Sunday, January 31, 2010

" bet that Tommy sees!"

Thank you, Mr. Buckles.

Thank you very much.

Overheard in the Hall:

We've been excavating the dining room table here at Roseholme Cottage; a team sport because both players need to sort the magazines and bills from the catalogs and junk mail that have accumulated on their respective corners. Roomie is happy and cracking jokes when we pause for a break; me to check email and she to the smallest room. I'm in the computer room a few minutes later when I hear a clatter and some cussing from in there.

After she emerges, her mood seems soured.

Me: "What's wrong?"

RX: "I'm just in a bad mood."

Me: "Huh? You were laughing and joking! You were fine before you went in the crapper!"

RX: "No, I was already headed for the crapper."

Cue laugh track.

Things I can't unlearn.

I was blissfully ignorant of the whole John Edwards scandal. I mean, I knew he was a wealthy trial lawyer-cum-politician who had problems controlling the contents of his trousers, but that hardly made him unique. Who he was rogering and how he was rogering them never really crossed the threshold of my notice, because it was his politics that appalled me, not his lack of manners or mores in relationships.

How bad could that be? Well, no thanks to Breda, I find that it's pretty bad. How this slimeball made it from the back cover of the local phonebook to a candidate for national office is utterly beyond me. Forget nuclear launch codes; I wouldn't trust this weasel with a burn-out match.

When you take the king's shilling...

From the web's premier source of kittens'n'butterflies, SurvivalBlog, I was led to a chart showing the percentage of personal income in the U.S. derived from transfer payments, which is where the government takes money from somebody who actually did something, and transfers it to someone else for doing nothing. Look at the chart: Nearly one dollar in every five in every mattress in America came from Uncle Sam in the form of dole.

Now, this could be excused as good and charitable; a helping hand for the unfortunate. The problem is that in a democracy (which is what we've certainly become for better or worse), said unfortunates can go to the polls. Thus, this is also known as "Buying Votes". Back in 1608, Captain John Smith told the settlers of Jamestown, "He who does not work, will not eat," and he was almost certainly the last American politician to do so, since passing out the chow is a simpler way of guaranteeing loyalty at the ballot box.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Libertarian, except for the cool stuff...

Everybody gets their back up when defending their favorite tax sinkhole. TVA, CDC, FDA... there's always some more-or-less explicitly unconstitutional federal agency to which Joe or Suzy Taxpayer secretly scribbles love notes on the back of their Tea Party-issue Gadsden Flag post-it notes.

Even the most Heinlein-quoting, Ayn Rand-lovin', taxation-is-theft Wookie suiters get all weepy when NASA takes a shot in the payroll, when the simple fact of the matter is that the only spaceships the federal government has any constitutional business building should be run by the USAF and have frickin' laser beams on them.

It's a good thing NASA didn't exist from the nation's founding, or Lewis & Clark's canoe would have taken thirty years to build and contained strips of birch bark from 72 different Congressional districts. If we want to see progress in space, we need to tell NASA to go research airfoil shapes and just declare everything that happens above X miles to be extraterritorial and tax-free.

They’re worried about funding the ISS? Auction it off. You don’t think that people will pay big bucks to go gambling in a casino with zero-g hookers and blow? It'll be the only way to get regular folks into space, too, because they're not going to pay astronauts to mix Long Island iced teas in those weird drinking squeeze bulbs.

Cold, thanks for asking.

It's fifteen degrees out there right now, but the gentle zephyr wafting from the general direction of Detroit makes it feel like the fo'c'sle of the Endurance. Still, we should make it within eleven degrees of the average daily high for the date, which is a durn sight better than yesterday, and the Weather Gnome on the TeeWee predicted we may even see the far side of freezing by a degree or two next week.

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire...

Vegas has 12% of homes with foreclosure filings? And that's only the ones on which they've actually been filed; there's speculation that at least that many more homeowners haven't made a payment in yoinks.

I think some green shoots are being smoked in D.C. ...

The China that can say "No"?

I wouldn't be investing in any Taipei real estate right now...
Chinese state media says the defense ministry is suspending military exchanges with the United States over its planned $6.4 billion arms sale to neighboring Taiwan.
Granted, if we go down the tubes, their market for toxin-laced infant sleepwear goes in the crapper, as it were, but still, does anybody think the oligarchs of Beijing are really all that worried about sitting down across the poker table from President Hopey Changey?

Friday, January 29, 2010


So I mentioned that I fired my CMMG rimfire kit for my AR while I was at CCA, right?

I had a couple of failure-to-feed issues, say four or five in fifty rounds, most likely due to the fact that I neglected to lube the conversion kit before dropping it in the upper, which caused it to be rough as a cob, and the springs that run those things are pretty feeble.

More exciting is the fact that rimfire conversions on the AR are straight blowback rather than locked-breech, and that they will fire when out of battery by a fairly significant amount. With some of today's .22LR ammo running higher chamber pressures than .45ACP +P, stuff can be expelled from the ejection port rather forcefully when this happens.

In my case, a round of Aguila Interceptor fired with the bolt not fully closed. I was fine, the gun and conversion kit were fine, and I was mostly just glad I was shooting right-handed. The kit has since been sprayed with Strike Hold and cycles a lot more smoothly; I'll be shooting it more extensively this weekend.

We've seen this all before...

Fearless Prediction of the trajectory of “$Apple Product” (where “$Apple Product” != “Newton”):

1) Product is hyped to the sky before anybody’s seen one.
2) Product is released. Mac Fanboys line up to get raped at Apple stores worldwide.
3) Cutting edge Linux-using nerds mock it mercilessly for missing features and/or compromised functionality.
4) Mac Fanboys make tearful “Leave Britney Alone!” videos, defending their overpriced, underfunctioning tchotchkes.
5) Six to twelve months later, Apple releases “”$Apple Product G2“, with its deficiencies corrected and the price slashed by half.
6) Mac Fanboys howl bloody murder.
7) Everyone buys one, or a clone of one, as another industry gets altered for good.

And yet every time the loyal faithful can be found outside the Apple store on opening day, slightly dazed-looking, bowlegged, and holding large sums of crumpled bills in one sweaty hand and a tube of KY in the other, ready to do it all again…

If all the other kids were getting bitten by zombies...?

Spotted at Breda's:

The Zombie Bite Calculator

Created by Oatmeal

Guilty pleasures...

After several years of living in the hip & happenin' Virginia-Highlands neighborhood of Atlanta, my roommate got sick of the teeny one bedroom (I had my very own couch) and more or less unilaterally decided that we'd get a newer place a little farther out, so in early '00 we acquired a third roomie and a grand new 3BR apartment off Clairmont road.

By this time, I was back to working part time at the gun store and full time at Lawrenceville airport and between two jobs and a 100-mile round trip daily commute, I wasn't home much anyway.

I'd get home in the wee hours with the apartment to myself, nuke dinner, crack a pint of Bass Ale, and retire to my room to watch syndicated reruns of Law & Order over my supper before bed. Since I'd never seen it on network TeeWee, it was all new to me. I haven't really watched it since, and never watched any of the spinoffs.

Today I stopped at the local Video Game & DVD emporium on the way home from the grocery store, and they had seasons two through five for cheap. I picked them up with some leftover birthday cash, and that's my sad bit of nostalgia for the day...

QotD: Brian J. Noggle wins the internets.

From the "Another Nail In Your Childhood's Coffin" Dep't:
In the 3-d release of Star Wars, Han Solo will not shoot Greedo at all!

It must suck being him.

The guy who penned the editorial for yesterday's Indianapolis Red Star, that is. I can't imagine going through life quaking in my piss-filled boots like that.

Of course, given the number of bogeymen infesting his world, a counterargument could be made that he exhibits immense courage simply poking his head out from under the bedclothes and scuttling to the head every morning.

Bobbi hauls him behind the woodshed at her blog.

Nine degrees fondly Fahrenheit...

Underarmor leggings and Browning wool socks? Check.
Short-sleeve tee, long-sleeve tee, and jeans? Check.
Sahalie fleece pullover? Check.
Adidas Adventure boots? Check.
Columbia parka? Check.
North Face mountaineering gloves? Check.
Shemagh tied on good? Check.

Okay, I'm ready to take the trash to the curb.


Courtesy of Gun Geek Rants, I read this fascinating piece at The Last Psychiatrist about the "Rape Tunnel":
First, the rage comes because this guy is weaker than us. When we feel safe, when we're not afraid (of him), we're free to explode in rage. (That's why there's road rage and not elevator rage.)
...and you know, it worked. Well, not "rage" per se, but maybe an outraged sense of pique. I did joke with Bobbi that maybe someone should stroll into that "rape tunnel" and shoot the guy in the kneecaps; she reminded me that the very act of entering the tunnel would make a self-defense claim a little shaky.

Anyhow, "trolling as art"? I'm hoping this didn't require any grant money.

That was weird...

Usually, dreams are first-person affairs, but last night my subconscious decided to serve up a third-person costume drama.

The hero of the piece was this young Iowa farmer dude who was dating the tomboyish princess of Austria-Hungary in some weird post-apocalyptic-and-yet-Edwardian Blade Runner meets steampunk mashup of a world.

At this formal state dinner served cafeteria style (complete with Tiffany trays) the princess's grandpa snuck up behind the protagonist and tried to garrote him, but it was with a soft rope and was apparently just a joshing Habsburg way of saying "Howdy and welcome to the family."

I don't remember much after that, except the princess was sad and playing cell phone voicemail tag with her friends.

Bring me the Hebrew, Daniel, that he might explain this dream to me, because right now all I can think of is "Don't eat bacon and spinach alfredo pizza for a late supper."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I don't get it.

Who thought it was a good idea to give Ben's helicopter an aerial refueling?

I mean, the guy's economic skills have been endorsed by none other than both Dubya and Barry, which is like getting your babysitter recommended by John Gacy and Wayne Williams...

It's sad, really.

January 28th always had a bigger impact on me before STS-107.

I was 18 when Challenger blew apart, and it was another seventeen years before Columbia disintegrated. That kind of safety record makes it easy to forget that riding the fire is still a risky gig.


I think in future editions of the dictionary, when you look up "Peter Principle", there will be a little line drawing of Barry O. gazing sternly into the distance with that "Who farted?" expression on his face.

The party insiders that got behind this guy have got to be having serious buyer's remorse by this point. They looked at Barry and saw a dynamic, good-looking, young-ish guy who could rally a crowd and thought "We could get this guy into the White House!" and nobody stopped to think for a minute that he was already in over his head as a Senator.

EDIT: Biggest belly laugh I've had on the 'net today:
Well, Mr. President -- we finally have a point of common ground.

Confusion to our foes...

Rats. Ship. Some disassembly required.
For her part, Clinton tells PBS she is "absolutely not interested" in running again for president. But in the same interview, she suggests she is a one-term secretary of state. Clinton says considering the demands of the job, eight years would be very challenging.
Of course, just because Powell split in a pique didn't mean he was going to run against the Shrub, either.

(In the category of "words I never thought I'd hear myself say", there's this sentence: Hillary Clinton would be an improvement on the current President.)

Another report on the SOTU speech...

Barry opened his cakehole about the economy again last night and, like clockwork, the Dow is down by 150 points and it's not even lunchtime.

It's almost like there's a connection or something...

It's the dawning of a brand new day...

These winter blahs are for the birds.

I have a solar-spectrum lamp pumping happy simulated daylight into my face, and I have washed down my One-A-Day with a can of yummy Spicy Hot V8. Let's see if this breaks me out of my funk and lets me start writing again.

Notes from the TeeWee this morning:

  • Meredith, about your interview with Biden: Nice girls don't do that. At least not on camera. (...and, eewww! Biden?!? At least the fawning over Obama makes a certain amount of sense, because he's not, you know, old, crazy, and weird-looking.)
  • Matt, I am actually a little shocked that you didn't ask Jeb if Republicans have stopped beating their wives.
  • Is it just me, or could Geithner shave his head, grow a 'stache, and play "Leader" in the next Incredible Hulk movie? Either that, or he's a human/Gray hybrid. Seriously, you could play tennis between his eyebrows and his hairline.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Here's an idea, Mr. President...

If you're so hot on stimulating small business growth, how about just 86ing the capital gains tax altogether. Then people's biggest worry will be how to get to all three of their jobs on time...

(I lied earlier. I ended up watching about fifteen minutes of our Dear Leader in streaming video on before shutting it off in disgust and going and watching something cheerful, like a guy dying of amyloidosis in an old episode of House.)

BONUS! Here's the gaffe I was looking for:
But when the Union was turned back at Bull Run and the Allies first landed at Omaha Beach, victory was very much in doubt. When the market crashed on Black Tuesday and civil rights marchers were beaten on Bloody Sunday, the future was anything but certain.
So a Hyde Park-dwelling Harvard lawyer who has never had to make a payroll, live under segregation, or wear a uniform invokes all three of those things. Brilliant! This guy makes Dan Quayle look like Audie frickin' Murphy by comparison...

We have a winner!

The winner of today's Tooly McToolerson Award for Maximum Toolishness is Indiana State Rep. Verne Smith (D-Gary).

Verne, those of us who are about to rock salute you! We couldn't pay to make those on your side of the debate look like a pack of thimble-headed gherkins half as effectively as you just did for free!

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You will not read anything here today about the Apple iPad.

Nor will you read anything about the State of the Union address. (Well, unless there's some monumental gaffe in there that I just can't resist poking fun at...)

Oh, that's just festive...

Tonight's low? 18°F

Tomorrow's high? 18°F

How does that work? I blame Canada.

Broken promises.

Marko's promised rainbow-farting unicorn does not actually fart rainbows.

He shouldn't complain; at least he got one.

"Quiet" is a relative thing.

Unc and Sebastian are sitting in their rocking chairs, talking about how peaceful and quiet it is in the gun rights world these days.

That must be because they're not in Indiana, where politicians are acting the fool and the media is squawking non-stop over Guns In Parking Lots and Closing The Toter's Permit Database.

Some sheets of paper are cleaner than others...

Frank James posted some more pics from the S&W presentation on their new Bodyguard plastic people poppers. I was disappointed (but unsurprised) to notice that they didn't take advantage of the clean sheet of paper to back gracefully away from the zit in the left side of the frame.

I don't know if the lock's internals are the same, but their stubborn insistence on sticking to a lock whose design can be actuated by inertia under recoil is certainly annoying... If you've determined that you just gotta have a lock for market penetration reasons, how about something in the backstrap or the bottom of the grip frame that binds up the mainspring? Or license Taurus's hammer lock for the pennies per gun I'm sure they'd charge.

Here's your sign.

So, the Blue Collar Comedy Tour is coming to Indy, according to the same TV commercial announcer they use for tractor pulls and furniture liquidation sales, FOR ONE! HISTORIC! NIGHT-IGHT-IGHT!

You might be a redneck if going to see Jeff, Bill, and Larry is something you consider "historic".

Change in the weather...

Sunday's high temperature, when I rolled back into Indy, was 55°F with intermittent sun between the showers.

Yesterday's high temperature was 25°F with an inch or so of snow on the ground.

That's the kind of thing that's rough on pavement.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

February Blogmeet...

Bobbi X is taking suggestions for the February Monthly Meeting of Hoosier Conspirators and Subversives and their Friends and Admirers.

Vote early and vote often!

Easier than I thought...

Taking apart the 432PD was easier than I thought. I only removed the trigger and hammer, as I didn't feel like messing with the lock or the bolt and it was a lot cleaner in there than I supposed it would be after dwelling in my pockets for almost five years.

Although I have gotten slack lately, for about three years my nightly routine consisted of dry-firing the gun fifty times with each hand as rapidly as possible before trying to hold the laser dot steady on target through normal trigger pulls. You'd be surprised how hard that is if you've never tried it, especially on a stock J-frame with a 12-pound-plus double action trigger pull. It starts out "OneTwoThreeFour," but ends up "Forty... eight... Fort... ty... ni... ine..." and your forearm muscles ache. As a result of all that dry-firing, the bearing surfaces in the little gun are mirror bright; I was especially impressed with the trigger lever, since on the guns with cheesy Metal-Injection-Molded small parts the ends of the trigger lever look like little spiked balls under a loupe when new, and these looked almost chromed.

Mike W. asked:
How do you like the 432PD Tam?
Well, I feel no particular affection towards it, being a MIM-and-zit gun, but it works. I've just never been as accurate in rapid fire with heavy-bullet +P .38 loads in an Airweight J as I'd like, and given a choice between 5 shots of standard pressure light bullet loads in .38 or six shots of 100gr .32 Mag, I opted for the latter... (A 100gr .32 has much greater sectional density than a 110- or 125gr .38; I just don't trust a flying dime to carry through to the vitals.)

Drivers That Annoy Me, Part One of a series.

I have written this post in my head on every road trip I've taken, and never got around to writing it, so now I am...

When I am driving for distance I will generally, unless prohibited by law, roll in the left lane. With my cruise control set at ten over the limit out on the open highway, it's a comfortable 80mph lope; not enough to draw the ire of Johnny Law unless it's a particularly slow day at the Krispy Kreme, and fast enough to feel like I'm making progress. It's also easier to juggle time/speed/distance calculations in my head at 80 than it is at 75.

The long stretches in the left lane are necessitated by the fact that at this speed I am passing, albeit slowly, about ninety percent of traffic. When my scan occasionally detects someone coming behind, I'll signal, tuck over right, wait for them to pass, signal again, and resume my travels in the left lane. Sometimes, however, if the road is fairly empty, the person in the rear-view is not someone who wants to pass, but rather someone who wants to be the bane of my existence for a while...

Apparently, there are some people who: A) Cannot judge their own speed except in relation to the vehicle directly in front of them, and B) Cannot hold a steady pedal for love nor money. So there we'll be, in the agrarian hinterlands of Indiana or Kentucky; me rolling along in the left lane and passing the occasional car on the right when I notice Mr. Wobbly Throttle a'creepin' up in my mirrors. When he gets close enough I'll signal right and let him pass, which he does, after a fashion, but sort of bogs down once he's just off the port bow. We'll roll in formation like that, me starting to fume, until we come upon a car in the right lane that forces me to turn off the cruise and tuck in behind Wobbly.

As we pass the slower traffic, Mr. Wobbly Throttle, now bereft of vehicles to overtake, starts to slow down. He notices me in his mirror and sometimes darts right, sometimes slows down further and gets passed on the right (traffic gods, forgive me!) I'll hit "Resume" on the cruise control in the left lane, but a mile down the road, sure as God made little green apples, here comes Wobbly again, as though drawn to a magnet in my back bumper. This dance can go on for over a hundred miles, and is pretty well guaranteed to have me chewing the steering wheel in frustration in only a fraction of that distance. For Vishnu's sake, man, pick a speed and hold it!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Editorial oversight.

According to Blogger's search engine, I have never used the word "wanker" in a post, and I wanted to fix that.

That is all. Go on about your business.

Funny but wrong.

Brian J. Noggle asks:
Seriously, the Kompressor? Was someone’s German/American dictionary off by a little bit when this was brainstormed (in the German, brundsturmcht, I believe)?
The car is not named the "kompressor" any more than the truck that just drove past is named the "Hemi" or Burt Reynold's '70s ride was named the "6.6 Litre".

(I would have just commented on his blog, but I didn't feel like opening a Wordpress account for the purpose. Maybe he'll notice in his Site Meter.)

Road Etiquette Tip #471:

I know you are frustrated being stuck behind the Kenworth reefer full of frozen pig innards climbing the grade at 49.8 MPH when you know that your Mack hauling a containerload of My Pretty Ponies could easily pull the hill at 49.9 MPH, but that is no reason to swing into the left lane to perform what could only be called a "pass" because the vehicles end up in a different order after eight miles of tedious crawling.

The dozen annoyed motorists behind you.

The Odyssey...

Here's how it went down...

West Knoxville to the Clinch River: Steady rain.
Clinch River to Jellico: Dripping fog.
Jellico to Lexington: Pouring buckets.
Lexington to Columbus: Spitting drizzle.
Columbus to Broad Ripple: Intermittent squalls.

The highlight of the trip occurred in the mountains just south of Corbin, Kentucky, when the rear end of the blue Pontiac G8 some seven car lengths ahead of me suddenly hip-faked to the right then back to the left as the whole car pirouetted across the left lane and into the median in a giant spray of red clay before coming to rest, ass-end-first, on the far side of the ditch. I don't know whether he was running his cruise control in the rain or if he got bored tailgating the pickup in front of him and booted his six-liter V8 a little too enthusiastically for the conditions, but it was pretty spectacular, especially as it happened more or less right in my lap.

A bit further on, after being passed by a fart-can-equipped Civic and a Pontiac Solstice who had apparently decided that standing water on the freeway was no reason to not engage in a little bout of "Yeehaw!" with each other, I passed an unhappy-looking young man whose mint-green Eclipse had backed into the concrete median wall. Johnny Law arrived about the same time I did. Apparently Junior found out that in a front-wheel drive car in the wet, if you are afraid you are going to overcook a corner and lift abruptly, you're headed for the wall, bumper stickers first. When Swedish rally car drivers do it on purpose in Saabs on dirt, it's cool; when you do it by accident in a Mitsu on I-75, it's not, okay Mr. Fast'N'Furious? Incidentally, shortly thereafter I passed the fart-can-equipped Civic, now driving in the right lane in a much more chastened fashion, having passed the same slightly crumpled object lesson.

It was about 380 miles on the odometer, about five-and-a-half hours, and I don't think my wipers were off for more than ten minutes, total, and the pavement looked dry enough to use the cruise control only on about a 20-mile stretch southeast of Louisville; the screw that sticks out the back of my shin rubs funny on the tendon when I have to keep my foot on the throttle for more than a couple hours, too. Ouch.

I'm pretty sure that's not how it goes...

Every time the iPod serves up the Spacehog tune "The Last Dictator", I always hear the chorus as "Elastic Tater"...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Happy Birthday to me.

To celebrate, I think I'll go drive in the rain for five or six hours...

Seriously, it looks like it's going to be raining like a cow peeing on a flat rock from Knoxville to at least the Ohio river. And the Bimmer is a 12-year-old convertible that never saw the inside of a garage from 2001 to 2008, so I'm bracing for a bit of Chinese water torture.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Happy Birthday, JMB.

Today is the day when Orthodox Browningites such as myself celebrate the birth of Le Maitre. (Heretical Reform Browningites celebrate on the 21st.)

Someday the U.S. Army will have a hovertank with a frickin' laser beam for a main gun, and it will still have an M2HB on a pintle mount above the commander's hatch.

Required Reading...

It just occurred to me that I don't have a copy of Kuhnhausen's The S&W Revolver: A Shop Manual. This is an oversight I need to fix if I am going to continue taking the sideplates off of guns.

Being able to do this is a big deal to me. Knowing what goes on inside the guns has long been a theoretical thing for me, since I am not what one would call "good with her hands". I know how they work; I've watched them getting worked on for years (the benefit of working in places that fix busted guns and not being scared to ask questions); but actually working on them myself? Never did it.

The wheels of justice...

...continue to grind in the Montana Firearms Freedom Act lawsuit.

The only war there is.

There is a tendency for defense departments to get mired in the Eternal Present, assuming that the situations they face now will be the situations they will face forevermore. For instance, since the RAF will only ever have to rocket insurgents forever and ever amen, some in the UK are urging that the RAF purchase turboprop COIN aircraft instead of F-35 VSTOL strike fighters.

(H/T to Firehand.)

It's almost like there was a connection or something...

A guy who's never held a job in the private sector in his life keeps talking about how he's going to fix the economy, and the markets keep sliding.

I am given to understand that three days of sharp declines in a row are unusual, but apparently these things happen when you never stop fighting for the little guy.

If the .gov wants to go after pension funds, they'd better do it quick while they're still worth the paper they're printed on.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Gunsmithing today...

I played with the .22 AR conversion Wednesday, and yesterday was spent learning the intricacies of my 22/45 and giving the Para LTC 9 and the '66 Colt the long-overdue thorough cleanings they desperately needed. You know how those finicky 1911s choke on any speck of dirt? Well, the '66 Colt, which lives in my range bag, hadn't had a good cleaning since the Awerbuck course last summer. (That's why I had it teflon coated, after all; life as a range beater is hard, rented mules have it easier.)

Today I hung around the shop at CCA and mostly watched guns getting fixed and a couple of kilobuck-plus 1911s getting built, as well as a Sooper Sekrit Project coming together, about which I hope to be able to blog. Tomorrow is revolver day. I'll be back up in the guts of my K-22 and my Model 34, as well as tearing down my 432PD to see how a new-fangled MIM-and-zit gun's innards differ from those of the old 5-screw Smiths with which I am familiar.

The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Les asks why the curse on Air America?

Obviously it's because they made a pact with the Devil to defeat Norm Coleman.

Quote of the Day: Scary Black Rifle Edition.

I LOL'ed.

(H/T to Unc.)

Cheery reading.

Via that ever-bubbly source of feel-good news, SurvivalBlog, I got a link to a cheery little Forbes article entitled The Global Debt Bomb.

I'd really rather go read about the New Madrid fault again. It's not as scary.

It's the economy, stupid.

Scott Brown wins, Air America goes Tango Uniform... My gloating muscles are getting sore.

Air America cites declining ad revenues as one of their woes. Really, I couldn't see any reason to listen to that stuff when you can get the same dreck, commercial-free, on NPR. And I'm already paying for NPR, so I might as well use it, if for nothing else than to keep track of the enemy's mood.

Meanwhile, in other economic news, Obama opens his mouth and stocks slide another two hundred points. They've been in there a year now; you think they'd have noticed that little synergistic effect and convinced Barry to keep his piehole shut for the sake of the DJIA.

Another side of the story...

Attorney Paul Ogden says that just because Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard likes to cuddle up to gun owners at the Indy 1500, one should not assume he's any particular friend of the Second Amendment.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

About the return of the Bren Ten...

PDB on the Vltor Fortis.

Having handled and fired a couple of the Dornaus & Dixon originals, which were indeed wretched, pulsating balls of suck, I have no idea how this particular sword got stuck in the stone in the first place.

(...and the real Excalibur probably shipped with at least one magazine.)

Small victory.

Today I made with the stripping and reassembly of the Mk.III 22/45; it was nowhere near as annoying as I feared, although I don't believe I'll be making a habit of stripping the bolt.

For what it's worth, this is the first time it's had more than a bore snake run through it since I bought it. The earlier Ruger rimfire autos were remarkably tolerant of filth, and I was curious to see if the extra mechanical gizmos in the Mk.III action would cause it to get befouled by cack quicker than its progenitors. Despite having enough fouling in the action to support the planting of row crops, it kept running with no real care other than occasionally squirting some Strike-Hold in through the ejection port.

On Shannon's recommendation, I installed a Power Custom extractor.

The trigger is still heinous.

Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose...

There's a lot of chatter across the gun blogs about the Scott Brown win, ranging from "w00t!" to "Yeah, so?"

I suppose it's a measure of my concern over how thoroughly ObamaCare and Cap'N'Trade would trash what's left of the economy that I found myself cheering for the victory of someone who is, at best, a milquetoast Northeastern Republican who is ideologically a lot more Rockefeller than Goldwater. Let's not kid ourselves: This is a Band Aid on a sucking chest wound.

I turn 42 on Sunday and I don't have kids; at this stage in the game, my goal is to not spend my dotage as Patient #462,865 in State Retirement Hospital 73, because I'm allergic to gruel and American Idol reruns. My expectations are not particularly lofty; I'm not expecting any great return of freedom to these shores in my lifetime, but I'll settle for the place not turning into Sweden with NASCAR.

Speaking of engraved guns...

If you had stuck up the pawn shop at which I once worked, you could have gotten yourself shot by a famous, engraved gun.

Under the counter was a Colt Python that had been owned by a local resident, a hometown boy made good; the beautiful royal blue Colt revolver had been engraved with an etching pen, in shaky cursive, on both sides of the frame and barrel, with "Junior Samples" in letters near half an inch high. As God is my witness, this is the truth.

The serial number, however, was not BR-549.

Overheard in front of the computer...

Me: "Look at that."

Gunsmith Bob: "What's that?"

Me: "Special Custom Shop version of the 75th Anniversary High Power. It's $10,500."

GB: "$10,500?!? Are they high? What makes it worth $10,500?"

Me: "Well, it's a limited edition, and... uh... it has an engraving of John Moses Browning on top of the slide."

GB: "I don't care if it's got a lock of his hair under the grip!"

(H/T to Kahr40.)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

AR news...

The CMMG rimfire conversion kit I bought worked alright when I tried it out at the range today.

In other news, Bushhamster has released the pricing info on the much-hyped and long-awaited ACR, née Magpul Masada. The price is... er... somewhat higher than initial estimates. Some people are less than amused... (Video Contains Harsh Language, But Is Soda-Spraying Funny If You're A Black Rifle Geek.)

The Sting.

According to the indictment, the 22 defendants created two price quotations for the unnamed African country that was supposedly looking to outfit its presidential guard. One price quotation had the real price of the goods and one had an illegal 20 percent “commission” added, 10 percent for the purchasing agent (FBI agent) and 10 percent for the country’s minister of defense.
Meanwhile, the actual sales in the real country probably went to Israeli Military Industries, Fabrique Nationale of Belgium, Norinco in China, the Russians at Izhmash, or some other company in a country that was more worried about closing the deal and keeping their workers employed than in observing First World business niceties in the land of the mordida.

The Zen of the Workbench...

Brian J. Noggle on the fields in which we toil:
If you’ve seen one cubicle, you’ve seen them all. Most of the customization from one job to another involves a different desktop wallpaper and set of applications installed upon a computer. A different set of binders on the bookshelf, if any. A different set of photographs or cutesy individual touches.

But workbenches, they have different tools and different things.
Shannon, a gunsmith at CCA and maybe the best all-'round 'smith I've ever known, has always been known for his chaotic bench and a sometimes casual attitude about discarded objects falling to the floor. One of the more Felix Unger-like employees was complaining about this, only to be cut off in mid sentence by Gunsmith Bob saying, in a mocking whine, "Michaelangelo! You're getting paint on the floor!"

Speaking of workbenches and gunsmiths, Will is still blogging his way through gunsmithing school and has been doing a series of posts documenting his transformation of a crudely sporterized Argentine Mauser into something a little nicer.

Meanwhile, in Bizarroland...

The folks at Media Matters are whining about CNN's biased coverage of the Massachusetts election because, you know, the media's just a bunch of neocon puppets. The best stuff, as usual, is in the comments:
The reporters even lean right - Dana Bash and Gloria Borger. And the two 'conservatives' are rabid. The one liberal? Lukewarm.

They couldn't have done a worse job in picking a balanced panel.

At least I won $50 tonight at trivia and was able to drown my sorrows!
This guy probably thinks Hillary and Bloomberg are conservative and Barack's a moderate. I watched about ten minutes of the CNN panel myself, and left the room, announcing "I haven't heard a single true utterance out of any of these people yet. Call me back in if they start discussing events in this dimension."

Look, Mr. Media Matters Commenter, the terms "Liberal" and "Conservative" have become meaningless when used to relate to party politics in this country. Nowadays we just have the Party of Big Government and the Party of Even Bigger Government and the easiest way of telling them apart is that one of them doesn't like abortion and gay cooties.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Boots on the (damp) ground.

Farmer Frank escapes cold, wet Indiana by going to SHOT Show in cold, wet Las Vegas.

Historically illiterate.

With the nation’s unemployment rate hovering at 10 percent, the possibility of stemming job losses holds considerable appeal. So, in an argument likely to be repeated if unemployment persists at record high levels, some are pressing the Obama administration to offer protection for the nation’s glassworkers by raising existing tariffs on imported glass, particularly from China, as is happening on steel and tires.
Sweet L. Ron Hubbard on a solar-powered unicycle, people! Can you not even pronounce "Smoot-Hawley"?

I'll admit that watching idiots suffer is one of my favorite spectator sports, but not when they turn it into an audience participation activity. Those who do not know history are condemning me to repeat it.

(H/T to TJIC.)

QotD: Karma edition.

D.W. commenting on the ChiComs yanking Pocahontas Does Pandora off the screen:
Here's a crayon, Jimmy. Write this down. China's reality is the unavoidable end state of all that hopeychange horsesh*t that Barry's trying to pull. Think about that the next time you decide to spend $300 million crapping on the country that allows you to make your lousy movies.

More bedwettery from the usual suspects.

Did you know that the First Amendment, in a pulsating emanating penumbra-like thing, gives J-school grads the right to get all up in your private business? Me neither, but that's the view put forward by the editorial writer at the Indianapolis Cat Box Liner:
When the first two items in the Bill of Rights are at odds, there's no such thing as an easy choice.
This makes me wonder what version of the First Amendment gets taught in school these days. I mean, the version I learned is printed right there atop the editorial page every day and it says that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of the press. It takes a silly-putty-like stretch to get a handgun owner database out of that. (Which, given the odd nature of Indiana's gun laws, is purt' near what a list of pink card holders would be.)

And speaking of Amendments, let's discuss the Second, especially the part about not being infringed. Indiana's pistol permit law, as the editorial mentions "...requires good character for gun permits", and it also requires the applicant to be a "proper person". For those who slept through American history classes, when that law was written, "good character" and "proper person" were phrases that meant "neither especially swarthy nor notably vagrant; not prone to popery nor possessing Wobbly sympathies." After I've jumped over these various infringements to exercise my right to bear arms, the last thing I need is some wannabe Clark Kent claiming he has the right to tell everybody where I live.

Reading recommendation sought.

Has anyone read Starving the Monkeys?

Any good?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bedtime Story.

Fun-filled USGS .pdf file on the likely consequences of the New Madrid fault letting go, complete with lots of maps and damage estimates sporting huge vapor trails of zeroes.

Pleasant dreams!

(H/T to SurvivalBlog.)

Faulty etiquette.

Remember: To most people, you're just somebody sent over from central casting to play the bit part of "Other Office Worker" in the movie of their life.

Faulty math.

Remember: In the liberal mind, America became rich and powerful by invading poor countries that had nothing and stealing it from them.

You keep using that word...

So far, customs officials have not explained how a highly trained agent could commit such a serious security breach.
Nothing against the valiant men and women of our Customs Service, (and they do perform a valuable job,) but I've never really considered them the ninjas of federal law enforcement, if you know what I mean. If I'm checking my heater through because it's just too dangerous to let me take it on the plane, then they probably should be, too.

Of course, it's easy to see where the public gets these ideas about highly-trained supercops, watching prime-time TeeWee shows where some blow-dried guy in a tie and a button-down shirt has spontaneously inserted himself as the #1 man in a stack, right behind the breacher.

This meme is long overdue for collapse, the idea that the average desk jockey with a badge and a Glock has anything more than a Clouseau-like level of competence and safety with their issue heater. In this era of armed janitors, most of these people are actually not especially well-trained; further, unlike the average CCW toter, they're carrying a gun because they have to, not necessarily because they want to.

(H/T to Breda.)

It's Marko's fault...

At some point, probably while playing Rainbow Six at a LAN party, Marko popped out with "Not a fan of the ladies, are you Trebeck?" in his best Sean Connery voice.

I was distracted long enough by this non sequitir for some little polygonal tango to pepper my black-clad homunculus with his Kalashnikov. "Where'd that come from?"

"You've never seen the Celebrity Jeopardy skits on SNL?"

"Dude, I don't watch SNL."

Of course, now I had to try to see them all. (Mind you, this was before YouTube.)

Thanks to the magic of the internets, here are all the best parts.

The future looks different now that we're in it.

The future does not have as much brushed stainless steel as it used to. Also, wood-grain decals proved to be just a fad.

Some of you kids reading this (*cough*cough*) won't believe it, but when we were little even our video game consoles had wood-grain stickers, and our future looked like this.

(H/T to G.R. Durand and TJIC.)

There probably shouldn't be an app for that.

iPhone as bear repellent? Uh, no thanks.

Look, I don't know from brown bears, but here in the eastern part of the country, you generally aren't going to see any bears. Black bears are skittish, generally afraid of people, and don't do the kind of territorial bluffing attacks that you hear about out west.

If you do see a black bear, and it's coming at you, that's because it's half-crazed from hunger and you look tasty. The only way your iPhone is going to do any good at that point is if you can somehow wedge it in the critter's jaws to impede its chewing.

Alternatively, depending on how long the batteries last while playing the "bear scaring app", it could act as an audio beacon to help searchers find your gnawed remains.

(H/T to Maddened Fowl.)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Advertising Fail.

You've gone backwards a long way, baby.

Oy vey.


Thanks to Guns and Coffee for posting this video. I've been laughing all morning...

Harold "Weathervane" Ford Jr.

Now that he's carpetbagging in NY state, Sebastian says he's been making appropriate crooning noises calculated to woo NYC voters:
I remain committed to promoting gun safety and handgun control, and I look forward to working with Mayor Bloomberg and Newark Mayor Corey Booker and their coalition to reduce handgun violence in cities across America.

Which is funny, because if Harold was all about the gun safety, then you'd think he'd at least have paid a little bit of attention when we gave him a mandatory gun safety briefing before his session on the indoor range, no? Of course, that was back when he was trying to buff up his NRA image to suck up to Tennessee voters.

I wouldn't trust such a weathervane to tell me which way the wind was blowing, much less to represent me in the Senate, but maybe New Yorkers are more gullible than I.

Overheard at the Gun Show:

Bobbi X: "Oh, a Maxim gun! Whatever happens we have got/The Maxim gun and they have not!"

Me: "...and, really, who doesn't want a Maxim gun?"

Shootin' Buddy: "Not me. You buy a gun; you marry a machine gun. If I wanted to load belts, schlep belts, drag tripods, and clean machine guns, I'd have joined the army."

Further down the same aisle, I spotted a gorgeous Euroweenie-style combination gun: 16ga over 8x57, beautifully figured walnut, tastefully engraved, price tag like a decent used car...

Me: "Ooh! Look!"

SB: "Eh. Not really really something I'd use."

Me: "I wasn't trying to sell you on it; it just makes me happy that things like that exist in this world."

Gun show report.

  • The ammunition situation is still slowly returning to normalcy in fits and starts. .380 seemed lots more abundant. Bulk rimfire is still less-than-common, and at a giant 1500-table show, no vendor had it significantly cheaper than I could go get it at The Mountain of Geese.
  • Also picked up some 9mm and .38 Spl, and a box of Prvi .32ACP.
  • The guys from DoubleStar had a smokin' sale on CMMG .22LR conversion kits. I got one. Bobbi got one. The two guys standing next to me each got one. I picked up a 20rd Pmag to replace the one I trashed, too.
  • Being a sucker for gimmicky trinkets, I bought a little carbon fiber neck knife from DJ Knives because, hey, you never know when you may need a tiny solid carbon fiber knife, right? Plus it was only $20.
  • Stopped by the 3 Part Supply booth. Meant to come back around and get another can of Strike Hold. Oops. Thank heavens for internet shopping!
  • Spotted a really nice Savage 1907 and a middlin' fair Remington 51, each for $350. Decided to be practical this show.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Overheard in the Office:

RX: "Can you name all seven dwarfs?"

Me: "Dopey, Happy, Grumpy, Sneezy... uh... Sleepy, Faith, Hope, Charity... um... Bashful, Thrifty, Brave, Loyal, Reverent... er... Up, Down, Charmed, Strange..."

RX: "I think Sleazy was the one who kept trying to look up her skirt."

I'm having deja vu.

I saw a guy interviewed on TV this morning...

"Nobody came!" he said into the camera.

"Welcome to the human race!" I blurted back at the television.

Maybe everybody has a breaking point. Maybe at some point we all just sit down, throw up our hands, and wait for Mommy, or teacher, or the doctor, or the government, or the Red Cross, or the UN... But I'd like to think that the instinct to grab a shovel is strong in at least some of us. I mean, if it weren't, the lions would have eaten the whole troop of us before we made it off the veldt, no?

Fun Show Time!

Let's sing the fun 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.

Today's mission is rimfire ammo, some .32ACP ammo, and T/C Encore furniture. If I'm lucky, maybe a used long eye relief scope.

Who keeps pointing cameras at these idiots?

Considering that the drooling morons we have by way of a "public" believe anything they see on the blue-flickering oracle ensconced in their household entertainment shrine, a measurable percentage of people are actually going to think that it was an unholy œcumenical alliance of JHVH and Gaia that took down Port-au-Prince.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Jittery much?

After cryptic "Breaking News" announcements from the AP all morning about the Pantex nukyular weapons assembly facility in Texas being put on lockdown, we find out why:
An Amarillo, Texas nuclear plant was put on precautionary lockdown after armed hunters were spotted in a field across from the plant, the Carson County Sheriff's Department said.
For Shiva's sake, people, y'all are in Texas! Don't tell me you've never seen a hunter out there before.

It must be the new math.

Apparently Iranian and North Korean nuclear weapons programs and the ever-present threat of a Qutbist takeover of Pakistan's atomic arsenal make the world a safer place.

Or maybe it's just Obama. We should give him another Nobel just for this!

That's awfully weird to the Southerner in me...

We're entering day three of the melt now, and the temperature last night didn't dip below thirty. It was weird taking the trash out front, with the yard covered by melting slush with patches of wet green grass showing through.

I'd think the yard would be a morass by looking at it, but then I'd step on it and it would feel like astroturf over concrete. Ground frozen hard for two or three weeks apparently doesn't thaw very quickly.

Epoch-spanning global conspiracy exposed!

Do you read The Gormogons? You should.

Well, darn, and here I was going to buy the DVD...

Actual line from Avatar script:

TROOPERS issue automatic weapons and magazines to a long line of mine workers. The miners lock and load like the redblooded redneck NRA supporters they are.
Well, gosh, what am I going to do with the money I didn't spend on the DVD? Hmmm... Ooh, I know! I'll give it to the NRA! Like any self-respecting redblooded redneck bitter clinger.

I hope you choke on your arugula tonight, Jimmy.

Doom, despair, and agony on me.

So I've been reading about life during the Great Depression lately, partly for entertainment and partly for information. Hopefully it's more for entertainment, but lately I'm looking around the news and just not getting that recovery "vibe", man.

For example, I see that 2009 was a banner year for foreclosures; Nevada seems to have hit a foreclosure rate of one mortgage in ten:

I'm thinking that if you're looking for a field with growth potential, you might want to look into what it takes to be an auctioneer.

Meanwhile, with tax revenues cratering, state budget shortfalls are getting huge, as the towering entitlement edifices of places like California and New York are left with nothing to support their pie in the sky programs:

Of course, this leads to talk about fixing the problem by raising taxes, instead of shutting off the spigot to the trough:
But borrowing is no help in fixing so-called structural deficits, in which spending exceeds revenue over a prolonged stretch. And so far there has been little sign legislators are willing to make the obligatory tough choices, particularly issuing more or higher taxes.

Many of the so-called fixes for current state deficits are mere Band-Aids that push the problem forward rather than address it, observers said.

"It's surprising that political leaders don't seem to be taking seriously the magnitude of the problems," said Reschovsky. "You would hope it wouldn't come to this, but it might take schools closing and programs being eliminated to create a sense of urgency."

Well, you're right there, Mr. Reschovsky, but for the wrong reasons. It's time and past time to do a national gut check: How much are we willing to raise taxes to provide for crappy services the government doesn't provide very efficiently in the first place? Or would we rather admit that this jalopy's just not worth fixing, write it off as totalled, and go back to doing for ourselves? State legislators have a historic opportunity to slash deadwood here, rather than continuing to try to buy Band-Aids by the bushel.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Oh, hooray!

Guess what I found at my local DVD/vidjo game emporium?

The boxed set of the first season of The Muppet Show!

It has aged extremely well, too. In the largely non-television-centric household in which I grew up, it was the only time the family gathered 'round the idiot box. Watching it again after all these years, I can see why my folks seemed to enjoy it as much as us kids.

And Waldorf & Statler are still like unto gods.

Halfway to England.

The authorities advised him to get his family out of town for their own protection, and then arrested him for trying to protect them himself.

Fan-frickin-tastic. You're supposed to pay taxes to the government to fund essential services, not so you can essentially get serviced by the government.

QotD: Chris Muir wins the internets.

"Tactically, ma'am, it would be hard to get Obama's head under a beer tap."

Now that's funny, right there.

(Yeah, I usually save up my DbD to read a week or so's worth at a time. Sue me.)

Funny, I don't feel very child molester-y.

The Muncie Puppy Trainer wrote a charming editorial yesterday, containing such gems as
Say, for example, you want to find out whether there are any convicted child molesters living in your neighborhood. You have young children, and like any good parent, you look up the information on available Web sites. Your research uncovers several living in your neighborhood. If you want to know whether they have permits to carry a gun, you can get that information.
What are you trying to say there, Mister Journalism Major?

See, there are a few issues with your example:
  1. Child molestering is a felony. Since felons are barred by state law from having toter's permits and banned by federal law from so much as touching a gun, your fears start looking a little straw man-ish.
  2. There is a little bit of a difference between a sentence handed down to a guilty criminal and a license bestowed upon successful completion of a clean criminal background check. See if you can guess what it is.
  3. I fail to see how the fact that my neighbor has successfully swum upstream and spawned gives them some magic right to get all up in my business. I'm sure you're all about my "right to privacy" when it comes to my reproductive organs or my medical records, so why the two facedness when it comes to whether there's a pistol in my purse or I'm just unhappy to see you?
It's against the law for a child molester to own or carry guns. It's not against the law for a child molester to write newspaper editorials, however. Not that I'm implying anything, of course. But don't parents with small children have the right to know?

Pound sand, newspaper lad. I'd say "I hope you freeze in the dark," but you're in Muncie, so that would be redundant.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine...

I've just finished The Worst Hard Time and I'm still not quite ready to wash down a bottle of sleeping pills with a fifth of vodka, so the next book up is A Good Day's Work: An Iowa Farm in the Great Depression which, to judge by the cover and a quick skim, is hardly a 4H recruiting poster. If that doesn't do the trick, I can always go watch The Road this weekend.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's all relative.

You know it's been bone-cracking cold for a while when the mercury kisses 34°F and it feels like sunbathing weather.

A jog around the blogs:

Bore Patch on the Massachusetts senate race:
Anyone who believes that the Democratic Party is the "party of the little guy" today is stuck in 1972.

Scooteroi on the Green Shoots of Recovery:
As a small business owner, not only am I considering getting out of certain businesses and limiting the scale of others, I have scaled plans for a new business way down and delayed executing those plans until I can get a better feel for what the Masters of Disaster in Washington D.C. are going to stick up my backside. Circling the wagons is the smart move when the arrows start flying.

Old gun pr0n.

Sebastian has an illustrated piece up about his Webley Mk.IV.

The swaggering arrogance is simply breathtaking...

Over at The Travis McGee Reader, I was informed of the latest attempt by the government of New York City to meddle in the affairs of the rest of the nation: Apparently the plebs there won't Do Right and eat less salt, so Steps Must Be Taken:
But, Farley said, simply asking the public to be more careful about what they eat hasn't worked...
Jesus wept, the man sounds like an Ayn Rand villain! "Well, we asked you proles to cut down on your salt intake, but you wouldn't do what's best for you. Now we'll have to order the manufacturers to remove it from your food."

What's appalling is that New Yorkers have apparently grown docile enough to tolerate being spoken to like this.

Meanwhile, Mayor Bloomberg puts salt on his salt, and then rolls it in salt. Apparently members of the Inner Party have different dietary needs than you proles. It's hard and thankless work governing all you little people, you know.

Brrrrr! Now that's scary.

Continuing my reading of The Worst Hard Time, I hit these passages in Chapter 9, titled "New Leader, New Deal":
Entire towns were broke, shutting down city services. In the string of communities that had sprouted up along the new rail lines, schoolhouses closed, unable to pay teachers or heat classrooms. Texhoma, just up the road from Dalhart, disconnected its streetlights. Couldn't afford to bring light to darkness.
In the capital, a whiff of genuine class warfare was in the air. Congress voted to raise taxes across the board on the wealthy to cries of "Soak the rich!" Others pushed for an estate tax, taking nearly half the worth of anything over ten million dollars.
Whew! Scary stuff! Glad that's behind us... Hey, just as an aside, have you read about Muncie's new money-saving plan?

Overheard in the Hall:

RX: "Do you not like Qdoba?"

Me: "I like Qdoba just fine, as long as I can avoid getting the rice and the legumes in my burrito."

RX: "Mm-mmm! Rice and legumes are the food of the gods!"

Me: "The slightly emaciated, flatulent gods, maybe."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The eternal present...

I'm reading The Worst Hard Time right now, an amazingly gripping history of the Dust Bowl era in the high plains. It's one of those rare history books that is as compelling a page-turner as any novel; I only set it down long enough to sleep last night and picked it up again right after breakfast today, anxious to get back to the story.

My copy was obviously used as a text in a college course. To judge by the yellow highlighter peace signs & flowers and loopy cursive handwriting in the margins, it belonged to someone whose name ended in an "i" with a heart where the dot should be, such as Cindi or Tiffani. The thing that totally derailed me came at the start of Chapter Four, which begins:
By the summer of 1929, the United States had a food surplus, and every town along the rail lines of the southern plains sprouted a tower of unsold wheat, stacked in piles outside grain elevators.
In neat, bubbly cursive in the margin is scribbled "What did they use for elevators back then?"

As LawDog would say: "Ye gods and little fishies..." (...or as Billy Beck would say, "Welcome to the Endarkenment.")

We are truly condemned to repeat it.

It really is the juice.

In honor of McGwire's totally unsurprising confession...

At least my favorite baseball players won't be getting any asterisks next to their numbers in Cooperstown...

The death of adulthood.

Florence King has described America as the land of King Kid, where we adore youth so much that we never stop dressing and acting like them, no matter how silly it makes us look.

Seen at Kevin's was this blurb from CNN:
James Cameron's completely immersive spectacle "Avatar" may have been a little too real for some fans who say they have experienced depression and suicidal thoughts after seeing the film because they long to enjoy the beauty of the alien world Pandora.

On the fan forum site "Avatar Forums," a topic thread entitled "Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible," has received more than 1,000 posts from people experiencing depression and fans trying to help them cope.
You know, I got all torn up that I couldn't go to Middle Earth, too... when I was twelve.

We need to spread a meme that if you kill yourself, especially in a humorous and public fashion, you'll go to Pandora and become a Na'Vi.

QotD: Mike and Breda win the Internets.

"I wonder if there are shows for other ethnic groups, like Germans."

"No, there are definitely no shows for Germans. Germans are boring."

Mike nodded in agreement. "Yeah, but we want Germans to be boring...because when Germans start to become exciting, that's when France gets invaded."

That's pretty funny right there.

Your USRDA of Humorlessness.

Apparently, there is an enzyme in animal proteins that is required to maintain a healthy sense of humor, because so many people seem to lose theirs after going vegan.

Witness: Rustmeister posted up the spoof about the animal rights protesters throwing fake blood on the leathers of Hell's Angels instead of the furs of middle-aged women. It's apparently making the email rounds again and anybody who reads it knows it's parody; there's not a PETAphile on this planet with enough courage of their convictions to go protest the wearing of steak wrappers at Sturgis.

Who was his first commenter? Some neurasthenic blogger from Illinois, informing him in a huff that it was a hoax. ("Hoax" apparently being as close as her mouthparts could come to pronouncing "joke".)

Ah, is there any wine so sweet and intoxicating as the tears of a hippie?

Westward through Panama to the Atlantic.

Take the trip in two minutes on video.

This just keeps getting weirder.

Last Friday, there was a story about a guy on the east side of town who called 911 because he "found his wife unresponsive." Emergency services got there, noticed he was covered in what is euphemistically known as "bodily fluids", tyveked him up, and brought him along.

Saturday, it emerges that the house contained roughly a dozen each of firearms and cats, which makes it light on firearms but a bit heavy on felines, at least by my yardstick. Oh, and grenades.

Today we find out that the euphemistic "bodily fluids" in question had, in fact, leaked from his deceased wife's noggin, which is not a usual symptom of Death By Natural Causes. And grenades.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Behind Enemy Lines.

The maquisards in Illinois are holding a Town Hall Meeting on the CCW issue with Congressional candidate Joe Walsh on January 21 in Spring Grove, IL.

Vive la Résistance!

School's in session...

Almost everybody knows that Jerry Miculek is like unto a god when it comes to shooting revolvers, but not everyone knows that he's no slouch with a carbine, either.

Thus, it was pretty cool to get an email announcing that Brownells was putting out a set of instructional DVDs from Jerry on his AR carbine techniques:

It'll supposedly be available this month; I know I'm looking forward to it.


"Bugs, Mr. Rico!"


Free bullets.

I thought that would get your attention.

Hornady apparently has a promo going on whereby you send in your proof of purchase for various dies or presses, and they send you bullets.

Hm. I do need some dies...

EDITED TO ADD: Did you know that Amazon carries Hornady reloading stuff? They seem to occasionally have smokin' clearance sales on strange die sizes, too, like 7mm Remington Short Action Ultra Mag. We picked up some .25ACP dies for the same $20 low price the other day. Reloading .25ACP should be like building a ship in a bottle...

(H/T to Unc and John D.)

You keep using that word...

...I do not think it means what you think it means.

Apparently an Arkansas doctor got a little miffed at disciplinary action by his state medical board, and so he did what any disgruntled person does: He planted a bomb in the head of the state board's car.

Okay, maybe not every disgruntled person does that, but anyway, the highlight of the whole thing is in the charges:
Randeep Mann, a Russellville, Arkansas, doctor, is charged with one count of using a "weapon of mass destruction" against a person and property and a second count of "maliciously" using an explosive to damage or destroy a vehicle, according to prosecutors.
A "weapon of mass destruction"? Holy crap! Where did he get his hands on a nuke? Forget jail, I'd waterboard the guy to find out if there are any other loose warheads floating around out there or if this was just a singleton. Oh, wait... wait...
On his way to his clinic that morning, the chair of the Arkansas State Medical Board went out to start his Lexus hybrid SUV. Before he ever got into the car, a bomb went off, Duke said.

The blast, heard a mile away, threw Pierce six feet into a flower bed, police said. Pierce lost his left eye in the explosion, and suffered burns to his face.

Hey, the guy survived a nuke? Oh, it wasn't a nuke? Then where are the WMD charges coming from? The only way a mere pound or two of explosive could be a "Weapon of Mass Destruction" is if it went off in the middle of a Catholic religious ceremony.

"WMD": It stands for "Words have Meanings, Dolt," something that is apparently lost on legislators, especially when they go into spasms of lawmaking after big events like 9/11 or Katrina. You can always reason with a panicky legislator trying to look busy in a crisis. You can always reason with the living room furniture, too, for all the good it'll do you.

Pugsley Canute.

Hugo "Pugsley" Chavez, having devalued the candy bar wrappers Venezuela's been using by way of currency, is now warning retailers against raising prices, saying there's "no reason" for anybody to do so:
In the wake of his decision to devalue Venezuela's currency, President Hugo Chavez on Sunday said he would put the military on the streets to ensure that business owners don't raise prices.
Look, Pugsley, unlike your candy bar wrappers, the value of a concrete object, such as a loaf of bread, hasn't changed. That means that if the candy bar wrappers are only worth half as much, it's going to take twice as many of them to buy the loaf of bread. I don't know how you're going to use the military to stop that. Declare war on mathematics, perhaps? Carry out airstrikes on long division?

Let's hope Barry's not taking notes. You know how he likes to sit around the Oval Office, idly scribbling "Mrs. Barack Hussein Chavez" on the back of notebooks in big, loopy cursive.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Just not feelin' it...

I've been phoning it in this morning, y'all, and I'm sorry about that. My heart's just not in it today.

Back later.

Plagiarism: The Plague of the Intarw3bz.

allegedly originally from
LT Bruce Braxton
Master Instructor Trainer
College Park (GA) Police Dept.

Obviously Lt. Braxton is kin to Maj. Caudill.

I'm making popcorn...

Michael Steele calls on Harry Reid to step down due to racially insensitive remarks.

No word on whether Exalted Cyclops Byrd has his boss's back or not.

The larval form of a law...

RobertaX brings a rundown on the various bills currently incubating in the Indiana General Assembly which have an effect on gun owners.

"If this is Tuesday, I must be carrying the Luger..."

Back when I first started CCW'ing seriously, I carried a Glock 23. Usually. Except on those days that I carried my SIG P-228. Or my Colt Detective Special. I even had a shoulder holster to fit my S&W 625.

As years went by, other guns came and went: HK P7s and USPs, Berettas, Browning BDMs, CZ clones... It wasn't until seven years ago or so that I started carrying one gun, a 1911-pattern pistol, in one place, strong-side IWB behind the hip. I also have one backup gun: A short-sight-radius DAO S&W revolver that, in slightly different permutations gets used for purse or pocket or nightstand.

Gradually, the other CCW guns got sold off. Pretty much all my handgun shooting was done with one or the other of those platforms: 1911 or double-action Smith. It's one reason that when I bought a .22 caliber pistol, I went with a 22/45 and when my roommate offers to let me shoot her regular Mk.II or Shootin' Buddy brings a Glock to the range, I'll shoot a magazine or two out of politeness before returning to the familiar shapes and control locations of the guns I shoot the most.

It makes a well-worn groove in the mind that is oddly comforting, that one hard-used tool. As Chris Rhines commented in the recent post at Marko's place:
I don’t worry too much about the man with only one gun – he probably bought that gun for self defense, ran a box of ammo through it, tossed it in the nightstand, and forgot about it. I worry about the guy with two or three identical guns, all of them well-worn.

Double Plus Secret Illegal.

Apparently some low-rent thug got in trouble for threatening his fellow grocery store patrons by flashing the gat in his waistband at them. Maybe if they required a license for guns and ammunition?
Zinov was arrested and charged with assault by mean of dangerous weapon, illegal possession of a firearm and illegal possession of ammunition.
Hmmm. Apparently Massachusetts does require a license for guns and ammunition, and he just neglected to get one.
Zinov was out on bail for several cases including another assault, where he is accused of trying to stab a police officer.
Wait, you mean he's under indictment for multiple felonies? But... but... then it would be illegal for him to have a gun! I mean, illegaller than it already was because he didn't have a permit in the state with some of the most draconian gun laws in the nation. The only solution would be to make it double plus secret illegal for criminals to have guns, then those criminals would obey the law.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Things I Don't Get: #261,905

How come people will buy a whole bunch of mags for their centerfire pistols or rifles, but often only use the two magazines that came from the factory for their rimfires?

Time spent loading mags is time not spent shooting; the ideal, of course, would be to have a sufficient number of mags that you could load enough for a whole range session the night before. That's a little improbable but, hey, goals are something to strive for.

Also, if you have only two magazines and one breaks while you're at the range (remember: if you're using your guns enough, they will break,) you're pretty hosed. If you have eight or ten, you'd hardly notice if one went down.

RELATED: ToddG on rimfire practice. Specifically, what it's good for and what it ain't.

Making hippies cry.

The company's head honchos know this geographical fact, but they like the bit of irony that comes from a weapon-gear manufacturer operating so close to the liberal stronghold of Boulder.

"We put Boulder, Colorado, on everything that we make, and really that's just a slap in the face to the hippies," said Drake Clark, senior director of sales and business development for Magpul.
You know, I'd always thought I liked them because they make good gear and have outstanding customer service, but maybe it was something deeper all along.

(H/T to Guns and Coffee.)

Friday, January 08, 2010


So as maybe the last person in the blogosphere to actually read the David Brooks column that's caused all the hooraw these last couple days, I just have to make mention of the part that caused me to giggle the most:
The public is not only shifting from left to right. Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year.

The educated class believes in global warming, so public skepticism about global warming is on the rise.
As the "indoctrinated educated class" should know from their anthem back in the days when they were still being educated, it doesn't take a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.