Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Went Shooting Today

Someone from church and I went shooting at a range a few miles up Harris Creek Road.  It has been almost a year since I have fired a gun, and it was gratifying to see that my memory of how to shoot a handgun reasonably accurately has not been lost, firing both right handed and isosceles stance with both hands.  The American Arms PX-22 had a number of failures to eject, perhaps because it hasn't been cleaned recently enough, or the ammo is old.  .22LR is just not that well sealed from the environment.  I thinkn it just needed cleaning.

The Colt/Walther M1911 .22:R functioned flawlessly, and while not the recoil of a .45 ACP or 9mm, function was similar enough that it will make a great practice gun for the .45 and Browning H-Power.  Pleasant to shoot, and accurate enough to be hitting a 3" diameter metal plate target at about 25 yards much of the time.

UPDATE: Gun cleaning turns out to be great therapy for my right hand: a liitle struggle, but it forces me to use my hand.

My off-the-cuff assessment is that the Colt/Walther is about as accurate as my Colt Government Model, perhaps slightly less than my Browning Hi-Power, so a good practice gun.

Cleaning the Colt/Walther was a little frustrating.  Disassembly is similar an M1911A1, but with a couple of gotchas that suggest the M1911 was left a little too long in the presence of a Walther PPK with Barry White playing in the background.  After removing the slide stop, turning the barrel bushing, and releasing the recoil spring plug; you remove the slide from frame by pulling back to rear of frame, and then lifting the rear of the slide up and off, much like removing the PP or PPK slide.  The only problem on reassembly is that you need to get the recoil spring plug and spring under the barrel bushing before trying to twist the bushing back into position

Monday, March 2, 2015

My Rage At The State of Water Heater Design Just Increases

There is no reason except lawyers why lighting a gas water heater pilot is so hard it takes an HVAC professional to do it.

It turns out that the pilot orifice was a bit clogged.  Cleaning it out made it easier to light.  Apparently the odorant used to warn you about gas clogs the orifices with time; apparently as you get to the bottom of the LP gas tank, the odorant becomes more prominent.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

As Good As Television Gets

I've been watching the original (1959-64) Twlight Zone series on Netflix.  The first and last episodes of the series ar a remarkable set of bookends.  The first "Where is Everyone?' is the story of a test pilot, preparing for a long voyage to the Moon, in an isolation chamber, and the hallucinations he experiences.  Today, we know that long space voyages don't have these psychological horrors, but at the time, no one knew. 

The last episode, "The Bewitchin' Pool."  is preparing America for the tragedy of the 1960s and 1970s.  Two children growing up in suburbia are watching their parents' marriage collapsing, and they take refuge in a Huckleberry Finn world accessible from the bottom of their pool.  It is a powerful metaphor for how a couple of generations of American parents lost themselves in bickering and completely forgot the needs of their children.  The pool is a metaphor for suicide both direct, and indirect, through their drug problems.  But no one was listening.  I am watching one of these tragedies taking place right now; and it hurts to just be on the sidelines.  I can't imagine the long-term destruction that may result.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Why Is This News?

From Yahoo:
(Reuters) - A small, Christian college in South Carolina said on Friday it had not banned gay students or homosexuality from its campus under its controversial new "Statement on Human Sexuality," which calls the practice sinful.

Erskine College has received scrutiny for its board of trustees' decision last week, characterized by some media outlets as a ban on homosexuality. It comes as many religious organizations seek to respond to the national debate over gay rights and same-sex marriage.

The college, affiliated with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church,
 held that sexual intimacy is only appropriate between a man and woman who are married.
This is the traditional Christian view of sexuality.  I fear that when Holder talks about relaxing the standard of proof for federal civil rights violations, it will be to go after colleges like this.

It may be time to start phasing down the Prozac

Today, I am feeling full of mental energy, but my body feels a little doped up still.  I think tonight I will start titrating down from the 20 mg dose, and see how I feel tomorrow.

Holder Victim-Stancing

If you haven't heard the term victim-stancing before, it means constanly looking for ways to casdt yourself as a victim, rather than admit that that your problems might be at least partially self-imposed.  This 2/27/15 Politico  article reports that Holder not only wantsw a lower standard of proof for federal civil rights violations, but he was picked by Congress for being black:
Attorney General Eric Holder plans to push, during his final weeks in office, a new standard of proof for civil-rights offenses, saying in an exit interview with POLITICO that such a change would make the federal government “a better backstop” against discrimination in cases like Ferguson and Trayvon Martin.

In a lengthy discussion ranging from his own exposure to the civil rights movement of the ’60s to today’s controversies surrounding the shootings of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, Holder also acknowledged that he felt some of his own struggles with Republicans in Congress during his six years in office were driven partly by race.

“There have been times when I thought that’s at least a piece of it,” Holder said, adding that “I think that the primary motivator has probably been political in nature … [but] you can’t let it deflect you from … your eyes on the prize.”

I am tempted to change the name of his political party from Democrat to Victim-Stancer.  Whil there is some ugly history in America about how blacks were treated, the major cause of problems for black Americans today is usually blacks: black criminals picking on their neighbors; black kids treating education by their peers as "acting white"; black politicians who run big cities as public feeding troughs for teacher unions.

And because this victim-stancing is so successful as a political strategy, many other groups have jumped on the victim-stancing wagon of the Democrats: the "rape culture" of colleges; homophobia; you name it.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Let me rage about hot water heater designs

Our hot water heater, after nine years of unremarkable service, suddenly stopped producing hot water.  The son-in-law of someone from church is an HVAC tech.  He found the thermocouple had failed, and replaced it.  Today the problem was the pilot had gone out, and following instructions on the side were of no use.  You hold the pilot button down for a minute, while sticking a lighter into a very dark hole, theoretically in which is the pilot light.  I could not seeany lit pilot.  The HVAC guy showed me where to look to see the pilot light which was on.  Why is this so hard?  A minute!  Is this lawsuit output?

UPDATE: I called Bradford-White technical support and they said they weren't allowed to tell me anything but read the label.  Not even how far in the pilot light is located.  Lawyers are ruining this country.