Friday, August 31, 2012

QotD: Taste the Haterade Edition

"This is because Kimber didn't design the 1911 - they just found ways to screw it up." -Andrew at Vuurwapen Blog
Wish I'd written that.

Anyway, speaking to the broader topic of his post, I'm not as down on carry gun modifications as he is, but I do see little reason to tweak a bunch of stuff that people often tweak.

Generally, for example, if people spent as much time and money learning to shoot the factory trigger in their plastic service autos as they did dicking around with aftermarket triggers, they'd probably be better off, and that applies to me, too (although in my defense, the Apex RAM in my M&P9 cost, like, less than a box of ammo and took less time to install than it does to drive to the range...)

"It's the economy, stupid."

Remember in the movie Pink Floyd's The Wall, when young Roger Waters' Giant Self-Absorbed Ego Pink finds the drawer with his dad's old war stuff in it, and the lyrics start out "Kind old King George sent mother a note when he heard that father had gone..." and end with "...and my eyes still grow damp to remember His Majesty signed with his own rubber stamp"?

Well, the Right half of the blogosphere has been going bezonkoids over finding out that the Executive Branch, posing as Barry O. himself, sends out form letters signed by electric pen to the families of deceased servicemen, as though George W. Bush had stayed up late hand-composing the things...

Has a service member's next-of-kin, outside of extremely extraordinary circumstances, received a hand-signed, actually-dictated-to-the-president's-secretary letter since... hell, since Lincoln?

Folks, seriously, of all the real things to dogpile on Barry about, this is just a non-starter.

(H/T to An Ordinary American)

Honey, I shrunk the storm.

Three days ago, the weatherpersons in my roomie's TeeWee were saying that Isaac was going to dump four to seven inches of rain on us over the weekend, and that good Hoosiers should grab hip waders and report to the statehouse for their sandbag ration.

Yesterday, this had changed to a forecast of two to four inches of rain and Labor Day had been rescheduled for the first dry weekend in October.

This morning they're saying one to three inches and bring an umbrella to the Rib America festival and expect some pauses to dry the track at the NHRA Nationals.

At this rate, I expect clouds to pass over tonight and actually suck moisture up and out of the ground. (Or we'll all be drownded by this time tomorrow, one.)

Meanwhile, Nawrlins has flooded again. This is my shocked face.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I don't get it...

Been wandering around on some gun fora today:
  • Every time I see a "Show off a picture of your Glock!" thread on a gun forum, I have to choke back the urge to post "See that picture above this post? Mine looks pretty much like that one."

  • Why do some posters list their whole gun collection in their signature lines? I completely do not get that. Also, if I owned that many products from Heritage Manufacturing, I sure wouldn't be telling the whole world about it.

  • I can take an hour or two of reading people who only make sporadic use of the shift key and insert an apostrophe before every incidence of the letter "s" before I have to go read something that has received the tender ministrations of a proofreader, lest I head up the nearest clock tower with a scoped rifle and a sack lunch.

A heck of a run...

Sitting at Oleg's kitchen table last week, composing a post, I realized that while I had blogged from that very chair many times before, it was the first time that I'd done it with anything but my old G3 iBook.

When I picked up that 17" Dell in New Hampshire earlier this year, it ended an eleven year run of using the key lime clamshell Mac laptop to do my interwebbing from the road. That's a heck of a run in today's world of disposable electronica.

It's still usable as a backup, too. Maybe I ought to look into getting a spare battery or two for it. You know, just in case.

It keeps me warm.

So, there's one of Caleb's auditioners writing up a field test of a Hi-Point C9, and I'm in the comments being a hater because it's what I do, and none of this is exceptionally unusual or noteworthy, but then! Lo! one of America's undercover retail security specialists shows up in comments to inform us that the elite Mall of America Food Court Team 6 may have transitioned to Hi-Point pistols and carbines from their previous loadout of Model 10s and Mossberg 500s.

Obviously this weapons system is a tactical platform that deserves a closer look, both for dynamic critical incidents as well as static routine ones*. Flawless reliability combined with combat accuracy (as long as you do your part!) is a package that can't be overlooked lightly.

*But not critical dynamic incidents. Or incidental critical dynamics.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Automotif V:

Seen on this morning's bicycle ride:

'48 or '49 Ford F-2 3/4-ton work truck. Obviously still hard at work.

Fat tires and twin centerline pipes would identify the 267 hp 2012 Golf R even if the solitary "R" badges didn't.
I've noticed that I've already started using a gear or two higher than the ones I was using a few weeks ago on my morning rides. I hardly use the 28 tooth cog on the back anymore for anything other than acceleration crossing Kessler Boulevard, otherwise I'm more or less always on the second or third smallest sprockets, given the shallow grades around here.

This is where hubris gets you.

Just yesterday I was all patting myself on the back over keeping up a 3.5 post/day average for seven years and so of course I wake up this morning and I've got bupkis. Total writer's block. My head is emptier than the Women's Studies building at the University of Riyadh.

We could sit around and tell knock-knock jokes, but I can't remember any of those off the top of my head, either.

I'm off to; if I can't find anything to make fun of over there, I may as well go back to bed and try again later.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Haters gonna hate...

Apparently Andrew over at Vuurwapen Blog fired enough lo-bujit rounds through an AR midlength carbine in a short enough amount of time that the handguards burst into flame*.

So some people started slamming the MagPul MOE handguards.

Let me get this straight: He puts half a case of steel-cased Russkie ammo through the carbine in about as much time as it takes to play a Slipknot tune, and the handguards are defective because they caught fire?

Some people would bitch if you hanged them with a new rope...

*Raise your hand if you've ever melted or ignited the furniture on a long gun in the name of science. I have, but it was low-rent East Bloc hardware, back in the day when you could get an SKS and a case of ammo for not much more than dinner at Outback. Cosmoline smells like petroleum-soaked sweat socks when it burns, BTW.

About time...

By popular demand, the Federal Aviation Administration is forming a group to study policies governing the use of consumer electronics in the sky.
While I'm sure it's possible that playing with your vaccuum tube tester in the smoking section of a Convair 600 would mess with the LORAN-A receiver something fierce, it's getting harder to buy into the whole idea that the tiniest electrical impulse in the cabin will send a modern jetliner veering wildly out of control to crash into the nearest orphanage or oil refinery when the pilot's approach plates are on a frickin' iPad.

Seriously, if a plane's electronics are so temperamental that they're in danger of going all divide-by-zero should somebody accidentally turn on their mp3 player at the wrong moment, are you sure that it deserves an airworthiness certificate?

*I was going to say "turns on their Walkman", but realized that doing so would mark me as an incipient geriatric.


On a whim yesterday, I did some searching on the Wikipedia:
The Far Side 15 years
Calvin and Hobbes 10 years
The X-Files 9 years
Bloom County 9 years
House 8 years
Moonlighting 5 years VFTP should have at least another couple of years before it becomes self-parody, burned out, or has a major cast member leave in a contractual huff.

Today marks seven years of pretty-much daily muttering over a keyboard before 0800 by someone who is not notably a morning person: 7 years, 8962 posts, 130148 comments, and 5360308 visits.

I'd like to sit around and mull over even more statistics 'cause I'm a nerd like that, but it's getting on towards eight, and I gotta get a post up...

Thanks for reading, everybody.

Monday, August 27, 2012


  • Remember I was talking about how much I liked my LED Lenser P3 AFS flashlight? Well, I lost it. I picked up a Streamlight Protac 2AA at the Mountain of Geese to serve in its stead, and it's a nice light, but it's just a bit too long for the front pockets of my mom jeans. I have since ordered a replacement P3 AFS from Amazon.

  • Saw Mike Williamson at the 1500. He had a pretty droll new tee shirt...

  • Picked up another M&P mag and another AR mag, because gun show. Also got my hands on one of those funky little Raven Vanguard 2's to try out. Full post to follow soon-ish.

The Saga Continues...

Back in '05, the Indiana State Police traded in their Beretta 96G pistols for Glock 22s. The swap would have seemed a no-brainer, since the .40 caliber Berettas weren't known for their long service lives and the Glock 22 was pretty much the Standard American Cop Gun. The usual Tommy Lee Jones-esque nonsense was spouted:
Firearm instructor Ritch Reynolds says the new weapons can take a beating, "The Glock has proven or shown it can operate in any kind of environmental situation, freezing weather, snow, drop it in the sand, water, mud, bring it up and it will perform."
So it was more than a little embarrassing when the ISP Glock 22s turned out to be so problematic that they were withdrawn and replaced with Glock 17s within a year.

It's now six years later and there're tax dollars apparently burning a hole in someone's pockets here in Indianapolis, for the G17s have suddenly "reached the end of their service life" and are being replaced with .45 ACP pistols because God and John Wayne.

Indiana Staties will have the choice of carrying an issued Glock 21 or a privately-purchased .45 ACP firearm as long as it's one of the following models:
Glock 21SF
S&W M&P Mid Size
S&W M&P Full Size
Sig Sauer P220 Full Size
Sig Sauer P250 Full Size
Sig Sauer P260 Full Size
Sig Sauer P227 Full Size
Springfield XD Service Model
Springfield XD Tactical Model
Springfield XDM 4.5
Springfield XDM 5.25
Beretta Px4 Storm Full
I have no earthly idea what a SIG P260 or P227 is supposed to be, but knowing the way SIG's been run lately, it probably has to do with a rainbow anodized titanium finish, or something goofy laser-engraved on the top of the slide. I also find it odd that there isn't anything from You Suck And We Hate You, GmbH on the approved list.

Overheard in the Office...

RX: "You start out in this world with well-established celebrities that everybody knows, and by the time you're old, there's just all these weird kids."

Me: "Tell me about it. I mean, I'm happy to know about celebrities like Britney Spears and David Beckham and... what's-her-face... David Beckham's wife..."

RX: "Old Spice."

Sunday, August 26, 2012

It only takes one Awsh!t to erase a dozen Attaboys.

Once having a rep for some of the sloppiest marksmanship in Christendom, the NYPD had spent brazillions of dollars on training for its officers and by all accounts, both publicized and anecdotal, it appeared to be paying off, with such notable successes as that one detective who batted 1.000 on the dude with a malf'ed TEC-9 (or whatever it was) in front of a crowded Times Square hotel lobby.

And then you get the clown show at the Empire State Building the other day.

Come on, Bloomberg: Step in front of a camera and tell us how only the police have the training and professionalism to handle a pistol. Maybe you could do it in front of a scrolling backdrop of the hospital bills you're going to be paying because The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight went cyclic on a city street.

That's gotta suck for Bloomie. What appeared to be an ideal soapbox for a little blood-dancing national conversation on how America's lax gun laws are hurting Mike's fat-free, sugar-free, low sodium gun-free paradise turns into a national conversation on why the hell can't Mike's cops shoot?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Overheard in the Hallway...

Me: "I have now added ibuprofen and Band-Aids to the things I carry in my turse..."

RX: "That sounds like a good idea."

Me: "...along with the Kleenex and handi-wipes and toilet paper and a spork."

RX: "Uh, that last combination is a little gross, when you think about it."

Firearms-Related Miscellenia:

Went out to Premier Arms with Turk Turon yesterday. Out on the rack, among the more pedestrian Glenfield Model 60s, shotguns of various types, and a small clutch of Mausers, was a Dutch M71/88 Beaumont-Vitali. It is now on layaway. I'm a sucker for military black powder cartridge rifles. Also, while I was there, they straightened up the front sight on my Glock 19 for nothing when I mentioned that it was crooked in the course of telling a funny anecdote...

Speaking of which, I arrived home from Tennessee to be told by my roommate that my package had arrived from Brownells. Package? I don't recollect ordering anything... Well, it seems that my post about the M&P mag goof triggered some sympathy, because the box contained a high capacity extra power mag spring and a +5 extended base pad. Thank you, Gun Parts Fairy! Range test to follow shortly!

Meanwhile, today is Fun Show Day! Let's sing the Fun Show Song!
Flintlocks and Flop-tops
And Number Three Russians
Black-powder Mausers
From jackbooted Prussians,
Shiny Smith PC's from limited runs
These are a few of my favorite guns.

Socketed bay'nets
On Zulu War rifles,
Engraved, iv'ried Lugers
That make quite an eyefull
Mosin tomato stakes sold by the ton
These are a few of my favorite guns.

Rusty top-breaks!
Smallbore Schuetzens!
And all of Browning's spawn
I just keep on browsing my favorite guns
Until all my money's gone.
Incidentally, my former employer, Coal Creek Armory, is under new ownership. Said new ownership has a Laser Shot system for training and whatnot. They let me play with it. It only took two people and a spatula to get me to turn loose of the laser Glock...

The only thing that could make the Laser Shot cooler would be strapping it to the head of a shark.

Friday, August 24, 2012


Turk Turon is in town.

Bobbi grilled up some steak à la Roseholme last night; I remain flabbergasted by the results. I have never had a steak that good in a restaurant, and I've eaten some mighty good restaurant steaks, let me tell you.

I mean to write something for my sadly-neglected other blog this morning. Just as soon as I get back from my bicycle ride, that is. I need to pedal down to whatever Kinko's is calling themselves these days and do some printing and faxing.

Huh. Firefox's spell checker knows "Kinko's".

Anyhow, what with the trip to the almost-a-dentist yesterday, I've been a week and a day without my morning rides, and so it's time and past time to climb back on that horse.

Fun show tomorrow. Need to get a Raven IWB to hold my M&P 9 with the CTC Lightguard on it. I'm pretty well sold on that thing after that midnight match. You can't hit what you can't see, after all.

Also, pictures of great big trees and great big chainsaws right here. Found here.

Random gratuitous picture of the Columbia River Gorge snapped from a bus window.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Where's Chewie?

Work it, wookie! Make love to the camera!
Back from my roadtrip, now I'm off to the almost-a-dentist. More bloggery will be committed upon my return. In the interim, guess where the above photo of Chewie the Purse Wookie was snapped and win... er, the admiration of your peers or something.

Here, chew on this while I think of a topic...

The sheer, anal-retentive level of detail in this thing is just breathtaking:

I was playing it on the computer in the gunsmithing department when someone, I can't remember who because no gunsmith I've ever met has a conversational filter, piped up "It's good to see the Germans making model airports. It worries me when they make model railroads; they seem to get the cattle cars a little too accurate."

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I hate politics.

Every time I say something that could be construed as marginally nice about the Republican party, I get some reader who apparently just started following this blog yesterday throwing L. Neil Smith quotes at my like I'd never heard of the guy.

It is true that, should I vote for a major party candidate during my biennial performance art at the polls*, I am marginally more likely to scribble in the circle for a GOPer than a Dem, if only because the very foundation of the modern Democrat party is based on Robin Hood wealth redistribution nonsense. Really, guys, I'm not jealous of Bill Gates and don't want any of his money unless he decides to walk over here and hand it to me of his own free will (and even then I will politely refuse once before accepting it, because nobody wants to look common and trashy taking handouts.)

Look, before the whole Values Voters surge of the '80s , the Republicans were the ones who wanted to waste your money on jet bombers and the Democrats were the ones who wanted to waste it on hobos. The GOP plan had the advantage that jet bombers are actually in the Constitution, plus if you wound up broke, you had a jet bomber you could hock, whereas if you followed the Democrats' plan, all you had was a well-fed crackhead, and you can't get bupkis for those at a pawn shop, trust me.

But ever since the GOP coyly invited the evangelicals over to play and started writing bad checks for bombers, and then declared war on drugs, terror, and Leaving Children Behind, they've made it pretty well impossible for me to get all worked up with enthusiasm for them. Oh, sure, they make all the mouth noises about small government, but when's the last time they actually did anything about it?

There was some initial hope, albeit dim and flickering, that the Tea Party movement would take things over, but all signs are pointing to the "Taxed Enough Already" folks getting co-opted by the usual "The Gays and the 'Bortion" wing of the party, leaving us at status quo ante.

Oh, well... I should have plenty to make fun of while the power's still on.

*Something I only recently started doing again because, what the hell, if people are voting at me, I might as well vote back at them.

l'affaire Akin

So I'm trying to find something to make fun of on one of the news websites this morning but I can't because nobody will shut up about the great big campaign ad punchline that that low-rent ignorant jackass in Mizzou handed the Democrats on a silver platter with his not-quite-up-to-village-witch-doctor-level knowledge of gynecology and obstetrics combined with his sharia-like views of who gets to decide whether it's really rapey-rape or not.

Allow me to repeat something I wrote around this time in 2010:
Don't you people remember what got us into this mess? Everybody was up on the fantail of the USS Grand Old Party, playing shuffleboard and rearranging the stem cell and gay marriage deck chairs while the stokers down below were shoveling great big bundles of $100 bills into the boilers as fast as they could, and things got so bad that the Democrats took Congress running on a platform of fiscal responsibility! The people who think that money is something you give to community organizers, union leaders, and Robert Mapplethorpe were appalled at your profligate spending! Remember that? Get your heads out of your arses, people, and keep your eye on the ball. It's. The. Economy. Stupid.

Small government. Constitutional government. Low taxes. Save the other stuff for the tent meetin'.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Overheard in Gunsmithing...

Every now and then, a gun will come in that needs to be destroyed for whatever reason. Usually, what happens is you scavenge any salable parts for spares and then torch-cut or bandsaw the receiver to BATFEIEIO specs. Today was a Jennings 9mm's date with the saw:
Gunsmith Bob: "Did they say why they wanted it destroyed?"

Shannon: "No, no reason. Just destroy it."

Me: "I want it destroyed because it never should have been made. Now's our chance to correct the factory's mistake!"
There I go being a hater again...

(Don't tell anybody, but I once owned a Jennings Bryco 59.)

Important Announcement!

This coming weekend is the Indy 1500 gun show and we will be having a Hoosier Blogmeet on Sunday.

Bloggers and blog readers from near and far are invited to attend.

Today In History: Weird Disasters.

It was on this day in 1986 that Lake Nyos in Cameroon made like a giant soda can that's been shaken and released a bubbling 330ft fountain from the depths. The tsunami flattened trees along the shore and the carbon dioxide given off by this fountain rolled down the nearby valleys in silent invisible clouds and killed some 1,700 locals.

If you have a nearby lake, you probably don't need to worry about being stuffed into Ma Nature's dry cleaning bag, unless it's a deep lake, and you're in a volcanically active region in the tropics.

Monday, August 20, 2012

You can't make this stuff up.

"Hank Rearden, if you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."
For our next alternative energy program, perhaps we could wrap ol' Strident Ayn's corpse in copper wire and park some magnets around the coffin.

Quality is job 12.

(See edit at bottom for the continuing story...)

A regular brought a Beretta PX4 Storm compact in to have some Meprolight night sights fitted. Gunsmith Bob drifted the old sights out and the new sights in, and said "You're not going to like this," combined with some less-than-kind words about Beretta QC:

 Notice how you can see daylight right through the front sight dovetail on one side of the sight base? Classy looking, no?

Pardon the slightly blurry cell phone pics, but see the two plunge cuts at the front of the slide made by the CNC mill, probably at the very start of the slide machining process? The one on the left, looking from the underside, went too deep, and when the dovetail sight cut was put in, it opened the hole to daylight.

Thing is, these are machined on a CNC mill, and they don't tend to make these kind of mistakes in onesie-twosies, but rather in a whole batch, until someone notices the error. This slide passed through somebody's (actually several somebodies') hands in the QC process, and that somebody approved it for finishing and then ultimate sale on the theory that "Meh, the hole's covered by the front sight base. Who'll notice it?"

Nice job Accokeek.. You should be real proud. The guy traded the pistol off. He also traded off the subcompact PX4 on his hip.


Beretta (in comments) says:
"...the cut you're referring to is NOT a CNC mistake. The cut is present on all Px4 Compact pistols (I'm surprised your gunsmith did not mention it,) and represents a stress-relief cut. The cut is therefore not a flaw in manufacturing, but a planned and justified piece of engineering and designing."
Now, Bob had never put nights on a PX4 Compact before, hence the rather novel appearance of the hole in the slide. (It's not present in either the full-size or subcompact models.)

So the problem now goes to Meprolight. If the asymmetrical hole in the left-hand side of the dovetail cut is standard across all PX4 Compacts, then why in the name of Pietro Beretta does Meprolight not make their front sight with a full-width base?

Here's where I do some hating.

See the woman stuffing the Taurus into the floppy neoprene Uncle Mike’s IWB sausage sack, with its plastic belt clip clipped to the beltless waistband of her jeans at about 0:07 in the video, in such a fashion that it will fall out with any vigorous activity, to say nothing of coming out attached to the pistol if she tries to draw it in a hurry*?


If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about Taurus and its target demographic, I don’t know what does.

Yes, I’m a hater, but not all hate is unjustified.

(H/T to Unc.)

*Also to say nothing of how she's having to hold the holster mouth open with her weak hand to get the gun in. That's a real good way to set yourself on fire.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tab Clearing...

Lazy Sunday afternoon. I have thus far successfully avoided changing out of my pyjamas, a first for me in many, many months.

Overheard in front of the computer...

Gunsmith Bob: "I'm going to have to have a talk with Marko..."

Me: "What, the cocktail recipe on his blog?"

Gunsmith Bob: "Yeah, that. That's not very manly."

Me: "He's a writer. Writers drink cocktails. Hemingway drank cocktails."

Gunsmith Bob: "And see how that turned out?"

Well, there's your problem...

So I'm loitering back in gunsmithing the other day when one of the sales crew brings a customer's rifle back. Seems the customer got a laser boresighter stuck in the chamber.

The rifle in question is a crudely-sporterized 1916-dated Mauser 98, still with the stepped military barrel and a pre-WWII-looking European sporter stock, with something halfway between a Schnabel forend and a tumor, cross-hatching in the wood to approximate checkering, and a wrist so thin that it's a wonder it didn't blow into splinters when the trigger was pulled.

Gunsmith Bob heaved and tugged on the bolt handle, but it wouldn't budge, and so out came the plastic hammer. A couple good whacks and the bolt flew open, sending a little shiny brass fingernail shaving of  the boresighter's cartridge rim flying through the air.

Next was an oak dowel down the bore, but the Mauser is known for its rather vigorous camming action on closing, and that boresighter was wedged in but good. The dowel splintered impressively enough to hit me in the neck with shrapnel.

Finally, repeated blows to a fiberglass shotgun rod managed to dislodge the thing.

What do you think fell out?

That's right, Cletus had a .243 boresighter in his 8x57mm chamber. It was burnished real shiny around the shoulder, too, where he'd grunted and strained in closing the bolt.

Here's the kicker: The rifle did not have pre-war Euro claw-type scope mounts on it, nor either was it drilled and tapped for regular mounts. The sight on the gun consisted of a blade up front and a fixed sheet-metal aperture silver-soldered to the receiver bridge. So what in the name of Paul Mauser was he boresighting in the first place?

Saturday, August 18, 2012


At CCA today. It's time for the quarterly Cleaning Of The Guns, since the M&P and 22/45 haven't been cleaned since... er, April? (Did you know you have to clean guns now?)

I noticed toward the end of the CTC 3 Gun match that the Lightguard was getting a little dimmer due to the layer of schmutz accumulating on the lens.

It's not all dull, however; I rather enjoy using a dental pick to chip the big chunks of carbon out of the Ruger's receiver and making a little pyramid out of them on the bench. I pretend it's a little heap of the skulls of all the paper targets it's slain. Did I say that out loud? Anyway...

Met Andrew from Vuurwapen Blog yesterday. He was a pretty cool dude.

Well, off to get some breakfast and then on to the aromas of Hoppe's and Gun Scrubber...

If I had a post, this is where it would be.

Overslept. Sorry 'bout that.

One CNN columnist was so stumped for something to write about that he cranked out a bunch of paragraphs on the fact that you can randomly start reading Wikipedia and, gosh, you could wind up following links and learn something completely unexpected.

Hey, thanks, Jarrett; I'll be sure to keep that in mind.

Anyhow, if this were a real blog post, here's where I'd say something snarky and funny.

And here's where I'd express an opinion in a smug manner that would cause three or four people to disagree vehemently in comments.

This is where my conclusion would go.

Hopefully more later, when I'm all awake and stuff.

Friday, August 17, 2012

For my fellow history dorks:

The first recorded use of "OMG" was not in a text message, a post on a dial-up BBS, or even an early email, but rather in a letter from Jackie "Mr. Dreadnought" Fisher to Winston Churchill.

I did not know that.

It's starting to read like a government project...

Marko's recent experiences in having the chicken coop set up in the side yard have led him to muse on how nice it would be to have a little writing shack somewhere on the property. You know, a teeny barebones shed, free of the distractions of kids, dogs, and hot & cold running internets where he could get some wordsmithing done in austere surroundings.

Somebody reminded him that he'd want some insulation, given the climate around Castle Frostbite. Another person piped up with suggestions for windows. Eleven comments in, they just about had the thing plumbed & wired and were seriously eying a second story.

I blame Bob Vila.

That's a lot in blog years...

Michael Silence, who was the first Real Actual Grownup Writer to notice my blog, has been blogging for eight years as of yesterday. That's a lotta blogging.

Only one finger needed.

The CNN article claims that there are "fingers pointing" over the dude who tried to shoot up the lobbying organization offices in DC. I don't see why it takes multiple fingers to do the pointing, since there's only one guy, but maybe that's just me.
[Douchebag's name redacted], who was carrying 15 Chick fil-A sandwiches in his bag when he was taken into custody, "has strong opinions with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner," authorities said in the complaint filed against [Douchebag], citing the suspect's parents, with whom he lives in Herndon, Virginia, outside Washington.
Look, I have strong opinions about people who drive slowly in the left lane, the jerk with a full shopping cart at the "12 Items Or Less" register, and fans of American League so-called 'baseball', but you don't see me shooting them. And if my cheese did slide off my cracker and I wound up cutting loose one fine day, I wouldn't expect anybody to blame my behavior on the designated hitter rule, but rather on the fact that I had become a raving nutbar.

(And, seriously, 15 Chick fil-A sammiches? What was he going to do with those? Was the dude trying to set himself up for an insanity defense ahead of time?)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"The printer's jammed and the secretary's out sick..."

"...and the press pool's blind with fright..."

Biden is touting his boss's combat experience again...

You should have seen Barack (call sign "POTUS") fast-roping out of that Pave Hawk with a knife in his teeth!

Y'know, Dubya's "Mission Accomplished" stroll across the deck of CVN-72 in his nomex poopie suit may have made for an easy target for pundits to mock, but at least he flew the plane a little bit on the way there.


Had my first malf of any kind with the M&P 9 at the range on Sunday.

Loading rounds into a mag while conversing with Shootin' Buddy and one of the ROs, I noticed the top round got really hard to depress and glanced down to see that the only witness hole on the side of the mag facing me that was not showing brass was #17. "Oh," thinks I, "It's just almost full," and bear down as hard as I can (as in "put my back into it,") to squeeze the round in.

#17 was still empty. I flipped the mag over and see that brass is showing in #16, so I go to stuff another cartridge in there. No dice. The rounds won't budge.

Whatever. I threw the mag in the pile with the other loaded ones and commenced to shooting.

In the middle of one string of fire, the slide stops out of battery. Examining the mag showed the top round nosedived in the magazine, having been jammed forward by the slide hard enough to set the bullet of the Speer Lawman round (not noted for having anything you'd call a "crimp") halfway back into the case.

Pulling it out of the mag allowed the remaining rounds to rattle around loose in the mag tube. Bwuh?

I tipped the mag upside down and shook it, and the remaining rounds clattered out onto the range table. A look at the mag showed that a corner of the follower had hung up in the cutout for the mag catch, halting its upward progress at a sever tilt, which had presented the rear rim of the top cartridge to the oncoming breechface while the nose of the round was still pointed down into the mag tube.

Weird. Best I can tell, the follower somehow got canted as I was loading it. I used a paint marker to add a little "sad face" next to the number on the mag floorplate and I guess I'll be buying another M&P 9 mag the next time I'm in a gun store. As long as it never does it again, I'll continue using it at the range, but one more foul-up out of it and it's going in the trash after getting pounded flat so that nobody fishes it out of a trash can and potentially winds up getting themselves killed trying to save a couple bucks.

Not to sound like a broken record, but magazines are wear items. Replace as necessary. Do not get married to your magazines.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

You can almost see the little 20-watt bulb flicker on.

Having spent the summer doing "Pity the poor farmer" stories about the drought in faroff Flyover Country where the heathen Bitter Clingers dwell, the media has come to a sudden realization in the last couple of days that the troubles of those farmers are in some way connected to the price of food for Real People in places like New York and L.A.

I can hear the TeeWee reporter on NBC's Today nattering away on the topic down the hall right now...


Large gourds at the State Fair, some giant...
I think the monster taking up a whole pallet on the left there was fourth runner-up and Miss Congeniality in the albino gourd competition.
 ...and some sculpted...
I don't know if you can make it out, but Frankenstein's Pumpkin has little pumpkin-stem arms and, yes, that's a strand of pumpkin meat he's stitching himself up with.
 ...and some giant AND sculpted.
That's the artist in the background. Ray Villafane was selling little kits with everything you need to carve pumpkins just like him! (Massive artistic talent and surgeon-like manual dexterity not included.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bonsai, Daniel-san!

In the horticulture building, among the rows of gourds and legumes and ears of corn and monster pumpkins, you will find an entire aisle dedicated to the traditional Hoosier art of miniature tree sculpting. Sadly, being indoors, my cheesy pocket camera flash photography wound up looking like washed-out ass for most of the more interesting ones, except this little dude, who looks for all the world like a clump of nano-scale Adansonia grandidieri:

Bonsai is a hobby I'd love to take up, except for that whole incredible lack of patience thing and total brown thumb problems. Other than that, I think I'd make a good tree sculptor.


In amongst the tractors at the State Fair was a small contingent of trucks:
Shiny red Dodge Power Wagon. Coincidentally, this very vehicle is pictured at the Wikipedia article on said vehicle.

Ford Model AA truck.

Detail of Boyce MotoMeter radiator cap on Ford. (Isn't the internet grand? Five minutes ago I didn't even know what this thing was called...)

Cute little chrome bulldog figurehead graces prow of large red Mack truck.

A row of trucks of various vintages. The guy with the blue IH truck on the left has obviously been slacking off with the Turtle Wax.


The State Fair featured a little display pimping the upcoming weekend's festivities at the Speedway:
Honda CBR600RR tarted up to look like Repsol Honda RC213V race bike that will be racing in Sunday's Moto GP event.

Actual Hardly-Dangerous XR1200 racebike that will actually be, you know, racing at the actual track, albeit in the supporting event.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Among my favorite animals at the State Fair are the goats...

"Pssst! Lady! See that red box to the right? No, YOUR right! If you put a quarter in it, you can feed me!"

Just behind the row of Feed Me pens was an enclosure with a bunch of baby goats... er, kids, I think they're called. Anyhow, sorry for the blurred photo, but the fox terrier-size critters were in a sort of constant orbiting hyperkinetic Brownian motion and consequently the chainlink around their enclosure had a more-or-less continuous lamination of kids, three third-graders deep the whole way 'round.

Slings on long guns, pants on monkeys, and...

Something of an inside joke, here's a picture just for Shootin' Buddy...

QotD: I Love To Ride My Bicycle Edition

I'm off to ride my bike. AFK, BRB. In the meantime, check out Brian J. Noggle's prediction for upcoming movie Premium Rush:
It’s like The Transporter, but it’s about awesome bicycle riding. And you know who likes awesome bike riding? Hipsters. And do you know what kind of movies hipsters like? Foreign language films screened in shabby little single screen cinemas.
tl;dr: It'll flop.


Lots of tractors at the State Fair; I'm given to understand that they even do a tractor parade.

Teeny little '54 IH Farmall Cub, not quite waist-high on a grownup. Its charming bug-eyed asymmetry rated a piccie.
Great big brand-new John Deere, casting a shadow that dwarfs some apartments I've rented and sporting a price tag that would get you a couple Roseholme Cottages with money left over for a kickin' hot tub in the back yard. (Small child not included.)

This picture is from last year's fair. Unfortunately, our favorite tractor wasn't there this year. Perhaps Flash Gordon was using it to harvest the spice crop on planet Mongo.

Overheard in the Office...

Me: ['Way down the wikihole] "Huh. A Christmas Story featured a deleted scene where Ralphie used his Red Ryder to save Flash from Ming... Oh, no... They're doing a 3D remake of the cheesy '80s Flash Gordon movie..."

RX: "With the same music?"

Me: "Well, not unless they hired a medium to channel Freddie Mercury."

RX: "You know, I hear that they recorded that music, and can actually play it back."

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Weekend Two...

 Rolled out of bed and went to breakfast at Zest with Shootin' Buddy before heading out to Iggle Crick. Pulling into the parking lot at Zest, we noticed an interesting vehicle...

Yup, the people at the next table over were taking in a cool summer morning in their Model T.

Ford's Model T is one of the only cars of this vintage common enough to drive regularly, since the aftermarket spares market is so vast.
Shootin' Buddy tried a Danny's Throw Down Breakfast and I had a Downhome omelet. The double sausage-sausage gravy was incredible, as always.We split a Bowl Of Beautiful Fruit, too, because... well... do strawberries, pineapples, raspberries, and blueberries really need an excuse? Yum!

Weekend One...

Saturday we pedaled to the Indiana State Fair. Post to follow.

In the interim, have a picture of a tiny cow: some kind of waist-high Zebu that was mobbed by kids in the petting zoo area of the FFA barn...

Every time I looked at this little critter, I thought "So THAT'S where sliders come from!"

Notes from the decline...

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, who brought us the Super Bowl, a soon-disgraced Public Safety Director from Noo Yawk, and hikes in salaries for city officials (to keep their wages "competitive") has applied budget-trimming measures to the size of the IMPD as well.

While I don't know how much the budget cuts affected various bureaucratic positions, narcotics-raidin' SWAT teams, DUI task forces, and various other revenue-generatin', federal-grant-money-grabbin' sections of the department, they sure have reduced the basic number of patrol officers on the streets.

Like the rural villas of the late Roman Empire, well-to-do neighborhood associations on the Near North Side have taken to hiring mercenaries private security patrols, often ironically composed of former Roman legionaries off-duty cops looking to supplement their salaries.

To add to the whole decline-of-Rome flavor: Mounted patrols in Broad Ripple!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I fell into a burning string of fire...

I don't know a single firearms trainer who has a good thing to say about those little dangly adjustment strings and toggles on the bottom of various items of cold-weather apparel. Like old-school thumb-breaks, they seem mostly to serve as a way to give yourself a racing stripe on re-holstering without technically violating Rule Three.

Besides, if you're carrying a gun on the presumption that you may actually have to, you know, use the thing, why would you want to cinch your clothes down tight where it's harder to get at the gat in the first place?

About the only garments I have that still have them are very heavy deep-winter outerwear parka-type thingies, because with those, I'm going to be going for the revolver in the outside pocket first anyway.

Overheard in the Hallway...

RX: "I am known by the state of California to cause cancer..."

Me: "Well, la-ti-da! So's everything else."

RX: "I know, I just want that on a tee shirt."

The problem in a nutshell...

So Mitt tapped that budget-slashing fiscal conservative, Paul Ryan, as his nominee for Veep to show that... Well, to show something, but I'm not sure what.

While the press paints him as some maverick Ebenezer Scrooge for the budgetary Band-Aid he proposed slapping on our sucking fiscal chest wound, in reality, Ryan's toes are firmly on the party line: he voted for Medicare Part D, TARP, auto industry bailouts, and the rest of the whole free-spending financial firehose that's tried to float the ship of state on a fresh tide of fiat currency.

I guess he'd do a better job at holding a bucket of warm piss than Joe Biden*, but if that's not damning by faint praise, I don't know what is.

*On reading this aloud to Bobbi, she said "Only because Biden would try to read what it said on the bottom of the bucket by holding it upside down over his head."

This looks like a job for Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA)!

A 250-by-30 mile rockberg of pumice has been spotted bobbing about mostly awash in the south Pacific.

The peripatetic floating quasi-island is larger than the state of Rhode Island by a healthy margin, and is therefore roomy enough to accommodate at least eight thousand members of USPACOM and their family members, although that many troops could create a risk of the island capsizing and sinking.

Friday, August 10, 2012

There's always a leopard at the watering hole...

The streets of Broad Ripple Proper, up around the strip, teem every weekend night with tipsy, fat-walleted prey, and where there is prey, there are predators.

My favorite part of the article was the idea to "enforce the curfew", like juvenile Sumdood was going to go out and stick his gat in some undergrad's face in the alley behind Chumley's and relieve him of his wallet and iPhone, but would then realize that it was after curfew hours and who would risk piling a minor ordinance violation on top of a B Felony?

Part of the city's idea to reduce this kind of crime (and, oddly enough for a tax-squandering scheme, it shockingly might actually help a bit in spite of itself,) is to build a gigando parking garage on the corner of Broad Ripple Avenue and College Avenue.

As it is, the nature of parking in Broad Ripple has cars parked for blocks along dark, quiet, tree-lined residential streets radiating out around the central brightly-lit entertainment strip. This means a fairly steady menu of inebriated targets staggering back to their cars those same three or four darkened blocks at 0300. By encouraging more people to park in a central, easily-patrolled, brightly lit area, they will no doubt cut down on the absolute number of muggings, but it's a sad symptom of the times that this is seen as an acceptable solution. Dark streets unsafe? Surrender them to the goblins...

Thursday, August 09, 2012

You might have a drinking problem if...

Country music star Randy Travis, who pleaded no contest to public intoxication following the Super Bowl in February, was arrested again Tuesday after being found naked, smelling apparently of alcohol and lying on a remote stretch of roadway in northern Texas just before midnight, authorities said.
I'd say that when you start finding yourself lying naked on remote country roads in the middle of the night, it's about time to have your agent call Betty Ford and book a room. I hear the Saul Hudson suite is nice.

Draw Tippy Turtle...

...or whatever the writing equivalent is, and you may have a future in the gunwriting game!

Prerequisites include:
  • Being able to handle firearms from third tier manufacturers that you normally wouldn't touch on a bet without making faces like you were getting something unpleasant and vile on your hands by simply touching them.

  • Being able to describe your less-than-complete satisfaction with a firearm without resorting to phrases like "wretched pulsating ball of suck and fail".

  • Being able to say things like "recoil was brisk, but manageable," and use phrases like "acceptable combat accuracy" with a completely straight face.
Paid position available now! If you think you got game, then take a shot at getting the only sort of literary criticism that matters: The kind that starts with "Pay To The Order Of..."

Words I never thought I'd be saying:

"Can it please stop raining?"

Just for about twenty minutes or so, please. Just long enough for me to go ride my bike, and then it can go back to raining all day for all I care.

Incidentally, I am glad to see I'm not the only novice cyclist out there deciding to get more serious.

They see me patrollin'...

IMPD apparently has itself at least one fully-liveried Th!nk City electric car. While I suppose the little podmobile was intended as a Cushman replacement for meter-maiding your way around downtown, I think the department is missing out by not considering broader applications within the fleet.

I mean, given the driving record of the local po-po, this thing has obvious advantages in the liability department; even if you get loaded and blow through a crowded intersection with your foot to the floor, the little electric kart is going to bounce off the first Harley dresser it hits.

(The American market Th!nks were made in Elkhart, IN, starting in 2010, no doubt with heavy injections of stimulus, before things apparently went all Solyndra-shaped. They had three recalls in the first year. Leftovers are apparently still available at the moribund dealership up near 96th and Keystone.)

(Via email.)

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Lone survivor of the planet Krypton...

Pardon the fuzziness, since I had to grab the nearest picture-taking implement and use its digital zoom feature from halfway across Roseholme Cottage, but I swear to Bastet he was sleeping in this pose.

Sometimes I wonder what's going on in little Huck's chickpea-sized, blood-red, squirrel-throat-ripping mind...


  • So I started the morning bike rides last Wednesday. This makes a week. Go Team Me!

  • This time of year, the hostas out front have normally sprouted magnificent waist-high stalks covered in white flowers. So far this year, there are a couple of tiny flower stalks on the hardiest one (coincidentally right under the rain chain on the corner of the house) with a few half-hearted white blossoms barely above the level of the plant's main leaves.

  • Sitting in the dentist's chair yesterday, Almost-A-Doctor Sarah (new school year, new almost-a-doctor) noted that I had brought a Kindle so I would have something to do during the waiting periods. Before I realized what I was saying, my mouth blurted "Oh, I love my Kindle!" I could almost smell the Victory Gin-scented tears trickling down the side of my nose...

The force field must've been on the fritz.

The scene: A nice subdivision in the 'burbs on a weekday morning in broad daylight.

Dramatis personae: Woman napping on sofa, Sumdood, and Sumdood's accomplice.

The story: A pleasant morning nap gets shattered by the sound of someone smashing at the front door. Our napper vacates the sofa and locks herself in the bathroom, loading the family long gun and dialing 911. The guys get into the house and make off with some money. They jiggle the bathroom doorknob in passing, but don't try to force entry, thereby preventing the day from going really pear-shaped.

The amazing part of the story is how everybody reacted with "I can't believe it happened here!" incredulity, like their magic anti-bad-guy force field had malfunctioned or something.

Just anecdotally, daytime burglaries in the 'burbs seem to be on the rise. It's easy enough to pull into a quiet cul-de-sac lined with McMansions between nine and five when all the DINKs are off picking digital cotton down on the cubicle farm and BAM, BAM, BAM... A few kicked-in front doors and you've had a good day's work in thirty minutes or so.

With a down economy providing more prodding for those of shaky morality to go into the freelance wealth-sharing industry as well as more cubicle dwellers to be napping on sofas of a Thursday morning, look for this scenario to become more, rather than less, common over the next several years.

(This is just one reason it's good to have the kind of neighbors that look out for each other.)

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

No, thank you.

Jamming a pistol into a cheaply-made tangle of elastic and nylon webbing while it's pointed at your brachial artery? What could possibly go wrong?

Call me a big ol' scaredy cat, but I think I'll pass on that one. Plus it doesn't even look comfortable. (Further, unless you're built like CGI Hulk, any pistol small enough to be velcroed to your biceps is small enough to be carried in thirty-eleven other places that aren't dumb...)

Carefully now...

You know how we like to make fun of the other side in the gun control debate for using massaged, dubious, or outright bogus statistics?

Gun-control wish-fulfillment types will lump toddlers and 18-y.o. drug dealing bangers together as "children killed by gun violence", put suicides in with homicides even though anybody serious enough to suck-start a Mossberg is serious enough to play kiss-the-locomotive or take a half-gainer off the nearest bridge, and mindlessly parrot Kellerman's "43 times more likely..." nonsense despite the fact that it's been more thoroughly debunked than the Ptolemaic system.

Thus it's especially saddening to see somebody on our side say "Oh, yeah? Well if gun control is so effective, how come a dozen people get murdered in Chicago every Saturday night?" or somesuch.

A dozen people every Saturday? Really? That doesn't make you think to yourself "Wow, twelve times fifty-two... That's a lot! Maybe I should use this giant system of interlinked computers in front of me to double check that number..."

Leave the questionable statistics to the other guys.

By turns both dull and exciting...

The dull parts about last night's dreams revolved around making decisions whether or not to upgrade a desktop computer, or just build a gaming system from scratch. The only really memorable part about that portion of the dream was that I got to wander around Fry's with my pal Marko and geek out over computer stuff and speak in the kind of punchline shorthand you only get when you've known somebody a long time:


In the end I wound up buying some super-duper graphics card and a new CPU, about which purchase Dream Me was unreasonably excited, considering that other than the box art on some graphics cards, computer hardware is rarely even as exciting as golf, unless it catches fire or something.

The latter half of the dream all took place within World of Warcraft, which is understandable, since I had been playing said vidjo game for several hours immediately prior to dropping off to sleep. I'll tell you what, Dream WoW has spectacular graphics compared to HP Laptop WoW. (Last night we were playing in some fairly graphically lush environs, and I had occasional problems with critters kind of popping into existence on the road right in front of me if I was running along really fast. Considering that my character is the relatively flimsy sort who would rather stand off with a bow and arrow, this can be disconcerting.)

Monday, August 06, 2012

Habit Forming.

Day... what is this, five? ...of bicycling in the AM. Does five days a habit make? Anyhow, got to get to Kroger to load up on over-caffeinated energy drinks while they're on sale!

More blogging when I get back; I even have ideas and such! In the meantime, check out a new blog from the Ministry of Nerd, or as it's known in Amsoc Newspeak: MININERD.


Yesterday morning's bike ride felt more like bomb damage assessment, what with the vicious line of storms that had rolled through just before dawn. I opened the garage door to find a giant limb the size of a small tree had come down in the alley, knocking a hole in the roof of the garage across the way.

Other than the occasional siren dopplering in the distance, the misty streets were quiet, littered in branches and leafy debris. A giant wad of said debris clogged a sewer drain a few blocks down, with concentric bathtub rings of mud spreading out from it across the street like the contour lines on a map, telling the tale of what must have been a car-drowning puddle at its peak.

Getting down to Broad Ripple Village proper got me out from under the trees and gave me my first view of the sky, lit by the dawn and featuring a ruler-straight wall of cloud that ran from horizon to horizon and looked for all the world like a mountain range in the distance.

The Great Central Indiana Mountains loom in the distance.
I picked up breakfast for myself and Bobbi at the Ripple Bagel Deli (Loxy Lady for me and Monon Roadkill for her,) little realizing that businesses all around me were without power. Bagels in the basket, I turned the Broad Ripple SUV around and pedaled for home.

La Vie Boheme being encroached by La Vie Bobo. Charming hippie bagel deli bordered by doggie bakery and Starbucks. Note near-ubiquitous jogging stroller.
After breakfast we assembled in the alley with the neighbors to either side of us and went to work on the tree limb across the way, using some loppers and a reciprocating saw to reduce a tree to a brush pile and three quarts of sweat. The kids whose garage it smacked then called a tree service company (most of whom appeared to be doing land office business in Broad Ripple yesterday) who showed up, chainsawed the remaining log, and hauled everything off.

 I had other plans yesterday, but between the bicycling and amateur volunteer tree removal work, I felt I had earned a spell on the porch with a book and a beer, and so I did just that for the afternoon.

Sunday, August 05, 2012


...some sort of odometer ticked over. Blogger's dashboard tells me that my weather-related natterings below constituted the nine-thousand-and-sixth post here at View From The Porch. So yay for nine thousand posts a couple days ago! Or something.


Close to an inch in a gullywasher yesterday afternoon, and then at around 0500 today the various night lights around Roseholme Cottage went all stroboscopic as another inch of rain came through, borne on 60mph straight-line winds. is claiming 1.81" inches of precip in the last 24 hours, which probably handily exceeds June and July's rainfall totals, combined. A glance out the windows this morning shows that the little hail we got didn't seem to hurt the jalapenos or the 'maters.

This has been one of those droughts that has me worrying about trees. As I remarked to Bobbi the other day, we really won't know how bad it was until we get a good load of ice on those branches come February. Then we'll see what made it through the drought.

I'm going to hop on my bicycle and pedal through the puddles...

Saturday, August 04, 2012

News leak...

Latest Obama '12 campaign ad pre-release!

Pedaling through Broad Ripple...

Woke up this morning and pedaled down to Einstein Brothers on Broad Ripple Ave for a couple bagels to go, and then back up to Fresh Market for breakfast fixings. The streets were quiet, the muggy air seeming to damp noises as well as shirt collars. The scenery, as always, was varied:

"I an' I th' Broad Riparian Navy, believe it."

Looks like he got his Cord running. It sounded good, too.
Four hundred and thirty five horses sleeping quietly on a side street.

Four Year Itch

So, like happens every four years or so, Americans are gaga about gymnastics. It's going to be a long spell this time around, too, because our current soon-to-be-on-a-Wheaties-box kid is cuter than a sackful of Mary Lou Rettons and has a telegenic "Aw, shucks, just happy to be here!" manner that no doubt has marketing types clutching their pillows in sweaty dreams, visions of sponsorship deals dancing in their heads.

Look on the bright side of things: no matter how goofy we get over gymnastics this time around, nobody is going to make a movie where she plays a secret agent recruited to use her gymnastics-based martial arts skills* to wipe out a Third World dictator's kung fu army. (Please God I hope not, at least.)

*Gymnast Kurt Thomas was an obvious choice to play the hero in the cheesiest '80s action movie that wasn't Megaforce**: He developed a gymnastics move so badass that it's banned for being too dangerous! It is forbidden! Like the Lambada*** of gymnastics moves!

**Boy, a back-to-back screening of Megaforce and Gymkata would make for a great rainy day weekend of godawful '80s Velveeta, wouldn't it? Maybe with Iron Eagle if you had any popcorn left over... 

***Speaking of '80s Velveeta...

Friday, August 03, 2012

I'm just sayin'...

Here is a picture of the Siberian tiger (p. tigris altaica) in a replica of its natural environment at the Indianapolis Zoo:

Here is a picture of the Miniature Broad Ripple biting tiger (p. tigris minuscule) in its natural environment (the futon at Roseholme Cottage):

(Note that this picture of Huck is in his relaxed sleeping pose: The only alteration from his 'at rest' posture was the sound of me futzing with the camera causing him to open his eyes...)

Yes, that's a copy of Streams of Silver on the pillow next to him. I'm a nerd. You've totally found me out.

That seems to help.

File photo of Broad Ripple SUV. Not representative of any specific recent trip.
One thing that shooting in that 3-Gun match exposed is how woefully out of shape I've gotten recently. The wretched hot weather this summer has had me finding near-daily excuses for not going out of doors, and sitting in your pyjamas mindlessly clicking internets links 'til noon is not a good way to stay fit, either physically or mentally.

So the past three days have seen me dressed and out watering the veggie garden before the sun was fully up so that I could hop on my bicycle and pedal down into Broad Ripple Village proper before things got so beastly hot. Went down to Kroger yesterday and the day before and today I got brekkie at the Broad Ripple Bagel Deli.

It's around 2.5 miles round trip, hardly any distance at all, but it's exercise, and I'm three days in now, which is a start on forming a routine. Let's see if I can make it stick. (The plants will probably thank me too, as I am told that's the best time to water them, as opposed to mid-afternoon, when they're already halfway to wilted.)

Automotif IV

First World Problems
I didn't just circle around and snap a picture of the Cord 810 sedan broken down near Roseholme Cottage; I did ask "Need any help?" out the window.

Thursday, August 02, 2012


I've been really angry lately. I don't like being angry. I've said mean things to people I shouldn't have been mean to, uncorked on folks I shouldn't have uncorked on.

I need to just chill some. Take a long bike ride, go smell some flowers, something like that. Not read the news or listen to it on TeeWee for a while and just detox from this mess for a bit.

I'd go for a walk in the rain since that always seems to make me all cheerful, but it seems like we're never going to get any more of that. (The weather isn't helping: In places where the climate is normally dry, one is surrounded by flora and fauna equipped to survive in the dry. Here in Hoosierland, everything is dying. I'm surrounded by dying plants all day; how jolly is that?)


OldNFO asks:
If Defense is only 20% of the budget, WHY is Defense taking 42-48% (depending on which set of numbers you want to believe) of the Sequestration cuts???
Because your vote-buying dollar goes a lot farther if you spend it on direct wealth redistribution, duh.

When guns are outlawed...

The BBC always loves getting to sneer at underdeveloped barbarian nations with retrograde weapons-control laws. This time, however, it's not us at whom they're cocking a snook:
A teenager has killed eight people and wounded five others in a knife attack in China's Liaoning province, state media says.
If only the Chinese had civilised knives*.

Remember, kids: When murder is outlawed, only outlaws will murder!

*How long before Britons are reduced to using yarn scissors, wearing helmets to bed, and eating paste for entertainment? How quickly H.G. Wells' prophecies have come true: A race of globe-conquering merchant warriors reduced to a tame herd of soft, toothless Eloi in the span of a single human lifetime, with the exception of a small Morlock undercaste left to man the Forces and patrol the streets and wonder what has happened to their Sceptred Isle.

Overheard in the Office...

Me: "Have you ever watched Free Pistol competition?"

RX: "No."

Me: "It's like getting glue injected into your veins. It's like watching paint dry. It's like they took shooting, and sucked all the fun out. It moves so slowly it makes three-position smallbore look like rugby."

RX: "Still: People with pistols. In England."

Wednesday, August 01, 2012


In a weaselly attempt to get business back from online ammunition dealers like Brownells or LuckyGunner, Texas gun store owner Jeremy Alcede goes on the radio supporting a ban on online ammunition sales.

Dear Jeremy Alcede of Tactical Firearms, Katy, TX: I hope you freeze in the dark, you gutless quisling punk.

When your children are crying "Daddy, why are we on food stamps?" you can tell them "It's because your Daddy was a selfish, pusillanimous sellout who put his personal bottom line ahead of the Bill of Rights, kids, and so nobody would buy anything from his store ever again."

Be sure and spread the word.

QotD: He'll Just Take It Away From You Edition

Reader HL snarked in SayUncle's comment section:
I am also confused that someone didn’t take Holmes’ guns away from him during the shooting and use them against him, because I have been told that is what happens when you carry, especially openly.