Friday, November 29, 2013

Retention holsters, people

In a local ER, a patient was being seen as a Baker Act, because he had made statements that he wanted to commit suicide. When he got to the ER, the Sheriff's deputies that brought her in escorted her to the nurses' station. There was an armed security guard there, and she tried to steal his gun. The cops and the guard beat her profusely. The whole time they were wrestling with her, she was screaming that she wanted to kill the nurse.
She is now spending her time in the ED screaming about how she wants to kill the nurse.

Now, not only is she a Baker Act, but after she gets out of the three day hold for that, she is going to jail for armed robbery (stealing the guard's gun), aggravated battery, attempted murder, and terroristic threats. I hope at least a few of those charges stick and she gets some serious time.

If you are going to open carry, use a retention holster.

Five year test of CFL bulbs

Five years ago, I wanted to do an experiment. The government passed a law that phases out incandescent light bulbs in favor of more efficient bulbs. They claimed at the time that the more efficient bulbs would save a homeowner money through lower energy costs, despite the fact that the newer bulbs were much more expensive. They claimed that this was due to the longer life of the lower energy bulbs.

So I set out to look at this issue, because I am a big geek like that.

There are 46 light bulbs required in my home. I replaced 25 of them with compact fluorescent bulbs.

19 of them were of the spiral variety. They currently cost $1.50 each. At the time that I originally bought them, they were more than $8 each. 4 of them burned out and had to be replaced during the five year test period. At today's prices, this means that the 19 bulbs cost $34.50 over the five year test period.

6 of them were PAR lamps that were used as spotlights in the track lighting that illuminates the kitchen. These bulbs were quite expensive, costing $12 each at the time. They currently cost $4 apiece. Three of them burned out, for a total cost in today's prices of $36.

During that same period, four of the remaining 21 incandescent bulbs had to be replaced. These bulbs cost 50 cents each, with a total cost of $12.50.

The total cost for fluorescent bulbs is $2.82 for each  of the bulbs, factoring in the costs of replacement bulbs. They are not as long lived as the government claims, with about a third of them failing over the five year period.
The total cost for incandescent bulbs is 60 cents each.

The CFL bulbs use 18 watts of energy each. The incandescent bulbs use 60 watts. The price I pay for electricity is 12 cents per kilowatt hour.

This means that the difference in energy costs for outfitting my entire home with CFL bulbs would require me to run my every one of my 46 light fixtures for 3 hours per day each in order to break even. Of course, no one does that.


The only way that this becomes cost effective is if you only replace the lights in your home that are most frequently used. Closet and bathroom lights, which are used far less than lights in the living and bedrooms, are simply not used enough to justify the added costs of CFL bulbs.

Also, the costs and performance of the PAR type CFL bulbs make them a poor choice.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Years ago, I read a science fiction story about a crew that was assigned a peacekeeping mission to a planet whose inhabitants were at war. Apparently, they were killing each other over the rights to a migratory bird. This bird would migrate from one hemisphere to another with the seasons, and the inhabitants of the hemisphere where the birds were not located would all go into psychosis until the birds returned.

However, a segment of the population was not affected by the birds' disappearance, and it was this portion that cared for the afflicted, and pursued the war against the others.

Anyone know the story? I would like to find it again.

I got it on sale

So stores jack up prices in early November, when no one is looking. Then, on Black Friday, they offer deep discounts on the inflated price, and people line up for days, thinking that they are getting a deal. "But I got it on sale!" they say.

All fun and games...

...until someone gets hurt.

Say this gets tried where people carry concealed weapons. You think its funny that you chase someone down the street with a knife? You like filming them while they run in terror? How will you feel if your actor gets shot?

These sorts of pranks, where you set up a situation to place your victims  in fear for their lives for your own amusement is sick. It's also called aggravated assault...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

KSP time waster

I downloaded the newest version of Kerbal Space Program about three weeks ago. I have been exploring the virtual solar system ever since.

Here is a picture of my solar observatory investigating some sunspots:

It's in an orbit that is 280,000 km from the sun.
I have put Kerbonauts on the Mun (moon), and landed probes in the Mars equivalent (Duna). I currently have 2 satellites en route to the Jupiter equivalent (Jool) and its moons, as well as one to the Ceres equivalent (Dres). I sent one to the Mercury equivalent, but it, unfortunately, malfunctioned and was lost. At least it was unmanned. I am also planning a mission to Duna (Mars) and a permanent base on the Mun (Moon).

This is wasting A LOT of my time.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Not as lucrative as you think.

Doctors are concerned with the rates of pay that they are getting. In the article, Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of health law and policy at George Washington University, said she was not overly concerned about physicians’ compensation. “I don’t mean to suggest that physicians don’t deserve to do well,” she said. “But physicians are very well-compensated people, no matter what.”

Not as well  as you think. Sure, a doctor makes $200,000 or more a year, but let's compare that to other professions.
A doctor attends college and earns an undergraduate degree. This takes four years, during which the money earned is zero, and tuition, books, and supplies are about $20,000. Room and board are extra.
Then the doctor attends medical school. The school lasts three years, and the money earned is zero. Tuition, books, and supplies are about $225,000. Room and board are extra.
Then the doctor does his residency. This lasts at least a year, during which the resident works 80 hour weeks and makes about $45,000 a year.

So this doctor is now 26 years old and has made $45,000. He now has about $400,000 in student loans that must be repaid. With interest.
So over the 47 years of his working life, he spends the first 8 in school, and ends that first 8 years $355,000 in the hole. If that doctor makes $200,000 a year on average for the remaining 39 years of his working life, the first $50,000 of that will pay for his student loans and the years he was jobless.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Day After, 30 years later

It was 30 years ago today: ABC aired a made for TV movie titled The Day After. I watched that movie as a teen, and frankly, it gave me nightmares. The movie was about surviving a nuclear exchange between the US and the Soviet Union. It was a real threat in those days.

For those of you that are too young to remember, growing up under the threat of nuclear holocaust was a real and ever present danger that we all learned to accept. I remember having "duck and cover" drills when I was in elementary school. On notification, we were trained to duck under our desks, cover our heads, and wait for the end.

The movie seemed very real and scary to me at the time, and I had nightmares about it for weeks.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sad clown is sad

So an Obama voter, who supports the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is upset because it turns out that she actually has to pay for it. The people who voted for President Freestuff are finding out that the things he promised are not free for everyone.
This woman is currently paying $250 a month in health care expenses for herself and her son. She originally thought that she would be able to use a tax subsidy to get a "gold" plan for only $169 a month. There was an error in computing her subsidy, and she doesn't get one at all. It turns out that she will have to pay $324 for a "silver" plan, which has a high deductible. She claims that she cannot afford it, and blames the state exchange.
She is angry because she thought that all she needed to do to get cheap insurance is vote for it. She calls herself a "single mother who is self employed and has had no health insurance for over 50 years" according to the email that she sent to the president.
She is a freelance court reporter who makes a bit less than $50,000 a year. The reason that she cannot get cheap insurance is that her son is already on Medicaid, for which she pays only $30 a month, and is thus not counted as a tax deduction when calculating Obamacare subsidies.
The press gets one thing wrong, however. It says that the woman will elect to pay the $95 penalty. The penalty is actually the GREATER of $95 or 1% of your income. Since she makes about $50K a year, her Obamacare penalty will be closer to $500.
But hey, you voted for this, and you got it.

Monday, November 18, 2013

When the skies of November turn gloomy...

The Edmund Fitzgerald was an American freighter that plied the Great Lakes. It was in service for 38 years and 7 days.
It was 38 years and 7 days ago that she sank in a gale on Lake Superior.  The sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald is one of the best-known disasters in the history of Great Lakes shipping. Gordon Lightfoot made it the subject of his 1976 hit song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald".

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Bite the hand that fed you

Here is an Orlando story about a woman who confessed to helping carry out a home invasion robbery of her parents' home. During the course of the robbery, the woman's father was severely beaten.

Friday, November 15, 2013


There are people in this state that are in a panic about Leon county's proposed Universal Background Check ordnance. This topic comes up from time to time, and I have blogged on this before.

This is a big deal over nothing. Florida has preemption, and the only exception is found in Article VIII, Section 2(b):
(b) Each county shall have the authority to require a criminal history records check and a 3 to 5-day waiting period, excluding weekends and legal holidays, in connection with the sale of any firearm occurring within such county. For purposes of this subsection, the term “sale” means the transfer of money or other valuable consideration for any firearm when any part of the transaction is conducted on property to which the public has the right of access. Holders of a concealed weapons permit as prescribed by general law shall not be subject to the provisions of this subsection when purchasing a firearm.

Note that the only time that the county may require a background check for a transaction conducted between private parties who are not dealers (transactions at a dealer must go through a check and have a waiting period, but again, CCW holders are exempt from the waiting period) is when the transaction occurs on property to which the public has the right of access. The only place that the public has such a right is on property owned by the government. The public has no right to access on private property. This means that the background checks may only be required if you are conducting the sale on the roadway, a park, a gun show held at a civic center, etc.

Note also that there is a specific exception for people that hold a concealed weapons permit.

Even better, take a look at 790.33, which is the state's preemption statute:
Except as expressly provided by the State Constitution or general law, the Legislature hereby declares that it is occupying the whole field of regulation of firearms and ammunition, including the purchase, sale, transfer, taxation, manufacture, ownership, possession, storage, and transportation thereof, to the exclusion of all existing and future county, city, town, or municipal ordinances or any administrative regulations or rules adopted by local or state government relating thereto. Any such existing ordinances, rules, or regulations are hereby declared null and void. 

The state went on to say this:

Any person, county, agency, municipality, district, or other entity that violates the Legislature’s occupation of the whole field of regulation of firearms and ammunition, as declared in subsection (1), by enacting or causing to be enforced any local ordinance or administrative rule or regulation impinging upon such exclusive occupation of the field shall be liable as set forth herein.

So the law is unenforceable. What happens if the law is passed anyway? What if the cops then arrest you? That is the best part:

If any county, city, town, or other local government violates this section, the court shall declare the improper ordinance, regulation, or rule invalid and issue a permanent injunction against the local government prohibiting it from enforcing such ordinance, regulation, or rule. It is no defense that in enacting the ordinance, regulation, or rule the local government was acting in good faith or upon advice of counsel. 
If the court determines that a violation was knowing and willful, the court shall assess a civil fine of up to $5,000 against the elected or appointed local government official or officials or administrative agency head under whose jurisdiction the violation occurred. 
Except as required by applicable law, public funds may not be used to defend or reimburse the unlawful conduct of any person found to have knowingly and willfully violated this section. A knowing and willful violation of any provision of this section by a person acting in an official capacity for any entity enacting or causing to be enforced a local ordinance or administrative rule or regulation prohibited under paragraph (a) or otherwise under color of law shall be cause for termination of employment or contract or removal from office by the Governor. 

They will be fired, fined $5,000 PERSONALLY, they cannot use taxpayer funds to hire a lawyer, and you can sue them. I am sure that, should this pass, Florida Carry will be all over it. Send some money their way, they are fighting the good fight.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Subsidize it, you get more

This story was relayed to me by a friend who works in a local emergency room:

A 28 year old woman comes into the ED. She is 19 weeks pregnant with twins: her 8th and 9th children. This particular pregnancy is from her 4th male. Her complaint is that she is possibly having a miscarriage. Upon exam, the head of one fetus is already visible in the cervix. There is nothing that can be done, the pregnancy is over.
The father begged the doctor to do all that he could. The doctor explained that there is nothing that can be done, and that he has sympathy for the couple. The doctor leaves the room, my friend is standing just outside and hears the conversation that ensues. The male complains to the female that he is upset because they were counting on the extra welfare and food stamps to buy a new car.

Think about that for a minute, and contemplate all of the implications of that.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Elections have consequences

My brother is a business owner and has a few employees. He is still a small enough company that his employees are like family. His son developed a significant health issue when he was only two years old, and needs to have surgery every 8 weeks as a result. My brother had to send this letter out to his employees today:

There has been a lot of talk about Obamacare and the changes to the law on the news lately. Here is my situation as a business owner, and as a parent of a child with a preexisting condition.

Because of the preexisting health concerns of my child, we could not get our own coverage in the past. We had to be part of a group plan, so we decided to purchase group insurance for the company, which meant that we would pay 50% of the premiums for our staff. That 50% was then a tax credit to us. So if we owed $10k in taxes each month, and paid $8k in staff insurance premiums, we now only owed $2k in taxes. My accountant has informed me that this tax credit has been eliminated under Obamacare. This means that next year, we will see an $8k per month increase in our taxes.

Now we can get our family insurance with a $0 deductible for a much lower rate than paying the monthly premiums for our employees through (I hate to say it) by purchasing a "gold" plan. If we attempt to obtain coverage through the company, we will still have to maintain the 50% payment of our employees, the premiums for which will be increasing our half by an additional $2K a month. For this amount, we will have a $2K deductible, and we will lose that tax credit. This means that our insurance expenses and taxes will increase to $218,000 per year if we continue providing insurance for our staff. This level of expense is just not sustainable. For this reason, we will be dropping the insurance that we offer as a small business to our employees, will get our own  policy, and direct our staff to the site.

This is just the insurance view. There is more to Obamacare that most do not realize. It has forced many in my industry to close due to the cost of compliance with the regulations put on food supply operators for calorie and nutrition infomation disclosure.

My opinion is mixed. The preexisting condition of my child is now moot. The cost to me appears to be cancelled out so far with lower deductibles. However, it is forcing my staff to now be transferred onto the health care exchanges for insurance, and they will now have to pay 100% of their premiums. Due to the added taxes and expenses associated with the compliance with this law, we are not in a position to give any of you a raise to offset the additional costs. Depending on how my taxes work out at the end of the year, there is a distinct possibility that we will have to scale back or even sell out our remaining contracts and lay off our entire staff. We will inform you as soon as we know more.


I went to Chik fil A to get breakfast a couple of days ago. It was five minutes before they were due to stop serving breakfast and begin serving lunch. I ordered a Sausage biscuit, and they told me that they were out of sausage, and that I could order a chicken biscuit. I didn't really want chicken, but it is what it is.

I arrived at the window, paid for my food, and when they handed me my order, it was chicken nuggets, not a biscuit. I pointed it out, and that was when they told me they were also out of chicken patties. I was irate. I demanded my money back, and went to Wendy's just down the street, and ordered lunch instead. When I began to eat, my burger and fries were ice cold.

A dispatcher in training sends ambulances to the wrong address. That happens more frequently than you know. I know that I got sent to the wrong location about once a month or so. Sometimes it is because of an error with the caller. Sometimes, the dispatcher. Sometimes, it is caused by the system.

A good example is Michigan Avenue. There is one in Orange County, and one in Osceola county. If you call from a cell phone, and the tower that is accessed is in one county while you are in the other, the wrong location and the wrong emergency crews will be dispatched.

Or perhaps you called for Orange Avenue instead of Orange Street.

In this case, the caller asked for paramedics to be dispatched to the Ormond Rec Center, when he was actually at the Nova Community Park. He gave the cross street for the correct location, but in making that mistake when giving his location, the dispatcher looked up the correct address for the Ormond Rec Center, was new, and her training officer was busy talking on her cell phone.

A comedy of small errors that added up to a dead victim, who had already collapsed from an apparent heart attack. He probably would have died anyway, but we will never know.

Some say that had the trainer been paying attention, the correct address may have been located. We will never know.

What do we know? We know that fast food workers have gone on strike, demanding that they receive $15 an hour for doing whatever it is that they do. A dispatcher makes less than that. So do the paramedics.

How can we justify paying someone $15 an hour to cook and serve a burger incorrectly, and then demand that dispatchers and paramedics perform their jobs with a zero percent error rate for less money than that?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tracking your whereabouts

The more that I see things like this, the more that I want to simply give up my cell phone. We are all being tagged and tracked like animals.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Another useful idiot

Another person who voted for Obama because he promised them free stuff has awakened to the reality. She sent him a letter, but that will accomplish nothing. What with term limits, the President doesn't need your votes. That is exactly why the ACA was timed to begin AFTER the election. That way, people who were upset would not be able to do a thing about it.

To all of you that voted for him: Go fuck yourself. You voted for this, twice. You simpletons thought that you could have everything you wanted, and that someone else would be the one paying for it. Now that it turns out that the one paying for it is you, you don't like it.

This country IS going to collapse under the weight of these Socialist policies. The loose spending of the past 60 years is going to break us. When the collapse comes, the best we can hope for is that the country will break up into manageable pieces, that perhaps one of them will be free, and  that deaths caused by the upheaval will be minimal. We also need to hope that the Chinese haven't figured out sealift capability by then.

The worst case scenario is that the government we have now is replaced by a totalitarian dictatorship. This is the outcome that I fear we are headed for. Why just yesterday, I saw a lowboy driving through my town with an M113 on the back, complete with the M-2 mount and gunner shield, all labelled with the colors of my local sheriff's office.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Nanny State

We have progressed to the point in our nanny state society where a person who is in a vehicle that has been driven into a body of water and is sinking needs to be told to get out of the vehicle before they drown.

A 911 dispatcher was suspended  for not telling a man in a sinking SUV that it would be a good idea to get out before the vehicle sank and took him with it. Seriously?

The real tragedy here is that people like this don't die before they pass on their worthless genes to the next generation. Where is Darwin when you need him?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Gang rape

Five teens held a fellow high school classmate hostage and brutally beat her, until she performed a sexual act on one of the males. More on the story here, and here.
The young people at the house were not having a party. They were beating and raping a 16-year-old South Broward High student, who was being held against her will by two female classmates who kicked her in the head, threw her down the backyard stoop and dragged her by her hair into the yard as she pleaded with them to let her go. They continued to attack her, ripping off her clothes and threatening her until she agreed to have sex with a 19-year-old man who lived in the house.

 The girl was so brutally beaten that several bones were broken in her face and her eyes were swollen shut. She is currently a patient at Joe DiMaggio's Children's Hospital. The two girls, one 15, the other 16, taunted the victim, as one of the men in the house recorded the rape on a cell phone. As the girls held her down, Jayvon Woolfork, 19, forced the girl to have sex, police said. Woolfork, 5-foot-3 and 140 pounds, has a criminal history, including attempted armed robbery, robbery and burglary.

But hey, it was just a beating, right? She should have just given them what they wanted. That is what opponents of Stand Your Ground have to say. This is the same type of behavior exhibited by Trayvon Martin, the scrapes with the law while a young teen, the crimes increasing in significance until there are serious crimes being committed.

I would also note that more than 99% of Broward county voted for Obama, but I am sure that is a coincidence.

Read more here:

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Lawsuits, the NFL, and jock culture

There is a lot of talk on the news about an NFL 'hazing' scandal. I am not a football fan, so I don't know a lot about the team or the league, but I do know a bit about the law here.

Apparently, Richie Incognito was bullying a fellow team member. He sent texts to his teammate that contained racial slurs, threats of physical violence, and sexual content.

Multiple sources confirmed to ESPN that the following is a transcript of a voice message Incognito left for Martin in April 2013, a year after Martin was drafted:
"Hey, wassup, you half n----- piece of s---. I saw you on Twitter, you been training 10 weeks. [I want to] s--- in your f---ing mouth. [I'm going to] slap your f---ing mouth. [I'm going to] slap your real mother across the face [laughter]. F--- you, you're still a rookie. I'll kill you."
 In this case, the other players on the team took it a step further, and got up from the lunch table when he sat down, in an apparent attempt to ostracize him. That takes it from being an isolated act of a single player to an organizational problem for his employer. Especially when it turns out that the coach wanted the player harassed, to "toughen him up."

Compounding this, the father of the player that appears to be the ringleader entered the fray, and has also begun slamming the aggrieved player.

Even worse for the NFL, it turns out that the senior players shake down the new ones in every team, and force them to pay for trips, dinners, and other expensive 'gifts'. ESPN reported that Incognito allegedly got Martin to contribute $15,000 to help finance a trip to Las Vegas by a group of Dolphins even though Martin preferred not to travel with them. Martin gave Incognito the money, fearing the consequences if he did not.

Why does a group of athletes, all millionaires, need a rookie to pay for anything? Harassment, pure and simple.

It seems that rookie players are often hazed, with new players being forced to pick up dinner tabs for the team of tens of thousands of dollars. According to a former Dolphins teammate, Ricky Williams:

 "Really I haven't seen much hazing," he said in an interview on "The Lead with Jake Tapper."
He said it's a well-known "rite of passage" for a high draft pick to pick up a big dinner bill for some other players on the team.
"Once you sign that contract there's a lot of rules, written and unwritten, that you are expected to follow," he said. "For me, this is something that should be handled internally. I don't think the media, I don't think fans, I don't think anyone outside is really in a position to really fully understand what occurs inside of a locker room and inside of a football team."

Of course, this is the type of behavior that jocks display and get away with, because they are good at playing a game. Acting like juiced up idiots, drugs, alcohol, DUI, being general asshats. They get a pass for their entire lives, and then are surprised when finally someone calls them on it.
  So now we have a league of billionaire team owners who employ hundreds of millionaires, all of whom are now demonstrably guilty of racial, sexual, and physical harassment. The lawyers are drooling...

Assault on self defense

Andrew Branca reports that the Democrats in the state legislature of Florida are looking to gut the state's self defense laws. They are looking to repeal 776.013: the castle doctrine AND stand your ground.

Democrats at the state level are moving to repeal 776.013, the self defense law that permits defense against home invaders, burglars, and armed robbers. It also contains Stand Your Ground and the Castle Doctrine.
If passed, it would remove the right to use force to defend your home, your car, and your self from a home invader, and create a requirement that you retreat from a person using or threatening force against you. Wife getting raped? Sorry, you must retreat rather than protect her. House getting robbed? Run. Burglar in house? You must leave, and allow them to have your stuff.

Senate Bill 116 (SB-116) is being brought by Senator Geraldine F. “Geri” Thompson (D, and House Bill 4003 (HB-4003) is being advanced in the Florida State House of Representatives by FL Representative Alan B. Williams (D).

This is the real goal of the Trayvon Martin agitators- assaulting self defense and gun rights.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

For sale

Face to face in Central Florida only, please:
a Romanian SAR-1 (AK-47 clone) complete with ten 30 round magazines, a 10 round magazine, and a 40 round magazine- $750.

Also, 840 rounds of 7.62x39mm Wolf FMJ Ammo, plus 300 rounds of 7.62x39mm Georgia Arms FMJ Ammo for $275.

The ammo works out to 24 cents a round, and if you figure the magazines are worth $12 each, the rifle is priced at a reasonable $600. This is a good deal, but I do not want to sell the magazines without the rifle.


A man is arrested for filming a cop performing a traffic stop, and the police spokesman had this to say:

whatever his constitutional protections may have been, that decision does not come without consequences, and if those decisions and those actions put the public at risk or put a law enforcement officer at risk, we are prepared to pursue criminal charges and seek judicial review of that action.
So a cop's perceived risk level trumps your constitutional rights. Of course, I also find it difficult to understand how a man filming you places you at risk.


Last year, I bought an RT Classic edition of the Dodge Challenger. With the 5.7L (348 cubic inch) hemi engine, this car is pretty fast. It also corners like you would not expect a muscle car to perform. It is a great car.

Now comes word that Dodge is going to resurrect the Barracuda. They managed to make it 300 pounds lighter, and it is reported that the 6.2L (392 cubic inch) engine will be an available option. I am drooling in anticipation.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

All work...

I'm off to a SCUBA trade show today, and I am going to try out some dry suits in the water. It was either that, or go play safety diver at a Tough Mudder event. I'd rather play with some new gear than hang around guarding a mud puddle all day, especially since it is near 90 degF today.