And now, for something completely different.

Ever notice that elevators have more buttons than floors they stop at?

You might think that the fewer the floors, the fewer the buttons. You’d be incorrect. The fewer the floors, the more buttons it would have, up to a ratio of 5:2 (buttons:floors).

Consider a building with two floors — there are commercial buildings (even some private homes) that have an elevator that only services two floors. But why so many buttons?

At a minimum, there would be buttons for 1, 2, Door-Open, Door-Close, and an Emergency Call button.

An elevator in a two-floor building really only needs to have ONE button. And that button would be labeled:


You know which floor you’re on — and the elevator will even tell you (sometimes verbally) which floor you’re on.

It would never make sense to be on the first floor and have a button that says “1” (or First, or similar). Likewise, if you’re on the second floor, then why would you have a button that says “2”?

It need only have a single button that says, “There”.

If I’m on One, then I want to go There. If I’m on Two, I want to go There.

But what if you want to hold the door open?

Consider in the case that you wish to hold the door open. It already has safety interlocks that prevent it from closing on somebody. They may be IR-emitters or even a physical safety bar with a microswitch to indicate that there’s a hand in the doorway.

Just wave your hand in the doorway.

But what about to tell it to close? What do we do then, Mr. Genius?

Easy. Just wait.

So, that’s three buttons out of five that we’ve eliminated.

I know what you’re thinking, “Surely, we can’t get rid of the Emergency Call button!”

Want to bet?

We already do the same thing with iPhones. If you press the Sleep button repeatedly, it’ll display emergency information or, in some cases, call your emergency contact.

In an elevator? We just push the There button repeatedly to do the same thing.

Oh, you didn’t mean to call help?

Press the There button to continue there.

Gun Technique

I’m skimming shooting videos on YouTube and I’m seeing a somewhat peculiar trend. I mean, other than the astoundingly dangerous stuff like fingers on triggers, no muzzle control, etc.

Why do so many people pick up a firearm — pistol, rifle, shotgun, whatever — and lean away from it?
You’ve all seen it so frequently that I believe many people think it’s perfectly normal.
Is it because the firearm is too heavy to heft onto target?
Are you afraid of the recoil, so you figure leaning backward will help you absorb it?
Grab onto the damned thing, get it on target, and lean into it while pressing the trigger.
If it’s a rifle or shotgun, then mount it. Get a firm grip, get the butt into the pit of your shoulder and pull it in tight. You are not working for the gun, it’s working for you. Control it.
Another somewhat concerning thing is the lack of appropriate shooting attire while shooting anything other than a revolver.
Ladies: That cute little top that makes you look so adorable with your cute little cleavage out there? Seriously — don’t do that. You will eventually get hot brass down your shirt — and hot brass will cause at least second-degree burns pretty much instantly.
Guys: Similar thing here. If you’re wearing anything with a loose or unbuttoned collar, either tighten it up, button it up, or untuck it so anything that drops in there will fall out the bottom.
Okay, rant done. Going to range. Back later.

Holiday Trees

Jay gets me thinking with this post. Go read it, this page isn’t going anywhere.

First: I’m atheist.

Second: I have two christmas trees in my house. Though I am slacking a bit in getting just one of them up and decorated this year. I still call them christmas trees because, well, that’s the term that’s been used as long as I’ve been alive.

Let’s move on.

Now, recognizing, of course, that there’s no reference in the Christian bible of evergreen trees being associated with the birth of Jesus Christ — and the birth of Jesus Christ is, of course, why people like to call it Christmas anyway, I have to ask: would the protesters have preferred that they call it a Winter Solstice Tree? Or maybe just Pagan Tree? That is, after all, where that particular symbol originates.

That said, the fact that they’re using what I think is a far less logical “Holiday Tree” term pisses me off, too. They also say things like, “Happy holidays!” as to not offend any non-believers. The problem, specifically, they don’t actually say which holiday is being recognized.

So, which holiday is it? Christmas? Yule? New Year’s Day? Thanksgiving? MLK Day? President’s Day? Labor Day? They’re all holidays, aren’t they? So, just which fscking holiday are you recognizing anyway?

Fine. We’ll do it this way:

I intend putting up a Holiday Tree of my own, but I’m going to do one in July. I’m going to put red, white, and blue lights on it, hang an assortment of various cartridges from its boughs, branches, and limbs, and maybe buy myself a new firearm to wrap in some festive paper to place beneath it… I’m calling it an Independence Tree.

Not a Disorder

Speech therapy for Southern accents. My remarks, also left in the comments on Unc’s site, are…

Sounds like somebody is uncomfortable with themselves and found a business opportunity. “I’ll help you overcome that stereotype that half of american society has…” To which, I say, “Ah thank y’all kin suck mah bawlz.”

Just a clarification here: I’m not some English-or-die type. I speak three languages, but I also recognize that there are a few thousand primary languages around the globe and many, many dialects and subdialects of each. The big problem I have with this, uh, person, is that they’re using the term “therapy”. That suggests that it’s a disease, disorder, or medical problem. It’s a culture. Leave it be.