Seen In New Mexico

So I'm back in New Mexico to officially start my 8 months of work 330 miles from home.  On the drive down I was once again reminded that they do things a little different here down south.  In Colorado, we rely on the yellow lines in the middle of the road to let us know if passing is kosher or not.

A solid yellow line on your side of the road means hang out behind the big rig a little longer because the line of sight isn't quite what it needs to be to make a solid pass/no pass decision.  A dotted line means go for it, but don't kill anyone or run anyone off the road.  For the most part this system works pretty well and seems to be understood by most drivers.

In New Mexico they looked at this line system and at some point decided it wasn't enough.  They added signs.  Signs at every change from a solid to dotted line.  There are thousands of signs.  Not only are there signs to tell you not to pass, but they have signs that tell you that it's okay in addition to the lines.


Pass with care, New Mexico seriously has to tell their drivers to be careful when passing?  As opposed to just pulling into the other lane without looking and gunning it?  The only logical explanation I can come up with is that some New Mexico State Senator's brother owned a road sign printing business.

Either that or there isn't much logical going on in New Mexico. 


Things Seen On The Road

So I was driving around Denver, in a part of town I don't visit too often.  Off to the right was a business with a unique name, IDK Computers.  I'm not sure if the owner was talking about his customers or himself, but it made me chuckle.

But then I got to thinking, why not take it the whole way.  Tomorrow I'm going to apply for a new business license for my computer repair shop.



Back At The Ranch

My wife last night regarding the State of the Union, "I want to know what he says, but I don't want to have to listen to him say it."

My thoughts exactly.


Is CSU Ready For A Battle?

So it looks like the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners are itching for a fight with Colorado State University over their proposed campus gun ban.  That isn't terribly shocking as they tend to be a very politically focused group.  I was however surprised by the Larimer County Sherrif.
Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden said he will attend the announcement Monday in Fort Collins. "I am opposed to the ban, and I don't agree with the policy of trying to ram this down everyone's throat," he said.
The CSU Board of Governors will likely maintain their stubborn, anti-gun, anti-rights stance and vote to prohibit guns on campus.  RMGO will at that point almost certainly sue based on the fact that CSU is a public university and the concealed carry statute in Colorado has a preemtion clause.  This is what is required when someone tries to take rights away.

Here's something to think about.  As I've discussed before, Colorado faces a large budget deficit.  Schools, including universities are targets for budget cuts (just like virtually everything else).  This lawsuit will cost both CSU and the state of Colorado thousands of dollars.  These thousands of dollars come not from government, but from taxpayers and the students of CSU.  The same taxpayers and students who have no desire to see this ban enacted.  The students who will be asked to borrow even more next year, because tuition has to be increased.

These board members are appointed by the Governor.  Something to keep in mind during the November election.  Things like this are why electing a pro-rights Governor is so important.  If John Hickenlooper runs for the office, we must work to defeat him.  Not because he would be a bad Governor overall, but because as a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns he has shown himself to be anti-rights.

Technology Fail

So apparently in New Mexico (where I've been the last couple of days) if the hotel says they have wifi, that does not mean that they have functional wifi.  Combine that with the fact the AT&T coverage sucks, and I have been essentially incommunicado.

I'm booked at a more expensive hotel for next week down there.  Hopefully things go smoother.  I missed my interwebs.


It's Not The Degree, It's The Person

So over at the Denver Post is an article that touches on something that has bothered me for a long time.

There are so many folks out there that truly believe that you've got to go to college to be successful and find a good job.  They may be well intentioned, but they often deserve a well intentioned kick in the ass.  There's an easy way to determine if a person should go to college.  It looks like this:

Do you need a college degree to get the job you want?
If not, go get a job.  If yes then go to college, unless...

Is there demand for the job you want?  Will you be able to get a job in your desired field?
If not, go get a job.  If yes then go to college, unless...

Will you be able to pay back the required student loans with the pay from your chosen career?
If not, go find a cheaper (in state) school or go get a job.  If yes then go to college.


"Educated Pasty Us"

LabRat of Atomic Nerds fame has an excellent post up on how pickup trucks do not equate to racism.  I'm glad too, because I own a truck and was worried I might be racist.  The money quote is below.

If the Pickup People can make the distinction between class and skin color more easily than Keith Olbermann can, that says a lot more about Olbermann than it does about them.

Coincidence, I Think Not

So I was sitting at the dinner table tonight.  I'm heading south in a couple of days and wanted to know how that part of the country looked weather wise.  My brother and his wife live down in the southwest corner of Colorado (next door to the house I grew up in) and he told me they were getting feet of snow.

I had the news on in the background on the TV behind me.  Typically I never watch the news because I can't take so much cheer and joy.  So as I am sitting there snacking on a cream cheese filled wonton and Ed Greene, the local weather man on one of our 4 news stations in Denver says,
"A viewer sent in a picture of the snow in southwest Colorado.  You can see how high the snow is on the street sign.  There's East St. and East Ct."
At this point I almost choked on my wonton and spun around to watch the TV.  There on the moving picture box that I rarely watch was the intersection of my childhood.  I grew up on that snow filled corner.  My sister-in-law had taken the picture earlier in the day and my brother urged her to submit it to the news station so they would put it up on their website.  They never expected it would get on the news.

The sad thing is, they live in southwest Colorado.  That part of Colorado, for no good reason, is in the New Mexico media market.  That means by law they cannot get the news station that put my sister-in-law's picture on the air.  The upside is that they get to hear about the nightly murders in Albuquerque.

I've got to say, there was something especially cool about seeing the sleepy little corner of the sleepy little town where I grew up on the news, even if it was just to show the pile of snow.

Booth Babes

So some folks have been posting up pictures of the Shot Show booth babes.  Now let me start off by saying there's nothing wrong with pictures of booth babes, but I still wonder about the tactic.  Whenever I see a product being advertised via use of a scantily clad female, my first thought is that the product must not be that great.

I guess it's the same thought I have about places like Hooters.  Sure their wings are good, but they aren't that good.  What has always impressed me more is a sharply dressed female spokesperson, who knows their stuff.  For example, if I were a camo company or hunting outfitter, my wife would make a great spokesperson.

See what I mean?

Fees On Top of Taxes On Top of Taxes

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter is not running for reelection.  That allows him to propose stupid crap like this.

A $10.50 fee on every background check for a gun purchase.  Estimates are that this would give the state of  Colorado an additional $1.6 million next year.  So every gun purchase, I pay local and state sales tax.  If I buy it at Dick's Sporting Goods I also get to pay a retail improvement fee, because the developer that built the mall worked a deal with the city to allow taxes on goods sold to pay for road improvements when building the place.

But apparently those taxes aren't enough to pay for a background check, plus all the other stupid crap state politicians want to spend it on.  The only way I would even be remotely in favor of this is if CCW holders were exempt from the background check, and even then.

The road to smaller government is paved with fees.


Why I Love Politicians

With Colorado facing huge budget shortfalls, it's good to know that our state senator from Aurora is working hard on some possible solutions...wait what?

Apparently, a 1.4 Billion dollar state budget shortfall complete with furloughs, crumbling bridges, and threats of reduced police and fire funding aren't nearly as important as checking to make sure that schools' mascots are appropriately PC.

Senator Suzanne Williams has introduced a bill that requires schools with Indian mascots to either change their mascot or submit it for review by the Colorado Comission of Indian Affairs.  I am sure that when all the fine folks from Aurora voted for Ms. Williams, their desire was that she get to the Senate and get to work on fixing that Indian mascot problem.

Only In Bolder

Attack of the Kermit!!!1one!

Tip 'o the hat to SayUncle


The Next Time Someone Asks

Why do you hunt elk?

The video got me thinking.  The meat in the freezer is awesome (I haven't bought beef in years).  The idea of chasing after one of the biggest animals in North America is something that gets me going just thinking about it.  The best part though is elk camp with friends and family.  After a long day of walking, stopping, listening, looking, and remembering what it is like to be a part of nature, there is nothing like sitting around a campfire with those special few who understand and enjoying a camp cooked meal.

I can't wait for November, so I can go spend a week at my other home, going on long hikes with a rifle over my shoulder.


Any Excuse

So during my 8 month stint down south, in addition to being sans firearm, I learned that since my regular, trusty Blackhawk! knife - the Silent Partner - has a 3" blade it is not allowed on property either.  Here's a picture of the killer knife.

That meant a trip to the store for a new knife with a blade shorter than 2-1/2".  I mean I have to have a work knife, right?

What I found was a SOG Blink.  What they say is true, once I tried the spring assisted opening I couldn't stop clicking it open and shut.  So far I like it and think it will work well...for a knife with a 2" blade.


Roadless = Jobless

Having come from the oil and gas industry, I was well aware of the potential problems for that industry with the Roadless Rule.

I was not aware, however that it had the potential to close down coal mines.  Colorado coal is among the cleanest in the West, with low sulfur and ash content.  Colorado coal is also the most likely to be impacted by the roadless rule.  Over at the Denver Post, Steve Baker has the quote that sums it all up.

Baker, 50, recalled how government invocation of eminent domain in the 1970s uprooted his father, a cattleman southwest of Denver. The family moved.
Baker found work as a logger, until federal restrictions kicked in. He turned to mining.
"I lost one profession. I see it coming for this one," Baker said.
"What are these 'green jobs' going to be? Monitoring our locked-up areas? Standing in little guard shacks so nobody drives through?"
If they keep shutting down coal mining, how will we run our coal powered cars?


Things You Don't Expect

So I'm spending the day at home with my sick 3 year old.  We're watching Sesame Street and all of a sudden, there's Adam Sandler singing a song about Elmo.  Just when I thought I'd seen everything...


Probably One Of The Few

So recently, due to lack of work in my office, I've had to take an eight month assignment in a town about 300 miles from my family.  In addition to the stress of spending the weekdays away from my family I have an added concern.

The facility that I will be working at is protected by armed guards.  This same facility does not trust me enough to allow me to be armed.  I would imagine that I will be one of the few people that will feel less safe being "protected" by other guys with guns.

Oh and just to add insult to injury I have to find a replacement for my Blackhawk knife because its blade is 1/2" longer than the allowed length.

Look, You Can't Win On This One...

So some misguided souls decided that to celebrate MLK day they would serve southern style chicken and collard greens in the public schools.  As expected, it's, "an offensive caricature of black culture."

At some point folks trying to do "something special" are going to realize that every attempt like this will be labeled racist and they will stop trying.  It's lunch for crying out loud.  I happen to like fried chicken and collard greens, no matter what the day.


Bacon Ice Cream

Tonight on the Food Network, "Unwrapped: Bacon".

They had bacon ice cream, which actually looked delicious, and microwave pork rinds.

Let me repeat that.  They have pork rinds that you stick in the microwave where they puff up so that you can enjoy them nice and warm.  Why aren't these on the end cap at every grocery store?

Plus bacon cupcakes only 30 miles from my house.  I see a road trip in my future.


Don't They Have Google?

So over at the Denver Post, it's a slow news day.

Sounds like a garage fire that caused some old ammo to pop.  As pointed out in the comments, no huge danger from burning rounds exist as the pressure is not directed.  What is it SayUncle says?  Something about layers of editorial oversight or something...


Probably Not What They Were Looking For

So as of this morning this post was ranked #1 on Google for the term "thieves therapy".  I'm guessing that if you are plugging that search term in, pictures of shot up targets isn't exactly what you are looking for.

Seriously, if you plugged that in and landed on my blog, don't go getting any funny ideas.


The Best Teachers

In my career as a mechanical engineer, I have been fortunate to have a lot of teachers.  The best teachers I have ever had have always been the guys who work with their hands.  During my first job, I had two engineering mentors, but the guys I learned the most from were the machinist and the welder.  They taught me what was needed to make a design constructable.

As I have moved from company to company, the best teachers have remained the doers.  The guys that did actual assembly, actual welding, actual machining, actual testing, were always the ones with the most knowledge to impart.  It isn't always easy to get these folks to share this knowledge, especially when coming in as a "know it all" engineer.  The key is to admit that just because you spent four five more years in college than they did, you don't know a damn thing.  If you are humble, the knowledge to be gained from these folks is invaluable.

That is one more reason that the decline in people going into skilled labor such as welding and machining concerns me.  Who will the engineers of the future truly learn from if there are no welders or machinists to look at the design and say, "What the hell are you thinking son?"

A surprising source of support for the trades is Mike Rowe.  Yes, the Dirty Jobs Mike Rowe.  He has started a website focused on promoting skilled labor.  It is highly entertaining and enlightening.

I will end this rambling with this.  If you know someone who is handy, who understands the meaning of hard work, do not discourage them from entering the workforce through the trades.  These folks are among my, and the country's most important resources.

Mind Your Own Beeswax

Dear Obama,

You aren't a Colorado resident.  You are the President of the United States.  Do your job and stop worrying about what we are doing here in Colorado.

In short, butt out!


"Politically Unpopular"

According to the Denver Post, Colorado is in for an interesting 10 months.  Govenor Ritter, during his announcement that he will not seek reelection reportedly said
His decision to end his re-election bid will free him to make politically unpopular decisions in a tough budget year.
When I hear the term "politically unpopular", what I hear is "crap no one wants me to do and would normally fire me for".  At least with Ritter Coloradans should not have to worry about increased gun control being one of the politically unpopular things he tries to impliment.

Not Much of A Choice

From The Smallest Minority...

Made me laugh and cry at the same time.


Microchip Implant

I know this has made the rounds before, but it showed up in my inbox and made me laugh, so here it is again for your enjoyment.

THE PATRIOT MICRO CHIP is intended to be implanted in terrorists.

The implant is specifically designed to be installed in the forehead.

When properly installed, it will allow the one implanted, to speak to God.

It comes in various sizes:

The exact size of the implant will be selected by a well-trained and highly skilled technician.

The implant may or may not be painless. Side effects, like headaches and nausea, are temporary.

Some bleeding or swelling may occur at the injection site.


It's Ok, Really. I Was Just Joking!

Why is it that so many professional athletes are kids that never grew up?

Apparently saying that when you pointed a gun at your teammate it was a "joke" makes it all okay.

I shouldn't have to say this, but "jokes" played with guns are never funny, and have the potential to get someone killed.  It is right in line with playing a joke by driving right for someone and slamming on the brakes right before you hit them.  Not funny one bit, and even less funny when you misjudge or make a "mistake" and run them over.


The Nerd Issue

Family entertainment tonight consisted of pot pies and Aliens In the Attic.  It's highly entertaining, especially for anyone who ever played Street Fighter.

The main character in the movie (at least the main character that isn't a CGI mini alien) is a nerd.  He purposefully fails his classes in order to fit in.  The sad thing is that I have known kids who have done just that.  The stigma of being smart, of being different was too much for them to handle.  The pressure to fit in won. 

Luckily for me, I never had a strong desire to fit in.  My parents taught me that different was just fine as long as the different was in a good way.  I was taught from an early age that being smart was a good thing.  No doubt some of that was having a math teacher for a mother and a science teacher for a father that I could look up to.  Not only were they smart, they were respected and well liked.  I hope that my two boys, with a mechanical engineer for a father and a chemical engineer for a mother will come to the same conclusion I did years ago.  Not only is being a nerd okay, it is a lot of fun.


He Could Use A Friend

If you follow NFL football, you have likely heard about Broncos coach McDaniels latest genius coaching maneuver.   If not, read all about it here.

After this post I'm ordering him up this book from Amazon.  It sounds like he could use it.  Come to think of it, I had better ship it overnight.