Tuesday, February 28, 2006

To the unknown bright.net user in Chillicothe, Ohio...

...who at 8:29 this morning asked Google "What's my old guns[sic] worth?", congratulations for being the 40,000th visitor to View From The Porch.

All of me on the VFTP Management Team would like to wish you a very swell day. :)

Armed only with a mop, a bucket, and a sense of humor...

...Jeff at Alphecca dauntlessly schleps through the dreck of the MSM to bring us The Weekly Check On The Bias.

Politics: Bill Gates' pizza.

Cup of Joe Powell has a post up in which he meanders through the usual issues of the vast gulf between The Poor and The Rich (which, despite the pro forma hat tips toward the guys that bag our groceries, may usually be read as "the vast gulf between Myself and Bill Gates.") Quoting from a Bill Moyers speech, all the stations of the income redistribution cross are touched: Minimum wage, outsourcing, class distinctions, and Bill Jenkins' cowboy boots.

Pardon me if I think the windows in the ivory tower could use a little Windex.

Unless Mr. Cup of Joe's usual workplace attire includes a name tag or a hairnet, odds are good that he makes more money than I do. A lot more money than I do. So, with an appropriate amount of Dickensian forelock-tugging, permit me to offer some observations from the trenches of The Little People, about whom he is ostensibly so concerned.

For starters, drop the minimum wage hand-wringing, okay? Minimum wage doesn't apply anymore to anything but the most menial of jobs; jobs intended to be filled by schoolkids and by retirees looking to supplement their fixed incomes. If you're an adult parent of two and making minimum wage, you have made some pretty serious career errors in your life. Even such entry-level gigs as cashiering at the local convenience store or asking McDonald's patrons if they'd "like fries with that" are hiring at $8/hr these days, and merely showing up on time and displaying a minimum aptitude for completing all your assigned tasks at those jobs for six or eight months straight pretty much guarantees being awarded the polyester clip-on tie of an Assistant Manager. As Greg Swann wrote, you have got to be a pretty exotic flavor of stupid to starve to death in the land of milk and honey.

Is this what you wanted out of life? No? You wanted to be a nucyoolar physicist? Well, I wanted to be a lawyer. I also wanted a gold house and a rocket car. Instead, I dropped out of college when I was eighteen. So after twenty years of bootstrap-tugging, I'm making dick-oh-nine an hour and desperately seeking competent, responsible people to keep my schedule full at work, in the vain hope that maybe one out of every ten hires will show the kind of gumption, initiative, and responsibility that will allow me to talk my boss into giving them some keys so that I can take two days off in a row. (Don't screw up like Tam, kids; stay in school.)

Personally, I blame Bill Gates for my quandary. Well, actually I don't, but everybody else seems to, so I figure I should jump on the bandwagon. See, I've learned from reading the writings of the High-Strung Class that apparently prosperity is a zero-sum game. That, as P.J. O'Rourke put it, the economy is like a pizza, and if Bill has eight slices of pepperoni with extra cheese, all you and I get is the box. Pardon my French (or am I supposed to say "Pardon my FreedomSpeak"?), but that's just ever so much bullshit. Money is made. Wealth is created. Prosperity violates the First Law of Thermodynamics every friggin' day. Who cares how much money Billy Boy has? It didn't come out of your pocket unless you willingly gave it to him (unlike the IRS, Bill can't actually send guys in black outfits with battering rams and submachineguns to take stuff you don't want to give him, no matter what your Linux geek friends tell you.) There's money out there to be had, and new wealth just waiting to be created, but it requires you to actually set the remote control down and go do something to make it; it's not just going to find its way to your mailbox all by itself.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Boomsticks: PentagonLight product eval in progress.

The SureFire M500 on Project Housegun was a rilly, rilly good weapon light, but I have gotten so used to using a vertical foregrip or gripping the front of the magwell with my support hand that it was awkward for me to use the membrane switch on it.

What I really wanted was an M900, but I just couldn't swing the shekels for one right now. We've been selling the PentagonLight MS2's at work, which are rugged little units with an A.R.M.S. throw-lever mount, so I figured I'd give one of those a wringing out while I waited for the cash to accumulate for the M900 of my dreams.

Selling the M500 and adding a SureFire M73 rail setup and a GG&G foregrip lets me use the 5.56 carbine the same way as the 9mm trainer. This is a good thing.

I'll rustle up some PMC Green and wait 'til I can try it on a dark range and let y'all know how the MS2 stacks up against both the M500 it replaced and the Viking Tactical/Surefire G2 setup on the 9mm.

Groovy new T-shirts in at work...

So, we got our new t-shirts in at the Armory. In addition to the triple lightning bolt logo on the front, the back has the "Automatics For The People" slogan, and a skull, and crossed M-16's.

My suggestions for adding an Ace of Spades, an 8 ball, a pair of dice, and, like, maybe a snake or something were not heeded, however. Oh, well.

They're still pretty cool.

In other t-shirt news, my downstairs neighbor reported that his cashier at that noted bastion of pinko-ism, Borders, was wearing one of our Evil Empire t-shirts. Heh. Another sign of global domination. :)

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Dateline: Orlando.

Chubby white ignoramous bludgeoned with picket sign that read "Stop the hate. Stop the violence."

These are the jokes, folks...

(Not that I actually blame the bludgeoner for walloping the bludgeonee; I hate mullet nazis.)

Boomsticks: Gratuitous Gun Pr0n No. 22

With Marko's essay on the "Just-rightness" of the 3" fixed-sight round-butt K-frame, I felt the urge to add some supporting evidence:

There it is: A plain blue steel .38 with a 3" tube. Everything you need, and nothing you don't.

A question:

Would somebody please, please, please explain to me the difference between figure skating and "ice dancing"? I mean, what the hell...?

And what's up with this "curling" thing? Are they planning on adding shuffleboard to the summer games? Look, this is a sport so incomprehensible and dull that the only time it can be described as "exciting" is when a spectator gets nekkid.

Law Enforcement Pioneer Dead at 81.

Deputy Barney Fife of Mayberry, NC, originator of the "Nip it in the bud" policing strategy, passed away yesterday.


Saturday, February 25, 2006

Boomsticks: Springfield Armory observations.

We got our 2006 Springfield Armory catalogs in at work yesterday.

  • Nice catalogs, as usual.
  • The new Springfield Armory laser-cut logo grips on the MilSpec and Loaded models look a little fruity.
  • The .45 GAP Nano Compact, or whatever they were calling it, seems to have vanished without a trace. It's gone from their website, too. Hmm.
  • The new G10 grips on the TRPs are pretty sexy.
  • The inclusion of a kydex holster w/light rail with the GI models is a head-scratcher. Grandpa didn't carry a kydex holster ashore at Omaha Beach. At least, I'm fairly sure he didn't.

Friday, February 24, 2006

A great moment in gunblog land...

LawDog, of The LawDog Files fame, is bringing some of the most side-splittingly hilarious stuff you will ever, ever read to his very own shiny new blog.


Double yay!

Politics: You stay classy, Manila.

It was a heady time twenty years ago. The Philippines looked to stop being the world's largest exporter of dictator jokes and the world's largest importer of Maude Frizon pumps. Perky and sincere Cory Aquino was large and in charge. Marcos' staff of graft-riddled ward heelers would be forced to go ply their trade in some other third-world single-party hell hole, like Chicago...

What a difference two decades makes:

You got your basic vote-rigging, rioting, coup-plotting, army-mutinying, islamic insurgenting, dragging-political-opponents-out-of-the-hospital, tear gassing, ballot box stealing, graft, corruption, and all-around misery back in spades. Heck, there may even be gen-yoo-wine commie guerillas hiding out in the hills with the fanatical Japanese holdouts. All we need now is a funny-looking guy with big shoulder boards and a wife with a shoe fetish, and the long-dry punchline pipeline can start flowing again...

Boomsticks: Revolver lust...

We got our first S&W 50th Anniversary Model 29 in at the shop.

I'd give you a detailed review of how it looked and felt, but I barely saw it, as it lasted only about two hours on the shelf before finding a new home.

Maybe the next one will be in the shop long enough for me to scrutinize.

Speaking of revolver lust, Marko has it bad...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Blog Stuff: Dumber than a light bar on a Prius...

Behold, the goofiest thing on wheels: The Segway i180 Police.

That's right, kids, there is now a Police Interceptor model of the "Vehicle For People Too Geeky To Ride Mopeds." I haven't seen such a rich vein of comedic ore since Pat Robertson last opened his mouth.

The punch line and sight gag possibilities simply stagger the imagination. Consider for a moment:

  • Replacing all the cop cars in a remake of the mall chase scene in The Blues Brothers with these things.
  • The comic spectacle of some tofuista on his civilian model Segway being run down in a low-speed chase by Johnny Law on the Police Interceptor variant.
  • Trying to come up with a uniform design that will still allow an officer to have a butch, commanding presence while atop one of these effete gizmos. This would probably require big spikes of some sort.

Comedy gold like this only comes along a few times in a generation, folks.

Blog Stuff: Quelle surprise!

I'm not much of an anime buff, but I do own Gunsmith Cats. Therefore it was unsurprising that this little Quizilla quiz thought I was a gunsmith, cat.

You are RALLY - Guns are your life. Not only do

you have your own guns, but you repair other

peoples' guns. You are very career-minded,

and have no time for relationships. Who

needs kids? After all, you've got your guns!

What anime gun-toting hooligan are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

H/T to Porta's Cat.

Via the magic of SiteMeter...

...cool stuff I've read:

Straight outta Dallas, we have the 100% USDA Prime Grade-A Snark of Fatale Abstraction.

Plenty of serious gun nuttery (as well as biceps) is to be found at The Cathouse.

Whenever I think I'm in Retail Hell, I can go read the latest adventures of PDB.

Lastly, check out some righteous Aussie ranting at Bastards, Inc.

Overheard at work today:

Customer: "I need to sell off a bunch of my handguns I'm not shooting. I just have way too many collecting dust. Heck, I've got over twenty-five revolvers. It's crazy!"

Me: "Well gosh, sir, that is pretty crazy..."

Alston: "It sure is crazy. What would you call someone who had twenty-five revolvers, Tam?"

Me: "About fifteen wheelguns light."


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Oh. My. Gawd!

If somebody handed me this, it'd be a tossup whether I burst out laughing in his face, or just shot him where he stood.

(H/T to Josh, at his new digs.)

Politics: Squeamish about the strangest things...

Let me get this straight: They can't send Morales to his final reward because a couple of anesthesiologists are worried that they might have to administer a second dose of the sedative to put him under for good?

Tell you what, Arnie; you spring for my airfare, and I'll give him the same sedative he used on his seventeen year-old victim: Twenty-something doses of Estwingazine, administered cranially.

God, people, all this hand-wringing over a monster...

Cat Heaven:

A songbird outside the window and a warm gas heater under your butt.

View From The Porch is experiencing technical difficulties...

...please stand by.

(Due to audio problems, you'll need to hum the Muzak yourself.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Boomsticks: SayUncle ponders the house gun...

...and raises cogent issues regarding his choices.

Some riffing of my own on the topic:

1) Shotgun spread at in-home ranges is not enough to endanger the Rembrandt over the fireplace. Similarly, it is also not enough to overcome sloppy marksmanship.

2) The "shotgun racking" warning is the same as the "safety snicking" or "SureFire lighting" warning: In other words, it's not a warning, but a preparation for firing. If your preparations to fire incidentally cause the enemy to flee, wave 'bye and smile, 'cause you won.

3) Be careful about overgeneralizing the "don't use an expensive gun" caveat: A used Glock may be irreplaceable to a young householder. If I lose a kilobuck-plus 1911, no mas, I have more. They're all cheap relative to a good guy's life.

Myself, architecture and the fact that I'm single has dictated my strategy and choice of guns; I'm gonna fort up in my bedroom on one end of the house with the SureFire-equipped carbine and wait for the cavalry to arrive. If my house was laid out differently, or located elsewhere, or if I had a family, those would no doubt influence my choices.

Boomsticks: I wonder...

It'll be interesting to see what the new Springfield Armory XD in .45 ACP does to sales of the GAP model. If it really puts a dent in them, will Springfield pull the plug on the GAP XD's? I notice that despite the launch of a couple of high profile plastic popo guns lately (the Smith M&P and the Beretta PX-4 Storm) not a peep has been heard about a .45 GAP version of either one. Is Gaston's cartridge getting snubbed? I guess we'll have to stay tuned to find out...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Deacons for Defense and Justice.

Zendo Deb has an excellent post on a part of the Civil Rights movement too often overlooked in modern Iwannabeavictim America. Go read.

For my male readership...

To use an ancient Tomb Raider gag, "Hey, nice polygons!"

(I still say her neck is just freaky long.)

Y'know, I still have the "sneak preview demo" disc of the original game around here someplace. It was from Computer Gaming, or one of those rags. Just think, the kids who first played that game in high school are now in their mid-20s. ...and I need a Geritol.

Blog Stuff: A shopping trip through darkest whitebread America...

I may have mentioned that I'd rather be hit between the eyes with a ball peen hammer, repeatedly, than go to Wally World. Well, break out the Estwing, Edna, because it was 9 PM on a Sunday and I needed free-standing shelving, paper towels, sponges, dish soap, and a big bag of socks.

I trolled the aisles of the sleet-swept asphalt prairie, looking for a parking space as Robert Smith whined his way through Prayers For Rain over the car's speakers. (Does this adequately set the mood? I'm trying to foreshadow the fact that I look forward to a WalMart expedition the way most people look forward to hemorrhoid surgery, or the sight of a naked Rosanne.) What in the hell were all these people doing here this late on a miserable Sunday night, anyway? Finally a spot within reasonable schlepping distance of the front door appeared, between a Warner Brother's-edition GM minivan with gawd-knows-what smeared all over the inside of the windows and a multi-colored Dodge Dynasty that had been hit everyplace but the ashtray. Leaving my car to the tender mercies of the Visigoths parked to either side of it, I entered the maw of the MegaStore.

The greeter seemed no more thorazined than usual as I snagged a cart, smiled and nodded, and set off into the Superdome-sized vastness to score some shelves. I navigated the Impulse Buy Islands, fought through the trackless wastes of Junior's Clothing, traversed Tacky Jewelry Pass, and was standing winded and confused in the Particle Board Forest, when a perky blue vest showed up to help. I explained that I was just looking for some inexpensive shelving to hold dishes. "Oh, okay!" she responded brightly, "Right over... um, does it have to be pretty?"

"Mostly it just has to keep the dishes off the ground. I'm furnishing a mother-in-law apartment."

Apparently cheap modular plastic etageres of the kind we sold when I worked at Eckerd's are no longer in vogue. I picked out a particle board monstrosity and felt quite pleased with myself until my native guide asked how big of a vehicle I was in. Realizing the top would have to go down on the Beemer to transport my find, it went back on the shelf.

I wandered through the bath section en route to groceries and absentmindedly picked up a bathroom rug that would match my shower curtain, which necessitated snatching a matching towel off the shelf, which... Oh, Kee-rist, I was nesting! The new bathroom rug necessitated a U-turn back to the pet department to score a little doormat to put in front of the litter box, which of course had to match the bathroom decor.

By now I couldn't find my damn list and was navigating WalMart with only slightly more aplomb than the tribes of Israel showed in the Sinai. Forging in the direction I thought would get me to the beer department (when in doubt, seek comfort food,) I ducked into hardware to hide from a couple of well-meaning but long-winded customers from the Armory. As my eyes focussed on what I was hiding behind, I realized it was a stack of boxes containing modular four-shelf plastic etageres. Bingo! Now if I could get to groceries without further incident, I'd be home free...

Now you see why I buy items like, say, jeans from the mall.

It seems so much more convenient than:

Dozens killed in cartoon rioting...

...but depite the threat of a fatwah, Bill Watterson refuses to resume Calvin & Hobbes strip.

In a telephone interview from an undisclosed location (although the caller ID box said "S. Rushdie") the beleaguered cartoonist was quoted as saying "For God's sake people, it's been over for years now. The kid and the tiger have taken their last sled ride together. Let it go. And Berke Breathed had nothing to do with it, so if the 'Calvinist Liberation Front' would kindly return his basset hound, he'd be much obliged."

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sometimes my job has its funny moments...

*Ring, ring*

Frazzled Employee: "Coal Creek Armory. This is Tamara."

Potential Customer: "Yeah, I need to talk to somebody in the gun department." (Like we have any other departments.)

FE: "Go ahead, sir." [long pause] "Go ahead, sir."

PC: "Oh, uh... Well, actually, I need to speak to someone who can tell me about how much a gun is worth."

FE: "Go ahead, sir."

PC: "Er, well, it's an old army-type gun. I need to talk to somebody who knows old army guns."

FE: "That'd be me. Go ahead, sir."

PC: "It's kind of a strange one..."

FE: "Well, let's try and figure it out. I think I might could help you."

PC: "Really? Uh, okay... Well, my grandpa brought it back from the war. He got it off a dead German. It's a German rifle. What's it worth?"

FE: [sigh] "What kind of rifle is it?"

PC: "Um, an old German one."

FE: "Yes, but what kind? Is it a bolt-action rifle?"

PC: "Uh, yeah."

FE: "Okay then, what's it chambered in?"

PC: "I think it's in 8mm."

FE: "Does it have a scope on it?"

PC: "Nope."

FE: "Good. What's it say on the receiver ring?"

PC: "The what?"

FE: "Just forward of where you stick the 'bullets' sir. That round metal piece. What's it say on it?"

PC: "It just says 'S-slash-42'."

FE: "Okay, it's an 8mm Mauser 98k, made at the Mauser factory in Oberndorf in Germany. Does the wood go out almost to the end of the barrel? Is there wood on top of the barrel?"

PC: "No..."

FE: "So it's sporterized. I'll be happy to give you a value on it, but you'll have to bring it in and let me see it. A lot depends on how and when the work was done."

PC: "Uh, okay. Thanks! You sure know a lot about this stuff!"

FE: "Thank you, sir. You have a nice day, now."


Boomsticks: For a couple of manufacturers, the gloves are off...

In the gun world, we've become used to a general litany of doom and gloom over the last couple of years. Colt is on the mat, seemingly down for the count. US Repeating Arms, d/b/a "Winchester", had to euthanize its US operations, in the process axing three of the better-known lines of long guns in the country. Charter Arms and Ithaca had to be dragged from the surf where they had yet again been found bobbing face down.

In light of all this, the 2006 attitude of two manufacturers is refreshing to see: Smith & Wesson and SIGARMS are coming out swinging this year.

S&W is a company that never really recovered from the gradual turn to autopistols by the US sport shooting and LE markets. They did okay through the early years of the semiauto cop gun, but their relatively expensive machined-steel autochuckers started hemorrhaging market share badly when a plucky underdog from Austria went aggressively after the LE market, more or less giving guns away in a shrewd maneuver to gain brand recognition. Smith's attempt at a counterpunch, the Sigma series, was rushed to market and cost them a pair of black eyes in the form of embarassing product failures and a lost lawsuit to the new juggernaut from Smyrna. After the nadir of the humiliating HUD agreement, the company was sold for pocket change to a bunch of former management types who seemed to gain title to nothing but a company on the ropes.

After a couple of false starts, S&W is picking up market share again with a multi-pronged assault. First, they capitalize on their heritage; recognizing that, like another American icon, Harley Davidson, some folks are going to respond to that. If somebody really wants a revolver, nothing else is going to make them happy, and Smith wants to market themselves as THE revolver company. Second, with products like the new X-frame in The Biggest and The Fastest revolver calibers, they are cultivating an in-your-face image that would make Inspector Callahan proud. The last leg of the triad becomes apparent with the M&P pistol and the M&P-15 rifle. The M&P is targeted directly at Glock, incorporating several features designed to play to perceived weaknesses of the Drastic Plastic: witness how the ad campaign touts things like a modular grip to fit any hand and, more telling, many references to being able to disassemble the gun without having to pull the trigger. (The fact that the LE wires are frequently abuzz with reports of negligent discharges caused by that is no coincidence.) Rumor has it that Smith is basically giving the guns to interested police departments, in exchange for their old guns as trade-ins. Obviously they figure that if it worked once for Smyrna, it'll work again for Springfield. The M&P-15, priced to go head-to-head with Bushmaster and Rock River, gives them another leg up in the LE market, as department armorers and accountants both love one-stop-shopping for pistols and patrol carbines. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

Meanwhile, up the road from Massachussetts, SIGARMS is introducing a blizzard of new pistol models. The if-you-can't-beat-them-join-them GSR is available in a bewildering variety of 5" and Commander-sized models now, both with and without rails. The absence of MIM is being heavily touted in the ad campaigns, no doubt a reference to the former employer of SIGARMS new CEO (who used to work down the road in Yonkers.) His influence also shows in the new offerings from SIGARMS' Custom Shop: The P-series Eclipse and CDP. Er, I mean, Equinox and SAS. Further, the venerated P-220 is to be available in a 3.9" configuration, called the 'Carry' model, and in a Single-Action-Only version, with a thumb safety positioned where God and John Moses Browning (who incidentally have never been photographed together) intended for it to be. Combine this with the announcement of the gizmo-laden SIG-556 rifle, priced to poke the AR market in the eye and guaranteed to have every sufferer of Iwannacoolgun virus beating down gun shop doors in late summer, and we see a company aggressively going after gains in the civilian market sized to match the fat federal, state, and local contracts it's been picking up lately.

All in all, 2006 should be a pretty interesting year in the gun shop. :)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Blog Stuff: A remarkable likeness...

I'd been to the South Park Studio before, but Stephen Bodio's Querencia reminded me of its existance.

With a bit of futzing around, I think I managed to capture the Essence of Tam. ;)

Books: Note to self...

Sitting on the porch reading the memoirs of soldiers on the Eastern Front in WWII when it's 25 degrees out doesn't make it feel any warmer... Brrr...

A sad day in the annals of naval aviation...

The F-14D Tomcat has flown its last combat mission; phased out of the Navy's carrier air groups because, being a pure air superiority fighter, it wasn't versatile enough in the air-to-ground role.

The darling of a whole generation of aviation buffs who grew up watching Top Gun, the Tomcat was a big, sleek machine designed to provide an umbrella against air attack for the USN's carrier groups, a role apparently deemed no longer important in today's post-transformation military. The USA Today article linked above made a statement I found annoying, however:
Although still swift and deadly, the F-14 is a victim of changing times. For example:

· Sophisticated missiles have made its specialty, aerial dogfighting, obsolete. Opposing aircraft target each other from miles away, often before the pilots can see each other except on radar.
This isn't quite true. While the Tomcat is indeed a respected dogfighter, its whole reason for being is as a launch platform for the AIM-54 Phoenix; a Beyond-Visual-Range AAM that can swat a bomber, and its load of ship-killing cruise missiles, out of the sky from 100 miles away. The Phoenix isn't a weapon that can just be duct-taped to the underside of any old plane, either; it requires a specialized radar that lives in the nose of the F-14 for target acquisition.

If we're never going to face another opponent with cruise missile-toting bombers, then the F/A-18 Super Hornet can do everything the Tomcat can, and do it better. If, however, protection of our super-expensive CVN's from long-range aerial threats is still a priority, then the Tomcat will be missed. At least during the height of the Vietnam War, when COIN (COunter INsurgency) was the buzzword on everone's lips, we had the Russkies staring at us across the Fulda Gap to keep us honest...

Boomsticks: Carnival of Cordite No. XLVIII...

...is up at the Revolutionary War Veteran's Association.

Lots of nattering this week about Vice President Cheney's errant shotgun blast, as well as a bunch of chatter on the BATFE's woes.

Myself? Slept through the submission deadline again, dammit...

Friday, February 17, 2006

Books: Weber's other 'verse, and gewehrs in Grantville...

David Weber is best known for his "Horatio Hornblower-in-space" Honor Harrington tales, but almost equally enjoyable are the books he co-authored with Steve White set in the Starfire universe. Normally books based on games simply suck, but these (Insurrection, Crusade, In Death Ground, and The Shiva Option) are cracking good, well-realized military SF. Good, memorable characters and an internally-consistant universe make for an enjoyable read.

I'm taking a time out in the middle of my re-read of The Shiva Option, however, to read a short story in the copy of The Grantville Gazette I picked up at McKay's today: Curio and Relic, recommended to me here, answers the question "Where the hell were all the guns in 1632?"

Also scored at McKay's today: Collateral and Way Of The Gun on DVD. Hooray!

"Yo! Homey! Is that my briefcase?"

Cute Kid Photo Alert:

Quinn turns one, stuffs face.

"Climate" is what you expect, "weather" is what you get.

So, this time last week we were all nattering about the mighty approaching winter storm. Last Sunday morning I posted a picture of the snow falling in my front yard.

Yesterday, I rode the Zephyr to work under sunny skies with temperatures in the low 70s. Last night I sat on the porch and enjoyed a book with temperatures still in the balmy low 60s 'til midnight.

They're calling for "wintry mix" tonight and tomorrow.

The Southeast doesn't actually have a winter "climate", and as far as the weather goes, if you don't like what you've got today, wait a day or so; it'll change.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Pr0n: Magazines, for SayUncle.

Just in case SayUncle needed an exhibit for the defense, here's the contents of the big wicker basket at the foot of my bed. This is nowhere near all of my ammunition-feeding devices (bandoliers of stripper clips and Garand clips festoon the clost walls, for instance,) but it's a good start on some serious gun-nuttery. The 1911 mags, btw, are segregated into .38 Super (top row), 10mm Auto (middle row), and .45 ACP (bottom row).

Politics: Same planet, different worlds...

Sometimes the smallest things can point up the enormous chasms that transect American political thought these days.

Yesterday I was perusing Michael Silence's blog, where he referenced a post made by R. Neal over at KnoxViews. It seems that R. Neal discovered some nosing around on his site from an army.mil IP address. Obviously, Dick Cheney had ordered the Pentagon to spy on him.

Meanwhile, here on the porch, I'm browsing my sitemeter activity (as is my inquisitive wont), and noting the usual smattering of hits from usmc.mil, nasa.gov, army.mil, ornl.gov, and af.mil. I always assumed that this was because bored troopies and .gov employees were as given to slacking off at their desks and surfing the 'net as the rest of us, not because they were ordered by Skull & Bones to monitor my stupid jokes, frothing rants, and gun pr0n pictures.

I see I need to step up my vigilance. Who knew?

Heh. Fun With ESL...

Via Cowboy Blob, we're pointed to an hilarious video posted at The Lost Nomad: Clicky.

Irresistable chuckles for someone who grew up with Hogan's Heroes...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Boomsticks: Gratuitous Gun Pr0n No. 21

(...or, more accurately, gratuitous holster pr0n No. 1.)

Faithful readers may recollect me ordering a Milt Sparks holster for my SIGarms GSR back in November. A pistol that groovy deserves to be toted, and the frame rail and weird slide contour pretty much guarantees that it won't fit in a standard 1911 holster. Apparently, the folks out in Boise actually had to go out and track down a gun to use for the mold and so, after a 12-week wait, my holster showed up on the UPS truck Monday.

Black sharkskin trim. Yum.

Attention, Bushbots.

Yes, we know that Ted Kennedy (aka "The Evel Knievel of Chappaquiddick") is a pusillanimous toad who killed a woman with his total lack of backbone, and that his car has killed more people than Dick's pansy little 28 gauge shotgun has.

Yes, we know that wandering downrange during a quail hunt isn't the brightest thing one can do while upland bird hunting.

The fact remains that Cheney committed an egregious Rule Four violation. By all accounts, he's been a mensch about it, but it still happened.

Stating as much does not imply a desire to run out and join Al Qaeda, or a defection to the camp of the moonbats who oppose the Glorious Maximum Leader.

That is all.

Our man in Vermont would like you to know...

...that the media still has an anti-gun bias.

Highlights of this week's Check on the Bias include:

Head on over and check out the Bias Check.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

OMG! That is too cute!

Now I'm wishing I'd been able to find a way to make it out to Nashvegas on Sunday. It looks like I missed all the fun.

From the Volkmeister's site:

photo by Oleg Volk.

I didn't get a pink AR when I was little. How bitter am I?

(...and no, I am not going to take a can of Krylon to Project Housegun. It occurs to me, however, that maybe the forthcoming .300 Whisper might not need to be so, um, serious. ;) )

Politics: Dick Cheney falls afoul of the game wardens...

It seems that the veep had forgotten to get himself a lawyer stamp added to his hunting license.

A Texas Parks and Wildlife Department spokesperson said, on condition of anonymity, "Even though lawyer season is open all year 'round in Texas, trying to bag one without the proper stamp is still a serious offense."

Blog Stuff: Pseudo LiveJournal post...

Up too late again.

My plan of hopping into bed at a reasonable hour got scotched by a noisy old house triggering my old friend, Insomnia.

Pondering work tomorrow... What have I forgotten from today? Business has been boomi... ah, heck, forget the tired homilies: the place has been going like gangbusters since well before Christmas and shows no signs of slowing down. My biggest challenge so far has just been keeping up with the re-stocking of merchandise to replace what we've sold. Guns won't stay on the shelf; accessories sell faster than manufacturers can deliver them; CCW courses are booked solid through the end of next month. I feel like a juggler.

What did I forget today? Can't forget anything; gotta stay on top of the game...

"They don’t know what you’re doing
Babe, it must be art."

[mood| On edge.]
[music|U2, Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me ]

Monday, February 13, 2006

Monday Night Catblogging...

"Cat: A pygmy lion who loves mice, hates dogs, and patronizes human beings." -Oliver Herford

"Ow. Stop. You're hurting my dignity."

photo by Oleg Volk

They're just so easy to mortify, though, that you almost can't pass up an opportunity to do so. ;)

Sheer. Comedy. Genius.

Brokeback To The Future.

(H/T to Texican Tattler.)

Politics: The Romper Room Lady is being considered...

...for a position as a judge in Saddam's trial after today's hijinks.

Highlights of Monday's courtroom proceedings included The Former Maximum Leader wearing his clothes backwards and yelling "Did not! Did not! Notnotnotnotnotnot!" Meanwhile, co-defendant Barzan Ibrahim called the judge a "poopie-head", then held his breath until he turned blue.

If I was little school-age Tammy this morning...

...and, after all the hype and chatter from the grownups over the weekend, I was climbing aboard a school bus with not a snowman in sight, I'd think Mother Nature was a chump.

I'm just sayin'...

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Boomsticks: Back by Popular Demand...

...It's the 47th Weekly Carnival of Cordite!

Starring: A Potential Future Governor of Oregon!

Co-Starring: Countertop, Mr. Completely, and Dick Cheney's shotgun pellets!

Breaking News: According to the Daily Kos, Karl Rove nudged Cheney's shotgun barrel at the last minute, because Whittington had evidence as to the whereabouts of OBL and the WMD!

Gear Ho': Good, Better, Goodest...

The EOTech sight comes with two attachment options: an allen-head screw, which is good, and a thumbscrew, which is even better.

It is, however, pretty much impossible to get anything close to "return to zero" with a screw mount. "I think I torqued it down, oh, about yea much last time..." just doesn't deliver the repeatability needed.

Enter GG&G's Accu-Cam throw-lever mount. Easy enough to install for even a ten-thumbed klutz like me (installation time was <5 minutes thanks to clear and concise instructions,) it gives rock-solid lockup, and what appears to be (at least out to 25 yards) return to zero repeatability. Groovy.

I was almost as bad with the Accu-cam as I was with my self-assembled lower: "Look! You just throw the lever and it pops off! Then you throw the lever and it locks on! Look! It locks up to the rail all solid and stuff and I put it on all by myself! Look!"

Yay, me. :)

Well, it's starting to stick...

Better late than never.

I wonder how those new Conti Sports on the Beemer are gonna handle slush? Only one way to find out. Whee! :)

UPDATE: Looks like I jinxed the hell out of us by posting that picture. I knew I should've worn my pyjamas inside out last night. :(

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Boomsticks: Gratuitous Gun Pr0n No. 20

Airweight circa 1966 meets Airweight circa 2002.

The gun is a 2" S&W Model 12-2 Military & Police Airweight with a steel cylinder & barrel and an alloy frame, and the knife is a Boker Orion, with a Titanium/Aluminum alloy blade and a carbon fiber frame.

Blatant Capitalism: I don't get it...

...is it the snow, or what?

I mean, we don't sell milk or bread, but the last time I jogged a gun back to gunsmithing, the lot was full, there were cars parked in all the little "non-spaces" at the end of rows, and there were like five or six cars parked on the grass.

The joint is jumpin'.

"Quick, Martha! There's a 30% chance of snow! Let's get bread and milk, then go buy a gun and get snowed in at the indoor range!"

Not that I'm complaining, mind you, just baffled.

Blog Stuff: Pseudo LiveJournal post...

All insomniac again, staring at the weather radar updates on three different websites. Snow, damn you! Snow!


[mood| Anticipatory.]
[music| Front 242, Serial Killers Don't Kill Their Girlfriend]

Friday, February 10, 2006

Politics: Scots wrap The Bruce's remains in copper wire...

...and generate enough electricity to run every lightbulb in Edinburgh 'til 2137 AD.

Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson yesterday vowed it would be just one of many measures to battle knife crime in Scotland.


Launching the amnesty for England and Wales, Home Secretary Charles Clarke said: "Every weapon handed in will be a weapon that cannot be used in crime.

"Anyone with a knife or other weapon that might be used to cause fear and distress on our streets should take this chance to get rid of it."

Still unknown is whether large males will be recompensed if they turn in their hands and feet.

Rumor has it that the Knife Amnesty will be shortly followed by the Vaguely-Pointy Objects Amnesty, the Large Heavy Rocks Amnesty, and the Prefrontal Lobe Amnesty.

In other news from the islands, a motion has been launched to retroactively change Richard I's sobriquet to Richard Coeur De Poulet.

Blog Stuff: Just in case...

...any younger readers were wondering what the definition of a "gentleman" is, it can be found here.

Bikes: Quelle bummer...

As may be surmised from all the global warming lying on the ground in the backdrop of the AR picture in the post below, I won't be doing much riding today. According to the 10-day forecast at Weather.com, it'll be next Wednesday before we see the north side of 50.

And to think, this time last week I was motoring about on the Zephyr, enjoying sixty-degree temps and sunny skies...

Boomsticks: "Project Housegun: Lessons Learned" or, "Pimp My Ride."

The AR-type rifle and carbine have become some of the most popular longarms in America today, and it was somewhat inevitable, given their modular nature, that they would benefit from a gigantic aftermarket industry catering to every possible whim a shooter might have for these excellent shoulder weapons. In the early days, there was a marked tendency for owners to hang every doodad and geegaw possible off of their weapons. It got bad enough that it has recently spawned a backlash (similar to the reborn Cult of the Unmodified 1911, which we'll cover in a later post) of folks who take pride in not using any accessories on their AR, and who look askance at those who do. As in most things, there's a happy medium, and I'd like to go ahead and share the lessons I've learned over the past several years; lessons currently objectified in Project Housegun.

For starters, this post is about accessories for the AR-type in its role as a CQB-oriented carbine. There are a plethora of gizmos and gadgets available to adapt the AR to the roles of general service rifle, NRA High Power or Three Gun competition rifle, or varmint exploder extraordinaire, but those aren't what this post is about. What it is about is the weapon that LE, the military, and increasing numbers of private citizens are using to replace the shotgun, subgun, or pistol caliber carbine as a CQB tool: the short AR carbine.

First and foremost, lets get some items out of the way that you definitely do not need bolted to a fighting carbine:

  1. A magnifiying scope of greater than about 1.5 power. These are too unforgiving in eye relief and field-of-view. That, and the fact that you shouldn't need magnifiying optics on your gun if its only intended use is home defense: If you can't see it clearly with the naked eye, you're going to have a hard time explaining to the DA why you thought it needed shootin'.
  2. A bipod and/or free-float forend. What, you're gonna go after prairie dogs in your living room?
  3. A match trigger. Undoubtedly a Good Thing on rifles, they don't make enough difference on a carbine (which will be seldom fired at ranges past 15-25 yards) to offset their reduced durability.

Now on to the things that you do want.

The biggest thing for an AR carbine isn't even hardware at all; it's software. The squared-up fighting stance, with the shooter facing squarely towards his target and keeping his elbows in like a boxer, has revolutionized the way that the shorty AR is both viewed and employed. With the carbine held high, so the toe of the stock barely contacts the shoulder, and the head held up and body squared in a fighting stance, the shooter is much more aware of his surroundings, and has an easier time moving without dismounting the weapon from his shoulder. Many of the newer accessories seen on short AR's come from this change in employment. Let's look at a couple of them.

1) Sights.

Not too many years ago, any kind of optic on a fighting rifle was heresy. With the advent of rugged red-dot zero-magnification optics, like the Aimpoint and Eotech, folks have discovered the joy of having an easy to use dot sight that is immune to eye-relief problems and virtually parallax-free. Don't waste time lining up the dot with the front sight when shooting; where the dot is, there the bullet will go. Speed is the advantage that these sights offer in spades over conventional irons, and speed is very important on a long-gun that may well be used inside Tueller Drill range. While the aforementioned two optics hold the lion's share of the market, Trijicon's Tri-Power and ACOG lines are also worth a look, as well as Leupold's CQ/T.

As far as iron sights go, if the front sight tower hanging in front of your dot sight bothers you, then by all means get a folding front sight. Better still would be to learn to ignore it while the dot is up and running, because having to flip up two back up irons (front and rear) in case of optic failure is (by definition) twice as time consuming as erecting only one, and time may not be on your side when you have to do it. For a folding backup rear, look to a quality manufacturer like ARMS, Yankee Hill, or GG&G, and make sure you get a Same-Plane aperture, so that switching back and forth between coarse and fine settings doesn't throw off your POI like it does with standard A2 sights. For the front sight post, a replacement loaded with tritium from XS Systems is invaluable. For a dedicated indoor gun, look to the dot sight post, while a carbine that may be pressed into more general service would better benefit from the vertical stripe.

2) Lights.

Unless you live by yourself in downtown Fallujah, your home is not a free-fire zone. Shooting a target without first identifying it could have a negative impact on your future social life. Given that self-defense encounters in the home tend to take place after lights-out, a white light on the weapon is a good thing. If you have the bucks to spend, a SureFire dedicated forend or M900 vertical pistol grip light is the Mack Daddy of weapon-mounted lights. For a little less money, SureFire's Millennium series or the new lights from PentagonLight will fill the bill nicely. If you're forced to light the cheap seats, Viking Tactical makes a handy bracket that will allow you to clamp a cheap SureFire 6P or G2 Nitrolon to any available Picatinny rail.

3) Miscellaneous Good Stuff.

  • In the squared-up fighting stance, the non-dominant hand will be more comfortable grasping either the front of the mag well or a dedicated forward pistol grip. If you use the latter, you should probably locate it as far rearward as you can without interfering with fast mag changes. Eschew goofy gizmos like bipod/forward-pistol-grip combos on a dedicated CQB carbine.
  • Some type of oversized charging handle latch will allow you to perform simple malfunction-clearing drills without dismounting the weapon from your shoulder or breaking the firing grip of your master hand. PRI's Big Latch is less likely to snag on stuff than Badger's Tac-Latch, if not quite as easy to use one-handed.
  • A better grip (like those from Hogue, Tango Down, or ErgoGrip) and a gapper to fill the space in the rear of the trigger guard will make long practice sessions more bearable for your hand and trigger finger.
  • A sling is to a carbine as a holster is to a pistol. You need some way to retain the weapon while your hands are busy doing other things. Three point slings are good for carbines that are intended to be carried around a lot, as they combine shooting functions with carry strap comfort, but they are bulky and have straps running every which way. A single point is better for a gun that will only be used for short periods of time; it is less encumbering, since its only purpose is to catch the gun and let it swing while your hands are otherwise occupied.
  • An Vltor or Magpul stock is a zillion times better than the standard 4-position collapsable. Trust me.

Anyhow, that's some stuff I discovered while gradually circling towards replacing my house shotgun with a house carbine. A lot of it is optional, although I think the dot, light, and latch are pretty close to necessary to get the full measure out of the gun in this role. Try stuff yourself, study the available literature (the series of Pat Rogers articles in SWAT Magazine are a gold mine), practice, and if you dicover cool and new stuff, let me know; I'm always up for Project Housegun II.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Boomsticks: Pistol-caliber AR Pr0n alert.

It appears that Cowboy Blob's ACE-stocked, reflex-sighted 9mm playtoy is back from the dead and ready to party. He's issued an invitation to Tucson-area gunbloggers to come out and see it get wrung out this Saturday.

Politics: Sometimes the jokes write themselves...

Incensed at being unfairly portrayed as a bunch of rioting arsonists, Muslims in Damascus rioted and burned several buildings.

These are the jokes, folks. I'll be here all week. Try the veal...

Politics: Pop Theologians discover junk science, phone White House.

A whole bunch of alleged "religious conservatives" were herded into thinking about global warming by a poll circulated among them by their Concerned Leaders. Of the 1,000 polled, two-thirds reported that they were "convinced that global warming was taking place." Unreported is the percentage that were convinced that Touched By An Angel was a great TV show.

Among other recommendations of the signatories:

1) Load two of every kind of animal onto the USS Nimitz, just in case the whole CO2 Credits thing doesn't play with The Almighty, and

2) At least one Righteous Man should be relocated by the government to San Francisco, to prevent Laura Bush from being turned into a pillar of salt.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Jeff's weekly bias check is pretty shocking this week...

There's an indoor range at a Wisconsin middle school, and the ACLU is on the side of the angels in Texas.

On the other hand, part of Canada is still skeered of guns.

For all the dirt, click here.

Boomsticks: I gotcher Road Rage right here.

There's been a lot of road-rage-related nattering in the gunblog universe lately. Anyway...

Yesterday was beautiful here in East Tennessee, if a bit cold. I was grooving out to some Moby tunes on the drive to work, and as I wheeled into the parking lot, who should I notice pulling in right behind me but my pal Marko, aka "Kindergarten Cop". He pulled the Munchkin Hauler into the spot right behind my car, and so I grabbed my purse, threw the towel off the object in the passenger seat and, grabbing said object, hopped out to greet he and Quinn.

"Whoa!" yelled Marko "Now there's your soccer mom road rage nightmare right there!"

What had I grabbed from the passenger seat and exited the vehicle holding?


Hey, I gotta get it to and from work somehow, and if I'm not making any stops or going through any drive-throughs on the way, then it's a lot easier to put it in the passenger seat with a towel for a burka than it is to get it in and out of the trunk.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Boomsticks: Cheesy name, but the gun ain't half bad.

Well, we got our first two S&W Molded Plastics M&Ps in at work, and they pretty much bounced off the shelf, finding new homes within hours of each other. A thumbnail sketch of my first impressions:

1) Ergos are good, with the ever-more-common ambi slide stop and a low-as-a-limbo-dancer bore axis. The interchangeable backstraps seem more useful than the earlier variety on the P-99/SW99 and P2000.

2) The trigger, while still having that godawful hinge in the middle like a Stigma trigger, feels shorter in stroke, with a much more positive break. Think improved Walther P99 QA, here.

3) The "fishscale" slide serrations conjure warm and fuzzy feelings of bucks-up Performance Center 945's, Kimber Raptors, and Ed Brown Kobra Carrys, and help one overlook the fact that this is at heart another mid-price cop gun with a mold line.

4) This is the most substantial-feeling plastic cop gun I have yet to heft. The frame has none of that hollow "'toks'-when-you-tap-it" feel that afflicts even pricey polymer pistols like the USP. If you've hefted an HK P9S, it feels like that.

All in all, I'm impressed. The basic Glock, with no revisions for almost a decade, is beginning to look a bit long in the tooth compared to some of these newer plastic popguns. Gaston's at the very least going to need to do something about grip adaptability to stay in the game long term.

Politics: More on the cartoon nonsense...

Alleged regular reader Bey Efendi writes:
I usually enjoy reading your blog, however as a long-time resident of Turkey (99% Moslem and an ally of the US) I find the cartoons extremely offensive.

Bey Efendi

View From The Porch responds:
Mr. Efendi,

If you've been reading this blog for more than two or three days, you have seen me post material that could be found offensive by Democrats, Republicans, bureaucrats, members of labor unions, WalMart shoppers, idiots, non-gun owners, Mall Ninjas, men, women, bad drivers, yankees, rednecks, the illiterate, homosexuals, heterosexuals, cave dwellers, sufferers of clinical depression, residents of New Orleans, Christians, and fans of American League so-called "Baseball". About the only group I haven't yet lampooned is blonde, left-handed, gun-owning chicks in East Tennessee, and I'm sure I'll get around to them. All of a sudden now, when the snark is directed towards the Sons of the Prophet, you get your panties all in a twist. I'd say that I hate to think I offended a reader, but that would be a lie. All humor is at somebody's expense, and today it's the turn of Islam. Tough. Either realize that you, too, can be made fun of, or read elsewhere, machs nicht. Stick around if you want, and we can all laugh at somebody else tomorrow, and get our chuckles from watching them sputter in self-righteous indignation.

View From The Porch

Bikes (sorta): Holy Schwinn, Batman!

Via Cold Fury, one video guaranteed to get your ticker started in the morning.

You've run with the bulls in Pamplona, scaled the North Face of the Eiger nekkid, and jumped out of a plane without a 'chute, so now what do you do for a bit of a thrill? Race bicycles in Manhattan.

Monday, February 06, 2006

I'm living in the future!

When I moved into my current mother-in-law/loft apartment, I used the kitchen facilities in the downstairs portion of the house. Since then I've changed downstairs neighbors, and my new downstairs neighbor has recently acquired himself a live-in schmoopie. So now I've been gradually setting up kitchen-keeping in the formerly disused kitchenette in my domicile. So far, it's pretty much a flashback to dorm life, with a mini-fridge and a toaster oven handling my feeding chores, although I plan to enlarge my culinary life by dragging my microwave up here later this week.

Last night I swung by Kroger to stock up on supplies for my itty-bitty coffee maker and, on impulse, also picked up one of those Wolfgang Puck "Gourmet Rich Mocha Lattes" in the New Self-Heating Can! (Bold, italics, and punctuation all from the original.)

This morning I trundled out to the porch, turned the Magic Can upside down, removed the metal safety cover, poked the bottom of the can, and... Sorcery! Witchcraft! Deviltry! Isolationism! Free Silver! ...the can heated itself like something out of a bad '80s cyberpunk novel. Drinking my cybertechnonanoheated morning Joe, I feel like I should "punch deck", rather than log onto the internet. Cool. Kids these days don't know how good they have it. Where's my flying car?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Moral Relativity: It isn't just for Einstein anymore...

A hazard of having moved out of the inner city and dwelling in whitebread suburban America is that it becomes too easy to view the Other Side and their reductio ad absurdum moral relativism as some chimerical beastie that doesn't exist outside of Rush "Hydrocodone Boy" Limbaugh's Triple-Bypass Burger-fuelled nightmares. If one never visited Democratic Underground, one might never be aware of their existance, except for the fact that they have keyboards too.

I'm reminded of the time that a well-meaning friend pointed out that yeah, Germany did some bad things in WWII, but that the USA had internment camps, too. I had to blink a half-dozen times before I could point out that, while the interning of the Nisei was a monstrous evil, at least they could exit their camps via the gate, rather than the chimney, and that that was a fairly important difference.

The very fact that we are hand-wringing over this stuff says something about that ol' stock-footage bogeyman, Post-Enlightenment Western Culture.

Anyhow, without further ado, on to the fisking. "jesperskibbey" writes:

As no one else would touch this one, I thought I would add my $0.02.

I think nobody else was touching this one because everybody else saw the absurdity of protesting being labelled a bomb-throwing maniac by... actually throwing bombs.

The problem with the cartoons is that they are designed to offend and stereotype Muslims.

Why, yes. Yes, they are. And, taken in a vacuum, that's wrong. Of course, there's also the countervailing viewpoint that these cartoons are meant to lampoon a very specific kind of Moslems.

Lets[sic] lump them all into the same category. They all hate women, they all plot mass murder. The cartoons remind me of Nazi propaganda with caricatures of Jews with oversized lips and huge noses shaped like a number 6.

Five sentences in and I could already invoke Godwin's Law and declare victory, but let's keep going for argument's sake.

Sure, you can post a cartoon that others find highly offensive, but what good does it do? I could take a crap on Chesty Puller's casket flag in front of the local VFW, then whip out a Zippo and set the colors ablaze, but what good would it do?

Not a bit of good. But anyone trying to give you a hug while wearing a Semtex sweater would be prosecuted. Speech is speech, even if hateful speech, and thus protected in an enlightened and modern society.

Such an act will not change their minds, I will only increase their resolve, and perpetuate the stereotype.

Perpetuate what stereotype? That a certain spectrum of whack jobs hiding behind the skirts of a religion are willing to call for the murder of innocents at the drop of a hat? Is that the sterotype we're talking about?

Dialog, and respect will change the world for the better, not a "Look what we can do, and you can't stop us" attitude.

A "look what we can do" attitude? What can "we" do? Threaten to bathe Copenhagen in blood because one of the cartoonists working for a local paper has questionable taste?

The Danes, French, Belgians, Dutch and many Americans are blind to their own racism, and it was easy for them to post racially insensitive cartoons.

How about religiously insensitive cartoons, since that's what's really being discussed, here. BTW, who issued the Fatwa over Dancing Jesus? Oh, that's right, there wasn't one...

It is easy for us to perform renditions on Imams who don't like our policies. It is easy for our servicemen to pile up naked prisoners and take pictures.

For which they were court-martialled. Who held the court martial for the people who took pictures of prisoners naked of, not only their dignity, but also their noggins?

It is easy for us to fly hooded and drugged "suspected terrorist" to Egypt and Bulgaria to be tortured by foreign intelligence agencies. Why? For the same reason it was easy for law abiding Germans to follow orders and send Jews to the gas chambers.

Godwin's Law redux.

Like the Jews were to the Germans they have become less than human to us. Welcome to Club Gitmo.

Is the mention of "Gitmo" a knee-jerk reaction, or, like those who justify equating Auschwitz with Poston, is your moral compass needle completely demagnetized?

Flotsam and jetsam of the 'net.

Surfing around the internet, one constantly runs across little icons and graphics that make one say "Hey, that's cute!" and Right Click To Save.

Here are a couple that have kicked over my gigglebox recently...

Kermit here just absolutely slays me.

How did they get a webcam into my apartment?

EDIT: Hey, why isn't my animated little typer dude typing?

Boomsticks: Carnival of Cordite No. XLVI is up.

Click here for the smell of popcorn, cotton candy, and Hoppe's #9.

(...and I slept through the submission deadline again, dammit!)

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Politics: Tammy Bruce, where have you been all my life?

Well, I don't mean it in that way, but seriously, how did I manage to keep from picking her up on my radar for all these years?

I went to Borders today to spend some birthday ducats and, having turned up bupkis in the way of new books that piqued my interest down my usual aisles (they were sold out of hardcover copies of the new Honor Harrington, dammit,) wandered over to the PoliSci section. I remembered Zendo Deb having mentioned Ms. Bruce a few times, so I took a stab at her book The New American Revolution .

Anybody who can say the following gets my hard-earned reading dollars in the future:

It just doesn't seem as if there are too many special-interest groups for openly gay, pro-choice, pro-death-penalty feminists with Ronald Reagan as their hero and a gun named Snuffy in the night table.

It's a pretty good read thus far. :)

Test... Test...

Just checking to see if this post gets devoured by Blogger like my last four have been.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Boomsticks: I have a confession to make...

Ever since I found that .223 Winchester Super Silly Magnum will feed out of a GI AR magazine (albeit turning it into a single-stack mag due to the chubby case,) I have been dying to get an AR in that chambering. And not a long-barrelled varminter, either, but a stubby 16-inch carbine, just because I think it would make really, really cool fireballs.

Hey, people spend lots of money on fireworks all the time...

It appears that good ol' Phred Phelps...

...and his crew of shrieking God-botherers are planning on stinking up the fresh air of Tennessee again in the near future.

I have only one thing to say: Methinks he doeth protest too much.

Ahhhh, a day off...

So, it was early in the AM and I was taking in my morning caffeine infusion on the porch, re-reading Helliconia Spring by Brian W. Aldiss (not recommended if it's a little chilly in your favorite reading spot) under leaden, cloudy skies, when a sudden glare of light tore my eyes up from the page. I sat there blinking for a second, then stampeded inside for a camera. Sorry the shot didn't turn out better, but the lighting effect only lasted a moment or two and this was the best shot of the bunch.

Here's this morning's actual View From The Porch:

That's the cool thing about living on the lake here; five or six times a week, Mother Nature does something that makes you want to stick a dollar in her garter belt. :)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Boomsticks: *snicker*

Admit it, you laughed too.

Politics: Casa Tam needed redecorating, anyway...

...so I may as well go shopping at House of Copenhagen.

Where did this urge spring from? Well, to trace it to its roots, it seems a lot of Islamic fundamentalists got all wrapped around the axle about a Danish cartoonist portraying their religion as a pack of bloodthirsty bomb-toting terrorists, and so they naturally reacted to this biased portrayal by, well... threatening to bomb the cartoonist, the newspaper, the country he lived in, the continent he was located on, and anybody who might in any way be remotely connected with that continent.

Oh, and they're not going to buy anything from Denmark, either, so Erik Jørgensen furniture, Havarti cheese, and several yummy pastries are Right Out for the Sons of the Prophet. (Presumably Copenhagen-brand Danish Ham production is unaffected, thank Wotan.)

Sandmonkey is leading the countercharge to take up the slack in the Danish export market and the blogosphere seems to be rallying around the flagpole in a haze of Tuborg and FRÏS fumes.

Oddly enough, despite the rather prominent Pastafarian link on my blog, I have yet to have an Episcopalian turn up on my front porch with his Sansabelt pockets full of grenades. Maybe this is why I tend to take Episcopalians more seriously than I do people who respond to caricature with C4 Underoos.

On that note, I'll leave you with this: A cartoon of Mohammed with a bomb in his 'do.

(H/T to TFS Magnum, who shoved me down this rabbit hole.)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Boomsticks: The Weekly Check on the Bias...

...is up over at Alphecca.

This week, Jeff brings us a special Chicks With Guns version of the Weekly Check.

Speaking as one, I heartily approve of this part.

No, really, this actually happened...

I was there when Tiff got off the phone after talking to this guy. She had this freshly-tasered look on her face, as if to say "Nobody could really be that dumb. This was a joke, right?"

Boomsticks: The importance of the customer service department at Better Killing, Inc.

Oleg has a great post up on why the free market and civilian availability is a swell thing for gun designs, the same way it is for anything else...

UPDATE: Marko over at the Munchkin Wrangler offers a good riff on Oleg's post here.

Watched Gladiator again last night...

...so here's a totally gratuitous Russell Crowe picture.

That man makes my elbows sweat.


Anyhow, where were we? Oh, yeah, the daily writing of the stuff for the blog...

Being a huge history buff, as well as a big fan of Ridley Scott, I've been meaning to grab a DVD copy of the straight-to-video flop Gladiator 2... er, Kingdom of Heaven. There's been a lot of 'net chatter over why this movie was such a box office dog, especially given the fact that it made use of plenty of the same swordfights-in-snowy-northern-forests and skies-full-of-fiery-catapult-projectiles footage that was such a hit for Ridley in Gladiator. Given the overt similarities between the two costume dramas, the second should have been as much of a slam-dunk success as the first, yet it bombed miserably.

I'm going to take a differing view from those who've stated it had something to do with the sociopolitical commentary on the Crusades, and instead suggest that it was due to putting Orlando Bloom in the alpha male lead role. I'm sure Orlando's a swell guy and all, and he did a great job as the slightly-androgynous Legolas in LOTR, but after seeing him on the small screen, you want to take him home and feed him milk and cookies. After watching the legate Maximus, on the other hand, you need to disassemble your monitor and wipe off the testosterone that's been smeared all over the inside of the screen. That's the difference between the two films in a nutshell.