Saturday, 15 August 2015

DC and Shootings

There was a big meeting this week in DC, between the police department and the city authorities.  Right now, the murder rate in DC is on pace to hit 145 by 1 January.....the highest rate of the past six years for DC.

The chief of police wanted everyone to know that there are two basic problems.  Statistics show that a high number of the current 2015 murders were committed by guys who'd been released from prison in the past year or so.....who were supposed to be ineligible to own a gun (yeah, there's actually a federal law to prevent such things from happening, and it's a shocker that the law wasn't obeyed).  She also wanted folks to know that high-capacity magazines were part of the problem and need to be addressed.  Oddly, she couldn't cite any statistical trend to show normally only takes one or two bullets to kill a guy, so I'm at a loss to see how a magazine holding ten to fifteen rounds matter.

I noticed in other news around DC.....the city council and police have upped the pressure on illegal mini-cycles, quad bikes, and dirt-bikes being operated around the city.  All of this comes from a shooting in May where a reporter in the midst of a crowd was shot and killed by some punks who were shooting back and forth while on illegal mini-bikes or quads and traveling through the city.

One city council guy from DC wants thugs who get caught on the illegal bikes to spend six months in city jail and pay $1,000.....but only after getting caught on the third occasion.  Of course, none of these bikes are registered or tagged.....that's the amusing thing about the trend.  You go out with some drug-money profits.....spend $700 and you got immediate transportation.  You get into some trouble.....then dump the bike and walk away.

Having lived in the DC come to realize after a while that most punks in the age group of 15 to 21....don't care.  They don't care for civilization....laws....respect.....etc.  So you get caught doing something one cares.  As for the high capacity magazine humor that the police chief offered.....Andy worried about Barney to such a degree, that he only allowed him one bullet, and even then.....that was one too many.  But you could hand 10,000 Americans a gun and one bullet, and the vast majority of us (probably 9,997) would walk through life and after fifty years.....still have the one gun and one bullet.

The Bartender Story

I noted this week that the MIT guys have been busy.  These are the 'rocket-scientists' of America.  They think of a problem, and solve it.  Well....they finally built a bartender-robot.

I'm not sure of the priority of such a requirement, or if the pub-owners of America hinted that it might be more cost effective.....but they sat down and designed the first version of the bartender-robot.

The guys who designed the bartender-robot admit that there are limits to this.  For example.....if someone drops a drink on the floor.....this robot doesn't have the ability to solve the problem or clean up the least not yet.

I'm guessing a couple of Japanese robot designers will look over this bit of news....spend three years in an enclosed lab and emerge with a robot who does all the drink business, and cleans up the dropped drink.

I noted that they didn't really give the drink robot a typical bartender "Ernie" or "Mandy" or "Monty".  This is one of the key things about a bartender.....there's an established relationship between bartender and the customer.

Bartenders serve this odd position in life.....providing consultation, judgement, recommendations and tips.

A guy screws up on a relationship, and within hours....he'll be at the bar to ask for advice.  A gal makes a big mistake at the office, and within hours.....she'll be at the bar to seek guidance.  A guy will lose big-time at a poker game and within hours.....he's at the bar to get an opinion on how to explain this significant loss to the wife.

How will the robot fit into this scheme?  I'm not sure.  Maybe they can eventually program "Elvis 2.0" to stand there while serving a drink, and note the three big rules of a failed relationship, or rattle off the five best TV shows of the 1970s, or discuss rocket-science issues over dishwashers.  Maybe you could tie this robot into Goggle and he'd just answer question after question.  Maybe at some point, after the third or fourth drink....."Elvis 2.0" would ask you for a blood sample to ensure you aren't drunk and he'd test you right there at the stool.

We are probably safe for another decade or so before this sort of stuff gets out of control and suddenly they show up in big-name bars in Seattle or Portland.  It'll be another thirty years before they start to show up in the heartland and small towns.  

Sushi/Bar-b-q Place

This past week, I was visiting out in Dresden, Germany.

Outside of the hotel, maybe 200 feet away....was this local restaurant.....a Japanese sushi and bar-b-q place.

I probably looked at the sign a dozen-odd times as I strolled by the place.  Sushi and bar-b-q.  It's an odd mix.  

Sushi is a top dish of Japanese people.....involving steamed vinegar-added rice, a couple of vegetables laid over the top, and usually fish.  You might throw a fruit or two on top for sweetening affect.  I'm not exactly into Sushi, and I'll admit.....being from's hard for me to adapt to international dishes at times.

How many Sushi/bar-b-q places have I ever noted in life?  Well....none.  This is the only one.

I have my doubts that this place will be open long.....maybe six months.....maybe a year.  Maybe if they'd gone to just an Asia-style food place, or just some southern-style bar-b-q might have more of a chance for success.