Just a Thought

September 25th, 2017

The other day I wrote about the train wreck that is Star Trek: Discovery. Was reading a blog post about another science geeks’s impression here:

http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=35837

And it occurred to me why ST:D is so terrible: they’re trying to make a pirate-proof show, a show so awful that you’ll never see it on the torrents.

Makes as much sense as any, so I’m going to go with that.

Monday Afternoon

September 25th, 2017

zzzzzzzzzzzz

It’s very tough being a cat, you know.

As If You Needed Another Reason

September 22nd, 2017

So the latest installment in the Trek-i-verse, Star Trek: Discovery is a hot mess. I’ve seen trailers, and I’m pretty sure there isn’t enough money to bribe me into watching it.

But wait! There’s more!

The co-executive producer of the new series “Star Trek: Discovery” has told Rolling Stone that President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign was “front and center in our minds” as they developed it — so much so that the rallying cry of the show’s villains is specifically patterned after the Trumpster credo “Make America Great Again”

“We felt like it would be interesting to really look at what’s going on in the United States,” Aaron Harberts told Rolling Stone, noting that the series’ primary villains — an extremist Klingon sect — scream “Remain Klingon,” something deliberately reminiscent of “Make America Great Again.”

As Harberts put it, “It’s a call to isolationism. It’s about racial purity, and it’s about wanting to take care of yourself. And if anybody is reaching a hand out to help you, it’s about smacking it away . . . That was pretty provocative for us, and it wasn’t necessarily something that we wanted to completely lean into. But it was happening. We were hearing the stories.”

Sigh. They couldn’t come up with something marginally clever, like “make batlefs great again!”. Stodgy, preachy, and full of themselves. When will they figure it out and just go away?

I mean, ST: Voyager was a bit much (even though I watched the first few seasons. Seven of Nine, FTW!!), but ST:D seems to have the suck turned up to eleven. Thankfully, there’s Star Wars. Oh, wait.

All Nice and Legal Like

September 22nd, 2017

This amuses me greatly:

https://silencerco.com/maxim50/

For the first time since the National Firearms Act (NFA) was created in 1934, civilians can enjoy suppressed shooting in all 50 states with SilencerCo’s latest innovation: the integrally suppressed Maxim 50 muzzleloader. In addition, this product can be purchased right now on the web with no regulation (no 4473, no $200 tax stamp, no photographs, and no fingerprints) and be shipped immediately to the customer with few exceptions.

Of course, as all us gunnies know full well, a muzzleloader isn’t a firearm by Federal definition, so suppressing a non-gun is a non-issue.

The manual says to remove the breechplug and run water from each end until the water runs clear. This suggests that using real no-kidding black powder isn’t a great idea. There doesn’t seem to be any way to take it apart so you can scrub the baffles either.

Still, despite the expense ($999!), knowing that simply owning such a thing will make the Brady Bunch cry and gnash their teeth is a powerful temptation. My personal definition of “inline muzzleloader” is “fake”, and I don’t care what you all think. All of my front stuffers have sidelocks as God and Nature intended, so there. That having been said, having what is essentially a Fudd Gun (i.e., a gun that your average Remchester owner can operate without the learning curve that accrues to black powder) but with a can on the front end is very tempting.

But How Will They Go Home at the End of Their Shift?

September 20th, 2017

http://dailycaller.com/2017/09/20/federal-court-ruling-guts-police-ability-to-use-guns/

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Seattle police can only use force “proportional” to the threat they face, seriously damaging the Seattle Police Department’s ability to use firearms.

The ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the use of force reforms put in place by federal mandates under the Obama administration that required police to use only “objectively reasonable force, proportional to the threat or urgency of the situation,” the Associated Press reports. The unanimous ruling strikes down a lawsuit filed by a group of more than 120 Seattle officers in 2014 who claimed that the strict reforms infringe on an officer’s right to self defense and the Second Amendment.

“The City of Seattle has a significant interest in regulating the use of department-issued firearms by its police officers,” Judge William Hayes wrote, adding that the policy “did not impose a substantial burden on plaintiffs’ right to use a firearm.”

Blog-brother Jeffersonian regularly asks of the police “What order would you not obey?”

Here’s your answer, Jeff

Fun Week

September 18th, 2017

So, yeah, hurricane Irma. She came for a visit on the 10th. Didn’t stay very long, but left a total mess behind. The internet stopped working about 2035, and the power went out at 2106. Of course I was sitting in front of this very computer, so I know exactly what time this all went down.

One of the first things I bought when I moved down here in 2006 was a fairly good sized generator: 13.5 kW peak, 8 kW sustained output, which is far more capable than what I needed. Being a curmudgeon has certain benefits, you know.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Florida, south of about Orlando is the Tropics, at least weather-wise. We have two seasons: a hot, wet Summer and a cool, dry Winter. The change happens mid-October and mid-April. This being only September it was a balmy 92-94 degrees all week. Talk about fun times.

I had guessed that the power would be out for only a short time, and had stocked that amount of gas. Then I found out that the storm had done such damage that we’d be out of electricity for about a week. Swell. So we had to go out and sit in hours-long lines to refill the gas cans. There was plenty of gasoline around, the problem was there wasn’t any juice to run the pumps. It took a few days for the County to coordinate getting gennys to the various gas stations to get them up and running. Fortunately, I didn’t lose any food, although I noticed tonight that there were a couple of packages that got frozen together, so it was close. By the end of the week things were operating smoothly, but Wednesday was a bear getting fuel.

A giant branch came off one of the oaks and tore a foot-square chunk out of the eave, but not into the house itself. Another oak from the neighbor’s yard came down onto the garage roof, snapping beams and rafters like matchsticks. That’s gonna cost a bit to fix. Thankfully there’s insurance for that. The looming problem there is that the garage/workshop had gotten a severe termite infestation which we took care of last summer, so everything is shot full of bore holes. It’s not gonna make much sense to hang a new roof on a basically rotten structure, so I’m hoping I can talk the adjustor into writing off the whole thing and build new.

The neighborhood was safe and quiet. This is a Southern high-trust area, and we’re all armed to the teeth, so there weren’t any break-ins or other such nonsense. The local radio station had some moron crawl under their van and stick a Phillips screwdriver into the gas tank to take the fuel. There were a couple (like, literally two) curfew violations, and that’s about it crime-wise. No looting, no rioting, nothing.

The other neighbor had one of her trees come down and block the driveway. I had had the sense of parking the car up close to the house so it wasn’t touched. Anyway, she had one of her nephews come over with a chainsaw and he cut most of it up sufficient to let us get the car out and on the road.

The big mango tree had a big branch break off, but the tree itself came through fine. I also lost one of my bananas, but the other guys are doing fine. Jalapenos and pineapple are all OK. In fact, I was taking pictures of the storage shed for the insurance and found two pineapple plants that I didn’t know about growing back there, so it looks like I’ll be getting a second crop of six of the guys in about a month-and-a-half or so.

The cats managed to get out. FloCat, who is about elebenty, stayed on the back deck. The young Lord, on the other hand, thought that this was the bestest thing ever and refused to come inside until Saturday night because he was hungry. I had been patching stuff up, but hadn’t yet gotten to one of the screen doors, so they all staged a break-out again last night. It was threatening to rain as the sun went down tonight, so they all decided that watching the rain from the nice dry inside was a good plan, so they’re all back inside. I, of course repaired that door, so when the brain trust decided that it wasn’t going to rain they couldn’t escape. Deathwalker (who is sacked out next to me right now) was particularly miffed about that. He’ll get over it.

The power came back on about 9AM Saturday, and THE ALMIGHTY INTERNETS returned about 2:00 yesterday (Sunday). It was glorious sleeping in the air conditioning, especially after 5.5 days of doing without. I’m still catching up on all the stuff I missed, and I see that the world didn’t descend into too much chaos while I wasn’t able to see.

So that was my week. Fun times, fun times.

More Collusion

September 8th, 2017

The other day (http://seeemilyplay.therealgunguys.com/?p=6202), I wrote about the guy who got shot by a cop. Not that such a thing is terribly unusual, but because the guy didn’t want his attempted murderer to face any real consequences.

Today, there’s this:

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170902/16525438145/police-chief-says-hell-decide-who-is-isnt-real-journalist.shtml

Sheboygan’s Police Chief, Chris Domagalski, corrects errors in a story circulating on social media this week, accusing his department of withholding information from the community. The story involved the arrest of a Sheboygan man facing several felony drug charges, resisting arrest, and biting an officer at Erie and North 14th Street.

[…]

Domagalski, armed with facts, and the law, spoke out about the accusations, encouraging the community to be very careful about where they get their news – saying “Because you have a website and a facebook page, does not make you a journalist. When you engage in repeated unethical conduct, your character is revealed, and people should weigh that in their decision about whether they rely on you for news.”

The guy might have a point. We’ve seen the Zimmerman/Martin thing, the thing in Missouri, the nonsense in Baltimore, the list is nearly endless when somebody with an axe or two to grind takes an incident and blows it out of proportion.

But that’s not what caught my eye. This is:

Unfortunately, the writer for WHBL Radio seems inclined to consider only those who show tons of deference to police officials to be real journalists. Those that question the actions and motives of government entities are nothing more than non-journalist interlopers.

Some of that sentiment can be picked up in the first sentence of the second quoted paragraph:

Domagalski, armed with facts, and the law…

That’s some credible stenography right there. Then again, someone without even a Facebook page or a website could have transcribed Domagalski’s statement without pausing to infer the chief was wholly in the right.

There’s more, though.

(…)

Apparently, people employed by WHBL will also be determining who is or isn’t a “credible journalist.” Defined in these surrounding terms, it will be those who publish whatever the PD provides, even if it appears to contradict what has been captured on video or gleaned from public records.

Just remember that if you dare to point out something fishy, you’re the problem.

Still Not the Flying Car I was Promised

September 8th, 2017

But interesting anyway:

https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/09/tesla-semi-truck-will-be-70-cheaper-to-operate-but-have-only-regional-truck-range.html

* Tesla Semi will have a range of 200-300 miles – primarily to support regional trucking routes.
* Tesla Semi potentially being up to 70% cheaper to operate than a regular truck

What I expect to see are a few of these batteries stacked by regular delivery points: the truck arrives, and while the cargo is being unloaded, the depleted battery is swapped out for one that’s already charged. The used battery is plugged in so it will be ready for the next guy.

As you can see, these are relatively short range things, so I’d expect some limited price drops in your local WalMart because it’ll cost less to get the stuff from the distribution center to your local Wally World.

I’m still waiting on the flying car. Don’t think I’m gonna let that go.

This Is What I Mean

September 8th, 2017

…when I talk about taking politicians out and hanging them, if for no other reason than pour encourager des autres:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-storm-irma-virginislands-insurance/u-s-virgin-islands-spent-money-intended-to-help-after-hurricanes-idUSKCN1BH38I

The U.S. Virgin Islands for years redirected money intended to help pay insurance claims after large disasters for other needs, raising the vulnerability of residents as Hurricane Irma ravishes the territory.

During years of yawning budget deficits, the U.S. protectorate tapped the V.I. Insurance Guaranty Fund to pay for other public services, according to government financial records reviewed by Reuters. Since 2007, nearly $200 million was transferred from the fund, including $45 million in fiscal 2011.

(…)

In 2012, government leaders reduced the minimum balance of its insurance guaranty fund to $10 million from $50 million. The fund earns about $16 million annually in revenue.

For those of you who have trouble with that math stuff, that’s a reduction of 80%.

Please recall that the major industry on those islands is tourism. No tourists, no inflow of cash. Would you care to wager where most of the money on hand is going to be spent? Yep, towards the hotels and resorts that the USVI depends on. You know who’s getting the short end of the stick? The people who actually keep those hotels and resorts running: the maids, cooks, valets, etc. Of course they’ll be expected to show up and work, never mind that when their day is done, they can look forward to sleeping in a tent.

Hoon!

September 6th, 2017

https://rmrbullets.com/shop/bullets-for-reloading/9mm-124-gr-rmr-fmj-flat-nose-mhi-hurrican-relief-10-of-sales-goes-to-houston-food-bank/

9mm 124 Gr. RMR FMJ Flat Nose *MHI Hurricane Relief* ***10% of sales goes to Houston Food Bank***

Not only that, but the nose of the bullets have the Monster Hunter logo on them!

Guns!

Sci-Fi!

Squee!