Wednesday, December 31, 2008


It looks like December will close out as my highest-traffic month of 2008, and the first time I've broken 60k in a month without an Instalanche. I'm tickled pink. Thanks, y'all!

The old college try.

So I sat down to try and be sociable and watch a bowl game with Gunsmith Bob and his folks. I dusted off my football knowledge and prepared to be on the other side of the cheering section, since they were all rooting for the SEC team while I was pulling for the school from my home town.

Unfortunately, North Avenue Trade School didn't give me much to cheer about. The last time they were involved in a drubbing like that, it was 1916, and they were the ones dispensing the ass whuppin'.

The more I think about it...

...the more I think Blagojevich must be using *67 to dial people like Burris, in order to keep their secretaries from saying things like "Governor Kryptonite is ringing line one. Should I pick it up?"


1) The Tennessee trip is winding to a close. Gunsmith Bob and I had lunch with Unc, Michael Silence, Insty, and Helen today at Stir Fry Cafe. One of these days I'm going to remember to jot stuff down at these things because the conversation is always witty, and I thought to myself at least a half-dozen times "Oh, that's perfect; I am so blogging that..." I will hopefully be seeing Jen for lunch tomorrow. It's back to Far Off Frozen Cold North Yankee Land on Friday morn.

2) For the three of you that haven't yet seen it, here's Stingray's paean to everyone's favorite internet species. Bonus cool points if you get the Gunkid reference.

3) Matt delivers a thoughtful post for the year's end. Me? I got nothin' but this batch of links you're reading, unless the bluebird of inspiration alights on my hat brim and makes a deposit between now and midnight.


The headline at the Hamas Ministry of Propaganda this morning said "Israel rejects call for truce; Gaza attacks to continue".

Hey, Zippy, they had a truce. Hamas kinda broke it by lobbing rockets into Israel, remember? Hamas could have peace any time it wants; all it needs to do is stop shooting and blowing stuff up.

More on the Blue Light Special on Senate Seats:

(From comments here.)

The sad thing about the whole spectacle?

You could be the cleanest politician in Illinois, and a call from Blagojevich's office under these circumstances would be the equivalent of being pushed onto the grenade.

If I were Blago right now, and had an IQ higher than the square root of -1, I would very publicly nominate the person I least wanted to see in the seat.

File under: "No, really?"

NASA has released the report on Columbia's final minutes. Among the grim factoids was a priceless bit of bureaucracyspeak:
"the breakup of the crew module ... was not survivable by any currently existing capability."
Really? You mean sitting in a little metal box that breaks apart at ten thousand miles per hour thirty-eight miles above the ground is unsurvivable? Who knew? There oughta be a law!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Chicagoese-to-English Dictionary:

"No taint of scandal" is Chicagoese for "The wiretap was busted so he hasn't been caught yet."

Also, his race is listed as a qualification, which kind of appalled me, since I thought I was supposed to be the evil racist and they were supposed to be all "...but by the content of their character."

Look, race and sex and religion don't matter to me. I don't care if it's a green-skinned devil-worshiping hermaphrodite from the moons of Neptune; are they not a crook and can they do the job?

Too good for his own good.

Apparently if you emote sincerely enough, you can convince people that the airsoft gun you're holding is a real pistol and that you really, really intend to kill them with it. You can tell they believe your performance when they shoot you in the face.
Metro police had charged Sullivan with 146 offenses since June 1989. His last arrest was for trespassing Nov. 20.
Sounds like his loss is no loss.

No word on whether the guy taking the dirt nap is going to be nominated for a posthumous Academy Award for Best Actor or not.

(N.B.: When you are involved in a defensive shooting and the cops show up and they know the decedent by name, odds are good that it will be found a righteous shoot.)

(H/T to Unc.)

A day in the life...

I filled the tank in the Zed Three yesterday, from bone dry to brim-lippin' full, with 89 octane gas for less than $20. That's the first time I've done that since... well, before I started blogging, at least.

I met Staghounds for lunch at Calhoun's and corrected the horrible dietary deficiency I've developed (BBQ ribs contain an enzyme necessary for life; lack thereof causes one to say "you guys" instead of "y'all".)

Went by McKay's (the best used bookstore I know of) but it was a madhouse, so I bid adieu to Staghounds, and went back to casa de Gunsmith Bob. We made a second assault on the North Face of McKay's later in the afternoon, and the crowd had thinned out somewhat. I picked up my first Stephen Hunter novel, some non-fiction stuff, and I decided to give Oh John Ringo No's Posleen universe another try, because everyone keeps telling me that Watch on the Rhine is a good read. Y'all better not be pulling my leg. I also tried to find some boxed sets of House on DVD. Fail.

I stopped by the outpost of the vast petroleum conspiracy at which I worked briefly, and had my old job offered to me again. It's nice to be missed; apparently good help really is hard to find these days.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Fluctuating curmudgeonliness...

I like Xavier a lot, but some targets are just irresistable:

How can a man who carries a 1911 with its barrel chopped to a stub, a beavertail safety, glow-in-the-dark sights, a 416 stainless slide, and a frame made from recycled soda cans complain about a non-traditional finish on an old revolver design?

I mean, you used to like "hostile environment" finishes, Xavier. ;)

(FWIW, I was going to assign this post to the category of "revolvers", but I realized I don't have that category; only "Smith and Wesson"... )

Overheard in front of the TeeWee...

I'm sitting in front of the computer. The televisor is on, tuned to the Doritos Sheetmetal Bowl on ESPN12, with the Walla Walla Cosmetology School Meerkats playing the Internet Correspondence Paralegal Academy Tree Sloths. I have overheard the score, but paid no mind to who was winning. Gunsmith Bob enters the room...

Me: "Game's on. The score is ten to three."

Bob: "Who's winning?"

Me: "The team with ten."

Bob: *withering stare*

Me: "What? You think I'm lying?"

This website is rated "G"...

...for "Getoffamylawn!"


For his next trick, he will write a blog post in cuneiform on clay tablets.

Poultry heaven.

Shannon the gunsmith works on guns for a living; what he does for a hobby is make the most delicious food I have ever eaten. I always looked forward to the start of a new work week because he'd bring in a home-cooked lunch and always brought enough to share, which guaranteed that I'd find a reason to be lurking, vulture-like, around the gunsmithing shop at lunchtime.

Now that I'm dabbling in the kitchen myself, one of my missions for this trip was to get a couple of recipes from him for some of my favorites I'd tried over the years. There's a tasty chili verde, spicy smoked chicken chowder, Hoisin pork loin, and most important of all was a dish he called "Alsatian chicken".

Now, if they really eat chicken like this in Alsace, you could roto-rooter their arteries and use the scrapings to make biodiesel. Just looking at it will make your left arm hurt, but it tastes divine. Suffice it to say that any dish whose primary ingredients are butter, heavy cream, Gruyere cheese, and white wine is right up my alley. I can hardly wait to try it when I get home.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Glad that wasn't me.

They say that you will not be tempted beyond that which you can endure...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry or rage or what...

Well, India and Pakistan are flashing gang signs at each other again, and the Hamas Ministry of Propaganda (which is inexplicably headquartered in Atlanta rather than Gaza) is crying foul at the Israelis for hitting back, but Darfur continues to be one of the prime sources of suck on the planet. News from the region remains on the back burner, of course, because the oppressors are charmingly ethnic, the atrocities are happening in a particularly unphotogenic armpit of the earth, and nobody there has nukes.

One thing that situations like this produce in boxcar lots (other than meaningless UN paperwork) is squalid tent cities teeming with refugees. As is usual, this has the end result of concentrating hapless victims in one place so that they may be preyed upon more efficiently thanks to economies of scale (cf. the Warsaw Ghetto).

While various international organizations, governments, militias and other large bodies of people moving in step are doing their level best to screw things up wholesale, it took a human interest story on the retail level to point out the futility of the whole farce.

It seems that setting foot outside the refugee camps to gather firewood is pretty much a guaranteed ticket for rape and murder. Hearing this grotesque factoid shocked a young American student so much that he was moved to help. He decided to raise money to aid the women in the refugee camps by buying them...

...more fuel-efficient stoves so they don't have to go out and collect firewood so often.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry or punch the wall. I mean, lor' bless him for doing something, but... just... damn. Reckon Daniel Craig will play him in the future movie? Instead of Defiance, they could call it Efficiency.

Fun show!

Went by the gun show at the Jacobs Building yesterday. The parking lot was filled slap up, and folks were parked willy-nilly in overflow parking and there was a line to get in.

I got a chance to see all my peeps, although I felt a little doofy when I was talking to various of my mentors like Ralph and, later, Bill:

Me: "...and I got a Colt 1902! For only, like, about six bills! Bob just made a takedown plug for it."

Them: "Very good! Do you have it with you?"

Me: "Yeah, but... uh... I forgot and left it in the trunk of the car, which is parked in, like, the outback of Botswana."

Now, don't get me wrong here; Indianapolis has fantastic gun shows. The Indy 1500 is better than double the size of the best show here in K-town, but there are two things it doesn't have: The Crockett Creek beef jerky lady and tables of ammo from Georgia Arms. I managed to get a bag of my Blazin' Cajun gun show sacrament, but Georgia Arms didn't set up at this show, which was a bummer.

(By-the-by, if anyone needs a takedown plug for a Colt 1903 Pocket Hammer, Coal Creek Armory has probably the only one for sale in christiandom. If anyone needs a Colt 1903 Pocket Hammer to go with the takedown plug, I am given to understand that Randy's up on Broadway inexplicably still has the one for sale that I should have bought a year ago.)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A roadtrip observation...

A license plate on your car was originally intended to serve a single function: To show that you had paid a road-use tax for that vehicle. As time has gone by, that purpose has gradually expanded and now the little placards are used as a sort of bar code, identifying your vehicle (and theoretically its occupant) for various .gov observers.

The states in which I've resided as an adult (Georgia, Tennessee, and Indiana) are all relatively "free" states. They share liberal gun laws, 70 MPH speed limits (which means a de facto 80) on the interstates, low income taxes (or no income tax, in the case of TN), and are not generally known for nanny-state legislative climates. As I was tooling southbound on I-75, I couldn't help but noticing something odd. All the Ohio and Illinois cars had a feature that was foreign to me: They had license plates on the front of their vehicles.

I decided to look into it.

It appears the correlation is far from perfect, because there are some fine and free states (AK, MT, NH, TX, WY) that want to brand your car like a steer, and for some reason that California of the South, N. Carolina, hasn't gotten around to handing out a front license plate, but there is definitely a moderately accurate relationship between front license plates and places I would not want to live...


Those of you back up in what Gunsmith Bob calls "Far Off Frozen Cold North Yankee Land" (but we know as "Indiana") are cordially reminded that the cool kids will be congregating at the Broad Ripple Brewpub tomorrow. Thanks to the Transitive Property of Coolness, if you are there, you will be cool too. So go hoist an IPA for me, okay?

True confessions...

So I got here on Christmas Day, and Gunsmith Bob's folks had the TeeWee on, and... you know that House show that I was being snarky about and had never watched and stuff? Well, there was a House marathon on USA. And I watched, like, three or four episodes. And then three more last night. That's a pretty addictive little bit of TeeWee right there; I could see myself buying DVDs.

It's also an awesome personnel management training video.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Notes From The Gunsmithery...

1) Trijicon's standard nite sights offer a good sight picture without messing up the lines of a classic Colt 1911 too much, and also don't require a ton of milling and the consequent refinishing of the slide. That's why they went on my pre-Series 70 Colt, and now my roomie's has them too. We'll be like the Bobbsey Twins!

2) The MGI QCB upper that I traded into was a big hit.

3) Did you know that a Colt 1903 Pocket Hammer and a Colt 1902 Military have takedown plugs that look nearly identical, except the 1903's is shorter. This means that if you whittle the 1903 plug out of drill rod, it won't be long enough to use in a 1902 and you can't exactly add metal... So you have to whittle a second plug.

Interesting times.

So the Pakistani army is standing to.

Don't they know that if they just wait another few weeks that everything will be okay? The Lightbringer will ascend and then they can just join arms with India and sing "Kumbaya"...

Safely in Tennessee....

So, here we are in the Volunteer State.

Was Santa good to everybody? I got Cylinder & Slide lockwork, a Greider trigger, and an Ed Brown tactical thumb safety for my .22LR 1911 trainer project. It'll be a none too shabby little gun by the time I get it knocked together.

I'll probably swing by CCA today so I can say hi to Shannon and some of the rest of the crew.

Today In History: The things for which we're remembered...

On this date in 1919, musical theater impresario and dilettante baseball team owner Hank Frazee sold a pitcher to the New York Yankees.

It would be a long time before the Boston Red Sox would win another World Series.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

World Peace.

Went with a friend to the nearest Brazilian steak house last night. If you've never been to one, the concept will floor you: Basically, you sit at your table while dudes with awesome accents keep showing up with skewers of sizzling cuts of meat, which they slice onto your plate.

The only way to make people stop coming to your table and piling sizzling meat on your plate is to flip a little green cardboard disk over so the red side is turned up, and even that doesn't work 100% of the time, because they'll occasionally stand there and look at you like sad puppies until you feel sorry for them and flip it back over. Except they're looking at you like sad puppies that want to give you steak, instead of eating yours.

Anyhow, this gave me an idea for solving the world's problems.

What we do, is we take all the squizillions of dollars we were going to spend on bailouts, and we use it to buy mobile barbecue vans, hire a whole bunch of awesome Brazilian waiters, and then issue everybody on the planet a little circle of cardboard, red on one side and green on the other. That way, whenever anyone is feeling a little stressed or angry, all they have to do is flip their disc to the green side and a van comes screeching up and this dude hops out with a skewer of sizzling beef and slices them off a piece.

Think about it:

"In the morning, we invade."
"Come here! I'm gonna teach you a lesson you'll never forget!"
"Let's go shoot up some Crips."
"Achmed, let us kill the infidels."

Flip. *screech*. Slice. Yum!

"On second thought, never mind. Let's just have more picanha."

Beef: It's what's for peace.

Merry Christmas to all my readers,

I feel like we're family, which means everyone should bring the potato salad, and then we should have some kind of fight over something. Then someone should storm out in a snit. And then we should spend the next six months patching things up via games of "He said, She said" on the telephone and gossiping about it. It'll be awesome.

Anyway, Merry Christmas to all y'all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A trick of light and angle...

Joe says the March '09 ParaUSA pinup is nonfunctional.


I'm not so sure it's not just the camera angle. It can be hard to tell if the thumb safety is ground for clearance looking from above...

(Ooh, look at my thumbnail! Can you tell we're cleaning guns this AM?)


I'm not discounting what he's saying, because he could be right; I just think it's hard to tell for sure from the angle in the photo...

Packing up.

I'm about to depart... well, tomorrow morning, actually... for the old stomping grounds in Tennessee for a few days. See the sights, hang out with my old posse, visit CCA, that kind of stuff. Thanks to the magic of Al Gore's intertubes, blogging won't even be interrupted.

Contributions to the roadtrip petrol fund are always appreciated and may be made to the right.


I had never read Kahr40's blog before this morning, so I was totally caught off guard by this kick in the gut.

Carry your damn guns, people!

Seared and tender and m-mmm, so good!

I wish to inform the world that I successfully made an awesome bison filet on the stovetop the other day.

Following the advice of the people who had raised my steak from a calf, I covered the pan and went with less heat and longer time than I normally would have, and was still rewarded with a marvelous, tender, rare/medium-rare steak.

Today In History: They'd run out of creativity two weeks ago, and were down to salt pork and biscuits...

On this date in 1777, English explorer Captain Cook, commanding HMS Resolution, stumbled across Kiritimati in the middle of the trackless Pacific. Displaying the legendary naming creativity of British seafarers, he called it "Christmas Island".

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ice, ice, baby...

Excuse the blur, the picture was taken with a hand-held camera, no flash, while the photographer was desperately trying to avoid dashing her brains out on the sidewalk.

See that gleam of reflection on the pavement? The one that looks like water? Yeah, it's not water; everything outside the house is coated in a layer of glare ice a quarter inch thick. Imagine walking on a sheet of glass that has been schmeared with a microthin layer of SAE30 motor oil.

On the other hand, at least I'm not in New Hampshire...

Thermobiochemicalnukyular weapon detonated in US!

State of North Carolina evacuated! Bush declares disaster area! Obama surrenders to France! FEMA rounds up gun owners and shoots them en masse, leaving bodies in open graves. Refugees flood Tennessee and Virginia!

No, no... wait, someone just dropped some ammo in Dick's Sporting Goods.

As you were...

Oh, and by the way...

Happy Festivus!


I really like the little Steyr-Mannlicher M.95 straight-pull carbine. It's handy, fast, and packs a wallop. The only problem is that for eons, the only ammo you could get was Jerry surplus stuff from the '30s with primers so corrosive they'd practically etch the bore before your eyes. Shooting it meant the entire rigamarole of soapy water or copious amounts of Windex in addition to regular cleaning.

Worse, reloading components were pretty much unavailable.

Now Graf & Sons has Hornady loading ammo for the caliber. I should get some; a 205gr JSP should thump nicely on both ends...

Speaking of malfunction drills...

Sebastian has issues with his gat, yo.

Wrong on the internet!

There is a certain subset of the handgun hobby that is into the big boomers. For them, the .44 Special is a cute little pipsqueak, the .41 Magnum doesn't count, and handgun calibers don't start until you're talking about .45 Colt loads that would wreck your grandpa's Peacemaker.

Of course, once you and your shootin' pal each have your .475 Linebaugh or .500 S&W Magnum, the only way to make it better than your buddy's is to launch a heavier bullet. Guys who are into this stuff in a big way will line up a whole bunch of wet newsprint and see how far into it the bullet will shoot, pretending that the wet newspaper is a charging grizzly or a pissed off elephant.

And these bullets will go a long, long way into wet newsprint. The key factors for penetration in wet newsprint (or a critter) would be a very heavy bullet with a lot of inertia and a high sectional density and, most importantly, a neutral (or even forward) weight bias so that the bullet will resist yawing as it decelerates, because once that bullet turns sideways, it's going to slow down in a hurry.

Now, these factors are not the same as what makes something "armor piercing", and vice versa. The big, heavy lead cylinder that will shoot through a bison from end to end will flatten into a shiny lead disc the size of a silver dollar hitting ballistic weave or hardened steel plate, and the dinky little needle of an M-16 bullet that will punch through that armor plate will tumble and break apart inside the bison...

All this chatter about terminal ballistics is to bring up a phenomenon I ran into on the internet this morning. There is a poster on a forum I frequent who is one of the aforementioned "big boomer" enthusiasts. It's all he can talk about. He can rattle off the names of the famous gunsmiths and cartridge developers in the large-bore revolver industry in his sleep. He can tell you just how much wet newsprint any load in any caliber will traverse like a teenage boy can tell you Peyton Manning's passing stats. And someone suggested that a .308 rifle round would penetrate steel better.

He was aghast! Heresy!

I agreed with the other poster; the high velocity rifle round with the smaller frontal area would be more likely to go through hard targets than big, heavy lead cylinders would.

He countered with "I'm sorry but if you're going to convince me, you'll have to show me studies..."

And that's when I realized: I'm not here to convince him. It's okay for someone to be wrong on the internet. There's no point in me trying to Google up a page full of links with which to beat him over the head.

I feel so cleansed. :D

Monday, December 22, 2008

Today In History: What not to do.

On this date in 1984, five four [d'oh! -ed.] youths attempted to intimidate the wrong nebbish on the Manhattan subway.

Although the media quickly dubbed him the "subway vigilante", all that did was prove that the media hadn't a clue what a "vigilante" was. Acting in self-defense does not a vigilante make. If Bernie had set out to seek revenge for past wrongs, then he would have been a "subway vigilante".

What Bernie Goetz actually was, however, was a textbook example of what not to do after a self-defense situation. Don't be a Bernie:

1) Resist the urge to make "Dirty Harry" quotes.

2) Do not flee the scene.

3) Do not ditch the weapon in question.

4) Keep your cakehole shut and call your lawyer.

More weather whining.

And now it's 2 degrees above zero out there. But not to be worrying, because it's supposed to be a sunny seventeen by noon! And the gentle zephyrs from the southwest mean the wind chill shouldn't be any worse than about fifteen below today. Sunbathing weather, I tell you!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Break out your Law & Order skillz...

...'cause Ted of The Line Is Here has a question.

Help him out.

From Wikipedia's front page today:

Did you know...

From Wikipedia's newest articles:

I'm pretty sure that's written in English.

I think that's how you score a chukker to win the first rubber of the Heisman Cup Series in NASCAR, right?


Help settle a Roseholme Cottage argument:

Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner" is the most insidious earworm ever, and can only be exorcised by singing the Oscar Meyer wiener commercial jingle three times. Yes or no?

WTF, over?

It was supposed to get up to 14 or 15 degrees today. Instead it's a sunny two in the afternoon and it's actually a degree colder than it was before sunrise.

Nine. Degrees. Out. There.



I guess that depends on which retailers you ask...

So, the talking heads on the TeeWee are almost decorating their cookies in glee at the Doom'n'Gloom economic news. "Retail sales down thirty percent over this time last year! Over to you, Mary."
"Thanks! Wow, with the worst retail season in thirty-five years facing them, stores are fighting to see who'll stay open through next year..."

They must have been at different stores than those at which I've been shopping this weekend, because the gun stores have been standing room only, baby. Parking at Bradis Guns was like the hard levels of Tetris, and when you went in, they were stacked three deep at the counters. By the time you got through the crush and signalled a counter jockey, you were psychologically prepped for the bad news:

"Got any lower receiver parts kits in?"


"Marlin Papoose mags?"


"CZ-75 mags? GSG-5 mags?"

"Nope. Nope."

They had six or seven people behind the counter, two of them manning the registers, and it just never even slowed down the whole time I was in there. God help me, I do miss that so.

I also stopped by Beech Grove Firearms and picked up a K-31 transfer, part of a trade deal I'd done. Did you know I've never owned a K-31? It'll look cool next to my Gew. 96/11.

Incidentally, you have to wonder about the retail news... Does that include mail order and online sales? I mean, every single bit of Christmas shopping I did this year was at a store whose address ended in ".com" and not "Blvd."

Overheard at the shooting range...

Random Customer: "What kind of gun is that you were shooting out there?"

Shooting Buddy: "A Les Baer TRS."

Random Customer: "I was just asking, 'cause it seemed to be jamming a lot."

Shooting Buddy: "I was doing malfunction drills."

Random Customer: *blank stare*

Shooting Buddy: "I was setting those up. Drills, right?"

Random Customer: *blank stare*

I guess when you carry a gun that never malfunctions, you don't have to practice those. I need to find me one of those guns.

EDIT: Bonus! Magic swords!


It is ten frickin' degrees Fahrenheit out there right now, with a wind chill of... well, I don't even want to think about it. Today's high is supposed to be a balmy 14F. I want to speak to Al Gore right this instant; my global warmening is defective. I was promised Palm Beach-like weather (with the special bonus of the drowning of New York and Boston!) and it's not happening fast enough to suit me.

Now, I know my readers in Frozen Moose Sac, Alaska and Tlkkjjjmkkjjko, Finland are getting a kick out of my whining because what I call "soul-destroying, mind-numbing, bone-cracking cold", you call "November", but at least I won't have to hear any more "You can't be cold; it's not even winter yet!" 'cause you know what? It's officially winter as of today.

And it feels like it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Today In History: Operation Just Because.

On this day in 1989, the F-117 Nighthawk made its combat debut and the 82nd Airborne division made its first combat jump since WWII.

CNN got to make its first war theme music, too.

I wonder how often Pugsley watches that video clip?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Reason #437 I'm Glad I'm Not A Dirty Hippie.

Because if I was, then the Christmas gift of a box of buffalo steaks that turned up on my front doorstep would have made me cry.

Instead it just made me hungry.

Meat: It's what's for dinner. (And breakfast and lunch, too.)

Hear me loud and clear, Greg Ballard.

You belay this gun control nonsense right now, or I will campaign day and night to ensure that you are a one-term mayor. I will make your defeat in the next election my mission in life, if I have to knock on every door in Indy myself and talk about nothing else on this blog.

(H/T to NRAhab.)

Real men of genius!

Yes, Mr. laptop-thievin', shampoo-confiscatin', boobie-gropin', Airport Security Man, ABC salutes you!

Be happy in your work.

MattG has a neat post about someone taking joy in a job well done.

Having been fortunate enough to work at a job I truly loved, I can relate. The paycheck was just the icing on the cake.

Gaia weeps.

The Tasmanian Devil is going extinct because that's what species do sometimes white male capitalists have been driving around in SUVs, injecting them with face tumor viruses.

Gun myths...

Things that grind me to a halt:

1) "I want one o' them Class 3 guns!"

There is no such thing as a "Class 3" gun. If you want a machine gun, then what you want is a "Title 2" or "NFA" firearm. You would purchase it from a "Class 3 Special Occupational Taxpayer", which is a dealer in NFA weapons, as opposed to a "Class 2 SOT", which is a manufacturer, or a "Class 1 SOT", which is an importer. Saying "Class 3 gun" makes you sound goofy.

2) "If you own a machine gun/have a C&R FFL, the ATF can come in your house whenever they want!"

Wrong. Not without a warrant they can't. And with a warrant, they can come in your house whether you have a buzzgun/03 FFL or not, nicht wahr? If you have a commercial FFL (anything except a Type 03 Curio & Relic collector's license) they can inspect your premises any time during business hours, much like the FDA could inspect you if you were running a meat packing plant or the FCC could inspect your radio station.

If you have a collector's license, on the other hand, they can only request to inspect your books and the guns that are on them, by appointment, and you can do it at your house or go to their office. And I don't know a single cruffler who's ever been audited.

If all you've done is pay the transfer tax on an NFA weapon, the BATFEIEIO can (theoretically) ask you to produce the registration documents (your Form 4 or Form 1 or whatever has the tax stamp on it). They can't come in your house. They can't demand to see the weapon. At least not without a warrant. And if they're going to get a warrant for you, do you think they give two farts in a windstorm whether you have a Form 4?

I was talking to Oleg years back and he was pondering getting his first suppressor at the time, but said he didn't want to be on The List. "Oleg," I said, "if the ATF has a list, you're already number one with a bullet, so go ahead and fill out the Form 4. Buy a can. Live a little."

Today In History: Tom Paine.

On this date in 1776, the first volume of Thomas Paine's The American Crisis was published. Kids used to have to memorize chunks of it in school, you know...
These are the times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

Okay, thay's just wrong.

It's raining slush. Not nice, honest frozen pellets of sleet; slush.

It's as though some Olympian sky dude had a leak in the bottom of his Slurpee cup.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


With a stop sign at either end of my short block and the road ready to host a Stanley Cup game, the front porch of Roseholme Cottage is a primo viewing spot for some wintertime entertainment. I've come to the conclusion that the main difference between Yankee drivers and Southerners when there's a half inch of glaze ice on the pavement is that the former says "you guys" instead of "y'all" as they ground loop their car at an intersection.

It's only a couple blocks to the grocery store, so I decided to walk it instead of driving, figuring that a sprained ankle will heal itself but a pranged fender costs money to repair...

Pride of lions, pack of wolves, flock of seagulls...

...crew of pirates, clan of ninjas, but what do you call a whole lot of zombies?


Save the Rifles!

I have in my collection an M1873 "trapdoor" Springfield, an M1896 Krag rifle, an M1903 Mark I, and a 1943-vintage M1 "Garand". That makes for an example of each main standard-issue metallic cartridge firearm used by the U.S. military from the first one in the 1870s all the way through the end of the 1950s.

However, thanks to the National Firearms Act of 1934, I am not allowed to own an example of the rifle formally adopted in 1957, at least not without being fingerprinted and paying a $200 transfer tax, because it is capable of firing more than one round with a single pull of the trigger, which makes it a "machine gun" in the eyes of the law.

Well, no problem, right? Just have the military alter the ones it decommissions so that they are no longer capable of firing in a fully-automatic mode, and then shooters will be able to add these historic Cold War longarms to their collections. Except that the BATFE's current interpretation of the law is "once a machine gun, always a machine gun"; they will not let one of these "machine guns" fall into civilian hands unless its receiver had been destroyed in a very specific manner with an oxy-acetylene cutting torch.

Not everyone is happy about the current state of affairs, of course, and although it's probably so much spitting in the wind, there's a petition.

I think I'll stay home.

Have you ever seen those awful coffee tables that you'll sometimes find in motels or restaurants down on the Redneck Riviera, the ones with the sand dollars and scallop shells lying entombed under an inch of lucite?

Yeah, well, that's what the alley and street look like around Roseholme Cottage, except with asphalt where the sand dollars should be and ice instead of lucite. The alley's even cooler looking, because although it's gravel under the ice, it looks paved right now thanks to its smooth coating of greased glass.

Of course the main thoroughfares are all salted and melted but the little side streets in Broad Ripple are big ol' skating rinks right now. One of the neighbor kids was walking his dog down the middle of the street, except he wasn't walking, he was... dog-skiing? He looked like a cross between a water skier and a one-man extremely minimalist Iditarod.

Anyhow, I think I'll be thankful there's all my shopping needs within an easy couple blocks walking distance and leave the rear-wheel-drive roadster with its summer tires in the garage.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Desktop detritus...

Among the crap on the desk at VFTP Command Central:

1) A loaded S&W 296Ti.
2) An AR-15 bolt.
3) An AR-15 gas block/gas tube assembly.
4) A stack of "Unorganized Militia Propaganda Corps" patches.
5) A Yankee Hill Machine catalog.
6) A receipt for a box of 9mm from Beech Grove Firearms.
7) A S&W factory screwdriver.
8) Business cards from Indianapolis Ordnance, Classic Arms And Archery, Crimson Trace, Frank W. James, Michael Z. Williamson, ParaUSA, International Cartridge Corporation, and Ohio Ordnance Works.

You wouldn't need to be CSI: Miami to figure out what I do with my free time...

I should straighten up my damn workspace.

Today In History: Free Flight.

105 years ago today, the first Wright Flyer lumbered into the air over the dunes at Kitty Hawk. It flew 120 feet.

Just thirty-two years later to the day, the prototype DC-3 commercial airliner took its maiden flight. Wingspan? 95 feet.

On the fifty-fourth anniversary of Kitty Hawk, the United States Air Force test-launched its first SM-65 Atlas ICBM from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Atlas went on to become the launch vehicle for the fledgling U.S. space program, being used for everything from the first the first orbital [thanks for the catch, DJ! -ed.] Mercury missions to (in highly modified form) satellite launches in the new century.

I must be getting old.

I was looking at my pre-war 5" .38 M&P, a revolver that was a decade and a half old when my parents were born, and thinking "Y'know, with this and a Krag carbine, I could comfortably walk the earf."

I mean, sure, I loves me some 1911s and AR-15s, but a fixed-sight K-frame .38 and a fast-handling bolt action carbine will do just about anything I could see doing with a gun.

I gotta get my press set up and start pulling the lever on some .38 Special loads. And I need more .30-40 Krag brass...

Perfection of form united with function...

The perfect purse to take to gun shows!

I wonder if it comes in Blazin' Cajun?

Today In History: Bad Mojo.

December 17th is just a great day for unpleasantness in history. On this date in:

...1531, Pope Clement VII gave the Portuguese their very own inquisition, so they could keep up with the Spanish Joneses next door.

...1862, General U.S. Grant decided to stop black marketeering in the areas under his command by issuing General Order No. 11, banishing Teh Jooos from Kentucky and the parts of Tennessee and Mississippi that were currently being shot up by bluecoats.

...1944, the Nazi bastards "brave German soldiers" of Kampfgruppe Peiper machinegun some ninety U.S. POWs in a snowy field outside Malmedy, Belgium, killing 76.

...1970, government troops opened fire into a crowd of workers in Gdynia, Poland, triggering rioting across the country.

...1973 cowardly Palestinian terrorists shot up Leonardo da Vinci airport in Rome.

...1983 cowardly Irish terrorists bomb Harrod's department store in London.

Not everybody wants to move to Iowa.

An absolutely fantastic, very insightful post from everybody's favorite Civil Affairs troopie, Abby:
Sometimes, the writing on the wall isn’t as nice as we’d like it to be. We’re surrounded by barely-above-subsistence-level farmers in the desert. There are lots of nice theories and bits of technology out there that would enable them to produce more, but it doesn’t seem to be a high priority for their higher levels of government, and not a lot of the farmers themselves are particularly interested either. So we have to let our American fixation with progress go by the wayside. The people don’t want to change everything about their lives and their world to become Iowa. They would like for the US government (or any government) to come by and hand them large stacks of cash. Absent that, they’d really rather just sit around and be barely-above-subsistence-level farmers in a country with a sufficient social safety net that they won’t starve in bad years.

And, at the end of the day, that’s probably about all they’re going to get. Not everybody gets to live in Iowa. Not everybody wants to. And even if you’d like to live in Iowa, you won’t get to if you don’t pack up and move your ass to Iowa. Metaphorically, of course.
Read the whole thing. You won't be sorry.


Huh. According to the software, that was my 4,000th post. I sure do talk a lot.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Be there or be square.

Fifteen minutes to showtime.

You want to know how cold it is?

It's so cold that Slinky, the little faerie-looking geriatricat, is hopping off her desktop resting place every time the furnace kicks on to go play bag lady atop a floor vent grate.

Then, when the furnace cuts off, she comes over and mews to be lifted back up onto the desk.

And when the furnace switches back on...




I don't get it.

How come if I sit on the porch and it's 25 degrees out, I freeze my butt off, but if I sit on the porch and it's 25 degrees and snowing, it feels fine?


L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace!

Okay, suppose you've violated your probation by doing a whole mess of dope, and your probation officer calls you in for a whiz quiz. You just know for a fact that you burned a hole in the bottom of the cup, but the sample is safe in the P.O.'s locked chain-of-custody fridge, for which you do not have a key.

What would you do? I mean, if you were in that situation, and also a complete moron?

Why, you'd break in and steal the whole locked fridge, of course!

I mean, it's not like that would provide them with a nice, short suspect list or anything; no need to call out CSI: Alachua County for this particular case of appliance theft.

Ten out of ten for boldness and daring, but minus several thousand for proper flowcharting.

If you look like food, you will be eaten.

Women often can't tell the difference between being polite and being submissive. We believe we have to be accommodating to perfect strangers. We fear being thought of as anything other than "nice." We apologize too much and for no good reason. We are the first to offer up that fake smile, the one that says, "Please don't hurt me. See? I'm harmless."

Act like prey and that is exactly what you will become.

And more from LabRat:
[I]f you’re allowing yourself to be pushed without a word or look, you’re also confirming to the pusher that you either aren’t aware of them or that you’re reluctant to stop them when they act in this fashion. That’s a go-light to anybody who might have predatory intentions rather than merely pushy ones- and if they’re standing in your space anyway, there’s no room or time left to take action to stop them if they act on it.
So many unconscious behaviors, from the head-down scurry across the grocery store parking lot to the apologetic grimace and half-wave to the person you fear you've offended in the crowd, are not just submissive or conciliatory, but are actually prey signals. Owning the ground on which you stand can be a hard concept for us to internalize...

This is becoming a pattern...

Once again I am helping someone sell a rifle for which I would cheerfully commit any three of the seven deadly sins:
Custom Wild West Guns Marlin 1895 in 45-70.
It's their Co-pilot model just NOT a take-down. About 150-200
rounds through it and it shoots VERY well. It is used but in EXCELLENT
condition. Bought new in 1998. Specs are:

Barrel shortened to 16" and Ported
Action and trigger tuned up
"Bear-proof" extractor
Trijicon Front bead, Ghost ring rear sight
Kevlar synthetic stocks w/ Decelorator pad
Satin Hard Chrome finish
Picatinny mount on magazine tube for light or laser

Accessories include:

Ashley Scout Scope mount (not mounted)
Load data
RCBS Die set
332 pieces new Starline brass
140 pieces once fired brass
202 300 gr Remington HP bullets
113 405 gr Soft point bullets
150 Kodiak 405 grain FMJ flat-nose solid Bonded Core bullets
1 box 300 grain Nosler Partition bullets
about 40 rounds of HOT handloads with the 405 grain Kodiak bullets
hard gun case
Do want! But can't afford. Maybe it's up the alley of one of y'all, though. Email me if this is your kind of thing...

Monday, December 15, 2008


eBay: It's the world's garage sale.

EDIT: Figured it would get pulled...

Click on the piccie below to embiggen:

Overheard in the Living Room:

TV Commercial Announcer: "Ever wish you had sonic hearing?"


Oh, jeez, my eyes are still watering and my tummy hurts.

I should call the toll-free number. I'm sick of hearing in the ultraviolet portion of the spectrum...

Kills on one end, maims on the other.

Ouch. (And I mean that in a good way.)


Put not your faith in magic swords.

The most important word in "gunfight" is not "gun", it's "fight".

News Flash:

CNN still scared sh!tless of Sarah.

Happy Bill of Rights Day! (Revised and Annotated.)

An update suggested by various truth in advertising laws:

You have the right to freedom of certain approved speech, at certain times that aren't too near elections. There is freedom of the press, as long as certain things aren't printed, and the internet is understood to not be "the press." And please understand that you are being monitored so that certain things you say or print may be gathered as evidence just in case you are ever charged with anything down the road.

You have the right to keep some arms, as long as they are a flavor the government approves of, and in some places you may not keep arms of any kind. You may bear these arms in the field and forest if you have paid money to the government. You may bear them on a licensed shooting range. You may bear them in public in some locales only if you have been photographed, fingerprinted, investigated and taxed. In many locales you may not bear arms even then.

You have the right to be secure in your person, house, papers, and effects unless a paid informant has suggested that you may have something the government doesn't want you to have, or Fluffy the Uberhund alerts on your luggage, or you fit a certain profile, or a policeman asks you.

You cannot be forced to be a witness against yourself, except with recordings of your voice, and various samples of your breath, bodily fluids, and small bits of flesh.

Your property cannot be taken for public use without just compensation, unless it'd be a swell place for a strip mall, or the cops need a new armoured car.

Cruel and unusual punishments shall not be inflicted, unless one considers being GPS/radio-tagged like a migrating seal to be cruel and unusual.

Suggestions are being actively solicited for other amendments.

Don't wait for the movie.

Buy the book.

Happy Bill of Rights Day!

Try and exercise some of your rights today to keep them from getting flabby and losing tone during the slack winter months.

Recent Range Notes, Vol. III

Eagle Creek wound up being closed on Saturday, so the Weekend Shootiness was relocated to the indoor range at Popguns.

I ran a couple cylinders each through my Model 34 and a borrowed Model 18 to keep current on live-fire double action revolver shooting, and popped a few mags through a suppressed Mark II 22/45 and a regular Mark II with a Pac-Lite upper.

Most of the time was spent with the Para LTC 9, however. I did a lot of regular shooting and a bit of strong hand and weak hand work. In the course of over a hundred rounds of mixed FMJ and JHP there was only one malf to report; a failure to feed. The hardest habit I'm having to break from the years of working at an indoor range is standing there like a duck in thunder, staring at the malf. It's not a customer's gun, don't stand there diagnosing it; reduce the malfunction and drive on.

In this case, I was able to pick the culprit up off the lane tray after the string of fire. It was a round of JHP with a Sierra bullet that looked as though it had suffered severe setback; OAL was visibly short without even needing a comparator cartridge to measure against. Obviously I did not try to run it through the gun, but then I tend to not run cartridges that have hit the deck through my weapons. I do this because I like my weapons, my fingers, and my eyes, and ammunition is cheaper than gun parts and emergency surgery.

Anyhow, a good time was had by all. We'd have kept shooting longer, but a line was forming and Popguns only has six lanes, so we started feeling bad after we'd tied up two of them for an hour and a half.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Slow Death of Incrementalism and the Shift of Normalcy.

I purchased my first firearm, a Ruger 10/22, back in 1986 from a sporting goods store in a mall. I handed over my money, filled out a yellow form (back then, everything fit on the front), showed them my driver's license, and walked out with my purchase. There was no background check. The manager did not carry my rifle and ammunition to the exit; to the contrary, I ate lunch in the food court with a big white box that said "RUGER" in my lap and the bag containing my Ram-Line folding stock and 25-rd magazines next to my chair.

Shooters who didn't get into the whole "gun thing" before the early '90s will find this a bit shocking. No background check? Carrying a "pre-ban" weapon and magazines through a mall? Hey, the past is another country; they did things differently there. I mean, the mall in question had ashtrays.

By the same token, shooters of the generation before me will have wistful observations of their own. After all, they probably didn't have to fill out any forms when they bought their first gun. They may have even ordered it through the mail. From Sears.

People tend to accept as status quo whatever they're used to. A generation of American kids has grown up walking through metal detectors at school, their clear or mesh backpacks scrutinized for butter knives or aspirin bottles, whereas I remember the occasional deer rifle in the back window of a pickup truck in the senior lot. (There's another vanished icon in much of America; an unsecured rifle in an unlocked truck...)

What are gun owners now coming of age in California or Massachusetts going to consider "normal" and "reasonable" restrictions?

The lofty goals of Senate Candidate 5.

In an interview with CNN, Jesse Jackson Jr. stated
"While I would be honored to serve the people of this state, it is clear to me that I am no capacity [sic] to serve them if there is a cloud over my head that seems to suggest that I am involved in some unscrupulous scheme to be a United States senator or anything else,"
So, in other words, he feels he can't be a politician from Illinois if there is a whiff of scandal attached to the position. Which leads me to wonder if there is a politician in Illinois without a whiff of scandal trailing them like the scent of a manure pit on a July day.

It appears that in the Land of Lincoln it is common for elected officials to confuse "serve the people" and "service the people".

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Seen in email:

“Illinois - where our Governors make our license plates”

Codrea has a question for you:

And here's where I assume the role of nag. I have a challenge for those of you who come here every day.

What are you going to do with these opportunities?

And please, if you take his suggestions, be on your best behavior. Wear your good shoes and don't spit on the floor.

Purina Snake Chow, quality guaranteed by contract.

So, once upon a time I needed to get some food for Kaa, a pet ball python I owned back then. I stopped by the pet store at the mall, but they were out of rodents. I knew that the pet shop in the strip center was closed, and that left only one fallback plan on that day at that hour: Super Pet Big Box Mart.

I strolled in and wandered over to the section where they keep small critters, looking for a tank of feeder mice or a smallish rat. An employee with hair of a color not found in nature came over to see if I needed help. "Yes, do you have any, y'know, just plain white mice? Or small rats? Like for about a two-foot snake?"

She drew herself up to her full, indignant 5'2" and huffed "Super Pet Big Box Mart does not sell food animals!"

*blink*, *blink* But... but... they're all food animals for something.

Shifting gears quickly, I pointed at a tank of fancy pet rats and squeed "Ooooh! He's adorable! I want him!" and it worked! She then tried to upsell me on some accessories. "No, that's okay. I already have a tank I can keep him in. Briefly."

Apparently these days I would have had to sign a contract, were this transaction to occur in the great state of Florida.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Interesting side benefit of the intertubes era:

Ultra-low-bujit fanboy film making.

Behold, Punisher vs. Wolverine. Pretty neat, actually...

Another cold one.

Looks like it'll be a balmy 22 degrees at Eagle Creek tomorrow morning. More good training weather!

Note To Self: Put Ciener kit on Colt before beddy-bye.

I can't think of a much dumber law...

So, look, if by some miracle the forces of darkness idiocy manage to pass some corny ammo serialization law here in a state where you can get a slip that lets you carry a gun in bars for the rest of your life for about $100, I'm not going to destroy my old ammo, okay?

Not by 2011; not ever. Not gonna happen, at least until I've shot it all up at my own pace. It's mine, I paid for it, and you can't have it.

If your goofy legislation passes you can just pencil my name in on the arrest warrant now, sport.

Best. Blogger. Handle. EVAR.

Anybody who uses the nom de blog "I drive my tractor in pearls..." has got to be worth a read.

Gotta go brush the snow off the gators...

How do you say "snow" in Cajunspeak?

AD's little girl looks happy. The dog looks a little confused. And Spanish Moss looks weird with a light dusting of global warming...

From an anonymous (and very witty) source...

A new Homeland Security motivation poster:

We fear change.

I have stuck with this same stock blogger template for over three years now.

Is it stale? Or comfortable?

I am greatly resistant to change for change's sake, as anyone who has tried to get me to try the latest wondermags in my 1911 knows ("But it doesn't malf with Wilson 47D's. Why should I change?" "These new ones are better." "Better how?") but should I freshen things up? And why am I asking a bunch of complete strangers questions like this at 0330 in the morning when I'm not even in a bar?

I mean, if we were all in a bar together, you know, maybe shooting a little pool, and it was three thirty in the morning and they'd turned the lights on and were putting the stools up on the tables, trying to give us little hints, these would be the kind of questions I'd be asking y'all. Does this blog make me look fat? And isn't there supposed to be some joint out by the county line that's open all night? Let's go shoot some stick there.

What am I doing awake?

Those starship drive techs keep strange hours in the Jefferies Tube, that's all I have to say, and they wake up everyone else in the crew quarters when they're putting on their vacc suits.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Yay for YouTube!

Bonus '90s fashion points if you squee out the names of the people in the video as they appear.

Stopped cold in Seattle.

Our ever-vigilant guardians have prevented us from being invaded by a sedated rhesus monkey.

She should have just waded across the Rio Grande with it.

EDIT: Jeez, I just can't let this one go...

New DHS recruiting slogan: "Are you able to outwit a sedated rhesus monkey? Have we got an exciting career field for you!"

If someone could translate "Smarter Than A Sedated Rhesus Monkey" into Latin, we'd have a new motto for the CBP's shoulder patch. (Photoshop project for those with a double set of 1337 skillz.)

Future Janet Napolitano soundbite after a terrorist attack: "How were we supposed to intercept them? It's not like they were sedated rhesus monkeys or something!"


But I do have some news for the people that take issue with me. I’m not just selling guns to racist stormtrooper hillbillies. I’m selling guns to everybody. My customer base looks more like America than Barack Obama’s cabinet. I’ve sold guns to people who don’t speak English. I’ve sold guns to Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Arabs, Mormons, Catholics, Muslims, Buddists, Wiccans, Lesbians, a Democrat state legislator, the head of a union that supported Obama, and your momma.

Self defense is a Human Right.

Why Pedro can't spell...


How did I miss that?

Mad Dog has retired.

And unlike certain other pitchers that are also lead-pipe cinches for Cooperstown, he did it after a scandal-free career and never broke into a 'roid rage at a press conference.

Today In History: 19th State.

Happy Statehood Day to my adopted home state!

On this date in 1816, Indiana checked into the Hotel California that is U.S. statehood. The Union is kinda like the Mafia, in that you join voluntarily but you're only leaving feet-first.



Anything big blow up between 0600 and 0800 this morning? 'Cause if so, I missed it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

While we're talking about bailouts...

...dig the shenanigans from Bank of America's newest investor, the United States of Guido the Loanshark.

At least a protection racket doesn't claim to be upholding the Rule of Law.

Call me crazy...

...but maybe the money spent on Mr. Stephens' Engine Shop could have been spent more wisely, like on making their cars less craptastic.

(I got all the parts right, BTW, 'cause I'm cool like 'dat.)

Not just dumb; government dumb.

So the headline on the local cat box liner yesterday read:
Congress' $15B auto bailout plan includes 'car czar'
Brilliant. Simply brilliant.

Because, y'know, if your business is hemorrhaging red ink, completely disconnected from market realities, employs overpaid and un-fireable people with a bloated sense of entitlement, and demands loyalty simply based on patriotism and past glories... well... then you obviously need someone from the government to oversee it, since they can do all that stuff much better than you can.

"Car czar"? Srsly? Congress is going to appoint someone to balance a checkbook? Isn't that like asking Amy Winehouse for tips on beating a drug habit?

Thank Ares for stuff like this...

If you just absolutely gotta steal money from me make me pay taxes, at least spend it on really cool stuff like giant moon rockets and hovering attack droids and not on stupid crap like basket weaving classes for crackheads.

Reasonable Gun Laws, California Edition.

Wherein it's easier to get weapons-grade plutonium shipped to you as a Third World dictator than it is to get an antique World War II rifle shipped from out of state as a California inmate resident...

(H/T to Robb.)

Overheard in the Kitchen...

Me: "I'm hungry..."

RX: "So eat something."

Me: "I don't know what I'm hungry for. But oh, am I hungry. Oh, me so hungry. Ooh! Soup! Miso hungry!"

RX: "That'd be a great name for a soybean paste soup."

Me: "Yeah, but Miso Horny would sell better."

Instant spasms of laughter.

Guess you hadta be there.

I don't care who you are...

...that's cute, right there.

Today In History: Imperial America.

On this date in 1898, the Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the Spanish-American War. The rookie upstarts, in their very first away game, trounced the former champions and advanced their record to 3-0, clinching the Western Hemisphere Division title.

Anti-imperialists back home were disappointed with the lack of a firm timetable for pulling out of the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

This just creeps me out.

*Sniff* *Sniff*

Does that smell like Stockholm Syndrome to you, too?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

His usefulness is at an end...

Now that he has his very own pet President, Dick Daley apparently doesn't need a piss-ant little governor anymore.

EDIT: What do you mean he doesn't have a pet President? I guarantee you that Daley has FLIR pictures of every time Barry sneaked out on the porch to smoke behind Michelle's back. He probably has more copies of Barry's birth certificate(s?) than Obama does himself, too.


Wherein Caleb talks on his blog about what he's going to talk about tonight on the Gun Nuts BlogTalk intarw3bz talk radio program.

Got all that?

Recent Range Notes, Vol. II

Do you live someplace cold? Do you wear gloves in the winter? Have you shot your CCW pistol while wearing those gloves?

At the arctic outdoor range sessions of the last couple weekends, a variety of glove-related maladies were encountered. For instance, it only takes a bit of glove material between the floorplate of a Ruger 22/45 magazine and the butt of the gun to keep the mag from seating fully, resulting in failures to feed. While this isn't such a big deal on a target pistol, it could be unpleasant on a "for real" gun.

Is your gun double-action? If so, how far forward does the trigger have to go to fully reset? Are your gloves thin enough to allow that to happen reliably?

I was shooting my S&W 432PD the weekend before last, and even wearing my thin and ninja-esque supertactical ¡Blackhawk! elite anti-terrorist gloves, things were crowded enough in that J-frame's trigger guard to cause a small amount of glove fabric to bunch atop the trigger during fast double action work, preventing it from resetting. If you've never had this happen before, you'll wonder what's happening as the cylinder continues to rotate normally, only with depressing little *clicks* instead of *bangs*. Yes, Virginia, revolvers malfunction, too.

Gloves didn't make manipulating the dinky HKS J-frame speedloaders any easier, either, but I was a lot better after fifteen or twenty reps than I was at the start of the session, that's for sure.

Do you have CTC Lasergrips on your gun? Awesome, aren't they? Don't work too well with gloves all bunched up in front of the lens, though. Good thing you devote most of your practice to iron sight work!

Got gloves? Wear 'em to the range, even if it's an indoor range. You might learn a thing or two.

"And feed them on your dreams...

...The one they picked, the one you'll know by."

If little Billy wants one of these for Christmas, you can be excited! He obviously dreams of growing up to work in one of the fastest growing career fields in the U.S.; one with good government bennies, some "only ones" privileges, and a bit of petty larceny on the side.

And when the playing possibilities of the TSA checkpoint are exhausted, it's time to move up to the "Fourth-Amendment-Violating Roadblock" playset! Hours of fun!

(...and while the airport checkpoint is obviously parody, what does it say about things that the highway checkpoint is a real toy? And why doesn't it come with Rolfie the überhund, sniffer of crotches and four-legged Constitutional Law expert?)

Monday, December 08, 2008

More random tunes:

Wow, everything is on the intarw3bz!

Behold! One of the awesomest, cheesiest videos evar: "Rob the Cradle of Love".

Recent Range Notes, Vol. I

Back in the early '90s, Georgia changed their hunting regulations for handguns. Previously, they had run with "any centerfire, .25 or larger, with a barrel longer than 4 inches" (or something along those lines; it's been nearly fifteen years, so cut me some slack.)

Some bright spark realized that this would allow you to use, say, a target version of a Beretta Jetfire to shoot at Bambi, and so the regulations were revised to eliminate references to caliber and barrel length and instead set a power threshold: To hunt deer, a handgun needed to generate 500 ft/lbs of energy at 100 yards. All of a sudden, people who had been harvesting deer with scoped 8 3/8" Model 686 Smiths were out in the cold, as no factory .357 Magnum ammo loaded back then put up those kind of numbers.

In answer, Georgia Arms started loading their "Deerstopper", a 158gr Speer Gold Dot bullet propelled to a downright zippy 1400+ fps out of a 6" revolver barrel. They printed the ballistics right on the bag so that you could show them to any inquisitive game wardens, too.

In the intervening years, Georgia revised their handgun hunting regs yet again, and Georgia Arms has kept the "Deerstopper" name while throttling back the velocity.

I found some of the original ones in a box of miscellaneous .357 Magnum ammo that I took to the range on Sunday...

Let me tell you, when you cap off a cylinder full of those things out of a Performance Center 627 V-Comp with a 3" barrel, you don't stand around wondering if the gun went off or not. Neither does anybody else on the range.

What a clever idea!

It's a survival tool! It's a bracelet! It's a dessert topping!

I like the one in black with the stainless shackle. That's just awesome looking.

(H/T to Walls Of The City.)

WTF, over?

"Frosted Flakes Gold: Now with long-lasting energy!"

Y'know, just in case regular Frosted Flakes didn't have the tykes running enough laps on the ceiling...

The chair is against the wall, John has a large mustache...

Attention: "Molon Labe" is so 2001. Real patriots use "III" now. That is all.

Gun Bleg...

Anybody have a Mark II frame that they're not using at the moment? (Or know of a good source for them?)

Today In History: Rules the waves.

On this day in 1914, Admiral von Spee's squadron of the Kaiserliche Marine, feeling frisky after a spot of commerce raiding and a successful shootout with the Royal Navy off the coast of Chile, decided to raid British bases in the Falklands on its way home to the North Atlantic.

Unfortunately for the Boche, the British presence there had been bolstered by a brace of battlecruisers that not only outgunned von Spee's armored cruisers, but could easily outrun them, too.

The Royal Navy spent about five hours shooting the German East Asia Squadron into colanders. Graf von Spee and both his sons were killed in the action along with almost 1,900 other German sailors. The British suffered ten KIA.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Guns in parks poll at Yahoo.

Rock the Vote.

Al Gore, you can rest now.

The average high temperature on this date here in the Circle City is 42 degrees. Today's high is going to fall short of that mark by, oh, twenty degrees or so. Meanwhile, this early in the AM, the wind shrieking across the tundra out of Mordor to the northwest is giving a balmy pre-dawn wind chill of something like 5 below 0mygodit'scold.

There's already an accumulation of global warming on the ground, with more scheduled for tomorrow. And Tuesday. And Thursday.

Al Gore, it is obvious that the chOsen One has done the trick. I guess you can fly off up north and give CPR to polar bears now.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Why not just collectivize the farms?

It would make as much sense as some of the asinine farm policies being excreted from various .gov bureaucracies today, and couldn't hurt productivity any worse.

One year.

It was last December 6th that I first drove into Indy. It was snowing then, too. I'm beginning to sense a pattern here.

When knives are outlawed... seems that everybody and his brother still carries knives. Imagine.

As anyone who's watched the opening sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey knows, it's tools that separate us from the lower animals, or as we call them, "food". The more advanced tools of self defense can put a none-too-athletic accountant on par with a charging lion, or make a slip of a girl level with a linebacker. Take away the advanced tools, and we're back to the waterhole in the Kubrick flick, where the biggest, strongest, or most numerous monkeys ruled.

That's what disarmers want to do to you; put you at the mercy of the bigger monkeys.

Friday, December 05, 2008

The goatrope continues...

...with a non-apology from H-S Precision.

McMillan makes nice stocks.

As it stands? To use an appropriate aphorism from out here in Bitter & Clingy America, I wouldn't pee in H-S Precision's mouth if their teeth were on fire...

Yay for the HVAC guy!

The temp in the dining room has soared from 55F to 65F!

Photographic "solid proof":

For those that were unaware of the fact, what we call "ordnance steel" is a carefully calculated alloy of awesomesauce and sparks.

Cultivating weakness.

Are rampant allergies and runny noses the inevitable fate of the Bubble-Wrap Generation? Maybe so.
...[S]end your kids to school with PBJs, and let them play in the dirt more often. They will eventually thank you for it.
I know that when I was little, the occasional Frail Child was a one-per-class phenomenon, and something to be pitied between mockings; now it appears that one in four children will keel over dead if they get a whiff of the wrong substance. I wonder what the relative "peanut allergy" rates are between St. Anthony's Preparatory Academy and St. Attila's Reform School? Are Morlocks as susceptible to the malady as Eloi?

Holiday cheer.

Uncle Fred straps on his boots of snark and delivers a roundhouse kick in the head to bailouts.

(H/T to The Freeholder.)

What am I doing up so early?

Half the world is no doubt huddled around their computers wondering what I was doing up and typing before 0500...

Well, maybe not half the world, but at least ten or fifteen percent of the world's population.

Okay, maybe nobody actually noticed at all.

Since I've brought it up, though, I should point out that the smell of hot metal and electrons going places they're not supposed to wafting from the heating registers in the house will snap one alert in the morning better than anything short of a cattle prod. And it seems that when the fan motor in the furnace seizes up, it makes that smell. And when it seizes up, it doesn't do much in the way of moving warm air into the house.

Y'know, they were kind of fuzzy on the whole concept of "insulation" back when they built this house back in the '20s, and brother it is cold outside.

Please hurry, Mr. Heating and A/C dude.

Monitor problem solved!

Thanks to Less, I can once again see what I am typing without it going to snow or suddenly getting washes of static that make it look like someone's about to come on the screen and say "The aliens are overrunning our positions! Send help!"

(Also, longtime followers of this blog who have near eidetic memory will recall that my 19" ViewSonic tube crapped out early in '06, forcing me to cannibalize the 17" Mitsu CRT from my guest machine at my old crib. Then the 17" Mitsu started to give the occasional flicker earlier this year and so I downchecked it and started using a hand-me-down generic 15" LCD from my roomie. The 15" LCD started going wonky, and Less kindly volunteered a 17"... And now I'm back to the same screen real-estate and resolution I had to start with.)

Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

Jon discusses his plans for the zombocalypse in scenic Fargo.

Remember: If you know what your plans are when the dead walk the earth in search of human brains, then a hurricane, blizzard, earthquake, or riot is no big deal.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Breaking News:

Remington apparently doing right thing in H-S Precision goatrope.

I am really liking this Tommy Milner guy.


I am the current number one Google search result for "love rhino lyrics bloom county".

I can cross that off my bucket list now.

Ooh! Ooh! I know! Pick me!

Chas asks "Who gets to import bottled water so we can get oil out of shale?"

Cast your vote...

Arms proliferation.

Denise at The Ten Ring has herself a stylin' new Russkie SKS.

For those more used to Chinese examples, with their stocks made from recycled orange crates, or the somewhat rough-hewn Yugoslavian models, the fit and finish on an early postwar Russian SKS can come as a bit of a surprise. Heck, it can come as a bit of a surprise to those who associate "Russian rifle" and "1943 Mosin Nagant". As it turns out, the Soviets were able to actually turn out a decently-finished rifle when they weren't distracted by Jerry tanks crashing through the factory walls. I guess that could kind of put a damper on the ol' Q.C. effort...

Today In History: Carolingian days...

On this date in 771AD, Carloman I choked on his last cookie, leaving his older brother Carolus to go on and rule the entire Frankish kingdom. The Frankish kingdom went on to become the Frankish empire, and the older brother went on to be remembered as the first Holy Roman Emperor, Charlemagne, which is Frogspeak for "Chuck the Main".

Lessons learned last week:


If you live in a place that allows you to legally carry a concealed weapon, do so. If you have a CCW permit, use it. Don't say things like "Oh, I'm not going anyplace dangerous..." Places aren't dangerous, people are; there's no magic fence around anyplace you're going that will keep the dangerous people out. Get in the habit of carrying your gun so that it will be there when you need it.

Carry a reload. No matter how many or how few rounds your pistol holds, a spare magazine or speedloader is cheap insurance. Consider, if circumstances allow, a small backup gun. Not only is it a backup should your primary gun fail, but it could also allow you to arm a trusted companion should the balloon go up.

Don't carry like it's a game. Be serious about it. Don't carry a gun because it looks awesome, because James Bond does, or because you just felt like carrying the Luger today. Do you move your fire extinguishers around every other day? Do you relocate your car's brake pedal on Fridays to make it look cooler? No? Then why is the piece of emergency gear on your belt being treated like a fashion statement? Save toys and fashion statements for the range; carry a weapon.


I cannot predict for certain whether or not you will ever have to use your firearm, and if you ever do, I cannot tell you what the circumstances will be like. I can tell you one thing with 100% certainty, however: You will not be attacked by a piece of paper facing you squarely, hanging from a wire, and conveniently illuminated by a can light in the ceiling at a distance of seven yards.

If your local range won't let you draw from the leather or shoot from cover or kneeling or on the move, it would behoove you to try and find a way to get that kind of practice. Look into shooting in competition such as IDPA or USPSA. Even something as stylized as steel matches or bowling pin shooting will have you shooting under time pressure and reloading at speed.

If you shoot at an indoor range, see if they'll dim the range lights fifteen or twenty minutes before closing once a week; they may be amenable if you and four or five friends all request it. If you have an outdoor place to shoot, don't call off your shooting sessions due to weather. If you need your gun for real, it will probably be poorly lit, it may well be cold or wet or 102 degrees out, you may be wearing gloves, or a raincoat; you'd better know how to use your weapon under those conditions.

But most importantly, train. Train. Train. Train.


What do you do when your car starts to skid? Well, if you're like most people, you sit there like a duck in thunder and tell the officer who comes to clean up the mess "I dunno, it just skidded out of control!"

If you payed attention in Driver's Ed, however, you heard "Steer into the skid!" Maybe you even chant it as a little mantra if the road is icy or you feel a bit of aquaplaning on the freeway. If you're really a preparedness fanatic, maybe you've practiced on dirt roads or deserted, rain-slick parking lots.

But the important thing is the decision. You've already made the decision and when the car starts to skid, you don't sit there thinking "What do I do?" because you've already decided what to do: You steer into the skid.

Make up your mind ahead of time to resist; that's the most important thing of all. When the flag flies, your decision will already be made, and your mental decks will be cleared for action. Resist. Do not go gently. Fight back. The life you save may be your own, or it may be that of the innocent person standing next to you who now has time to run, but make up your mind now. Steer into the skid.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

In case you were wondering...

...about the definition of "non sequitur", I can offer this music video as explanation. If anything that occurs in it makes sense to you, seek help.

(Hopefully it will make up for me linking "Tarzan Boy" last night, too...)

Now _that_ was filling.

Lunch was a half dozen of Mrs. T's pierogies, pan-fried; a taste sensation which I had never before sampled.

I feel as though I just poured a bag of Quikrete down my gullet. I shouldn't have to eat again 'til Friday morning.

Gun Truth:

I've been on the intarw3bz long enough to know the truth:

My gun (car/computer/OS/video game console/brand of breakfast cereal) rules.

Your gun (car/computer/OS/video game console/brand of breakfast cereal) sucks.

Overheard from the Hallway:

RX: "All I'm saying is, any procedure that involves tying other people's kangaroos down, I don't want any part of..."

Obama had some pretty big coattails...

...but they seem to have gone by awfully fast in some places.

Note to self...

When calling in to intarw3bz radio programs, know what you're planning on saying ahead of time. Just because you were yelling incoherently at the monitor, doesn't mean you should then do so into the phone. Also, it's all audio; they can't see you gesticulating wildly.

Today In History: Oops.

On this date in 1984 an equipment failure at the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India released several tons of vaporized methyl isocyanate, which is not good for you. In fact, it's so not good for you that a good lungful or three could make you deader than Elvis, as it did for almost 4,000 people downwind from the pesticide plant.

Got any pesticide plants upwind from your house? Are you sure?