Friday, 6 October 2017

09:15 – It was 52.6F (11.5C) when I took Colin out at 0715, partly cloudy. Barbara is heading for the gym and supermarket this morning, after which we’ll be doing kit stuff.


I’ve never been a member of the NRA, because I consider them anti-gun. Every time the federal government introduces new anti-gun legislation, the NRA has been right there supporting them. From the National Firearms Act to the GCA68 to Clinton’s banning “assault” weapons and magazines, NRA has at best stood by and done nothing, and often actively co-operated with the feds. With friends like them, 2nd amendment supporters don’t need enemies.

So I wasn’t even slightly surprised yesterday when the NRA officially came out in favor of regulating bump-fire stocks as Class 3 automatic weapons. Screw them. What they should be doing is fighting to eliminate all laws and regulations that infringe our right to keep and bear arms, including automatic weapons.

I was about to change the designee on my Amazon Prime smile account. I thought it was the NRA ILA, which was the group I specified when I first set up Amazon smile. (Not that ILA was great; they simply hadn’t done anything egregiously bad lately, and they were the only supposedly pro-gun group offered as an option when I originally signed up with smile.) Turns out, a year or 18 months ago I’d changed my designee to the Second Amendment Foundation, so I left it as it was.


Barbara and I finished re-watching the first series of James Burke’s Connections and got started on Connections². Season One, which ran in 1978, started with Burke sounding like a prepper. He first covered the Great Northeastern Blackout of 1965, which for him at that point was little more than a decade in the past. He pointed out the fragility and interconnectedness of our electric power network, how subject it was to cascading failures, and that a long-term, widespread electricity failure could kill tens of millions. He then walks us back through what that would mean, eventually ending up standing behind a horse-drawn plow.

The irony, of course, is that here we are forty years on, and our electrical grids are much, much more subject to catastrophic failure than they were in the 60’s and 70’s. And we have half again the population now that we did then, and all of those people are even more dependent on reliable electric power. As just one example, in 1978 a fair percentage of public water systems were still gravity-fed, and so could continue to provide water even without electricity. Nowadays, almost 100% of public water systems–including ones in small mountain towns like Sparta– use pumped storage, which does require electric power to function. When those big golf-ball water towers run out of pumped water, all of the people who depend on them are SOL.

When this series first ran, I thought of James Burke as a pretty radical leftie/prog. He was then, and still is, although some of what he says in this series would nowadays get him branded as a hide-bound conservative/Nazi.

If one thing still establishes his leftie/prog credentials, it’s his insistence through the series that genius plays little or no role in innovation and invention. In fact, the whole series is built around that concept. Burke reminds me of Obama’s You didn’t build that.

According to Burke, the key issue is that a critical mass of discoveries exist that are just lying around waiting for someone to combine them into something new and innovative. If Isaac Newton or James Watt or William Henry Perkin hadn’t done it, Ed the Regular Guy down the street would eventually have figured it out. Wrong.

Unless Ed TRG happens to have both curiosity and a genius IQ. All kinds of discoveries have lain around for years, decades, centuries, and even millennia, waiting for a genius to happen by and notice them.

The example I always use to illustrate this is the discovery of smelting metals. In areas where copper ore was exposed at the surface, some of our early ancestors happened to use chunks of that ore to build fire circles. Everything necessary was present: the copper ore, the heat of the fire, and the carbon from the charcoal needed to reduce the copper ions to metallic copper.

And I’m sure that for a thousand years, if not ten thousand, many people noticed the little beads of red metal that appeared around such fires. Chances are, they collected them to use for jewelry, but thought no more about it.

Then one day, a genius sitting around the fire started thinking about those tiny beads of copper and started wondering if they could get more of them. He or she may have experimented for an hour or a month, doing different things with the ore, fire, and charcoal, but those experiments eventually yielded metallic copper in large amounts. And that changed the world.

This is the way things work. Regular people take advantage of things they find lying around; geniuses wonder WHY that stuff was lying around and then do something about it. Burke even uses a classic example, Fleming and penicillin.

How many thousands or tens of thousands of times did someone culture bacteria and have the culture spoiled by a growth of Penicillium notatum mold? How many thousands or tens of thousands of times did that scientist mutter, “SHIT!”, and just throw out the culture and start over? It took Fleming to notice that the growth of P. notatum was suppressing the growth of the bacteria and wonder why that was happening. And, again, that changed the world.

72 thoughts on “Friday, 6 October 2017”

  1. And we have half again the population now that we did then

    Clarification: the US population has increased by 50% since 1965. World population has increased by 150% since then.

    (Due in large part to well-meaning Europeans and Americans providing improved crops and medicines and preaching the gospel of sanitation and clean water, and the primitives responding by continuing to pop out babies as if three quarters of them were going to die in childhood. But I guess that’s my white privilege talking.)

    Unless Ed TRG happens to have both curiosity and a genius IQ.

    And the leisure time to work on it, and a chieftan/feudal lord/employer who doesn’t prevent it, and an absence of warfare and invasion and crime which would lead to his discovery and invention being lost or destroyed.

  2. “Clarification: the US population has increased by 50% since 1965. World population has increased by 150% since then.”

    Yeah, I was talking about the US only. I don’t really pay much attention to the rest of the world. As I’ve said before, if/when TSHTF I’d just as soon see the US and Canada isolate themselves from the rest of the world. Between us, we have everything we need (including rare-earth metals) to be completely independent. I’d accept refugees of Anglo-Saxon heritage from Australia and other Commonwealth countries, including the UK, but that’s it.

  3. Been a while since I watched it but my memory is that he used all the obvious stuff in I and that the connexions in II were a bit of a stretch.

    As I continue to explore, notice, and learn about infrastructure, it becomes clearer and clearer that you can’t just ‘fall back’ to those earlier times. After each “improvement” the previous infrastructure was dismantled or repurposed.

    For example- coal. There used to be a massive infrastructure to deliver coal on a retail level. You can get it still, but the large scale aspect is gone. Same for rail and steam. You can make due, work around, and go to a specialty supplier, but the infrastructure for distributing fuel, sand, and water is gone.

    Even to go back to ‘frontier days’, there was infrastructure to support those people. Mail order catalogs, general stores, outfitters. All gone. In many places the resource that was exploited is gone too. Think about trees, and old growth forest throughout Europe, or surface accessible metal and coal– gone.

    Animal husbandry has some of the same problems.

    John Ringo has a PA novel series where a very advanced future society has a tech crash, and the only people who are fit to survive are the SCA and LARP and historic reenactors, who have kept the knowledge and skills alive. (It’s a fun series.)

    n

  4. “Mail order catalogs, general stores, outfitters. All gone.”

    In Jericho, Stanley Richmond is talking to his sister Bonnie’s idiot boyfriend, Sean. Sean tells Stanley that their resupply problem is easy to solve: just get the Internet back up and they can order everything they need from Amazon.

    My first thought was that no one could be that stupid, but of course in reality the vast majority of people ARE that stupid. People literally believe that meat comes in plastic-wrapped packages that ORIGINATE at the supermarket. They literally have no clue.

  5. I’d just as soon see the US and Canada isolate themselves from the rest of the world

    How’s this for a plan: Kill everyone in Africa, Asia, and in the Americas south of the Rio Grande. Kill southern Europeans. Kill everyone in the US who lives within 20 miles of either the Atlantic or the Pacific, and everyone in Chicago.

    After that, we can have the open borders that the globalists want. Everyone’s happy!

  6. It’ll be interesting to see what my kids bring home wrt the holiday…

    n

  7. Re discoveries waiting to happen: There is some truth to this. I like the analogy of watching the tide come in on a flat beach. First little tendrils of water will creep in to an area – the early pioneers. Then more and more area is covered – more and more research is filling in the blanks – until there are only a few high points of sand left exposed. Those are surrounded – water comes from any and all directions. Anyone can make those discoveries.

    I’m reminded of a research paper my wife and I wrote back when doing our doctorates. It had nothing to do with our actual specialties – it just came out of an idea we had, from some of the material covered in one of our courses (taught by the professor named as the third author). After we published it, the professor was contacted by another researcher, was totally pissed. He had also written a paper, with exactly the same idea, and had even given it exactly the same name – we just beat him to publication. Due to the research that had been done by others, all around the field, this “discovery” had become obvious.

    Those early pioneers, of course, are a different story. They are the ones who think outside the box, and enter new territory. Without their insights, progress would be far slower.

  8. Yes, and SteveF also makes a good point. The geniuses need to have the free time and resources to pursue their investigations. Not all that long ago in human terms, nearly 100% of the population was engaged in growing food. Yes, there were a few priests and aristocrats and merchants and tradesmen, but probably 98% of the population was directly engaged in growing crops. And for that, all that really matters is a strong back. A guy with an IQ of 65 can plant and harvest as well as a guy with an IQ of 165. (Of course, learning what/how/when to plant took the bright guy, but that’s another issue.)

  9. I wonder if someone will attempt a Cannonball Run record this weekend.

    Columbus Day Weekend is the traditional time for attempts at pushing the record lower.

  10. Quick Question: Where did you find James Burke’s Connections ?
    The last time I looked, admittedly a decade or so ago, it was only on VERY EXPENSIVE DVDs or VHS. We LOVED the original series and I still recall how Burke connected the Black Death to the adoption of underwear.

  11. The one big advantage we have over the pre-Liebniz or pre-Fleming eras is that we have it written down in books. I don’t care how bad the EMP burst is, my college textbooks on Calculus, Chemistry, and Physics, along with a complete edition of Shakespeare, are close at hand. We don’t have to wait for those level of geniuses to re-appear.

  12. I bet 99% of the people who see that will think it’s the flag of Mexico or something.

    Similar, but the Mexican flag has a turd in a dish. Or something. Not sure what it’s supposed to be, but it looks like a turd in a dish.

    Yes, and SteveF also makes a good point.

    I was glad to see those words, but was disappointed to see that you weren’t referring to my plan to kill 95% of the species.

  13. Where did you find James Burke’s Connections ?

    Netflix. Got the disks. Still available; just checked.

  14. “Quick Question: Where did you find James Burke’s Connections ?”

    BT is your friend. Surprisingly after all this time, all three Connections series are well-seeded. There’s even one torrent that includes all 40 episodes in a 13 GB file.

  15. Lovely day here in Houston, 71F and sunny with a breeze. The humidity is a b!tch at 93%RH.

    This week in prepping, my battle with the rodent pests continues. I’ve killed 5 or 6 to date, averaging one ever other day. I’m assuming the one that lost a foot to the trap didn’t make it…

    So far the glue traps have been most effective. They leave the pest alive, so that’s a bit unpleasant. The snap traps, both modern and classic, have been useless. The glue traps are much more expensive. Best bait so far, with consistent results is Krusteze Pancake mix. The same 5# bag has done for 5 so far. I’ll note that the pests are very aware of the traps. They have moved them out of the way, pushed them aside, and eaten the bait without triggering the traps. They even flip the glue sheets upside down.

    I’m currently working with the idea that I’ll leave the bait and traps until I stop getting results. I want to kill the whole infestation before putting in the new sonic deterrents. Not sure if that is the best approach, but I don’t want to leave any living in my attic or eaves.

    I’ve had to replace a fair amount of stored food. I wouldn’t have thought rats would eat a pound bag of meat, but they sure will. Most of what they ruined was cheap, but the pouch meat is not. Cans def have an advantage over plastic and cardboard for durability. Still less than $100 destroyed, I’m pretty sure…

    Time to get some fall garden in. I missed the window for beans, but should be able to get dark green leafy’s in, as well as turnips, radishes, beats, peas, and onion.

    Work continues on my master closet/bath/ storm shelter. Damn but those 3/4 ply sheets have gotten heavy lately. As mentioned previously, it won’t be up to FEMA standards, but it will be much stronger than a standard closet or bath. Just adding hurricane straps and 1/2″ sill anchors would have been an improvement. The additional straps, 2 layers of 3/4 ply throughout and the stressed skin on the outside of the ceiling, and the additional 2×3 studs for support will make it a pretty tough box. It’s been a bit more complex than just adding a couple of layers of plywood (which would be a quick, easy upgrade for most people) because I’ve added the hurricane stuff, additional electrical outlets, and dealt with A/C issues too. And I’m not the fit young kid I used to be. And it’s been BLOODY HOT in the attic. (also some networking, CATV, and the feed lines for my vertical antennas go thru that space.)

    Without jinxing myself, ebay and Craigslist sales have picked up, and returned to what I’d have considered a ‘pretty good month.’ I had some good stuff to sell which helped, but some of the old stuff is moving too. It’s funny how stuff sells. I’m pretty sure my first sale to Korea has led to several more. Selling the same item to different people, all in Korea or with korean names and translated order forms, suggests they are all in communication. The item is for a specific hobby use. So specific, I’m gonna keep some opsec and not name it. Unfortunate for me, it’s not a super money maker, but a sale is a sale.

    Vehicle maintenance cost some bux- about $2000 in all. This includes my annual smog and registration too. Gotta do it.

    I’m looking thru the ‘panic buy’ food at my secondary location. Ebola put a good dose of ‘I better have enough stuff to hide in the house for a couple of months’ in me. The higher fat items don’t last well. Specifically the fig bars from costco, and UHT milk in single serving sizes get pretty gross. I’m trying to get some space cleared and shelves in place to organize that stuff. I just kept piling it for the last couple of years and don’t have a good idea of even how much is there. NOT the recommended method.

    It’s national fire prevention time again so check your extinguishers, add a couple, talk to the kids about fire drills, etc. They’re getting it at school this month, time to reinforce it at home.

    nick

  16. “Netflix. Got the disks. Still available; just checked.”

    Check again. I originally got the discs for all three series from Netflix, and of course ripped them. But when I rejoined Netflix’s disc plan a month or two ago (which I quit after the 30-day free trial), they were no longer listing the discs as available. The listed the series themselves, but when you tried to add the discs to the queue they came back as unavailable with no information about when they’d be available. I assumed that Netflix had bought a very limited number of sets and that attrition had wiped those out.

  17. Re Netflix and Connections: Ah. I didn’t try adding the disks, simply saw that they still claimed to have the series.

    Well, there’s always BitTorrent.

  18. If I was building a library for after the collapse, I certainly would have bought the 30-40 pounds of nursing reference books at Goodwill last week, esp. the obstetrics and pediatrics ones. Good thing I’m not, since I don’t have anywhere to put them. (if they’re still there next time, I won’t be able to resist.)

    I do in fact have a bunch of books that are specifically on the shelf for PA rebuilding, but they also match some of my other interests and are a bit easier to hide from suspicious minds….

    n

  19. WRT geniuses, it’s very common for a new thing to be created by more than one person at the same time, working independently. Once all the precursors are in place, it’s easier for people to see the next step. They need to TAKE the step, and that is where most people who ‘have a good idea’ fall down. Goes back to the Edison quote about inspiration and perspiration…..
    n

  20. And circling back to vegas, Alex Jones played a video that I hadn’t seen yet, but that has some of the gunfire I heard in other videos.

    I’M NOT AN EXPERT, but it’s not hard to tell the difference in sound, and cyclic rate for the firing, AND they overlap. The first burst sounds like the belt fed MG, the second does not. You can even hear a ricochet during the ‘close’ burst. I am not buying ‘echos’ as a cause. Too many unusual things have to be armwaved away…

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-05/proof-multiple-shooters-vegas-attack

  21. “WRT geniuses, it’s very common for a new thing to be created by more than one person at the same time, working independently.”

    Sure, but I differentiate between “discoveries” and “inventions”. The former (like Fleming’s penicillin) are fundamental (call them “science”). The latter (call them “engineering”) depend on the former, which is why they often pop up in multiple places right around the same time (e.g., the telephone, electric light bulb, etc. etc.).

  22. “sounds like the belt fed MG”

    I’m not sure what you mean. Does a belt-fed weapon sound different from a magazine-fed weapon, assuming similar cyclic rates and that they’re both firing the same round in bursts of magazine-size or less? That’s not been my experience.

    I can easily tell the difference between, say, a 7.62×39 AK-series weapon and a 5.56×45 AR-series weapon. Telling, say, an M-60 MG and an AR-10 black rifle apart? Not so much. Or at least I couldn’t tell the difference unless I happened to be close enough to hear the links from the M-60 falling on a hard surface. And even then, that’d be tough to differentiate from cascading fired brass.

  23. I still don’t understand your point. Given what I said, are you saying you can tell a belt-fed weapon from a magazine-fed weapon?

  24. Thanks all for the help !!
    I just ordered the DVDs off Ebay. Everyone on this site is a gem.

    BTW: I have the complete Bell Labs Science series that we all watched on 16mm in school back in the late 50’s early 60’s. These hold up amazingly well and I watch them with my grandchildren.

  25. “are you saying you can tell a belt-fed weapon from a magazine-fed weapon?”

    yes. different designs. different rates of fire. NOT that I can tell the difference between the M240 firing from a box mag, if that’s possible vs belt, but you can clearly hear the difference between platforms that were designed differently.

    I linked to some video above.

    CLEAR differences in sound.

    n

    added– ‘chunka-chunka-chunka’ vs ‘tat-tat-tat-tat’

  26. from brad: “I’m reminded of a research paper my wife and I wrote back when doing our doctorates.”

    Hey, I used to do similar to that, but I was not quoted in reference list. (However, my documents were only accessible internally.)

    Similar but not identical, in that I had complete independent data for my simulations.

  27. “I have the complete Bell Labs Science series…”

    Best laugh of “The President’s Analyst” was the demo for TPC mimicking those films. Well, the sendup of J. Edgar was pretty good too.

  28. “The US government lost nearly $1 trillion in FY2017. Again”
    https://www.sovereignman.com/trends/the-us-government-lost-nearly-1-trillion-in-fy2017-again-22476/

    “So in total, government revenue exceeded $3 trillion.”

    “That sounds like an enormous amount of money. And it is. That’s more than the combined GDPs of the poorest 130 countries in the world.”

    “But the US government managed to spend WAY more than that– the budget for the last fiscal year was $4.1 trillion.”

    “So to make up the shortfall they added $671 billion to the national debt– and this number would have been even larger had it not been for the debt ceiling fiasco.”

    “Plus they whittled down their cash balance by $194 billion.”

    “So in total, the federal government’s cash deficit was $865 billion for the last fiscal year.”

    I don’t even know how to fix this. Oh wait, yes I do. First, get rid of the provision that all ERs must treat all customers regardless of finances.

    Second, get rid of Obolacare.

    Third, get rid of the bunny inspectors (hat tip to Jerry Pournelle).

    There are hundreds of agencies to slash and burn. Why does the EPA need 110,000 people ?

    When the Dollar goes down in 10 to 20 years, it will be rough for us peons.

  29. When the Dollar goes down in 10 to 20 years, it will be rough for us peons.

    Oh hell, it is rough now. Wife’s kidney stone adventure continues. Now getting bills from doctors that she never saw in the office visits. Apparently they “consult” with each other which in my opinion is nothing more than padding their billable hours. Probably do the consulting over beers after work or on the golf course. Dr. 1: “Hey, I have got a kidney stone case.” Dr 2: “Good for you, thanks for consulting with me. Think I should use a 5 iron?” And I get a bill for $300.00.

  30. Probably do the consulting over beers after work or on the golf course. Dr. 1: “Hey, I have got a kidney stone case.” Dr 2: “Good for you, thanks for consulting with me. Think I should use a 5 iron?” And I get a bill for $300.00.

    Refuse to pay ? My dad refused to pay his $5K anesthesiology copay in 1999 for his open heart surgery since it was over the “reasonable and customary”.

  31. “And I get a bill for $300.00.”

    Just go through the bill line-by-line and disallow items like that.

  32. Second, get rid of Obolacare.

    Not happening now unless the Senate changes in a big way next year.

  33. I was about to change the designee on my Amazon Prime smile account. I thought it was the NRA ILA, which was the group I specified when I first set up Amazon smile. (Not that ILA was great; they simply hadn’t done anything egregiously bad lately, and they were the only supposedly pro-gun group offered as an option when I originally signed up with smile.) Turns out, a year or 18 months ago I’d changed my designee to the Second Amendment Foundation, so I left it as it was.

    How do you do this ? I would like to support GOA.
    http://www.gunowners.org/

  34. Second, get rid of Obolacare.

    Not happening now unless the Senate changes in a big way next year.

    Just remember when the Dollar fails in 10 to 20 years (OFD thinks way less time), that I told you how to stop the nightmare from happening.

  35. Just go through the bill line-by-line and disallow items like that.

    Tried that when my wife had hip replacement surgery. I was in the room with her the day after the surgery. Some doctor I had never seen before nor had my wife stuck his head in the room. Two weeks later a bill arrives for $750 for consulting. Naturally he was not in my health insurance network so insurance considered him out of network and thus I was on the hook for the full amount.

    I complained to the insurance company that my wife was in a network facility and had no control over out of network doctors. Insurance company initially balked but agreed to apply to my maximum out of pocket for in-network and sent the doctor an adjustment. I got the adjusted bill from the doctor about four weeks later and it was still $185.00. I called the doctor’s office and told them I was not paying as neither my wife or I had authorized the doctor to do anything. They basically told me to go pound sand. I did not pay.

    Over the course of the next few months I kept getting bills that were past due from the doctor. After about six months I got a letter from his attorney saying they were going to send me to collections. Rather than destroy my credit I paid. But only $20 a month until it was paid off. While paying on a medical bill they cannot send you to collections.

    Just go through the bill line-by-line and disallow items like that.

    I have done that. Wife had endometriosis surgery, outpatient, about 20 years ago. Bill was close to $15,000 of which insurance paid a significant chunk. There were a couple of items insurance did not cover. One was a video for $250.00. I asked the hospital for the video since I was paying for the video. The hospital refused saying the video was for their protection. I told the hospital if the video is for your protection then I am not paying for the video unless I got a copy. The hospital removed the charge.

    I still had to pay the $45.00 for the drinking cup (Styrofoam with plastic lid) and a few other items. Had I known I was going to get charged for those items I would have brought them from home. I guess you can do that and refuse the hospital items that are non-medical.

    The medical community is finding creative ways to bilk money out of people. Some of it borders on downright fraud. A lot of the billing is questionable. Had one friend, male, had a line item charge for a pregnancy test. That was years ago and maybe computers on the cart that are used to scan items reduced those kinds of errors.

    I am guessing the hospitals have to make up the losses from treating the leaches. Those that don’t pay and have never signed up for Obuttwadcare as it is cheaper to pay the penalty. So the hospitals take from those that have some money. Makes one wonder how many bogus charges have been paid by insurance and individuals over the years.

  36. “Republicans Yank Concealed Carry Reciprocity; Want to Discuss New Gun Controls”
    http://gunowners.org/alert100617.htm

    “Meanwhile, congressional sources are telling us at GOA that a vote on reciprocity has been postponed indefinitely.”

    “So Congress strings us along for almost an entire year (telling us to be patient) and then because one villain commits unspeakable crimes, they are now going to punish law-abiding Americans with further restrictions — and put off the vote on reciprocity.”

    Scumbags !

  37. I am guessing the hospitals have to make up the losses from treating the leaches.

    See my item number one to cut the Federal budget, “I don’t even know how to fix this. Oh wait, yes I do. First, get rid of the provision that all ERs must treat all customers regardless of finances.”. This is the number one unfunded federal mandate of all time. My SWAG estimate is over a trillion dollars per year.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Medical_Treatment_and_Active_Labor_Act

    If we are not going to getting rid of that unfunded federal mandate then we need to put all citizens on Medicare. There is no alternative. And anyone who shows up at an ER who is not a citizen needs to have INS called on them.

  38. Just remember when the Dollar fails in 10 to 20 years (OFD thinks way less time), that I told you how to stop the nightmare from happening.

    Even if the repeal happened tomorrow, the healthcare system has suffered serious damage.

  39. And anyone who shows up at an ER who is not a citizen needs to have INS called on them.

    You rayciss p***k! I’m calling Obola on you! He’s still President, right?

    Viva La Raza!

    Covfefe 2020!

  40. Roger that, lynn! And make illegal aliens show proof of medical insurance, paid for privately, at the door.

    In reality, my AAA auto insurance is not valid in Mexico. The one time that I drove my vehicle down there, I had to buy insurance from a Mexican insurer.

    How is turnabout not fair play?

  41. I’m calling Obola on you! He’s still President, right?

    Eh? No. Hillary is. She won the election fair and square, despite the Russians and the well-documented Republican vote fraud and other dirty tricks. Only deluded fools believe otherwise.

    And make illegal aliens show proof of medical insurance, paid for privately, at the door.

    The illegals get arrested and deported either way, but if they have insurance or cash they can get treated first.

  42. Re: The federal budget
    Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid and the DOD are the 800lb gorillas in that monstrosity. You could whack ALL the rest of the Departments to zero and still not achieve balance. (Hmmm. Not a BAD idea…)

    The first two are actuarially unsound ponzi-nightmares and the DOD is just flat out of control. There is no measure or set of measures that can fix/repair/reconfigure these self-feeding and growing monsters as long as fiat $$ rules.

  43. How is turnabout not fair play?

    Because Raycessist!!! And ya best check your honky white privilege, too, for being mean to brown folks.

  44. It is time the gooberment and the leaches quit COLD TURKEY.

    No more entitlements, no more regulatory agencies, no more taxes.

    NO MORE

    We either take the hard fall now or later, but we will fall and the longer we go on this way the tougher it will be.

  45. “Because Raycessist!!! And ya best check your honky white privilege, too, for being mean to brown folks.”

    Actually, not the least bit mean. Have people from Central America doing my house cleaning and lawn mowing. Either that or house never gets cleaned nor lawn mowed.

    Oh yes, now going to my daughter’s house and then to local dive bar for happy hour with my 50% Mexican SIL. Which means my grandchildren are 25% and college bound!

  46. The driveway alarm arrived yesterday. I bought it on eBay Wednesday, it arrived Thursday via “smart post”. From Austin to Round Rock and then to Burnet on a UPS truck. Pretty much overnight.

    But could I pick it up yesterday? Noooo! “We haven’t worked the cage”. Bless their hearts.

    Build quality seems very good to me. The receiver (thankfully) has a volume control. The sensor that gets buried next to the driveway could be a deadly weapon. It hefts like it is solid iron in a PVC pipe.

    Tomorrow is “find a suitable tree” as far up the driveway as I can. “Suitable tree” meaning near the driveway so I can mount the transmitter on the far side of the tree. Stealth….

    The transmitter uses four CR123a batteries. (shouldn’t that be “cells”?) Supposed to last for a year of use. I have nothing else that uses this item. Is there an especially good brand? On Amazon the Panasonic brand seems to have the best price.

  47. Paul, you’re a racist and an islamophobe and a, uh, hispanophobe. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t need a driveway alarm to warn you when people were coming. You wouldn’t need door locks, either, you whatever-phobe.

    And all this talk about cutting off emergency room access is misogynistic beyond all belief. Women use the emergency room much more than men do, whether for themselves or their children, so it’s a matter of women’s rights that there be free and unlimited access to it, and we don’t need your mansplaining and manspreading to be talking about it, and you can’t even mention that it was femspreading that got most of these women their five kids in the first place.

  48. At the grocery store, working in the Business Center, cashing checks…. the guys that looked illegal, if only because their only ID was a Mexican Voter ID, smelled. Of work. Like a sweaty horse.

    The local welfare “white trash” also smelled. Of cigarette smoke and just not taking an effing bath more than once a week, if that often judging by how greasy their hair looked.

    It was much better to deal with the Mexicans. We got along. I have about as much Spanish as they have English. So, it was sorta fun teaching each other new words.

    The white trash? We had a fan behind the counter to blow air OUT so we didn’t have to smell them.

  49. We either take the hard fall now or later, but we will fall and the longer we go on this way the tougher it will be.

    Guns today, battlefield nukes tomorrow ?

    When I had that collection screwup the other day, that Peter guy pulled my book out. He then said that my collection date is August 18 of 2028 during the fourth American. And then he abruptly stopped when he realized that he was talking out loud and that I was listening.

    I have no idea what the “fourth American” is. I wonder if it is “civil war”. Or “revolutionary war”.

  50. Oh yes, now going to my daughter’s house and then to local dive bar for happy hour with my 50% Mexican SIL. Which means my grandchildren are 25% and college bound!

    Huh ? Do 25% Hispanic children get free university in Kalifornia ? Or do 25% Hispanic children get automatic university entrance in Kalifornia ?

    EDIT: Here in The Great State of Texas, the top ten percent of each high school class get automatic entrance into the university of their choice in the state. But they still have to pay for it.

  51. “yes. different designs. different rates of fire. NOT that I can tell the difference between the M240 firing from a box mag, if that’s possible vs belt, but you can clearly hear the difference between platforms that were designed differently.”

    Of course an M240 and an AR-15 sound different. One’s a 7.62×51 and the other is 5.56×45.

  52. Paul, you’re a racist and an islamophobe and a, uh, hispanophobe. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t need a driveway alarm to warn you when people were coming.

    I’m in the middle of 25 acres. The gate is just about 1000 feet from the front door. Yes, I have walked the driveway with a tape measure. Lots of trees and brush. It’s pretty much a case of minimal tan lines and if you have a problem with that, you are trespassing. What else can I say?

    Locking the house? Not very often. What’s the point? Just steal my stuff and don’t smash out the windows.

  53. We either take the hard fall now or later, but we will fall and the longer we go on this way the tougher it will be.

    Guns today, battlefield nukes tomorrow ?

    Probably more like, 10M die now or 150M die later. Tensions build up, infrastructure and other systems become more stressed, more intense initial blow-up leads to a deeper fall as well as a longer time before the old grudges are forgotten.

  54. Paul, you’re a racist and an islamophobe and a, uh, hispanophobe. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t need a driveway alarm to warn you when people were coming.

    Paul, you escaped the full force of my vituperation because I screwed it up.* I meant to say “… when refugees and migrants were coming.” Please make a note of the change and feel suitably abashed.

    * Drugged up again. Went to the dentist again late this afternoon, still repairing Things That Went Wrong. Not the dentist’s fault from when I was there last week, just past damage** as well as a nerve not running quite where it was supposed to and oh my but that hurt and the novacaine didn’t do a whole lot even though I got about four tubes of the stuff.

    ** Apparently getting punched in the face a number of times, as well as getting hit with various blunt objects from time to time over the years, is bad for your teeth. Who knew?

  55. I am having great fun today. I am delving into the mysteries of the ten different types of water ice. This is awesome working with equations like this from 240 MPa (30,443 psia) to 344 MPa (49,937 psia):
    P = 346 + 410 * ((T / 256.15)^8.1 – 1) MPa
    T = 256.15 * ((P – 346) / 410 + 1)^(1/8.1) K
    and this from 0.101325 MPa (14.696 psia) to 240 MPa (30,443 psia)
    P = -395.2 * ((T / 273.16)^9 – 1) MPa
    T = 273.16 * ((1 – P / 395.2)^(1/9)) K

    I used this great resource to get the freezing point curves:
    http://www1.lsbu.ac.uk/water/water_phase_diagram.html

  56. And another coal (lignite) power plant bites the dust. “Vistra closing mega coal plant in East Texas”
    http://www.chron.com/business/energy/article/Vistra-closing-mega-coal-plant-in-East-Texas-12258064.php

    This is a big plant, two 550 MW and one 750 MW units. It was 100% Texas lignite when I was there from the mine next to the plant. I have heard that all of TXU lignite plants are burning half western coal from Wyoming as the Texas mines are getting too deep to run economically.

    I never worked at Monticello Plant when I worked for TXU. But I scheduled all of their annual overhaul maintenance for three years.

    We will miss this plant in the summer of 2018. Maybe the winter of 2018 if we have an extreme cold snap and the natural gas gets curtailed across the state.

  57. Maybe the winter of 2018 if we have an extreme cold snap and the natural gas gets curtailed across the state.

    Don’t come looking to me for sympathy if that’s the case. I still remember “let them freeze in the dark” coming from Texans ‘way back when.

  58. My parent flew up to Halifax, Nova Scotia, earlier this week. Here is my Dad’s comment about TSA and my 76 year old mother, “She used hand lotion apparently with glycerine on Tuesday and triggered the test for residue. So she was thoroughly searched. 2nd trip in a row. In a wheel chair both times.”

  59. I am having great fun today. I am delving into the mysteries of the ten different types of water ice. This is awesome working with equations like this from 240 MPa (30,443 psia) to 344 MPa (49,937 psia)

    No pop quizzes — I barely remember Thermo. That was 30 years ago.

    I remember enough to understand the reasoning why Tampa believes it can host the outdoor NHL game in February. It is all about humidity control at the ice level.

  60. The transmitter uses four CR123a batteries. (shouldn’t that be “cells”?) Supposed to last for a year of use. I have nothing else that uses this item. Is there an especially good brand?

    I have several FLASHLIGHTS that use CR123 cells. I have purchased many over the years and many different brands. The most reliable are from SureFire. Their batteries are top notch and I have yet to have an issue. Buy a box of 12 for about $2.00 a cell. Shelf life is excellent.

    For a top notch battery tester consider getting this battery tester from ZTS. Excellent product and truly tests the battery under a load to provide an accurate reading of the battery level. Really good product.

  61. “The transmitter uses four CR123a batteries. ”

    CR123’s are supposed to last a decade on the shelf. OTOH, Lithium 18650’s usually replace 2 of the CR123’s and are rechargeable and give good service in FLASHLIGHTS. Olight is a quality brand.

  62. While we’re on TORCHES, my two 2-packs of ANKER LC40 lights arrived from the US early this week. Considering I ordered them only on 21 September following RBT’s recommendation, that was pretty quick. Not inspected by customs, either…

    https://www.ttgnet.com/journal/2017/09/21/thursday-21-september-2017/

    The TORCHES look pretty good for the money. Like all these cheap Chinese-made ones, they definitely need a dab of silicone grease on the threads and O-rings, but otherwise are nicely finished. I loaded 3 AAA batteries, and am pleased with the light – even the low mode is plenty strong. I could do without the strobe mode, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to disable it. I’ll put one in each car, and the other pair will be backup for winter hunting trips.

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