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

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Batshit Outrage on the Right; Incoming!

On CBS Sunday Morning, in their year-end "Hail and Farewell" segment, Charles Manson was followed by Roger Ailes.

Heh.

SWATting and the Nigerian Prince

First off, the "SWATting" death in Kansas: There's a lot that we don't know. But it sure looks as though the cops fired from across the street, behind some cover, and killed an innocent man over "furtive movement." The cops are going to say, of course, that it was a treasonable mistake.

I disagree. The cops summon a guy to the door, shine bright lights at him in the middle of the night and yell orders at him: What's reasonable is to expect the guy so summoned to be confused. If he's wearing sweatpants, he may need to pull them up and then it looks to the cops as he's reaching for a gun. It also appears that the cops were across the street, with rifles, crouched behind their cars, and to seriously believe that a guy is going to yank out a handgun and hit anything at that range in the dark is beyond credulity.

But hey: Officer Safety.

It'll get hashed out in civil court in a damages suit. And some appellate judges, who went to Tier One law schools and who have never been exposed to any serious danger in their lives, will throw the case out.
-------------------------------------------------------
It seems that one of the people posing as a Nigerian prince is a 67-year old white guy in Louisiana, who is now facing a couple hundred charges of wire fraud. As the WaPo noted, some of the victims of the con are lured to Nigeria and then bad shit happens.

Some consecutive sentences are in order.

Your New Year's Eve Big Prop Noise

Spraying forests with DC-3s:

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Caturday

Can I haz Forever Home, pleeze?

Friday, December 29, 2017

Z is for Zero (R.I.P.)

Sue Grafton, author of the Kinsey Millhone alphabet series of mysteries, died of cancer yesterday.

By sheer coincidence, I just picked up Y is for Yesterday.

I hope her heirs are not the sort of greedy chuckleheads who commission another writer to do the Z book. They say that's not going to happen:
Hello Dear Readers. This is Sue's daughter, Jamie. I am sorry to tell you all that Sue passed away last night after a two year battle with cancer. She was surrounded by family, including her devoted and adoring husband Steve. Although we knew this was coming, it was unexpected and fast. She had been fine up until just a few days ago, and then things moved quickly. Sue always said that she would continue writing as long as she had the juice. Many of you also know that she was adamant that her books would never be turned into movies or TV shows, and in that same vein, she would never allow a ghost writer to write in her name. Because of all of those things, and out of the deep abiding love and respect for our dear sweet Sue, as far as we in the family are concerned, the alphabet now ends at Y.
I hope they stick to it. Successor writers may try hard to stay with the spirit of the dead author, but like even the best art forgers, some of their own personality always leaks through. The finished product is almost always off in an intangible sense that a faithful reader will sense.

I was looking forward to the Z book, to see how Grafton closed out the tales of Kinsey Millhone. I can't imagine that I was the only one by a long shot.

Thirty years ago, also on December 28th, John D. MacDonald died. He had published what turned out to be the last book in the Travis McGee series, The Lonely Silver Rain. That book signaled that McGee, upon finding out that he had a teen-aged daughter, was going to jump headlong into not only being a father, but being responsible for another person. MacDonald's heirs have not let anyone else roll a sheet of Travis McGee into a typewriter.

I hope Grafton's survivors are cut from the same steel.

If you're a mystery reader, lift a glass in the memory of Sue Grafton, and to her characters that we've all come to know.

What Did Trump Say?

"I know the details of taxes better than anybody. Better than the greatest C.P.A. I know the details of health care better than most, better than most. And if I didn’t, I couldn’t have talked all these people into doing ultimately only to be rejected."
How much skill does it take to not make a sale?

Besides that, all reports are that Trump has a shorter attention span than the average six-year old. That he would know the ins and outs of a 400+ page tax bill defies credulity.

(Paging Mr. Dunning. Paging Mr. Kruger.)

Because It's Friday

The Pike's Peak cog railway.



Unlike Mt. Washington, which has always run steam, the Pike's Peak line began to dieselize almost eighty years ago. Steam returned to Pike's Peak solely to draw tourists and steam junkies.

Political Weasel in Operation

Singer and Trump supporter Joy Villa has filed a sexual assault charge against President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, the Associated Press reported.

Villa said she filed the complaint against Lewandowski for hitting her twice on the buttocks at a gathering at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. the day after Thanksgiving.
I just watched her interview on GMA. The interviewer asked Villa if she stood with the women who have accused Trump of assaulting them. The first time around, Villa answered by talking about herself. On a follow-up, Villa said that it was important for women to come forward and report sexual assaults.

Villa wants the cops to go after Lewandowski for slapping her on the ass, but she's still a loyal supporter pf the Ol' Pussy Grabber.

She'll be a good politician, for she can't answer a straight-forward question.

Weasel achievement: Unlocked.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Sore Loserman is Still Sore

Alabama officials on Thursday unhesitatingly pushed aside a legal challenge from Roy S. Moore and certified Doug Jones as the winner of this month’s Senate election.

The action, during a brief meeting at the State Capitol, was essentially the state’s final step before the seating of the first Democrat elected to the Senate from Alabama in a quarter century. It was also a swift rejection, by some of the state’s most powerful Republicans, of Mr. Moore’s complaint that he was the victim of “systematic voter fraud.”
...
In a lawsuit filed in a state court late Wednesday, Mr. Moore, who denied the allegations of sexual impropriety, complained that pervasive fraud had tainted the election, and that the Alabama authorities had inadequately investigated potential misconduct.

But Mr. Moore found himself aligned against Democrats and Republicans alike. Secretary of State John H. Merrill, a Republican who voted for Mr. Moore, said he had found no evidence of endemic fraud and refused to postpone the certification. Judge Johnny Hardwick of Montgomery County Circuit Court, citing a lack of jurisdiction, dismissed Mr. Moore’s complaint minutes before the vote was certified.
...
To support his arguments, Mr. Moore included affidavits from several people his campaign described as experts in elections; one has claimed to have “mathematically proved a conspiracy to assassinate” President John F. Kennedy. (Mr. Moore has himself indulged in conspiracy theories, including that former President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.)

Experts unaffiliated with either the Jones or Moore campaigns quickly said the lawsuit’s arguments appeared meritless.
Moore isn't going to go away anytime soon. The GOP in Alabama is delusional if they think he will. For every race that Moore might enter, the Democrats should find the strongest possible candidates.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Derp is Strong With That One


I can't even begin to unpack the load of snark this generates.

Monday, December 25, 2017

I'll Feel Like This After Today's Feast



Merry Christmas, everyone.

Cleared for Approach at BINP

Santa One, cleared for GPS approach and to land."

"Cleared for GPS approach and landing, Santa One."


Merry Christmas, everyone!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Shepherd

A Christmas tale:


Happy Christmas, one and all.

(A more recent adaptation.)

The Spirit of Steamboat is another good Christmas airplane yarn.

Your Sunday Morning Rotor Noise

Crop-dusting with a UH-1


Still seems wrong to hear one of those Bells without seeing a M-60 poking out of the side.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

More Xmas Music

I Got a Lot of Problems With You People, Now You're Going to Hear About It!!

Now 20 years.


No Doubt, the Next Step is to Detain Them in Special Camps

The Trump administration is reportedly considering a controversial plan to deter illegal immigration by separating immigrant parents from their children when they are caught crossing the border illegally.
"Cross the border without papers and we'll ensure that you never see your kids again! Muwhahaha!"

Do these clowns don top hats and twirl their mustaches when they come up with these ideas?

I'd call it "inhuman", but I have never seen anything resembling a spark of humanity or compassion from Trump. He has all of the empathy of a hickory nightstick.

When he does try to relate to people, it's like watching a badly-programmed AI do it.

Caturday

Chip demonstrates why I use a separate keyboard for my laptop.


He'll walk across the laptop's keyboard, but not the desk-type keyboard.

Friday, December 22, 2017

When the Going Gets Weird, Ambassadorial Edition

Pete Hoekstra, Trump's ambassador to the Netherlands, was asked by a Dutch reporter why he said there were Muslim-only "no-go" zones in Holland where cars and politicians were being set on fire. He denied saying that and said that claims that he said that were fake news.

So the reporter showed Hoekstra a video clip of him saying exactly that and asked Hoekstra why he said that it was fake news.

Hoesktra then denied saying the words "fake news".

It was pretty weird.

The Seven Banned Words, Vermont Edition

In case you're curious.

Because It's Friday

The Mt. Washington Cog Railway:


Most of the trips nowadays are by their "biodiesel" locomotive. Steam runs in 2017 were in the morning only, except for one week in August, when they ran two trips.

It's the oldest operating cog railway in the world. It was the first mountain cog railway.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Military Procurement's Broken

The Air Farce wants to re-engine all of their B-52s (comprising less than 10% of original production). It will take seventeen years to do that.

UNSAT, people. It took the USAAF/USAF seventeen years to go from the initial design proposal for the B-52 to shutting down the production line after the final -H model was rolled out.

The Zoomies want to buy 660 engines. Right, and the original fleet took about 6,000 engines, plus spares. So back in the day, they made nearly ten times as many engines and the airplanes to go with them that it'll take just to make the engines.

Something is seriously broken, which can shown by the point that the only tin can that the Navy's shipbuilders and competently make is one they've been making for thirty years.

More Xmas Music

An oddball piano duet by the USN Band:

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Boatload of Xmas Lights

A little more creative than the usual music-driven Xmas light show:


Take a few minutes and enjoy.*

(H/T)
__________________________
*Three Ships is a pretty Christmas carol, but this verse is stupid:

O they sailed into Bethlehem,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day,
O they sailed into Bethlehem,
On Christmas day in the morning.

Bethlehem, at least the one that is said to be the birthplace of Jesus, is in the Judean Mountains and is about half-a-mile above sea level. Unless the ships were sailing up the Delaware River and into Bethlehem, PA. But the carol is English and is almost 400 years old, at least a century older than the Bethlehem with access to the sea.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

NORK ICBMs

The article argues that the ICBM threat from North Korea is very much overblown. Here's a small piece:
To create a fully functional HS-14 or HS-15 ICBM North Korea would need more than a dozen test launches to ensure the missing technologies were now present and working. The missing techs are the more difficult ones that require more engineering and scientific resources than the basic multi-stage rocket. Nothing as exciting as rockets blasting off when it comes to reentry vehicle and its contents. Until North Korea succeeds in that last endeavor and conducts multiple tests that obviously work will there be any hope of a serious threat. But then comes yet another challenge.

Even with a reliable Hwasong-14 or 15 ICBM North Korea would need more than a dozen of them, launched simultaneously, to have any chance of getting past the existing American GBI (Ground Based Interceptor) anti-missile missiles based in Alaska.
The article points out that the HS-14/15 are liquid-fueled missiles akin to the American Atlas, a weapon that went out of service fifty years ago.

In essence, NK is running a con on everyone in the region, as they have before. But this time, it shows signs of not working.

An Ultramodern Police State

If you want to see what an ultrmodern police state looks like, read this investigative article by the AP on the Chinese crackdown on the Uighurs.

"Crackdown" is an understatement. It's more like stamping on the faces of everyone, repeatedly. Digital tracking of everyone. Forced DNA collection. Collective punishment of family members. "Re-education" and secret executions. Requiring government bureaucrats to live in people's homes for a period of time to conduct at-home indoctrination.

Orwell didn't have the half of it. And somewhere, there are old Stasi members, shaking their heads over their glasses of brandy or beer and saying: "Man, that's some really intensive shit."

Your Sunday Morning Turboprop Noise

An Air Tractor at work:


Crop dusting Aerial application is a lot safer than it once was, back when the airplane of choice was a converted Stearman. Spray rows were marked by "flaggers", kids who stood at the edge of the field and held up a flag to mark the edge of the las sprayed row.

Now they do it with GPS.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Snow and War

Seventy-three years ago today, German Panzers tore through American lines in Belgium. The Battle of the Bulge was on.

In some ways, the German attack, which they called Operation Watch on the Rhine, was as foolhardy as Operation Market Garden. Both plans were overly ambitious and ended in failure. One difference was that the Western Allies had the resources to recover quickly from their combat losses. The Germans did not. American resistance was far stronger than the Germans anticipated. When the weather cleared on the 23rd, American defenders in Bastogne received resupply and medical aid by air, while the P-47s bombed and strafed every German tank and truck that they could see. The Luftwaffe tried a massive air-to-ground strike and ended up suffering so many losses, especially from the new VT-fuzed antiaircraft shells that they were effectively knocked out of the war.

But that's not what I want to write about.

My father was drafted into the Army when he turned 18. Things had cranked up to the point, by then, that when a young man registered for the draft, he could expect to receive orders to report in very short order. Dad was assigned to an infantry unit. That unit was training to fight in Europe and supposedly was to be into the war in the fall of 1944.

Sometime before then, Dad received orders to transfer to a tank-destroyer unit. It seemed that there was an entry in his personnel file that said that he had been trained in them. He hadn't. He'd never been near one. He told his sergeant that. The sergeant said not to worry, they'd teach him what he needed to know.

And so, Dad became a tank destroyer.


The tank destroyer battalion was slated to be in Operation Olympic. They were in Hawaii when the war ended. Dad's original infantry unit was in Belgium in December, 1944.

All this is family lore, of course. My father's records, along with millions of others, were lost in the National Archives Fire in St. Louis over 40 years ago. Dad passed in his early 70s from lung cancer.

But it gave me a lot of patience, when I was in the service, when I had to deal with the trials, tribulations and buraucracy of BuPers. For it was similar incompetents that may have saved my dad's life and, by extension, the lives of his children and grandchildren.

Caturday

The only possible use for a Croc-themed anything:


That shelter cat doesn't care.

Friday, December 15, 2017

So, Let's See If I Have This Correctly

A couple of FBI agents exchange text messages critical of Trump and the Right-wingers want the FBI purged or shut down.

But when cops beat a black guy to death or shoot one in the back or shoot some kid kneeling in a hallway, the same folks on the Right will jump to defend the cops. They'll scream their defense for the cops and loudly proclaim that OK, maybe there are a few bad cops, but the vast majority of them are doing a hard and difficult job.

Funny how that same standard doesn't apply to the FBI in an instance where zero blood was shed.

So why hasn't the Right demanded that the police departments in Ferguson, Baltimore, North Charleston or Mesa be disbanded?

That's a rhetorical question, of course. You know why.

Because It's Friday

Polish steam in "the high technology world of the 1980s":


Condensation isn't the only thing that's dripping in this documentary, but the locomotives are still worth seeing.

World's Oldest Toddler Pitches Another Hissy Fit

The Federal Communications Commission voted three to two to change the way "net neutrality" is governed.

Internet service providers (ISPs) will now be allowed to speed up or slow down different companies' data, and charge consumers according to the services they access.
The underlying reason for this fuckery is that whatever Obama was for, Trump is against. Trump hates Obama so much that if Obama had made it harder to obtain opioids, Trump would have ordered that vicodin be handed out in schools after each recess.

for that's all of the thought that goes through Trump's mind about regulations. If Obama had a position on something, Trump takes the opposite tack. It's the actions of a surly toddler.

Speaking of a surly and narcissistic toddler, it is impossible for the intelligence briefers to say anything to Trump about Russian hacking. Trump takes that information not as information about Russia's nefarious actions, but as a personal attack on his own sense of self. For to Trump, everything is about him.

He either has the emotional maturity of a toddler, or he truly knows that he is guilty of collusion, if not outright treason, and he is willing to do anything to keep that from coming out. Even if it is acting like an uncontrollable three-year old and bringing down the country with him.

Either way, Trump, by his actions, has shown that he hates this country. That that's been a clear fact. For anyone who would back an accused child-molester for a senate seat in order to gain a short-term political advantage has no moral compass at all, nor love for democracy.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

48% of Alabamians were Fine With Having an Accused Child-Molester as Their Senator

But 50% were not.

In one of the reddest states in the nation, Steve Bannon managed to find a candidate so repugnant that Alabama's junior senator will now be a Democrat.

Bannon is starting to shape up like the latest iteration of the Tea Party. The GOP would have had a solid lock on the Senate a long time ago if not for Republican candidates supported by the Tea Party fringe.

The GOP itself lost a senate seat, but they dodged a bullet. Democrats would have hung Roy Moore around the necks of every Republican running in `18 to force them to justify being a candidate from the Party of Moore.

Monday, December 11, 2017

A Poll I Don't Believe

Democrat Doug Jones leads GOP candidate Roy Moore by 10 points in the Alabama Senate race, according to a Fox News poll released Monday.

Fifty percent of voters surveyed say they prefer Jones, compared to 40 percent for Moore, who has been plagued by accusations of sexual misconduct.
There has to be some number of people who are not going to tell a pollster that they are supported an alleged pedophile. But when they get into the voting booth, they can pull the lever for Moore and then decry to all of their friends that it's a durned shame that Alabamians elected a man whose apparent predilection was for underage girls and who believes that the time when he and his friends could have owned slaves was when America was at its greatest.

Then add to that the number of white Alabamians who are mad at Jones for prosecuting and convicting the two surviving Birmingham Church Bombers and you probably have enough voters to take Moore over the top.

Santa

Heh

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A Lockheed L-1011"TriStar":


My only two airborne ocean crossings were in TWA L1011s.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Caturday

Chip is chilling out.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Because It's Friday

Steam in Eritrea:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Professional Courtesy is Apparently a Thing of the Past

A Manhattan private equity director was killed by a shark while scuba diving off the coast of Costa Rica, authorities said.
I know, I'm a bad person.

Seems that the dive site was known for its abundance of shark species.

Trump to Form His Version of the SA?

Trump is considering forming his own private spy network, which would be run by Eric Price, the Henchman of Evil and the brother of Betsy DeVos.

I suppose that these folks will all be swearing allegiance to El Caudillo Trumpo.

So now we're going to have private spies to ferret out Trump's enemies. What's next, secret police?

Haven't we seen this movie before?

I got shit going on. Got a call from relatives; a wildfire is possibly going to burn their home down and they're bugging out. The fire was news to me, because everything on the media these days is about whatever stupid shit DFT did or said or tweeted.

And I've got no shortage of work to do right now. So look over the blogroll.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Heh. Heh. Heh.

This just came across my email from The Week:

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Brock Turner, the Dumpster Rapist, is Back!

From BadTux comes news that the Preppy Swimming Dumpster Rapist, Brock Turner, is appealing his conviction.

The thrust seems to be a combination of "it was her fault" and "the court was mean to me!" Yep, the same court that could have sent the Swimming Rapist to prison for years (instead of three months in the county jail).

If he gets a new trial, maybe he might get to do some hard time.

Still, the truth of the matter is that, thanks to the Internet, Brock the Convicted Rapist will never outrun what he did.

We Are So Screwed; Surgical Ed.

This article posits that the rise of "superbugs", which are microbes that are antibiotic-resistant, will push a lot of surgical procedures out of common use.

What could slow things down would be regulations on the overuse of antibiotics and increased resources to R&D into new antibiotics.

Neither of which will happen these days.

Regular readers of this blog know who I'd blame for that.

Which brings to mind this joke.

On another note, Trump might have tweeted himself into a criminal charge. Or impeachment. Or not. So now, when did Trump know that Flynn was lying to the FBI? No doubt, the chorus of Trumpanzees will trip over their over-long ties, rushing to explain why obstructing justice is less of a heinous crime than is lying in a deposition on a civil matter.

Your Sunday Morning Historical Prop Noise

A Douglas SBD:


I recently took a trip to visit my mother on her birthday. The return trip had me changing planes at Midway Airport. When I change flights there, if I don't have to rush to my next one, I like to go to the Battle of Midway exhibit and look at the SBD on display.


Those guys were all peacetime volunteers. It's probably a good bet that a fair number of the Americans at the battle, both junior officers and enlisted, had joined the Navy for a steady job and "three hots and a cot" during the Great Depression. War came calling, they stepped up and did their jobs.

The Battle of Midway was a turning point in the war, the high-water mark of Japanese expansion. Thing is about turning points, they're just of interest to historians. Most of the time, they're not apparent to those doing the fighting. It's just another day in the trenches/cockpit/engineering plant.

While I was sitting there for a bit, some dude told his girlfriend that the metal pipes under the airplane were used for launching it from a carrier:


They weren't. That's a bomb-trapeze. Its function is to swing the bomb out clear of the propeller's arc before releasing the bomb. SBDs dove at an angle of up to 80 degrees, their speed limited by perforated dive brakes. The bomb, of course, would free-fall upon release and, if not swung out clear of the propellor, would smash it.

And no, I didn't correct the dude at the airport. Though every fiber of me wanted to.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Off the Reservation; K-Frame Edition

I have a love of S&W K-frames. They are great guns. But this week, I jumped ship, a little:


That's a Ruger Security Six. If you look closely at the barrel, you'll see that the "RFTM Before Using This Gun, Moron" rollmark is not there. This is a late-`70s gun, produced before Ruger began so marking their guns.

All of the Security Sixes that I've seen recently all had the legalese rollmark and, on a 4" barrel, it is fucking hideous. This one didn't, and so.....

It shoots OK. This is at ten yards:


Caturday

A "found" cat at a shelter.


I'm preloading this post, so here's hoping that this boy has been returned to his home.

(Microchip your pets, people!!)

Friday, December 1, 2017

Gunnie Stuff

Ken Hackathorn and Bill Wilson reminisce about the beginning of modern combat pistol shooting:


They also mention some of the things that shooters did that would now be regarded as "gamer-tricks".

Because It's Friday

Steam locomotives working copper mines in Botswana:

Flynn Seems to Have Flipped

President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, is expected to plead guilty on Friday to lying to the F.B.I. about two conversations with the Russian ambassador last December during the presidential transition. ... A plea agreement suggests that Mr. Flynn provided information to prosecutors, which may help advance the inquiry.
Yep, pass the popcorn.

In these kind of investigations, they don't let the lower-ranking guys plead out unless they bring something of value to the table. So now there's going to be a lot of speculation as to whom Flynn is giving to the prosecutors.

Still, there is something gleefully ironic in the fact that the clown who led chants of "lock her up" is pleading out to a couple of felonies.

It's also becoming apparent that Trump might be in jeopardy under the Watergate Rule*:
President Trump over the summer repeatedly urged senior Senate Republicans, including the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to end the panel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, according to a half dozen lawmakers and aides.
If there is any indication that Trump also was trying to pressure the Republicans in Congress to force an early end to the Mueller investigation, then that's possibly going to fall under the heading of "obstruction of justice".

But don't worry, sports fans. The Right will somehow start screaming that "this is all Obama's fault."
_______________________________________
* "It's not the crime, it's the cover-up."

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Wait, What??

Trump's Tax Cut and the AWB

If the effects of Trump's Tax Cut for the Billionaires is as bad as many say, the blowback at the polls could be enormous.

If that happens, then expect an assault weapons ban to follow shortly thereafter. And I will wager that it won't be a simple "you can't make these any more" thing, it'll be closer to a `34 National Firearms Act law, with bans on making magazines over 10 rounds, if not outlawing the drum-style ones.

So if you're a Republican and a gun owner, you might want to think about whether you are more interested in protecting the ability of the plutocrats to get even richer or protecting your gun rights. For you may not get to choose "both".

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

In Your Guts, You Know He's Nuts

Let's be frank about this: President* Donald Trump is fucking barking mad. Trump is unhinged, divorced from reality, about about as insane as they come. Only a through-and-through nut job would believe that juvenile-grade insults are a substitute for international diplomacy.

His staff has to go before the world and explain that it doesn't matter if Trump is tweeting lies. The undercurrent of their explainations is that nobody should believe a word that Trump says, because they don't.

His staff has to continually lie in order to keep him more or less functional. No rational person would have believed that the Mueller investigation would have been done by Thanksgiving or by New year's Day, but that's what his staff seems to be telling Trump in order to keep him from completely blowing out his gaskets.

He should be in a padded room where he can't be a danger to anyone else.

But to the Koch Brothers and the rest, he's their useful idiot, so for now, we're stuck with El Droolo.*
_________________________________
* I know it probably should be El Babeante.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

75 Years Ago Tonight

The Cocoanut Grove Fire broke out at this time on November 28, 1942.

It was the second-deadliest fire in American history.

The nightclub operator was convicted of manslaughter, only to be released early, because he was dying of cancer..

Cessna's Version of the Twin Otter

They call it the SkyCourier:


FedEx has committed to buying at least fifty of them.

I'm guessing that the big deal is that the Cessna-408 will be sized to take three LD3 cargo containers. I don't know if the Twin Otter can do that (and I don't have the time to go looking).

The last Cessna SkySomething, the "SkyCatcher" was a miserable failure. I wish them luck with this one.

O'Keefe the Despicable

(A followup to this post.)

I remembered that the news reports said that O'Keefe's organization, Project Veritas, was a 501(c)(3) charity.

True enough. The nice thing about such organizations is that their tax filings are available online.

O'Keefe's group paid him $235K in `15. Some assistant clown named Russell Verney was paid $169K. The group has about $1.3 million in the bank.

In case you want to drop by and invite O'Keefe out for a cup of coffee, their address and phone number are listed on the tax form.

Arby's: "We Have the Wings."

Fast-food chain Arby's Restaurant Group said Tuesday that it reached a deal to acquire Buffalo Wild Wings, which promotes the slogan "wings, beer, sports" in its advertisements, for $2.4 billion in cash.
And this:
Burger chain Wendy's stands to gain nearly $450 million following the acquisition of Buffalo Wild Wings by Roark Capital Group.

On Tuesday, the private equity firm said it would buy the chicken wing chain for $2.4 billion, or $157 per share. Buffalo Wild Wings will become a unit of Roark's Arby's and operate as an independent brand.

Currently, Wendy's owns about 18.5 percent of Arby's, with their stake valued at around $325.9 million, as of the third quarter this year.
Venture capitalists owning restaurants is a recipe for shitty food and slick advertising. Think Olive Garden, for example. They tried to portray themselves as some sort of authentic Italian dining experience, but now they're basically a sit-down restaurant with the quality of a fast-food joint.

To be fair, nobody goes to BWW for a fine dining experience. As long as they have booze and sports on the big screen TVs, their customer base probably isn't going to give a shit.

Keyless Car Security Alert

Apparently, those fobs are always talking to the car if they're in range. So if a thief has a device called a "relay box," to intercept the signal, they can then use that gizmo to steal the car.
West Midlands Police believe it is the first time the high-tech crime has been caught on camera.
...
The theft took just one minute and the Mercedes car, stolen from the Elmdon area of Solihull on 24 September, has not been recovered.
If you have a car that has such a system, precautions are advised.

(H/T)

Trump Can't Even Be Civil When He Tries

Trump had to make a racist crack in front of some of the surviving Navajo Code-Talkers.

Trevor Noah got in the best comment:



"Dances With Putin"... heh.

Monday, November 27, 2017

James O'Keefe is a Despicable Excuse for a Human Being

O'Keefe, convicted criminal that he is, tried to send one of his minions to entrap the Washington Post into running a bogus story about Roy "The Creep" Moore.

It did not go well. The Post caught it.

The paper will honor off-the-record requests if the person requesting it is being straight with them. But since O'Keefe's minion wasn't being honest, they've released what they know about the minion. Who is named Jaime T. Phillips.

Trump gave O'Keefe's "charity" ten grand in `15.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Your Sunday Morning Big Prop Noise

The Berlin Airlift Foundation's C-97:

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Trump's Shifting Reality

When the Access Hollywood tape surfaced 13 months ago, Trump said that was him on the tape.

Now he's denying that.
He suggested to a senator earlier this year that it was not authentic, and repeated that claim to an adviser more recently. (In the hours after it was revealed in October 2016, Mr. Trump acknowledged that the voice was his, and he apologized.)
Trump is gone past lying to his family, his business associates (I doubt if he has any real friends), his party and the nation.

Now he's lying to himself. If reality isn't to his liking, he constructs an alternative reality in his head and goes there.

It should be clear, by now, that Trump's lawyers were saying that Mueller's investigation would be over by Thanksgiving as a fib to control an unruly client. It's sort of like telling a five-year-old, when they're badgering you about "when will we get there", that "we'll be there in ten minutes", when you're an hour away. Trump would have flipped out if they had told him that Mueller's not winding things down, but that he's still building up steam.

It's going to be a race between impeachment, Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, and Trump blowing his fuses and collapsing.

It's a safe bet that most of the GOP establishment is praying for Trump to blow his fuses before he does more damage to his party than he already has.

The End of an Era for the NYPD

According to Glock Talk, the NYPD has announced that revolvers will no longer be authorized as duty weapons, as of August 31, 2018. One of the threads posted a blurry and unreadable photo of a memo.

UPDATE: Photo replaced with a clearer copy from the Smith & Wesson Forum:


Speculation is that there are so few coppers left on the NYPD who are carrying revolvers that the Department doesn't want to have to continue maintaining them, buying ammunition and running qualifications for them.

I suspect that there are few old cops that management wants to push out and they believe that those old guys will retire rather than switch to a bottom-feeder.

Caturday

Chip the Laundry Supervisor.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Makes Me Want to Cry; Shutterbuggery Ed.

I volunteer at a thrift store that supports the local no-kill animal shelter. My job is to triage and sort the incoming donations.

This camera setup came in today:


I can't tell you how much it aches my soul that a Canon AE-1 with a Canon 65-200mm zoom lens is now worthy only of being donated to a thrift store. I don't know if it works, as the AE-1s required a battery to run them. Unlike, say, the FTs, (I had one, back in the day) that only needed a battery for the light meter.

I've been active in photography from the prosumer level to professional press photography. The difference between film photography and digital is akin to the difference between shooting with a muzzleloader and shooting a minigun with government-furnished ammo. You'd set things up, take the shot, and unless you had access to a darkroom, it could be days or weeks until you knew whether or not you got the shot. And if you were a not-wealthy amateur, using good film like Kodachrome was expensive. so you made sure that you got the shot that you wanted.

But digital? Once you've bought the camera and the SD card, there's no additional cost differential between shooting one photo and a thousand. Oh, if you have a camera that uses replaceable batteries (I like my A1000 because it uses two AAs), you might go through a few sets. But that cost is negligible.

Yes, I can be a bit of an old-school girl. I fly a `40s airplane. Today, I carried a S&W M&P that dates back to the Roaring 20s. But I abandoned film without a qualm.

Because It's Friday

I'm going to step away from railroading this week. This is a film on making steel in Britain in 1945. There are some railroad shots in it, but not many:


Nobody would walk into such a place today. Back then, their idea of safety headgear was wearing two fedoras. Guys are peering into open steel furnaces without any sort of safety goggles, let alone dark glasses. Leather gloves seem to be it for safety gear.

By modern standards, this is almost a horror movie.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Has Flynn Flipped?

Maybe.
Michael Flynn's lawyers have told other defense lawyers in the ongoing Russia probe, including President Donald Trump's legal team, that they're no longer able to share information, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.

The source added that the decision to cease informal information-sharing could be an indication Flynn is preparing to plead guilty in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
I'm going to dust off my popcorn-popper.

Thanksgiving Bangity

Part of the Thanksgiving ritual was to go out into the back pasture's ravine and do some shooting. Chip was "helping" me clean some guns:

Clockwise from the upper left: A FN High Power, a S&W Model 64 and a Smith & Wesson M&P.

All were used to help some pumpkins get a jump-start on recycling. I have a Savage .22 bolt-action rifle with an Accu-trigger and a scope that a early-teenaged boy used to shoot a small pumpkin into itty-bitty pieces.

At Chip's feet, you can see the bore brush that he kept trying to steal. I was able to distract him by allowing him to swipe a cotton swab.

I need to detail-strip and clean my 22/45, for the trigger wasn't always resetting.

ARA San Juan Likely Lost a Week Ago

Hopes that the 44 crew of a missing Argentine submarine might still be alive have been dashed after the navy said an event consistent with an explosion had been detected.

The "abnormal, singular, short, violent, non-nuclear event" was recorded in the south Atlantic by a nuclear test watchdog last week.
It seems that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization has hydrophone stations to detect oceanic anomalies (such as large explosions). Eight days ago, they picked up an explosion in the South Atlantic in he area where the sub was known to be. After analyzing the data, they told the Argentinians that today.

But now it seems that the U.S. Navy told the same thing to the Argentinians two days ago. The Argentinian Navy chose to keep quiet. The families of the submarine's crew are understandably pissed off about what they see as being lied to, especially when one considers that the San Juan reported a battery mishap, a fact that the Argentine Navy kept under wraps until Monday.

King Arthur Flour

Some years ago, I posted a recipe for easy-to-make bread.

Life being what it is, I've not made it very much recently. When there is a gathering for a special feast, I'll whomp up a couple of loaves. The stores where I have been for the last several years didn't carry much in the way of flour, other than the generic store brands and Gold Medal. The bread I made from them was pretty good, all right.

But now the stores here are carrying King Arthur flour. So I bought some and used it when I made bread early this morning. A number of people at dinner today were raving about the bread, saying that it was the best I've ever made. The only change from other times was the flour.

If you're baking, look for King Arthur flour. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Highly recommended.

Happy Thanksgiving!

("Stickied" to noon on Thanksgiving)



On a number of radio stations back in the day, playing the entire song was a Thanksgiving tradition. Some of them were commercial stations-- almost nineteen minutes of no commercials. And some of them played it twice, at noon and 3 PM.

The judge was really blind, he had a Seeing-Eye dog. He played himself in the movie (as did Officer Obie).

I hope that if you're in America, you and yours have a good Thanksgiving. Try not to punch out your racist uncle or your commie nephew.

And please, enjoy the day without resorting to rampant consumerism.

Or burning down your hostess's house.



(Yes, this is a complete repeat from last year's post. So sue me.)

Yet Another Conservative Sex Hypocrite

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), who apologized Wednesday for a lewd photo of him that circulated on the Internet, told a woman to whom he had sent sexually explicit photos, videos and messages that he would report her to the Capitol Police because she could expose his behavior, according to a recording reviewed by The Washington Post.

The woman spoke to The Post after the lewd photo was published Tuesday by an anonymous Twitter account. She shared a secretly recorded phone conversation she had with Barton in 2015 in which he warned her against using the explicit materials “in a way that would negatively affect my career.”
Barton was married when he was doing this crap. Adultery is apparently OK for the "family values" crowd.

Gee. What was it that Barton and his cronies complaining about regarding Bill Clinton?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Running Out of Time for the ARA San Juan

It's been a week since the San Juan last made contact. As of this afternoon, the search has come up empty.

The Royal Navy is helping, a fact that didn't stop some Argentine politicians from showing that they are truly assholes.

54 Years

What I wrote nine years ago.

Haven't forgotten that the Right was so poisonous in its hatred of President Kennedy that people were cheering.

Travel Safely!

AAA projects 50.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving, a 3.3 percent increase over last year. The 2017 holiday weekend will see the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005 with 1.6 million more people taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways compared with last year. AAA and INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predict travel times in the most congested cities in the U.S. during the holiday week could be as much as three times longer than the optimal trip.
Be patient on the roads. You'll get there, eventually.

Start with a full tank of gas, though. You might need it, in spots.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving once you get there.

One Serial Sexual Harasser Goes to Bat For Another

Is there anyone who is even remotely surprised by this:
President* Donald Trump on Tuesday implicitly endorsed Roy Moore, the Republican Senate nominee in Alabama, telling reporters as he left the White House for a Thanksgiving trip to Palm Beach, Florida, "We don't need a liberal person ... a Democrat," in that seat.

In the past two weeks, Moore has been accused of sexual misconduct by several women, including one who told The Washington Post that he initiated a sexual encounter with her in 1979, when she was 14 and he was in 32.

"He totally denies it," Trump said on Tuesday of the sexual-misconduct allegations against Moore.
Trump, who has a long alleged history of being a creep, and whom denies it all, really couldn't do anything else but stand up for a fellow sexual-harassment-denier.

Speaking of Moore, it now seems that he might have set his sights on his future wife when she was all of fifteen. She was performing in a children's dance recital and Moore was there, watching.

Of course he was, the creep. How many adult men in their late 20s go to kiddie dance recitals, unless they have a family member who is performing? I'm guessing that, excluding pedophiles and other creeps, the number is somewhere between zero and a very small number.

At this point in the game, Trump would support a cannibal if the cannibal pledged fealty to El Caudillo Trumpo.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Fire; Political/Media

The flames of accusations against public figures are intensifying. Women and men who, in thepast, were afraid to come forth are now doing so. Jon Conyers, Charlie Rose and Al Franken are among the latest men so accused. If Wisdom of the Crowd wasn't already being axed, it might be now that its leading actor, Jeremy Piven has been accused. Kevin Spacey was deleted from a soon-to-be released movie.

I'm not discounting the possibility that some of the accusations may be bogus. The Duke lacrosse scandal is instructive. Multiple accusers, though, make a false accusation less likely.

It's also instructive to see what the accused do. Are they digging in? Are they admitting to the accusations that are true, apologizing unconditionally[1] and standing up to take whatever they have coming to them?[2] Or are they weaseling out with non-denial denials and claims of conspiracy?[3]

And what about the guy who wants to bang his own daughter and who brazenly strolled into the dressing room of teenaged girls and bragged about grabbing other women by their groins, well, he seems to be getting a pass.

"It's OK If You're a Republican" is once, more, a rule of the game.[4]
_____________________________________________
[1] "I'm sorry if you were offended by my conduct" is bullshit.
[2] Otherwise known as "acting like a man".
[3] Otherwise known as "pulling a Roy Moore".
[4] We expect less from Republicans. And that's exactly what we get.

Fire

Four seniors are presumed dead from a fire at an assisted living complex.


The facility is a multi-level care facility; independent living, assisted living (which they call "personal care"), memory care (dementia, I guess) and nursing home care.

Kendal is a high-end operation. The buy-in at those places is the cost of a nice home in a suburb of a medium-sized city; the monthly payment for the independent living sections, depending on the size of the unit, is two or more Aircraft Maintenance Units.

It's not one of those places where the nursing home has a smell that has a base note of stale piss. But at those prices, it shouldn't smell like that to begin with.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Was His Office in the Basement of a Pizza Parlor (in Tulsa)?

Ralph Shortey, a former Oklahoma state senator who last year served as Donald Trump's campaign chair in the state, was meticulous about keeping up his reputation as a pious man, according to several fellow Oklahomans. That reputation, however, has all but disappeared. According to Shortey's attorney, the former Republican lawmaker will plead guilty to one count of child sex trafficking on Nov. 30.

And Yet, He's Working for Said Dimbulb

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster mocked President Trump’s intelligence at a private dinner with a powerful tech CEO, according to five sources with knowledge of the conversation.
...
A sixth source who was not familiar with the details of the dinner told BuzzFeed News that McMaster had made similarly derogatory comments about Trump’s intelligence to him in private, including that the president lacked the necessary brainpower to understand the matters before the National Security Council.
You might recall that Rex Tillerson allegedly said something similar.

Whether McMaster is a toady who will do whatever it takes to cleave close to a center of power or if he is bravely sacrificing his reputation in order to do what he can to preserve the Republic is a question for another time.

Meanwhile, for the first time since Nixon began going batshit, there is active discussion as to a president's powers to order a nuclear strike.

Interesting times.

Apropos of Nothing In Particular.

Only Speak "Good" of the Dead

Good!
Charles Manson, the notorious cult leader who directed his followers to commit a string of brutal murders, and who became a symbol of the dark side of 1960s counterculture, has died aged 83.
May his remains be cremated and his ashes thrown into cesspools.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

One of Argentina's Submarines is Missing

The sub may have sent some satellite comm signals. But nobody is too sure where it is.

The U.S. Navy is sending SRDRSs to Argentina.

Being trapped in a sub at the bottom has to be a bubblehead's worst nightmare. The TR-1700 class has a test depth of 300 meters, which, as it's a German design, implies a crush depth of 600 meters. The SRDRS resportedly can go that deep.

If the sub can be found in time.

Tips About Planet Nirubu or Nibiru or Whatever the Hell It's Called

The conspiracy theorists have been going batshit about their latest bit of insanity- that a rogue planet is going to smash into the Earth, eject Earth from the Solar System, or so alter Earth's orbit that Earth will be uninhabitable.

First off, none of this shit is real. It's a recurring bit of popular insanity that is driving a NASA planetary scientist bonkers.

Second, if this shit were real, there is fuck-all that could be done about it.

But this shit is not real. There is zero evidence of any such planet. So if you believe in this shit, ther's what you should do: If you're a woman, call your gynecologist and schedule an emergency tubal ligation. If you're a man, call your urologist and schedule an emergency vasectomy.

Here are some helpful tips for the believers in this shit:
  • Do not stick knives into electrical outlets.
  • Do not run with scissors.
  • Do not go outside during a thunderstorm and hold golf clubs over your head.
  • There are no Nigerian princes who want to send you fifteen million dollars.
Actually, that there is anybody who believes in this shit is depressing as all hell. It's not just one or two, but millions. Maybe tens of millions. People who vote and reproduce.

We are so screwed.

Your Sunday Morning Turboprop Noise



As suggested by The Old NFO.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Television Irony

Wisdom of the Crowd has reportedly been canceled for low ratings.

Nationwide Ain't On Your Side

A Nationwide Insurance agent named Jonathan Yeamans, who couldn't tell the difference between hibiscus and marijuana, ratted out his clients to the cops. The cops did one of their patented SWAT-stile early morning raids on a couple in their sixties, placing a 66 year-old woman, who was wearing only a bra and panties, in the back of a police cruiser in handcuffs while the cops extensively searched the property. Only to, in the end, confirm that yes, it was a hibiscus plant.

Nationwide still canceled their insurance.

The couple is suing everyone they can possibly name. Including Yeamans the Rat.

Nationwide is most definitely not on your side.

No Doubt that Trump Loves Him Some Oil Leaks

A total of 210,000 gallons of oil leaked Thursday from the Keystone Pipeline in South Dakota, the pipeline's operator, TransCanada, said.

Crews shut down the pipeline Thursday morning, and officials are investigating the cause of the leak, which occurred about three miles southeast of the town of Amherst, said Brian Walsh, a spokesman for the state's Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
And then there was this quote:
"The safety of the public and environment are our top priorities and we will continue to provide updates as they become available," the company said.
Yeah, sure they are. {/sarcasm} This isn't exactly an aging pipeline as things go. Dumping over 200,000 gallons of oil into the local watershed isn't a minor event.

You can be pretty sure that Trump had a two word reaction to the news of the leak, along the lines of "oh, well" or "shit happens", if he even heard about it. Probably not, for "Fox and Friends" is a propaganda show, not a news show.

Caturday

Chip was a contented and warm kitty on the morning that this photo was taken.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Lies of Omission; Jerod Ed.
And Other Trumpist Stupidity
And Palin

Two senators sent Mr Kushner a letter demanding additional documents as part of an ongoing investigation into Russia's alleged election meddling.

The lawmakers said they became aware of the documents through other witnesses.

A lawyer for Mr Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law, said he was "open to responding to any additional requests".
Senate Judiciary committee chairman Senator Charles Grassley, a Republican, and Senator Diane Feinstein, top Democrat on the panel, wrote that the emails were omitted from documents Mr Kushner was asked to turn over last month.
One has to wonder about when the Bureau of Prisons is going to repaint Kushner's father's old prison cell and ready it for Jerod.

Meanwhile, the Trump-appointed head of community outreach at DHS resigned after his history of making batshit-crazy racial comments came to light:
The Rev. Jamie Johnson, director of the Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), resigned Thursday night after a CNN report revealed racially disparaging remarks he made during past talk radio appearances.

In a statement from acting DHS press secretary Tyler Houlton, the agency confirmed that acting Secretary Elaine Duke had accepted Johnson's resignation and condemned his past remarks.
Houlton made his comments over several years. But in his "I'm outta here" statement, he pretty much said that he's changed his mind, now that he has had an opportunity to meet black people and Muslims. If that's true, then I applaud his change of beliefs.

Elsewhere, Trump and his kids never questioned why a salesman was able to sell Trump condos in Panama for three times the market rate. Seems that as long as the checks cleared, they looked the other way.

Changing gears, Sarah Palin had some words to say about sexual harassment:


I give her props for quickly realizing that going off on a partisan rant would have not been appropriate. She was clearly about to, then thought better of it.

Revos

Yellow on the front sight of the M64 didn't work very well. I changed it to orange. I also had a light recrowning done, as it looked pretty nasty. I was able to run it at a not-terribly-low rate on a B-27 target at ten yards. It's not a collector's gun, but having a stainless gun in a place where summertime humidity can get into the "fuck me, I'm melting" zone is a good thing.

I bought the recent M15-3 kind of on a whim, and because nobody seemed to notice the auction. I already had a Model 15, but it seems that it has some collector value, in that it's a "no dash" model with original grips and the factory-installed trigger stop. Model 15s were intended to be service guns (hence the original name of "Combat Masterpiece"). It turned out that in heavy use, the trigger stop screw could loosen, the stop would rotate and jam things up. S&W advised removing them.

Revolvers have a few advantages in any possible changes in the political landscape. But you can figure that out for yourself. I do have a permit in at least one state with capacity limits. And, if the future calls for me to move toone of those places, I won't be faced with either having to sell off guns or get neutered magazines for others.

Besides that, I like them. I tend to shoot them better. And I've found that they conceal better, as the big mass in a IWB carry is inside the belt-line.

Because It's Friday

Indian narrow-gauge steam:


If the other tracks look wide to you, you're right. India uses a rail gauge of 5'6".

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Scratch a Republican Family Values Legislator and You'll find a Closet Case

[Ohio] State Rep. Wes Goodman, who consistently touted his faith and conservative values, abruptly resigned late Tuesday after being confronted with evidence of inappropriate conduct with another man inside his Riffe Center office, the second Ohio lawmaker to fall within a month.

House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarksville, met Tuesday afternoon with the Cardington Republican soon after the speaker became aware of an incident from weeks ago in the lawmaker’s office that, sources said, involved a male in a consensual situation.

Sucking Up to the Banksters is a Bipartison Affair

Rep. Gwen Moore, a Democrat from Wisconsin and Sen. Mark Warner (D-WV) are trying to make it easier for payday lenders to do their evil fuckery.

Considering that those vultures target people living on the edge with interest rates that are at loan-shark rates, one has to wonder why Moore is siding with them. And considering the racial identity of Moore and the state Warner is from, you'd think that both would have an interest in making it harder for the banksters and the legalized loan sharks to target poor people and minorities.

But sadly, no. You have to wonder how much of the banksters' filthy lucre campaign contributions they had to take in order to betray their constituents in such a fashion.

For shame, guys. You have a lot of gall to be standing up for guys like these two future residents of a Federal Crossbar Hotel.

Why Did Moore Stop Being a Perv?

The allegations keep coming that Roy Moore was pretty much preying on teenagers over a five-year span, even calling them up at school.

Why did he stop? It wasn't marriage, for he didn't get married until `85.

Did somebody in law enforcement pull him aside and point out that if he continued on, that he'd be arrested? Or did one of the male relatives of the girls he was creeping on have a little "man to shotgun" talk with him? Could any of that be why he left the area and went to work on a ranch in Australia?

He wouldn't be the first guy to realize that his behavior was not in line with a prosperous life. Is there such a thing as a "dry pervert"?

Self-Driving Trucks

The trucking industry and tech companies are spending a billion dollars a year, now, to develop self-driving trucks.

As I've mentioned before, I think the implementation of self-driving trucks will result in the largest elimination of working-class jobs since the railroads dieselized. Or robots took over the vehicle production lines. But so far, no politician is seriously talking about what will happen.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Meetings

I was at a meeting earlier today. The presenter and one of the people asking questions were two individuals who couldn't stop talking. I observed to the people at my table that "they must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle." I could have been speaking in Finnish for the number of blank stares that observation generated.

Kids these days have no knowledge of the classics.

Poor Little Jeffrey's Memory

Lord only knows how Jeff Sessions remembers how to feed himself, given that his memory is so awful.

Tanks for the Memories

An Army training film on infantry countermeasures against tanks.


Some of it is still good information, especially using small-arms fire to force the tank crews to button up. That's a problem that's being worked on. I'll bet that a gizmo to launch a cloud of small flechettes at a tank to disable those camera systems is already in the works.


Coup Day

Robert Mugabe has been deposed. He tried to designate his wife as his successor, which seems to have been a step too far for the army.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Shooting at Kraut Fighters From the Air

A WW2 training flick:


Astute viewers will recognize who did the movie.

GOP Feels Sorry About Larry Craig

You might remember ol' "Wide-Stance" Larry, the senator who was busted for propositioning men in an airport bathroom. Of course, that was ten years ago, when the GOP, the Gathering of Old Perverts, had a shred of moral outrage left.

Not any more, it seems. Ten years ago, a perv like Roy Moore would have had the moral decency to slink back under his rock. Now, they have to try and push him to quit and so far, Gropin' Roy isn't going away.

Now we see that the only value that the "values voters" cherish is political power. They will tolerate anyone, even an alleged child molester, so long as said alleged molester cloaks himself in their cloth.

I guess I'm old enough to recall when the Republicans claimed that they had the moral high ground. Not any more.

So this is what I say: If the evangelicals and "values voters" are so enamored of political power that they will tolerate knowingly support the candidacy of an alleged pedophile, then that tells me all that I need to know about their so-called morals and values.

And if the voters of Alabama elect Moore as their senator, that tells me all that I need to know about their state.

10mm Revolvers

Ruger is now offering its Super Redhawk in 10mm Auto.

Unless you have a real need to shoot 10mm, my initial reaction is that this doesn't pass the Wuffo Test.

The Super Redhawk is a 54oz gun. Almost all of the other Super Redhawks are in more potent calibers. From what I can see, a 10mm doesn't do anything that a .41 Magnum can't.

My real beef is that the 10mm is a rimless cartridge, so you'd need some flavor of moon clip in order to extract the fired case. That's just one more little bit of metal, and if you're going to avoid bending them, you'll need a "mooning" and "demooning" tools. If they do get bent, then they'll likely jam the gun.

To my mind, one of the advantages of a revolver is that you don't need to have anything else: Just ammunition to shoot. Oh, sure, you can get speedloaders for a faster reload. If you're a serious competition shooter, you can have them set for moon clips for revolver rounds. But the guns so converted will still chamber, fire and extract single rounds.

If you lose the moonclips for a revolver firing automatic cartridges, or if the clips are damaged, you have a gun that is a paperweight. If the chambers are set to headspace the rounds on the cartridge mouths, you have a gun that you can shoot, provided that you have a dowel rod with which to punch out the empties.

I don't know of what can be done in any of the revolvers chambered for autoloading cartridges that can't be done with an equivalent revolver round, which is both rimmed and crimped for use in revolvers.

But what the hell do I know. If a 10mm revolver floats yer boat, break out your plastic and go for it.

Smith Model 64

Southern Ohio Gun has (or had) a number of S&W M64s in the "skosh below $300" range. I bought one through my LGS:


It is a 64-5. For some reason, somebody put square-butt Pachmyer grips on a round-butt gun. That'll be something I'll change, eventually. The timing is OK. It's kind of close on a couple of double-action cylinders, but it's good for now. There's no endshake. It's definitely a shooter-grade gun that has seen some hard use.

I took it to the range. This is at ten yards, with the bare stainless-steel fixed sights:


I'll paint them before the next range outing with some cheap yellow nail polish on the front post and black on the rear notch. Shiny metal sights are not very friendly to use. I like using nail polish for changing the colors of sights, for it's cheap, easy to touch up and if I want to change the color or remove it completely, it comes right off with some acetone on a cotton ball or swab.

Now I have three of the classic five stainless Ks. If I see a 67 at a good price, I'll jump on that. 68s are rare, I've never seen one, let alone seen one up for sale.