Monday, December 31, 2018

Nearing the finish line...

This P89 was cleaned (by which we mean it had a bore snake pulled through it) and lubed (by which we mean FP10 was glorped onto the rails, chamber hood, and muzzle) back around the first of November.

1,870 rounds later with zero maintenance, it has experienced zero malfunctions.

I'll note that these were big goofy mag dumps at seven yards, shot entirely at a sub .5-sec split pace, decocking for the first shot. I feel bad for having put in enough trigger time to shoot this dumpster fire adequately. Its ergonomics are clumsy, the trigger is mediocre, the sights are subpar, and it's like shooting a Shake Weight, but it's reliable and if you put in the time, you can do work with it.

If someone had $200 to spend on a gun, I can't think of anything more effective at the price point.

This brings the round count to 1,770 rounds since the weapon was last cleaned or lubricated, with no malfunctions of any type to report. Only 230 rounds left to go.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Meta af

Embedding a tweet that's a screenshot of a FB discussion is about as meta as it gets.


Slept late, watched Meet the Press and the Hoosier-specific business week in review show that follows it, and then dozed for a bit.

I am entirely out of several varieties of clean clothes, so I'd have to do laundry before even thinking about leaving the house.

I also have three cans of Diet Dew left in the fridge, which is barely enough to get me rolling in the morning.

Fortunately, with Amazon's PrimeNow service, I can get the soda delivered for about the exact same price it's sold down the street, plus a five buck delivery fee and a tip for the driver.

I think ten bucks is an absolutely worthwhile price to pay to not have to change out of pyjamas and face the weekend shopping crowd. I'll just throw a couple bottles of diet tonic water and a 32GB SD card in the cart while I'm at it.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Got out of the house again today.

Made it to the range, and then to lunch.

Writeup tomorrow. Almost finished with the Ruger test.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Orthogonal Man!

They're doing it again.

Maxpedition, that is. They're repeating the Buy-One, Get-One sale on their legacy gear for the next three days. It's good stuff; I've been using the Fliegerduffel Shootin' Buddy gave me as my travel suitcase for the best part of a decade now.

This isn't any kind of affiliate link and I doubt Maxpedition even knows I exist, I'm just a fan of their stuff.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas!

I would like to wish all the imaginary people in my computer the merriest of Christmases!

Hope you all have a wonderful day spent with the people you love.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Today in History...

Friday Range Day

 I had the pistol bay to myself Friday morning!

Another early trigger break on the lower fifty rounds, and a spastic hand squeeze or two on the upper.

The gun is still chugging along, using up the last hundred rounds from that case of Magtech with aplomb.

This brings the round count to 1,770 rounds since the weapon was last cleaned or lubricated, with no malfunctions of any type to report. Only 230 rounds left to go.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Thursday Range Day

Another hundred rounds of the Magtech got run through the Ruger at Indy Arms Co on Thursday morning.

I was pushing for as much speed as I could get out of the thing. You can see the two rounds where I got a little aggressive on the trigger prep in recoil, cranking them off before the sights had settled.

The gun went through the normal cycle of operation all one hundred times.

This brings the round count to 1,670 rounds since the weapon was last cleaned or lubricated, with no malfunctions of any type to report. Only 330 rounds left to go.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Chaos Six resigning...

So POTUS announces an abrupt and immediate withdrawal from Syria and has apparently directed plans to be drawn up for a withdrawal from Afghanistan. Mattis is resigning over it.

Here's the thing: Trump ran on four basic campaign promises...

  1. Build the wall
  2. Repeal & replace Obamacare
  3. Bring back jobs to America
  4. Get our troops out of foreign wars

The Mueller investigation is still in full swing and there's a hostile incoming House of Representatives getting sworn in in a month. The stock market is doing a paralyzed falcon impersonation.

Which is the only one of those four promises he can throw as a bone to his base without the help of any other branch of government before Pelosi is Speaker of the House again?


While I think it's past high time to work up a withdrawal from Afghanistan, an abrupt pull-out, leaving NATO allies holding a full diaper that they're only holding because they honored their commitments in the immediate wake of 9/11, is a dick move. I'd probably quit over it, too.

We should have done this in an orderly manner eight years ago, not in a half-assed hurry to boost the poll numbers of a flailing presidency today.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

"Why do you take a camera everywhere, Tam?"

Because I never know when there'll be a good-lookin' critter like this posing for a photo op at a traffic light!

Someone knows they're pretty, alright...

Automotif CXLXII...

1977 Pontiac Trans Am. My favorite year for the Firechicken, looks-wise, but well on its way to the nadir of performance.

The once-potent 400c.i.d. engine was strangled down to 180bhp* in base form (200bhp in the L78 version.) '76 had been the last year of the mighty 455. By 1980, even the strangled 400 would be gone, and the standard Trans Am motor would be a 301.

*That means the base 6.6L V-8 was down 9bhp to the 2.8L straight six in the Zed Drei.

It's called "criminal confinement"...

...and it's a felony, kids.
A spokesperson at IMPD said there are "very limited circumstances when someone can be detained by the public. Acting suspicious is not one of them. We recommend that folks call police so we can investigate."
Do you want to wind up like George Zimmerman? Because this is how you wind up like George Zimmerman. Your toter's permit is not a Batman badge.

Tuesday's Range Notes

No matter how fun an activity is, you can turn it into work. If you don't believe me, ask a porn actor. I made it to the range with the Ruger on Tuesday, but yesterday, I couldn't begin to even.

It's a joyless shooting appliance, and a lot of work to shoot well at speed. Work, I might add, that I obviously wasn't willing to expend on Tuesday. I was shooting plenty fast, alright, but the wheels came completely off in the accuracy department.

The gun itself continues to run fine. A firm grip does tend to induce the occasional BTF (brass-to-face) but that's what eye pro is for.

This brings the round count to 1,570 rounds since the weapon was last cleaned or lubricated, with no malfunctions of any type to report. Only 430 rounds left to go.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018


We're at that time of year where it gets dark before dinnertime.

I can't wait for the solstice. If I can just make it until the solstice, the days will start getting longer again.


Tuesday, December 18, 2018


I had previously mentioned Saturday's range trip. I arrived in the parking lot just as they were unlocking the front door and turning on the "OPEN" sign. I had 150 rounds of Magtech 124gr FMJ with me, fifty of which was already loaded into magazines.

I put the TQ and blowout kit in the range tray photo as my usual "I am not on the range alone" signal but, as it turned out, I managed to chew through my 150 rounds in big, goofy mag dumps at seven yards before they managed to get any other range customers out there with me.

The gun ran fine.

This brings the round count to 1,420 rounds since the weapon was last cleaned or lubricated, with no malfunctions of any type to report. Only 580 rounds left to go.

Useful pointers if you're new to film...

It seems weird to someone my age, but anybody much under 40 grew up in an era when film photography was the province of artistes and dinosaurs. I mean, it still sort of is, but it's definitely seeing an upswing in popularity.

Digital has been mainstream pretty much since the turn of the millennium, so if that's what you've always shot and would like to dabble with film, the video has some good pointers on what to look for when browsing the dusty offerings you'll run across.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Overheard in the Hallway...

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Good news, bad news...

I shot film pretty consistently all through 2015 and then it sorta ground to a halt.

I don't develop film at home because there's not really any way to do so here at Roseholme Cottage. It's a tiny frame structure completely devoid of windowless interior rooms, and even the basement has glass brick windows along the long walls. I could use a dark bag and tanks, but that's a pain.

Anyway, what happened was that as that year drew to a close, I'd built up a backlog of around a dozen rolls of exposed film, plus a couple test rolls loaded in cameras, and I was like "That's it. No more film shooting until I reduce this backlog."

To send them in to The Darkroom, I need to pull out my little portable printer (which I'd bought for more or less this purpose), print out my order form, stick it in the little film mailer along with up to four rolls of film (the most that fit in one mailer) and send it off.

So discovering that Robert's could do it on-site was a revelation.

Without thinking, I dropped the stuff off and, as though I were back at one of the photolabs where I worked when Bush the Elder was still POTUS, breezily answered "Oh, just give me 4x6 prints!" when asked what service I wanted.

It wasn't until later that I realized my mistake.

See, when The Darkroom developed my stuff, they not only sent back the sleeved negatives and a set of prints, they also sent a CD-ROM of the .jpegs, and also uploaded the .jpegs to an account where you could access them.

So I've got cut and sleeved negatives of these latest rolls, and 4x6s...but that's not how we look at photos anymore. See? I'm holding this nice pic of a '64 GTO on Portra 160 up to the screen, and you guys can't see it.

I don't have a scanner, either. Robert's charges $3.99/roll for scanning at the time of developing, or $5.99/roll after the negs have been cut. I should have dispensed with the prints and just got them scanned. Oh well, next time.

Also, several of these rolls were test rolls to check certain old cameras for light leaks and such. The bad part is, except for a couple of pictures that immediately tie them to a certain camera at a certain time & place, I have no idea which roll went with which camera. The good part? At least none of them show the artifacts that would indicate light leaks.

Also, I was sure that the pictures of the GTO and of my mom & dad that I shot with the EOS 1N had been shot on Tri-X. Turns out it had Portra 160 in it.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Well, that went swiftly.

Showed up at the range with fifty rounds already in magazines and a Q-PT target in hand and proceeded to Ricky Bobby my way through a hundred and fifty rounds before anybody else got out on the pistol range.

It's that time of year again...

...the time when people start making "best of" lists, that is.

The Online Photographer has a top ten cameras list, for those who don't shop the used cases the way I do. (Well, actually, a few of those offerings have been out long enough that pre-loved models may be findable.)


Yesterday morning I dragged feet getting out the door to the range, and when I got there at about quarter to noon, the parking lot was jammed full.

I'd forgotten that Indy Arms Co was hosting a three-day-long "Glock Days" sale event this weekend.

The idea of waiting in line to shoot on a public range jammed nut-to-butt with customers was...let's go with "less than appealing", so I hung a u-turn, drove home, and walked to Twenty Tap for lunch with Bobbi instead.

I'm hoping to get out the door early enough that I hit the parking lot just as they're opening today. I'll check in, do my quick mag dumps, and get out before it has a chance to get crazy busy.

Friday, December 14, 2018


I really, really want to wrap up this 2k test and get on to other things, but I hate loading magazines on the firing line at the range, which limits the number of rounds I can shoot in one session. See, I have three fifteen round mags and a ten-rounder, which is enough to hold a box of ammo. (Well, I have a Ram-Line mag, too, but I'm not using it until I've completed the 2k test.) This means I load fifty rounds while making idle chit-chat in the showroom, then I go dump them downrange and load them up again on the line.

Yesterday I went ahead and brought 150 rounds, which meant two cycles of loading out on the range.

The upper grouping is the 147gr Speer Lawman, and the lower is the Magtech. All of this was just big goofy mag dumps, fired as fast as I could get a sight picture (or faster, as is evinced by that one egregiously dropped shot.) I'm actually getting a little good at shooting this thing, which makes me feel dirty.

There were no malfunctions of any type to report. This brings the round count to 1,270 rounds with no malfunctions of any type to report. Only 730 rounds left to go.

From elsewhere...

Thursday, December 13, 2018


"This is where the past two years of topsy-turvy politics have left us: A class of politicians who simply believe they cannot be killed off. As Andrew Rawnsley put it in June 2017, "Britain has a zombie prime minister" -- and now Britain isn't the only one."
Actually, I think zombie politicians would be an improvement over the vampire politicians we have now. Better to shuffle about mindlessly than suck the body politic dry of tax dollars while pooping out red tape.

And you could get away from zombie politicians by closing the door.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


Because the Ruger often lives in a lockbox locked in the trunk of my car in the unheated garage overnight, I get to discover the very low temperature properties of FP10. They aren't great, tbh fam.

The thermometer in the Zed Drei said it was 27°F in the garage yesterday morning. There's plenty of visible lube still weeping out of the rails, but it was distinctly congeal-y, and the slide was noticeably sluggish until the gun had been heated up by the first couple mag dumps.

I was pushing as much speed as I could on that lower A-zone at seven yards. With this gun that means high .3 splits so far, not helped by the fact that the smallish, dirty front sight gets lost against the dark colored target.

There were no malfunctions of any type to report. This brings the round count to 1,120 rounds with no malfunctions of any type to report. Only 880 rounds left to go.

Film is not dead...again.

So I just found out that the Robert's Camera downtown develops film on site. I hadn't shot any film since late 2015 or early 2016 because I'd accumulated a ten-roll backlog and sending it off to The Darkroom three rolls at a time is a pain in the arse.

I dropped them all off at Robert's yesterday. The color will be done by Friday and the B&W by next week.

I busted out the EOS-1N in celebration!

The 1N is the second-to-last pro-grade film body produced by Canon. It was superseded by the EOS-1V in 2000, which remained in the catalog until earlier this year. The handling and controls are almost identical to the digital EOS-1DS MkII I've been using, so much so that I almost always catch myself "chimping" after shots, only to find myself staring at the camera's blank backplate.

If you already shoot a Canon EOS DSLR, this would be an easy way to get into film. Used ones are available for around two bills at the Amazon link above, and all your EF (but not EF-S) lenses will work on it. Even if you'd never shot film before in your life, loading and transport is completely automated.

Learning how to load film into a Barnack Leica is like trying to master origami, with the bonus that if you get it wrong, you trash your shutter. With this thing you just pull out a bit of leader to the handy marking inside the film compartment, close the back, and go. When it shoots the last image, it rewinds automagically. (I'll note that the camera calculates the number of shots you get by reading the DX code on the canister, rather than by the motor feeling tension on the spool, so no eking out that 37th or 38th exposure.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Social Self Defense

The unspoken bogeyman in the self-defense industry is the actual statistics of self-defense. If you don't live in the 'hood and avoid entertainment districts late at night and don't do drugs, your chances of being hit by random violent crime are really pretty small.

But rather a lot of violent crime isn't random. Statistically speaking, you probably already know the person from whom you're most likely to need to defend yourself.

And there are levels of predation that are not violent, and not necessarily criminal. There are people who transgress boundaries all the time, sometimes with no intent other than hoping for a date, and some because they actually derive pleasure from causing others discomfort.

Does this sound uncomfortably familiar? Then you need to read Creepology. I just finished it and it's a fantastic read. It's a rare self-defense book that's this relevant, useful, and well-written. Highly recommend.

Careful you don't dislocate your shoulder...

So Time's Person of the Year for 2018 is a group of people that Time is calling "The Guardians". As in  "the guardians of the truth", by which they mean journalists.

That's practically autofellatory.

Meanwhile, at CNN the editorial department has relinquished their guardianship of the English language and gone fully post-literate. Chris Cillizza, thrashing about in grand mal Trump Derangement Syndrome, writes:
"If you believe that this is all going according to plan, then you may have missed the last two years of the Trump presidency. This is a President who freelances, disassembles and denies at every turn. He wanted Ayers. Ayers didn't want to commit for two years. That's the story."
In the magnanimous spirit of the season, I'll give him "disassemble" as a typo, autocorrect, or possible text-to-speech error for "dissemble" (although it's still sloppy editing on someone's part) but what the hell does he even mean by "freelances"?

"I come to you with only Karate, Empty Hands..."

Canon 1DS MkII & 24-105mm f/4L

Monday, December 10, 2018

Tale as old as time...

John Doe/Jane Roe gets a CCW permit, tries out a couple of off-the-rack holsters from their local gun store, finds them uncomfortable on their regular belts from The Gap or Macy's or wherever, and after six months of this, invents some dumb new way to carry a gun.

This is how we get everything from Lethal Lace to folding Glocks.

Magnecarry fails on nearly every point of a "What makes a good holster?" checklist. It's a bad holster and you should feel bad if you bought one.

Sunday, December 09, 2018


Friday, December 07, 2018

A pleasant surprise.

Finally got around to reading The Martian. This was a pleasant instance of the book being as good a book as the movie was a movie. Perhaps slightly better, as the the text version allowed more detailed descriptions of what exactly was happening; the movie had to dance a tightrope of expository dialogue versus just hoping the viewers picked up on what Watney was doing. It did it well, but the text is better. Quite a page-turner for as tech-heavy a piece as it is.

Incidentally, this is another one of those things like the movie Gravity, where find myself wondering "Is this really science fiction anymore, or is this just an action movie in an unusual setting?" I mean, the tech in Gravity & The Martian is less farfetched than the "caterpillar drive" in the movie The Hunt for Red October.

(Yes, magnetohydrodynamic propulsion is a thing, at least experimentally, but it's not some undetectable silent propulsion system.)


Good post by Bobbi today, worth reading in its entirety.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Halfway Point

The other day saw another hundred rounds of Magtech go downrange through the P89, which continues to function without issues.

This brings the round count to 1,020 rounds with no malfunctions of any type to report. Only 980 rounds left to go.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Monday, December 03, 2018

Overheard in the Hallway...

So, cats and dogs interface with the humans in their lives very differently. Dogs have good, well-developed socialization software, being pack hunters who operated in large, extended family groups in nature.

Cats, not so much. The socialization software of the cat is very much still in beta and is buggy as dammit. And how a cat relates to its human is based on the only real social relationship cats have: The cat treats you like its mommy. (This is why you might get nipped on the back of the ankle around feeding time; that's how kittens let their mom know it's time to lie down for nursing.)

Anyhow, when engaging Rannie in the sort of one-sided conversations people have with their pets, I sometimes refer to Bobbi as "the nice mommy", since she's a much softer touch than I am with regard to treats and such.

Tonight, as business was being concluded in the kitchen and the front part of the house, Rannie was trooping along between Bobbi and I. As we turned in separate directions in the hall, Bobbi headed to her room (and its electric blanket) and me toward the office, I said to my cat "Rannie, you should follow the nice mommy. She's headed to a very warm place."

More squirreliness...

Taken with the Sony a7 II camera & Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.

I was a little cranky this morning.

Robots taking jobs!

"Fifteen people, plus or minus a few. Their work is used for an hour and a half, at least twice that for Producers and Directors, and an added hour for Audio and Floor on prep and clean-up; the full-timers work shifts that include another hour of news at noon or 10/11 p.m., but they've got to be paid for eight hours and kept busy -- and not one of these people is involved in the collection and reporting of news..."
Bobbi has a fascinating piece on the effects of automation and technology on the operations of the local TV station.

Also, engineering spaces and studios have gotten a lot colder. See, when they were built, the problem was how to keep them cool enough, since they were jammed with powerful analog transmitters and ultra-bright incandescent studio lights. Now that everything's digital and LED, buildings that used to be kept warm by waste heat...aren't.

omg ded

Oh god I nearly peed myself. I was laughing so hard that Bobbi called from the next room "What happened? Did someone get their arm caught in a grain auger?"

Local readers...

Tomorrow evening is another "Introductory Self-Defense Shotgun" class at Indy Arms Company, the last one of the year.

These two- and four-hour evening and weekend classes are a real boon for people who can't scare up a free weekend and the dough for a hotel room and a two-day class.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Almost halfway there...

This makes 920 rounds of ammunition since the weapon was last cleaned or lubricated, with no malfunctions or stoppages of any kind to report. 1,080 rounds to go.

Saturday, December 01, 2018


So, when they gave me a sling in the ER after I broke my collarbone back in May, I figured I was going to be the best sling patient ever. When they gave me a better one at the orthopedics clinic, I strapped that thing down tight and even slept in it.

When I finally got to the ortho doc and told him this on my four week visit, all beaming with pride, he looked pained. Nobody had told me that after the first few weeks I was only supposed to wear it when I was out of the house, to keep people from bumping into my healing flipper. Instead, I had essentially immobilized my elbow and shoulder joints for a month and a half and now was going to have to rehab those.

All my life I have put jackets and coats on with the right sleeve first and then fishing behind myself with my more dextrous left hand for the other sleeve. Since May, I've constantly had to remind myself to do it the other way 'round.

As of this past week, I finally have enough mobility and lack of pain in my left shoulder joint that I can put my coat on normally again. Yay!

The internet likes gun pictures, right?