Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Launch Date

Unlike Artemis I, the launch of the eighth (and final?) volume in the Frontlines series by Marko went off without a hitch and on schedule.

If you preordered it, like me, it was magicked onto your Kindle while you slept. If not, you can get it here now.

I'm off to watch the Lankies hopefully get their comeuppance this afternoon.


Monday, August 29, 2022

Crafting the Hellmouth

This explains it all...

Space Fail

Artemis will not be going to space today.

Serious Steel

Love this absolutely gorgeous hot rodded 1948 or 1949 Cadillac coupe. The cosmetic differences between those model years (and between the Series 61 and more upmarket Series 62) are esoteric and a lot of them involve chrome trim bits which have been removed from this sled.

Speaking of heavy metal, the photo was snapped with an EOS 1D Mark III, a three pound magnesium brick that was Canon's premier sports & photojournalism camera back in 2007. Now it's just an old used camera...but a cool one.



The money quote from a very read-the-whole-thing sort of post...
"The American nationalist intellectual movement was mobilized by a book, The Virtue of Nationalism, written by Israeli intellectual, Yoram Hazony. Its political leader is Viktor Orbรกn. Its second conference was held in Italy. Its conferences’ speakers include Hungarian, Italian, and French politicians. And its Catholic members want to move the U.S. capital to Vatican. They are obsessed with what is happening in Australia and Canada and Finland. What bleeping nationalism is this?

Alternative Explanation: They are not nationalists. They are the same globalists they hate, just that they want a different kind of globalism.
I'd always been a little confused by the reflexive leg-humping of foreign strongmen like Orban, Bolsonaro, and Putin by the pseudo populists who have grabbed TRUMP flags from the merchandise booths and elbowed their way to the front of the MAGA parade (and I say "pseudo populists" because they are, almost to a man, upper class coastal types and Ivy League grads larping as trucker-hat-wearing, country-music-listening, gun lovers), but this essay nails it dead center mass.


Sunday, August 28, 2022

Automotif CCCXXXVII...

I'm almost certain that this 356 Speedster is a replica (the wiper arms don't look right, for one), but some of the best 356 replicas are made right here in Indiana, so...

Photos shot in Broad Ripple with a Nikon D2X & 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 DX lens.


Friday, August 26, 2022

Giving away your position...

"Basically, any time someone’s biggest objection to something, be it a flashlight, glowing tritium lamp or laser is “It’ll give away my position!” I have to wonder what sort of attacker they’re preparing for. If he doesn’t know your position, how is he attacking you in the first place?"

How do you say "giving away my position*" in Turkish?

*While I'm not a huge proponent of WML's on CCW guns, I do like them on a home defense gun, provided the user gets training in how to use it properly. There is, however, one particular use case for having a light on your CCW piece. Specifically, if you carry some off-brand gun hipster pistol that's hard to find quality holsters for and it has an accessory rail that will accommodate a Surefire X300, you can always carry it in a PHLster Floodlight or Bawidamann Gotham.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Communist Infiltration...

And I mean actual communists, as in the Chinese government, not your neighbor who disagrees with you over what should be the top marginal tax rate.
"Since at least 2017, federal officials have investigated Chinese land purchases near critical infrastructure, shut down a high-profile regional consulate believed by the US government to be a hotbed of Chinese spies and stonewalled what they saw as clear efforts to plant listening devices near sensitive military and government facilities.

     Among the most alarming things the FBI uncovered pertains to Chinese-made Huawei equipment atop cell towers near US military bases in the rural Midwest. According to multiple sources familiar with the matter, the FBI determined the equipment was capable of capturing and disrupting highly restricted Defense Department communications, including those used by US Strategic Command, which oversees the country's nuclear weapons.

While broad concerns about Huawei equipment near US military installations have been well known, the existence of this investigation and its findings have never been reported. Its origins stretch back to at least the Obama administration. It was described to CNN by more than a dozen sources, including current and former national security officials, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Audience Capture

Influencer culture weirds me out...
"When influencers are analyzing audience feedback, they often find that their more outlandish behavior receives the most attention and approval, which leads them to recalibrate their personalities according to far more extreme social cues than those they'd receive in real life. In doing this they exaggerate the more idiosyncratic facets of their personalities, becoming crude caricatures of themselves.

The caricature quickly becomes the influencer's distinct brand, and all subsequent attempts by the influencer to remain on-brand and fulfill audience expectations require them to act like the caricature. As the caricature becomes more familiar than the person, both to the audience and to the influencer, it comes to be regarded by both as the only honest expression of the influencer, so that any deviation from it soon looks and feels inauthentic. At that point the persona has eclipsed the person, and the audience has captured the influencer.


Tim at Leicaphilia has made a final post...


Fair Folk

I've mentioned before that candid portraiture is my absolute favorite photographic endeavor. If I could find a way to make a living walking the earth and snapping photos of folks in their natural habitat, I would love nothing more.

Here are my favorites from this year's State Fair...

The first two were shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, the third with an EOS 1D Mark III. All three were using an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens stopped slightly down to f/4 to get good subject separation from (occasionally very busy) backgrounds while getting a bit more sharpness than if I'd been shooting wide open.

That latter was a thing I had to learn the hard way. Like a lot of people, I had the whole "I paid for a ginormous aperture and I'm gonna use every bit of it!" thought process going on for a long time.

The 70-200/2.8L is the original, non-stabilized version; a well-loved example that a blog reader made me a stellar deal on. That lens is the reason I do most of my paying work with Canons again (I'd been shooting Sony) and has taken a lot of my favorite portraits since I got it back in 2018...


Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Free Book Giveaway

Marko has received his author copies of the latest Frontlines novel and is doing his usual giveaway contest of autographed copies.

Just leave a comment at this linked post before noon EDT on Sunday, August 28th, and he'll pick ten winning commenters via random number generator.

May the odds be ever in your favor!




Automotif CCCXXXVI...

Here's a 1972 Eldorado ragtop in Promenade Gold Metallic with Medium Maize interior.

The 8.2 Litre (500cid) V-8 debuted in 1970. Featuring a 4bbl carburetor and a 10.0:1 compression ratio, it was rated at 400bhp and 550 lb-ft of torque, SAE Gross.

In 1971 GM decreed that all engines needed to run on lower octane unleaded gas, and the 500's compression ratio was reduced to 8.5:1, dropping power ratings to 365bhp and 535 lb-ft of torque.

For 1972, General Motors started using SAE Net numbers, rather than SAE Gross, which meant measuring the engine's output as it was actually installed in the car, with all accessories hooked up, factory exhaust & air cleaner installed, et cetera. Thus, for 1972, the 500cid motor in the Eldo was rated at 235bhp and 385 lb-ft, even though it was substantially unchanged from the previous year.

These photos were taken with an old Canon EOS 7D, using an EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens.


Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Performative Gun-Fondling is Pandering

She looks as natural with that carbine as Barack did with that Perazzi.

My culture is not your costume, lady.


Top Crop

"Zoom with your feet!" is a saying you'll hear from photographers who scorn zoom lenses in favor of primes.

Thing is, last Friday I was using a lens with a maximum focal length of 80mm (on an APS-C sensor, so the equivalent of 120mm on a full frame) and you can only get so close to the threshing magine before bumping into the ropes that they have up as a safety barrier.

Fortunately a 24MP sensor lets you crop without losing much detail. Here's a screen shot of the RAW file in Photoshop before cropping...

I LOL'ed...

This line from Bobbi got a chuckle out of me...
"[I]t's Wyoming. I'm told they do have Democrats in the state, not all of whom are imported, but I believe there are still towns where you have to pay a nickel to get a look at one, as if they were a peacock or an emu."

Fair Queen

Friday morning, during the 10AM historical agricultural display in Pioneer Village, Miss Indiana State Fair 2022 showed up to put in a turn at the thresher.

It wasn't just a ceremonial forkful, either. 

Ms. McKillip stayed up there, tiara and all, slingin' wheat for the whole demonstration. Peak Hoosier.

Photos shot with the Fujifilm X-T2 & 16-80mm f/4 OIS WR.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Automotif CCCXXXV...

1973 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

Note screaming chicken decal on the hood (a $55 option that year.) They were still fairly small, but by the end of the decade they'd have eaten the whole hood.

The "455" on the hood scoop lets us know it has the base engine for the Trans Am package, the 250bhp L75, rather than the optional 290-horse Super Duty LS2, which would have added another $550* to the MSRP and an "SD-" prefix to the decal on the shaker scoop. '73 was the first year that emissions regs began taking a really noticeable bite out of the Trans Am's output, with most previous reductions being a result of shifting from SAE Gross to SAE Net power measurement and some fiddling with numbers in the marketing department.

*$550 was a steep option in 1973, when $2500 would buy you a whole Pontiac Ventura coupe.

Consistency, who needs it?

Free range chickens are good, but free range humans are bad.



Friday's trip to the Fair saw me supplement the digital Fujis with an analog one.

The current round of the Shitty Camera Challenge is called "Instant Regret", and I had my Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 in my bag to get some shots so I could play along.

The Instax Minis are a lot of fun. The pictures are about the size of business cards, so they're easy for people to stash in a wallet or pocketbook. Kids are fascinated by them, too, because they've lived their whole life in a world of screens, so instant hard copy output has a magical quality to them. I especially like the Mini 40 for its black & silver retro camera looks. It blends nicely with my X-E1 and its 23mm f/2 "Fujicron".

I even wore my matching t-shirt for the occasion!

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Very Nice!

I legit LOL'ed loud enough to startle the cat... In case you're not keeping track of foreign scandals, here's the latest scoop on the Finnish Prime Minister...
The 36-year-old leader, one of the world’s youngest heads of state, has already been forced to deny being on drugs in a now-viral clip of her partying in an apartment after returning from summer vacation.

But on Friday, Finnish tabloid Seiska posted a new video of her later that same night, showing the top politician pressed up against a man who repeatedly nuzzles her neck as they dance in a packed Helsinki club, Teatteri.
In case you wanted to know what happened to those kids who were involved with student government when you were in high school, they're apparently bopping to the oldies unironically in terminally unhip clubs.

Automotif CCCXXXIV...

Friday afternoon saw this 1978 Indy Pace Car Special Edition Corvette roll past.

The Pace Car Special Edition came with the L82 220bhp 350cid V-8. A period test by Road & Track returned a 0-60 time of 6.6 seconds and a 15.3 second quarter at 95mph on the way to a 127mph top speed.

MSRP was $13,653 (sixty grand in today's money), but Chevy's decision to produce enough for every dealership to have one makes this one of the least-limited Limited Editions ever. Chevy hyped its special edition status in advertising, yet when all was said and done, better than one in ten '78 Corvettes was a Pace Car. A quick googling shows there are a ton of really low mileage ones floating around out there, since a lot were bought and parked as "sure-fire future investments" that haven't even halfway kept up with inflation.

Fujifilm X-T2 & XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR

Friday, August 19, 2022

Undue Influence?

From a piece on social media influencers...
"If I could have one phrase to leave the readers with it's this, vet your sources. We need to hold each other more accountable for the information we share, ensuring it's backed up with hard data. If you're just looking for entertainment, more power to you, but don't confuse a good time with serious information. Too often we see people blur those lines, and that can have devastating consequences for the unlearned viewer."
h/t to Gorillafritz


All good things...

I remember talking with Farmer Frank about this sort of general feeling of melancholy I'd feel watching a good snowfall melt away, and that I couldn't figure out why it made me feel that way. He told me that it affected him the same way, and explained the reason. Deep down inside, our inner child associates the sight with snow days being over and having to go back to school tomorrow.

Relatedly, today's the last weekday of the Indiana State Fair, so I'm going to pedal down there a little earlier than usual, and maybe stay a little longer, and make a point of getting the photos that I've been meaning to get over the past couple weeks but didn't.

Because after today, it's back to waiting for next summer...

This was shot with the 50MP EOS 5DS, so it can be embiggenated to a crazy level of detail.


Wednesday, August 17, 2022

On newsstands...

The latest issue of RECOIL's CONCEALMENT magazine (issue #28) has a couple things in it from me. There's a piece on the practicalities of using .22LR for CCW, and a special advertising section on the new FN 509 Midsize Tactical for which I wrote the copy.

Normally I'd balk at writing what is essentially article-length ad copy, but I actually like the 509 series, so...

Photographed at the launch event in Georgia this past March, with the Olympus E-3 & Zuiko 14-35mm f/2

Fortunately my beefs are minor, mostly involving my preference for tabbed trigger safeties rather than hinged triggers, and the fact that the aftermarket is kinda soft for the 509 (but that latter one's out of FN's hands, so it's not their fault.) 

The hardest parts about writing a Special Advertising Section as opposed to a review were:
  • Not referencing other manufacturers. "The Midsize is basically the 509 flavor of the G19", and...

  • Not giving my overall opinion of this type of pistol in general, which is that the differences between most of the big brands are so minor that choosing between them is going to come down to personal preference on aesthetics or small ergonomic details, and how much work one is willing to put in finding holsters.


Designated Spontaneity Area


Only three more days for me to do photography at the State Fair this year.

The Fair is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and, much like public shooting ranges and the zoo, I avoid the Fair on evenings and weekends. It's way too people-y then for my tastes.

Instead I like to go during what I jokingly call "retiree hours", weekday mornings before lunchtime. Anyone who's worked at a public range knows exactly what I'm talking about*.

I'll spend an hour or two roaming around, mostly the Pioneer Village area, then maybe grab a bite to eat and ride one of the little tractor-powered shuttles once around the grounds before leaving.

Three more days, and then it's waiting until next year...

*Every indoor range has its weekday morning regulars who will come in with their .22 pistols, Walmart bulk pack ammo, and paper plate homemade targets and while away an hour or two, plinking and kibitzing.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

We wantses it.

I have absolutely no need for a revolver in .350 Legend... but fortunately we live in America where you don't have to demonstrate proof of need, just proof of want. And oh, boy, do I want.

I remember Jeff Cooper making mock in one of his columns back in the Nineties about the various high velocity 9mm cartridges on offer at the time. Something along the lines of "9x21, 9x23, 9x25? You need a .45!"

How about 9x43mm? How's that grab ya?

Man, the muzzle blast on these is gonna make my Model 53 look like a damp match head...

...and the muzzle blast from .22 Remington Jet in a 4" barrel is nothing to sneeze at.

Monday, August 15, 2022

Automotif CCCXXXIII...

For our three hundred and thirty-third Automotif here at VFTP, we have a 1963 Lincoln Continental convertible in Spanish Red.

The slab-sided "suicide door" Fourth Generation Continentals, to my eye, are a refreshing break from the chrome-laden rolling Wurlitzers of the late Fifties. They sold like gangbusters and Chrysler hired their designer, Elwood Engel, away from Ford to serve as Virgil Exner's replacement as head of the styling department at Mopar, where he remained until his retirement in '73. 

Put all archdukes on lockdown.

Just in case there weren't enough risk of NATO-Russia conflict surrounding the latter's invasion of Ukraine, we have another flashpoint heating up.
As Lars at GAT Daily points out, Serbia is joined at the hip with Moscow. The core of the former Yugoslavia, it's not a member of NATO or the EU, and it does not recognize the independence of Kosovo. 

Hence we have the current escalating tensions, which are about...license plates. 

Because it's the Balkans, so of course it doesn't make sense to outsiders. To paraphrase the late, great P.J. O'Rourke, these aren't countries, they're feuds with borders.

Hey, while we're on the topic of the Balkans, let me take a moment to recommend Sean Smith's memoirs of his time in Bosnia and Macedonia in the Nineties as an M.I. ossifer. He's a talented writer and raconteur, deft with a turn of phrase and possessed of a dry wit. If you're reading this blog, you'll love his style.


Sunday, August 14, 2022


This '74-'78 Honda CB550K, sporting a luggage rack and aftermarket exhaust, is a classic UJM, for "Universal Japanese Motorcycle". 

Nowadays, bikes are sold from the factory as tourers or sportbikes or cruisers or whatever, but that wasn't always the case.

The CB550 came in two forms: The CB550K "Custom", which had four-into-four exhausts (the four separate trumpet-shaped mufflers were quite dramatic looking) and the CB550F Sport, which had lower bars, a differently-shaped, chromeless gas tank and a factory 4-into-1 header.

From this basic platform you essentially built the kind of bike you needed. Need a commuter? Bolt on a luggage rack. Want to go touring? Add a Vetter fairing, saddlebags, and maybe a trunk. Feeling sporty? Rearsets, flatter bars (or maybe clip-ons), aftermarket racing exhaust, and maybe a little bikini fairing.

Pretty soon the factories began offering bikes with all these features from the factory, and the basic motorcycle became a lot less common, although they get revived out of nostalgia every so often.


Good Sports

Here's the scene...

Chris Cypert, who is as close to a walking, talking Captain America as you're likely to encounter, is qualified to judge outstandingness of character in young men.

This moment caught our collective attention for just that reason, outstandingness of character on display. It's a much more scarce commodity than we'd prefer, these days.

I'll let Matt Labash explain:
News anchor after news anchor closed their shows with it. The very people who seem to spend 95 percent of their lives amping us up with fear and paranoia, distrust and anger, took a moment to bask in the glorious humanity of this little episode.

I know the feeling. I did too. I wasn’t just moved by Jarvis’s act of generosity, but by Shelton’s breaking down over the damage his errant pitch could’ve caused. As a manly man, I generally discourage public displays of tears. I tend to limit mine to funerals and Celine Dion concerts. And yet, watching someone feel genuinely remorseful for what they did, even if it was only a mistake, was strangely refreshing.

We are unaccustomed to that – we have become unaccustomed to all of this – because public life is no longer populated by people committing quiet acts of heroism and gallantry and graciousness. We have instead become acclimated to boorish jackasses stoking grievance, claiming victimhood, and pinning the blame on others when they should be assuming blame themselves. No names - it would take too much space to list them.

That is why, I think, what would’ve been a throwaway feel-good little league story a few decades ago, feels like a major morality play now.
Can I get an amen?


Automotif CCCXXXII...

A 1969 Buick Electra 225 Custom Limited hardtop coupe in Antique Gold. I think the vinyl top color was called "Buckskin"? Base motor was a 360-horse Buick 430 4bbl V-8, with dual exhaust offered as an option. This one looks to have the factory duals.

These things had a rarely-ordered optional 3.90:1 rear axle that came with a mandatory A/C delete. It'd be hella noisy on the freeway, but it'd make that barge downright spritely at traffic lights.

These were shot with the Canon EOS 1D Mark IV & EF 24-105mm f/4L combo.


Saturday, August 13, 2022


The first few times Bobbi and I went to the fair, we rode down in her car, and I've driven there in the Zed Drei a couple times, too. Parking is always a hassle if you want to park on the Fairgrounds proper. I've parked in the infield of the race track, and I've parked over in the east corner of the Fairgrounds, labeled "A" on the map below. (Once you drive onto the Fairgrounds through the gate on Fall Creek Parkway, you're pretty much at the mercy of the traffic directors; you'll park where they shunt you and you'll like it.)

Vehicle parking up on the grounds of the Indiana School for the Deaf, across 42nd Street from the northwest corner of the Fairgrounds is generally less of a hassle, especially if you arrive early, but it's a bit of a hike just to get to the Fair, depending on where on the grounds they park you.

Bobbi and I have also made use of the secured bicycle parking right off the Monon Trail at the southwest corner of the Fairgrounds, marked "B" on the map. However, the nearest gate from there (marked "C") is a piece of a hike from the bike lot. Last year I just chained my bike to the fence outside that gate instead, like a lot of other folks.

This was convenient for parking, but that gate was clean on the opposite side of the Fairgrounds from Pioneer Village, where I like to spend my morning shooting photos.

This year the Monon Trail was closed north of 42nd Street for a widening project, and when I navigated my way to my usual gate there at "C" on the west edge of the Fairgrounds, it was closed, too.

I checked my maps and pedaled east on 42nd Street, which was closed to vehicular traffic, to Gate 12, which I have marked "D".

Bliss. Gate 12 is less than two miles of pedaling... maybe a ten minute bike ride, tops ...from the house, and it's just steps from Pioneer Village. I've found my new favorite way to get to the Fair.

My old Lowepro Messenger 200 barely fits in the rear basket of the Broad Ripple SUV

I mean, the entire process of pedaling down to the Fairground, locking up the bike, and strolling in the gate takes less time than just finding a parking space for the car.


Friday, August 12, 2022

The Next Generation

Some peak State Fair right here, I tell you what...

This lad was making tractor noises and generally having the time of his life.


Thursday, August 11, 2022


None of my previous State Fair visits have overlapped the harness racing that happens there annually. This year I glimpsed some.

These were shot with the Nikon D800 & 24-120mm f/4 VR, so they should embiggenate nicely.

"OSHA? Never heard of her."

This shot of the big thresher in Pioneer Village was from the 2018 State Fair...

Sony a7 II & FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS

And here's the thresher in 2022...

Nikon D300S & 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR ED

I don't know if that's the same thresher all restored and shiny, or a different one. Either way, it's cool to watch it in action.

Though combines have long replaced threshers (and reapers, hence the name "combine") for commercial agricultural use, old school towed threshers are still a thing in Amish country.

Threshers were expensive hardware, so they'd get towed from farm to farm around a community.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

I LOL'ed

This completely kicked my gigglebox clean over.

What a friend we have in Dave.


Filthy Shotgun

So, once upon a time... this was at Montague Gunsmithing in Knoxville, so that'd make it 2001 ...guy comes in with a zip-up vinyl long gun case, saying he needed a cleaning.

As he's unzipping the case, he explains that he'd just sold the dive bar he'd owned for decades and was retiring, and this was the shotgun he'd kept under the bar "just in case" for all those years.

And he pulls out a very early postwar Belgian Sweet Sixteen, like a Grade 2 or 3, that's crusted with twenty years of Coca-Cola syrup, Tom Collins mix, and dust bunnies.

It was one of the three or four saddest sights of all my years in the gun business. It takes a lot to rattle Shannon Jennings, and even he was a little shook at the appearance of the poor thing.

It looked nothing like this Model 11, other than the general outline.

Tuesday, August 09, 2022


Photographed with a Canon EOS 1D Mark III & EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

I guess it wasn't just towels and an ashtray.

First World Problems...

The Right bemoans its oppression, as Jonathan Last notes regarding the poor downtrodden suburbs...
So I’m sure that this is undeniably true for some swaths of Republican voters. If you’re living on government assistance in a Kentucky holler that’s been hollowed out by jobs being shipped overseas and the flood of opioids, I get it. I mean, I’d argue that you are misallocating blame, but I get that it feels like you’re living in a sectarian failed state.

What I don’t understand is the people who feel like they’re living in a sectarian failed state while driving Ford F-150 Raptors, or taking their boats out to join a parade, or buying up tens of thousands of dollars of tactical gear.
And the Left is oppressed, too. For instance, being asked to turn down your stereo on an Ivy League campus is racist.
I first arrived on campus for the minority-student orientation. The welcome event had the feel of a block party, Blahzay Blahzay blasting on a boom box. (It was the ’90s.) We spent those first few nights convening in one another’s rooms, gossiping and dancing until late. We were learning to find some comfort in this new place, and with one another.

Then the other students arrived—the white students. The first day of classes was marked by such gloriously WASPy pomp that it made my young, aspirational heart leap. Professors in academic regalia gave speeches about centuries-old traditions and how wonderful and unique we were—“the best class yet.” Kids sang a cappella and paraded with a marching band. I’d spent my high-school years sneaking out at night to drink 40s on the beach and scheming my way into clubs. I understood that what was happening around me wasn’t exactly cool, but it was special. And I was a part of it.

I just hadn’t counted on everything that followed being so quiet. The hush crept up on me at first. I would be hanging out with my friends from orientation when one of our new roommates would start ostentatiously readying themselves for bed at a surprisingly early hour. Hints would be taken, eyes would be rolled, and we’d call it a night. One day, when I accidentally sat down to study in the library’s Absolutely Quiet Room, fellow students Shhh-ed me into shame for putting on my Discman. With rare exceptions—like Saturday nights during rush—silence blanketed the campus.

Sunday, August 07, 2022

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #216...

The 509 Midsize Tactical, seen here with a Trijicon SRO and Streamlight TLR-7, is the top of the line Goldilocks-size of FN America's striker-fired line. Basically sized like a G19, it's got factory suppressor-height night sights and probably the best factory red dot adaptor system out there.

I've got the TLR-7 on it because I have a Henry Holsters Spark that works with that light. I'd just as soon CCW without the WML, but at least this one adds minimal bulk, and the only IWB I have laying around for a non-light-bearing 509 is a PHLster Enigma and I'm way out of practice running AIWB.


Friday, August 05, 2022


One of my favorite places in Pioneer Village is the blacksmith's shed.


Thursday, August 04, 2022


"Let's do some badly choreographed cosplay to own the libs!"


If you can eat a crayon, you can develop film.

Chris Hernandez with a video on how easy it is to process B&W film at home...


There's a retrospective piece over at GAT Daily about the guns of Grendel, George Kellgren's previous gun company before he founded Kel-Tec. (Get it? Kellgren, Grendel, Kel-Tec?)

It's notable to me because the Grendel P10 was the first handgun I ever bought. Well, the first new handgun I ever bought at a gun store on a 4473, at any rate.

It was basically the forerunner to the Kel-Tec P11, except it was chambered in .380 and had a fixed magazine you loaded through the ejection port with the slide locked to the rear. You could either thumb your .380 rounds in one a a time, or you could purchase a little "saddle" that fitted to the contours of the slide and allowed you to thumb ten rounds in off an M16 stripper clip. (.380 and 5.56 having near enough the same case head diameter as makes no nevermind for using stripper clips.) 

This had disadvantages. You couldn't eject a half-empty mag and replace it with a full one, for example. Worse, unloading the gun was a fraught process that would probably give liability lawyers the vapors.

Still, it was a polymer framed pistol back when that was still a novelty, and cheap enough that a 21-year-old convenience store clerk could afford one that she could keep under the counter on third shift in clear violation of company policy.

There's a dude on eBay selling 3D printed stripper guides. The originals are scarce as hen's teeth.


Wednesday, August 03, 2022


Tom the Percheron was there again this year. He's 23 years old now!

It was getting close to ninety and pretty humid. I'd only brought the one camera and lens (1D Mark IV with 24-105/4L), as this was more of a reconnaissance run. I wandered Pioneer Village for a bit, got a few photos, and pedaled for home before the day's temps peaked.

Scoping the weather forecast to plot future visits.