Sledgehammer's Cycles

Sledgehammer's Cycles
Sledgehammer's Performance and Custom Cycles

Thursday, March 5, 2015


No more I/V antibiotics, yay hooray!  PICC line comes out on Monday.

One Man's Reloading

Straight Forward in a Crooked World put up a in-depth post about the calibers he reloads and why. Every reloader make decisions. How many calibers, how many different loads, how many presses, powders, projectiles,...? His choices are thought out and worth the time to read about.

I have avoided buying rifles in calibers I don't already have. I started with a 1903A3 and now have four rifles in 30.06, but don't own any other .30 caliber rifles such as .308 or .300 WinMag. I have kept my caliber choices to a minimum to avoid the added complexity it creates on the reloading bench.

It will creep up on you. You start with one single stage press, 3 or 4 die sets and a couple of cans of powder. Turn around and it looks like this (no, this isn't mine, I just like it).

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Four years ago

Dad died:
One of my two favorite sayings goes The longest journey a man will ever take is the eighteen inches from his head to his heart.  I can attest to the truth of that, and say that St. Christopher doesn't watch over that particular journey.  But my Dad did.

I still think about him every day. James Zachary left a comment that predicted this:
It is a hurt that will not soon end.
Sure is.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Shaun Smith - Ain't No Sunshine

I took #2 Son out for dinner tonight.  The rule was no cell phones, so we had a really fun time talking.  In between the escargot (now checked off his bucket list) and the chocolate moose, the guy playing live music played this:

Tonight's guy didn't nail it quite like this, but he was good.  And it reminded me of just how much I like this song.  It was bittersweet thinking that he'll soon be grown and gone.

Hard to Believe II -- Updated for 2014 and the ACA

I think that our readers and commenters are smarter than the national average. We don't get into giant flailing arguments and I generally enjoy everyone who take the time to comment. So I hope I didn't come off as abrupt in my last post where I used a quote from a comment. Michael, if you're still one of our readers, look up this information, do your own verification, and if I'm wrong on this, please show me the alternative numbers and your sources. I promise I will post them right here.

The information I have says the in less than two decades, all projected tax revenues will be consumed by just three federal programs (Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid, which includes CHIP and Obamacare) and the interest on the debt.

I'm in the demographic that's going to load the system in the coming years. My wife is eligible for all of this in 4 years. I become eligible a few years later. We are two of 80+ million boomers. We all paid in far less than we will draw out. But even if we had paid in the full amount we could draw, it's already been spent. It's gone. All that remains is an I.O.U. from the federal government to itself. 

They are trying to cover this by spending a trillion dollars a year more than they have. And by "they" I mean all of them, left and right, Dems and GOP, Executive and Legislative. 

If it's not already too late to put on the brakes, it's very close.

Hard to Believe

Michael, in the comments to my previous post had this to say: "I find it hard to believe that we could not find cuts in other places and save Social Security and Medicare..."

Total foreign aid for 2012, the most recent year I could find data for, was $37 billion. That's about 3 days of federal spending. We could shut down the military, eliminate NASA, turn off all foreign aid, shut down all of the federal bureaucracy, cut absolutely everything but entitlements, and we are still headed for the cliff.

Start looking and the information is right out there in plain sight. The politicians know it, the economists know it, and while we should know it, we get weeks of "How much air was in the footballs?" instead.

There's only two mathematically significant spending items left. Interest payments on the debt and the major entitlements. Add the Affordable Care Act to this and it just speeds up the date where this happens.

More taxes are no fix to this. You could take 100% of the income of the Fortune 500 companies, every dime from every citizen that makes $250,000 or more, and you don't even pay for a year of this spending, and what do you do the next year? Taxes at any sustainable rate, whatever sort of "Tax the Rich Until They Squeal!" program you envision, do not touch this curve.

We will cut these programs. Sooner or later, we will have no choice. The only question is do we do it in some controlled fashion that moderates the impact or do we continue on the current spending path and wait to see what the collapse looks like?

Mmmmm, broiled wild foul

Served up at the Solar Powerplant Restaurant:
“It’s no secret that solar power is hot right now, with innovators and big name companies alike putting a great deal of time, money, and effort into improving these amazing sources of renewable energy. Still, the last thing you’d likely expect is for a new experimental array to literally light nearly 130 birds in mid-flight on fire.

And yet, that’s exactly what happened near Tonopah, Nevada last month during tests of the 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project.”
They call them "streamers" from the smoke contrails.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Epic bathroom is epic

Need one of those here.

When Gods become Incarnate

We like to make our sports heroes into Gods, and then watch the God fall.  Rarely, instead of falling they reveal themselves to be everything we most want to believe:
In the sports world, there are many charitable superstars and many others for whom philanthropy is a masquerade, an exercise in image-buffing. Then there is [Bobby] Orr, who has created a model for giving back that embraces the power of true connection, of responding when the need is greatest.

When social studies teacher Christa McAuliffe died aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1986, Orr learned that members of her family were Bruins fans and he quietly traveled to Concord, N.H., to visit.
When former Bruin Ace Bailey died aboard a hijacked airliner that struck the World Trade Center in New York during the 2001 terrorist attacks, Orr turned up the next morning at the door of Bailey’s widow, Katherine.

“Bobby will always have a place in my heart,’’ she said.
When Orr learned last year that James Gordon, a hockey player at Hingham High School, was fighting testicular cancer, he called Gordon’s mother, Terry, and asked to visit.

Orr chatted for several hours with James, his family, and friends, spending much of the time holding Terry’s daughter, Jenna, who has Down syndrome.

Orr posed for pictures with everyone in the house. He later mailed them autographed photos with personal messages, having remembered the name of each family member and friend as if he had known them for years.

Terry Gordon, still in awe months later, said, “Who does that?’’
In the midst of a very jaded and cynical age, this is a must read story about a man who, in this cynical celebrity age, hides his candle under a basket.

Via A Large Regular.  You should read him every day.

A group of Citizens with Revolvers Would Be Just As Good

But it's cute like it is.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March 1st, 1945

One of the six men in Rosenthal's famous photo was killed by mortar fire on March 1st, 1945. Cpl. Harlon Block never saw the picture, never knew anything about the iconic photograph. He died leading a squad during an attack on Nishi Ridge.

The battle for the island was already three days past the one week estimate made before the landing.

To the driver of the Dodge minivan

The one that took a "short cut" that landed him in the lane labeled "Georgia 400 Southbound Only" when you didn't want to go southbound:

When you sit there waiting for a break in traffic so long that three of us are honking at you, the appropriate response is not to flip the bird.

After all, you were the a-hole.

Lots of love, Borepatch.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


I have been thinking this for a long time, certainly since sometime in the Dubya Adminstration. The U.S. is spending money it doesn't have. The U.S. has an insurmountable debt. The U.S. has an entitlement class that is currently 50% of the population. The U.S. balance of trade since 1950 looks like this:

This is unsustainable.

Whatever other problems we have, Islamic terrorism, the rise of the surveillance state, uncontrolled immigration, the unchecked power of the Executive branch, it is the purely mathematical equations of the economy that are going to break us.

The national debt is $18 trillion and the current unfunded liability of the United States is almost $100 trillion. Here's the running clock. Go and look at the numbers, watch it for 30 seconds or so, I'll wait.

Politicians don't talk about it because no one wants to face it. Nobody is seriously talking about fixing the problem. We might could still prevent a total catastrophe, I'm not sure if it's still possible, but we aren't going to, we aren't even going to try. We're continuing to pretend that the U.S. can't fail, is too big to fail, that someone will magically solve this problem and life will continue like it has for the last 70 years.

It could be fixed. Balance the budget this year. Stop spending money that doesn't exist. Every federal department gets the same percentage of the budget as they do now, but the actual amounts drops so that expenditures match collections. Next year it drops to 5% below collections and that 5% goes to start paying off the debt. The year after, 10%, where it stays until we have reconciled the debt. After that, it drops back to 5%, where we begin to build a treasury.

At some point, if Congress want to start eliminating expenditures and rearranging the way money is allocated, well okay, do your jobs. But the total remains 10% below intake until there is no debt.

It will never happen.
I am perfectly happy to compromise and work with anybody: Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians - I'll work with Martians if - and the if is critical - they're willing to cut spending and reduce the debt.
--Ted Cruz

Sleeping late, and thoughts profound and not

I slept late, for the first time in a while.  No first-thing-in-the-morning doctor visit may have had something to do with it.

Some of you have emailed asking if it's true that Lenovo shipped particularly nasty spyware om their laptops.  It is.  I don't really have more of an analysis than that, but Rick Blaine (International Man of Mystery!) has a particularly good one:
What does this mean?  If you bought a Lenovo in the last 6 months it means all "your passwords are belong to us."  At this point I wouldn't touch Lenovo with a 100' pole, which is sad because they made pretty good hardware and does a fine job running linux - The issue is that I'm not about to support a company that even considered thinking  this might be a good idea.  I HATE bloatware but it's one of those things you just sort of have to live with unless you build your machine from scratch - which is difficult to do with laptops.  Virtually any computer you buy today will come with bloatware, some benign like Netflix, or the Kindle App, some malware - and now some like Superfish - pure evil.  I mean spying on which web sites you access is bad, but spying on your supposed SSL encrypted connection to your bank - that is evil, and possibly criminal.
He then posits a plausible fix to this:
Fortunately we're seeing some movement in the games industry that should make Linux a much more widely accepted platform with the announced introduction of GLNext (more info here).

If enough of the game-devs move off of DirectX to this next version of OpenGL (GLNext) we might start seeing some serious support for drivers thus making Linux perhaps the best gaming platform available - light, fast, open, free.
 The only thing I'd add is that the dynamics of razor thin profit margins is likely to drive this.  Steam explicitly embraced Linux to avoid the "Microsoft tax".  RTWT.

A northeasterner's view if Global Warming scientists:

From What Bubba Knows, clearly one of those beastly Deniers.

Found in the bathroom at work:

Why am I thinking of Uncle Jay and MSgt B right now?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Indoor pool bad ideas

Winterize the construction or turn off the water ...

Medical upgate

Dick emails:
Sorry about the IV stuff.

How’s the ‘bone?  Started therapy yet?
He's not the only one who's asked, so here's the latest.

The bone seems to be doing pretty well.  I've been off the pain meds for over a week, and the X-Rays looked good yesterday.  Doctor says another 4 weeks is likely, but thinks that the bone graft is taking.

I got a therapy to do, although it's baby steps.  It does get me out of the sling and feels pretty good - my muscles were feeling like they were atrophying, and actually the only pain I've had has been muscle twinges.  I'm working on restraining my enthusiasm, but feeling frustrated is a sign that I'm bettter.

The PICC in my chest is a pain in the tail end.  I tried to talk the doc into removing it early but she wasn't having a any of that.  The cultures have eliminated the really nasty stuff like Mersa, but it's still daily doctor visits.  Getting a lot of reading done thought!

UPDATE 28 February 2015 10:22: There's quite a bit of fatigue still, which is making my mental processes dull.  You can tell this from the blog post output.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Rest In Peace, Col. Paul Green

In all the news about the passing of Leonard Nemoy, take a moment to remember a real hero.  Stephen emails to point out the passing of another World War II hero - one who flew P-51 Mustangs over enemy airspace:
Green got his chance after he was drafted into the Army and sent to [redacted - Borepatch], for pilot training. Green flew 25 combat missions with the 99th Fighter Squadron in Italy, escorting bombers.
I've posted frequently on the Greatest Generation who left home and hearth to fight the Nazi and Imperial Japanese menace.  But this one is different.  This one left a  society that despised Black Americans, to fight that same fight.  The story starts out with this:
Col. Paul L. Green, one of the Tuskegee Airmen — the legendary black pilots who escorted U.S. aircraft during World War II — has died in a Southern California senior care home. He was 91.
Col. Green flew 25 sorties against the Nazi ubermensch.  Then he came home to 1945 America, as a Black War Veteran.  And he continued his career in the Air Force, for 30 more years, serving in Vietnam.  He saw the change in Europe, and elsewhere in the world.  But most especially here.

God speed, Colonel.  You saw this Republic with its warts and you stepped up anyway.  That's something worth of respect in itself

Nova Scotia Gothic

You think they're mad?  Wait a month ...