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Links for winding down the week

I might (or might not) be a tad scarce for the next couple of days. I’ve got a project to do, which for one reason or another keeps slipping below my radar. I’ve finally had to carve out time for it and Just Say No to other work and all those lovely distractions life teases me with.

I’ll be clocking in periodically to approve comments, check on sales of the Front Sight certificates, and email FS signup links (hopefully including to that first buyer, whose contact info I still need). But if I’m quiet for a day or two, enjoy your summer days and don’t worry.


  1. E. Garrett Perry
    E. Garrett Perry June 29, 2017 11:16 am

    Those two with the “Desert Eagle point-five-oh” are Darwin material for sure. How could anyone- anyone- think that a book of whatever description was a good idea for trying to stop a 2/3oz object moving at well past the speed of sound…

    …oh yes. There’s that crucial word- “think.” And all of this could have been avoided with twenty minutes of binge-watching Demolition Ranch.

  2. rochesterveteran
    rochesterveteran June 29, 2017 11:42 am

    Patients who’ve used both opiates and cannabis for pain control overwhelmingly prefer cannabis.

    My wife’s palliative care doctor certified her for medical marijuana when NYS legalized it for that use. She preferred it to the oxycodone that she was also prescribed to deal with her pain from the cancer as it didn’t cause the constipation that oxy caused. At the time though, when medical marijuana was first legalized, it was only supplied in tincture form. My wife had to use a dropper and administer it under her tongue and hold it there until it absorbed. She said it tasted nasty and it was a pain sitting there waiting for it to absorb. Also, for the dosages she needed to relieve the pain, it was going to cost us $400 a month and it was not covered in the prescription plan for our health insurance, so it was all out of pocket expense. When I related to her palliative care doctor how much it was costing us, he joked that we could probably get it cheaper on the street and he’s right! 🙂

    Anywho, my wife reverted back to using oxycodone for her pain as our prescription plan covered the cost for it 100% and it was less of a hassle than the medical marijuana tincture, both administering it and scheduling an appointment at the one place in Rochester that dispensed it, Columbia Care, getting there in a not very nice neighborhood, having to pay in cash (they didn’t take credit or debit cards), $400 worth, again, in a not very nice neighborhood.

    If we lived in another state where it was legal, such a Colorado, I think my wife would have stuck with it as it as dispensaries are everywhere, there’s more choices for method of use and medical marijuana users are charged lower tax that translated to lower prices than recreational users. New York State is rated the least freest state in the Union for a reason and their overly regulated medical marijuana program is a reflection of it. Unlike Colorado, who is reaping the tax revenue benefits of their recreation/medical marijuana legalization, NYS estimates for usage of the program and tax revenue have fallen far short of their estimated projections.

    NYS Exposed: Could the state’s medical marijuana program fail?

    Leave it to New York lawmakers to screw this up!

    BTW, my wife and I were talking about joining our younger son, daughter in law and grandson who live in Colorado when I retire in a few years. As you know, Claire, unfortunately she passed away before we could do it. It’s looking more and more that our daughter and older son want to make the move with me and I’ll still be bringing my wife and we’ll bury her cremains in a cemetery out there, where she’ll be with us.

  3. jed
    jed June 29, 2017 2:58 pm

    I did most of those things. But you’ll never get me to jump off a cliff. There’s a spot near where I grew up where the cool thing to do was jump from the railroad bridge into the river below. No suprise that some kids injured themselves, sometimes fatally. Didn’t go into any tunnels either.

  4. larryarnold
    larryarnold June 29, 2017 9:36 pm

    “I fully believe that institutions of higher learning must provide a safe space for students”
    Um. No. It’s the duty of institutions of higher learning to push students into the deep end of the pool and make sure they know how to swim.

  5. Arthur Murray
    Arthur Murray June 30, 2017 12:04 am

    Apologies for going way off topic, but just ran across a link to this at Insty’s place and didn’t want it to fall through the cracks.

    Few days back the topic of screws came up here, and while this isn’t as exhaustive on the subject as it claims to be, it’s very useful info. He is dead on about GRK products, Torx (6-point) drive heads and the need to avoid using drywall screws anywhere but in hanging drywall (for that they’re great, but are absolutely the worst choice for anything else).

    And, once one learns about screws, PM has some tips on getting them in place.

    The staff here at Crazy Acres apologizes for the interruption and now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

  6. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty June 30, 2017 6:48 am

    Interesting, Arthur… but I have a question. How do you know a “drywall” screw from any other? They are not marked, far as I can see. I have a large can of assorted screws and fasteners, many left over from the construction of this house. I’ve looked at pictures on line, but I’m still not positive I could identify more than a few different kinds. And, of course, fishing around in the can and finding a screw that would WORK tells me nothing about how it was made or the materials it is made from. Maybe I should just dump the can and buy screws (etc.) as projects come along. Maybe this is one area where scrounging isn’t such a good idea?

    As for cannabis being a preferred replacement for opioids… it is very good for many conditions. Even more common would be the replacement of ibuprofen, tylenol and other OTC pain medications that are often used in large doses, for long periods of time, and which can be deadly – especially if mixed with other drugs like alcohol. Cannabis would be a much safer alternative, and likely far more effective. The end of prohibition would drop the price significantly as well, but we all know the “state” is not going to let go of the tax theft, even if they condescend to allow use and sales.

    I wish it was available here in Wyoming, without the risk of jail time for a tired old lady. It’s hard to understand why I can have guns of any kind, in any number, and carry what and how I please… but I can’t choose a safer medicine. One I could grow myself, even!

  7. Claire
    Claire June 30, 2017 7:12 am

    Thank you, Arthur Murray. That’s good info.

    And ML, this isn’t a definitive answer, but in my experience drywall screws are the only ones that are always black/dark gray. They are usually (though not always) of modest size, also — 1-5/8″ or something like that. Sometimes they’re longer. But if you have a container of mixed, unmarked screws, the black/dark gray ones are probably drywall screws.

  8. jed
    jed June 30, 2017 7:26 am

    Claire, you beat me to it. 🙂 Also, drywall screws have a “bugle” head, meaning the head of the screw is similar in shape to the bell of a trumpet, rather than being conical. They also have very sharp points. They can be coarse or fine thread. Some construction screws also have a bugle head, but they’re typically coated screws, either gold or silver in color.

    I haven’t watched the video yet, but I’m not going to agree with “never” use a drywall screw for anything else. Sure, I’d rather use construction screws, or cabinet screws, or wood screws, if I have them, but for quickie projects, I’ll use drywall screws. Yes, never for anything outdoors, as they’ll rust. For holding particle board together while the glue sets up, sure.

  9. rochesterveteran
    rochesterveteran June 30, 2017 10:42 am

    Shel, thanks for the link! From the article at the link:

    One of the great Soviet/Russian deceptions, Wraga wrote, was the idea that humans were changing the climate and that humans could save the earth through socialism. She said, “…protection of the environment has become the principal tool for attack against the West.”

    Yuppers, that’s precisely what Anthropogenic Climate Change is about!

  10. Old Printer
    Old Printer June 30, 2017 8:18 pm

    Taki’s Magazine on automation vs. a so-called rise of the Luddites is interesting but I believe overly optimistic. Average people are more empathetic in his opinion and will find a place in the brave new world. Hogwash. You don’t have to be a Luddite to question the rise of artificial intelligence and the spread of automation to menial jobs. What we are seeing is the beginning of a displacement unlike anything in history. I have an idea of where it will ultimately lead, and I do know it is being led by young geniuses without any sense of morality. Simply because they can, they do, and never question if they should.

    A perfect example of this is the robot wing of Google that is making killing machines for the battlefield. Oh how neat, how clever they are at creating the ultimate weapon of death and destruction. Give it AI and you have created a living devil. Is it a generational thing? Compare and contrast the genius of Walt Disney whose inventions and creativity were centered around giving joy to millions, and the evil offspring of Larry Page and Sergey Brin that destroys personal privacy and seeks to build a nightmare of machines to rule or destroy us. Skynet anyone?

  11. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty July 1, 2017 3:54 am

    Thanks, everyone. I hadn’t gotten the tub of fasteners out for a while, and realized I’d never been brave enough to use very many of them. I’ve actually been buying separately the few things that don’t come with stuff for some time now… So I’m going to offer the tub to my gentleman neighbor who seems to know what he’s doing. If he doesn’t want it, I’ll toss it. That cupboard is seriously over full anyway. 🙂

    This could start a revolution at my house! I’ve always been somewhat of a packrat.

  12. Arthur Murray
    Arthur Murray July 1, 2017 4:26 am

    @ML – Claire and Jed (above) have the answer.

    Drywall screws come in various lengths, from 1/2″ to 6″, 1 5/8″ being the most common (1 5/8″ is the correct length for 1/2″ thick drywall, will work with 5/8″ thick Firecode drywall, but is too short for 3/4″ Firecode drywall). There are other thicknesses of drywall available, all the way to 2″ which is special sound deadening drywall, and there is still the old sound deadening trick of two layers of 1/2″ drywall. In that case, the first layer goes up with 1 5/8″ screws, the second layer with 2″ screws (adding mass in the form of thicker, or more layers of, drywall deadens sound because sound is just “energy in the air” – air molecules compressed by sound waves – and more mass absorbs that energy better).

    Drywall screws commonly come in #6 (.138″ diameter, about 9/64″) and #8 (.164″, a little under 11/64″) – these are “nominal” or “shank” diameters – and are made from incredibly cheap and low quality steel or alloys that have a fair amount of steel in them. “Floor sweepings” is the generic term, and it’s why they’re so brittle. Drywall screws are single-use items, and they’re made cheap to allow using thousands of them in a house. Your local hardware store of home center sells them in 1 lb and 5 lb packages, but commercial drywallers purchase them in 50 lb and 100 lb lots. The screws, as Claire pointed out, are usually black or dark gray, but can be had in various coatings.

    Beware of using coated drywall screws in place of the proper screw for the job. The coatings rarely hold up, and contact between the bit and screw when installing it (even with a hand-held screwdriver) will chip or erode the coating. Drywall screws will rust and rain isn’t necessary – high humidity will do it.

    Drywall screws intended to hold drywall to wood studs typically have coarse threads, those for use with galvanized metal studs have fine threads, both types have sharp, pointed ends to more easily penetrate drywall and get started faster in the appropriate stud material. Drywall hangers – known as “rockers” because drywall is referred to as “sheetrock” will use a drywall screw gun that has a clutching bit and adjustable depth collar; the screw gun trigger is locked “on” and a screw is fitted to the bit. Pressing the screw against the drywall pushes the driver bit back, engaging the clutch, the screw turns at bit speed (usually 800-1000 rpm), and when it digs into the stud it pulls the screws forward. As it does so the adjustable depth collar contacts the drywall surface, stopping screw gun movement but allowing the driver bit to continue forward, which disengages the bit drive clutch when the proper screw head depth is reached (the trick is to set the screw head barely below the surface without tearing the outside layer of paper on the drywall). Drywall, BTW, is just compressed gypsum with a binding agent, wrapped on all 6 sides by a paper cover to protect it and hold it together

    (Some rockers will also tape, but in the commercial arena “tapers” are a different crew because applying the drywall joint compound and covering tape on the joint between sheets is an art form. A good taper will be very fast and smooth, because time is money, and doing the initial joint smoothly saves time by not requiring follow-up smoothing later (there are usually 3 applications of joint compound, but really good tapers can do it with 2, and frequently use fast drying compound to speed the process). And, yes, tapers have gotten rockers fired for leaving screw heads up or setting them too deeply or not hanging sheets square to each other; no one will see what the rockers did, but everyone will see how good the tapers were.)

    A good rocker is poetry in motion because time is money, and a 4X12 sheet takes about 55-60 screws (bigger sheets means handling fewer sheets – a time saver – and produces fewer joints between sheets, also a time saver, and it’s usually joints that catch the eye; a slightly bowed stud (in either direction); will probably not be noticed in the finished job if it’s in or near the middle of a 12 foot sheet, but right on a joint, well….).

    Drywall can be procured in 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 foot lengths and 48″ and 54″ widths; 1/2″ thick is standard, but it’s also available in 1/4″, 3/8″, 5/8″, 3/4″, 1 1/2 and 2″; 1/4″ gets used a lot to cover up bad walls without replacing all the existing drywall, or where a sheet has to curve severely (wet the drywall first).

  13. larryarnold
    larryarnold July 1, 2017 9:29 am

    What we are seeing is the beginning of a displacement unlike anything in history.

    Ummm, there’s a lot of history. See, for instance, “Enclosure.”

    Off the top of my (grey) head, there’s the displacement of hunter/gatherers by agriculture, the medieval creation of serfdom, the consolidation of the city-state into the nation-state, the aforementioned enclosure, the industrial revolution, the Europeanization of the Americas, and the computer revolution.

    That skips over the effects of discoveries like fire, the bow and arrow, and the wheel.

    Then there are “minor” invention-driven changes. Stone tools to copper to bronze to steel to polymer to nanotechnology. The simple stirrup revolutionized mounted travel, and combat. The horse collar expanded trade from local to global. The steam engine made “horsepower” a unit of measure instead of the means of production. Gunpowder destroyed the need for a warrior elite, as it literally changed the face of the world. The transmission of electricity to appliances freed housekeepers from their homes, as it enabled telephony, radio, television, and the internet, erasing the distance between people. Air conditioning multiplied city populations by orders of magnitude, as it revolutionized food storage.

    The collection and use of knowledge has been repeatedly revolutionized by writing, mathematics, mass printing, photography, and digitization, just to hit highlights.

    So I’m kind of hoping you’re right, and the looming revolution is “unlike anything in history.” This time, I’m hoping it will be orderly and peaceful. But I’m not holding my breath.

  14. jed
    jed July 2, 2017 9:39 am

    Maybe McEnroe could learn a lesson from Bobby Riggs? Hey, he and Serena could do it as a charity match so it isn’t just a publicity stunt.

  15. lairdminor
    lairdminor July 2, 2017 9:59 am

    A most excellent article about Janet Yellen and the Fed.

    Those “23 dangerous things”? Most of them aren’t even dangerous by any rational definition of the term. Hammering a nail? Get real, you stupid pansies!

    As to a “McEnroe vs. Serena” match? No, that makes no sense. He’s 58 years old and has been retired for 25 years; she’s still at (or near) the top of her game (ignoring, of course, her current pregnancy.). His comment that she would be ranked 700 was silly. But any of the top 10 men should be able to beat her with little difficulty. It’s foolish to pretend otherwise; I’m sure she wouldn’t.

  16. Pat
    Pat July 2, 2017 10:54 am

    It wasn’t *just* a publicity stunt for Billie Jean King. She was trying to get respect for tennis in general, and equal money for women players of equal stature to the men. At that time, women were bringing in as many spectators as the men, and there were some very good women players, both established and up-and-coming. She was a professional in the full meaning of the word, and thought tennis players of both sexes should be respected as players of other sports were – and paid according to their ability. It was publicity she was after, that’s true – but not in a narcissistic sense as Bobby Riggs did, but to make tennis a significant sport equal to other sports, and women players equal to the male status.

    BTW, Bobby Riggs was 55 when he played Billie Jean King (29).

    King did lose one battle – with her fellow female players. They never took their game as seriously as she did.

  17. Antibubba
    Antibubba July 3, 2017 7:15 pm

    Our shooting by the book couple are disqualified from a Darwin Award; she is pregnant with their second child, unfortunately.

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