Saturday, June 30, 2007

Boomsticks: Goin' to the gunshow...

Let's sing the gun 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'll probably drag along a few things that are kinda surplus to requirements at the moment, like my 9mm AR and a German WWI horse atillery saber, and see what I can find that I just can't live without. Maybe I'll see you there. :)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Blog Stuff: Sigh.

Mr. Sun's happy rays are now... hang on... nine inches from the edge of my laptop's screen, and I've got the power cord stretched tauter than a banjo string. I'm already hunched over the screen like Quasimodo, trying to generate enough shadow to make things readable, and I'm not a third of the way down my blogroll, despite reading faster than Rain Man counts matchsticks. Feh.

Maybe more this afternoon, after the big ball of fire has moved to the other side of the lake.


Six days without the intarw3bz.


How did our stone age ancestors live without it?

Just a week ago I had the mental powers of a godling; there was not a piece of human knowledge I did not have at my fingertips. The current price of any product; the lyrics to any song; was it raining in Dubuque? These facts and more were constantly at my fingertips. How did the Braves do last night? What's the dumbest thing Harry Reid has said in the last week? Who answers the phone when you dial 867-5309 in every area code? All this was mine for the gleaning.

Now I'm reduced to a shell, a husk, limited to my own organic memory, and it sucks. Next thing you know, I'll be wearing animal skins and grubbing for nuts and berries here in the woods, trying to snag fish from Fort Loudon lake like some pathetic Gollum-like creature, albeit a Gollum with a nice Shimano reel and Rapala lures.

This is almost unendurable.

On the upside, I've played more Diablo 2 in the last five days than I have in the previous five years, plus I've honed my Windows Solitaire skills to a razor edge...

Anyhow, I'm sitting here with my laptop, skulking on my next-door neighbor's porch, using his 110v outlet to get my iBook in range to boost some WiFi from my landlord's house up the hill. I figure I can do a bit more surfing before Mr. Sun gets above the trees and washes out the LCD screen on my laptop.

So, what's been happening? Are we still in Iraq? Are the Braves still in contention? Have the Iranians nuked DC? (One of you would call me if they nuked DC, right?)

I'll probably be working a table at the gun show here in K-ville for a friend this weekend, so maybe I'll see some of y'all there.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Those heathens...

Of course my post from Borders (for which I paid $9.99 for the privilege) didn't seem to post right; hence the double post.

After some driving around and cussing, I gave it all up for a bad idea, went home, drank beer, and read Baseball Anecdotes.

Gunsmith Bob showed up later in the evening, and I convinced him to drive me to Panera Bread, laptop in tow. So. Here we are. Can you hear me now?

(PS: The Safari v.125/Blogger interface sucks big rocks up off the ground...)

We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please stand by.

So, yeah... Where were we? Saturday noonish, right? Anyway, 'net service had returned that morning, I was happily blogging and surfing and reading my favorite interw3b message boards when...


The guys installing the new lid on the septic tank ran the Bobcat right over the cable. No intarw3bz for Tamara.

Oh, and they buried the cut ends. Charter thinks they can maybe rush a crew over here to run a fresh line under the driveway by, oh, July 10th or so.


So, here I am trying to be creative at Borders. I signed up for the Tmobile thing, the rigamarole and procedure for which sapped my will to live, let alone whatever creative impulse I may have had. I'm cleverly disguised among the ponytailed latte-sipping herd of shiftless paleohippies and college students; blending in by virtue of the iced coffee drink at my hand and my bright green iBook (which, after 5 years, has a battery life measured in picoseconds, which is why I'm at Borders: power outlets.) I think my "Nuke Berkeley" shirt might be giving me away though.

My creative mojo is hampered by the awkward little chiclet keyboard of the iBook, the jackhole having a business conversation at a decibal level that rivals a 707 on takeoff, the retiree talking to his grandkids on his Bluetooth headset (which makes him look a mite touched in the head, babbling baby talk to thin air), and the guy at the next table who has his Wintel laptop at full volume, letting me hear all the godawful system noises that I've so carefully disabled on every PC I've owned since, oh, 1996 or so.

Not that I'm bitter or anything, mind you.

We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please stand by.

So, yeah... Where were we? Saturday noonish, right? Anyway, 'net service had returned that morning, I was happily blogging and surfing and reading my favorite interw3b message boards when...


The guys installing the new lid on the septic tank ran the Bobcat right over the cable. No intarw3bz for Tamara.

Oh, and they buried the cut ends. Charter thinks they can maybe rush a crew over here to run a fresh line under the driveway by, oh, July 10th or so.


So, here I am trying to be creative at Borders. I signed up for the Tmobile thing, the rigamarole and procedure for which sapped my will to live, let alone whatever creative impulse I may have had. I'm cleverly disguised among the ponytailed latte-sipping herd of shiftless paleohippies and college students; blending in by virtue of the iced coffee drink at my hand and my bright green iBook (which, after 5 years, has a battery life measured in picoseconds, which is why I'm at Borders: power outlets.) I think my "Nuke Berkeley" shirt might be giving me away though.

My creative mojo is hampered by the awkward little chiclet keyboard of the iBook, the jackhole having a business conversation at a decibal level that rivals a 707 on takeoff, the retiree talking to his grandkids on his Bluetooth headset (which makes him look a mite touched in the head, babbling baby talk to thin air), and the guy at the next table who has his Wintel laptop at full volume, letting me hear all the godawful system noises that I've so carefully disabled on every PC I've owned since, oh, 1996 or so.

Not that I'm bitter or anything, mind you.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

In another blow to Canada's formerly virile image... the land of the lumberjack, hockey star, and Mountie, police in Ottawa, (as well as the local newspaper,) go into pants-crapping hysterics over some BB guns.


I'm not making this up.

The virility of Canada's image has now slipped past that of, say, Pennsylvania or Michigan, and is hovering down near the level of, say, New Jersey. News stories like this will ensure its continuing slide California-ward.

(H/T to Ninth Stage.)

It's good to know...

...that I am still considered to be the intarw3bz foremost provider of Horrible Screaming Death by the folks at Google. I was worried that my horrible screaming death output had slackened here lately.

"This your monkey?"

Start your day with a smile.

News: "Whoah, dude, cool it with the hose!"

It seems that 35 Texas firefighters will get to skip their drug tests this time around. There are complaints that the guys from truck 922 were bogarting the smoke column.

Oh, thank gawd you're back!

I've missed you guys so much! The 'net just stopped responding, and I've been sitting here for the last 24 hours clicking "refresh" as my eyes slowly glazed over.

Well, that, and talking to Matt G on the phone. Hi, Matt!

I ran by Border's, got some books, and did a little bit of reading, too; more on which later.

Oh, and picked up my laundry from the laundry place.

...and stopped by McScrooge's for some Ruination and a bottle of Old Ruffian Barley Wine. I'll report on that last later tonight; I have high hopes. (Barleywines are kind of a new thing for me; so far I've loved Stone's Old Guardian and Rogue's Old Crustacean, been indifferent toward's Flying Dog's Horn Dog, and thought that Talon from Mendocino and Dogfish Head's Olde School were icky.)

And gunsmith Bob stopped by and we went to McKay's and I got more books, and then we stopped at Kroger so I could get some groceries and fresh citronella candles for the porch.

But other than that, I spent the whole time the 'net connection was down clicking the 'refresh' button and missing y'all.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Random musing...

How come every time you see "Rhode Island" in print, it's always prefaced by the word "tiny"? It's so clichéd. I swear I didn't type it in that previous post; the software must've inserted it automatically.

Politics: A flicker of sanity.

Jeff at Alphecca comments on a proposed law in tiny Rhode Island that would restore discretion to school principals and administrators, rather than the current "Zero Common Sense Tolerance" nonsense.

About time...

Page 16 of the current Shotgun News has an article by Paul Scarlata on the elusive Japanese Type I. More Type I information in one place than ever before, including my humble attempt.

(Also, I'd totally forgotten that Hornady was doing 6.5x50mm Arisaka ammo for Graf & Sons. 20 rounds of loaded ammo cheaper than you can buy 20 rounds of unprimed brass from Norma. W00t!)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

News: Oh noes!

The zionist neo-con Bushbot conspirators have subverted Purdue University, too! Is no one safe from their tendrils?

(Other than the kid who made that goofy "Loose Change" video. For a powerless nobody engaged in exposing the plot of a global cabal of heartless, powerful murderers, he seems distressingly... er, alive.)

Boomsticks: A bleg.

Anybody got a used EOTech or Bushnell Holosight really really cheap? Don't care what kind as long as it has the Donut-Of-Death reticle and is really really cheap. Need one for my 9mm trainer carbine since I moved its EOTech to the 6.8...

tamslick - a t - a o l - d o t - com.

You'd think that "Handgun Carry Permit" means...

...that you have permission to carry a handgun, no?

Maybe not so much.

Apparently the new fashion among crooks is to go grocery shopping with their girlfriends and make sure that someone gets a glimpse of their kilobuck-plus custom gun in its expensive leather holster (crooks all use holsters, right?) If you see one of these people strolling brazenly through your grocery store parking lot, take them down fast and hard from behind. This is called the "New Hampshire Takedown", and it has been proven to work.

Boomsticks: Gratuitous Gun Pr0n No. 45

Photo by Oleg Volk, who is, in fact, The Man.

So, during the last visit to Oleg's he took photos of my shiny, modern .300 Whisper in addition to all the crusty old antiques I dragged over. The one above is just swoopy looking.

(If you are not a total gun geek, stop reading now.)

The round on the left, by the by, is from Yesteryear Armory here in TN; unfortunately, I'm not sure if they're still in business or not, because their web page has been replaced by a link farm. The ballistics on their loading are interesting. It doesn't claim to be subsonic; according to the box flap, it's pushing that 220gr soft-point at 1,378 fps. Contrast that with the conventional load (if such a term can be applied to .300 Whisper,) from CorBon, which lobs a 220gr VLD OTM-style bullet at a true subsonic 1,075 fps.

Here's the rub: I'll bet the long VLD bullet with its open-tip design is going to have a seriously quick yaw cycle on target, maybe within a couple of inches. On the other hand, that soft-point 220gr was designed to be loaded in .30-'06; is 1375fps enough velocity to cause bullet upset when it hits? Or will it not expand at all? And being that short for its weight, what with the round nose and all, it will be awfully stable and may have a yaw cycle measured in feet. Obviously I am going to have to buy some jello and put these theories to the test myself.

Regarding .300 Whisper and cans: All the .30 caliber cans I see on the market today are steel monstrosities designed to tame the mighty .308, like the Thundertrap. Maybe we could persuade a smaller, feistier manufacturer to come up with a compact 5.56-size can with a .30-cal hole just for .300 Whisper and subsonic .308. I know I'm not the only one out there faced with this dilemma...

How come I never get these?

Even though I've got dead relatives all over Africa, nobody ever sends me any "Hitman Scam" emails.

Well, they might have... I am a pretty lousy email corespondent, after all. Look, if you don't want your Hitman Scam email bulk deleted with the Viagra and Mortgage Refinancing stuff, put the lurid death threats right in the title, okay? If they're good, I'll copy and save the results in the folder with my favorite 419 emails.

(Oh, and you Viagra and Mortgage people? I'm a chick who rents. Stop it already.)

Humanity comes full circle.

Sometime in our distant past, probably right after the invention of fire and before the invention of clothes, one of our distant ancestors decided that if he made a little statue that looked like Og the Thundergod and did something to it, like maybe smearing it with berry juice, he could affect the real world and keep hunger at bay or bring the rain.

Fast forward to modern, technologically-savvy America, where some school administrators in California felt that by manipulating little one inch figurines, cutting their tiny weapons off, they could keep the violence demons away. The more I think about it, the more disturbing I find it: Folks, if you are so far gone that you can't distinguish the difference between a weapon and a 3/4"-long blob of plastic shaped vaguely like a weapon, you are (not to put too fine a point on it) stark raving crazy.

I feel like such a sellout...

I put up a tip jar at the other web site. I feel it at least offers a service.

This one just offers snark. :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Another senseless gun death.

Arquebus locks would have prevented this tragedy. (Then the guy could have been, like, stabbed or something romantic, rather than killed by a nasty old gun.)

(Via Unc.)

Quick! Pass another law!

Maybe the criminals will obey this one.

Today In History: The Scourge of God...

...hits his high water mark.

Fifteen hundred and fifty-six years ago, Attila and his Hunnish hordes got stomped at the Battle of Campus Mauriacus by an army led by Theodoric I and Aetius the Last Roman. France was kept safe for indoor plumbing for the next two thousand years.

Two years later, Attila would be dead of a nosebleed after a night of drunken partying and nookie, making him the prototype for generations of rock 'n' roll drummers to come.

Boomsticks: Serious boomstick trivia...

The barrel of the 120mm M256 main gun on an M1A2 Abrams main battle tank (just the barrel, mind you, not the whole gun) weighs 2,592 pounds.

My BMW weighs about 2,800.

Politics: He says all this... it's a bad thing. Me, I'm thinking "Yeah? So?"

(H/T to Michael Silence.)

News: It's not easy being Green...

...and by "green", I don't mean the watermelons currently dominating politics in Eurabia... er, Eutopia; I mean the color of the Saudi flag.

Lufthansa Technik (no relation to Lego Technic) is kitting out a gargantuan Airbus 380 as the world's most bitchen private jet. LT is keeping the identity of the buyer on the QT, but a safe bet would be that his name includes an "al-" or "ibn" somewhere in it. It probably won't be ready for its new owner to use it to fly to the "Gulfstreams Against Global Warming" concert next month, but I'm sure the Irony Police will be tracking it for further such uses.

Meanwhile: Bill, Warren, George? Sell the Gulfstreams, you pikers. They make you look chintzy.

(H/T to Phlegmmy.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Politics: My baseball cap is in the ring...

Somebody at TFL was fretting over the possibility of a Bloomberg candidacy. I couldn't keep my fingers still...
Heck, I've got about as much of a shot at the Oval Office as he does.

C'mon, TFLers! Vote for me!

I promise to abolish welfare.

I will roll back every gun law back past NFA '34.

The Federal Income Tax? Fuggedaboutit! It's a goner!

I'll fly to Moscow, tell Putin to shut up or I'll shoot him in the kneecap, and then on to Tehran, where I'll put Ahmadinejad in a headlock and make him cry.

I'll form a new Border Patrol from the first 10,000 illegals to tag up 'home free' at the nearest Federal Buildings; the rest get deported. Then I'll put the 10,000 at the border and tell them that if anyone gets past them, they lose their citizenship and their butt goes on a plane to Tierra del Fuego.

If a bill comes across my desk that doesn't include a photocopy of the Constitution with the relevant Congressional authority highlighted in yellow, it's vetoed, baby!

Who's with me?

I figure I've got almost as good a shot at the top job as Frank Zappa does. Maybe better, what with him being dead and all...

zomg! That is teh s3XXy!

Steampunk LCD monitor.

*le sigh* I wish I had fewer than ten thumbs and possessed somewhat more creative vision than a microcephalic gibbon. I'd be makin' stuff like this left and right and growing rich from the money flowing in from... well... poor geeks like myself, I guess.

via Victory Soap.

Support the troops?

Let them know.

News: We're the only ones lost enough...

In yet another rare and isolated incident, another elderly woman gets a visit by a SWAT team who had difficulties reading address numbers.

The raid occurred about 11 a.m. June 8, as Virginia Herrick was settling in to watch “The Price is Right.” She heard a rustling outside her mobile home in Durango West I and looked out to see several men with gas masks and bulletproof vests, she said.

Herrick went to the back door to have a look.

“I thought there was a gas leak or something,” she said.

But before reaching the door, La Plata County Sheriff’s deputies shouted “search warrant, search warrant” and barged in with guns drawn, she said. They ordered Herrick to the ground and began searching the home.

At least Ms. Herrick got proned out rather than aired out, even though she could have hit them with her oxygen bottle or something. That's a step in the right direction, I guess...

(Hat Tip to Unc.)

Politics: Like you and me, only better.

Don Gwinn weighs in with a sordid tale of an antigun state legislator using the muscle of the Illinois State Police to intimidate constituents who had the temerity to disagree with his agenda.

Thankfully, I live outside the good senator's jurisdiction, so Kotowski's unlikely to goon up and come after me for spreadin' the word.

To my brethren and sistern behind the corn curtain, good luck voting the bum out.

Monday, June 18, 2007

I can't abide a thief.

Marko is having problems with his excellent essay, "Why The Gun Is Civilization", cropping up all over the intarw3bz attributed to some USMC Major (who may or may not be a real person.)

If it shows up on a board you post on, a correction and a link to the original would be awful sweet of you. Thanks!

Er, in case I didn't get around to it...

...before the Annoying Cricket Robot Voice informed me that I was out of long distance minutes and cut me off, I meant to say "Happy Father's Day" in amongst the rest of the conversation stuff.

Hope it was a good one.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Blog Stuff: Whew!

Finished my first book report... er, gun writeup of the day.

[Barbie voice] Writing interesting essays is har-rd.[/Barbie voice]

One more before beddie-bye. But first, the margaritas on the porch while leisurely perusing some Mark Steyn gold.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

It's Meme Time here at VFTP Command Central...

...and then it's off to slay the essay dragon at the other blog, where I need to gin up two posts by this time tomorrow. Here, courtesy of Ambulance Driver, is the "LALOLKFATYK" Meme, (which is coincidentally the word for a Vogon wedding dance where the bride and groom stomp puppies to death to the accompaniment of bagpipes and the cheers of the wedding party.)


WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Yesterday evening, at the effort of trying to explain to yet another internet twink that 1+1 did, in fact, equal 2, and that he wasn't entitled to have an opinion that "3" made a better answer.

DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? I don't write, I print. It's tolerably legible. I guess I like it, or at least don't feel any great antipathy towards it.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Red, richly marbled roast beef. Prosciutto is a close second.

DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Just my inner one, and she's quite enough of a handful at the moment.

IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I'd try. Being friends with me is a lot of work at times, or so I'm given to understand.

DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? You're new here, aren't you?


WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Not on a dare. No way, no how. Not just "No", but "Helllz no!"

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Golden Grahams. Or anything with those crunchy little marshmallow bits in it.

DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? I untie my shoes, but the boots I usually wear have side zips, which are just the greatest thing ever.

DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? I am fairly certain that I'm pretty weak.


WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? How they carry themselves; I can't stand folks who cringe. Stand straight and look folks in the eye, dammit.

RED OR PINK? Red. I have two cute red jackets that should be back in style any year now and I can hardly wait.

WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I'd hate my laziness, but I can't seem to work up the energy to do it. Pass the mojitos.

WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? That's a tough one. I'm awfully self-contained; "When the ship lifts, all bills are paid." I do have plenty of friends I wish I saw more of, however. Pesky 'real life', with all its jobs and geography. Why can't they all be right here, right now?


WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? A bowl of chili, with shredded cheese, sliced jalapenos, and enough McIlhenny's Habanero sauce to crinkle the roof of my mouth like cellophane.

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? "Anthem" by Leonard Cohen just ended, "Crawling" by Linkin Park just started.

IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Periwinkle, because the name always made me giggle.

FAVORITE SMELLS? Steak on the grill. Hoppe's #9. Burnt gunpowder. Dogwoods. Honeysuckle. The smell of a clean cat. Leather.


FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? I don't like watching sports. I do however love watching baseball, which is not a sport, but rather a game.

HAIR COLOR[S]? Strawberry blond.



FAVORITE FOOD? A very, very rare steak.

SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? I'm all about the happy endings. Scary movies would run to an average of ten minutes long if the damn protagonists would just pack heat.

LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? In a theater? 300. At home? Equilibrium.

WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? White. It says "Kitten Thinks Of Nothing But Murder All Day."

SUMMER OR WINTER? Fall. It's the season for nostalgia.

HUGS OR KISSES? Generally hugs. They're less often bungled.

FAVORITE DESSERT? "If I had room for dessert, I'd order another steak."

MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? I'd say "Ambulance Driver", but I boosted this from him in the first place.

LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Lawdog. When you come up with original material as easily as he does, why bother with memes?

WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? I'm jumping back and forth between Baseball for Everybody, by that traitor Tom Glavine, and Knowing the Enemy: Jihadist Ideology and the War on Terror, by Mary Habeck.

WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? At this point in time, VFTP Command Central is not equipped with a mouse pad, and hasn't been since I went optical.

WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT? At this point in time, VFTP Command Central is not equipped with a TV, and hasn't been since I figured out that it's all dreck and that anything worth watching would eventually be available on DVD.

FAVORITE SOUND[S]? Gunfire. Redline upshifts. Ludwig Van. A purring cat.

ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Generally the Beatles. Except for "Gimme Shelter" and "Honky Tonk Women".


DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? No. I am relentlessly average.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN? I was born in Chicago, IL so I could be close to my mother.


(PS: Thanks, Ambo Driver, for doing all the hard formatting with the bold text and stuff so I could just copy and paste. :))

The weird stuff you find on the web...

December 1945 American Legion Magazine article on "Foo-Fighters".

Don't even ask me how I wound up there, because I couldn't tell you.

Blog Stuff: A higher class of redneck...

Concerned that I might be endangering the health of my two self-propelled hairball generators with my chemical warfare antics, the lovely and talented Phlegmmy of Fatale Abstraction fame just out of the blue sent me a care package: A hand-held bug zapper. (And did she know her audience, too: the box was sealed with tape that had frickin' ninjas on it.) The cats are safe from toxic fumes for sure now, for I have seen the light when it comes to insect extermination. Aside from pragmatic indoor wasp killin' however, the gadget has an even more pleasant use...

We've all heard that the ultimate in redneck entertainment is a six pack of Budweiser, a rocking chair, and a bug zapper, and I really can't gainsay that, because I haven't experienced it. I can tell you this, however: A pitcher of mojitos, a plastic lawn chair, and a hand-held bug zapper is darn near about as much fun as you can have without getting nekkid. I know this, for that is how I whiled away my evening on the porch last night.

The mojitos gave the bug-zapping that Hemingway-esque big game hunting feeling, which is to say that I felt the same sense of omnipotence that a drunk author mowing down wildlife with a large-bore rifle must feel. The festive air was complimented by the bluish twinkle of fairy lights as mosquito after mosquito would get cooked against the swishing grid of death in a silent welter of pretty sparks. The lunges, moulinets, and backhands made it decent exercise, or at least partially compensated for the intake of the horrifically caloric mojitos. It was simply hours of big, dirty fun; so much so that I don't even care that it makes me sound like a redneck for saying so, either. You should try it. If anyone can figure out how to make it a team activity, or maybe devise some scorekeeping system, let me know.

Macabre trivia.

I was doing some research for a post on the other blog and stumbled across an interesting bit of historical data.

As CNN/NBC/ABC/CBS and all the print media will no doubt remind you several zillion times today, we have suffered ~3,500 KIA in Iraq thus far.

Comparatively, the US Army suffered about 5,100 KIA on June 6th, 1944 on the beaches of Normandy and in the villages behind them.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Boomsticks: Neat-o!


(Of course, I prefer the open architecture of the 1911, but that's me. ;) )

EDIT: Oh jeebus is that funny. Well, if you're not an iBorg, that is...

Friggin' utility work...

My power is about to be out for as long as five hours.

See this big blank white space below? Imagine it filled with a witty post.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Blog Stuff: Every blog has one or two...

...and Mr. Fixit salutes them.

♫ "Mr. Uptight Blog Post Commentator" ♫

Boomsticks: Cool!

An illustrated guided tour through the guts of a CZ-75, courtesy of Dr. Strangegun.

Dear Anonymous Truck Driver,

You know that steep grade on I-40 East, about 50 miles out of Nashville, just as you're climbing up onto the Cumberland Plateau? The one with the 65 MPH limit for cars and 55 for trucks? With all the big signs saying "Trucks stay in right lane", or words to that effect? Yeah, that grade.

Anyhow, when you're lugging up it in low gear at 44 MPH and come nosing up against the heavy equipment hauler doing 43, please don't swing suddenly into the left lane where the little silver car is passing you with its cruise control set at 69 MPH, okay?

Thanks, and I just loved those mudflaps. They're real classy.


Boomsticks: Gun Locks?

Mostly useless.

In other news: Water found to be mostly wet.

Behold, the Power of the Intarw3bz!

A week and a half or so ago, I received a notice in the mail about an alleged red light violation; a violation I did not commit. I squawked about it here on my blog. Michael Silence, columnist with the Knoxville News Sentinel, read my post and commented about it on his blog. Instapundit linked it, and it was suddenly all over the web.

I just got back from my mini-vacation in Nashville, and guess what was waiting in the mailbox?

Very, very cool. Thank you, Knoxville PD and Captain X, for your professional response and for this very happy ending. Who says that the intarw3bz don't change the way the world works? Just a very few years ago there would have been no way to communicate the error, much less get it fixed outside of a courtroom.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Boomsticks: Gratuitous Gun Pr0n linkage.

Marko has a nice picture up of an ex-Bundeswehr P1.

I got to hang out some...

...with John and Jordy at Oleg's crib. The four of us, plus Frank, went to Dave & Buster's, where John and Frank used their mad, 1337 infantry skillz to lay down total pwn4ge on the digital tangos at the Ghost Squad game, causing passersby to stop and watch as they demonstrated the value of communication and short, controlled bursts. A good time was generally had by all. Well, except me when I tried my hand at the "Extreme Hunting" game; you'd think that when they send you into a forest that is absolutely infested with panicky grizzly bears, they'd do you the favor of giving you a rifle that had been sighted in first... Not that I'm bitter, or anything.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Court to .gov: "Do you have the goods on this guy, or what?"

A federal appeals court ruled against indefinite detention of "Enemy Combatants" who are legal US residents, citing the pesky US Constitution. Basically telling the US government "If you have the goods on the guy, then charge him, already!", the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals delivered a rebuke to the current administration, all but asking "Who do you think you are? Abraham Lincoln?"

Monday, June 11, 2007

Blog Stuff: I'm not being quiet on purpose...

It's just that we here at VFTP Labs are engaged in a sooper-sekret project that will ensure mucho content over at the other blog for the forseeable future, and may even net me a few farthings in the process to pay for ammunition in all the goofy old calibers in which these rusty old tomato stakes I love so much are chambered.

Did that parse right?

Anyway, as they say: Watch This Space...

Boomsticks: Ever so stoked.

No sooner had I got the OlyArms .300 Whisper upper pinned on my Spike's Tactical lower than I discovered that Cor-Bon had eighty-sixed production of the caliber. How festive. I pestered every wholesaler I could think of; nobody had any back stock. I pestered Cor-Bon direct. No dice.

"Bummed" does not begin to describe my mood. Dies for .300 Whisper... er, .300/221 Fireball are not cheap either. I'll definitely need to score some dies soon, but I was temporarily saved by stumbling into a gun shop today that had not only dies and brass in stock, but hunnerds and hunnerds of rounds of loaded ammo. W00t! Score! (220gr soft points, too!)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Blog Stuff: Neat-o.

While I was all busy being hyp-mo-tized, long-time 'net buddy Don Gwinn done went and started himself a blog.

Wow. Internet hypnosis...

About 6:30 or so this morning, I went to a board I used to post on a lot, sorted threads in ascending order, went back to the very beginning, and started reading the ones in which I'd posted, lo those four-odd years ago.

I remember nuking a pizza.

That must have been a couple of hours ago, because it is suddenly almost three o'clock in the afternoon. Where did the whole day go?

Friday, June 08, 2007


It's been entirely too serious in here today.


Rest period.


...aaand we're back.

Blog Stuff: Added to the blogroll...

Regular readers have probably by now figured out that I don't do the usual "reciprocal blogroll" thing. My blogroll is mostly stuff that I read every day, plus a few links to folks that helped get me started back in the day, or meatspace friends who write stuff worth reading. (I keep the vintage Rocky Top Brigade roll there in the sidebar because: A) It's an interesting reminder of how much the TN blog scene has changed in the less-than-two years since I started, and B) I can't remember my blogrolling password and I'm too lazy to check.)

Now that he's safely discharged, away from the potential clutches of an overzealous PAO, and home back here in the land of the Big PX, I get to add my bro John. Y'all need to read.

Somewhere between negativism and hype lies the truth of the sandbox. Somewhere between villains and saints lie the men who went there. Somewhere between...
Right here? Right here I'm just glad to have my friend back.

The Economy's way of telling you you have too much money...

$1,000,000 stereo speakers.

That's gotta smart...

...when you're such a Private Benjamin that the Army won't even take you, despite you having the right number of hands, feet, and heads and there being a war on.

Politics: "I knew Martin Luther. You're no Martin Luther."

The courting of the evangelical vote turned back up in its more usual digs the other night when the collection of midgets the Republicans are currently offering by way of candidates went at it in a flurry of wagging fingers and thumping Bibles. Mike Huckabee parleyed his ordained Baptist minister status into a polevault to the top of the Holier-Than-Th'Others heap:

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth," said Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister. "A person either believes that God created the process or believes that it was an accident and that it just happened all on its own."

Huckabee also said that if Americans "want a president who doesn't believe in God, there's probably plenty of choices. But if I'm selected as president of this country, they'll have one who believes in those words that God did create."

He went on to quote Martin Luther: " 'Here I stand, I can do no other.' And I will not take that back."

Of course, being a politician, only moments later he... well... did other, and started equivocating.
"Whether God did it in six days or whether he did it in six days that represented periods of time, he did it. And that's what's important."
Relieved to see how easy the waffling came, McCain and Brownback also made vaguely anti-evolution-only-sorta-not statements as well. The money quote, though, was Huckabee's:
"I'm not planning on writing the curriculum for an eighth-grade science book. I'm asking for the opportunity to be president of the United States."
Sure, Mike. That's got my vote. Makes me want to hand you control of the US nucular arsenal right now.


Blog Stuff: It's only fair...

...that the funniest "Paris Hilton Got Sprung" post yet should have the best crazy "BOYCOTT THE NEW MOTHER THERESA MOVIE PARIS IS A WHORE!!" spam commenter yet. I mean... just... wow.

Every now and again you wonder, are there internet hookups in the solitary confinement cells at the Rubber Ramada so that the completely unhinged can while away the hours leaving psychotic spam comments on blogs? Or are these people not actually in the Spin Bin? Are they actually walking the streets? Driving cars? Voting? Yikes.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Blog Stuff: I know it's going to be my kind of energy drink...

...when it says, in red letters on the side of the can, "NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN, PREGNANT WOMEN OR PERSONS SENSITIVE TO CAFFEINE."

Is it hot in here, or is it just me?

Boomsticks: Rising stars.

It always makes me happy to see the bumper crop of rising young stars in IPSC and Cowboy Action Shooting. It's good to know that someone's coming along behind you to keep it going.

Someone posted a link to this video over at The Firing Line. Here's 2006 French Women's IPSC champ, Laetitia Daguenel in action. I feel old and creaky. Girl's got game.

EDIT: Her website. IPSC appears to be quite healthy on that side of the pond.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Things they probably don't teach in police academy:

What to do when charged by a bull.

A bit big for their britches...

SayUncle has been following Michael Bloomberg's constant attempts to poke his nose where it doesn't belong; a habit of Bloomberg's that has been drawing fire from national gun rights organizations.

According to Snowflakes In Hell, America now has two mayors, as Boss Daley of the Chicago Machine has decided that he can attempt to dictate policy to the rest of the nation.

One Question: Where do these yankee busybodies get off thinking that their writ extends six inches past the nearest City Limits sign?

D-Day, H-Hour.

At 0630 hours Normandy time, sixty-three years ago today, the bow ramps dropped on landing craft off the beaches of France, and a generation of young American men would stumble off them, through the bullet-churned water, and into immortality.
Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Forces: You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!

Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
With those words from General Eisenhower in their pockets, the men of the 29th and 1st Infantry Divisions went ashore at Omaha beach. Largely inexperienced, facing tricky tides, clever beach defenses, and the murderously accurate fire of the veteran German 352nd Infantry Division, they floundered through the blood-streaked surf to the rocky shingle of the French coast. Despite hideous losses (A Company, of the 116th Regiment, landing in the zone known as "Dog White", within minutes had only a couple of dozen men left out of 200; only one officer was still alive as of 0640, and all their sergeants were dead or wounded,) they fought on and secured the beaches.

If Waterloo is the defining moment of British arms, and Stalingrad is the symbol for the Russian army, then surely Omaha Beach stands as the mark of the American soldier. Despite blunders and confusion, chaos and disorder, and casualties our generation seems unable to fathom, those untried troops fought their way ashore through everything that was thrown against them, and prevailed. They helped keep the light of freedom shining over half a continent through the dark years to come.

We owe them.


Knoxville Blog Get-Together this Saturday.

Rich Hailey has the scoop.

Blog Stuff: 'Net Advice for AnonyBloggers.

'Net buddy TD has a great post chock full of advice for those blogging anonymously from their own domains. Cool stuff on how to prevent stalkers, snoopers, and 'bots, oh my! Obviously I can't use this because not only am I so uncool that I still use Blogger, but I'm also fairly un-Anonymous. Someday I'll get around to doing the whole my-own-domain-and-Wordpress thingie.

Anyhow, a great moment for me was that he mentioned the Wayback Machine, which jogged my memory about a site long gone. I checked the archive and there it was, in all its 1999 glory: "Bigrig Industries: I'm Drunk And I Own A Gun." Look! Frames! How quaint! How 1990s! Especially, however, do not miss the "I'm A Drunk" and "Curio Guns" essays. Screaming Bay-Area pinkos they may have been, but I probably could have partied with these people until we sobered up and had to go vote.

EDIT: Wow, I remember when Space: 1999 was The Future, and I just used "1999" to describe something as "quaintly retro". Whee! I'm living in The Far Future!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Stay away.

I've taken home a jar of delicious pickled garlic cloves.

Dang! These things are so tasty they're like crack for your mouth and...


Wow. I didn't know that you could fog up your own eyeballs!

Blog Stuff: Slacker.


I have not forgotten the meme, I've just been working hard on my slack. Soon my writing mojo will return. I hope.



Fight tha power!

Dems go after Jesus vote.

In a baffling display of telegenic piety, leading Democrat candidates answered a string of prying questions for a broadcast audience. Sen. Clinton, attempting to appeal to the one demographic that wouldn't vote for her at gunpoint, abased herself by hinting at hidden tawdriness in her marriage above and beyond that which was used to disturb the public for eight years in a row.


Pardon me. Where was I? Oh yeah, then John Edwards confessed to "sinning every day", to which nobody replied "Well, duh, you're a politician!", despite being fed such a choice straight line. He then went on to talk about how much he loved poor people (and plans on making a lot more of them, no doubt) and Jesus and maybe Mom or puppy dogs or something else.

Obama stuck mostly to policy stuff, apparently, and when asked about the current situation with the War on a Noun in terms of Good and Evil, averred that terrorists are indeed evil, unless they're being bombed or incarcerated by Republicans, in which case such simplicities no longer apply.

How much good this did any of the candidates remains doubtful, but it sure has made for amusing reading.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Politics: Clash of the Un-Candidates.

Thompson v. Gore in a Knoxville News Sentinel Texas Cage Match poll.

If you laugh, you're a geek.

Heisenberg used to house sit for Schroedinger, and would get annoyed when his buddy would call home from out of town and ask "Where is my cat? And how fast is it going?"

(Partial curtsy to Unc.)

Red Light Camera, Part Deux.

In which the photo enforcement saga continues...

Predictably, the Law'N'Order contingent has chimed in with responses like "You broke the law and were dumb enough to get caught by a MACHINE!", so let's examine the state's evidence against the defendant, hm'kay?

Exhibit 1: The Citation.

It lays it out nice and neat: The person cited, her address, the location and time of the crime, her vehicle and its license number. It's all right there in black and white:

Exhibit 2: The Damning Photo.

Well, there it is, timestamped and everything: A photo of license plate number XX2KXX tooling through the red light at the time cited. Slam dunk, right? Wait, that doesn't look like a BMW; maybe she craftily switched her plate to another vehicle to carry out her nefarious red light running scheme!

Exhibit 3: The Defendant's Current Getaway Car.

A-ha! There's her escape vehicle! Only... wait... is that a two or a three?

Better have her waste a day in court without recompense! Only a judge with the wisdom of Solomon could dig to the bottom of this one!

Found via SiteMeter...

Hey, look! A new Knoxville blog!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Blog Stuff: Green-eyed monster.

I just got off the phone with my friend Kaylee.

Tomorrow she just cuts loose from her life and boards a plane to go chase her dreams in Alaska.

I wished her bon voyage and bon chance.

I am so jealous...

Blog Stuff: Hilarity could ensue...

Whiskas "Meaty Selections" kitty propellant is, in all but color, nearly identical to Cap'n Crunch.

Red Light camera fiasco...

So my downstairs neighbor handed me my mail yesterday and I started flipping through it. Bill, bill, bill, catalog, junk mail, Knoxville Photo Enforcement Service Center...


I haven't run a red light in years that I know of, and the last time I did wasn't in this city, but my daily travels do take me through a few traffic camera monitored intersections. Maybe I did and wasn't aware of it? I tore the envelope open, and immediately burst out laughing.

"What's so funny?" asked my neighbor.

"R2D2's a retard. Look at this," I replied, and handed him the notice. He started laughing too.

There on the right hand side of the page was the information that one Tamara K., owner of record of a BMW convertible, license plate number 122ABC, was guilty of running a red light at Kingston Pike and Alcoa Highway on May 22nd at 8:17PM.

There are a couple of problems with this.

1) I haven't been through that intersection in the last year.

2) The license plate on my BMW convertible is 123ABC, not 122ABC.

3) The vehicle in the accompanying photos is a white Toyota Tacoma, license number 122ABC. I realize it was dark, but a white pickup doesn't look much like a silver Nazi rollerskate, no matter how hard you squint.

"I am so blogging this," I muttered. And I have.

This should be fun.

EDIT: Updated with my pathetic claims of innocence.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

People: Can't live with 'em, can't nerve gas the lot of 'em...

So the latest banner ads I'm seeing splashed around cyberspace invite you to click on them and, I quote, "calculate the name of your perfect lover."

Folks, if you answer one of those ads and actually date anyone it tries to hook you up with, do us all a favor and make sure that no offspring result, okay? We're trying to improve the breed here, not select for gullibility genes. Anybody who thinks the name of their perfect soulmate can be "calculated" probably thinks Oprah's book club offers things worth reading (and moves their lips when they do.)

Venezuela: Anti-Pugsley TV station goes to the web.

Despite pepper gassing a whole mess of college students, Pugsley still can't stop the signal:
CARACAS, Venezuela (CNN) -- Radio Caracas Television, the station silenced by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, has found a way to continue its daily broadcasts -- on YouTube, the popular video Web site.
You know, dictatoring used to be a pretty good gig, but it must suck trying to be a repressive dictator in the age of satellite dishes and the intarw3bz.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Dear GOP,

Please do not nominate Mitt Romney.

The last two Massachusetts politicians who went to the Big Show got stomped by milquetoast opponents with the public speaking skills of a Thorazined Yogi Berra. America hasn't wanted a Bay Stater in the Oval Office ever since JFK got whacked by Oliver Stone.

That is all.

Politics: Fred Thompson on the issues...

Voted YES on school vouchers in DC
Voted YES on drilling ANWR on national security grounds
Voted YES on terminating CAFE standards within 15 months
Voted YES on defunding renewable and solar energy
Voted YES on enlarging NATO to include Eastern Europe
Voted NO on limiting NATO expansion to only Poland, Hungary & Czech
Voted YES on favoring 1997 McCain-Feingold overhaul of campaign finance
Voted NO on adopting the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
Voted YES on allowing another round of military base closures
Voted YES on deploying National Missile Defense ASAP
Voted NO on banning chemical weapons
Voted YES on allowing more foreign workers into the US for farm work
Voted YES on authorizing use of military force against Iraq
Voted YES on repealing federal speed limits
Voted YES on increasing penalties for drug offenses
Voted YES on $75M for abstinence education
Wow, other than the drug war/abstinence/McCain-Feingold stuff he sounds like my kinda guy. I'm all about ditching CAFE and drilling the ANWR with nuclear weapons and nerve gassing any hippies who protest it while de-funding their solar-powered Prius.