Friday, August 17, 2018

Work is still for suckers

In response to a recent post, Silicon Graybeard had this to say:

Didja ever notice that even an alligator, not on anyone’s list of the top 10 smartest animals, brings food to its young? But these human parents are too stupid to do so?
They’re not more stupid than a gator. They would ask why they shouldn’t take what’s being given to them. 

Of course they take advantage of what is there. I have posted on this before. More than once, in fact.

Work is for suckers.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Waste of money

The school where I teach is a Title 1 school. A Title 1 school is a school where a large portion of the students are in homes that are below the poverty line, so the school receives extra money from the Federal Government. In my school's case, an extra $125,000 per school year for 1,500 students.

We are designated as a Title 1 school because 70% of our students are so poor that they qualify for free or reduced lunch and breakfast, meaning that they need to be fed two meals a day because their family can't afford to feed them. On top of that, most of them also receive welfare and food stamps.

So isn't it odd that nearly every student also has a cellular phone with a data plan?

If the students' families can afford to waste money on cell phones, why can't they feed their own kids instead of asking the taxpayers to do it?

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Speech and guns attacked

First, Internet companies attacked the speech of the right by shutting down conservative voices online. Now, they are attacking gun businesses: (from Spike's Tactical)

APOPKA, Fla. – A change in policy announced Monday night by Shopify, an e-commerce platform used by more than 600,000 merchants to conduct online sales, will essentially shut down the sale of guns, gun parts and accessories over the internet by retailers who use Shopify.
Spike’s Tactical, a Florida-based gun manufacturer, has built their entire website and online sales portal exclusively using the Shopify platform and conducts millions of dollars in sales through Shopify each year.
“This decision will have significant ramifications to our business and should concern every online retailer and Second Amendment supporter,” said Cole Leleux, general manager of Spike’s Tactical.
Some of the new amended rules in Shopify’s Acceptable Use Policy now include banning the sale of semi-automatic firearms that have an ability to accept a detachable magazine and are capable of accepting more than 10 rounds. Additionally, unfinished lower receivers are also prohibited, according to the new rules. Most of Spike’s Tactical’ s products include AR-15 parts and full rifles, which would fall under those new restrictions.
One of the things that makes this more challenging for businesses like Spike’s Tactical, is that Shopify’s platform is entirely proprietary, meaning the information stored on their platform cannot be easily transferred to another online platform.
“We have invested more than $100,000 in the development of our Shopify store, which will disappear once these policies go into effect,” said Leleux.
As for when these new policies will go into effect, that remains a mystery. When representatives from Spike’s Tactical reached out to Shopify to try to learn more, Shopify refused to answer any questions and directed Spike’s Tactical team members to the Shopify legal department, which at the time of this news release, has yet to respond.
Ironically, when challenged by left-leaning critics about selling Breitbart products in 2017, Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke said, “We don’t like Breitbart, but products are speech and we are pro free speech. This means protecting the right of organizations to use our platform even if they are unpopular or if we disagree with their premise, as long as they are within the law.”
It now seems that Shopify has reversed course on their previous belief, as our products are not only legal, but also used by many law enforcement agencies, Leleux said.
Another gun company, which will also feel the pain of Shopify’s recent decision is Rare Breed Firearms. Rare Breed announced the launch of their new Spartan lower receiver last week and the product is also sold online exclusively through Shopify.
“We have spent the last three years developing the Rare Breed brand and more than $40,000 developing our Shopify site,” said Lawrence DeMonico, president of Rare Breed Firearms, an Austin, Texas based firearms company. “Depending on how this policy is rolled out, this is a move that could put companies like ours out of business, and we will undoubtedly be looking to pursue legal options.”
Any other gun manufacturers or retailers who are also experiencing issues related to this new policy are encouraged to contact Spike’s Tactical, as they are looking at legal options to potentially file a class action lawsuit.
About Spike’s Tactical
Spike’s Tactical was founded the day before 9/11 by Mike and Angela Register and is headquartered in Apopka, Florida. The family-owned business employs around 40 people and all products are made exclusively in the USA and assembled in Florida. Spike’s Tactical is regarded as one of the premier AR-15 manufacturers in the world. Their mission is to build the highest quality products and offer them at the best possible price to the consumer. Spike’s Tactical weapons are designed to military specifications for civilian, law enforcement and military use. All products manufactured by Spike’s Tactical feature a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty.
About Rare Breed Firearms
Rare Breed Firearms was established in 2016 to develop innovative, visually appealing and highly functional firearm designs. Rare Breed Firearms is based in Austin, Texas and is veteran-owned and operated. Through friendly competition, their goal is to drive innovation and bring new designs to the market.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Too many posers

I was having a conversation the other day, with a man who told me that he was opening his own business. The business? He is going to be a firearms instructor. He began by telling me he is certified to teach tactical rifle, tactical shotgun, and Florida CCW classes.

Somehow the conversation turned to machine guns. He then said: "You need a class 3 license to buy those. The license costs $6,000, or you can get a Federal Firearms License and they only cost $3,000. With that, you can carry a gun anywhere in the country, and you can also own machine guns."

I walked away as soon as I could do so without being rude.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Evolution of EDC

More than any other type of firearm, I love shooting pistols. Over the years, I have bought, sold, and traded dozens of them.

My very first pistol was a Smith and Wesson model 59. After a couple of years, I went with the 4506. Then, the Sig 226. I eventually wound closing out the Millenium with a 229 in 357 Sig.
Along the way there was a Taurus Millenium, which had an awful trigger. I once owned 4 different 1911s, but while they are nice looking, they were too unreliable and difficult to keep running, so I sold them and switched to the M&P series. I also frequently carry my J frame.

The pistols I remember owning, even though I am sure that I have missed a few.:
Colt
Commander

Smith and Wesson
59
4506
4566
4586
J frame
M&P in 9mm, 45, 40 S&W
Shield in 9mm and 40 S&W
Bodyguard

Sig Sauer
Sig 220
Sig 226
Sig 229 in 9mm
Sig 229 in 357 Sig

Kimber
Ultra Carry 2
Raptor

Glock
Model 19
Model 17

Beretta
Tomcat

EDITED to add:
I forgot:
Taurus
PT45
Millenium

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Powerball and wealth redistribution

Powerball is a multi-state lottery game. Since there are multiple states, the prizes are large. As I write this, the Grand Prize is $203 million. Now I know that the lottery is a tax on people who don't understand math. (I play by buying one $2 ticket, because I get hours of entertainment out of daydreaming what I would do if I won, and hay, it's only $2. Cheaper than the movies, or even a book.)

I was looking at the prizes and odds, and noticed something odd: California, even though they are playing the same game, awards different prizes. Check this out:

Match win win in California
5 numbers and powerball $203 million $203 million
5 numbers $2 million $212,409
4 numbers and powerball $50,000 $9,062
4 numbers $100 $399
3 numbers and powerball $100 $197
3 numbers $7 $7
2 numbers and powerball $7 $8
one number and powerball $4 $5
powerball $4 $4

As you can see, the prize structure takes money from  the larger winners and redistributes them to the smaller winners. Matching 5 numbers without the powerball, or 4 numbers with the powerball in California means that 85% to 95% of your winnings will be confiscated (by the time you pay taxes) and the majority of that money will be given to the "less fortunate" people who matched fewer numbers.

It's a metaphor for the entire state.

Computer issues

So my computer issues, which I thought were being caused by updates changing my settings, was something else.
Sound was very broken and static filled. Playing videos would slow the computer so much that it sounded like a 45 RPM record being played at 33 RPM, for those of you that remember records. Doing anything would bog the computer down so as to make it unusable. I thought for sure I had some sort of device or driver conflict.
I would only have problems for an hour or so a day, as I tried to fix it until I got frustrated. I finally decided to take it in to be repaired. When I got it there, the computer worked fine. The techies at the computer shop couldn't find anything wrong.
So this morning, it was acting up again, and I was sitting here trying to fix it when my wife asked what my battery level was. I told her it was 88%, so she said her computer was at 25%, and asked to use my charger.
As soon as she plugged the charger in, she got a warning that looked like this:


She showed it to me and said "Maybe something is wrong with your charger."

Since my laptop was running on battery, I tried to run a video, and play a game. Both worked flawlessly. I checked both chargers that we own (our laptops are identical) and they both do it. Since they are $18 each, I ordered two new chargers, and we will see if that fixes it. It runs fine right now, as long as I run it on battery power.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

EMP hit

We had lightning hit the house yesterday. I was home when it happened. We were in the middle of a typical afternoon thunderstorm, the kind we have every afternoon in the Florida summer, when the entire outside lit up blue and there was LOUD thunder.

I later noticed that we were missing a channel from our surveillance cameras. Reviewing the footage showed a bright flash in every camera, and all of them went blank for about 5 seconds. When they came back up, channel 4 was missing. I assumed it was a failed camera. but changing the camera didn't fix the issue. Luckily, my DVR is a 16 channel model, and we are not using all of the channels, so I simply moved the camera to another channel.

Upon further investigation, one of the arc plugs on one of my HAM radio antennas is blown. The radio equipment and other electronics are all fine, thus proving that my house is as EMP protected as it can be.