Lost Localhost

Totally Schlitzed...

People are going crazy lately. Screaming about what they're owed, crazy dictators, countries talking about reparations for wartime damage, riots against supreme leaders. Things in Egypt sure are crazy...or is it Iran? I actually think it was Madison? Yes, I think all that happened in Wisconsin.

WS Governor wants teachers to pay %5.8 of their wages toward retirement and %12.6 to their healthcare. Big whoop. The private sector pays about twice that much. Unions are shady. Not the union workers, but the way they are run, which basically is a form of extortion and other legal scary terms. (I lost interest in becoming a laywer a long while ago)

The BigO's take?
"I haven't followed exactly what's happening" [...]
"Some of what I've heard coming out of WS where you're just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally seems like an assault on unions"

I agree. It's a true statement on the surface of the definition of a labor union. To remove bargaining power of a group of workers is to remove the purpose of a "group" of workers. I'm still in the belief that unions do their work in shady ways and that alone should remove their bargaining power - but it shouldn't come from a simple mandate from legislature. Ultimately, the goal of most unions is to improve working conditions. What if the work conditions are so good that you don't have to perform well to earn more than everyone else? Eventually something has to give and the public will not stand for it. Teachers are hard to peg. I know some teachers that are amazing at their job. I also know that they have to struggle to be great because the system is a joke.

LLHost's fair solution:
  • Get rid of unions, as they exist today. Make it an equal playing field for everyone.
  • If any worker, or group of workers, do not like their work environment, they bring it up with the employer. If the employer will not negitiate, the worker, or workers, have the right to quit...just like in the private sector. (Also just like state sovereignty - Don't like your state laws? You have the freedom to move) Negotiation stops there. You leave work to strike and the employer wants to fire you, you're done.
  • Base perks on performance, with caps.
    • Do well, you get more.
    • Do as expected you stay the same, sans COLA
    • Don't do well, you lose perks
    • Do badly, you're fired.
  • As for this teacher item...
    • Pay good teachers what they deserve. They are horribly underpaid.
    • Fire non-effective teachers immediately. It is far too difficult to remove horrible teachers thanks to unions.
    • Remove tenure completely
Simple. Well, the ideas are - implementation may take some debate.

 As an addition to my last post...
The newest press secretary, Jay Carney, apparently wants us to know that the stimulus did exactly what it was suppose to and its goals "have been met". When asked about how that was true, yet unemployment went up (as I noted in my last post) he gave a very simple, straight to the point answer...

"We've said repeatedly that we don't want to relitigate the battles of the past"

Uhhhh, that's it? Yet another situation where if it was the real world, both Jay and the people who implemented the stimulus package would be fired.

Watch the video at RCP.

Can't Afford to Care...

First of all, I've had Breaking Benjamin's "Lights Out" stuck in my head: hence the title. Great song.

Welcome to political post #1. I'll keep it light, and mostly informative...

The White House administration insists they're championing for tax cuts and real financial reform. Yet our debt continues to increase. The most recent $3.7 Trillion budget will supposedly reduce the deficit by $1.1 Trillion over ten years... Ten years, yea right. This from the same people who though paying everyone healthcare for six years and paying for it over ten was a good idea.

So we know they never hit their goals for deficit reduction - and never even come close to cutting sufficient spending - but at least we can believe them when they say they're cutting taxes....right?

"The White House is billing its $3.7 trillion budget as a package of cuts that will reduce the deficit by $1.1 trillion over ten years.
But at closer inspection this budget is as much about tax hikes as cuts.
In fact, the budget contains as much as $1.5 trillion in hikes over ten years, according to the Americans For Tax Reform."
Business Insider 

"President Obama released his budget this morning. Rather than focusing on Washington’s over-spending problem, the budget calls for higher taxes on families and small businesses to pay for even more government spending. Under the Obama budget, tax revenues will grow from 14.4% of GDP in 2011 to 20% of GDP in 2021. By comparison, the historical average is only 18% of GDP.
Add it all together, and this budget is a ten-year, $1.5 trillion tax hike over present law. That’s $1.5 trillion taken out of the economy and spent on government instead of being used to create jobs.
The “tax relief” in the budget is mostly just an extension of present law, and also some refundable credit outlay spending in the tax code. There is virtually no new tax relief relative to present law in the President’s budget."
Americans for Tax Reform


Here are some examples:

  • Raising the top marginal income tax rate (at which a majority of small business profits face taxation) from 35% to 39.6%. This is a $709 billion/10 year tax hike
  • Raising the capital gains and dividends rate from 15% to 20%
  • Raising the death tax rate from 35% to 45% and lowering the death tax exemption amount from $5 million ($10 million for couples) to $3.5 million. This is a $98 billion/ten year tax hike
  • Capping the value of itemized deductions at the 28% bracket rate. This will effectively cut tax deductions for mortgage interest, charitable contributions, property taxes, state and local income or sales taxes, out-of-pocket medical expenses, and unreimbursed employee business expenses. A new means-tested phaseout of itemized deductions limits them even more. This is a $321 billion/ten year tax hike
  • New bank taxes totaling $33 billion over ten years
  • New international corporate tax hikes totaling $129 billion over ten years
  • New life insurance company taxes totaling $14 billion over ten years
  • Massive new taxes on energy, including LIFO repeal, Superfund, domestic energy manufacturing, and many others totaling $120 billion over ten years
  • Increasing unemployment payroll taxes by $15 billion over ten years
  • Taxing management capital gains in an investment partnership (“carried interest”) as ordinary income. This is a tax hike of $15 billion over ten years
  • A giveaway to the trial lawyers—not letting companies deduct the cost of punitive damages from a lawsuit settlement. This is a tax hike of $300 million over ten years
  • Increasing tax penalties, information reporting, and IRS information sharing. This is a ten-year tax hike of $20 billion.

It reminds me of the concept of large numbers, and how humans don't really have a good perspective to understand what a trillion is. Those who do have perspective, realize how screwed we really are. In the SOTU address the big O bragged about how he would find $100 Million to cut out of a $3.5 Trillion budget. People went OOO and AHHH. I cursed and did a /facepalm. Sort of like this guy did:

Another video of that user also reminded me of another swindle by this administration. Back in November of 2009 I made a post about the bull the BigO was spewing about unemployment and the need for the stimulus package. I included this image:

Here is a good visual interpretation of this using pennies again, to help illustrate scale.

The best judge of future performance is past experience. How's that change working for most of you?

You always remember your first...

So after some careful consideration, I have decided to sell my M&P 9mm. Not thrilled with selling the first pistol I've owned, but I want to move to the 1911 platform. I originally bought this expecting my wife to shoot it some - but she does not, so I'm going for a .40 or .45 like I originally wanted to.

I'll list what you get and the approx cost of it when I bought it. I would like to keep everything together.

Everything for $800 OBO

  • Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm - bought new May 2009. ($650)
    • Original Case - can include single carrying zip case if needed. ($15)
    • Original stock grips (Sm, Med, Lrg)
    • Original documentation
    • Three 17rnd mags (Came with one, the other cost about $25 each)
      • Two of them have Arrendondo base pads, adding 6 rnds each. The link says use the stock springs, but I got new extended spring made specificaly for these. ($20 Each = $40)
      • Original springs and base pads included.
  • Mods:
    • Crimson Trace laser grips with all original docs and tools in original box. ($250)
    • Warren Tactical 2-dot Tritium night sights. ($120)
      • Still have the original sights as well.
    • Custom work by MP specialist Dan Burwell. ($150)
      • Trigger job. Tested at 3.10 pounds with pro tester.
      • Front strap, left and right index point stippling.
    • Polished Barrel - Done by me, so won't add to total. See it for as much as $100 though.
  • Holsters:
    • iTAC Defense paddle holster - Non-retention ($20)
    • iTAC Defense paddle dual mag holder ($15)

Total: $1310
Asking: $800 OBO + FTF if needed
Contact: Brian@lostlocalhost.com

I have over 5400 rounds through this and it shoots great. I've had one FTF at round 1553 (yes, I keep a track of all my sessions). About six months ago the slide release lever snapped off the right side. That didn't affect it shooting though and I had the lever replaced. Other than those two small issues it's been a dream. The sights are nice and bright in low-light situations. The red on the sights is nailpolish and comes off with a little cleaner and a towel if you don't like it. The triggerjob is very nicely done. A very crisp *snap* at 3.1 to 3.25 pounds. No springs were messed with for this job, and no safeties were manipulated for it either. Crimson Trace lasergrips are sighted in now for 7yrds - but easily adjustable. I've won two trophies with this shooting out to 25 yards.

Before polished barrel or CTC Grips

After polished barrel

My New Canons...

First of all, as a continuation of my last post I present what I hope to be my newest canon/lead thrower...

Kimber Custom Target II 1911
She's not quite as pretty as the NHC T3, but she also isn't as expensive. It's a straight shooter, so I'm looking forward to getting her in my hands and winning some competitions with it. While I absolutely love my MP and have put a lot of time, money, and work into it, I think it's like your first love. You know you love her and you dedicated a lot to her - but know it's just not meant to be "forever". I suppose technically in this scenario I'd love to be a polygamist and have them all - but we can't have everything, right? Some unexpected bills came up, but if thing go well I may be shooting this in the next month.

The next canon that shoots is my latest gift from my father.
My father has always been on the forefront of technology. Because of this fact, and also that he rarely throws anything away, he also has a few relics. I think he got pretty excited when I took up photography. When he was in college he got involved with photography himself and apparently was pretty good at it; even making a few bucks. I assume he knew what he was talking about because while he tries to tell me about color balance and how xyz works with the right lighting and blah blah blah I zone out and praise my wonderful digital camera. I'm pretty knowledgeable about photography, but he knows details.

A couple months ago he tossed me what amounts to a small baseball bat of a lens. It didn't have the right mount for my camera, but thanks to modern technology (which this lens has never seen) I picked up a cheap one on ebay. I present a Rexatar 400mm 6.5 baseball bat lens.

Although it is not the best quality lens, this beast is interesting. It made me step out of my digital world a bit. To be a great photographer you need to not just know about your equipment, but also how to set up your shot and what light is and how to manipulate it. That's a short and sweet sentence to describe years of practice, trial and error, and classes. A fully manual lens is a fun thing to play with and get that education on how things were back in the day when cameras only used film, each shot took more time and money, and people walked uphill both ways to school in the snow barefoot.

Not so sure I'd use this for many practical purposes, given he also got me a 300mm that is a bit better; but as I said, it's fun to play with: so I did some comparisons between my Tamron at 55mm and the Rexatar 400mm.

TOP: 55mm BOTTOM: 400mm
1/160 f/6.3

TOP: 55mm BOTTOM: 400mm
1/20 f/22
Click on the images for the goods. In this horrible, lower light, unscientific test out my dirty front window I'm not incredibly impressed with the quality, but I do love having such a long reach. I'm actually looking forward to finding the perfect application for this lens - I'm thinking it can really give a classic feel to B&W shots if I find the right place for it.

BTW, anyone know anything about Rexatar? I usually take great pride in my Google hackery talents, but I haven't really turned up much on this lens. Please coment if you know anything about it or the company.


(shakalaka BOOM!) <---My mind is a musical encyclopedia. Sly & The Family Stone anyone? No? Damn I feel old. Anyways...There was a snow storm this last week. It sucked. I have no pictures because I'm smart and stayed in. Just before the storm I left to get necessary items.

  • Coke
  • Diet Coke
  • 100 proof captain morgan
  • Wine
  • Salt
  • Some other crap I don't really remember

I'm guessing there is a %99 chance YOU were caught in it too. There was frackking lightning in this snowstorm. Nuts!

What else goes boom? My gun.
I've been wanting to get into IDPA or USPSA for a while now. While I love my current gun, I'm considering getting something better in .40 or .45. I've been dreaming for a Nighthawk Custom T3 Comp since I talked to some guys from their team last year - unfortunately I can't really swing the $2800 starting price. If you can, or would like to sponsor me - check it out. It's a beauty.


I'm looking at a good deal on a Kimber Custom II, Springfield Range Officer, or a G35.

Anyone own one of these and have any suggestions or opinions they'd like to share?