Thursday, May 28, 2020

FINE, Harris Tweeter

If the only meat you are gonna put out that is on my shopping list is grass fed NY Strip, then I guess I am eating steak 3 nights in a row. 

I kinda miss the shake n bake pork chops, tho.

It is pretty good steak.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Book Detail

I asked for recommendation for something clever to read.  Some of your recommended I try a guy named FfordeThe Eyre Affair.

Right!

I'm a quarter of the way in.  Not what I expected, but still good. Set in England in the mid 80s, and the Crimean War has been going on for 130+ years.  Heh.  Parallel universe type stuff.  I'm liking it so far

The main character is a special operative law enforcement type.  She gets bumped upstairs to more exciting work . (Read:  dangerous...)  And expecting trouble her supervisor provides were with AWFUL, horrible, beyond-the-pale immoral ammunition for her pistol to help her get an edge over an extra dangerous quarry.

She could get fired if Internal Affairs catches here with it!  Fired, if she is lucky.  The existence of said items is practically a Crime Against Humanity, is how they act. 

What kind of ammo?  Regular self-defense ammo.  'Holler points,' we might say.

Ok ok, I am cutting the author some slack.  He is British, after all.  Writing in 2001.  Regular folks in America aren't tuned in to what self defense ammo does and is for.  So regular folks in England are even further behind.  Plus, parallel universe.  Lots of things go wonky when you introduce that level of fantasy, so getting a slight case of the vapors over what is essentially Federal Hyrda-Shoks could even be intentional.  Like most gunnies, I roll my eyes a little bit and just read on, going with it.  But I put the histrionics here because I need the fodder.

I don't let it put me off my feed.  Get this, the main character is named Thursday Next.  She has a pet dodo (cloned extinct specimens... everyone has one as a pet there days!) and her career path up to this point in Special Ops is tracking down literature crime.

As I said, I am not regretting picking this up.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

This week is momentous

At work.  A banner week

Lots of folks that took time off I work with are coming back.  Yes, from the Rona fears, but also one had back surgery in early January.   Timed that surgery well.  Those of you that know folks that get vertebra fused together know recovery takes a while.  Plus you need a few days to get off your morphine habit. 

So that'll be fun.  Getting the band back together.

----

Grocery stores round here are still iffy.  But.  I've seen TP on more than one occasion.  I've gotten yeast.  Flour is back, just not overloaded with it. 

'Normal' will be "Terlet paper there every trip, and hand sanitized and disinfectant wipes are on the shelves too" I guess.

----

My brother is in the Navy.  He has taken advantage of all this to grow a Grizzly Adams beard.  Good and bushy, but he had a baldspot on the front of the chin.  It's weird. 

----

I miss the range.



Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day

Grandpa.  Silver Star, Peleliu.  Posthumous. 


Sunday, May 24, 2020

Yo Vote

It's all vote by mail in Maryland June 2.  I'm told.  Haven't gotten my ballot yet.  I wonder if I will in time...

It's not too important.  Just a primary.  I hope Governor Hogan opens up the polling places, though.  I'm of the opinion that if you don't vote in person, you don't vote.

"What about military folks serving overseas, T-Bolt?  Would you disenfranchise them?  They vote for the same stuff YOU like, so that's an advantage."

Yup.  No vote.  You give up rights when you serve.  It's part of the deal.  If you concentrate the voting situation to one day, one place, in person, you can wrangle it better.  Can you cheat like that?  Yes.  But it is easier to lock it down and keep an eye out for cheaters.

I got no problem making that Tuesday a federal holiday.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Geography

As a kid, my younger brother got a 'jigsaw' puzzle that was made of wood.  But instead of puzzle shapes, there were state shapes.  It was a puzzle map of the USA.  I was a bit outgrown for it, but he played with it constantly for months.

So he knew all his states from an early age.  And I did not.

Oh, if you gave me a map with all the borders, I'd get 40 states right, and quick.  At age 12, say.  But he'd have gotten all 50 from age 8, easy.

It'd usually be things like "I know one is Vermont and the other New Hampshire, but which is which..." or "Colorado, Kansas, and Wyoming are here somewhere... "

Now that I am old, I am more solid.

How?

I made no effort to get better with geography and cartography.   Certainly not with the the states.  But it all gelled somehow, without trying.  THAT is definitely Wyoming.

Heck I can draw a decent USA, now, on a blank piece of paper.

Slow knowledge accumulation, I guess.  Now I can go ahead and go senile and start forgetting it all.

I am weak on furren lands, at this point, though also growing stronger every year.  Europe was much easier when you only cared about the West, and let the Warsaw pact countries fend for their ownselves.  But I can hit Hungary and Romania on the first try, now.  I do halfway decent with French towns and German states.

I know the north coast of Africa, the southern parts, and a few on the was coast and the bight.  Call it 30%.

South and Central America is 60%.  Asia a bit better.

I guess my knowledge depends on how interested I am in a place. 

Friday, May 22, 2020

Pardon Obama?

Hey, I said it first!

Back on the 8th.

Disc Shaped Hole

I mentioned Heretics of De'Ath, a Brother Hermitage book, a monk at De'Ath's Dingle monastary.  Solving murders in 1066, Ye Olde England.

I am reading that book because I have a Terry Pratchett sized hole in my reading pile.  Nothing can replace Terry, obviously, but I am looking.  Maybe Howard Warwick can help.  So far, it is clever, but not Pratchett clever.  The humor sneaks up on you, and you have to be a bit wise in the ways of the world.  A start, but not a rip roaring hilarious romp.  Still, it's the first book of a series.  I may well let Howard of Warwick find his footing.   It's good enough to make me just go ahead and buy book 2.   (the first two are $.99 on Kindle, so... easy enough decision, pocketbook-wise.) 

But what about YOU?  Any of you find a book or series that comes close to tickling your fancy like the Discworld did?  I need something like that.


---

Wait, there is this.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Bupkis catching up

I got no blog fodder.

Thanks to the Chinee Rona, I haven't wanted for fodder for weeks and weeks.  It's a record.  There was a time where I came up empty every Monday, so it's been a decent run, actually.

Now the free associate comes in...  Books?  No fodder.  I am reading about a monk near Lincoln that solves crimes in 1066.  Heretics of De'Ath.  But no blog fodder, there.  Movies?  Haven't watched much.  Last one was Knives Out.  Which was decently entertaining.  Tried to make fun of Trump with it's characters but ends up subverting itself.  Trump does that without trying.  The ol' 'I'm rubber, you're glue' strategy.  So what I am saying was that it was entertaining in SPITE of the purposely annoying bits that self-sabotage.   It's fun seeing James Bond talk like Foghorn Leghorn.

But see?   Off topic.

I already talked about SCOTUS looking for a 2A case this term.  Which fills me with both thrilling expectation AND trepidation.

Conditions of the lockdown are loosening some, even in my state, hit middling hard.  Nobody is accusing Governor Hogan of policies that ended up deliberately endangering nursing home residents, like they are with Governor Cuomo and Whitmer, but even if no such policy is in place, our nursing homes took the Covid in the shorts.  So maybe even if Whitmer and Cuomo DIDN'T screw up, they'd have at least a similar shambles.  To one degree or another.

Not that I want to excuse either of them tyrants.  Hogan isn't even that high on my list, he's indulged because alternatives are worse.

I do want to know what Maryland's policy was.  We know from stated policy that regarding Nursing Home the gov ordered "do what the health secretary says!"  Did we get New York Outcomes with Florida Policies, or were what the Secretary-Stated policies close to New York's anyway?


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

What?! LIVE ammo?

So. I was in a wiki wander and reading the article on James CagneyNeo-neo had referenced Hope and Cagney dancing, as is her wont... highlighting dance.

So Cagney became a star when he did the movie Public Enemy and I was looking for a movie where he displayed his Yiddish skills.  Turns out it was the next one.  Taxi!

I came across this bit:

"Cagney's first film upon returning from New York was 1932's Taxi!. The film is notable for not only being the first time that Cagney danced on screen, but it was also the last time he allowed himself to be shot at with live ammunition (a relatively common occurrence at the time, as blank cartridges and squibs were considered too expensive and hard to find to use in most motion picture filming). He had been shot at in The Public Enemy, but during filming for Taxi!, he was almost hit."

What?  Blanks and squids are expensive.  Worth much more than the life of a mere actor.  Well, a mere actor that is just paid middling.  If a big star requests it we'll stop shooting em at him.

The absolute hell...

I know in Wild Bill Hickok's stage days in Cody's Wild West Show he'd shoot a lot of wax rounds, but it sorta sounds like Cagney dodged lead.   Actual lead.  Down range.  For the realism.  And for budgetary economy.  Wow.  It was the Depression and all.  Glad to have a job making $1000 a week.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

No Range Time

I haven't been to the range in a while.  I can feel my meager skills fading.  I'm sure I can sharpen them up, but that entails going shooting.

I haven't even swung by my range.  Larry Hogan, the Guv, left gun stores open as essential bidnesses.  And my range is also a gun store.  Let me swing by, now, virtually...  Nope, store is open but range is closed.

No matter.  I wasn't going to go anyway until this clears up a bit more.

"Why, T-Bolt?  Do you hate freedom?  Are you scared?"

Well, no, but...  I have gone to work in an office with a full compliment of people every workday without fail.  Other parts of the enterprise have either been non-essential and stayed home throughout, or went alternating watches.  Half come in one week, the other half the next week.  Not us.  Too much stuff to keep running.  We are like the electric company.  People don't like it when you turn off their power for seven days every other week, they don't like it when I don't do my stuff.  Keeping my part of the whole IT department running.

Well, it would be bad if I went to the range and caught the Sino Lung-AIDS, then spread it to co-workers.  Or went to a restaurant, or a bowling alley, or what have you.  Management would forbid it  if they had the power to, but the hell with them.  They have done a poor job during this whole thing, and would piddle on them if their hair was on fire.  No, I refrain from going so as not to endanger my co-workers.  Not for me, not for management, but for them.  And to keep them servers running.  If the lot of us went down sick at once that would be sub-optimal.

I don't like how this whole thing went down, but I don't want to be inconsiderate to my co-workers.

 

Monday, May 18, 2020

Wuhan Coronavirus AAR

Two years from now, when the dust settles, what will be the After Action Report for this pandemic?

A buncha obvious ones.  Don't trust China.  Have extra TP and masks at home, just in case.  Keep up with the good handwashening techniques all the time for the next hundred years, minumum.  All that.  I don't think it will be "NEVER EVER go to a live concert again."

Two years from now we will better know what degree of shutdown will be optimal, but we don't know what this level is now.  We are still finding out.

My personal biggest takeaway will be...  Avoid going to a nursing home for as long as possible.  Absolute death traps depending on the policy of you governor, and that policy is out of your control.  If you were in a nursing home in New York on January 2020 your life expectancy is VERY different than if you had moved to Florida for your nursing home needs.  And that is arbitrary and scary to T-Bolt, 30 years from now.

What else?  Keep CDC focused on the D part of their name.  That D stands Disease.  Not "advocate for gun bans".  We gunnie types have known that for a while, naturally, but now we can better convince the straights that CDC got out over their skis. 



Sunday, May 17, 2020

I better put this marker down

I think Neil Ferguson said there would be 2.2 million US deaths from WuFlu because he extrapolated from from the Spanish Flu in 1918 and adjusted for population inflation, and then made his computer model hit that number.  He faked it.  And has since come a cropper.

I could be wrong, but when he is exposed in 3 months for exactly this, I can't just say "I thought so" and have you believe me without this here.

Tar and Feathers

How come that went out of favor?  Tar and feathers. I feel like that could make a comeback.  I would properly re-focus recalcitrant officials.



"It went out of favor. T-Bolt, because it is felonious assault and battery.  You don't see as many fist fights these days, either."

Yeah yeah, I know about that.  Crime and all.  And if you were to tar and feather a governor, say, well that governor has a whole State Police infrastructure to draw on, after.  Sub optimal.  You have to have the law enforcement apparatus sort of on your side to pull this off.

"You know those people were stripped nekkid and SCALDING hot pitch was poured on them, right, T-Bolt?  Serious injury potential."

Yeah.  Agreed.  But modern problems can require modern solutions.  Instead of severe burns, maybe use a room temperature construction adhesive for the stickum.  Or gallons of maple syrup!  And feathers aren't as readily available now.  How bout blown pink fiberglass insulation?  It won't kill, but you'll wish you were dead for a few days from all the itching.  Failing that... dried onion bits?  Source from home centers or grocery stores

Victim selection is very important.  You have to pick someone pretty universally disliked.  No one liked tax collectors 250 years ago.  They had no real constituency.  If you 'tar and feather' a Governor Cuomo or Whitmer, for example, for killing grandma, expect some swampy group of Antifa types to return the favor to a Senator Cruz or Representative Scalise at a future date, for not passing a Universal Basic Income bill. 

So who would be universally disliked and a proper candidate to get coated with Corning insulation these days?   I can think of plenty of pols I personally dislike, but they all have hordes of people that DO like them.

So, maybe you are right.  It's not a very workable scenario.


Friday, May 15, 2020

Filling in the Blanks

This Mike Duncan guy.

I raved about his History of Rome podcast.  It fills in a section of history I was weak in.

Now he is filling details in another section.  Europe after Napoleon and before Bismark.  In his Revolutions podcast.  Plus I was weak on the nitty gritty of the French Revolution, and he ties in Haiti's and South America's revolution and ties them all together.

"But wait!  Yoorip was all peace and happiness after Napoleon until 1914, T-Bolt."

They should BE so lucky. Sure they wasn't megadeath continent raging battles, but it sure wasn't boring.

He's totally hooked me.  Like listening to a GOOD History professor.   In my car in the 40 minutes of commute I have to get to work.  Then back.

And I am serious about that.  If he was standing at a lectern doing the same stuff with more details to take notes about, I could study those notes, read the required reading, then take the test...  Pretty much like any 200 or 300 level college course I sat in 30 years ago.

But it is eating into my NPR time, which I listened to to see what was going on on that side of the political spectrum (Heh!  to-to, on-on...)

Hey, if you know a history podcaster as good as Mike and aren't sharing?  Foul!  Gimme the deets!  Expand ol' T-Bolt's mind.  Tides of History?  Ever listen to that one?  Duncan doesn't pull down modern politics into his stuff, I don't want that.  I don't want to hear about cis gendered Napoleon or that Julius Ceasar was one quarter plains Indian so he got his first Praetorship as a diversity hire, or summat.

His Revolutions series is at 10 separate revolutions, so far.  He's on the Russian right now, in real time.  But I am only up to 7, so far, his back catalog.  The 1848 revolution.  And he is going in chronological order for the most part.  English, then American, then French, then Haitian... etc.  I kinda hope he eventually expands to the Industrial Revolution, but kind of doubt it.  The interplay between people in that kind of revolution is vastly different than between folks in say...  a Bolivarian revolution.  Duncan seems to enjoy the latter style or interaction over the former. 

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Grain

There are 435.5 grains to an ounce.

POINT FIVE?  Sheesh.  Why a half grain?  Now I gots to know.

The two were units linked.  32 grains makes a silver penny, and 20 pennies makes and ounce.  640 to an ounce.  But that's 1200 years ago, and the two plainly shifted in intervening centuries...

Ah, in 1824 and 1855, one pound was set to 7000 grains.  And a 16th of 7000 is....    435 and a half.  After 1855 metric starts to infect proper management as it crosses the channel like a panicky Wuhan resident fleeing his home country for Western medicine.


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

SCOTUS watch

10 gun cases SCOTUS might consider.   To maybe grant them a writ to be heard before the larger court.

That Mance one is one of my faves.  IF that one goes through and wins I am taking a road trip.

Though the split Circuit stuff about CCW is also good.  SCOTUS is gonna have to face those one day, maybe it is now.  More than half of the potential case involve that.  People suing to make May-Issue into Shall Issue. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

WuFlu by Zip

Here is a map of the zip codes in my state.  I've showed it before.  I'm in the dark blue areas circled in red.  We have lots of apartments, lots of Central American immigrants, and lots of old folks homes.



But, hey, what the deal with with that one area in the flat, agricultural Eastern Shore part of the state?

That's Salisbury, Maryland.  A smallish town, surrounded by 'country.'  But like Logansport Indiana, it is the headquarters of a particular industry.  Chicken processing, instead of pork.  Purdue is headquartered there.  So they get a few cases, too, because of peculiarities of that industry.




"What peculiarities T-bolt?"

Well, killing and cutting up animals for food is a hard job, but does pay at least somewhat decently. It attracts poor people that want to go to the next step up above flying a cash register at WalMart or Family Dollar. And it doesn't require much education. You can be a 6th grade dropout and get work. But, no, it isn't pleasant, and folks burn out or get hurt with all the repitition. There are incentives besides personal ones of self enrichment to keep you from tapping out for a day, taking a break. Some places pay you an extra dollar or more an hour if you work a full 40 hour week. To cut back on absenteeism. But these perverse incentives work against a community during an epidemic. Because it encourages folks to work even when sick. And then the virus spreads among workers, who take it home to the small apartment with roommates, and the not so good healthcare coverage... So you get a darker blue zip code.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Panic buying ammo

April was a good month for gun sales.  And at the beginning of this panic ALL the ammo was gone.  Just like last time... 2013?

But ammo is back!  Lots available from online purveyors.  Even .22.

I suspect there was a lot of new gun buyers recently.  And new owners aren't like gun nuts laying in 2,000 rounds when they get jittery about future availability.  Since the last panic us gun nuts took it to heart and have had 5 years to top off the stocks and we did, so the panic only made us surge a little bit.  That's by theory at least.  I didn't even look for ammo back in March.  And if I was I wouldn't be shopping for something 10,000 this time.   Maybe I'd have gone for 1,000 of practice ammo and a few hundred HSTs?  If I was needing to top off, and, like I said, no need. 


-----

"Have a baseline in stowage, T-Bolt, just draw from that in lean times."

True.  And I did, last panic.  But last panic coincided with me going to practice nigh-weekly.  After a few months of even light practice weekly, I was eroding the stocks too much and Causing Concern.  I should have readjusted my mindset before that panic when I had ramped up my usage.