Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summertime in SoBro, Part III...

Only actually this wasn't SoBro, but rather Broad Ripple Proper...

I had a mojo working for cheese enchiladas, and so I headed for La Piedad in Broad Ripple. When I got there, there was a line out the door like they were giving dollar bills away, so I said "screw it" and, after a stop at Big Hat Books, moseyed down to the Monon Food Company, site of the Feb. 2011 Blogmeet.

Photo looking from Rusted Moon Outfitters back north towards The Monon Food Company.

After lunch I wandered over to Rusted Moon Outfitters and then headed back towards the car, stopping at Bike Line to buy a water bottle cage for the Broad Ripple SUV before traveling on to the grocery store to do the twice-weekly grocery shopping chore....


(Dear FTC: See all those links? I didn't get a thing for any one of them; I just like giving free props to local businesses I like, so suck it.)

They will come for your bulbs like a thief in the night.

I don't know how I missed Brian J. Noggle's awesome (and wittily-titled) post on the effects of legislative delay and the incandescent bulb situation:
And when the year-end arrives, the 100-watt bulbs will just be gone without fanfare or explanation. In coming years, the same will happen to the remainder of incandescent bulbs. Consumers not engaged in the political process will not know why; they just will not have the chance to buy them and will have to spend a couple bucks on a nice expensive toxic-waste-to-be glass corkscrew instead.
You should read the whole thing if you haven't already.

And it's not just these big omnibus bills, which always seem to have debris clouds of riders trailing behind whatever was supposed to be the meat of the bill in the first place; it's this way with regulatory decisions, too.

It was even worse before the widespread adoption of the internets, because outside of a few people in the affected industry and a handful of politically-active types, there was no way for the general public to stay informed on this stuff. I saw a fair amount of it in my gun store days: One day there are wallet holsters for NAA Mini Revolvers or cases of steel-core Chinese 7.62x39 ammunition on the sales floor, and then *poof!* they're just so much balance-sheet ballast, gathering dust in the back room, and literally years later, people would still come in and ask "Hey, what happened to...?"

News from the Cradle & Grave of Liberty:

Dead body in a public pool in Boston... for three days. "Marco! ... Hey, I said 'Marco'...!" Ick.

Meanwhile, hooligans using minibikes have caused Boston to overreact and crack down on the scourge of <50cc scooters. I hope the Boston city fathers never notice that hooligans also use oxygen.

When we said 'Deep Throat', we didn't mean like that!

If the media had handled Watergate the way they're handling Gunwalker, Woodward and Bernstein would have helped with the coverup and Zombie Nixon would be president today.

Seriously, half the editorial coverage so far is the equivalent of editorializing that the Iran-Contra affair mostly underlined the need to have a more effective clandestine arms pipeline to prohibited nations.

That'll teach him to call the cops next time.

Apparently this guy had some armed goblins bust up into his house, actually bust caps at him, and he repelled boarders with his shotgun.

When the cops finally arrived at the scene, what did they do? Ticketed him for discharging a firearm inside city limits, since
"there is no self-defense exception in Garner’s gun ordinance. Only a law enforcement officer may fire a weapon within town limits according to the local code."
You have got to be kidding me.

Well, they don't call North Carolina "The California of the South" for nothing...

(H/T to Borepatch.)

Now what?

So it looks like "Regime Change From 30,000 Feet" didn't work out quite like it was planned...
Four months on, the rebels are not capable of supporting themselves, McGregor said. They are out of fuel, oil production has shut down, and they have few available resources. They will soon face even shortages of food and water, McGregor said.

President Barack Obama faces pressure at home to withdraw U.S. forces. There is debate, too, in Europe over the expensive air campaign.

The war may have been morally right, but NATO, said McGregor, is facing a conundrum.

Now what? Just say "Hey, Muammar, just kiddin'! Seriously, we were just funnin' ya. No hard feelings? We're going home now; our new ambassador will be there in the morning."?

Seriously, say what you will about the Neocons' adventures in Southwest Asia, they changed the heck out of some regimes*. To my knowledge, only once in the history of modern warfare has a country called it quits due to airstrikes without a single hostile boot on their soil, and that took a pair of atomic bombs, which is a level of escalation that Qa.. Kha... Gadhafi just doesn't really rate, actually.



*Personally, I don't think Iraq should have ever happened and Afghanistan should have been a punitive expedition where we toppled the Taliban, shot up the countryside, and tossed the keys to the country to whoever wanted them, along with a note that said "Don't make us come back here."

A request for gunwriters...

When you are reviewing a 1911-pattern pistol from a smaller custom house, will you please find out whose parts are actually in the gun?

I mean, when you're talking about a Wilson or an Ed Brown, it's a pretty safe bet that they're full of Wilson or Brown parts, but "Acme Custom Pistols" ordered the parts for that "Acme Custom Recon Ranger Tactical Model" from somewhere, and where they came from is one of the things the kind of people likely to drop a kilobuck-and-a-half or more on such a pistol in the first place would like to know.

Where'd the frame come from? Whose extractor are they using? How about the plunger tube? And is it properly staked?

I can generally figure out if it's 30- or 20-lpi checkering by looking at your pretty pictures, but I can't see inside the gun. I need you to do that part for me, chief, not prattle on about "acceptable combat accuracy".

Thanks!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summertime in SoBro, Part II...

Continuing the series, I went for lunch at Moe & Johnny's today...

This is the view from the parking lot of the Fresh Market at 54th & College, looking south-by-southwest at Moe & Johnny's...

So, for lunch tomorrow, should I have Greek or Cajun?
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Clearing tabs...

"May cause drowsiness, yellow eyeballs, fangs..."

Pharmaceutical commercials are a never-ending source of amusement around Roseholme Cottage, what with their subvocalized FDA-mandated warnings. The picture will show somebody skipping happily around the yard, finally freed of the awful burden of toenail fungus, as the announcer is softly intoning "...possible side effects include debilitating cramps, dizziness, permanent blindness, and rectal bleeding..." and I'm thinking, "You know, I reckon I'd take my chances with the toenail fungus."

Bobbi came up with a bunch of warning labels for medicines we don't have, but maybe should:
Lycanophage: "Warning: while this medicine suppresses the outward signs of lycanthropy, it does not cure the disease. Suddenly stopping this medication can lead to howling, hirsutism/hyperpilosity and hyperactivity. Lycanophage must be a part of a complete treatment plan from your doctor...."
You should go read. It's pretty droll.
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It's like we make our own tumors on purpose.

What's the purpose of a bureaucracy? I mean, let's say we created a new federal agency, the Federal Bureau of Helping Little Old Ladies Cross Streets; what is its primary function?

Why, to help little old ladies cross streets, right?

Wrong. It is to ensure salaries and jobs for Federal Street Crossing Agents and their Supervisors, and pensions for their future retirees, in perpetuity.

Now, you may become a Federal Street Crossing Agent for the noblest of reasons. Grandma got run over at 5th & Elm when you were little, and so you busted ass in college so you could qualify for the elite bureau and see that nothing like it ever again happened to anybody else's grandma. Of course, once you start working at the Bureau, you spend all day immersed in a Street-Crossing-centric world, talking about the dangers of little old ladies and streets with other Agents, watching training videos, reading briefings... Why, if every American knew the real dangers waiting for their own grandma at the corner of 5th & Elm, there'd be outrage!

Meanwhile, the bureaucracy of the FBHLOLCS, realizing the only way to justify its existence and thereby secure continued funding, lobbies congress and the executive to expand its mission. Within twenty or thirty years, "little" will be defined as anything under seven feet tall, "old" as anything over eighteen, "lady" will include all members of both sexes, and "street" will be defined as any road, railroad, path, or trail.

Am I lying?
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

No, seriously, the check's in the mail this time... really.

If you can remember back a little while, Greece, whose nearly-half-century-old welfare state was in the process of going toes up, promised a whole bunch of austerity measures in order to guarantee fat bailouts from other countries who were nearly as broke.

Only those didn't work.

Now they're going bankrupt again, and so they're going to pass some serious austerity measures to get more loans from countries who are themselves reduced to pawning the family silver to stay afloat. And this time, these austerity measures are for real. No, honest! This time the check really is in the mail! Promise!

Meanwhile, the parasite class in Greece is clamping down on the nipple as hard as they can to keep the teat from being withdrawn. This is why it's important to wean them before they grow teeth...

Summertime in SoBro...

("SoBro" being the vernacular for "South Broad Ripple".)

I was working up a serious mojo for French onion soup, and I needed some plant food for the veggie garden, so I saddled up the Broad Ripple SUV and headed out. I stopped for lunch at the Aristocrat Pub, home port for Hogeye Navvy, and chowed down on a bowl of yummy soup and a plate of chicken tenders while finishing up The Junior Officers' Reading Club: Killing Time and Fighting Wars...

The Broad Ripple SUV in front of the Aristocrat.

After that, it was across the street to Habig Garden Shop for a five pound sack of plant chow and another watering can, and then a meandering course up and down the few blocks home to yard work, because it was such a gosh-darned nice day outside.

I'm taking a quick break because I'm glowing perspiring sweating like a hog, and then it's back to weeding.

I guess he wasn't going to flush the evidence?

Radley Balko notes that, while a whole host of minor crimes seem to warrant a breach & bang by the local SWAT team, followed by a lot of yelling and general dog shooting and the occasional ventilated bystander, really dangerous violent criminals in houses full of guns get lured out with a phone call. Officer safety, or something.

Look on the bright side: By doing it that way, at least they knew they had the right address.


(H/T to Unc.)

Feelin' kinda Armaggedon-y around here lately...

Torn from this morning's headlines at CNN.com:

So, the hills of New Mexico, the beaches of Alabama, and the streets of New York City are all flaming*...


...and better than a third of respondents to this online poll either think that Michele Bachmann is the best choice among GOP candidates so far, or they were so drunk that they hit the wrong button by accident.

Boy, I'm about ready to see George Lazenby as The Architect...

____________________________
*Yeah, it was a dumb pun, but you'd have thought less of me if I hadn't made it, right?

In case there was any doubt...

In the most surprising plot twist since k.d. lang came out as a lesbian, Michele Bachmann announced that she was running for the G.O.P. presidential nomination yesterday. Wow. Who could have seen that coming?

Also, she was against the PATRIOT Act before she was for it.
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Putting the cart before the horse.

There are lots of things that could cause a person to drive like an idiot.

Maybe they're drunk. Or texting. Or putting on makeup. Or eating. Or tired. Or on prescription (or over-the-counter) medication. Or they're just an uncoordinated dumbass who has no business behind the wheel in the first place.

Regardless, the problem is driving like an idiot, not "Driving While ________."

Meanwhile, "Driving While ________" laws keep hacking away at branches and ignoring the root, while simultaneously ignoring the one law that will never be repealed, which is the Law of Unintended Consequences, as Ben Swenson so deftly points out (regarding Indiana's shiny new "Driving-While-Texting" law):
I think this law is going to have the effect of being more distracting for drivers. Let's face it, some folks are going to break this law. Rather than holding their phone up by the steering wheel where they can easily glance at it as they drive, they're going to hold it down by their crotch and try to hide it. That means they're going to be even less likely to see something happening ahead of or around them, and be even more likely to drive unsafely. I'd like the first person injured by a distracted driver to sue the state legislature for passing this law.
You know, if there's no harm, then there should be no foul.
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Yum.

Blogmeet yesterday at Brugge Brasserie. This was my dessert:


Mm-mmm! Purina yuppie chow! (And their delicious in-house "Bad Kitty" beer.)

Small crowd, possibly due to summertime, but that meant the conversation was fast and free-flowing. I got to play with my new Portable Magic Elf Box when we couldn't remember the name of the local gourmet spice store, and all I had to do was speak into the mic "The Adventures Of Roberta X Spice" and get the answer. The name of the store is Artisano's. I swear this thing is like magic...

Hope to see everyone again next month!

A note to the lady in the Cadillac CTS:

Unlike your previous Caddies, the CTS is actually quite a nimble-handling automobile, crisp of response and bereft of lard. I promise you, as Henry Leland is my witness, it will not tip over if you exceed 5 mph making the left-hand turn through the intersection. Even with your blue-rinse bouffant sprayed up to Jesus, the car's center of gravity will remain low enough to avoid a rollover incident.

The reason I bring this up is that the left turn arrow only remains illuminated for a brief period of time, and it is considered polite to let more than one automobile benefit from its warm, green glow.

Could be worse, could be on fire.

I was going to whine about the approaching line of thunderstorms ruining my plans for an AM bike ride to fetch some stuff from hither and yon, until I realized that there are worse things to be approaching the house than just thunderstorms.

Good luck to the Nerds of Nerd Ranch.
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Allahu akhbar!

I just figured I'd get in some practice saying that, since the terrorists have obviously won:
The Transportation Security Administration stood by its security officers Sunday after a Florida woman complained that her cancer-stricken, 95-year-old mother was patted down and forced to remove her adult diaper while going through security.
This happened in Florida, right? Does this poor woman have no young male kinfolk to handle the obvious necessary chore at hand? Because it seems to me that there are some serious ass whuppins that need delivering here. They laid hands all over your grandmama, fer gawd's sake!

Seriously, have we reached a point where we, as a nation, are so pants-pissingly scared of a bunch of self-immolating neolithic goatherds that we are willing to inflict any indignity on any citizen at any time rather than expose ourselves to the slightest bit of risk?

We should be ashamed of ourselves, each and every one of us.
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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Overheard in the Hallway:

Me: "I feel the need... the need to sneed. Sneed isn't a word, but it should be. What's it mean?"

RX: "It's the past tense of the verb 'to snee'."

Me: "Ah. So, 'I snee; you snee; he/she/it snees; we..."

RX: "...have been sneed. It's from the Latin snevius, which is the act of separating fly poop from small grains of finely-ground black spices."

Me: "That was traditionally done by slave girls from the eastern Mediterranean, known as Sneviatrixes."

RX: "Ah, but by the later Republic, it had become a respected, and often well-paid profession."

Me: "Indeed. Tacitus even claimed that the favorite mistress of the emperor Claudius was reputed to have been a former Sneviatrix."
So I was being grammatically incorrect. I should have said "I feel the need... the need to have sneed."

And with that, I'm off to the grocery store. (And yes, that's fairly typical for Roseholme Cottage dialog...)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Go Team Me!


Hooray! The odometer just rolled over! I totally didn't realize I was that close...

Thank you, everybody!
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Religion in Public Schools.

Gaia has apparently been moved from Mythology 101 textbooks and into the core curriculum of schools in Maryland, which will now require that each student be "environmentally literate" in order to get a high school diploma.

You know, I'd be happy if they were plain old vanilla literate. I mean, what percentage of today's high school graduates wouldn't be able to spell "environmentally literate", even if you spotted them half the vowels?

Things like this are useful course markers on the steadily descending glide slope of civilization, however, in that they make no pretense about this teaching students how to think; they're pretty open about the fact that it's telling students what to think.

Not a day goes by that I don't feel sorry for the Sisyphean task that faces the good teachers out there, as they labor in a swamp that just gets deeper and more entangled by the year (if you'll pardon the liberal mixing of metaphors.) I can't imagine being a college professor getting an essay turned in that starts out "Its imprtant 2 protekt the enviroment bcuz..."

Oy, vey.

Friday, June 24, 2011

That's not a gun, this is a gun.

Everybody at Robb's place the other day was swooning over the GAU-8 Avenger, the famous 30mm tank-busting cannon around which they built A-10 Warthogs. It fires a projectile weighing just less than a pound at some 3,500fps, giving it a muzzle energy of 178,427 ft/lbs. Also, its high rate of fire corrects the biggest shortcoming of the previous super-heavy U.S. aircraft champ (forward-firing division*), the 75mm T13 on the B-25 Mitchell, which chugged out its 16lb/2300fps shells so slowly that only a couple could be gotten off on a single strafing run.

Of course, compared to the Army's 120mm M256, flying cannons are mere popguns. The depleted uranium long-rod penetrator from the main gun of an Abrams weighs the next thing to 18 pounds and is tooling along at 5500 ft/sec or so.

Let's see... 18 pounds is... 126,000 grains... at fifty-five-hundred feet a second, that comes to... umm... carry the one...

About 8,465,485 foot pounds of muzzle energy, which is definitely going to make Major.

All of these, though, are small potatoes when compared to the now-sadly-extinct Mark 7 16"/50 caliber Naval Rifle, which accelerated a 2,700lb projectile to twenty five hundred feet a second in the length of its 66-foot-long barrel. (What's a minute of angle at 32,000 yards?)

This makes me happy...

It's good to see a meme catch on. First here, and now:
...Andrew Traver demonstrating the kind of judgement it take to be the potential leader of that merry band of clown-shoed thugs and stumblebums at BATFE.
(Seen at The Black Sunday Society.)

"Clown-Shoed Thugs"... It's got a ring to it, no?
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That was quick.

With every new gizmo or convenience device in your life, there comes the moment when you have that "How did I ever do without this?" epiphany.

For instance, many years ago, not long after I had purchased my first car with remote door locks, I came walking home from the grocery store, arms full of bags. After schlepping up the stairs to the second floor, I found myself standing outside the apartment door and thumbing the Bimmer's key fob as though it would unlock my domicile.

Yesterday, I found myself out front of Locally Grown Gardens, looking at flats of vegetables and herbs, and I pulled the phone out of my pocket and asked it "Is marjoram a flowering herb?" with my voice and it served up the Wikipedia entry on marjoram.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that that may be the single most amazing thing I've ever done with a computing device in my life. LawDog has long referred to his computer as the "Magic Elf Box", which I've always gotten a chuckle out of, but yesterday was the first time I've found myself staring at the gizmo in my hand like an extra from The Gods Must Be Crazy with an airborne Coke bottle. This is nothing less than a Portable Magic Elf Box that fits in a shirt pocket...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fight the future.

The Eloi breeding program in The Place Where Great Britain Used To Be proceeds apace:
School reprimands seven-year-old boys for playing 'army game'
Of course, before we get carried away with the Limey jokes, let's admit that it could have happened at most schools in America, too.

The thing is, does nobody stop to think about any of the long term effects of this suppression of "army games"? These days, little Johnny and little Pierre and little Gunther are spending the first fifteen or so years of their lives being relentlessly hammered with the message that guns are bad, violence is bad, rough play is bad, the army is bad...

I don't mean to be alarmist or anything, but little Achmed and little Ivan and little Jianjun are not being taught this. Are we planning on interposing an army of unwilling, soft, toothless creatures between us and them in the future? Is that the game plan?

Fortunately, kids are resilient and innovative: Take away their toy guns, and they'll use sticks. Take away their sticks, and they'll use anything from chicken fingers to their own fingers.

(H/T to Unc.)

You've got to give him points for persistence...

Famed gunboard troll "okjoe", whose internet antics I've followed for... oh... more than ten years now, has taken to spamming the in-boxes of gunbloggers, apparently.

Okjoe is sorta the Dr. Nick Riviera of guns, having come up with a plastic gizmo that you glue to the side of your gun to rest your index finger on while you pull the trigger with your traffic digit. He will be happy to sell you this gizmo.

Now he has a new device: The Halo Sight. This is a plastic hair curler that you affix (and I quote) "with a strip of double sided adhesive tape" to the top of your Glock's slide. (You know, the part of the gun that moves back and forth so fast that sometimes the factory front sight will shear off and head for parts unknown...)

I predict that this will become popular with the kind of people who tape ziploc baggies of aquarium gravel to their $500 speaker cables.

Overheard in the Kitchen:

RX: "Wait, wasn't the second commanding officer on M*A*S*H also named Harry Potter?"

Me: "Yeah?"

RX: "So there are two of them!"

Me: "Nope. Same guy."

RX: "So, after magic school, he went back in time, fought in the First World War, got a medical degree and... Harry Potter and the North Korean Ring of Fire. Oh, or Harry Potter and the Sucking Chest Wound..."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

...and then there was one.

Legal civilian concealed carry has gradually spread across this fair land of ours, state-by-state, for twenty-some-odd years now.

Although there have been states that were effectively "Shall Issue" for decades, like Washington and Indiana, the modern Shall Issue movement got its start with the passage of Florida's CCW law in 1987.

"There'll be blood in the streets!" cried the media, "Shootouts over parking spaces!" Of course, the predicted carnage failed to materialize and Floridians went about their business as usual, albeit packing a gat now, if they felt so inclined.

And so, year by year and state by state, the CCW reform movement spread across this fair land. And each and every time, the local media would chant the same old litany, almost as if they were reading from a common script: "There'll be blood in the streets! Shootouts over parking spaces!" And it kept not happening.

And so we come to Wisconsin, one of only two remaining states to have no provision whatever for a law-abiding citizen to go heeled concealed. Now that Wisconsin looks like they're finally going to get their CCW law, how is the media reacting? Take a guess.
[D]etractors worry that it could escalate tense situations in public.
Seriously? Seriously?

Look, I thought that you hip, urbane liberal media types were supposed to be the sophisticated, cosmopolitan ones. Have you been living with your head in a sack since 1987 or something? Do you never travel beyond your own city limits, or read about the events in far-off, exotic places like Michigan or Indiana?

I know that you're worried about blood flowing in the mean streets of Mayber... er, Madison, but trust me: Real, actual great big cities (not the imaginary ones you see in your TV) have had legal CCW since back when Herblock was making fun of Reagan and nobody is shooting each other over parking spaces. Relax; breathe in and out. If the hicks and rubes in tiny, backwards hamlets like Seattle, Atlanta, and Houston can handle themselves with guns, I'm sure that you modern folk up there in America's dairy products aisle will do just fine.

Now, about Illinois...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

QotD: Run In Circles, Scream And Shout Edition.

From Roomie this morning:
One thing you can say for sure about atomic power: it has given us FUD too cheap to meter.
Damn, I wish I'd written that.
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When is a shotgun not a shotgun?

The existence of pistol-grip-only shotguns for sale is the topic of much internet and gun store rumor and fabulation, and now it's the keynote in a court case:
Tuft's attorneys contend that because the gun was equipped with a pistol grip, its sale to someone under 21 violated federal gun laws.
As I read the law, an FFL can't sell a PGO shotgun to a customer under 21, but shotgun regs in general are a pretty arcane corner of firearms law (Quick: Name the "evil features" that can make a shotgun non-importable!) so it wouldn't surprise me if the clerk just thought a Mossberg was a Mossberg...

QotD: Operation Just Because Edition.

Every now and again that PDB guy remembers that he has a blog, and when he does, the results are usually worth reading:
This is what happens when you let hippies run a war, folks.
As predicted, the U.S. offer to "support" NATO's efforts in Libya has worked out something like Gulliver "supporting" the Lilliputian armed forces against Blefuscu: Supporting them on our back while we do the heavy lifting.

I haven't seen such a ham-handed, comic-opera, charlie foxtrot of a time-limited, scope-limited overseas kinetic military action since... well, since the last time that a bunch of hippies in the Executive Branch formed a manly drum circle with their Euro brethren and tried to eliminate a dictator from 30,000 feet...
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Monday, June 20, 2011

Wimped out.

I had planned to go to the range today, but I punked out.

I'll go in the subzero cold and the blazing sun, and I'll go in fog and misty rain, but I won't go when it's pouring down in buckets because:
  1. There is no virtue in suffering.

  2. Slippery footing and slippery guns are just buying trouble.
I'll take the lost hardcore points and deal with it.

Overheard in the Office:

I am renewing my car tags online:
Me: "No, I don't want to pay by eCheck. Yes, I want to pay with my card..."

RX: "Oddly enough, the state does take credit cards."

Me: "They'd be a little hypocritical if they didn't."

The government should be the last organization to insist on hard currency as payment instead of IOUs and the-check's-in-the-mail:
"I learned it from watching you, dad!"
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Space Oddity.

At the Lucky Gunner shoot, Oleg showed up with an assortment of odd guns. Among them were the Kel-Tec PMR-30 and its carbine spinoff. I'd shot the PMR's predecessor, the Grendel P30, before, but it's been at least fifteen years, so I took Oleg up on his offer to give the current iterations a spin.

I'll be up front and admit that I still don't get the point. .22WMR is in that gray area where it's marginal as an antipersonnel round, but will turn a squirrel or rabbit inside out, making it a bit too much for hunting small game for the pot. It's obviously better on varmints than .22LR, but so are lots of things, like .22 Hornet, which is reloadable.

It's also almost as expensive as centerfire handgun ammo, which makes it less than suitable for plinking, and its operating pressures require more robust and/or sophisticated designs than the humble .22LR, as can be witnessed by the discontinuation of most straight-blowback .22 Magnum rifles here in the modern United States of Liability.

Still, a 30-round magazine does cover a multitude of sins, and both weapons were pleasant to shoot. The suppressed carbine was quietish and seemed accurate at the pistol ranges at which I was shooting, and the pistol was stupid easy to shoot: Like a Ruger MkII with a really big muzzle blast. Even going really really fast, you could keep the rounds on a pie plate. I was actually very pleasantly surprised by the trigger.

Like I said, I'm still not certain what exactly it's for, but you know what? If I had to buy a lightweight plastic pistol that fired a high-velocity smallbore cartridge of questionable utility from a large capacity magazine, I think I'd be foolish to spend twice and more the price of the Kel-Tec on an FN Five-seveN.

Random Linkery:

  • Blogging, and adventures tangentially related thereto, has left me with some neat-o desk impedimentia: A mostly-finished revolver cylinder from Og; a beautifully case-colored cylinder blank mounted on a wooden base to serve as a pen holder that I picked up from Doug Turnbull's booth at the '08 NRA Convention... Now I've got that cool faux-30mm cannon shell from Technoframes that I got by way of a trophy from the Lucky Gunner awards thingie.

  • Robb was bragging on Florida's new CCW preemption law, which apparently imposes fines on local officials who violate it. The best part? Those $5k fines can't come from public funds, but have to be paid out of the offending politico's own pocket. I really like the sound of that.

  • "Come back, Shane!"

A beautiful day.

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing goes right? Well, yesterday was like the exact opposite of that. Normally days only go that right when it's my birthday or something.

Shootin' Buddy showed up in the morning and we went to Good Morning Mama's for breakfast, which was apparently a popular choice yesterday; by the time we left they had overflowed the waiting area and were lined up outside in the rain.

From there, we drove to Eagle Creek Pistol Range, where I burned up the last punches on a ten visit pass. It was just drizzly enough to keep most folks away, but snug and dry on the covered firing line. I burned up some .22LR, 9mm, and .38 Spl over the course of a couple hours' worth of shooting.

After we left the range, Shootin' Buddy asked about the show times for X Men First Class and, using the power of the internets, I found out. I turned my new little cell thingy on, hit two buttons, and said "X Men First Class Indianapolis Show Times" into the phone's mic and *Bam!*, Google told me. Right there in the truck. This future world you people have is fascinating.

Watched the movie. Liked it a lot. As a movie, it is one of the better superhero flicks. (By this I mean that, for example, I sat through the Wolverine movie mostly out of loyalty to the comic book character, but I acknowledge that as a piece of cinema, it was execrable.) If you are a history or miltary hardware buff, you will have some quibbles with anachronisms, but complaining about flawed realism in movies with flying dudes that shoot lasers from their eyes makes one look a tad pedantic, know what I'm sayin'?

After the movie, Shootin' Buddy dropped me back off at Roseholme Cottage. The sun had come out, so I dropped the top on the Nazi rollerskate and drove the long way to the Brew Pub to pick up a growler of IPA. I returned home to find that Bobbi had picked up a couple of fat steaks while she was out riding around on her scooter, which she proceeded to grill up for dinner. We ate them while watching Army of Darkness, which she had never seen.

And then I went to bed early. And it was a good day.

(And now I have to make up for all that time I didn't spend sitting in front of a computer yesterday...)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Droid did.

Back in early 2001, my then-roommate Marko called home from work "Dude! They've got me trying out a BlackBerry!"

"A hu-what?"

"It's like a pager, but with internet access."

"Oh, cool!"

Marko and I were both big internet nerds, so anything that let you take the internets with you would, by definition, be awesome. He got home from work and we went to Outback for dinner and as soon as the hostess parked us in a booth, he produced the magic internet pager thingie.

"Pull up TheFiringLine.com!" I burbled, all excited.

And it did. After a fashion. I mean, if you had the patience of Job, you could scroll your way through the text-only version of an internet forum on the 132x65 pixel monochrome screen. It was a little underwhelming.

"Dude," I said, "this isn't it. The magic device is going to be something like your Geekmaster 2000, but with the internet. It needs the higher resolution color screen. Handheld computers aren't really going to take off until they can do the three important things people use computers for: Email, games, and porn."

Years later, there were all kinds of fabulous devices that could do email, games, and porn, but still I dragged my feet. I mean, I didn't even get a cell phone until 2002, and only then because I moved someplace that didn't have a land line. In nine years I've had exactly two cell phones: An ancient Audiovox and a newer Kyocera that was more modern and feature-laden in the fact that you could fold it in half when you were done talking. I liked my cheap burners because they let me talk on the phone as little or as much as I wanted and pay the same fixed rate every month; obviously when smartphones emerged, all tied to contracts and data plans and suchlike, I wasn't interested.

But once the phone carrier I paid for my cheap little burner came out with a half-decent Android smartphone ($149 at Target!) with a flat-rate pay-as-you-go data plan, well, it was time for me to step boldly forward into 2008.

Now I can be like the cool kids and get my internets everyplace. Even in a booth at Outback.
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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Trivial pursuits.

All my life I avoided Dr. Pepper because even though I liked the taste, I thought it was inferior in caffeine content. And I likes my soda pop with a bit of zing to it.

Little did I know that I have been shunning it unfairly...

While it's lower on the heart-go-'splodey totem pole than the citrus-flavored champs like Mountain Dew and Mello Yello, it's still well ahead of Coke and Pepsi.

In other news, Coke appears to have discontinued my beloved Vault Zero. This makes me sad. How am I supposed to get my heart palpitating and stumbling in the morning if I can't wash my coffee down with that sweet, sweet caffeinated energy drink?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ew! Eewww! Eeeeewwww!

Bluesun's recent experience at a gun show:
I'm asking to see grips at your gunshow booth and instead you ask to see my gun, go on to say that you've never heard of pocket carry, and then stuff my gun(properly cleared and zip-tied, thankfully) down the front of your pants, pronouncing "This is how We used to do it back when,"
Oh, ick! Just... ick! Can you even spell "Serious Social Boundary Violation", Cletus? (Never mind; don't answer that.)

Look, Mister Gun Show Grip Guy, that's my handgun. That means I need to touch it with my hand. And you just stuffed something I need to touch with my hand down the front of your skeevy drawers, exposing it to your nasty crotch crickets and lord only knows what else besides.

I don't know what part of you a medieval Japanese samurai would cut off if you stuffed his sword down your trousers, but I think that it would be an appropriate response to this kind of behavior at a gun show.

Quote of the Week. Maybe of the Month.

Brian J. Noggle on the conceptual problem with an "Environmental Protection Agency":
That’s what happens when you commission an agency acting on orders to protect an amorphous concept like environment with lessening consideration for protecting people, citizens, individual liberty, civilization, or a host of other concepts that make environmental protection much less agency possible at all.
Wish I'd written that.

Straight outta the math department.

Wee'rd Beard links to a picture of one of the Vancouver rioters.

Huh. So that’s what a Canadian rioter looks like.

I was expecting something like an extra from a Cypress Hill video, bandanna over his face as he waves a Glock with one hand and flashes gang signs with the other, and instead I get the star of an unauthorized Hong Kong remake of Harry Potter waving a hockey stick.

Dude, that’s just sad.

Seriously, when I see 110 pounds of spectacles-wearing fury, I don't think "A/V Club Gone Wild", I think "Does your mom know you're out here burning cop cars? 'Cause she'll be pissed."
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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sometimes overthinking.

Once upon a time, I took a few basic "Introduction To Handguns For Self Defense" classes from a local instructor, a retired deputy. He was a pretty calm and unflappable dude, and I'll never forget the time a student raised their hand and asked him (I'm not making this up) how many times we should shoot the bad guy.

He blinked a couple times and, in his good-ole-boy drawl, replied "Well, I reckon you should keep shootin' at 'em until they stop doin' whatever it was that made you start shootin' at 'em in the first place. Don't overthink things; don't try and plan how a gunfight's s'posed to go."

In the self-defense world, it's easy to get hung up on mantras. "Mindset" is one. People say that "mindset" is the key, but many do not explore any further just what exactly this "mindset" means.

Other mantras involve pre-programmed actions:
  • Get to cover.
  • Get off the X.
  • Get out of the hole.
  • Open the distance; range favors the better marksman.
  • Don't forget "Command Voice".
  • Call 911!
All of which are very good and potentially life-saving ideas, but can they get 'trained-in' to the point of being rote responses? Is that what leads to the dashcam vids you sometimes see of an officer frantically paying more attention to the radio mic in his left hand than the pistol in his right while taking incoming rounds? Or a cop shuffling frantically backwards, glancing over his shoulder in search of cover that may or may not be there while trying to shoot back on the move (and really, how many of us have practiced shooting on the move enough that we can do it well? I know I can't.)

I was thinking of my instructor's response, (and this video,) while reading an article by Jeff Hall in this month's issue of S.W.A.T. Magazine.

Maybe sometimes the right answer to the situation at hand is to just pull your heater and shoot the bad guy?
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The Safety Inspection Dance.

Michigan has some unusual firearms laws. Like North Cackalacky, you have to go to the local cop shop and get a "Permit To Purchase" a handgun. Unlike the Tarheel State, the newly-acquired handgun is then brought back to the cop shop, where it is given a "safety inspection".

Oddly, the only part of the gun they really inspect is the make, model and serial number. And they don't even need to see the actual firearm itself, if you don't mind. According to Carrie at lyger, lyger:
As I understand it, I wasn’t registering my G19, I was getting it inspected. You know, to make sure it was safe to use, or something. Nevermind that no one throughout the entire process asked to see my gun, much less inspect it.
I guess they write down the number and then sit there and stare at it to see if it'll go off all by itself.

I swear this is true:

Some guy is being interviewed on the TeeWee in the next room and, as God is my witness, he just said "Rep. Weiner is giving Congress a bad name."

Seriously? Can you even tell when a skunk farts?
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War Powers Chicken.

Dennis Kucinich, who is kinda like the version of Ron Paul from the mirror universe where Spock has a beard, is leading the charge to cut the purse strings for Barry's Libyan adventure:
...Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, an anti-war liberal who is leading the lawsuit effort with Jones, said that the lawsuit will "challenge the executive branch's circumvention of Congress and its use of international organizations such as the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to authorize the use of military force abroad, in violation of the Constitution."
Looks like Barry's gone a War (or two) Too Far.
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Don't take my word for it...

Remember how I raved about Todd Green's "Aim Fast, Hit Fast" class?

Well, don't take my word for it: Listen to Murphy's Law and Aaron from The Shekel. They both have written up great AAR's from this past weekend's AFHF course in Ohio.

Overheard in the Office:

Me: "BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

RX: "Tamara laughs and laughs... What's so funny?"

Me: "Oh, I was just reading Larry Correia..."

RX: "Funny how that's a sufficient explanation all by itself."

Digging in the dirt.

So yesterday I dropped the top on the Boche skateboard and ran some errands, including a quick stop at Locally Grown Gardens to pick up some veggie starts for the garden. Ron (the owner) asked if I'd be seeing Bobbi that day and, when I answered 'yes', gave me a couple of Fentimans Rose Lemonades to take home for Bobbi and I to try, since she'd turned him on to Fentimans in the first place. You just don't get that kind of service at the Mart-Mart, hardly.

While I was there, I browsed the flats of veggie starts while sipping on an Americana Honey Lime Ginger Ale. I highly recommend it.

I picked up some tomato, cucumber, red pepper, and cantaloupe starts, and got most of them in the ground. The tomatoes will have to wait until today's rains soften their bed a bit so that I can finish properly weeding and turning it. (Although I'm giving some thought to growing the tomatoes in a planter...)

I see big clouds of white smoke in my future...


In comments here, Michael Z. Williamson dropped a link to an awesome French website that sells reloadable shells for old .32 and .41 rimfire guns and reloadable pinfire cartridges, as well as several other black powder calibers. They have a reloading kit for 11x59R Gras!

They'll even ship to the US, although international shipments obviously don't come with primers, but that's a minor obstacle...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Back To The "To Do" List...

This morning, I saddled up my trusty Broad Ripple SUV and headed off to Good Morning Mama's.


While there, I read The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century while noshing on a little brunch.

Now I have to get some yard work done before the rains get here. I'll see you kids in a bit.
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Maybe we can do for bubonic plague what we did for malaria!

While you're piling cases of 100-watt incandescent bulbs into your shopping cart at Home Despot this weekend, don't forget to pick up as much rodent poison as you think you're ever gonna need, too.

Don't worry: Effective rat poisons will still be available to rodent control professionals, and as any Washington D.C. bureaucrat knows, if you have any signs of icky pests around your house, you just call a professional extermination service.

(And if you live in hantavirus territory, miles from the nearest exterminator, and couldn't afford one anyway? Well, sucks to be you, I guess. Buy more cats.)

I swear, they are trying to repeal the Industrial Revolution.
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The 'Monica' is gone. Sorta.

The U.S. Army has finally done away with the wearing of the black beret. Sorta.

It will still be worn with the dress uniform, but since "Class B's" are effectively dead and we dress the guys driving desks and flying spreadsheets at Fort Benjamin Harrison here in Indianapolis in the same warfighting "Army Combat Uniform" worn by Ranger patrols in the Hindu Kush, the odds of you ever seeing a soldier wearing one anymore are vanishingly small.


(H/T to Jim Rawles at SurvivalBlog.)

Airsoft: school me.

I'm most familiar with airsoft long guns that are battery operated. I am dimly aware that airsoft handguns come in two flavors: spring-piston and 'green gas'-powered. All I know about the two is the former are cheap and the latter are... let's say "somewhat fussy".

I've thought that an airsoft clone of my actual CCW gun might be handy for certain uses, but all the airsoft 1911s that I’ve run into are either GI clones for kids that want to play Saving Private Ryan or double-stack STI 2011 knockoffs for kids that want to play IPSC superstar. I’ve yet to find a single-stack airsoft 1911 with a beavertail, extended thumb safety, and three-dot sights at the local gun show. (Of course, all the guns there looked a little chintzy anyway...)

Monday, June 13, 2011

I'll take "Fortuitous Coincidences" for $500, Alex.

So, when I read about a joyriding FBI agent wiping out a Ferrari and then not standing up to the consequences, my very first thought was of the end of Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Cameron telling Ferris that he'd take the heat from his father for trashing the Ferrari. Who knew that hypochondriac Cameron would turn out to be made of sterner stuff than a 21st Century special agent?

And I knew that by including a simple snippet of dialogue for a post title, almost everybody who read it would get the reference.

And when I wrote it, I had no idea that some whiny SWPL hipster had just angsted out a column about how we were all wrong and that Ferris Bueller's Day Off really wasn't that good of a movie, because it was all classist and racist and suchlike. As I commented at Robb's: "If the movie is so unimportant and sucky, how come he has to write a big whiny rebuttal about it a quarter century later?"

Which in turn reminds me of a snippet of dialog from another iconic movie of my adolescence...

Am I being careful enough?

Should I go with the current Gen4 Ninja Glock? Or should I wait 'til next year's release of the rumored Gen5 Ninja Glock, which is supposed to come with an attached duct tape dispenser for securing additional armor plates to your back?
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"The 1961 Ferrari 250GT California. Less than a hundred were made. My father spent three years restoring this car..."

So Special Agent Ferris Bueller totals a Ferrari F50 that belongs to an insurance company, allegedly when he was just moving it from one garage to another, an event so routine and humdrum that he'd called up his buddy, an Assistant U.S. Attorney, and asked him if he'd like to ride shotgun during the boring chore of puttering it between parking spaces.

When all of a sudden and for NO reason at all the car got all sideways in a cloud of Pirelli smoke and wrapped itself around a tree.

I don't know about you, but I've never successfully sold that story to a cop or my parents, but either Special Agent Ferris is a gifted liar or the Feebs are unbelievably credulous.

Unlike practically every father in America whose kid has ground-looped the family bus, the US Department of Justice is standing by the ludicrous story of its employee and stiffing the insurance company, telling them that they're on their own and the government isn't responsible for the three-quarters of a million dollars in damages caused by their employees.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Just the sight of you idly flipping through the sales brochure would make your mother cry...

Anything this dangerous-looking has got to be fun.

I mean, that's somewhere on the Cool-O-Meter between surfing on a cruise missile through a giant lightning storm and riding a bucking saber-toothed tiger bareback over a pit full of flaming sharks.
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Retro Rockets.

Eleven years and counting and the guy behind Man Conquers Space is apparently still doggedly plugging away.



If rockets could be fueled by stubbornness...

Long-awaited range time...

As promised, Eagle Creek Pistol Range re-opened yesterday under new management. As threatened, we were there.


I ran through my usual workout with the 22/45, but most of the shooting time yesterday was spent getting my double action revolver-fu back up to speed. Other than occasionally running a couple cylinders through my 4" K-22, I've spent too little time lately doing anything other than dry-fire with the revolvers.

On the left in the photo is my Model 34 and on the right is my Model 64, both of which got a good workout (along with my trigger finger) yesterday, doing lots and lots of fast double-action shooting, as well as making sure to get in plenty of strong-hand-only and weak-hand-only shooting with my 432PD and its rimfire understudy.

I made sure the zombie's left eye was good and shot out so I could do the goofy "I see you!" thing at my roomie, blinking through the hole, when we replaced our targets before we left. ("Your mother probably doesn't shoot here, so please clean up after yourselves!")

The Jack had also shown up at the range, which made it sort of a mini-blogshoot, and therefore we carried through with Bobbi's plan to go to India Palace for a delicious buffet lunch after shooting. After that. feeling like happy ticks all stuffed with mattar paneer and tandoori chicken, we went home.

EDIT: More pics and such here.
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Friday, June 10, 2011

Sorry 'bout this...

Almost three hours in the dentist's chair this morning really took it out of me.

(Plus, a face-full of novocaine always leaves me a little light-headed and disoriented for hours afterward.)

And this has all been just prep work for the big show...

I'm skeered. Hold me.

"What kind of pervert architect...?"

...said my roommate, when I told her about the new courthouse in Ohio with a glass staircase.

This thing is going to be the star of many a YouTube video, I'll bet.

When told that courthouse security was just hoping everybody would "be mature" about it, Franklin County Judge Julie Lynch replied with the Quote of the Day:
"If we had mature people that didn't violate the law, we wouldn't have this building."
That's funny right there.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Pop Quiz Time:

What's the difference between:
  1. a SWAT team, and

  2. fifteen guys from the Department of Education's Office of the Inspector General wearing raid jackets and tac vests, carrying long guns, and swinging battering rams?
Yeah, me neither.

As Bill Shakespeare put it, back before the modern jackboot had even been invented, "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

Unc linked to a copy of the warrant. That looks like some dangerous stuff. I'm surprised they didn't bring along tanks. Or call in Tac Air.

That joke won't be as funny anymore...

A standard gag line for years, when seeing somebody at a gun show or out in public dressed in an excessively 'tactical' fashion, has been "I wonder what his screen name is on ARfcom?"

For some reason, that joke just won't be as funny anymore.

I wonder what his screen name was on ARfcom?
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Random thoughts inspired by the idiot box:

  • The voice on the TeeWee said that the National Hot Rod Diesel Association would be in town for its big race this weekend. Understand that, for my generation of Americans, this conjures an inescapable mental picture of the Olds Cutlass Diesel in lane one blowing one of its cylinder heads clean off while the beige '77 Mercedes 240D in lane two clatters to victory in a scorching 23.5 seconds, blistering through the Chrondeks at 57 mph. That's right: in the '70s and early '80s, diesels were cars that often had 1/4 mile times less than their 0-60 numbers, and so, Audi's LeMans efforts notwithstanding, "National Hot Rod Diesel Association" will forever sound as incongruous to my ear as "National Presbyterian Pole Dancers Union".

  • A local car dealer has a commercial with real folks giving testimonials about how much they like him and the Kias they've purchased from him. "I'd recommend all my friends to Ray Skillman!" says one bubba, apparently not realizing that what he said doesn't mean what he thinks it does. "Mr. Skillman, this here's Cletus Johnson. He's a helluva guy."

  • If you are the morning newsreader chick and you are pimping a gasoline card giveaway sweepstakes and you say "and who doesn't like some free gas?" and you don't enunciate the last two words crisply and carefully, it sounds like you are saying "and who doesn't like some freak ass?" and people will hurt themselves laughing. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Eye of the Beholder...

The other day I finished reading an historical account drawn largely on the experiences of a Byzantine secretary attached to an ambassadorial mission to the Huns in the 5th Century AD. Today I am reading a book based on the accounts of a Greek philosopher doing his wanderjahr among the Gaulish tribes in the early 1st Century BC.

Because, you know, if we don't know where we've come from, then we don't know where we're going...

What a fascinating life Posidonius must've led.

We Don't Need No Education.

Hey, kids! Remember those 14-inch Remington 870 "entry guns" the Department of Education acquired recently?

Well, now we know what they're used for. (Alternate Link.)

Seriously? A federal SWAT team? Looking for a frickin' student loan defaulter? Where did she spend those student loans, SoCal Ninja Academy?

The Department of Education, originally billed as an organ to "establish policy for, administer and coordinate most federal assistance to education, collect data on US schools, and to enforce federal educational laws regarding privacy and civil rights" enforced the hell outta this guy's privacy and civil rights in the most Orwellian way possible, complete with automatic weapons and jackboots.

Look me in the eye and defend this. No, wait... imagine looking Thomas Jefferson in the eye and defending this.

EDITED TO ADD:

Don’t get bogged down in the minutiae of who allegedly issued the warrant or what offense it was allegedly for. Let’s not forget that the article was written by a reporter; they know as much about these things as they do about shoulder things that go up. Remember the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect. Looking at the purview of the DoE IG’s office, this had to involve fraud or something, not a simple default, and I'm sure said warrant was signed off on by a judge. No doubt i's were carefully dotted and t's were painstakingly crossed on this gobsmackingly stupid raid.

The larger question is “Why does every federal agency need their own internal cop shop, to include SWAT teams, which they then have to use at the drop of a hat to justify funding?

Saving for another day the question of the constitutionality of a federal Department of Education and the logic of them having their own law enforcement branch complete with powers of arrest, why can’t they investigate cases and then farm out arrest warrants to locals or even the US Marshal’s service? Why does every federal agency need their own tac team? Give a bureaucrat a hammer, and it’s only a matter of time until he turns and whacks you in the head with it.

The guns are just a symptom: badges come with guns, else you may as well not pass out the badges. The question is "Why so many badges?"

A handy illustration...

Now that government financial figures are expressed in numbers normally only used by astronomers or Zimbabwean ATM's, with a couple of digits that make sense followed by a vapor trail of zeroes that beggars the imagination, it's time to draw on some of those "If the Earth was a pea at home plate, then Jupiter would be..." analogies that they use for the kiddies down at the planetarium.

Fat In Indiana brings a handy one:
Here is the Debt: $14,500,000,000,000. That is triple what it was three years ago.

To better understand this amount, I have tried to shrink these huge amounts into a monetary figure I could grasp. Let us say a million dollars is the same as having a penny in your pocket...
You should RTWT.
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A few words on Weinergate.

First, I'm sorry to admit that the man's name makes it difficult to write about events without bogging down in the well-nigh infinite joke possibilities. For instance, who didn't watch that tearful press conference and think "Oh, harden up, Weiner!"

I also notice that before said press conference, loyal supporters such as Barbara Walters were reduced to spluttering "Bu-bu-but... Sarah Palin!", as if this were some kind of coherent rebuttal in defense of a cocky, lying jackass with Weiner control problems.

But that still wasn't enough to make me want to write about it.

What made me want to write about it was the headline I saw this morning: "Congressman Weiner: Did Twitter Make Sexting Too Easy?" Really, Weiner-man? Really? Caught out in a bald-faced lie in public; busted in flagrante, as it were, delicto; and all you've got is a 21st Century equivalent of "The devil made me do it!"?

Do you not understand that it's not your digitalized trouser snake handling that America is bent out of shape about now, but rather the utter lack of judgment, sneering denials, M√ľnchhausen-esque fabulations, crocodile-teared faux apology, and pouting refusal to give up the perks of office? Quit trying to blame your drunken-frat-rat-level risk assessment skills on your telephone, although it's obvious by now that it was the brains of the operation.

All I can think now is that it's a shame Twitter is such a new technology; if it had been around a little longer, Bill Clinton would be a disgraced ex-governor of Arkansas and nobody would have ever heard the name "Kennedy".
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I had no idea.

Brownells is pimping them as a Father's Day gift, but seriously, what shooter in your life would turn down a Brownells gift card to celebrate any major occasion, such as a birthday, Christmas, anniversary, or Tuesday?

(And no, this has not been a paid announcement, I just hadn't realized 'til now that Brownells had gift cards.)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Calibers I keep on hand...

In no particular order...
.45ACP
.44 Magnum
.44 Special
.44-40
.41 Magnum
.357 Magnum
.38 Special
.22LR
.32-20
.22 Remington Jet
9x19mm
.32 S&W Long
.32 H&R Magnum
.38 S&W
.32 S&W
.32 rimfire long
7.62x38 Nagant
.25ACP
7.62x25 Tokarev
.32ACP
.380ACP
.455 Webley Auto
.38ACP
.577-450
.303 Brit
10.4x38R Swiss
7.5x55 Swiss
11x59R Gras
8x51R Lebel
7.5x54 French
6.5x52 Carcano
8x56R
6.5x54 M-S
7.62x54R
8x57JS
11x60R Mauser
7.62x51 NATO
8x50R Siamese
.300 Whisper
6.5x55
7.65x53
.30-'06
7x57
7.7x58 Arisaka
6.5x50 Arisaka
.45-70
.30-40 Krag
5.56x45
7.62x45
.243 Winchester
.405 Winchester
Well, actually I don't really keep all of them on hand. For instance, I don't have any .32 Long rimfire, nor do I have any .41 Swiss rimfire. But I wish I did.

Hi. My name is Tamara, and I'm a rusty old gun addict...

"You're telling it wrong!"

It wasn't 'til I started reading The End of Empire: Attila the Hun & the Fall of Rome that I realized that I had picked a side in the political shenanigans between Flavius Aetius and Boniface. I mean, as it turns out, I'm definitely an Aetius partisan and the author of this book was not.

I will gracefully accept my nerd points for admitting this, since it is even nerdier than having a favorite Roman emperor (Vespasian.)

Still, Kelly's book makes for an excellent read thus far, even if he did spend ten or fifteen pages talking trash about my man Aetius.

I'm very in touch with my inner child.

Roomie has installed a tree swing in the back yard at Roseholme Cottage.

It will provide something to do while keeping an eye on the barbecue grill of a lazy summertime evening...

Strange hoarding habits.

I have a few handguns in unusual or obsolete calibers and, as a result, I have an almost spinal-reflex-level compulsion to buy ammunition in those calibers whenever I see a good deal on some. As a result, I have a few hundred rounds each of .32-20 and .44-40, purchased sporadically over the years twenty to fifty rounds at a time, despite only having a single revolver in each caliber, and one that gets shot extremely infrequently, at that.

The situation is even more pathetic in .22 Remington Jet: I probably have three hundred or more rounds of loaded ammunition, plus dies and at least that many more of once-fired brass and the oddball little Hornady 40gr .222" bullets, all for a gun I think I've taken to the range twice. But if I were trapped in Roseholme Cottage, surrounded by zombie squirrels, I'd be ready.

Of course, things are most off the rails in the old rifle department. At the March Indy 1500, I found myself seriously considering buying a box or two of Dominion Cartridge .577/450, despite still owning nine of the ten rounds of Old Western Scrounger ammo that I purchased shortly after acquiring my Martini, which is a creaky basket case of a wall-hanger whose bore mics out at .458" at the tightest spot and can charitably be described as having the pits arranged in a roughly spiral fashion (the sole round fired through it keyholed on the paper at roughly ten yards...)

By the way, anybody have a burning need for a box of Winchester .38-40? I used to have this dual-cylinder Vaquero, see...

Monday, June 06, 2011

Adventures at the dentist.

One interesting thing about going to get your teef worked on at the IUPUI dentistry school is that the clinics are a dentistphobe's nightmare: Imagine a low-walled cubical farm big enough to play a basketball game, and packed brim-lippin' full with rows of dentist's chairs where the bored solitaire players would normally be sitting. Now imagine a half-dozen or more dentist's drills all going in the room at once. It is a credit to the quality of the instruction, as well as students like Almost-A-Doctor Mandy and Almost-A-Doctor Katie that more people don't flee screaming.

Some fun can still be had, though. Inadvertently finding myself on an "UP" elevator instead of a "DOWN" one:
Clinic Visitor: "Oh, this is the fourth floor. What's up here?"

Student: "Umm... Endo, pedo..."

Me: "...Necro, bestio."

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Best. T-Shirt. Evar.


I am SO wearing this tomorrow.

I bought mine from Mike Williamson's table at the Indy 1500, (and yes, I paid retail, so bite me, FTC!) Y'all can get one here.

When the ammo's piled high 'til it reaches the sky, that's logistics...

Actually, I didn't buy large quantities of ammo at the gun show yesterday, I just wanted to riff off that UPS ad campaign...

I did buy another ".30 cal" ammo can. I use them for storing loose range ammo, and I currently have ammo cans for .22LR, .38Spl, 9mm, .44Spl, 5.56x45, and a .50 caliber can I use for .45ACP. I think this new one will be for either .32ACP or .32 S&W Long.

I also grabbed another two 30-round P-mags. I have probably close to forty 30-rd AR mags, plus assorted 20- and 10-rd magazines. I think that comes from living through the "Assault Weapons Ban" Era of '94-'04; just like the Great Depression left my grandparents inveterate hoarders of string and rubber bands 'til their dying days, I will probably never feel like I have enough magazines on hand, but I try and keep it down to a dull roar.

The most important acquisition was in the ammunition department. I've been carrying 230gr. standard-pressure Remington Golden Saber ammunition in my CCW piece for about a decade now, and the newest ones I have are probably four years old. I'm down to a couple hundred and it's getting time to just burn them up. Unfortunately, the Golden Saber is one of the harder loads to find priced reasonably in 50-round boxes, while ammo sellers at the local show often have Federal HST or Winchester Ranger in stock, so I picked up some of each to use for function testing.

Lastly, I scooped up a box of Hornady .38 Special 125gr XTP on general principles. The number of commercial standard-pressure JHP loads in .38 is small enough that I feel compelled to buy a box any time I notice it on sale, specifically for use in older revolvers that aren't +P rated. I mean, if I ever suffered a blow to the head and decided to CCW my Model 12, I'd need something to put in the cylinder, right?

This is why we can't have nice things.

Apparently at yesterday's Indy 1500, one of the Cletii thought that "No loaded guns! No exceptions!" didn't actually apply to him, and figured that 5:00PM in the middle of a crowded gun show was a splendid time and place to go fingering a loaded gun.
Officials said the shooting happened when the vendor was unloading his gun.

"The shooting was an accident, but totally preventable," investigators said.

The vendor suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene, emergency officials said.
Unfortunately, the bullet hit him in the hand, and not in some area which would effectively prevent him from passing along his genes.

You know, actually I have no problem with him toting a loaded gun into the venue; that's between him and his conscience. And if he'd just left it the hell alone in its holster instead of succumbing to the temptation to fiddle with it, nobody would have been the wiser. For the eleven jillionth time, Cletus, stop touching it!

Look, seriously, if you need to check holster fit or something, go off in a place where there is a good backstop and nobody around to set on fire if you screw up, and clear your heater there, not in the middle of a crowded gun show, okay? The life you save may be mine.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

What time is it?

It's fun show time!

Let's sing the Fun Show Song!
Flintlocks and Flop-tops
And Number Three Russians
Black-powder Mausers
From jackbooted Prussians,
Shiny Smith PC's from limited runs
These are a few of my favorite guns.

Socketed bay'nets
On Zulu War rifles,
Engraved, iv'ried Lugers
That make quite an eyefull
Mosin tomato stakes sold by the ton
These are a few of my favorite guns.

Rusty top-breaks!
Smallbore Schuetzens!
And all of Browning's spawn
I just keep on browsing my favorite guns
Until all my money's gone.
I am hoping to find a reasonably priced Savage .32 auto, but failing that, I'll be happy just looking at stuff. Having one of the largest gun shows in the country less than two miles from my doorstep is something I hope I never get used to.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Dr. Death died today.

I was ready to crack wise about how he died all by himself without any help, but got pulled up short by this part:
Kevorkian's third stated mission was to convince Americans that their rights are being infringed upon by bans on everything from smoking to assisted suicide.
You and me both, doc; you and me both.
.

It's hard to hear me roar over all the gunfire...

So, at the LuckyGunner shoot, they had people with "ammo menus" coming up to shooters on the firing line and asking if they needed any ammo or water, which was a very novel idea.

However, the people in question were young women dressed in a fashion that was only a low-cut neckline away from looking as though they should be asking if you wanted your wings mild, medium, or Three Mile Island. As Breda points out, this fails to attract half of the potential market, if it doesn't outright repel it. If you're only selling to men, that's fine; it works for brands from Old Spice to Hooters (or to Bushhamster, with their ridiculous "man card" campaign.) But if you want to broaden your market, it's the kind of thing you might want to think carefully about.

In short, had the "ammo waitresses" been wearing khakis and polo shirts, all we'd be discussing right now is what a neat idea the "menus" were. So, ten out of ten for cleverness, but minus several hundred for not thinking through all the implications.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Nirvana.

McKay's used book store in Knox Vegas:


A gigantic used book store in a former Oldsmobile dealership. The ground floor is all books, movies, and vidjo games, and an elevator leads to the mezzanine where the music is. Every time I'm down in K-town, I have to make two visits, one with Gunsmith Bob and one with staghounds, because the store is too huge to take in at one lick. If I get out of there for less than fifty bucks at a whack, I count it as a win...

Stay In The Fight.

Just because you get shot in the face with a .45 doesn't mean you can quit. Just ask Officer Reston:



Personally, I just don't get the mentality that causes somebody to shoot a cop over a pair of boosted jeans...
.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Attention, kid in the black Ford Focus:

To the ass-weasel on I-64 westbound between Shelbyville and Louisville on or about May 31st, 1400hrs in the black Ford Focus ZTS with the University of Kentucky plates (I wrote down the number, but you know who you are...): After watching you drive for a quarter-mile in the left lane with an ambulance running code in your rear-view mirror, I sincerely hope that someday you are lying on the pavement, all busted up and bleeding out and screaming for your mother while the ambulance coming to rescue you is stuck behind a mile-long parade of inattentive asshats in black Ford Focii.