Tuesday, March 31, 2009

You might be are a redneck if...

You think that this is a classy way to display your unpretentious yet impertinent little Modesto green-apple flavored white from that famous vintage, the second week of January:

(Detailed! Hand Painted!)


How many times have you boxed your own ears in annoyance at hearing some newsdroid, who barely knows from which end the bullet emerges, mouth the words "easily converted" in relation to semiautomatic weapons?

(That is, of course, when they even bother to make the distinction between your Paw-paw's deer rifle and Ol' Painless.)

EDITED TO ADD EVEN MORE MYTHBUSTING: Well, actually it's more "meme-busting", but you should read Don Gwinn's post on the Mexican Gun Canard and why it sounds so familiar.

I haven't laughed so hard in years...

The picture of the guy in chainmail chucking rocks at a therapod is just made of win.

If you actually believe there were tyrannosaurs roaming loose in Europe or the Near East in historical times, please send me your debit card number and PIN code, because I need them for a very important research project.

(H/T to Nathan Brindle.)

Talk to the Invisible Hand.

Staghounds on what General Motors' actual function is:
So what else is GM other than a car maker and lender of money?

Its value IS to be "bailed out". I say this in all seriousness.

It's a huge interface with millions of voters- and their livelihoods, savings, pensions, debts, mobility, their health...

The only thing that makes GM valuable at this price is that it is a ready made conduit, all set up. What for?

Delivering loyalty payments from "the government" to reliable voters.

But I read it on the internet!

Caleb linked to The Firearm Blog who linked to Defense Review on this plastic Russkie cop gun.

Defense Review, long known for its accurate reporting on the gun front, had another head scratcher:
The GSh-18 also apparently utilizes double-column magazine that transitions to single-column feed at the top for more reliable feeding, just like the P7 M13 mag.
No, no, no, no.

A double column magazine that narrows to a single column at the top is less reliable than one that feeds left-right-left-right because the spring is having to squeeze two stacks of cartridges through one hole. The spring has to be stronger and the magazine is more sensitive to dirt and debris. The advantage you gain is that you can use a single feed ramp and don't need to make your pistol's slide as wide as, say, an Uzi to accommodate the double feed ramps. This is why weapons where narrowness is not important, like rifles and machine pistols, do not have magazines that narrow to a single column on top.

Remember: Pat Rogers calls it the "Errornet" for a reason.

The Minister of Heavy Industry says...

...not to worry, the government will back the warranty on your GAZ or Lada.

They may not be so hot at running a brothel, but apparently they're great at transmission rebuilds.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Get offa my lawn!

How they say "Keep Off The Grass" in Fowler, IN.

The Graves of Academe.

“…and then he tried to convince me that it’s pronounced ‘ver-sai,’ when it’s clearly ‘versallies!’ I mean, what kind of dumbasses do they hire to teach here, anyways? There’s, like, L’s in the middle of the freaking WORD!”
I am daily reminded that a bachelor's degree these days doesn't even certify the ability to color inside the lines.

At some point in the history of this great nation it was decided that a college degree was the birthright of every American. As a consequence, people who have a hard time mastering the intricacies of the No. 2 pencil, much less the watered-down SAT they use it to answer, wind up going for a BA in order to prove their worthiness to be the night shift manager at the local Domino's.

In the meantime, the internet is full of blatherskite that has been hunt-'n'-pecked by people who have allegedly gained a postgraduate degree without ever successfully remaining awake through a single English class. This has got to stop before we get to the point that a meaningless PhD is required for a job operating the slicer at Blimpie's.

Funny, really...

Watching Rick Wagoner's auto da fé, I'm reminded that the SS General Motors hit the iceberg sometime back between the Vega and the Cimarron, back before he was even Junior Purser's Assistant, 3rd Class of the ship.

Now the senior officer left aboard, he's being criticized for the placement of the deck chairs.

The Wasteland.

If you live in Flint, Michigan, it's apparently permissible to strap a colander to your face and play "Lord of the Wasteland" now:
Temporary Mayor Michael Brown made the off-the-cuff suggestion Friday in response to a question at a Rotary Club of Flint luncheon about the thousands of empty houses in Flint.

Brown said that as more people abandon homes, eating away at the city's tax base and creating more blight, the city might need to examine "shutting down quadrants of the city where we (wouldn't) provide services."

He did not define what that could mean -- bulldozing abandoned areas, simply leaving the vacant homes to rot or some other idea entirely.Really, what do you do when the people go away and don't come back?
Can two taxpayers on a block pay for enough cop cars to protect them from the vagrants and crackheads using the other ten houses as temporary hideouts; places to steal pipe, or hit on one? What about when somebody drops their lighter while crackin' down in one of those abandoned houses? Can the two taxpayers left on the block cover the tab for the fire department?

How do you tell somebody "Sorry, civilization is retreating, and unless you want to be left outside the fence, you need to move."

Overheard in the office...

RX: "...also, I have popcorn in my bra. God that itches."

Me: *click* *typetypetype*

Some things just need to go up on the 'web immediately and don't need a ton of editorial commentary to be hilarious.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

The Sunday Smith is up.


I'm still not up to generating the post about how awesome my pseudo-instructor experience was at the range yesterday (HINT: If you want all the RO's to come over and tell you what an awesome instructor you are, pick Annie Oakley for a student. It makes you look good.)

Also, the Sunday Smif will be along shortly.

In the meantime, strange heretical thoughts have been wandering through my mind about converting my 1911's into K-frame Smiths. I don't know what it says about me that, years into this game, if I was going to pick up one of my guns and make the bazillion-dollar shot cold, it would be with a Smith revolver, shooting double-action, and not one of my kilobuck custom 1911's.


Getting ready to go to teh blogmeet at the Brewpub. More later.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #50: Miscellaneous Rugers...

Some stuff from back when I still owned single-action Rugers...

L to R: A dual-cylinder Vaquero in .38-40 and 10mm Auto (aka the "Space Cowboy"), a .44 Magnum Bisley Vaquero, a .32 H&R Magnum Single Six, an Old Model Bearcat, and an Old Model Single Six with both cylinders.

Today In History: An unlucky star.

On this date in 364AD, the none-too-distinguished son of a nouveau riche Pannonian rope salesman who had made it big in the army got his own shot at the brass ring.

His older brother, who had been conveniently present at the death of the previous emperor, had been proclaimed Augustus and, deciding that he needed help running the empire, now he appointed Valens as his co-emperor in the east.

Nominally governing from Constantinople, Valens mostly spent the next 14 years gallivanting about the Near East, racing from crisis to crisis. From a usurper in Constantinople to uppity Persians to playing politics in Armenia, he probably got all of five minutes' rest in the next fourteen years.

He is, of course, best known for losing both the battle and his head to marauding migratory Goths in the rolling fields outside Adrianople, marking what many consider the beginning of the end of the Western Empire.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Speed strip-style loaders for other calibers.

Les is reporting that Tuff Products is offering strip-style shell carriers for revolvers (a la the Bianchi Speed Strips) for larger calibers.

This is awesome for those of us who liked the flat strips that stowed easily and unobtrusively in a pocket, but carried wheelguns in calibers other than .38/.357.

I'll be getting some in .44 and .32, no doubt.

Playing favorites.

Last Sunday I took the new (well, '55-vintage) K-22 Combat Masterpiece to the range. I have no idea how much .22 I fired through it, but it was a volume best measured in "handfuls", not numbers.

When I was done, it was getting hard to force individual shells into the fouled chambers, the level of .22 ammo in the G.I. ammo can had dropped by a noticeable amount, I had an incipient blister on my trigger finger from all that double-action work, and there was a heaping mound of spent brass next to my shooting position.

No doubt about it, there are few pistols I enjoy shooting more than a 4" K-frame in .22LR. I like the way the four-inch Combat Masterpiece sits in the hand better than its longer-barreled Target Masterpiece brother. Recoil of the little .22 rounds is negligible in the medium frame. It doesn't hurt that I also have its K-38 and Combat Magnum siblings, for which the K-22 makes the ideal low-budget trainer, giving me added incentive to spend range time with it.

How about you? Is there a favorite pistol that comes to the range with you every time? One that you like shooting more than the others?

...and it's a dessert topping!

SayUncle on the 101 miraculous uses for WD-40.

(Please note that "lubricating or preserving firearms" is not among them.)

Lucky, lucky, lucky...

Some lucky dude in Italy has my dream rifle, and wants to know how much it's worth.

Nothing, buddy. You should box it up and send it to me.

It's the only "Holy Grail" gun really worthy of the name; a Remington rolling block with the papal crest, the Keys of St. Peter, right there on the receiver. I mean, if you had to go all Van Helsing on a vampire or something, it would be the absolute shizznit. Plus it has a .50" bore, which would make Sarah Brady cry.

Too early to thinky; have some linky.

LabRat on "zomg teh gender warz!"

Warthog on "When you have to shoot, shoot; don't talk."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Because I can...

Have a piccie of a Grumman F3F...


While it's a balmy 60 degrees Fahrenheit here at Roseholme Cottage today, I found this old article on hypothermia fascinating.

(H/T to NatureBlog.)

Video miscellenia...

The Diagram Group does Little Red Riding Hood.

Bubbles pop.

"The party of fiscal responsibility."

So, remember, as they took Congress back from the GOP, who had been spending money like swabbie on leave in Manila, all the yammering from the left back in '06 about "fiscal responsibility"?

How's that workin' out for you guys?

Post of the Century. (Not that I'm biased...)

Here’s a little primer to tell if a statement about women and guns (or any gender-based statement, really) is sexist: flip the gender in the statement to match your own, and then see if the notion bothers you when applied to yourself. If it makes you even a little angry, uncomfortable, or puzzled, then it’s probably sexist. -The Munchkin Wrangler


I got nothin' to add but "+1".

Standing up for truth, justice, and weirdness

Out of mom's basement and onto the mean streets, fighting crime.

"You have the right to free speech..."

"...as long as you're not
Dumb enough to actually try it." -The Clash

McCain-Feingold is in front of the Supremes again, and the .gov's attorney made arguments so cartoonishly villainous that it's tempting to think he's trying to throw the case.

Firehand wants floggings; I want necks stretched on a gibbet. I think the biggest fault with the choice of Washington D.C.'s malarial swamps for the nation's capital is that malarial swamps don't have a handy Tarpeian Rock.

A manufacturing-based economy...

...based on manufactured outrage.

I notice that the jungle drums of the witch hunt (if you'll excuse the mixed metaphor) are still beating loudly on TeeWee and the Intertubes. At this rate they'll actually be running commercials for Acme Torch & Pitchfork Supply Co. and Joe's Baying Hound Kennels and running "Live News Updates" to tell us where the evil financiers are hiding now.

Folks, the whole "AIG bonus" and "executive compensation" things are red herrings, as seven- and eight-figure-a-year talking heads rail against salaries just a fraction of their own last contract.

The Politico-Media Complex wants to stir up class envy and protests in the streets in order to justify laws promoting "Fairness".

Except for the Kulaks; no fairness for them. They need to just shut the hell up and keep pulling the wagon.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"This is John Galt speaking..."

Stopping the motor of the world...
Let me just tell you, Congressional/Executive Branch Scumbag, Esq., if you do this... if you take this turn... I won't even think twice. I will move my firm to Switzerland, or to London before the year is out. Those employees who do not follow me, I will have to fire. The corporate taxes I pay will no longer be yours. Instead, they will go to something useful, like a nice tunnel through a mountain for high speed trains that actually work. Further, I will dedicate a substantial portion of my personal time, effort and capital to frustrating your every attempt to collect personal taxes on me thereafter- given your draconian anti-expatriation laws. But that's not all. My job is to make money for my clients, in whatever way I can. I will short your flagging financial firms mercilessly and remorselessly. I will buy QGRI puts to bet against any firm that took bailout money. I will buy credit default swaps on every firm you put your greasy paws on, because I know your fingerprints are laced with poison. For every boneheaded centralist move you make, I will be there, profiting from your lunacy. I will never again take a client who pays taxes in the United States. I will not permit any capital or profit to be diverted to any such. I will do this because in the same way you believe it your divine right to punish "greed," I consider it my duty to punish the stupidity and arrogance that is central planning, and because I believe in economic freedom. I will divert as many of your resources to my new home and its relative economic freedoms as I can. I will promote free markets in this way, and I will never look back. You will have made it clear that you are my enemy, and I do not forget such declarations.


(H/T to Joe Huffman.)


New Jovian Thunderbolt pressure-tests his cerebral arteries by listening to NPR on purpose.

Today In History: When populists attack...

On this date in 1894, one hundred unemployed men assembled in Massillon, Ohio and set off for Washington D.C. to pester the government for jobs building roads or digging holes and filling them back up again or something similarly useful and stimulus-like.

By the time they reached the capital city, additional leeches, whiners, and handout hounds had swelled their ranks to some five hundred strong.

As they massed in front of the Capitol, Jacob Coxey and the other ringleaders were arrested for not keeping off the grass, and the march fizzled.

Why do they even pretend anymore?

The Obama administration is considering asking Congress to give the Treasury secretary unprecedented powers to initiate the seizure of non-bank financial companies, such as large insurers, investment firms and hedge funds, whose collapse would damage the broader economy, according to an administration document.
You show me in the Constitution where the Treasury secretary has the power to "seize" anything other than his own trouser snake. As a matter of fact, you show me in the Constitution where there's even mention of a Treasury secretary. (Hint: there isn't.)

Why are we even going through the motions of Constitutionality anymore?

You've got Presidents that legislate via executive orders (also nowhere mentioned in the Constitution), judges that legislate from the bench, unelected bureaucrats who make up federal agency regulations that have the force of law, and a Congress that hasn't paid any attention to Article I, Section 8 since Roosevelt. The first one.

So why don't we just stop pretending and tear the damn thing up? It's not like we're actually using it for anything.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What gun for lizard?

Some folks worry about the stock market and the global economic meltdown turning their 401k into a 200.5k.

Others of us more pragmatically concern ourselves with zombies, pirates, ninjas, vampires, werewolves, hippies, face-eating monkeys, killer space robots, and now... giant lizards.

Today In History: Crunch!

On this date in 1989, Captain Hazelwood told his Third Mate "You drive for a bit," and went to freshen his martini.

Got your wheelbarrow ready?

You know, the one you're going to need to take your cash to the grocery store?

(H/T SurvivalBlog.)

Monday, March 23, 2009

While waiting for his appointment with Ahmadinejad...

...Obama suggests regime change in France.

(Or at least implies it by kissing up to the ex Frog prez instead of the current one.)

Y'know, for all the problems, gaffes, and blunders of the Shrub administration, in retrospect they look like regular frikken' statesmen compared to the Senator from Hyde Park.

UPDATE: FWIW, this story turned out to be bogus.

Don't muzzle me.

Yesterday, when Shootin' Buddy and I were at the range, we ran into an acquaintance of his who came down and chatted with us for a bit. When he'd returned to his own lane, I noted with a sense of amusement that he'd been wearing his orange Gunsite hat, while Shootin' Buddy was wearing a Thunder Ranch ball cap and I had on my Blackwater chapeau; quite the trio of tactical poseurs we were.

"I wish they'd gone to gun school," replied Shootin' Buddy, glancing meaningfully at the trio occupying the two lanes to our right. He had a point.

I can poke fun at "tactical golf vacations" 'til the cows come home, but in general I know that if the shooter in the next lane over has chosen to invest thousands of dollars in training rather than buying every Gun O' The Month from the cover of Guns & Ammo, I'm probably not going to have to divide my attention between my front sight and his.

The threesome next to us exhibited the entire panoply of gestural tics that spell, in my mind, "accident waiting to happen":
  • Walking in with a Henry Golden Boy held at the balance, muzzle casually sweeping the line.
  • Whenever a gun malfunctioned, it suddenly ceased being a firearm, and muzzle discipline went out the window as they attempted to reduce the malfunction.
  • Whenever a pistol was picked up, the booger hook leapt to the bang switch as though drawn by a magnet.
  • Rifles were held in the "beginners lean" (ie. with the head held erect and back over the shoulder instead of in a good cheekweld, as though they feared the rear sight might jump off the gun and bite them) and pistols held "cup & saucer" in the reverse-lean isosceles, muzzles jumping skywards with every shot.
"Now wait a minute, Tam," you say, "that last part is just technique..." Yes, but it is technique that is indicative of a very casual relationship with shooting and gun-handling. People who do these things are people who do not have an involved relationship with firearms and shooting. A gun is just something they own, the way they own golf clubs or a snowmobile, and while they may mean well when it comes to safety, they simply lack the awareness of anything wrong about their actions. These are the people who will say "But it's not loaded!" to you when you dodge away from the rifle they point at you at the gun show.

Sometimes as you reflexively twitch away from the gun muzzle, they will actually laugh as they tell you it's not loaded. I usually respond "Yes, but I try and make a habit of dodging away from guns pointed at me, just like you should make a habit of not pointing guns at people."

I know folks who get all worried when "gang-bangers" (which all too often seems to be a code word for anybody younger and darker-hued than the speaker) come on the range, but silver-haired flannel-shirted Uncle Cletus doesn't get so much as a second look when he strolls in with the loading gate closed on his Colt Cowboy and his finger casually inside the trigger guard. And then he turns the muzzle so that it points straight down the firing line to load the pistol...

Folks, it's Uncle Cletus that'll kill you, not Ice Dog and Ray-Ray, because you kept an eye on the latter's gun handling while ignoring the former. And the last words you'll hear will be "Oh, gawd, it wasn't loaded! It must've broke, it just went off! I'm sorry!"

Today In History: Miscellenia.

On this day in....

...1775, Patrick Henry stood before the Virginia House of Burgesses and delivered his famous "Liberty or Death" speech.
"It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

...1933, the German Reichstag passes the law that effectively gives Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers.

...2003, the 507th Maintenance Co. delivers an important lesson in weapons maintenance and the importance of malf drills on the road outside Nasiriyah.

...2006, the Federal Reserve stops publishing the M3 money supply in order to avoid giving people the vapors.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

If you're going to the Indy 1500...

...there's one old guy there selling off his collection that has a pair of nice, un-bubba'ed military .45-70 Sharps-Borchardt M1878 rifles on his table, each one with an $895 price tag on it.

Some of you reading this might recognize that as... um... significantly below market value. Very significantly.

Fortunately, the market for those is small enough that there's a good chance they'll both be there if you go today. I won't draw you a map to his table, though; looking for the buried treasure is half the fun.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Gun show find...

In the world of shooters, I constantly run into people who complain about gun shows. The guns aren’t free. Ammo prices are no better than they find on the internet. New Glocks are no cheaper than they are at Gunmart.

If this is what you are looking for at a gun show, then you are probably going to be disappointed.

For a collector, on the other hand, there is probably no place more exciting. Comparing a gun show to, say, your local gun store or an internet auction site is like comparing an African safari to a canned hunt over a baited field. At the gun show, you never know what you’re going to find.

This time around, I had a specific mission. A local dealer was going to be set up, and he was holding a gun back for me. It was a 1955-vintage K-22 Combat Masterpiece. I needed a shootable medium-frame .22 Smith with a 4” barrel to use as a trainer for my fighting K-frames, and I had a military-marked Remington 12 gauge that was gathering dust; the trade should be fairly straightforward.

After a little confusion, I found his table and, after a brief flurry of paperwork, for me the show was over. Now I was just going to be following BobbiX and Shootin’ Buddy around, putting noseprints on showcases and drooling over guns I couldn’t afford.

I ran into Frank W. James and we chatted a bit (this was especially cool because Shootin’ Buddy had just picked up Farmer Frank’s book Effective Handgun Defense and let me borrow it; I was planning on reading it when I got home…) Then we bumped into Caleb and wandered through the rest of the show as a group.

When we finally got to the far end of the huge 1500-table show, we made our final plans. Bobbi was out front, examining the Sistema she’d just picked up. Caleb and I would loiter at the end of one aisle while Shootin’ Buddy completed a personal errand, then he would pick up a half-case of .22LR and we’d rendezvous with BobbiX and split.

While Caleb and I were waiting for Shootin’ Buddy to return, my Smith Sense (closely related to Spider Sense) caused me to glance down at a handgun a guy was carrying past.

Huh. A nickel taper-barrel 4” Smith.

With fixed sights.

And a shrouded ejector rod.

Cue heartbeat: (Thump… thump… thump…)

What kind of Smith has a tapered barrel and a shrouded ejector rod?

It’s not an M&P… or a Model 13… Damn those wretched plastic faux stag grips. Is that an N-frame? It’s hard to tell; the guy’s paw is huge. It looks like a medium frame, but…

“Excuse me sir, what do you have there?”


“Oh, this? It’s a S&W Model 21 in .44 Special…”


“...it was my dad’s. He was a probation officer. He bought it off a retired cop.”

I tried not to gulp visibly. “Uhhh… Shame it’s been re-nickeled. How much were you needing to get out of it?”

“Oh, I know it’s a little ugly, but it sure shoots good. reckon I need $350.”


Oh jeez. Oh jeezojeezojeez. I don’t have a dime to my name, but they will never let me into the SWCA if I let this go by… Please gawd let Shootin’ Buddy still have some cash on him…

“My friend should be back in a minute and… uh… he might be interested.”

“Okay. You know, this is a neat old police gun. It’s got the guy’s badge number engraved on the back…”

Shootin’ Buddy got back. I passed the gun to him, and as the guy was telling him how much he wanted for it, I turned my back to the dude and tried to flash subtle hand signs at my friend, hoping he’d realize I was indicating the gun was worth at least five bills and not signaling for a curveball low and away.

The deal was closed.

I knew I had in my hand, at the very least, an ultra-rare and elusive Smith Model 21. Perhaps a Model of 1950 .44 Special Military Model.

When I got home, I broke out the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson and got to deciphering…

Wait a minute… It has a mushroom-head ejector rod… And no “S”-prefix on the serial number… This is a pre-war gun. With a shrouded ejector rod, but not a Triple Lock…

It’s a .44 Hand Ejector 3rd Model; aka the “Wolf & Klar” model, so named for the distributor that ordered them. With what appears to be “something.P.D.” and a badge number factory-stamped on the backstrap. 300 four-inch .44 HE’s were shipped to the Providence, Rhode Island PD in the 1930’s, and this gun’s serial number falls into that date range…

I need to get a Roy Jinks letter on this gun.

Maybe you didn’t get a good price on a Kel-Tec 9mm at the gun show this weekend, but you can’t tell me that good deals can’t be found there.

Because you’d be wrong.

Corvette in the barn....

Oh, do I have the gun show story for you guys.

First, I'm going to toast my success with a tasty beer.

Fun Show time!

Today we are stalking the wild K-22 Combat Masterpiece in its natural habitat, the gun show.

I've got no cash, but I may be able to trade into it.

Wish me luck.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Today's cheesy '80s video...

...teaches us the lesson that, while we may be poncing about on the stage in a haze of Final Net and spandex fumes, our sound and light engineers are apparently putting their buzzcut noggins together and plotting nukyular armageddon.

Welcome to bizarro world.

In Iran, it's not healthy to speak too frankly. For example, if you mock certain funny-looking crazy old men, they will throw your butt in prison. And something tells me that an Iranian prison is not high on folks' lists of preferred holiday destinations.

Anyhow, apparently a fellow blogger who had the misfortune of blogging on the un-fun side of the sharia curtain had made fun of the wrong guy on his blog. He was imprisoned for his words, and has now died in prison.

What bad timing! If he could have just held on another day, he could have heard The One say that America was ready to move forward in an atmosphere of "mutual respect" with Sayafi's jailers.

Overheard in the office...

Me: "You have got to be sh!tting me!"

RX: "What?"

Me: "A sitting US President went on the got-damned Tonight Show?!?"

RX: "Apparently since Lyndon Johnson showed everybody his scar, it's no longer possible to damage the dignity of the office..."

That's no moon...

...it's a space station!

I LOL'ed.

A request...

Please don't register at boards which I moderate with some goofy name in DrUnKeNtYpE and spend all night posting to threads about how you want to join the military so you can shoot people in the head.

I hate having to clean that crap up first thing in the morning.

(Not that there's a chance in hell of the doofus in question actually reading this, but...)

Jeeze, I have completely lost my train of thought after all that.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


"Have gun, will travel
Read the blog of the man
A retired operator
In a savage land...

How can you be tacticool without fingerless gloves? That's what I want to know...

(H/T to GunPundit.)

Bye-bye Farmer's Market?

My favorite local produce joint and BBQ heaven, Locally Grown Gardens, would be affected by this if it passed.

And, what ho! It appears that the husband of the bill's sponsor works for Monsanto!

(H/T to Michael Silence.)

As of midnight tonight...

...we will all have survived another winter. If you're reading this in extremis, hang on just a few more hours and you can croak in Spring.

My position, let me show you it...

There has always been this hand-wringing worry on the gun boards (and in the gossip corners of ranges and gun stores across America) with not "giving away your position".

Things that will allegedly "give away your position" have included:

  • Lasers.
  • Flashlights.
  • Tritium night sights.
  • The noise of the safety on a 1911 or an AK.
  • The *clack* as you release (?) the squeeze cocker on an HK P7.
  • The sound of chambering a round in a shotgun or carbine that was stored "cruiser ready" (ie. empty chamber, full magazine.)

What are you going to be doing with these firearms? Laying ambushes along the Ho Chi Minh trail?

The two most likely scenarios for me to ever need to use a firearm involve my assailant knowing exactly where I am because he's either approaching me on the street, or he's in my house and he can hear me yelling for the cavalry on 911.

If you live someplace where you are in danger of people spraying AK fire at you through the walls of your domicile if you accidentally "give away your position", you don't need a quieter gun, you need a real estate agent. Either that, or stop making enemies with the kind of people that are likely to send squads of machine-gun-toting killers to your house.

Life going on...

Saturday morning dawned bright and early, and Shootin' Buddy & I drove to the local outdoor range, only to find that the Five-Oh had commandeered it for the weekend. So we rescheduled the weekend's shooting for Sunday morning at the local indoor range.

A good time was had by all, or at least as good as can be had on a crowded indoor range on a beautiful, sunny weekend morning. I got in some desperately-needed revolver time, shooting both my Model 64 and a borrowed Model 17, as well as putting a few cylinders through my 296Ti.

Loitering about in the showroom after finishing up, Shootin' Buddy gestured at a pyramid of ammunition on the counter. "What? I don't carry Gold Dots in my .45's..."

"Not the ammunition; the sign behind it."

"Part-time help wanted? Hmmm..."

I asked the dude behind the counter, and he indicated that I should drop off a resume for consideration.

I went home and made sure mine was up to date... Yup, fifteen years of retail FFL experience. Doubt they're going to get one stronger (although in this business, being a guurrrl is something of an initial handicap; you have to convince them that you're qualified without, you know, coming across as a bitch by pointing out that in all likelihood, you know as much or more about this stuff than they do.)

I'd accidentally printed out two copies of my resume, so I drove the other one out to Premier Arms. (Which is an awesomely cool shop that I'd just discovered. If I stocked a gun store, it would look a lot like Premier.)

We'll see. I'm starting to get the itch to put my toe back in the water; sling a few guns across the glass.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Life's Great Mysteries, #452.

How come when I put my AmEx bill on my Visa, it's stupid, but when the government does it, it's stimulus?

As anyone who has worked with children knows...

..."they did it too!" is one of the weakest excuses on the playground.

How 'bout a subtle innuendo sandwich...

...with a side of feigned curiosity?

Also note that, to a certain segment of the populace (rhymes with "urinalist"), discussion of Revolutionary War history is now seen as paranoid right-wing nuttery...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wow, he really is that dumb.

Like LabRat, I'd assumed that the startlingly inept "Pay for your own prosthetic, G.I. Gimp" proposal had come from some faceless apparatchik in the bowels of the White House, who our Dear Leader would now, with a casual ease born of long practice, deftly toss under the bus.



I thought conservatives and libertarians were supposed to be the heartless ones... Oh, wait, this isn't a deficiency of "heart", it's a deficiency of "honor" and "responsibility", neither of which are to be found in quantities fit to fill a teacup at 1600 Penna., apparently.

Understatement of the New Millennium:

I just noticed that CNN.com puts a small disclaimer line at the bottom of all of Jack Cafferty's tongue-bathings of the anointed One:
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jack Cafferty.
Boy, howdy. I don't think I swooned like that over Val Kilmer when I was a teenager. You got something on your chin, there, Jack...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Guilty conscience much?

Bob Greene feels guilty and wants to offer an apology:
As the country frets about extricating itself from the financial mess, there is one group of Americans to whom the rest of us owe the most sincere words of apology. That group consists of the oldest of our fellow citizens -- the men and women who went through the Great Depression when they were young...
As Tonto famously said, "What do you mean 'we', paleface?" Some of us actually listened to grandma and grandpa while growing up, and believed all those silly things like "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without," and "If you can't pay cash, you can't afford it," and "Never pay interest on something that depreciates." They weren't talking just to hear their heads roar, you know.

If you've got a guilty conscience, Bob, that's between you and the old folks.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

It's Sunday...

...so that must mean there's a new Sunday Smith up, right?

This has just come to my attention...

For whatever reason, I just heard about the kid in Brazil who has been, not to put too fine a point on it, kidnapped by his stepdad.

Apparently the President sat down for a little tête-à-tête with the wog chieftain yesterday, but instead of curtly informing him that, unless the child was put on a plane for LGA tout de suite, we'd be taking the USS New Jersey out of mothballs and putting it in the roadstead at Rio, he mumbled that he "supported the U.S. position" on the case. Of course, the U.S. position on anything is getting awful vague these days.

Seriously, though, what good is having a blue passport if you can't wave it and summon the USMC?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

When nobody's paying you to sing...

...it's not a cue to sing louder.

Amtrak, like some horrible zombie, is back for another round of chomping on our brains. "29 million passengers last fiscal year!" chirps the CNN article, failing to mention that the I-285 perimeter highway in Atlanta probably had 29 million passengers last fiscal week.

The government hasn't stopped bailing out passenger choo-choo trains since 1971; it's been one big bailout for thirty-eight years and this fresh round of $1,500,000,000 taxpayer ducats isn't going to be the last either.

Look, if the government really wanted enough people to get on choo-choo trains from Boston to LA to turn a profit, what it should do is pass laws making air travel such a colossal pain in the arse that only a dedicated masochist would even think of going to the airport, and then pass some more laws demanding that we all drive boring, crappy little cars that have about as much zest and pizzazz as British cuisine.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Man accused of beheading wife pleads not guilty...

...claims it was done by a one-armed man.

Investigators dubious, as decapitation usually takes both hands...

Bad choices.

I'm sorry, but I couldn't answer this poll. The only choices were "Hero" and "Outlaw". I wanted to click "Tacky".

The Obama administration hates your mother...

...Mother Earth, that is...

In a move to stamp out eco-friendly recycling and harm the environment, the DoD is now going to require all spent brass to be de-milled and sold as scrap. Kiss that once-fired Lake City good-bye.


From page five of that thread, it looks like someone got on the horn with the Lairds of Fairfax...
I called the NRA-ILA (INSTITUTE FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION). I spoke with a guy named Eric and he put me on hold for a few minutes till he could get the latest info on this subject.

After returning to the phone he gave me a bunch of info. The NRA is definitely aware of the problem and have heard from some reloaded ammo companies and individuals. Eric rattled off all the DOD agencies invlolved and apparently this may have been "somewhat of a mistake" The ranking DOD agency has heard our concerns and condsiders them VALID!!

Right now, the word is from DOD to the NRA that they hope to have a WAIVER put into place within a two or three weeks which will CORRECT this situation and return once fired brass, .50 caliber and below to the sales policies previously used!!!

Eric said it might be helpful to call our Congressmen just in case and make them aware of the impact on the DOD budget, police training, and inidividual rights.

It might not be a bad idea to get on your Congresscritter over this, just to be sure.

Unintended consequences...

So, as more and more states enter serious budget crunches, they are going to start cutting back on expensive services. One of those expensive services on which they're going to cut back is warehousing criminals.

Now, letting Jeff Spicoli's connection for Oaxacan ditchweed out of the pokey a year or two early is one thing, but not everyone on parole is so benign.

(H/T to SurvivalBlog.)

Happy Blogiversary!

JayG's blog turns two today.

You know what that means. He's going to start running around, scribbling on the walls, and yelling "NO!" a lot.


...from January of '08.

Turns out I may have been optimistic after all.

Pesky First Amendment!

In the remains of the house, investigators found dozens of soot-covered DVDs on how to commit acts of violence, including how to shoot into a moving car and building a homemade gun silencer. McAliley said they appeared to be serious, not a joke.
Hey, you know who publishes a lot of great books on violence and mayhem? The U.S. Department of Defense.

I even have a book around here published by the CPUSA discussing violent revolution against the U.S. Government. When I saw it for sale, I had to buy it; it was one of my proudest moments as an American citizen.

If you don't understand that, it's back to Civics 101 for you, Ms. "Journalist".

If all people are equal, then all labor is, too...

In comments at the Les Jones post ref'ed last night, "persimmon" stated:
That John Galt thing is the first constructive idea I’ve heard from Republicans during this crisis. If they all start working less, it will open up jobs for others, and jobs with good pay too. Bring it on!
I had to respond:
Does it hurt when you try to think?

The people that make $250,000+/yr are the kind of people who own businesses that employ other, less-skilled or -qualified, workers. When the doctor or lawyer cuts back, they lay people off. The cashier from Piggly-Wiggly is not going to step up and start performing cardiac catheterizations or doing patent attorney work to fill that “open job”.

Worse, if the Piggly-Wiggly cashier has been going to night school to become a medical receptionist or a paralegal, she’s screwed now, because there are fewer job openings and more unemployed paralegals and medical receptionists competing for them.

So, "persimmon", which gap are you going to step in and fill? Going to try out that career in neurosurgery you've always wanted? Criminal law, maybe? Some of those greedy rich people are going to be opening up good paying jobs for you!

BONUS! They keep talking. See, they think this is some spiteful, organized response by rich Republicans that are going to organize and cut their own throats to spite the working classes.

This is because these are the only dimensions in which they can think: "organized", "spiteful", "protest", and "cut your own throat". They don't realize that a lot of the people that may be throttling back might have even voted for their guy. That it's not an organized thing. That it's not being done as a "protest", either.

Look, most folks on that entrepreneurial treadmill are doing it for deferred gratification. They are plugging away, putting up money, and really not spending much time enjoying it. As long as the ducats are rolling in, they can keep telling themselves they'll spend that month at the beach house next year. So they don't get the houseboat out on the lake as often as they meant to; maybe they'll retire a couple of years early and enjoy it then.

Remove the incentive to work harder, however, and some people won't. If the extra effort is just going to get taxed into oblivion, why put forth the extra effort in the first place? After all, if you can have a pretty good life at $249,999/yr, why put forth the effort for more?

Pull the oat bag away from the horse's nose and pretty soon it starts wondering why it's pulling us around in this wagon in the first place.

You don't have to gin up theories of complicated organized social protests, little leftie; simple self-interest is the lather for Occam's razor here.

Today In History: Why wasn't I told of this?

On this date in 1921, an Austrian-born German noble who grew up in Estonia, served as an officer in the Czar's army, and led Cossack cavalry for the White army during the civil war, declared himself Khan of Mongolia. He made piles of skulls, acted suitably crazy, and was defeated and executed by the Bolsheviks.

Jeebus, does history get any better than this? Why has someone not made a movie?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Back off me!"

Les Jones on Bob Krumm on Whoopi on taxes.

Related: Michael Barone on "Gimme Shelters".

I don't know about you...

...but I teared up.

Lethality looks like lolwhut?

LaRue Tactical, respected maker and seller of AR bits'n'pieces, had an ad campaign that featured the tagline "Lethality Looks Like This".

What lethality looked like, apparently, was a young hottie, braless under an unfastened tac vest, holding a pimped-out M4, with her unbuttoned trousers about to fall off. In glossy, 8.5x11" color on the back cover of SWAT magazine.

Now, I'm not one to get all Mrs. Grundy on an ad department. I know that advertising is an alloy of 50% hype and 50% sex. I know that BMW is not actually the Ultimate Driving Machine; that ParaUSA's GI Expert is not "GI", nor will it make me shoot like an expert; and that this Bud is definitely not for me. I know that I am statistically far from the mean of LaRue's target demographic; a whole bunch more hoo-ah twenty-year-old young males buy their stuff than cranky women old enough to be those Rangers' mom.

Usually, I just got a little chuckle at the full-page, full-color sultry commandette with her drawers half-off on the back cover, and then dove into the magazine to read the Pat Rogers article first, like I always do, before skipping to Louis Awerbuck's column at the back.

It only got embarassing if I was sitting on the front porch when the mailman showed up, and he was staring at my magazine, transfixed by the tactical vixen. I'd blush as he handed it over. I couldn't help it.

Thus, I had to laugh a little in sympathy when Sarah at Pointy Pen ran into the obverse side of the same coin.

You know it's dry in here when...

...you lean your carbine against the filing cabinet at VFTP Command Central and a staccato daisy chain of little blue sparks crackles between the drawer and the flash suppressor.

Note To Self: We'll not be doing any RAM upgrades today.

...and choirs of angels sang.

The only company on the planet that might make a better-built revolver than USFA is Freedom Arms.

If you've ever compared a beautiful USFA Peacemaker (made under the big blue dome!) to one of the polished turds from Colt's Custom Shop (made in some industrial park somewhere!) in the last five or six years, then this will really make your heart go pitter-pat: Behold, somewhere the ghost of John Moses Browning (pbuh) is smiling.

I would low crawl over a thousand meters of barbed wire and crushed glass to put that thing in my safe.

(H/T to Caleb.)

PS: I am given to understand that USFA actually moved out of the big blue dome in 2004. I guess they're just made in an industrial park somewhere, too, now. :(

Teaching entrepreneurship to little girls...

...but not, you know, the bad kind of competitive entrepreneurship. Just the good zero-sum kind.
Considering that the national Girl Scout Cookie Program bills itself as the largest program to teach entrepreneurship to young girls, this e-commerce strategy seems especially savvy. But some families in the community felt threatened by the Freeborn's unconventional efforts, likely because various prizes (including camp vouchers, stuffed animals and apparel) are given out by local councils to girls who sell a certain amount of boxes. "If you have an individual girl that creates a Web presence, she can suck the opportunity from other girls," says Matthew Markie, a parent who remains involved in Girl Scouts even though his three daughters are well into their 20s.

Hyperventilating over irrelevancies.

Fifteen guns. None of them his, of course. But they sure are hung up on that number.

Look, I have fifteen Mausers, (not counting the Mauser-Vergueiro, of course.) I thought the safe was supposed to form a Faraday cage to block the mind-controlling "killkillkill" radiation given off by large quantities of firearms?

Anyhow, the number of firearms at home isn't important and is a complete red herring here, because he obviously only needed the one.

The funnier part is the "videogames played by other mass killers" bit. You know, I bet the police found soft drinks drunk by other mass killers, breakfast cereals eaten by other mass killers, and blue jeans worn by other mass killers, too.

The important link that all the twenty-pound brains seem to be missing here is this: What all these guys had in common wasn't guns, video games, breakfast cereals, or bad haircuts, it's that they were psychos who killed people. Hello?

If the presence of lots of young males with guns who played shoot-'em-up video games for fun caused massacres, I would have been knee-deep in blood at work for the last fifteen years. The skeet range at your local Scout camp would have devolved into a birdshot-peppered William Golding-esque nightmare. Fort Benning would have corpses stacked like cordwood. Your local police station would look like level 2 from Doom. Put your thinking caps on for a moment here, people.

Cuppa Joe.

Speaking of cup size, what measurement are coffeemaker companies using when they say "8 cup" or "12 cup"?

I know it's not a regulation cooking "cup" of 10 ounces. It's certainly not the standard coffee mugs we use here at Roseholme Cottage, because our "8 cups" of morning coffee means somebody gets two mugs and the slower one gets one and a warmup. I don't think you could even get eight full styrofoam shot glasses of the kind they keep next to the coffee urn at work out of it, but the Chemex insists I just made "8 cups" of coffee.

I demand cup reform! Accuracy in cup reporting! There oughtta be a law!

Today In History: Stuff happened.

...that was pretty dull, on the balance. At least, nothing jumped out at me as being particularly funny or snark-worthy.

The Ostrogoths gave up the siege of Rome, allowing Belisarius to send out for pizza to supplement the diet of boiled sandals and rat stew on which he and his men had been subsisting.

FDR told America he was takin' over and so they'd better get used to it, see? in his first "Fireside Chat".

Mauritius achieves independence. Nobody notices for another six months.

NATO got three new members: Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, which confused those of us who grew up during the Cold War a whole lot.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Overheard at the gun show...

Him: "That's a cool hat you got, there!"

Me: "Hmm?"

Him: "That hat. The Blackwater hat. It's cool. Where'dja get it?"

Me: "Blackwater."

Him: "Oh."

Actually, I didn't, because we spent so much time shooting that by the time we got done, the pro shop was closed. I know, I know... The things I have to suffer through... Anyway, roomie snagged me one from their online shop.

I love wearing it around Broad Ripple; it's like hippie kryptonite.

They always ask about it, too. So you tell them you went there. And enjoyed it. And want to go back... They look at you like you just told them that you went to Hell for spring break and it was so awesome because you got Satan's autograph and everything.

Really grand theft auto.

A car dealer in Nebraska seems to have come onto his lot in the middle of the night with a couple of his senior managers and loaded up a bunch of cars onto transporters. Then the three apparently cleaned out their desks and rode off into the... er... sunrise with the boosted vehicles.

Employees were puzzled when they showed up at work yesterday morning to find no cars. And no boss, either.

The finance company that owns the cars is obviously a little put out.

I have often said...

...that what this planet needs is a 20-foot flying predator.

But I'll take what I can get.

CNN International poll...

Bottom right of the page:
Do the recent shooting rampages highlight the need for more gun control?

Gadget lust.

I have gone on at length before about that sexy piece of pocket jewelry that is the Prybaby. (Someday I will own one of Atwood's awesome pocket gizmos!)

I know I have mentioned that two of the handiest things I own are my Leatherman Micra and my Leatherman Juice KF4.

The Caspian Pocketsmith II's that I've given friends were big, big hits.

Basically, I loves me some handy little gadgets.

And pocket knives? Don't get me started. I once paid more for a pocketknife than I did for my first car. They really are like pocket jewelry.

But you'll pardon me if I think that a small Sebenza makes a far better "intelligent statement of style and independence" than this thing. (And how is one supposed to assert independence by aping "Hollywood's A-List actresses"?)

Morning gun stuff:

Kirk at Fun Turns to Tragedy!!! plays dress-up with his new gat.

Ted at Bore Patch looks at guns in New York City and Hollywood, CA.

Meanwhile, in Texas...

...somebody obviously forgot the first rule of Fight Club.

Today In History: Heroic retreat?

On this date in 1942, enticed from any thoughts of heroism by the carrot of a medal on a light blue ribbon, Douglas MacArthur stepped aboard PT 41 and bravely left General Wainwright to his fate on Corregidor.

Check your hat size; I think your beanie is too tight.

It is important when getting fitted for a Reynold's Wrap yarmulke to ensure that one sizes it correctly, lest it cut off circulation to the forebrain.

For an example of what can happen if it is too tight, may I direct you to this comment at the PJM article on the Great Ammo Drought of '09:
You people are pawns. Where are you gonna put all that ammo? Your garage is already full of duct tape and plastic sheeting. Did your dad build a bomb shelter when you were a kid? Some cement block mold incubator that you all sat in for five minutes eating crackers and trying to tune in Civil Defense Radio on the transistor? Think that would have helped? Did you duck and cover in grade school?

You’re being played. Given the amount of time you spend whining about the economy, I’d think there would be more critical needs to address than stocking up on .38+Ps.

They got your mind. Now they got your money. Suckers.

Y'know, maybe I'm just buying it to shoot at paper targets, Cletus, but in an inflationary environment with a cratering stock market, long-storage consumables like ammunition and canned food are some of the best investments there are. It's called "spend your money while it's still worth something." It makes me smile to take some target-grade .22LR to the range that is still wearing price tags lower than what you'd pay for cheapie plinkin'-grade stuff today.

What I really like, though, what makes me chuckle every time I re-read it, is your inference that this whole thing is some conspiracy by an unholy troika of the Bush administration, 3M, and Olin-Winchester. That's rich.

Dude, you need a hobby.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tales from the far side of the moon.

Here's an interesting blog from an American woman living in Saudi. She writes well, so be prepared to fall into the intertubes for a while...

You stay classy, Barry!

Thank goodness we got rid of that gaffe-prone provincial hick in the White House and replaced him with a man who is the model of sophisticated, suave urbanity.

My eyes!

The wrongest thing I have ever seen on the internets.

Jack Cafferty: The funniest man at CNN.

The country had had a bellyful of George Bush, Dick Cheney, and the rest of the messengers of darkness in Washington who had sold out the principles of the Republican Party in favor of huge deficits, a doubling of the national debt, and a growing intrusion of the federal government into people's private lives.

But instead of getting on board the change train...

Change train?!? What "change train"? Are you typing that on Mars or something? Because back here on Planet Earth, Mr. "Change" took George Bush's deficit knob and cranked it to "11". Not satisfied with the existing level of government intrusion, he's got it intruding everywhere else now, too: Your bank, your mortgage holder, your doctor's office. The Patriot [sic] Act that you despise so much? Still there. The Democrats have had Congress for three years now and haven't made even a pretense at repealing it. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, and you got fooled again.

You are so intoxicated with the guy that you have no idea what you're writing, no tether to reality left. Put down the crack pipe, Jack, because it's not doing you any good.

Here's an idea...

Every time the President opens his mouth, the stock market drops another hundred points. If Barack really wanted to do something about the economy, the best thing he could do would be to just shut up.

Quote of the Day:

"There's no shame in the world, and without shame, you cannot have honor. Our world is ruled by consensus now. There is no sense of honor." -John Milius

The last rugged individualist in Hollywood gives a heck of an interview.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Preparing for the Zombocalypse...

It's important to prep for the scenarios you think you might face. I'm not sure if Zombie Bob is kin to Rob Zombie, but I am all spun up for the dance, just in case. I feel bad about those two dropped shots with the Para LTC9...

PS: Why do targets put the A-Zone on the noggin above the eyebrows? Is the objective to impede the target's ability to do vector calculus or appreciate Shakespearean sonnets?

PPS: The rear sight on the Marlin Papoose is all broke-dick. Whoever spec'ed that folding rear leaf should be run out of town on a rail...

Sometimes they charge when they're wounded...

Frank W. James, who has been helping keep the feral hogs of Texas from eating all our food, finds that a wounded pig can make for a sort of budget Cape Buffalo experience.

Today In History: Troops on the border.

On this date in 1916, Mexican revolutionary Francisco "Pancho" Villa and several hundred of his not-so-merry men shot up the town of Columbus, New Mexico, and then put it to the torch.

American troops had been deployed along the border to protect American citizens and property from Mexican bandits, and Columbus was home to a detachment from the 13th Cavalry Regiment, including its machine gun troop. Despite being outnumbered more than ten to one, they fought back ferociously and inflicted heavy casualties on the banditos.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The (sadly neglected) other blog...

It's Sunday, right? I guess that means I should put up a Sunday Smith.

I have sworn a mighty oath today to not let The Arms Room languish...

National Gun Day report.

It's one of the biggest gun shows in the nation, and definitely a must-attend for the collector. If your idea of a good show is one where you can find a good deal on a new Taurus or Ruger auto, this isn't the show for you. If, on the other hand, you want to fondle a whole table full of Krags or M1903's before making your selection, however...

It's 2100 tables and not a beanie baby, beef jerky vendor, or table full of Hi-Points in sight. There were StG 44's and FG-42's and more Winchester Trench Guns than you can shake a stick at. I got "Museum Fatigue"; like rounding the corner at the Louvre and sighing, "Ho hum, another DaVinci..." There was an absolutely pristine cased Borchardt with stock and accessories for the low, low asking price of $35,000. I saw my first Webley-Fosbury in the wild. I saw my first Pedersen device, ever. The Pedersen device was in a 1903 on a table that also had a like-new-in-box Colt 1903 Pocket Hammer, as well as a Trapdoor carbine that was quite possibly unfired ($14k if you have to ask...). Registered Magnums and Triple Locks were common enough to be boring. There was a whole table full of M1941 Johnson rifles with a brace of LMG's for bookends.

If you've ever wanted to say "Wow, that's the third-nicest Volcanic pistol I've seen at this show so far," then National Gun Day in Louisville is the show for you...

Hopelessness and Change.

Have y'all seen this blog full of vignettes from post-apocalyptic Detroit? Imagine what it's going to look like in another few years...

And it's not like Detroit is a city that hasn't had Urban Planning by the boxcar lot, either.

At what point does the Rust Belt become the Mad Max Belt?

I love Daylight Savings Time....

...but it's real hard to feign much enthusiasm about it at what my hindbrain is telling me is 0mygod30 in the AM.

I'm abandoning my roomie to her typing and heading to Nat'l Gun Day in L'ville. Back later!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

You know who designed that gun?

A neat thumbnail review of the Colt's Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless by Firehand. I like that gun so much that I have two of them. Someday I'll get one in .380, too, when I'm rich and famous.

Blogmeet info:


The lowdown on the March Indy Blogmeet can be found here.

Pass it on.

There oughtta be a law!

I am not kidding: A state legislator in Rhode Island has put forward a piece of legislation that would create a state board for arbitrating disputes between parents in youth sports. Srsly. An honest-to-Shiva taxpayer-funded government panel for refereeing penalty kicks in AYSA soccer, explaining the infield fly rule to Little League moms, and telling the fathers of Pop Warner players that their kid isn't really first-string material and is better suited for playing End Guard Tackle. (That's the guy who sits on the end of the bench, guards the water bucket, and tackles anybody who comes near it.)

Personally, I think anybody who has such a shocking level of immaturity and lack of impulse control that they need to go before a State fricken' Youth Sports Arbitrage Commission to iron out some game of parental push'n'shove at the local soccer field is providing prima facie evidence of their unsuitability as a parent. The kids should be given to real adults before Chip or Muffy can screw them up any worse, and Chip or Muffy should get tossed in the nearest Soylent Green vat, lest they somehow swim upstream to the spawning grounds again.

But that's just me.

Friday, March 06, 2009

A true achievment.

Not only is View From The Porch your leading source of Horrible Screaming Death, but we are also now Google's #1 go-to site for Face Eating Monkeys.

Some people may want to be President or an astronaut or Miss America, but how many of them will ever have the satisfaction of typing "Face Eating Monkeys" into Google and seeing their blog at the very top of the list? Compared to that, a tiara and a suitcase full of launch codes is chump change.

I have truly arrived.

The Stupid Tax.

While the Dow describes the trajectory of a depressed stockbroker from a fifteenth-floor window, some industries are still booming.

For instance, people are lining up to get jobs collecting the Innumeracy Tax.

Half a million satisfied eyeballs.

MattG celebrates his quarter-millionth pageview in his usual modest style.

Quote of the Day:

Only 5 weeks removed and boy, do I miss the fiscal restraint of the Bush administration. - Brian, at Six Meat Buffet.

File under "Words I Never Thought I'd Say"...

(H/T to Unc.)

You know, I respect "cultural differences" as much as the next kid...

...but the jumped-up goatherds with their crude-oil-funded Ralph Lauren camel blankets manage to get on my last nerve with appalling regularity. You can put bones through your nose, paint yourself with woad and run nekkid through the woods, or name your children "Tiffani" and "Chip" to your heart's content, but when you start making people legal second-class citizens or even chattel, well, I've got issues with that.

It's amazing what kind of human rights violations a nation can get away with and stay buddy-buddy with the US, as long as it's floating on enough dinosaur juice.

*Sigh*. Remember the good old days when you could just park HMS Thunderer in the nearest harbor, like Zanzibar, Veracruz, or Brest, shell a couple of their huts, and the wogs would fall into line?

Thursday, March 05, 2009

National Health Care Plan...

Obama's plan will guarantee that the nation's elderly are shovel-ready.

Pugsley see, Pugsley do.

I guess he figures that since Washington, DC is making all these noises about nationalizing American companies, Caracas should get a piece of the action, too.

Take the misdemeanor...

Maybe I've lived in the country too long, but if I had a stray dog trying to get territorial with me in my yard, and I called animal control, and they said "We'll have somebody there in 23 hours," I'd be sorely tempted to reply:
"Tell them..." cli-click... BANG! "...not to rush on my account."
Discharging a firearm in city limits will probably get someone there faster anyway. I guess I have lived in the country too long.

Folks, if you love your puppy, don't let it roam, especially if it's one of the scarier-looking breeds. Make sure it has tags. I can get friendly with a Rottie or Dobie because I know they're just dogs, but some people will panic at the mere sight. And you also need to realize that little Cujo, who is so sweet and easygoing and good with your kids at home, can be nervous and aggressive when he's three blocks away and surrounded by strange people.

Yeah, I gotta problem wit' it...

Mark Alger takes issue with Sir Evel Knievel of Chappaquiddick.

I am reminded of Elizabeth I's dressing-down of Sir Clifford on his return from France sporting a French medal: "My dogs wear my collars."

Today In History: Massacree.

On this date in 1770, government troops opened fire into an angry mob of Boston citizens, hitting eleven, and killing five. The soldiers were charged with murder.

Nowadays, of course, they'd have sovereign immunity, and you'd be a wookie-suited, tin-foil beanie wearing, black helicopter believing whacko if you said anything bad about their actions. Besides, some of the victims were probably hippies. Or on drugs. Or terrorists. Or something.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Down the bourgeoisie!

There is a strong undercurrent of WJB-esque populism on both sides of the political spectrum. Today I got to see it surface when somebody blamed the fat cats for the current ammo shortage:
I think it's the ammo manufacturers taking advantage of a demand side spike to run up prices when they could just as well pump out twice as much ammo and we could all get ammo at the same price we did last year at this time.

I had to respond:

"No, it's not.

I know it's fashionable in America to blame rich people, big business, fat cats, and whatnot for every misfortune (hey, at least we don't blame Jews anymore; we're making progress,) but this shortage is just a natural result of modern business practices.

See, once upon a time, it was common for American businesses to produce everything they could. Then they would send it to wholesalers, who would in turn sell to retailers who would buy all of it they could afford.

In the days before instantaneous, nearly-free, cross-country communications and three-day coast-to-coast delivery, this made sense.

Then in the '70s and '80s, American manufacturers got their butts kicked by the Japanese, led by Toyota, who had made a religion out of Just-In-Time inventory control. Now everybody uses it.

Federal Ammunition Co. will look at last year's Q1 business and only order enough components to produce what it thinks it can sell this quarter. The wholesalers will only buy based on what they think they can sell, again based on data from previous years. Same with the retailers. A big enough demand surge at the retail end can suck the pipeline dry all the way back to the component end of the process.

If I only sold 10 boxes of .44 Magnum a week at Anytown Firearms, I'd only keep an inventory of 11 or 12 on hand. Those unsold boxes are liabilities, after all; money tied up that's not turning a profit. If somebody comes in and buys all 12 boxes, I'm out 'til next week.

If he does that to every store in the area, and we all need to reorder from the same wholesaler to restock our shelves, we'll probably empty the wholesaler's shelves as well. And the wholesaler doesn't get weekly deliveries, he gets monthly deliveries. Meanwhile, since each dealer in Anytown only got an allocated 4 boxes of .44 Magnum, and word has gotten around at the range that there's a .44 Magnum drought, those four boxes are going to fly off the shelf. Now we're stuck until the wholesaler can get more from the manufacturer. Next month. See?"

Wow, same exact endpoint, with 99% less conspiracy!

El burro hablando de orejas.

Does anybody else find it darkly amusing that the Mexican government has its BVD's in a bowline about contraband allegedly crossing the border and fueling crime in their country?

Physician, heal thyself.

UPDATE: Any bets on this rifle turning up down there? Clearly we need to close the Squad Car Loophole.

(H/T to Unc.)

Leaning on shovels for fun and profit.

So, in a much ballyhooed report, Montgomery County, Maryland is getting its stretch of Rte. 650 repaired. The contractor has announced that, between new employees and returning laid-off workers, this should created 60 jobs. Considering that 2.1 million federal tax dollars went into their coffers, this works out to $35,000/job.

Obama says that Porkulus will enable an additional 3,499,940 people to lean on shovels across this fair land. Assuming that contractor in Maryland was not unusually efficient, this means we have another $122,497,900,000 worth of Slow Men At Work to go.

We are going to come up with the cash for this in two ways: First, we are going to sneak into your kid's room tonight and take all the money out of their piggy bank and replace it with a note saying "I.O.U. Love, Uncle Sam"

Second, we are going to go to everybody who makes more than $250,000/yr and tax them until they cry "Comrade!" This is an easy sell in populist America because, hey, the rich are evil, right? I mean, what good do they do, apart from signing people's paychecks?

So, we've got sixty people leaning on shovels in Maryland at the cost of how many receptionists and secretaries getting laid off in little office parks around America as doctors and lawyers figure out a way to cope with the heavier taxes? Doesn't seem like much of a trade to me, but what do I know?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Word of the Day:


Used in a sentence:
"Still, I can’t help but feel a bit of Obamanfreude at his predicament (as it sounds like he was an Obama supporter)."

Today In History: Little-known feats...

On this date in 1776, the Continental Marine Corps captured Nassau in the Bahamas. For reasons that remain unclear to me, we gave it back. Also unknown is why this incident is unmentioned in the Marine Corps Hymn.

"From the streets of tacky tourist traps,
To the scenic beachfront bars..."

Hope you got your things together.

I just felt a great disturbance in the Force, like millions of 401k's crying out and then suddenly silenced...

Of course, select stocks are doing okay. While General Motors stock is not as good an investment as Charmin these days, and far scratchier to boot, Ruger seems to be moving along tickety-boo. No doubt their success has been buoyed by the fact that they've finally decided that, yes, an honest man may actually need more than ten rounds, or a handgun smaller than a canned ham.

The success of their attempt at a forced entry back into the Barney Fife market hasn't hurt Smith & Wesson, either. That, and it looks like they got into the AR-15 game right in time, too, since anything even vaguely "Evil Black Rifle" shaped is selling like tie-dyed rolling papers at a Grateful Dead concert.

It wouldn't be bad to be in the ammunition business these days, either. Folks have been buying at a rate that has sucked the pipeline dry, and are still shopping for more. See, unlike a gallon of milk (or the U.S. Dollar, come to think of it) ammunition doesn't really go bad. And you can always use it for trade goods when we're searching the rubble for rusty cans of peas with colanders strapped to our faces...

Monday, March 02, 2009

There are few sights more heartwarming...

...than a blogger with a new heater.

Caleb's getting his game face on for May.

Curse you, Al Gore!

I am looking out the window and it is blazingly sunny out there; what we used to call "severe clear" at the airport. It would be awesome to hop on my bike and pedal down the Monon Trail into Broad Ripple proper for a burger and a quick stop at the Kroger.

But I am not duped by the pretty sunlight. Weather.com tells me it is 24 degrees out there, and when you add in the wind out of Mordor that is gusting to 18 mph, that adds up to a wind chill of... well... let's just say I'm taking the car. And not putting the top down, either.

Understatement of the year.

It's only March, but it looks like we may already have a winner. Congratulations to the federal judge who penned the winning lines:
In January, a federal judge ordered a mental evaluation of Hussein, saying "there is reasonable cause to believe [Hussein] may ... be suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering him mentally incompetent..."
Well, let's see what we have here: Setting fires in the middle of Chicago intersections while screaming "Allahu Akhbar!" and not leaving until you get pig-piled by the Five-Oh. Slicing your finger open to dribble some biohazard on your fan mail to the President-elect. Putting what appears to be... Tang? ...in the letter to, uh, correct Barack's vitamin C deficiency or something.

Yup, that pretty much adds up to crazy. Look for a slam-dunk on an insanity plea. Personally, I think it was the Tang that put it over the edge.

Things I noticed at the match...

As I mentioned elsewhere, it was too cold for pins, and so some impromptu steel stages were set up.

The first one was pretty simple, just five steel plate targets set up at varying heights and distances, but all around ten yards out or so; one shot per target, three runs, keep your best time. The third stage was an... er... I guess you'd call it a "cold-range El Presidente". (The loaded and safed gun was laying on the rail in front of you when you turned around, rather than shooting from the leather.) The second stage was a plate rack with six swinging plates, and a Pepper popper for a stop plate. This turned out to be just for fun, as we only had two timers...

I only shot each stage once, as I had a fairly boneheaded gear malfunction. Those Blackhawk! gloves that were so comfy in North Carolina in August? Yeah, well, they're not so hot for Indiana in February, and I'd forgotten my warm gloves at home. Once you can't feel your fingers, it takes the fun out of things.

Also on the topic of gloves, I noticed that they can cause problems with my usual high-thumbs hold. I'd been admonishing myself to choke up on the gun, and on my first run it was "BANG!BANG!... malfunction ...BANG!... malfunction ...BANG!BANG!"
...which doesn't do much for your score. I think it was a dismal ten seconds or so. Same thing on the second run. I figured out what was happening by the third run, and shot it clean in the low fives.

After the stage, someone offered me some CLP. But it wasn't lube that was the problem; it was the wrinkled fabric of the glove interfering with the slide stop and causing it to lock back between shots. I was happy that I had spent time practicing my malfunction drills. I noticed a few shooters who hadn't, and a stoppage would leave them staring at their gun like a duck in thunder, rather than keeping their head in the fight and reducing the malf.

Also, reload times varied widely among the shooters, although with the exception of the El Pres stage they weren't all that critical. A lot of folks took their head completely out of the fight to reload, and mine were a lot less smooth than they could have been.

Oh, well, just more stuff to practice. And Eagle Creek will reopen for the year this weekend! Hooray! Yay guns!