Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Turk Turon was visiting last night and he and my roomie were chatting in the living room. The phone rang and, to spare them the interruption, I answered the extension here in VFTP Command Central:
"Hello, I'm from XYZ Polling, Inc., and I'd like to talk to you about politics for a moment. Your answers will be completely confidential, and..."
"Hey, dude, sorry, but I'm on my way out the door."
"Gotta run, sorry!" *click*
As I wandered towards the kitchen (I was only on my way out the office door. To get a Diet Dew.) RobertaX called out "Who was that?"
"Just some nosy person finding out why touchy-feely people always lead cranky misanthropes in telephone polls."
If one were to 'jack a ship full of, say, macrame owls destined for Pier One, it might be a while before anyone knew. Or cared. On the other hand, when you climb aboard a ship and find it filled to the gunwales with 33 Ukrainian T-72 tanks destined for gawd-only-knows where, it might be prudent to just climb quietly back off and motor away, because that's the sort of thievery that's going to draw attention.
Now, it strikes me that the sort of people who go shipping half a battalion's worth of main battle tanks around the seven seas are not the kind of people to take it lying down when their cargo goes missing. Boarding a ship and finding it full of tanks would be like burglarizing a house and finding a plaque on the mantlepiece "To Vinnie for faithful service. Love Don and the rest of the guys at La Cosa Nostra Enterprises"; the sensible criminal would just let himself out and apologize for the disturbance. Instead, our Somali rocket scientists are holed up on the boat and surrounded by warships.
The warships are there because the various governments of civilized and semi-civilized countries with interests in the area are wondering where the tanks were going. Kenya claims they purchased them at the big Labor Day Sale at Crazy Ivan's Used Tank Lot, but seems to be having difficulty coming up with a receipt. Perhaps Sumdood has it.
All in all, this will get funnier before it's over.
And don't forget that the pirate's natural enemy is... ninjas!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Today I am going to take a bicycle ride on the Monon and then turn up for the Indy Blog Meet. Hopefully the ruffians and vagabonds that have plagued the Monon of late have not come this far north, but if so, we have a better remedy than batphone call boxes.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Tomorrow is the big blogmeet, when all the cool kids will once again be meeting up at the Broad Ripple Brewpub. I'm looking forward to it!
Friday, September 26, 2008
So I re-read Farnham's Freehold for only the second time (and my first reading was over ten years ago.) I took a completely different message from it the second time 'round, too. The first time I simply took it at face value and was shocked at the rrrracism! This time I was shocked at the racism, too, but in the way the author intended.
That made me recollect that it had been quite a few years since I read Double Star, and that I'd only read it once, too. So I re-read it, and was amazed at how well a piece of 52-year-old SF has held up.
Still not ready to get back into Goldberg, I then picked up James P. Hogan's Voyage From Yesteryear, from back before he went all bugnuts Velikovskian. When I finish it, I'm back into the political book...
Between the gun board drama starting to boil over and beating my head against the WordPress wall this morning, I've got bupkis. It's a good post that would have gone up at Casa Marko, but I haven't been doing my usual surfing and such that turns up three things to make fun of before 8AM every morning.
And worse, unlike the four other very talented writers who contributed their musings at Marko's, I am a commercialized, sellout hack; a SiteMeter ho'. If I don't have content up at VFTP before the Eight O'Clock Rush, I start breaking out in hives. You can imagine that RobertaX is showing the patience of a saint by not having locked me in the basement after my third pacing-the-floor, cussing-at-the-screen rant this morning.
Ah well, life goes on. I'll try and get something readable up here before too long...
Thursday, September 25, 2008
breaking apart like i'm made up of glass again
making it up behind my back again
holding my breath for the fear of sleep again
holding it up behind my head again
cut in deep to the heart of the bone again
round and round and round
and it's coming apart again
over and over and over
-The Cure, "Disintegration"
This goes a long way towards explaining why scallops, for example, are so delish, since they have, like, a bazillion eyes and one foot.
Last night was Nice Meal Night at Roseholme Cottage. I turned my hand to some sea scallops as big as a baby's fist, bronzed in butter and white wine. RobertaX did her "popcorn asparagus". We tortured the cats by eating shellfish as big as their heads and making "Mmmm-Mm!" noises while watching MythBusters.
When Marko called and pitched me the idea, I said "What is this? Marko's Angels?" and he replied "I don't know; was Charlie roguishly handsome and devastatingly witty?"
"Uh, I'm not sure. I don't think he was ever on camera..."
Looks like I've got my work cut out for me; these have been tough acts to follow.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
So: that's where we are. As to what can be done, it may not matter. That is, it's important what we do, but the chance that it will be done sanely and rationally is very small. What will be done must be decided by the most unpopular Administration in nearly a century in connection with the most unpopular Congress in history; and everyone involved in finding a remedy was in one way or another a part of creating the mess. By everyone, I mean everyone: the Administration, the Treasury, the Congress under Carter and Clinton, Congress under Reagan and Bush, Congress controlled by both Democrats and Republicans, the regulatory agencies, and the "experts" now out of jobs who will be hired to manage the new institutions that will be set up to buy bad debts: every one of them. What will be done will be settled by politics, not by economics.That Jerry Pournelle, he sure is a smart guy for a rocket scientist. You should go read the whole article.
(H/T to The Smallest Minority.)
Check it out:
Maybe more to come...
Y'all have fun bidding!
North Korea has made another move toward possibly restarting its suspended nuclear program, the U.N. nuclear agency reports.Obviously North Korea is out of stuff and needs a bargaining chip to trade for more food.
At the reclusive nation's request, the International Atomic Energy Agency has removed surveillance equipment and seals from the Yongbyong nuclear facility, agency spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said.
I say we pool our cash, hire somebody to whack the Dear Leader, make a one-time delivery of a couple container ships' worth of Spam, Saltines, and Minute Rice to the docks at Wonsan, and call it a day. I'm in for... let's see... twelve dollars and thirty-eight cents. Anybody else want in?
For you fans of overseas guns, most of the SIGs have the old-school checkered grips that mean the gun's frame says "Made in W. Germany".
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
The subject is "Below The Belt Campaigning: How many spray paint cans does it take to get a Democrat elected, anyway?"
(...and no, this isn't a commercial. I just like his stuff.)
What is interesting about some of those making the assertion that Barry O. has seen the pro-gun light is that they require that we ignore his past track record and only go by what he's said in the last couple of weeks.
Suggest that they ignore, say, Sarah Palin's past record and only concentrate on her current statements, however, and see what kind of response you get there...
Would this be a majority of the people who think that bailouts are to "save [lawmakers'] investment portfolios", "shore up... multimillionaires", and benefit "corporate officers and the wealthy" who own "most stock", like the letter writers in today's Indianapolis Cat Box Liner? The people whose 401k's and pension plans are apparently kept in a glass piggy bank someplace?
Would this be a majority of the people who thought it was a good idea to go out and rack up a million dollars in debt and become an overnight slumlord while making McDonald's shift supervisor wages?
A majority of the people who think that a no-money-down ARM on a house in the 'burbs and a pair of cars on 72-month notes in which they'll be permanently upside-down is "The American Dream"?
These people don't have the fiscal acumen of a three-toed sloth. Oprah tells them what to read. They think network television is entertaining and the History Channel is "educational". These folks couldn't spell "cat" if you spotted them the "c" and the "a", and couldn't multiply nine by seven without a calculator, but they know allll about the economy and what went wrong with it.
And they vote.
God help us all.
Monday, September 22, 2008
I know that the recip-powered Robinsons are some of the most common whirlybirds out there, and I know that low-time rotary-wing pilots are most likely to be found at the controls of an R-22 or R-44, and I have no idea how well the absolute numbers correlate to incidents-per-flight-hour, but you couldn't get me into a little Robinson for love nor money, and I've been better than half-out the window of a Cessna 152 at a few thousand feet AGL before. It seems like nine times out of ten, when something godawful happens involving a civilian helicopter, it's one of these little birds... *shudder*
The Jawa Report has uncovered what appear to be very professional resources behind some of the "amateur" "grassroots" smears of Sarah Palin.
I immediately consulted that entertaining volume beloved by pre-emo Protestant kids, Fox’s Book Of Martyrs, and sure enough, an entire legion had been killed by the evil emperor Maximian for… well, sources are unclear, either they didn’t sacrifice to the emperor or they didn’t rough up Christians... But no matter the exact reason, they were killed to a man for their faith. It’s a compelling picture: Most of your comrades already slaughtered in front of your eyes, you are offered the choice to recant or die, and you bravely stand up and be counted and are killed in turn.
The story lingered in the back of my head until today, which is the Saint’s Day of the Theban Legion, commemorating their death on this day in 286 AD. Curiosity piqued, I went back and re-read the story of my youth. Unfortunately, it didn't hold up well in the light of studying Roman military history for the last twenty years...
It seems that the Theban Legion was so-called because it had been stationed in Egypt and had been recruited from local Coptic Christians… Except that Christianity was extremely rare in the Roman army of the time, with most all legionaries still followers of Mithras or Sol Invictus. And a late Third Century field legion (as opposed to the static frontier legions just coming into being) was almost never an homogenous unit of locals, but consisted of troops drawn from the far corners of the empire, so an all Egyptian Coptic legion stationed in Thebes is pretty far-fetched.
Anyhow, this Theban Legion was summoned from Egypt by the evil Emperor Maximian to put down rebellious Christians in Gaul… Except that in 285 AD, Maximian was junior Emperor, second in command to Diocletian, and was in charge of the Western Empire; he could no more summon a field legion from Egypt than Alaska governor Sarah Palin could call out the Florida National Guard. Further, Egypt was under control of the senior Augustus, Diocletian, and he was up to his neck dealing with Rome’s volatile Mesopotamian frontier at the time; it’s highly unlikely he’d turn loose of a crack mobile legion from the vital breadbasket of the Nile valley to deal with a small band of brigands in Gaul. Lastly, later medieval legend to the contrary, the Third Century Bagaudae of Gallia Narbonnenses weren’t Christian, but rather a collection of brigands, household guards, and free farmers loyal to the preceding Carian dynasty, since its founder, Carus, was a homeboy from Narbonne.
But whatever… This legion of 6,666 men arrived in what is now Switzerland in 286 AD and wouldn’t help mean old Maximian put down the Bagaudae… But Maximian had put the Bagaudae on ice in 285, his first year on the job. By 286, he was haring off after an invasion of very decidedly non-Christian Burgundians and other heathen Germanic invaders and was a little busy to be engaged in idle persecution. Further, the “6,666” number of legionaries for a late Third Century field legion is positively ludicrous, as they rarely numbered much over 1,500 men.
Lastly, no contemporary documentary sources support this legend, even though we’ve recovered plenty of .gov correspondence from the Egypt of Diocletian’s reign, including the official records of the assistant governor. You’d think the guy would have noted that as much as a fifth of the troops he had to guard the grain fields that fed the empire had been sent haring off on a wild goose chase halfway across the world. Also the Fourth Century A.D. military writer Vegetius, who had an absolute boner for legionary discipline and how much better things were in the good ol’ days, would have at least noted it in passing. Heck, when a unit of marines was decimated way back in the Year of the Four Emperors, it drew note as the last instance of this punishment in the imperial army.
But no, it wasn’t until almost a century later that a Monk, sounding like a Martyr Tourist Chamber of Commerce, “discovered” the legend, and it took another hundred years before much of anyone believed it.
Sadly, I think the Theban Legion legend has to be chalked up to hyperbole at best and complete fabrication at worst. The Romans were meticulous about noting the placement of legions in the Fourth Century Notitia Dignitatum, and the Legio I Maximiana Thebeaoranum is right there, present, accounted for, and on the payroll. I spent the morning leafing through a dozen scholarly tomes on Roman military history, and not a word was whispered about the incident. Yet every time a legion was wiped out, from Varus in the Teutoburger Wald to Valens at Adrianople, the Romans mentioned it at hair-tearing, shirt-rending length.
One final argument might be that because the legion was destroyed by disciplinary action rather than the enemy, it was hushed up and swept under the rug, but that doesn’t hold water to anyone even casually acquainted with Roman history. I can guarantee that if the Romans had wiped out a legion via decimation, the bodies wouldn’t have been found years later by a Monk; they would have been hung on crosses on both sides of the road, one every mile between Avaunum and Moguntiacum with a series of signs around their necks like a macabre Burma Shave ad campaign, reading:
WHEN A LEGION FAILS
PUNISHMENT SOON COMES
The next thing you know, I'm going to find out that George Washington didn't really chop down a cherry tree...
Check her post out!
Making loans means lenders make money. There's an incentive to make loans. If there wasn't, no one would make them. But there's also risk, which is why the old cliché goes "You can only get a loan if you can prove you don't really need one." If the risk is minimized, then the money flows freely.And who ultimately gets stuck with the risk at the end of this game of musical chairs? Well, it's spelled "U-N-C-L-E S-U-C-K-E-R" and pronounced "You and Me".
And it did.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I shot Smith & Wesson revolvers yesterday until my trigger finger was nearly raw.
I promised myself I'd get some writing done today.
Smith & Wesson revolvers...
Hmmm... I have an idea formin' in me head...
She apologized for the earworm, but considering that I had "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" stuck in my head for no adequately explicable reason during an hour-long car ride last night, I guess anything's an improvement.
"Each time you allow your representatives to tack on more and more "regulations", you limit your freedom more and more. Each time you vote to increase the power of the government, even when you think that particular increase is beneficial, it will never go away and always be added on to, generally by people who you didn't want to have that power in the first place." -Robb Allen, Sharp As A Marble
Now, as best I can tell, there are no guard towers, rabid dobermans, or machine gun nests, so its only qualification as a "compound" is that sometimes some people live there whose religious views might be a few bubbles off plumb, like Rev. Tony Montana. By that definition, the Southern Baptist church retreat at which I spent the idyllic summers of my youth, getting sunburned and making awful braided lanyards for... well, whatever it is that you attach awful braided lanyards to, was a "compound".
I'm sorry Mr. Reporter, but unless you can turn up the ammo bunker or the fallout shelter, Rev. Tony Cacciatore's little collection of holy double-wides is a few Kalashnikovs short of a compound, no matter how many times he may or may not have read kids "My Weekend With Uncle Badtouch" as a bedtime story.
I'm going to start calling our house Roseholme Compound. Lord knows we've got better chops for the accolade than Tony does.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Need to bring plenty of .223". Preferably already in mags, because time spent loading is time that wasn't spent shooting.
I need to bring my Ross and at least one other rifle. I haven't shot any of my Finns yet (M91, M28, and M39,) so if I can dig out my non-corrosive 7.62x54R, that'd be awesome. In fact, if I can find that stuff, I'll take the SVT-40, too. If I can't, I'll just bring a bunch of .30-'06 and shoot my M1917. I have a bunch of 8 mil, so maybe the FN-49 and my Gew.98?
Don't forget sunscreen!
Mebbeso bring a revolver that's fun to shoot at longer ranges, like my Model 544. A 5" .44-40 N-frame is a pleasant long-range plinker.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Cash Register (scanning beer): *BEEP!*
New Cashier: "I need to see your ID please, honey."
Me (eyes wide, lunging for pocket): "REALLY?!?"
OG Cashier: "No, she's been through my line before. She's fine."
Me: "Dammit, what'd you go and do that for? This was the highlight of my week!"
New Cashier: "You can still show it to me if you want to, I guess..."
Me: "Y'all saw that, though, right? She totally carded me for beer. OMG, wait 'til I get home and tell the whole internet about this; it's gonna be awesome! Thankyouthankyou!"
It is important to understand, at least in a rudimentary fashion, the lockwork and the various safety mechanisms on your weapon and how they operate. Is your firearm normally cocked? More accurately, is there enough energy stored in the ignition system when it is in its normally carried configuration to detonate a primer? If yes, what type of mechanical safeties are on your firearm? How do they operate?
For instance, many inexpensive striker-fired arms have safeties that only block the trigger from being pulled and do not block the sear (the piece that holds the striker back) from moving. A sufficiently hard jolt to one of those, combined with worn parts of softer metal, could bounce the striker off the sear causing a discharge. Even if the safety is of the sear-blocking type, how easy is it to inadvertently disengage? Just in case it is disengaged, is the trigger covered in such a way that it cannot be snagged or pulled?
Even if your weapon is normally in an inert condition (ie the lockwork is at rest, without enough stored energy to detonate a primer, such as a Glock, revolver, or double-action pistol,) be aware of the length of trigger travel and the weight of the pull required to set it off. Again, is the trigger covered by a rigid holster of kydex, some other polycarbonate, or thick leather?
The time to think all this stuff through is before you blow a hole in some part of you that you'd rather have kept intact. Remember: Your weapon's primary safety is between your ears.
I'm convinced that anyone who would do that to a house pet would do it to a child.
It's too bad we don't know exactly how long the jerk in question pounded on the little tabby cat. I mean, if we knew that he had kicked and hit it for, say, twelve and a half minutes, then we could leave him in the cage with the Bengal tiger for exactly seven hundred and fifty seconds. I think that would be making the punishment fit the crime exquisitely. He would either learn to be friendly to animals in very short order, or he'd become Purina Cat Chow, machs nichts.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
(It was the termite dude to check the perimeter defenses, FWIW...)
I'm not buying it.
Given Mugabe's control of the gun barrels which are the wellspring of political power, especially in Africa, any opposition party members in the capitol that are still sucking wind past their teeth are doing so at his sufferance, keeping up a quasi-civilized facade in order to keep the charitable relief pump primed.
If any real political power was being shared, Mugabe'd be hanging by his ankles from a telephone pole in front of a Harare gas station, and we all know it.
I mean, if that doesn't set a new standard for "vapid", I don't know what does.
"Oh yeah? Well, Obama's secretary's deer-hunting cousin likes Palin, so there!" I mean, cheez'n'crackers, kids, could this get any more schoolyard?
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
It's funny to see Palin and McCain talk about Obama's celebrity status, yet Palin's husband is a celebrity in Alaska and of course she is because 1 she's the governor and look at what her husband has done. It's also funny that her husband, who is not on the government payroll, sits in on meetings and gives his opinion when she's taking care of Alaskan Government business. What will he do if she's VP or even the President, sit in with other world leaders when SHE'S in a meeting with them so he can put his 2 cents in.I guess that's only okay if the Presidential spouse is a Yalie lawyer who's a regular savant at trading cattle futures.
I wish I was smart enough to vote for Barry, but since I live out here in flyover country, it takes all my brainpower to remember which end of the spoon goes in my mouth.
Good morning, hillbilly mouth-breathers! How are we today? Did we put our shoes on the correct feet and wipe all the drool off our faces before heading outside to plant turnips and whup our kids? Good, good.Now go find a Democrat to help you read the rest of this post...
Way to win me over, y'all. Not.
(H/T To Unc: "Why won't you dumb, cousin-humping rednecks vote for Obama?")
If you had a Federal Firearms License and the BATFE did an audit on you and found that you had 50 weapons on your books that were unaccounted for, they'd yank your license, and you'd be seeing them in court when they filed criminal charges against you.
If you were the BATFE, on the other hand, and just plain flat-out lost 76 guns, well... you'd go on with business as usual, making sure that America's gun dealers were keeping their records straight. Unlike you. Because the rules are different for The King's Men.
SebastianPGP actually says:
It’s also not the same because McCain has a much better relationship with the media and the gaffe in question won’t have the same legs.I had to respond:
The Media likes McCain better than Al?
Huh. On which planet is that?
Srsly, dude, Oscar? Nobel? Getting his sausage snorkeled at no charge by NYT reporters? (Okay, I’m just inferring that last from available evidence…)
But yes, both statements sound boneheaded on their surface; McCain’s staffer’s won’t get traction because A) He’s just a staffer, and B) Al said it first and funnier.
I mean, seriously. I have no doubt that Sebastian truly and honestly believes in his heart that the media is nicer to Col. Tighe than to The Algore, but I've never seen a TeeVee reporter have to sit up and wipe their mouth before commencing an interview with McCain...
Boy, the embassy in Yemen... Who do you have to piss off to get stationed there?
This one site from the other day had to get included, however. It is wrong and funny on so many levels that it just needed the exposure. Behold: RoastMyWeenie.com.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
"I have long been uncomfortable with the undercurrents of sexism and misogyny in some quarters on the Right*, so I’m not sure whether I’m gratified or horrified to find out that it’s evidently much worse on the Left. If there were whiffs of sexism against Hillary Clinton in the media and in the Obama campaign after they decided she was not to be the anointed this year, all pretense of restraint has been completely dropped now that the dumb broad in question is wearing the uniform of the Enemy." -LabRat, "Sarah Palin, Gender Apostate"
Do yourself a favor and Read The Whole Thing...
Moments later, the wagon disintegrated into a fireball, as over 100 pounds of dynamite flung shrapnel in every direction, scything through the crowd with enough velocity that the stone walls of the bank across the street are pockmarked to this day. Thirty were killed and hundreds injured in the attack.
This fanned anti-immigrant sentiment, since the perpetrators were almost certainly guilty of being Italian-Americans in a country whose president had recently stated
"Hyphenated Americans (who) have poured the poison of disloyalty into the very arteries of our national life. Such creatures of passion, disloyalty and anarchy must be crushed out."and where ten thousand immigrants had recently been deported for suspected anarchist ties. It also gave a fledgling "General Intelligence Division" of the Justice Department and its chief, a 25 year old hard-charger by the name of J. Edgar Hoover, a shot in the arm.
In the end, the perpetrators were never caught, a new federal law enforcement agency was born and new laws were passed to empower it, and Wall Street had worries much bigger than mere physical bombs by the end of the decade.
And who says history doesn't repeat itself?
Monday, September 15, 2008
I don't want to cut and rethread the muzzle. Further, I don't want to buy most of the .30 cal cans out there because they're the size and weight of truck mufflers and you don't need a friggin' AWC Thundertrap to stifle a .300 Whisper, which only emits about as much gas as a mouse fart. Surely someone makes a can intended for the .300 Whisper, and given the round's roots in the AR platform, surely that can is threaded 1/2"x28. I know there are people that read this blog that are hip to the topic.
Help me, lazyweb! Where is this magic can I'm looking for, and how many cereal boxtops will I need to save to get it?
Oh, well. I didn't know where I was going to keep the bull anyway. My roommate said the garage was right out, even after I promised to get him one of those diaper things the carriage horses use downtown.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
RobertaX hadn't seen it and was unfamiliar with Michael Mann, and so it was fun watching someone really enjoy this lush, beautiful piece of eye candy for the first time. I'd forgotten just what a pretty movie it was...
Still haven't hooked up the steam-powered kinetoscope to watch the VHS copy of Heat yet.
What a colossal pain in the butt, and all to make it more geeky and pump it full of data overload. The reason I liked SiteMeter is that it wasn't buried in slow loading charts; if I wanted to drown in data and pie charts, I'd go play with my Google Analytics account...
Saturday, September 13, 2008
So I was a little taken aback to find out that there is apparently a pop singer named "Pink" who is, like most celebrities in the entertainment biz, a complete whiz at foreign policy and possessor of a level of fiscal acumen that would shame Alan Greenspan. Now she wants to challenge the governor of Alaska to a geography bee-cum-therapy session:
"If I were writing a letter to Sarah Palin," Pink told PopEater during her Sessions taping on Thursday, "it would be a lot of whys and hows. Who are you? Do you know? Why do you hate animals? Please point out Iraq on a map ..."Vapid pop singer or sitting governor? Vapid pop singer or sitting governor? Hmmm... I think I know who I'd be betting on in that particular game of Trivial Pursuit.
What scares Pink are women who consider the Alaska governor's selection a feminist victory. "This woman hates women," the singer said.
Anyway, showing such a Matt Damon-like, nay, positively George Clooney-esque level of political insight is a sure recipe for success in the odd Bizarro-world that is the E!-universe.
Come in here, dear girl, have a cigar, you're gonna go far...
(PS: "Hate animals"? No, no! Palin loves animals. With mashed potatos.)
BONUS!: Noted political scholar and ex-Tommy Lee video co-star, Pamela Anderson, weighs in with her views of Palin. Thank you, Pam. Shouldn't you be off getting a tattoo removed or something? Run along, now...
Friday, September 12, 2008
Plaintiff's Attorney: "And where did you say you received this ammunition?"
Guy in his best poly/cotton blend: "Um, well, some guy brought it in the store..."
Picture the alternate scenario, now:
Plaintiff's Attorney: "And where did you say you received this ammunition?"
Guy in his best poly/cotton blend: "We received it from XYZ Wholesalers, who purchased it from ABC Ammunition Co. Representatives of both those fine organizations are here in the courtroom today."
Which defendant would you rather be? Yeah, me too.
This is why practically no retail firearms establishment will let you return or exchange ammo. Yeah, I know the counter troll at Dick's told you it was a "Federal Law" or somesuch, and that's probably what his shift supervisor told him, if only to shut him up.
Now, understand that the person working the counter at Wally World does not have the same fine, high-powered thinking instrument you do (since, like every VFTP reader, you're a veritable genius, right?) This is why the policy is written "No ammo returns, period." They don't want Cletus or Imogene to have to puzzle through "No ammo returns except for rimfire ammunition," or "No ammo returns except for CCI Blazer which is non-reloadable," or "No ammo returns except for Mrs. Johnson, since you've known her since she babysat for you when you were six."
No, they just tell Cletus and Imogene that it's some bogus "federal law": No ammo returns, do not pass go, end of story. We've done it that way at every shop I worked at, too, except without the lying about federal law part.
Anyhow, this policy exists because any time there is a mishap involving a firearm, the sky turns legal-pad yellow and pinstriped dorsal fins start circling. This is why it's actually kinda funny when a real live, you know, lawyer gets cross-threaded with Wally World about it.
(H/T to Unc.)
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Thank you for your interest in Zazzle.com, and thank you for publishing products on Zazzle. Unfortunately, it has come to our attention that many of your products are in violation of Zazzle’s Copyright policies. Specifically, your product contains a logo copyrighted by Obama for America.
I guess it was easier for the Army of O to be magnanimous when they thought they had this one in the bag...
"Yeah, I haven't been punched in the face good and hard in so long I kinda miss it..." (whips out camera phone) "Hey, have you seen pictures of my new puppy?"
Then, for just over a decade and a half, it was an awful morning in front of a television during my senior year in high school, watching the vapor trails of disintegrating dreams fade in the impossibly clear blue of an oddly frozen Florida sky.
Seven years ago I parked my battered TransAm in front of Montague Gunsmithing. I was early. Only the owner was there before me, and I let myself in to see him sitting, staring at a small television set, looking out of place there on the sales floor, trailing its extension cord from the showcases back into the break room. I was all excited because of a phone call from my lawyer the previous afternoon. "Hey, Ken! My check should be here tomorrow!"
"Some idiot in a Learjet just flew into the World Trade Center. They shouldn't outta let those tourist pilots fly low over New York."
"Huh? Are you sure?"
"Look at the TV."
And so that morning's drama unfolded...
We sold out of our meager stock of AR-15s pretty quick that day. One regular customer, a lawyer who was mostly interested in antique double-barrel fowling pieces came in. "I want one of those assault rifle-y things. In .223."
"Jack, I don't think the Arabs are coming here on their camels."
"I know. I just want to do something."
We sold him a pre-ban Mini-14. It was the last semiauto rifle left in the store. Then he cleaned us out of our remaining stock of .223 ammunition.
My roommate, Marko, had blown out of work for the day. Most folks had, it seems, and were just milling about. Seeking friends. Seeking television screens. Seeking news. Seeking some damn sense to the whole thing.
Walk-in traffic petered out at the shop as the afternoon wore on. Marko and I stepped out for a late lunch. The food court was out, since West Town Mall was closed. "They're hitting the great symbols of American commerce and power," I joked to my roomie "The World Trade Center, the Pentagon... West Town Mall in Knoxville is obviously next."
We sat at the local sports bar, both on the same side of the table for a better view of the tube. The big screen that normally showed happy throngs at sporting events now showed a gaping canker in Manhattan, a smoking corpsefield where thriving businesses used to be. Both towers were flattened. WTC 7 smoldered fitfully. A camera briefly showed the gaping wound on its backside. "Oh, yeah," I remarked to Marko, "that's comin' down." I got back to the shop to find it had. We closed early.
My boss wanted to nuke Riyadh. His son joined the Army. Good friends marched to the sound of the drums. Ridiculous legislation got passed. The world changed, and yet life went on. And here I am, seven years later, seven years older. And all I remember every year on this day is how ashamed I felt that my first worry was "Dammit, my check's going to be late."
That, and an angry, confused-looking older man buying a gun he didn't like, explaining sheepishly that he wanted to do something...
I almost feel guilty riding a bicycle in this neighborhood, as though I were letting down the side or something. People might think I was one of them.
Then I remember that I don't believe in sides, teams, groupthink, or identity politics, and I go pedal my own damn bike if I feel like it.
Perfect review of the Ghost/Kildar/et al series, and yes, I have all but the latest. They are a lot of fun, but they are among the guiltiest of guilty pleasures. Like eating Peanut Butter Captain Crunch in bed, straight from the box.
(A big H/T to Unix Jedi. Thanks to that link, my sides hurt from laughing before 6AM.)
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Biden slipped a bit during the introductions, through no fault of his own. In introducing local elected officials, from Ninth District Congressional candidate Judy Baker to former Gov. Roger Wilson, Biden tried to give a special recognition to Sen. Chuck Graham of Columbia.Hey, when you're second banana to The Messiah, you kind of expect miracles to get delivered on demand...
“Chuck, stand up, let the people see you,” Biden says. He was a bit chagrined when he realized that Graham uses a wheelchair.
(H/T to Unc.)
I have referred to the 'hood as "The O-Zone", due to the fact that the (admittedly sparse) yard signs are pretty much all for one guy, as is to be expected in the demographic, which is young, artsy city-dwellers. Every now and again it makes me twitch, though. Like the other day, when I parked the Bimmer (urban camouflage) between the brand new 911 and the Jag X-type (the latter with the obligatory "O") where my doors should be safe, and ran into the Fresh Market for some necessaries.
I'm in the checkout line with my purchases when I draw the attention of the dude behind me. Or rather my shirt does. He's tall and thin, with a tan physique that speaks of lots of frisbees thrown to bandana-wearing dogs in lots of public parks. His salt-and-pepper hair is pulled into a long ponytail and he blinks through wire-rim John Lennon specs as he says "Does that shirt really say...?"
"'Nuke Berkeley'? Yes, it does."
"But," he asks in genuine puzzlement, "why would you want to nuke Berkeley?"
"Because," I say in my sweetest voice, the one I use to get toddlers to take their medicine, "that's where they grow hippies, silly!" And I picked up my purchases and headed for the door, leaving him standing there in slack-jawed puzzlement.
...1798, a small force of colonists, marines, armed slaves, armed commercial boats, and Royal Naval vessels thwarted the Spanish Empire's attempt to invade Belize at the Battle of St. George's Caye.
...1813, Oliver Hazard Perry shot up the British fleet on Lake Erie, capturing everything that didn't burn or drown.
...1939, the Royal Navy suffered its first loss of the Second World War when, only a couple days into the conflict, the skipper of HMS Triton got trigger happy off the coast of Norway and mistook her sister, HMS Oxley, for the boche. He put a few fish into her midships and she promptly sank.
...1945, an unnamed barnyard fowl was magically transformed into Mike the Headless Chicken, using only an ordinary hatchet.
You'll note in the videos that I brought my best selection of total poser t-shirts: National Forensics Academy, Department of Energy SRT, and Boone County, Indiana SRT. The National Forensics Academy one is totally my favorite, because it says "The Harvard of Hellish Violence" on the back and has a big ol' skull on the front. This is guaranteed to get you rapid service in most restaurants in the hopes that you will eat fast and leave. The DOE guys used to be regulars at CCA and would occasionally bring t-shirts if they had some to spare. My tour guide to Hoosier Shooty Goodness hooked me up with the Boone Co. one, where Sheriff Ken Campbell runs probably the only program in the nation that schedules big-name instructors on the county ranges for plain ol' everyday folks.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Good sushi and very friendly service. Prices were reasonable. The decor looks like Buddhist hippies from Planet Ikea gave Ten Forward a remodeling. The presentation on the spider rolls was not what I was used to, however. The little facehuggers were all smooshed up and served atop the roll, rather than reaching up out of its center in all their H.R. Geigeresque splendor, as is traditional. It still tasted like crunchy pureed awesome, though.
From what I could gather - between bouts of spittle-flecked microphone biting, he felt that MaCain chose the Alaska Governor in a cynical, underhanded attempt to turn the simple country folk, what with their cow milking and hay making, against their dazzling urbanite betters and thus drive a wedge between these heretofore natural allies in the battle against the Darth Vadars of the Republican party.When your enemies can talk about nothing but you, it means you've got them rocked back on their heels. They are reacting to your moves. You are all up inside their OODA loop. Witness Slick Willie and every conservative talk show guy between '92 and '00.
A) Embezzled jillions of baht.
B) Was dipping the ministerial pen in the secretarial inkwell.
C) Was fighting in the War Room.
D) Had his own cooking show.
If you picked "D", you're absolutely right.
"Thailand: Where even the scandals are relaxed." I mean, there's your next Phuket travel brochure slogan right there.
Monday, September 08, 2008
Well, Anonymous Searcher, those problems can vary depending on the used car in question. For instance, an older diesel Mercedes Benz or American pickup truck rarely has much in the way of problems at 100k miles, unless you count "stinky exhaust" or "a tendency to spontaneously sprout rebel flag bumper stickers" as a problem. Meanwhile, some brands of Yugoslavian cars or older Korean imports will frequently suffer GEF, or "gratuitous existence failure" before hitting the six-digit mark on the odometer. There are certain special categories too, such as 1970s Datsun Z-Cars, which could theoretically have lifespans measured in jillions of miles if their bodywork didn't succumb to rust in dozens of months.
The money quote, as it were, comes from the Wikipedia article:
Sunday, September 07, 2008
2) Georgia Arms 180gr 10mm @ 1100fps is pretty zippy stuff when fired in a Smith & Wesson revolver with no moving action bits to spread the recoil impulse over time. With a 3" barrel, and recoiling against a standing breech, there's a lot more sturm und drang than the same load fired from a 5" Colt Delta Elite. The stuff I had was actually Georgia Arms commercial reloads, rather than new-manufactured stuff. I actually encountered one round with a visible crack in the case. Luckily I caught it as I was loading the clip. I've never had a problem with Georgia Arms ammo over the fourteen or so years I've been a customer, so keep an eye on the ammo you use, no matter where you get it from; even the big companies can occasionally split a case mouth or seat a primer wrong. (Also, if shooting 10mm reloads, bear in mind that the round was, statistically at least, likely fired from a Glock, which can be a warning sign in a high-pressure round like the Big Ten.)
3) Even with Mag-Na-Porting and fairly moderate MagTech 240gr JSP ammo, a 3" S&W 629 can be a flinch-inducer. Maybe save that 'til the end of the range session...
4) Did you practice strong-hand only and weak-hand only drills today? If your gun malfed, did you practice clearing the malf rapidly and finishing the string of fire, or did you stare at the jam like a duck in thunder before clearing it?
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Soooo, what do you call someone who inadvertently rouses a rabble of rabble-rousers? A metarabblerouser? Anyhow, they sure are butthurt. Like they say, it's the hit dog that yelps.
Friday, September 05, 2008
UPDATE: I'm going to bring my 3" 610 and my 3" 629. My 3" 657, too, if I can dig it out without too much trouble. The best part about the 610 is that I have, like, a case of 10mm Georgia Arms FMJ left over from my Glock 29/Delta Elite days, plus gawd knows how many boxes of various high-power JHP, and all I have left to shoot it is that revolver, so it should last a good, long time before I need to think about buying dies. I'm going to try to be there early, so maybe I'll see some of y'all at the range!
"In my reading about the rain forest, however, I have found very little description of what it's like to actually be in a rain forest. There's a good reason for this, the same reason that little girls' baby dolls don't smell like actual babies. Not that the rain forest smells. You'd think something so wet, hot, and biological would stink like boiled Times Square, but it doesn't. Jungle has a nice fresh scent, the reason being that there's so much life in the jungle that anything which dies or is excreted or even gets drowsy is immediately a picnic for something else." -P.J. O'Rourke, All The Trouble In The World
My neighbors probably think I'm nuts for occasionally cackling like a loon on the front porch...
In the last four days I've read Crichton's Sphere, The Charm School by Nelson DeMille, and the sequel to Blade Runner, Edge of Human, by K.W. Jeter.
I decided to fall back and punt and re-read All The Trouble In The World, by P.J. O'Rourke, despite having read it so many times I durn near have it memorized. Maybe something will come to me as I'm reading it.
Her speech was, in a word, brilliant. I'll leave the analysis for those who do that sort of thing for a living because all I can honestly do is gush and wax poetic. We all know a woman like Sarah - the unapologetically smart, boldly determined chick who can hang with the guys without ever losing the best qualities of being female. The one who puts on lipgloss to beat you in a debate. The one who has read books you've never even heard of and laughs at jokes that would make your mother blush. The one who works hard and loves fearlessly.RTWDT
Yup, we lurves us some Breda.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
It's been a crappy week on the whole, but at least my tummy is happy right now.
BONUS! Actual footage of Sportschicks for Palin clinging to guns and Bibles at Coal Creek Armory after Wednesday night Bible study! (h/t to Unc.)
DOUBLE EXTRA BONUS!! How can you tell when a liberal is scared sh!tless?
Is that flop sweat I see on your forehead? Can j00 smell teh pwn4g3?
I know how you feel; two weeks ago the uninspired cardboard cutout was going to get stomped by the charismatic youngster who had fired up the base. Today? Same, but different…
Some wonder aloud "where were her children when she was gallivanting about on these aquatic jaunts? What kind of mother does that make her?"
They went on to state that her speech was "divisive", because of its criticism of the Democrat ticket, unlike the slobbery kissyhugs that the Dem candidates have been bestowing on McCain and Bush.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
The latest Brownell's catalog, which is in my sweaty mitts as I type this, is neatly categorized, with color-edged sections dividing it all up by category. There are even two special sections for 1911 and AR bits (I'm a little surprised that the 10/22 didn't get its own, too...)
Click here and spend the five ducats for some of the best throne room literature on the planet. (And warm up your credit card, because titanium firing pin caps and TiNi-coated M14 gas pistons get expensive...)
Caleb went and bought himself a P-16.40 Limited. As the name suggests, Para's "Limited" guns are pretty much turn-key solutions if you want to play in Limited class USPSA shooting. Along with the STI high-capacity guns, they largely dominate the class.
Wait'll I show Caleb my shiny new Brownell's catalog...
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Beyond that, what scares the left is that Palin is guns, God and babies. Bitter and clingy Americans love that. -SayUncle
I try not to give unsolicited advice to those who are neither kith, nor kin, but it would be in the best interests of their candidate if the Democrats simply let this story die. -LawDog
With regard to the way the Lenin-Red end of the intarw3bz spectrum has behaved in the last 24 hours, well, when people force themselves to be so Excruciatingly Politically Correct for 24 hours of every day, it's shocking how misogynistic and racist they can get if you put an R after the name of a target. I haven't seen such bigoted vitriol since the Clarence Thomas nomination.
Remember kids, it's the hit dog that yelps. See ya at the polls! :)
"What is it this time? Kidnapped by aliens again?"
"No, mugged by a kangaroo."
"Dammit, Johnson, I'm sick of your lame excuses!"
Monday, September 01, 2008
"Tam, it's for you," said my roomie, "it sounds like your sister..."
I'd asked for a call as soon as my grandpa's situation changed. And that's what the call was. And it wasn't a happy call.
Not much blogging today, folks; I'm waiting for one more phone call. :(