Saturday, March 31, 2018

Doctor, Doctor

Well, actually a Nurse Practitioner...

Bobbi dragged me off to the Kwik-E-Clinic at the local drug store, where I got poked and prodded and handed scrips for antibiotics and an inhaler.

I made whining noises about wanting chicken wings and, I guess because I'd been good and hadn't tried to bite the doc or put up a fuss getting into the carrier, Bobbi acquiesced to a lunch stop at Buffalo Wild Wings.

This was a triumph of optimism over experience. My palate is so spoiled by living in foodie paradise that when confronted with Casual American Dining fare, I wind up poking at it and making disappointed whining noises.

We got home and Bobbi made a call to the vet to set up an appointment for Huck. Maybe if he's good, he can go to Buffalo Wild Wings, too.

Vermont Airlift...

In response to the passage of a gun control bill in Vermont that would, among other things, institute magazine capacity limits, RECOIL and Magpul have teamed up to airlift some emergency freedom supplies to the Green Mountain State:
RECOIL and MAGPUL invite the citizens of Vermont to the Statehouse at 2:30pm on Saturday March 31st to receive a free 30-round PMAG standard capacity rifle magazine and show their support for the Second Amendment of the United States. A representative from the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs will be on hand to accept donations that will fuel the legal challenge to the new restrictions.
I am pleased to work with RECOIL, largely because of stuff like this.

Friday, March 30, 2018


I think Sebastian's layout of the weaknesses in the RKBA movement's political and cultural game is pretty cogent. You should go read it.

It caught up with me...

I didn't get SHOT crud this year, maintaining my perfect track record, but in retrospect, something was up. By the end of February, I'd developed a low, productive cough that lingered. I was otherwise asymptomatic and told myself it would just go away.

No fever, no aches, and March was so busy, what with Tac-Con and then the FPF Training class in Terre Haute...

My luck ran out yesterday morning, as my lungs felt clearer but affairs had obviously moved into my upper respiratory tract. Now my immune system has finally taken note of affairs, and the tender palate, fever, dripping sinuses, and sore lymph nodes of what is no doubt some variety of flu are in full effect.

Fortunately, I think this morning was probably Peak Awful. I stayed in bed 'til after noon, and it seems to have paid off somewhat. If it stays on this arc, I'll just avoid the pill-roller at the Walgreens. But if I feel like this tomorrow afternoon? Probably time to go get my humors checked.

Thursday, March 29, 2018


Shooting Illustrated magazine, of which I am pleased to be the Handgun Editor, has apparently grown its print circulation to 500,000 readers. No mean feat in the beleaguered dead tree field these days.

Of course, I happen to think it's the coolest and most "Gun Culture 2.0" of the NRA's mags, and that's not just because they print my stuff. Ed and Jay and the rest of the editorial crew over there are pretty much on the same page in the hymnal, and a pleasure to work with.

If you read this blog, are an NRA member, and aren't getting SI, you're wrong. Fix that.

Philosophically Sloppy

Apparently calling to amend the Constitution is considered a violation of the oath taken to uphold and defend said document by some of my compatriots. I wonder if that line of thinking extends to, say, those who called for the 13th Amendment?

At least the sky was blue with puffy clouds?

Classes where you do all your shooting from concealment take on a whole different feel when it's 37°F out. Bulky winter coat with a pocket full of loaded Glock mags added about .3 seconds to my draw.
I moved the mags to the weak-side pocket, and that mostly fixed the problem. (I'd been trying to keep the load balanced with two or three loaded mags on each side.)

Just wish the guns into the corn field.

"Fiat is a device for philosophy. Not for improving the nation that you have now." -Matt G

Overheard in the Hallway...

"Arming Teachers"

This phrasing keeps popping up, as though there's some nefarious NRA plan to order teachers to form ranks in the gymnasiums (gymnasia?) of America, where they will each be issued a brace of sixguns in a buscadero rig and a GOP party registration form.

The reality of things is that we already have plenty of armed teachers in America, it's just that in all but a few enlightened states, they can only be armed at the grocery store and the mall and the gas station, not at work. In most states, they're not even protected by "gun in parking lot" laws that shelter employees of private employers, since the entirety of school grounds is usually verboten terrain for firearms.

"Well, what will keep some disturbed kid from snatching the teacher's gun?" The same thing that keeps them from snatching the teacher's gun at the grocery store and the mall and the gas station: they don't know it's there because that's how concealed carry works. The same thing that saves me from having long, dull conversations about the best brand of JHP with every gun otaku with whom I'm stuck in a checkout line will prevent the hypothetical gun grabs the antis are conjuring.

"Teachers should be teaching, not the last line of defense for their students!" Hey, guess what? They're already the last line of defense for their students. That's not a decision you or I or even they get to make; the asshole who decided he wanted to grab some headlines makes that decision. The teacher's only decision is how effectively they want to do it. If you want to be an ineffective ablative meat shield, that's on you, honey. I've already decided that I ain't goin' out like that.

Here's the thing: As long as there are guns, there are going to be a certain amount of shootings, just like as long as there are booze and cars, a certain percentage of people are going to drive drunk.

The guns aren't going away. There are more of them in this country than there are people. States that have passed draconian restrictions on the scariest-looking guns report single digit compliance rates. The sort of creative little doucherockets who think the Columbine shooters were role models are gonna be able to get their hands on guns for decades to come no matter what improbable legislation you ram through today.

The single most viable thing we could do to stop school shootings (and most public mass shootings in general) is as unlikely as wishing all the guns into the corn field, and that's to have a near total media blackout on them. But as long as shooting a bunch of classmates remains the easiest way to get to the top of the news cycle, get your own Wikipedia page, and ensure more people know your middle name than the president's, we're going to continue to incentivize these little shits.

That leaves one really effective solution: Eliminating victim disarmament zones. Nothing takes the cachet off your trenchcoat massacre more than being shot in the ear by the pink Kel-Tec .380 of Mrs. Perkins, your remedial grammar/comp teacher.

And that's the thing! There's no need to force teachers to play hunter/killer SWAT commando. The training requirements outlined in Florida's hasty-ass legislation are ridiculous, and I say this as someone with a reasonably extensive firearms training resume.

The shooting problem here is the easiest possible one there is. There's no need to go in search of anybody; just get all the kids out of sight of the locked classroom door, post yourself up in the blind spot against the wall between the doorway and your young charges, and wait. If the disturbed youth somehow manages to force the door, you send him to the respawn point like a proper camper.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Random thoughts after submitting an article...

It's my observation that people don't dig ambiguity in firearms reviews. They want to hear either that it's the greatest thing since sliced bread and they ought to run right out and buy it, or that it's a total dog.

The truth is that most guns are, to a greater or lesser degree, pretty much "meh". The ones that aren't are either scarily expensive or the actual total dogs that nobody in their right mind would send to an honest reviewer.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

From school this weekend...

Overheard in the Office...

"I saw Commies With a Dildo open for Jane's Addiction at the Roxy in '91."

Monday, March 26, 2018


Back at the hotel in Terre Haute, I turned the TV on to the Today show as I was packing my stuff for the drive back to Roseholme Cottage.

This meant that I got some exposure to news programming from the local NBC affiliate, WTWO.


I'm kinda spoiled because, not only is Indy a Top 25* broadcasting market, but the quality of newscasts is driven by competition in the city. There are affiliates of all four networks plus one independent that each run a newsroom and compete for the local news eyeballs. As a result, the better stations here have news production values as good as I've seen from some stations in much bigger markets, like Atlanta or DFW.

By contrast, WTWO this morning looked like it was being broadcast by a particularly on-the-ball high school A/V club.

Among the most pathos-ridden figures at the tiny market stations are the Silver-Haired Newsreaders With Gravitas who realize that they've reached the Silver-Haired Newsreader With Gravitas phase of their careers without ever being called up to the show. They're like the "Crash" Davises of broadcast journalism.

*Actually, 2016-2017 Nielsen data has us at #27.


For some reason I thought Terre Haute was about fifteen or twenty minutes farther away than it is.

It's only about an hour and twenty minutes from Roseholme Cottage to the facility where this weekend's class was held, and if I'd known that, I might have tried to commute. Instead, I booked a hotel room for the weekend.

Which turned out to be fortunate because, while Terre Haute got some awful freezing rain on Saturday, midtown Indy got about eight inches of snow.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Self-Defense Argument Evolution

Tired: 9x19mm versus .45 ACP.

Wired: SFA versus TDA.

Inspired: OC dispenser in the strong side or weak side front pocket?

Friday, March 23, 2018

In the Tank

The morning news, both local and national, was full of coverage of the planned Children's Crusade tomorrow.

Reporters were interviewing children, apparently exempt from school on a weekday, boarding planes for the flight to DC. No doubt they had purchased their airline tickets with their newspaper route and babysitting earnings.

Earlier this year these same fawning reporters had been making fun of these same wide-eyed naifs for eating laundry detergent.

I won't be able to watch the festivities on the tube tomorrow because I'm going to out on the range, apparently in the snow, learning how to run a pistol better from John Murphy of FPF Training.


It's Back!

Brigid has turned the lights back on at Home on the Range
Go read!

If it's you, shoot me an email or IM.

Departure From Controlled Flight

So, the stock market pretty much shit the bed yesterday. Global markets are doing likewise, because investors love them some trade war rumors.

Well, it's not like this part was unforeseen. Protectionism was baked into the core of the Trump platform, inasmuch as you can call an inchoate middle finger a "platform". We're gonna bring back all them jobs and you'll be able to buy $49 cell phones, $19 blue jeans, and 99 cent shower shoes made with good American union labor craftsmanship like your grandparents did. You can pay for them in the soybeans you can't sell in China anymore.

Yeah, this is hyperbole and everything's probably going to be fine. It just gets me nervous when people start yanking levers and spinning dials on machines as complicated as the global economy, because nobody's entirely sure how it all works (although plenty of folks think they are.)

Well, at least along with the protectionism comes isolationism, and frankly that was the most attractive part of the whole Trump movement. We've had enough foreign adventures in the last seventeen years. We need to take a less hawkish, less meddlesome foreign policy stance and...

Fantastic. That's exactly the kind of guy we need giving POTUS national security advice. Wonderful.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Prancing Pony or Dead Horse?

Got an press release in my inbox the other day announcing that the Presenting Sponsor of the 2018 NRA World Action Pistol Championship and the NRA Bianchi Cup this year was going to be Colt.

Now, at SHOT this year, Colt had a display half the size of the one they had last year, or the one they had at the last NRAAM. Floorspace in the main hall at SHOT ain't cheap, and that's not a good sign for a company that's been fighting off bankruptcy nearly as long as I've been in the gun biz.

On the other hand, they threw enough dough at NRA to be the Presenting Sponsor for Bianchi Cup, so who knows what's going on?

The Culture War Heats Up

Some of those magazines represent my livelihood.

My words, my name, are on their pages.

My first real job was bagging groceries in a Kroger. I rode my bicycle to the local Kroger to earn the money I used to buy my first car. I’ve retained a nostalgic fondness for the chain ever since. I have written often on this blog of our tiny neighborhood Kroger here in Broad Ripple and its convenience and friendly employees. I ride my bicycle there frequently in the nicer months to get groceries.

Forget abstractions like natural rights and constitutional protections, this is an outright attack by them on my livelihood. They are drawing a bead right on my wallet.

Kroger is dead to me. They’ll never again see one red cent of my money.

They probably wouldn’t want it anyway, since it came from those abhorrent gun magazines.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Guns & Pr0n...

"InRange TV, another channel devoted to firearms, wrote on its Facebook page that it would begin uploading videos to PornHub, an adult content website.

“YouTube’s newly released released vague and one-sided firearms policy makes it abundantly clear that YouTube cannot be counted upon to be a safe harbor for a wide variety of views and subject matter,” InRange TV wrote. “PornHub has a history of being a proactive voice in the online community, as well as operating a resilient and robust video streaming platform.” PornHub didn’t immediately return a request for comment on the matter."
Karl and Ian have hit on a creative solution. If you have a fetish for elderly French veterans like Ian does, you might want to check them out.

QotD: Enough Room In The Toes Edition

From PDB in a Facebook discussion:
"Why are we even expected to listen to kids? They're all idiots. Five years ago they were watching the Backyardigans with their fingers up their noses, and now we expect them to have meaningful opinions on natural rights, constitutional law, and criminology? They know less than nothing about the world and bear no costs for interpreting it incorrectly.

Using kids as political puppets is grotesque emotional manipulation and should be called out as dishonest bullshit at every opportunity.

Florence King's quote bears repeating:

Cards on the Table

MSNBC had not been shy about having a leftward editorial slant in the past, implicitly since '07 and explicitly since the "Lean Forward" campaign of 2010. It was their schtick to pass CNN and go after FOX News, by basically setting themselves up as the "AntiFOX".

By 2014 it was costing them viewership, as they'd pushed too far past the center-Left, and they were losing viewers in the crucial "Crackers in their prime spending years" demographic. They officially tried to steer a course back towards hard news back in 2015, but it's obvious that there's still an agenda, as is witnessed by the lavish promo spots for the Children's Crusade:

So, yeah, basically a straight-up commercial for gun control. Such evenhanded, very journalism, wow.

Of course, if you are a journalist working the Acela corridor, gun control is a very Centrist idea! Everyone knows that the NRA is funded by giant shadowy arms companies and nobody is actually opposed to "Assault Weapons Bans" and "Universal Background Checks" except a handful of camo-wearing kooks in Idaho. All our polling data tells us that!

Please let the Democrats make November 2018 a referendum on Gun Control rather than on Donald Trump.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

As it turns out...

...there are rather a lot of photographs here to sort through.

And that's just off the Pen. I still have to offload the pics on the OM-D.

Monday, March 19, 2018


The best part about Tactical Conference 2018 was that it was three days of being more or less entirely  unplugged.

We were leaving the hotel at 6:30 so as to arrive at the range before 7:00, in time to get signed up for some of the more in-demand classes. Lunch was on-site and we didn't head back to the hotel until after five, and then all three nights I had dinner with friends and colleagues (some of whom I hadn't seen face-to-face since last year) until late.

While I did my usual motel room habit of letting the TV drone softly with cable news while I slept, I didn't pay it a ton of attention. I'm also now three days behind on work and email, but it was worth it.

My batteries are pretty charged, and I added at least one more class to my training roster for the year (Gabe White in Missouri in June). Plus I have more stuff to write about. I may even try the novel tactic of pitching it to editors instead of waiting for them to come to me.

This was a good weekend...

Can't wait to start going through all the pics...

Look for write-ups on stuff I saw, both here on the blog and elsewhere.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

At gun school...

Students taking Claude Werner's Snubby Skills block of instruction at Tactical Conference 2018.

Friday, March 16, 2018

It's the lens, not the camera...

So, I really like my Sony a7. It's two generations out of date, sure, but that makes it pretty much the cheapest way to get into a full-featured pro-grade 24 megapixel full-frame camera.

I would have loved to use it at Tac-Con '18, but the longest full-frame E-mount lens I have is the Zeiss f/4 24-70mm, and that's just not long enough to hack it for outdoor shooting class photography. I need to start rolling my pennies for a Sony f/3.5-6.3 24-240mm lens before Blogorado gets here. (The fast 24-70 will make a fine walking-around lens for NRAAM.)

In the meantime, I'll be using my hipster street photography Micro 4/3 gear for Tac-Con. The OM-D E-M5 and Pen E-P5 are both solid bodies, and most importantly I have a good "walking around" zoom in Micro 4/3 format.

It's not the fastest lens in the world, but the 28-300mm equivalency makes it a super-useful outdoors 10X walking-around zoom.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Florida, man...

I have some thoughts I need to unpack on that goofy Florida armed teacher thing, and some of the idiotic commentary I've heard on the topic, but it's going to take more pondering in my head.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Like diet tips from Jabba the Hutt...

Apparently China tut-tutted the U.S. about gun control saying that we had a gun violence problem that violated our citizens' civil rights:
The US has no other choice but to adopt gun control,” [the Chinese propaganda organ] said. “The right of life is the most fundamental human rights. The right to bear arms cannot overpower the individual’s right to live.” 
Funnily enough, Xi Jinping, we don't have a real big problem with protesting citizens getting run over by tanks in this country. Nobody's set themselves up as President for Life here, either, like you have.

I'm not saying correlation equals causation, but I'm not saying it doesn't either. Come to think of it, dudes like Xi are why we have a Second Amendment in the first place. Deer hunting is just a side-effect.

Overheard in the Office...

*ring* *ring*


"Hello! My name's Jenny McSomething, and I'm a volunteer calling on behalf of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Can I speak with Roberta, please?"

"She's not available. Also, I work for the NRA. Have a nice day!"


Tuesday, March 13, 2018


The EDCL2-T is same size as the E2D Ultra I used to carry, with over double the output. You can light up a critter half a block away, no kidding. The low-beam is a lot better integrated, too. No separate button pushing is required. You gently press the button for five lumens, push harder for all twelve hundred.


Monday, March 12, 2018

Automotif CXLVI...

This is the first time a car...well, a truck...has really made me feel old.

I saw this thing waiting at the traffic light at 54th & College and was interested enough to snap a picture. The shortbed GMT400 was a clean-looking truck and my thought as I was deploying the camera was "Cool that someone is still running one of those old things and keeping it nice and straight..."

And then I realized that when young, fresh-faced 20-year-old me got a job at a Chevy store back in 1988, these things were brand spanking new and were for pickup truck styling what the Ford Taurus was for domestic sedan styling. And then I felt old.

I'd still drive a short-bed GMT400. A C1500 Silverado, preferably, with an L05 5.7L V-8, a five-speed, and a gnarly short rear end.

Sunday, March 11, 2018


The other day was supposed to be some sort of "unplug from sundown to sundown" event, where people were going to put aside the tablets and smart phones and walk away from the keyboards and commune with real human beings.

There's kind of a problem with that, though. The power of social media means that for a lot of us, the people we want to commune with are inside those devices from which we were supposed to unplug.

Of the people I consider friends who I know well enough to like to unplug and spend time with, there's one in this house, another in the north 'burbs, and then it's an hour or more's drive to get to the next closest ones.

I need more tribe close-by.

Friday, March 09, 2018

That's a change...

When last I left Mac OS to go back to Windows machines for my day-to-day work, I lamented leaving the easy integration of Image files behind. I guess I was running Win98SE at the time?

Anyhow, fast forward to today and going from Win10 to High Sierra was the exact same feel.  Scrolling through usefully-magnified image files in a folder just doesn't happen in Mac OS...well, I'm sure there's a way to do it, but I haven't figured out the right combination of Shift-Command-Clicks. Ironically, I didn't need to seek any tutorials in Windows to learn to "Open" -> "Scroll Arrow".


No pleb holsters, neither!

After some extremely frustrating writing time, I made an emergency schedule change and decided that this morning's range visit was just some me time, some sanity shooting, a little recoil therapy. I set aside the work guns and pulled some old favorites out. They're still dirty, and the Wilson in particular still needs to be field-stripped, photographed, cleaned, and lubed, but I was just going to shoot for fun.

I almost packed up and went home with that third shot on Dot 8, the one that's clean off the paper. I'm glad I stuck around, though, because Dots 9 and 10 are pretty solid. This was three yards, untimed, 47/50. I should have cleaned it. Oh well.

The Springfield Pro was drier than a popcorn fart, and I can't remember the last time I fired it, but it has to have been at least a year or more ago. That Black T finish has rather a lot of lubricity, though, and the slide still feels almost like it's had an Acc-U-Rail job done.

The Wilson is so filthy that the slide is noticeably sluggish. It still ran fine though. Apparently it is unaware of expert opinion.

The Springer was at seven yards and the Wilson at fifteen. I was pushing just a little bit with the seven yard shots, and shooting like I was on the clock at fifteen yards. Pushed a little too fast on a couple of those. They're still within the generous USPSA A-zone, but I see four where I'd let my grip come all apart and that high one I hadn't let my sights really settle yet but my trigger finger had already made up its mind.

Automotif CXLV...

I think this is one of the best-looking designs of the '90s. It's a shame it was replaced with that godawful-looking pumpkinseed of a droptop.

The styling, which is super simple and clean at first glance, is loaded with little Easter eggs. Notice how the angle of the stylized "L" in the Lexus logo is repeated over and over in everything from the angles of the headlamps and window corners to corners of the fog lamps and the lines where the styling creases on the hood terminate at the front bumper.

The ten-spoke wheels were only on the cars with the 3-liter six cylinder, which was also available with a manual transmission. Yes I absolutely would drive one of these, even in plush-bottom 4.0 V8 and automatic transmission configuration. This would be a hella good roadtrip car.

Turning of the seasons...

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Trying out a new thing...

The CLENS lens protectors from Thyrm & Sage Instruments are like tear-offs for your helmet visor, only for your flashlight. They do the same job as smearing the lens with grease, only much less messily and for more money. Clean-up is as simple as peeling it off after your day at the range, leaving the lens no dirtier than it was 400 rounds ago.

Thyrm sent me these to try, but I'm gonna be ordering a couple more packs. That should be a many years' supply for school guns.

I don't get it.

So, via this piece at Ars Technica, we learn that the FBI (or at least certain of its field offices) has a pretty cozy relationship with Best Buy, via the latter's Geek Squad service department.

Apparently if the FBI suspects someone of having some kiddie porn on their machine and can't quite get a warrant, they just ask the Geek Squad guys about it when dude brings his computer in for service.

See, since you just handed the computer over to the dudes at Geek Squad and asked them to go rooting around in it, you have no reasonable expectation of privacy for all the smut on D:/shorteyes, you nasty bastard. Or at least this is how the courts have ruled thus far.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, who is as FROM MAH COLD DEAD HANDS about zeroes and ones as Charlton Heston was about muzzleloading rifles, has filed a FOIA suit to see what, if any, kind of Fourth Amendment-violatin' shenanigans are afoot here.

I, myself, have not really dug in far enough to have an opinion. I know that if you'd brought film with kiddie porn in to the one-hour photo lab where I worked back in the day, we'd have called the po-po. Happened at least once that I recollect.

I do have one question, though... Who in their right mind drops off a hard drive full of hard time with the local rent-a-neckbeards? That is, to use an apt term, criminally stupid.

Here Comes the 'Splain Again...

This comes up every year...

Most of my 'net friends are fairly bright, and so I'm sure they've all figured this out by now, but just in case:

Magical Thinking

All the usual propositions are being trotted out in the latest well-organized and well-funded push for anti Second Amendment legislation, and apparently the people pushing them are immune to cognitive dissonance. None of these proposals would have stopped a monster intent on shooting his way to the forefront of the 24-hour news cycle.

Let's break it down, shall we?

  • "Universal Background Checks": The Columbine shooters acquired their guns via straw purchasers who passed the background checks. The Sandy Hook shooter got his by killing his background-check-passing mom and stealing hers. The guy who tried to shoot up the Townville elementary school killed his dad and took his Glock.

  • "Raise the purchasing age for firearms to 21!" Leaving aside all the mass shooters who were over 21, this ignores all the dudes referenced in the previous section.

  • "Ban the AR-15!": Townville dude used a Glock. There were no AR-15s at Columbine, nor at the summer camp in Norway. The Virginia Tech shooter used pistols. The Winnenden school shooter in Germany used a Beretta 92 9mm pistol.

  • "Ban 'assault-looking weapons'." Perhaps not coincidentally, none of the weapons I just mentioned would be affected by such a ban.

  • "Well, then ban semiautomatics!": The Washington Navy Yard shooter used a pump action shotgun, as did the perpetrator of the Erfurt school massacre in Germany (although his jammed). Two of the Dunblane shooter's four handguns were revolvers, and the Monkseaton and Cumbria shooters in the UK used double-barrel shotguns. The Cumbria shooter also had a bolt-action .22 squirrel rifle.

  • "Three-day (or five- or ten-day) waiting periods!" These nutbars scheme for months or years before they act out their crimes. This proposal borders on farcical straw-grasping.

  • "Smart gun technology"? Even if this worked, this only affects the one or two who killed someone to steal their guns. The rest were all 'authorized' users of lawfully-purchased guns.

  • "Microstamping"? Great, we know all these shell casings came from the gun in the hand of that dead guy over there. That sure helps. Wow.

So none of these proposals help anything. All this does is make things annoying for normal, law-abiding people who want to be able to defend themselves from robbers, muggers, rapists, and the occasional King of England (or creeping fascist tyranny, which the same people who are trying to take our guns away paradoxically assure us is descending on our fair land.)

So, what if you were successful in your wildest dreams of returning us to 1870s firearm technology (a pipe dream at the federal level and unlikely outside of the most anti-gun states)? Surely that would end the plague of death-spraying bullet hoses, right?

Dream on.

Monday, March 05, 2018


Fun little overnight jaunt down to Louisville. Stayed at an adorable 1880's-vintage Airbnb with friends and enjoyed a nice dinner out on Saturday and brunch on Sunday morning before heading back up to Indianapolis.

 14-ounce ribeye steak au poivre at Le Moo...

Sunday morning at Toast: "Bloody Mary, full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death...which I hope is soon. Amen."

Steak and eggs, because it's diet food if they hold the toast and you only eat a couple grapes.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Themed restaurant idea!

Since faux-Aussie-themed Outback Steakhouse has been such a success, Bobbi and I came up with a ripoff idea: A Soviet-themed Siberian Borscht House! The ad campaign slogan could be "No rights, just rules!"


I'll see myself out.

Already memeified...

“Playing Hooky For Gun Control”? Jesus, that’s brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that when I was in high school? What kind of heartless monster would punish you for cutting class if you claimed you were doing it for a noble cause?

I can only imagine how well “Sorry, I’m not doing any more Trigonometry homework until someone does something about the starving children in Africa!” would have flown. I could have been invited to sing "We Are the World" at LiveAid instead of having to take the stupid useless SAT.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Pod People

So, here at Roseholme Cottage the resupply of groceries and household goods is most often handled on my daily rounds. I do this to try to allow Bobbi to come straight home from work without needing to stop at the store on the way.

Consequently, on the wall in the kitchen is a dry erase message board on which needs are communicated: "coffee creamer", "eggs", "breakfast meat", "39 gal bags".

In the morning before setting out for the range or wherever, I'll snap a photo of the board with my phone and use the picture as a checklist at the store. It's a kludgy system, but it works.

There are, however, certain consumables that are harder to keep track of: TP and paper towels live in a cabinet and it's all too easy to reach in there and find that there's only one or two rolls left and it's late of a Saturday and nobody feels like driving anywhere.

Similarly, dishwasher soap gets disproportionately used by me, since I do the dishes on weekday evenings at cat-feeding time. If I leave town with only one or two pods left in the tub, it can be a rude surprise for Bobbi. Conversely Bobbi is far more fastidious about sorting colors and fabrics in her laundry and goes through Tide pods at a brisker clip than me, who has two weekly (or biweekly) loads: Black fabric, and Laundry Thunderdome.

Enter this post from Joel about Amazon Dash buttons:
Do you buy these for $5 each, one for every regularly expended commodity, and then when you want more you just push this button and AMAZON AUTOMATICALLY SENDS YOU MORE???
Well, kinda yes, Joel.

They charge five bucks for the button, but then knock five bucks off your first order, so they're essentially free. I got one for each of these four high-use household commodities: TP, paper towels, dish pods, and laundry pods. The operating theory was that whoever notices it's down to a two- or three-day supply can just poke the button and...thanks to the magic of Amazon two days, more will show up on the front porch like magic.

Et Voila! We were free of the stocking vagaries of the local Meijer or Kroger, which were too often perversely out of my preferred brand of bumwipe or plain white Bounty (select-a-size in the jumbo packs, please) right when I needed more, forcing me to go looking at Target *shudder* or more widely afield.
Does anybody really do that? Are you supposed to stick them on your fridge or something? What if your 5-year-old gets bored and pushes the button a hundred times to see what will happen? Will all your utility payment checks bounce as a trailor-load of Red Bull shows up in your driveway?
Well, you have to press and hold for a sec for the little light to blink white then go solid green to show that it has successfully done its WiFi thing, and the button is then inoperable until Amazon receives word that the order has been delivered.

We don't have any five-year-olds in the house, so that's not a big worry, but I do have a story along that line...

When the four buttons arrived, I put them on the corner of my desk preparatory to rolling them out as needed. The paper towels went first and everything functioned smoothly. This was heartening. Charmin Gentle was next and again, all went well.

I was in the kitchen one evening a couple months ago, right before the cats' feeding time, when Bobbi called out from the office. "I think Huck just ordered some Cascade pods!"

See, one of Huck's attention-seeking behaviors in the ramp-up to dinner time (especially during these four months of the year when dinner is an hour late) is to knock shit off desks near the humans.

"Relax! He can't have ordered anything just by knocking it off," I hollered back down the hall, "You have to hold it down for a bit to get it to connect. He would have had to have stood on the button until the light turned green."

"The light is green."

Oh, well. We were going to need to use that button in a week or so anyway.

Still, when that box hit the porch I brought it inside and informed the cat that his Cascade Platinum Pods were here.