Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The guns of Broad Ripple...

It occurs to me that some of my readers might not realize which song Weird Al is parodying in "White And Nerdy"...

I think someone was playing that in the next lane over on the way to the grocery store yesterday, but I couldn't be sure because I had the top down and my own stereo going...

They see me mowin'...

A Monster Hunter International role-playing game? I am so there.

Welcome to Bizarroworld.

In the wake of events in Colorado, if I could collect a dollar for each opinion piece or editorial that was some variation on "Should Guns Be Allowed In Movie Theaters?" I could buy that secret island fortress I've always wanted and be living like a Bond villain already.

Here's an example of someone who would have been tossing a dollar into my "sharks-with-frickin'-lasers" jar:
A screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Cookeville., Tenn., was halted on Thursday after a theater worker reported seeing a moviegoer with a gun.

According to the Cookeville Herald-Citizen, a police officer who arrived at the auditorium discovered three men with handguns.

The men didn't think they had done anything wrong: Each was one of the state's 344,000 handgun carry permit holders. They were told to put their guns in their vehicles, in accordance with theater policy, and then the movie resumed.
Oh. My. God.

It never fails to amaze me how impossibly stupid someone can be and yet still somehow remember to breathe. Listen, you ignorant window-licking paste eater, the compliance ratio with the "No Guns" policy in Aurora was three times better than yours! They only had something like a .03% non-compliance rate; just one guy ignored their signs!

"Should Guns Be Allowed In Movie Theaters?" my ass. Guns weren't allowed in the theater! People who put their trust in your fairy dust and rainbows "No Guns" policy paid for that trust with their lives. I hope you're fricking happy, you ghoul.

QotD: Now Piss Off Edition

pdb on proposals for magazine capacity restrictions:
The free exercise of my rights is not contingent on the approval of some parasite government bureaucrat or their pathetic fan club.
...and that's pretty much all the justification you need to exercise any of your rights, actually. I'll sit anywhere on this damned bus I want to, Senator Schumer, you loathsome Sméagol-looking little leech on the body politic, you.

Monday, July 30, 2012

On Fanbois...

My second HK P7M8 and Ken Onion Random Task. (Photo by Oleg Volk.)
The topic of annoying internet pistol fandom came up on a gun forum the other day. I couldn't resist:
HK fanbois and girlz are the worst, by far.

They're worse than flag-waving 1911 yayhoos who mumble quotes from Jeff Cooper in their sleep, celebrate JMB's birthday every year (it's the day before mine, in case you were wondering,) and make goofy cracks like "If it was good enough for Sergeant York, it's good enough for me!"

They're worse than guys who show up at GSSF matches wearing Glock hats, Glock shirts, a Glock windbreaker, and getting their Glock pistol in its Glock gun rug out of the Glock range bag that was in the back of their SUV with the Glock sticker on the back window and when they reach in to get it, you can see the big "G" logo tattooed on their arm. (Back in the early days of Win 95, I had a Glock desktop theme. Complete with .wav files of Tommy Lee Jones from US Marshals.)

HK owners are like BMW drivers. They think that by buying some mass-produced piece of Teutonic consumer goods, they have demonstrated, not only their discerning taste and refinement, but also their superior skill as an operator of said consumer good, because the skill comes in the box with the gun. P7 owners are tied with Mk23 owners as the pinnacles of the breed. (I actually cried when financial reasons compelled me to sell my first P7...)
Sputtering denials from folks who don't spot the Easter Eggs in 5, 4, 3...

Let there be light...

I had gotten slack about always having light.

Well, I always had "light", in that there's both a Photon microlight and a teeny little LED Lenser light on my keychain*, but I didn't always have LIGHT. I kept my Surefire Z2-S and my handy little Streamlight Microstream in outside pockets on my purse. I'd have carried the Microstream in a pocket, but at 28 lumens it wasn't a big enough improvement over the keychain lights to warrant another pocket wart in my mom jeans.

So when I left my purse at home or locked in the trunk, all I had was the dinky keychain lights. In light of certain recent events, not having a good bright light ready to hand was leaving me feeling less-than-prepared. Fortunately, one of the little trinkets in the freebie bags from Leatherman they gave us during the factory tour was a LED Lenser P3 AFS flashlight.

It has the sliding focus head that is the LED Lenser trademark, is machined aluminum, and despite being a little single AAA-cell flashlight about the size of the Microstream that easily slips into a pants pocket, it throws a no-kidding 75-lumen beam that will travel clean from, say, the middle/back rows of a theater to the emergency exit doors down by the screen, which was a comforting feeling when I went with Shootin' Buddy to see #OCCUPY_GOTHAM_CIT... er, The Dark Knight Rises this past Saturday.

Also, with the machined flats in the flashlight body, it's easily controlled by holding it between two fingers, just in case you needed both hands to, say, manipulate a pistol, for instance. I'm impressed. It's in my pocket right now, as a matter of fact; I had to take it out to snap the photo up there.

*There's a reason for the two bitty keychain lights and one or both of them being a Photon (or Photon knock-off). The Photon is flat and can be locked "on" and so, in a pinch, you can take it off the keychain and set it down to use like a little hands-free candle. Plus, the things are tiny, weigh nothing, and are dirt cheap. There's hardly a reason to not have a couple on your keyring.

Arsenal of Democracy, Hoosier Division

It makes a statement tastefully, no?

I want this molding from the Indiana World War Memorial Military Museum in my dream home. I especially like the alternating grenades and .30-'06 rounds on stripper clips between the clusters of cannon shells.

Because misery loves company...

...I'll just share this little news story I stumbled across this morning and now can't un-remember:
Brown lives in a neighborhood near several playgrounds and regularly invited children over to his house for pizza, according to the news site.

But it isn't the first time he's been eyed as suspicious. In 1998, he was investigated after police found several pairs of boys' underwear in the front seat of his car. He maintained that they were puppet clothes.
The above sentences only scratch the surface of the story. He was apparently arrested for multiple felony counts of "Just Generally Being A Creepy-Ass M__________r".

What do you do with a guy like this? I mean, assuming we don't find any half-eaten kids under his floorboards? He hasn't done it... yet. But he really, really wants to, and apparently isn't shy about telling people online about it, as long as he thought he was anonymous.

Every time I brush out the pelt on my wookie suit, I run into snarls and tangles like this.

Gone rodeo...

A cop from an Indianapolis suburb went to pull over a car for a burned-out taillight the other night, and things went all COPS! as the dude drove off, led the officer on a chase, then pulled up into somebody's yard and bailed out of his car, shooting...

Notice that "felon in possession" laws didn't seem to keep this guy from packing heat. Also note that he is not holding his gat all one-handed and gangsta style, but instead is rather effectively shooting up the driver's side of the cop car.

Found in the spam trap...

Skynet is starting to worry me with its weirdly evocative poetry:
hello dick That's cyclopean of the postal operation I'm terribly multifarious to here Tickled pink as stab to look at you all Proffer cordiality to to my blog max mara evening dresses

I think I have a new blog header, though....

Overheard in Roomie's Bedroom...

Her TeeWee has come on, blaring the local morning news. As always, I wander in to watch...
TeeWee: "...and after the break, we'll introduce you to a group of dancers from Indiana who are over in London entertaining people..."

Me: "...with the exotic native dances of the Hoosier people!"

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Overheard in the Office...

Me: "Washington, George Washington, fifty feet tall made of radiation*..."

RX: "No."

Me: "Yes. It's true. One time, George Washington killed a giant gorilla by yanking a great white shark out of the ocean by its tail and beating the gorilla to death with it. Then he used the shark to cut down a cherry tree."

Tab Clearing...

Oh, do want.

Matte black sex in the Oregon sun. (Click to make EXTREMELY huge.)
The big story in this picture is supposed to be the "Soon-To-Be-Released" Colt Competition .308 on the right, but really, I need a .308 self-loader like a hen needs a flag.

No, what threw me into paroxysms of avarice was that Colt Competition "Pro 18" on the left. With the eighteen-inch barrel and rifle-length gas tube and Geissele trigger, the thing shot like it was thought-controlled. Combined with the can it was wearing, it hardly moved under recoil. After running a couple mags through it, I had the wantsies so bad that I was a little dazed, else they would have needed a crowbar to get it out of my fingers.

Dear Santa: I have been very, very, very good this year...

(Also: First time I've used one of those 45° offset mini red dots combined with a low-power scope to shift back and forth between closer and farther targets. That's a pretty trick little feature.)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

It was a harsh penalty.

Back in Indiana's past, if a town got too ungodly or rambunctious or otherwise did not conform to neighborly standards, formal flooding procedures would be employed, and the town would be submerged under a reservoir*...

"English, m$#%@#$#! Do you speak it?"

With the dropping water level, the formally submerged town is available for tours. No word if the tours themselves will be black tie affairs or not.

*To the credulous reading this: I am joking. Now go formally submerge your head.

Swear to Bacchus...

Driving to pick up breakfast from Cafe Pretenchou, I saw a uniformed, armed IMPD officer riding home from graveyard shift on a 49cc Honda Ruckus.

While I'm sure it was just because the 114mpg Ruckus makes a swell little fair-weather urban commuter and not for the usual reasons grownups around here ride unplated 49cc scooters, I laughed out loud anyway...

His gun went to 11...

"You got any o' them Class III guns?"

Sigh. There's no such thing as a "Class III gun", Cletus...

The AK-57: Ten Clicks Deadlier Than The Regular AK-47!
Authorities are claiming that the earwitnesses in Pendleton, IN weren't wrong yesterday morning: Allegedly, the gun had been converted to fire full auto.

Things are not cleared up in the article at all, because the news station interviewed local police and a local non-Title 2 FFL, and between a reporter, the local cops, and the proprietor of Joe-Bob's Guns, you could take everything they know about NFA compliance and write it on the back of a postage stamp. In Sharpie.


  • We actually got a little bit of rain, complete with a sprinkling of hail, yesterday afternoon. I can tell a front came through because my right ankle was so sore when I woke up that I could hardly put any weight on it and let out whimpering noises when I did. Bobbi expressed concern at my treatment plan, which was to "Rub some dirt in it and walk it off..."

  • Yeah, it's been pretty dry around these parts.

  • On the TeeWee this morning were spandex-clad dudes out in the sunny English countryside, racing bicycles. (Or as the Brits call them, "spanners".)

  • I think I've been in a carbine class* with this dude:

*"Carbine Class: It's like flypaper for mall ninjas!" I can't get too preachy, though, because there's a Leatherman tool attached to my purse with MOLLE loops, so...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Early lunch...

So, being a good roomie, I've been assembling a sack lunch for Bobbi in the mornings more often recently. It's one thing to throw together a PB&J and a bag of baby carrots, as that doesn't really trigger my "I'm hungry" response, but it's another thing altogether to assemble a roast beef & Emmentaler on seeded rye with a schmear of creamy horseradish and not get hungry myself.

I've been eating lunch at about 0915 hrs the last few days.

In comments elsewhere...

Something Shootin' Buddy said on the phone yesterday combined with something Unc posted today to result in this comment I left over there:
Listening to media personalities and politicians pontificating on firearms and firearms laws is like listening to eighth graders pontificate on sex.

They sure don’t let lack of any first hand knowledge dampen their enthusiastically-held opinions.

Losing My Religion...

Quellist draws parallels between 1911 fandom and one's family religion...
The 1911 in my life, is very much like my Christian religious beliefs in that sense. They're relics, of my past and those of my father. He's still using his regularly. I still know where mine is, but it's a keepsake, and not something I carry around with me.
I couldn't resist adding the further parallel that "...people who are not believers spend a lot more time analyzing it and protesting it than is really warranted, thus proving it has a secret hold on their hearts, too," because I can't resist lobbing a verbal cherry bomb when I get the chance.

That'd be kinda cool, actually...

I dreamed that there was a new Olympic event that was sort of like a mashup of 3-gun shooting and the Biathlon, only in summer, combining cross-country trail running and shooting at various stages and targets along the way. I had been invited with some other bloggers to run the course before the event itself, and I was completely winded, footsore, and exhausted, but having big dirty fun.

I can't see why they don't replace Synchronized Interpretive Dancing with something cool like running around the woods and blasting stuff with shotguns.

I imagine that they'll just toss my suggestion in the same pile with the one I sent in about replacing electric foils with live blades to spice up the fencing events...

Bureau of Lies.

The day before yesterday, the NWS was issuing dire warnings about a "strong cold front" headed our way. Thunderstorms! 1-inch hailstones! Half-an-inch to an inch of rain! The temperature would drop from 96 degrees to 83 degrees!

I went and bought a six-pack of beer yesterday and prepared to settle in on the front porch to watch the glorious rain, only to see the line of precipitation disintegrate over the dead, dusty corn fields of southern Illinois. Not a drop fell here, and it was still in the high nineties at Roseholme as the sun went down.

I hope the National Weather Service dies in a crotch fire.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Oh, shut up, Bill...

Noted metrocon Bill O'Reilly goes into full-bore pearl-clutching mode over a few cases of ammo:
Congressman, let me break this to you, let me break this to you, if the FBI is alerted that somebody is buying 60,000 heavy duty rounds, they are going to check it out. Because that's what antiterrorism is. That's what they do.
God, Bill, don't be such a big girl's blouse; it's going to be hard to maintain your TeeWee tough guy image if you keep jumping up on the chair and shrieking like that.

I'll tell you what, Mr. O'Reilly: If you will pay for 60,000 rounds of ammo for me, I'll report myself to the BATFEIEIO.

"Hello, BATFE."

"Yes, this is Tamara. I just took delivery on 60,000 rounds of ammo."

"That's nice. What do you want us to do about it?"

"Nothing, really. Bill O'Reilly just thought you should know."

"Oh, okay."

"Okay, then. 'Bye, now!"
Just which team are you playing for, Bill?

Tell Ann to start looking at fabric swatches, Mitt...

...'cause y'all are going to need to pick out curtains for the Lincoln Bedroom.

At a speech before the Urban League yesterday, where one is expected to talk about street violence in much the same way that one would be expected to discuss soybean yields at a Farm Bureau convention, Obama made some comments that were no doubt carefully focus-grouped to be middle-of-the-road on the whole gun issue. You know the ones: "Duck hunting and Second Amendment good; crime guns and 'assault weapons' bad."

Unfortunately for him, the mic was on and the media has grabbed him by the back of the head and turned what was probably intended to be an exploratory I-dare-ya touch of the Second Amendment third rail with the tip of his tongue into a great big sloppy lick.

CNN plastered the top of their web page with "Obama: AK-47s Are For Soldiers" and reporter Ashley Killough described his tepid boilerplate as "[speaking] out forcefully." Need me to fetch you a moist towel, there, Ashley?

Anyhow, the NRA would like to thank you guys for all this ad copy. The gun thing was not an albatross that could be directly hung around Barry's neck until now, with everything being secondhand innuendo and hearsay, like Sarah Brady's reports of their meeting; now we have attributable quotes, and we can use your very own article in our footnotes. Thanks, Ash!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wait, what?

Welcome to the absolutely content-free campaign ad:

Did you get that message?

 "Indiana has a National Guard. I have seen them. Vote for me."

No indication that he has served with the Indiana National Guard, or what he plans to do with them if elected, just that he's seen them and has generally positive feelings about them. And they're a "blessing" (although a blessing from whom is carefully left unstated so that you can fill in the blank yourself.)

If that's the best the GOP has to offer, then what the heck, I'm voting for the crazy guy from the TV show. It makes every bit as much sense...

Off the shelf...

On the strength of the recommendation of dozens of blog commenters over the years, I got George MacDonald Fraser's WWII memoir, Quartered Safe Out Here, to read on my Kindle on the trip. Thank you to all who recommended it; it is right up there with With The Old Breed.

That was followed up on my return with Deadly Kingdom: The Book of Dangerous Animals because face-eating monkeys.

Recent events have me currently reading Clayton Cramer's My Brother Ron: A Personal and Social History of the Deinstitutionalization of the Mentally Ill. (Which is fascinating thus far for its study of the treatment of the mentally ill in American history.) It's a knotty problem: How do you deal with the non compost mental in a free society that respects individual liberty and human dignity? Life was simpler when I had glib answers to that question*...

*"Lock 'em up!" as a young conservative and "Everybody's got a right to be crazy!" as an adult wookie-suiter. Is pre-crime incarceration, a la Minority Report, okay if the diagnosis comes from a psychiatrist rather than a psychic? Is a crazy person, like a minor, not entitled to the full range of liberties and rights of citizenship?

Sweating like a Sergio Leone closeup...

They're calling for a high temp over a hundred today, our ninth above the century mark so far this year. This has officially ceased to amuse me.

Meanwhile, yesterday's front, the one that dumped inches of rain on Kokomo to the north, slid on past without coming within ten miles of the northern Indy burbs.

Mother Nature is a fink.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

QotD: Sublimest Word Edition...

From friend MattG:
But responsibility isn't just a word. It's a reality that means that if you don't do the job, it doesn't get done. There are consequences for failing in your responsibilities.
A lot of people in modern disposable short-attention-spa... Squirrel! ...America would sound silly or hokey saying that. Matt is one of those that doesn't.

That's the way we work.

In the wake of recent events, the internet has been letting its idiot flag fly even higher than usual. Regarding the inane conspiracy theories, Marko gripes:
It seems that the natural tendency in the face of such appalling, senseless carnage is to assign responsibility to the people and political viewpoints one doesn’t like, and then to project one’s own attitudes onto them, all before the first bit of evidence comes in.

This is one of those weeks when I spend a great deal of time wondering how our species has ever made it down from the trees and off the African savanna.
We’re pattern-seeking animals, Marko. There’s no evolutionary advantage to assuming that Ook and Eek disappeared from the troop because Random Incomprehensible S#!t. When there aren't any patterns to find, we'll make 'em up.

Also, we didn't make it off the savanna in spite of our propensity for killing, we made it off the savanna because of our propensity for killing. In order to properly control something, one first must not deny that it exists.

People get mauled by chimps when they forget that the cute, birthday-hat wearing Bonzo in front of them is a fanged killer who has no qualms about using violence to get what it wants. It's easy to let all the sonnets and science, art and architecture lull you into forgetting that you're locked in the biggest monkey cage of all with a few billion critters who make Bonzo look like a tame kitten.

Automotif III

1967 Shelby GT500. It matched the avocado dishwasher, I guess.

The gun show last weekend was in the Kokomo Event Center, which also happens to house a spiffy little car museum. I'm sure Bobbi and I will be uploading pictures off and on for a while to come...

The GT500 above raises mixed emotions... On the one hand, putting that big FE block up front destroys the handling qualities the small-block GT350 was known for. On the other hand, it would burn the rear tires down to the rims with a sharp glance at the gas pedal, plus lots of scoops.

If A, then E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y.

Do they not teach logic in college anymore? Over at CNN.com, David Frum strained and grunted at his keyboard, and the following plopped out:
At the same time, people hesitate to own guns themselves because they recognize that keeping a gun in the house is a dangerous thing to do. A gun in the house minimally doubles the risk that a household member will kill himself or herself. (Some studies put the increase in suicide risk as high as 10 times.) An American is 50% more likely to be shot dead by his or her own hand than to be shot dead by a criminal assailant.
Post hoc, ergo propter hockey, to steal a line from Florence King.

Did you know that people who own motorcycles are vastly more likely to belong to biker gangs than people who don't? Sensible Americans stay out of Yamaha dealerships, because they know that buying a motorcycle makes them a thousand times more likely to find themselves kneeling on the floor in a drunken stupor, wearing motor oil crusted denim while a bunch of color-flying barbarians stand in a half-circle and pee on them.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Uphill both ways...

Bill Quick reminisces on the hot summers growing up in Indiana:
I didn’t mind the heat all that much, though. Apparently, since I grew up in that climate, I still retain the ability to adjust to it with relative ease.
I had no idea his memories stretched back that far. ;)

The only thing keeping me from being completely miserable, other than central air, is that I grew up in Atlanta, and what Indianapolis calls a 'record heat wave', we called 'July'.

On the other hand, the drought is epic. En route to the fun show yesterday, Bobbi noted that you could probably wade across the White River just east of the College Avenue bridge. According to Farmer Frank, the corn crop up in his neck of the woods is pretty much done for, whether it starts raining now or not...

Automotif II

18 cylinders, 1100+ horsepower, $400,000
Street scene in Portland: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and Audi R8 GT. Couple of nice little grocery-getters right there...

Overheard on College Avenue...

Heading south on College after yesterday's fun show excursion, Bobbi and I passed a couple out riding on a couple of Chinese HTV-mobiles*...
Me: "What did the sticker on that first one say? 'Peace-something'. Peace Racer? Peace Rider? Peace F*%er?"

RX: "'The new Ford Peacef*%er! Powered by unicorn farts!"

Me: "No, powered by hippie tears! And every time your 'low fuel' light comes on, you have to pull over and punch a hippie to gas up! It'd be the perfect vehicle for Broad Ripple, because fuel would be too cheap to meter."
(It said "Peace Ride", as we discovered when they came ring-ding-ding-ing up at the next traffic light.)

*In Indiana, scooters with an engine displacement of less than 50cc's are not considered motor vehicles, and do not require a license to operate, which warms the more anarchic cockles of my heart. They are frequently piloted by Habitual Traffic Violators. It is customary to say "Sorry about your license!" when passing one. (Or at least it is for me.)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Automotif I

Seen outside the local boozearama in Broad Ripple on Friday afternoon:

1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS396.

Even sitting quietly in the parking lot, it seemed to emanate the faint tones of a George Thorogood tune. It was just that b-b-b-b-bad. Next to it, even the Zed Drei looked like a Playmobil toy...

Overheard in the Kitchen...

Me: "...and I'm telling you, he knows what the windows on the short bus taste like."

RX: "'These windows taste like wetawd spit!'"
Just running that line back through my head caused me to spray coffee out my nose.

Talk about what you know best.

Our gun laws are also insane, but many refuse to make the connection.
...or so says Roger Ebert. And believe me, if anybody knows "insane", it's Roger. He's personally trod every square foot of that terrain.

Careful you don't splash the blood around too much, there, Rog; those trousers look dry-clean only.

I call it "Jimmy Carter Syndrome", the disease that progresses with age and causes the mask of affability to fall away, revealing the bitter, petulant, sniping, shrewish character that lurked beneath the surface all along.

Unsolicited Product Endorsement

The trip began, as trips so often do, with a long slog through the airport. And then a long slog through another airport, followed by a relatively short airport slog on the far end.

Once in Portland, we walked to lunch, and then another sixteen blocks to Powell's book store. And that evening featured a roughly ten block hike to a restaurant for a bit of mix'n'mingle type stuff.

Now, this is a lot of walking, but should hardly be fatal for a not terribly out-of-shape adult human being; our ancestors probably walked farther just to find a really good rock with which to hit critters over the head. It was therefore a mystery why it left my feet feeling so tore up.

Sunday was spent pretty much entirely on my feet at the range, and that's, I guess, when the limping started. And the limping aggravated the old war wounds in my gammy leg, making things really dire by Monday morning's factory tours.

Just before we left the Danner factory store on Monday, I had my foot measured. Did you know your feet grow as you get older? That's right, the boots I was wearing were a size too small. And they were rubbing blisters, causing me to curl my toes and limp. As a result, what was supposed to be a "Run & Gun"-type shooting match turned into more of a "Shamble & Shoot" affair, with me never exceeding a sort of shuffling, wincing half-jog on any stage.

My first day home, Bobbi and I set out to fetch me some shoes that fit. Now, I realize that anybody who's known me for the past decade has only ever seen me wearing combat-type boots in basic black; they're as much a part of my uniform as the black ball cap, but I decided to try something new: Merrell Pace Gloves. In lavender, no less.

Oh. Emm. Gee. I've been wearing them since Friday morning (well, except when I'm asleep,) and it's the next best thing to going barefoot; you could stand on a quarter and tell if it's heads or tails. I walked to Zest for breakfast and hiked all over the Indiana World War Memorial yesterday with no ill effects. Being able to move my ankles and flex my feet as I walk has un-knotted my calf muscles and fixed the constant incipient cramping in the arch of my feet with the speed of a miracle cure.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dear Bill Maher,

Delta is ready when you are.

Tab Clearing...

  • Having recently been tormented by a housefly, the idea of this anti-fly shotgun that uses table salt for ammo is intriguing. I wonder how it works on carpenter bees?

  • Is there nothing that is beyond politicization these days? That just disgusts me. People on both ends of the political spectrum, most of whom couldn't spell "Sarajevo" if you spotted them everything up to the "j", are absolutely champing at the bit for a civil war.

  • About this time last year, they were blowing levees along the Mississippi to save the remains of Cairo, Illinois from historic flooding. Now they're having to dredge to keep the thing navigable in the midst of an historic drought. Old Man River sure is fickle...

Friday, July 20, 2012


Back on Eastern Daylight Time. My gyros are thoroughly tumbled; it's going to take a day or two to recalibrate.

I did, however, get a good solid eight hours of deep sleep.

More in a bit, when I'm all woken up.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What a fascinating modern world we live in...

Soaring at 31,000 feet over eastern Washington and Idaho and using the magic of a global information network beamed wirelessly to act as your own tour guide for the fascinating terrain unrolling beneath you.

We drove out of the high desert and down the Columbia gorge yesterday, my little camera clicking away like mad, and then I had the bonus of climbing out over the same terrain this morning, headed the other way and recognizing a lot of the same landmarks from the air. Can hardly wait to get home and hook up the camera.

And Now the News...

Getting away from the tranquil roar of full-auto fire in the desert and back into the maddening hum of the media bubble, I hear that NYC got hammered with golf ball-sized hail. I can only presume that they were out of frogs and brimstone.

Meanwhile, apparently a guy who wouldn't know a private company if it was stuffing a campaign contribution in his pocket offered his opinions on how private businesses are built.

File under "duh".

Maritime authorities recommend Western seafarers stay at least 200 nautical miles off Somalia and avoid the port of Mogadishu, the statement said.
Piracy has been with us for as long as men have gone down to the sea. It has only been beaten back when the great navies made a mission of wiping it out.

Until they do so again, and burn the nests to boot, anyone who willingly ventures near that wretched hive of scum and villainy (I mean Mogadishu, not Washington,) clearly knows what the windows on the short bus taste like.


Getting ready to saddle up the Boeing and head back to Hoosieropolis.

I went into this Midnight 3-Gun thing with a primary goal of not setting myself or anyone else on fire, and a secondary goal of not coming in dead last. (When I met up with my squad on the first night, somebody asked "You mean you picked this for your first 3-gun match? That's pretty hard core.")

I met my first goal with ease, and my second one just barely.

I could offer all kinds of reasons and excuses, but the plain fact of the matter is that I just need to get better. And a shotgun. Because I've got the bug pretty bad now.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

First World Problems...

"Dude, Google Maps won't tell me which overpasses don't leak."

On the other hand, maybe Portland hobos don't have laptops. Maybe the guy has a home, but only has the one pair of trousers, 'cause even Mike Rowe would be tearing at those and screaming "Get 'em off me!"

So cute you just want to pinch it.

Seen in a parking garage in Portland: a Nash Metropolitan. I snapped a photo because I can totally see my roomie with one of these funky little cars.

Overheard on Stage Four...

Stage Four started out with you shooting a "stage gun", in this case your choice of a Glock, XD, or one of a pair of M&Ps, through a window at some cardboard targets before setting it down and charging into this shoothouse-type structure, scooping your shotgun off a table and running down a hallway, blowing away some clay pigeons in rooms to your left & right, and then dumping the shotgun as you reached the back door and drawing your own pistol to engage a bunch of cardboard targets in the open bay behind the structure...

The lighted square in the middle of the photo is a shooter with a light-equipped pistol, mowing down targets out the back door at the end of the hallway. This stage was big dirty fun. Thank you, Crimson Trace!

RSO: "...and for your stage gun, you'll have a choice of Glock, XD, or M&P, so let us know which one you want before your run. Incidentally, when the squad he was on came through, Jerry Miculek said the M&P with the sticker on the frame was the best of the bunch."

Me: "Phhhtthhh! What does he know about guns? Anyway, uh, I'll take the M&P with the sticker on the frame."

Iain Harrison: "You know Jerry shoots for Smith & Wesson..."

Me: "Yeah, but he said that particular M&P. Besides, it might still have some of his shooting mojo on it."*

Later, after everything was winding down, I was talking with Iain and Frank James and Patrick Sweeney in the vendor tent (see how deftly I name-drop?) when this familiar-looking guy in a Team S&W shirt came wandering in, asking about food. Iain pointed him towards the table that had the leftovers from dinner. As he walked past, I did a double-take over my shoulder...

"That's Jerry Miculek!" I squeaked.

"Looking for leftovers," confirmed our host.

"Hang on, I'm having a fangirl moment... Hang on... Okay, I'm cool."

*Maybe it did. I smoked those four targets...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


It's 0500 here and we JUST stumbled off the bus from the range.

Tired, sore, hungry...

Maybe something after I've had a nap.

I'll note that shooting a Mk 46 with a FLIR thermal imaging sight at toastily illuminated targets when it's darker than three feet up a well-digger's butt is tons o' fun.

Also, protip: Midnight 3-Gun Invitational is... er... something of a challenging intro to 3-Gun, which is a fancy way of saying that thus far, I'm sucking pond water.

Now I'm taking my too-small boots off and putting my weary dogs in the tub and then bed.

Monday, July 16, 2012


 Welcome to Portland! Yes, those are cobweb-covered skeletons in the rumble seat there.

Last night, I met Kathy Jackson, of Cornered Cat fame, which feels weird to say. I mean, I've known Kathy via web forum post & private message, email, and phone call for over a decade; I'd considered her a friend and had never actually laid eyes on her in person. One of those weird artifacts of modern communications...

She and a friend played native guides, and we went off to get accordion played at us at a delicious German restaurant, hence the picture of the potato pancakes above, which I took because neener, Marko.


Pardon the brevity, but...

Long day at the range today. 3-Gun clinic for those of us who were total n00bs put on by Iain, who is a complete frickin' 3-gun ninja, BTW.

I feel like I have been beaten by a team of angry midgets with tee-ball bats.

Details in the morning. (Of the 3-gun clinic, not the midget beating.)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

That was interesting...

Somewhere over Kansas...

We're passing him on the outside!
Pardon the gigantic picture, but is that Southwestern livery?

Morning! (I think.)

When you're on Eastern time, it's easy to be an early riser on the west coast. It's harder to be a party animal, since you're hanging on your chinstrap by 9PM local, which is what I was doing last night.

I feel very much like a real gunwriter right now, having had lunch yesterday with Tom Gresham, Frank James, and Andrew Daun.

Where's Chewie?

Thirty floors over Portland, being wined & dined by Leatherman. (Which was cute and all. I didn't have the heart to tell them that there's no need to sell me; my purse already looks like a Leatherman catalog threw up in it.)

There I finally got to meet Iain Harrison and Shelley Rae; having spent the last couple years only about two degrees of Kevin Bacon away from them both, that was very enjoyable. Shelley informed me that Caleb, like Unc, had to punk out because work. Gracie from Packing Pretty was there, and probably lots of other people whose names I am totally forgetting because that's what I tend to do with names if I don't walk around with a pad and pen in my hand like a dork.

And now I've got to scrounge something in the way of food before we head out to the range...

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Or you could use soundtrucks blaring Country music.

I live in Broad Ripple, where tattooed hippies with safety pins through their cheeks sit in the duck crap next to the canal with their bandanna-wearing dogs and strum guitars so that the tourists will give them money to stop.

I say that in order to establish my hippie-spotting bona fides.

And speaking from that position of authority, I have to say that Portland has got a serious hippie problem.

It's one thing to keep a few around for entertainment, like we do, but if you don't get the granola crumbs off the floor and use a cleaner like 409 to mop up the spilled bong water, pretty soon you wind up with a major infestation like this.

It's hard to clear out a plague of hippies of this magnitude, but it can be done. What you need is about a hundred armed forces recruiters with a stack of job applications in one hand and a bar of soap in the other...

Change in fortunes...

Began my day in the emergency exit row of an A319: Window seat with legroom like a boss.

The guy came around to ask everybody in our row if we were clear on the requirements for sitting by the exit door. He showed up just as I was pulling my flashlight out of my purse and testing the beam against my palm before stowing it in my shirt pocket.

"You're good," he said, without waiting for me to say anything, and pointed at the person next to me...

Now I'm crammed in a cattle car of a 737-800, aisle seat in steerage, aft of the wing, with my knees jammed against my chin and barely enough room to open my laptop. Capt. & Mrs. A-hole are seated outboard of me. I was already in my seat when they showed up and gestured for me to rise so they could clamber in.

"Unless you want to trade seats?" I asked, hopefully.

"She'll be taking the window seat," replied Capt. A. in a peremptory tone, gesturing with his beach novel.

I bit my lip to keep from blurting "Pity about her vocal cords..." and let them in. I hope the nosy jerk is reading this as I type... Maybe so. He suddenly made a big show of looking out the window.

Notes from on high...

Over the Great Plains somewhere, doing in a couple hours by Frogjet what took a couple months by prairie schooner.

Sure is flat down there.

The last two times I flew out of IND have been at 0MG30 on a weekday, and I just basically walked up to security and got howdied on through, with nary a line in sight. This time they had the Disneyland queue ropes up and the place was a seething mass of aberrant humanity, all desperate to go someplace else of a sunny summer Saturday morn.

Over half an hour shuffling through that mess. It's a good thing they only have machines that can peek into your trousers, because if they had one that could peek into your brain, I'd be under the jail for multiple counts of sedition and worse.

Ran into Farmer Frank at the gate. I feel like a real gunwriter now. :)

They informed us that the A319 was booked to capacity: 126 souls en route to Salt Lake City. Amazing how many people got huffy that they wouldn't be able to bring 3 full-size carryons plus strollers for the anklebiters aboard a plane that was stuffed to the gills.

Sure used a lot of runway, FWIW.

Despite taking my time typing this, including a detour to the Wikipedia article on the A320 family, it is still flat as a board out there. Sure glad we're not doing this by Conestoga.

The taxi driver asked what was in the Pelican, a musical instrument? I said, "Well, sorta." No freakout at the Delta counter. IND remains a pretty chilled out place when it comes to flying with heaters.

Chatting with the Indy airport cop while waiting in the secure area, and he asked what I was going to be doing out in Portland. Visiting family? Business trip. Told him I was going to go shoot the Crimson Trace night 3-gun match, with lasers and flashlights and cool stuff like that. He wanted to come along.

STILL flat out there. The ground is covered with the distinctive circles of dryland farming, though, turning the Ogalalla Aquifer into food, so we're out over the High Plains proper now.

More later...

Leavin' On A Jet Plane

It's about 74 degrees ambient, my compass says I'm heading slightly south of west, and the guy on the intercom says I'm about 75 miles north of Saint Louis at 36,000 feet.

I'm sitting in a chair in the sky, and tooling along at something over 400 KIAS, and surfing the internets, which is pretty cool when you think about it, even if I can't use my wireless mouse on my laptop.

The plane's a A-319, which is bigger than a breadbox but smaller than the latest stretch 737. Still, it dwarfs the little ERJ Brazilian bottle rockets which are the only airliners I've been in since... has it been since 1994?

Cute little snack box Delta serves for six bucks; too bad you've got to be MacGuyver to get into the thing without tools. Were I smart, I'd have sharpened the corner of the little plastic thermometer/compass dangling off the zipper pull on my turse.

More later...


0430 hours is a damned unnatural time for an alarum clock to go off, that's all I'm saying.

Also, the government has taken almost all of the dignity and glamor out of flying. For one thing, it doesn't matter if everybody else on the plane got all dressed up to go flying, you've already seen all their bunions and hammertoes.

For another, do you know how stupid you'd look O.J.'ing through the airport, vaulting chairs and fellow travellers, with a pair of empty blue nitrile gloves fluttering from your beltline and a bunch of TSA mall ninjas puffing along in your wake?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Overheard in the Office...

Bobbi's still looking like death on a Ritz.

Me: "Poor roomie! We'll have to take you to the doctor..."

RX: "Yep."

Me: "...and trade you in on a newer model!"

RX: "..."

Me: "I'm just kidding. Besides, they don't have those at the doctor."

RX: "Sure they do. Where do you think they come from?"

Now all I need is a horse with no name.

The watering ban starts today in drought-stricken Indianapolis. The couple of neighbors who have been dragging out the sprinkler daily are going to have to watch their grass turn brown in order to keep the pumps in Eagle Creek Reservoir from sucking air. The local Catholic high school cheerleading squad had to ixnay their fund-raising car wash, too. (I was going to try to work a pun involving the word "habit" in there, but nun came to mind.)

The dropping water levels in all the creeks and lakes are causing problems for boaters, and no doubt offering new slalom challenges for water skiers.

On the other hand, if the IFD had waited another day or two, they wouldn't have needed a dive team to pull the unidentified stiff out of Little Eagle Creek; they could have just walked out and got him.

Bearing in mind that Indiana has been settled longer than the hairy-chested west, and our state seal shows a guy chopping down all the trees and scaring the buffalo away, we don't get great big raging fires in droughts like they do in, say, Colorado, where giant mountainsides blaze for days, but we did have a tidy, unassuming little lawn fire up in Amish country. I hope they saved the potato salad.

These are not the guitars you're looking for...

I dreamed I was in this little cabin on a lake in the piney woods near some mountains. I was learning to play bass guitar. Robb Allen stopped by to offer me some pointers, and we jammed together for a bit, playing Rush tunes because apparently that's what wookie suiters do if you put guitars in their hands, then he left.

After he left, I was noodling around on the bass when suddenly the door burst in and a SWAT team came piling into the room. I was surprisingly nonchalant, and just sat there on the couch playing guitar as they ran around, looking in closets and under the bed, apparently not finding what they were looking for, and all filed out the front door again.

I went up and sat on the roof and played some more while watching eagles circle over the lake in the sunset. With the exception of the lost SWAT dudes, it was a pretty tranquil dream, and even they weren't that much of a hassle, since they more or less ignored me.

Now I kinda want to learn to play guitar while I'm awake.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Overheard in the Office...

Me: "Huh. 'Miss New Hampshire USA arrested for assault AGAIN.'"

RX: "What's she do? Beat people up?"

Me: "Dunno; haven't read it. Hits 'em with her tiara, I guess..."

A cheap copy of what?

So, Magpul makes these folding sights called the MBUS. The reasoning behind them appears to be that since backup sights are, you know, backup, then a light and inexpensive plastic unit should work just fine for the job.

Like pretty much everything Magpul makes, they've been a phenomenal sales success, as well they should be: A front-'n'-rear pair of MBUS sights costs less than most quality steel folding rear sights alone, and the rear sight by itself (if you have a fixed front like I do) is cheaper than even the relatively low-end and snag-prone Yankee Hill folding rear.

So now I find out that of course there's some Chinese company selling cheap plastic knockoffs of an already inexpensive plastic sight. And the packaging is such that an unscrupulous seller could pass them off as the real deal.

Folks, if you're at a gun show and that "Aimpoint" or "EOTech" or "Magpul" accessory is priced too good to be true, then it probably is. The fake problem is so bad with Aimpoints that they even have a whole "How To Spot A Fake Aimpoint" section on their web site...

BONUS!: Via email, "How to spot a bogus Loopie!"

You probably want me to write something, don't you?

Ow, my head.

Off to a real slow start this morning, which sucks because I have a ton of stuff to do today and tomorrow so I can go get probulated by the TSA on Saturday.

Coffee... Need coffee...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Notes from the Great Indiana Desert...

Remember how I said that it wasn't supposed to break 90 degrees the other day? Liars. Weatherfolk are a pack of liars. We are now on Day 16 of 90+ daily highs.

The purple gladiolas I planted out in the raised bed out front may not flower this year. I has a sad. :(

With no functioning external spigot and all watering done by lugging a 2-liter watering can into the yard, I've been forced into triaging plants: If it's not edible, it's just going to have to tough it out until the rains get here again. I find myself actually having to water chives and mint, something heretofore thought entirely unnecessary for these local weeds.

The hostas are looking rough and the plucky glads, which had survived having a tree dropped atop them and being under the tarp for the subsequent ent dismemberment, were so papery that I finally gave them a mercy soaking today. Maybe I'll get one half-hearted bloom out of them this year.

They're calling for spotty rain off and on from tomorrow through the weekend. I'll believe it when I see it. Don't forget that we also grow your food here.

The name of every tribe translates into "The People"

Mac v. PC

M&P v. Glock

Tastes Great v. Less Filling

I gotta run to the range and shoot the Glock and the M&P off the bench before it gets too hot out there....

The "N-word".

Seems Joan Peterson's been throwing around the N-word again, that four-letter one: "Need".
"[O]ur opponents repeatedly suggest that civilians should not be allowed to carry firearms for self-defense, a key reason being that civilians don’t receive sufficient training compared to police. But then when we seek out the same kind of training as police, they disapprovingly exclaim, “Who needs ‘tactical firearm training’?”"
I need 'tactical firearm training' because none of your business, Joan, that's why.

Further, I don't have to justify any "need" to you or anybody else. "Want" is just fine, Joan, there's no "need" required; it's not "Life, Liberty, and the purƒuit of Needs." If we were restricted to "needs", we'd all be living in 12'x8' cells on a bread-and-carrot-juice diet.

I understand that guns, the shooting thereof, and pretty much everything to do with them scare you to half to death, but that's just tough. And yes, guns that are improperly used or fall into the wrong hands can be dangerous. Same with everything from cars to claw hammers to cricket bats. Again, life's tough; buy a helmet.

If we got rid of everything I found dangerous or scary, there wouldn't be a stepladder or a clown left from sea to shining sea, and if we can't legislate fear and danger out of life just to make me happy, then we can't do it for you, either, Joan

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Side Streets of SoBro...

Took the side streets to the grocery store yesterday. It was pleasant, compared to the sauna of the last couple weeks, when stepping out the front door felt like stepping into a van left parked in the sun...

Super-trick Norton Commando café racer parked up in front of a couple be-scooped turbo Subies. That mo'cycle throws me into paroxysms of lust every time I motor past, even more than the Ducati SportClassic that used to park nearby. (There's also a Triumph Scrambler that lives on the same street.)

You know how I go on about narrow streets? The cell phone camera fisheyes things a bit, but if Captain Duallie  or Mr. Ford Familybus there had been parked about five or six feet back, the road would have been effectively blocked. As it was, it was a slalom to get through, even in the Zed Drei.

This one was actually taken two days earlier. I was sitting at the light and noticed the... 1960? ...Caddy Eldo ragtop driving around in 105 degree weather and had to try to snap a pic. Pardon the dirty windshield; the washer decided to take a dirtnap last week and it's been too dang hot outside to mess with tracing the reason.

What I was listening to while I was tooling around, accompanying some cool NASA solar flare vidjo footage. Entirely appropriate, given the local weather.

The opposite of news...

So, about this Jonathan Krohn thing: A thirteen-year-old kid delivers a speech pretty much reiterating everything his parents raised him to believe, then he turns seventeen and turns on those beliefs, claiming he wants to be his own individual.

In the polarized, hair-trigger American political scene of 2012, this is somehow seen as news.

Team Liberal is all excited that... well, angst-y teen rebelliousness still exists, apparently. Like that proves anything.

Meanwhile, I understand that Team Conservative actually let this kid speak at their annual CPAC witch-burnin' in '09, which should disgust any real conservative. As archconservative Florence King so eloquently put it:
If we want to regain the respect of the world, we should begin by announcing that children have no business expressing opinions on anything except 'Do you have enough room in the toes?' As for me, I'll take cats, those symbols of adultness and chief spreaders of impetigo in sandboxes - every little bit helps.
Now go inside and wash your hair, kid.

(H/T to Atomic Nerds.)

Did you know Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings?

The writer's bio blurb claims he's a lifetime car enthusiast and has been covering the auto beat for CNN/Money for seven years, so this paragraph rates a great big WTF?
When you think about ultra-high-performance cars, you usually think of brands like Ferrari, Lamborghini or McLaren. But brands like Chevrolet and Nissan are also playing in the supercar realm, as are luxury brands like Acura and Lexus, which are not usually known for extreme sports cars.
Two of the cars he cites, the Acura NSX and Corvette ZR-1, are revivals of nameplates that debuted in 1990, for heaven's sake. One of the brands he lists is Audi, which has a pedigree that includes the Quattro and S4. And it's not like Nissan's GT-R fell off the turnip truck last night, either...

That could be fun...

Marko on writing:
"A while ago, I had the brilliantly stupid idea to write two novels in tandem, and then I started playing with some ideas for a third one. The Military SF novel stands at 90% complete, the Urban Fantasy detective novel is 50% done, and the YA novel is at 30% or so. It’s nice to be able to switch gears and work on something else for a bit when you get stuck with one novel, but it sucks when you’re stuck on all of them. But things are progressing at a good clip now. (I’ve set up shop in the attic temporarily, where it’s kind of hot but very quiet, which may have something to do with the increased output lately.) I will have three finished novels to shop around later this year, in three different genres. Or I could just combine them all and mix chapters, see what kind of response I get from agents…"
Now who could resist a temptation like that?
Johnny wondered if he’d have the nerve to ask that hot lycanthrope infantry platoon sergeant to prom, especially when it was rumored she’d been responsible for those armored car heists in the warehouse district.

Surely Coach Merlin would have some suggestions on how to pick up girls after third-period Small Unit Tactics 101 let out…
...from my forthcoming magnum (as it were) opus, The Dame Wore A Digicam Cheerleader Outfit.

Tuesday morning miscellany...

Just finished re-reading Barbara Hambly's The Time of the Dark series. This probably my fourth time through the paperbacks since I first bought them twenty-some years ago, and the spines are starting to show it. I am happy to see that they are available on Kindle; Shakespeare it ain't, but it's a fun little yarn about a bookish grad student and a deadbeat airbrush jockey getting sucked into a medieval parallel universe with the subsequent wizarding and hacking and slashing. Swash gets buckled, royalty gets rescued, and the evil monsters are pretty unique...

FWIW, I don't know if you've been following The Oatmeal v. Funnyjunk saga, but Charles Carreon just got beat up by the internet.

Closing tax loopholes for the poor: It looks like those "Roll Your Own" cigarette joints that have been popping up in strip malls between the payroll loan places and the pay-as-you-go cell phone joints (you know the strip mall I'm talking about; it's the one behind the tote-the-note car lot...) are going to be shutting down. That was a brief phenomenon, and a testimonial to the fact that the American entrepreneurial spirit is still twitching, even with a half-dozen taxation 'n' regulatory bullets pumped into it. Let's hope it doesn't hold still enough for an easy coup de grace. (H/T to Zombie Rush.)

The weatherman is telling me that it will not quite make it to 90°F today. Since the mercury briefly flirted with 91 yesterday afternoon, that will make this the first day in two weeks that the daily high started with an "8".

I had a weird dream last night, but I can't remember it. It had something to do with running around in World of Warcraft with LabRat and Stingray. Since I can't remember my dream, go read JayG's, which is plenty weird in its own right because, Massachusetts, Jay? Really?

Monday, July 09, 2012

What media bias?

Remember back during the Bush administration, how every time the US deathometer in Iraq was about to roll over another even thousand, the media would count down to it like some ghoulish Dick Clark New Year's Eve special, waiting for the ball to drop?

Did you hear what happened last month in Afghanistan? Yeah, me neither.

I got your bipartisanship right here.

And I thought politics stateside were acrimonious:

I am not entirely against imported ideas. For instance, I think the occasional gunfight between representatives on the House floor would spice things up and generally liven the otherwise dull parliamentary proceedings. If they televised them, maybe on a new station called CSPAN-RAW!, and allowed betting, it'd probably make for a pretty decent revenue stream.

High and dry.

At the other end of the weather spectrum from drought-stricken Indiana is drowned-rat northern Florida.

Blogger Stephen of Standing Outside Looking In got to do an impromptu ammunition storage test when Ma Nature inundated the ammo storage facilities at the backwood range and hunting cabin he and his buddies have with a few feet of raging floodwaters.

He documented everything with extensive photographs; it's worth taking a look, especially if your ammo is in the basement and the sky is getting dark and ominous...

...and now it's an internet meme.

"...or what the Brits call a 'spanner'."
(The origin can be found here.)

That's a very good point...

ToddG called a halt to his endurance test of the Gen4 Glock 17 at 71,260 rounds due to a bit of odd wear on the breechface. The gun was still functional and, per Glock, probably had at least another 10,000 rounds in the slide (and Glock would no doubt replace the slide at no cost,) but since Todd uses his test guns as CCW pieces, he ended the test rather than continue carrying it.

Nothing out of the ordinary there, and I wasn't going to mention it until someone made a comment over there that I thought was worth repeating:
It is also notable that the steel slide wore out before the polymer frame, which were once thought to be too fragile.
The "plastic frame" thing should have been laid to rest years ago, but it somehow stays alive in internet forums, the dustier corners of gun shops, and way out on the far lanes at the club range. One is certainly free to question whether a polymer frame will last a hundred years, as the oldest ones are only a third of the way there, but I'd say the question of whether they'll last a hundred thousand rounds is well settled.

Well. That makes sense.

It seems that the incumbent Democrat administration has decided on its major re-election campaign plank: "Mitt Romney is out of touch with the middle class." While it may not fit on a bumper sticker the same way "HOPE" did, it looks to be all they've got this time 'round, in the face of economic news that has got to have Axelrod ordering Tums by the case lot.

Let us pause here to note the irony of a guy with a Harvard Law sheepskin on the wall handing his White House china coffee mug to an aide on Air Force One and calling someone "out of touch with the middle class".

However, this class warfare stuff, painting yourself as a regular champion of the little guy, is right in the wheelhouse of Obama's base, as can be witnessed by some of the icons in their party shrine:

Childhood home of Navy vet and handicapped activist Frank Roosevelt

Fishing cottage of bartender and steel mill worker Joe Kennedy
We'll see how the message resonates with the larger audience beyond the Donk faithful. It had better work, because nobody's buying "Hope & Change" anymore, except maybe those GOP loyalists hoping Romney will bring some, and Barry can't run on a health care platform because Mitt was Obamacaring back when Obama was still a junior senator voting "present".

Personally, I think it looks like he's flailing, here. This is not the smooth machine from four years ago; this is a guy reduced to running on a campaign of "Well... he's a poopie-head!" The major media outlets are running with it, but mechanically, without the tingle-in-the-leg enthusiasm from '08. Y'know, Barry might actually lose this one.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Oh, what a world! What a world!

Went to the range yesterday.

It was the second day in a row that the daily high hit 105°F, which is just shy of Indianapolis's all-time* record of 106, set back in the summer of '54, and the fourth day in a row that the mercury climbed into the triple digits.

I need to do something to texture the grip of my M&P; my palms were so sweaty that that thing squirmed in my hands like an eel every time a shot broke. I don't know how much texturing you can do with a CTC Lasergrip, though... Maybe deck tape?

Given the fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk conditions, the range wasn't terribly crowded. I was pleased to note that, out of the eight hardcore paying customers who braved the blast furnace to put lead downrange while we were there, two were decidedly non-ofay and five of us were chicks. #People_Of_The_Gun.

This is what winning looks like: Taste the ash heap of history, Sarah Brady.

*For weather purposes, time began in Indianapolis in 1871. Prior to that, the land here was without form, and void; and darkness lay upon the face of the White River.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Alert the Ministry of Irony.

In an interview, senior Obama adviser David Axelrod said
“Governor Romney and his campaign have stone-walled and are trying to turn the clock back 50 years on transparency and disclosure.”
When asked on what information he was basing this statement, the administration invoked executive privilege.

Tell you what, Dave, if Mitt slaps his papers down on one side of the table, what's your guy going to slap down to stay in the hand?

Yeah, thought so. You don't have a leg to stand on in the "transparency and disclosure" department, and you know it. The Obama campaign is, and always has been, to transparency what John Belushi was to sobriety.

(H/T to Rodger the Real King of France.).


So we've all been teeing off on the latest DHS-funded paper that, under the heading of Extreme Right-Wing, included such gems as being "reverent of individual liberty". Having nothing better to do, I figured that, since I had helped pay for the paper, I might as well read the whole thing...

Oh. My. God. What a dog's breakfast of blatant grant-milking. What did they do with the grant money they got for this? Piss it away in Vegas and then put this mess together the night before they sent it off to DHS?

By the time you check through every category of potential threat indicator, pretty much everyone in the entire country fits at least one warning sign or another, from the #OCCUPIERS to the Tea Party to the Greens to the Birchers. (Do not miss the multi-layered wedding cake of irony where ethnic minorities and racists are both potential sources of terrorism.)

What an amazing piece of ass-covering! No matter who commits the next terrorist attack on US soil, the guys who soaked the government got paid to compile this thing can say "See! We warned you!"

It's like a weatherman telling you that tomorrow's going to be either rainy or sunny or maybe snowing. Or possibly cloudy. Or hot. You never know...

Thanks for nothing, DHS. You never fail to live down to my expectations.

Why don't you just set my tax dollars on fire? That way at least someone could get some use out of them, like heat or light.

Or, wait, since you're in the mood to be handing out grant money for bogus nonsense, I have a proposal for thorough ballistic testing of potential terrorist weapons. I'll need enough money to buy... well, pretty much one of everything in last year's Guns & Ammo Annual. Plus I'll need some machine guns. And lots of ammo. Let me get some back-of-the-envelope figures put together regarding what we're talking about here, dollar-wise, and we'll talk, okay?

Friday, July 06, 2012

Where do all these open tabs come from?

I have got to stop doing that...

Cranked out a post of which I was very proud last night...

...and then instead of delaying it 'til prime-time this morning, I hit "publish" at 10:19PM. That's as dumb as writing good material on a weekend. You'd think after this many years I'd be better at this "blogging" stuff.

Tab Clearing...

  • The latest tagline around Roseholme Cottage is "or what the Brits call a 'spanner'," complete with air quotes, inserted after nearly any random noun in a sentence. (H/T to Jim at TMR.)

  • This column causes me to ponder three questions: 1) How do the citizens of, say, Denmark face the day knowing that their nation is not Number One in every conceivable category?, and 2) Putting aside various statistical concerns, is it more important to be #1 in Exports or #1 in Get Out Of My Face And Mind Your Own Business? and finally 3) Why do some people seem positively gleeful to find their country scoring low rankings? It's creepy, like those medieval guys who hit themselves with whips to make the plague go away.*

  • Here in Hoosieropolis, our ninjas run nekkid. It keeps the pirates away because, despite (or perhaps because of) their colorful attire and earrings, pirates are slightly homophobic and "Eww! Nekkid guy! Arrr!"

*Yes, I know they're called flagellants. I'm rolling.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

I find myself annoyed at redistricting...

...because I relished voting against Andre Carson, even if only as a sort of fruitless performance art, like few other things in the futile farce that is modern American politics. Hell, the opportunity to vote against Andre Carson is almost single-handedly what got me voting again after a long sabbatical. I scratched that #2 pencil in the little circle with rage that burns like the hearts of a billion suns at the blatant nepotism that parked this practically uniquely unqualified boob in the chair vacated by his career machine politician grandma once things got a little too Weekend At Bernie's on the House floor.

This genial ex-liquor cop's head is emptier than than a vegan restaurant at a cattleman's convention but because he had the right pedigree his gradually widening backside is parked in a chair on the House Committee on Financial Services, which is like... comparisons fail me... which is like putting me in charge of the Large Hadron Collider ("Hell, Doc, just turn up the juice and see what shakes loose.")

Madrassas as inspirational sources of, and I quote, "innovation and ingenuity"? Seriously, what innovation or ingenuity has come out of a Madrassa except innovative ways of packing more nails into your semtex jock strap for an ingenious fragmentation effect? (...and don't say "algebra", because what have you done for me lately?)

Yesterday, and all my troubles seem so far away...

Yesterday was the Fourth of July. It was the Fourth of July everywhere around the world, but here in these United States of America, it was also Independence Day.

Now, traditionally, Independence Day is when good Wookie Suiters join with the loyalists of the party that's out of power and complain about how the current pack of fascist/commies are trashing everything good about this country and destroying the spirit of America: basically ruining baseball, taking a dump in the apple pie, and then wiping themselves on mom's apron. A day for long faces and mopery and essays ever-so-wittily titled "Dependence Day" and Jefferson knows I've been guilty of it myself before.

But, you know, yesterday I said "Screw all that."

Since I spend the other 364 days a year feeling doomed and teeing off on the sack of bastards that cling leech-like to the body politic and making 2012 American suburbia sound like 1972 Karl-Marx-Stadt in the DDR only with more cable channels, I took one day off to feel like an American: I rolled around in a pile of 30-round magazines like Scrooge McDuck and did some snapping-in with an AR-15; I mooned a picture of the queen of England; I read whatever the hell I wanted to, even a few pages in a book printed by the CPUSA wondering if they could beat the Army in a guerrilla war; I sang "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"; I ate a delicious beef filet about the size of my head, fresh off the grill, with a 'tater to match.

I went to bed feeling pretty darn 'Murrican, let me tell you.

Woke up and checked around the internets today and... holy cow... how did I miss this? So yesterday I did a bunch of stuff to make me feel American. Today I'm going to run to the post office... to make me feel human.

Jonesing for a fix...

It's good to be reminded that the ability of the media and bureaucrats to get trolled by the simplest of things is a global phenomenon and not limited to your local area.

For example, the Media-Government Complex in Dubai went into a full-scale Code Brown alert over internet pictures of Nutella spread loaded into syringes. If anybody involved had stopped to think about the dynamics of this* for a moment, they would have realized that you'd either need a 2-ton hydraulic press to operate the plunger or a needle like an angle-cut piece of galvanized fence post to make such a thing even plausible, but why let common sense get in the way of a fit of shrieking pearl-clutchery?

Watch out for cell phone guns! (This email warning still circulates the web like a digital Marie Céleste and occasionally finds its way to the filler pages of a local newspaper or a police station bulletin board, despite nobody having seen a cell phone that looks like that in the wild since The X-Files was still on the air.)

*...and if you turn any newspaper office or radio or television studio upside down and shake it, you'll be ankle-deep in people with personal experience with syringes.