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Monday, September 1, 2014

So, It's September...

...And you know what that means!

Yes, it's time for Kilted to Kick Cancer 2014! For the entire month of September, there will be kilted pictures and other assorted goodness to entice you to donate your hard-earned shekels to help fund prostate cancer research.

This year, though, things are a little different. 

You see, Kilted to Kick Cancer is now its own official 501(c)(3) charity, meaning that you can donate directly to these guys and your donation is just as tax-deductible as it was last year when made to Blue Cure or Prostate Cancer Foundation or LiveStrong. For those that like knowing that their donations will overwhelmingly actually make it to funding cancer research, there's no better place to donate to. While there is certainly nothing wrong with those other entities, Kilted to Kick Cancer is run on a shoestring by dedicated individuals to ensure the best use of funds possible.

So here's the deal. Go here to donate. You'll see a "Donation Information" area, where there is a "I would like to make a donation in the amount of:" and a check-box.

Check that box.

It will reveal a drop-down list: "This donation is made as part of a Fundraising Team" with the different teams that are raising funds as part of the challenge. I am Team JayG. This is the team you want to donate in support of, trust me...

As I've done in years past, I'm up for taking specific kilted pics in exchange for donations. As always, the requests cannot violate state or local laws, or involve unwilling participants, etc. And, naturally, nothing that interferes with the day job (no, I can't flash an upkilt blast at Michael Bloomberg, no matter how funny it would be...). For the most part, though, it's wide open.

And remember, I dressed as a pirate princess last year after reaching my goal, so you know I have no pride nor shame...

Also as in years past, we have prizes. (as of current print, only one prize). York Arms has donated a stripped lower, S/N KTKC2014, to be awarded to one lucky donor. As before, every $5 increment yields one "ticket" for the lower, so the more you donate, the better your chances. All local, state, and federal laws apply with regards to the transfer of the lower, which is considered a legal firearm.

Lastly, there's a new category added to the blog, Kilted to Kick Cancer, to better sort the various kilted goodness. When I initially set up the "Funds" category, it wound up getting used for other fundraising ventures (which is a good thing), and folks had asked for a unique kilted category. I please to aim!

To my fellow fundraisers: Let the best fundraiser win! We are all in this for a single purpose, to raise money for prostate cancer research. Win, place, show; it's all good. I hope, as in previous years, that more folks will donate to Team JayG than others; however if someone or someones give me a run for the money, even better.

Get kilted, and get checked!

That is all.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Car Pr0n #45

Had a real conundrum trying to figure out what to post for today, numerically. The first thing that came to mind was a Ferrari 308, in honor of Magnum, PI (who carried, naturally, a .45 ACP Colt 1911). Unfortunately, that came up a short while ago in the "seen around town" segment, so it was back to the drawing board.

Then it hit me.

Yeah, it's a stretch, I know. Colt = horse = pony = Mustang. They're both uniquely American. They're both icons. They both feature equines as their symbols. They both... well, that's about all the mileage I can get out of the comparison, but you get the idea.

This particular Mustang is the '88 GT, which in retrospect was a pretty lackluster variant, but for me remains the single image of what the "Mustang" is. Not that it's the best example, far from it. It's simply what was current production as I came of age. Just like the third generation C/K series of trucks defines what sticks out in my mind as a Chevy pickup, or Roger Moore as James Bond, it's simply what was in production as I was coming of age.

Now, don't get me wrong - I would gladly take a 1964½ Mustang over an '88 any day...

That is all.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Being Careful...

So, over this past weekend we took the kids to the amusement park. I've mentioned this before. I put this picture up on Facebook earlier, when I came across it, but wanted to mention it again for emphasis:

That's a single .22 LR round, placed next to the medicine bag in which it was found. No, I have no idea how it got in there. The medicine bag here is the giant, "all-family, all-week" bag - this is the one we take when we're all going away for more than a couple days. It's not the single bag I take when I'm flying on business or the medium bag I bring when TheBoy and I go camping.

Point is, this isn't a bag that might have ended up inside a range bag, or inside a large bag that also had a range bag in it. This is a stand alone bag, one that's kept ready and rotating in an area nowhere near ammunition storage. I could understand if the small bag had a round in it; that one has made several trips for blogshoots and such.

I can't stress the importance of checking your gear whenever traveling for just this reason. I have no reason whatsoever to expect that there would be a loose round of ammunition in this medicine bag, yet here it was. Had I been flying, this could have gotten quite ugly. Heck, had I stopped in New Jersey, New York, or Massachusetts, where a permit is required to possess ammunition, it could have resulted in charges.

If you're a gunnie, check your gear, then check it again...

That is all.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I Love Stories Like This...

Blogshoot attendee and emerging gunnie PJS sends in one of my favorite types of stories...

A Barn Find Uncovers Hidden Gems in North Carolina
After years and years of collecting, it’s time for one man to start divvying up his stockpile of vintage cars.

Spotted by the guys over at Barnfinds, an anonymous seller located in North Carolina is looking to clean house and sell off all his vehicles. No, there don’t appear to be any new-old stock classics like the one-mile Chevy Cameo from the Lambrecht collection, but we do see a few gems we wouldn’t mind polishing up.

Why can't I make a find like this?

Just in that pic, we've got what  looks to be a Charger and a Camaro, one late-60s early 70s, the other early 70s; there's a 70s/80s Caddy next to that. There's a Willy's Jeepster, a Triumph Spitfire, and an early Firebird in the mix as well. Other pictures reveal what appears to be a Pinto Coupe as well as a well-used pickup from the '60s. There are some finds, some not-so-finds, and everything in between.

In the comments, it's pointed out that with the lack of proper storage, combined with outdoor living, there's a pretty strong possibility that anything even remotely fragile (hoses, wires, etc.) is gone and potentially filled with generations of rodentia. That's a distinct possibility: I stored a 1983 Cadillac Coupe DeVille on my property in MA for several years while waiting/hoping for inspiration/extra cash for a restoration project (it was summarily sold for scrap after TheBoy was born, basically on the solid premise that it contained approximately 9 billion bees/wasps/hornets and more rats than NIMH...).

Would still be neat as all get-out to go take a look at what's there...

That is all.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

So, About That Monday...

Yeah, about that... Well, here's the thing. We took a long weekend and brought the kids to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. We figured it was a good way to get the kids more interested in the area, and two days in an amusement park second only to Six Flags New Jersey (this is high praise, the kids tell me) appears to have helped.

We managed to hit all five of the big roller coasters multiple times in two days, and the children seem to have had a good time. That, of course, means that they fought a *little* less than usual, but as we've come to realize with our kids, we take the little victories.

The funny part about going to Busch Gardens is that I was here when I was a teenager. A friend of mine that I worked with at the local supermarket attended East Carolina University, and asked if I wanted to road trip down to help him move back in. I had time off, sounded like fun, so off we went on a road trip. It's pretty amazing, all things considered, but the single biggest memory I have from the trip is learning to drive a standard transmission (in a Mazda B2000 pickup) on the New Jersey Turnpike, with the toll booths every 20 feet...

Good times, good times...

That is all.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, August 22, 2014

Gee, Doesn't this Sound Familiar?

More great news from the land I escaped...

Boston Puts Brakes On Haystack Parking App
A new app that allows people to find parking spaces in Boston is being shut down in response to a vote by the city council.

A new ordinance outlaws services that allow people to sell or save public parking spaces.
Got that? The app helped people find parking spaces, so what was the response from Boston? BAN IT. Smell that? It smells like Massachusetts. It gets better, though:
“They are dealing in hypotheticals. We’ve had no reported issues. We’ve heard this rhetoric, ‘There’s going to be blood in the streets,’ and that hasn’t happened. We’ve had over 1,000 successful transactions, and we haven’t seen any of that.”
Ah, yes, blood in the streets. We've never heard that prediction before. Ever. And even if we had, it certainly came true, right?

It's pretty interesting, really. Parking in Boston has a long, storied history of defying the powers-that-be in MA in that the market rules. "Saving" spaces, parking spaces near Fenway being sold for $50 - $100, and now this app. It's rather humorous that the Boston City Council felt so strongly about Boston drivers being able to pay money to get a parking spot that they declared it illegal.

I mean, go figure. Parking sucks ass. Folks have figured out that they can make a buck "selling" their space through this app. Obviously there's a market for it, as the app works. Naturally, this being the Volksrepublik of Massachusetts, the response from the city of Boston was to... ban the app. Because in MA, whatever isn't mandatory is prohibited.

Blood in the streets over parking spaces. Glad to see that little chestnut hasn't gone away despite being completely unproven...

That is all.

Friday Car Pr0n #44

Keeping with a numerical theme, let's see if you can follow this one...

This is #44. What goes with 44? Magnum, of course! Dodge Magnum, that is - the first iteration. Only made for two years ('78 and '79), it was sibling to the Chrysler Cordoba and Plymouth Fury. Three 8 cylinder motors were available, the 318, 360, and a 400; all of which were mated to a three-speed automatic transmission.

I'd argue that more people are familiar with this Dodge Magnum:

That's the station wagon that first hit American streets a decade ago, which was noteworthy for two reasons. First, the American station wagon had pretty much disappeared; by the turn of the millennium, no wagon was offered by the Big Three (and no, the re-badged Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe doesn't count). Secondly, the crazy, wonderful bastards at Mopar stuffed the Ram's 5.7L Hemi V8 under the hood - and later, the 6.1L Hemi. A station wagon that could go 0-60 in 5.1 seconds? 'MURICA!

Leave it to Dodge to produce the coolest wagon since the Nomad...

That is all.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

WTH, Blogger?

Every time I read the comments here, I get this message:
This page is asking you to confirm that you want to leave - data you have entered may not be saved.
Whether or not I've actually written anything. Previously that message would only pop up if I'd started to write a comment and then tried to close the comment box. It's a great failsafe against accidentally the whole thing, in that you have a prompt that essentially says, hey, dummy, you really want to delete all that stuff you just wrote?

It is much less useful if the box pops up every single time, regardless of whether you've actually written anything.

And that's the problem with safety-related things and warnings. As was pointed out in my post about the couple that plunged to their deaths taking cliff-selfies, it is quite possible that we have tried to "lawyer up" to the point where we're over-exposed to warning labels. We've so thoroughly cluttered the landscape with danger signs that they all fade into the background.

There's a lesson there; unfortunately the people that desperately need to learn that lesson won't get it...

That is all.

Ten Days...

In ten short days, the Fourth Annual Kilted to Kick Cancer Fundraiser begins. A whole month of kilty goodness, yay! (and it finally kicks me in the behind to FINALLY make good on some photos I am woefully remiss in providing. Mea culpa!)

The big news is that KTKC is now its own non-profit organization, so that tax-deductible donations can be made directly to KTKC itself. No more middlemen, every cent you donate goes directly to prostate cancer research through the good folks at Kilted to Kick Cancer. I know some folks have been reluctant to donate, given the practices of some companies that accept donations and all, so this year there's no questions.

Ambulance Driver is seeking donations for the top fundraisers, so if anyone has any leads, give him a holler and help him out. 

That is all.

What's Missing Here?

Robb sent this in, thinking (rightly) that I'd be interested.

Renovo Motors

Now, I'll give them credit for a few things here. They've capitalized on one of the big strengths of the electric motor, that power is available instantly. It's no surprise that a reasonably light car with a powerful electric motor is fast off the line. Bully on them for using that as a selling point. Also, they've obviously modeled the Renovo Coupe after the Shelby Daytona (and the second generation Dodge Viper...). Well done in the design department.

But what's missing from that glossy spec sheet? There's two things that jump out at me. First is price. Not even an estimate. Given that the Tesla's sedan runs about $90+ or so, I'm guessing the Roadster is at least the same ballpark. Six figures - or close to it, at least - puts the electric sports car firmly in the realm of "toy for the rich and/or famous."

The other missing spec, and this is a big one, is range. All that power doesn't mean squat if the car's got a 30 mile range between charges. They're quick to point out the 30 minute fast charge, yet curiously omit how far you can travel before needing that quick charge. I suspect if the car had a 200+ mile range, that'd be a big selling point.

Again, I want to clear up a misconception. I have nothing against electric cars, not even silly boutique ones like this. I would love a reasonably priced electric sedan/coupe/hatchback that could travel 250 - 300 miles on a charge and be recharged in 15 minutes or less. Unfortunately, what we're seeing is that the only way companies can recoup the very large investment in electric cars is by marketing them to the "more environmental than thou" crowd who don't have to worry about mundane things like running out of power on the way home from work.

Unless and until electric cars start rolling 250+ miles on a single charge - including in the winter with the heater on full blast and in the summer with A/C cranked - they're going to be little more than playthings for the idle rich. That's not necessarily a bad thing, except it's unlikely to advance the concept of an all-electric car to the greater majority of people.

Really, though, I love electric cars - I love seeing the cognitive dissonance on a hippie's face when I remind him his "green" car runs on nuclear power...

That is all.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Here's A Good One...

Brought up in Facebook last night was this old '80s hit:

This is one of those songs that is just ripe for bad lyrics. "Rat poison in wine." "Fat women in line." Between Klaus Meine's fractured English, German accent, and rapid-fire singing, it's no wonder this one is frequently misquoted.

So, what's your favorite misquote, either from the Scorps or elsewhere?

That is all.

Not Sure About This One...

#1 Blogdaughter sends this one in. I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Senior surprised by $315 bill for calling 911
"I got up, and I was dizzy and feeling kind of nauseous, and I thought, 'This isn't right,'" Shorewood resident Lois Sarrel said.

Sarrel had a rude awakening in early May.

"I guess I was panicking a little bit because women don't have the same symptoms as men for heart attack," Sarrel said.
She called 911, Emergency Services came out and triaged her, finding that she was not in fact having a heart attack. She declined transport to the hospital, and because of that, she received a bill for the services rendered. Apparently she is on Medicare, and they only cover emergency calls that result in trips to the hospital.

Now, on the one hand, I'm of the opinion that if your symptoms are so bad that you have to call 9-1-1, you should take the trip to the hospital to get checked out anyways. Something is going on that is causing you enough discomfort to brave modern medical care - it might not be a heart attack, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be something else serious.

On the other hand, I can see where this might cause some folks to forgo emergency care, and that's never a good thing. I can also totally understand that someone might not realize that a 9-1-1 call would result in a big charge like that. You think you have insurance, and that it will be covered, only to find out later that it's not.

Again, though, I come back to the whole "this was serious enough to call 9-1-1 but not go to the hospital" part. If it was so serious that you couldn't drive yourself to the hospital, you probably should have gone just to be on the safe side. Just because it's not a heart attack doesn't mean that it's not something serious. I can kinda see the charge if it's to discourage people from using EMS as a way of getting medical care at home (i.e. rather than going to their doctor).

Also, not for nothing, but $315 for an EMS call to the home is pretty cheap. I've seen several medical insurance plans where an ER visit is a $200 co-pay. Add in another charge for the EKG, and it's not too far off what she ended up getting billed. Throw in that she didn't have to drive to the ER, and it's starting to see pretty reasonable.

I still don't know how I feel about this one...

That is all.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

There's Gotta Be More To This One...

#1 Blogdaughter sends this one in. I really, really hope there's more to this story, because if not, there is something seriously wrong...

Woman dies after police shooting in San Jose
A 19-year-old San Jose woman was shot and killed by police Thursday morning after it appeared she was advancing at officers with a weapon. The incident happened along busy Blossom Hill Road in San Jose.

Police tried to negotiate with the woman as she remained inside a duplex unit on the 700 block of Blossom Hill Road near Playa del Rey. The caller who contacted police said the woman had an Uzi and was threatening to kill family members.
Looking at the video, it's pretty obvious that she is not holding a firearm of any kind. However, I am also very cognizant that a) I am not a responding police officer who has been told by dispatch that this is potentially a mentally unstable person with an Uzi, and b) I have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight from behind the safety of my monitor. I've never had to make a split-second decision as to whether the person facing me has a weapon or not.

I do wish the media would stop making s**t up, though. "The object in the woman's hand landed in the road. It was later determined to be a cordless drill painted flat black." - sure sounds like they're trying to paint the picture that the woman painted the drill. Looking at pictures from the link, though, it looks like, well, pretty much any Black and Decker drill from the past, well, 30 or so years. If she altered the drill, state she altered the drill. If you don't know, shut the hell up.

I wonder how many of these crises have been at least in part the media's making?

That is all.

Paging Colonel Sanders...

...y'all need to be looking into this s**t. Joseph in IL sends in YAGESS (Yet Another Green Energy Success Story).

Emerging solar plants scorch birds in mid-air
Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant's concentrated sun rays — "streamers," for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair.

Federal wildlife investigators who visited the BrightSource Energy plant last year and watched as birds burned and fell, reporting an average of one "streamer" every two minutes, are urging California officials to halt the operator's application to build a still-bigger version.
These powerful solar panels are literally frying birds right out of the air. If they could just ratchet the heat up another hundred degrees or so, they could open the world's freshest poultry restaurant. So, we have windmills that turn bald eagles and condor into chicken of the plains, and now we have the Great Migratory Bird Microwave solar power.

Yeah, green energy. Lots of thought went into saving the environment, didn't it? 28,000 birds a year, that's the high estimate of the number killed by this one facility. I wonder how this compares to, say, KFC? I mean, I'm sure KFC uses more animals, but they're *using* the animals, not causing thousands of deaths a year as a byproduct.

I guess the old saying really is true: You *do* need to break a few eggs to make an omelet...

That is all.

Seen Locally...

Caught this on the ride home from WalMart (in my regular, fruitless search for .22 LR):

Ferrari 308 something, late 1980s vintage. I've always had a special spot in my heart for Ferraris (or maybe it's a soft spot in my head...) Oh, sure, some of it was from Miami Vice, because, really, what was cooler than Don Johnson in the Daytona or the Testarossa? Some it, almost certainly, was the Italian influence. Maybe some of it was from Magnum, P.I. or even Cannonball Run? I mean, good enough for Dean Martin, right?

Obviously Magnum lives in my 'hood...

That is all.