Wednesday, April 30, 2014

QotD: Alert The Ministry Of Irony Edition...

Massad Ayoob on the Bloomberg AstroTurf protest group's choice of venues, which was in Veteran's Park, in front of the somber World War Memorial and across the lawn from the cenotaph:
How ironic that they would speak for diminution of gun owners’ civil rights in the shadow of a monument to those who died fighting for those rights…
They think that their imagined right to feel safe is worth stripping me of my right to defend myself. They're wrong.

Tamgie's List: Unsolicited Endorsement

A lot of small shops won't work on Bimmers, I suspect partly because of the need for specialized diagnostic tools and partly because a lot of Bimmer owners are special tools in need of diagnoses. Myself, I am not a helicopter parent for my car; I like it, and I don't want to break it, but I've had it long enough that I don't flinch at every ding or scuff. It's just a car, you know? Mostly, anyway.

See? I'm not even skeered to park it next to the cart corral at the grocery store.
Very happy with the service at Euro Motor Works. Friendly, and willing to do what's necessary to get the car running and leave minor stuff for the next visit, which is something you don't always get from chain joints or dealerships.

I mentioned that the battery was dead and that I might want a new one because it was the same battery that was in the car when I bought it almost thirteen years ago. From the reaction, I gather that just having a car for thirteen years is almost as unusual as a battery surviving for that long.
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Roboscope 2014

The era of the roboscope appears to be dawning...

Barrett's BORS was on practically every other rifle in Barrett's large and crowded booth.  Capable of correcting for pressure and temperature and programmable for your own load's ballistic data via the USB port and Barrett's software.

The Remington 2020 TrackingPoint is more of a package with its attached gun, from what I can gather. I'm reminded of the old joke (very old, as the numbers will suggest) from professional hunting guides in Africa that "Americans will bring a thousand-dollar rifle with a hundred-dollar scope, while Europeans will bring a hundred-dollar rifle and a thousand-dollar scope." That picture makes those Remingtons look pretty European by that definition.

One of these days, you'll just send Skynet out to shoot Bambi's mom for you.
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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Okay, that's kinda sexy...

3 Gun competitor Tyler McCutcheon holding 4-pound Omega Armory AR racegun. Apparently this development mule has 15k rounds on the books already.

Lots of machining away of excess metal. No port cover or forward assist. Because racegun.

Carbon fiber free-float tube and receiver extension. The lower receiver has a generous magwell, despite all the lightening work that's gone on.

They claim that by playing around with port sizes, brakes, and reducing reciprocating mass, the gun is still plenty controllable in rapid fire.

Because I hate using my good stuff at away games...

A forum member wrote "I know Kalifornia got a little butt hurt several years ago when Toyota decided not to assemble the Prius in the Bay Area."
...a comment off which I felt compelled to riff:
" It would take a remarkable lack of business savvy and a total inability to read the political winds to plunk down a mult-billion dollar blue collar manufacturing facility in the middle of the Bay Area. That'd be like letting your kid go to the slumber party at the Escobar household; your investment and future livelihood would be hostage to the whim of every hippie political fad to hit the front page until you finally threw up your hands, sold the plant at a loss to some rubes from Shanghai, and moved to Alabama. "
I'll take my chances with a Tuscaloosa tornado over a San Francisco ballot box any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
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Monday, April 28, 2014

Dead Zed Resurrection

"I like the Subie and all, but oh you kid."
I haven't been in such a good mood since before the side of my nose started bleeding uncontrollably. I love this car so much. I love you guys. I'm even sorta okay with the world at the moment.

I can go back to being surly and misanthropic tomorrow.
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Tore up.

All I did was walk around for the last three four days, but physically I feel like I took a beating.

It's hard to cram work, play, catching up with friends, and some time to get eyeball prints on all the cool guns into the space of a long weekend, and still have time to hike to and from the far corners of the many scenic parking garages of downtown Indianapolis.

I got some ideas for stuff to write about, took a bunch of pictures with mixed results, and have a stack of business cards to sort through. (Weren't we supposed to have dispensed with business cards by now? We were just going to blip our PDA or Newton's infrared ports at each other, or something?)

Now I've gotta return the rental car, and spring the rejuvenated Zed Drei from durance vile at the auto day spa.

Little known fact...

When you import cosmoline hundreds of thousands of gallons at a time and run it through the strainer, you can find cool stuff like this caught in the filters...
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Sunday, April 27, 2014

"Hey, you okay?"

"Well, she's not breathing, but on the other hand, she's all blowed up and stuff, too."
Filler post. More floor-walking today.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Heheheheheheh....

I just like saying "Jell-o shots in the Winchester booth!" and seeing who turns up...
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Out the door again...

Despite having some Israeli wound bandages in my range bag in case of emergencies, I had a woeful lack of training in how to actually, you know, use them. My gunshot wound self-care plan was basically "rub some dirt in it and walk it off."

This morning, I am going to remedy that, because knowing is half the battle! (Not setting yourself on fire in the first place is the other half.)
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Friday, April 25, 2014

Size is relative...

"I thought they said these were bigger than they expected?"
Remington R51 with the CTC Laserguard module in the hand of my friend Matt. There's a lot of monkey-motion going on inside the slide of these things relative to a regular recoil or straight-blowback pistol. You can definitely feel the separate breechblock doing its thing when you run the slide.
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"They see me loadin', they hatin'..."

I had previously thought that benchrest shooting was the single nerdiest firearms-related activity. Then I learned about muzzle-loading benchrest shooting. Apparently 0.017" teflon-coated patches are a thing.

Still, sub-MOA with round balls at 200 yards is pretty spiffy...
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It's just like a British bike!

Bobbi and I saw this tasty older SOHC CB750 retro cafe racer parked up outside of Fresh Market the other day. On closer inspection, that puddle was where it was burping gasoline out the vent line. We kept an eye out for leather jackets inside to let the owner know, but never spotted him.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Macronaut!

So I recently acquired a used 60mm f/2.8 macro lens from an internets friend as part of my plan to get the other blog back up and running. Just put it on the older Rebel body and snapped a couple of casual pics with the on-camera flash and everything right here at my desk, just to look at the up close focusing abilities, never having messed with a macro on a DSLR before*...

 Oh, my! I can see that I will have some fun with this lens...

 Yes, lots of fun indeed.

*I think the last time I used a macro lens on a single-lens reflex camera, it was to take a closeup of  a friend's Braves vs. Twins World Series ticket stubs while the outcome of that series was still in doubt...
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"Dr. Hugo to the burn clinic, stat!"

QotD from Larry Correia on the Hugo kerfuffle:
"But everybody knows bad people can’t create art, says the side that keeps showering Roman Polanski with awards."
ZING!
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Okay, now they're just trolling us.

On a tour of a science museum in Japan, President Obama was introduced to Honda's Asimo robot. Its handlers had Asimo bow to Obama while the world press held its breath to see if Barry would give 'em the photo op...

"I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords."
Yup. He would.

Is there anything this guy won't reflexively bow to?

Ironically, Barry was in Japan to promise them that we would be their staunch ally in case of attack, which has to be all kinds of reassuring coming from ol' Cap'n Obseqious there. I'm wondering if this wasn't set up by the Japanese government to see if they need to start up a crash nuclear weapons program?
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Al Capone's vault...

So I went to clean out the car prior to sending it off to the auto day spa. I opened the door, briefly wondered if I was supposed to throw in a lit torch to see if there was enough oxygen in the sealed tomb, then began rummaging under the seats and stuff, just to make sure I hadn't inadvertently left any heaters in there or anything.

Things I found:
  • My old Royal Robbins "shoot me" vest. I have no idea why it was in there.

  • The Surefire Z2 I kept in the door pocket. Boy, how spoiled we've become in flashlights! I remember when this thing was eye-searing magic, but after using a P2ZX Fury, 62 incandescent lumens looks about half as bright as a dead firefly. 

  • A rock from Blogorado a couple years back. I put it in with the Hoosier rocks in the herbaceous border with the fervent hope that it baffles the **** out of some future alien geologist who concocts a wacky theory to explain its presence.

Help me shoot.

I've got two camera bodies, a Rebel XTi and an O.G. Digital Rebel. For lenses, I've got 18-135 and 18-55 zooms, your basic 50mm, and a 60mm macro. What would you bring to take pictures of people and guns in a trade show setting?
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Frantic starts now.

Gotta go out and get the Zed Drei onto a flatbed. Hopefully I will have time to catch my breath this weekend so I can go spring it from durance vile. They're predicting convertible weather for much of the next four days; it's good to have Chamber of Commerce weather when you're planning on 70,000+ house guests.
I'm going to try and have as much fun as an introverted misanthrope can have when crammed in with that many strangers.
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Have I told you my Lakota name?

Thank you, Captain Aspie.

Hey, you know how you can find the Linux user at a party? Don't bother looking, because Linux users don't get invited to parties. Sorry, I meant to say "Don't worry, they'll tell you."
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Another thing to think about...

The report, entitled Too Many Guns: How Shootout With Bombing Suspects Spiraled into Chaos, shows that the initial shootout in which Tamerlan Tsarnaev was eventually killed was almost a circular firing squad, as on-duty and off-duty officers, some in uniform and some in street clothes, arrived on the scene from multiple directions and began shooting no only at the Tsarnaev brothers, but each other:
There's another lesson here that I'm not seeing discussed because of all the "Hurr-hurr, har-har, cops! Amirite?"

So, there our hero is, sitting in the mall, munching on a Chick-fil-A and reading Sheepdog Magazine Monthly when that event that he's wargamed out in gun forum discussion boards for years finally happens! A bunch of guys yelling "Allahu akhbar!" come swarming out of the GAP, firing AK-47s from the hip and headed straight for the food court!

"Get behind me, sheeple!" screams our hero, as he does a quick reload-with-retention, dropping the 15-round magazine from his carry gun, Glock 17 with the grip chopped to G19 length, and jamming a 33-round extended magazine (You know, the one he keeps in his weak si... sorry, "other strong side" hip pocket in case of terr'ist attack) into the gun.

Using the tactics he learned at Rick Taylor's Advanced Tactical Combat Gunfighting Level II class, he assaults into the ambush...

...Only to be mowed down by the guys in blue who show up towards the tail end of the festivities. Hey, the cops came in response to some guy shooting up the food court; in the absence of a big glowing "Good Guy!" light over our hero's head, they're not gonna know he's not him:
  • There's a dude...
  • With a gun...
  • In the food court...
  • Bang.
I wonder if more firearms training should involve knowing when to drop the gun with a quickness for deconfliction purposes?
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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Internet Marketing ProTip:

When you email the contact address on a personal blog and ask "Who’s the best person to speak with regarding advertising?" then it's pretty obvious that you are not doing any actual research. You should not be surprised when your email does not get answered and then react by sending slightly butthurt-sounding followups.
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You have got to be $#!++ing me.

Via this satire post at Rational Gun, I discovered that the Navy of my country is naming a ship after Gabby Giffords, apparently for doing nothing other than stopping a bullet.

I feel like I'm suddenly in some weird parallel universe. Seriously? I'm sorry for what happened to Gabby and all, but getting shot does not qualify one for being memorialized in steel as an instrument of our nation's vengeance, else the docks at Norfolk and Pearl would be crowded with Jovantays and Tyshons.

Is there no indignity to which we will not stoop to show how kind'n'caring we are? How about the USS Gaia? USS Harmonious Foreign Relations? USS Fluffy
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Vehicle Update.

Scheduled the Zed Drei at the shop. Planning on a rental for the weekend. The Subie may sit for a bit. Thanks, guys.
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Even if you build it, they probably still won't come.

Indianapolis's Republican mayor, retired Marine LtCol Greg Ballard, has decided that what Indianapolis needs is an electric car sharing program. Apparently
“The EV (electric vehicle) sharing program is a proven transit alternative for residents who cannot afford to own a car or for those who do not want to own a car,” Ballard told regulators.
This is obviously some new usage of the word "proven" with which I am not familiar.

He went on to further justify the expense by saying that other EV owners could use the charging stations when not in use by the participants in the car-sharing program.

What other EV owners, though? Here in Broad Ripple, you'd think that electrics would be a huge hit. I mean, you have the combination of a trendy neighborhood full of SWPLs with cramped city streets; to look around the parking lots around Broad Ripple Avenue, one would think that the Fiat 500 and the Mini Cooper were the two best-selling cars of the last couple years and that the Smart ForTwo was a strong seller rather than the market flop it is. Yet I've only seen one Leaf, a couple Teslas, and a few Th!nks (one of which is in a business's livery.)

This pattern of electric boondoggleness tracks with what I've seen elsewhere. I've snapped pictures of charging stations hither and yon across this fair land, easily visible due to the lack of cars parked in front of them in otherwise-full parking lots:

Lonely in Los Alamos

Not in use in Knoxville
So the city wants to spend a chunk of change on this boondoggle when we've got an undermanned police department in crisis and winter-ravaged roads that have actually become deadly in places.

Priorities, Mayor Greg, priorities.
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Monday, April 21, 2014

Apparently the universe didn't like me being all smiley.

Local gossip...

It has been noted that the husband of The Mouth of Bloomberg, Mrs. Shannon Watts, has (or rather, had) an art gallery in Zionsville, a suburb north of Indianapolis. Just to provide a little local color, downtown Zionsville is made of art galleries and antique shops the way Broad Ripple is made of hair salons and vintage clothing stores:
Zionsville is lousy with "hobby businesses". Mrs. Doctor or Mrs. Esquire has an antique shop or a gallery as a tax write-off.

Seriously, get in your Google car and take a virtual drive around the main drag; it's the sort of painfully twee small town square on the fringes of the big city that has been preserved by the kind of people who love old Victorians and do not wish to dwell in the thunderously gauche McMansions of Bedroomville next door, but don't want to risk living in a trendy in-town neighborhood, either, because there might be black people nearby.
Mrs. Watts' hoplophobia is amusing for multiple reasons. For instance there's the entrenched view of the dwellers in the northern bedroom communities along the Zionsville-Carmel-Fishers arc that the area south of I-465 is some sort of blasted wasteland, a la Robocop's Detroit, a view greeted by bemused headshakes in the leafy streets of Meridian Hills. Proximity to The Big City gives the northern suburbanites an almost pathological fear of crime; the Monon Trail extension into Carmel was opposed on the grounds that it would be an artery of urban crime, apparently for criminals too dumb to use the hundreds of existing streets.

The other is that Zionsville is not in Hamilton County, like Carmel, but rather in Boone County, which is something of a mecca for Midwest gun nuts, since the (sadly, term-limited) sheriff is an adjunct Gunsite instructor and brings trainers like Louis Awerbuck, Steve Tarani, and Pat Rogers to the sheriff's department range for open-enrollment classes because he thinks armed and trained citizens make his job easier. Shannon should look into taking a class.
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More blrgl.

Roomie was had to go stand watch in the starship's engine room last night, so I was up 'til 0mygod30 playing World of Warcrack wit mah peeps.

Hence the rather late start this morning. (And even then I was asleep for a couple hours by the time she got in, so it'll be a while yet before she's up and about.)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Days don't get much better than this.

Absolutely Chamber of Commerce weather out there; you couldn't order a nicer day from a catalog. Shootin' Buddy was in the neighborhood, and so we made the most of it:
Brunch at Cafe Patachou at 49th & Penn. I had the Julia omelet, which is Smoking Goose jowl bacon & Swiss, and I slathered it with a healthy dollop of Sriracha.
We sat on the patio, which hosted a crowd that looked like the cover of SWPL Quarterly. Shootin' Buddy got docked points for not wearing his aviators ironically.

...and then to the range.

Need a hat cam. I was doing quite nicely on the new(ish) steel at MCF&G shooting both hands, but the camera was too much of a distraction from a good sight picture for SHO shooting. While I still managed to bat .700 with the 22/45, I set the camera down after just the two shots with the Glock. To borrow Tuco's advice, "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't shoot."

Shootin' Buddy brought classier range toys. A Model 17 and a Model 18.

After the range, a stop at Moe & Johnny's in SoBro on the way home for a pint of Three Floyds Zombie Dust.
The only thing that could make this day any better would be a hammock in the back yard.
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Saturday, April 19, 2014

The lowest form of single-celled digital life...

I think the families of those still missing should be allowed to troll the perpetrators right back. With tire tools. It would be extremely lulzy to watch the Cheeto dust fly while they whimpered "It was ju-u-st a j-joke! P-p-please! Not the face!"
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Looking up...

It's been a long, depressing winter for a host of reasons, and as bad as it was, the weather was the least of them. Still, the mill wheel must turn; if you can keep from drowning while it's got you dunked, it'll pull you up out of the water on the other side.

Got a phone call from Farmer Frank last night. He got his discharge papers from the rehab place in Chicago (honorable ones, mind you!) and is now continuing his rehabilitation work closer to home, in Lafayette, IN. I don't know if it's true or not, but I've heard that being on Hoosier soil is, for Frank, like the light of a yellow sun is for Clark Kent.

Woke this morning to a glorious spring day. Kept to my morning exercises, to which I need to add more, got some chores done for work, and then rode my bike in to Broad Ripple Proper for brunch at Brugge Brasserie and a stop at the grocery store on the way home.

If this keeps up, I may even be able to write something.

The Broad Ripple SUV in it's natural habitat. The sunny weekend has brought the tourists out in droves.

Sorry...

Ice cream machine's all jammed up this morning.

Maybe later.
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Friday, April 18, 2014

Fear and Loathing in the Circle City.

With the local network channels having taken inexplicably late notice of the fact that the NRA Annual Meeting is scheduled for our fair burg later this month, Naptown media outlets have been struggling to find a handle to attach to the story.

Indy's Fox affiliate finally came up with one yesterday, to the effect of "OMG! With all the police-action shootings in our city this year, what are we to make of thousands of gun-toting NRA members coming to town?"

Perhaps unfortunate story timing on Fox59's part, since the biggest danger to IMPD officers yesterday, April 17th, turned out to be other IMPD officers.

As a side note, you'll note the further evidence that restraining orders still aren't bulletproof:
"Question is to whether or not she was safe, she was, in fact, we were protecting her. We also made sure with the protective order in addition to, provided protection to him," Hite said.
Perhaps an unfortunate choice of words, Chief Hite.

So anyway, Fox59, I don't think you have much to worry about Cletus and Lurleen coming to town to "Ooh!" and "Ahh!" at Fudd guns; I think there's enough muck to rake right here inside the county line without having to look elsewhere.
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Speaking of a vanished time...

Before S&W had a "Model 27", it was just called the ".357 Magnum". When it debuted, it was a special order piece that cost sixty dollars at a time when Smith's next most expensive firearm sold for $45 to your mailbox.

To put that in perspective, a nice Ford 40A Deluxe coupe would have only been $535, if you just paid sticker and didn't haggle.
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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Irony is dead.

While I'd seen a bunch of the chatter about it on the 'net, I hadn't read Bloomie's self-aggrandizing wankery about how he was going to buy his way into Heaven by taking my guns because he assumes JHVH is as down on the Second Amendment as he is. I didn't feel like paying any attention to the "Look At Me!" bellows of the dinosaur as it stares at the inevitability of its own extinction.

However the quote over at New Jovian Thunderbolt's place nearly made me put the claimed water- and/or coffee-proof qualities of my keyboard to the test:
“This is not a battle of dollars, this is a battle for the hearts and minds of America so that we can protect our children, protect innocent people,” former-mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
It takes a pretty exotic combination of chutzpah and tone-deafness to announce the spending of fifty million greenbacks with "This is not a battle of dollars."

I went on and found out that he thinks he's going to build a grassroots organization with top-down money, proving that it's hard to understand what exactly "grassroots" are when you're fifty floors up in Manhattan and there's not a blade of grass in sight.

Bloomie is obviously yet another person with a bad case of Elvis Syndrome and in dire need of a Smithers.


"Smithers, go buy me a swelling in the hearts and minds of the little people."


"Uh, sir, I don't think it works that way."


He said he only wants to stop criminals and the mentally ill from buying guns but you know that, to Mike at least, the very desire to purchase a firearm marks one as one or the other of those two categories. Sometimes I have to resort to boxing my own ears to make the steady drone of bull$#!+ stop.
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Interesting times...

With all eyes on Ukraine, what happens if China gets froggy in the Ryukyus?

Does the PLAN have the wheaties to elbow aside USN and JMSDF forces in the area? If they confined themselves to southern Ryukyus and didn't go as far as Okinawa, would we honor our treaty commitments to Japan, or would we just...

Ha... haha... BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Sorry.

...would we just impose sanctions on China?
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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Changing times...

I just got a copy of the September 1965 issue of National Geographic from Amazon. I had this issue 'way back when I was in grade school and last remember reading it on the school bus in the '80s. I've kept an eye out for it since then at used book joints and antique malls, but finally cheated and went to the 'net.

What a different world is on display in this magazine, and how differently it's presented than the current iteration of the same rag!

There's an article on the Alps that mentions the tunnel through Mont Blanc as an engineering achievement and not a horrible symbolic rape of Mother Gaia with blasting charges and boring machines. A couple pages away is a picture of some riders in the Tour de France wending through the foothills of the Alps in their soft brimmed caps and nary a helmet in sight. None of them actually appear to be puffing a Gitanes while they pedal, but you can't see the guys in the back too well.

What I bought it for was the huge article on the U.S. Air Force, complete with a color fold-out of all that service's currently serving aircraft, including the no-doubt-soon-to-be-in-service XB-70 and XC-142. The National Geographic reporter flew along on close air support missions in Viet Nam, describing the Skyraider's rocket runs and napalm strikes in terms that made you feel like you were right there with him, raining fire on godless commies. His plane got holes shot in it from Victor Charlie's return fire. He flew along in missions in KC-135s and B-52s. He saw a YF-12A take off on a test flight and rode in the back of an F-4C.

And before the USAF article is a seven page piece penned by none other than Curtis goddam LeMay, the very thought of which should make the average Nat Geo-subscribing fair-trade hemp-wearing SWPL choke on their half-caff latte and spray it all over their May 2014 special issue on sustainable organic agriculture. You could smell the smoke of GEN LeMay's cigar, mingled with a faint whiff of the ashes of Tokyo, coming right off the page: "Peace Is Our Profession, War Is Just Something We Do For Kicks."

Ah, National Geographic, you always were good at showing us looks into lost civilizations; who knew it'd be one so recent, though?

Like a layer cake of fail...

Failcake
 A puzzled hit piece on open carry in the UK's Telegraph is headed with this photo. Let's check the boxes:
  • Kimber that is uncocked (and most likely chamber empty) in a
  • Serpa with
  • 1.5" belt loops flopping around on a 1" leather belt from TJ Maxx.
The only way that picture could give me more lulz than it already does would be if that gun were some special laser-engraved Gadsden Flag edition with a magazine full of Extreme Shock Fang Faced Anti Terrorist rounds. 

I mean, I applaud the foresight to have some sort of retention device on the openly carried blaster, but if you gotta keep the Serpa and the fashion belt, could you at least adjust the Serpa's belt loops down to fit the belt? They can do that, you know.

Expectations.

There's a lot of harshing on the Walther P-22 among gun snobs for being a cheaply-built plinker, which draws impassioned defenses from happy P-22 owners, and a lot of the same phenomenon of detractors and defenders has carried over to the very similar Ruger SR22.

I've expressed puzzlement about the sales success of the SR22 when Ruger itself offers a base model fixed-sight 22/45 for a street price not much over $250, which is about as much literal bang for the buck as there is in the gun world.

Sure, a Mk III 22/45, with its mag safety and loaded chamber indicator and chintzy plastic frame, is not the first thing that springs to mind when one is thinking about heirloom-grade .22 plinking pistols, but it will stand up to an incredible volume of shooting and beg for more. Why would somebody pay more for less gun? The answer, of course, lies in the expectations of what a gun needs to do.

In comments over at PDB's place, a guy wrote:
I’ve been shooting an SR22 for close to three years and have yet to have a FTF or FTE in over 3,000 rounds.
Ah. I think I see now.

From where I'm standing, 3,000 rounds is not a particularly busy summer for a .22 plinking pistol; I'm pretty sure my 22/45's used up a third of that total and more just in one Blogorado. To somebody else, it might be a lot of shooting. That's cool and okay and all, but it's definitely going to shape one's opinions of a gun's durability. Three thousand rounds might be one person's three years of shooting and another person's minimum cleaning interval.

(Also, not a single FTF or FTE in 3,000 rounds of rimfire? Dude, tell me what brand of ammo you're using, because I need to switch to that stuff.)

Blrgl.

Stayed up way late and my oversleeping was only interrupted by getting up to feed the cats at 0600 before returning to slumberland.

Dreamed of a giant tree trunk, dead and with no branches, so huge that it had a bayou in the hollow at the top of the trunk, with trees and fallen logs and a fishing shack on stilts and everything, like a swimming pool on a skyscraper rooftop only with Spanish moss and cypress trunks and a couple of little gators instead of a jacuzzi and cabana boys. How the gators got to a bayou hundreds of feet in the air is something of a mystery, now that I think about it.

Anyway the fallen tree trunks floating around up there were all precariously balanced and these two Marine snipers in ghillie suits were climbing around in them looking for a place to set up a hide, setting the whole mass to bobbing and creaking precariously and getting my acrophobia all spun up, so I went in the little fishing shack. And then I woke up.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Can't win if you don't play...

Despite never winning so much as a door prize in any drawing ever in my life, this 75th Anniversary contest from Brownells is tempting to me, because a Wilson Wombat CQB is a no-kiddin' nice pistol.
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All laws are about fence-building or rent-seeking.

When last we left Don Davis, owner of Don's Guns, former Hoffa bodyguard, and all-around douchebag and general tool, he was engaged in an attempt to guard his indoor range rice bowl by enthusiastically speaking up in favor of expanding the ban on shootin' in the old Indy city limits all the way out to the Marion county line.

Well, how does it feel to want, Don?
But a ban has been on the books in ­Indianapolis since at least 1975. It prohibits target practice, hunting and random shooting of guns. Violators are subject to a fine.

City lawyers discovered that the ordinance was actually “void,” or unenforceable, because of the state law. Councilwoman Angela Mansfield pressed ahead anyway with an ordinance that would expand the ban to the outer county. She said those once-rural areas are now developed and populated and it was dangerous to allow guns to be discharged there.

Councilman Will Gooden said state law allows citizens to sue municipalities that pass their own gun laws.

“My concern is we are exposing ourselves to extreme consequences, ­extreme liability and extreme costs,” Gooden said.
Boom. Taste the preemption, beeyotches.
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Overheard in the Hallway...

Winchester .45-cal 260gr PTHP, with sabot for loading in .50-cal muzzleloader

Me: *gesticulates wildly with box of muzzle-loading sabot bullets* "This is a regular .45 caliber 260-gr Platinum Tip Hollow Point, same as you'd get in a .454 Casull round, only they sell them with sabots for using in your muzzle loader."

RX: "Wait, did you have those?"

Me: "Yeah. For my muzzle loader. Who doesn't?"

RX: "Most people can't hear some random type of ammunition and go 'Wait, I think I have some of that up in the attic.'"

Me: "I have some of the Knight's sabots, too, but I couldn't find them."
I keep seeing references on Team Our Side to the guy in Washington, D.C. who was sentenced for "Antique Replica Bullets" or, as Emily Miller called them "simply pieces of copper, you know, from an antique, Revolution-era type gun." That's not factually correct; he was charged with having "ammunition":
§ 7-2501.01. Definitions (2) "Ammunition" means cartridge cases, shells, projectiles (including shot), primers, bullets (inc luding restricted pistol bullets), propellant powder, or other devices or materials designed, redesigned, or intended for use in a firearm or destructive device.
Even the NRA called them "antique replica muzzleloader bullets" and you'd think if anybody should know Fudd guns, it's the NRA. Only they weren't MiniƩ balls, they were modern Barnes pistol bullets, just sold to frontstuffer hunters in blister packs instead of bulk packed for handloaders.

Now, D.C.'s law that treats ammunition components, such as brass, primers, and bullets, as "ammunition" which needs special permits and licensing to own is ridiculous and unconstitutional and needs to be overturned, but at the same time, saying the guy was arrested for musket balls is no more factually correct than saying he was arrested for having an assault clip full of shoulder things that go up.

ETA: Of course, let's not forget that David Gregory did not get proned out in his studio by D.C. Metro SWAT for waving around an actual assault clip capable of holding thirty Think Of The Childrens in front of God and everybody on live TV, thereby endangering Americans in living rooms all across the nation by exposing them to the sight of a weapon of mass destruction.

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Guys! You'll never guess what it's doing out there!

That's right, it's spitting snow from a leaden sky. No lunar eclipse watchin' for you last night, Hoosiers! The sunny seventy-degree weekend days were just a tease; back in the cooler with ya.

Latest snow since '01. Today's predicted high of 40 will tie the record for the lowest daily high temp on this date in Indianapolis, set in 1928.

I swear, I am about ready to take out a restraining order on Old Man Winter.
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Monday, April 14, 2014

Don't start none, won't be none.

With the news that Detroiters have recorded seven EKIA in as many weeks and a DPD spokeswoman noting that
"The citizens of Detroit are very tired of being bullied by these thugs, for lack of a better word. They're defending themselves and their property and they have every right to do so."
the usual handwringers and pearl-clutchers have crawled out of the woodwork, shambling into comment sections around the internet moaning "BRAIIINS! we have no BRAIIINS!" For instance, check out this one guy, whose Facebook profile alleges that he may have attended the U.S. Army's War College. He wrote:
well, it's certainly cheaper and faster than the old arrest/detain/trial by peers/judge/jail program we have for burglary in most states huh? I say we just allow home owners to be judge+jury+executioner all the time!
You know, if that's the kind of critical thinking that comes out of the War College these days, our sweeping successes in central Asia are starting to make a lot more sense. "Hello, JAG? Is it cool to shoot back at these guys yet or not?" 

Hey, I've got a foolproof, guaranteed 100% successful plan to avoid getting shot dead in some stranger's living room in the middle of the night. See if you can guess what it is, MAJ Einstein.
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Trim Tab Clearing...

I wasn't the only person taking airplane pictures, apparently...
Pix at the linx, so clix, thanx.

ETA: Bonus! Boneyard!
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Trivia...

Did you know about the paddlewheel aircraft carriers of the USN? Among other chores, they were used to test early Navy attack drones.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Thunder, Thunder, Thunderstreak ho!

Not a lot of flat surfaces or sharp corners.

You can see the openings for the nose-mounted Browning .50s quite nicely.
It may border on blasphemy to say this, but I think the Republic F-84F Thunderstreak is much prettier than the North American F-86 Sabre.

Hollywood likes reboots...

Fresh out of original ideas, studios have reimagined Star Trek and Superman, Batman and Bond. Now, thanks to Obama and Putin, maybe we can look forward to a reboot of Strategic Air Command!

Tom Hanks is a little long in the tooth for Jimmy Stewart's role, though, and I don't think it's really a part for Depp. Maybe DiCaprio?

Anyway, here're some pics to help get you in the mood:

It's like a giant flying '50s Detroit hood ornament full of thermonuclear bombs, Jimmy Stewart, and "America, $%&# yeah!"
Despite the looming threat of global thermonuclear war, somehow the future didn't suck back then. What the hell happened? I blame hippies.

...that you do so well!

McDonnell F-101B Voodoo: Two-seat all weather supersonic interceptor, keeping America safe from Bear and Bison through the Sixties and Seventies.
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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Gooney Bird

You can hear the music from the opening credits of Band of Brothers in your head when you stand near this plane. True fact.
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Icon.

If the B-17G isn't the most iconic bomber ever, it's close enough that it's not worth arguing over.
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To Peru by Subaru.

There was a hamfest in Peru today, and I willingly went along with Roomie because to get there you have to drive right past the Grissom Air Museum. On the way back, then, we stop and I go play pickcher takin' with the airplanes...

"Radar Love"
Looking right into the pair of 20mm cannon in the tail of the B-47. The blister above them is the radome for the gun-laying radar.
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I've squandered all my keystrokes elsewhere this A.M.

Not that I think any amount of voting for anybody is going to fix what is a basic math problem, but this is an argument that has always puzzled me. If everybody I knew who said "I won't vote for [$whoever_they_really_want_to_vote_for] because they won't win!" actually voted for them, we'd have a lot more Libertarian dogcatchers.

Friday, April 11, 2014

...and you know he'll squeal to Sauron.

Because I hate using good material at an away game...

In response to a post lamenting the cost of current-production S&W revolvers:
Like the 1911, it was designed in a time when labor was cheap, with the only overhead for your workforce being the amount of money you put in their pockets every payday.

There were no HR departments or pensions or scholarship programs or paternity leaves or paid sick time or any of that other stuff. No OSHA and no EPA to monitor plant emissions. You could pay people a squat-oh-nine a day to inspect the work and if they didn't do a good job, fire them and hire the next one standing at the factory door.

I was taking a little Mauser 1910 .25 apart to take some pictures the other day, and the amount of machining and (no doubt) hand-fitting that went into that pocket pistol that sold for a pittance in its day was just practically obscene to modern eyes. Every single part of that gun was whittled from a block of steel. For every Mauser 1910 that came out the factory door, there were probably two more in the form of iron filings and metal chips on the factory floor. It was like looking at gold leaf toilet paper.
And in response to a post lamenting the price tag on used Smith revos:
The market for medium-frame centerfire Smiths was artificially depressed through the Nineties and into the early Aughties as the glut of po-po trade-ins moved through the market like a pig through a python. This coincided with a lot of people getting into Smith collecting because it was the workingman's alternative to collecting Colt's. Up until just ten years or so ago, the only Smith Hand Ejectors that brought big money were prewar large-frame guns and some rare and hard-to-find variants.

Now the police trade-in supply has pretty much dried up, and this coincides with Smith collecting becoming a respected discipline within the larger avocation of firearms curating. Prices will only be going up. (Personally, I'm pretty much priced out of the Hand Ejector market. It was fun while it lasted, though.)

Look on the bright side of things: You could be a Colt's fan. Pythons and Diamondbacks have always been expensive, but they've gone off-the-charts looney tunes flat-out crazy in the last few years. Half the Pythons I've seen lately have been stickered for more than I paid for my Subaru. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

It's trying to be springtime...

Spring is getting underway, with all the interesting atmospherics that means.  In a few blocks worth of walking it was cloudy and sunny and cloudy and...

At one point I could see a bright patch of sunlight about a half-block in size moving down the gray street towards me like bad Hollywood SFX, but by the time I could get my cell out and into camera mode, I was standing in full sun.
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Tab Clearing...

The toughest dude I have ever met.

Mas Ayoob visited Frank James, who is working hard at rehabbing, and brings us a status update and a message from Farmer Frank.
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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Did he say that? Yes he did.

I commented on a forum yesterday:
Sweartagawd I heard ADM Mullen say something along the lines of "arms have no place on a military base" on Meet the Press Sunday. Can't be certain though, because it was hard to hear the TV over me yelling. It'll be another two months before the transcript is on the website, and I am hoping I was wrong.

The ghost of Patton did not slap the ADM right there on live TV, so maybe I misheard.
 
Someone then provided a link.

Holy... He really did say he was opposed to "routinely allowing arms on any base, military base, in the country."

Hey, maybe they could keep their ****ing TANKS at the police station and go check them out before a war. Wouldn't want any arms on base, after all.

How in the nine billion names of God does someone so hard-of-thinking become chairman of the ****ing Joint Chiefs Of Staff? Jesus wept, my life was in that man's hands for four years and it's suddenly, painfully apparent that he couldn't reason his way out of a paper bag if there was a neon arrow pointing at the opening. 
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Overheard in Front of the TeeWee...

A commercial comes on with a bespectacled young man who looks like a young Clark Kent...
RX: "Superman had a kid! But he never had a wife..."

Me: "Kryptonians reproduce by parthenogenesis."
Hey, it's xenobiology; it could happen.

"I think I see your problem..."

So I took the Mauser .25 apart and laid the pieces out on a paper towel for an Arms Room post this morning...

See the recoil spring guide rod? Note how it's flanged on one end to hold the spring? Well, it will go in the gun when oriented like you see it in this picture, but the gun won't go back together because you've got it backwards, there, Einstein.

D'oh!

(This is one downside to accumulating old pistols; I've had this one gathering dust in the back of the safe for yoinks, and its 7.65 big brother even longer, but I haven't had one apart in... well, a while. You forget little details in that time period.)
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Gun Hipster

I am, by nature, a gun hipster. Over the years I've owned lots of weird guns and treasured them for their weirdness: In a world of Browning-type short-recoil pistols and conventional Smith & Wesson revolvers, the gun hipster will seek out the rotary barrel, the gas-delayed blowback, the upside-down self-cocking Mateba revolver.

How can you spot the gun hipster in a group at the range? They're the one who, instead of shooting, is going on and on and on that the main reason the .41 Action Express didn't catch on was because the shooting public is a bovine herd that wouldn't know a good cartridge if they were shot in the ass with it, plus shenanigans and corporate conspiracy: The firearms chambering equivalent of the 200-mpg carburetor that runs on seawater.

Old Mauser pocket pistols, the HSc and the 1914 and its ilk, didn't have external slide catches. Instead the slide would lock to the rear based on the absence of a cartridge in the feedway and would be released to go forward by the insertion of the magazine. Awesome! It will lock back with or without an empty mag in the gun, and there's no external lever to snag on things and you don't even have to remember an extra step to get the gun back into action after reloading!

You also need to have an empty magazine handy to field strip or reassemble the pistol, plus if you're having difficulties getting the fershlugginer thing back together again you suddenly find yourself pining for an easily operable external slide stop whose operating status is clearly visible to the eye. Maybe those unhip regular external slide stops have something to recommend them after all.

Oh, and see if you can guess how I've been spending my morning... (I am happy to say I got it all figured out and wound up not even having to hit anything with a hammer, although I was sorely tempted to give Oberndorf's finest a few gratuitous whacks anyway by the time all was said and done.)
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Tuesday, April 08, 2014

A thousand words.

I have often said that there was no way I could get a tattoo because I just couldn't think of anything with deep enough meaning... central enough to my own personal ethos... that I would want it marked indelibly on my flesh forever more.

Lately, however, I'm thinking that this would look wonderful in glorious full color across my back from shoulder to shoulder.
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I wonder...

American G.I.'s brought home metric tons of souvenir sidearms from WWI and WWII. To this day there's a constant circulation of Mausers and Walthers and Nambus and whatnot on the American market, circulating in eddies from sock drawer to gun show table and back to sock drawer again. They had to have grabbed every handgun that wasn't nailed down between Omaha Beach and the Elbe.

Which just now got me to wondering, what about all the handguns from the Elbe to the Bug? Private Ivan had to have been every bit the souvenir-hunting klepto as any other unsupervised young soldier, and in the massive official organized looting of Germany that went down, who's gonna notice a PPK or two missing? So where did all that stuff go?
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Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #83...

Mauser 1910/14 6.35mm pistol, manufactured sometime in the mid-1920s.
I've developed something of a thing for old pocket pistols of late...

As an aside...

I've seen some pretty interesting rationalizations over the past few days from people nominally on my team for why it was okay for Metcalf and Zumbo to be shown the door for offending sponsors or being out of step with their subcultural zeitgeist, but Brendan Eich's ouster was just... zomg... FIRST AMENDMENT!

Didn't we just leave this ducking party?
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It's spreading to the 'burbs...

Madison County is on the northeastern outskirts of the Indy metro area, but an officer in the little town of Edgewood acted like he was trying to move up from double-A ball and audition for the bigs down in the IMPD.

Another OWI fatality, only this time the officer was off duty, in a private vehicle, and zoned out on painkillers rather than tonsil polish, none of which makes his victim any less dead.

Just becomes it comes in a little plastic bottle from a pharmacy rather than a big aluminum can from a convenience store doesn't mean it can't make you too messed up to be operating a motor vehicle. Wash it down with a big gulp of hubris, and now you're looking at a B Felony for OWI with a fatality.

And in the wake of l'Affaire Bisard, I'm thinking that it's going to be tough to find a lenient jury in the 317, unless there are more deaf mutes who don't own televisions or take the paper than I assume there are.
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Monday, April 07, 2014

If I had a hammer...

Once upon a time, the police had a pretty limited selection of tools available for compliance: They could talk, whomp you with their hands or a hickory stick, or shoot you. Of those, only the first one is reasonably certain to not leave permanent marks.

Nowadays there's a whole spectrum of stuff available, running the gamut from harsh language through tasers and OC and various less-lethal projectiles, and yet despite all that stuff there's a disturbing tendency to get guns out early and point them around at all and sundry while yelling a lot, often before there's any indication that a gun is called for. To wit:
Police arrived on scene to find 11-year-old Omari Grant and his friends playing in a small patch of trees, prompting at least one officer to reportedly draw his firearm and force the boys to the ground.
“I was thinking that I don’t want to be shot today, so I just listened to what they said,” Grant said.
This incident just reminded me of Darryl Bolke's comment:
I can think of three guys at minimum on this forum who have been on a literal crusade to get cops to quite pointing guns at everything. It is a tough road, and sadly it will come down to some righteous lawsuits to change a mindset that should be a training issue. 
Using a gun muzzle as one's go-to compliance tool is courting putting a bullet in someone or something that mightn't oughtta get shot.
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Priorities...

If only the government applied the same level of scrutiny to the whereabouts of its nuclear weapons blueprints as it does to the contents of our phone conversations or the tax exempt status of various Tea Party-type organizations.

I swear, when it comes to raw milk co-ops and home schooling organizations, the government is like a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Robocop, but with matters of actual external security it's suddenly the love child of Inspector Clouseau and Colonel Klink.
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Pre-Revolutionary War Era

On the same visit to the Antique Mall that turned up the picture of the NRA instructor's "I Love Me" shirt from '71, I picked up an old issue of Shooting Times from July of '77.

I was got by the cover, heralding the arrival of the new Virginian Dragoon, a domestic .44 Magnum SAA clone from Interarms which snatched the top billing from the the first test about a new revolver from North American Arms chambered in the radical .454 Casull... I guess not everyone can predict the future.

The "Firearms Law" column by one P. Richard Metcalf sure could foreshadow it, though:
"Transporting firearms on a commercial airliner involves a number of FAA rules and safety regulations to insure the safety of the passengers. It's a big responsibility, but the burden doesn't rest with just the airport terminal employees, the firearms owner shares a heavy load, too."
I don't know that current events aren't affecting my interpretation of the tone, but that second sentence fair drips with "It's for all of our safety. Those cattle cars aren't going to load themselves, you know!"

There are folksy pieces from Skeeter and Clair Rees, and Metcalf penned a multipage scrawl on "Whatever Happened to the S&W .22 Jet Revolver?" which got a cover blurb and provided my main reason for buying the mag.

The most interesting thing in it was this ad, though, especially in light of the NRA Annual Meeting happening this month:
How about you keep my FREE! Arkansas Pocket Oilstone! and hire another frickin' lobbyist?
A full-page NRA ad that is as Fudd-ite as they come. "22 Good Reasons To Join The NRA!" that only makes the most passing mention of, you know, fighting for your right to keep and carry your guns. Of course, this being the July issue, that ad was certainly typeset before the 1977 NRA Annual meeting in Cincinnati, better known to posterity as the Cincinnati Revolt.

Speaking strictly from the standpoint of federal laws, the period of time between the passage of GCA '68 and FOPA '86 was a Dark Age. Signing the ammo registry to buy a box of cartridges, zero legal protection for interstate transport, and worse. Do you like old Mausers or Mosins? Tough bananas back then. Since they had seen military service, they weren't importable because, you know, "sporting purposes". The unconstitutional "sporting purpose" clause in GCA '68 remains, but FOPA opened a door for C&R guns, through which poured the flood of military surplus we have now, and $75 Mosins and $100 SKSs have made more larval gun nuts than probably any other single thing I can think of.

It's plenty possible to have beef with the organization, in fact, it's mandatory, but to confuse the NRA of that ad and the NRA that barrages me with fund-raising junk mail today ("Hey, how about you keep that FREE! DVD and hire another frickin' lobbyist?") is just willful ignorance.
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Sunday, April 06, 2014

Automotif XXVI...

BMW Z4 3.5: A little over three hundred twin-turbocharged horsepower.

Jaguar XKR: A little over four hundred supercharged horsepower.
Atomic doorstops and weird angular wedgies have come and gone, but "long hood, short deck" has been the automotive styling cue for "fast" since Ettore Bugatti was still wet behind the ears.

AFK, BRB...

Saw this hanging up for sale at the Antique Mall. It's probably still there. Those guys make me itch.
David Gregory is about to start yammering about Fort Hood in the next room. Eff him right in the ear this morning. I'm headed to Iggle Crick.

Gone shooting for a bit. BRB.
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Saturday, April 05, 2014

Scooped!

Bobbi beat me to writing up the gun show, and she has pictures!

Afterwards, I went and met Brigid for lunch at the Brewpub, and then we walked down the Monon a bit to the river to check out the Broad Ripple Bayou...


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.
Even though I've shot my bolt (and then some) for the month, we'll be going to the Fun Show just to show willing. I can justify spending a little bit on ammo or something.

Oh, speaking of which, the spare magazines for my little Beretta showed up! I ordered a pair from the Beretta online store and the experience was painless and the shipping was prompt. Beretta has their feces pretty much aggregated into a tiny little ball in the online sales department.


("Tam," you ask, "why are you so excited about Beretta's online store working? My local pizza joint has a smooth online ordering setup." Look, I'm not coming right out and saying that the firearms industry has a checkered past when it comes to wholehearted acceptance of the internets, but if I'm remembering rightly, the only way Glock would have been affected by Y2K is that people wouldn't have been able to see the little animated .gif of a guy with a shovel under an "Under Construction" banner at glock.com...)

Friday, April 04, 2014

Grumble.

I haven't looked at the barometer on Clifford the Big Red Watch to see what the air pressure's been doing, but I don't much need to. It feels like I'm walking on someone else's legs from the knees down.

Thing is, if I was going to steal someone else's legs to walk on, why would I pick someone whose legs hurt so much?

And while I'm grumbling, I'd like to grumble about the jackhole who keeps dropping their bags of dog feces in my trash can after the trash man has run. Unless you are walking your dog here from some other county, you know that they don't dump these cans, which means that I have to retrieve your pooch's precious package out of the bottom of the can and bag it myself.

If I wanted to handle bags of your dog's crap, I'd come on the walk with you and offer to carry it, you ************* entitled-actin', self-absorbed, thimble-headed gherkin. I hope your dog has the runs all over the most expensive and hard-to-clean floor covering in your house.
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