Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest
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Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Monday, October 30, 2023

Vauban Returns

Fort Bourtange, Netherlands

Gee, that looks familiar. It's another fort designed by Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban. The earthworks are more extensive than shown in the above picture. Wikipedia has a page.

Fort Bourtange, Netherlands

I suspect Fort Sedan was also one of Vauban's designs, but there isn't much left of the original earthworks.

Fort Sedan, France

I didn't find much when I went looking for a plans or drawings for the original Sedan Castle, but I did find this short video someone took of a model in the castle itself.

Chateau Fort de Sedan 02
Cormack Roadtrip

I originally got started on Fort Sedan because of a movie about some women dealing with the impact of WW1 on their little village. There was a big battle at the Fort, which wasn't too far from their village.

Women at War - Netflix Series

Women at War / Les Combattantes (2022) - Trailer (English Subs)

This show covers a lot of ground, the best term for it might be overstuffed. It's kind of like Bonfire of Destiny that way. Coincidentally (or maybe not) both are French shows with several of the same actresses.

Women, Audrey Fleurot: Marguerite de Lancastel. who is looking for her son

Bonfire, Audrey Fleurot as Adrienne de Lenverpré

Women, Julie de Bona: Mother Agnès

Bonfire, Julie de Bona as Rose Rivière

Bonfire, Camille Lou as Alice de Jeansin

Women, Camille Lou: Suzanne Faure, nurse, a former abortionist, accused of murder

The show is basically about women left behind in a small town in France when the men go off to fight world war one. We've got the four principles and then we have two other groups of women: the wives of the factory workers and the hookers employed at the local brothel. There are some male characters, but they are pretty much cardboard cutouts. We're here to watch the girls struggle, overcome and perhaps succeed.

The factory is building trucks and the employer has requested an exemption for his employees as building trucks is an important. From the size of the operation it appears that they are simply building and installing the cab and body on a chassis that comes from another factory. The boss man goes off to fight the war and leaves his wife in charge. The exemption fails to materialize and soldiers come and arrest all the workmen and march them off to war. The owner's wife offers to hire the wives to finish assembling the trucks.

The brother-in-law shows up and manages to screw the deal the factory had with a brewery, so now they have no customer for the trucks and wives don't get paid. The wife realizes the trucks could easily serve as ambulances and hires them out to the army. Only problem is she doesn't have any drivers for the ambulances.

Meanwhile the General sends his doctor son to perform a health check on the hookers at the brothel. He finds that six of them have syphilus, so they get kicked out of the brothel. The lead hooker arranges for them to drive the ambulances.

And that's without all the web of interpersonal relationships, secrets and associated drama.

The trucks look authentic, kudos to the prop department for arranging seven identical trucks. 

Bleriot XI

If all the regular drama isn't enough, we have a spy fly in on a for-real WW1 era monoplane. Very cool. How do you hand crank an airplane engine if you don't have someone to hold the brakes, if you even have brakes?

The Vintage Aviation Echo has a few choice words about this airplane:
"The Blériot will be the worst aircraft you will ever fly. You could fly it for 30 years and most of the flights will not be fun. But after the flight you have the huge satisfaction of knowing you’ve flown an authentic first generation aeroplane that is a pioneering design dating back over 110 years."
P. S. Originally wrote this back in April, but I suspect I got distracted by Fort Sedan, and both subjects got pushed off the back of the cart.

Snake Farm

Ray Wylie Hubbard "Snake Farm"
Music Fog

Just a fun little tune, seems perfect for Monday morning.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Wood Chopper

This gal makes short videos of herself splitting firewood with an ax. That's all she does, nothing fancy. I enjoy watching her, but I didn't realize just how popular she is - on stage for Pete's sake!

You Only Live Twice

You Only Live Twice (1967) Official Trailer - Sean Connery James Bond Movie HD
Rotten Tomatoes Classic Trailers

Bond goes to Japan to deal with Blofeld in his secret island hideout. That Blofeld must have been quite a guy. At the time the Russians and the Americans are struggling to put a two-man capsule into orbit, Blofeld has constucted a much larger and more capable spacecraft as well as a fully equipped missile launching facility in the center of a dormant volcano. We're not even going to mention that he has developed a spacecraft that can land vertically, nearly 50 years before Elon Musk managed that.


The $100 Billion Dollar Ingredient making your Food Toxic
What I've Learned

If you like traditional foods like meat and bread, like me, you are liable to find this guy's argument persuasive. If you are in tune with the noise that emanates from social media you are going to think he's a crank.

The biggest hole I found in his argument is the sudden rise of heart disease. Me, I wonder if heart disease was even a thing back in the 19th century. 'What killed Jim? Oh, I dunno, he got old and died.'

Then there is what looks like a small differences in life spans. But I do like the idea that vegetable oil is causing obesity.

I have no idea whether any of the chemistry he mentions is valid, but bio-chemistry is not my strong suit.

Just how bad is it?

Adaptive Curmudgeon knows:

Among us, are monsters. They are not rare. They are not unusual in their monstrosity. You are not unique in being their potential victim. Within a mile of you, wherever you sit, right now, as you read this silly blog, there are many assholes who’d happily send you to Auschwitz. They’d ruin your life. They’d hurt you. They’d feel good about doing it.

You saw it during COVID. Monsters that didn’t need to be coerced into doing evil, only excused. Evil wasn’t planted in their heart; I was already there. Their destructive urge seeks naught but release. It starts with “we’re the good guys”, transitions to “people should be forced to be like me”, and ends in a sea of skulls. Every busybody, HOA Karen, squishy middle manager, militant vegan, media addled youth, gullible old fool, Marxist grade school teacher, or devoted party hack is potentially Stalin’s handmaiden.

This is the end of the serious portion of this post. Now for an irritable rant about acronyms, or TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) as they are sometimes called.

HOA stands for Home Owners Association. I suspect most people are familiar with this acronym, but there are still people who aren't familiar with it, or who have just woken up and whose brain is not fully engaged, so I include the definition here as a courtesy. I am also waging my own brush fire war against unexplained acronyms. There are so many of them that no reasonable person can be expected to know them all, so if you are using acronyms in your writing, include a note that explains them. Problem is that anytime you get involved in a subject where acronyms are common they become part of your normal vocabulary, but if someone from outside your field wanders in they are likely to be at a complete loss as to what you are talking about. COVID has taken on a life of its own. I think it was originally a contraction of Corona Virus Disease, or maybe strain D.

Friday, October 27, 2023

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Diamonds Are Forever

Diamonds Are Forever (1971) Official Trailer - Sean Connery James Bond Movie HD
Rotten Tomatoes Classic Trailers

Pretty typical Bond movie - lots of action, pretty girls & fast cars in a variety of locations scattered across the globe. The car chases are nore like something out of Smokey and the Bandit than the European chase scenes we usually get. We also get a smattering of heavy industry and a fantastic super weapon, great stuff all around. We've also got a fancy house:

John Lautner's concrete domed Elrod House overlooks Coachella Valley

The Elrod House serves as Willard Whyte's vacation home where he is being held captive by Bambi and Thumper, two of the most attractive thugs you are likely to meet. Supposedly 'ten miles away', it's actually 180 miles away in Palm Springs. It last sold in 2016 for just under $8 million. Redfin now estimates that its value has almost doubled. Thank you extravagant government spending.

The two oh-so-polite thugs (Mr. Wint & Mr. Kidd) have appeared here before, as has Willard Whyte (Jimmy Dean of country music and sausage fame).

War Dead

Hamas Chairman Ismail Haniyeh (left) meets with Syrian President Bashar Assad 
(AP Photo/Sana)

Richard Fernandez has a post up talking about siege warfare and how it applies to Gaza. Not particularly edifying, but it does contain this bit of information:

The standard metric for estimating collateral damage is the civilian casualty ratio, defined as the ratio of civilian to combatant casualties. For WWI, it was 3:5, WWII 1:2, Korea 2:1, Vietnam 1:1, Chechen Wars 7:1, Afghanistan 2:5, Iraq War 1:2, WOT [War On Terror] drone strikes brought the number as low as 1:50, Israeli airstrikes Gaza dipped to 1:30. But in Israel’s last incursion into Gaza in 2014, it rose again between 1:1 to 5:2, depending on whose figures are cited.


Five Came Back

Five Came Back | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

IAman reports he stayed up till 2AM watching this.

Excerpts from the Wikipedia page:

Five Came Back explores the experiences of five U.S. film directors – John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens – and their frontline work during the Second World War.

Referenced films:
    • The Battle of Midway (1942, John Ford)
    • Prelude to War (1942, Frank Capra)
    • The Battle of Russia (1943, Frank Capra)
    • Undercover: How to Operate Behind Enemy Lines (1943, John Ford)
    • Report from the Aleutians (1943, John Huston)
    • The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress (1944, William Wyler)
    • The Negro Soldier (1944, Stuart Heisler; produced by Frank Capra)
    • Tunisian Victory (1944, John Huston)
    • Know Your Enemy: Japan (1945, Frank Capra)
    • The Battle of San Pietro (1945, John Huston)
    • Nazi Concentration Camps (1945, George Stevens)
    • Let There Be Light (1946, John Huston)
    • Thunderbolt (1947, William Wyler)
Episode 1 The Mission Begins
The series looks at the backgrounds of the five directors as World War II begins and their motives for helping the war effort. John Ford's The Battle of Midway was approved directly by President Franklin D. Roosevelt while Frank Capra fights to get Why We Fight made.

Episode 2 Combat Zones
The directors learn their vision for the films is not always permissible by the U.S. government. Wyler is shocked by the racism he encounters against African American soldiers and refused to make a film recruiting black soldiers. Meanwhile, the films' racist depiction of the Japanese versus human depiction of the Germans causes worry for the War Department, which at that time planned to redistribute the Japanese-American population from internment camps into towns across the United States.

Episode 3 The Price of Victory
The five directors return to Hollywood after the war but are forever haunted by what they saw. Ford goes on a drinking bender after filming the carnage at D-Day. Stevens is wholly unprepared for the horrors of Dachau and realizes he is not there to film propaganda but to capture evidence of crimes against humanity. Wyler, who lost his hearing during the war, fears his career is over. Huston chronicles soldiers suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder in the film Let There Be Light, only to have it suppressed by the U.S. government.

Not to be confused with the 1939 melodrama starring Lucille Ball.



Repairing Willie Nelson's Trigger

You don't often see old things that are this worn getting patched up and pressed back into service, but that's just the way some people roll.

Via Marc

Craig V

1975 Yamaha XS650

IAman reports:

In the mid 1970’s my dad helped me buy a motorcycle, a 1975 Yamaha 650. A great motorcycle, I spent years exploring USA on that bike.

Dad enjoyed hearing of my adventures, and came out to visit me several times to visit me at my outposts. He hedged his bets with a term life insurance policy on me. I haven't thought about that till recently, till hearing about the Russian wives and parents encouraging their boys to fight in Ukraine, the possible payoff a death benefit in way of cash or “coffin car”. Recently I heard of the ham-ass terrorist’s justifying their murderous assault on Israel with being rewarded a apartment and $10,000, and historically the PA paying terrorist prisoners.

Backing out of the weeds, back onto the motorcycle.

Craig Vetter and Windjammer Fairing

Having that Yamaha, I became aware of a motorcycle fairing designed, built and sold by Craig Vetter, a genius motorcycle designer. Windjammer 3 was a black and gold fairing, just like my bike.

That name Craig Vetter lodged in my brain for the next 48 years, I suppose because it was an unusual name somehow associated with my beloved bike?

What I couldn't figure out was the connection between this guy's motorcycle design genius and what I thought was his exploring the human genome. ???

See, I kept hearing about a Craig Ve?ter in California making inroads in the research of the human genome, so much so that he was being rewarded billions of $ for his contributions to human medicine science.

This week I wikipedia’d Craig Vetter and found he has been kept busy with motorcycles, not having anything to do with the genome.

Craig Venter, famous geneticist with some of his favorite motorcycles and sports cars. (John Gastaldi)

That would be Craig VeNter. Another and completely different person. One of the most influential people in the contemporary world. Who knew? I didn’t. I thought he made motorcycle fairings. Nope, Venter’s forte is genome science.

Other interesting Venter factoids are:
  • C student
  • Drafted into Vietnam conflict, his CO status routed him to be a Navy corpsman triage-ing mortally wounded Marine boys.
  • This depressed him to the point of attempting suicide by swimming miles into the China sea.
  • Returning from Nam, he attended community college and followed his developing interest in biochemistry, 1969.
I need to read Venter’s autobiography.

Wikipedia pages:

Wednesday, October 25, 2023


1962 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster

Just because I think these are good looking cars. Via Tam, again.


Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah meets Islamic Jihad Secretary General Ziad al-Nakhala and deputy leader of Hamas, Saleh al-Arouri [Hezbollah Media Office/Handout via Reuters]

In the past Aljazeera's take on world events has been fairly rational but since Hamas attacked Israel their stories have been very one-sided, being mostly about the 'poor Palestinians' and the 'evil Israelis'. Then today we have this headline:

Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad chiefs discuss route to ‘victory’ on Israel

The story doesn't really say any more than that. However, I don't think they really want victory. I think their fight with Israel is very much like the Jihad the Democrats have been running against Trump. Both the Democrats and the Arad Jihadis like the publicity they get from their campaigns. If they won, their Jihad would be over and their inherent evil would come front and center, and that could threaten their hold on power, which is all they really want.

Mostly I just wanted to post this picture so we would know just who the shitbags are.


Today's newsletter from Chartr is all about Tesla. (Actually Monday's newsletter, but close enough for me.)

Tesla Operating Profit

If you bought shares of Tesla early, as in any time before 2021, you're sitting pretty. Ever since then it's been a gamble. Shorting Tesla, that is, betting that the stock price is going to collapse, has been a popular sport, and with the P/E ratio (Price to Earnings) sitting around 70, shorting the stock still looks like a good bet. Normal industrial stocks have a P/E ratio of around 20 - $20 of stock will net you one dollar of earnings every year. Now if you think Tesla is going to continue to grow exponentially, you might be willing to gamble on it. However, from looking at the above chart it looks like the growth is no longer exponential. But given the stock's performance, it kind of looks like the people who are buying Tesla are not hard headed finance guys, but ordinary folks who are operating on emotion, and those people love Tesla. From Chartr:

Much of that meteoric rise has been down to everyday investors that Musk has converted into a legion of loyal, often loud, devotees — who aren’t afraid to put their money where their mouth is.
Tesla cars are impressive, and if you have money to burn, go ahead and buy one of the cars or some of the stock. But if you buy one of the cars and the electronical slankerator goes tits up in five years and they want 50 G's to replace it, don't come crying to me.

Electronical gizmos are all very well, but like all gizmos, some of them are going to fail. Some of those failures will be easy to fix, but some will prove impossible to fix. The odds of that happening are low, but you should prepare yourself mentally. Should you get hit by the gods of bad luck, you may need to just have to take the hit.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) - Official Trailer - George Lazenby Bond Movie HD
Rotten Tomatoes Classic Trailers

I really enjoy re-watching all these old Bond movies. I am picking all kinds of little bits that I missed the first time.

George Lazenby marries Diana Rigg who gets killed at the end of the movie. George went off and did other movies, but none that I connected with him. I did notice that he was in several of the Emmanuelle movies. Telly Savalas plays the villain Blofeld. I dunno why, but Telly just doesn't do it for me. Perhaps because I've seen too much of him in cop shows on TV (Kojak).

Much of the dialog was unintelligible. I don't know whether it's the accents or my ears or I'm getting old. Thank goodness for subtitles. I've had this problem with this movie before. Fortunately, understanding the dialog isn't crucial to enjoying the film. 

Quote of the Day

Newsguard isn’t government-funded, but merely an organization that receives government funds.

From a story on Racket News by Matt Taibbi. He is paraphrasing Gordon Crovitz, CEO of Newsguard:

. . . Consortium News filed suit against the United States of America and Newsguard Technologies.

Matt Taibbi has appeared here before.




The Wizard of Oz | 75th Anniversary "Wizard Revealed" | Warner Bros. Entertainment
Warner Bros. Entertainment

Comment notification email - note little triangle by 'me'

I've been getting notifications that some laptop repair center in Delhi, India, has posted a comment on my blog. It's spam, but when I go to the target post, the comment isn't there. Okay, fine, saves me having to delete it. Today I decided to look a little closer and when I click on the little triangle next to 'me' this pops up:

Look like the great and powerful Google has rejected the comment. Funny, they don't tell me that, but Okay. So now I mark it as spam by clicking on the spam icon.
Spam icon is one highlighted with the gray circle

Now this message pops up:
Report spam & unsubscribe
Yes, I want no more notices about spam comments that you have rejected. Unfortunately, what Report spam & unsubscribe does is unsubscribe you from ALL comment notifications.

Well, that is NOT what I want, but since it's done, I'll probably have to go wade into the bowels of Blogger and reset the flag. That's probably what happened last time, I just didn't notice.

Go ask Google about this address and nobody will tell me straight up what the deal is. What I deduce is that apparently Blogger keeps track of spammers and rejects them out of hand.

P. S. Should have included a little border when I was capturing the popup messages, would have made it easier to distinguish screen captures from my comments.

Saturday, October 21, 2023


Ballerina | Official Trailer | Netflix [ENG SUB]

Diminuative, Korean, female John Wick takes on the thug army and slaughters them. Just like John Wick, although this one seems to have a bit more story to it.

When I dialed up Ballerina on YouTube, what else should show up?

BALLERINA: A John Wick Story – Trailer (2024) Keanu Reeves, Ana de Armas...
Nothing like watching the good guys destroying bad guys in box lots.


Count Aleksey Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and his horse Frou-Frou from the movie Anna Karenina


Inverted Torx Screw

I replaced our garbage disposal a while back (10 years? 20 years?) and it was great, for a bit, and then it developed a ticking noise. Tried this, tried that, but the noise persisted. Now we are remodeling the kitchen so I have a chance to take a look inside this thing and get to the root of the problem. The model I have (Space Saver P2) has plastic sound insulator surrounding the disposal. It's held together with three screws, but they are at the bottom of a deep well and I cannot make out just what kind of heads they have, not that it makes any difference because none of the screwdrivers from my brand new set will reach to the bottom of the hole, mostly because the side of the handle runs into the side of the case. Fine, pull out the drill and enlarge the hole, it's just plastic. Drill goes in, but it doesn't help. Fine, I have a very long drill bit, not as big in diameter, but maybe we can drill through those screw heads. Aha! We can, easily, and the sound cover comes off. Now I try to remove the rest of the screw, but the drill, being as it is turning clockwise, the same direction as the threads on the screws, has driven them all the way in and they do not want to come out. I manage to unscrew one by using needle-nose Visegrips, but the plastic stand offs holding the other two break off. Whatever, the cover is off and now we can get down to business. 

The screws holding the body of the disposal together are as advertised in the video - inverted Torx. I don't have any tools that will fit those, but I do have a set of small six point sockets and for this job they work just fine. Pull out the screws, remove the top half of the housing and what do I find. Nada. There's a bunch of little teeth sticking out that look like the have been getting whacked, but I can't find anything that could be whacking them. Put the cover back on, turn it on, and it spins and hums like new, no more ticking. I do not understand what happened. I do not understand what could have been making the noise. Maybe when I clean up later I will find the culprit and the cause of all this irritation will be revealed. 

Meanwhile I am debating whether to try and reinstall the sound cover. I would need some very long screws and nuts, or maybe some zip ties. I'm not sure how much good that cover does. Right now I'm tempted to just toss it.

Toranda motor explosion, tändkulemotor

Another in our series of run away engines. Well, I am sure I had at least one other post of a run away engine but I cannot a find it Cap'n.

P. S. Found it. All depends on how you whether you spell runaway as one word or two, or you splice the two words together with a hyphen.

Old People

Liz Hinds has recorded herself reading one of her books and posted it on the net. It's about the trials and tribulations of an old woman very much like herself. Very funny.

Friday, October 20, 2023

From Russia With Love

From Russia With Love (1963) Official Trailer - Sean Connery James Bond ...
Rotten Tomatoes Classic Trailers

A fine movie with plenty of action, a plausible plot and plenty of pretty girls. Highlights:

Armalite AR-7 Survival Rifle

Armalite AR-7 Survival Rifle, disassembled
  • secret agent briefcase with fifty gold sovereigns, a hidden knife, a booby trap and an AR-1 25 caliber, single shot sniper rifle.
Periscope, Kerim Bey & James Bond
  • periscope into the Russian Embassy in Istanbul

Gypsy Camp Scene - From Russia with Love - James Bond Source Music
Fictional Music
  • gypsy girls, gypsy girl dancing, gypsy girls fighting. Did I mention there are gypsy girls? Oh, that's right I did.
1960 Ford Ranch Wagon
  • Ford Ranch Wagon. Seeing this car really struck a chord with me. My inner ten year old really likes the 1960 Ford Galaxy and the 1961 Thunderbird.
My approximation of Bond's escape route from Istanbul to Venice

Simplon Orient Express

Islands off the coast of Istria near Futana
Possible location of boat chase
  • The flight across the northern end of the Adriatic Sea from Istria to Venice in a power boat with 200 gallons of fuel in 50 gallon drums held in a rack on the back.

Webley Flare Pistol
  • The destruction of the incompetent bad guys by dumping the gasoline in the water and setting it afire with the Very flare gun.
Rosa Klebb's shoe dagger
  • Klebb uses her pointy shoe to fight with Bond.
P. S. The scenes of Bond and the girl in Venice were shot on a green screen. It's pretty obvious they weren't actually in Venice. Someday I need to find out how they did that.

Free on Amazon Prime

Thursday, October 19, 2023


The Aortic valve is the exit valve from the heart

Twenty odd years ago I ended up in the hospital because of atrial fibrillation*. Doc prescribed some meds, things calmed down and I went home. I've been taking the drugs ever since and my heart seems to be pumping along just fine. Doc also discovered I had an enlarged aorta. The risk is that a larger blood vessel is at greater risk of bursting due to high blood pressure**, so I take drugs to keep my blood pressure under control and I go in for an echo-cardiogram to make sure the aorta hasn't gotten any larger.

I had an echo-cardiogram today and the exam seemed a little more extensive than usual. She's running the probe over my chest, but then she goes around my left side, up to my neck and down towards my stomach. I always thought the aorta was only a few inches long and adjacent to the heart, so now that I'm home I gotta look it up and I find that the thing is a monster. Huh.

The first part of the exam was to check on a specific area, but the rest of the exam was 'protocol'. It makes sense, I suppose, if you are going to all the trouble to set up the scan, may as well make it complete. Who knows what kind of other potential problems you might encounter, especially on an old dude.

Old is relative. A friend of my wife went to work for a guy 20 years ago. The guy is 88 now. Who'd a thunk that starting work for a guy who is 68 years old could turn into a career? Still going, I dunno how strong, but still going.

* as opposed to ventricular fibrillation which is generally fatal.

** if the aorta ruptures I would be dead within minutes. Good way to go if you are going.

Joe Biden's Economic Vision

True, except the money he is sending is fairy tale money, money that was created out of thin air by the government. The taxes we pay are just the vig on the national debt. 


Su-57 -  Boris Semyonov

Best part of the story is that the photo was taken in Novosibirsk, Siberia.

Novosibirsk, Siberia

Intel Ronler Acres

Intel Ronler Acres

Intel's Ronler Acres plant is three miles east of my house. It's huge, it sits on a square mile of land.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Criminal Tax Collectors

Foreclosure For Sale

If you are a home owner and you fall delinquent on your property taxes, the local tax collector can kick you out, sell the house and use the proceeds from the sale to pay the taxes you owe. However, it seems that some places, like Multnomah County (our local hotbed of criminal Democrats), are keeping the entire proceeds from the sale even if it greatly exceeds the amount of tax owed. One dude in Lane County (another hotbed of foolishness and home to University of Oregon) owed $32K in back taxes. The county sold his house for $118K and instead of forwarding the surplus to the former owner, they put it in their pocket. What a bunch of shitheads. Jayati Ramakrishnan reports for The Oregonian. The Supreme court has found this criminal behavior to be criminal and now people who have gotten screwed over are going to court to get their money back. I would be happy to see some tax collecting heads roll, but it will probably be peons who suffer. The bigwigs who orchestrated this scam will undoubtedly skate free.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

The Blower and the Battery

Duck Dome Airbag

I have a big, inflatable cushion that sits on the patio table and supports the cover - keeps the cover from becoming a lake. Took the cover off last spring and deflated the cushion, fully intending to clean it off, fold it up and put it away. None of that happened, so it just sat there all summer, draped over the side table. You don't suppose the surgeries and the remodeling project had anything to do with that, do you?

Coleman Quickpump

Anyway, it's fall and it's time to cover the table and chairs again, but where's the inflator? We've had a couple of these things. We had a sleeper sofa that had an inflatable mattress, and the kids bought an inflatable bed, but where are the inflators? Turns out Osmany had them. He brought them over. One is a regular, 110VAC powered one, but the other was a battery powered one that was purchased for camping. The battery powered one was broken. Score! A little project for me. 

Amartisan 10-Piece Magnetic Screwdrivers Set

I needed a long Phillips screwdriver to take the screws out, but it seems my long Phillips has crawled off into the weeds, so I ordered a cheap new set from Amazon. Curious thing is the tip on the #1 driver was too pointy to engage with what looked like #1 screws.  The #2 driver worked fine, probably because it was extra pointy as well.

When the screws came out, the grooves on the screw were filled with red plastic from the housing. It looked like the holes were all stripped. I cleaned the plastic off of the screws. It was surprisingly difficult. Trying to get it out using my fingernails didn't work, I had to use my knife and roll the screws along the edge of the table. When I put the screws back in they tightened up just fine. I suppose this is just a feature of self-tapping screws.

Mystery Circuit Interrupter

Check the wiring inside the case and it quickly becomes obvious that the tiny little circuit board in the middle of the charging line is preventing the charge from charging the battery. Take that out, splice the wire with solder and electrical tape because I can't find my box of electrical do-dads, charge it overnight and we're right as rain.

6V 4.5Ah Rechargeable Sealed Lead Acid Battery

I initially figured the battery was dead, so I thought about ordering one ($17 from Amazon), but then I'd have to get rid of the old one. Then I realized there is a battery shop not too far away that would be happy to sell me a new battery and take the old one off of my hands, but they'd probably want $40 for the battery and this stupid blower I am working on only costs $25. Not hardly worth it.

P. S. The magnetic tips on the screwdrivers aren't very strong either. Pretty sad really.

Ruger Firearms

How Its Made

Tam posted a link to a hipster's review of the Ruger P89 semiautomatic handgun. To my mind, Ruger has always been 'one of the other gun companies', meaning they weren't Colt or Smith & Wesson or Winchester. And somehow their guns just weren't as sexy as the ones from the big three. Can guns really be sexy? I think it's just another way of saying 'pretty'. 

Ruger Blackhawk

For instance, I never liked the way the Blackhawk looked with that rear sight hanging out like that, looks like it could easily snag on something and break off. Never mind that Ruger might know what they are doing.

Anyway, on to the main point of this post.

Ruger makes their guns by casting as opposed to forging. Casting is simpler and therefore cheaper than forging, which means Ruger can sell their guns for less. If it's done right, cast parts can be as strong as forged parts, though it generally means the cast parts will be slightly thicker than their forged counterparts, which means they will also be slightly heavier, which brings us to this line from the hipster's review:

The P89 makes “kerchunk” feel like a lifestyle choice.

Ruger has done a whole series of short videos on how they make their guns. They are great. If the video at top doesn't automatically lead to the next one, the whole playlist can be found here.