Friday, February 23, 2018

A big chunk of the problem...

From an away game...

From a FB discussion stemming from some of that goofy overheated "Kill the NRA" rhetoric... Specifically, a person stating someone should shoot "the kids of the NRA", like it was some faceless entity someplace and not an organization composed of other people participating in that very conversation.

I commented:
It's turned into a self-licking lollipop. If you're a J-school grad writing for a major metropolitan or national news outlet, you almost certainly don't know any (non-closeted) NRA members. So the NRA is a faceless bureaucratic lobbying organization.

This allows such nonsensical soundbites as "the American people are growing fed up with the NRA" without even the faintest twinge of awareness that, dude, the NRA is a subset...and not an insubstantial one...of The American People.

I'm sitting here watching Savannah Guthrie run her suck on the TV and I'm thinking "Actually, honey, I'm not at all fed up with myself. Feeling pretty good about me today, actually."
As far as the "kill, kill, kill" rhetoric, primates heterodyne off each other's moods. Anybody who's ever shot fast for practice at the range and noticed other range patrons start speeding up and doing mag dumps has seen this behavior in action.

Right now, everybody's trying to out-emote each other. You want the chimp on either side of you to see you carrying your share of the troop's weight in the throwing-leaves-and-beating-branches display.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Granny Guns & Kilts in the Streetz

A gun that allows you to yell down a dark hallway "You'd better leave! I've called the cops and I have a gun!" and not be lying will put you ahead of the game in probably eight out of ten private citizen defensive gun usages. If the gun will make a loud noise, there's a better than even chance it will solve the ninth.

It's only on that unlucky tenth incident that things like capacity, caliber, reliability, bullet selection and other angels we gun nerds like to set to dancing on the heads of pins come into play.

As Claude Werner is fond of pointing out, we do a disservice when we make people think that unless they're rocking a G19 in AIWB kydex and can shoot an Advanced score on the FAST cold and on demand, they might as well not even bother carrying a gun at all. Better the LCP in a pocket now than the Glock someday.

The great objective is that every man (and woman) be armed.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Computers, life, and stuff...

So, the big desktop gaming rig had sat lifeless on the corner of my desk for...well, several years now, I'm ashamed to say. The hard drive had shat the bed and I kept meaning to replace it, while using my laptop as a substitute machine.

First it was my cheap 17" HP Pavilion, before going through a couple of more potent, game-capable 15" machines. The irony of the latter is that when doing anything that works the GPU hard, you generally want to keep the lid open for maximum cooling, and so here I'd be, playing games on a 15" screen with a dormant 25" monitor behind it.

I'd been kicking around the idea of a Mac Mini for a while, especially now that I'm using an iPhone and iPad. Being able to get stuff seamlessly back and forth between tablet and phone and working computer would be mighty handy.

I mentioned this in a discussion on Facebook and Marko PM'ed me to say he had a Mini that wasn't being used for anything right now. Further discussion developed that he had a MacBook Air that was also surplus to requirements at the moment. He made me a good price on the pair and so now I'm doing all the stuff involved in setting up a new desktop for work.

Except this one isn't going to have games on it. It's strictly for work stuff during the day. At 6PM I can rack the keyboard and hang up the mouse and lift the lid on the gaming laptop, pull out my Razer Naga, and get my WASD on until bedtime.

The MacBook Air is because, after dragging this six pound beast of a computer and its ginormous power brick around SHOT in my laptop bag, I'll be damned if I'm doing that for NRAAM. Or SHOT next year, for that matter. It doesn't take a lot of machine to do word processing and some simple Lightroom work, or blog updates.

I hadn't used a Mac as my primary machine since...what? OS X Snow Leopard on a G4 eMac? So there's some learning curve going on here as I get back into the groove with the shortcuts and menus and the whole driving on the left side of the road thing.

The Mac Mini desktop had another, unexpected benefit. Moving that huge tower case out and replacing it with the tiny mini-pizza box of the new computer caused me to start excavating the hideous mess on the back of my desk. I'm about halfway to a clean desk and starting to eyeball other notorious clutter areas. If I can quit smoking cold turkey, then turn around and lose some seventy-plus pounds, who knows what other things I can find the willpower to do?

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Age related issues...

So the Zed Drei is twenty years old this year. That's the chronological equivalent of a 1966 Jaguar E-type (Or a BMW 1600 coupe) when I was in high school. I've been driving it for seventeen of those twenty years. And age is starting to catch up with it.

There are a host of niggling issues: The car's been needing a new top for years. The HVAC fan only works on the highest of the four settings. The windshield washer packed it in last summer and I haven't gotten around to figuring out why. The power steering pump leaks (a known issue). The headlight covers need replacing or polishing.

Of late, the car's developed a tendency to want to stall when it switches from cold to warm idle, so I guess it's time to take it into the shop to see what's up, and probably get the front brakes done while it's in there.

It's definitely time to decide what I'm going to do about the top; replace it? Or get a transportation pod for foul weather and roadtrips and just have the Zed Drei for top-down days?

Monday, February 19, 2018

I don't think you've thought this through.

As George Washington said when he burst into the Hessian commander's room in Trenton, "Prithee, what now, bytches?"

Stew night...

I ran by Fresh Market after lunch today and picked up a few ingredients which Bobbi turned into a fabulous stew for dinner. The turnips are a great lower-carb stand-in for potatoes in this application.

In other news, my weight loss app on my phone says I've lost a hair over twenty pounds since I started using it in September. I'm only three pounds over what I wanted to weigh at SHOT Show time. Onward!

Self Betterment


The brown stuff is obviously worse.

Sebastian brings a fantastic analogy for the "assault weapons" debate. You should go read it right now.


In a world of home CNC machine shops and 3D printing, if you "ban guns" you're only going to keep them out of the hands of the law-abiding.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Gun Store Find

Even though I used to work there, and even though I'm in there three to five times a week to shoot, I never darken the door of Indy Arms Co. (or any gun store, really) without spending some time scrutinizing the showcases to see what's new.

It paid off last Thursday when I spied with my little eye a Gen2 Glock 19 in pretty decent shape with Meprolight night sights and sporting a price tag of $375. "What's up with this one?" I asked.

"It's old," was the response.

"Well, hey, set it back with my name on it and I'll scare up something to trade in and come back for it tomorrow."

I was back the next morning with a couple gats that were excess to requirements and traded straight across.

The gun ran fine. The above target is a hundred rounds of that Winchester steel-cased stuff at seven yards against the upper A-zone. The lower is fifty rounds from my trusty Gen3 19 former carry gun.

Getting home, I broke out the spares box and set to putting things straight on the new acquisition. It had had a ClipDraw on it at some time in the past and, while the clip itself had been removed, the slide cover plate with the mounting screws was still in place. I swapped it out for one of the spare slide cover plates I had lying around and placed an order for a Striker Control Device from Tau Development Group.

The trigger in the gun is a smooth-faced trigger from a full-size gun. Whichever previous owner did this knows what time it is. I like that, and both my other 19s sport that modification. I might put an SSVi Tyr in this one, and I might leave it like it is.

The gun had a metal aftermarket guide rod and recoil spring assembly in it. I had several Gen3 19 recoil spring assemblies in the parts bin, and tossed one into the gun. Lastly, I ordered a Tango Down Vickers slide release to replace the factory extended unit in the gun. I'll pick up a Vickers mag release at Indy Arms Co. tomorrow and install it.

Of interest in the above photo:
The 2006-vintage Gen3 19 on the left sports the bevel on the leading edge of the chamber hood which is one of the suite of modifications done in response to the NYPD's "Phase 3" malfunction issues, whereas the Gen2 on the right, dating to 1996, doesn't have that.

The Gen3 also has a shinier finish, replacing the dull phosphate of the earlier gun. Glock did that back in 2000ish in response to complaints that the matte phosphate didn't collect fingerprints. Yes, when we were playing defense against the Clinton DOJ, Glock went to a more fingerprint-friendly finish to mollify the antis. I remember all the yelling and hollering and "ZOMG! BOYCOTT ALL THE THINGS!" from the gun boards like it was yesterday.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

That's handy...

NCStar, purveyor of airsoft-grade optics and garbage mounts and accessories to the "Just-As-Good-As/Works for me!" crowd, has finally succeeded in making a product that looked intriguing enough to me to shell out some of my own hard-earned dough: The Magpopper.

With my pathetic lack of grip strength, getting Glock magazine floorplates off has always been a challenge. See, the way you're supposed to do it is to take the magazine in one hand and squeeze the sides in hard. Then use your other hand to depress the retaining button in the floorplate with a Glock tool or other similar punch. Then you slide the floorplate off with your third hand.

There are workarounds for us weak folk with only two hands, such as using a c-clamp or the corner of a countertop or desk to aid in squeezing the mag tube. This tool promised to let me do it with only one-third as many hands as before.

And they weren't lying. It works dandily.

The hook folds away and is retained in its stowed position by a little magnet, and the tool also has a bottle opener built in. Recommend.

QotD: Culture Wars Edition

McThag's most recent:
"How do I know the gun culture is superior?  I know and am friends with stone killers.  People who've killed in the military and sleep soundly at night; but whom own so many guns you'd need a semi to move them all.  Yet they've never murdered single person once removed from the military and war.

So, let's try something new.  Since guns aren't going away, not even "evil black guns" why don't we inculcate our children into the gun culture and reject the victim culture which has no respect for life or property?

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Thursday at the range...

Thursday's range day was just for fun, no work-related stuff at all. I brought the Wilson, because I hadn't fired it for a while and I wanted to check the install on the new light pipe in the front sight. I also brought my former carry gun, the Gen3 Glock 19, which now gets used as a practice substitute to keep the round count down on the Gen4 19 I'm currently carrying.

Generally, if you see a Phlster Flatpack TQ carrier on the range tray, it means there are other customers out on the range. I have trust issues...well, "trust but verify" issues...with the gun-handling skills of John Q. Public. Better safe than sorry.

Both guns ran fine. I was trying to get my Ricky Bobby on with the Glock and let one get away from me, there.

While I was shooting it, I realized that the last time the Wilson was cleaned or lubed, Donald Trump was still the GOP nominee. I hadn't done so because I need to take detailed macros of the filthy interior for a 2k-round wrapup for an online article elsewhere, and I keep not getting around to that.

It doesn't malfunction, despite me never adjusting the spark advance or degaussing the heads or whatever this "periodic maintenance" the internet tells me I'm supposed to be doing to 1911s is...especially snugly-fitted ones like a Wilson.