Retention holsters, people

In a local ER, a patient was being seen as a Baker Act, because he had made statements that he wanted to commit suicide. When he got to the ER, the Sheriff’s deputies that brought her in escorted her to the nurses’ station. There was an armed security guard there, and she tried to steal his gun. The cops and the guard beat her profusely. The whole time they were wrestling with her, she was screaming that she wanted to kill the nurse.
She is now spending her time in the ED screaming about how she wants to kill the nurse.

Now, not only is she a Baker Act, but after she gets out of the three day hold for that, she is going to jail for armed robbery (stealing the guard’s gun), aggravated battery, attempted murder, and terroristic threats. I hope at least a few of those charges stick and she gets some serious time.

If you are going to open carry, use a retention holster.


Five year test of CFL bulbs

Five years ago, I wanted to do an experiment. The government passed a law that phases out incandescent light bulbs in favor of more efficient bulbs. They claimed at the time that the more efficient bulbs would save a homeowner money through lower energy costs, despite the fact that the newer bulbs were much more expensive. They claimed that this was due to the longer life of the lower energy bulbs.

So I set out to look at this issue, because I am a big geek like that.

There are 46 light bulbs required in my home. I replaced 25 of them with compact fluorescent bulbs.

19 of them were of the spiral variety. They currently cost $1.50 each. At the time that I originally bought them, they were more than $8 each. 4 of them burned out and had to be replaced during the five year test period. At today’s prices, this means that the 19 bulbs cost $34.50 over the five year test period.

6 of them were PAR lamps that were used as spotlights in the track lighting that illuminates the kitchen. These bulbs were quite expensive, costing $12 each at the time. They currently cost $4 apiece. Three of them burned out, for a total cost in today’s prices of $36.

During that same period, four of the remaining 21 incandescent bulbs had to be replaced. These bulbs cost 50 cents each, with a total cost of $12.50.

The total cost for fluorescent bulbs is $2.82 for each  of the bulbs, factoring in the costs of replacement bulbs. They are not as long lived as the government claims, with about a third of them failing over the five year period.
The total cost for incandescent bulbs is 60 cents each.

The CFL bulbs use 18 watts of energy each. The incandescent bulbs use 60 watts. The price I pay for electricity is 12 cents per kilowatt hour.

This means that the difference in energy costs for outfitting my entire home with CFL bulbs would require me to run my every one of my 46 light fixtures for 3 hours per day each in order to break even. Of course, no one does that.


The only way that this becomes cost effective is if you only replace the lights in your home that are most frequently used. Closet and bathroom lights, which are used far less than lights in the living and bedrooms, are simply not used enough to justify the added costs of CFL bulbs.

Also, the costs and performance of the PAR type CFL bulbs make them a poor choice.



Years ago, I read a science fiction story about a crew that was assigned a peacekeeping mission to a planet whose inhabitants were at war. Apparently, they were killing each other over the rights to a migratory bird. This bird would migrate from one hemisphere to another with the seasons, and the inhabitants of the hemisphere where the birds were not located would all go into psychosis until the birds returned.

However, a segment of the population was not affected by the birds’ disappearance, and it was this portion that cared for the afflicted, and pursued the war against the others.

Anyone know the story? I would like to find it again.


I got it on sale

So stores jack up prices in early November, when no one is looking.
Then, on Black Friday, they offer deep discounts on the inflated price,
and people line up for days, thinking that they are getting a deal. “But
I got it on sale!” they say.


All fun and games…

…until someone gets hurt.

Say this gets tried where people carry concealed weapons. You think its funny that you chase someone down the street with a knife? You like filming them while they run in terror? How will you feel if your actor gets shot?

These sorts of pranks, where you set up a situation to place your victims  in fear for their lives for your own amusement is sick. It’s also called aggravated assault…


KSP time waster

I downloaded the newest version of Kerbal Space Program about three weeks ago. I have been exploring the virtual solar system ever since.

Here is a picture of my solar observatory investigating some sunspots:

It’s in an orbit that is 280,000 km from the sun.
I have put Kerbonauts on the Mun (moon), and landed probes in the Mars equivalent (Duna). I currently have 2 satellites en route to the Jupiter equivalent (Jool) and its moons, as well as one to the Ceres equivalent (Dres). I sent one to the Mercury equivalent, but it, unfortunately, malfunctioned and was lost. At least it was unmanned. I am also planning a mission to Duna (Mars) and a permanent base on the Mun (Moon).

This is wasting A LOT of my time.


Not as lucrative as you think.

Doctors are concerned with the rates of pay that they are getting. In the article, Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of health law and policy at George Washington University,
said she was not overly concerned about physicians’ compensation. “I
don’t mean to suggest that physicians don’t deserve to do well,” she
said. “But physicians are very well-compensated people, no matter what.”

Not as well  as you think. Sure, a doctor makes $200,000 or more a year, but let’s compare that to other professions.
A doctor attends college and earns an undergraduate degree. This takes four years, during which the money earned is zero, and tuition, books, and supplies are about $20,000. Room and board are extra.
Then the doctor attends medical school. The school lasts three years, and the money earned is zero. Tuition, books, and supplies are about $225,000. Room and board are extra.
Then the doctor does his residency. This lasts at least a year, during which the resident works 80 hour weeks and makes about $45,000 a year.

So this doctor is now 26 years old and has made $45,000. He now has about $400,000 in student loans that must be repaid. With interest.
So over the 47 years of his working life, he spends the first 8 in school, and ends that first 8 years $355,000 in the hole. If that doctor makes $200,000 a year on average for the remaining 39 years of his working life, the first $50,000 of that will pay for his student loans and the years he was jobless.


The Day After, 30 years later

It was 30 years ago today: ABC aired a made for TV movie titled The Day After. I watched that movie as a teen, and frankly, it gave me nightmares. The movie was about surviving a nuclear exchange between the US and the Soviet Union. It was a real threat in those days.

For those of you that are too young to remember, growing up under the threat of nuclear holocaust was a real and ever present danger that we all learned to accept. I remember having “duck and cover” drills when I was in elementary school. On notification, we were trained to duck under our desks, cover our heads, and wait for the end.

The movie seemed very real and scary to me at the time, and I had nightmares about it for weeks.


Sad clown is sad

So an Obama voter, who supports the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is upset because it turns out that she actually has to pay for it. The people who voted for President Freestuff are finding out that the things he promised are not free for everyone.
This woman is currently paying $250 a month in health care expenses for herself and her son. She originally thought that she would be able to use a tax subsidy to get a “gold” plan for only $169 a month. There was an error in computing her subsidy, and she doesn’t get one at all. It turns out that she will have to pay $324 for a “silver” plan, which has a high deductible. She claims that she cannot afford it, and blames the state exchange.
She is angry because she thought that all she needed to do to get cheap insurance is vote for it. She calls herself a “single mother who is self employed and has had no health insurance for over 50 years” according to the email that she sent to the president.
She is a freelance court reporter who makes a bit less than $50,000 a year. The reason that she cannot get cheap insurance is that her son is already on Medicaid, for which she pays only $30 a month, and is thus not counted as a tax deduction when calculating Obamacare subsidies.
The press gets one thing wrong, however. It says that the woman will elect to pay the $95 penalty. The penalty is actually the GREATER of $95 or 1% of your income. Since she makes about $50K a year, her Obamacare penalty will be closer to $500.
But hey, you voted for this, and you got it.


When the skies of November turn gloomy…

The Edmund Fitzgerald was an American freighter that plied the Great Lakes. It was in service for 38 years and 7 days.
It was 38 years and 7 days ago that she sank in a gale on Lake Superior.  The sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald is one of the best-known disasters in the history of Great Lakes shipping. Gordon Lightfoot made it the subject of his 1976 hit song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald“.