Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #226...

It's time for the seasonal reset. For the last several years now I've spent the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's toting my 9mm Wilson 1911 in my old faithful Milt Sparks VM-2 while scheming up what next year's carry gun project is going to be.

I still haven't decided what 2023 is going to be focused on, toting-wise. Revolvers are still an option, but part of me wants to get some quality leather for the old Smith & Wesson 3913 and see how good I can get with it.


Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Pocket Sharps

Oh, man, just this morning I learned that Spyderco is making a version of their Dragonfly 2 with the Emerson waved opener.

I long ago switched from the waved Endura to the smaller waved Delica, but that waved Dragonfly would be super easy on the pocket.



I'm generally pretty slack about concealment. I wear the gun burkha as much for its voluminous "document pockets" as I do to avoid having to talk to strange randos about their favorite kind of pistol or brand of holler points. I'd think that anyone with half a brain realizes that the voluminous unbuttoned shirt is there for a reason.

Still, I do wear them and the season has definitely arrived for replacing the lightweight Royal Robbins summertime ones with something a little less airy and breathable. These days I've been favoring the Propper shirts in the cooler months. I like that the document pockets have zippers on them. They keep things like earbuds and notebooks from falling out better than the single or double velcro tabs on the lightweight summer shirts I use.


Freeze Peach

Here in the 'States you get people complaining about their freedom of speech being violated because Twitter won't let them use the n-word so they have to go to Parler or wherever to type their racial slurs.

Meanwhile in Fiji, a place where there are no First Amendment protections...
It was an error that could have happened to anyone, especially two years into a pandemic: In a court document, a judge in Fiji twice wrote “injection” when he meant “injunction.”

And so, in a gently mocking Facebook post back in February, Richard Naidu, one of the most senior lawyers in the Pacific nation, pointed out the mistake, concluding with a “thinking face” emoji. He now faces up to six months in prison.
The government throwing you in prison for calling out a judge's spelling errors in a Facebook post is pretty draconian. 

That's not a response to incitement or libel or a threat of violence, it's just a heavy-handed overreaction to the non-crime of lèse-majesté.


Monday, November 28, 2022

Background on the Chinese protests...

From The Dispatch this morning...
This latest and most far-reaching round of protests began Friday in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang region, one day after a fire in an apartment building killed at least 10 people. Some in the city have been under lockdown for four months, and videos shared on social media suggested COVID-19 lockdown measures may have slowed firefighters’ rescue efforts. A candlelight vigil for those who died in the fire quickly popped up in Shanghai, where people went hungry during two months of sudden lockdowns earlier this year. Until now, criticism of China’s COVID-19 policies had remained largely online—Weibo was abuzz in September when a bus transporting people to quarantine crashed and killed 27. But this weekend’s demonstrators reassembled multiple times after security officials dispersed crowds.

The police response seems to have grown increasingly aggressive over the weekend—officers reportedly detained, pepper sprayed, and beat some protestors—though there haven’t yet been reports of mass detentions. The BBC also said that security officials had detained and beat journalist Ed Lawrence while he covered a protest in Shanghai, telling the broadcaster he’d been arrested “for his own good in case he caught COVID from the crowd.”

The demonstrations present a dilemma for Chinese leaders. The relative easing of COVID measures in recent weeks has accompanied a record surge in infections, and with lagging vaccine uptake, China's inadequate healthcare system could genuinely be overwhelmed if zero-COVID policies are abandoned altogether. But lockdowns have already taken a heavy economic toll—shutting down small businesses and major manufacturers alike—and the Chinese people’s patience is evidently wearing thin.
Click through to RTWT. (May require a free subscription or the ability to use an archive site to bypass a paywall. I'm not your mom. You can figure out this intertubes stuff if I can, it's not hard.)


The 50 Cent Army is running amok...

...on Twitter because there's, uh, nobody trying to stop them at the moment.

In case you're not familiar with the wumao, there are enough links here to get you more or less up to speed.

Meanwhile the usual crew of Pepe avatar types were yelling "wHy iS tHe mSm iGnOrInG tHe pRoTeStS iN cHiNa?" when in fact it was a front page story at the NYT, WaPo, CNN, et al.


Sunday, November 27, 2022

Still Quite Good

Watched the seventh episode of The Peripheral last night, and both Bobbi and I are still very impressed. The pacing is good, and they pack an awful lot of plot into each hour long ep.

While there are some differences in the specifics between the series and the book, they're definitely telling the same tale with largely the same cast of characters. The casting is a delight. Especially Lev Zubov and Inspector Lowbeer, who are almost exactly as my headcanon envisioned them from the novel.

Best of all, the show is going out of its way to get a lot of the cool little details from the book onto the screen, with great effect. 


Authentic Frontier Gibberish

Look, there's carrying a revolver because you realize that a revolver is going to suffice for the vast majority of private citizen defensive gun usage, and then there's this hot mess...
"The Pistoleer is a faithful reproduction of a design more than a couple hundred years old. Long after the plastic guns of the world are melted into what looks like primordial ooze and technology fails, people like you and me will be slinging this kind of gun on those Swamp Thing creatures emerging from the fallout. When we pull the trigger, this gun will go bang and large lead pills will protect us. This makes the Pistoleer the smartest gun a person can own."
That kind of gunwriting makes me want to break out the special coffee mug. It's like the writer was trying to work in as many classic cliches as possible.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #225...

Not gonna lie, I really dig the whole "Fine, I'll make my own MP-7, with blackjack and hookers!" vibe from the Ruger LC carbine. I don't know if I'd be able to resist SBR'ing it if I had one.

Friday, November 25, 2022


So at CanCon, I was there as a freelancer with the RECOIL crew helping to cover the event. On the first morning we got our event staff name badges and everyone sets to filling theirs out with Sharpie.

It wasn't until I looked around and realized that everyone had been carefully printing "Fred Smith, RECOIL Magazine" or "Suzy Jones, Off-Grid Magazine" did I realize I might have been doing it wrong...

A little embarrassing, there.

I might as well have printed something dumb like "I'M GUMBY, DAMMIT!"


Abandoned but not Worthless

Via a link from Gorillafritz comes this listicle of abandoned (or semi-dormant, at least) gun blogs worth checking out...
There are a lot of resources available online. Unfortunately, not all of the are great, or even good. As such, it's always a shame when resources stop getting updated, leaving us a little diminished as time marches on. Luckily, many of these resources stay online, holding their data for generations to come, a pillar of knowledge from days gone by. As someone always looking for more information, here are some of my favorite defunct blogs.

Whirled Cup

It's time for the quadrennial festival of soccer, the World Cup.

The small percentage of Americans who are enthusiasts of the sport are, like curling fans every Winter Olympiad, going to try to convince the rest of us how awesome the sport is, with less success than soccer athletes have trying to get the ball in the goal.

Hey, how is soccer like an incel track meet? There's an awful lot of running around and almost zero scoring!



Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Turkey Day!

As usual, I am thankful for Bobbi and her tasty, tasty cooking: Turducken, veggies, mashed potatoes, and bacon-onion gravy.


Sports, Illustrated

The annual Drumstick Dash here in Indy was slated to come right through our neighborhood this morning, so I was out there at 9:00AM with the EOS-1D Mark IV and the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L, ready and waiting.

I got my pro sports photog LARP on pretty good, I think...

Focus isn't quite there on the last one, but I love the pic so much...


Better than Expected

So it was April of 2016 that I picked up that Apple Watch on a trip to New Hamster. It was the least expensive model, an original First Generation that was, at the time, only about five months away from being discontinued and replaced with the new "Series 1" second generation watches.

It's soldiered on ever since, despite being completely unsupported since September of 2018. I was getting a full day's use still on the battery, and just throwing it on the charger for about an hour every morning.

As it got longer in the tooth, it would occasionally get that weird fault where the battery would drain unexpectedly quickly, but doing a forced reset would fix things. It wasn't much of a problem since it only happened once in a blue moon, maybe a couple-three times a year.

Here lately it started doing that and no matter how many times I gave it a forced reset, nothing seemed to fix the drain.

Oh, well. Six and a half years is a really good run. It outlasted the iPhone 6S that I got at the same time and then the 7 Plus that replaced it. It was on its third phone when it finally went wonky.

I hope I get as good a run out of this Apple Watch SE 2nd Generation that I got to replace it. It was on sale, so...



Neighborhood squirrel, photographed with the Olympus E-5 & Panasonic Leica Vario-Elmar 14-150mm f/3.5-5.6 Asph Mega OIS.

This is just a bangin' superzoom, and I really like this camera/lens combo for general purpose walking-around-the-neighborhood stuff.

As Thom Hogan has pointed out, 12MP is plenty of resolution for the internet (it's plenty for magazine photos, too) and the Olympus pro-grade Four Thirds DSLR bodies, the E-3 and E-5, are crazy rugged and weather resistant.

If I'd bought them new, this would have been $1700 worth of camera with another $1300 of lens on the front, but thanks to the magic of depreciation and electronics buyers needing the latest and greatest, I shopped around and waited and gave about three hundo each for the body and the glass at Roberts and KEH, respectively.


Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Are wheelguns real guns?

Greg Ellifritz has a guest post up from Darryl Bolke on the qualities and realities of a revolver as a carry or duty handgun. DB's career in law enforcement started out in the waning days of the revolver. He absolutely knows what time it is.
"A proven quality service level revolver that is clean, lubricated and loaded with quality ammunition is in my experience far less likely to malfunction than a semi-automatic pistol in the conditions we find in street shootings. That means, non-locked wrists, poor grip, asymmetric firing positions, interference from clothing or barriers, body contact, disturbance to the gun during firing, impacts, improper administrative handling, etc. They are consistent in their performance in those conditions, which is what reliable is.

Where they are not reliable is when subjected to tests of ruggedness. They do not work well when dirty and full of debris. They do not work well when abused, neglected or exposed to foreign matter. They do not work well when poorly maintained. They do not work well with modifications made by unqualified individuals, or used outside of the limits of the modifications. If these are factors, their consistency will suffer. They also tend to require a trained individual and tools when they break or stop working.
You should definitely go and read the whole thing. Apparently there'll be a Part Two tomorrow.

Darryl Bolke teaching students the intricacies of another misunderstood weapon from a bygone era.

From elsewhere...

Discussing the animated Netflix series Inside Job on the Book of Face...
I loves it so much. I am absolutely their target audience.

I mean, I've been assiduously collecting weirdo conspiracy theories for decades now.

I really should start planning for someone to get my whackadoodle mimeographed handouts from gun shows in the early-mid Nineties when I croak.
I was quite the connoisseur of black helicopter lore.

It's about time to reread Them, come to think of it.


Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Literally LOL’ed

Jane Coaston has been straight fire on the birdsite today.



Real courage in action:
The long-suppressed instincts of a platoon leader surged back to life. He raced across the room, grabbed the gunman by a handle on the back of his body armor, pulled him to the floor and jumped on top of him.

“Was he shooting at the time? Was he about to shoot? I don’t know,” Mr. Fierro said. “I just knew I had to take him down.

The two crashed to the floor. The gunman’s military-style rifle clattered just out of reach. Mr. Fierro started to go for it, but then saw the gunman come up with a pistol in his other hand.

“I grabbed the gun out of his hand and just started hitting him in the head, over and over,” Mr. Fierro said.

As he held the man down and slammed the pistol down on his skull, Mr. Fierro started barking orders. He yelled for another club patron, using a string of expletives, to grab the rifle then told the patron to start kicking the gunman in the face. A drag dancer was passing by, and Mr. Fierro said he ordered her to stomp the attacker with her high heels.
His wife and daughter were injured in the chaos, and his daughter's longtime boyfriend was one of the fatalities.

Mr. Fierro and his wife run a small brewery. They sell merch. Just throwing that out there in case you know anybody who needs t-shirts.


This just keeps getting better...

If you pay attention on Twitter, most folks post from apps on their mobile devices. (I'm a weirdo and an Old for using a desktop browser as much as I do.) Anyway...
Apple’s Phil Schiller, who runs the App Store, has deactivated his verified Twitter account. If Schiller has soured on how Elon Musk is running Twitter, that is potentially very bad news for Musk.
Of course, physically keeping the place running is going to get harder. I know that Very Online Weirdo Elon Stans think that only the dangerhaired SJWs from HR have left, leaving clear-eyed techbro coders to carry the load unhindered but, uh, that doesn't seem to be how it went down:
So I have been watching the resignation notices for people leaving Twitter. Basically, it looks like all of the developers other than those on immigration visas are leaving. I see a lot of familiar names there, people who are experts in scalability who have published papers on how to scale things, experts in Internet protocols whose names are on IETF RFC’s, experts in algorithmic complexity with journal papers, and then just the average everyday Joes who keep the lights on. And I think: Twitter is going to crash...
This is going to have bad effects when combined with cost-cutting on the back end, according to this piece from MIT Technology Review:
Alongside the minor malfunctions, the Twitter engineer believes that there’ll be significant outages on the horizon, thanks in part to Musk’s drive to reduce Twitter’s cloud computing server load in an attempt to claw back up to $3 million a day in infrastructure costs. Reuters reports that this project, which came from Musk’s war room, is called the “Deep Cuts Plan.” One of Reuters’s sources called the idea “delusional,” while Alan Woodward, a cybersecurity professor at the University of Surrey, says that “unless they’ve massively overengineered the current system, the risk of poorer capacity and availability seems a logical conclusion.”

Meanwhile, when things do go kaput, there’s no longer the institutional knowledge to quickly fix issues as they arise. “A lot of the people I saw who were leaving after Friday have been there nine, 10, 11 years, which is just ridiculous for a tech company,” says the Twitter engineer. As those individuals walked out of Twitter offices, decades of knowledge about how its systems worked disappeared with them. (Those within Twitter, and those watching from the sidelines, have previously argued that Twitter’s knowledge base is overly concentrated in the minds of a handful of programmers, some of whom have been fired.)
In response to this knowledgeable insider info, the Elon Stans can only come back with... which I can only respond:

Monday, November 21, 2022

Dumpster Fire Update...

Here's an interesting piece from a guy who just suspended their ad buys at Twitter despite initial hopefulness when Elon bought the place:
I had my team keep our campaigns live for 2 weeks post-takeover on the bet that efficiency would improve with fewer advertisers and the risks were managed and probably overblown. I was wrong and I think the things we saw in these last 2 weeks means many more advertisers will bail on the platform in the coming weeks (for non-ideological or virtue signaling reasons)...
Click the link to read the horror story.

That's one ad account. To replace that lost revenue will require nearly a hundred thousand new Eight Buck Chumps to pay for vanity blue checks.

Someone did some back-of-of-the-envelope calculations and figured that to replace half of their multi-billion dollar advertising revenue with $8/month subscription fees, Twitter would need TWENTY MILLION paid up annual subscribers.

That's two thirds of AOL's paid global subscribers from the couple of years around the turn of the millennium when they bestrode the (much smaller) Web like a colossus. And you needed to to pay an ISP to send an email or look at porn; I doubt you'll find that many people who'll pay that kind of dough to tell fart jokes and share cat pictures.


More of the plot is revealed!

Oh, hooray! There's a second season of Inside Job out on Netflix!

From elsewhere...

On internet revenue and where it comes from...
I mean, a dude who hates advertising just overpaid for a business that was underwater (and saddled it with an extra 1B$/yr in debt in the process) and whose SOLE SOURCE OF REVENUE was advertising. First thing, he chased off all the large corporate advertisers, most of whom were only still there because of inertia and business relationships with now-departed marketing guys at Twitter.

To replace this, he wants to charge a subscription for a service that people had been using because it was "free". Even if every blue check started paying eight bucks a month, that's a laughably small drop in the bucket compared to the revenue stream he'd need to stay above water.

The idea that Twitter is somehow going to instantly implode is silliness, of course, but unless he shits out a new revenue stream sometime soon, its prospects for still being around in a couple years don't look great.

People bitch and moan about the data harvesting and targeted algorithms, but that's literally the only thing that makes services like Twitter, YouTube, or [Facebook] viable.

In response to these sorts of questions, you get this...

...or this.


I avoided my normal weekend haunts yesterday around brunch time because Fat Dan's Chicago Style Deli was likely to be a zoo, what with the Bears and the Colts both having games at 1PM and the weather being too cold for outdoor seating.

Instead I went and had brunch at Half Liter: Brisket & jalapeño queso over home fries with scrambled eggs & crumbled bacon.

While I was reading and noshing on my chow, they switched away from the FIFA World Cup on the televisors there in the dining room to the Colts game.

I didn't really pay any attention initially because who wants to watch your home team, which has been struggling all season, get blown out by the likely Super Bowl contenders who are sporting one of the best records in the league?

Instead, a couple hours later I was still watching. The Colts blew their lead and wound up losing in the final quarter, but the fact that the game was in contention at all had me tickled pink.


Saturday, November 19, 2022

Temporarily(?) Broken

A lot of auxiliary services at Twitter are dysfunctional or outright broken as new management has been throwing switches and pushing buttons seemingly at random. (Two factor authentication was apparently busted, for instance.)

Look, unless you own the hardware your stuff is on, everything on the internet is very ephemeral. This blog, for instance, exists totally on Google's servers and software and could disappear at any mome


Looking in the fridge this morning I realized I was running low on Diet Dew and the assorted non-caffeinated stuff I try and drink after noon in the hopes of getting my sleep schedule back to a semblance of normal.

Not a problem. Living in the middle of the city means same-day Amazon delivery. I remember when two-day delivery seemed magical; now I'm spoiled by two hour delivery for staples.

No need to even drive the short distance to Safeway or Meijer; I'll just cue up an order for a week's worth of soda for the free delivery...

The soonest delivery slot was tomorrow at 3PM.


How quickly we can get accustomed to conveniences. I'll have to pick up a couple emergency Cokes on the way home from lunch when I stop by Fresh Market to get potatoes for the larder.

Amazon delivery has obviously been running at varying degrees of short-handedness for the last couple years, and we're ramping into the holiday season madness, so I probably should have expected this.


Friday, November 18, 2022


The plague of goofiness upon the land of firearms usually causes polite people to snicker behind their hands, but occasionally someone feels compelled to call out the derpy, cringe-y nonsense. You know, the Punisher skulls and the Gripknives and the pistol bayonets and most of all...
Once upon a time, I named my issued M240. In my defense, I was a young idiot. Naming your gun is one of those things you should grow out of quickly. It’s a gun, it’s an inanimate machine, it doesn’t have a personality, and it doesn’t need a name.

If you need to name something, go to an animal shelter, I’m sure they have a dog, cat, or iguana you can adopt and name. The exception is if it’s punny. Calling a Desert Eagle a Deagle or a Mosin a garbage rod is one thing, but calling your AR-15 Lucille is cringy, and you’re not Negan.

Of course, standing in front of the tidal bore of goofiness at your typical gun show and saying "stop!" is a Canute-like exercise in futility, but I understand and sympathize with the urge. Sometimes you just gotta say it.


"Oh no! You made it political!"

I was literally just having this conversation on Twitter the other day...
...and now this piece pops up over at The Bulwark today:
But not all of the band’s longtime fans were thrilled with what they got to see of RATM over the summer. When photos and video of their first new concerts began circulating online—especially one event not long after the Dobbs decision, where the words “Abort The Supreme Court” were projected across a backdrop—some fans were dismayed. What was wrong? The common sentiment was: Love Rage, but why do they have to get so political?

Huh? Rage Against the Machine, the most stridently political rock band of the last 30 years, addressing social topics? Heaven forbid!

I know, right?

The universe has great comedic timing.

 "Fire department called to respond to giant metaphor for current events on side of Pennsylvania highway..."

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Pain in the neck. Literally.

After a two or three day event where I've been running around with a couple cameras and often a camera bag hanging around my neck, I sure feel it. It's not the same full-body ache as after a physically strenuous class; it's definitely localized to the trapezius and neck muscles.

But still... Ow.

And this time around I'd even specifically packed light; it's not like I was schlepping a couple pro DSLRs and big telephotos.


I actually LOL'ed.

Aw, c'mon guys, we've seen this movie already.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #224...

FN 509 Compact Tactical with a JK Armament 105 CCX 9mm modular concealed carry can on it.



It's hard to get a lot of zoom range in a lens without dealing with optical issues. Most of your good general purpose walking-around zooms are in the 24-105mm or 24-120mm focal length range (or the equivalent), tops, roughly a 5X zoom range. Pro zoom lenses generally hew closer to a 3X range, like the 24-70mm and 70-200mm classics. 

Modern digital cameras will compensate for things like vignetting or distortion when shooting JPEG, but if you're shooting RAW, you'll see it. Some cameras, like Fujis, correct in-camera for RAW, too. Photoshop's raw converter has a large library of lens corrections programmed in for most modern CaNikon glass.

Get to a zoom range much broader than about 5X, though, and either deal with a bunch of distortion or spend a lot of dough on a fairly big lens with a lot of complicated glass in it. There are bunches of reasonably inexpensive and compact kit-grade superzooms with 10X or greater focal length ranges but those tend to have pretty inferior optics. The few good ones are large, heavy, and spendy affairs, like the 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS for Canons.

The problem with my recent infatuation with old Olympus Four Thirds DSLRs is that while there are a couple fairly compact zooms in the 5X range, the 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 and 12-60mm f/2.8-4 (equivalent to 28-108mm and 24-120mm), all the Oly 4/3rds superzooms are inexpensive budget lenses. And Oly lenses are old enough that there aren't any built-in distortion correction profiles in the Photoshop lens library.

There is a solution, though: Leica engineered a superzoom lens for Panasonic's 4/3rds line, the Leica D Vario-Elmar 14-150mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S., a mouthful of abbreviations and jargon that basically means "it's about as low-distortion and non-vignetting a superzoom as we could manage."

Back when they were new, they ran about thirteen hundred bucks and were never common, but they occasionally pop up on the used market and I managed to snag one finally.

It may have a slower aperture than the 12-60mm f/2.8-4, but with a full-frame equivalent focal length of 300mm on the long end, this one can get squirrel photos or that motorcycle going past on the far side of the street with ease.


Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Ain't that just the way it is?

Coming back from CanCon 2022 my travel day was kind of a mess. My flight didn't depart from Savannah until 7:42 in the evening, arrived in Atlanta at, like, 8:30 or so,  and then I had a little over an hour and a half's layover* before boarding a Delta 757 departing for IND at 10:50 and landing there in Hoosieropolis after midnight.

Since I was pretty much on rails for the duration of the trip, just being shuttled back and forth between the hotel and the range, I had decided to see how normal people fly and didn't check a bag. (No, I didn't carry a gun, which felt weird, but what felt even weirder was having to open the packaging on a new SD card without a pocket knife. I gave up and handed it to someone who had one.)

The Delta app had offered me the chance to upgrade the final leg of my return flight for a price low enough that I could recoup most of it by checking my Maxpedition Fliegerduffel and ordering a couple gin & tonics while airborne, so I decided not having to schlep both my suitcase and my camera bag through the airport and decided to go with it.

Of course this means that there was enough turbulence between ATL and IND last night that the flight attendants had to stay strapped in for the whole flight and there wasn't any beverage service.

So it goes.

At least I was tired enough to doze through most of it and had a roomy seat in which to do so.

*Well, by the strict arrival and departure times, it was a two hour's layover, but when you consider we de-planed at gate B9 and then I had to make my way two terminals over to gate T1, and my flight boarded at 10:13 for a 10:50 departure, that left me approximately an actual hour and a half to kill just sitting down. Further, Hartsfield may be the world's busiest airport, but they pretty much roll up the sidewalks sometime around 8PM, and the only place open on T concourse was TGI Friday's, which meant it had a line waiting to get in. Ugh.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Words Mean Things. Sometimes Different Things.

If you were buying most consumer goods, from a cordless drill to a laptop to a blender, the label "Professional" applied to it would have certain connotations. 

You'd expect it to be a little deluxe, a little better quality than the average consumer good, and certainly more durable and comfortable to use for extended periods. You'd expect it to be capable of a higher level of performance than the stuff the regular schmoe buys, and probably priced accordingly.

There is one consumer good to which this presumption absolutely does not apply...

I mean, as hotel toilet paper goes, it's far from the worst, but Charmin it ain't.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #222...

Hushed up long gun.


Fedora Jesus might manage to fly the Twitter plane into the ground even faster than anyone predicted...

I have a lot of friends who don't really follow the news or tech news or Twitter, and that's understandable! They're out there being entrepreneurial and creating stuff themselves!

So it's understandable that they're sticking their heads back into Twitter, thinking that Elon is going to make it safe to say "gun" after the tyrannical rule of dangerhaired SJWs these last several years...and then being shocked that people are being mean to libertarian guy who makes rockets and flamethrowers.

If you're one of those who haven't been on Twitter for a long time, Elon's online persona took a very public, weird Hitler-meme-sharing turn early this year.

You could interpret this as Elon finally seeing the Moldbuggian light...

...or you could interpret it as Elon realizing that other car companies aren't going to be pumping money into Tesla for Environmental Indulgences now that they're they can make their own electric cars.

I was sitting out in front of Twenty Tap the other night when I realized that there were five electric cars waiting at the light, and none of them was a Tesla. There were Kias, Fords, Volvos, and Volkswagens, but no Teslas.

If I knew my market was about to collapse, maybe I'd want to position it as "Those Woke People Canceled Me" rather than "Competition Finally Arrived And I Lost".

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

Poly Ticks

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Nerd Check

I am such a dork for laughing at this as hard as I did.

If you don’t get it immediately…well, I don’t want to ruin the joy of discovery for you. Using terms like “photon” and “slit” in Google might get you pointed in the right direction. Enjoy the science!

Automotif CCCLIV...

Canon EOS 7D & EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

This gray market 325i Touring makes me weak in the knees.

BMW never officially offered the E30 wagon...which was the first station wagon the company had made...on the American market.

The utility of a small wagon with a good sports sedan suspension and BMW's high-revving, bulletproof small inline six and a slick-shifting 5-speed manual? Yes, please.

Olympus E-5 & Zuiko Digital 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ED SWD

Great lines, too. I know it's basically showing my age, but this is what a BMW looks like in my head.


Monday, November 07, 2022

Automotif CCCLIII...

Canon EOS 7D & EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Somewhere in the neighborhood is the lair of this pristine 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner convertible. That Flame Red paint job with Inca Gold accents is absolutely eye-catching.

The standard powerplant was a 272 cubic inch V-8 rated at 190bhp with an optional 200bhp 292 or 245bhp 312 Thunderbird motor.

Nikon D800 & 24-120mm f/4G VR

Getting Gooder

There's an excellent review of the Technical Handgun: Tests and Standards* class from Citizens Defense Research up over at GAT Daily:
Test and Standards is a relatively high round count (for 2022 standards (pun fully intended)) two day course of approximately 500-700 rounds that focuses on purely technical pistol shooting skills. The course and the instructors cover every aspect of making a pistol shot, from the time the pistol is first drawn through the end of a string of shooting. All shooting is done either at three or five yards, and students deliberately shoot at smaller targets such as one inch squares or two inch circles. However, the biggest aspect about this course and perhaps the reason to take it is the fact that there are few open enrollment courses that offer the level of individualized feedback and evaluation from the instructors that Tests and Standards provides. The instructors filter through the entire group of students and take notes on every individual. Afterward, students will go through a series of one on one coaching and evaluation that includes a “diagnosis” to their shooting ills and the “prescription” to improve whatever pistol malady they may suffer from. Students are encouraged to focus on this throughout the remainder of the class.
You should go and read the whole thing.

*Most curricula at CDR start with "Contextual", indicating that they're oriented toward a particular practical real world application. Technical Handgun: Tests and Standards, on the other hand, is a purely mechanical shooting course, oriented on getting the student being able to run their pistol faster and more accurately. Of course, that in itself might have a practical application of its own.

Sunday, November 06, 2022

It's all about the patents.

From elsewhere this morning...
Pretty much all the major American gunmakers at least took a swing at the semiauto market in the early 20th Century.

Colt holding Browning's patents, which included features now considered mainstream like 'a one-piece slide and breechblock that extends forward to enclose the barrel' meant that everybody else's had to be more complex, and therefore generally more expensive to manufacture and less reliable.

By the early '30s only Colt was still making autos, and it would stay that way until Smith stuck a toe back in the market in the '50s, after the Browning patents had well and truly lapsed.

While obviously not the sole cause, it's definitely a contributing factor in why America was revolver country for as long as it was.


Saturday, November 05, 2022

Automotif CCCLII...

I will never not photograph this local Studebaker Commander DeLuxe Starlight Coupe when it motors by.

This one was shot with the EOS-1D Mark IV & EF 24-105mm f/4L IS combo. That's one of the most useful lenses Canon's ever made.



Friday, November 04, 2022

Badger Dog

Nikon D800 & 24-120mm f/4G VR

When this little dachsie...and when I say little, I mean she's smaller than either of the cats at Roseholme Cottage...showed up at Fat Dan's yesterday afternoon, there was a middlin'-sized husky down at one end of the patio and an enormous pit bull down at the other.

The miniature dachshund, like all dachshunds, was completely unaware that she didn't weigh sixty-five pounds and gave them both the stinkeye off and on until she was sure they weren't going to mess with her people.

Existential Questions...

A blogfriend from my old stomping grounds, which is to say a fellow Atlanta Braves fan, asked a complex question yesterday:
"Do we cheer for the Phillies because we always cheer for the NL? Or do we cheer for the Astros because they are playing the Phillies?"
I mean, traditionally, if your team doesn't make it to the World Series, you cheer for the team from your team's league. Just like you cheer for your team's conference in the Super Bowl if your team doesn't go all the way. It's usually a no-brainer. But the Phillies, man... I've got a grudge against them going clean back to 1993.

I remember listening to the final game of the '93 NLCS on the radio, working a late night temp job collating papers at a legal firm on the something-teenth floor of an Atlanta office tower.

Besides, I remember when the Astros were in the NL, back in the era of the Killer B's, and our rivalry with them may have been intense, but it was brief.

Screw the Phillies.


Thursday, November 03, 2022

Automotif CCCLI...

Sharp-looking 1968 Camaro ragtop in not-entirely-stock trim (the fender badges say 327 but the hood has the chrome fake velocity stack looking dinguses from the big-block SS models.)

The first generation Camaros have aged quite gracefully in my opinion. That's a good looking car.


Thumb on the scale?

Here's a big, long deep dive on the recent piece at The Intercept.
Do not believe everything you read. Even if it comes from more “respectable” publications. The Intercept had a big story this week that is making the rounds, suggesting that “leaked” documents prove the DHS has been coordinating with tech companies to suppress information. The story has been immediately picked up by the usual suspects, claiming it reveals the “smoking gun” of how the Biden administration was abusing government power to censor them on social media.

The only problem? It shows nothing of the sort.

The article is garbage. It not only misreads things, it is confused about what the documents the reporters have actually say, and presents widely available, widely known things as if they were secret and hidden when they were not.
But people have a tendency to believe disinfo if it confirms their biases.

The problem with stuff like the Intercept piece is the old "Boy who cried wolf" thing. The moral of that story isn't that there aren't any wolves or that wolves are nothing to worry about, after all.


Wednesday, November 02, 2022

Trial By Fire

The Su-25 "Frogfoot" is the Russian analog to the USAF's A-10*, a close support aircraft intended to operate low and slow and rely on armor and countermeasures to protect it from ground fire and SAMs.

They had a reputation for toughness from their performance in Afghanistan, but fighting against insurgents who get the occasional crate of Stingers from the CIA isn't really the same as close air support in contested airspace over the Fulda Gap if you know what I mean.

The Russo-Ukrainian war is the closest thing we've had to real peer combat with modern arms in a while, and the "low, slow armored tankbuster" concept is taking a beating.

*Actually, it's more similar to the Northrop YA-9, the Warthog's main competitor in the A-X competition.

Tuesday, November 01, 2022

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #221...

For a couple years now I've been using my Smith & Wesson 43C wearing a DeSantis Clip Grip as an around-the-house gun on those days when I'm not leaving home and therefore not actually wearing jeans with a belt*. It's light enough that it won't drag down a pair of sweats or pyjama bottoms, and eight rounds of Federal .22LR Punch delivered right to the snotbox is nothing to sneeze at.

Lately I've been tinkering with the LCP II in .22LR for the same job, in the DeSantis Slim-Tuk, but the whole concept is contingent on getting a clip on the thing that will hold on to my waistband with the tension on the holster adjusted to a point where it will retain the gun during normal activity but won't cause me to draw the pistol and the holster all at once.

I probably need to order an Ulticlip to really make this work.

*Yes, I normally carry a pistol around the house, simply because it goes on when my pants do. I don't take it on and off during the day. Excessive administrative gun-touching is when unexpected loud noises occur.