Friday, January 26, 2007

Woo-hoo! Another one bites the dust!

The Greensboro News and Record reports that an unnamed McDonalds worker has shot and killed a bad guy attempting an armed robbery at a Charlotte McDonalds.

Of course, since this is Charlotte, also lovingly known as Moscow on the Catawba in some circles, our hero is said to have "started a shootout" and that " The District Attorney's office will decide if charges will be filed in the case, police said."

We will have to wait for details, and it is possible under NC's oddball use of deadly force laws (as well as the DA seeking publicity problems our state is becoming known for) that our hero may wind up facing charges.

However, I suspect the gene pool is a little cleaner today.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

However, there is some good news

Well, it seems Senate Republicans, apparently assisted by a few Democrats, have killed the minimum wage hike, at least for now.

My Daughter, who is hoping for her first job this summer, thanks you. (For those who don't get it, who in their right mind is going to pay a 15 YO with absolutely zero experience $7.25 an hour? That's right--no one.)

Here they come

(From Timebomb)

Well, fellow gunnies, here comes the first of the gun grabs, bans and general stupidity:

HR256, Title: To prevent children's access to firearms. Hey, they gotta start somewhere.

HR297, Title: To improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and for other purposes. This one is apparently to make sure that all possible criminal records, mental health records, court orders and so are are incorporated into the NICS. In this way, we're hard at work creating one of those big, evil databases that all the civil libertarians hate, but we're doing it to keep these bad people from having guns, so it's OK.

HR 428, Title: To require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban toys which in size, shape, or overall appearance resemble real handguns. Yes, we want the toy ones, too.

And last, numerically out of order but certainly not least, HR96, Title: To require criminal background checks on all firearms transactions occurring at events that provide a venue for the sale, offer for sale, transfer, or exchange of firearms, and for other purposes. Yes, we're trying to close that mythical gun show loophole again, while at the same time prohibiting one law-abiding citizen from transferring a firearm to another law-abiding citizen without going through and FFL, the NICS and of course, creating that all-important paper trail.

Are you butt-heads who sent a message to the Republicans happy yet?

Must...Buy...Gadget...

(Via The Register)

SanDisk V-Mate™ Video Memory Card Recorder

OHMIGOD! It records on a memory card, and you can take it out, use it on your PDA, your laptop or what ever. According to El Reg, it has some oddities in the user interface, but Oh Baby! I'm going to get my birthday present early this year.

Get yours now before the MPAA sues it out of existence.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The cost of living...

Has just risen several percent per hundred rounds recently. For those who don't shoot on a regular basis, I'm talking about the price of ammo.

Ammo prices have been going up rather dramatically for the last several years. At first it was theorized that it was the war in Iraq, then was the rise in oil prices, then it was the Chinese buying up all the raw materials and now some say it's an actual decrease in supply because of the UN Convention on Small Arms.

Here's a concrete example. Military surplus 7.62x51 NATO, which is the standard .30 round for rifles like the M1A/M-14, the G3/HK-91 and the FN-FAL, has went from around $135/1000 3-4 years ago to as much as $300/1000 today--if you can find any worth buying. The Portuguese is long gone, South African is almost gone (there is a rumor that AIM has some), there was some Pakistani for a very short while, and there is some 70s Indian that's supposed to be decent. (There is also some of the 90s Indian still floating around, if you're brave enough to shoot it.) You can buy new commercial ammo loaded to the NATO spec, but expect to pay $500-600/1000.

There are also rumors that 7.62x54R and 8mm are getting short, although I can't confirm that by just browsing web sites. 7.62x39, in short supply a year ago, is now readily available in my area, but at around $200/1000 for good stuff (Barnaul).

At first I thought all of this was a result of various dealers trying to "scare" the price up, I don't believe that any longer. While I suspect that there is some truth to all of the explanations for the price increases, the bottom line is ammo is going up, and it isn't just the milsurp--it's all of it. Internet discussion boards have noted over the last few days that Wal-mart has went up on ammo around 17%.

For those who reload, the cost of components has risen as much or more. Trust me, I just bought some last weekend. A pound of Winchester 296 powder was $22. Last year it was $18. I'm afraid to price primers....

The bottom line is that ammo is going up fast, and it would be prudent to lay in some additional supplies. It may go back down in the future, but is it prudent to bet on that?

Shaking my head in wonderment

President Bush, not content with his already low performance ratings, has apparently decided to try for negative numbers:

President Bush intends to use the State of the Union address on Tuesday to tackle the rising cost of health care with a one-two punch: tax breaks to help low-income people buy health insurance and tax increases for workers whose health plans cost more than the national average.

I'm speechless. This is a Republican stance? Tax people with health care insurance in order to pay for coverage for the ones without? That's what it amounts to, no matter what they say.

What bizarre alternate reality have I woken up in?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Hm-m-m

(Via American Girl In Japan)

Yo, Mountain Man--what'cha think? :-)

Interestingly enough, I have high scores on some items that are diametrically opposed. That's sort of interesting....

Advanced Global Personality Test Results
Extraversion |||||||||||| 50%
Stability |||||||||||| 50%
Orderliness |||||||||||||||| 63%
Accommodation |||||| 30%
Interdependence |||||||||| 36%
Intellectual |||||||||||||||| 70%
Mystical |||||| 23%
Artistic |||||| 23%
Religious |||||| 30%
Hedonism || 10%
Materialism |||||||||||||||| 63%
Narcissism |||||||||||| 50%
Adventurousness |||||||||||| 43%
Work ethic |||||||||||||||| 63%
Self absorbed |||||||||||| 50%
Conflict seeking |||||||||||| 50%
Need to dominate |||||||||||||||||||| 83%
Romantic |||||| 23%
Avoidant |||||||||||||||| 63%
Anti-authority |||||||||||||||| 70%
Wealth |||||| 30%
Dependency |||||| 23%
Change averse |||||||||||| 50%
Cautiousness |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Individuality |||||||||| 36%
Sexuality |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Peter pan complex |||||||||||||| 56%
Physical security |||||||||||||||| 70%
Physical Fitness |||||| 24%
Histrionic |||||||||| 36%
Paranoia |||||||||||||||| 63%
Vanity |||||||||| 36%
Hypersensitivity |||||||||||||| 56%
Female cliche |||||| 23%
Take Free Advanced Global Personality Test
personality tests by similarminds.com


Edit (1/22/2007 1355): I've been looking at this even more. As I've noted in email to the Mountain Man, I'm scoring on various subjects in ways that should be impossible. Either I can't answer the questions consistently, I have multiple personality disorder, I'm utterly stupid and just don't understand what the test is saying or this test is a crock.

Important reading

(Via Chaos Manor and TB2K)

If you give a whatever about the state of education in the US, then you need to read these three pieces from the Opinion Journal:

Intelligence in the Classroom
What's Wrong With Vocational School?
Aztecs vs. Greeks

In our rush to "leave no child behind", we're in danger of short-changing those whose contribution actually pushes us forward as a civilization. This will one day backfire on us with drastic consequences.

America’s Margaret Thatcher?

(Via Drudge)

HILLARY CLINTON is to be presented as America’s Margaret Thatcher as she tries to become the first woman to win the White House.

Special note to the Times: I know you're relatively new to the Internet, so we'll give you a pass this time. However, in the future, please note it's considered good form to add "SPEW ALERT" in front of joke postings.