Tuesday, April 30, 2024


We have an appointment with the title company next week to close on sale of old house.

The next step will be paying off the mortgage on new house before first payment is due.

I had a mischievous thought as I was waking this morning.  Put the proceeds in a growth equity mutual fund.  Several that I own have been growing more than 20% per year for ten years.  Investing the proceeds and taking out 1% per month would pay the mortgage and leave several thousand a month on the table 

Risk: stock market has a 25% correction and wipes out the capital required to pay off mortgage.  

Reward: Having essentially no debt makes it very easy to borrow absurd amounts of money.  If interest rates fall, as will eventually happen, stock market rises and we can refinance mortgage at lower rate increasing surplus from faster growing mutual fund 

Any thoughts?

Of course if Biden beats Trump by 30 points and Democrats regain control of both houses of Congress, interest rates will rise and the stock market collapse.  Of course, at that point some sort of revolution will happen.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Worth Reading in Full

4/19/24 Boston Globe.  The article is by a professor who grew up a black kid in a neighborhood so white:

"i could have been used as a landmark when giving directions.
Sadly, as one of the few Black kids in the neighborhood and one of the even fewer who spent any time with white peers, I was a daily target of racist bullying.". But the article is not a "I am a victim of white racism" rant.  It is how he has managed to get himself in trouble with a new class of racial bullies because he argued that speaking and writing standard English was empowering.

"Once, I committed the sin of saying that knowledge of standard written English may be valuable to all students, regardless of skin color. For this, I endured vitriol. Because standard English came from England and was used by imperialists and slaveholders, I was told, it was inherently racist to teach it to nonwhites. On a now-defunct academic listserv, I was accused of white supremacy, of being unconcerned with how such thoughts, coming from my Black body, were doing harm to other Black people."

Remember that there are black academics who are on the side of civilization and equal opportunity.  I suspect there are a lot of them.  Pretty obviously, you are not going to hear about them except in derision.  Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams are likely the only black scholars you can likely name in this category but they are not alone.  I have worked on gun rights history with a couple of others whose names I will not repeat on the small chance that they have  colleagues, or at least academic peers, who do not realize that they are "black faces of white supremacy.". A colleague where I teach now has given me reason to suspect him of academic rigor and commitment to equality of opportunity.

Pay Attention to Your Mutual Fund Returns

I confess that I have been enjoying a 35% annual gain on my IRA so much that I have not paid enough attention to individual mutual fund performance.  CPOAX has grown 227% over ten years while most of my other good choices in 2014 have grown 450% or better.

It is about time to shoot the dog and transfer the proceeds into one of the other better performing funds.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Boise Growing Up

I went to get my enhanced concealed weapon permit renewed.  It is also where you go for vehicle registration.  So what is parked out front?

Lime green Maserati 

Jewish Nazi Funding Anti-Israel Protests

4/26/24 New York Post:
"George Soros and his hard-left acolytes are paying agitators who are fueling the explosion of radical anti-Israel protests at colleges across the country.

"The protests, which began when students took over Columbia University’s Morningside Heights campus lawn last week, have mushroomed nationwide."
You may recall that Soros got his business start helping the Germans rob his fellow Hungarian Jews.

I always wonder what drives Soros' hatred of Western Civilization.  Is it self-loathing because of what he did as a teenager and that he was able to become rich through the system that it created?  Or is it rage that Western Civilization failed in one of the great moral crises of history, letting Hitler get away with an unprecedented genocide?

Is J. Norman Heath Here?

 He is a remarkably diverse person: circus rigger for Cirque de Soileil and historian.  If you have an email address for him, let me know.

Do You Have This Book in Your Collection?

James H. Willibanks, Machine Guns, An Illustrated History of Their Impact.  I need pages 22-23.  If you have a SCRIBD subscription, I think you can find it at https://www.scribd.com/doc/73220163/Weapons-and-Warfares-Machine-Guns-an-Illustrated-History-of-Their-Impact.

Jonathan B. A. Bailey, Field Artillery and Firepower 187 n. 192. (Naval Institute Press, 2003).  I need p. 182 n. 192.

Washington State is making an absurd discovery demand.  They want links to every cited source.  These two items I must have read on paper.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Successful Education

4/25/24 New York Post:
"Two Columbia University students who rushed to join NYU’s violent anti-Israel rally are going viral after admitting they had no idea what the protest was about — and wished they were “more educated.”

"The unidentified students rattled off their clueless rationale on the steps of the NYU campus in downtown Manhattan as a slew of NYPD cops clad in riot gear stood in the background, as seen in footage viewed more than 3 million times since being shared by former Mayor Rudy Giuliani late Wednesday.

“I think the main goal is just showing our support for Palestine and demanding that NYU stop … I honestly don’t know all of what NYU is doing,” one admitted when asked about the protest’s purpose."

And what is Columbia teaching about critical thinking (or even uncritical thinking) 

Not Just the Marmots Taunting the Dogs

Just 30 feet from the do enclosure.  They soon walked to the north lawn where their movement caused great barking.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Work Cited in a Knife Self-Defense Case


Case No. 6D23-509.

District Court of Appeal of Florida, Sixth District.

The defendant argued successfully that the trial court erred in failing to give his claim of self-defense proper consideration.  The case cites DC v. Heller (2008) for the right to armed self-defense of one's home and a law review article by Dave Kopel, Joe Olson and myself about how arms are protected by the Second Amendment.

Reading the appellate court decision, I find it entirely plausible that the defendant was engaged in lawful defense of his home against a guy with a BAC of .335%.

Monday, April 22, 2024

Boise State University Must Be Moving Up in the World

A while back, BSU's president wanted BSU to be known as a metropolitan university of distinction or some similar rotgut.  I think I am seeing evidence they are moving up in the world.

I was picking up prescriptions at the pharmacy today and there was a car plastered with Israel genocide rhetoric. I was going to photograph it on my way out, but a pink-haired girl (and no, not a bad red dye) was getting in the passenger side and I did not think it wise.  The driver of course had green hair.

In the 1960s, my father was an opponent of the Vietnam War when most Americans were still saying, "Where?". We were watching an antiwar protest on TV and my father's reaction was that these people would get a lot further with their efforts if they were not dressed weirdly with long hair.  

That is the only good news of the Palestinian Rapist/Torturer Defense crowd.  They are effectively identifying themselves as lunatic fringe by their cultural baggage.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

An Interesting Exchange Program

You are doubtless aware of student exchange programs that give foreigners a chance to live in America for a while.  I have watched several exchange students react to America and it has been interesting.  So this 4/31/24 Fox News article intrigued me:
"Shattering stereotypes with every swap, a groundbreaking exchange program is offering kids from red and blue states a free ticket to explore the diverse landscapes of America, and challenge any misconceptions they might have about places far from home.

"It's kind of hard to say no to a free trip, but I had this obsession with just seeing everywhere I can, especially parts of the country. It's amazing to see, especially the Midwest," Z.J. Schwartz, a program alum from California, told "Fox & Friends Weekend." 

"The American Exchange Program gives high school seniors from places like New York City and Los Angeles a taste of rural America and vice versa, dispelling misconceptions about the different ways of life and opening minds to new opportunities – all to bridge gaps within the divided nation."

This seems like a big win all the way around.  As I was growing up, I was startled at how many Angelenos had never been eàst of Yosemite.  Yes, the results were very much like the View of the world from Ninth Avenue cartoon.

Shortly after I moved to Boise to work for HP, a friend in California lost his job.  I called to tell him there were jobs open at HP.  "Boise?" I had to reassure him that we had flush toilets, no one I knew married their sister, and it had been a long time since we burned any Jews or heretics at the stake.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Identifying Separation Anxiety

Rosie and Lillie seemed not to be adjusting to the new house.  Rosie was not eating and was beginning to urinate on the carpet while we were away.  Both of them had accepted that they slept in the garage in the old house but here we needed to carry them out there.  Even bribes did not work. After a bit of googling, it appeared to be separation anxiety.  We no longer leave them alone for long and they sleep with us.  Problem solved 

 I rather like having two very loyal mini-wolves (or do you call them wolfettes?) near us at night.

When I Was Young, We Knew This Was a Darwin Award Winner

4/18/24 New York Post:
"An unsettling video shows a group of people carelessly ripping bear cubs out of a tree to snap some selfies in North Carolina.

"The group of about six people was caught on video Tuesday pulling three scared black bear cubs out of a tree over a fence at a Buncombe County apartment complex, ABC 13 News reported."

Black bears are seldom dangerous to humans except when you get between them and food or their cubs.  Human mothers are supposed to be similarly dangerous if you threaten their children.

Let Us Now Praise Great Small Kitchen Appliances

I may have praised the design of this juicer in the past.  It was made by Braun in Spain.  I have had it at least 18 years.  You put an orange hemisphere (or plutonium hemisphere if you are really weird) on the top and press down.  The pressure activates the switch that turns the very unsharp blades that crush the juice and pulp out of the orange.  The juice drains into a small receptacle below which has a pour spout.  (If you need pulp for cooking, you have that in the screen part). The entire top assembly pops off the motor for cleaning.  It turned five oranges into two glasses of fresh squeezed orange juice in about five minutes.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Weird Size

1/4"-20 thumbscrew 3.125 to 3.5" long.  Ideally lobed or T head.  Knurled is okay.  I am finding them 3" long but no longer.

Arctic Cat makes one 3.5" long.

I was afraid I needed to make one 

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Do We Need to Change the Name?

4/18/24 NATO:
"Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană met Argentine Defence Minister Luis Petri at NATO Headquarters on Thursday (18 April 2024) for talks on working toward a partnership between the Alliance and Argentina."

They had a new right-wing president elected recently to the upset of leftists everywhere.  I understand their relationship with China is getting bad quickly.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Home Invasion Goes Bad

4/16/24 Fox News:
Bad guys break into home in Newport Beach, California.  One goes to hospital; the other was found in the bushes with a self-inflicted fatal head wound.

No, Two Items Lost in the Move

My Jaguar is old enough (10 years!  How time flies) that the HomeLink buttons on the rear view mirror would not work with the old house's garage door motor.  There is a unit that is effectively a translator from the antique codes to the new one.  You plug it into any outlet line of sight to the motors and do a silly little dance with an intermediate box to synchronize the antique with the modern secure opener.  At some point, I tried to reprogram the code on the garage door threshold and the Jaguar no longer could speak Klingon to the little translator.  

Eventually, I learned that LED bulbs produce a signal that prevents reprogramming.  (In the meantime, I had installed these amazing five panel but Edison bulb compatible fixtures.  I should have turned them off and reprogrammed the Jaguar, but I kept forgetting to do so.)

When I moved, I had one of the moving hunks unplug the translator unit from the ceiling outlet.  But where did I put it?  

Fortunately, they are only about $40, so I ordered another one.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

I Only Lost One Item in the Move

The power cord for my Canon PRO-300 never appeared.  I have no idea where it could have gone.  Fortunately, a replacement cost about $6 on Amazon.  Every maker has their own power plug preference.  Most are three conductor, in a triangle layout.  This is a two conductor plug on the printer in sort of a 8-shaped plug.


Nine pounds to go before I hit my current target weight.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

How Stupid Do You Have to Be to Admit a Felony on the Stand?

4/14/24 National Pulse:
"New York police took custody of an unlicensed firearm belonging to anti-Trump activist E. Jean Carroll following a report from The National Pulse.

"In January 2024, we reported that Carroll disclosed holding a firearm at her home during her defamation trial against former President Donald Trump. This revelation, according to a police report, led Warwick, New York police to visit Carroll’s residence on February 15 to address the weapon."

I am unclear how this came up in a defamation trial, but talk about dumb.  The TDS heroes are none too bright.

The Future of Demeaning Low-Skill Jobs

NBC News reports on the response to California's new $20/hour minimum wage.

I have been looking forward to this.  There are lots of physically demanding often unskilled jobs that need automation. When I was recovering from my stroke, they would need to transfer me from my bed to a gurney for transport to X-ray, MRI, and a few machines I do not remember.  Two nurses would come in and pick me up to move me.  I had wasted away to 200 pounds (and I am now below that!) but it was still a unpleasant task.  

Often this was being done by an RN and an LVN.  Both are pretty well paid jobs and worth every penny they get for an often disgusting job.  A robot with padded arms and hands to pick up the patient with knowledge of generally sensitive areas on people and particularly sensitive areas on each patient would make this a good job for a robot.  Combine it with knowledge of where to take the gurney (MRI? X-ray?  Cath Lab?  Morgue?) and a heavy job that takes two people can be done as needed and perhaps faster.  There is some capital investment required, but medical care workers are in short supply, just like fast food workers.

We have been automating American society since the 1790s, making Americans better off and happier in the process.

Do Any of You Have a Cadillac CT4, CT5, or CT6?

As much as I want a C8 Corvette, the lack of trunk space for the M1A and telescopes makes me wonder if the mild reduction in performance for one of these might make sense.  They are substantially cheaper used than modern Corvettes.  I am really more a sports sedan guy anyway.

The last CT6 I drove was startling.  As I turned a corner onto the Interstate, I distinctly heard it say, "Faster, harder." For a Cadillac to demand to be treated as a sports sedan was astonishing to someone who grew up surrounded by the barge ancestors.  The CT6 is also apparently AWD standard.  Useful in a sometimes snowy place.

I am not keen on all-electric cars because I do not necessarily stay on the well-established routes where charging stations can be found.

The Walls of Genital Mutilation Start Tumbling Down

4/11/24 BBC:
"Health Secretary Victoria Atkins says she has had "enough" of a "culture of secrecy and ideology" around gender care for children.

"Writing in the Daily Telegraph, she criticised NHS England practitioners, in response to a landmark review into gender care practices.

"The Cass review said children had been "let down" by a lack of research on the use of puberty blockers.

"It called for gender services to match the standards of other NHS care."

The Cass Review found that many of the traditional claims,such that gender mutilation reduces suicide for example were not supported by the science.  He also found that there was a lack of transparency from the transgender specialists of the NHS.

Who knows?  Perhaps sanity will fall on America.  But the number of children sterilized and adults mutilated is now huge.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Gun Control in Australia Works!

The chances of being a victim in a mass shooting are low.  4/13/24 BBC:
"Shoppers looked on helplessly as a mother tried to shield her infant from a knife-wielding man. Some ran for their lives, screaming and crying - others hid in change rooms. Blood-soaked bodies lay on the ground outside luxury stores."

Six dead plus the stabber.

Another Nice Aspect of the New House

I have long been frustrated by the thermostats in every house we have owned.  There is a switch for cool, heat, and neither.  If you want the temperature below a certain temperature or above a certain temperature, that is easy.  But this is the first thermostat that is smart enough to stay in a particular range changing from heat to air conditioning to stay in the desired range.  Of course, at the moment, I just open a couple windows and everything is perfect.

New TV

When we moved to the new house we replaced an older HD LED TV with a new zhiSense 4K OLED TV and wow!  What a difference.  Everything is sharper and more like being there.  The 4K and 8K videos on YouTube are just amazing. Even shows that I buy in SD are way better.  I am afraid that an 8K TV might suck me right into that alternate reality.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

If This Was a TV Show Episode Script It Would Never Sell Because of Implausibilty

4/11/24 East Idaho News.  Short version: bad guy in ski mask with lockpick breaks into 85-year-old woman's home beats her, handcuffs her to a chair and starts burglarizing the house.  While bad guy is downstairs she gets chair to bed, retrieves revolver.  Gunfight between them ends up with bad dead guy.  Ten hours later, her son finds her.  No charges filed 

New Biden Administration Gun Laws

 4/11/24 Newsweek:

Vice President Kamala Harris announced a new gun sale rule in a bid to crack down on the so-called "gun show loophole."

In a press briefing, Harris said the rule stipulates all gun dealers must now conduct background checks on the people who purchase firearms.

The Context

The Biden administration has pushed for universal background checks throughout his time in office.

As it stands, gun stores are required by law to conduct a background check for every gun sale. But dealers who sell weapons elsewhere, like through social media or via gun shows, have been able to sell guns without checking the details of those who purchase them.

The Biden administration has been working on the rule to change that since last spring, and it was issued under a provision of the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

As you doubtless know, federal law already requires dealers to do background checks anywhere they make a sale.  Private party sales in most states do not.  Yet news organizations reported this as something new.

I now see.  They are going to use the new language defining gun dealers to include not only those making a living from resale (the old definition) to include those reselling at a profit.  A true private party sale is still legal.  Showing at a gun show and selling guns for more than you paid for them even 20 years ago would make you a gun dealer. One would likely present no problems, but a friend reports seeing tables at a gun show a few years back offering quite an assortment of guns with a "no background check" placard.  This was almost certainly unlawful under the old definition as well as the new.  This would be a bad way to become a test case challenging the law under Bruen, although I think it might have a winning result.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

We Have Some Unmet Education Needs

4/9/24 New York Post:

"WASHINGTON — Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) stunned attendees at a high school solar eclipse event Monday by claiming the rock-solid moon is a “planet” that is “made up mostly of gases” — before adding she still wants to be “first in line” to learn how to live there.

The former top Democrat on the House Science Committee’s space subcommittee badly botched elementary lunar facts while speaking during the gathering at Booker T. Washington High School in Houston.

“You’ve heard the word ‘full moon.’ Sometimes you need to take the opportunity just to come out and see a full moon is that complete rounded circle, which is made up mostly of gases,” Jackson Lee, 74, told teenage pupils who gathered on a sports field ahead of the rare celestial event."

The ignorance goes to 11 later in her remarks.  I fear where a country goes when people this ignorant get elected and re-elected to Congress where she was the ranking Democrat on the space subcommittee.  I do not expect every member of Congress to understand "event horizons" or even the gravitational force equation but I do hanker for them to know as much as my 11-year-old grandson.

I Am Unsure If This Is a Good Sign or Bad

4/10/24 CNBC:
" The wealthy are building “passport portfolios” — collections of second, and even third or fourth, citizenships — in case they need to flee their home country.
  • Recent high-profile examples of second citizenships include billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel, who added a citizenship in New Zealand, and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who applied for citizenship in Cyprus.
  • The top destinations for supplemental passports among Americans are Portugal, Malta, Greece and Italy, according to Henley & Partners."
If you are worried about political instability in America, would you not be concerned about your wealth also?

Or are the billionaires afraid that President Trump is going to go hunting billionaires?

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Completely Unpacked

The garage and tools are fully unpacked.  Both cars are in their bays.  I was able roll Big Bertha out. While several items are out of adjustment (finder scope bracket will not tighten into position) or in need of new batteries (I was sure that I turned off the Telrad the last time used it) the position is much superior with respect to southern and Western sky and the concrete seems to be much smoother than last house.  It rolls so easily.  This is going to be wonderful!

Monday, April 8, 2024

Hoist by Their Own Petard?

Not really.  Just an irony that having tried to keep Trump off the ballot-- and failed, Biden is at serious risk of not being on the Ohio general election ballot because of Democratic incompetence.  4/6/24 Columbus Dispatch:
"The Ohio Secretary of State is warning that President Joe Biden won't make it on the general election ballot in Ohio unless a state law is changed or the Democratic National Convention meets earlier.

"The Secretary of State's office sent a letter April 5 to Ohio Democratic Party Chairwoman Liz Walters that alerted her to the issue.

"The Democratic National Convention meets August 19 to nominate its candidate for president but Ohio law sets a deadline of August 7 to certify presidential candidates for the November ballot."

The GOP did not do this to Biden.  The Democrats did this to Biden.  I have read that no one has been elected to the Presidency without Ohio in a century. It is not the electoral votes but that Ohio is very close to the mainstream of American values.  Still in a close race, guaranteed loss of Ohio might be enough.

Friday, April 5, 2024

One of Those Cases Calling for a Second Amendment Challenge

TLDR: 4/3/24 ABC channel 7 reports that retired correctional officers and court balliffs are being refused the law enforcement concealed weapon license by the state of Illinois even though federal law requires retired law enforcement officers to be issued licenses. Even Gov.Pritzker, no friend of guns, agreed that federal law takes precedence.

I am no fan of giving police officers (active or retired) special status or privileges.  This screams for a challenge to impose constitutional carry.

Zero Click Ordering is Coming

There was Dilbert strip where Dogbert patents zero-click ordering as a parody of Amazon's one click ordering.  It feels like zero-click ordering is just around the corner.

I have a network backup drive.  It is big: 4TB.  Alas, it is Ethernet, not WiFi. At my old house the solution wás to cable it directly to one of the several Ethernet ports on the router.

In the new house, Sparklight uses wireless routers made by Eero.  They seem to be rather magical, at least by my 1990s-2000s knowledge.  One box on the ground floor accepts an RJ45 cable which is attached directly to an Ethernet cable that runs throughout the case and is attached to what Sparklight calls a modem, which converts their coax input to Ethernet.  The ground floor Eero provides pretty decent 5 GHz WiFi: 280 Mbps on my Android as I sit here on the couch in my bathrobe.

Upstairs is another Eero upstairs attached to another RJ45 connector on that same chink of blue Ethernet cable.  Date rates are similar.  

Sparklight refers to this as a "mesh" system; there are two separate WiFi routers but only one named WiFi router.  Their support guy claims the upstairs Eero is actually a WiFi repeater.  It carry acts like one, although they would be make its cable connector irrelevant.

Anyway, the concern: there is one unused RJ45 on both Eeros.  Can I directly attach my Ethernet network backup drive there?  Probably, but I am not sure and this semi-miraculous system seems to be rather finicky.  

My solution was to look and wow.  For $40 Amazon has a box that bridges WiFi to Ethernet.  I saw it, I clicked yesterday evening.  The promise was delivery between 7 and 11.  I woke up at 6:45 and it was here!  I am still finishing my morning coffee so I do not know yet if it works but I am expecting Amazon to master the "You thought about, deliver before he switches product display page soon.". Bezos and Amazon are operations that seem or sleazy but they are remarkably efficient.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

This Makes Sense Now

The movie Civil War has what seems like an absurd idea: California and Texas allied against a president who has decided he can serve a third term and calls in air strikes on Americans.  

Some of the writers and actors from the movie are now explaining that this seemingly absurd coalition is really about how Americans of different political perspectives can share opposition to fascism.  4/3/24 Hollywood Reporter:
At a special screening in Los Angeles on Tuesday, writer-director Alex Garland explained the “intentional” decision to unite the two, saying it was “partly to get around a kind of reflexive, polarizing position that people might fall into, that’s one thing, but actually that’s not the main thing. The main thing is to do with how the president is presented and what can be inferred from that.” The president, played by Nick Offerman, has disbanded the FBI, has used air strikes on American citizens and has established himself as a three-term leader.

Nick Offerman is probably not as radical as his character in Parks & Rec but he is definitely a conservative, pro-gun guy.  His comment:

Offerman also weighed in, noting that after all the online chatter ahead of its release, “when you see the movie you’re like, ‘Oh shit, it’s actually just super-intelligent and a kickass movie that none of us can legitimately get mad about because it’s just a beautiful piece of art.'” He additionally noted that any comparisons to his character and Donald Trump while shooting “didn’t even come up. It’s so unrelated to any actual factions or politicians,” and commended Garland for not including real-life political points in the story.

My two cents: civil war needs to be avoided as much as we can.  The results would be catastrophic both nationally and internationally.  One of the actors quoted emphasized that he has been working to talk to friends of different political perspectives seeking common ground.  This is a darn good idea. 

Lots of people hate Donald Trump.  There is much to dislike about him.  Many of his policies are worth discussing.  (Some, such as China-directed trade barriers have been continued by Biden.). The insanity of TDS that led to Russiagate should cause people on the moderate left to ask why such politically motivated nonsense was so readily accepted.

Please, let's try to avoid madness.  We do not have to meet the crazies in the middle.  Lots of Democrats would agree that promoting racial hatred is destructive.  If only the ones in the White House and elite universities could be made to see this.

Beyond Trans Madness

4/2/24 National Post:
""Court to decide if Ontario must pay for surgery to make vagina if patient also wants to keep penis

"A non-binary Ontario resident is locked in a legal battle over public funding for surgery to create a vagina while leaving the penis intact"

Aren't you glad that the Canadian healthcare system has so much spare capacity and zero length waiting lists for specialist care that this is an issue for Canadian courts to consider?

Partial Solar Eclipse Visible April 8th

 A friend is going to threaten Democrats that if they do not reprent and vote for Trump, a dragon will eat the Sun.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

I Just Saw This Gem

LG Washer & Dryer

Home Depot's contractor showed up to install our LG stacking washer and dryer.  Watching these two guys carry these two very heavy appliances rather than use a dolly through door frames not wide enough to hold the side was scary.  The washer at least had handles; the dryer did not.  Listening to them counting 1-2-3-LIFT reminded me of why hold this nation's elites in so much contempt.  These are people they work very hard and have to listen to themselves described as deplorables.

Then they stacked the dryer on the washer and at first attempted to carry it while making a 90 degree turn into the room where these were going to go.  The rotation perpendicular to their control positions persuaded them to walk across the tile floor instead.  The young Hispanic man pulled it back into position and briefly, I feared we were going to have to take over feeding for life but somehow he slid out of gap that seemed impossible.

You may have seen the "Honor Labor" bumper stickers.  I think labor unions are the source.  I do not particularly honor labor unions but people that work this hard to make $250-300/day (I asked) deserve honor and respect, not contempt.

The washer and dryer start up with a lighting and sounds collection that makes me suspect a cousin relationship to machines in Las Vegas.  

The instruction manual suggests a college course to fully control them. 

Of course, there is an app to control them.  My wife considers such an app useless unless it includes gathering, loading, transfer to dryer, fold, and sort.  I agree.  Robotic laundry needs to happen soon!

And the cutest noises when done!

I Guess I Should Not Be Surprised

I have long been enamored of the Walther PPK design.  Yes, there are more modern pistols but the fixed barrel makes them very accurate and disassembly for cleaning is elegantly simple.

The Gun Control Act of 1968 attempted to ban "Saturday Night Specials" so that poor people (let's be honest, black people) could not afford to buy pistols.  Because of the convoluted system of points used to exclude SNSs, even high quality compact pistols such as the Walther PPK were banned from import.  Also imported the PPK/S, a PPK with a longer grip to get around the compact dimensions sustrm.  Walther made PP and PPK pistols in the U.S. in partnership with Interarms and S&W at various times.  American Arms made a licensed copy of the PPK called the PX22 briefly.  I bought one at some point because it was inexpensive and I like the PPK design.  My wife used it on a couple of occasions to discourage coyotes inviting our dog over for dinner.  The table was set only for the coyote and his family.

More recently, I bought a U.S. made PPK/S (which has a slightly longer grip to accommode more rounds and make it GCA68 compliant) in .22LR.  it is a very nice piece of firearms art.  It is also very accurate and great fun at the firing range: minimal recoil and cheap to feed.  It is also very reliable so far.  I found an American Arms PX22 magazine in the back caverns of the gun safe and wondered if it would fit the PPK/S. 

I should not have wondered.  The PPK magazine is short enough to not function or even seat in the PPK/S.  The PX22 also had a heel magazine catch (the original design, not intended for rapid reloading for competition or defensive shooting) unlike the PPK/S which has a more modern magazine release and a notch in the magazine for retention.

I love my PPK/S but if you get a chance to get a PX22 at a not to silly price (they were less than $100 dealer cost when I bought mine), you might enjoy it.  It is very compact, adequately accurate for self-defense at conversational distances and as week as .22LR is, it would, I think, make most rapists and robbers remember an urgent appointment at the ER if your first two shots connected.

Let Us Now Praise Great Practioners

This move has led us to two great providers of services.  Two Men and a Truck packed, loaded, and moved us Saturday.  Actually four young men (the only age to be doing this sort of work) and two trucks did this and we paid about $4100.  There was one casualty (the plastic sheeting on a poster cracked) and one temporary loss (an LG monitor arrived Tuesday after they found it in the pads). Compared to imposing on friends and family, this was a bargain.

Another person you will want to call if you are in the Boise area is John Aultman (208) 890-8388. (Also an NRA member.)  We needed a dog run for our two English Springer Spaniels in need of sedatives.  The first guy gave us a pretty high estimate for the area we marked out.  John suggested a configuration that we had not considered and at a much lower price.  He put in a vinyl fence and matched the color to the house.  He needed to make two wooden gates for the porch and they match so well that they look like part of the original design.

As I mentioned, the crazier of the two, Lillie Belle, managed to leap through a gap between rabbit wire and top beam of the fence. We got John out the next day, and he added rabbit wire at a higher elevation and raised one of the gates.  Lillie Belle ran around the yard looking for escape paths and finally accepted that she was going to need to build a ladder or do a Stalag 17 operation to get out.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Who Knew They Were Invisible?

Biden declaring Easter Sunday Transgender Visibility Day had me asking, "They were Invisible.  I sure seem to see them a lot in news reports and not just in mass shootings."

I see in 4/2/24 Newsmax that Trump has declared November 5th "Christian Visibility Day.". Yes, that is election day.

People Who Do Not Understand How Poor People Live

4/2/24 Newsweek article about the CEO of a company that put up the $175 million bond so that Trump could appeal the banana republic court decision.

They mention a number of accusations against Hankey's company with no evidence that the accusations are valid.  Worse, he is a "subprime auto lender."

For the top 10% of earners, they will never be in a position of needing to be a subprime auto borrower.  

A hypothetical: you work at a blue collar job.  You get paid not terribly well.  You have made a few financial mistakes along the way and you have a lousy credit score.  You may just be starting out in life and have no credit history.  (Been there, done that.)

You need a car to get to work.  Your 20-year-old beater has given up the ghost.  You can afford $150/month for a car loan. You really need a car to get to work, the grocery store, doctor for you and your family.  

You go to a bank or a car dealer selling nice cars.  They run your credit report and decide you are too risky a borrower.  

Shady Al's Fairly Reliable Rides has a $1500 best up but functional car for sale.  They go to a subprime lender who looks at your poor or non-existent credit history.  In exchange for the risk that you will fail to make payments, disappear with the car, leave it an unsaleable wreck, they charge a high interest rate.  If you manage to pay that loan each month, your credit history will improve or come into existence.  You are paying a high interest rate for the risk of default and because it will improve your score.

People born with a silver spoon in their mouth will never be in that situation.  They can hold in contempt the lender who is providing a needed service.

Flying Dog

Lillie, who has unlimited energy, and Rosie, who considers rodents to be in the candy section of the Springer diet plan, escaped the garage yesterday.  (The garage door did not completely close before I opened the door from garage to house.)

Lillie started running expecting us to play fetch with her to return.  But where is the Chuck-It and balls in the chaos of the move.  At times, she ran far enough away to disappear.

Rosie ran the opposite direction because she can smell the marmots.  She also disappeared over the hill to a slightly busy road. I caught up with her engaged in Rosie Heaven digging madly as she got dangerously close to a road that might well lead her to Doggie Heaven.

We briefly got Lillie back into the dog run, where all the pent-up energy led to a flying leap over a three foot gate and the chase resumed.  Both were eventually persuaded to return, but it was scary.  The gate needs another foot in height.  And we call Lillie "Stubby" because she has fairly short legs.

Not over the gate.  There was about a foot between the top of the rabbit wire and the bottom rail of the fence.  She threw herself through (homonym test) the gap bending the rabbit wire enough to escape.  This time I saw the escape.