Monday, October 21, 2019

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #179...

Interwar German handguns:

The Mauser's frame serial number certainly falls into the right range for a "red nine" wartime gun, everything on the frame is serial numbered correctly, and only the top end is a post-WWI short-barreled "Bolo" .30 Mauser gun. When was this top half mated with the frame? Well...somewhere between November of 1918 and when I traded into it last year.

The Luger is a short-barreled .30 Luger gun as well. While its serial numbers would seem to denote an earlier manufacture, the caliber and barrel length are definitely postwar.

See, the Treaty of Versailles and its codicils prohibited the shrunken German arms industry from making military pistols. Barrels of 4" or more and bore diameters larger than .32 were verboten as military ordnance.

So these were less-military.

The "Bolo" nomenclature for the short-barreled Broomhandles comes from the fact that the newly-triumphant Bolshevik government in Russia was having a hard time securing arms deals from foreign states until they could get their own small arms industry restructured after the revolution.

Weimar Germany, a fellow international pariah, was happy to make the sale, and the short-barreled Mausers are known as "Bolos" to this day.

Since C96's had been popular with White Russian forces and those of various separatist republics, these fit well into the nascent Soviet army. As a matter of fact, when the USSR designed its first homegrown pistol, the TT30 Tokarev, it used a cartridge that was little more than a slightly spiced up 7.63 Mauser round.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

ZCQOTD: A Plan Coming Together Edition

Eyeballs flattened, no waiting.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Durable Characters...

Back when I first started flying again...2010 or 2011...I remember reading an article in the airline's in-flight magazine about the new trend for fictional characters as spokespeople for companies in their ads. It's interesting to see that, nearly a decade later, Mayhem and Flo are still at it...

Those are good, long runs in the volatile world of advertising.

Day Trip

Initially, IndyGo was going to have rides on the Red Line be free for the month of September and start charging on October first. However the rollout of the fare-paying app seems to have had some hiccups, and so the free ride period on the Red Line has been extended until they get the bugs ironed out, now tentatively the tenth of November.

The fare-paying app is necessary because the Red Line will be run like a trolley, and you'll pay either at the station or via app. The buses aren't going to stop long enough for people to queue up at the door and fish through their pockets for change; riders will be kept honest by random fare checks on the moving buses.

Wednesday I rolled downtown to the central bus terminal to get lunch at the City Market. After a pulled pork sandwich from Gomez BBQ, I walked back to the depot to catch a northbound Red Line bus to the Statehouse station so I could walk over to the State Museum a few blocks west.

Arriving at the depot, I discovered an unintended consequence of the way the Red Line is structured. The drivers have strict instructions to only let passengers on and off at the stations. The northbound bus was just pulling away as I arrived at the terminal...and got caught at a red light right there at Washington Street. This resulted in the bus having pulled maybe a dozen feet forward, but the driver wasn't allowed to let me board while we shrugged at each other over the awkward minute or so until he got his green light.

No real biggie, because the next bus was only ten minutes behind.

I spent an enjoyable hour roaming the State Museum and then hopped the Red Line home at about three, before traffic started up.

Giant sloth

Short-faced bear

The camera slump...

A internet acquaintance was photographing her kid at a pumpkin patch. When she pulled out the Canon DSLR, one of the other children present blurted "Look, mommy! A real camera!" As more and more people are just using cell phones for their snapshot needs, the sight of a "real camera" is indeed becoming rarer.

Thom Hogan is rattling people's cages again...
"I'm going to put a stake in the ground and predict ILC volume will be 4m units in 2023. It's possible that isn't the bottom, that we go all the way down to 3m units. It's possible that 2023 isn't the bottom year. However, market size is such an existential problem at Canon, Nikon, and Sony that they're going to have to find a way to keep the market from slipping below 4m units. That means that they have to embrace the 21st century with their products and start attracting younger users again. I believe that's possible, but I also don't see clear signs that any camera company has figured this out. (Sure, the average buying age of a Sony purchaser is lower than that of the average Nikon purchaser at this point, but that age is still in the Gen X/Boomer realm. They're not making any more of those models ;~)."

I don't see a ton to disagree with in his conclusions.

Parenthetically, I wonder if Panasonic's efforts in the video realm plus Olympus's attempt to transition Micro 4/3 into a premium sports/air show/birdwatching system with the E-M1X will be enough to save the format. Big box stores will sell you the bottom-tier Canon and Nikon DSLRs, but if you look around at Target or Best Buy, you could be forgiven for thinking that the only mirrorless ILC system was the crop-sensor a6xxx system from Sony.

Thursday, October 17, 2019


A pretty cool video presentation of the Battle of Midway, carefully presented from only the Japanese point of view...

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Overheard Online...

From a conversation elsewhere:
Friend A: "Anime by itself isn't supposed to be cringy. There's lots of good anime out there."

Friend B: "Intentional or not, that's the effect on me."

Friend A: "Well, what anime have you watched?"

Friend B: "Let's see... Pantyflash Crisis, Fanservice High School, and Animal-Eared Preteens, I believe."
I laughed so hard I nearly lost continence.

Tab Clearing...

Interesting Times

So, Russia has decided it will use its troops to head off potential conflicts between invading Turks and the forces of its ally, Syria.

Of course, Turkey is still a de jure NATO member and the spearhead of their invasion of Syria is not made up of disciplined Turkish regulars, but a wild-eyed pack of Allahu Akhbar'ing Arab militias operating under the sanction of Ankara, so I see no possible way this could go wrong.

Monday, October 14, 2019


An interesting writeup on a couple who have decided to party like it's 1889, for the most part, at least.