Monday, October 31, 2022

Musical Interlude

Here's the Wikipedia article on Lake Köbeituz. She's playing a dombra.


Sunday, October 30, 2022


So I was headed out the door yesterday to walk over to Twenty Tap for lunch and to do some writing. I almost grabbed the 1D Mark IV & 24-105/4L that's kinda become my default camera choice of late, but at the last minute I thought "Y'know, I haven't played with that old D2X for a while..."

So I picked up the Nikon and, almost at random, pulled the 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G II zoom off the shelf.

I'd made it about two blocks toward the restaurant when I was suddenly glad I'd picked the crop sensor camera and superzoom, let me tell you...

I think that's a Cooper's hawk, but I'm not a hundred percent on that. EDIT: I'm informed it is, in fact, a red-tailed hawk.

Shooting birds in flight is tricky, and I was a little undergunned with only a 300mm equivalent focal length, but I waited around until he took off and gave it a try.

Pretty cool...



First, a little background...
A brief refresher on Section 230: Congress passed it in 1996 in reaction to a judicial ruling holding an internet service provider responsible for a defamatory statement posted on a website’s messaging board. The statute precludes internet service providers from being held liable for information provided by a third-party user. The theory was that providers do not generate content. They merely perform the equivalent of a publisher’s traditional editorial functions—such as deciding whether or not to publish content, when to run it, and whether to alter it in some way before publication. Section 230(c)(1) thus specifically states that a provider shall not “be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information” simply because they host it.

In 1996, only 20 million Americans had internet access, and spent on average under thirty minutes surfing the net each month. There was no Google, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, YouTube, Snapchat, Parler, or Wikipedia. Only a handful of national newspapers had articles posted online. Computers took about 30 seconds to load each page via a phone line and users paid for internet service by the hour. The first commercial ISP was only six years old, and the biggest one by far was The first web page was created in 1991. The first web browser—Mosaic—came out in 1993. Amazon began selling (just) books in 1995. The first web-based email services, Hotmail and Rocketmail, were launched the same year that Section 230 became law, in 1996. The term “blogging” was not coined until 1999.
If Section 230 were to evaporate, literally the first casualty would be blogging services, forums, and comments sections. Places like Arfcom and TheFiringLine would just become legal hazards for their owners, and those are relatively small and easily moderated. If you had a private blog on your own server, you'd need to turn off comments out of sheer self protection.

If Google suddenly became legally liable for every post made on say nothing of the howling idiocy swirling in comments sections...they'd have no time to do anything but defend themselves in court.

And if your reaction to all this is "hUrR dUrR gOoD bCuZ i HaTe gOoGlE cUz tHeY R LiBrUlZ", you're a moron.


Friday, October 28, 2022

Forget that...

Me, about to drive out to the range to shoot jello: "Alexa, what's the outside temperature?"

The Robot of Disappointment: "Right now, it's 42 degrees Fahrenheit. Today, expect a high of 64 degrees."
Screw that. The top's down on the Bimmer in the garage and I can't raise it at these temps without risking damage...well, further the rear window.

The weather forecast says it'll be a lot better at the range on Tuesday, so Tuesday it is.

I've got a few different kinds of 5.7x28mm to test, as well as .32 H&R Mag and .327 Federal.


The real dangers of Halloween...

Can we not talk about the real danger of Halloween, which is not fentanyl-laced Good ‘N’ Plenties and razor blades in kumquats, but the fact that the streets will be crawling with zombies, pirates, and ninjas?

Lock your doors and turn off all outside lights to ward them off!

Seriously, though, the last few years we've just been turning the lights out. Most of the little kids in the immediate neighborhood had grown into their teens or their families had moved, and the number of tricker treaters had dwindled and was skewing heavily toward kids who should have been too old to be out scamming free candy with a half-assed costume.

Over the past year, though, at least two families with small children have moved into the 'hood. There are enough houses that put on pretty elaborate productions that they should be able to get their sugar fix without Roseholme Cottage's participation. Possibly next year.

Kirkland Signature Gran Torino

I haven't seen cinemetography this bad since Sewer Shark. 

The final shootout scene is especially egregious. Nobody is lit the same. You can't tell where anyone is supposed to be standing in relation to each other from where they're looking. It's just terribad on a technical level, and that's not even taking into account the dismal "acting" and dialog.

"Mom, I want Sergeant Elias."

"Honey, we have Sergeant Elias at home."

Sergeant Elias at home:

If I were the target demographic for this flick, the sort of angry conservative who thinks there's a librul plot to ban the American flag or something*, I'd be insulted that John Schneider thinks I would buy this garbage. Calling the acting wooden and the characters cardboard is an insult to the tree-farming industry. This is to movies what bad Christian "rock" is to rock and roll.

*Bro, there's not. I live in a hipster, artsy, in-town neighborhood where every other house has a yard sign with the "In This House..." Progressive Catechism, a Black Lives Matter sign, some flavor of Pride flag (I've stopped trying to track the variations), or all three, and there are American flags everywhere. Even on the same houses.

Also, what kind of paranoid universe is Schneider's character living in, there? He's the last lone patriot in what looks like a small Louisiana town, and everybody else from the cops to the high school jock to his neighbor to his own daughter is some sort of anti-American commie? What planet is this happening on? Because it's not this one. What is with the persecution fetish, man?

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Oops. I went too fast.

Remember I said that The Peripheral actually turned out to be quite good, and I was glad there was already a sequel out?

Well, as it turned out, the sequel... Agency even better. It was such a fun read that I started it over lunch on Tuesday, kept tearing through it during the insomnia hours of Tuesday night, and finished it up shortly after lunch yesterday.

And now the third book in what is apparently being referred to as the Jackpot Trilogy is not out yet. It's been two years since the last one, but the first two were nearly six years apart.

At least I get to watch the Amazon series to get my Gibson fix in the immediate future.


Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Well, that went fast...

So like I mentioned the other day, I decided to make another run at William Gibson's novel, The Peripheral, and I am so glad I did.

In classic Gibson style, the plot accelerates steadily toward a sort of event horizon, at which point the pace of events builds to the denouement with breakneck speed.

I was maybe thirty or forty pages in yesterday morning and just finished it here before lunch. Past page 200 or so, it went from "this is a pretty good yarn, actually" to "I don't want to put this down until we're done."

Good thing the second book in the series is already out...


Monday, October 24, 2022

Speaking of pronunciation...

Boyd's decision cycle is pronounced "Oh-Oh-Dee-Ay". 

It's not the "ooh, duh!" loop.

Thanks to Claude, again.


Quasi Feral

One of the local quasi-ferals, who can almost always be found hanging around the Northview Avenue access point to the Monon Trail. He's super friendly, and will sometimes perch like a gargoyle atop the trash can there by the park bench and survey passers-by. Those notched ears tell you that he's seen some things in his time.

I photographed him the other night while out walking with Bobbi, using the Nikon 1 V2 and the stellar little 1 Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8, the equivalent of a 50mm prime on the little 1" sensor.

It's really a shame Nikon flailed so badly marketing the Nikon 1 system. By the time they got around to deciding maybe traditional photographers and hobbyists might be interested in a quality interchangeable lens system where you could fit a whole panoply of lenses in a small pouch, the market had moved on.



The newscaster, reading from the teleprompter, pronounced the new 'rona vaccine as with a short "i" and a schwa "a"..."BIH-vuh-lent"...rather than "bye-VAY-lent".

Understandable on a cold read, really, since "ambivalent" is a word that would be more frequently encountered than "bivalence" in either its chemical or genetic sense when getting a BA as opposed to a BS. One extrapolates pronunciations of unfamiliar words from what one knows.

But now every time this year's flu shot is referenced, my mind's ear hears it called "kwa-DRIHV-uh-lent" even when the speaker more correctly says "kwa-drih-VAY-lent".

Ambivalent, of course, is when you feel two ways about something. Quadrivalent is when you're really up in the air with your opinion on a topic. "On the one hand, on the other, on the gripping hand*, but then also..."

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Truth is sometimes as strange as fiction...

Sadly, this headline is from a satire website.


It really is too bad that it's from a satire site, because otherwise it would instantly become my new favorite "Jehovah's Witness on the front porch" story.

My current favorite is a tale an old friend of mine, Byron Quick, told me about a roommate he had back in the day. This roommate was a scrawny, Alice Cooper looking dude who was an artist and had a pet python.

They didn't have air conditioning in the old Victorian home they were renting in Augusta, Georgia and so, one fine summer day, this hippie is there, working on his latest painting in the parlor, wearing nothing but this ball python draped over his shoulders. The doorbell rings.

The nekkid artist answers the door, six feet tall and skeletal, with a wild mane of black hair and a snake hanging around his neck, to find two elderly African-American women wearing their Sunday best..."white gloves and all!" said Byron...standing on the porch wanting to tell him about Jesus.

In Byron's words "Those two old ladies, without turning around or touching the ground, went from the front porch to the sidewalk without touching any steps in between, before turning around and skedaddling off down the street. To this day I have no idea how they did that backwards and in high heels."


I'm a huge fan of William Gibson. Probably my favorite SF writer, all in all. He's a real rarity in that he not only spins a good yarn, and writes good dialog and action scenes, but he's a really talented prose stylist, too. Neuromancer's opening line, "The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel" is pretty much the "Call me Ishmael" of sci fi. 

I have no idea how many times I've read the Sprawl trilogy or the Bridge trilogy, but it's a lot.

Which made it interesting that I eagerly bought The Peripheral when it first came out in 2014, pre-ordered it on Kindle in fact, and then it...just didn't get its hooks into me for some reason. I took two runs at it, getting maybe twenty pages in each time, before setting it aside and never getting back around to it.

Bobbi was eager to watch the new Amazon Prime TV show, and was afraid I wouldn't want to since I hadn't yet read the book. I figured "What the heck. Either I'll get into it enough to want to take another whack at the novel, or it will confirm that I don't need to pick it back up."

We watched the first episode over dinner last night.

Looks like I'll be picking the book back up.

This is the cybercrunk vibe.


Saturday, October 22, 2022

Clever 'bot...

In Photoshop these days you can apparently just tell it to "make the background black & white" without even having to select the subject or anything. It just knows. Wild.

It's not infallible, but it's pretty good.


Friday, October 21, 2022

From the horse's mouth...

Man, between the time dilation effect of 2020 and the fact that the chaotic personnel situation in the Trump administration seemed to compress the 24-hour news cycle into about eight and a half hours on average, the whole Mooch episode seems both half a lifetime ago and last week.


Sensor Sweep

Interestingly, I happened to get photos of the same subject at the same time of day, albeit about a month apart, with two different cameras of broadly similar vintage and capabilities.

It's midafternoon, I'm sitting out front of Fat Dan's on College Avenue, and here comes that gorgeous Elm Green Volkswagen Karmann Ghia!

The first time is August 31st, and I've got the Nikon D700 wearing the compact 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G super zoom.

The D700 came out in 2008 and packed the 12MP full-frame CMOS sensor and EXPEED processor of the previous year's pro D3 camera into a smaller body. Priced at $2999, two grand less than the D3, it lost some features, like the vertical grip and larger battery, the second card slot, and was downgraded from 9fps to 5fps, but it was still ruggedized and weather sealed. 

The 28-200 lens mounted on it favors compactness and focal length range over ultimate optical performance, but it's a Nikon and still does a pretty good job.

This was shot at a focal length of 95mm in Program mode with the camera set at its base ISO of 200, and the camera went with 1/400th of a second at f/10.

About a month later, early October, I'm sitting the same place around the same time when here comes the Karmann Ghia again!

This time I had a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV with the excellent EF 24-105mm f/4L IS general purpose zoom lens mounted.

Released in 2009, the $4999 EOS-1D Mark IV was Canon's top-of-the-line pro camera aimed at sports and wildlife photographers and photojournalists. It had a 16MP APS-H sensor, slightly smaller than the full frame one the company used in its studio & landscape oriented -1Ds series. This is because it prioritized frame rate; the Mark IV could blaze away at 10fps until the buffer filled.

The 24-105/4 "L"-series lens has a field of view equivalent to a 31-137mm lens on the 1D, due to the 1.3x crop factor of the APS-H sensor.

I was shooting in Aperture Priority mode at f/5.6 to ensure reasonably fast shutter speeds at the base ISO of 100 in the late afternoon sunlight.

Both images were shot in RAW and minimally processed through Photoshop's Camera RAW convertor.

It's interesting that a decade and a half on, the prices of the cameras have decreased dramatically, but the relative price gap remains fairly consistent. Nice used D700s are running around $300-400, while a used 1D4 is still going to set you back six or seven hundred bucks.

Both lenses are discontinued. The 24-105mm f/4L IS has been replaced with a "Mark II" version. The handy little 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G, a marvel when it was released, lacks an internal focusing motor or any kind of stabilization, and is therefore not amenable to being used on mirrorless cameras or most Nikon DX DSLRs.

It's fun to use these old pro cameras I never could have afforded when they were new. They were built to last and plenty were traded in with a lot of life left in them. There are D700s running out there with a million documented shutter actuations; if you run across a used one with only a few thousand on the clock, it's barely broken in.

(Cross-Posted at Digital Fossils)

Thursday, October 20, 2022

It's like they only know one play.

The "Why won't you stupid cousin-humping rednecks vote for us?" campaign pitch has been blowing up in Democrats' faces on the reg for something like two decades now, so why should they change?
That certainly sums up the overriding priority of working class voters: a government that works on behalf of the people. No amount of talk about abortion, gun control and January 6th is likely to convince them that Democrats are providing that when their “lived experience”, as it were, is quite different.
With the economy a shambles, the GOP only has to point at the mess to pin it on the Dems; they don't actually need to have any plans to fix it.

As a bonus, because people automatically relate the state of the economy to the dude sitting in the Oval Office, as if there were a knob to control it on the Resolute desk or something, if the GOP does take one or both chambers of Congress in the midterms, as seems likely, they don't even have to do anything to fix it. In fact, they could play debt ceiling games to wreck it further and all it would do is help sink whoever the Dems run in '24.

The worse, the better!


The Samurai Clown Menace

The clown menace is a real problem, especially when it's samurai clowns gone rogue.
The sword-wielding clown -- who also wore a white t-shirt, gray sweatpants and black socks during the robbery -- grabbed some cash out of the register then ran off into the woods, police said.
Much like the upsurge of piracy on the world's oceans, this is obviously the result of too few ninjas around to keep the samurai clown population in check.


Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Im Westen nichts Neues

I am all in for this. We had to read the book in elementary school when the Hallmark special with Corporal McHale and Private John Boy came out, and both the book and movie affected me profoundly as a kid. This production looks like it does the source material justice, for sure.


Ell. Oh. Ell.

I don't generally take lectures on law and order from dudes who've done time for murder, but okay.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Making a hash of things...

Bobbi made turnip hash on Sunday morning and it was absolutely delicious. I've become a pretty big fan of the humble turnip.

They're flavorful, are good sources of fiber and vitamin C, and are lower in both carbs and calories than regular old russet potatoes.


I’d like to speak to a manager.


This barbecue grill cover is defective. It seems to have snow on it and we’re barely half done with October.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Automotif CCCL...

Here's a 1965 Pontiac Catalina ragtop in Fontaine Blue Metallic. This one's interesting for having a Grand Prix grille.

Yesterday's 1965 Chrysler 300L (a rarity, as only 108 of the 2,845 produced had the 4-speed manual) was something of a gentleman's hot rod; a big personal luxury car with a 360bhp 413 under the hood and a $3,500 base sticker.

The Pontiac Catalina was generally a notch lower on the prestige totem pole, starting at $2,800 for the 2-door hardtop or $3,100 for a convertible.

Canned "No!"

I understand why some cops have a jaundiced eye regarding OC as a daily carry item for private citizen CCW peeps. It's because of their experiences with it, and the fact that they're looking at things through that lens.

But they're missing the difference in context between their job and mine.

After they spray a dude, they've got to get cuffs on him and wrestle him into the back of a patrol car. This is going to be un-fun and get OC residue all over the both of them.

I just have to leave.

Remember: A soldier's job is to close with and destroy the enemy with fire and movement. A cop's job is to identify and apprehend the criminal to bring them before the justice system. My job is to get home with the groceries.

If I gotta try and run away from a dude, I'd rather it be one who's having great difficulty keeping his eyes open.

You know I keep that thang on me.


Sunday, October 16, 2022

Automotif CCCXLIX...

1965 Chrysler 300L in Formal Black

This was the last of Chrysler's letter-series 300's, the "Banker's Hot Rod".

For 1965 the only engine option was the 413 cubic inch "Golden Lion" Chrysler V8 with a single 4bbl, 10.1:1 compression, and dual exhaust, rated at 360 SAE gross bhp. The standard transmission was a 3-speed Torqueflite automatic, and the Hurst-shifted 4-speed manual, like the one in this car, was a no-cost option.


Saturday, October 15, 2022

It was all a sham.

The Putin stans keep telling me that the Russians have huge reserves of modern materiel, but if so, why are they reactivating vintage T-62s, buying drones from Iran, and sourcing replacement T-72s from Belarus?

Where are those "10,000" T-72/T-80s?

These were the same Russian simps telling me that Russia was holding their best stuff at home and the reason the initial advance went so poorly was because it was being done by second-line troops and reservists...until the Ukies wrecked house on the 4th Guards Armored.

What do you want to bet that a large percentage of the billions Moscow allocated to modernize its armed forces following their underwhelming performances everywhere from Chechnya to South Ossetia wound up bobbing gently at anchor in Monaco and Barcelona?

BONUS! Footage of Russian reenactors LARPing 1940s-era logistics...


Friday, October 14, 2022

How it's going over there...

Cathy Young has a piece up on how Putin's latest attempts at escalation have backfired:
One kind of escalation made evident after the airstrikes against Ukrainian cities is in the moral degradation of Russian propagandists, who are no longer even trying to hide against the pretense that the Russian military in Ukraine is saving peaceful Ukrainian from “Nazis.” You might even call it the escalating Nazification of Russian propagandists. As Kirill Martynov, a commentator for the independent Novaya Gazeta put it: “When you spend long enough justifying a war of aggression, you turn into Goebbels.”

Meanwhile, Medvedev tried to jump salty on Twitter and wound up getting hilariously savaged...

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Nerding Out

O SHI...

Google satellite view has added most of the planets and larger moons in the solar system as well as a "Street View" interior of the ISS.

R.I.P. my productivity.

Automotif CCCXLVIII...

We've encountered this 1966 Plymouth Satellite hardtop coupe in Citron Gold Metallic before, almost two years ago to the day. That day I had my work camera with me, the 50MP Canon 5DS.

This time I just had an old 2007-vintage Canon EOS-1D Mark III, sporting a 10MP sensor, two fewer megapixels than the sensor on the phone in my pocket. The camera's sensor is physically much larger, of course. The APS-H sensor in the 1D Mark III measures 34.47mm diagonally, compared to something like 9.69mm for the 1/1.66" sensor in the phone.

Here's a picture shot with the old pro Canon and a 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens:

...and here's one shot with the iPhone 13 Pro Max's "standard" camera which has a 26mm-equivalent f/1.5 lens:

One problem with the phone was I had my choice of the standard lens, which is still pretty wide-angle as you can tell from the cartoony distortion of the car's proportions; the ultra-wide, which would have been worse; or the "telephoto", which has a roughly 77mm focal length equivalent, and I couldn't get back far enough to get the whole car in the frame.

The shot with the zoom lens on the camera was taken at 38mm which, given the 1.3x crop factor of the APS-H sensor, works out to roughly 49mm. 

Huh. Imagine the car looking "normal" at a roughly 50mm equivalent focal length...


Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Great deal!

Hey, if you've been wanting to try out a full-frame mirrorless camera but were put off by the price, Amazon's got a banging good deal on the Sony a7 II for their Early Access Prime sale today.

That's, like, 40% off. I paid almost that much for the used one I bought for SHOT back in '18. Those things take great pictures.

Cracked Up

It finally happened...

The iPad 6th Gen that I picked up in New Hampshire back in 2018 has been doing yeoman work since then as a mobile writing machine.

However a few weeks ago, I was exiting Fresh Market and juggling groceries, camera, and iPad when the latter item squirted out from under my arm, spun through the air with its keyboard case fluttering (in seeming slow motion, as these things always happen) and hit the concrete of the sidewalk smack on the corner of the case.

The screen now sports a spiderweb of cracks like a ghetto cell phone.

Fortunately Amazon is having that big "Early Access Prime Sale" today, so I picked up its replacement for 18% off, as well as a replacement keyboard cover. (The 6th Gen iPad was the last to use the 9.7" screen of the original iPad.)

This time I remembered to get a keyboard cover with a loop for the Apple Pencil, too! I got the pencil back when I got the iPad for a screaming deal because the Office Despot up in West Lebanon, NH was closing them out, but I've hardly used it for lack of a handy way to keep it attached to the iPad. I bet it'll be turbo-handy for photo editing.


"Losing my religion..."

Great RTWT-worthy essay by Abby Livingston, the now-former Washington bureau chief for The Texas Tribune, on why she left D.C. after more than a decade working there...
In joining The Texas Tribune, I only had one condition: that I get to be a bureau chief — even if it was just a bureau of me — just like Tim Russert. In that role, I covered everything from the political rise of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz to my final major story, the Jack-be-nimble, Jack-be-quick dealmaking on the part of U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, who defied the skeptics and his own party to get the first major federal gun bill passed in decades.

In my 15-year Washington journalism career, I attended five national conventions, covered scores of campaigns, chronicled two impeachment trials, spoke to thousands of sources and voters, roamed obscure pockets of America, and got to know every inch of my home state.

But after a decade covering the Capitol, I had to leave this year. My faith had failed me.

That's the joke...

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

This is relevant to my interests.

Safariland is releasing non-boob-squishing rifle plates...

(I mean, it looks like they're technically "less-boob-squishing", but still...)

Musical Interlude...

The post tag that I use for any vaguely philosophical post, "a walk on the slippery rocks", comes from this tune by Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians. It should be pretty recognizable to my GenX peeps.

It's possibly the most Nineties-sounding song recorded in the Eighties.


Borrowed Takes and Ersatz Opinions

Here's a money quote from a great essay:
And what does this do to our discourse, when so many people are forced to fight for opinions they don't understand, or do understand but don't really hold? Social media feeds become filled with lies and bad arguments, polluting the public well of information, and turning the arena of ideas into a scrapyard of knock-off notions and second-hand sentiments.

The end result of the opinion pageant is a fraudulent world, a world where most people's opinions are not their own. It’s a world of puppets being ventriloquised by strangers—strangers who are likely themselves puppets. In such a world, where words matter more than deeds, and opinions matter more than character, being “smart” requires no gift for thought, only a gift for mimicry, and being “good” requires no heart of gold, only a silver tongue & brazen nature.
What positions do you loudly hold merely for their social capital in your synthetic peer group?


Monday, October 10, 2022

Sunday, October 09, 2022

Literally LOL'ed...

Saturday, October 08, 2022

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #220...

Fixin' to give this Taurus 327 an honest evaluation. We'll start by getting some baseline velocity numbers with .32 S&W Long, .32 H&R Magnum, and .327 Federal Magnum on Monday.

At some point I'll look at it side-by-side with my personal S&W 432PD, too. (Although this is on the same frame size as the 856, so it's a bit bigger than a J-frame.)


.32 Magnum and Revolver Compatibility

I have to chronograph this Ventura Munitions .32H&R Magnum stuff Monday morning, so I'm glad I set my chrono trip back until next week!

Elsewhere, someone asked me if .32H&R was compatible with the Russian M1895 Nagant revolver...
They can be fired in an M1895, but they're not what I'd call "compatible".

You'll get bulged or split cases, and the case heads are enough smaller that the hammer will sometimes knock them into the chamber rather than popping the primer.

This was a cheapskate internet forum BoomerFudd trick from twenty years ago, back when pretty much the only 7.62x38R Nagant ammo you could get was corrosive surplus and it was hard to find, but you could pick up Federal .32 H&R 95gr LSWC for ten bucks a box at any sporting goods store.

Nowadays when you can order non-corrosive Prvi Partizan Nagant ammo online for seventy cents a round and the only .32 H&R readily available is a buck a pop or more, mostly from specialty houses like Buffalo Bore and Black Hills, it makes no sense.
I hope .32 H&R Magnum survives the current crunch. Right now Federal and Hornady, who both had commercial offerings in the chambering back before the current panic, seem to be too busy loading more popular calibers to bother turning out any.


Automotif CCCXLVII...

October 2022, Nikon D300S

Here's a 1977 Ford F-150 Ranger still out there puttin' in work. I don't know that it's strictly a daily driver, but I've seen it out and about in the neighborhood in every kind of weather but actual sticking snow, and at this point I can't say as I blame homie. It'd be a shame for it to get eaten by the rust monster at this point.

April 2021, Nikon D700


Friday, October 07, 2022

lol no

From Jonah Goldberg:
Elon Musk recently tweeted a fairly gross and stupid proposal for ending the war in Ukraine. His solution? Let’s have a “real” referendum in the annexed territories of Ukraine administered by the U.N. It’s gross because the Russians have murdered, displaced, or kidnapped hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians from these areas. His proposal erases those deaths and ignores those facts. I suppose I’d be more open to it if every dead or exiled Ukrainian was automatically counted as a vote for staying in Ukraine. It’s stupid because Musk has a thumbless grasp of the political reality on the ground. He looked at some election return maps from 2013 and deduced that he understands the aspirations and desires of Eastern Ukrainians in 2022. As many have pointed out, even his reading of the maps was wrong. To be clear, I admire Musk for many of his accomplishments. But knowing how to get a rocket into orbit or an electric car to market doesn’t make you a Ukraine expert.
Except Elon doesn't know how to get a rocket into orbit or an electric car to market. He knows how to buy the people who know how to do those things

He got lucky because he was in on the ground floor of PayPal and, even though he got shoved off the board of directors for being a massive douchebag, he was still the largest shareholder when it got sold to eBay in '02 and therefore pocketed almost $180,000,000 from the deal.

Just because you won bigly at techbro startup roulette, it make doesn't make you the second coming of Metternich.

When Cletus picks the winning Powerball numbers we don't ask him to draft an updated Law of the Sea Treaty, do we?



Shot with an old Canon EOS-1D Mark IV & EF 24-105mm f/4L IS.

These photos are pretty cropped, but the 1.3x crop factor of the APS-H sensor in the old 1D pro sports/wildlife bodies added just enough effective focal length for me to take the shot. I wouldn't have bothered if I'd had the 24-105mm on a full frame body.

Nikon's 24-120mm f/4 VR is a better focal length range for a walking-around zoom, in my opinion.

What I wish is that either Canon or Nikon made a good constant-aperture stabilized 35-135mm, since both the 24-105 and 24-120 are wider than I need at the wide end and not quite long enough on the long end, but alas. 

At least when you slap the 24-105 on the APS-H cameras it becomes, effectively, a 32-137mm. I wish Canon hadn't discontinued that sensor size when they unified their 1D and 1Ds line into the 1DX back in 2011.


Thursday, October 06, 2022

Straight Dada

Target Selection

As Clint Smith says, "If you act like food, you will get eaten."

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Tough to watch...

This is tough to watch.

The dude walking up on her runs through a nearly complete visual encyclopedia of pre-assault cues, but her back is turned for much of it.

When would you have decided something was definitely amiss? Why? Can you articulate the reason? What action would you have taken at that point?

Remember from the other day, "awareness" and "mindset" are not verbs.
The people who do well in these situations not only see the situation developing, they recognize it for what it is, have a plan to execute in that situation, and the skills available to execute the plan.
These sorts of incidents aren't even necessarily gun problems. Sometimes they're a get in the car and leave with a quickness because you recognize what's going down early enough problem.

Not every problem is a gun problem. In fact most aren't.

Here's a link to the local news story about the incident.


The AFV equivalent of "That '70s Show"

I haven't seen so many knocked-out or abandoned T-62s since VII Corps roflstomped the Iraqis.



Don't forget to read Sean's Balkans memoir, Rank Absurdity.


Tuesday, October 04, 2022

Weird Flex, But Okay...

The European Union is engaged in an orgy of self-congratulatory back-patting for having dunked on Apple today. As expected, the EU Parliament voted to standardize mobile device charging ports in the Eurozone to USB-C.
The European Parliament approved new rules on Tuesday that will introduce in the European Union a single charging port for mobile phones, tablets and cameras by 2024, a world first that is expected to affect iPhone maker Apple more than its rivals.
Now, no matter where in Europe you buy your cell phone or what brand it is, you'll be able to use the same USB-C cable to charge it.

Of course, you won't be able to drive from breakfast to lunch without needing seventeen different a/c adaptors for the ninety-eleven wall sockets they have over there, but standardizing those wouldn't stick a finger in the eye of a hated American tech giant.


Tab Clearing...



I punked out of going to the range yesterday morning. Seeing that today was supposed to be warmer, I figured I'd hold off for a more pleasant experience.

It's definitely supposed to be warmer...this afternoon. But right now it's in the low forties outside, which is noticeably cooler than yesterday morning.

Hopefully by the time I go tooling over to MCF&G, it'll be feeling balmier.

I'm happy seeing the colors of the trees, but shooting small-ish frame revolvers with heavy loads is un-fun these days on cold mornings. I can definitely tell where that right thumb broke in the motorcycle wreck.

Using the wide-angle lens on the iPhone 13 Pro Max gets the whole tree in the frame.

Monday, October 03, 2022

Claustrophobe's Nightmare

Living in an 82 square foot apartment would be like living aboard a tiny sailboat, but with a lot more headroom in the cuddy. Space efficiency is at a serious premium. Some of her solutions to make it feel less cramped are pretty clever.


Special Needs Waterboy!

Sunday, October 02, 2022

History Repeats Itself...Sorta

So the Arema FC soccer team in Indonesia was hosting its archrivals, Persebaya. Matches between the two teams apparently have a history of clashes between their fan bases.

The home team lost and their fans went nuts and stormed the field. Riot police were turned loose on the mob and began firing tear gas, causing a stampede for the exits, and at least a hundred and seventy people to be trampled to death in the ensuing mayhem.

We're 1,490 years past the Nika Riots, and the local chief of police probably isn't named Belisarius*, but man I got a twinge of history on hearing the news.

The Hippodrome probably seated twice as many fans as Kanjuruhan Stadium, though.

*Any excuse to put up one of the evocative Enlightenment paintings inspired by Bélisaire


There was some snickering when I mentioned that the Taurus 856 "shot to point of aim at five yards with the Fiocchi 158gr" ammunition, apparently by people who aren't aware about how the sights on fixed sight revolvers are regulated.

Smith & Wesson's .38 fixed sight revos are typically regulated for standard velocity 158gr .38 Special ammo. Variations from this are rarely super-noticeable until you load a round with a lot more muzzle velocity and find it prints noticeably lower, as much as a handspan low as close as seven yards for exotica like Glasers or Magsafe.

"But why does the faster bullet print lower?" is a common question from people who forget that there is essentially no difference in bullet drop between pistol bullets out to twenty five yards, regardless of the velocity.

Revolver sights especially have to take in the effect of recoil moving the gun while the projectile is still in the barrel, a phenomenon that is more noticeable with a heavier, slower bullet than a lighter, faster one.

With the most common .38 Special defensive loads today being +P loads in the 125-135gr range, I'll need to shoot some of that at seven to ten yards and see where it hits relative to the sights.

I'll probably do some chrono work to check velocities on Monday or Tuesday.


Saturday, October 01, 2022

Automotif CCCXLVI...

The new-for-1971 Buick LeSabre, like this Sandpiper Beige hardtop coupe, was one of the largest-ever GM full size series, sharing the same basic platform with the full-size Chevies, Pontiacs, and Oldsmobiles.

At the same time, it was also powered by the first round of de-tuned Detroit smog motors.

The base motor in this 18.5-foot long, 4200 pound boulevard barge was a 2bbl 350 V8 with an 8.5:1 compression ratio that wheezed out 155 SAE net bhp (230 SAE gross).

Optionally, you could get a 4bbl 350 with dual exhausts and bump the horsepower to 195 net (260 gross).

The more upmarket LeSabre Custom also offered a 455 4bbl as an option (230/315 net/gross bhp).