Wednesday, August 23, 2017

You couldn't make this up.

Gun Glut

Today's ad from CDNN...

300 rounds down...

I took the little Sig P290RS to Indy Arms Company on my first morning home from Paul-E-Palooza, along with a hundred rounds of Winchester Q4318 124gr "NATO" FMJ ammo.

The three mags together hold twenty-two rounds of ammo, so a lot of magazine reloading is involved in disposing of a hundred rounds at a sitting. I was thankful for my Uplula. It's like having a bionic thumb.

The top grouping was with the target at five yards and was fired first. The bottom was at ten yards and finished up the range session. By the time I'd put a hundred rounds of warmish 124gr ammo through this gun, I'd had about as much fun as I care to have in one range session. My trigger finger was sore and the tip was very tender. The little bump on the bottom inside of the trigger guard was apparently chewing at it.

There were no malfunctions of any type to report. This makes a total of 300 rounds fired with no malfunctions since the gun was last cleaned or lubricated. 1700 rounds to go.

Odd dream...

I dreamed I was working on a project with Kathy Jackson that required me to fly out and visit her several times.

She'd moved to the far exurbs of some imaginary dream town on the dry side of the Cascades that looked suspiciously like Bend, Oregon and was probably a dream stand-in for Yakima, and so instead of flying in to Portland, I was flying to this high desert airport, hard up against the mountains.

It was a cool little airport. Kind like ABQ if ABQ was all on one level and small like RDM.

Anyhow, this was supposed to be my last trip out there, and as we're coming in on short final, I'm thinking to myself "Huh. I didn't hear the gear drop..."

At which point the pilot turns perpendicular to the runway and bellies it in prettily, right in the dirt. I've never done a gear-up landing, and I have to believe they're more violent than the dream one was.

Nobody seemed hurt and people start shuffling for the exits. My habit of reading the information card in my seatback pocket paid off as I rolled over several rows of seats and popped the right-side front cabin door open, because everybody else in the front of the plane was trying to pile out the left main cabin door.

As I'm passing the cockpit on the way out, I overhear the discussion between the crew and realize the pilot crashed the plane because he was pissed off and quitting the airline. Seemed like an unnecessarily emphatic resignation to me, but whatever.

As I hit the ground among the milling passengers outside the plane, I hear one say "Oh, look! The baggage doors are open!" to which one of the flight attendants says "They were never closed," and I'm thinking that my big Pelican case full of guns had gone D.B. Coopering out of the sky and into someone's back yard.

And then I woke up...


It's time for me to face the uncomfortable truth: Living in Broad Ripple has turned me into a pretentious hipster foodie douchebag. The restaurant game here in my corner of Indianapolis is so strong that I'm just generally ruined for mediocre food.

There's a small-town restaurant in New Hampshire I used to visit every time I went out. Starting in 2010 and running up to the present, I thought their food was getting worse. It wasn't; I was just getting less tolerant in my tastes.

This last trip, I figured I'd visit on Friday night, which is prime rib night. Prime rib and a salad is pretty much the definition of low-carb, and prime rib is pretty hard to screw up, right?


The salad was about what you'd expect; edible, but you could do as good from the salad bar at the local grocery store or Wendy's drive-thru window. Iceberg lettuce, Kraft shredded cheddar, and oil & vinegar is what it is.

The prime rib was... Look, I describe prime rib from O'Charley's or Texas Roadhouse as pretty much the baseline. It's edible, it's prime-rib-flavored, and creamy horseradish and a cup of salty jus can cover for a multitude of sins.

This was not anywhere near as good a cut of meat as you'd get at O'Charley's, let alone Texas Hohouse.

Further, the waitress plopped down the accoutrements: A big squirt bottle full of white stuff that I think was supposed to be creamy horseradish but which was full of what I'm pretty sure was tartar sauce, and a little bowl full of what they usually bring you as "French Onion Soup", only without the couple of soggy croutons and dash of Kraft Parmesan cheese that usually comes with it. (I'd made the mistake of ordering "French Onion Soup" in this establishment on a previous visit.) I believe this was intended to be taken for jus.

I ate half the slab of prime rib. The remainder was mostly fat and, further, had taken on a hue that made me wonder if I was slated for an uncomfortable evening near the loo. The friendly server asked if I wanted a to-go box, but I demurred politely.

I looked around the room, and folks were laying to with a will. Was the problem me? Have I become such a pretentious hipster foodie douchebag that I won't cheerfully tear into school cafeteria food (for which I'm charged school tuition prices) and enjoy it?

Oh, well.

Look, ma! No carbs!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Hey, look!

Lights and night sights and lasers, oh my!

Fad diets and me...

"Dieting" is a thing I have literally never done. Never did I really pay attention to calories or carbs or any of that stuff.

I switched to diet sodas back in late '00 when I was rooming with Marko because that's what he drank and I was dead broke at the time and so that's what there was to mooch in the 'fridge. Once you get accustomed to diet soda, it's hard to go back to regular soda because it's so cloyingly sweet by comparison, so there was one source of calories removed from my diet without actually intending to do so.

Still, quitting smoking back in '13 or whenever caused my weight to balloon. Previously, the acts of drinking beer and smoking a cigarette had been so closely intertwined that I literally could not do one without the other. And since I couldn't smoke in the house, this limited beer drinking to those times I was sitting on the porch with a book and a cigarette. Decoupled from that habitual link, I could swill liquid carbohydrates whenever I wanted to, and I did.

When you're taking in enough calories to fuel the lifestyle of a farmhand or construction worker and only burning the calories of a sedentary gunwriter, there are consequences.

I knew that Marko was doing the keto diet thing, but it wasn't until he met me at the airport in Manchester in July that I saw how much weight he'd lost.

I don't know about me doing the full-on keto thing, but I pretty much cut out carbs and sugar as much as possible while I was in New Hampshire and lost a dozen pounds as a result. I knew I had eight pint cans of beer in the refrigerator here at Roseholme Cottage, so when I got home from the Granite State, I threw those in a cooler and took them along to Ohio for Paul-E-Palooza weekend and a Farewell to Carbs ceremony.

(A side effect of my dietary alteration: I used to go through sugar-free Tums like candy. I haven't had a trace of heartburn for a month now.)

There are now no beers in the fridge and there won't be until I've lost about another thirty pounds and established some kind of an exercise program above and beyond just walking around the block.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Fortuitous error...

It appears I forgot to register for Friends of Pat '17 this weekend and registration is now closed.

Which, you know, is actually okay because I'm kinda looking forward to being home for more than two consecutive days for the first time since the second week in July. As things stood I was looking at driving back to Ohio on Friday and spending three nights in a motel. I've had enough living out of suitcases to last me for another month or two.

Home again again.

I just spent the weekend sleeping in a tent in the woods in the northeast corner of Ohio, hanging out with a hundred or so violence nerds at Paul-E-Palooza 4. If you weren't there, you missed out on some good learnin' and good times.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Slide velocity...

The 115gr Blazer Brass I was shooting was the typical low-powered budget fodder. In the Glock 34 MOS, spent brass would often pop six inches straight up out of the ejection port and land at my feet. It was no great challenge to keep the dot in the window and on the target all the way through the recoil cycle.

And yet the same ammunition from the same lot cycled the slide on the diminutive P290 vigorously enough that spent cases were landing six or eight feet behind my right shoulder.

Slide velocity in these micro nines can be an issue if you're running hot +P ammo, because sometimes the magazine spring can't get the next round lifted into place in time.

Anyway, Wednesday I fired another fifty rounds through the gun with no malfunctions. This makes 200 rounds fired with no malfunctions. 1800 rounds to go.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Overheard on the Road...

Riding shotgun to MHT in Marko's Subie WRX, listening to the second of Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcasts on the start of WWI...

Dan Carlin: "...and it was this series of tumultuous events..."

Me: "Oh my God! That's my favorite YA series! A Series of Tumultuous Events, by Lemony von Snicket!"

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Cradle and the Grave of Liberty...

Drove from Castle Frostbite to Boston yesterday to pick Marko & Robin up from the airport after their whirlwind tour of Europe.

With BOS being right off the interstate, the drive itself wasn't bad, but having no idea about what Boston's municipal ordinances might be regarding knives or chemical sprays, I had given myself an air-travel-grade pocket dump before getting in the car. I was armed with a flashlight and that was about it.


"Why don't you go visit thus-and-such place, Tam?" 

Because I have no idea what normal, innocuous thing that I normally carry in my pockets every day is a felony in some benighted parts of this country. Actions should be crimes, not objects.

Monday, August 14, 2017

No Mens Rea Required.

John Stossel alerts the general public to something that we in the gun community have been aware of for a long time: The Principality of Manhattan and its adjacent satrapies don't care about your gun license, and they don't care about intent. Accidental felonies are the order of the day, there.
"Another Georgia visitor, Avi Wolf, was jailed although he didn't even have a gun. He just had part of a gun -- an empty magazine -- a little plastic box with a small metal spring. He brought it to the city because it wasn't working well and he thought a New York friend might repair it. He couldn't believe he was being arrested."

Science Experiments in London...

  • The arduous process that would-be London cabbies put themselves through in order to memorize "The Knowledge" makes actual, measurable physical changes in their brains.

  • The Monument to the Great Fire of London is not only a 202'-tall column marking the spot where London's Great Fire began, it's also a giant fixed telescope intended to measure stellar parallax to confirm by experiment that Earth really orbited the sun. Unfortunately, it was built on one of the busiest thoroughfares in London and the vibration caused by passing traffic was enough to render the telescope unusable.

Pew! Pew! Pew!

Only fifty rounds through the P290 yesterday. The most exhausting part about putting any serious round count through these little guns is jamming those dinky magazines full of ammo over and over again. It takes seven loadings to dispose of a single box of FMJ.

The second most exhausting part is that tiny DAO 9mm pistols leave your hand feeling like it just did an exhausting bout of full-contact sparring. A hundred rounds in a short period of time leaves the trigger finger tired and the palm sore.

This makes 150 rounds fired with no malfunctions. 1850 rounds to go.