Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot,
by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse.
" -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, November 30, 2012

Crap. I'm Old.

The Michael Jackson albumThriller was released 30 years ago.



The video came out a year later. Cable TV was in its infancy, compared to today. Most TV viewers received over-the-airwaves broadcasts; even HBO was usually broadcast in metro areas. And the comparatively few people who saw music videos saw ones where th bands were playing and maybe some scantily-clad women were dancing around the musicians. The video of Thriller changed everything.

Didn't Take Inspector Clouseau to Solve These Crimes

By now, you would think that everybody should know that downloading and possessing kiddie porn is a major-ass felony.

So you have to wonder why guys who are into child porno would even think to apply to become cops. It would be like applying to work for the DEA and listing, as a previous job, "retail narcotic sales".

But guys do it. One such clown applied to the FBI, others applied to the MO State Highway Patrol, the Chippies and the San Diego police.

These guys are even dumber than the crooks in the wind and deadbeat dads who show up to collect supposed winnings in some drawing.



Thursday, November 29, 2012

Your Earworm; Dumb Ways to Die Edition

From our friends on the far side of the world:



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

You Gotta Be Shitting Me: Tom Cruise as "Jack Reacher"?

I saw this commercial last night and thought: Seriously? Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher??

(The commercial's been yanked, so here's the trailer)


If you've read any of the books, you'll know this: Jack Reacher is a seriously big guy. He's 6'5", weighs in at 250lbs and has a 50 inch chest. Reacher's face is plain to the point of being nearly ugly.

Tom Cruise is ten inches shorter (even when he's wearing heels lifts), probably a hundred pounds lighter and a hell of a lot prettier. Compared to the Jack Reacher of the books, Cruise should be wearing curled-toed shoes and singing about being in the Lollipop Guild. He has to be close to the worst possible actor to take on the role. It'd be like filming the story of the RMS Titanic by using a forty-foot Chris-Craft to stand in for the ship.

Reacher is big enough to have deliberately taken a .38 Special slug in the chest and then beaten the shooter to death. You could probably drop Tom Cruise with a single shot to the chest from a .25 ACP.*

Even Ashton Kucher would be better, for at least he's reasonably tall. Jack Reacher doesn't exactly have a wide emotional range; there are at least half-a-dozen guys in the WWF who, with a little bit of acting training, could pull it off.** There are at least two or three times that many in the NFL. About the only way to cast the role of Jack Reacher worse would be to have Katherine Heigl play the part.***

I'm not a big fan of the Jack Reacher series. After a few, they seemed to be cookie-cutter books that can be read the same way as a Louis L'Amour western: Read the first chapter, the last chapter and five random pages inbetween.

But I don't see how a Reacher fan could watch this movie without either laughing uproariously or stalking out in seething anger.
_____________________________________________
* As Jeff Cooper supposedly said about having a .25: "Don't load it. If you load it, you might shoot it, and if you shoot it, you might hit someone. If you hit someone, they will be very, very mad at you."
** They already know how to act a litle.
*** Heigl could probably handle the emotional range. Maybe.

Monday, November 26, 2012

I'm Shocked, Shocked, to Learn That "Voter Fraud" Was a Cover For Voter Suppression By the GOP.

Big surprise, eh?
“The Republican Party, the strategists, the consultants, they firmly believe that early voting is bad for Republican Party candidates,” [Former FL GOP Chairman Jim] Greer told The Post. “It’s done for one reason and one reason only. … ‘We’ve got to cut down on early voting because early voting is not good for us,’ ” Greer said he was told by those staffers and consultants. “They never came in to see me and tell me we had a (voter) fraud issue,” Greer said. “It’s all a marketing ploy.”
It was all a cover for the largest voter suppression campaign since the poll tax. But they screamed "Acorn, Fraud" repeatedly on Fox News, Hate Radio and all of the fellow-traveling blogs and what not.

The smart ones knew what they were doing, but all of the Teabaggers and other Wingnuts, the useful idiots of the corporatists and the plutocrats, swallowed their bullshit hook, line, sinker and fishing pole. And for most of those clowns, they'll go to their graves believing that in-person voter fraud was a grave threat.

Night Flying

I wasn't going to write this post, but a comment on an earlier post changed my mind. Roughly ten percent of my flying time is night VFR, which means that I might know enough to be slightly dangerous.

First off, have flashlights. If you're not sure if you have enough flashlights, carry more. A chemlight tube or two can work as backup panel lights.

Second, raise your limits for weather. "Legal", according to FAR 91.155, will probably get you killed. I want better than five thousand and five if I am going to do pattern work and double that if I am leaving the pattern. Keep an eye on the temperature/dewpoint spread and be aware that if it is not terribly great, evening cooling can bring ground fog.

Third, night VFR is kinda-sorta-instrument flight. No, you don't need to lock onto the gauges, but the "six pack" should be in your scan. Especially out over rural areas and on moonless nights, which way is up isn't always going to be readily apparent.

Fourth, use all of the tools. If your airport has a localizer, tune it in. If your airplane have the gear for it, use the glideslope. Obviously, if the airport has VASI or PAPI, use it.

Now for some really opinionated stuff:

If you are not going to use any one tool for landing on a lit runway at night, don't use the landing lights. Landing lights can encourage "spotting", or focusing only on the area that is lit up. You need to consider the entire runway and keep your visual focus on the far end, just like you did when you were learning to land. If you are not comfortable landing without a landing light, then go get some more dual instruction.

This is also a matter of self-preservation: Other than the new (and very costly) LED landing lights, if any light is going to burn out in flight, it's probably going to be the landing light. The incandescent ones have a lifetime of maybe 10-20 hours, the halogen ones last longer.

Unless you have terrain issues, then this is the time to be flying like you have elderly nuns for passengers and nitroglycerine for cargo. Fly gently. Don't do steep "cowboy" turns, for that way lies vertigo. Don't hang on the prop in a climb. And your approaches should be stable like the jet drivers do it; motor on calmly down the glideslope and cut power when you're over the threshold. If you're too high, don't descend rapidly, go around and get set right.

Whatever you do, don't go low on the glideslope. Go around and do it right the next time.

Remember, the airplane can't tell the difference between day and night. It's all up to you.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Little Night Work

Sunset is now before 5PM in these parts, which means that it is time for night flying. These are the flashlights that I have with me on a night flight:


The two mini-maglights with cords attached have red filters. I wear one of them around my neck. The other two are unfiltered.

The D-cell flashlight has multiple uses. I use it for preflighting, of course. With the butt end in a door side pocket, the wand makes a useful cabin red emergency floodlight if the panel lights fail. And it is very good for walking around a dark ramp to ensure that I am seen by other people.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise



The VC-10 went out of airline service over 30 years ago. The RAF intends to retire theirs next year.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

New York Times to Obama: "Now That You've Been Re-Elected, Please Commit Political Suicide."

Sometimes you have to wonder if they purposefully put political idiots onto the editorial board of the Times. For only those kind of fools could come up with this:
[I]n his first term, Mr. Obama did nothing to cross the gun lobby, and he actually signed legislation allowing loaded firearms to be carried in national parks. Let’s hope Mr. Obama shows more courage on guns in his second term.
Even those oxygen-deprived morons on West 43rd know that nothing would be done without Congress and that the House is in Republican hands. Not to mention that there are Democratic senators from states where passing new gun control legislation would be a sure-fire guarantee of defeat the next time they ran.

But hey, those knuckleheads on the editorial board probably live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It's a good bet that unless they were in the service, none of them has ever seen a gun that wasn't either in a cop's holster or in a thug's hand. They likely suffer heart palpitations at the notion of anyone having a concealed carry permit.

Caturday; Retro Edition

This is my 8,000th post on this blog. It seems appropriate that it be a Caturday post. All of the photos for today are almost eight years old.

This was George. I'm not sure how he got up on that vanity shelf.


Gracie was wrapped up in a fleece blanket.


This was Teddy. Back in the `90s, there was a big black feral tomcat in the neighborhood; it was possible that he was the father to both George and Teddy.


Teddy and Rocky. Teddy was seven months older than Rocky and Rocky adored him. Rocky was Gracie's half-brother from a litter 18 months later.


Teddy had a short life because of struvite crystals. He was a trouper about it, even putting up with a regimen of subcutaneous hydration. He died in 2006. Gracie, George and Rocky all passed earlier this year.

For this post, it seemed appropriate to remember them.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Great Thanksgiving Festival of Food, Family, Friends and Firearms

Thanksgiving yesterday was at a friend's family farm, with lots of folks. I got up early and baked a loaf of bread to bring with me. Seems that the hostess of the feast loves fresh bread and she was very pleased to be given a loaf still warm from the oven.

After the main meal and dessert had settled in, we adjourned to the back pasture for a little bit of bangity.

I was originally planning to just bring a couple of revolvers. But then that morning, I learned that one of the attendees (active duty military trigger-puller of some flavor) was bringing a civvie version of the M-4. So besides the Model 10 that I wrote about earlier, I grabbed my AR-15A2 and my Garand.

This is them ready for cleaning:


And this was the pile of cleaning stuff, ready to be balled up and shitcanned:


I got to shoot the civvie M-4. It had an EOTech sight on it, first time that I ever had used one. It was kind of interesting and I can see that it would be fast to use in the up-close and personal realm. The M-4 sounded louder to me than the AR-15, probably because the AR-15 has a 20" barrel and the M-4's was just a skosh over 16". Military guy said that they use 10" M-4s at work.

The military guy asked to shoot the Garand, so I handed it and a loaded clip to him and then coached him on loading it (not wanting him to suffer a bout of "M-1 Thumb"). He said that it was nicer to shoot than a M-14.

Several people brought a variety of handguns. I shot a Sig P-938 and was able to keep it inside of "minute of thug" at 25 yards. I can't say that it was pleasant to shoot, but it wasn't as bad as a Ruger LCR.

I had not shot my AR-15 in a very long time. The rifle ranges that I had access to back east were over in CT and CT banned AR-15s.* It was good to get some time on it again.

It was a good day, indeed.
_____________________________________
* The stupidity of the CT law is such that my full-size AR-15 was banned, but that civvie M-4 wasn't, because CT banned weapons by make and model, not by characteristics.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Bangity; Model 10 Edition

UPDATE: I managed to do something stupid and scrubbed the original post, so let's try this again.

Someone posted a rule that says:
If Thou Seeest a Smithe & Wesson Modele 10 in Goode Conditione for Less Than $300, Buyeth It."
So I did.


This is a Model 10-5. As you can see around the muzzle and the cylinder, there is quite a bit of holster wear. There is maybe a couple of thousandths of rotational play in the cylinder, so I expect it will be a decent shooter. Probably down the road, I'll have it tuned up.


Now I have two of them. The one at the top is a Model 10-11 that was one of the Aussie police trade-ins that were being sold by Bud's Gun Shop. It has less holster wear and it locks up solidly. I have used it in two PPC club matches and from what I've been told, I was the high revolver shooter in the second one.*

The 10-5 has a firing pin on the hammer, the 10-11 has its mounted on the frame. A lot of purists like the hammer-mounted pin and it does look cooler. A previous owner painted the front sight of the 10-5 yellow and the rear sight green. The 10-5 has a grooved trigger, the 10-11 has a smooth-faced trigger. Seems odd to me to have a grooved trigger on a self-defense gun. But I guess that was the preference 40 or 50 years ago.

The 10-5 was made with both tapered and bull barrels. If you look at the top profile of both revolvers, it would seem that S&W didn't quite match up changes in the frame's profile to match the bull barrel. Or somebody changed the barrel. The roll marks on the barrel of the older gun are crisper.

I'll shoot the 10-5 this weekend and see how it runs.
_____________________________
* I was also the high woman shooter, but I earned that distinction with the first shot, as no other women had entered.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Because this never gets old:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Karl Rove's Hissy Fit-- Another Explanation?

Anonymous is claiming that Karl Rove's computer geeks tried to steal the election (as has been alleged that he did in Ohio in 2004). They claim to have blocked the attempt by erecting firewalls to stop the intrusion attempts.

It would explain why Rove melted down on live TV on Election Night. He might have really thought that he had the election sewn up.

It would be very interesting if enough evidence comes out to warrant a serious investigation.

(H/T)

Light in the Loafers; Tehama County (and Mark Rubio) Edition

Did you know that creating parks, open space and walking trails is part of the Evil U.N. Agenda 21!!11!!

Neither did I. But the Teabaggers there sure do.
The new city park in Corning, the creation of a county trails coordinator, and the appointment of two members to a non-profit economic planning agency were all fodder for Tea Party members Tuesday to accuse the Tehama County Board of Supervisors of pushing forward a 20-year-old non-binding United Nations sustainability plan.

Tom Mohler, a regular attendee of the board meetings, said Agenda 21 has been pushed in America for decades, but few people see it. ... Another Tea Party member told the board he wanted it on the record that he opposed creating a Tehama County Trails and Open Space Coordinator as it continued to push forward Agenda 21.
Sixty years ago, their grandparents in the John Birch Society were railing against the flouridation of drinking water as being some sort of Commie Plot. Without doing any research, I'll bet that the Wingers in the `50s thought the same thing of polio vaccine, because Real `Murricans Would Rather Die in an Iron Lung Than Take a Commie Vaccine.

Morons.

Which brings me to Marco Rubio. He recently told GQ magazine that the age of the planet was "one of life's great mysteries."

Except that it is not. Geologists have estimated the age of the Earth at 4.5 billion years for a long time, probably longer than Rubio has been wasting oxygen. It is only a "mystery" for a gutless politician who is trying to pander to his base voters, people who put theology over things like "facts" and "evidence", and he is trying to do it in a way that doesn't make him sound like a total buffoon.

Which he most assuredly is.

We have a lot of problems in this country to deal with. We are being held back from addressing them by imbeciles who refuse to acknowledge reality because a book of ancient fables tells them otherwise. Then there are the "truthiness" jackasses, the ones who believe in their gut feelings over things such as data* And then there are the truly evil ones in the extraction industries, who know that climate change is real, in the same way that the tobacco industry knew that their products cause cancer, only they fight the reality because they're making money.

We cannot fix the big problems in this land, hell, on this blue pixel in space, unless we are willing to do research, evaluate the data critically and then act on what the data is telling us.

There is a word for people who do not accept reality and who, instead, act on what they believe to be true.

Delusional.

It is high time that we ease those who refuse to accept reality out of positions where they can influence the course of public events.
___________________________________
*They were predominant on the Right during the most recent election, when they were reassuring each other that Rmoney would win in a huge landslide, when he only got 47% of the vote.

Can We Have Holidays That Have Not Become Commercial Extravaganzas?

Or, in other words, don't those fuckers in the Walton family have enough money already that they need to drag people in on the middle of the day to get ready for the slavering hordes of consumers?

I think this needs to be controlled by appropriate legislation. It would be unlawful for a retail establishment to be open from 10 PM Thanksgiving Eve until 6 AM on the day after Thanksgiving. The only exceptions would be for restaurants, for retailers whose retail sales volume is at least fifty percent from the sale of motor fuels.

Everybody else, stay the frak closed, you greedy-ass motherfuckers. Let people have a traditional Thanksgiving the way the Pilgrims did: Eating lots of turkey with all of the trimmings and then falling asleep in front of the TV while watching the Detroit Lions get their asses kicked.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Israel and Hamas

Nearly four years ago, I wrote this post. I think it is still relevant.

I do believe that the current leadership of Israel is close to being a "religious thugocracy". Generally in life, if one is constantly looking for a fight, a fight will be found. Whenever a chance of negotiation has arisen, Netanyahu has never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity for any sort of peaceful dialogue.

But when the clowns and fellow-travelers on the other side (including the anti-Semites in Europe on both sides of the political specturm) start railing against "the Jews", then my side has, in essence, been chosen for me.

Creation

Heh.

Heidi

The game that changed broadcast history.

Listen to the end of the piece for a nice follow-up to the story.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A Canberra bomber uses its cartridge starter to start its engines.



Saturday, November 17, 2012

Caturday; Staying Warm Edition

A large sunbeam was coming through the windows, the heated cat bdt was plugged in, and Jake was luxuriating in the warmth on both sides of his body.


Garmin Nuvi GPS - A Real Fucking Piece of Shit

A year or so ago, I was given a Garmin Nuvi-1450 GPS, which was nice because it came with "lifetime updates".

Except now, if I want to update the fucking thing, I have to accept a partial database, because there is not enough room on the goddamn thing for a map update, not unless I buy a micro-SD card. And because I now live in the central part of the US, the dividing line between where the fucking piece of shit thing will work and where it won't is a hard day's drive.

I deleted the foreign keyboards and the foreign language files to free up space. Not enough, it seems.

Garmin's customer service contact form is of no help.

I'll probably just go buy a new road atlas. I rarely ever got lost with one of those. The goddamn traffic alert function on it rarely worked right, anyway; it either alerted to nonexistent blockages or didn't alert to a massive jam.

Paper maps. Revolvers. Tailwheel aircraft. Uhh-rah!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

So, You Want to Secede?

There are a bunch of secession petitions on the White House's web site from whiny-ass crybabies who can't handle the fact that this is a democracy and that sometimes their candidates are going to lose.

If your faith in and loyalty to this country are so tenuous that you feel the need to throw a hissy-fit because your guy lost a free and fair election, here is my advice:

Leave now. Go ahead, move to a country where they have sham elections. Russia would be a good place for your kind.

Before
we make all of you seditious bastards leave the country that you obviously don't love anymore.

NOOOOOOOooooooooo!

No coffee??!!!1!!??
Forget about super-sizing into the trenta a few years from now: Starbucks is warning of a threat to world coffee supply because of climate change. ... The company is now preparing for the possibility of a serious threat to global supplies.
Now, if the only threat was to that bitter burnt shit that Starbucks sells, I'd not care. But obviously, Seattle Swill is made by the company and has little to do with the actual coffee beans.

Can it get worse? You betcha! No chocolate!!
It looks as though climate change is going to take a bite out of chocolate production, according to a new study by scientists at CIAT. ... The cocoa report predicts a one-degree Celsius temperature rise by 2030, increasing to 2.3 degrees Celsius by 2050. This is enough to inhibit the development of cocoa pods, which could send yields crashing and prices soaring.
If this happens, you might not want to live to see it, especially if you were a climate-change denier. You could wind up hanging from a lamp-post.

(H/T)

On This Day in History

On November 13th, Felix Unger was asked to remove himself from his place of residence.

That request came from his wife.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Raffling Off For Tamara

As you may know, Tam, a rather well-known gun blogger, has come down with a bit of cancer.

Hence: Operation Tamalanche.

A lot of bloggers are offering up bits of swag in raffles to benefit Tam.

Go enter. She has a PayPal button on her blog. Print out the receipt, scan it and you can use that to enter the raffles. Or, if you are allergic to PayPal, you can put your email address into a comment for the Old NFO and he'll let you know about sending a check.

Oh, and if you are thinking about entering the Old NFO's raffle, keep in mind that Colt Diamondbacks are notorious for being finicky pieces of shit and you most definitely do not want one. You want Carteach's .22. You can trust me on this, right?

(WARNING! Do not snark in this post's comment box about how, with a decent national healthcare system, this wouldn't need to happen. Kneecaps. 3' length of rebar. Need I say more? So go hold your own snarkfest. This is to benefit an online buddy. Понимаете? Capish?)

Train Like You'd Fight

When I was at the range for the PPC match, there was a shooter who was using some flavor of 1911 in .40 S&W. He was picking up a lot of brass on the range, far more than he would have shot. When I asked where all it was coming from, he said that it was from cops who shot in the match-- they don't pick up their brass.

It seemed kind of wasteful, but then I thought a bit about it. Back in the revolver days, there was a story about a cop in a gunfight who, at the end of the fight, found that his pants pocket was full of expended cartridges (or was found dead). Apparently the range officers in his department didn't like to have bass littering their ranges. Police departments then figured out that it was better to have ranges with empty brass lying around than to have cops picking up their brass in the middle of a gunfight.

The other thing, of course, is that if the cops now picked up their brass, that would alter the scene for any post-shooting investigation.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Who Was Supplying Kool-Aid to the GOP?

The Gallup polling folks. They had a 7% bias towards Romney.

By "bias", I mean the statistical kind, not the bigoted kind.

The problem, of course, is that polling done by telephone tends to reach people with landlines. Technology is changing, more and more people only have cell phones, and this seems to be especially true of younger and poorer voters. Traditional polling doesn't reach them.

This is not a new problem. In 1936, the Literary Digest poll predicted a landslide for Alf Landon. But they sampled three groups: Their subscribers, car owners and telephone users-- which meant that they were sampling people who had disposable income in the depths of the Great Depression. You probably remember that FDR won handily, 60% of the popular vote and all but two states (ME and VT).

This election ought to be a wake-up call for Gallup and the other big pollsters,

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Riddle for Karl Rove

Q: What do you call the candidate who gets 270 electoral votes?

A: The winner.

Rove, you may recall, formed a superPAC and collected well north of $300 million to help the Republicans retake the White House.*

President Obama won 332 electoral votes to Romney's 206. A 126 vote margin is not exactly chump-change results. Obama won the popular vote both times as well, something that Rove's candidate didn't do in 2000. Obama won more electoral votes than George W. Bush did in either of his elections. Going into the election, the only state that Romney won that was not seen as being firmly in his camp was North Carolina. But nobody was really regarding North Carolina as one of the swing states this time. Obama won all of the swing states that were in play, to the point that he could have lost Ohio and Florida and still won.

I won't get into how everyone on the GOP side drank the Kool-aid and ignored what the polling data was telling them. It is what one would expect from a party that prizes gut feelings and belief over hard numbers.

Rove's excuse for blowing close to $400 million boils down to this: It could have been worse.

How much worse? Obama shelled Romney. The Democrats, in spite of Rove's superPAC, lost one Senate seat they held and picked up two that they didn't. GOP superPAC spending so irritated the independent who won in Maine that he'll probably caucus with the majority.

In what reality does one take almost $400 million from people, deliver absolutely nothing in return, and not end up dead in the trunk of an old Crown Victoria on its way to the crusher?

____________________________________
* Presumably he paid himself a really good salary for his efforts.

Caturday

A cat at a local winery.


Their cats are very social. I squatted down to pet this one, it jumped into my lap and then climbed onto my shoulder. I stood up and walked around with it sitting there for at least ten minutes before it wanted to get down.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Running of the Morans; Firearms Edition

From an email sent by an Internet seller of ammunition (and stuff like that):
Due to the results of the recent election, orders for ammunition and related products have increased exponentially. This has resulted in majority of our products advertised on our previous sales flyer email to be sold out. Unfortunately due to supply and demand has our suppliers and importers have increased their price to us and this is completely out of our control. Due to this and our increasing backlog, sale prices will revert back to normal price as inventory begins to return to stock.
So here we go, just like four years ago. There will be panic-buying of all things bangity by all of the Cletii* who are convinced that the Evil Kenyan Usurper is about to outlaw ammunition sales and unleash hordes of UN troops to confiscate their gunsz!!!1!

Those clowns will drive the price of a box of 9mm ball up to $40 (or higher), just as they did last time. And of course, you know that ol' Cletus isn't going to bust a single cap of his precious horde of ammunition.

Ah, well. Same Shit, Different Year. Because you can't fix stupid and, most of the time, it's illegal to kill it.
____________________________________
* Plural of "Cletus", a generic gun owner who thinks that women should only carry J-frame revolvers and that the Four Rules are for sissies.

A Little Bit of Friday Fun

Shouldn't That Sign Also Be in French?

(Click on the image to embiggen)

I shouldn't make too much fun of the pro-hockey lockout. I know some really true hockey fans who are in mouring over the sixth lockout/strike in the last five years-- at least it seems like that.

But I don't understand why those saps keep supporting those teams. Clearly, pro hockey doesn't give a rat's ass about their fan base.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Science News You May Have Missed; Engage Warp Drive Edition

NASA is working on making a warp drive a reality.

Apparently, it may be mathematically feasible to warp the fabric of space-time so that the effect is to go from one place to another at what would appear to be ten times the speed of light.*

One thing has been true: When we determine that something is possible, sooner or later, we do it.

The next politician who wants to cut NASA's budget should be flogged with a rusty logging chain.
______________________________
* A little faster than Warp 2 on the Star Trek speed scale.

The Meltdown On Bullshit Mountain News

The folks at Bullshit Mountain News (BMN) had to deal with the fact that they were so terribly wrong in their forecasts of the election.

Jon Stewart had a lot of fun with it. [Clips one, two and three.]

What the folks at BMN are doing is classic "Frank Burns" mode: "It is G-d's will or someone else's fault."

Nate Silver was on the Daily Show last night and he refrained, mostly, from gloating about the triumph of arithmetic over gut feelings.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Who Is the Biggest Loser?

Outside of the billionaires who poured fortunes into shadowy SuperPacs, the banksters who openly backed (and mocked) President Obama and the right-wing pundits (who, in a just world, would have already offed themselves)?

Benjamin Netanyahu.
If there is one loser in the U.S. election outside the U.S., it is Benjamin Netanyahu – and all of Israel knows it. No one is fooled by his denials that he backed Romney and opposed Obama as demonstratively as he possibly could. The widespread conviction, now that Obama has won four more years in the White House, is that Bibi has endangered Israel’s relationship with America in a way that is unprecedented in its recklessness. No Israeli prime minister ever took sides in a U.S. presidential election like Netanyahu just did, and his side lost.
If a Chinese premier had attempted to meddle in an American election the way that Netanyahu tried to do, there might be rioting outside of their consulates.

Most American Jews care very much about Israel, of course. But I suspect that there is no small number who are privately pissed off at Israeli condescension towards their American cousins. The "don't marry an American" advertising really irritated a lot of people.

"Forgive and forget" is not exactly in the Jewish tradition. And if Obama engages in some payback, Netanyahu would be foolish to expect American Jews to rally to his support.

The "Big Bird" Meme

There are a lot of them out there in the last few hours (you can Google them for "romney big bird" if you like).

This probably my favorite so far:


One Thing I am Thankful For: This Election Does Not HInge on Florida

I don't know what it is with that state, but when it comes to elections, those clowns would fuck up an election to be the president of a fourth grade class.

But since President Obama ran the table on the rest of the "swing states", nobody gives a shit this time around.

And in Ohio, I bet that the television audiences will be happy to see the return of ads for Viagra and Cialis.

Don't Worry, They Won't Figure It Out

In an election year when the GOP expected to get control of the Senate, they lost ground. The reason that happened can be laid at the feet of the religious right and the Tea Party.

In 2010, the combination of the evangelicals and the Tea party defeated moderate candidates in the primaries and then went on to lose Senate races in Colorado, Nevada, Delaware and Connecticut. In this election, they did the same thing and went on to lose Missouri, Indiana, Maine and Connecticut.*

Conservatives like to say that this nation is "center-right". But when it comes time to nominate their candidates, they forget the "center" part. So they'll keep saying things such a "Romney lost because he wasn't a true conservative" and they will continue to get their asses beaten.

Look at the other GOP candidates for the White House this last election. Does anyone truly believe that any of them, other than maybe Jon Huntsman, would have had a prayer of winning over the middle-of-the-road voters? But Huntsman was too moderate for his party and his campaign sank faster than the Costa Concordia.

By the way, I hope that somebody has the good grace to send a bottle of good champagne to Nate Silver and a box of Seppuku knives to the pundits at Fox News, with a specially-engraved one being delivered by messenger to Newt Gingrich.**
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* Back in 2010, Linda McMahon, who is a pro-wrestling magnate, won the Connecticut primary, defeating the moderate candidate of the party. She self-financed her campaign, to the tune of about $50 million or so, and got shelled in the general election. In this election, she spent about as much of her own money, outspending her opponent by something like 4 or 5 to 1 and lost by 80,000 votes.
** The old European tradition of sending a finely-engraved revolver and one cartridge would be an acceptable substitute. But given the number of "too close to call" pundits this time around, we might have to cheap out a bit.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Duty Done

I was at the polling station ten minutes after it opened and out the door in about eight minutes.

If you haven't voted, get off your ass and go vote.

If you are eligible to register to vote (or if you registered) and you didn't vote, then shut your goddamned yap about politics. Your opinion is worth dogshit. Actually less than dogshit, for at least that has some function.

Vote, people.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Message for iPod/iPad/iPhone Suckers Devotees.



No comment needed, the snark is self-contained.


Get Offa Yer Ass and Vote

People died for the right to vote. I'm not just talking about soldiers, here.

I mean the people in places, in this country, where registering to vote sometimes meant that the night riders would show up and kill you. I mean the people who protested and who were beaten, jailed and sometimes murdered because they wanted the right to vote.

And it's "too much trouble" for you to drag your dead ass to the polls and vote?

Give me a break. Get up tomorrow, get dressed and go vote. Don't run your mouth about how awful the system is if you cannot take the time to have your say on the one day that you can.

Even now, there is a major political party who is trying to make it harder for the young, the old and the poor to vote. They are the intellectual descendants of the night riders.

Fuck them. And don't just say that. Go vote.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Bangity- PPC Match Edition

I shot a PPC match today. Each run through the match is 48 shots, with a maximum score of 480. The procedure is that you shoot and then you decide whether to declare the round you just shot as the one you choose for score. You can shoot more, if you want, for fun, but the round you declared as your scoring run is the only one that counts.

This is a round:

At five yards, three shots, strong hand, from a draw in five seconds. Then three rounds from low ready with the weak hand, in five seconds.

At seven yards, six rounds, strong hand, from a draw in ten seconds. Then there is a reload and you shoot another six rounds from a draw in ten seconds.

At fifteen yards, from a draw, two hand hold, six shots, reload and another six, all in 20 seconds.

At twenty-five yards, from a draw, two hand hold, six shots, reload, six more shots, drop to a barricade, reload, six more shots, in 90 seconds.

My first round was 443 with 11-X. On the third stage for the first six shots, I short-stroked one round, so the cylinder rotated but the hammer didn't move.* After I got a "click" to indicate that I had reached the first round's position, I quickly cycled through the chambers until one went "bang". Then I reloaded and very rapidly got off the next six shots. I barely got the 12th shot off in time.

My second round was 452 with 13-X. I declared that one. According to the scoring card they handed out, that's high expert (3 points under master). And that is with a police-stock S&W Model 10 .38 revolver.

I was pretty happy with that score. I guess I shoot pretty well for a girl. {heh}
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* If I very slowly let the trigger out after dry-firing, I can hear three distinct clicks at the end of the trigger's travel. Those clicks are the mechanism resetting. If I pull the trigger back after the second click, the cylinder rotates but the hammer does not move. I've never had this happen before, but I'm new to fast shooting.

Caturday

Jake, lord of all he surveys.


The half-lidded eyes are his trademark. They make him look too cool for words. Visitors look at his gaze and fall in love with him. I'm convinced that if he wasn't so large, someone would have tried to steal him.

And then I'd have Chuck Wendig's problem.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The War on Reason

Science is an experimental pursuit. When the data and a hypothesis do not agree, scientists question the validity of the hypothesis.

That differs, of course, from the Republican party. They are ideologues. When the data and the ideology conflict, they question the data. So when the Congressional Research Service produced a report that tax increases on the rich would not damage the economy, and that there is little correlation between tax rates and investment, the GOP went completely batshit and pressured the CRS to withdraw the report.

This is not anything new. The GOP is a religious party, though when they are not kowtowing to the evangelicals, they are bowing to Mammon.

We face a lot of serious problems both in this nation and on a global scale. We will make no progress on solving them if we heed the ideologues rather than the data. Those who are blindly following ideology on tax cuts are no different from the ideologues of the Taliban, a party that also rejects science and modernity.

"What does the data tell us" should be the constant question asked by policy-makers. Blind adherence to religious ideology as a method of determining policy should have been consigned to the dustbin of history centuries ago.

The modern Republican party is an embarrassment. History will regard the current iteration of the GOP as a deep stain on the chronicle of this country.

The GOP needs to corral its ideologues and fence them off. Or it will be the GOP which becomes history.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Choose Your Title for This Post:
(a) Hooray for Government.
(b) Christie is Done for 2016.
(c) Steve Doocy is Still the Biggest Douchebag on the Planet.

Watch the clip and pick one.

Second Amendment, Baby!

TROY, MO. • Maybe the bank robber couldn’t see very well through the holes in his mask — the face of Chucky from the “Child’s Play” horror movies — as he walked into Peoples Bank & Trust Tuesday afternoon.

After all, it says right on the door that concealed weapons are allowed in the bank. They’re practically encouraged by the sign: “Management recognizes the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as an unalienable right of all citizens.”

So when the robber walked out of the bank a short time later with a red bank bag full of cash, maybe he shouldn’t have been surprised that bank president David W. Thompson followed him out to the parking lot. Thompson watched the masked robber get in a Ford pickup parked in a handicapped spot up front, then pulled his Colt .380 handgun and pointed it at the man.

“Sir, get out of the truck,” Thompson, 58, recalled demanding. “You’re not going anywhere.”

Asswipe should be going away for five to ten years. Maybe he should have gone to work at Wall Street.