Friday, December 22, 2006

A quickie

This is a quick post before I take a perfectly good day and ruin it by going out into the pre-Chirstmas shopping lunacy...

I'm killing time, waiting for Mrs. Freeholder to get ready to go (the eternal saga continues) and some FedEx jocky to deliver a package, likely the HK-91 mags I ordered, that requires a signature. I'm trolling through the blogroll, looking for entertainment. Here's what I've found:

And that will have to be enough of that. It's time to done the chain mail and sally forth from Castle Freehold to battle the Christmas hordes!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Storing batteries

I was Googling around for information about battery storage, in particular the long-term storage of Ni-MH and Ni-Cad batteries, and I found this Battery Storage FAQ from PowerStream It covers most types of batteries you're likely to run into, not just Ni-MH and Ni-Cads. It says to store both types discharged and to charge before using.

Of course, I've been around the Internet enough to know you that you must confirm information. So I kept going down my search results. A number of sites say that Ni-MH batteries should be recharged regularly during storage, and should never be allowed to fully self-discharge. (For those who aren't familiar with the characteristics of the Ni-MH batteries, they loose charge at around 10% per month of storage. They also have a variable, but finite, number of charge/discharge cycles, usually quoted as 500.)

Other sites, such as Duracell and Energizer, say that the batteries will self-discharge to zero over time and must be recharged prior to use. They also note that it will take about 3 charge/discharge cycles before the batteries will hold a full charge again. they don't indicate that there is any difficulties with long-term storage of discharged batteries.

But another battery pack manufacturer, Harding Energy, agrees with PowerStream. Store 'em discharged.

So what's a poor boy to do?

Experiment!

I have some Ni-MH batteries that have been stored since the early spring. They were stored charged, and should be fully discharged by now. I have some Ni-Cads that have been stored a similar period of time. We're going to charge them up and see how they perform. I don't have a lot of really sophisticated measuring equipment, but I should be able to reach some useful conclusion.

Stay tuned for details.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I'm flattered, I think

OK, so I'm trolling through the referrers log on Site Meter, and this one catches my eye:

http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A0geuq5mKIhFo3cBcYFXNyoA?p=free%20web%20sites%20for%20people%20looking%20for%20sex%20in%20north%20carolina&prssweb=Search&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-405&x=wrt

Yes, the search text is "free web sites for people looking for sex in North Carolina". This blog is the #1 hit.

Not much more to say, is there?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

An afternoon at the range

It's been too long since the Family Freeholder went to the range. With moving, football season and so on, time has been at a premium for months. However, as counter-intuitive as it seems, with the nearing of Christmas, we found ourselves with a lovely Sunday afternoon and nothing that had to be done.

Off to the range!

This first picture is of Daughter and her 9mm Springfield XD. The young lady is a very good shot. This picture is from the 10 yard line. Shortly after it was taken, all the plates were down.

The second picture is of Son, shooting what was supposed to be my Smith and Wesson 22A.
He's a better shot than the picture might indicate, as the less-than-manly .22 cartridge is usually not enough to drop plates on the plate racks.

However, good time for all was spoiled and we were forced to leave early. Old Friend's Older Brother and his Lady Friend were also in attendance. Lady Friend managed to break 3 of the 4 rules laid down by Col. Cooper, and did so by pointing a loaded .380 at Daughter's stomach from about 3 feet. When I reached over and pointed the gun in a safe direction, she immediately moved it back. At this point, I moved it again told her in some very specific terms that she was pointing a loaded gun at my eldest child and that I was not impressed.

Now bear in mind, this was an intensely stupid and potentially tragic mistake, but it was a mistake--she was asking me a question about said firearm and not paying attention to what she was doing. The 4 rules worked, because even though she violated three, her finger was well off the trigger. (Col. Cooper, I hope you looked down from Heaven and saw the good that you continue to do us even after your death.) I was doing my parental job, because I immediately noticed the threat to my offspring and dealt with it forcefully.

A normal person, having this pointed out to them, would have immediately realized just how close to tragedy their carelessness had bought us, and would have been appropriately mortified. Instead, she turned something approaching belligerent. Not a Good Thing.

At this point, I removed my children from the danger zone. Shortly thereafter, I plead back pain (true as far as it went, but an excuse nonetheless) and left the range. I informed both of my children we will never again shoot with this person. She is simply too dangerous.

Old Friend's Older Brother saw none of this. He was on the firing line, doing his thing. I haven't told him yet, but I'm going to have to do so--he needs to know. I have the feeling a 28 year friendship may well hang in the balance, but that pales in comparison to my kids safety. I'm not sure how I will bring it up or what I'll say, but it will get brought up and something will be said.

A perfectly wonderful afternoon spoiled. However, it wasn't tragically spoiled, and that makes all the difference.

Let me guess--this clown is going to run for President, right?

News.com reports Senator John McCain (RINO-Manchuria) is proposing a law that will levy a $300,000 fine (plus, one must assume, prison time) for any webmaster or blogger who fails to report "obscene" postings on a website or blog. This is the flip side of a bill that will force sex offenders to register their email addresses.

This is just utterly scary. We bloggers could handle the problem by simply turning off comments, but we generally have to comments on for a reason--we like to hear what our readers have to say. For those who run web-based discussion sites, such as War Rifles or Timebomb 2000, life won't be that easy. No matter how many moderators you can field, the idea of checking every post is overwhelming. I'd bet we would see many boards close shortly after this POS became law.

This sort of law is one of those that is frightening prone to abuse. Similar laws relating to use use of the US Mail have a long history, going back into the 1800's, of such abuse. Can you imagine some political operative targeting a blog unfriendly to their patron using this law? All they would have to do is post something "obscene" (and remember, obscenity, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder and their "prevailing community standards") way back in the comments. They then notify the proper authorities, and bing-bang-boom that PITA blogger is outta there!

No only does this proposal never need to become law, but we don't need anyone who would even consider such things as President of the United States. And Arizona, do you really want this guy representing you?