Saturday, December 22, 2007

Dammit, the Curse™ retains power!

Kim, you miss Chicago cold and snow and wind, get your ass about 200 miles north: we got it for you.

It's about 25 outside right now, and I'm listening to the sounds of friggin' idiotsdistressed motorists who can't get up the hill outside, and who thing that giving it just a little more gas will do it. Which means they wind up sideways, front or back wheels against a curb, cursing and wondering why they can't move.

Sequence of events:
Day begins in the upper 30's.
Light rain begins.
Temperature drops about eight degrees very quickly.
Rain turns to snow, mostly melts when hits street. For now.
Wet on streets turns to slush, snow continues with wind direct from Arctic Circle pushing it.
Slush starts freezing.
Streets now largely filled with people either creeping along, blocking traffic and getting stuck on hills or people who think they can drive just like the pavement was just wet. The latter class of fool includes those who think four-wheel drive means 'traction no matter what'. Kind of like the idiots sliding sideways on the street outside.

Streets are going to be flat nasty when I head to work in the morning, but there'll be very little traffic, so shouldn't be too bad. In the meantime, I think I'll stay inside stretch out under the nice wool blanket tonight.

Assuming some effing idiottroubled motorist doesn't slide into the driveway and hit something.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Range day

Just some general practice today, including taking the scattergun out for some practice. A while back I found a load that seems to duplicate the performance of the Hornady reduced-recoil buckshot that I keep in it for social purposes, which makes practice a lot less expensive.

I've read a lot of arguments between 'round in the chamber, safety on' vs. 'magazine loaded, chamber empty'. I keep mine same as Xavier: mag loaded, chamber empty, safety off. I'll add that I check the chamber to make sure it's empty, close the slide, then load the mag, then pull the trigger to drop the hammer. The last does two things: releases tension on the hammer spring and unlocks the slide. I still have to grab it and rack the slide to load, but I don't have to worry about pushing the slide release. I thought a lot about it, and decided that if I'm awakened by the sound of a window or my door breaking I want as few buttons/switches to deal with as possible. No warranty, your opinions may differ. I specify the sitting condition of the shotgun because I specifically practiced today as though I were grabbing it: in the condition above, me standing in roughly the same relation I would have to it if I'm in bed, grab, rack, aim & fire. For some reason I hadn't done it that way before, and I wish I had: definitely adds to the realism of the drill.

I've mentioned quite a while back that I prefer the reduced-recoil loads for this, but it's been a long time so I'll cover it again. I very much agree with "Use the most powerful gun you can shoot consistently and accurately" as a guide. In a different situation I might well choose a 3" magnum load, something that'll make a charging grizzly reflect on the folly of his last action. However...

The longest range I can see firing in a home defense situation is about thirty feet, and that means the reduced-recoil ammo should have plenty of power to stop a two-legged attacker. Also, have you ever fired a 3" mag buckshot load? The recoil is bloody awful, so I'm willing to trade some power for faster recovery and more accurate repeat shots(if needed). This also means that I can fire twenty or twenty-five rounds in practice and my shoulder still works after. I had an injury a few years back, and there are limits to how much pounding it can take.

The shotgun, about two boxes of .45 through the pistol and some other general shooting. Definitely a nice part of the day.

I hate political speeches and polls both

with a passion. On polls, Kim has this today, which covers a big chunk of why. I confess I don't know what a regression analysis is, having had little math beyond the basic four functions that I paid attention to, and the math isn't the big reason I so dislike polls; that comes from noticing over the years how the media weenies can breathlessly tell you the alarming news of the latest poll in the same breathless tones as they did the previous one, which gave the opposite result.

Lots of the political crap I just ignore at this point, so far as candidates. I mean, what have we got? On the R side, Giuliani and Romney are hoplophobes who really like the idea of the government telling us how to run our lives in various ways(Romney claiming the health-care scheme he signed just before leaving office is a 'free-market' way to deal with the problem really pisses me off). Huckabee has shown himself to be a jerk of the first water who shouldn't be allowed in the White House at all, let alone near the Oval Office. Ron Paul... it's kind of amazing. I had a chance to catch him on the Glenn Beck show a couple of nights ago, and it broke down into two sections:
A: He'd cover some point and I'd think "Yeah! Damn right!"
B: He'd hit some point and I'd be sitting there saying "Are you retarded or stoned, you idiot?"
Anyone who actually believes that if we retreat from anything defined as 'the muslim world' the terrorists will leave us alone- and will also then leave Israel alone- is de facto out of his damn mind. Overall, Ron Paul is another 'put a shock collar on him that goes off if he approaches the Oval Office doors' politician.
Thompson has some stuff in his background that I'm not fond of, but he seems to have some pretty good stands on some very important things, at this point I'd just about have to vote for him. There are a couple of others, Duncan Hunter, who would, I think, be pretty good, but have virtually zero chance of being elected.

On the D side, we've got a bunch of socialists who don't have either the integrity or courage to admit what they are, some worse than others. When Obama refused to salute the flag, that bypassed his gun-fearing wussiness by a BIG step: no way in hell I'd vote for him after that, it reveals too much about him. Clinton, hell, I can't type long enough to cover all the reasons why it would be better for the country if she were abducted by Bigfoot and disappeared into his honeymoon cave. The others are just about as bad as Clinton & Obama, except they don't have her baggage of Bill Clinton drooling over the thought of having access to the Oval Office again.

I told my kids in 2000 and 2004 that I had some real problems with George Bush, but the alternative was just too dangerous to consider. I'm really damn sick of having to plan my vote on "Which of these clowns is going to be less dangerous to the country over the long run?"

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Speaking of intel problems...

There have been bits & pieces about the Japanese 'justice' system

published and broadcast over the years; this is the most recent thing I've seen on it.

According to Valentine's testimony, hospitals and doctors were contingent on him signing a confession, in Japanese (which he could not read), that the police had not hurt him. He refused. The interrogations continued for 10 days.

According to the U.N., this sort of thing is not all that unusual. The U.N. Committee Against Torture recently criticized Japan (CAT/C/JPN/CO/1, May 18, 2007, Sections 15(c) and 17) for "the lack of appropriate and prompt medical care for individuals in police custody," and for "undue delays in provision."

I've heard of other cases like this. It's a nasty one-two: if you don't sign a confession you don't get to see a doctor or legal counsel(assuming they'll let you see a lawyer at all), etc., and if you do you're guilty and off to prison.

Not a good situation at all.

Once again we are reminded that the Clintons and their team

have little regard for the truth:

The National Archives is withholding from the public about 2,600 pages of records at President Clinton's direction, despite a public assurance by one of his top aides last month that Mr. Clinton "has not blocked the release of a single document."

The 2,600 pages, stored at Mr. Clinton's library in Arkansas, were deemed to contain "confidential advice" and, therefore, "closed" under the Presidential Records Act, an Archives spokeswoman, Susan Cooper, told The New York Sun yesterday.

All things considered, there should be a bunch of people in that group with third-degree burns on their ass from their pants so frequently bursting into flame.

When son mentioned 'tired' and 'not much sleep'

it reminded me of some of Bill Mauldins' cartoons. Like this one:

I swear, except for tools and equipment, nothing changes

In the latest example of "Oops, wrong address!"

we go to Minneapolis; Rosenberg has a good rundown of the mess, just scroll down through the posts. What I'll note here is a couple of bits from this article:
But minutes after a SWAT team entered the house about 12:30 a.m., things went awry. The homeowner, a father of six, thinking the intruders were burglars, fired at them through a bedroom wall. He hit two officers, one in the back and one in the head, but both were uninjured because they were wearing protective armor. Police shot back, but did not hit him.

Hours later, police officials were apologizing to the homeowner, Vang Khang, admitting that they had erred based on bad information from an informant.

Sound familiar?

After police interviewed Khang's family, it became clear they had no connection to the case, Huffman said. But the address listed on the warrant was the one police had gotten from the informant.

"This house was part of a package of very credible information that resulted in other successful enforcement actions," she said. "This was the end of a chain of things, and there was no reason to question the credibility of the information."

Gee, an informant giving a wrong address. Who'da thunk it?

It's been said before: when you do no-knock warrants, there is no room for error. Not in a wrong address, not in failing to check what an informant says. An honest citizen hearing his door smashed in in the night is going to assume it's bad guys and react accordingly, and the police will have no room to say "Well, he shouldn't have shot at us/failed to roll over and wet himself/scared us, then we wouldn't have killed him!" They will anyway, with great indignation, but it's bullshit. Especially when things like this turn up:
. . . . well, it's finally gone public: when the MPD SWAT cops kicked in the door of the house, owned by Vang Khang, lived in by Vang Khang, his equally Hmong wife, and their six little kids, they thought that they were raiding a black street gang.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

In our continuing chronicle of (Formerly)Great Britain

circling the drain, as Lawdog says, Sod 'em, the lot of 'em.

That the place where craftsmen created the Sutton Hoo sword, where the name Sheffield meant blades as fine as could be found in the world, where sixty lousy years ago people were ready to take family antiques down from the walls to face an invader, has come to this...

So THAT'S why OnStar is so popular!

OnStar: Hello, OnStar.
Customer: Hi, I have a problem.
OnStar: How can I help, sir?
Customer: I’m…umm…27, and still a virgin.
OnStar: How old are you really, sir?
Customer: Twenty-nine?
OnStar: Sir?
Customer: Thirty-six.
OnStar: [partially off mike] Holy shit!
Customer: [muffled crying]
OnStar: OK, sir, I need you to stay with me and listen very closely. I’m going to ask you some diagnostic questions to pinpoint the problem. Do you own action figures?
Customer: Yes.
OnStar: And if your Grakthorian Troll with +12 charisma and 170 hit points were to be attacked by a gelatinous cube, what would you do?
Customer: I would don my cloak of invisibility and bypass the cube to enter the dungeons of Dalagdon.
OnStar: I think I know the answer to the next one, but they make me run down the whole list. Do you live with your mother, or a spinster aunt?
Customer: Both. [weeping]
OnStar: And how often do you masturbate?
Customer: What? Never!
OnStar: Sir.
Customer: Three times a day.
OnStar: And do you look at anime comics while you engage in self-pleasure?
Customer: How did you know?
OnStar: Thank you for your patience, sir, I think we’re just about at a solution. What I’m seeing here is that you are going to have to pay for sex. Is this Visa you have on file with us good to use?
Customer: Yeah, uh, it should be…
OnStar: Sounds good. We’ll forward your payment info on to the dispatching office. Now, what I want you to do is drive 6.2 miles north to the corner of Laurel Avenue, and wait there for a “Miss Star.” She’ll be wearing a leopard-skin skirt and an OnStar jacket. She’ll take care of you from there. All right, I just sent the detailed directions to your on-board navigation system.
Customer: Wow, thank you, OnStar! Maybe I can come thank you in person some time!
OnStar: We’d rather you didn’t.

From the Pirate Royalty

Two notes on the enemy

First, the Lose At Any Cost weenies in Congress:
Rather than apologize for falling short with their base, however, Democratic leadership aides were unapologetic, believing they need to get more Democratic senators elected so that Reid has better than a 51-49 margin to work with in 2009.

“One thing that’s painfully clear is we need more senators committed to the American people than protecting the president,” said Reid spokesman Rodell Mollineau. “Not senators who are endorsing the status quo.”
If the American people reacted more directly to your attempts to hand victory to the enemy and rape their bank accounts you'd be either sporting tar and feathers or be dangling from a rope, you canker on the ass of this country. You don't want 'senators committed to the American people": you want senators committed to your party no matter what it does to the country.

And from the meeting of world socialists in Bali:
“It is a circus here,” [stat]ed Australian scientist Dr. David Evans. Evans is making scientific presentations to delegates and journalists at the conference revealing the latest peer-reviewed studies that refute the UN’s climate claims.We now have quite a lot of evidence that carbon emissions definitely don’t cause global warming. We have the missing [human] signature [in the atmosphere], we have the IPCC models being wrong and we have the lack of a temperature going up the last 5 years,” [...] Evans authored a November 28 2007 paper ”Carbon Emissions Don’t Cause Global Warming.”
Evans touted a new peer-reviewed study by a team of scientists appearing in the December 2007 issue of the International Journal of Climatology of the Royal Meteorological Society which found “Warming is naturally caused and shows no human influence.” “Most of the people here have jobs that are very well paid and they depend on the idea that carbon emissions cause global warming. They are not going to be very receptive to the idea that the science has gone off in a different direction, Evans explained.

Oh yeah, the globular warmerers are ONLY interested in pure Science, yeah.

Monday, December 17, 2007

It's ON!

About 1300 it came back on! The heater's blowing, the fridge is chilling and, since I was able to find dry ice, looks like I didn't loose anything in the freezer, all still seems frozen nice & solid.

And I get to sleep in my own bed tonight. Without freezing.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Son has been heard from,

first time in almost three weeks. Seems he's been sent(transferred? posted?) to a new location, no further information allowed at this time. Healthy and uninjured, just very busy. Hopefully more information to follow in a few days when things settle a bit.

Just hope no problem with the packages in transit following him.