Tuesday, July 22, 2014

...and a gold house and a rocket car.

I'm trying to write up a list of the names of people I wouldn't kill for $23,000,000,000, and I gotta tell you, gentle reader, I'm coming up empty-handed so far.

I'm glad I quit smoking when I did, because this is getting whack. The absolute irrationality of that jury verdict (and the way that irrationality passes without comment in the national media) should scare you. It ain't far from there to the tumbrels.
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How does that work?

How does that work? Does entering the IDF not require taking an "oath, affirmation or other formal declaration" to the State of Israel? Or are our armed forces archaic with all the oath-taking and joining Zahal is more like getting hired at WallyWorld? "Okay, fill out your W4. Here's your flak vest. Now your friends will think you're a ninja when you show them the dumb way we're gonna teach you to carry a pistol."
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Monday, July 21, 2014

Overheard in the Office...

RX: "Who is John Stamos?"

Me: "I don't know who the hell John Stamos is; I'm long past the point where People magazine turned into Who Are These People? magazine."

Pass the popcorn...

Overheard in the Office...

Roomie makes a Modest Proposal...
RX: "'Mounds of poop along the borders?' If we would do that with Mexico, we might not be in so much trouble. If everybody in Texas and Arizona went down to the border and took a steaming dump..."

Nashorn, sarvikuono, nosorog, 犀牛

The rhinos are not the most active of creatures despite, like your humble correspondent, looking like they could use a bit of Zumba. Supposedly they spend about a third of their waking hours doing what you see in the picture above. Dominant bulls have slightly less naptime because they have to patrol the borders of their turf. Fun fact: Dominant bulls will mark their territory with mounds of poop along the borders. Also, a bunch of rhinos is called a "crash".
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Sunday, July 20, 2014

One of my favorite planes...



It's just such an improbable-looking little thing, from a time when aviation technology was advancing by leaps and bounds. The P-26's first flight was in 1932. Fifteen years later, the U.S. Army Air Corps would have morphed through the U.S. Army Air Forces into the United States Air Force, privates would be airmen, and we'd be flying swept-wing jets.

By contrast, the current F-15 Eagle fleet (now Boeing products as well, thanks to aviation industry conglomeration and consolidation) is as much as thirty years old and more. Heck, there's a larger spread of time between the first flight of the F-22 Raptor and today than there is between the first flight of the P-26 Peashooter and the F-86 Sabre jet.

(H/T to Pergelator.)
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Why are cheetahs listed as "vulnerable" by IUCN?

Because everyone knows cheetahs will never prosper.
This one was chillin' over by the fence where they can occasionally get glimpses of the plains game; kudu, zebra, and wildebeest apparently being the equivalent of cat TV. However, from probably a good 75 yards away, it became aware of me pointing the camera...

Much like its smaller relative, F. catus, power napping is a favorite activity of  A. jubatus.

Guns of August


There are some pretty belligerent words getting tossed around on the TV in the next room.
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Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #98...

 I needed this picture where I could link it elsewhere. Don't mind me. Carry on.

FN FNS-9 with, um, slightly carried away stippling job. It's like every time the guy got to a border, he didn't like the way it looked, and so he'd stipple a little more until he'd eventually stippled the whole frame.
FNS-9 fits RCS Phantom for M&P 9 like it was made for it.

What immortal hand or eye?

 What a glorious animal...
I could spend all day watching tigers...

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bear pics...

Half of the grizzlies at the zoo were being very photogenic. (The other one turned his back to the crowd, took a huge dump, and then went and took a nap.)

I love the expression here.

Watch the skies!

Has a side job posing for the California state flag.

Ouch. (But a happy Ouch.)

Long day. Left the house with Shootin' Buddy before 0900 and pedaled to Petite Chou Bistro in Broad Ripple proper for brunch.
Brunch out on the terrace at Petite Chou.
From there, we bicycled all the way down the Canal Towpath until we picked up the White River Greenway down by the Naval Armory.
This is not where Indiana's war reserve of belly buttons is kept. #IStandCorrected
From there, it was down into the city until we crossed Fall Creek and could pick up the Cultural Trail and take it to White River Park, where we crossed the river on the Washington Street bridge and went to the zoo.
Good view of the skyline crossing Fall Creek.
After zooing, we retraced our route to Broad Ripple and had lunch at 317 Burgers, before proceeding to the Indiana Microbrewers Festival and wandering around sampling the wares from brewers near and far. (Mostly near, but Stone had a booth.)
The new orangutan exhibit at the Indy zoo might be the coolest thing I've ever seen in a zoo.
And now home, after a round trip of some 27-ish miles. I am sore, tired, and I have a mess of photos to sort out.
Everything that could have a bicycle locked to it had a bicycle locked to it. All the way around the building and every nearby traffic sign and the fence out on the Monon Trail. I've never seen so many bikes at a non-bicycle-specific event. I guess finding designated drivers is hard.
But I'm happy. Because I have to say it was a good day. (I didn't have to use my AK.)
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Automotif XXXVII...

Parked in the same lot as the '40-something Dodge is this sweet-looking C3, a '71 smallblock, I am told. I've driven past it almost every day for more than a month, and finally just pulled the Zed into the lot at Nygaard's and pulled out the shirt-pocket Nikon. I need to pedal over there with the grownup camera.


Um, hello and or duh?

The NBC reporter on the scene in Gaza (I think it was Richard Engel but my eyes don't focus too good before 0800) this morning acknowledged that rocket attacks on Israeli citizens were ongoing during the ground offensive, intoning that "The sirens will sound and the citizens will seek shelter, but here in Gaza, the citizens have no underground shelters..."

"That's because they're all full of Hamas fighters and reloads for the rocket launchers!" I blurted at the simpleton on the screen.

Jesus, the reason the British could seek shelter in the Underground during the Blitz is because it wasn't full of parked Spitfires hiding from the Jerries.
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Friday, July 18, 2014

Automotif XXXVI...

It's been a good summer for car spotting in Broad Ripple...

Sitting at a local service station is this stately-looking early postwar Dodge sedan. I love the suicide doors.

I'm not enough of a Mopar buff to tell you whether it's a '46, '47, or '48. It's interesting how they tried to freshen the prewar lines while using as much of the old design as possible.

Detail of the Dodge charging ram hood ornament.
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Automotif XXXV...

This well-loved VeeDub, rolling on classic Minilites, is a near-daily driver for a tasteful Broad Riparian...
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Oh, jeez, not this again!

The anti-gun crowd seem to be in the throes of their biennial panic about "marketing guns to kids".

Look, if you think that the firearms industry is actually spending advertising dollars to market its products to a demographic that is going to save enough quarters from their allowance to buy a Glock,  toddle into the gun shop, reach up on tiptoe and slide their piggy bank across the counter, only to be told "Sorry, kid, you gotta be 21 to buy that"...

If you think the gun industry is that dumb, well then you just need to let them keep on doing it, because nothing that dumb can possibly survive outside of Congress.
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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Overheard in the Office...

Automotif XXXIV...

The old Dodge A100 vans have always looked strangely neat, or neatly strange, to me.
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In re: The latest round of sanctions on the Russkies

Not being into 922(r) workaround AK conversions or jammomatic shotguns, I'm mostly worried about the potential for ammo makers being added to the list.

I don't really use 7.62x39 for anything and I've got enough 7.62x54R to last a couple zombie apocalypses, but I'd hate to not be able to run to Wally World and grab a few boxes of TulAmmo if I realize I underplanned my needs on day two of a three-day class in Anytown, USA. That's a convenience I've taken for granted for longer than I realized.

Also, Sebastian got the Quote of the Day on the topic:
But the other side of the coin is that this move screws two enemies with the stroke of a single pen. Putin is the one enemy, and we’re the other. It’s awfully convenient, don’t you think?
Whether the domestic collateral damage on bitter clingers was inadvertent or not, it was indeed awfully convenient.

Still, like arms and ammo from China, I've long considered the availability of the Russian stuff as volatile. It wasn't a matter of if we were going to get jammed up over something with the Russians, but when.
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"If it's just a game, why keep score?"

So, beautiful weather for the range yesterday...

 MCF&G was busy for a weekday. Of course, it's beautiful weather for July, and around lunchtime to boot...

The south bay was occupado, but I had the north bay to myself. I had paper targets in the trunk (I always keep some there so I won't be caught empty handed) but didn't feel like dicking with tape and backers...
 ...when there was steel available because, seriously, shooting steel is like a million times more satisfying than shooting paper. This is a proven scientific fact. I unsnapped my CCW holster and put on the Glock 19 in its Dark Star Gear IWB.
 It's hard to lose in the range bag.
This was my second best time from concealment on that 8" plate at ~10ish yards. This gun burkha is comfy and wrinkle-resistant and UV-proof and fast-drying... and makes lovely, billowing diaphanous folds that try to get between my hand and the gun. I need a lot more work getting it out from under there fast.
The sun went behind some clouds and I did the last fifteen draws without concealment. This was one of the better times for the series. I had a couple 1.96s but most were in the 2.00-2.25 range, as opposed to the 2.50-2.75 with the shirt on.

So...

I'm embarrassed to admit that until just recently, like chronographs, timers were something that other people owned and I only saw or used at matches or gun school. I mean, I had one briefly, like, twenty years ago, but I never really used it for anything.

If this is the year I'm going to get better at this, I have to measure how I'm doing, or how will I know if I'm actually getting better?

Brrr!

Almost cracked into the high forties last night here in Broad Ripple, with a low temp this morning of 50°F. Yesterday was, if I heard aright, the lowest daily high temp for the date since before Kaiser Bill abdicated, a balmy 71°F.

It was absolutely Chamber of Commerce weather; perfect for a day at the range.
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Free stuff giveaway!

Marko is giving away signed, personalized copies of his Frontlines books to two lucky readers. Just go comment in the comment section of this post between now and this Sunday evening (1800EDT 7/20/14) for a chance to win.
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Gratuitous Gun Pron #97...

Glock 19 w/AmeriGlo I-Dot Pro sights and CTC Lightguard.

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This foreign policy update brought to you by the letters "W", "T", and "F".

The party currently in charge got into power partly on the strength of national exhaustion with the previous administration's policy of regime change, which consisted of sending soldiers and marines with guns and missiles and cannon to go topple a regime, ostensibly to free oppressed people.

The current administration does it differently, in that they send the guns, missiles, and cannon, albeit without the soldiers and marines or much in the way of any adult supervision. Instead, the arms are given to anybody who fills out their "oppressed by a tyrant" application and pinkie-swears not to ever do anything bad to us with the guns 'n' stuff.

Additionally, we bolstered the shaky Baghdad regime with a full panoply of high-end 'Murican military hardware and then tossed them the keys and left, despite everybody involved being old enough to remember when Ho Chi Minh city was labeled differently on the maps because apparently we are some slow damned learners.

In our new multipolar "soft power" world, where peaceful bombing campaigns are named after strippers, this has resulted in predictable outcomes...
One unexplored consequence of the US’s provision of arms in lieu of useful support to weak allies regionally, is that the US has lost control of quite a number of modern arms, including sophisticated ATGMs, late-model SAMs including MANPADS, armored vehicles with classified composite armor, and electronic equipment including encryption gear.
RTWT at the linked piece.
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Thank you, Captain Obvious.

Boy, Rolling Stone must have been desperate for some filler this week. The piece, provocatively titled "The 5 Most Dangerous Guns in America" purports to list the firearms "causing the most harm". These firearms would be:
  • Pistols
  • Revolvers
  • Rifles
  • Shotguns
  • Derringers
Wow... Gatlings didn't make the list, then?

In other news, the five most dangerous automobile types often involved in DUI fatalities are:
  • Sedans
  • Coupes
  • Vans
  • SUVs
  • Pickup Trucks