Thursday, February 22, 2007

Well, that didn't take long.

Although, to be honest, I expected it in the first "100 hours".

Yeah, I'm talking about the AWB renewal.

Most notable to me... my inherited M1 Carbine makes the list this go-round, and an SKS is ok, unless it's crippled by having a removable magazine. Kinda tells ya how much of an idiot this Rep from NYFC is, huh?

And then there's this:

"A semiautomatic rifle or shotgun originally designed for military or law enforcement use, or a firearm based on the design of such a firearm, that is not particularly suitable for sporting purposes, as determined by the Attorney General. In making the determination, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that a firearm procured for use by the United States military or any Federal law enforcement agency is not particularly suitable for sporting purposes, and a firearm shall not be determined to be particularly suitable for sporting purposes solely because the firearm is suitable for use in a sporting event"

In other words, F Troop (aka the ATF) can make any semi-auto rifle illegal by buying one. Just lovely.

I think I'll be looking closely into acquiring a few new rifles soon, along with plenty of mags for them. Just on general principles.

H/T: Kim

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

GM Execs, line up to be kicked in the balls.

Last night, I had an occasion to hurry.

Not the normal "I'm running late getting to work" hurry, but a "Lisa's having cramps reminiscent of the night before we lost Taylor and her doc wants her at the hospital" kind of hurry.

The kind of hurry where I stop at a red light at 3am, look both ways, see no cross traffic, and ignore the red light kind of hurry.

The kind of hurry that says, "If I pass a cop, he can follow me to the hospital and write me a ticket there".

The kind of hurry that says, "I need to get my wife to the hospital right the fuck NOW, and this truck can step on out and move, because at 3am, on a four-lane highway with about a car every mile, I'm going to go as fast as is controllable in this truck".

Except for one thing... on an empty stretch of four-lane highway, straight, level, and no traffic, when I stepped on the gas and gave the truck it's head... at about 96 or 97 mph, it quit.

GM decided "We Know Best", and programmed the ECM to quit firing the spark plugs at that speed. So even though I was at less than 1/2 of the engine's redline, and probably less than 3/4 throttle, the pickup would go NO FASTER.

Time for a new computer chip.

And for those of you wondering, Lisa and Baby are fine; it was a false alarm. Just one of those things where we need to be very watchful, and if there's ANY question, get it answered properly.

Lisa laughed tonight when thinking about last night... a nurse checked her cervix, declared it fine, and said she could go home; I don't remember exactly what I said in response, but Lisa described my face as "You fuckwit, we're not leaving until one of the high-risk pregnancy docs on staff says she can go home". Basically, (and I was polite), I said, "No thanks, we'll wait until the doctor can see her"

Between being pissed off at my truck's speed limiter, and dealing with nurses who didn't seem to take potential problems seriously, and being REALLY short on sleep, I'm honestly kind of impressed with my ability to remain civil. I credit it mostly to the knowlege that if I'm an ass, the nurses can't do anything to me, other than keeping me from dozing off in the chair, but they could make Lisa miserable.

Yeah, for the time being, at least, gotta keep a short leash on my temper. But I WILL be replacing that #$%&^%$ ECU chip with one that will let me use all the engine's power.

I'm not sure whether to be amused or disturbed that I could get Lisa to the hospital much faster than the ambulance that came when Taylor started being born.

Oh, and for those of you who will say, "Going that fast is too dangerous!"... FOAD.

Any person who is familiar with how his/her vehicle handles at speed, and is paying attention, and has maintained their vehicle properly, is more than safe at speeds in excess of 100 mph, assuming they're not tied up in slow traffic, which I wasn't at 3am.

Our interstate highway system was built for 80+mph with 1950s technology. Crappy suspension, drum brakes, and bias-ply tires. With modern suspension, disc (and anti-lock!) brakes, and radial tires, our interstate highway system is golden for 150mph+, except when there's slow idiots on it. And at 3am, the slow idiots are few and far enough between that it's safe for 100+mph, assuming the driver is sober, in a well-maintained vehicle, and paying attention. That means, among other things, not screwing around with a cellphone, not playing with the radio, and focused on driving rather than discussing this week's American Idol bullshit with a passenger.

Anybody wanting to whine about people hurrying on empty interstates can just go buy some cheese to go with it :)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A found smile

Anybody who follows this blog knows that I think my father was a great man.

Not great in any big, dramatic way, just one time after another, a lifetime of "doing the right thing" that adds up to greatness. I found another one today.

I'm trying to rehabilitate a tiller that's been in the family about as long as I have. Daddy was working on getting it running right before he died, and I was going to pick that up and work on a garden this year. One problem - I can't find the ever-bleepin' carburetor! But that's not the topic of this post.

While I was looking for the ever-bleepin' carb, I found two boxes that I'd never looked inside before. Turns out, they are the boxes Daddy used to empty his desk when he was laid off from Lockheed Martin.

Not much surprising inside - lots of file folders (Daddy LIVED by file folders), mostly documents of expense reports from the travels he had to do. Some performance awards, and tenure awards, pictures of me and Jenni that he kept on his desk, the normal kind of stuff you'd expect to find as a result of a 58-year old man cleaning out his desk after a 30-year career at the same company.

Except for one thing.

In the middle of all the file folders of expense reports to Turkey, Greece, Belgium, and Ohio, was one file folder that WASN'T an expense report. It's label simply said "United States Constitution".

And yep, inside this uncharacteristically-thin file folder (thin for Daddy's files, anyway), was a pamphlet of the United States Constitution.

He thought that was important enough to deserve its own folder in his files at work, and important enough to bring home with him, when he cleaned out his desk.

That simultaneously made me smile, and leak tears, just as it's doing now.

Update: I just decided, I think I'll take that folder and put it in my files in my cubicle at work. I've already got my own copy at home; and I think Daddy was right - it's worth having a copy handy independent of the Internet.