30 September 2008


VH1C ran a Rush @ 30 special last night... I rolled tape while doing other things. This came in handy when Cam ran a few seconds of the children singing for O-get-a-real-name-bama. About the same time I took a stack of pictures off the shelf, this also fell onto the desk: My ticket stub from Rush's Moving Picture Tour - June 6, 1981.

Only $7.50. IIRC this was about the standard rate for a concert back then (27 yrs ago). Prices today boggle my mind! I looked at a couple has been bands earlier this year, prices started at $55 in the nosebleeds.

29 September 2008

Not sure what to make of this...

On a day when everything is down (Google down 11%, Apple down 22%, etc). At one point today, the only two in the green on my watch list were Smith & Wesson (SWHC) and Sturm Ruger (RGR). Even those ended in the red, but only slightly compared to the 5-25% the others are down.

26 September 2008


I'll nominate Jim Lehrer as "Most irrelevant".

The candidate's answers were obviously pre-written. JL's claim that the questions have not been shared not withstanding... Quite frankly Jim could have asked "What is your opinion of the three toed mountain goat in Afganistan" and the candidates would have spewed the same blather.

I'm believe the questions weren't shared. But it doesn't take a seer to divine the hot issues of the day and formulate answers. Then the candidates regurgitate the memorized lines in a Pavlovian response like trained monkeys.

24 September 2008

Item #14, Check.

Checked item #14 off the "to do this life" list Monday. "Visit USAF museum at Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton OH." We arrived around noon local (having had lunch) and they kicked us out at 5pm. We barely covered it. Here's a couple pics (click on pics for zoomation).

Piper PA-48 Enforcer ground attack prototype. The sign notes it's a 1980's take on the P-51 with gas turbine power.

BockScar - The B-29 that dropped the second atomic bomb on Nagasaki.

P-82 Twin Mustang

Allison V-3420 engine. 24 cylinders, 3420 CID, 3000HP. It's effectively a pair of Allison V-1710's in a single engine block. Each side has it's own crankshaft. The power is merged through a gearbox at the prop hub.

23 September 2008

Miracle at FL360

We witnessed several truly miraculous recoveries today.

You see, flying home on SWA, there must have been 15 people in wheelchairs lined through the boarding area and spilling out into the hallway needing special assistance to board. They took up about the first seven rows of the plane.

We spent the next 3 1/2 hours at FL360 (36,000 ft). Reaching the gate however most of these first 7 rows were up and out of their seats with out any "need for special assistance". Some were practically elbowing each other to be the first off the plane. It's a miracle! No more wheelchairs! Even though the flight attendant asked them to wait until they had enough wheel chairs, they had none of it and made a bolt for the door.

National Institute of Health really ought to investigate this miracle!

19 September 2008

Tony Packo's

Family events have required a temporary relocation to the Toledo area. While out and about we made the required pilgrimage to Tony Packo's.

Packo's has been on location serving Hungarian hot dogs since 1932. They've become an institution. Celebs of any stripe make it a point to visit and sign hot dog buns which are displayed on the walls. Actors, musicians, heads, politicians, and heads of state are all represented (President Ford's and Nancy Reagan's were spotted on the way in).

Charleton Heston's was on display above our table.

17 September 2008


House passes the NRA sponsored DC gun bill to allow residents to protect themselves


16 September 2008

What planet are you from?

'Cuz if the laws of physics are suspended the way logic and reason apparently are, it ought to be a really fun place!

Sitting here watching the house debate on whether to spank DC over their obstinance in complying with the DC Heller ruling.

So I'd like to politely inquire of Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), what planet are you from? What place in this universe is so utterly devoid of logic and reason. I'd like to visit as I'm sure the laws of physics don't apply there either. Heck, I'm not picky... if "this universe" is too limiting, If you're from a different one, I'd be interested in that too!

Among others she asserted the amendment would:
* Allow children to carry AK-47's"
* May possess AK-47, or a Bushmaster (oh the humanity!)
* Permit "gunrunning" between Maryland and DC.

And of course she had to lay blame for the 9/11 attacks on the NRA.

ENH, et al, How can you listen to the stories "These laws only limit law abiding from carrying guns" and congressman Dan Burton whose secretary lived 4 blocks from the capital and was attacked in her home with only a frying pan to fend off the knife attack. Same for the bare logic of 30 years of statistical data (DC murder capital of the US and the top three are all 30 years), and not see the truth of it.

And the sad part is she is not alone. Denny Hoyer, H. Waxman and others are apparently from the same devoid-of-logic planet.

Rep Mike Ross (D-ARK), Jason Altmire (D-PA) - Blue dog Demos! Bravo

12 September 2008

Subconscious mind or dual processors?

The subconscious mind is an amazing thing.

This evening I headed out on a quick errand just a few minutes before sunset. I headed north on the local street then needing a left turn onto the arterial street. Looking left there is a traffic pattern a few seconds out, led by a minivan in the right hand lane. Checking right another traffic will arrive a few seconds behind the east bound pattern.

Ok, judging the speed-time-distance equation, if the minivan turns south I'll have about 1 second, may be 2 to leap in front of the westbound pattern. The minivan slows and signals a right turn. Check right, yea still have time. Look left *God I hope this works* (thinking leap of faith - I can't see S&^! left)

And before I consciously perceive the threat, my feet are on the brakes and clutch. Peering through the glare a Ford F250/350 truck has skidded to a stop in the second lane. I'm stopped in the first lane while the truck is in the second lane. No blood no foul. Wish I'd gotten a han off the wheel to wave "Oops, my bad". The amazing thing here are the automatic reactions. My feet (as were the truck driver's) were on the brakes before the threat was visibly perceived. To quote Maverick "If you think, you're dead!" Been there, done that. Today! OTOH, whenever I find myself driving with the sun at my back, I turn my headlights on to improve visibility.

Once the truck was convinced I'd seen him and held fast, he proceeded. I still had time to beat the westbound pattern.

08 September 2008

Fourth amendment doesn't mean what it says.

We have a trial for a couple guys accused of serial shootings around the area getting underway. The (very) short version of the story is that the two are accused of several apparently random attacks over the course of 15 months, resulting in six deaths and 20-30 injuries.

But here is what has my dander up tonight. Potential Jurors have been instructed to complete a 56 item questionnaire .

Question 18 has me concerned (emphasis mine):
18. An emergency wiretap was used in this case, and recordings from this wiretap will be admitted into evidence at this trial. A wiretap may be authorized by a Judge, or under certain circumstances the County Attorney may authorize the interception.

Do you have any opinion regarding this procedure? YES____ NO____
Now I'm no lawyer which means I simply have to read the words and make sense of them. Like these here from the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution:
Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Now it only says the warrant must be supported by oath or affirmation, but does not say who judges the request. But if this isn't the job for a Judge, what is? Under what reasonable justification could a politician who arguably has an interest in the outcome be reasonably unbiased in judging the request? Talk about the fox guarding the hen house! Yea, they probably wrote the due process law to allow a County Attorney emergency authority which *wink-wink* makes it legal. How can such authority be constitutional?

And it's not like the request couldn't have been presented before a judge. These cowards were at it for over a year. They weren't running for the border. Past news stories have proudly announced local judges are apparently available 24 hours a day in case a DUI suspect comes in and declines to give a blood sample. (Police call a judge who signs an order and they collect their evidence). The whole thing reeks of a rubber stamp operation. But this was a big case. What Judge wouldn't be proud to wake up in the wee hours to sign the warrant that'll break the big case? Are they really going to argue emergency circumstances prevented timely presentation in front of a judge?

So why didn't he take advantage of the rubber stamp in this case? My guess, they didn't have enough, you know evidence, for even this low standard.

Don't get me wrong. I believe these guys did at least some of what they are accused of and should never again walk among the free. But the prosecutor's tactics should scare us all. We've all seen what happens when unaccountable petty tyrants get an expansive power like this. My biggest fear is that the case will eventually be thrown out by the CA's shortcut, putting these cowardly predators back on the street.

Disclaimer: I have absolutely no inside information on the case. This account may be factually incorrect. In My Opinion!

06 September 2008

Oooh .. Bad Career move

What was the T-shirt we saw this week, about dads with pretty daughters?

case in point: (link to AP story)

Local radio KFYI reports it slightly differently:
Dad catches his teenaged daughter smoking pot with 3 boys. Dad advises them to leave and daughter in side. They do but return later with a gun.

But dad has a shotgun. Result, one dead, one wounded and one in jail.

04 September 2008

John McCain speech

*Yawn* no energy, no excitement. Like listening to grass grow.

Wonder what else is on...

What a disappointment after last night's high.

02 September 2008

SandCastle Queen works the polls

Queen of the SandCastle just got home from a day of working the primary election today. She reports after a day of seeing the election from the inside, she's not sure she'll go back. I get the feeling that the team lacked organization and was actually something of a Charlie-Foxtrot. Guess I'm not too surprised... I came to that conclusion several years ago after watching a couple of octogenarians take several minutes to locate my name in the rolls (come on folks, it's just not that difficult!). I signed up for vote-by-mail and never looked back.

But the big surprise came as she was reciting the procedures. "... and people registered as other may vote Republican, Democrat, or Green party."

Whhhaaaaaat? There was a recent state supreme court case that supposedly disallowed this. In fact, Arizona used to have a sizeable independent registration. Last time at the ballot box for the presidential preference election, they flat out told people if you want to vote you have to be registered with the party. Most re-registered with a major party so they could vote in the presidential preference election. Today they are saying if you're registered "OTH" you can vote anything except Capitol L Libertarian. I could not believe it (after all, there was that AZSCOTUS Update:US 9th Circuit/US District court case) until she showed me the instruction (Page 27 ):

6) The Board Worker issuing the ballots:
a. Looks up the voter by Register Number in the Precint Register and determines the correct ballot to be issued by looking at the far right hand column for the correct party code. If the party code is OTH, ask the voter if they would like a Republican, Democrat or Green part ballot. Note: if the vother of a declared party they MUST vote that party's ballot. Only if the voter's party code is designated OTH, does the voter have a choice. _However OTH voters may NOT choose a Liberatarian ballot._

Other similar instructions mention the court case.

Dave Hardy
- I'm coming to you with this question. What's the story here? Was there another court case between the primary and today or did someone's legal opinion change?

Update: Dave corrects my recollection...
It was the 9th US Circuit Ct of Apps, and then on remand the US Dist Ct. for AZ, that did the job.

Dave went on the explain only the Libertarians objected to non-party members voting in their primary so the law only applies to them. I predict a slow migration back to "OTH" status so people can muck with their opponent's primary process.
Thanks for the correction Dave!

01 September 2008

Aw Cr@p

With nothing else on the agenda today, I headed to the range to make an assault on the Summer Gun Blog Rifle Match. This time with the M1 Garand.

Now this started out looking good.. Here's the standing target.
2 10's , 1 X
and one off.

Uggg.. that's 13 shots on target. The low two are written off as sighters (I love throw out's). But there's no excusing the extra shot. Somewhere in the slow standing stage, I lost count and launched an extra down range. One choice to solve the dilemma would be to throw out the highest shot.

And by the time the situation was recognized, I didn't have enough ordinance to make a second try.

But I continued on... the other stages were short of hits... Eh well, I tried but this doesn't even qualify as an entry.