Sunday, October 02, 2022

History Repeats Itself...Sorta

So the Arema FC soccer team in Indonesia was hosting its archrivals, Persebaya. Matches between the two teams apparently have a history of clashes between their fan bases.

The home team lost and their fans went nuts and stormed the field. Riot police were turned loose on the mob and began firing tear gas, causing a stampede for the exits, and at least a hundred and seventy people to be trampled to death in the ensuing mayhem.

We're 1,490 years past the Nika Riots, and the local chief of police probably isn't named Belisarius*, but man I got a twinge of history on hearing the news.

The Hippodrome probably seated twice as many fans as Kanjuruhan Stadium, though.

*Any excuse to put up one of the evocative Enlightenment paintings inspired by BĂ©lisaire


There was some snickering when I mentioned that the Taurus 856 "shot to point of aim at five yards with the Fiocchi 158gr" ammunition, apparently by people who aren't aware about how the sights on fixed sight revolvers are regulated.

Smith & Wesson's .38 fixed sight revos are typically regulated for standard velocity 158gr .38 Special ammo. Variations from this are rarely super-noticeable until you load a round with a lot more muzzle velocity and find it prints noticeably lower, as much as a handspan low as close as seven yards for exotica like Glasers or Magsafe.

"But why does the faster bullet print lower?" is a common question from people who forget that there is essentially no difference in bullet drop between pistol bullets out to twenty five yards, regardless of the velocity.

Revolver sights especially have to take in the effect of recoil moving the gun while the projectile is still in the barrel, a phenomenon that is more noticeable with a heavier, slower bullet than a lighter, faster one.

With the most common .38 Special defensive loads today being +P loads in the 125-135gr range, I'll need to shoot some of that at seven to ten yards and see where it hits relative to the sights.

I'll probably do some chrono work to check velocities on Monday or Tuesday.


Saturday, October 01, 2022

Automotif CCCXLVI...

The new-for-1971 Buick LeSabre, like this Sandpiper Beige hardtop coupe, was one of the largest-ever GM full size series, sharing the same basic platform with the full-size Chevies, Pontiacs, and Oldsmobiles.

At the same time, it was also powered by the first round of de-tuned Detroit smog motors.

The base motor in this 18.5-foot long, 4200 pound boulevard barge was a 2bbl 350 V8 with an 8.5:1 compression ratio that wheezed out 155 SAE net bhp (230 SAE gross).

Optionally, you could get a 4bbl 350 with dual exhausts and bump the horsepower to 195 net (260 gross).

The more upmarket LeSabre Custom also offered a 455 4bbl as an option (230/315 net/gross bhp).

Friday, September 30, 2022

First Shots...

Well, 158gr Fiocchi FMJ ammo shoots pretty much to point of aim at five yards from the Taurus 856 Executive Grade.

That's forty rounds at five yards for initial impressions. The uppermost of the low-left shots was my first shot...mea culpa...and the remainder of the low left ones were me getting flinchy toward the end of the session.


On the Case

I used Magpul cases on my two previous iPhones, but Magpul exited the cell phone case business* after the iPhone X. 

As guns have become increasingly something I have to do for work, cameras have become more and more my main hobby, so it's probably fitting that my new phone case isn't from a firearms accessory maker, but rather a photography gear manufacturer...

On the left is the Magpul case on the iPhone 7 Plus, and on the right, the 13 Pro Max sports a case from Peak Design, who also make a bunch of other camera bags and accessories I use. 

In fact, Peak Design is a company that reminds me a lot of Magpul, being cleverly engineered gear solutions designed by people who actually are end users of the products in question. That phone case isn't just a case, but part of a system that includes tripod mounts and bicycle attachments and all kinds of other stuff.

I guess with more and more people using phones as cameras, it only made sense for an innovative camera accessory company to jump into that market.

*If you want a lookalike for a newer phone, they're sold under the Rugged Shield name at BezosMart.

Natural Disaster...

Of all the images of southwest Florida that flickered past on the television screen this morning...washed-out causeways, sharks in streets, acres of flattened or burned homes...this one caught my eye.

That overturned Vitamin C Orange 1970 Plymouth Superbird, though!

Of course, the winged warriors from Mopar are such collectors items these days, with average prices at auction pushing a quarter mill, that as long as the VIN plate survives, it's gonna get rebuilt. Kinda like WWII warbirds that way.

EDIT: Oh lordy it gets worse if you zoom out. At least the much rarer '69 Charger Daytona stayed on its wheels, although Daytona rear windows don't grow on trees...


Thursday, September 29, 2022

I don't get it either...

When Ben Shapiro or his loyal henchman Matt Walsh go on extended rants about masculinity in, like, the military or whatever, I just don't understand why they'd tickle that hornet's nest.

JVL nailed it here...
"The point I’m trying to make is that none of the outcasts and weirdos who are talking about overthrowing the liberal order in the name of the Great Common Man would be at home in a Budweiser commercial.

Or at a real bar, where real people who work with their hands go to drink Budweiser.

Hell, I’d be shocked if any of these guys has ever even had a Bud.

Instead, these are people who saw the populist movement rising and decided that they could get in on the action and ascend to a place where, one day, they’d be the ones in charge. And then, instead of being outsiders, they could tell both the woke lib hippies and the lax-bro banker-establishment cons to get bent.

Two is one and one is none...

So what do you do with dual card slots in a camera, you ask?

Well, it depends.

Back in the day, when you had the one SD slot and one Compact Flash slot, it was common to record a JPEG to the SD and the much larger RAW file to the CF, since read and write speeds on Compact Flash were higher.

It's as common these days to have both cards of the same type, but some folks still use them like that. Others will have the second slot set up as an overflow when the first one fills.

I shoot everything in RAW these days, and so I record simultaneously to both cards, using one as a backup in case a corrupted card is unable to be read. That way if I shot a whole day's worth of photos at a class or event or something, all is not lost if a card craps the bed.

The only time I do differently is in the Fuji X-T2. I love Fujifilm's JPEG film emulations, and so I'll record RAW to one SD card for post-processing in Photoshop or Lightroom, and then a film emulation JPEG of Velvia or the like on the other card.



Here's a gripe...

Olympus's E-3 DSLR came out in late '07 and was roughly comparable to the Nikon D300 and Canon 40D. It had two card slots: A CF card slot like a normal camera and a slot for Olympus's almost-proprietary xD card. It couldn't record to both simultaneously, and you couldn't even set it to switch over automatically when whichever one you were using filled up. Oly was just clinging to xD like grim death and wanted to sell cards, I guess.

Anyway, a couple years later the E-5 came out. An updated E-3 with HD video, 2MP more resolution, and some other tweaks, it was the last gasp of Olympus's Four Thirds DSLR system, and the closest to a true pro body they'd yet made. They even bowed to the inevitable and replaced the xD slot with an SD slot like a normal camera.

Guess what? You still can't write to both slots simultaneously.

WTF, Olympus?


Turns out it's a physical activity...

Intense thinking and concentration burn more calories than most people realize. Getting really into a mental exercise can release adrenaline and elevate heart rate. If you wear a smart watch or FitBit and spend a day behind the wheel of your car doing any sort of involved driving, you'll often be surprised at the number of calories it says you've burned.

So imagine what it's like for really intense dudes who are doing olympic-level thinking...
In recent years, the proliferation of livestreams, fit trackers and other tools have created almost a game within a game at modern chess tournaments. Rubbernecking audiences watch for clues of mental cracking and physical distress in the quirky, contemplative figures bowed over the boards. At the 2018 Isle of Man International tournament, fitness metrics projected on a large screen revealed that grandmaster Mikhail Antipov torched 560 calories sitting stock still for two hours. By way of comparison, the average person will burn just 100 calories running a mile on a treadmill.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Sex on Wheels

Oh, man, this beautiful Egli-Vincent by Godet makes my heart go pitter-pat...

That's easily the best shot I've gotten of it yet, even though the lighting was a bit tricky. Normally it's just zipping past...

Gorgeous, hand-built machinery with a pedigree. I think this might be the very one that was on Bring a Trailer a couple years ago. 
[EDIT: On closer inspection, it's not the same bike, just very similar. They're all essentially one-off customs.]


Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Great Success in the Gear Box!

I checked the Taurus in a couple K-frame rigs from my Big Box o' Holsters, a Bianchi #3S Pistol Pocket and an old, long-discontinued DeSantis convertible OWB/IWB rig, as well as with HKS #10A speedloaders, and it fits them all.

Relatedly, for some reason I seem to still have a metric buttload of .357 L-frame speedloaders, including lots of Safariland esoterica, and I don't think I've owned a medium-bore L-frame since the GWB administration. Obviously this is my cue to finally buy that 586 L-comp of my dreams.


Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #219...

If you want to push my revolver buttons, a 3" heavy-barrel, full-underlug, fixed sight K-frame sized wheelgun is the way to do it.

I'll be reviewing the new Taurus 856 Executive Grade for CONCEALMENT to see if the actual blaster lives up to the big expectations Taurus has set for it.



It's frickin' 44°F out there right now, and only supposed to claw its way into the low sixties today, and that not until mid afternoon.

We might see the low seventies again this weekend, but it's gone from unseasonably warm to unseasonably cool like flipping a switch.

At least it's supposed to be nice and sunny. Got a long dry patch ahead of us, too, which I presume means some pretty good fall colors are coming up soon.


An auction you don't want to win...

So, imagine this. You're just some normal family in New Zealand, engaging in the perfectly normal practice of bidding on the contents of abandoned self-storage units, hoping to make a few bucks or find some hidden gems.

Among the goodies you get are some suitcases, and when you open find the desiccated, dismembered bodies of two kids.

Congrats, you just won a crime scene!

But wait, there's more...

The ensuing criminal investigation pretty quickly zeroed in on the kids' mother, who had long since fled for South Korea.

Fortunately there's an extradition treaty in place.


Monday, September 26, 2022


One of the neighborhood ferals spotted on the fence in the back yard. Judging by his markings, we're guessing he's from our extremely fertile neighborhood unwed mom, Copper.

As far as I know, she's still thus far eluded any attempt at capture. 

This kiddo has much of his mom's wariness. He was okay with the camera pointed at him, but as soon as my face came out from behind it, he was down off the fence into the neighbor's yard and scurrying off through the underbrush.

Photo shot with an Olympus E-3 & Zuiko Digital 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5.