Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday, Trivial Tuesday

Lots of stuff going on, none of it connected, destined to fill up my day.

PawPaw needs a haircut.  I'll get that done this afternoon.  My standard #2, it's been almost eight weeks since I"ve had a haircut and I"m positively shaggy.

Later today, after running her errands, Milady is going to drink a gallon of laxative because tomorrow she's scheduled for a procedure.  Simply a look-see, not a big deal.  The prep is the worst part of the process.  Of course, she's on a strict preparatory diet, so no food.  After we're done tomorrow, I"ll take her to breakfast.  A big breakfast with eggs and bacon, and hasbrowns.  She'll be hungry.

Had a close family friend show up on our doorstep last night, seeking sanctuary.  Of course, we're always happy to provide sanctuary.  Hubby is an asshole, and she's had enough.  You've heard this story before.

While I'm across town today getting a haircut, I need to pick up a bottle of whiskey, because I'm out.  And toilet paper, because I don't want to run out later today.

Yesterday, I realized that I haven't done any recreational shooting in several months, (since the beginning of summer, anyway).  I need recoil therapy in the worst way.  I think I"ll slip off Thursday or Friday and find some.  I need to feel a rifle punch my shoulder.

Monday, July 28, 2014

More On the DC Gun Ban

I noticed Saturday afternoon that the Court in Washington DC had struck down their gun ban, but I figured I'd nave to wait until Monday to learn more about it.  Sure enough, this morning after chores, I clicked over to Volokh and learned some interesting new interpretations.
As reported by the Washington Post, D.C. Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier has approved an order which allows District residents to carry a handgun IF AND ONLY IF the handgun has been properly registered with the District Police, pursuant to the District’s handgun registration ordinance.
Okay, so residents can carry handguns that are properly registered.  But what about non-residents?  I'm glad you asked.
 Fox31DC reporter Emily Miller reported the non-resident rules slightly differently on her Twitter feed late Sunday night: “STUNNING DEVELOPMENT: DC Police Chief Lanier just told force not to arrest a person who can legally carry a gun in DC or any state.” “More — DC police chief using guidance from AG — grants full reciprocity for all open and concealed carry from others states.” “Only gun arrests now in DC can be DC residents with unregistered guns and non-residents who are prohibited under federal laws.”
That is interesting.  It looks like full reciprocity for non-residents.  We'll see if that stands, or if the District will apply for a stay until they can cobble together some regulations, but in the meantime, I like what the Court has done.   The Washington Post fives some additional reporting on the Judge's motivation.
Legal experts have said that in many cases all parties in a lawsuit are given the opportunity to appeal a ruling before it takes effect. However, it was decided at some point Sunday that Scullin’s ruling took immediate effect, and that set off efforts to bring the city into compliance.
Scullin, a senior U.S. District Court judge who normally sits in the Northern District of New York, wrote in his ruling that he was stopping enforcement of the law “unless and until” the city adopted a constitutionally valid licensing mechanism.
Interesting.  It looks like the next move is up to the city. And, reading the comments at the various news sites reveals an over-abundance of hippy tears.

Cry me a mug full.  Hat tip to Tam.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Morning Dawg

Checking the mail on Saturday afternoon, the dog didn't find anything of interest and decided to head back toward the air conditioning.

Yep, ti's hot out there for a fuzzy mutt.

IT feels like 106 out there.  Being inside is a great idea.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

DC Gun Ban Struck Down

This is huge, and it comes right from Alan Gura's blog, about a decision handed down today (yeah, on a Saturday) by the senior district judge for the District of Columbia.
In light of Heller, McDonald, and their progeny, there is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny. Therefore, the Court finds that the District of Columbia’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional. Accordingly, the Court grants Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and enjoins Defendants from enforcing the home limitations of D.C. Code § 7-2502.02(a)(4) and enforcing D.C. Code § 22-4504(a) unless and until such time as the District of Columbia adopts a licensing mechanism consistent with constitutional standards enabling people to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.4 Furthermore, this injunction prohibits the District from completely banning the carrying of handguns in public for self-defense by otherwise qualified non-residents based solely on the fact that they are not residents of the District.
Well Done, Mr. Gura.

Let Freedom Ring.

Plumbing

Plumbing on a Saturday morning is one of the joys of home ownership.  Toilet flange, wax ring, you don't want to know the rest.  Hammer-drill and Tapcons.  No pictures, this is basically a family-friendly site.

However, now it's done and just got off the phone with elder son.  The new word is Power Steering Pump, which is plumbing of a different kind.  It's shaping up to be a great Saturday.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Speeding, and Speed Limits

The speed limit on most roadways is set too low.  That's a given, and any traffic cop can tell you that when he (or she) is not in uniform.  The reason why is complicated, and fairly simple if you understand how traffic flows.  The simple fact is that most speed limits are set by political considerations, rather than the design of the roadway.

We've all seen it.  You're tooling along on a nice, level, well maintained roadway and you come into some town.  The speed limit deceases by some amount, usually 10-20 mph, and you slow through town.  So, we slow down and drive through town, until we get the outskirts, and we speed up.   The simple fact is that most of us would do that anyway, because towns have more traffic entering the roadway, and red lights, and small-town cops.  Who write tickets.  But most of us slow down going through town even though it is precisely the same roadway, built at the same time that the other, faster roadway was built.  It's a psychological thing.

I've taken traffic management courses over my career, and basic Traffic Management 101 teaches you about the 85th percentile, which basically says that you want to set the speed milt on a roadway so that 85% of the motorists will drive at or below the speed limit, and 15% of the motorists will drive at or above the speed limit.  As this article points out.
This “nationally recognized method” of setting the speed limit as the 85th percentile speed is essentially traffic engineering 101. It’s also a bit perplexing to those unfamiliar with the concept. Shouldn’t everyone drive at or below the speed limit? And if a driver’s speed is dictated by the speed limit, how can you decide whether or not to change that limit based on the speed of traffic?
The best method of setting a speed limit is to observe traffic from a place where motorists don't know that they're being observed.  Gather your data, and set your speed limit at the 85th percentile.  Then round up to the nearest 5mph (when have you ever seen a 57 mph speed limit).

Our cars are safer, our roads are safer, and in many cases, the speed limit remains the same.  Why is that?  simple, it's politics.  One of my very dear friends is the mayor of a small town, and the US government recently upgraded the US highway that runs through town.  What was before a poorly maintained two-lane highway is now a beautiful, new four-lane highway,  Outside of town, the speed limit is 65.  Hit the town boundary and the speed limit drops to 45 mph for less than a mile, until you hit the other boundary.  Why"  Safety"  Not likely.  It's the same level, new, four-lane highway.  More likely the reason is revenue.
The other reason speed limits may remain low, which John Bowman, Communications Director of the National Motorists Association strongly insists on, is that cities and police departments use traffic citations as a revenue generating tool. As Bowman says, when speed limits are artificially low, it’s easier to give out citations and pull in fine revenue.
Go read the whole article, but the simple fact remains that if you're interested in traffic safety, you have to understand how traffic flows, and that in most of our country, cities and towns, the speed limit is simply set too low.

Finally Friday

After the two-week project of mid-July, I spent yesterday recuperating and this morning cleaning up the work area.  Putting away tools, cleaning patio furniture, straightening, and puttering.  I had a half-load of sand in the bed of my truck, so after mowing the front yard and side lot, I drove the truck over to two holes and used that remaining sand to fill the holes so a horse (or grandkid) doesn't step in them and break a leg.  Took the truck to the driveway and hosed out the final dregs of sand.  Put the lawnmower away.  Came inside, poured a glass of tea, complaining to the dawg about how hot it is out there.  Turned on the computer, and clicked on Accuweather.

Great Jumping Jehosephat!  It feels like 113F out there?  With 70% humidity and strong sunlight, it's hotter than Old Billy Hell out there.

I think I"ll find something to do inside for the afternoon.  I may feel a nap coming on.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Doctor Shoots Patient

In what seems to be a justifiable self-defense shooting, a doctor in Pennsylvania shot a patient who was undergoing an episode.
A psychiatric outpatient opened fire Thursday inside a psychiatrist's office at a hospital near Philadelphia, killing his caseworker and slightly wounding the doctor, who reportedly shot the gunman with his personal firearm, authorities said.
The suspect was reported in critical condition after the shooting at 2:20 p.m. in an office at the Mercy Wellness Center of Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said at a news conference.
Good job, Doc.  You probably saved some lives in your clinic.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

That's A Wrap

Phase V of summer project 2014 is done.  4 cubic yards of dirt out, 4 cubic yards of sand in, 220 pavers laid, cut in, and finished.  It's done.

Five of my grandsons helped me with this project, and I couldn't have done it with out them.  Special thas to my stepson, who showed me hoe to use a wet saw and fit odd-sized pavers into a hole.

I couldn't have done it without y'all.