odd this particular lesson was brought up.

The Seattle high schoolers were told that “Worship of the Written Word” is white supremacy because it is “an erasure of the wide range of ways we communicate with each other.” By this definition, the very subject of World Literature and Composition is racist. It also chides the idea that we hyper-value written communication because it’s a form of “honoring only what is written and even then only what is written to a narrow standard, full of misinformation and lies.” The worksheet does not provide any context for what it actually means.

How could it, without engaging in the white supremacy of writing? 

Saturday, February 17, 2024

My Middle Name is Now "Ogg"

The latest genetic report from 23andMe says that I am less than 2.5% Neanderthal.  One of the traits associated with that ancestry sounds like a polite way of saying "hoarding.". This should not be any surprise.  Hunter-gathers can I'll afford to dispose of anything useful.

Fun With Fiber

I needed four 1.00" x 1.00" squares to act as dust caps and bearing holders in the polar and declination axes.  It was more work than I had hoped, but by the time I was done, I had four squares that exactly fit into the 1.03" x 1.06" tubes.  They press in tight enough so they have to be pressed out from the far end.  The next step is to drill .875" diameter holes in the center of each.  I have a Forstner bit that size but I want a tight fit, and they are HSS and likely will lose sharpness cutting carbon fiber.  

The solution is to write gCode that cuts the circles with the carbide end mill.  The gCode for this is theoretically simple, but I have never done this successfully, so there is some more to learn and experiment on acetal.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

When Biden is not Far Enough Left

2/14/24 KTVB:
"Boise School Board member Shiva Rajbhandari was arrested Monday after entering President Joe Biden’s campaign headquarters.

Rajbhandari was one of 21 people arrested in Wilmington, Delaware, after they entered the headquarters with the goal of speaking to campaign staff about Biden’s campaign promises, namely those involving clean energy and climate change."

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Be Glad If Your Wife Has Better Spatial Reasoning Then You Do

For a couple of years I have had a less than optimal shop arrangement.  The mill was on a lower shelf in a shelving unit that was not adjustable, so putting tools on the spindle, setting up workpieces, etc. caused lots of back strain.  The only place for the monitor and keyboard was on a shelf too high to sit and type.

My wife noticed that the problem could be solved by moving the infrequently used chop saw to a lower shelf where the mill used to be and the PC is now on the stainless steel table where the chop saw was.  The mill is on the Husky tool cabinet.  The machinist tool cabinet is at the lower level on the stainless steel table. Trips down there are infrequent and short.  All in all, a giant step up in productivity.

The lathe is on the shelf where the PC used to be.  The mill is down almost directly below my four panel LED light fixture so much improved visually.

Odd Documentary

 Maybe not so much odd as it can be watched as cheerful, or depressing.  NYC is Building Anti-Migrant Streets.  Because NYC said it wanted to be welcoming to illegal immigrants, it now has enough to be a social problem.  The filmmaker is clearly disturbed by the steps both government and privater property owners have taken.  

  • Pretty much any place that you might sit and while away the hours begging or sleeping now have spikes and other unpleasant additons to discourage this.  
  • The city decided to refurbish a city park near the center of illegal services, making public restrooms unavailable.
  • Places in  front of illegal immigrant hotels that used to be reserved for bicycle and moped parking have been reconstructed to reduce capacity, thus preventing illegals from working as bike messengers and city street bike lanes made less usable.
  • Sidewalks have been narrowed with absurdly large planters forcing people to walk closer together and reducing places for homeless to sprawl.
  • Social services for illegals have been placed in locations with no cover from rain, snow, or sun, making long lines more uncvomfortable.  
On the plus side, NYC is trying to discourage what it claimed to want: poor, often poorly educated law-breakers.

On the negative side, there is a cruelness that is so contrary to progressive self-imaging that shows how dishonest progressives are.  It is still cruel.


Thank you all for suggestions on how to keep lower inner leg from falling out the bottom of outer leg.  There is also the frustration that the sizes available for square tubes are limited.  I can buy from standard production .75" interior .875" exterior tubes.  Adding .05" strips which are cheap to the exterior sides of the inner leg allows a single screw at the bottom of the exterior leg to act as a stop with the added advantage that the inner leg can be removed and inserted without having to remove the outer leg.  Also, the extra size makes it a closer match and this with less wiggle.

I was going to need a thumbscrew anyway to lock the inner legs in position when extended.  This just moves from a higher positon the bottom. 

DragonPlate has .032" x .310" strips available at a very low price.  Four of these per leg is not bad.

Instapundit Refers to It As Witchdoctoring

From Instapundit2/13/24 Free Beacon reports on how Health and Human Services is expecting scientists to explore Indigenous Knowledge in their pursuit of truth.

Let me be clear: there are scattered bits of knowledge in folk medicine that can lead to useful medical science: willow bark tea to alleviate pain gave us aspirin; foxglove contains digitalis which was a folk remedy for congestive heart failure; Guatemalan Indians made use of an estrogen containing plant to control fertility of livestock, leading to birth control pills.  But capitalizing Indigenous Knowledge (which the linked report does) suggests a primacy or at least importance in scientific research that risks leading us down a path that if we called it Biblical Knowledge would produce a firestorm of outrage.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

A Film Made in 1962 That Holds Up Well Today

Panic in Year Zero.  Directed by and starting Ray Milland and surprisingly a fine performance by Frankie Avalon as well.

It is available on YouTube where all 10 segments are seamlessly visible.  Amazon seems to have a colorized version available.

Short non-spoiler synopsis.  A family leaves L.A. early in the morning for a camping trip towing a trailer.  Things go flash, bang, boom once they are at a safe distance but they do not know what that means at first.

From them on, it is a SHTF exercise.  There is a restrained hint that some thugs have either raped their daughter or got close.  The other young lady is more obviously been a prolonged victim of these same thugs a bit later in the film.

There are some thoughtful observations that civilization is a very thin veneer but it is made clear that this is a temporary disaster.  When the son shoots one of the bad guys, the father lectures him that this is something he should hate having to do.  That law will reappear and we should not let ourselves be reduced to a savage state.

Shocking discovery: I just assumed that he was an American.  He has always played such unambiguously American roles.  He was born in Wales.

Monday, February 12, 2024

OneDrive App

The OneDrive app theoretically lets you read files stored on OneDrive.  There does seem to be a way to navigate a directory structure.  Any ideas?

Obviously an Evangelical Christian

2/12/24 CNN:
"The shooter used an AR-15 that had “Free Palestine” written on it, according to a federal law enforcement source. Investigators are trying to determine whether she was politically motivated or a disturbed individual, the source said."

Previously named Jeffrey.

2/12/24 ABC News quotes police that it said "Palestine" not "Free Palestine" and he/she had a mental illness history.  The Stockton mass murder of 1989 (may his name never be spoken) had Hezbollah on his AK-47.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Tripod Legs

Why am I telling you this?  I doubt it interests any of you.  This is a collection of notes for later and writing it out helps to visualize what it will look like when I build it.

This is an area that I have just started imagining.  An outer leg perhaps 1/4" by 1/4" inside and an inner leg 1/8" x 1/8".  A little extension on the center 3/8" plate of the mount.  A slot in each extension 1/2" cos 30 by 1/4" allows the leg to go vertical for transport; at the preferred 30 degree expanded angle the top of the outer tube hits the inner part of the extension to prevent it from going beyond 30 degrees. 

A 1/4" stainless steel clevis pin acts as the axis on which the leg rotates.  I could use a conventional clevis pin to keep it in place but a machine screw secured by a nut seems more secure.

The lower narrower leg will have rectangle with a hole epoxied to the top of the tube of a size that stops in a similar rectangle with a hole in the bottom of the outer leg.  The inner leg slides into the outer leg from the top.  Both legs have a 30 degree cut at the bottom (or is it 60 degree?  More obvious when I am ready to cut).  This way, even if the inner leg is not extended it will sit flat on hard surfaces.

The base plate for the mount is only 2" diameter and 1/4" thick.  I think this will the most complex part to cut.  I will mount this part on a rotating table.  The rotating table has a 3/4"-16 thread. I will tap a 3/4"-16 hole on the under side of the plate.  This still gives enough space to mill around.  (If the price to get DragonPlate to cut me a 4" circle, all the better.) The program will make a cut from the exterior into the 2" diameter.  As I slowly turn the rotating table to cut the inner diameter, it will make the 2" diameter.  

At probably 105 degrees, the mill will move out to 3" diameter and i will very slowly rotate to make the exterior section which will hold the leg.  Rotate until I have created enough room for the leg slot.  The program then cuts back in again.  Repeat twice more.  

Then the program lifts the mill up and positions it to cut the leg slots as rectangles. Repeat twice.  If Sherline has its manual to CNC conversion for rotating tables available by that point I will use that instead of rotating table by hand.  The mill controller has an A cable for the CNC table.  More programming which I will test on acetal first.

1/4" square tube not available from DragonPlate.  1" and 3/4" instead.

Friday, February 9, 2024

One RPD Motor and Gearing

Yes I need one revolution per day motor or more likely motor and gearing (likely a worm gear).  Any suggestions?  I have a motor that I think is doing one rpm.  It has a hand controller and battery pack, so a gear combination that gives a 1440:1 reduction would likely be sufficient -- probably a worm gear.

To clarify, constant speed of 1 rpd.  Servos can approximate this but unless it has a lot steps, it is going to be only sometimes on target.  86,400 step motor would be perfect.

The torque required is not a lot.  It is turning a mass of about two kilograms.

Article by Your Favorite Author

Thursday, February 8, 2024

This is Both Sad and a Poor Statement About the 2000 Voters

2/8/24 NBC News:
The Special Counsel decided not to charge Biden in the classified documents case because his memory is so bad that he would hard to convict of knowingly doing something wrong.
“He did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when his term ended (‘if it was 2013 — when did I stop being Vice President?’), and forgetting on the second day of the interview when his term began (‘in 2009, am I still Vice President?’),” the report said

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Another Springer Themed Birthday Gift for My Wife

Milling Carbon Fiber Composite

I showed you how I clamped down that 6" x 6" x 3/8" plate of material.  Then I used the 1/8" carbide end mill to slice a 1.125" x 6" slice.  I do not think that I clamped it down right enough or perhaps 1"/minute was too fast and it rotated slightly on the table.  So I had to the workpiece (both the 1" slice and the remainder) vertically in the mill vise and square both of them with my 3/4" HSS end mill.  I cannot see or feel that it has lost its sharpness, but I think that for these sort of facing operations, I should buy a large diameter carbide end mill.

Did the 1" slice come out a size that will make the dust caps (really fillers) for the 1" rectangular tubes.  It slides in either dimension with enough pressure that it will stay in place while I turn 6-32 screws into the edges.

Higbee v. James (N.D.N.Y. 2023)

This challenges New York's law that does not recognize out of state concealed weapon licenses and firearms possession licenses (residence and premises licenses).


 My latest DNA results from 23AndMe says that I have some Neanderthal in me (less than 2%).  Some of the interesting traits, one of which my wife will confirm:

You have one variant associated withhaving difficulty discarding rarely-used possessions.

Racial Genocide?

Julius Malema, possibly next prime minister of South Africa, refuses to rule out killing all white people in South Africa.

I am so glad South Africa destroyed all its nuclear weapons and the information required to make them as apartheid collapsed.

Apartheid was an evil system built around distrust of the free market.  (Originally a guarantee of high paying jobs for poor Afrikaaners at the expense of blacks and "coloreds," people of Asian and mixed race. But as bad as apartheid was, it never discussed slaughter of all blacks.

The only good news is that South Africa has moved from a First World nation with great injustice to a Third World nation that cannot even keep electricity operational.  If this guy is elected, every white South African, including many whites who opposed apartheid, need to get ready to leave.  Not enough Jews fled Germany before 1938.  If such a genocide starts, no Western power will intervene.  That would be racist.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Windstorm Two Nights Ago

While California was getting walloped, we had a very impressive windstorm.  I have been storing my 5" refractor on the back porch on an older Losmandy GM8 mount.  To my utter amazement, the wind was strong enough to blow it over where fortunately it came to rest on the lawn.  Nothing seems to have broken.  Even the refractor seems to have come through unscathed although doubtless terrified.  The Losmandy mount is a very solid piece of machined aluminum.

I need a better way to store this.  The telescope shed is just too crowded and the garage likewise.

Best Photoshop (or Best Behaved Pet) of the Year

Yes, This Worked So Well in the 2000s

Change in government mortgage subsidy program:
"The Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) will be implementing a change in the Guaranteed Underwriting System (GUS) to remove required data entry in the Immigration/Naturalization Check Information section of the Additional Data screen for non-U.S. Citizen applicants.  The anticipated implementation date for these changes is April 1, 2024."

if There Was Not A Link to the Bill ..

I would dismiss this as conservative propaganda. But no, Colorado Democrats have introduced a bill to tax you $25 per pet including invertebrates.  That ant farm?  How many ants are in there. That aquarium of tropical fish?  Have you counted them recently?  Are they up on their birth control?

Sunday, February 4, 2024

M2 Crisis?

2/4/24 Motley Fool warns of imminent likely short but severe recession based on sharp decline in M2.  When I went to find the definition of M2, I found the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank definition:
"Before May 2020, M2 consists of M1 plus (1) savings deposits (including money market deposit accounts); (2) small-denomination time deposits (time deposits in amounts of less than $100,000) less individual retirement account (IRA) and Keogh balances at depository institutions; and (3) balances in retail money market funds (MMFs) less IRA and Keogh balances at MMFs.

"Beginning May 2020, M2 consists of M1 plus (1) small-denomination time deposits (time deposits in amounts of less than $100,000) less IRA and Keogh balances at depository institutions; and (2) balances in retail MMFs less IRA and Keogh balances at MMFs. Seasonally adjusted M2 is constructed by summing savings deposits (before May 2020), small-denomination time deposits, and retail MMFs, each seasonally adjusted separately, and adding this result to seasonally adjusted M1."

M2 is not defined the same as in previous oops moments.  I am not going to sell off low performance mutual funds and buy that Corvette, at least not based on short-term equities risk.  Motley Fool does believe long-term investors should stay in the market.

If This Shirt Makes No Sense ...

Look up Munch's The Scream.  Yes, our liver colored Springer Spaniel looks just like this 

Captive Tube Question

You want a telescoping leg.  You have two sizes of carbon fiber composite tubing: 1x1 inside at top and .875 x .875 outside at bottom of leg.  You want the outside tube to stop moving when it reaches the end of the inner tube.

Without adding anything to the inside or outside of either leg how would you make it stop?  A captive leg.

There seems to be no obvious way.  I will screw four .1" blocks to the top of the lower block exterior and four .1" blocks to the bottom interior of the top tube.  Or more sensibly, cut two square tube sections that will go in their respective positions.  This simplifies getting everything to stay.  Making the sections involves cutting 1" x .1" wall section and .9" x .1" wall section, then using a .125" mill to remove the interior square.  I can make these from. 125" thick plate 

Medical Care and Long Lives

Some of the people with whom I go to church have their great-grandchildren coming to visit.

How many societies have this sort of situation?

Saturday, February 3, 2024

If This Was On Fox, I Would Suspect Propaganda

But when it appears on DNC official media?  2/23/24 CNN:

"CNN — 

The police chief of a California city on the Mexico border says “appropriate measures” will be taken to address the anticipated arrival of four migrant men charged with felonies in an attack on two New York Police Department officers.

The men were headed by bus to Calexico, California, after they were released from custody, a senior law enforcement official said....

"The four men were among at least seven people arrested, CNN previously reported. The four were released from custody without bail and given bus tickets by a faith-based charity, the senior law enforcement official told CNN.

The altercation erupted after officers tried to break up a “disorderly group” outside a migrant shelter near Times Square, police said.

When the officers tried to take a person into custody, “multiple unidentified individuals repeatedly kicked and punched the officers in the head and body” and later fled on foot, police said. The officers had minor injuries and were treated on the scene, police said."

The article explains that they were released without bail.  If a white U.S. citizen attacked a police officer they would not be released without bail.  The racism of the left is getting louder and louder.

I Think This is a Witty Description of a Jail

 Peter Mack for taking all the poetry out of Saturday’s midnight hour by walloping his wife Bridget, was required to give peace bonds or go into retirement at the Hotel de Fremeaux.[New Orleans daily crescent. November 02, 1858, Morning, 1.]

Any clues?

One of you did a great job of hive mind.

This “hotel” may have been a humorous reference to the parish prison, superintended by Captain Frémaux.[1]]

[1] Statement Of The Commissioners Of The Consolidated Debt Of New Orleans, From 14th May, 1852, To 30th September, 1862 (New Orleans: H.G. Stetson & Co,., 1865). 51.

If Garbage is Attracting Flies, What is the First Step?

 Spraying for flies, it appears, not putting a lid on the can.  2/2/24 Fox News:

The associate medical director of New Hampshire Hospital urged lawmakers to pass gun control legislation Friday, describing the anguish that followed the fatal shooting of a security officer in the facility’s lobby last year.

"A coworker was murdered 100 feet from my office," Dr. Samanta Swetter told the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. "Then I had to sit there while other people I loved were in danger, and I could do very little to help them."

The committee was holding public hearings on half a dozen bills seeking to either restrict or expand access to firearms, including one drafted in response to the death of Bradley Haas, who was killed in November by a former patient at the psychiatric hospital in Concord.

While federal law prohibits those who have been involuntarily committed to psychiatric institutions from purchasing guns, New Hampshire currently does not submit mental health records to the database that gun dealers use for background checks. "Bradley’s Law," which has bipartisan support, would require those records to be submitted. It also creates a process by which someone could have their gun ownership rights restored when they are no longer a danger to themselves or others....

The gunman who killed Haas was shot to death by a state trooper assigned to the hospital. Haas was unarmed, and opponents of the bill argued having such workers carrying guns would save more lives than restricting others’ access. One opponent suggested that the bill could apply to those hospitalized for bulimia or other mental health conditions, while others argued it would do nothing to stop criminals from getting guns.

"If someone is violently mentally ill, why would they be even released from a secure mental health facility?" said Kimberly Morin of the Women’s Defense League. "Rather than pushing more discriminatory gun confiscation bills, why don’t we actually do something to address the serious mental health issues we have?"

And the ultimate statement of "I do not trust myself so I do not trust others:

 Donna Morin, whose 21-year-old son died by suicide in 2022, told the committee the bill would not have saved his life, but it could save her own.

"The pain that I feel every single day, it has brought me to thoughts of suicide," said Morin, of Manchester. "I’m speaking publicly about this, even though it’s terrifying, because I really feel that this bill is that important. The goal of this bill is to allow a person like myself to make a decision when they are in a calm mind and not in emotional distress."

Morin compared it to creating a living will to outline treatment preferences in end-of-life situations when you can’t speak for yourself.

Okay, there should be a way for someone who does not trust herself with a gun to inform every gun store in the state, "Do not sell me a gun." 


A Tool That I Have Never Used

This device came with the lathe:
It is threaded 3/4"-16 to fit the headstock of the lathe.  The slots allow you to use bolts to attach to a workpiece that is too oddly shaped to cut in a chuck.  In this case, I am trying to clean up a 3" diameter x 1" thick piece of steel into an even and pretty cylinder that I can use for a counterweight on the existing EQ1 mount.  Trying to get a smooth turn of this piece of rough steel in a chuck is pretty much impossible.

So I tapped 1/4"-20 holes in the workpiece and bolted it to the back plate:
The problem is that I did not think about the need to get the holes exactly symmetrical so it is still hard to cut, and Sherline lathes are barely powerful enough to cut steel.  (At least with me using it.)

I could put fresh holes more precisely located.  But I am tired.

Oh yes.  In case if you decide to use this back plate on your Sherline lathe, a warning: removing this back plate is not as easy as removing a chuck.  There is a hole for the Tommy bars in the chuck and the headstock.  This simplifies removal of the chuck.  The general purpose back plate has no equivalent Tommy bar hole.  I was able to remove it anyway by putting a C-clamp on the workpiece while holding the spindle in position with a Tommy bar.  A better solution was to put a .153" hole in the edge of the workpiece so I could use two Tommy bars to remove.

Why Conservatives & Libertarians Differ on Drug Laws

 2/2/24 Daily Mail:

Former classmates of Justin Mohn told that the alleged killer 'snapped' after taking 'a lot of psychedelic drugs', including LSD, while studying Agribusiness at Penn State University.

'It's common knowledge that he took a lot of LSD, and it's widely accepted by his friends that it destroyed his brain', one told

'He stopped responding to his friends, he just ghosted everyone. After he attended Penn Sate he would post these paranoid statuses and delete them.

'A lot of his friends had said previously that they wouldn't be surprised if he killed someone one day.'

On Tuesday, Mohn was arrested and charged with first-degree murder hours after beheading his father Michael, 68, and showing off his head in a YouTube video.

Prior to Mohn's alleged drug use he was described as being 'cocky', 'snobby' and 'intelligent' during his teenage years, and even voted class clown in high school. 

One pal told that Mohn was a 'genius' who excelled at everything he tried, and showed no signs of mental illness.

They added: 'He was always happy, never upset, never angry. He never got into fights before college.'

'It was around 2015 that he started posting paranoid rants, that seems to be when he snapped and started having the same mindset as in his video,' they added.

The difficulty is how do you know who will lose it?  As much as I like the ideat hat we should all be responsible for our actions and free to do stupid things, this is why conservatives are prepared to impose some limits.  Alcohol's part in murder, rape, robbery, battery, and accidents involving power tools are so well established that Prohibition, no matter how ineffective it was, qualifies as a Noble Experiment.  Unfortunately, alcohol was such an ingrained part of our culture as to be unstoppable.  I fear marijuana is now similar.  Oregon tried to make all hard drugs in the same category. 

Friday, February 2, 2024

Which is Cheaper?

 From 1/26/24 New York Magazine:

In Oxford, countless people I spoke to framed the events leading up to November 30 as “a mental-health story”: kids falling apart in a desert of care, the same as everywhere else in the country, but in some ways worse. Even before the pandemic, administrators in Oxford schools had started to notice more fragility, anxiety, depression, and withdrawal among students. In the late 1990s, the Republican governor John Engler had closed three-quarters of Michigan’s psychiatric hospitals in a cost-cutting spree, leaving rural areas barren of psychiatric inpatient treatment for kids. There was some outpatient help available, but many families didn’t know where to find it “unless they were very savvy,” one administrator told me. When they did, wait times averaged four months. This backlog strained emergency rooms. “Every time a kid said, ‘If I don’t get an A on this spelling test, I’m going to kill myself or kill you’ or something,” she was sent to the ER, says Sheila Marcus, a psychiatrist at the University of Michigan who runs a program that trains primary-care doctors in mental health. Ninety percent of the time, these kids were deemed “not a threat” and sent back to school.

As usual mental health treatment is "too expensive" compared to drawing chalk marks around bodies, autopsies, hail costs, prison costs, and criminal trials.  I will not ignore that the parents and his friends had many indicators that their son was exhibiting evidence of mental illness. 

On April 5, Ethan told his friend by text that he was thinking about calling 911 on himself but was afraid his parents would be “really pissed.” He thought he was having a mental breakdown.

“I am going to ask my parents to go to the doctor’s tomorrow or Tuesday again,” Ethan wrote. When he tried to talk to his parents before, his father had given him some medicine and told him to “suck it up,” and his mother laughed. “She makes everyone feel like shit,” he wrote.

“But this time I am going to tell them about the voices. I only told them about the people I saw.”

“Ok,” the friend wrote back.

But who recognizes these signs?  When my brother spiraled down into schizophrenia, my parents had not a clue what the symptoms suggested. 

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Carbide Tooling

To cut carbon fiber composite reliably without rapidly dulling tools, you use carbide cutting tools.  So far I have bought .1065 drill for them tapping a 6-32 hole, a .2010" drill for tapping 1/4"-20 hole, a 1/4" carbide reamer to produce a very concentric very precisely sized hole for the 1/4"-20 tap. I am thrilled to be able to buy entirely U.S. and German tools.  I like buying SpeedTiger's Taiwan-made products but they seem not to make much carbide 

Making the Wife Happy

I need to cut some 1.04" x 1.01" squares from this 6 x 6 square of carbon fiber. I was going to cut off a 1 1/8" x 6" section on the chop saw but my wife said no. It is a very scary tool and I once jocularly referred to it as the hand chopper.

So I removed the vise from the mill and used holddowns to lock it to the mill table.  I am waiting for my U.S. made 1/8" carbide end mill to arrive.  I will then send the dogs into the back yard, open the garage door, put on my dust mask and rubber gloves, set the shop vac to suck up all the dust as it comes off the material and start out at .05"/minute until I am sure that it will not be excessive load.  This stuff is stronger than steel and an 1/8" end mill is not very strong.