Thursday, April 28, 2016

Weekend Fun - Technology

The S.T.E.A.M. fest will be held in Boulder at the county fairgrounds,  9595 Nelson Road, Longmont, CO this weekend featuring Science, Technology, Entrepreneurship, Art, and Making. This is along the lines of the ever popular Maker Faire and is intended to be highly interactive. Bring your kids or just bring your inner kid.

I'll be in Barn "A" with Trains, Automobiles, Hackers, Occulus Rift... etc. Look for the large flying foam darts and talking robot head.

Repealing the PLCAA

The Protection of Legal Commerce in Arms Act protects the firearms industry from frivolous lawsuits by anti-rights do-gooders. Under this act, if someone shoots someone else for whatever reason, the maker of the firearm is exempt from any legal action. The exception to this being the case in which some party was injured due to a malfunction of the firearm. This principle is why when you get run over by a driver in a Chevy, that GM is not liable for having built the vehicle. The exception would be if the accident was caused by some manufacturing defect in the car that say caused the brakes to fail when the ignition key was yanked just so.

Hope springs eternal for the anti-gunners as explained in a newsletter I get,
For years, the gun industry has been immune from lawsuits for harm or deaths caused by their products, thanks to that bill, the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.”
No other industry enjoys immunity like this when their products hurt people.
You can sue for damage done by a toy water gun. If a faulty airbag breaks your arm in a car accident, you can sue the car company.
But when damage is done by a real gun, victims largely have no legal recourse. In some cases, victims’ families even end up paying the gun lobby’s legal fees for just filing suit.
But there’s a bill in Congress right NOW that would remove this immunity – the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act (H.R.4399).
The entire hysterical thing is a lie from start to finish.
Line 1: If a gun maker makes a defective product that injures someone through faulty operation, they can most certainly be sued.
Line 2: Every industry in the country is subject to this.
Line 3: If you are damaged by a defective water gun then yes you can sue. Astoundingly the second line here is true.
Line 4: Keeping the meaning of damage here as nebulous as possible. If you are injured by a real gun which worked as advertised, causing you to break off your assault, robbery, rape, whatever, then no, you can't sue the gun maker.

HR4399 I'm guessing has no chance of passing in a Republican house. Something to keep in mind as you stand in the voting booth this fall with a clothespin on your nose and contemplate your choices. You elect the individual but you get the party.

Now if your representative is a D, you might consider writing them to ask for an amendment to the Law of Gravity to reduce the gravitational constant from 32.2ft/sec^2 to say 16 ft/sec^2 as this would drastically reduce the number of senseless deaths due to falling, a far greater number than deaths due to firearms. Try it. I bet you get some very politely worded letters back assuring you that Senators Phogbound and Belfry are looking into this and will get back to you.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

QOTD - Rights

This from the Hildabeast recently:
"Any right that requires you to take extraordinary measures to access it is no right at all," Clinton recently lamented as she spoke about the prevalence of the anti-abortion movement's activism.
Or to put it another way, if any right can be bounded by enough such measures it essentially ceases to be a problem. Requiring people to be licensed to be considered a journalist, including employment at a recognized media outlet for example would limit investigative journalism to miscreants from the "wrong" party. If you put up a high enough poll tax, only call it something else, like a registration fee, then you reduce the amount of gerrymandering you have to do.

Oh yes, and about gun rights...

Boulder Channels Bloomberg

Boulder county may well have a ballot issue for the voters this fall to tax sugary soft drinks, presumably to save Boulderites from themselves.Guess what? Consumers will not be expected to pay the tax!

The proposed mechanism to enhance health and fitness funding is an excise tax of 2 cents per ounce on drinks that contain at least 5 grams of sugar, high-fructose corn syrup or other added sweeteners per 12 fluid ounces.
It would be paid by distributors of such drinks, and not by Boulder residents.
Let's see, 2 cents per ounce times 12 oz./can is $.24/can or $2.88/case. For the average Boulderite that would make it economically worthwhile to drive to an adjacent county to do ones shopping even if only one case of pop were on the list. For 2 cases, the same argument would work even if you drove the Lexus instead of the Prius.

If you think the distributors will be paying this tax instead of the end users, I have some ocean front property in Boulder county I can sell you. Cash only at my low, low price. Retail for pop is between $3 and $6 so the tax is running between 48 and 96%. Seems kinda steep.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Gun Fun - IDPA Qualifier

I shoot six shots in time of peace,
I shoot six shots in time of war.
I shoot six shots till I'm at slide lock,
Then I swap my mag and then I shoot six more.

To the "tune" of Colorado's unofficial state song.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Fun With Headlines - Widows

...a new study suggests that widows actually suffer less stress and frailty than wives whose husbands are still alive.

Sure, Especially when the coroners rule the death as due to "natural causes."

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Conductive Contact Lube

I use a card holder to read the card from my camera into the computer. This has worked fairly well until recently when the computer seems to refuse to acknowledge the presence of the card. I got some Bachmanns E-Z Lube conductive contact lube for a different problem and decided to give it a try. Rubbing a thin film onto the contacts on the card didn't help so I put a tiny drop onto the USP connector of the adapter. Voila! instant recognition.

For the real test, I have a connector on the Jag that has never been better than usually connected. Thorough cleaning helped for a while, but the problem is back. Next we try this stuff.

Anybody want to buy a Jag?


The birds are singing and all that. This fellow

And a friend were busily excavating a limb on my Linden tree this morning, tag teaming the tree, flitting up, excavating the limb, flitting back and spitting out the sawdust, back and forth for quite some time. Terrible picture, but it's what I got. The other bird was slightly smaller and lacked the black band. I thought they were English sparrows, but I'd never seen sparrows do this before.

That limb is easily 2 inches in diameter and the hole extends an inch up the limb in both directions. Impressive job for only one morning.

If I'm lucky, they'll develop a voracious appetite for Japanese beetles

Tubman On The Twenty

It has been announced that Harriet Tubman is the administrations pick to go on the $20 bill. For once I think this is a good idea, as Jackson in my mind is remembered as the founder of the Democratic party, and the man behind the Trail of Tears Indian relocation.

The only thing left to decide now is the actual portrait to use. I favor this one:
A gun-toting Republican woman. What's not to like.

Write Jack Lew at the Treasury department and demand this version.

Rumor has it that other currency is up for remodeling. Unconfirmed is the rumor that Obama plans to put himself on the $100. It is popular for heads of banana republics to put themselves on the largest note the general population is likely to be carrying and to decorate the lesser bills with their cronies.
With Hamilton fairly well secure on the $10 and Washington on the $1, expect to see Valerie Jarret on the $50 and Al Sharpton on the $5.

Update: Someone tipped them off. On a still night you can hear heads exploding.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Gay Crusades

Here's a nice piece on the suitability, or lack of same of knuckling under to the LGBT bomb squad, specifically in North Carolina.

Comments on that one are Facebook only which unfairly excludes me since my principles forbid my giving away my ranch to Facebook. At least up to this point.

According to my quick reference The state may not establish an official religion nor may it prohibit the free exercise of whatever yours is. A Christian can deplore your practices, but may not interfere with them and vice versa. Therefore compelling a Christian to endorse a practice that his religion describes as abhorrent is in violation of the free exercise part of the first amendment. Georgetown, a commenter* there, may carry on with traditional Scottish culture and the rest of us will politely look the other way.

Now run along to the Halal meat market and threaten to sue if they don't provide pulled pork for your next barbecue.

*You must be wrong because as a right winger you must be ever so mean. And I demand you write a column praising my decision to marry a sheep because I am entitled to affirmation.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Bangin' The Switch

Spring is when mother nature grabs the switch between Summer and Winter and bangs it up and down a few times just to keep us on our toes. Last few days = t-shirt weather, bicycle weather, all that and more including getting the broken branches from the last storm cleared away. Trees putting out new leaves and the fruit trees beginning to bloom.

Coming up: 1 in of rain Friday night, changing to 6-12" of snow over the weekend. Heavy wet snow too as the temps will be just above freezing up to the end.

Oh well, we need the water as usual.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Hillary On Probation?

U.S. News is suggesting that the President might let Hill cop to a misdemeanor and see to it that she got probation for the offense.

I suppose the formal pantsuit would cover the ankle bracelet while she takes the oath of office, following which she could pardon herself and have the thing removed.

Doggie Blogging

Took the dog out for a stroll up the trail today, thinking about what I could write about, and it occurred to me that her walk is all too close to what I'm doing. Along the internet trail she surfs walks, carefully reading sniffing every new post blade of grass and high standing weed. Sometimes I can see what has her interest as there's a big story pile of poop off to the side that has some interesting aspects. Sometimes she "comments" in passing, sometimes not. Sometimes she finds an otherwise unremarkable patch to be interesting enough to spend quite a while at, perusing the area in great detail, but then loses interest and resumes the walk.

She "comments" about every 200 yards and "posts" once or twice on a 2-3 mile walk.

Sounds about right, especially in an election year.

Cultural Appropriation

Gotta love this one from the Master, Bill Whittle. I mean who knew that rap was originally invented by a white man in the 1400's:

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

You Would Think...

That when someone has become nationally famous for complete cluelessness
"More Inmates, Despite Drop In Crime" by Butterfield in the New York Times on November 8, 2004
that people would be at least somewhat adverse to repeating the feat. James Taranto of the WSJ*1, however, has made finding things like this a regular feature in his daily column sometimes citing multiple efforts. Here's one that comes probably closer to the original than any I've seen to date:
“It’s puzzling that so many Americans are choosing to arm themselves at a time when the FBI tells us violent crime and property crime have been falling dramatically for two decades.”—John Burnett, NPR, April 12
I suppose that the obligatory subscription to the NYT*2
that has to come with a posting to NPR*3
doesn't help when you sometimes have to read the WSJ to get the jokes.

Acronym guide
1. WSJ Wall St Journal
2. NYT New York Times
3. NPR  National Public Radio