Playing Pretend

If a woman can pretend to be a man and we all have to believe it, does this mean that people who identify as dogs will legally have to be treated as such? If so, this opens up a whole case of worms.

Can they be prohibited from restaurants? Will they be required to get rabies vaccines? Will I have to walk them on a leash? Scoop their poop?

Or can the choose to identify as different things at different times, changing identity on a whim, that makes this whole “I identify as” nonsense a choice and not something you are born with or can’t help.

Most importantly, if I kill someone and can prove that the person identified as a dog, I can’t be charged with murder, right? At most, animal cruelty…

Surprise, Surprise

The Republicans just did what they do best: make a lot of heat and light to gain press attention, then cave in at the last minute. Republicans like to make a lot of noise about how they are taking a principled stance. How can they have principles when they are so easily abandoned?

For more than a dozen years, I have said:

Just because the Democrats are your enemy does not make the Republicans your friends, and just because the Democrats are lying does not mean that the Republicans are telling the truth.

The Republicans are only playing a game to retain their power and make more money. Those are the only principles that they have.

  • 45 day spending bill which is temporary
  • Extra border funding was left off
  • Ukraine funding continues
  • No spending cuts in a bloated federal government

Why are we voting for them?

Minimum Wage

Today, the minimum wage in Florida increased by $1 per hour. The minimum wage for non-tipped employees in Florida is increasing from $11 to $12. For tipped workers, the rate’s going from $7.98 to $8.98.

Minimum wage has increased from $8.56 per hour to $12 per hour in three years- that is a 13 percent annual increase. I still can’t go through a drive through without them screwing up my order, and in that same time period, the cost of a Big Mac meal has gone from $7 to over $12- which is a 23% annual increase.

At Denny’s, 2 strips of bacon, two link sausages, two eggs, and two pancakes. This is the breakfast that Denny’s calls the “Original Grand Slam.” Sold for $1.99 in 1997. By 2021, that same breakfast cost $9.49. That works out to an annual inflation rate of 6.7%. Now here we are in 2023, and that same breakfast is now $11.99, or a 26.3% increase in the past two and a half years. That’s a 10.5% annual increase.

Price and wage controls don’t work.

Safe Project

It’s arts and crafts day here in Sector Ocho. Read on for today’s project.

You will recall that Liberty safe is in possession of a backdoor code for their electronic locks, so I was looking at getting a new safe. I seriously considered getting a Champion safe. Since we are in the middle of gearing up to move, the nearly $7,000 price tag for a new safe just isn’t in the cards right now. It isn’t like my valuables aren’t worth it, I just can’t spend the cash right at this time. Still, something needed to be done.

It isn’t that I think that the lack of a backdoor will keep the FBI out of my safe. Let’s face it, the government has virtually unlimited resources. If they want in, they will get in, backdoor or not. The fact that a backdoor exists at all is where I have a problem. With all of the data breaches in the news, the mere existence of a backdoor is a significant liability. Some loser buys the safe backdoors on the Internet, and thanks to a data breach, now has my address and the backdoor combo to my safe. No thanks.

So I decided that I would replace the Sergeant and Greenleaf electronic lock on my safe with a Sergeant and Greenleaf mechanical lock, model 6730. The advantages:

  • The lock has a combination that can be set or changed by the user
  • Since it was the same make as the electronic lock, it fit without further modification.
  • There is no backdoor combination for mechanical locks.
  • The lock cost less than $100

The disadvantages:

  • The safe can’t be unlocked in the dark
  • Mechanical locks are slower than electronic locks.

Florida’s hot weather finally broke this week, so I could work in the garage without dying of heat exhaustion. (It’s routinely over 102 degF in my garage during the summer.) That means it was time to change out the lock. The entire job took slightly over an hour. It would have been faster, but my wife called me on the phone twice while I was doing it. Still, pretty easy. I started by pulling out the old electronic lock:

(not my actual safe lock, but similar to it)
  1. Four screws held the inner wall of the safe in place. Off it came.
  2. I clamped a set of vise grips on the door frame of the safe to make sure I didn’t shut the door and lock myself out by mistake.
  3. I clamped a second set of vise grips onto the relocker* (marked with red arrow in photo, above) to hold it in place
  4. I undid the four screws on the old, electronic lock and removed the cover plate and relocker bar.
  5. I unplugged the leads from the keypad where they plugged into the lock
  6. There were 4 screws holding the lock in place. I removed them, and the lock from the door.
  7. I removed the keypad from the front of the safe door.

Now I was ready to install the new lock. I followed the video that I found on YouTube.

A couple of notes here.

  1. I don’t have a dial ring alignment tool. It didn’t matter. I did it by eye and it worked just fine.
  2. I didn’t install the plastic bushing that the lockset uses for a bearing. That means my dial doesn’t turn very smoothly. I will have to take it all apart and install it, but I want to have a new slipway key before I try it, just in case I ruin the one that is in there in the disassembly. That means a trip to a locksmith for a new one.
  3. I used a Dremel with a cutoff wheel to cut the dial spindle. It worked great. I clamped the dial in a vise, and cut the spindle off by hand, then used a flat file to bevel the end of the spindle.

The hardest part was setting the combination. I had to do it three times before I got it right. I don’t know why I had trouble, but it was probably an I-D-ten-T error. I finally got it right.

After I set the combination, I tested the lock by locking and unlocking the mechanism four times before I trusted it enough to close the door. Now there is only one door (the front door) to my safe, and I am the only one who knows the combination. When my wife gets home, she will be the second person.

On a side note, I will soon have an SG electronic lock for sale. I think (but I am not sure) that the backdoor for each safe is unique to that safe. Since the lock won’t match your safe’s serial number, your safe may not be subject to a backdoor attack. However, I wouldn’t count on it. For all I know, the backdoor is 1-2-3-4-5, like an idiot would use on his luggage.


* the relocker has one job. If you look closely at the lock, you will see that it works by inserting a locking bar into the transfer bar of the bolt works, preventing it from opening. Dialing in the correct combination withdraws the locking bolt and allows the bolt works to function. Removing the lock will also allow the bolt works to function. A burglar can punch the lock out and gain access to your safe. A relocker prevents this from happening. Look at the photo, and you will see that removing the lock causes the relocker to drop down under spring tension and prevent the bolt works from operating.

Also, my thanks to Mel Brooks for making Spaceballs, one of the funniest movies of all times.

The Fall of Disney

Disney has announced that it will be closing its Star Wars themed hotel. The concept of the hotel was complex, and shows a complete lack of awareness of your customer base. The idea was that the hotel would be like living on a space faring cruise ship. The experience was to be totally immersive.

There were problems with the concept that doomed it to failure from the beginning, and these problems would have been easy to spot, if only someone had discussed it with actual people. The biggest problem is the cost: $1,200 per night for the first two adult guests. For additional guests staying in the same cabin, it would be $500 per night for a child, and $700 per night for an adult. To compare, taking a comparable cruise on a conventional cruise ship with complementary alcohol, internet service, and a personal butler costs about half that. The extra cost is for the Star Wars experience.

So what is this experience? It is focused on the time period of the latest Disney versions of the Star Wars franchise. You know, the movies that only the biggest Star Wars geeks follow with enough excitement to go to this hotel. The characters from the original George Lucas time period don’t exist in this time period, so many original Star Wars fans, most notably the older ones with the money to stay here, won’t recognize many of the characters. The very nature of the hotel limited your customer base, which was already limited by the high cost.

As a hotel instead of an experience, it was a total bomb. There was no swimming pool, no gym, nothing but an extended, expensive cosplay of a movie franchise. For this business to be successful, there has to exist a large enough subset of people who are big enough fans of the movies that are able and willing to spend more than $1,000 a night to cosplay a movie while staying in a crappy hotel.

There just aren’t enough people who are large enough fans to do that at a $1k per night price point. Had Disney executives done a simple market survey, this would have been apparent. The failure of this hotel is a microcosm of the failure of Disney as a company.

There is a lot of talk about Disney and Ron DeSantis’ feud, and many are saying that Disney announcing layoffs and cancelling their projects in the Orlando area are signs that Florida’s governor is losing the battle. That’s BS. The real issue, and reason for these cutbacks, is that the current executives are woke morons with no real business sense. They are taking a company that made its mark, and became an industry giant, by selling family friendly entertainment.

Disney once made wholesome entertainment, beginning in the 1940’s with the classic animated stories like those of Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, and Bambi. Then the 1950’s and 60’s saw the company continue with animated movies, but also told live action stories like Treasure Island, The Absent Minded Professor, Swiss Family Robinson, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, and Old Yeller. Over the years, we saw other wholesome movies like the Apple Dumpling Gang, the series of films like Herbie the Love Bug, and Escape to Witch Mountain. The films of Disney were so family oriented, that the company’s first film to not be rated G was the 1979 film The Black Hole.

We moved to Florida in 1972, when my father, who worked as an early computer engineer for Hewlett Packard, was sent there to support the new tech boom in Central Florida. I visited the Disney complex for most of my life. I grew up around Disney and its theme parks. On two different occasions, I worked for the company. Once when in high school flipping burgers and loading people on the attractions of Horizons and World of Motion, and again years later as a repair technician, repairing dancing chickens at Splash Mountain.

I raised my own kids on Disney movies: The Lion King, Aladdin, the Little Mermaid, Toy Story, and Monsters, Inc.– Disney was still making quality entertainment that families could enjoy well into the new century. Even as an adult, I used to pay to enter the parks to see attractions like the Osborne Family Christmas lights. I would go to see the Christmas decorations and sip some hot cocoa while listening to Christmas music. It was relaxing to escape and see some wholesome entertainment.

Disney has changed so much from those early, family friendly years. The cracks began with the rise of what is called “Gay Days.” In 1991, a large group of about 3,000 homosexuals flooded the park while wearing red shirts. It wasn’t a company sponsored thing. That would change over the years, and by the end of the ‘oughts, the event would grow to be a company sponsored event with 150,000 flooding a family friendly park with sexual messages- all aimed at kids.

Now the company has broken with its former self, and spends time producing many films that are no longer aimed at families. Now they are aimed at sending a political and sexual message to kids. From changing old characters to new, sexualized ones, the new “woke” Disney is more aimed at destroying the family than it is at celebrating it. There was a time that Disney jealously guarded its reputation. That time is gone.

That’s why the Disney hotel failed, and that’s why the Disney company is underperforming. The company has lost its way. If the company is to be saved, the brand has to return to its family friendly, wholesome roots.

Using Children

Sophie, an 11 year old girl, was abducted by her dad because of a “bitter custody dispute.” They were eventually found in Mexico, and police successfully reunited the girl with her mother and her mother’s new fiancé. The father is facing felony charges and will get up to 3 years in prison, if convicted.

But he told, in an exclusive interview that took place the day before the warrant was issued, that the only way he will return to court and bring his daughter home is if he is allowed to put his case before a jury.

OK, well that’s his right. Don’t we all have a right to a jury trial? Not so fast.

Ex-wife Kelly Long opposed the jury trial in a motion and asked for Long to be summarily jailed for 18 months plus an extra year on one count of hiding Sophie and another for failing to hand her over.

Michael was ordered in July to pay $20,000 to cover the cost of reunification therapy for Sophie and her mother, as well as therapy for her two brothers, his sons.

That’s the story, but it’s also a lie. Watch this video to understand why the father wanted to hide his daughter from her mother:

Police dismissed the ‘patently false’ information about her. Egged on by mom’s attorney, they called it part of Trump’s quest for power, and part of the “QAnon” plot. They even got the dad’s gofund me shut down as being “fraud.”

Sophie claimed she was sexually abused by her mother’s fiancée Jacob Bellington and was diagnosed with a vaginal infection after being taken to the hospital last summer. That didn’t matter.

She was also interviewed by a specialist nurse with her father outside the room and repeated the claims to her. That didn’t matter.

The courts then took custody away from the father, and banned him from having visitation. So, realizing that his ex-wife and her new Swedish boyfriend were going to continue raping his daughter, did what anyone would do- he grabbed her and took off.

Of course, the ex-wife paints all of this as being a custody stunt, and the courts believed her. They have painted him as a “fraudster” who “coached his daughter to lie” about her mother and mother’s new fiancé.

This is how our courts work. Any man who has been through a divorce, especially one involving custody, can tell you how it works. If the woman wants “her kids,” the courts take her side. She gets the kids, she gets child support, the (now ex)-husband has to pay her legal tab. The assumption is that children belong with their mother. End of story. The only thing Dad is good for, is paying the bills.

It’s nothing more than a shakedown, aided and assisted by our courts. That’s why so many men are realizing the truth- marriage is largely a losing game, and the only winning move is to not play at all. The MSM, as well as women’s magazines are all in an uproar, trying to figure out why men don’t want to get married any more. They blame easy access to sex, and they are all wrong.

Marriage is on the decline. Men are deciding that it just isn’t worth it. Little girls are being raped, and the courts don’t care. This is because we are supporting mothers due to support feminism, are believing all women, or something.

So when people tell me how the courts are going to protect our rights, no matter which rights those are, I know that they are sadly deluded. Our courts, our police, our entire legal framework, is irretrievably broken. A society has as its first duty to protect those who can’t protect themselves. It’s also the duty of all civilized men, and the backbone of a civilization. Any country that fails to do so collapses in short order.

Well, our country doesn’t protect the helpless any longer. It hasn’t done so for decades.

Just ask Sophie Long. She will tell you the story about how a black man stuck his fingers in her vivi while her mother looked on, and the courts made it happen. I have to go take a break for awhile, before my rising blood pressure gives me a stroke.