31 July 2008

Track Day!

Popped the Vette's cherry at the strip tonight!

My best run was 13.20@115.

Thanks to Marv for the action pic and movie.

Everyone's a critic, apparently I was taking too long to get down the track.

The Lovely Harvey ran the Biscayne SS, her first ever race on a real track. She did quite well for a first timer on the tree, a little hesitant the first run, over staged the second, got it all right the third. Her best time was 15.73@89.82. Good job Honey!

30 July 2008

Was It Me

My favorite snob is going to quit blogging as of November 30, 2008.

He mentions how the haters will celebrate. I've taken my jabs at him, but don't consider myself a hater, nor do I take any particular joy or regret that he's calling it quits.

Blogging is a voluntary activity, if you don't wanna any more, then go ahead and stop. If you wanna; blog away!

His announcement seemed a bit pompous until I considered how big his readership is. To simply quit without giving some warning to his readers would have caused massive outcry.

What I wonder is: Can he stay away? I ask because he's quit before and returned. Time will tell.

I wish him luck with his future since he doesn't seem to have had a lot of late.

28 July 2008

Do They Do ANY Research?

'm watching the Bullshit! episode on environmentalism.

At one point they are talking to the spokeswoman for Defenders of Wildlife. In the background are the doors to their corporate offices. Giant sheet glass doors, etched with their logo. Do they know what kind of pollution comes from etching glass?

Lego Will Rule Us All Someday

27 July 2008

I Try To Get Out And He Keeps Pulling Me Back In

My favorite snob has posted his opinion about what makes the best combat rifle.

His opinion has been influenced by a person he mentions in his post.

This person is a former Marine and is currently in the final stages of becoming an emergency medicine doctor.

Those two things do not make him an expert in firearms or cartridge design. But he sure talks like he is! He just lurves his 6.5 Grendel. He's also good at copy-paste from the opinions of the designer of the Grendel. It's better than anything else out there, especially 6.8x43mm which is just 7.62x39 made to work in an AR. He still believes that Remington is the driving force behind the round.

Um, no, 6.8 is not ballistically identical to 7.62x39mm in any current loading intended for a SAAMI Spec 2 chamber and using 1:11 rifling. Remington insisted on a chamber that was more appropriate for a bolt action than an AR and 1:10 rifling was specced because it came off a table for bore/bullet weight. It should be noted that the company that made the 6.8mm rifles for the SOCOM troops that used it, Barrett, specced their chamber almost identically to the spec 2 chamber. As an added bonus, the designers of the 6.8 were aware of the 6.5 Grendel and they discarded it in favor of developing their own round after first testing all of the alternative rounds available at the time! But you can't tell them that! His Holiness Bill Alexander issued forth the perfect round and it is Good. And patented. And expensive. And not for license.

6.8x43mm SPC was developed specifically to surpass the 7.62x39mm and also be superior to the M855 and mk 77 rounds at all ranges. On paper, the 6.5 surpasses the 6.8 at everything. In the real world you would be hard pressed to tell them apart inside of 600 yards. And there's damn little data out past 600 yards. What I do know is my 6.8 shoots a 3/4" group at 100 yards. At 200 yards, the front sight is larger than a man.

This leads the 6.5 types to start in about scopes. Then they start talking about impressive magnifications. Um, weren't we talking about combat just a second ago? An assault rifle with a 4-12x50mm scope? OK, drop it from 12 feet or so. Is it still zeroed? You are aware of the special care that snipers take in keeping their rifle from getting knocked about, aren't you? The Marines do seem to have a problem accepting that one cannot make a rifle both a sniper rifle and an assault rifle.

It drives them insane that anyone can be happy with 6.8x43mm SPC.

It really bothers them that it's combat tested. Barrett is still making them for the Special Ops guys.

26 July 2008

Campaigning Outside The US

There's just something wrong about it.

If you're running for the President of the USA, you shouldn't be going overseas to campaign. They don't get a say in the election, they can't vote. There aren't enough Americans overseas, really, to make such campaigns worth it.

The message I am getting is that you care far more about how Europe or Mexico sees you than how we lowly voters do.

I dunno, it's just unseemly. Beneath the level of the position you're seeking.

I can't put my finger on why it bugs me.

24 July 2008

eBay Motors

I surf the car listings a lot.

Not that I intend to buy, but to me it's fun to look. I've always liked window shopping.

I've noticed many sellers are really car dealers. These dealers have some, um, draconian conditions to the sales. All of the restrictions listed are on the buyer. I don't think I want a car that bad, thank you very much. Especially since the cars I look are are on the spendy side. Dude, you should be thanking me for plunking that kind of change down on your car, not making massive restrictions and time tables about how I will be delivering those funds.

Especially since I would be a cash buyer. No, I don't want to transfer $500 via PayPal within five business days. How about I bring the entire agreed upon amount physically to you within five days? No? Why must the first $500 be PayPay. Why must the balance be in certified funds that must be transferred to you before I can come over? Why are you so shy about taking cash?

Then there are those that demand positive feedback from you before you take possession of the car. Um, no. You want positive feedback, provide a positive experience. Don't hold me, and my purchase, hostage. The feedback ratings are a proxy for trustworthiness on eBay, so it's not surprising that a seller would want positive numbers, but it's far better to be a good seller than to force people to lie.

23 July 2008

Heller Fallout



DC is blatantly ignoring the SCOTUS ruling.

The ballot box and jury box have had their chances.

I'll try the soap box again, but I am afraid that the cartridge box is now required to get them to take us seriously.

Ropes. Trees. City government. Some assembly required.

22 July 2008

MPAA Fun

Money quote: "You can show a bullet exploding through a person’s head in Wanted, but you can’t show a guy simply holding a gun and pointing it in Watchmen."

http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Watchmen-Replaces-Guns-With-Walkie-Talkies-9577.html

21 July 2008

Obama Observation And I Am Not Alone

Obama has claimed there are 57 states. He's referred to the December 7th, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor as "the bomb that hit..." and numerous other silly little mistakes.

The scope of these errors is similar to spelling potato with an extra 'e'.

So, you hypocrites, is Dan Quayle now intelligent or is Barack Obama a "fucking moron"?

This is perhaps the most telling example of how the press has chosen a party in politics. Dan's little gaff was news for weeks! Barry's is not covered at all.

Please allow me to add, ignorant to the list of reasons I will not be voting Dem for President.

http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/comic/july24-2008/
Copyright 2008 Chris Muir

20 July 2008

Guinness In His New Home Enjoying The Ride

My protector has a seat-belt!



Marv did the sewing of the web belt. We cut slots into the clutter catcher behind the seat to attach the belt to the car.

It means a lot to me to have a bear from The Boy in both Hot Rods. The old bear is in the Biscayne SS.


This is CC, he's been riding security in the Biscayne for a while. He never seemed comfortable in the Vette.

18 July 2008

Happy Early Birthday!

I got The Lovely Harvey an extravagant birthday gift. Her b-day is not today, but I suck at waiting.

The bottommost earring is the gift. 0.78 total carat weight, H clarity. Really spendy, but I love her.

The Boy got her this:

This is Patches. Patches comes from http://www.buildabear.com/

Build-A-Bear is a really fun experience. You first pick the skin you like. Then you go over to the stuffing station where an employee fills it to your desired level of fluff. Just before they close the seam in the back, you pick out a little satin heart. There's a cute little ceremony that goes with it. First you rub it between your hands to make it a warm heart. Then you touch it to your head so it has all your wisdom. Then you touch it to your back so it will always have your back. Then you touch it to your ear so it knows all your secrets. Then you kiss it so it has all your love. Awwwwwwww! After the heart is inserted the seam is sewn shut and you pick out an outfit. There are all kinds to choose from.

The Lovely Harvey and I got The Boy his own:

He's named The Boy Junior.

The Boy gave me one too!

This is Guinness, he rides in the Corvette and keeps me safe. He's taking over from the other Army bear that The Boy gave me.

Build-A-Bear is a lot more fun and much cheaper than Vermont Teddy Bear.

The New Yorker Caricature

I do so love how several pundits are stating that, "this is how the right wing really sees Obama," or "This is exactly how Fox perceives [Obama]."

No. No we don't. About the only thing in that cartoon that I think equates to my view of him is the flag burning in the fireplace. But that's just because I think communism and socialism are un-American.

I'm against him because he's voted anti-freedom and pro-socialism when ever he's bothered to show up to actually vote. That coupled with his massive lack of experience makes him a poor candidate to me. His wife bugs me because she acts like she's running as a co-candidate. This bothered me about Hillary too. Only one name on the ballot for the job, and it's not the spouse.

Those are all valid positions. They are not based on his race. If I was voting against him because of race, I would just say, "No niggers in the WHITE House!" and be done with it. But I'm not a racist.

If he was a Moslem, I would be hesitant to vote for him even if I agreed with everything else. They have not, as a people, established a good track record of running nations yet and I don't like the idea of being the test case.

Please to not take my opposition to Obama as a shining endorsement of McCain.

His endless campaign to close the so-called gunshow loophole. His flagrant violation of the 1st amendment with the campaign finance reform. His very age and health concerns. All of those are strikes against him.

I'd mention his support of amnesty for illegal aliens, but I think both candidates have that in common.

15 July 2008

Something I Can't Post In The Car Forums

GM just announced some major cuts. http://money.cnn.com/2008/07/15/news/companies/GM/index.htm?postversion=2008071512

The Corvette forum is awash in how GM is sticking it to the little guy when times get hard.

What I want to ask them, and I cannot ask them there for fear of being banned, is; "Do you own a car that isn't a GM? Isn't from an American brand?" Because if the answer to either question is yes, they are part of the problem that GM has. GM didn't fuck the little guy, YOU DID!

And in point of fact, GM cannot take care of their largest problem, the unions. What this round of lay-offs will do is flood the engineering job market. They are taking this out on white collar only, in jobs and pensions.

What GM should do is file bankruptcy. That would allow them to address all of their problems, not just the white collar ones (which prolly wouldn't be a problem without the UAW albatross around its neck).

I think the idea of a union is a fine thing. The reality of unions is they ask for too much. Did I say ask? Extortion is the term for the way they do business in any other situation.

13 July 2008

Just Couldn't Say No To The Price

An acquaintance of mine runs a stereo installation shop.

Last Wednesday he asked me to verify that the rifle he was buying was worth the asking price, it was. While I was waiting around I asked him about the empty hole in his display. He said that he was going to throw that damn thing away, nobody wants to buy them. Mike's business centers around people who are currently being swept on the Alpine winds of fashion.

"That damn thing," turns out to be a Kenwood Excelon DNX-8120 head unit. I joke that if he's just going to throw it away, I'll take it! "Take it!" he says. I had to buy the parts to install it, but it was nothing compared to the price of the unit, MSRP is like $1,900.

All advertised features are working, and I would recommend this head unit to anyone who asks. Even the hands-free Bluetooth part works! That's better than the TomTom, which had massive buzzing.



Some pics of the various modes.

Garmin navigation:


FM Tuner:


XM Tuner:

iPod playing music:

iPod playing video (do you recognize it?):

Getting ready to insert a DVD:

Opening flash showing the on screen controls for a DVD:

DVD in play (Scene from Layer Cake):

XM Weather showing current conditions:

XM Weather showing current clouds and rain:

XM Traffic Map:

XM Traffic Summary:

Garmin Stocks (useless, but entertaining):

A pic during the install. Being a DIY hot-rodder means that I did the install.

Location of the Garmin/Kenwood GXM30 tuner/antenna. I removed the center speaker. You can see my helper, Brett, reflected in the windsheild:
The XM reception was cutting in and out a lot more than the OEM antenna. So I changed my mounting a bit to raise it a little higher.

11 July 2008

Just Click On The Link

http://www.electricoyster.com/electric3d/index.html

It's really that cool!

Do As I Say Not As I Do

Politicians; when you admonish me for something I have not done, be sure you have done it yourself; when you admonish me for something I am doing, be certain that you are not doing it.

Obama, don't demand I learn to speak Spanish when you don't.

Gore, don't demand I give up my car when you fly in a private jet.

07 July 2008

More Heller

The mayor of DC doesn't seem to have registered that the Supreme Court said handguns without qualification when stripping the ban. That really does mean that he can't stop banning revolvers while continuing to ban semi-automatics.

The common use language of the ruling supports my position as well.

A side note to every one of my friends that called me paranoid, irrational or delusional about what kind of "people" are out to ban guns; I told you so. Mayor Fenty's behavior is exactly what I expected.

What I want to know, since this is justice delayed, is what recourse a gun owner has against the politicians that have been denying our civil rights, and continue to violate them now that it is established that it is, indeed, the civil right I have been claiming it was all along?

If we were talking about speech and racism, we'd call it a hate crime and I would be able to sue his balls off. I think it's time that we used this ruling not just to repeal unconstitutional law, but to sue the politicians who have been actively denying us our unalienable rights! Mayors Fenty, Daley, Bloomburg; Senators Schumer, Harkin, Boxer, Feinstein... Everyone who voted for the AWB and the President who signed it. There's no statute of limitations on rights violations. Do not attempt to say that since the AWB expired I don't have a claim. "I only kidnapped him for a little while." is not a defense. "I only raped her once, and I stopped," is not a defense.

06 July 2008

Who Killed The Electric Car

This not a rant about that movie at all.

The reason the EV-1 wasn't going to sell in the quantities required to make it viable has a lot to do with its 75 mile range. For everyday commuting, 75 miles isn't too bad. Plugging it in at night works just fine if you live within 37.5 miles of work. If work has a place for you plug in, then you can live 75 miles from work!

The problem, of course, surfaces when you want to go farther than 75 miles.

Just giving some local examples from where I live. If I want to spend a fun filled day at Disney World, it's 109 miles one way. EV-1 can't do that in one hop. So I'd have to find a hotel or someplace to sit for 8 hours while the car charges. Think about that for a sec. Drive for and hour, sit for eight, drive another half hour to get there.

Most gas powered cars have a safe 400 mile range. It takes only a few minutes to replenish that range.

I am sure the hotel industry would love everyone driving an EV-1.

Batteries are better than they used to be. A modern EV-1 would get about 225 miles to a charge. Enough to get from here to Disney and back! But a charge is still a one day deal realistically. The 1500 mile trip to Iowa would take a week (6 2/3 charges). My gas guzzling Vette does that same trip in two days at the speed limit (and uses 4 tanks of gas).

Now, all of the above does not kill the gas-electric or diesel-electric car at all. A Prius can do the trip to Iowa at the speed limit just as fast as I can in the Corvette. Even considering they don't get their full rated economy with continuous highway use, they get great mileage.

My principle objection to hybrids (and electrics) are the pollution to make the batteries is never mentioned; the materials to make the advanced batteries require petroleum; no hybrid advocate has a plan for what to do about those batteries when they finally do wear out.

A Thought On The Heller Decision

Several of the mainstream press have been griping about the Supreme Court not considering the effect their ruling was going to have on society.

After my initial reaction of, "tough shit!" I mellowed my response a bit.

If the damn court had not waited seventy years to make a ruling, society would not have committed itself to so much unconstitutional behavior, and the adjustments would be much smaller.

Evolution

A small point that gets missed about evolution is that all a mutation needs to continue to be passed on is that mutation doesn't prevent the mutant from breeding successfully.

This allows some intermediate mutations that allow future mutations to be advantageous.

There have been a few creationists who have claimed that for evolution to be true, all mutations must be advantageous. That's not true. They merely have to not be disadvantageous.

The mutation must allow the mutant to live long enough to breed, and that is all.

04 July 2008

I Think I've Been Promoted

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Third Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:

LevelScore
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Very Low
Level 2 (Lustful)Very High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Extreme
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)High
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Very High
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Extreme
Level 7 (Violent)Extreme
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Very High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)High

Take the Dante Inferno Hell Test

Science And Faith

With all the BS here about religion I think there is a religious topic that definitely needs to be taught in schools.

The difference between science you don't understand and faith that cannot be understood.
I grabbed a lot of sympathy for Christians with a thought, "Faith is the big, huge, thing in their religion. To maintain that faith in the face of all the contradictory science must really hard." Then one day a follow-up thought hit me. What if God set it all up to contradict His book as a test of that faith?
That thought wasn't enough to make a believer out of me. It has made me a lot more tolerant about them.
It's also made me a bit less tolerant of the people who say things like, "Stupid Christians, don't they know the science clearly shows..." Yeah, I think they do. I think the smartest Christians are the ones living in a sort of dual universe where God made the place in seven days, but made it to appear and behave as if it were more like 15 billion years old.
If they can reconcile it, let them.
The Intelligent Design debate has me twisted up. I don't buy their ideas, but the debate has raised some issues for me.
While I agree that teaching religion in state funded schools is a violation of the 1st Amendment, I am beginning to believe that the way we are not teaching religion is in fact teaching Atheism. Atheism is a position about religion, therefore teaching it in the schools is also a violation of the 1st Amendment.
I believe that it's is impossible to have a position and not pass it along in your teaching. I think that logically leads to the State being unable to have schools because teaching anything can have religion in it.
I am fine with science at school, religion at home. I think that science can be taught in a manner that doesn't advocate atheism. For the government to continue to fund schools it has to. Otherwise the State Religion IS Atheism. "There is no God" is as much a religious position as, "I am Catholic."
The moment it stops being science is when we ask "Why?" Science is "How?"

03 July 2008

Quote Of The Random Interval

"Torture is any experience so horrible that no-one would consider trying it out simply for the purpose of writing a Vanity Fair article about what it’s like."

From: http://sweasel.com/archives/1269

Much Unfocused Disjointed Rambling Here

Once again, the media has missed why getting this 2nd amendment thing in line with the standard model is so damned important.

I don't think they realize just how close the US is to a second revolution, or should that be third?

The people who believe in the 2nd amendment are folks who believe in changing things with soap boxes, ballot boxes and cartridge boxes. In that order.

I think the soap box has been dead for quite some time. It might be coming back since control of publishing on the internet is controlled by so very many voices. The soap box was controlled by an amazingly small group of people running television, radio and the printed press. The internet publishes how many different points of view?

The ballot box is teetering on the edge. A gigantic segment of the population is not being given a candidate that represents how they feel in any meaningful way. For example, McCain is very much a Democrat, if he ran in 1980. But since it's 2008, he passes as a republican? I don't think so. By the same light, Obama is not a Democrat by 1980 standards either. In 1980 we'd have called him a commie. If you are conservative, libertarian or Kennedy style Democrat; who do you vote for? FDR and LBJ Democrats can vote McCain and the Socialist Liberals can vote Obama.

I weep because I stood post in WEST Germany in 1988. I was there to prevent the Communists from invading Western Europe. Turns out we should have been paying less attention to the "enemies foreign" and more attention to the "or domestic" portion of our service oaths. Socialism and it's cousin, Communism, killed on the order of 350 million people in the 20th century. And they are actually worried about the 30k per year that are killed by a firearm in the USA? That's 3,000,000 per century (about 55% are suicides). Hitler got five times that in six years, not counting combat deaths from WW2. Stalin got 51 million in just 12 years, again not counting combat deaths from WW2. Mau snuffed out between 40 and 75 million between 1949 and 1975, and an additional 9.5 mil were killed in the revolution that brought him to power. Pol Pot got half of a century's worth of the US gun death rate in JUST THREE YEARS! Just counting the big guys gives a rate of 2.9 million a year for the 46 years these SOCIALISTS were in charge.

How many of his own people did the hated Reagan murder? Eisenhower? Nixon? Ford? Either Bush? For that matter, FDR, JFK, LBJ, Carter, or Clinton? I posit that it were the guns that saved us.

I don't want a choice between a quick or a slow death. I want to live!

There are too many people who've noticed that nobody represents their point of view and who have stopped voting. Talk about a self fulfilling prophecy! If you don't vote, you definitely won't get a voice.

There's a bit of a problem though. To get the damn Republicans to try something that will represent me, I have to vote for a Democrat. (Or vice versa, but the Republicans are closer to where I am.)

The parties seem to have figured out that if one side runs one that the other considers a disaster the other side will come out in droves. Terry Branstad didn't win all those elections because he was popular, or even a great governor, he won because no matter how bad he was, the Democratic Party of Iowa would find someone who appeared far worse. I feel the same way in the upcoming presidential election. No matter how bad I think McCain is (In 1999 I liked him better, but I knew him less) Obama will be far worse.

He's just about everything I don't like about The Democratic Party in one giant ball. He's got the Carter economic smarts. He's got the Clinton turn on a dime to follow the poll. He's got the racist entitlement thing down pat.

Health care is not going to be fixed by handing out coverage paid by taxation. Try to remember that many of the costs in medicine are caused by the ever increasing amount of do-gooder laws.

Gas is not going to be cheaper by taxing the oil companies more. When has increasing expenses ever caused a product to get cheaper?

And full circle, banning guns will not make crime go away. Crime predates the invention of guns! People were murdered with knives for millennia before the invention of gun powder.

Banning guns, increasing taxes to pay for health care for people who aren't working themselves or paying taxes, and making it too expensive for us to get to work will cause a change. Atlas might just shrug.

The conservative position is over represented in the military; should a real revolution come it might just start with a Colonel. The people who think that the Mexicans should all go home, that you should work for a living, that we should stop exporting all our tech jobs to India and all our manufacturing jobs to China also tend to own all the guns.

This could be a very short revolution.

Or there could be no revolution at all. But a particular political party has got to stop pushing us against the wall. What's going to happen when we discover we have nothing to lose by attempting to shoot the bastards?