The Counter Keeps On Ticking…

Amazingly this one is slightly unlike the others:

Washington State University confirms a 22-year-old male student fell 11 stories from Orton Hall Wednesday night and survived.

How was it different?

WSU Police confirm alcohol was not a factor in the fall and no foul play is suspected.

At which point I have to start asking the serious question?  How did you fall 11 stories while sober?  What impaired your judgement to place you in that situation to begin with?

That’s the 4th fall on the Palouse in the past month, the 5th this school year.  As I said last time,

Remember these are the “best and brightest” that we send to college.  No, I don’t think so anymore.   A good majority of those who go to college I think go because they’re too dumb to do anything else.

I am quite interested in hearing his excuse though on this one if alcohol wasn’t a factor.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do it’s thing.

Concealed Carry on Campus

Both the University of Idaho and Washington State University forbid concealed carry on campus.  Luckily the ban at WSU doesn’t have any teeth in that all they can do is ask you to leave at which point if you refuse you’ll be trespassed.  Students and faculty though can face administrative punishment however.  I do not remember the exact details regarding carry at the University of Idaho.

I bring this up because so often I hear the following phrase, “Why would you need a gun on campus?”  Well maybe you live in the dorms or university housing.  Maybe you have a night class and will have to walk across campus in the dark.  Ultimately though people seem to think that bad things never happen on campus.  Reality always has a habit of showing up though.

Moscow Police arrested a man Sunday for the alleged rape of a University of Idaho student on the Moscow campus.

Nothing says stop faster than a hunk of lead flying at 900 fps.  Bad things happen everywhere, even college campuses.  Even more than that, it isn’t always the random person you don’t know.

“The victim knew the suspect from working with him in Twin Falls at a restaurant, so they were acquainted, but on a friendship level only,” said Chief of Police David Duke.

It’s best that we all remember these things can and do happen.  If you can, support Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, the fight is a significant and real one.  I wore an empty holster on to campus on more than one occasion specifically in support.  The one debate that I saw occur on campus ended squarely in favor for campus carry.

The thing is, at least with WSU, the board of regents will not move to change the administrative code and the only way you can bring about a legal challenge is if they exercise the code against you.  For this reason, many of my friends followed the rule of better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.  Not everyone is so willing to do that though.  Then again, when the building you work in has been attacked by ALF, your desire to survive should they return usually wins.

Though the school would prefer you to be disarmed to be easy prey.  It’s not like it’s their life that’s on the line though.  It’s like the government and politicians only care about criminals, not the law-abiding.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do it’s thing.

Darwin Needs No Further Restraint

Yet another falling incident:

Police said 22-year-old Jonathan Meyer had been drinking with a friend Friday night when he tried to drop to a second-story balcony and missed.

To give you an idea of the current record for this year already:

This is the third alcohol-related fall at WSU and the University of Idaho in the past month. A 19-year-old WSU student was injured in a three-story fall Sept. 14 at a fraternity. A 21-year-old University of Idaho student was injured in a two-story fall Sept. 12 at his fraternity.

Not to mention the August incidents that they didn’t bother reporting.  Remember these are the “best and brightest” that we send to college.  No, I don’t think so anymore.   A good majority of those who go to college I think go because they’re too dumb to do anything else.

They go to college racking up debt to get degrees in things that will never earn them enough money to pay it back.  Again, remember what I was saying about them not really being the best and brightest.  Then you have other incidents where someone claims that College is a right and that everyone should go.

Everyone has the right to attempt to obtain a college education.  However just because you can attempt it, doesn’t mean you can afford it or that you will be admitted.  It is up to the person to perform well enough to be admitted as well as find a way to finance their schooling.  You do not have a right to force someone else to pay for your education.  You do not have a right to be automatically admitted.  You merely have a right to seek education, you do not have a right to have it handed to you.

Besides, you know what’s great about the internet, which you can use at your local library, and it’s also cheaper than going to college, you can self educate.  There are piles upon piles of information out there if you’re willing to go find it and read it.  The MIT Open Courseware is the best example of available information.  I have gone through many of the courses trying to improve my knowledge on different subjects as well as supplementing what I already know.

The point of college at this point is to provide a little sheet of paper and certification that you are educated about “X”.  The thing is, that certification is an investment and you had better invest wisely.  My wife got two degrees, both in the sciences, however it was an actual certification that finally got her a job.  All you get out of college now days is a piece of paper, most of them are worthless, a few are gold.  If you’re paying for that piece of paper, I suggest making sure it’s gold and not pyrite.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do it’s thing.

In Which I Demonstrate It’s Commonality

Last week I posted an incident from Moscow at the University of Idaho.  It was a classic game of fill in the blank, but all the answers were known in advance.  I know some of you probably though I was exaggerating how common this type of event is.  Well wonder no longer.

Police in Pullman say a Washington State University student fell three stories from a fraternity house window and was taken to Pullman Regional Hospital with undisclosed injuries.

Note how the Greek system was involve yet again.  No word on alcohol yet, but it’s hard to think it wasn’t involved.

Now many would wonder why things like this are becoming increasingly common.  The answer though is quite simple, kids now days live in a bubble wrapped world.  Instead of slowly being acclimated to the realities of the real world and personal responsibility they are shielded and sheltered from it.

This quote from Caleb puts it quite well:

People wonder why there seem to be an increasing number of kids filming themselves performing dangerous stunts for youtube – well gosh, if I was raised in a padded bubble of safety by helicopter parents, I’d probably try to ride my bike off the roof too just to see what danger felt like.

Not only are kids sheltered from danger, but adults who attempt to give their kids that taste of personal responsibility are reported to the police and arrested.

“I went out there to see what he was here for and he said, ‘Ma’am, we’re here for you.’ I said, ‘Oh really? Why?’ He proceeded to tell me he had received a call from one of my neighbors that my kids were riding their scooters unsupervised. 

Cooper said she was handcuffed, put in the back of a police car and forced to spend the night in jail. 

“Orange jumpsuit, in a cell, slammed the door, for 18 hours,” Cooper said.

The ages of the children involved were 9 and 6.  I remember at 6 regularly going with my sister different places without our parents.  Including down to the local park, and through the woods as well.

By 8 I was heading off doing things entirely on my own.  My rules were just the same as Robb’s.

What happens when you shield kids from everything in the world?  They simply don’t know how to deal with life when it actually shows up.  They always figure that life is safe and nothing can possibly go wrong.  For them they live in a world without consequences because they’ve never experienced any.

How nice is it though that the state is now trying to force everyone to live in the same bubble wrapped world.  There is one saving grace about this woman’s experience.

The charges against her were eventually dropped but she still describes the ordeal as humiliating and said her children were even questioned by police  and terrified.

(Emphasis mine).  Yeah, you think either of those two children will ever trust the police again?  They got to experience first hand exactly what government is.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do it’s thing.

In Which I Think We All Know Why

Given the following incident, I think the answer as to why his roommates did not renew his lease becomes obvious.

When he came to collect his belongings on Saturday night, the two residents were escorting Simpson out of the house when Simpson grabbed a shotgun, racked it, and pointed it at them. The residents ran to the back of the house and called Pullman Police Department.

I wasn’t kidding when I said this was a lively time of year for little old Pullman.  Though this year so far has been considerably more lively on the firearm front than usual.  Now I don’t have specifics but I know it’s safe to say that pointing a shotgun at someone is against the law.

I have a feeling there is more behind the scenes here, however the answer is not to the shotgun.  Incidents like this though are what our opponents grab and latch onto as a reason why college students should not have firearms.  Many students, as well as employees are disarmed by the schools policies yet things like this still occur.  Yet this incident occurred only a half mile from the last incident.  Not to mention that students have been attacked walking home after class through these neighborhoods.  It’s as if all those policies and laws don’t really do anything except prevent responsible law-abiding people from having or carrying arms legally*.

So I would like to stand up, applaud, and thank this moron, James Simpson, for supplying ammunition to the enemy and furthering their goals to keep their honest law-abiding fellow students disarmed to be easy prey.

*After VT,  I know for a fact that there was a decent number of people who started carrying against school policy to class.  They did so after they discovered there was no real legal bite to the policy.  At worst they could be expelled if caught and the individuals felt, “Concealed means Concealed” and if they need it expulsion is the least of their worries at that time.

Doubly interesting is a good chunk of those who carried were engineering students.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do it’s thing.

The Plot Thickens – Unpossible I Tell You!

So last Friday I made a post regarding an incident of an unpossible nature.  Well today the plot thickened!

A man was arrested Thursday morning in Pullman for assault in the first degree and unlawful possession of a firearm.

For those who aren’t aware, here is the beginning of RCW 9.41.040:

(1)(a) A person, whether an adult or juvenile, is guilty of the crime of unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree, if the person owns, has in his or her possession, or has in his or her control any firearm after having previously been convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity in this state or elsewhere of any serious offense as defined in this chapter.

It continues on this way throughout the entire law.  This is basically the state equivalent of “felon in possession” and would be listed as prohibited by the state of Washington.

So it begs the question where did he get the weapon?  Not that it really matters because it is yet another nail in the coffin of “laws controlling criminals.”  The fact is criminals don’t care about the law, it is only the law abiding that actually pay attention.

So here’s the skinny, we have a college bar, next to a college campus that forbids concealed carry.  When I say next to, we’re talking a block from the WSU Presidents house, 2 blocks from the WSU Campus Police station and the main bust stop for campus, 2 blocks from numerous on campus dorms, and centered smack dab in the middle of Greek housing.  The state forbids carrying firearms into bars, as well as being intoxicated while carrying a weapon.  Lastly this individual was a prohibited person under Washington State law.

Tell me, what in the name of god would another law have actually done in this instance?  All those laws have effectively done is ensure that any responsible person that would be in that area would be disarmed and lacking the most effective tools when criminals don’t bother to play by the rules.

That’s right, not a damn thing.

(Misc Rant/Story/Joke)

As an FYI, that area on campus is by no means my favorite.  I had friends that went to many of the bars in the area but for the most part I just went to friends places when they had parties.  The reason being is because one should avoid dangerous situations and those bars are exactly that.  When I spent some time with Pullman PD and did a couple ride-alongs I found out how bad that little part of campus really is.  There are numerous people who hang around the area to prey upon people leaving the bars.  Now I’m going to leave the user to apply the term prey how they would like because it applies to both genders.  Assault is the main issue, but other incidents abound as well.

About the only way I’d go in those dives is with a bunch of buddies from back in the unit, mainly two particular Sergeants come to mind.  One of whom is the only man that has ever really intimidated me.  That man made our Gunny look like a baby and that’s just not right!  The other one got kicked out of Burma while he was a Embassy Guard.  Yeah, I had some awesome friends going through my college career.

Though me and some other friends did think it would be funny to come out of some of the college hill bars acting drunk and kick their ass.  We just realized it would be pretty hard to explain it all away after.

Cop: So why were you all at the bar?

Us: Because the food is that awesome!

Cop: This is a campus bar, wanna try that again?

Because: We were studying human physiology?

Cop: You’re all stone sober yet everyone said it looked as if you were drunk as you all left?  They also said you left one by one headed in the same direction with regular spacing, why?

Us: Well we wanted to blend in!

Cop: Why?

Us: Umm, would you believe us if we said so you’d follow us instead of our drunk buddies driving away?

Cop:Wanna try again?  Besides, you were all armed in different manners as to remain legal, why?

Us: Because we were playing a game!

Cop: And what game is that?

Us: Induced Victim Selection Failure

Cop: What the hell is that?

Us: It’s where you try and get a wolf to go after a sheep-dog thinking it’s a sheep.

Cop: What happens to the wolf when he bites?

Us: Well that’s his own damn fault, should have just stayed his ass out of the kitchen if he can’t take the heat!  All he had to do was let us walk on by!

Yeah, I don’t think I would have been able to stay out of a jail cell if we tried that.  I have a feeling it would be treated as hunting over bait.  Not to say it wouldn’t have been worth it.*

*As an extra note, these assaults were done predominately by 3 to 4 individuals with one person leading the attack.  As one group leaves Pullman another one usually fills its place.  Seriously the group could be considered along the misfits from A Clockwork Orange and for that reason if we did it, I wouldn’t have shed a tear.  Again, that wouldn’t have been good for my court appearance.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do it’s thing.

Semi + Pedestrian Overpass = Broken Trailer

Buddy of mine got pictures of this incident described by the Moscow Pullman Daily News.

The southbound lanes of Stadium Way in Pullman are closed until 10 p.m. so crews can clean up the wreckage from a tractor-trailer that collided with a Washington State University pedestrian overpass this afternoon.

So how bad could it have been.  Ripped the top of the trailer?  Nope even better actually!

 

In case you don’t see it that well, here’s a better picture.
That’s right folks, the spine of the trailer is no longer straight.  I have a feeling that the truck was probably in the wrong lane for maximum clearance for the trailer as the walkways arch through campus.

Then again for the most part I never see semi trucks drive that section of stadium way, they take the truck route that avoids the overpasses.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do it’s thing.

We Need More Power!

So, we had a unique power source for field day.  A hydrogen fuel cell.

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There’s a bank of lead acid deep cycle batteries under the fuel cell.  The cell basically acts as a battery tender charging the batteries and supporting the load while it is on and then turning back off when the batteries are full.

DSC_7277

We ran a 48V DC bus (see the extension cord coming out on the left) ran that back into the communications trailer.  This decreased the I2R losses (see also here for info) from the longer cable run.  Within the trailer was a DC to DC converter that put out 13.8V for all of our communications equipment and we also had adapters to run our laptops and other equipment.

image

It actually was quite effective and we started with an “empty” tank and still ran for over 8 hours on it.  The calculations are we could run for over 48 hours on a single tank of hydrogen.  The cell its self has a rating of 1KW and we actually did get it up that high, however I didn’t get a picture of it.  The fuel cell was running like mad because we left it off after out thunderstorm to let things dry out.

In the mean time we kicked back into operational mode meaning 2 radios fired back up plus their associated computers and associated equipment for digital operation.  All just running off the batteries without the Fuel Cell maintaining them when necessary.

Our clue to go turn the cell back on was when the low battery alarm went off in the trailer indicating the 48V supply was starting to drop.  We did also have a 12V batter on the other side of the 48V to 12V converter in the trailer.  This was to add extra isolation for surging loads (radios).

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The fuel cell worked great and was always fun when someone would brag about running off of solar.  Yeah, well we’ve harnessed the power of molecular bonds!

For those who don’t know how fuel cells work, the basic premise is that the electron from hydrogen is forced through the circuit as the proton mates with the oxygen to form water.

Now some would call this a wonderfully green technology, however that hydrogen has to come from somewhere, and most often than not it’s through electrolysis.

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*Also as an aside since the wife and I were just talking about it.  If you’re a ham, do not use the term kilo-watt for phonetics.  The word you’re looking for is kilo.  Kilo-watt is very confusing because it is a compound word.  Are you saying K or KW?  Other’s do use the term watt for W, which while incorrect can further add to confusion.  Seriously, the IACO/NATO/ITU phonetic alphabet was developed specifically to limit confusion.  If your word choices were so great, why haven’t they adopted them?

You may think it’s neat and cute, but at least in the case of the wife and I, we slow way down to deal with your choice of phonetics.  I am reasonably sure that I am not the only one who has been confused by this usage.  It’s hard enough to dig phone messages out of the weeds, why add a bit of extra confusion to the conversation.  But that’s just my two cents, take it for what its worth.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do it’s thing.