Author: Derek

Monday Links

Let’s start out with our normal Reason round up.

A bunch of federal offices sit empty while the taxpayers are still paying for them. One of the dirty little secrets is that no one wants to give up their little space empire – even if they’re not using it and others are paying through the nose other space. I would be all in favor of some kind of BRAC-type examination of all federal buildings/leases/land to see what could be sold off or condensed.

Speaking of government-owned stuff, here’s an article about a grocery store being run by Erie, Kansas with predictable results. What’s wrong with Kansas?

Here’s a think-piece on allowing in Gaza refugees. My sympathies lie with allowing refugees in. However, considering the current state of the immigration issue, I can’t see how they wouldn’t be turned into playthings of the demagogue politicians.

Moving on to other news articles.

A Bloomberg article on how Huwai managed to develop an advanced chip by reworking machines not part of the current tech embargo.

IntelNews has an article on how Ukraine is using assassinations as a part of their war with Russia.

From GroundNews, Orlando buys the Pulse site to build a memorial. I understand the need for a memorial. I just have a feeling that it will be used to push the narrative that the asshole was targeting gays instead of just wanting to kill people.

Also from GroundNews, the administration halts export of civilian firearms for 90 days. Because reasons.

I have a couple of articles on the administration’s executive orders on AI. One from Wired and one from aisnakeoil. Considering the stance of the administration, I can hear the words “regulatory capture” just behind their talking points.

Tampa International Airport is testing out air-taxis. I find them kind of interesting as their essentially EV helos.

Speaking of EV’s, The Drive reports that Ford is having to recall Mustang Mach-E’s because the batteries don’t respond well to the owners flooring it. What the hell did Ford think people would do with an EV sporting a Mustang badge? I keep saying that the Mach-E would have been a great EV, but it’s a sucky Mustang.

The Firearms Blog has an article about a new PCC with swapable magwells for different magazines. Well, color me interested.

For our light item:

I’ve Got a Bad Feeling About This

The Wife and I had a situation that raised our “this is odd” instincts. Essentially, a car was following us in our neighborhood. When we parked at our community center, it ran through the parking lot and drove around the surrounding area. Could there be an innocent reason? Maybe, but it was odd enough that The Wife and I returned home instead. After making sure that said car was not following us.

The Wife also agreed that maybe it was a good idea for me to bring along my little Beretta for our jaunts up to the community center.

Listen to your instincts folks. If something feels odd, then leave the area.

Halloween At Ward Manor

Last year, The Wife and I were out of town for the holiday. This year, we set up a table at the end of the drive and set out candy and other treats. The big fad was teal buckets with things other than candy for kids with allergies or other issues. Sounded like a decent idea. And heck, a bunch of party favors were cheaper than candy. So, we had that and a traditional candy bucket. The Wife and MIL put together little candy bags to ration things.

The grandniece came over and visited the neighbors. She was dressed up as a mermaid Escorting her was The Wife’s mother and The Wife dressed up in a Mama Shark costume. Let me explain this costume. Imagine one of those blow-up lawn decorations turned into a costume. Yeah. The cats were slightly terrified when she tried it on. Still, they enjoyed making the lap around the houses. The Wife’s niece then took the costume for a later shindig. We sat outside handing out candy and toys. I was surprised at how popular little slinkies were.

Plus we got to see the next door neighbors’ new baby dressed up as Mario.

The Wards Jaunt To Orlando

This past weekend The Wife and I traipsed across the state to the House of Mouse’s shopping mall – otherwise known as Disney Springs. Why? Mainly so I could go to a concert at the House of Blues. It’s kind of funny that out of a four-band lineup. I was only really interested in the two middle bands. It was also a chance for some couple time for The Wife and I.

Anyways, we decided to get that the smart thing would be to get a hotel on Thursday, spend Friday in Disney Springs, and head home on Saturday morning. We even got a hotel close to Disney Springs so we could walk rather than dealing with parking. However, since I was busy with my new job, I didn’t do my normal checklist for the trip. As a result, some items were forgotten. Such as The Wife’s neck fan, her portable bedtime fan – and my ear pro for the concert. There were some other interesting difficulties. I purchased a new safe for travel. It required some last-minute jury-rigging. That requires a full review in another post. Maybe after another trip.

We had fun exploring Disney Springs. There was a Diwali Dance shindig going on. We got to see a few dozen folks in colorful costumes dance up and down the way. This is the kind of multicultural stuff I like. Bring your neat stuff in and show off. We spent a lot of time visiting the various shops. The Wife loves handbags, so we stopped into a couple of stores for the brands she really likes. She has the same experience that I have with gun shops. It’s neat to see the new stuff but damn those things are expensive. At least The Wife can see if the items she was lusting after show up at the outlet stores near us. Then there was the issue of the lightsaber. Did I want the lightsaber? Yes. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pay what they were asking. The Wife, being The Wife, walked through the fact that yes, we could afford it, and I was just having sticker shock/repulse. So, a replica of the original Luke Skywalker came home with us. I will admit that it was neat when one of the hotel employees stopped us on the way back the room to see which one I got – and then proceeded to show us his collection.

The concert. At The Wife’s urging, I got one of the upgraded seats the House of Blues was offering. Expensive, but worth it – for the most part. I didn’t have to fight the floor crowd. Just sit back and watch the show. The only issue was that it felt like my seat was under a fan. If I do this again, I’m bringing a jacket. So, as I stated earlier, I forgot my ear pro. The lady running the VIP program was nice enough to find me some foam earplugs. From prior concert experience, I knew those weren’t really going to help. So, I decided to try using my AirPod Pros with the ANC turned on. Yeah, that helped out a lot. First band was Edge of Paradise. Their overall music isn’t bad, but I dislike how their vocalist sings. It sounds too shrieky. Next was Nanowar Of Steel. I was disappointed that they didn’t play “Pasadena 1994.” However, they more than made up with their stage presence. This is a band who knows they are there to make the audience laugh and rock. Between costumes and antics, they more than fulfilled their purpose. The third band was Amaranthe. This was the band that really drew me across the state. They were the first band I heard that did the clean female, clean male, and growling male vocal combination – and they do it so well. The funny thing with Amaranthe is that some of their songs I’ll recognize immediately, but some I need to hear a bit. They played most of the songs that I love hearing. The final band was Dragonforce. Yeah, I didn’t stick around for their show. It’s not that I didn’t want to see them. It’s more that I had seen the two bands I really wanted to see, and I was feeling the combined discomforts of fatigue and sitting on a metal barstool for a few hours. Do I regret not staying? No, not really. At that point, I don’t think I would have enjoyed the performance – and I don’t want that kind of concert experience.

Saturday morning was a nice drive back. And we even managed to pick up the groceries. Overall, it was a successful trip. I just need to find a place to mount my new lightsaber.