Thursday, October 31, 2013

Police officer checks his weapon against his face.

This guy might need a remedial class in safe handling of firearms.  If he can still think, that is.

Via Free North Carolina

Awkward refueling

Don't tangle the fuel line in those props!

Oh my!

Why they don't use these as recruiting posters, I don't know.  Imagine the rush to join among teenage boys if they thought this chick was going to be their drill instructor. 

Well - Ok, then.

These things are starting to look more and more like stormtrooper helmets.

                                    I can't wait for the modern Darth Vader version.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Gun Porn

Mmm - mmm - mmm!


He has it

The magma reservoir under Yellowstone is now believed to be two and a half times bigger than previously thought

Not really, I'm just being hysterical. I learned it from Al Gore.

  "The reservoir of molten rock underneath Yellowstone National Park in the United States is at least two and a half times larger than previously thought. Despite this, the scientists who came up with this latest estimate say that the highest risk in the iconic park is not a volcanic eruption but a huge earthquake."

It hasn't grown that much, it's only that our measuring techniques have improved and we now know much better it's full extent.  Still, some pretty cool science here.

   "New pictures of this plumbing system show that the reservoir is about 80 kilometres long and 20 kilometres wide, says Robert Smith, a geophysicist at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. “I don’t know of any other magma body that’s been imaged that’s that big,” he says."

   "Jamie Farrell, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Utah, mapped the underlying magma reservoir by analysing data from more than 4,500 earthquakes. Seismic waves travel more slowly through molten rock than through solid rock, and seismometers can detect those changes.
The images show that the reservoir resembles a 4,000-cubic-kilometre underground sponge, with 6–8% of it filled with molten rock. It underlies most of the Yellowstone caldera and extends a little beyond it to the northeast."

Black bear invades the capitol city of Nevada, crashes Nevada Day parade

Looks like the "wild" is closer than you think in Nevada.

The capitol of the state is Nevada City, and I was just there while participating in the Scratch and Spit yearly get together.  The day after we were in Carson City was the Nevada Day parade, so that bear was probably lurking around in the nearby hills, just waiting to pillage his human victims!

On the other hand, Carson City folk are a bit bearlike themselves.

Actually, at last years S&S, a black bear got into the trash just outside the door to our cabin, and the five of us had to shoo him away.  Nothing like having a 300 pound bruin right outside your door.  Fortunately for us, we outnumbered him, and he ambled off, but not really very willingly.  If it had been just one of us, maybe raw human (sushi for bears) could have been on the menu that year.

Hat tip to Lou and Eric for the above.

Man buys $27 worth of Bitcoin, forgets about them, now learns they're worth $886,000.

Which is what he did, with a fifth of them.

  "Koch exchanged one fifth of his 5,000 bitcoins, generating enough kroner to buy an apartment in Toyen, one of the Norwegian capital’s wealthier areas."

So Bitcoin to real property.  This guy is no fool.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Navy's newest aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford, prepares to be launched.

Go get 'em, kid.

Strangely mesmerizing

            Angelic La Moose, whose father was a Flathead chief, poses in front of a tepee, 1913


This cracked me up.  Yes, I'm a ten year old in a middle aged man's body.

ATM's for bitcoins

Getting closer to a real currency here.

The answer to those demands that the productive pay reparations to those of no productivity.

" a white American, I think that African Americans and Indians should pay us royalties for the use of our civilization. I do not propose a great exaction, but only a reasonable fee for enjoyment of contributions that whites have made and that others use. I mean things such as telephones, air conditioning, flush toilets, democracy, civil rights, antibiotics, running shoes, and the machines that read EBT cards. Also paved roads. Cars. Computers. Electricity. Clean water. Those sorts of things."

Read it all.  And that civilization was not developed without enormous pain and effort.   You don't get it for free.

Hat tip: Small Dead Animals

Scientists warn of the increasing possibility of a little ice age

Al Gore unavailable for comment.

Could these guys be on the way back?

   "It’s known by climatologists as the ‘Little Ice Age’, a period in the 1600s when harsh winters across the UK and Europe were often severe.

The severe cold went hand in hand with an exceptionally inactive sun, and was called the Maunder solar minimum.

Now a leading scientist from Reading University has told me that the current rate of decline in solar activity is such that there’s a real risk of seeing a return of such conditions.

By looking back at certain isotopes in ice cores, he has been able to determine how active the sun has been over thousands of years.

Following analysis of the data, Professor Lockwood believes solar activity is now falling more rapidly than at any time in the last 10,000 years.

He found 24 different occasions in the last 10,000 years when the sun was in exactly the same state as it is now - and the present decline is faster than any of those 24.

Based on his findings he’s raised the risk of a new Maunder minimum from less than 10% just a few years ago to 25-30%.

And a repeat of the Dalton solar minimum which occurred in the early 1800s, which also had its fair share of cold winters and poor summers, is, according to him, ‘more likely than not’ to happen."

Yosemite - Half Dome this afternoon

None of that snow was there yesterday.

1964 Ford Fairlane 500 drives the Nurburgring like a boss.

Via Free North Carolina.

Tucson, Arizona

Tahoe webcam

So the day after I leave South Lake Tahoe, it snows, putting an end to the season for poking around the backcountry without skis or snowshoes.

Check out this nice real time web cam at El Dorado Beach.

Up where we were shooting, on Monitor Pass, I would imagine there is a bit more snow than this. All our footprints and tire tracks will be likely buried under snow until next spring.

When life gives you lemons....

Via Tai Wiki Widbee

Ok then....

Mondays, they're like that


Sunday, October 27, 2013

The first act of the holiday season

For little old me, the end of summer and the start of fall begins with the annual get together of some friends at South Lake Tahoe known among the the participants as Scratch and Spit.

One member of the band hosts at a rustic cabin at the lake, and the highlight is normally the trip out to some wild spot to engage in dirt road driving and shooting.

This year it was at a high and lonely spot near Monitor Pass and overlooked by Leviathan Peak.

High and lonely is no joke here.  A dusting of snow in the shady spots remains from some early storms, although the weather now is bright and shiny.  Other than one other guy and his dog in a white truck, we saw no one else.  

One of the shooters is a traditional Ruger Blackhawk chambered unconventionally in the antique 256 Winchester Magnum.  It makes a satisfying boom.

My favorite was my newest, the little Ruger SR-22.   Practice is the key here, and by the end of our session in the woods I could hit quite a few things first shot.

Slinkard Valley on the way down to Highway 395.  Notice the fall yellow along the tiny creek bed far below.

One lonely cottonwood was still in it's best fall yellow, although nearly all the aspens higher up were completely bare.

The end of the day was spent at J T's Basque Bar and Restaurant, in Gardnerville, Nevada.  I finally made good on my threats to order the unusual menu item of pig's feet and tripe.  Umm, next time it's back to lamb!

The Old Genoa Bar

I'm back from Scratch and Spit, the traditional (for me) first event in the holiday season.

The first settlement in Nevada was in Genoa, a tiny burg which sits right up against the wall of the eastern Sierra Nevada, and with the northern part of the Washoe Valley spread out before it.

While in the neighborhood, our group stopped at the Old Genoa Bar for libations.

The place is exactly what one would think of as an old west bar and saloon.  The mirror on the wall was made in Glasgow, Scotland using diamond dust, and came here on a ship around the Horn. You can see the diamond dust in it if you shine a flashlight into it.  A myriad of famous and not so famous have watered themselves here, including Johnny Cash, Clark Gable, Mark Twain, Ulysses S. Grant and Teddy Roosevelt.  There is a bra hanging on the wall that is supposedly from Rachel Welch, who donated it for display during one visit.

I personally enjoyed a scotch and water.

Simpson Springs Station on the early Pony Express Trial, out on the west desert of Utah.

First called Egan Spring for explorer Howard Egan, it was renameed Simpson Springs for Captain James H. Simpson following his work to establish a military mail route to California in 1858.

George Chorpenning established an overland mail station here for mule trains connecting Salt Lake with Sacramento, California. Later, it became a Pony Express and then Wells Fargo station through the Utah desert. The station was discontinued after the establishment of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869.  However, it continued to be used for local freight traffic well into the 1890's.

It looks like a lonely spot, but the presence of reliable water makes it an attraction in the wide desert country around.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fun stuff over at the Friday Flyby

Ever see a two headed P-51 before?

Friday Open Road, from the road (South Lake Tahoe, with real bad connection)

H L Mencken has this to say about our current condition:

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

How badly are we boned?

This badly.  CBS reports there are now more people on welfare than there are full time workers.  
There were 108,592,000 people in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2011 who were recipients of one or more means-tested government benefit programs, the Census Bureau said in data released this week. Meanwhile, according to the Census Bureau, there were 101,716,000 people who worked full-time year round in 2011. That included both private-sector and government workers.
That means there were about 1.07 people getting some form of means-tested government benefit for every 1 person working full-time year round.

Samuel Johnson has an appropriate comment on this:

There will always be a part, and always a very large part of every community, that have no care but for themselves, and whose care for themselves reaches little further than impatience of immediate pain, and eagerness for the nearest good.

A man is in general better pleased when he has a good dinner upon his table, than when his wife talks Greek.

There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed.
No oppression is so heavy or lasting as that which is inflicted by the perversion and exorbitance of legal authority.

It ought to be deeply impressed on the minds of all who have voices in this national deliberation, that no man can deserve a seat in parliament, who is not a patriot. No other man will protect our rights: no other man can merit our confidence.
Slavery is now no where more patiently endured, than in countries once inhabited by the zealots of liberty.

Via American Digest