Tuesday, August 31, 2021


Unfortunately the Nikon S in the middle needs repairs, and the Minolta-35 in the background is probably uneconomically repairable. The camera in the foreground, though...

The Zorki-6 seems to be in good working order. It uses the Leica 39mm thread mount, but it's unclear how well my Leitz 5cm Elmar will interface with the rangefinder cam on this crappy commie camera. When I have a couple bucks to spare, I'll get myself a Jupiter or something, I guess...


Trade Imbalance

 When the previous administration talked about addressing our trade imbalance with Europe, I thought we were going to try and export more things like cars and computers, not cults and quackery.


Automotif CCXLIV...

Generally speaking, a '91-'93 Buick Century is the opposite of an interesting car.

If a majority of these things didn't spend years toiling as fleet cars before dying ignominious deaths as hoopties sold off tote-the-note, no-credit-no-problem lots, I'll be shocked.

Which is what made this unusually nice thirty year old GM family bus so eye-catching yesterday afternoon.


Get A Grip

Back in the Nineties, the first "upgrade" I tended to make to a handgun was to throw a set of Hogues on it. I liked the matte black look and the soft, squishy feel of the santoprene Hogues, like the ones on this Smith & Wesson 1066, over the harder, shinier rubber found on Pachmayrs. 

But that was because at the time I spent a lot more time holding handguns than shooting or carrying them. I quickly learned that when I put them on a CCW gun, the tacky texture of the soft rubber would bind against the cloth of many cover garments. It was also tacky enough to the touch that it could be difficult to shift the gun in your grip even if you wanted to.

In the early Aughties, as I read more detailed accounts of shooting technique, and studied more about revolvers specifically, I learned that noted authorities like Bill Jordan and Jerry Miculek preferred smooth stocks on their wheelguns, so I ditched the soft santoprene and got more into the uncheckered Hogue hardwood Monogrips, like the Pau Ferro ones on this Model 19 Combat Magnum.

The stated reason for Jordan and Miculek preferring these smooth grips is that they could adjust their grip as they were acquiring a sight picture, if it were necessary to compensate for a less-than-prefect initial grip on the draw. Then they could just clamp down and start shooting.

Thing is, dudes like Bill Jordan and Jerry Miculek could probably crack walnuts between thumb and forefinger. They could clamp down on a set of smooth revolver stocks and keep the gun from shifting via brute grip strength. Alas, this was not an option available to me*.

I needed a material that was itself hard and relatively low friction, but which could be textured such that when I clamped down on it it wouldn't shift in my grip. You know, like normal checkered hardwood grips. Huh.

The Spegels on this K-22 Combat Masterpiece are, bar none, the nicest revolver stocks I've used. Enough so that I wish my Model 19 were a square-butt so I could swap them over. Maybe I'll hunt down a 4" Model 65 or 681...

If one prefers something a little more rugged and ugly than wood, there are numerous textured offerings in G10 or Micarta these days that accomplish the same thing. My 1911s, for example, pretty much all use VZ Grips, except for the Wilson, which came with Wilson's own pretty decent G10 "Sunburst" textured grip panels.

*At least, not without a little cheating.


Monday, August 30, 2021

For now, at least…

How deep is deep?

Greg Ellifritz drops some knowledge bombs regarding terminal ballistics:
Many people see that a bullet penetrates 16″ in gelatin and they say “that’s too deep.” The average human body isn’t that thick. People start thinking a round that penetrates 16″ will drill right through the bad guy and then endanger any innocent person standing behind him. That’s not how it works.

A few years ago ago, I participated in a ballistic laboratory of a different sort at the Paul-E-Palooza Memorial Training Conference. Instead of shooting gelatin, we shot (dead) pigs instead. It gave us the ability to actually see how bullets performed in real flesh and bone.
As the saying goes, "I seen't it!"

Gel testing, especially with Real Clear Ballistics clear gel, can tell you a lot, but you have to know what can and can't be read from those tea leaves.


It was a simpler, if dimmer, time...

This time in 2005 I was very excited about upgrading the flashlight in my pocket from a Surefire G2 Nitrolon to a Z2 CombatLight with 65 eyeball-melting incandescent lumens.

The first thing I did was buy a GG&G TID (Tactical Impact Device) for it because of course I did. Who wouldn't want a fanged ninja flashlight o' doom? Even if it did sometimes poke me in the leg uncomfortably and chew holes in jeans pockets... Derpeste.

GG&G TID on Surefire Z2S, like it's 2009 up in here or something.

About six years later I upgraded from the incandescent Z2 to the Z2S, which had a 160-lumen LCD, partly because I could move that silly TID over to it. It's still on there, too, even though the ten-year-old Z2S now just sits on the book shelves next to the front door in case a pajama-clad resident of Roseholme Cottage needs a handy light to grab and take out on the porch.

I still have the original incandescent Z2, too. It sits in the door pocket on the passenger side of the Zed Drei. I had occasion to pull it out and use it recently, and the old 65-lumen xenon bulb feels almost quaint these days. I've gotten so accustomed to the current higher output LED's, like the EDCL-2T I've been carrying for the last four years or so, and even that 1200-lumen light is hardly state of the art anymore. 

(Although I've yet to feel the need to upgrade. Looking back, it seems like about 5-6 years is a pretty typical run for a flashlight for me. The E2D probably had the shortest, from '15-'17.)


The needle tears a hole...

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Automotif CCXLIII...

Here's a nice, lightly restomodded late 2nd Generation F-body. Specifically, it looks to be a '79-'81 Pontiac Firebird Esprit, which was a trim and equipment package a notch above the base model. Not a performance-oriented model like the Formula or Trans Am, more like the later Berlinetta package on Camaros.

The last few model years of the 2nd Generation marked an odd era for the F-bodies. 

When the 2nd Gen was launched in 1970, the midsize cars from Chevy and Pontiac were the Chevelle and the LeMans, both of which were noticeably larger than the compact-derived Camaro and Firebird. A 1970 Pontiac LeMans rode on a 112" wheelbase and was 207" long overall, which is a four inch longer wheelbase and almost a foot more distance between the bumpers than a 1970 Firebird.

If the Firebird in the photo were a 1981 model, it would have been sold on a lot next to mid-size LeMans sedans that had undergone two rounds of downsizing and which rode on a 108" wheelbase the same length as that of the sporty coupe. In fact, the very next year that platform would be re-badged as the Bonneville and would be the new "full-size" Pontiac sedan, and the "mid-size" Pontiac banner would be handed off to an even smaller FWD car. When the 3rd Gen Firebirds launched in 1982, whey whacked a full seven inches off the wheelbase of their predecessor.

It's not that the '79-'81 Firebirds had gotten big and bloated, so much as it is that Detroit shrank around them. It didn't help that a bunch of heavy safety and emissions equipment had been added since 1970, while the motors in the engine compartment shrank in response to the '73 and '79 Oil Crises. 

Judging from the wheels and tires and general stance of the car, though, I doubt this thing's rolling with the stock 140bhp 4.3L LS5 V8.


Saturday, August 28, 2021

This blog is now old enough to drive.

Sixteen years ago, at 10:23PM, with a hurricane barreling toward the Louisiana coast, VFTP saw its very first post.

That was... a couple posts ago. How time flies!


An Empire by Any Other Name...

Niall Ferguson at The Economist has a piece up on why the next few years may be ugly for America, using England's experiences from the twilight years of her empire.
"America’s empire may not manifest itself as dominions, colonies and protectorates, but the perception of international dominance, and the costs associated with overstretch, are similar. Both left and right in America now routinely ridicule or revile the idea of an imperial project. “The American Empire is falling apart,” gloats Tom Engelhardt, a journalist in The Nation. On the right, the economist Tyler Cowen sardonically imagines “what the fall of the American empire could look like.” At the same time as Cornel West, the progressive African-American philosopher, sees “Black Lives Matter and the fight against US empire [as] one and the same”, two pro-Trump Republicans, Ryan James Girdusky and Harlan Hill, call the pandemic “the latest example of how the American empire has no clothes.”

The right still defends the traditional account of the republic’s founding—as a rejection of British colonial rule—against the "woke” left’s attempts to recast American history as primarily a tale of slavery and then segregation. But few on either side of the political spectrum pine for the era of global hegemony that began in the 1940s.

In short, like Britons in the 1930s, Americans in the 2020s have fallen out of love with empire—a fact that Chinese observers have noticed and relish. Yet the empire remains. Granted, America has few true colonies: Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands in the north Pacific, and American Samoa in the south Pacific. By British standards, it is a paltry list of possessions. Nevertheless, the American military presence is almost as ubiquitous as Britain’s once was. American armed-forces personnel are to be found in more than 150 countries. The total number deployed beyond the borders of the 50 states is around 200,000.
It's a worthwhile read.



A report from Amazon's "no checkout" grocery store:
After going to Amazon Fresh, I comparison-shopped at my usual grocery store, a Harris Teeter. I found Amazon’s prices were competitive with this conventional, full-size grocery store.

On average, I found Amazon’s prices were slightly lower than Harris Teeter’s, though the difference was small enough that I’m going to call it a tie.

Amazon’s no-checkout technology helps in several ways here. Obviously, buying groceries is more convenient if you don’t have to wait in a checkout line. Equally obvious, Amazon can pass along the money it saves by not having checkout clerks.

More subtly, removing checkout counters allows the stores to be smaller—not only because you don’t need the physical space for the checkout lanes, but also because you don’t need a large volume of business to recoup the fixed cost of running the checkout lanes. So instead of having a single big store, Amazon could profitably build several small stores to serve the same area. That would mean more customers living within easy walking distance of an Amazon Fresh store—customers who might get in the habit of stopping by Amazon Fresh stores every day or two for fruit, milk, and other perishables.
That last bit describes my usual grocery shopping habits. With Fresh Market a five minute walk (and Safeway a five minute drive) away, frequent trips for small perishibles is pretty much my jam. Everything else comes from Amazon online or infrequent trips to the big-box Meijer or Target over on Keystone.

I don't know about the "no checkout" tech, but if it's reasonably de-bugged, it does remove the biggest hassle from grocery shopping. I was already a fan of self checkout, which is a tech that Fresh Market has not embraced.


Friday, August 27, 2021

Afghanistan Choices

I've long held that we had no business hanging around Afghanistan after we'd looked under the last bed and determined that OBL had, in fact, skipped town. We should have thrown the keys to the country to whoever wanted them seventeen years ago with a stern "...and don't make us come back!" admonition.

That said, here we are.

Operation Anaconda is as far in the past to today's high school seniors as Khe Sanh was to me. This official photo was probably shot on film. Some junior enlisted at HKIA weren't born when it was taken.

When it began looking questionable that we were going to be able to evacuate all American citizens by the August 31st deadline, the Taliban issued a statement:
Taliban spokesperson Dr Suhail Shaheen said: "It's a red line. President Biden announced that on 31 August they would withdraw all their military forces. So if they extend it that means they are extending occupation while there is no need for that." He added: "If the US or UK were to seek additional time to continue evacuations - the answer is no. Or there would be consequences. It will create mistrust between us. If they are intent on continuing the occupation it will provoke a reaction."
This struck me as getting a little unwarrantedly froggy on the Taliban's part. 

Dr. Shaheen, bro, you seem to be confusing "won a crushing victory" and "the other side got bored and left". If we decide it's going to take more time to get the rest of our people out, there ain't a lot you can do about it.

And then came yesterday's ISIS bombing, which could be a precursor to a future Clash of the Assholes in post-withdrawal Afghanistan.

My friend Chris again had some cogent thoughts on what's going on and what sort of options are in play...

It’s time to leave Afghanistan, but we cannot walk out the door leaving our citizens behind. I understand the war weariness of the American public. Believe me I understand the military spouses who don’t want that uniformed duo knocking on their door. That said, we must be willing to use our all-volunteer military to protect American civilians. Aside from the immorality of abandoning our own, the entire world is examining our resolve. We are being measured. Our competitors will use our actions in the coming days and weeks as indicators of how far they can go in their hostility towards our interests in future years and decades.

You should go and RTWT.


Thursday, August 26, 2021

The most Broad Ripple thing ever (so far).

The "Little Free Libraries" are actually fairly common around here, but this one had an addition I had not seen before...

There were Post-It notepads and pens in the library for leaving thank you notes or haikus or whatever.

Only a block or two away is this neighborhood fixture:


Wednesday, August 25, 2021

QotD: No Donut Edition...

Greg Ellifritz is not impressed by the shooting skills of the average police officer. That doesn't let the average gun owner off the hook, though...
"So how good is the average cop? He or she is likely much better than the average CCW permit carrier who takes an eight-hour training class and doesn’t shoot much after that. He is likely better than the average recreational shooter. Not many casual plinkers shoot 100-500 rounds a year. If you are a decent level competitive shooter, you’ll probably shoot better than the average cop. If you are a recreational shooter with a few professional shooting school classes under your belt, you will probably shoot better as well."
I find a lot of people don't have a realistic estimate of their abilities with a pistol. Greg includes the course of fire for the Ohio state mandatory LEO qualification. You can probably look up the one for your state or, failing that, use the FBI's.

Try it and see. I think if you are even a moderately active competitive shooter, you'll find them a sobriety test more than any real challenge. If you only shoot seven yard targets from a static position on an indoor range every couple months, they might be considerably more challenging. It can be hard to find places that allow people to practice running a gun from the holster, for instance.

Karl Rehn of KR Training drawing from concealment.


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

NRAAM Cancelled

I had kinda sensed this approaching, what with the continued bad news out of Houston. I'd never planned on going anyway since it's outside of my easy one-day driving range, so fortunately I don't have a room to cancel. 

I feel bad for everyone involved. I gotta say that 2020 v2.0 isn't any more fun than the original, so far.

Safety Seat

It wouldn't take a lot of inattention around a machine like this to wind up a few digits short.

All the powered farm machinery in the Pioneer Village that's driven by leather belts off of tractor PTO's has plenty of large, dangerous moving parts, not the least of which is the drive belt itself. For this reason there's one important piece of safety equipment: Someone is at the controls of the tractor to shut it off at the first signal of trouble.

She hadn't gotten the signal to start the tractor yet, so she noticed the camera.

Once the tractor's running, the operators are focused on the task at hand.

After the tractor's been shut down, everyone can relax again.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Automotif CCXLII...

A couple of dudes out for a Sunday morning cruise in a beautiful red 1957 Ford Thunderbird. Man, the first three model years of the Thunderbird are some of my favorite cars, looks-wise. I probably imprinted hard on the black '55 model that my dad had for a couple years when I was in grade school.

I remember he occasionally had to fuss with it to get it to run, with its archaic 6V electrical system. It seemed so... old fashioned. It's weird to think that my '94 Mustang is, relatively, older now than that T-bird was back then. (This would have been '79 or so, back when well-equipped home garages still had a timing light.)


Sunday, August 22, 2021

Overheard in Front of the Television...

With a category one hurricane nearly hitting a bullseye on the flagpole, network news was giving it some coverage, including an excerpt from an address by soon-to-be-ex-Governor Cuomo, who was apparently urging people to evacuate low-lying and flood-prone areas yesterday.
soon-to-be-ex-Gov. Cuomo: "There's New York Strong, but there's also New York Smart. And New York Smart means..."

Me (yelling): "...not touching people's breasteses uninvitedly!"


Same Guts as Sony!

When, in their cynical attempt to fleece gullible rich people by wrapping Sony camera innards in a luxury body shell for a 700% upcharge, Hasselblad needed to include a lens with the package, they decided to add insult to injury.

When you opened the deluxe black laquered hardwood box, lifting the lid on its piano hinges, you were greeted by a camera and lens that said "Hasselblad" all over it, but if you flipped it over, the lens was clearly marked "Made In Thailand". That's right, the MSRP $6,495* Veblen good shipped with the same SEL1855F 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS kit zoom that came with any Sony you bought at Best Buy, only with the Swedish camera maker's name engraved on it.

Now, "kit zoom" is practically a snarl word in camera circles, but the SEL1855 isn't bad as far as these things go. At least the outer barrel and mounting flange are metal, which isn't necessarily a given in the world of kit zooms. It's fairly sharp, although it suffers from the typical distortion at both ends that's endemic to inexpensive zooms. And of course it's slow-ish, with a maximum f/3.5 aperture at the wide end that falls off fairly quickly to f/5.6.

But this is a lens that sold for less than $300 by itself, or came as a roughly $100 upcharge when bought in a kit with an NEX-3/-5/-7 body.  Scrawling "Hasselblad" on it and throwing it in the box with an obscenely overpriced camera was the icing on the insult cake.

Compounding this was the delay in getting the Hasselblad Lunar to market. It was announced in mid-2012 but didn't start shipping until the end of summer the next year. By that time, the Sony NEX-7 on which it was based was two years old and, oh, Sony had just announced a new short zoom lens for their E-mount mirrorless cameras...

You'd think that Sony, in its business communications with Hasselblad, could have said "Hey, we've got a constant f/4 zoom on the drawing board with Zeiss. If you wanna hold off until Q3 '13 to ship, you could have a credible kit lens to package with the camera..."

While I held onto the Hasselblad Lunar even after divesting myself of all my other crop-sensor Sony mirrorless bodies, I didn't use it much. The 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 just doesn't fit my needs for a walking-around lens. It's too short on the long end to snap a photo of a car across a wide street or a squirrel on a fence. It's too slow on the long end to do much indoor work by available light.

The pictured Sony Zeiss 16-70mm f/4 fixes these problems, being both longer and brighter on the long end (16-70mm on the Lunar's APS-C sensor is the same as 24-105mm on a full frame). The problem is they go for pretty much a grand new, and that's way more than I could justify for an occasional use toy camera. But then I found this one for a bit over three bills used on eBay! The seller was a little embarrassed about what I consider some minor cosmetic scuffs, and he happened to list it on the same day I zeroed out my PayPal credit balance, which is practically karma.

*Unsold stock was blown out at fire sale prices within a year or two. My used example was in LNIB shape at KEH for a song, relatively, but they seem to be turning perversely collectible now.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Friday, August 20, 2021

Give me steam!

If it weren't for the padawan's Oakleys and the telephone pole in the background, this shot could totally have been from the late 19th or early 20th Centuries. Except it was shot with a Nikon D3 and a 24-120mm f/4 VR lens rather than a period correct camera.

I'm fascinated by this enormous twenty-eight horsepower behemoth...

This was an attempt at giving a sort of "vintage color" feel to the scene...

...and here's my usual color and exposure calibration on the RAW file from the camera.


Common Ground?


Thursday, August 19, 2021

Automotif CCXL...

"My Ninety-Eight's boomin' with a trunk of funk,
All the jealous punks can't stop the dunk..."

You might be GenX if you can't see an Olds 98, like this clean green '70 ragtop, without earworming yourself with "Don't Believe the Hype". 

I had to swerve into the parking lot at Central & 34th for a quick snap. Having spotted that Roadmaster in the same parking lot last year, I've been paying attention every time I drive past, hoping for an encore performance.


Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Meme Dump

From the last couple days' social media voyaging...

Visual Reference

Here's a page with some cool animated gifs that illustrate very well the effect of various lighting sources on portraits, and the effect different focal lengths have on portraits.

Nikon's page also has a neat tool... they call it a "lens simulator" ...for seeing how different focal lengths interact with differing sensor sizes.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Automotif CCXXXIX...

Yesterday morning, waiting to make the left turn off Crawfordsville Road to get into Marion County Fish & Game, I saw this thing coming toward toward me, cresting the bridge over Eagle Creek in the eastbound lanes.

I had the top down on the Zed and a Nikon D200 wearing an old 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 AF sitting in the passenger seat. I managed to scoop it up and get it into action fast enough to get one good shot.

I'm not any sort of knowledgeable on Chevy trucks in general, let alone early postwar Advance Design models, but if I'm reading my tea leaves right, the split windshield, vent windows, push-button door handles, and hood badges make this a 1952 model.


Potential Side Effects

Did you catch that in the listing of the potential side effects? "A rare but life-threatening bacterial infection in the skin of the perineum..."?

I sat bolt upright the first time I heard that commercial, because... Look, let me rephrase that in layperson's terminology: "There's an outside chance our diabeetus drug might give you a fatal case of taint rot."

Fatal. Taint. Rot.

Roll that one around in your head for a bit. "Susan got her blood sugar under control but then died of a terminal case of taint rot." Yikes.



I don't know if you saw Bobbi's little tensegrity structure yesterday, but it's available on Amazon. Build it yourself in a few minutes before your morning internetting! Amaze your friends! (There are more expensive and elaborate tensegrity projects, like this plant stand, but it doesn't appear very compatible with cats.)

My hasty photo is not as good as Bobbi's because of depth-of-field issues. I should have used a bounced flash rather than trusting a large aperture. Even with a smallish 1" sensor, that still results in depth-of-field issues. At some point I'll get this thing into natural light or suck it up and put a Speedlight on a Canon.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Lessons Unlearned

The dust is nowhere near settled. In fact, it hasn't even finished getting stirred up, not by a long shot, but these are some viewpoints worth considering.

My friend Chris, in a blog post well worth reading in its entirety, opens with this cogent summary:
"I’ve spent most of my adult life at war, fighting for lost causes. I gave the decades of my youth to strive for that in which I generally believed, alongside men I loved and respected. I regret none of it, but days like today I do feel a bit old, tired, and discouraged.

For those who are wondering how we could have failed so catastrophically in Afghanistan, here’s the simple answer:

We weren’t in Afghanistan 20 years. We were in Afghanistan one year, 20 distinct times.

"Okay, Tam," you say, "But he's a conservative SOF dude who saw the situation through a soldier's eyes. What about..."

Well, here's progressive photojournalist Lucas Jackson, who I follow on Twitter:

When two people with such different worldviews have deep experience on a topic and come away with such similar conclusions, that's what you call a clue.


"Isn't this where we came in?"

How it started:

How it's going:

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Automotif CCXXXVIII...

I'm beginning to be convinced that if you loiter on the patio at Twenty Tap or Fat Dan's long enough, eventually one of everything will roll past.

From the outside tables at Fat Dan's, the little two-tops with umbrellas on the sidewalk outside the patio railing, you can get a good view north or south down College Avenue, depending which way you're facing. After a while, even when traffic is fairly heavy, you get attuned to the shapes that stand out, that line that's a little too square or has a bit much chrome for a recent car, or the fender line that's a little too low to the ground to be yet another commuter pod.

Yesterday, for instance, this caught my eye from most of a block away...

Is that a...?

Yes it is. 

It's a 1967 Plymouth GTX, an upscale performance variant on the midsize Belvedere. The GTX came pretty loaded even in its most basic variant and the base motor was the 375bhp 440 Super Commando. For another five bills and change, you could upgrade to a 426 Hemi, which was a spendy option on a car that cost a little over three grand in its base 440 & three-speed Torqueflite form. Add a Hemi and a 4-speed and you were talking Corvette money, or almost two base Mustang coupes.

It's no wonder that for 1968 the GTX was kept on as Plymouth's luxury muscle car, while a new stripped-down vinyl seat and rubber floormat performance-oriented Plymouth B-body model was sold with a 383 V8 as the base motor and a horn that went "BEEP BEEP" like a well-known cartoon character...


Saturday, August 14, 2021

Oooookay then...

Dogs of War

Подержи мое пиво

The Beeb has a pretty cool investigative journalism piece on the Russian merc outfit, Wagner.
"Wagner is a Russian mercenary group whose operations have spanned the globe, from front-line fighting in Syria to guarding diamond mines in the Central African Republic. But it is notoriously secretive and, as such, difficult to scrutinise.

Now, the BBC has gained exclusive access to an electronic tablet left behind on a battlefield in Libya by a Wagner fighter, giving an unprecedented insight into how these operatives work.

And another clue given to us in Tripoli - a “shopping list” for state-of-the-art military equipment - suggests Wagner has probably been supported at the highest level despite the Russian government’s consistent denials that the organisation has any links to the state.

This Red Skull-looking dude is supposedly the head of the outfit. Allow your brain to slowly melt with the irony of a Russian with tattooed-on Waffen SS collar tabs.

"I want to be sure everyone knows I'm the BAD GUY."

Friday, August 13, 2021

You are not the cops...

An entirely preventable negative outcome is documented at the Tactical Professor blog.

A Coast Guard Servicemember heard her car being burglarized. She called 911 and then, grabbing her handgun, ran outside to interrupt the thief.  She took him at gunpoint, verbally ordered him to stop and wait for police...

...whereupon he drew his own pistol, shot her, and fled. When he was apprehended, it turned out he'd stolen the murder weapon from another vehicle in the neighborhood just days before because some idjit had yet again confused his car with a gun safe. USCG AMT3 Schollaert died of her wounds.
Your toter's permit is not a Junior G-Man badge. Arresting people ain't your job. If they want to run, you should probably let them.

Your car is neither a holster nor a gun safe.


The First Rule of Dunning-Kruger Club...

Everybody remembers the first part of this, the part where people who don't know a lot tend to overestimate their abilities.

The second part is the part where the more you learn, the more you realize there is to learn, and the less adequate you perceive yourself to be.  I'm definitely feelin' it with photography. Artificially lit studio work is a whole new world, and a daunting one at that.


...I broke a tooth. It wasn't much of a mood enhancer, to be honest. At least the dentist was able to squeeze me in for an emergency repair at 11:00 this morning.


Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Automotif CCXXXVII...

The Rolls Royce Wraith is a hard car to miss. It's two and a half tons of metal, leather, wilton wool, wood veneer, and twin-turbo V12. Over seventeen feet long, with a roofline most of five feet high, it's a coupe of near SUV-proportions.

I was tooling down 54th to shoot the new Kimber test gun at Indy Arms Co. when I noticed this in the parking lot at the American Legion hall, so I swung in to get photos with the little Nikon D3000 in the passenger seat.

Notice the Rolls logo is upright on all four center caps? Yeah, they don't spin. I have to replace a couple little roundel center caps on the Zed Drei every few years when they get bounced loose on Indy's bomb-cratered streets. Fortunately the plastic caps on the Bimmer are cheap. I should start keeping a spare or two in the trunk. Hopefully the ones on the Roller are more secure, since a set of four that claim to be OEM goes for seven bills on Amazon.



The Black Ghost

This was unexpectedly touching. Definitely worth the watch.

More story can be found here.


Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Virtue Signaling

Litany Against Derp

I'm still learning every day.
I must not derp.
Derp is the reputation-killer.
Derp is the little-death that brings total enstupidation.
I will face my derp.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the derp has gone there will be nothing.
Only clue will remain.
I wonder what I'm wrong about right now?