Friday, February 17, 2012


  • Off the shelf: The Enemy at the Gate: Habsburgs, Ottomans, and the Battle for Europe. I agree with the general Amazon consensus: 3.5 stars out of five. Interesting topic and good writing somewhat let down by rambling narrative.

  • LawDog gets a smartphone. Well, more of a dullnormalphone. Having been assimilated into the Borg myself now, I have to say that it seems odd to see someone wax all Luddite about pocket internet computers by writing about it on their desktop internet computer.

  • I want to get the Bayard and the Remington 51 to the range this weekend, but the box of .380 I bought a couple gun shows ago seems to have been air-soluble. Any of y'all seen it?


perlhaqr said...

the box of .380 I bought a couple gun shows ago seems to have been air-soluble. Any of y'all seen it?



Nathan said...

In my considered experience, pocket internet computers are pretty much useless for getting any actual work done. Certainly they are useful if you need to know something on the fly. But for posting (or even commenting) to blogs, I'll generally wait till I'm near the laptop or the desktop.

(Part of that has to do with my arthritic hands that really don't manipulate the little chiclet keys on the phone very well. YMMV.)

the pawnbroker said...

You know I'll have something to say about the "smartphone" thing later, but for now apropos only to the ironic element of it, this was just. too. funny. to pass up; it's like an international irony competition!

Tam said...


"You know I'll have something to say about the "smartphone" thing later..."

Seriously, save the keystrokes.

Critter said...

i need a new front sight on my Bayard. it's the sort that holds in the recoil spring and it broke off during firing a few years ago.

Pakkinpoppa said...

I borrowed your box of 380 and shot it.

Though I no longer own a 380, I do have either one or two boxes just in case I find one and it goes home with me.

I have a box of 8mm Mauser, a box of 308 (plus 4!), and a dozen or so of .45 ACP floating about.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Dammit. IS there a decent book about that historical era?

Bubblehead Les. said...

RE the 380: I'd ask the old Croatian hanging out in your shower.

pdb said...

I resisted the smartphone for a very long time, and only picked one up a month ago when my dumbphone went tits-up, and a friend of a friend was selling her HTC Touch4G for less than getting a Motorola Razr off of eBay.

I'm ashamed to admit how much I've enjoyed it. I'm using it without a data plan, because I'm a cheap bastard that refuses to pay twice for my internets. But there's usually an open wifi when I actually need the network.

What I didn't get before having one, is that the smartphone changes the internet from something I sit down and do, to something that's subservient to whatever else I'm doing at the moment. It turns the internet from a timesuck into a tool, and that's hard to put a price tag on.

Frank W. James said...

I'm waiting for a 'Smart' phone that activates with a 'button' as opposed to a 'touchscreen'.

My past dreadful experience with a 'Droid' pretty much put PAID to any further attempts by me to operate a 'touchscreen' portable communications device.

Yeah, I'm a Luddite!..

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Stingray said...

I have to say that it seems odd to see someone wax all Luddite about pocket internet computers by writing about it on their desktop internet computer.

Oooh, as much as I'll stand at Mr. The Dog's side on just about everything, that one left a mark just by area effect.

Seriously, save the keystrokes.

Good luck with that, Cnut. ;)

LabRat said...

Dang. I'm tempted to ask 'dog if that actually raised a welt.

mariner said...

Did it make noise as it dissolved?

LawDog said...

I'm beginning to feel a bit of kinship with a Spanish deckhand as he watched the HMS Victory tack along-side.


Drang said...

*Smartphones: Didn't want one, the kids that work for me won't call, they'll txt. Got one out of self-defense. I could live without one, but it sure is conveniant.
* Bets book on the Siege of Vienna is The Drawing Of The Dark by Tim Powers, in which the West is saved when merlin is able to serve The Fisher King his Mystical Dark beer in time.
*Been seeing more .380 on the shelves; I was considering giving the box or two we have squirreled away, away, but then I discovered that Mrs. Drang had bought herself an Elsi Pea, so I guess now.
*Did you change the Captcha system or is this Google's doing?

Kristopher said...

The captcha crap is google's doing.

You are being forced to do character recognition for free for some project of theirs.

Robin said...

Reading Empires of the Sea right now, about the siege of Malta and the battle of Lepanto.

Tam said...


"i need a new front sight on my Bayard. it's the sort that holds in the recoil spring and it broke off during firing a few years ago."

Seeing as how I'm looking for gun parts as varied as the magazine follower and spring for a Siamese Mauser to a recoil assembly for a Radom, I feel your pain. :o

the pawnbroker said...

"Seriously, save the keystrokes."

Heh. Coulda banked a few pokes there yourself, right? Delete what you please, or just keep your fingers in your ears while singing the "I won't hear you" song, whatever.

Of course your dismissal of LD's concerns as Luddism is the easy out. Harder -problematic too for a giddy proponent- is to consider that his vaguely troubled references to biometrics and the implications of the ubiquity of handheld Nasa supercomputers, likely has more to do with his years and his job...and mirror mine from our past exchanges.

As you've said, this genie's out of the bottle and it ain't going back in. Doesn't mean that us old guys have to aid and abet what many see as more proof that you gotta be careful what you wish for because you just might get it...and so much more, as Kristopher references above and as highlighted once again by the news out of Google today.

And in spite of your willingness to toss the belittling epithet or your bright if ignorant minions' (hey, rayray!) willingness to embrace it, that's not being a Luddite, it's being careful. And suspicious. And yeah, maybe a little bit paranoid. And maybe that's how us old guys got old.

Tam said...


Sorry, I should have been more explanatory.

1) There are no biometrics on most smartphones.

2) The simplest Jitterbug will track you and serve as a user-purchased bug as well as any iPhone.

If you think that your newer-than-2004 cell phone is somehow more "freedom enhancing" and "bug-proof" just because it doesn't run iOS or Android, you're fooling yourself.

If you think that the .gov has a reason to issue a warrant for you and you're doing something that you don't wan't the .gov to know about, take the battery out... or leave it at home, and it doesn't matter whether that cell phone is smart, dumb, or an average C+ student.

Now who's keeping their fingers in their ears? ;)

"likely has more to do with his years"

I see that one of us has met the 'Dog, and I know who it is. :D

Tam said...

Seriously, here's your Luddite info, circa 1971, from the Anarchist's Cookbook: "Never say anything on the phone you wouldn't say if a cop was in the room."

For the last 25 years or so, you could expand that to "Never say anything in the same room as a phone, landline or cell, smart or dumb, hung-up or off-the-hook, that you wouldn't say if a cop was in the room."

the pawnbroker said...


Actually I said "his years and his job", I thought clearly referencing maturity and experience. And note I also said "likely"...I don't know him, but I know lots of hims; if he is true to type then I know quite a lot *about* him, lack of personal relationships immaterial and notwithstanding.

The rest of your comment at 9:39, like similar and repeated responses to my comments in your prior posts, is not relevant to them. Jason's comments at LD's, and your reinforcement of them there, are.

As to your 9:51, many of the things I wouldn't want to be overheard or recorded by *anyone* were said *to* cops...and many, many things that they said to me they definitely wouldn't want to be eavesdropped. My gun counter was like the neighborhood bar for the local leo brass, and somehow I ended up as barkeeper/confidante. Good guys, mostly older, and almost universally concerned about where civilization and law enforcement were headed. I would, and did, tell them anything, and they to me...

But what cops or anyone else might hear or overhear from me is of relatively minor concern, and in any case they'd be bored to tears in no time. But what Google, and Facebook, and Amazon, and ATT, and Et Al, know and collect about me, and how that information might be used, abused, and shared, is of grave concern. And the portal to all of that and so much more is in our pocket; how it is stored and accessed by ourselves and others (biotech not yet common? Give it a minute and it'll be mandatory; see your post re universal internet password), is the gravest concern of all.

Until pretty recently I thought Orwell just had his time off by a hundred years, and that by 2084 Big Brother would truly have absorbed our individual selves into his collective self. Lately though I've been thinking he was only off by about thirty.

Give me just a little more time to pad the nest for my Sweetie for when I'm gone, and I'll be about ready to shuffle off and find out if God and Dad are really up There waiting for me.

Tam said...

Do you have cookies enabled?

Stingray said...

*facepalm* Will you at least get your chair out of the water before the upholstery is soaked?

the pawnbroker said...

"Do you have cookies enabled?"

That is the operative question.