July 8th, 2013

#3888: Controlled flight into terrain.

Mark my words: the B-777 crash on Saturday was entirely due to pilot error.

Inexperienced pilot (43 hours in type), unfamiliar airfield (first landing at SFO), coming in too low and too slow, attempted to abort landing seven seconds before the empennage of the airplane struck the ground and came off.

It says something for the B-777 that it could remain controllable at 130 KIAS (knots indicated airspeed). That's dead slow for a jumbo jet--but you don't want to flirt with minimum controllable airspeed when you're fifty feet off the ground unless you're actually over a landing strip. This plane was 1,200 feet short of the actual runway when it first hit.

The good thing is, only two people died in the incident; if you watch the video you realize it could have been a hell of a lot worse. The ironic thing is, the plane was so close to the ground when the tail struck it couldn't have been a lot worse than it was. The really big problem was that the right wing stalled, which is why there was a yaw component to the plane's motion. If both wings had stalled simultaneously it would have just pancaked in place. Even so, 68 injuries and two deaths from a major incident where the plane is destroyed is pretty good, statistically speaking. (It's possible that one of the fatalities may have happened when a passenger was run over by emergency equipment on the ground. We don't really know yet.)

"Any landing you can walk away from is a good one," they say. It's a great landing if the airplane is still usable afterwards. By that standard, the pilot made a good landing, but it's not anything to be proud of.

I'd wager this guy's not going to be a pilot much longer, though--and his copilot won't be, either, unless there's a lot of chatter on the cockpit voice recorder of the two of them arguing. If that copilot wasn't yelling at the pilot to speed up etc, he's probably going down, too.

Hard to understand why the copilot/instructor didn't just take charge of the airplane and land it himself. As has been mentioned elsewhere, the ILS being off-line is no excuse, as the landing was made in VFR conditions and a pilot is supposed to be able to fly the airplane without any of the fancy gewgaws. The precision approach path indicator (PAPI) would have told the pilot where he was in relation to the glide path, and if he can't see that on a visual approach he shouldn't be flying anyway.

When I was taking flying lessons, the airport I flew out of had a visual approach slope indicator and it's dead simple to understand that all lights red = bad. But that only applies if you're looking outside the cockpit of the airplane.

It's sad this had to happen; the incident was avoidable and the pilot should have done a better job.

* * *

So there must be a hell of a lot of black holes, or neutron stars turning into them, out there. I mean, hell--gamma ray bursts and "blitzars" and all the other stuff, it's all so energetic the only explanation for them comes from merging neutron stars, or collapsing them into black holes, or putting neutron stars into tight orbits around black holes (or vice versa).

Considering how big the universe is, I suppose I should not be surprised, and considering the energies involved these events are visible from a long way away.

Problem is, these kinds of events are so energetic, nothing else works. So I have to wonder, really, how many black holes are there?

* * *

Chicago, the last bastion of Democrat gun control, celebrates "only" 74 shootings over the 4th of July weekend. And "only" 12 people were shot to death! That either means gun violence is declining, or else the gangbangers aren't any good at aiming, and I'm not sure which.

Piers Morgan, that British fuck, says he wants the feds to clamp down on all guns. Like a lot of commie-libs, he thinks the problem is that Chicago is surrounded by states with lax gun laws. Meanwhile, states with "shall issue" CCW laws are the places to live, because they have less violent crime than the big cities which ban private gun ownership, either de jure (Chicago) or de facto (New York, LA, etc).

* * *

Your government in action:

EPA is set to make electricity prices skyrocket. You'd better enjoy your air conditioning this year, pal, because next year the only people who will be able to afford to run their AC is rich Democrats like Al Gore. (Hint: Barack Hussein Obama does not pay the electricity bill for the White House.)

IRS illegally seizes property. IRS has its own courts, its own judges, and there is no presumption of innocence. Turns out that--gasp!--the government is abusing its power. Now, who the fuck could have predicted that shit?

California prisons sterlized female inmates, illegally.
Forced sterilization of institutionalized human beings — those in mental institutions, or in prisons, for example — has a long and gruesome history in the U.S., and in California in particular, where forced sterilization has been against the law since 1979.
Oh, not just in the US, pal. Forced sterliziation has a long and gruesome history period, and some of its most avid proponents were not just people like Hitler and Stalin, but people like Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood...and all those people advocated government forcing "undesirables" out of the gene pool.

* * *

I have to wonder what's going on with the gun laws in Illinois. Tomorrow is the deadline; if there isn't some kind of concealed carry law in effect tomorrow, Constitional carry will be the law of the land in Illinois. That means if you have a FOID card, you'll be able to carry a gun without any other permits or licenses whatsoever.

I'd wager there is a law on the books now--the stinkinous "may issue" law that the Illinois Democrats squeezed out--but I don't know and haven't heard anything about it of late, except for the idiocy surrounding Quinn's "amendatory veto" bullshit.

According to this, Quinn's had the bill on his desk since mid-May, and only last week did he use his "amendatory veto" power to rewrite the bill to his own specifications. Now the Illinois legislature has to meet to fix what he screwed up.

It does mean we have the craptastic "may issue" law, though. *sigh*

I like the pants-shitting hysteria implied here, emphasis mine:
Lawmakers now have the option of accepting Quinn’s changes by a simple-majority vote, or overriding him by a three-fifths vote to put the original bill into law. The proposed override has realistic chance of success, as the bill originally passed both chambers by veto-proof majorities.

If no law is in place by Tuesday, the state could face the worst of both worlds from the point of view of gun-control advocates: The court’s order could go into effect allowing people to carry concealed weapons, but without any state regulations.

Quinn’s critics — including some fellow gun-control advocates — claim that by waiting until days before the deadline to take action on the bill, and then taking such a confrontational action, he has increased the risk of that scenario. At least one of his electoral opponents alleges his motives were more about political posturing than about policy.
OH GOD OH GOD, LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS MIGHT GET TO CARRY GUNS THE WAY CRIMINALS DO! Which is to say, criminals--by definition--don't care about the law, so they can already carry guns (albeit illegally) wherever they want. If this law fails and we end up with Constitutional carry, it means that citizens who can legally own guns will be able to carry them legally wherever they want.

None of this changes my situation. Without a FOID card, I can't own a firearm in Illinois, and it doesn't matter whether carry is "may issue" or Constitional. But I want Constitutional carry everywhere; absent that I want "shall issue" CCW laws, and I want CCW to include open carry so there isn't any of that bullshit about "printing" that happens in some jurisdictions. (You know, someone sees the outline of the concealed weapon when you bend over to pick up your car keys, and calls the police, and you get arrested and lose your license. Like that.)

* * *

"Not an auspicious start to the week" department:

The power failed twice yesterday. First around 6:30 AM; the second around 2 PM or so. When Mrs. Fungus and I went to bed last night, the alarm clock was flashing, so I set the time, set the alarm, and we went to bed.

She woke me up at 1 PM today, telling me the alarm clock hadn't gone off. She'd just gotten out of the shower but she has to leave by 1 in order to get to work on time.

Turns out the clock was off by twelve hours. It was 1 PM but the clock reported it as being 1 AM, so naturally the alarm--set for 12 PM--did not sound when it was actually 12 PM. *sigh* That's the problem with doing anything when you're tired: you make stupid, bone-headed mistakes.

So then, once I was up, I saw there was a message on the answering machine. Turns out my checking account is overdrawn. [Many bad words redacted.] It's not by much ($14) but the overdraft charge will be pretendous and that's not money I have to waste.

When that's done, I must return home and job-hunt.

EDIT Of course, a job lead for AutoZone led me to discover that their e-application site is down, and that's how they process all applications. *sigh* /EDIT

There are jobs out there. Og's daughter is interviewing at Harbor Freight this week--meaning that they're hiring--so hopefully I'll hear something from them myself.

...and probably not, because I'm not a teenager with no work experience but a middle-aged man who's been out of the work force for four years and counting. That shouldn't make a difference, but it really does, and anyone who thinks otherwise is fooling himself. (Or lives in an upper-middle-class suburb with tons of shopping and dining establishments which all pay more than minimum wage.)

There are people in my family who seem to think that if you're not employed, it is because you aren't going to the Job Tree Orchard and picking off the low-hanging fruit from one of the heavily-laden Job Trees. Unlike, you know, people like me and my late sister's daughter. She lives in an economically depressed area and has no experience, and is struggling to find job openings. Me--well, y'all know what's up with me: the Fungal Vale has job openings, but I do not get called back for interviews for any of the applications I fill out.

Turns out Comcast simply will not hire anyone who's been out of work for more than two years, even if they do interview him. That seems to be the case with a lot of places: they screen out people with long gaps in their employment records.

There are a few cases where people get moved to the front of the line, though. Some places won't hire ex-cons, but some do specifically for the tax breaks. Some places want the tax breaks for hiring people who've been on welfare. There are all kinds of programs to help the "disadvantaged", but merely being out of work longer than six months doesn't count and if you're one of those, your resume is ashcanned at mach nine.

I don't know what I can do about any of this other than "keep on keeping on", which is what I'm doing. It's f-ing frustrating, though.

* * *

Then there's this, shamelessly stolen from Doubleplusundead:



Heh.

#3889: Not as good as I wanted, but better than before

AutoZone's careers site came back up, so I was able to go there and complete my application for the job opening Og mentioned to me in a chat yesterday.

Besides that, I got three good-looking leads from Craigslist, so I followed them up with applications. That's four jobs applied for, which isn't too shabby.

Today I had originally planned to go out, in business casual and a tie, to fill out applications on-site. That didn't work out (see below) but at least I was still able to get some job-hunting done around the clusterfuckery that was this very Monday.

Now I get to go work on crushing aluminum cans. It's a never-ending party!

#3890: Now, this is just laugh-out-loud funny.

Ace comments on the news from a former MSNBC producer that MSNBC is essentially the "Official Obama network":
I see many of you are still too stunned to even comment "first." One guy apparently just had a seizure and commented, "HGOH{RU NQ{)UT_{U{)ON U NP(GIH." Another guy's all like "Aaaagggh!" like Mr. Book just psi-slammed him in Dark City.
The only alteration I made to that quote is the title was reformatted to fit the Fungus style sheet. And Ace says that after he says, "I know you all are still reeling from this mind-ripping disclosure,..."

"HGOH{RU NQ{)UT_{U{)ON U NP(GIH" is, I believe, the appropriate reaction to the STUNNING news that MSNBC is in the tank for Obama. Who would have thought it?

* * *

Today's Critter report!

Critter is not especially long today, but he's getting under my desk and playing with the computer cords.

I think his mother was frightened by Simon's Cat:



...except that instead of pulling out the cords, he lays on the floor and licks my toes, or bats at them. I guess I ought to be glad that's all he does.

* * *

So I hit the garage like a flaming sack of crap. I had a scrap of 1" plywood, about a foot square, originally for placing under the cheap jack stands I no longer use, to protect the driveway; I secured it to the wall just inside the back door with drywall screws, then screwed the can crusher into the plywood with the screws that came with it.

Once that was done, the thing crushed cans handily. There's a bit of a problem with the feed mechanism, but I was able to run through four grocery sacks full of cans in about ten minutes without too much trouble. The most important thing is, it doesn't move and it's fixed to the wall securely.

This means that the next time I take cans to the recycler, I'll have one bag of crushed cans instead of four or five bags full of un-crushed. It'll be a bit easier to move. Heh.

* * *

I think I'm going to take the bike for a ride. I haven't ridden it for more than a week. WTF.