Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Gun control is sexist. Women have less strength to resist a physical attack, so gun control disproportionally disarms them.
Gun control is ageist. The aged have less strength to resist a physical attack, so gun control disproportionally disarms them.
Gun control is anti-gay. People of alternative sexualities are more likely to be attacked by a group of people, so gun control disproportionally disarms them.
Gun control is classist. The poor live in bad neighborhoods, are more likely to be victims of a crime, and cannot pay bodyguards, so gun control disproportionally disarms them.
A white privileged heterosexual male has nothing to fear from gun control - he is less likely to be a victim of a crime, can pay bodyguards, is strong enough to fight off individual attackers, and is not likely to be attacked because of his sexuality.
Monday, September 19, 2011
From UL's site:
"Safes are rated for their resistance to attack against specific tools
for a set period of time. There are a dozen different ratings,
everything from ATM machines, to gun safes to bank vaults. For example, a
safe that bears a Class TRTL-15x6 rating, which might be found in a
jewelry store, should resist a hand tool and torch attack for a minimum
of 15 minutes. A TRTL-30x6-rated safe, which would protect important
documents or store money, should withstand an attack for 30 minutes. The
ultimate safe rating — a TXTL60 — should withstand an hour's worth of
attack that includes the use of 8 ounces of nitroglycerin."
Nearly 100% of "safes" that you will find in a big box store or online (even the imposing-looking gun safes) meet merely the minimum requirements for "residential security container" or RSC which is that they will withstand *5 minutes* of attack by common hand tools. They are not "safes" at all and give virtually no protection due to their thin steel and unsophisticated locking mechanisms. (Hint: if the description of the thing lauds what "gauge" the steel is, it's not a safe. Real safes start at 1/4" armor plate steel and go up from there.)
Here's a video showing that most "safes" are crap:
Therefore, with this in mind, if you buy a "safe" and not a real safe, it will only secure valuables against the dumbest criminals under time pressure, and if the burglar has any time at all to work on it with even the most rudimentary tools, it will be cracked.
Therefore, the only real use of a "safe" is to protect against fire and the subsequent dousing by the fire department - and again, if it doesn't bear a UL listing for fire protection, it's not a safe, it's just a heavy box. Again from UL's site:
"In addition to burglary protection ratings, UL also rates safes for
their fire resistance protection. Class 350 safes protect paper
documents, Class 150 safes protect magnetic tape and photographic film,
while Class 125 safes protect floppy disks. In addition to the Class
Rating, safes obtain an hourly rating for fire resistance — anywhere
from 30 minutes to four hours."
Waterproof safes are hard to make due to the fact that the door has to be sealed; therefore, for waterproofness, simply enclose your documents/valuables in plastic bags in a regular RSC as the more waterproof containers tend to be top-opening chests instead of front opening.
This should be enough of an education for you to pick your own safe.
AMSEC is a premier maker of safes and they start at $1000 and up. Sentry makes good fire RSCs and they start at $50 or so.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Everyone that actually lives in the mountains zooms around in little rusty manual transmission Civics with snow tires, blowing past all the tourists in their SUVs.
While Outbacks are better, anything between about 2000-2004 has head gasket problems. The Legacy is the lower Outback and still does great in the snow. Anything 4WD or AWD is not cheap to maintain, if you must get one, get a car with a completely mechanical 4x4 or AWD system. I live down in the plains and drive up to ski, and we figured in my buddy's AWD wagon we were in conditions that actually required the AWD (not "was nice", required as in "we would otherwise die") perhaps 4% of the yearly mileage, and we got in 60 days each.
Consider a manual transmission FWD wagon with 4 good snow tires (Blizzaks, Hakkapelittas, Green Diamonds) on steel rims. (Why steel rims? Because in winter you're a lot more liable to slide into a curb and ding your alloy rims/affect your alignment. Because steel rims bend, they absorb some of the impact that would otherwise go into messing up your alignment).
In the snow, the order of on-road capability goes: AWD with chains > AWD with snow tires > 4x4 with chains > FWD with chains > 4x4 with snow tires > FWD with snow tires > AWD with all season tires > FWD with all season tires > 4x4 with all season tires.
On all season tires, 4x4s are the worst car to drive in winter because of their high centers of gravity, solid axles, and unsophisticated differentials. Offroad, a 4x4 will own anything but on a road at high speed they are unsafe.
Even an AWD on all-seasons will be all over the road compared to a FWD on good snow tires.
Monday, July 11, 2011
You can read the specs at Marin's site here. They don't list the weight but my LBS put my Large size on the scale for 25lb 11oz with the stock pedals.
There are a couple of things I love about it that other reviews don't talk about. The seatpost is really nice and allows you to fine-tune the tilt of the seat to a degree not normally found in this pricepoint of bike. The wheelbase is relatively long, giving good stability. All of the hardpoints that you'd find on a touring bike are there and in the right places, so you can mount full fenders plus front and rear racks with no problem. The fork, though not steel, resembles an MTB fork and gives a good strong mount point for the front disc brake plus it nicely dampens road vibration. I would not be surprised if MTB tires fit nicely. The stock tires have relatively low rolling resistance but have good siping on the sides for cornering in the wet. The seat tube and handlebars both have numbered lines so fine-tuning the bike's fit is easy, and they left you lots of head tube on the fork so you can chop it yourself. The frame is neat, combining a high BB height, low CG, and more cross-like handlebar position. They basically went right down the middle with the geometry between a dedicated road bike and a cross bike. Cyclocrossers will like the fact that the top tube has a crease running down its length on both sides, making it easy to pick up and shoulder over obstacles. The Tektro Lyra disc brakes are nice and will bring you to a screeching halt wet or dry.
The drivetrain is a little low in Shimano's lineup for my liking, but it's solid and any parts that I blow up will get replaced with nicer ones anyway.
I paid $720 at my LBS, and I think that's a damn good deal.
edit: I had a "clunk" going on with the rear disc brake when the brake was first applied (not a constant clicking, just a "thunk" as you engaged the brake). My LBS called Tektro directly and they suggested looking to see if the ball bearing that the disc actuator rides on had slipped, or if the return spring had popped out. It was the latter, the spring was out of it hole due to the bolt working a bit loose. They fixed that and it's been fine for 30 miles. I suggest locktiting the bolt that holds the spring in.
150 miles on the bike so far and no other complaints.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
"But I ran out of steam trying to find new ways to prepare swiss chard, kohlrabi, eggplant, and collard greens. "
The "swiss chard, kohlrabi, eggplant, and collard greens" that people whine about are the foods that actually *grow well* where they live, which is the whole intent of "eating local" in the first place. If you're not willing to eat the foods that actually grow well where you live, then admit that you really don't care about eating local in the first place and just want to be trendy.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
What people don't know is that government power is not vested in the politicians. They come and go every couple years and don't have much of a chance to set up significant power structures. Political power is in the bureaucrats, and it is here that we find the true reason why *all* government power gets used for bad ends.
Bureaucratic "skill", such as it is, is simply the ability to read and zealously apply whatever rules you are charged to enforce, and as such a "skilled" bureaucrat can work at the EPA one week and the DHS, FDA, EPA or BATFE with a week of training. Say you create a new government department and staff it entirely with a broad spectrum of people, from the nice people that don't seek power to budding petty tyrants. Because being nice - taking special cases and making exceptions - takes longer than simply blindly enforcing rules and smashing flat those citizens that oppose you, the petty tyrants will be more efficient and take over the organization eventually. Therefore, all government departments must eventually be staffed entirely by petty tyrants, even innocuous ones like the Patent Office and the Department of Education.
Now, how does the power you give a "nice" department like, say, the Department of Education get turned into the power of a "nasty" organization like, say, the BATFE or FBI?
One has to realize that the strength of an organization is in the number of bureaucrats that it commands. Each bureaucrat is only capable of enforcing a fixed number of rules actions in their 5-hour workday, and it is the number of enforcement actions that determines their advancement, so they are incentivized to hand down as many enforcement actions as possible. Again, this is a skill. The greater the job market for bureaucrats, the better the competition for people with the bureaucrat's skill of zealously enforcing rules. Therefore, the bureacrats within the system are incentivized to perform better and better the more bureaucrats are added to the system, *no matter where you add those bureaucrats*, as again they can work in the Department of Education just as easily as they can in the IRS or the FBI. Of course, it is the frontline people that actually have useful skills in the area of science, law, medicine, or whatever, but it is the middle managers that determine where they go and what they do, and a middle manager is a middle manager no matter what department they work for.
Therefore, it's not possible to give certain "good" areas of government more power without making the other "bad" parts more powerful as well.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
When you get to the point of buying send an email to all dealerships in your area: "I want X car, Y year, Z options. Options in excess of Z are nice but I will not pay extra for them. I will be taking bids for final out the door price until (date) and paying on (date) at (time) with a loan from my credit union, so I will not be financing with you. "
Get bids and then send out a second email, "The current low bid is $S. If you can beat that, please email me before (same date as before)." Be honest and not stupid with this step, if you say something made up, everyone will bail as they all know the real bottomline price.
Get the loan paperwork from your credit union and walk into the dealership. Fill out the paperwork and hand it to them, they will work with the credit union to finalize the purchase.