Friday, September 30, 2011

I swear to you I'm not making this up.

"Je suis le seul homme qualifié..."

A French U.N. firearms instructor (allegedly wearing a SERPA holster!) walks into a training class...

...and shoots himself in the leg.

I... I just...

Wow, every snarky comment I'm thinking of typing here winds up sounding like I'm trying to gild the lily. I mean, this is like the Platonic ideal of fail, compared to which all other fails are merely shadows thrown on the cave wall.

Overheard in the Hallway:

RX: "Well, it seems they decided not to rename Georgia Street. Seems like they decided it might be an election-costing move."

Me: "Why were they gonna rename Georgia Street?"

RX: "Well, with the Superbowl coming, it's going to be a major party street, and you don't want people to think 'Ew, Georgia!' We burned that place."

Me: "Yeah, heaven forbid you're associated with a place that hosted an Olympics instead of just a Superbowl."

RX: "Hey, we hosted the Pan-Am Games!"

Me: "The what?"

RX: "It's like the Special Olympics, but for countries."

Random Stuff:

  • Robb's "Uncle Badtouch Wants You" is now available on a tee-shirt.

  • With the media circus surrounding the trial of Michael Jackson's doctor, it's a thousand wonders they haven't allowed a medium into the courtroom so MJ himself could testify via Ouija board.

  • And speaking of the public's morbid fascination with trials, could somebody explain to me why I have even heard the name "Amanda Knox"? I am given to understand that maybe she killed somebody in a foreign land and maybe she didn't, but people die like flies in foreign lands and I don't know the names of anybody who allegedly killed any of them except for this one chick.

  • I had never thought about that before. He's right; the whole basic premise of Poltergeist is bogus and makes no sense. I mean, in addition to the whole ghosts and dead people haunting stuff thing.

Overheard in the Kitchen:

Roomie has been doing the gluten-free thing, which I can't complain about at all, because the average number of bacon days per week at Roseholme Cottage has gone up. It has, however, led to the occasional unfortunate dining experience:

RX: "Ugh. That cereal tasted like maple-flavored sawdust."

Me: "Well, what did you expect? It's made by a company called 'Nature's Path' and says 'organic' right on the front of the box in big letters. It's probably made of ground-up Birkenstocks."

RX: "Well, they only have so many different kinds of gluten-free cereal at Fresh Market. I'll get some Chex from Marsh next time I'm there. How come Post can make a gluten-free cereal that tastes good?"

Me: "Because Post's customers expect their food to taste good, whereas Nature's Path customers are trying to express their virtue through their food choices, and how do you know you're being virtuous if the food tastes good? It's not a breakfast cereal; it's a hair shirt you eat with a spoon!"

RX: "That's exactly what it tasted like! And one that had been dropped on the floor and covered in dust bunnies, too!"

That was weird.

I got up from my desk to go fetch another Mello Yello Zero from the fridge and, as I got to the hallway, started composing a post in my head, leaving the ol' feet on autopilot to accomplish the beverage-fetching task.

When I returned my attention to what I was doing, I was not in the kitchen with the refrigerator open, but in a completely different room with my sock drawer open, feeling vaguely puzzled. As one might expect, there wasn't any soda pop in there. (And if there had been, it would have been warm anyway...)

What's the level of alertness that makes Condition White look vigilant?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Snitch Culture.

"If you see something, say something!" goes the ad campaign, no doubt focus-grouped to a fare-thee-well.

The problem is, what's the definition of "something"?

In Maryland recently, a delivery driver saw something he thought was suspicious in his cargo, and went to the police. What was the suspicious package?

One stop was receiving a delivery of several thousand rounds of ammunition, and the stop wasn't at a gun store or shooting range or police department, but at a private residence. And the guy who signed for it wasn't even a cop!

And we all laugh.

Okay, suppose he'd been receiving a shipment of fertilizer? Would the driver have been right to call the cops then? If so, why? Fertilizer is completely legal.

How 'bout if he was receiving a shipment of fertilizer, and he was kinda swarthy-looking?

Or, how 'bout if he was receiving a shipment of fertilizer, and he was kinda swarthy-looking, and the driver could hear foreign-sounding music coming from the stereo when the guy opened the door?

Where do you draw the line? How far down the slope do you slide before you decide you don't like the view anymore?

EDIT: As could have been predicted, one commenter at Todd's wrote:
the only ones that have to fear “snitches” are criminals.
After all, citizen, if you have nothing to hide, what’s a little bit of probulatin’?

I don’t like the fact that in my lifetime, the symbolic figure of our nation has gone from Uncle Sam to Uncle Badtouch.
Uncle Badtouch Wants You
(To Bend Over)

(Image whipped up nearly instantaneously by the incomparable Robb Allen.)

Softballs for Warren.

Yesterday, His Royal Highness Warren Buffett, Duke of Omaha and Victor of Wall Street, graced the Circle City with his august presence, as he dispensed a benefice to the peasantry in the form of low-income living quarters which are, for the nonce at least, very tastefully landscaped and painted. Courtiers, pages and heralds made the appropriate bowings and scrapings and appreciative murmurings at the generosity of the great man.

Not one reporter dared examine the emperor's new threads by asking him how much of a tax deduction he would be claiming in exchange for his philanthropy.

(I'm actually a little surprised that Duke Taxmemore did not call out local nobles Earl Simon, Baron Irsay and his squire Peyton, and some of the more notable knights of Lilly and challenge them to a joust in the charitable lists...)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Warning: Contents May Cause LOLing.

Do not play this video anywhere where you might get in trouble for gasping, helpless shrieks of laughter with tears running down your cheeks and stuff...

(H/T to Davidwhitewolf, via Robb.)

QotD: All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again Edition

"The more election seasons I go through the more I’m convinced that the people whose job it is to comment professionally on these things have themselves wheeled into a secret laboratory to have their memories wiped every year before the election, so that they may start completely afresh." -LabRat at Atomic Nerds
Some other Shocking Discoveries made for the Very First Time Again so far this silly season:
  • Ron Paul is a big ol' 1930s-esque isolationist.

  • Mitt Romney is not, in fact, a conservative, except when compared to the average Massachusetts Democrat. (And compared to them, even Che Guevara seems a little reactionary.)

  • Early straw polls bear so little resemblance to final results that it's a wonder Orrin Hatch hasn't called for an antitrust investigation of Ames, Iowa.

Overheard in the Office:

Me: "Of course I trust you to shoot a bear off me. Besides, I'd rather take my chances with your .380 than the bear."

Tab Clearing...

  • Noodling around Wikipedia the other day, I somehow wound up on the page for Augusta, Georgia. There was an odd-looking building in the skyline that I just had to find out more about: Turns out it's called the Lamar Building. Does that not look like an awesome superhero lair up there?

  • I did not make it to Sunday's blogmeet because I was at school, so I didn't do a post-blogmeet writeup. Bobbi did and did.

  • A good (and funny) review of a three-day pistol class with Larry Vickers.

  • A gun you can't use properly can be a danger to yourself and others: Dude attempts to shoot bear off his buddy, and puts a round through his buddy's brisket, killing his friend deader than Elvis. Oops. I know people I'd trust to shoot a bear off me, and I know others who... well, I'd rather take my chances with the bear, truthfully.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Politicians are mostly worried about politics.

Weer'd Beard takes a look at the current big picture on the 2nd Amendment front in politics, and offers his opinions on some of the current GOP candidates.

Of course, when you're deeply involved in an issue, sometimes it's easy to forget that most people don't care about it as much as you do.

The problem with the vast majority of politicians, both Dems and GOP, on 2A issues is that these issues are simply not really on their radar. For every Bloomberg who has made gun politics a core issue of their political persona, there are hundreds for whom it ranks in attention and importance somewhere between school lunches and workplace smoking policies.

The current front-runners in the GOP race are exemplars of this: They are neither specifically pro-gun nor anti-gun, but rather they are mostly pro-reelection and pro-political-party-power. (I don't get too ecstatic to find out that a politician has a toter's permit; I mean, so does Diane Feinstein.) And there's not anything specifically wrong with that from a political standpoint; if you have an agenda, you need to get elected and have party backing to implement it. I'm just not sure how much of anything that's really important to me shows up on these people's agendas.

Generally, they’re probably vaguely in favor of hunters shooting ducks and granny being able to keep a .38 in her purse if she takes a training class and dope dealers shouldn’t have machine guns and that’s probably the extent of the thought they’ve put into guns and gun rights.

Other than that, they’ll vote or veto or sign whatever their handlers and consultants tell them will poll well.

They report, I deride.

Days of Rage! The Arab Spring Comes To The Big Apple! It's A Social Media Revolution To Usher In The People's Utopia!

They're even towing a giant parade balloon of Michael Moo... no, wait... that is Michael Moore.

CNN is still reporting on this wet firecracker, which confuses me. There's something odd about watching the employees of a multibillion dollar corporate conglomerate fawning over people chanting "DEATH TO MULTIBILLION DOLLAR CORPORATE CONGLOMERATES!"

I mean, I know Woodstock was long ago and you've since sold out to the Man and gladly cash his paychecks, but deep down in your ever more sclerotic heart, you really want to get out there and teach those whippersnapper Rage Against The Machine fans (many of whom are showing a bit of gray at their own temples) how to sing "Give Peace A Chance" and get tear-gassed by a pig for old time's sake, don't you?

You know how you can spot the bias? Go read any coverage of this thing from CNN or NYT or any other "Main Stream Media" source, and hardly anywhere will you find a mention of the dismal turnout. If some Teabagger protest promised 20,000 people and didn't even turn out three hundred, you would never hear the end of it from the professional punditry.

But there are no enemies to the left.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Overheard at the Range:

ToddG: "Go ahead and pick up your mags. There's one here..."

Me: "Yeah, that's the empty one. I had to get the full one over here that I threw on the ground during the reload because I guess I didn't like it or something."

Edited to add the following, overheard in the hallway at home after relating the story to Bobbi:
RX: "'Oh, no! Mustn't use that one! It has the bat-shaped hollowpoints! People will figure out my secret identity!'"


I don't have enough tabs open for a legitimate link dump.

My right thumb is sore. Every time I go to gun school, I can always tell where the old fracture from the motorcycle wreck is. (The thumb was broken in the little-bitty 60+mph wreck on the interstate, not the great big 40mph wreck on the surface street...) The damp cool weather isn't helping, either.

Whine, whine, whine... Oh, poor me, my gun hand hurts because I shot a bajillion rounds over the weekend with a bunch of cool dudes and learned a lot of good stuff. Feel sorry for me!

Anyhow... oh, wait, I have one open tab to clear! Oleg took a picture of me back at the LuckyGunner shoot that somehow makes me look like a human being despite the fact that I was probably half-dead with the heat at the time. Normally I hate being photographed, but hating being photographed when Oleg is around is like hating getting wet when it's raining.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Embrace the suck.

I watched the weather this morning with the hopeful intensity that people who are bad at math watch the chick in the sequins pull the numbered ping-pong balls out of the Lotto drum.

I was about as pleased with the result as your average person who pays the stupid tax, too.

Looks like I'm wearing the waterproof boots and taking a raincoat to class today.

Just for fun he says "Get a job!"

Charles Pergiel ponders his feelings about bums, and the common human dilemma of compassion versus contempt for slackers.

Personally, the guy with the sign that read

Ninjas Killed My Family
Need Money For
Kung-Fu Lessons

has crossed the line from hobo to performance artist in my book, and would have earned his dollar by entertaining me, in much the same way as a trail-side busker with a saxophone.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Training Day 1...

One-word-After-Action-Report: Whupped.

Just whupped.

Todd's one-day "Speed Kills" class is not Basic Handgun One. I am so glad that I had his Aim Fast, Hit Fast class last fall before taking this one, which was all about making low-probability hits at speed. As it was, I was hanging on my chinstrap by the end of the day.

I'd love to write an actual AAR right now, but I have to get a good nights sleep before tomorrow, because tomorrow is going to be all Shooting On the Move, so the AAR thing is going to need to wait until Monday.

Czar Vladimir.

In an address to his party's congress (and by 'his party' I mean 'his party' in the same way I'd mean 'his car' or 'his socks',) Vladimir Putin has announced that he will stand for election as president next year.
[O]bservers say Mr Putin's return to the Kremlin is now all but guaranteed.
During the speech, he complemented the kneecaps of the Russian voter, and said that it would be a real shame if anything bad were to... happen to them.

I guess he's just tired of having to keep his hand up Medvedev's butt. That, and not even Charlie McCarthy could sing the national anthem while Edgar Bergen drank a glass of water for three frickin' years; this has been one of the most impressive feats of marathon ventriloquism I've ever seen.

I normally don't cover the bread 'n' circuses beat...

...but this one goes out to Tareq Salahi:

(Stolen from the gunsmithing department at Coal Creek Armory last week, where it made me laugh so hard I blew coffee bubbles out my nose.)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Why does this not surprise me?

Missing moon rock found boxed up in old stuff from Bill Clinton's gubernatorial days.

It was probably buried under the "W" computer keycaps in the memorabilia from his presidential days...

Severe downturn in Sunshine & Kittens futures.

Between the handwringing over Greece and the Eurozone, the Palestinian-related hair-pulling at the UN, the stock market crapping the bed, and NASA running around yelling that the sky is falling, the only way you can tell the front page of from SurvivalBlog right now is by the graphics and color schemes.

I'm going short on Daffodils & Butterflies and buying more colanders.


You know the sound: Stay up until the cable channels contain more pitchmen and Snuggie commercials ("Snuggie! The official uniform of depression!") than they do actual programming content, and then flip around until you find a cop drama from the '70s.

As our heroes slew their Pontiac Catalina to a halt and go shuffle-stepping their blowdried and wide-collared way down the alley towards the bad guys' lair, snubbie revolvers held up in the Full Sabrina, the soundtrack invariably goes "wokachicka-wockachicka-BOMP!-BOMP!"

Recently at McKay's, I picked up a copy of Law Enforcement Handgun Digest, 3rd Edition, circa 1980, and that soundtrack practically wafts up off every page.

Wow, Massad Ayoob looks young!

Jeff Cooper, on the other hand, was already old, but as far as I can remember, he always was.

Apparently, the most important qualification for being on a SWAT team in those days was the ability to rock a pornstache and some serious sideburns.

Teacup Weaver was apparently still an approved stance, as well as that thing where you use your support hand to grab your dominant wrist. I have never figured out how that latter stance is supposed to improve your shooting, and I reckon it started to fade about the time that people started seeing photographs of themselves holding the gun that way; it doesn't even look natural or comfortable.

Also, it appears that the shotgun was meant to be fired from the hip.

The article topics are a blast from the past, too:
"WHAT'S THIS THING CALLED SWAT? -This department uses time, talk and tear gas -firearms only when necessary."
Nooo! I'm from the future! Turn back now, before it's too late! Think of the kittens!

"THE .41 MAGNUM LIVES - This caliber still does hard duty with some law enforcement agencies."
Can we all agree that this cartridge was practically stillborn?

"A HARD LOOK AT AUTOS - These handguns arouse pros and cons among law enforcement types."
Buddy, are you in for a shock over the next ten years. Also, there's this Austrian plastics company you should look into investing with.

They do some ballistic testing of various defense rounds in .357 Magnum, .41 Magnum and, I guess as a lark, 9x19mm. Instead of 10% ordnance gelatin or wet newspaper, the target medium is a whole bunch of pillows stuffed into some trash cans duct-taped end to end, which is supposed to simulate... well, I'm not exactly sure, actually. (Although they also used two layers of lamb ribs and filled the cavity between them with frankfurters. Maybe not the most accurate tissue simulator, but you gotta admit it sounds like big messy fun.)

There's an article entitled "Waiting For SWAT" that shows what undercover or off-duty officers should do while waiting for the guys with the AR-180s and Colt Pythons to arrive. Then there's a picture of said SWAT team, all clumped in a stairway with weapons at either high port or the half-Sabrina, and every single trigger finger I can see is securely parked right on the trigger. If you tossed a firecracker into that room, the ceiling would have more holes than a Paul Krugman column.


I'm gonna go read up on the pros and cons of the FBI Crouch now...

Felicitous Autumnal Equinox!

It is now officially autumn, although any schoolkid could tell you that fall starts on the day after Labor Day.

Outside, it's like they turned summer off with a switch. It's fifty-something and drizzly; the last few days it's been like Gaia was feeling bad about all the rain we didn't get in July and was trying to make up for it all at once.

Maybe we'll get a cantaloupe or two off those plants after all.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tab Clearing...

  • A review of pants that deserves a link, especially for using the word "gunwales".

  • I finally picked a team in the Kilted To Kick Cancer contest. The t-shirt in no way influenced my decision. Well, okay, maybe it did.

  • King Canute called. He said your stance on ebooks seemed familiar. (Sadly, I don't think public libraries, at least as I remember them from my youth, are much longer for this world, either.)

  • I see that SIG won the contract to supply sidearms to Food Court Team 6. Nice work, Ron Cohen; I love what you've done to another formerly respectable firearms business. Not many people can say that they've killed two whole gun companies in their lifetime. (Further, I can't believe American Handgunner put that abortion on their cover; I'm surprised Alex Hamilton and Clint Smith didn't resign their columns in disgust.)

  • That new Micro Uzi looks like a MAKO catalog threw up on it.


Broad Ripple Brew Pub.

Sunday. This Sunday. 3PM.

[monster truck commercial voice]"BE THERE!"[/monster truck commercial voice]

Misplaced Thrift?

So, yesterday I'm at the Mountain of Geese, picking up ammunition in order to make sure that I have enough for my upcoming Pistol class, and I have one of those experiences.

The older woman in line in front of me is apparently wanting a rebate coupon for the shock collar that she's purchasing. The line is piling up behind me, and spilling over to other registers as they open. Young Seth, the clerk, is paging glacially through his book of rebate coupons and not finding the item in question. I am beginning to suspect that he is in no danger of discovering any Unified Field Theories, and the customer doesn't strike me as a retired rocket surgeon, either.

Now the clerk's holding cryptic conversations with some oracular voice on the other end of his radio. Our rebate-seeker is unmoved. It has been nineteen minutes according to my cell phone clock; the customers are now flowing around us like we're a rock in the stream of retail commerce, and the rebate seeker ahead of me pouts "Well, fifteen dollars is a lot of money!"

Fifteen dollars? We've been standing here for nigh on half an hour! Minimum wage is $7.25/hr! Do the math lady! (It was at this point that I fished in my pocket to see if I had any folding money. As God is my witness, if I'd found a twenty at that point, I'd have handed it to her. My back teeth were floating.)

Today In History: Missionary Work Ain't What It Used To Be.

Nowadays, Christian churches send missionaries off into the wilds to open schools and medical clinics and show the poor benighted savages the love of Christ via the miracles of modern medicine and suchlike.

Back in Medieval days, they used to saddle up in big posses like the Teutonic Knights or the Livonian Brothers of the Sword, and gallop at the heathen Slavs and pagan Balts yelling "Love Jesus or we'll cut your bleedin' heads off!" and then steal everything that wasn't bolted down and rape everything that was. (Apparently the Gospels had fallen out of their Bibles and thus the reversion to more Old Testament tactics.)

On this date in 1236, a bunch of Sword Brothers and their lightly-armed retainers and hangers-on were returning towards their home base from a few weeks of recreational looting, raping and proselytizing across Samogitia (modern Lithuania) when they were brought to bay at a river crossing by a large force of understandably pissed-off Samogitians, who proceeded to hand them a good old-fashioned pagan ass-stomping now known as the Battle of Saule.

Those knights that weren't killed on the spot were sent fleeing. Local tribes, already 'pacified' once, realized that the crusading knights weren't made of undefeatium and got uppity in a torches and pitchforks and hang-the-mayor sort of way. The Brothers of the Sword were finished, with the survivors being absorbed by the Teutonic Knights, and the bloody conquest of the Baltic states was set back by a good dozen years.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Today In History: The Forty-Five.

On this date in 1745, Bonnie Prince Charlie's Scots got their uprising on with a bang by howling across the misty dawn fields outside the village of Prestonpans and stomping an English force under Sir John Cope to a fine red paste in only fifteen minutes.

Unfortunately, this gave them a somewhat inflated idea of their actual chances in a standup slugfest with the limeys, and the Forty-Five came to a screeching halt some seven months later in the mud of Culloden.

Oddly, despite a slew of dead Englishmen and a perfectly cromulent villain in the person of "Butcher" Cumberland, Mel Gibson has yet to make a movie about the Jacobite Uprising (although I've got a script underway, with the tentative working title of Mel Gibson Kills The English, Part III. If you like it, Mel, have your people call my people; we'll talk.)

Nothing new under the sun...

Borepatch has discovered the Evans rifle. I should have bought that one I once saw at a gun show for, like, $499. I bet the guy would have taken four and a half to not have to carry it home with him.

When the Calico carbine came out with its helical magazine behind the action, antique collectors just looked at it and thought "Huh. Just like an ol' Evans." (Similarly, the new Boberg XR-9's exotic shell elevator loading system? Webley Mars.)

There is very little new under the sun when it comes to firearms. Since, oh, probably the 1930s, the only advances have been in materials and construction techniques. Armies today are still using gas-operated, rotating bolt, brass-cased smokeless powder self-loaders, just like they were 75 years ago. The machine pistol has come and gone.

This is a very mature technology.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

If all the cool kids are jumping off a bridge...

...then I'm doing it too.

So, you're supposed to pull the knife out of your pocket and snap a picture of it. Mine's a Benchmade Stryker, because choosy chicks choose Benchmade!

Apparently Og is Patient Zero for this meme.

All guns break...

Have a classic "Made In West Germany" P-series SIG? How many rounds do you have through it? When's the last time you changed the roll pins that secure the breechblock in the slide?

Why do I ask? Oh, just curious, I guess...

Here's something I don't get...

Elsewhere on the internets, a discussion was ongoing regarding the proper time to disengage the thumb safety of a weapon.

This, of course, causes a lamp to illuminate somewhere at Warrior HQ on the internets and, constant as the northern star, a Suarez nuthugger shows up to rant and rave about "the dance of the range queen" and how "fine motor control" goes away in a gunfight and yadda-yadda, yackety-schmackety...

The next time one of these zombies gets its string pulled when you're in the room, point out to it that "Fine Motor Control" is anything that happens within one limb. If they really lost fine motor control, they wouldn't be able to hold the gun. Also, if safeties and slide releases use such fine motor control that you can't possibly operate them under stress, then how do they propose you work the trigger and magazine release? Head-butting?

Do these people think before they type, or do they just mindlessly repeat what they've been told?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Saber rattling.

There's a lot of talk going on about Turkey's Erdogan and the Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian government making kissy-face and what this may bode for the future of Israel.

Since nobody was willing to let Turkey join in the EU reindeer games, it looks like they've instead tried to pursue a job as the tallest midget at the state fair by going after a leadership role in the Muslim world. (They could probably become a leading producer of nonpolluting energy by wrapping Attaturk's corpse in copper wire and hooking his tomb into the national grid.)

There have been shooting wars in the Middle East before, and they occurred during the height of the Cold War, when the world was on a nukyular hair-trigger, and nobody wound up glowing in the dark. However, Erdogan provides an interesting wild card in this current iteration of Let's Everybody Try And Dogpile The Israelis, in that none of the previous engagements of this show have featured a NATO member as a participant.

Today In History: A pressing engagement.

In the 21st Century, teenage flights of paranormal fantasy have made Stephanie Meyer richer than God's accountant and turned the pasty, sunken-chested Robert Pattinson into the most unlikely adolescent heartthrob since Donny Osmond.

In the 17th Century, more or less the same teeny-bopper tendencies resulted in an outbreak of hysteria in Salem, Massachusetts that saw nineteen people hanged as witches for the crime of "witchcraft" after being fingered as such by the local Tiger Beat brigade.

On this date in 1692, Giles Corey, largely on the testimony of a thirteen year-old girl who claimed that his ghostly apparition had appeared to her and asked her to "write in the Devil's book", expired while trying to draw his last breath under a massive pile of rocks, placed there to encourage him to confess enter a plea.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I can barely keep a straight face...

...when telling this joke:
A black guy, a white guy, a Christian, a Muslim, and a Communist walk into a bar.

The bartender says "What can I get you, Mr. President?"
From my friend staghounds, who barely kept a straight face when telling it himself.

Fastly becoming furiouser.

Found an interview with one of the FFLs used (and I mean "used" in every sense of the word) by the BATFEIEIO to implement their "Fast and Furious" fiasco:
In the fall of 2009, ATF agents installed a secret phone line and hidden cameras in a ceiling panel and wall at Andre Howard's Lone Wolf gun store.

They gave him one basic instruction: Sell guns to every illegal purchaser who walks through the door.

For 15 months, Howard did as he was told.
I have spent most of my adult life working in gun stores, and that is just absolutely chilling.

When you're in the gun biz, the BATFEIEIO is not just the gun cops; they're the regulatory agency who has the power of economic life & death over your store and everybody who works in it. When an ATF guy walks in, no matter how friendly and cooperative he is, in the back of your mind there is always the lurking thought that this is the guy who can determine, with the stroke of a pen, whether everybody here is going to be able to afford to eat next week or not.

Further, it's hard to imagine an FFL turning down a request that, on its face, seems simple and straightforward: You want me to help in this program you say will put a dent in these narcotrafficantes that are turning the border counties into a movie set from Mad Max? Sure! Where do I sign up?

Talk about getting stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

You kids today don't know you're born...

Roomie reminisces about her first car, a '64 Falcon with three on the tree.

Gun nuts know 1968 as the year gun laws changed dramatically with the introduction of the national Gun Control Act. What they may not know is that '68 was also a turning point in cars, with the government meddling in things automotive, too, with the promulgation of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards from the newly-minted DOT.

I've only owned one car from before that period, a '67 Dodge Coronet. In that pre-FMVSS car, you could remove the ignition key from the dash-mounted switch while you were rolling down the road and chuck it out the window, should the urge strike you to be piloting a two-ton missile with no way to turn it off. The steering wheel did not lock when the car was parked. The steel dash was innocent of the most rudimentary padding and bristled with chrome knobs, the acres of sheet metal on its sculpted flanks were unmarred by safety lamps or reflectors, and shoulder belts were eschewed as an effete euro affectation.

This four-door monstrosity, with its vinyl bench seats and three-Hoffa trunk, was a midsize sedan by the standards of the day, and was nudged down the road by the daintiest V-8 in Chrysler's lineup: a 318 cubic-inch engine with a two-barrel carburettor and not even a Christmas tree air-freshener in the tailpipe to give its carbon emissions a pleasant pine-y aroma.

By comparison, my first car, a '74 Ford, was a padded cocoon, with three-point shoulder harnesses and an exterior slathered in chrome bumpers and side marker lights and a plumber's nightmare of hoses under the hood, shunting exhaust gasses and vacuum pressure hither and yon for the sake of the environment. Even the Ford, though, was a stagecoach compared to today's vehicles.

Back then, these Detroit leviathans were just old cars; they weren't collectors' items, rather they were what kids in the '80s could afford to buy with baby-sitting and grocery-bagging money if mom and dad weren't going to spring for a Honda. I miss them sometimes.

Friday, September 16, 2011

That '70s Show again.

I don't know about you, but I was watching the events in Cairo recently and thinking "At least Mohammed Reza Pahlavi got a doctor's appointment at Cornell; Mubarak's gonna end up with jumper cables clamped to his junk before this is all over."

Meanwhile, with the peace-loving government in Cairo making ominous noises about the Camp David Accords, is Jimmy Carter going to have to FedEx his Nobel back to Oslo?

(And seriously, Egypt: I have to admire the pluck, but how many ass-whippings do you need to take at the hands of the Israelis before you realize that your days of martial glory were buried with Ramses II? You've been conquered by the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, French, and British. The only nation you've defeated in war since the discovery of iron is Libya, and they can't even kick their own ass without outside help.)

Overheard in the car:

After an annoying experience with a bumper sticker slathered commutermobile:
Me: "If more of these idiots would spend as much time worrying about using their turn signals as they do worrying about what other people are doing in their bedrooms, this would be a much better world!"

CNN Reports 'Tea Party' Successfully Re-Branded.

So, starting from the simple notion that the government was spending too much and that we were Taxed Enough Already, an informal, leaderless, non-partisan "throw the bums out" grassroots groundswell grew and rocked the 2010 elections enough to worry TPTB. (That's "The Powers That Broadcast".)

As various more-or-less mainstream GOP politicians tried to scramble to the front of the parade, slip elephants into the march, and climb on the bandwagon, the mainstream media's punditocracy set to work with warped planks and thirty-year-old recycled nails building what they thought the campaign platform of the "Tea Baggers" should be.

Mission accomplished. The Tea Party©®™ has been successfully re-branded as the racist "angry white male" Kooky Wing Of The GOP with positions on "global warming, evolution, abortion, gay marriage, the Federal Reserve, the Department of Education, ...Social Security", vaccinations, water fluoridation, cattle mutilation, and the international communist conspiracy to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids.

Good job! We now return you to your current episode of Dancing With The Stars, already in progress.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Gun... Sorta.

So I got my hands on a new heater. Or most of one. It's a French M1873 revolver. The DA trigger threw its hands up and fled the battlefield sometime in the last century and a half, leaving it single-action-only, and the Peacemaker-style ejector assembly is long gone, leaving you to poke spent cases our with a stick, but at forty bucks, the price was definitely right to add it to Miss Tam's Home For Derelict Firearms.

Now to find some 11x17mmR ammunition. (With a muzzle velocity of around 500fps, if you noticed that Pvt. Jaques was drawing a bead on you, you might be able to outrun the bullet with enough of a head start...)

Cybernauts II: Electric Boogaloo.

So, back during the 2008 election, in the short breaks he took between burning down nunneries and peeing on Elvis's grave, Barack Obama generated some easy content for bloggers by launching a "crack team of cybernauts" to combat online slurs and rumors, which gave me a whole new category of blog posts.

Now that he's taking a break from presidentin' to do what he loves best, candidate Obama has launched Cybernauts II: Electric Boogaloo, which took only 24 hours to become the laughingstock of the internet.

Say what you will about Bill Clinton, he was never this tone-deaf.


Overslept. Sorry 'bout that.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

That was weird.

I dreamed I went out on the range at Coal Creek Armory to shoot my CCW pistol, and when I'd set up the target and drew my pistol, I was rewarded with a *click* instead of a *BANG!*.

When I checked, there wasn't a round in the chamber. This bugged Dream Me because the last thing I do when I holster up in the morning is check the chamber on the piece to make sure that the cartridge fairy hasn't come in the middle of the night and made off with the round up the pipe.

I've never had this particular dream before. Strange.

What I've been reading...

Michael Z. Williamson's Freehold remains one of my favorite Libertopian SF novels. Like El Neil's North American Confederacy in The Probability Broach, you get to see Williamson's freedom-loving planet of Grainne through the eyes of an outsider, and therefore it works well as a story without getting ham-handed or requiring any chapter-long soliloquies. I've probably re-read it three times and, come to think of it, maybe I'll do so again here, shortly.

The kinda-sorta sequel, The Weapon, is a good novel that is, for me, only marred by what I've taken to referring to as "MadMike-itis": He spends two thirds to three quarters of the book engaged in world-building, setting up plot dominoes, and getting you attached to the protagonist, and then it's like he notices the back cover getting closer and so ohmigodalotofstuffhappensbigfinaledenouementTHEEND. Worse, the book leaves the protagonist, one super commando named Kenneth Chinran, badly broken and rather shabbily treated by the universe, with no real resolution for his woes.

Now comes Rogue, a sequel to The Weapon (although it is written such that it can be read as a stand-alone novel,) and when I saw that it returned to the story of Ken, I snatched it up in hardback.

I was very pleased. It suffered from none of the pacing problems I mentioned above and, even better, ties up all the loose ends for a character who had been rather roughly handled by fate in the earlier work. I read it in one marathon session and feel like it was money well-spent. Recommend.

Well, that's interesting...

Louis Awerbuck seems initially impressed with the Kel-Tec KSG, with the caveat that it still has yet to prove itself over the long haul.

Given that Louis is pretty much the Yoda of shotguns, and that his panning of Benelli's M4 in a review in S.W.A.T. Magazine is still remembered in certain corners of the firearms industry, this is definitely worth noting. Also, since Louis is known for being the kind of ray of sunshine who'd respond to falling into a pile of gold coins with "Well, this will be nice if the tax man doesn't come take them away. We'll see..." his comments on the KSG are high praise, indeed.

Denny will have a full review in November's issue. I'm interested to see what happens when a few of these things get some mileage on them.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It stars who?

Falling down the Wikihole this morning, I was reading about the World of Sid and Marty Krofft when I was reminded of one of their more improbable TV ventures.

Every generation thinks that they have invented bizarre and inappropriate television (or at least every generation since the invention of TV, before that they had to settle for bizarre and inappropriate radio, or puppet shows,) but for those who think that Jersey Shore is something new in the annals of questionable taste, may I remind you that in 1984 the Kroffts successfully pitched CBS execs on a morning kiddie television show hosted by Richard Pryor: "Hey, kids! This morning we're going to learn how to freebase some m_____f____n' cocaine!"

Rumors of a revival of the show, this time titled Winehouse's Playhouse, have been put to bed for good.

The Silly Season gets sillier...

So yesterday, Mitt Romney, who is a New York newsroom liberal's idea of what a conservative Republican should be like, gained the support of all three dozen loyal backers of Tim Pawlenty. This should, theoretically at least, give Romney a base in the potent GOP machinery of those noted Red State strongholds, Massachusetts and Minnesota, which between them muster almost enough registered Republican voters to fill a smallish Ramada conference room.

The media promptly wet itself a little bit with joy, since an Obama/Romney race in November of next year would be their dream situation, being, as it were, a sort of de facto second Democrat primary.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I'm so glad that someone else has thought about this

Phil at Random Nuclear Strikes asks one of life's important questions. If you were about to be overrun by a necrotic tide of shambling zombies...
As you load your last mag into your chosen weapon, what song comes up your MP3 player/IPOD?
It's good to know that others have put serious consideration into this.

For me, it depends... Does the universe go into Zach Snyder-esque synchronized slow-mo as I dual-wield my 1911s into the hordes of the brain-eating undead, à la the apotheosis of Tallahassee in Zombieland? ‘Cause if it does, then it’s “For Those About To Rock”.

Otherwise, it’s “Bodies” by Drowning Pool.

Overheard in Roomie's Bedroom:

The TV has cut on as alarum clock. The local newschick is standing by the Al Qaeda Victory Monument they unveiled in downtown Indy yesterday and explaining its symbolism at Volume 11 as a groggy roomie fumbles for the remote on her nightstand.

TeeWee: "...and the two columns are positioned to represent the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Atop one column is a bronze eagle facing New York..."

Me: "It should have been a bronze B-52 facing Mecca."
So now there are two bronze eagles facing in auspicious directions atop monuments in downtown Indy: One atop the noggin of Lady Victory on the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument which faces south, towards the ashes of a Confederacy which had barely stopped smoldering when the monument was erected, and one on the 9/11 Memorial, which faces New York, where they have bronzed their craters like a pair of baby shoes.

I was also reminded that the monument features a poem by a Hoosier school teacher, entitled "One", in which the teacher fondly remembers the Wonderful Unity We All Experienced As Americans On That Day. (You know, before the nasty partisan GOP neocon teabagger racists ruined everything. I got an eerie feeling that she thought 3,000 corpses was a small price to pay for the sanctifying group hug of victimhood and the transcendent thrill of Caring A Lot.)

I'm not sure which America she was in ten years ago, but in the one where I was, by sunset, half of the country was wringing its hands and wondering "Why do they hate us so?" while the other half, like my boss at the time, was chewing up the scenery and calling for Arabs under glass.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Not doing it this year.

Normally this is where we do the customary "Where were you when..." post.

Not doin' it this year.

Every half-assed artiste and self-important talking head is going to be engaged in an orgy of omphaloskepsis today, telling me how they felt on that day.

I don't care how they felt on that day.

The people whose feelings on that day would interest me most are too busy monitoring the reactors on submarines, playing swap-a-tronics in the electronic guts of a JSTARS, or shooting smelly terrorists in the face to go pose for the cameras in NYC.

Tab Clearing...

  • How come I had never been to Bacon Salt's homepage?

  • Check your carry ammo. "But I only use quality factory ammunition!" No, seriously: Check your carry ammo.

  • The Wrongest Thing On The Internet: What exactly is the penance one must do for laughing 'til one's sides hurt at a reenactment of tens of thousands of human beings being reduced to radioactive ash, set to the tune of "Yakety Sax"?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

This just keeps getting better...

Yet another Fast & Furious gun is tied to the murder of agent Brian Terry.

Even better, the Feebs have known about it all along and sat on the evidence to protect a confidential informant.

Even as we speak, some Phoenix, AZ attorney is on the horn with the Yellow Pages, getting the text of his back-cover ad changed:
"Have you or someone you love been shot by a gun provided by the ATF? Call 1-800-SUE-FEDS!"


It must be the new math...

Sebastian calls attention to the ever-classy Brady Campaign's latest attempt to use infamy to their advantage. With all the tact of someone passing out Amway literature at a funeral, they Tweeted:
"Since 9/11, more Americans have died from terrorism with guns than bombs!"
I guess all those IEDs don't count because the Bradyites don't consider out opponents as "terrorists" or our servicemen and -women as "Americans".

The Brady Bunch has always shown that they're willing to dance in blood at the drop of a victim's hat, but dancing in decade-old blood is just gross.

Cats and dogs, living together...

The Blade-Tech/Looper Hybrid is marketed as a pancake-style holster that ships with a second set of belt loops that allow it to be used as an IWB rig. It's constructed of a leather and kydex "sandwich" that places the kydex on the inside, next to the gun, and the leather on the outside, on the parts of the holster that other people can see, or which touch your buttocks when worn inside the waistband.

Its overall shape and dimensions are similar to the Versa-Max II which I normally carry, and so I figured the adjustment period would be brief. Oops.

First: A holster this wide works as an IWB in leather because, no matter how stiff that horsehide is, it has some "give" to conform to your body. In the leather-over-kydex Hybrid, there is no real give, and so it's like trying to stuff a slightly-curved dinnerplate into your trousers. This may work if your waistline is approximately eight feet in diameter, which mine isn't.

Second: Dear holstermakers, If your product includes more than one detachable part or replaceable or adjustable component, you should include at least a simple instruction sheet, perhaps with a line drawing. It would enhance the customer experience ever so. Kthxbye!

Third: There are no such thing as belt loops that 'fit 1.5"-to-1.75" belts'. Either they fit 1.5" belts, or they fit 1.75" belts. Plus, the extra loops made for IWB use are full of fail; they flop around on the belt and allow the holster to pop a good three-quarters of an inch out of the trousers before releasing the pistol.

On the upside, the kydex lining gives a clean release, and the adjustable tension screw lets you determine how much retention the holster offers. When used in conjunction with my 1.5" Milt Sparks belt, the OWB loops grip firmly and hold the holster stable.

Verdict: While comfortable, stable and adequate as an OWB pancake holster, the Hybrid is made of lose and fail as an IWB rig. Avoid.

(FTC Disclaimer: I wasted my own hard-earned cash on this dog, so go piss up a rope.)

Friday, September 09, 2011

Overheard in the Office:

RX: "That book you were reading the other day? About the Black Death?"

Me: "The Great Mortality?"

RX: "Yes, that one. May I read it?"

Me: "Sure!"

*heads up to my attic eyrie*

*am gone for quite some time*

*finally come back into office and lay book on roomie's desk*

RX: "Oh, you're back! I didn't mean for you to have to dig it out or anything..."

Me: "I didn't; it was right on top of a stack where I left it."

RX: "Well, you were gone for a while, and I thought you were having to search for it."

Me: "I was in a big room filled to the ceiling with books. How ever could I have gotten distracted?"

QotD: It's The Stupid Economy Edition.

"Will our Five Year Plan for a Great Leap Forward into the Iron Rice Bowl succeed?" -Roberta X
Both Paul Krugman and my roomie seem down on the Dear Reader's economic plan. Considering that one sleeps in John Maynard Keynes Underoos while the other has a tattoo that reads "IJohn Galt", you've got to hand it to the White House for coming up with a proposal that nobody could love.

Meanwhile, I'd like to offer my services to moderate the next GOP debate:
"Now, if you will all look down at your podiums, you will notice that you've all been provided with a short document. A few of you might even be vaguely familiar with it. If you don't mind, could you each just look in the part headed 'Article II' and point out to me the sentence or phrase that indicates that 'job creation' or 'the economy' is within the presidential purview?

We'll start with you, on the end, with the hair. No, not you... the
other one on the end, with the hair..."

Like a Cliff's Notes of everything that's wrong.

So, on the weekend of the tenth anniversary of the start of the Global War On a Noun, my fair city is unveiling, not a giant bronze equestrian statue of a Green Beret on horseback, trampling Taliban bodies 'neath his hooves, or a huge mural of a shroud-wrapped bin Laden being sent to sleep with the fishes off the fantail of the Carl Vinson, but a pair of rusty, charred beams more appropriate to an Al Qaeda Victory Monument.

Apparently, NYC's been handing these things out for the asking, and if Shelbyville has a WTC girder, then Springfield needs one, too.

And, this being America in the 21st Century, we just went ahead and erected the monument and are now shilling to pay for it, since we bought it on credit.

And, since the dedication ceremony will be taking place on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I'm sure the local police will be at Threat Level Plaid, complete with bomb-sniffing dogs and everything. And this being postmodern America, I'm sure police K-9 handlers have all taken a one-hour block of instruction on how to not offend Muslims with their dogs, which are, after all, haraam.

And meanwhile, the networks play footage of collapsing buildings over and over and over again, as viewers are invited to wriggle in their hair shirts and remember "New York or Nairobi, Bali or Belfast, Mumbai or Manila, or Lahore or London."

It's like a giant multi-layered wedding cake of everything that's wrong right now.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Getting press...

Operation "Gunwalker" makes Claire Wolfe's column in the October issue of S.W.A.T. Magazine.

(And the title has given me a frickin' earworm... "Who let the guns walk? Who, who, who, who?")

"If you blink, you'll die in the dark."

Some of y'all may have heard of FBI Agent Delf "Jelly" Bryce, hired during the gangster era by the FBI despite his lack of any kind of college degree because he was real good at shootin' people for the OKCPD.

(Remember that when you think we're living in an era of non-rights-respecting jackbooted thugs, as compared to some idyllic past. I'm sure everybody Bryce shot needed shootin'. Or at least he thought they did.)

While looking for the source of the quote used as the title of this post, I stumbled a cross a .pdf a link to a .pdf of his original employment application. Apparently they taught people to write pretty back then.

They're all out to get me...

There's a certain kind of high-functioning crazy that a lot of folks don't realize is walking among us.

The slightly smelly guy at work who doesn't socialize very well and seems a little obsessed with conspiracy theories; the neighbor who watches everyone stroll past on the sidewalk intently through the blinds and woe betide the dogwalker whose pooch strays onto the sacred greensward; the lady who glares at you and scribbles furiously in a notebook when you have the gall to park in a spot she was considering parking in herself.

Maybe these people are just cranky misanthropes like me; maybe the lady is making notes so that she can get home and make fun of you on her blog...

...or maybe they're bugnuts crazy.

Thanks to the internet, it's easy to get a look into the private worlds of people who, er, shall we say, experience reality a little differently than you and I. There's something about a giant virtual whiteboard that makes people want to scrawl graffiti on it (I should know; I spend half my time doing it) and some of that graffiti is just fascinating.

Earlier on this blog we met Texan Geral Sosbee, who is being hounded by the countless minions of the EffaBeeEeye.

Now, thanks to a chance comment at Popehat, I know how they're doing it: Gangstalking.

That's right. It turns out that this is a plan well-developed by governments around the world. That interviewer who didn't hire you? The cashier who rudely laughed at your attempt at conversation? The landlord who informed you that, due to some stupid technicality in the lease, you were being evicted? The guy who cut you off in traffic? They're all part of a systematic government plot to break your will and drive you crazy.

Wow. Just wow.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

You've got the wrong idea, sister. We aren't in this together.

In comments at Robb Allen's blog in a post regarding the IHOP shooting, logorrhoeic anti-gun commenter ubu52 nearly decorated her cupcakes on finding the following quote in a news article:
Ralph Swagler stayed down in his restaurant until the shots stopped.

"I had my pistol; I wasn't going up against an automatic rifle," Ralph Swagler said. "I'm sorry. I wish I would have shot him in the back now as he was going toward IHOP, but I wasn't clear on the situation."
Ralph Swagler is a smart man.

A handgun is for self-defense, not for charging into battle. Especially somebody else's battle.

I've got bad news for you, ubu52: If you're in the building next door and someone goes in there and starts shooting at you, I'm not coming over there to save you. My Supergirl Underoos are at the dry-cleaners. You're going to have to save yourself.

QotD: Bad Idea Edition.

Over at Popehat, a federal prosecutor in recovery (much like nobody is an "ex-alcoholic"...) offers a word of advice to folks in the Law Enforcement trade:
[I]f Steven Seagal asks you if you will stage a cock-fighting raid with a tank for the benefit of his reality show, if you have a badge, then you say no.
There are certain jobs where thinking "Wow! This is fun!" should be considered a potential warning sign that You're Doing It Wrong.

Settle down, there, Conan...

Abandoning his trusty steed, Paladin Strongheart continued up the carriage path towards the city of the Dark Tower, stronghold of the mighty wizard Rahm the Dancer...
State police arrested a shirtless man found marching along Interstate 65 in northwestern Indiana while holding a nearly 3 foot-long samurai-style sword.
Unfortunately, despite all signs indicating that Chicago was just over the horizon, Paladin Strongheart learned that one does not simply walk into Mordor, even with a sword forged of the finest steel by the gnomes of Pakistan and bought in the weapon bazaar at the Market of Flea.

Confronted by the evil henchmen of the Sheriff of Garyham, who appeared to be armed with phials of irritating, wands of tazing, and bracelets of arresting, Strongheart swung his sword, but rolled a Critical Miss. He then failed his saving throw against Going To Jail, and accompanied the warders peacefully.

Off-the-record sources have alleged that... (and I know you'll find this shocking,) ...marijuana was found in the car. I'm also considering starting a side pool on his BAC. Place your bets...

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Overheard in the Dining Room:

Roomie is getting ready to go to work...
Me: "Do you need me to fetch you anything while I'm at Target today? Ibuprofin...?"

RX: "Yes, I'm a little low."

Me: "Okay, I'll get a couple bottles while I'm there. I have to go there anyway because I'm out of... of..."

RX: "Greasy lumps of meat?"

Me: "Right! Yes!"

RX: "Huh?"

Me: "'Tabasco Slim Jims'. That's the phrase I was trying to spit out."

RX: "I was just picking random nonsense words, trying to be funny. I guess I know you too well..."

Like a prom dress for your pistol.

Barbecue guns demand barbecue holsters, right? And then there are times when you just want your heater to look its prettiest, like blogmeets or Gunblogger Rendezvous, or an open-carry picnic.

I've lamented on this blog before that it's hard to find a good holster for a Colt Pocket Hammerless, and at the LuckyGunner Bloggershoot I was speaking with Michael, of the eponymous holster site, and he casually mentioned to me that he'd gotten his hands on an M1903 mold gun. Would I like a pancake-style holster like the one Jennifer was wearing?

The holster in question was a striking white rayskin number, nicely finished, and of Michael's "hidden stitch" variety, which bonds an additional layer of leather over the outer face, concealing the stitching and making for a very dramatic looking holster, especially when combined with exotic leathers or funky dye jobs. We discussed belt width and pistol cant and preferred carry positions.

I warned him that, if the holster sucked big rocks up off the ground, I'd write that it sucked big rocks up off the ground. If it was "meh", the best he could expect would be some pointed asides scattered through various posts about "things I think it's important for a holster to have." He confidently told me to watch my mailbox.

Now, I'll admit that I'm a skeptic with startup holster companies. I'm a pretty hardcore holster snob: My daily carry rig, on which I've been sweating for years, is a horsehide Milt Sparks VM-2, and my backup holster for those days I'm feeling fat is a Brommeland Max Con V. I don't impress easy.

When I opened the package, I was impressed. The holster's molding was crisp (not an easy trick with the second layer of leather atop the first) and the edges were beautifully burnished. The stitching may be invisible from the front, but flip the holster over to the part nobody but the wearer will ever see, and it's still ruler straight, despite being hidden from view; this is like finding the underside of a show car with three coats of lovingly hand-buffed lacquer. The "hidden stitch" style, when combined with the black ray skin, makes for a striking holster.

When I put it on, I was even more impressed. Retention was good; the holster would hold the pistol snugly, even inverted, but the 'smooth-side in' construction allows a clean release with no suede boogers clinging to your heater. I'm sure if I was jumping out of helicopters with a knife in my teeth, I'd want a more positive retention device, but this really isn't that kind of holster; it was certainly up to chores around the house, puttering in the garden, and bicycling around the neighborhood. The molded-in curve made it sit all day comfortably at the ~4:30 position I favor, but tried it as far forward as 3:30 and still fit nicely. The belt loops gripped my 1.5" belt tightly and didn't allow the holster to shift on my belt unless I used both hands and really meant it, and even then you had to "inchworm" the belt through one slot at a time.

I will note that since my pistols are both of the pre-1909 "Type I" variety with the four inch barrel, I have a quarter inch of exposed muzzle, as the mold gun is no doubt of the far more common later variety with a 3.75" barrel. If this is the kind of thing that gives you the vapors, let Michael know and he can cut the holster to suit.

This is a very impressive holster, as sturdy as it is pretty; I have no problems endorsing it.

(Yes, FTC, he let me keep the holster. Now don't you have some productive work you could be doing? Oh, right, you're bureaucrats; I forgot.)

Monday, September 05, 2011

Took some time to celebrate, just one day out of life

Shootin' Buddy showed up at 0745 and we headed to LePeep for breakfast and thence to Iggle Crick.

Much powder was burned, as he has a class coming up in February and I'll be getting schooled by ToddG later this month, and a little bit of cramming to avoid coming down with That Guyitis never hurt anybody.

After shooting, we dropped off gear at Roseholme Cottage and took a field trip to the circle at the center of downtown Indy, dominated by the 284'-tall Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, currently undergoing refurbishment. There was a crane looming over the circle, and the 38-foot Lady Victory, fresh back from a visit to the day spa for a facial, a mani-pedi, and a resharpening of her seven-yard broadsword, was patiently waiting to be hoisted back up.

A leisurely stroll around downtown, lunch and a 71 Pale Ale at the Ram brewpub, and home for a bit of a Labor Day nap. I'll catch you kids in the evening...

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Overheard in the Office:

RX: "I know how to handle the wild hog problem in Texas: Introduce tigers. As a bonus, well, they may not fly, but they're pretty close to your dream of a twenty-foot predator."

Me: "Oh, yeah. But don't forget that pigs like to hide out in swales and creek beds and suchlike, so we could introduce Nile crocodiles, too."

RX: "But tigers like to swim, too!"

Me: *does that thing where I get all excited and wiggle my hands spastically* "Ooh! Then you'd have crocodile-versus-tiger battles, which would be cool! Especially if ninjas jumped into the middle of it!"

Overheard in the Office:

Discussing the hog pics in the post below:
Me: "If those big hogs looked familiar, it's because they were the same two we saw at the fair last year. Apparently, it was a rematch."

RX: "I kinda figured. I mean, a hog that big..."

Me: " don't eat him all at once."

RX: "You don't look at him all at once, either."

That's not a pig, this is a pig.

Farmer Frank, who's killed more pigs than brucellosis, weighs in (if you will) on the topic of monster wild hog photos that occasionally make their way into your email in-box, amongst the 419 scams and chain letters.

In reference to the type of State Fair pigs he mentioned, here's 2011's second-place hog, Tickle Me Elmo III, weighing in at just shy of 1,290 lbs:

And here's the 1,305-lb. champeen, Reggie, in all his porcine glory:

Look out! He's got a knife!

In a pen at the State Fair, it's kind of a cute sight. In a swale in the middle of peanut-farming country, it's a nightmare and a threat to a farmer's livelihood:

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Overheard in the Office:

So Bobbi is looking at pictures on some Burning Man-related site:
RX: "What the...?! Oh, this is... this is strange. Oh, Tam, you should turn around and see this picture..."

Me: (Presciently) "Nope. I know the kind of stuff that goes on at Burning Man."

RX: "It's some naked man..."

Me: "LalalalalalalalalalaIcan'thearyou!"

RX: "...wearing blue nail polish..."

Me: (sidling towards door) "Nope. Not turning around."

RX: "...and a belt."

Me: (now from hallway) "Oh, like that makes it okay."

RX: "Breda should see this. It'll put her off blue nail polish forever. He's a redhead."

Me: "Misery loves company! You just want this stuck in my head, too!"

RX: "And apparently Jewish. Or Protestant."

Me: "That's it. This is going on the internet."

RX: "I'll use it for my desktop wallpaper!"

Overheard in Roomie's Bedroom:

Roomie is laying back on her bed, watching a documentary about feral hippos in South America. Apparently these things were imported by drug barons and have escaped to the wild where they have set up housekeeping and are tearing up farmland like giant wild hogs and breeding like three-ton rabbits.
RX: "What?!? They're going to trank it! Shoot the hippo! It's not a puppy, it's an invasive species! Shoot the hippo!"

Me: "Better yet, let the land owner charge some yanqui gringo three thousand bucks to come shoot the hippo."
I wonder if they're any good to eat?

Hmm... My .405 Win Encore barrel looks a little light. Perhaps I should order one in .416 Rigby?

Raffle for a good cause.

Carteach0 is holding a raffle to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project with fabulous gun-related prizes: Holsters, lasers, AR mags, cleaning gear!

There's even jewelry and other stuff and tchotckes if, for some bizarre reason, you don't like guns and you're reading this blog anyway.

You should enter. It would make you happy.

Overheard in the Office:

RX: *laughs* "Hey, Tam, did you know Teddy Roosevelt nuked Japan?"

Me: "No, but it would have saved a lot of trouble down the road if he would have. It's a little-known fact that the Great White Fleet carried nuclear-tipped cruise missiles."

Friday, September 02, 2011

More than just a dining institution...

...Waffle House is used by FEMA to gauge the seriousness of storm damage in disaster-stricken areas:
Green means the restaurant is serving a full menu, a signal that damage in an area is limited and the lights are on. Yellow means a limited menu, indicating power from a generator, at best, and low food supplies. Red means the restaurant is closed, a sign of severe damage in the area or unsafe conditions.
Among other factoids, Waffle House is apparently rated as one of the top four companies in the nation for disaster preparedness, right up there with more obvious names like Lowe's and Home Despot, even having special pre-printed limited menus for use when there's no electricity.

I did not know that.

Apparently, they've gone big on generators, too, so at some restaurants you can stop in and listen to "Special Lady (at the Waffle House)" on the jukebox even when the power lines are down for miles around.

A reader related this story in an email:
"After an Ice storm eleven years ago they were the only place open. It took me two hours of cold work to get through the ice on my truck. After driving to work (closed) and back everything else closed, I saw a dim light on at Waffle House. The cook had brought in his Coleman camping lantern and they were open. The lights were out for about twenty miles around but they didn't give up. It is our favorite place to eat."
I love Waffle House so much.

QotD: Uncle Badtouch Edition.

In response to the inane use of the term "federal family" for .gov agencies, Jennifer cracks back with:
So if I ever choose to fly again, I shouldn’t worry about being probed by some degenerate government thug, I should just think of it like a visit to Uncle Pervy’s secret closet?
It's a good thing I'd just swallowed my soda when I read that, or things could have got all messy.

"3000 tyrants less than a mile away..."

Mather Byles' fear has come true.

Quick: Without looking anything up, name your city councilmen or county commissioners.

Remember, they can stifle business every bit as effectively as anybody in your state capital or in Washington, D.C.

For all the Two Minutes' Hate over the economy directed at the Dear Reader by the Tea Party crowd, he has a lot less influence over your local economy than do various licensing bureaus and zoning boards. And you have a lot less influence over him.

(H/T to Unc.)

I had a dream last night, 'cause it looked just like a dream...

Actually, the night before last was definitely a more unusual dream. I was in some little town in New Hampshire and there was an outbreak of zombies shambling all over the place, including the schoolmarm, but we'd left our guns in New York City, so I had to hop in my '72 Buick Electra Deuce-and-a-Quarter and drive down to fetch them.

And so there I was in a parking lot in the Big Apple in the middle of the night, with all these EBR's laid out on the trunk and roof of the car, loading mags by the mercury-vapor glow of the street light and trying to get the stupid passers-by to stop picking the guns up and pointing them at each other, when I noticed that someone had been into the cache and replaced all the AKs and MP-5s with airsoft guns, leaving us with about half as many guns as we should have had, and I thought "Dude, Marko is going to be pissed when he finds out."

My biggest worry was that there was only the one M4gery, and the other guns were SIG 552s and Galils and other guns whose manual of arms I'm not as switched on with. I can run an AR in my sleep (apparently) and I'm pretty up to speed on the AK and HK, but those had been replaced with airsofts, so I was hoping nobody else would want the M4.

And when I got back to New Hamster, we found out that it was a batch of bad pepperoncini that was turning people into brain-eating shamblers, and so we were driving from deli to pizzeria, smashing jars of pepperoncini.

Last night was your more basic run-of-the-mill dream that involved shopping in a Borders book store that had a breakfast buffet, and the other shoppers kept joggling my elbow in the buffet line and the bacon would slide off my plate, causing me to have to try and get back in line to get bacon. Also, there weren't enough napkins and the ones there were were flimsy like the ones in the packets with the plastic utensils at a takeout joint and they wouldn't get the bacon grease off your fingers worth a darn, and I was thinking "Whose bright idea was it to serve bacon in a book store, anyway?"

And the Borders was in some kind of post-apocalyptic Bartertown where they were building a working half-size model of the Space Shuttle to launch into orbit. And there was a Jayne-like statue of Bonnie in the town square for some reason, across from the place that sold antique hubcaps and '50s-vintage tin toys.

Anyhow, yeah, like I said: Pretty run-of-the-mill dream.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

So. Full. Of. Win.

How had I not seen this before?

I feel slightly more complete, now...

(And the fact that anybody with a desktop computer and a smidgen of talent these days can do SFX that shame Hollywood circa 1977 is just a bonus.)

Dude, that's so uncool.

Stealing from the Salvation Army? Really?

You know, these are the people you need to watch out for if the Civilization Light is ever turned off, no matter how briefly, due to turbulence. These are the footsoldiers of the Free S#!t Army; the future members of the Golden Horde; proto Mutant Zombie Bikers.

If they will drive up (in a newish Cadillac, in one case!) and loot the donation trailer for the Salvation Army in broad daylight on a sunny summer Sunday afternoon, imagine what they will do with a foot of water in the streets and the cops on the other side of town? Or after dark with a couple of city blocks aflame?

When someone has no sense of ethics other than "You Owe Me My Fair Share", the only thing keeping them in line is the fear of getting caught, because there is obviously no internal compunction keeping them in check, nor will they face any community opprobrium for their actions.

Tab Clearing...

Overheard in the Hallway:

Voice From The TV: "Libyan rebels say that if Gadahfi is caught, he will be tried, and executed by a firing squad."

Me: "I'm not sure the Libyan rebels have the whole concept of a 'trial' down pat yet."

A PhD in "Would You Like Fries With That?"

My first good belly laugh of the morning.

I needed that.

Meanwhile, in Lafayette...

Lafayette, Indiana, home of the low-speed riding lawnmower chase and rogue heifers that attack cops on the city streets, may be a sleepy small city on the tranquil banks of the Wabash, but it sure is good for providing the occasional story to spice up a slow news day.

The latest would be the news that the town had to cancel a planned parade for a local wounded veteran when the city fathers received the news that the police were currently giving him a parade down cell block A for having
...arrested [him] on suspicion of criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon, a Class D felony, and carrying a handgun without a permit, a Class A misdemeanor.
It seems he was involved in an argument with some dudes outside a bar (this is my shocked face) and decided to emphasize some of his debating points by discharging a handgun, first into the air and then into the ground. Something struck one of the dudes in the chest and, next thing you know, instead of riding on a float with Miss Soybean Festival 2010, our protagonist found himself riding in a Crown Vic with Officer Krupke.

Inside sources claim that the weapon in question, and I know you'll find this as surprising as I do, was a Taurus Judge. Maybe the boys from Brazil can use this in their advertising?