Sunday, June 30, 2024

Measure With Micrometer. Mark With Chalk. Cut With Chainsaw.

I am sure you have seen this before.   Not quite where I ended up.  I figured out to get my mill to cut a 1.01" ID hole.  But I need something that goes on a 1.2470" shaft.  Fortunately,  unlike surgeons trying to do the second undo on genitals,  I have material left with which to work.  Just code a 1.25" hole,  .25" left of the first hole.

In Case I Forget, Or You Need gCode to Cut a Circle

Starting at (x,y) to cut a hole radius r with mill diameter d position to (x,y) then G2 Xx Yy Ir-d/2 J0 Ffeedrate.

This cuts a hole with the desired radius on the inside.  I have no need to cut an exterior hole but I think Ir

Friday, June 28, 2024

Remember: Only Police Are Competent to Desl With Mass Murders

I wrote a rebuttal to an expert declaration recently by a former FBI agent claiming that civilians do not--cannot stop mass murders--only police have the training to do so.

My rebuttal included examples of AR15 wielding mass murderers stopped by civilians.  Sadly, I submitted before this news story.  6/28/24 CNN:
"A grand jury has indicted two former Uvalde school police officers in the botched law enforcement response to the 2022 mass shooting at Robb Elementary school that left 19 children and two teachers dead, two Texas state government sources with knowledge of the indictment told CNN Thursday.

'Former Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo and former school police officer Adrian Gonzales were named in the indictments, which represent the first criminal charges filed in the school massacre."

NBC News is reporting charges of child abandonment and neglect.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Not a Pulmonary Embolism

CT scan shows none and normal pulmonary artery diameter. 

Songs That Should Have Mattered

I have long thought Diana Ross' Love Child was one of the most important songs of the era.   Of course, within a decade illegitimacy lost its social stigma and the destruction that it wrought was generally accepted as inevitable. 

Here is a positive song with a message: Color Him Father.  The importance of fathers in a young man's life screams through. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Windows 11 Print Spooler Death

My laptop works perfectly.   My wife's HP Pavillion which is also running Windows 11 periodically loses all of its printers leaving her only with PDF as her printer choice.  The print spiller apparently dies and needs to be restarted.   I have done this successfully once by going into Task Manager and finding the sleeping (or is it dead?) spooler task and restarting it.  My wife found other less explicate solution.  Unplug the wireless HP LaserJet, plug it back in and suddenly the LaserJet and her local Canon ink jet printer reappear and everything works.  This was a recurring problem at the last house.  Now we just had our first such incident here.  This sort of thing creates a yelling, foot stomping crisis.  Unless one of you is more helpful, I will contact GeekSquad in the morning to remotely solve it.  At least I want a batch file that forces the spooler to cone back to life.

Funeral Today...Not Mine

The wife of a friend died of cancer recently.   I attended the memorial service today even though I never met her, for him.  

It was an Episcopalian service.   I have read thst the Anglican Church (what Brits call it) largely kept the liturgy and structure of the Catholic Church and under Elizabeth I adopted mostly Protestant theology.  And my, it showed 

I also for the first time read the Book of Common Prayer.  Very helpful for my Western Civ class.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Why You Do Not Want AI in Unsupervised Control of Manufacturing

A friend wanted my suggestion on how to create a non-permanent method of putting a flagpole on apartments in S.F.  yes, Americ a n flags not LGBTWTF Pride flags.

My suggestion:

Start with 6 foot piece of aluminum tube, 1/4" OD, 1/7" ID.  Two feet from one end put tube in vise and crush to flat.  Drill two holes or maybe more at distances appropriate to common flag dimensions.  It might be simpler if you crush the tube at these positions perpendicular to the window sill crush point so you have a flat surface to drill into.  Put nylon rope (very thin) through these holes to tie to grommets on flag.

What ChatGPT read that as meaning.

 okay 1/7 ID should have been 1/8" ID.  What ChatGPT designed looks like a suppressor for the Jolly Green Giant's pepperbox.

Monday, June 24, 2024

Just For Giggles

Google Earth has pretty high quality satellite imaging of this part of Idaho.  Images do not show my current house built in 2022 but they do show the extensive additions made to my house near Horseshoe Bend in 2020.  This imaging is thus 2-5 years old.  

Can you find any detention camps near Gowen Field?  I see nothing but then again, I am not expecting an Arbeit Macht Frei sign, or railroad tracks, or crematoria.  If you are easily bored or curious could you take a look and see if you see anything that looks anomalous?  Giant slab 30 miles south of Boise.

I looked for the supposed UN base in O'Brien Canyon, Nevada and all I can find is high desert scrub.  Maybe it is all underground!

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Toy Guns Misidentified

I am writing a magazine article about toy gun control laws of the 19th century. Yes some cities passed laws banning sale of cap guns to people under a certain age, typically 14 or 15. They also banned sale of real guns to children.   

Some years back, maybe in the 1970s there were some incidents where police officers mistook kids playing with toy guns and thought they were under fire with horrendous results.  This is part of why all toy guns sold in the U.S. have to have orange tips.  if you sn pioint me to articles about such incidents i would be grateful.  I think the 19th century toy gun control laws may have had the same goal.

Interesting New Theory of Easter Island Collapse

6/22/24 Science Alert:
"Thwy were not the instruments of their own demise, according to new research.

In a comprehensive new study, researchers found that the population of monument-carvers could not possibly have been big enough to collapse under the demands placed on their environment, as has previously been suggested.

"The myth of this so-called Rapa Nui "ecocide" – held up for decades as a cautionary tale about overexploitation of natural resources – should be firmly relegated to the bin of outdated theories, scientists now say.

'This finding is just the latest in a mounting body of evidence that the Pacific Islander population's decline had nothing to do with their way of living.

"In fact, the collapse so soon after European contact in the 1700s probably had more to do with the slave trade, enforced migration, and introduced pathogens."

This is consistent with whst happened in other isolated populations at first contact.  Diseases thst were very lethal to Europeans and spent centuries removing from the gene pool devastated populations with no previous exposure.

Saturday, June 22, 2024


No i have not seen a 1960s Sophia Loren movie (get your head out of the gutter). Since about March, I have been increasingly unable to walk any great distance without getting so out of breath that I have to stop.  1000 feet is about it.  My cardiologist ran an echocardiogram that showed a 51% ejection fraction from my equine aortic valve.  This is leas than optimal but not yet at the cut ne open and replace it level.

Next a nuclear stress test which I mentioned gave me a gamma source for testing my survey meter (me).  When I kept asking whst to do to solve the problem (formally known as dyspnea) the PA's response was, "Mr. Cramer, you have heart disease."  This was not a helpful answer.  I am not ready to spend the rest of my life on a couch waiting to die.

My PCP got me a referral to another cardiologist for a second opinion.   In the meantime,  I realized that there was some overlap with the symptoms of pneumonia so I went into Urgent Care.  They listened for snap, crackle, pop, and did an X-rsy.  Not pneumonia  but they encouraged me to see my PCP.

I think the cardiologist saw no cardiac cause and instead of considering other causes or sending me to my PCP, they just lazed out.  This is a common problem with specialists; they are looking at their piece of the patient.   They still should have directed me to my PCP.

My PCP ordered a CT scan to eliminate pulmonary embolism as a cause and a Pulmonary Function Test (PFT). The pulmonogist saw the CT scan order and asked for a copy as well.  The PFT will be in a hospital in case they find something else thst needs to be tested.   There is a pulmonary equivalent to an angiogram to look for embolisms (basically clots in a pulmonary artery).  

My PCP thinks it is possible although unlikely because the blood thinners have not been completely consistent in keeping my INR levels where they should be.

The second cardiologist appointment is tomorrow and I will be calling back t h e scheduling department for those other tests.

I cannot even roll my telescope out comfortably anymore.  I can write articles, declarations and rebuttals.   These are important but there is, or should be, more to life. 

Concentration Camp Paranoia

It is mostly click bait I think so I will not link to it.  A government official low in the hierarchy says the government is building concentration camps for us in all 50 states and the government was asking for bids.  During the Bush Administration,  they were building a two million bed facility in Alaska.  But were there even two .million leftists in America worth locking up?  The supposed excuse was to lock up illegals.  If Trump was president, this could be a half-plausible idea.  But under this president?  Absurd.

In the Obama Administration it was all conservatives were going to be locked up.  I was told stories of huge concrete pours outside Boise.

Again: photographs?  Coordinates for satellite verification?  Commercial services photograph almost everything.   You could fly near the site and take pictures.  You do not even need an overhead view to get pictures demonstrating their existence. 

Do I think the Left would do something like this?  If they became desperate enough.  But until I see photographs or coordinates, this is likely a mixture of credulous people and the next Alex Jones.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Emergency No Flame Cooking

I mentioned that the electric lunchbox was certainly heating the water but I forgot it was running and the battery was at 0V by the time I checked it.  I just looked more carefully: it is a 7A-Hr battery.  At a draw of 70 watts that drains pretty quickly.  Plugged into a car that works well I am sure.  Using the 110VAC connector makes the plate too hot to touch almost immediately and the water unpleasantly warm in a few minutes.  Maybe I will repeat this experiment with a higher capacity lithium battery.

I will start with the tire pump/jump starter box from the car next.

New Precision Tooling

On vertical mills, one useful tool is a rotary table which you use to turn parts some exact number of degrees.  In my case, think setting circles.  On a telescope mount these are marked in degrees of celestial latitude or declination.   The degrees of celestial longitude for largely historical reason are hours and minutes of Right Ascension.  

Setting circles are pretty well obsolete in the era of goto mounts but one nice aspect besides tradition is thst if you get your mount aligned on an object of known declination and RA you can lock the setting circles to the two axes and move the telescope to whatever declination and RA you want for another object.  Just keep the clock drive running. 

Making setting circles requires some precision in marking the lines.  In this case. I will put the rotsting table on a vertical support and write a program that loops through the degrees and RA hours and minutes moving the workpiece to position,  moving the finest carbide endmill I can find to the edge and cutting in a line and probably a number if I can find a small enough font that I can still read.

I could do this manually and this rotary table was originally manual but it only cost about $220 for Sherline to upgrade it to CNC 

The video shows it in action and the gCode telling to advance to 90 degrees position.  Once I figure out how to upload videos in the Blogger app.

Why Being Prepared Only Seems a Little Overwrought

6/19/24 Eurasian Times:
"The US Congress could reinstate nuclear weapons capability on 30 B-52H Stratofortress bombers, which were previously reconfigured to launch only conventional weapons under the terms of the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) with Russia."

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Have I Missed Any Successful Defenses Against Assault Weapon Attacks?

 These are the ones that came to my attention:

Elisjsha Dicken. 2022, at Greenwood, Indiana mall "neutralized" a guy who fired 24b rounds from an AR-15.

Also in 2022:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A woman in West Virginia fatally shot a man who began firing an AR-15-style rifle into a crowd of people that had gathered for a party, authorities said.

Jeanne Assam stopped the New Life Church mass murderer in 2007.

  Clackamas Mall Shooter Faced Shopper With Concealed Weapon Permit

I have a vague memory of a mass murder interrupted at a barbecue place in Kansas City but I cannot find it.  Do any of you have more examples?

Thank you all.  I found enough to demonstrate their "expert" is not.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Who Promoted Anti-Vax Propaganda? The U.S. Government

6/14/24 Reuters:
"The clandestine operation has not been previously reported. It aimed to sow doubt about the safety and efficacy of vaccines and other life-saving aid that was being supplied by China, a Reuters investigation found. Through phony internet accounts meant to impersonate Filipinos, the military’s propaganda efforts morphed into an anti-vax campaign. Social media posts decried the quality of face masks, test kits and the first vaccine that would become available in the Philippines – China’s Sinovac inoculation.'

From a clandestine warfare standpoint it made perfect sense.   But decrying anti-vaxxers while contributing to it pretty despicable. 

That Electric Lunchbox I Mentioned...

I plugged it into my 13 A-Hr Lithium battery and within a couple minutes the heating element was too hot to touch.  I put a Pyrex cup with two cups of water on it. Then I forgot all about it.  Several hours later, the water was warm.  The battery was so empty that even the LED voltage display was showing nothing.  It is recharging now.  I have no idea how hot the water got while I was writing a rebuttal.   I will try this again with a timer running.   Unlike the chemical heater that I used, the heating element was definitely too hot to touch for more than a second or two.

Sunday, June 16, 2024


I just had a bad dream thst would make a fine short horror film.   Bugs are flying through the region.  If they bite any female, they die but become bodily fluid lethal to males.  Proper screening is essential.  Everyone retreats indoors.  All essential services and goods are delivered by male delivery personnel. 

Elaborate as you will. Title for story, novel, film: harem.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Grab and Go Astronomy

The idea is thst you can pick up and carry your telescope and mount outside in one operation.  This means,  especially as you age, a pretty light combination of telescope and mount.

I have not had time and climate to verify that the drive was doing an adequate job of tracking.  The answer is yes.

Theoretically,  I could have carried the whole assembly out as one piece but the Televue-85 is a very expensive piece of glass.  So I took the mount out separate and attached thr scope.  It is not as free from vibration from thr ground as a more solid mount and tripod would do.

The temptation is to make ScopeRollers for it, but a Vixen SP mount would be more stable..

Bump Stock Fall Down, Go Boom

Gsrland v. Cargill (2024) ruled that the bump stock rule imposed by President Trump exceeded Executive branch authority for passage of laws for which only Congress may do. I am beginning to think Trump played some 3D chess.  By passing this by executive order, he discouraged Congress from action which might have survived court challenge.

What is the World Coming To?

Racism is no longer acceptable for scholarships administered by public universities.  6/14/24 College Fix:

'The University of Missouri’s decision to end scholarships that discriminate on the basis of race has left some donors feeling “betrayed.”

"The university’s four campuses have been working with donors to revise scholarships that exclude white students, and in some cases Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans, to ensure they comply with federal law."

This has been a source of frustration for me since I graduated high school and discovered that because I was white and poor, I was ineligible for some scholarships.   Next thing you know, universities may start admissions based on merit not race.

As some comments observed, if you want to make sure your money goes to a black student, give the money directly, and forgo the income tax deduction for your charitable contribution.   And more of the money will end up with the student.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

it Is Not Often Trump Gets Belittled for Not Spending Enough

6/11/24 New York Magazine makes a big deal about how Trump's personal jet is not the fanciest and newest jet available; that really rich people (Biden supporters) have Gulfstream Vs.  Yes, they are nice.  I have gone from Dallas to S.F. in one. But criticizing him for not have the latest and most expensive jet is a sign of the bubble the media live in 


Sunday, June 9, 2024

Easy Fix

BBC News:
"The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says an Israeli raid on a refugee camp - which led to the rescue of four hostages - killed 274 people, including children and other civilians."

Gee, do you suppose if Hamas had not taken and held hostages this could have been avoided?

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Trash Compactors

Our beloved house on the mountain had a trash compactor.   I was so impressed with one in a house a friend rented in Hermosa Beach many years ago, thst I decided we needed one, especially because we had no garbage service. Reducing volume mattered.

Here it is becoming increasingly of interest.  Because we are on a private road, we have to roll our toters to the public street a couple hundred yards away.  At this point, because my cardiologist seems to think being too shortwinded to walk that far is nothing in need of fixing, my wife gets the job.  Reducing this to one toter seems a good argument for a compactor. 

There is really no appropriate spot in the kitchen for an undercover compactor which means either putting it in the garage and emptying inside trash cans into it, or finding s spot in our absurdly large pantry for it.

The problem is thst I am having trouble finding a compactor that is not intended for undercounter mounting.  There are manual ones where you crush it down with a tool, but I really do not want to do that.

I finally found one.

Friday, June 7, 2024

I Am Doing This for You

You may recall several weeks (months?) back I asked about a non-fire method of warming canned food and ideally boiling water for Minute Rice that could be run off batteries for a civil defense role.  One of you mentioned the J.C. Whitney catalog used to have items intended to run off cigarette lighter plugs.

This seems to be like that.  It is an electric heated lunchbox that can operate off 110 VAC or 12VDC.  Reviews indicate it can warm up a meal in about 40 minutes drawing about 80 watts.  A stack of charged lithium batteries in your emergency improvised bunker would make canned chili and rice a palatable meal once you have consumed the emergency rations most Americans wear on their bellies.

It will arrive tomorrow and I will put it to the test warming chili and trying to cook rice.  I will then inform you of the results.   A lithium battery is, I think, pretty well immune to EMP.  A small solar panel stored in a Faraday cage could recharge lithium batteries enough on sunny days to keep you eating hot food until you ran out of food or farmers start producing food to exchange for ammo.

Let's face it, if Putin became desperate enough to go nuclear, we all know the geniuses that tell Joe what to misread from the teleprompter will solve the crisis without missile launches,  right?

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

I Will Use His Name Once for Searching

Isaac Zamora murdered six people in Skagit County, Washington in 2009.  I am trying to find news accounts thst identify the weapons he used.  The USA Today database says "semiautomatic rifle "  the Wikipedia page says Winxhester lever action rifle and shotgun stolen from a neighbor.   Some news accounts ssy rifle and handgun.  No account thst I have found identifies the rifle.

Can you find a news account thst identifies the rifle?

Washington State paid $9 million in damages to next of kin because when jailed, the severity of his mental illness problems were not adequately identified and he was not given sufficient supervision after release.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

I Asked About This Gun

 This Feb. 23, 2024 Firearms NewsFeb. 23, 2024 Firearms News article opens so well:

The SITES Spectre HC is what would happen if a Glock pistol had a baby with an Uzi submachine gun and that baby was stolen from the hospital and raised in Finland by a gang of art deco biker thugs. Radical and innovative yet in its semiauto form grievously flawed, the Spectre HC is as ugly as Yasser Arafat first thing in the morning after a hard night out on the town.

Below 197 Pounds

Do Your Part

 I am researching Washuington State mass murders.  

Since 2006, there have been 17 mass murders in Washington State: two by arson; one by stabbing, two with guns unknown, one using handgun and shotgun, three described only as handgun, three described as semiauto handguns, three described as rifle.  Of those three rifle incidents, one was reported as a “hunting-style” rifle,[1] another involved a .22 rifle.[2] 

[1] Steph Solis, What We Know About Arcan Cetin, Washington State Mall Shooting Suspect, USA Today, Sep. 25, 2016,, last accessed June 4, 2024.

[2] Phil Ferolito, New Trial Sought For Convicted Murderer James Cloud In Yakama Reservation Mass Murder, Yakima Herald-Republic, 2022,, last accessed June 4, 2024.

I am trying to find news coverage that identifies the rifle used in "After a fight with his wife, James Harrison fatally shot his five children, aged 7 to 16, in the middle of the night and then killed himself the next morning. According to police reports, his wife was involved with another man and was planning to leave him. "  Pierce County, 4/4/2009.

It turns out that the Washington AW ban includes only one handgun, and that seems to appear more in videogames than real, life: Spectre M4 or HC.

Can you find me manufacturer's or importer's links to these weapons?  I need to know which are rifles and which are shotguns.

AK-47 in all forms
AK-74 in all forms
Algimec AGM-1 type semiautomatic
American Arms Spectre da semiautomatic carbine
AR15, M16, or M4 in all forms
AR 180 type semiautomatic
Argentine L.S.R. semiautomatic
Australian Automatic
Auto-Ordnance Thompson M1 and 1927 semiautomatics
Barrett .50 cal light semiautomatic
Barrett .50 cal M87
Barrett .50 cal M107A1
Barrett REC7
Beretta AR70/S70 type semiautomatic
Bushmaster Carbon 15
Bushmaster ACR
Bushmaster XM-15
Bushmaster MOE
Calico models M100 and M900
CETME Sporter
CIS SR 88 type semiautomatic
Colt CAR 15
Daewoo K-1
Daewoo K-2
Dragunov semiautomatic
Fabrique Nationale FAL in all forms
Fabrique Nationale F2000
Fabrique Nationale L1A1 Sporter
Fabrique Nationale M249S
Fabrique Nationale PS90
Fabrique Nationale SCAR
FAMAS .223 semiautomatic
Heckler & Koch G3 in all forms
Heckler & Koch HK-41/91
Heckler & Koch HK-43/93
Heckler & Koch HK94A2/3
Heckler & Koch MP-5 in all forms
Heckler & Koch PSG-1
Heckler & Koch SL8
Heckler & Koch UMP
Manchester Arms Commando MK-45
Manchester Arms MK-9
SIG AMT SG510 in all forms
SIG SG550 in all forms
Spectre M4
Springfield Armory BM-59
Springfield Armory G3
Springfield Armory SAR-8
Springfield Armory SAR-48
Springfield Armory SAR-3
Springfield Armory M-21 sniper
Springfield Armory M1A
Smith & Wesson M&P 15
Sterling Mk 1
Sterling Mk 6/7
Steyr AUG
TNW M230
Uzi 9mm carbine/rifle

I Had a Mobile Detailing Service Come Out to Spruce Up the Big Kitty

And these two young men did a spectacular job.

The interior has not been so beautiful since I bought it in 2015.

Integrity is Not Dead

6/3/24 NBC News:
"Juror says someone left her bag with $120,000 cash and promise of more if she’ll acquit"
She called the police.  The judge requested the rest of the jury.  It was some sort of defrauding the government to feed the poor.

Monday, June 3, 2024

Curious But Pleasant Aspects of Ammo Supply

At the moment there are two hot wars: Israel and Ukraine.  As I understand the propellant or at least the precursor chemicals for artillery shells are common to small arms ammunition.  Yet my sponsor AmmoToGo is offering 55 gr. .223 at less than $500 per 1000 rounds.55 gr. .223 at less than $500 per 1000 rounds.

My theory is that manufacturers expanded production capacity a year or two ago to take advantage of unprecedented demand and now have production lins running so fast that they are cutting prices.

Apparently ammo has increased in price in the last year.  But AmmoToGo tells me demand is blackening although they expect it to rise as elections draw near. 

Sunday, June 2, 2024

How Did I Miss This?

Other than that American news media ignore mass murders thst do not involve guns?  4/13/24 BBC News:
"At least six people - plus the attacker - are now dead.. Eight were taken to hospital injured, including a nine-month-old baby.

Little else is known about the incident. Authorities say the 40-year-old killer was "known to police", but they haven't revealed a motive for the rampage - only indicating it was unlikely to have been terrorism. "

4/19/24 BBC News:

"If he did indeed target women, why? Were there just more women in his path? Did he think they posed less of a physical threat? Did he resent them?

"Police have said it's a "very, very complex investigation" which will take time, but at this stage they have pointed to his mental health and said there is no indication any ideology was a motive.

"His parents - who spotted their son on the news and alerted police - have said he was a diagnosed schizophrenic who had gone off his medication, suggesting he may have been obsessed with knives."

More Chula Vista Memories

We felt so safe, and our mother clearly felt the same way, that I wandered the neighborhood from age 5 on, playing with those kids who were nice enough to include me in their play.  

I remember my youngest sister and me walking several blocks by ourselves to a corner market off Broadway (or was it Main) to take advantage of some temporary windfall allowing us soft drink purchase.   

Broadway had several large department stores,  none of them chains we would recognize todsy. I think.

On the other side of Broadwsy were the homes of what seemed at the time to be rich people.   My youngest sister and me went to the home of one of her classmates.   They threw me in the deep end of the pool, I think, to teach me to swim.  The memory was looking up at bubbles going to the surface and fear.  Obviously, they fished me out.  My sister does not remember this horrendous error in judgment.   (Nor does this memory lapse surprise me.)  It is impossible to make too much of this incident.  I have so many positive memories with her.

I remember going Christmas shopping with my middle sister in one of the department stores.  She gave me some money to buy her a Christmas gift after pointing out some likely gold plated earrings.  She then wanted to let me finish the transaction so told me bye.  I was horrified at being left alone but she expkshe was going bra shopping.  I was holding enough to know to be embarrassed and complete the purchase alone.

One more Chula Vista memory.   When the time came to move north (to the L.A. area), we rented an enormous (to a 6 year old) truck and after loading this open top truck I was perched in a chair at the very top, seemingly 50 feet above ground level.  Somehow, i survived.

That WiFi Problem With the Two Lenovos

The intermittent problem returned.  Actually, it never went away.   It just held connection longer.  So I took the repaired one to church. It connected to their WiFi and stayed connected. Something about the Sparklight mesh WiFi system is incompatible with the Lenovo WiFi in the 11e and Yoga 9, but not the big Lenovo or any other device in the house.

Paying Cash vs. Borrowing to Buy a Car

My natural inclination is to not take on debt if you can afford to pay cash.  But is this financially prudent?

Let's say you want to buy the Cadillac CT5 AWD withe twin turbo V6.  Figure about $65,000 with tax and license.  

Assume 8.45% APR (the current new car loan rate at First Tech Federal Credit Union).  That is $869/month.

My one year pre-tax rate of growth on my brokerage account is 30.87%.  Most of that return is taxed as either long-term capital gains, qualified dividend income, or not taxed at all (Idaho municipal bond divdends), so approximately a 20% tax rate.  (IRA distributions are taxed at full income tax rate; withdrawals from the already taxed brokerage account are not taxed.)  Figure that the net tax gain is 24.7%.  That 65,000 left alone will grow16,055/year or $1338/month.

Clearly, taking out the car loan, assuming you have enough cash flow to make the loan payments, and you have a credit score good enough to get that interest rate, makes more sense.

Caveats: Some of that net taxable gain is inflation.  If the economy goes into a serious depression, that net tax gain will fall, perhaps precipitously.  Of course, interest rates will also fall.  If you can refinance thar car loan at 5% the car payment falls to $777/month.   (Used car loan rates are typically higher than new car rates but a serious depression will likely drop new car rates to 3% as it has in the past.)  Civil War likely causes stock market collapse and higher interst rates as the government's ability to make bond dividend payments delines.  Yet another reason to put off civil war as long as is possible.

The same analysis applies to existing car loans, especially those taken out before the current Interest rate spike.

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Bill Bryson's The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir

My oldest sister, who was born when the victors of WW2 were still in doubt, sent this to me.

Ostensibly this is a memoir but I would call it a humor-enhanced edition.  (His mother was suxh a bad cook so  the family cslled the kitchen "thr Burn Unit.")  Although four years older than me, many aspects of 1950s life were not so terribly different from my earliest memories.  My memoirs will be factual.   To the extent they will be funny, it will usually because the events (one pound of sodium hurled into the Pacific Ocean, home built mortars firing soda cans so far out to sea that they were still rising when they disappeared) were funny, embarrassing, or bizarre.  Nitrogen triodide; making doorknobs explode with unexpected noise and a burn so minor thst only idioticslly large quantities caused injuries.