Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sunday, January 27, 2008

35 mph for 30 miles. Is this really fuel efficency?

KFYR has this:
In a world looking for "greener" options for everything from cars to flooring, a local energy company has some answers. Basin Electric Power Cooperative has created an all electric car. It is a Ford Escape but different from the cars for sale at car dealerships today. Basic researchers took a stock battery pack and converted it to a lithium battery pack. This means the car can drive on all electric power under 35 miles per hours for 30 miles." Basic is always looking into new technologies and as a regional electric provider it just makes sense for us to use and or conserve energy," says Michael Riedman of Basin Electric Power Cooperative. The conversion cost Basic about $20,000 but car manufacturers could make the transition for about $10,000.
This is a real intelligent alternative to fossil fuels, considering there are states that rely on coal to produce electricity. It's even more worthless in North Dakota. It is One Hundred Miles Bismarck to Minot, 90 miles Bismarck to Dickenson, Five hours Bismarck to Williston, 90 Bismarck to Jamestown and another 90 mile to Fargo then another 90 miles to Grand Forks.
Even if a person did get one your paying $40,000 for an in-town car that your not going to be able to do all you're errands in one battery charge. That's pretty bad considering I can get Elly all the way down to Sturgis, SD six hours away on a tank of 87 (fuel consumption is worse if I use the 10% ethanol and the E85 would wreck the engine, but that's another story).
The current technology with the lithium batteries aren't sufficient for me to want one during a blizzard either, because the engine will still have to be run to keep the heater running (something that's kinda important in -40 F weather).
While I understand the search for alternative energy sources, the lack of desire to actually get what we can now because of some bizarre notion that we are wrecking the planet ignores how the Alaskan pipeline has caused the Caribou to flourish and that hydrocarbons are all natural...but I guess those that eat granola for sustenance can't be bothered with facts.
There maybe a time where electric cars are feasible, but it may mean building nuclear facilities and wind farms...something Easterners do not want in their backyard, this means we will be using hydrocarbons for generations whether we use it to power our vehicles directly or through plugging them in. All this news piece is-is shilling for the local electric company, they didn't mention the shortcomings of the vehicle, I would imagine these two reporters should be getting a call from the New York Times in about a month.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Small Town Tourist Attractions

One of my new favorite shows is Corner Gas on WGN that originated in Canada.

This is one of the funniest bits I've seen in a while

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Love stories vs. Romance stories, a guys perspective

My buddy Fetz had posted about enjoying the Gilmore Girls, one of his commenters mentioned that it takes a secure guy to mention he likes chick flicks along with this show.

Not to go into particulars about the show beyond it's well-written, but in effort to delineate between the concepts of love and romance really came to mind why us guys can put up with one while the other we maybe looking for a fork to poke out our eyes because they stink.

First off, Christian men have the benefit of the Holy Bible explaining what love is and what it isn't. If I remember what my dad told me there is at least three different concepts of love in the original Greek language. John Eldridge has addressed the concept of love from a male perspective in Wild at Heart where he discusses a man's heart needs adventure and needs a beauty to fight for.

The original 3:10 to Yuma is a good example of this where Dan has to embark on an adventure to keep his family solvent, but in the end being reminded that a man does the right thing even if it's going to cost him.

As far as the brotherly love goes a great example of this would be *61. The plot maybe about the 1961 Season of Roger Maris, but it is a story of the respect two guys have for each other. Also, you can see the love of Billy Crystal coming through the film for these two guys that were his heroes growing up.

Where romance stories make us guys sick really revolves around the idea of women will settle until the grass is greener. Movies that show people 'finding love' in spite of swearing an oath before God is a romance story. Movies like the Good Girl or How Stella Got her Grove back aren't love stories, they are based on emotions...something that all guys can't really grasp because love is a commitment not a hollow feeling, even if that is Tina Turner's experience with the concept.

While women seam to use the terms interchangeably, guys don't have that ability leading to the complaint that us guys don't do romantic things (ie the obligatory flowers every so often). There is a Norwegian joke that unfortunately sums up love for us guys.

Lena ask Ole, "Why don't you tell me you love me anymore?"
Ole responded, "I told you once that I did, if it changes I'll let you know."

I'm not saying us guys are right with this attitude, but abstract thought
isn't really our strong suit. Telling someone we love them for a guy is a
concrete concept, it's an oath to treat a woman the way God expects us to...we sometimes loose sight of it though.

Honestly, I can watch a love story like the Notebook, but a film where it shows a woman pining away for a guy she will never get is a waste of time for me along for most guys.

If your sick of politicians and need a cathartic release, try a video paintball game.

It made me feel better after Senator Thompson left the race.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Free change of Ideas?

My beloved sister sent me a link for the documentary Expelled that Ben Stein is releasing about how scientists are ridiculed for questioning darwinism. As I'm planning on seeing the film when it comes out, the topic is an important one if for no other reason than this is a nation where we have always tried to promote individual thought and free speech.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Now chuck shummer likes GW

There have been things I haven't agreed totally with The President. His inactivity on the border lead the list until last Friday. I have made no apology for my support for going into Iraq and staying fighting, even without the huge stockpiles of WMD's not being as large as what we were expecting. Fighting off the lefts arguments that Bush lied garbage.

Friday the Solicitor General filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court stating that firearms are an individual right, BUT that supports the Washington DC ban because the government may want to ban certain firearms (including handguns) in the future. Stating the Heller v. DC puts all gun laws in danger and may remove the machine gun ban. One small problem with that point the 1934 NFA only taxed and regulated machine guns.

After all the support, that I have placed behind the Administration, including from other Republicans for not slamming the Administration this is about the largest slap in the face that the President can give those that have backed him. This only doubles my resolve to back Senator Thompson even to the point of sending money and WILL NOT VOTE for any Eastern cityslicker that has EVER sued, banned, or bragged about wanting to ban a firearm.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I've got to quit teaching women to shoot

Monday night I had a cute brunette that called to make sure I knew my beloved Cowboys played poorly in the fourth quarter on Sunday. In the process of the conversation I talked her into going to the indoor range here in town (unfortunately, they only allow .22's because it doesn't give her a broad view of what's available to shoot.) While she wasn't to sure she wanted anything to do with firearms but she acquiesced anyway.

While I'm not the greatest teacher let alone the greatest shooter I was able to explain the four rules of Safe Gun Handling before we started and tried to convey how best to aim great-grandpa's .22/.410 rifle-shotgun combo to hit the target, but she couldn't quite get the site picture down. Which it may take some getting used to for her. When she was shooting the rifle she kept saying she doesn't ever want to compete at shooting.

That changed when I showed her how to use my .22 pistol. Her first shot was in the black. The rest of the afternoon she was able to get several bullseyes with the pistol. She started wanting to compete with the firearms and the greatest showing of how much fun she was having is that she lost track of time and wanted to keep shooting. I'll take her out this summer to teacher how to trap shoot. While I'm not sure she's anywhere near going pistol shopping, but she sure looked cute with the hearing protection on.

One last thing...the scariest thing is she could become a better shot than I am. This is only bad if I get her mad at me.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Choose socialized medicine loose say in how your remains are treated

The UK Telegraph is reporting that organs under a new plan will be taken under a concept of 'implied consent' if the British populace doesn't opt out. This is what happens when government thinks of it's people as subject and not citizens which the government could argue since it pays for the health care the body is theirs.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I'm for gun control...I just don't trust the government to do it

I thought about writing this post after the mall shooting in Nebraska and the church shooting in Colorado but it really seamed as if it would be in bad taste to try and make a point about keeping the populace unarmed and how we really can't expect law enforcement to be in time to do more than draw lines around the victims. Not that law enforcement isn't diligent, but an active shooter that has five minutes that knows what he's doing can do a lot of damage in five minutes, police procedures slow the police even farther.

The really perverse thing about the gun ban in Washington DC is that the Supreme Court has decreed on several different occasions that police don't have to respond. Including a case where the police were called in the District of Columbia and somehow the call was lost in the shuffle and the police didn't respond after fourteen hours the women were raped and beaten. In the case titled Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App.181) SCOTUS again declared that the police aren't required to respond. The question that needs to be asked is, 'if the police don't have to respond and the people of the District can't defend themselves with as little as pepper spray does the politicians like criminals more than law abiding citizens?' With the Second Amendment case coming up, it will be interesting to see if this comes up, and it will be interesting if the District lawyers answer this.

Part of the reason, I don't really want to trust the government with gun control is because at least every other year we get stories about how the FBI looses computers, money, and firearms. By now I'm sure we've all seen the video of the batf agent that brags about his professionalism looses respect for his tools and shoots himself. Now negligent discharges can happen if you forget the four rules of gun handling.

After I had a break-in at my apartment where I caught the guy I finally got the idea that I needed to take gun control into my hands, because if the crazy guy that broke in took a firearm and I didn't secure it I would be morally responsible even if I weren't legally responsible.

My gun control believes don't stop at the four rules or here, I work on firearm retention techniques if I were ever unfortunate to face a thug. I've debated about getting a double or triple retention holsterbut concealed means concealed and if I can walk passed police armed chances are a bad guy isn't going to notice and on the type of holster I prefer I have yet to see a double retention system so I'm holding off for now.

I shoot regularly so I can handle my firearm. I've written before that chances are in North Dakota the more likely threat comes from the four legged attackers. Hitting what needs to be shot is just as important of form of gun control as keeping a weapon secure. Since I'm someone that carries I'm concerned with this I have hollow points in my pistols because I don't want the round to go through what needs to be shot and harm something that I don't want to destroy.

There was a question on my thoughts on limits on what I think a private individual should own. Well, the best place for me to start is from the time the Second Amendment was adopted there were no limits. The 'modern' machine gun first appeared in various forms during the Civil War. The most famous of course was the Gatling gun. For 73 years, there was no impediment for full-auto weapons. In 1934, the national firearms act was passed requiring a $200 tax stamp to own full-auto weapons. $200 dollars during the Depression not only removed the egalitarian ownership of the full-auto weapons because those that were poor aren't going to waste money on such an item, but it didn't affect the haves. This act was sold allegedly because of bonnie and clyde (never mind he stole his Browning Automatic Rifles from National Guard Armories) and the gangsters. In reality, it was a money grab, and the part of my brain should probably have more tinfoil has wondered if it was a move to prevent some kind of a rebellion (see the Veteran's riots during the early part of the Depression. Don't have any real proof, it's something I may have tried at the time and it's just something I've always wondered because the party line doesn't make any sense). A 1986 gun law permanently put full-auto weapons out of the hands because a private citizen can't buy a full-auto weapon newer than 1986, thus a gun that should be worth $900 is worth the price of an SUV because of the supply and demand.

Personally, I think everything short of WMD's should be available to the populace. I would love my own personal Apache. I was watching a deal on the History Channel about how military equipment was mothballed. I was watching as they destroyed M-16. If it wasn't for the 1986 law the government could have auctioned off the rifles, and gotten a return on our tax dollars. Again, the 5.56 round is pretty good for coyotes.

I believe if you know you have a problem with anger, booze, and drugs have the self-control to stay away from firearms. Owning firearms are part of our freedoms and our rights, but there is an inherent responsibility to other Americans whether or not you are a gun owner. One of the amazing things I've learned about myself since I've started carrying is I'm nicer and more patient with other people. If you listen to the brady's the reverse should be true.

If your going to strap on a pistol, leave your ego and anger at home. If you can't do it don't buy any type of tools from wrenches on up.

So, does this campaign season really require another Eastern anti-gun cityslicker? Who would Mayor bloomberg steal votes if he went third party? I have a hunch if mrs. bill clinton doesn't get the nomination she will go third party. I would hope Senator Obama is smart enough if he gets the nomination that he wouldn't choose her as his running mate.

Mayor bloomberg is a bigger nanny than mrs. bill clinton. He's possibly broken the law by funding undercover private investigations in other states because his hatred of firearms. There are already five anti-Second Amendment candidates. Six that think the government has the right to tell us citizens how to live from smoking to what doctors we can see to how much of our money we can keep.

Instead of another candidate that is a tyrant, we need more candidates that talk about freedom.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Reasons I won't support Governor Huckabee...ever

This project started because my mom didn't believe what I said about the Governor's pardons or his stance on illegal immigration. One of my best friends is a huge supporter of the governor because the governor is pretty close to his beliefs I can understand why Fetz supports him and I fully accept that.

As usual I need to get somethings of the way. I support Senator Thompson because he has consistently recognized the divided and diffused powers of the Constitution, being a Federalist I am drawn to this. Second, I admit this shows that I'm not a very good Christian and where most conservatives try to say they don't hate anyone...unfortunately I can't say that. In all honesty when a criminal is mentioned all I can see is a white Republican from Minnesota that much to my everlasting shame received no punishment for his attack on my family. I'm sure I'll get e-mails telling me I'm a horrible Christian and or will be spewed out or burn in hell for lack of forgiveness, you know the typical loving Christian talk. In short, I AM PREJUDICED AGAINST CRIMINALS. Where some say let God sort them out, I don't care if He does or not (Granted I don't even want LES LEMM to burn in Hell).

First off, the thousand criminals he pardoned or commuted. Apparently, if there was a pastor involved the criminal got the pardon. I think that there is something wrong when he pardons more than the previous three governors.

I find it morally objectionable to pay for an education where the parents have no legal status to be here. The idea that we shouldn't punish innocents because the crime of another is a nice thought, but innocents pay at the hands of criminals all time. What makes illegal aliens morally superior to real victims? I find this argument that the governor put forth as offensive.

Then there is the aspect where the Governor has called those of us that expect the law to be enforced racist. Again I admit I'm prejudiced against criminals, unfortunately for illegal aliens there is a white Republican that succeeded in killing my dad, tried to kill my mom, my sister, and myself...and all I see when a criminal is mentioned is him, much to my shame. Because of this I believe a criminal is a criminal and have no sympathy for them. And because of this I can recognize that pardons of a 1000 criminals robs the victims of the justice that they deserve. This is part of what disgusts me of Christians. They forgive what they have no right to forgive, thus putting a stumbling block in front of those that grieve. Christians first response should be to take care of those that were ruined by criminals, not the criminals. That's what the pardons do. I am left with the conclusion that the governor likes criminals more than law abiding citizens. My sympathies to the families the Governor has harmed.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

I want a military style rifle.

Those that want to dampen the Second Amendment often say that civilians shouldn't have military style weapons. There is one small problem, every pistol, every rifle, and even bows were originally designed for the military. It sounds good and those that don't have any strong feelings for firearms this sounds reasonable.
I personally own a 1872 Army (AKA Peacemaker) and a 1911 (designed in 1905 and adopted by the military in 1911). Both these were designed for military use, but civilians have used these for generations for target practice and self-defense.

I was down at the local sporting goods store they had an original 1873 Springfield Armory Trapdoor rifle. The carbine version is what the Seventh Calvary would have had at Gressy Grass (Little Bighorn for us whites, but since Custer lost we should have to refer to it as the Lakota do.) Being a history buff and a student of the Indian wars handling this rifle that most of the time you only get to see behind glass was as seeing a game at the old Tigers Stadium.
One of the many reasons the Seventh Calvary was decimated was these rifles, while extremely accurate at long range was a single shot weapon where the trooper would have open the trapdoor, pull out the spent casing. This wouldn't be a problem if a) the ammo wasn't inferior. The troopers would have to take a knife to digout the casing from breech fairly regular b) the Indians weren't using repeating arms (ie Winchesters and bows). The rifle was obsolete when it was adopted because the Army thought if the troopers had repeating arms they would waste ammunition and there were literally thousands of Springfield Armory muskets left over from the Civil War. The Armory at Springfield, MA reconfigured the rifle making it a breech loader that accepted the brass .45-70 gov't round.

To tie this back to the first paragraph, the semi-auto versions of the AK-47 and M-16 are very different from the assault weapons versions. First off, an assault rifle is capable of full-automatic fire. Technically, the M-16 A-2 (and the carbine version M-4 A-2) are only capable of three round bursts and semi-auto fire thus aren't assault weapons. The AK-47 and the M-16 were designed with the Keep It Simple Stupid principle because it was unknown the amount of training that would be given to a 'recruit.'

The M-16 (M-4 and the semi-auto versions) tear down involves pushing two pins out and removing part of the receiver. I've cleaned one before it is the easiest one I've ever cleaned. There are hunters that use the semi-auto version of the M-16 for coyotes and other varmints. The 5.56 NATO round is barely useful for anything else.

In spite of my sidetracks, I enjoyed my brush with a piece history. If I could have afforded it I would have purchased it...even if it would have sat in my safe.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

So, was King Tut a Pharoh, or not?

KFYR has an article about the town of Mott, ND being in the latest issue of National Geographic.

North Dakotans take a lot of pride in their state, their
towns, and their work. But it`s not something that outsiders always understand.
An article in this month`s National Geographic paints North Dakota`s small towns
as desolate wastelands. Mott is featured several times in this article and not
in a positive way. Despite what the article says, the people of Mott view their
town much differently than it`s portrayed.Mott, North Dakota, has a population
of about 750. It`s the quintessential small town. These streets, storefronts,
and neighborhoods could be found in just about any other town in the country,
but an article in this month`s National Geographic titled "The Emptied Prairie"
says otherwise. The article paints most of the state, including Mott, as a
"giant skeleton of abandoned human desire." The people of Mott are not shy about
their opinions about the article, its author, Charles Bowden, or its
photographer, Eugene Richards."The guy`s got to be an idiot," says former Mott
Mayor, George Jones."This is such a degrading article," says Mott Visionary
Committee member, Deb Marthaller."It`s just not really accurate," says Mike
Schmidt.The article paints small towns like this one as dying - literally. It
portrays small town North Dakota as a place where people are dropping dead of
old age left and right to the point where people are inundated by funerals.I
ask, "Have you ever felt that you were all funeraled out for the week?""No. No,"
replies Harry VanLishout, a lifelong Mott resident who lives on his family`s 100
year old farm.Through death or people moving away, the article also states that
many churches have to close their doors or worse.I point out to VanLishout, "It
says sometimes a congregation decides to burn the building to end the pain."He
sighs, pauses, and replies, "That has never happened here. That has never
happened in this area here."And take a look at what National Geographic thinks a
kitchen in Mott looks like."That`s not what the kitchens here in Mott look like
is it?" I ask Mike Schmidt."No," he says.I ask, "What do you think the
photographer had to do to find something like this?""Probably had to look pretty
hard," he says.If you think that`s bad, wait until you hear what the article
says about farming in North Dakota. It says homesteaders thought "rain would
follow the plow, but they were wrong."I read the passage to Mott Mayor, Troy
Mosbrucker, and Mott Visionary Committee member, Deb Marthaller. Marthaller
paused in disbelief for a moment, then answered, "Farming is what we do
here.""Here in this area, there are a lot of big farmers, and they`re doing
quite well, and this year was a phenomenal year," notes former Mott Mayor,
George Jones.Despite the bones in one of the pictures, Mott`s current mayor says
the town is far from death."We`re surviving," says Troy Mosbrucker. "We`ve seen
growth in the last few years, and we`re doing fine here."The people in Mott have
to wonder, was the article`s author and photographer ever even here? The town`s
leaders are planning to write a letter of protest to National Geographic, and
they are also trying to get Governor John Hoeven involved, as well.

I've been through Mott on several occasions on my way to mom's mountain bunker, the school is still thriving, the businesses are more than capable of supporting the farming community.

While there have been people that have died and moved and towns that have ceased, it doesn't mean that it's a dust bowl

or like this:

In reality, if you go to Mott's website, the hundred businesses that service the farmers and the pheasant hunters happy really has to make one wonder, is the author of the venomous article trying to make themselves feel better for living in a city. Shoot, just doing a Yahoo Image search for Mott, ND you get a total different perspective of life than what National Geographic was propagating.

National Geographic used to be known for their integrity, but the intellectual dishonesty to claim there is nothing but desperation in North Dakota, when our economy is growing when the cityslickers are running around like chickens with their heads chopped worried about a recession.

The article would have had a better placement in Reader's Digest's Humor is the Best Medicine column.