Monday, July 22, 2024

Chirping Smoke Alarms

One of our smoke alarms is chirping.   That means low battery.   They are so loud it took seversl minutes to Identify the culprit.   What frustrates me is that these units have a 9V battery as backup to the house current. 

Why?  Is the idea that you might have a fire during a power failure?  Why not use rechargeable batteries for backup?

I am alone today (Rhonda was called to jury duty). I could probably reach it but if I fell I would never hear the end of it 

Actually,  it was q CO detector that has followed us from the last two houses.   I wish that had distinctive sounds.

Things to Come (1936)

This is the movie adaptation of H.G.Wells' novel.  Considering it was made in 1936, the special effects are pretty amazing.   The city of the future is what the most optimistic futurists could imagine.

That single stage rockets could not reach escape velocity seems to have been within Wells' knowledge (and this does not surprise me).  Instead the expedition around the Moon relied on a Space Gun.  The first gun puts the second gun in motion,  which launches the next gun.  Each stage adds a bit more velocity much like a multistage rocket. 

Parts of it are prescient: WW2 starts in 1940 with bombing raids on British cities.   What was thankfully wrong was poison gas bombing.  (Wells was not the only thinker of the age convinced the horrors of gas warfare of the previous generation were inevitable. )

The politics are pretty restrained but we are reminded that competition was one of the evils of the prewar era.  There is a segment of massive exploitation of Earth's resources and technocratic-directed industrial development that is a vision that would horrify every environmentalist today.  The lack of understanding costs and allocation of resources horrifies me.

This is free on Amazon Prime.

The colorized version is not impressive in color or resolution  

Their notion of a helicopter is surprisingly thoughtful.  The main rotor only goes up and down.  A tail propeller gives motion forward instead of pivoting the main rotor.

Their launch gantry for the Space Gun would be easy to imagine as the modern thing.

Sunday, July 21, 2024

Moral Rot

 My wife examines the problem of moral rot in America:

Sometimes, given America's Judeo-Christian heritage, it's easy to equate America with a kind of "Israel model": We were, at our inception, chosen by God to do His work in the world and are still commanded to do so.

The patriotic songs I sang as a child in the 60's combined faith in God with a love of our country. In school, we sang "God of Our Fathers," "My Country 'Tis of Thee" and "America the Beautiful."

Our country put a man on the moon. Our government fought poverty with housing projects and it was no longer acceptable to pollute the skies, rivers and lakes. Racism was no longer funny or acceptable. Women demanded an equal seat at the table and largely got it.

Growing up when I did, it looked like America cared about progress--trying to right the wrongs of the past, and doing so in a timely and just way. We also were in a war in a country I had never heard of, and it was becoming more and more obvious that we needed to remove our troops. It divided us and made us angry with each other, while body bag after body bag was delivered stateside and devastated families had to cope with their loss.

A perfect country? No.

But to quote Ayatollah Khomeini, a leader in Iran, we weren't the "great Satan" either....

So, if we see ourselves as modelled on Israel in the Hebrew Scriptures, then Josiah, the last good king of Judah before the Babylonian exile, has a valuable lesson for us. If, as I do, believe God saves people, not nations, then these passages of Scripture hold valuable lessons for us.

God expects His people, in whatever nation they are in, to act like citizens of the Kingdom of God.

Josiah was only eight years old when he assumed the throne of "his father David." He is the last "godly king of the Davidic line prior to the exile." [1] Unlike many of his royal predecessors, "he did right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in the ways of his father David, not turning to the right or to the left." (2 Kings 22:2)

No compromise. He followed God. ..

If you haven't already, please note the parallel to America. God's Word is still the standard, and it points to how far we have fallen away from what God expects out of those who call upon His name.

But we have to read it. Understand it. Apply it. ...
He cleaned house. He didn't just decry the practices, but got rid of all the things that allowed those practices to go on and he removed all the people who supervised the practices.

The prophetess Huldah told Josiah that he would die before the terrible day of judgment would fall on Judah. God spared Josiah the pain of watching his country destroyed. God honored Josiah's attempt to redirect his country back to the covenant and serving Him alone.

If we are like Josiah, and we really seek God and obey what is in His Word, will God's judgment be stayed? God judges nations if they flagrantly disobey His moral order. It's not that the nation is somehow special or chosen, but He will eventually judge sin in individuals and in nations. But He also will renew, revive and restore His people when they seek His face and repent.

Even though Josiah was sincere and obedient, God did judge Judah, because after him, several kings "did evil in the eyes of the LORD."

I am not sure I wantb to compare Trump to Josiah.  He might well be successful in removing or at least modern idols: sexual mutilation of children;  men (excuse me, women with male sexual organs) in women's locker rooms and sororities; promoting racial hatred through DEI.  We are going to have to do what we can to undo 40 years of moral rot.

Are There Any URLs on This List You Cannot Open?

 If some of them take to laws that seem to not be gun-relaed, do not worry; many are laws cited by their "experts" and are indeed irrelevant.  My proof reader is getting 403 errors and I want to know why.  id=ku_l06w9L74C&pg=PA90&dq=%22Provided,+also,+that+no+person+or+persons,+shall+be+found+guilty+of+violating+the+before+recited+act%22&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjlzuqo87CHAxUyGDQIHehyDxgQ6AF6BAgKEAI#v=onepage&q=%22Provided%2C%20also%2C%20that%20no%20person%20or%20persons%2C%20shall%20be%20found%20guilty%20of%20violating%20the%20before%20recited%20act%22&f=false,+being+armed+with+clubs+or+other+weapons+Massachusetts&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwia75a2w7OHAxUaBDQIHaR0C7kQ6AF6BAgIEAI#v=onepage&q=If%20any%20persons%20to%20the%20number%20of%20twelve%20or%20more%2C%20being%20armed%20with%20clubs%20or%20other%20weapons%20Massachusetts&f=false\,+or+more%22+massachusetts+1811&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjK8Iirwa6HAxUIGTQIHXXsAjsQ6AF6BAgJEAI#v=onepage&q=%22any%20persons%20to%20the%20number%20of%20twelve%2C%20or%20more%22%20massachusetts%201811&f=false,+dirk,+knife,+slung-+shot,+or+any+other+deadly+or+dangerous+weapon%22+%22revised+statutes+of+Wyoming%22&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi8lp7y3bCHAxX4AzQIHYk2Ay8Q6AF6BAgHEAI#v=onepage&q=%22Whoever%20draws%20or%20threatens%20to%20use%20any%20pistol%2C%20dirk%2C%20knife%2C%20slung-%20shot%2C%20or%20any%20other%20deadly%20or%20dangerous%20weapon%22%20%22revised%20statutes%20of%20Wyoming%22&f=false,+gun+or+any+other+deadly+weapon+%22&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwimgZe03bCHAxVANjQIHbwYBe8Q6AF6BAgHEAI#v=onepage&q=%22Every%20person%20and%20the%20aiders%20and%20abetters%20of%20every%20person%20who%20shall%20draw%20a%20pistol%2C%20gun%20or%20any%20other%20deadly%20weapon%20%22&f=false


Thanks to all.  The solution is look for the phrases in a private window where has no information about me.

I Have Found a 1 RPM DC Motor

Here.  Now I need a 1440:1 gear set to get down to 1 rpd (revolution/day) 

Believe Almost Nothing Reported in the First 48 Hours

7/20/24 Daily Caller reports that the Trump shooter never tried out for the rifle team, was not to their knowledge to bullied, and was to their knowledge remembered as a quiet, bright young man 

The simple obvious explantations are evaporating.

Saturday, July 20, 2024

I Feel So Much Better

7/19/24 CNN:
"US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday said that Iran’s breakout time – the amount of time needed to produce enough weapons grade material for a nuclear weapon – “is now probably one or two weeks” as Tehran has continued to develop its nuclear program."

Fortunately,  Iran only calls us "the Great Satan," because they respect and love us.

How Did I Miss This?

Today is the 55th anniversary of one of the greatest exploration achievements of mankind.
As an American you can take pride in what America could do when our goal was not DEI, but EEO.  Everyone gets an equal opportunity.   We try to make sure that schools educate in useful subjects (math, science) and unleash our capabilities.

I remember watching this.  It was my father's 59th birthday.   We put the TV in the outdoor patio and ate dinner while watching one of America's great achievements. 

How to Reslly Destroy a Ray Bradbury Story

A Sound of Thunder (2005).  The idea that time travel can diastrous results, has been around for decades.  This movie version of Bradbury's story is just so over the top in how it imagines the results with insufficient explication of how the death of a late Jurassic butterfly changes the evolutionary to create half-lizard, half-primate creatures.   And the changes keep coming in waves with these portrayed like enormous tsunamis.   A really disappointing adaptation of a great idea and story.

Today's Unexpected Historical Trivia

 Most American History textbooks make a point of how Jefferson's Northwest Ordinance (1787) banned slavery north of the Ohio River.  While checking:

1799 Miss. Laws 113, A Law For The Regulation Of Slaves

That no slave shall keep or carry any gun , powder , shot , club ,
or other weapon whatsoever, offensive , or defensive , defensive
except the tools given him to work with , or that he weapons.
is ordered by his master , mistress , or overseer...

It does indeed appear in Statutes of the Missisippi Territory (1807) as part of A Law For The Regulation Of Slaves.

When I found it referenced in The Territorial Papers of the United States v.5 1798-1817 (1937)

Whereas the Ordinance of Congress passed the 13th day of July
1787. Entitled "An Ordinance for the Government of the Territory
of the United States north West of the river Ohio " hath been applied
to the Government of the Mississippi Territory : Whereby the Governor
and Judges of the said Territory or a majority of them are
authorised to adopt, and publish in the said Territory such Laws of
the Original States , Civil and Criminal , as may be necessary , and best
suited to the circumstances of the said Territory , and report them to
Congress from time to time, which laws shall be in force in the district
or Territory until the organization of the general assembly therein ,
unless disapproved of by Congress , but afterwards the legislature
shall have authority to alter them as they shall think fit....



After the word Assembled, strike out the residue of the resolution
and insert "That all the acts of the said Governor and Judges, purporting
to be the laws enacted by the said Governor and Judges of
the Mississippi Territory from the commencment of the Government
thereof until the 30 day of June 1799--be, and the same are hereby,
disapproved of by Congress.

including A Law For The Regulation Of Slaves

The language is desparately unclear.  It appears Congress at least briefly discussed applying the Northwest Ordinance's slavery prohibition to the Deep South.

Today's Helpfu Happyl Homemaker Hint

When the Cheerios box disgorges on the floor, do not try to vacuum them up.  The little Os are large enough that they turn in O-shrapnel and powder.  Sweep them up with a broom first then vacuum up the dust.

Never pour cereal before your favorite morning stimulant.

Friday, July 19, 2024

Please Tell Me the Secret Service Is Really Not This Incompetent

 7/17/24 Yahoo News:

Law enforcement officials investigating the assassination attempt on Donald Trump told lawmakers Wednesday that 20 minutes passed between the time U.S. Secret Service snipers first spotted the gunman on a rooftop and the time shots were fired at the former president, according to several law enforcement officials and lawmakers briefed on the matter.

Officials said the snipers spotted the suspect, 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks, on the roof of a building outside the security zone at the rally Saturday in Butler, Pennsylvania, at 5:52 p.m. ET. The shooting happened at 6:12 p.m. ET, 20 minutes later, the sources said.

In the days since the shooting, the Secret Service has come under scrutiny for its response to the assassination attempt and the agency's director, Kimberly Cheatle, has been subpoenaed to testify before Congress. A Department of Homeland Security spokesperson said she "welcomes the opportunity to testify."

"Gee, I see a guy with a rifle over there.  Is he hunting?"

"Who knows?"

"Should we tell Trump not to go on the stage?"

"That's a hard decision."

Zuckerberg Said This?

Video on X: "Trump get up after getting shot in the face and pump his fist in the air with the American flag is one of the most badass things I've ever seen in my life."

No cowering.   No fear.  Whatever Trump's flaws he is not afraid.

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Metropolis (1927)

Fritz Lang's pioneering silent film is available on YouTube colorized.  If you are not familiarav3  with it,  it is a dystopia with a small population of capitalist overlords and vast numbers of proletarian industrial works.  While not quite at the Eloi and Morlock level of The Time Machine, it is still a dark vision of a future that has only been approached by a few nations committed to ending capitalism. It is unique and advanced in its filmmaking technique. 

The often Olympian sets art-deco of course, and the miniatures of the city of thr future with airplanes flying between buildings and swarms of industrial workers marching up ramps must have seemed pretty astonishing in 1927.

There are some very stylized sequences with workers in front of a,machine that eventually reveals itself as Moloch with workers moving in a way that reminds you that humans in service to the machine are like parts of the machine. 

The makeup and exaggerated acting style are partly a leftover from traditional stage acting where everything was a bit over the top to make sure you get in the back rows and the limits of expressing emotion without audio.

I Know It Is Just an Opinion Piece

But running it seems to show where the left wants this war to go.  7/17/24 Washington Post:
"OpinionLet Ukraine fly its jets from ‘sanctuary bases’ on NATO territory"

He makes a logical argument about why Russia's demand that we recognize their sovereignty so they should recognize Ukraine's but Putin is not rational. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

At Least They Figured Out "Get Woke, Go Beoke" Before the Broke Phase

7/17/24 New York Post:
"Microsoft has reportedly laid off a team devoted to diversity, equity and inclusion after pouring millions of dollars into the initiative — becoming the latest major company to ditch the “woke” policy.

'The Big Tech giant disbanded the DEI team at the beginning of the month due to “changing business needs,” according to a July 1 email obtained by Business Insider.'

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

There Must Be Honest People in New Jersey

So why do they sending crooks to represent them?

"Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez found guilty on all counts in corruption trial
Menendez is running for re-election to his New Jersey seat as an independent. His conviction does not preclude him from serving in the Senate, but many Democrats had already called on him to resign."

Dow Jones Industrials Up 1.5% Today

I think adding Vance as the VP just strengthened an already overwhelming advantage for Trump.  I watched Hillbilly Elegy last night, Vance's autobiographical film.  It is about how bad family patterns persist.  It takes a strong hand up or positive role model to break those patterns.  If you can get past the vulgar language, some of it new even to me, it is a powerful reminder of why rural America has been destroying itself with opiods.

Monday, July 15, 2024

Open Heart Surgery is Coming Soon

The aortic valve problems are beginning to overwork my heart.  There is also a hole between left and right ventricles that they will likely repair.

I am not looking forward to surgery but being well is 

Sunday, July 14, 2024

Why There Should Br No Flags at Rallies

One of the harder tasks for a sniper is figuring out wind speed so as to make windage adjustments. One of the easier ways to determine wind speed at target range is to look at flags in the wind. Angle of flag from flagpole divided by four gives approximate wind speed at target. Now wind speed may vary between shooter and target, but at distances like what happened Saturday, the difference is not likely to be huge.

I noticed an American flag behind Trump in that one of a kind photo. The Secret Service should remove all flags near the President for exactly this reason.

I would forward this to Secret Service but I am sure it would get lost in the bureaucracy. Hopefully, whatever program monitors the blogosphere for threats on the President's life will catch this and whoever evaluates such material will forward it as a positive aid


NBC News interviewed a classmate who said the shooter was bullied in high school.  The attempts to make this a conspiracy are ignoring Occam's Razor.  Bullied kid joins leftist cause, gets freaked out by Trump landslide likelihood, goes after Trump.

Video Shows Shooter on Roof

7/14/24 BBC News has video of the shooter.

What Sort of Man is Trump

The picture of his raised fist as SS moves him to the van really says a lot about the man.  At this point, he likely had no idea if this was a fatal wound.

With the flag behind him this is a great campaign ad.  Even when his enemies shoot him, he stands up to them.'

Amazing Picture

7/18/14 Guardian has a photograph where you can see the cloud trail left by the bullet. 

You may need to blow it up a bit

If you are not aware of this: in humid climates, bullets produce a small cloud behind them as the bullet produces a low pressure area where water vapor turns to a small cloud.  You see similar phenomena behind fighter aircraft.

Considering the distance, this was a reasonably skilled shot.  My math says he pulled the trigger .14 seconds before the bullet him Trump so he was pretty well aimed.  Even a slight difference in Trump's head movement and civil war would likely have already started. 

Saturday, July 13, 2024

In Case You Have Not Heard, the Assassn Only Got Trump's Ear

He is apparently posting on Truth Social thst he is okay.  I suspect we will hear little or nothing about the shooter and his motives until after the election if ever.

You spend seven years calling someone a Russian agent and a semi-fascist and it can provoke unstable people which is I think the goal.

"A man with a rifle was seen minutes before shots were fired at a Donald Trump rally in Pennsylvania, a witness has told the BBC.

'Greg Smith said the man had crawled on top of a building just outside the event in Butler County on Friday evening.

'He said he pointed the gunman out to police.

"I'm thinking to myself 'Why is Trump still speaking, why have they not pulled him off the stage'... the next thing you know, five shots ring out."

A Word You Seldom Hear Spoken

In a discussion of the formation of the Rockies, Laramide Orogeny.  As the speaker said, all I could think of what North America's Orogenous Zones.

Thursday, July 11, 2024


Well done video on why vast amounts of currently running software is written in COBOL.  I used to room with a guy whose personalized California license plate was I COBOL.

I Guess They Do Not Have Enough Death-Involves Voters After All

7/11/24 NBC News:
'No one involved in the effort thinks he has a path': Biden insiders say the writing is on the wall

The set of Democrats who think he should reconsider his decision to stay in the race has grown to include aides, operatives and officials tasked with guiding his campaign to victory'

I Made the Wall Street Journal


There is a Logic To It

But it rubs me raw.  7/10/24 AmmoLand:

Under Creative Commons License: Attribution
Follow us: @Ammoland on Twitter | Ammoland on Facebook

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has changed its rules for multiple sales of certain types of semi-automatic rifles in California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas due to their proximity to the southwest border."

The claim is thst this to interrupt the flow of weapons to the Mexican drug Cartels.  This is a perfectly plausible and good thing.

I am skeptical that this will impair their ability to obtain arms.  These are organizations with international reach and money on a scale comparable to many Third World governments.   I suppose if there was a mechanism for preventing the unregulated flow of people and goods from one nation to another this might not be a problem.  I am inventing a new concept here so bear with me: we could call it a border, with law enforcement agencies assigned to prevent unauthorized travel across it...

No, too wild of an idea.  Americans would never support it.

In practice, law-abiding Americans can subvert this by buying rifles one at a time and from different dealers.  I suspect unless the cartels need guns in huge numbers, they can afford to buy one at Joe's today, Huntin' Shack. Varmint Guns, until they run out of gun stores in Phoenix.  Until cartel buyers start buying dozens of guns a day per dealer, I do not see this crimping the supply of guns by much.

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Feeding the 5000

 You are doubtless aware of this story from Matthew 14:13-21:

13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Of course the New Testament contains other miracles: healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, curing lepers, the lame and the deaf.

Why am I bringing this up?  Our pastor a couple weeks back preached how Matthew 3:1-2:

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 

Many Christians believe that the Kingdom of Heaven is not at the end of the age, but that Christians are obligated to bring it into effect here and now.  Does this seem odd to you?  

How recently did famine carry away millions of people per year?   Feeding the 5000 is nothing compared to the last two centuries.

How many victims of polio do we still have walking with a limp (at best)?  How many lepers are still slowly being disfigured?  How many severely ill people recover from heart attacks and lead productive, joyful lives?  (Okay, I am going in tomorrow for a pulmonary function test to, I hope, resolve my shortwindedness.)  Think of all the surgeries performed before anesthesia and antisepsis.  Think of replacing a defective aortic valve.  Is that not a miracle 2000 years ago?  We do not have holy men going around healing the sick; we have systems of healthcare that alleviate suffering instead.  (I am ignoring frauds like Benny Hinn.)

As many of you already know, poverty worldwide has fallen substantially over the last couple decades.  The Judaeo-Christian legacy in the West has created a prosperity and reduced individual misery on a scale unimaginable in Jesus' time.

It has not all been progress.  Slavery was a great evil of the Western world.  When enough consciences were pricked by evangelists the West did not simply abolish slavery in the West (sometimes at enormous costs in lives and capital) but actively suppressed slavery elsewhere.   War is bad--unless you are a Jew or Gypsy in Europe or Chinese in the Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

The situation is not perfect, but Christians are obligated to make it so.

Most Unexpected Government Report Ever

From Colorado Center for Healthcare & Environmental Data:

24.7% of Colorado firearms homicides 2016-2920 are Justifiable Self-defense. 

Unexpected Places

The title is not startling: "How to Build a Fallout Shelter in Your Home (on a Budget, to Boot)".  The location is:

Sunday, July 7, 2024

I Do Not Even Know What a Quantum Computer Is

7/3/24 New Scientist:
"Identical wording placing limits on the export of quantum computers has appeared in regulations across the globe. There doesn't seem to be any scientific reason for the controls, and all can be traced to secret international discussions."

I gather these are blindingly quick and thus well suited to cryptographic work.

Mass Murder Stopped by Armed Bystander

Fox New Channel 4.

Saturday, July 6, 2024

First World Problem

August, 2024 Astronomy, p. 11 reports that NASA and ESA are working on a Moon time zone and navigation standard because they are concerned about the increasingly crowded lunar space having collisions 

Pork Pie

New Zealand comedy.  Not appropriate for young children (language, sex, drug use) but one the most hilarious comedies I have seen since The God's Must Be Crazy.  Great setup lines: "My car is overheating  '  "This is me, coming to see you."  "A body in search of a brain cell."

Friday, July 5, 2024

Thermite Does Not Require Aluminum Powder?

Cody's Lab again as in using thermite, this time to refine iron metal from magnetize.  Apparently you can make thermite by wrapping layers of magnetize in aluminum foil and starting it burning with a blowtorch.   Very impressive. 

You end up with an iron slag rhst will need drop forging to refine.

The Chosen

This is a very successfully crowd-funded project.  The idea was not yet another film faithfully following the Gispel but more exploring possible back stories of jesus' Disciples.  It is very engaging dramatically.   It is largely a Middle Eastern cast (except of course for the Romans).

They wanted a plausible set of buildings, not thrown together sets, so they built structures in the Utah desert.

There are some occasionally intentional anachronisms to add some humor.  As they are seeking a place for the Sermon on the Mount,  they approach one field with a sign in Hebrew: "No trespassing.  Violators will be th.'  There  often a very light touch for ,the purpose of lightening what whst is obviously a  heavy reverential subject 

My wife and I are enjoying it.  It is no substitute for a more serious film like Zefferelli's Jesus of Nazarerh.  But it is fun and makes you think about the time a bit differently. 

This is on Amazon.

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Our First Grocery Delivery

From Wal-Mart.   Being sick disinclined us from going grocery shopping.   The extra charge for delivery was certainly cheaper than driving.

If you think of grocery delivery as modern: my sistets worked for a traditional market (not a supermarket) on Montana Blvd. in Santa Monica that delivered groceries in the 1960s 

Combined with Telehealth and telecommuting we are going to be in Asimov's Naked Sun real soon.

Never Machine What You Can Buy

Unless it is very simple, it is always cheaper to buy than make.

Sometimes,  that is not an option.   Big Bertha had an odd looking assembly on which DobStuff who rebuilt it for me had mounted my finderscope.  It clamped onto a 1.25" OD aluminum shaft.   Here you can see the replacement part I machined on thst shaft.

This is the original part:

Hw started with an oddly rounded piece of Baltic Birch, cut a 1 25" hole through it then sliced through one side to allow a 1/3"-20 carriage bolt and thumb knob to clamp down on the aluminum shaft .

I no longer remember what problem causes me to build a replacement.   As you can see, I cut a piece of acetal into a L shape into which I then milled a 1 25' diameter hole.  Then I used a .125" carbide mill to slice a slot across the circle border and drilled a 5/16 through hole to reuse the original carriage bolt and thumb knob.

What gobbled up lots of time.   Writing a C program to create the gCode for cutting a perfect circle.  (A Forstner bit might have worked but I have other applications for the circle cutting program.  Besides, I wanted a very tight fit.  Getting the difference between the post and the hotel to .01'm" seemed desirable.)

Figuring out how to cut a hole for that carriage bolt.  The width of the acetal part was long enough that my drill press would not have enough travel to make that hole.  So I did the first two inches on the mill.  Then I used my 1/4' drill on the drill press to continue the hole.  Still not enough travel.  If only I had a 3" long 1/4" drill!

 Solution: I have several .2010" drill bits of absurd length originally to speed up tapping 1/4-20 holes in ScooeRoller sleeves.  There were long enough to create an accurate pilot hole through the acetal for the 1/4" drill bit; half way through top and then bottom   Because the carriage bolt was still a tight fit, I used a  5/16" drill bit.  Because I still did not have enough travel in the drill press, I did as much as I could, then raised the table a few inches so the drill bit was submerged into the part when I started drilling.  Turn upside down, repeat.

In retrospect,  I should have contacted DobStuff to buy a replacement part.  As with most things, machining the part is not cost-effective until you count what you learned along the way.

Who I Want on My Team in the Rebuild Civilization Competition

CODY'S lab is full of amazing demonstrations of doing stuff starting with very little.  This video he makes thermite using magnetite extracted with a msgnet from sand with aluminum powder and aluminum foil and soda cans to create molten iron to cast a pan.

Independence Day

I wish thst I could tell you that I am not blogging today because the day is filled with family events including a barbecue but really Rhonda is still down with COVID and I need to be symptom-free five days before I can go out in public again without shouting "UNCLEAN" at the top of my lungs.  I am feeling pretty good right now.

In any case, I am hoping an 67-32 % actual win in November (reduced to 60-39 after vote "adjustment") will make next Independence Day a bit cherrier.

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

The 50 Worst Movies Ever Made

It is a YouTube video.  Some are truly amazing concepts that suggest a lot od hallucinogens were involved in script writing and fundraising 

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.  Yes, the Martians decide they need Santa Claus.

Hillbillies in a Hsuned House starring three real C&W singers in a music-filled horror film 

Of course a lot of Ed Wood films including a 1950s about a transvestite, reflecting Woods' personal confusion.

Bloodsucking Freaks is an powerful an argument for film censorship as I have ever seen. Lots of naked women being tortured often with a sexual component, eyes gouged out.

Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster.

I have seen the title but the trailer tells me that the audience in 1957 must have been incredibly small: The Incredibly Strange Crestures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies.

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Was I The Only Person Who Did Not See Saving Private Ryan?

Since I am still feeling do awful thst I am fit mostly to watch TV and blog from my phone, I have been working way through Amazon Prime free movies.

What a magnificent film about courage, and human weakness under fire.   The first 15 minutes of Omaha Beach are just overwhelmingly intense.

Marriage Means Sharing

Including virii.

I Think the Market Had Priced in a Trump Victory

Every day a bit more up with an occasional consolidating down day.  Some of my funds even manage to rise on down days.

Watching Bidenroll off into sunset should do wonders for the economy.  7/1/24 Reuters:
"WASHINGTON, July 1 (Reuters) - A federal judge on Monday dealt President Joe Biden's climate agenda a setback by blocking the Democrat's administration from continuing to pause the approval of applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG).

"U.S. District Judge James Cain in Lake Charles, Louisiana, sided with 16 Republican-led states in holding that the U.S. Department of Energy's freeze on approvals of LNG exports was "completely without reason or logic."

Certainly.   LNG exports are a way to destroy Russia's income stream, build closer ties to Europe and create American jobs.

It Smells Like...Victory

The Belton repeating rifle had a swappable magazine, in 1785.

It Sounds Mean...

The Benefits of World Hunger.  Essentially hunger makes people look for jobs, otherwise no one would make stuff for sale, grow food for others, repair bad plumbing. 

Think back to the Star Trek universe. 
 I can recall two episodes where someone has a physically demanding job.  Both involve mining.

This contains the full article and a discussion of the criticism 

Monday, July 1, 2024

Lots of People Want Machine Guns

But when you use your position as a,police chief, that is not okay.  7/1/24 Des Moines Register:
"A former small-town Iowa police chief will go to prison for five years after he was convicted of lying to federal officials in an attempt to stockpile machine guns.

"Bradley Wendt, who led the three-man Adair Police Department, also owned a gun store and was licensed to buy and sell machine guns. He was indicted in 2022 on charges that he had lied to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on forms needed to obtain approval for such transactions, falsely claiming that guns would be sold for use by, or demonstration to, the police department."

He tried to buy a mini gun.  Somehow, I am having trouble imagining for what a small town Iowa police department needs that.  He watched Children of the Corn too many times?

Alexandra Octavio-Cortez Needs to Work On Her Arithmetic Skills

7/1/24 Newsweek:
" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced plans to introduce articles of impeachment against the U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday after the court ruled that presidents have immunity for official actions."

Or maybe her knowledge of the Constitution.   Articles of impeachment will never pass a Republican majority House and 2/3 of the Senate would require every Democrat and most of the Republicans in the Senate.  Why does NYC send such fools to Congress?

It reminds me of Newsom's stillborn attempt to amend the Second Amendment.   Most states now are constitutional carry.  What are the chances that those legislatures are going to ignore their progun constituents?  Amending the Constitution would need 3/4 of the States to ratify.   Do any of these Democrats read the Constitution?

Maybe North Korea Is Not the Nuclear Threat To Us They Pretend

7/1/24 Newsweek:
"An abortive North Korean missile fired on Monday may have endangered the nation's capital after the South's military said one of the rockets fell short of its intended target."

Their artillery shells sent to Russia have been QC failures.   Perhaps we can hope their ICBMs are equally produced.

On the Beach (2000)

This remake of the 1959 film from the book by Nevil Shute is an astonishing piece of work.  It has decades since I watched the 1959 version and even more decades since I read the book.  This follows the book and the 1959 movie  very closely although the Winner, Australian Grand Prix plaque on the Jaguar E-type in the 1959 movie is a more gentle fate for the cynical scientist.

A few important changes.  Instead of an attack submarine it is an Ohio-class SSBN with some moral questions raised and adroitly handled.

In the book, humankind is destroyed by nuclear weapons salted with Cobalt-60, which no nation would ever  build.   I think someone with one of the antinuclear groups had projected that such weapons could exterminate us and Shute turned that into a sobering commentary on the hazards of the nuclear arms build-up.

The book and both films are profoundly sobering reminders of where a few senile idiots could take us even if not to thus extermination level. Still, even a limited nuclear war would likely destroy a few centuries of economic progress and capital formation along with several hundred million lives.  (Perhaps billions once you include the destruction of First World markets for the Second and Third Worlds.)

Armand Assante as Commander Towers is a spectacular actor.

Solar Power Question

I was a,software engineer not an electrical engineer.   My impression is thst some inverters will allow to plug the output into an outlet in your current house.  This power gets distributed to every wire on the same circuit breaker.  Is thst correct?

Grid-tie inverter seems to be the solution.  This isolates you from the grid as needed.

The Bad News: I Think I Have COVID Also the Good News

Short of breath and starting last night, coughing, muscle pain, fatigue. I suspect tho shortwindedness problem has been me refusing to admit that I was sick.  My annual physical is today but I suspect they will send me to urgent care for testing. 

Indeed  I have COVID.  Whatever happened to that enormous class action suit against the CCP?