Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Repurposing a Broiler Pan for Shell Sorting

This is the 4 step progression I used today to separate some mixed brass I had in the tumbler.
Some personal info--I'm allergic to walnuts and the walnut shell abrasive makes my hands itch. I've been messing around with this for a while and been pretty clueless, honestly.
I was cleaning my work space and found the broiler pan (for those who don't know, I've been an landlord/ real estate investor since the 90's). I thought that it might be re-purposed as a way to separate the brass from the abrasive. As you can see, it worked like a charm, with just a little shaking. The abrasive fell through the slats and I used a card board funnel to put it back in the tumbler.
As a bonus, the shells stood up in the grooves.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Another Shameful Thing about the Trayvon Martin Shooting

If Trayvon Martin had been in LA and shot by another young black man, you wouldn't have heard anything about it. He would have been just another young black man in the wrong neighborhood.
I don't know what happened in Florida. I wasn't there, so it seems premature to jump to conclusions. I've seen a bunch of pictures of Trayvon from when he was 10 and some of him now at 17 at 6'2" tall. I know quite a few people of various ethnicities that might be intimidated by a black man in a hoodie wearing saggy drawers (that was in the pic of him at 17).
I know the picture painted by the news. George Zimmerman shot unarmed black boy. The pictures of 10 year old Trayvon were posted, and I thought," he looks about 12, why'd someone shoot him?" Then read the article and found he was 17. That didn't really fit the picture. Things like that make me think someone is trying to lead me to a foregone conclusion.
I asked myself, "Why no pictures of Trayvon at 17?" He was, a really cute kid at 10. Why no recent pictures? Certainly with all the camera phones and technology they have to have something. Do you want me to believe he's not on FB?
I think part of this whole tragedy is all the armchair quarterbacks who "know what happened". They don't. But they've got the world tied up in nice little packages that preclude them from thinking about it. Some assume Trayvon was innocent; some assume George was justified.
For those who hadn't heard. The area was supposedly having a bit of a crime wave. Trayvon wasn't from the area. Allegedly he was suspended from school for 5 days (maybe he borrowed an aspirin--I don't assume a suspension means anything these days, but I carried a Swiss Army knife from the time I was 7, and miraculously, it never jumped out of my pocket and killed anyone on it's own volition).
If you don't think that's relevant, let me explain how it MIGHT be. If you're going to case a neighborhood, go unarmed, cover your face so you don't get spotted by security cameras, and go to a local store, buy some stuff while you're checking the place out. It's pretty much textbook scouting/scoping/casing. I'm not saying that Trayvon was or wasn't, but I haven't even seen anyone mention the possibility.
I do know, that it's not a good idea to go to neighborhoods strange to you in some areas of town. And that's a shame, too. But, it's a fact. And as I said before, I doubt any of this would be in the news if Trayvon had been killed there.
Evidently the Black Panthers have put a bounty on George--he's a mestizo, Puerto Rican, I think. I can't remember, tbh. So many people in an uproar and calling for more blood, because they know a man with the last name of Zimmerman must have killed a black boy, "Just because". Maybe he did. But, I don't know that. Neither does anyone who wasn't there. And event the witnesses have conflicting stories.
When I get right down to it, I don't even know that this event actually happened. Sure, it's on the news and it's on the internet, but what if it's all a fabrication?
And, yet, people are picking sides, getting worked up--some to a killing point, over something they don't really know much about.
That is a shame.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Intellectual Pride, Dishonesty, and Desire to Run Our Lives

I have a pretty smart family. We have many people with degrees, many who teach, including a professor. I was engaged in a conversation online with one, who mocked "conspiracy theories". This was my reply to him:
Are conspiracy theories necessarily "crazy". The theory that Alger Hiss was a communist plant was roundly mocked, though later found to be true.
There seems to be a bias amongst the intellectuals for centralized planning and an admiration of a feudal order headed by technocrats--a technocracy of "certified" and degreed individuals--that appeals to the pride of the "educated". Many in university setting hold in high regard the ability of the government to "run things", contrary to the evidence of its efficacy.
I find it strange just how unscientific a viewpoint that is coming from many who regard themselves as scientists is.

As someone who's worked for government, I couldn't help notice that our society is more geared for those with "certifications" and degrees. In many cases, you have to jump through several hoops that either put you under more government control, or force you to undergo education where a highly "pro-government" viewpoint is taught.
Seldom is the role of government questioned. In fact, I don't think I can remember a time when it was.

We are always being groomed for obedience by the government. Sometimes it's the signs we obey. Sometimes it's just the labels on our food, which remind us that we're safer because a government worker told us we are.

Most of the population just goes along with all this, claiming that anything other than blind obedience will lead to anarchy.

Just my thoughts for the day.