Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Biofuels

The fed.gov commissioned a study of biofuel made from corn residue (cellulosic ethanol) and the study concluded that the ethanol is worse for the environment than common gasoline.
A $500,000 study paid for by the federal government and released Sunday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change concludes that biofuels made with corn residue release 7 percent more greenhouse gases in the early years compared with conventional gasoline.
Of course, Big Ethanol is howling

The biofuel industry and administration officials immediately criticized the research as flawed. They said it was too simplistic in its analysis of carbon loss from soil, which can vary over a single field, and vastly overestimated how much residue farmers actually would remove once the market gets underway.
Of course they're howling.  Big Anything is furious when any study comes out that says what they do is a bad thing.  Big Ethanol, Big Wind, Big Solar, are all emerging technologies, and we're learning a lot about those technologies, but government subsidies are a bad idea.  They cost a lot of money, they're inefficient.  If you subsidize something you get more of it.  If it's a good idea, the market will take care of it, otherwise it should die on the vine.

I prefer non-ethanol gasoline.

**UPDATE** After posting, I found an article that says that the EPA admits that ethanol blends damage engines.   If you want non-ethanol gasoline for your engines, go to pure-gas.org and do a search for your area.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Keystone Delayed - Again

According to Roll Call, the Obama administration's Good Friday news dump included news that a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline will be delayed again.
“On April 18, 2014, the Department of State notified the eight federal agencies specified in Executive Order 13337 we will provide more time for the submission of their views on the proposed Keystone Pipeline Project,” the State Department said. “State Agencies need additional time based on the uncertainty created by the on-going litigation in the Nebraska Supreme Court which could ultimately affect the pipeline route in that state.”
Pure politics by the administration, but this political ploy might strike closer to home.  It seems that out ranking senator, "Katrina" Mary Landrieu, is in the political fight of her life and is also the chair oc the Senate Energy Committee.

 “Today’s decision by the Administration amounts to nothing short of an indefinite delay of the Keystone Pipeline. This decision is irresponsible, unnecessary and unacceptable,” Landrieu said. “By making it clear that they will not move the process forward until there is a resolution in a lawsuit in Nebraska, the administration is sending a signal that the small minority who oppose the pipeline can tie up the process in court forever. There are 42,000 jobs, $20 billion in economic activity and North America’s energy security at stake.”
This gives senator Landrieu a magnificent platform to distance herself from the Administration and come down on the side of energy, jobs, the economy, and national security all in one fell swoop.  It will shore up her support in the state and make it look like Mary is coming down for the good of Louisiana. 

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.  Mary sides with the Obama administration when it is convenient for her to do so.  She cast the deciding vote for Obamacare, and she votes with her Democrat buddies even against the best interests of the state   She votes with Obama and Harry Reid about 97% of the time.

The Washington Post has another good article on the pure politics of this decision, along with some background about the blatantly transparent attempts by Obama to shore up support during the mid-terms.

No, this latest delay is politics, pure and simple.  Obama needs Mary in the Senate, and will do anything to keep her there.  Even if the delays mean keeping Americans out of work and making it more difficult and dangerous for mid-country Americans. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Pool Opening

For the past several years, we've opened the pool on grandson Quinton's birthday, normally the last weekend of April.  He'll be out of town next weekend, and today we celebrated his birthday, so the kids insisted that the pool be open, cool weather or not.  So, today we opened the pool.



They were cold as frogs when they came out, but the pool is open for the season.

Sunday Morning Dawg

The dog was playing "don't look at the camera" earlier this week, and I haven't had an opportunity to take a better picture.

He hasn't been here since Friday nite.  It seems that Milady has a friend who owns a dog that looks almost exactly like Beau, and she's a little girl, and Milady plotted with her friend for a weekend, hoping for puppies in two months.  He'll come home this afternoon, but it's been quiet around the house this weekend.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Swaging Bullets

Swaging bullets is a very common way to make bullets, but it's not as widespread as a hobby for the home tinkerer.  Most of the common jacketed bullets are swaged and many of the target bullets sold by Hornady and Speer (for example) are swaged bullets, but handloaders generally either use cast bullets or store-bought jacketed bullets.

However, the Corbin Co has been making dies that can be used for swaging, and some guys have taken to the hobby with an innovative approach.  This afternoon I was surfing around this forum and found some neat pictures of bullets that were made from discarded 9mm brass.

Yeah, those are bullets, made from discarded 9mm brass.  After being filled with lead, the bullets are formed in one of several forming dies, then loaded as usual, in .40 SW brass.  Who realized that discarded 9mm brass is the correct size to go down a .40 SW bore?

A pictorial view of the process, above.  I know just enough about the process to be mystified by it, but I think that it's a spiffy way to use discarded brass.  I know that a hobbyist can make 5.56 bullets from discarded .22 rimfire ammo, ad some wags have said that .30 cal bullets can be made from discarded 5.56 brass.

I see on the bottom photo, a photographer's mark.  I don't know who jonblack is, but if anyone can tell me, I'd be happy to give him a link.

Saturday Chores

It's amazing how fast your priorities change.   Yesterday afternoon I had every intention of working in the back yard today.  Then, about bedtime we discovered that I had a major issue with our sewerage lines, so this morning before full daylight I went out and diagnosed the problem, then called elder son who does this type work for a living.  By nine a.m. we had rented a Ditch-Witch and opened up the yard, then commenced to replacing sewer line.  As good as the machine was, PawPaw spent most of the morning in the hole, ripping out old pipe and replacing with new.  I was probably in-and-out of the hole thirty times, doing all the things necessary to make sure that water can flow downhill.  Two trips to Lowe's, muddy from head to foot with the type of mud that you really don't want to analyze.

It's amazing how quickly your priorities can change when the commode won't flush and the bathtub won't drain.  Somehow, the growing grass in the backyard pales to insignificance   We finished up about 2:00 and I took another half hour to wash the rental machine.  Then PawPaw took a long hot shower and on clean blue jeans.  A quick nap, and it's now 4:00 and the grass in the yard will have to wait another day or so.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Beer Locker

This morning, while running errands, I realized that the summer beers are out, and I wasn't sure of the state of my beer locker, so I stopped by the local purveyor and picked up a few items.

There''s some Tecate, and a couple of Dos XX, along with Boston Lager, Blue Moon, and Sam Adams Cherry Wheat.  I'll have to pick up some Coors Light for those who enjoy such things.

The weather is still cool, and the water's too cool for swimming, but springtime will be here shortly. Life's too short to enjoy it without beer.

Good Friday

Scouring around the internet, looking for something interesting, I realize that my muse is depleted.  Just not interested.  Today is Good Friday, and while I don't have to put on a uniform today, that doesn't mean I'm off.  In fact, I'll work more energetically today than I normally do when I'm protecting and serving.

So, it's time to put on tenny-shoes, gather tools, and get after it.  It's going to be a busy day, culminating at a fish-fry this afternoon at the church.  So, y'all have a blessed Good Friday.  For myself, it time to hit it hard and get it done.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Civil Disobedience

It seems that New York passed a law following the Sandy Hook massacre, and there are reports that as many as a million residents are refusing to comply with the law.  Courtesy of Instapundit.
New York gun owners shrug off tough new rules: What happens now?“The SAFE Act, passed in New York last year, had an April 15 deadline for owners of assault-style weapons to register their guns with the state. Some 1 million residents have refused to abide.”
From the linked article:

 For now, gun rights experts say, the outcome in New York is uncertain. Will the state take the initiative to seize unregistered weapons? If it doesn’t, will the new gun controls be exposed as toothless, even meaningless?
But others are clamoring for confiscation.

 “No guns are being taken away unless you fail to register your military-style assault weapon, if you happen to own one,” Leah Gunn Barrett, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, told The Buffalo News. “If you register it, you can keep it.”
It looks like New York is standing on that slippery slope.  Register your guns or lose them.  Perhaps registration (or the lack thereof) does lead to confiscation. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fun Facts

According to the CNS News site, there are 86 million private sector workers today in the United States.  Those 86 million support the government and 148 million benefit takers.
The 147,802,000 non-veteran benefit takers outnumbered the 86,429,000 full-time private sector workers 1.7 to 1.
Lots more analysis at the link, but basically if you're working in the private sector, you're carrying the load for 1.7 people who aren't.  Milady and I are making good money, and our tax bracket is about 25%, so we're supporting with our taxes, a family of four somewhere.  It amazes me that in my autumn years I'm paying more in federal income tax than I made for lots of years as a young adult.

If someone asks me whether I'm paying my fair share, the answer is yes.  And I'm paying the share of someone else, too.  That's something to think about as we wrap up the traditional end of the tax season.