Saturday, June 23, 2018

Sapping and Impurifying...

Q-S1 + 06

 Local color, as seen on my walk to lunch yesterday.

Camera was the Q-S1 with the Pentax 06 15-45mm f/2.8 telephoto zoom. I ordered that lens from a dude in Japan a day or so before I broke my collarbone and it just got here the other day. I wish I'd thought to check Amazon for NOS lenses first.

Friday, June 22, 2018

How not to internet market, part three...

So, you're obviously capable of doing enough research to get my phone number, but you couldn't do any research about who you were pestering for a holster review?

I've literally dissed better holster companies than yours, bro.

Next time you buy a list of gun blogs from Media Lodge or whoever, take some time to do a little background research. Or hire an actual, you know, professional marketing company.

Jesus, anything but this bush league nonsense...

How not to internet market, part two...

When last we left the holster review, I'd been writing a pretty straightforward piece on why the holster was unsuited to be safely used for inside-the-waistband carry (appendix or otherwise) and fixing to leave it at that.

But I decided to look a little more into the dude who'd been hectoring me via email...
You know, the one who had escalated from wanting reply emails to wanting to talk to me on the phone...

Folks, I hate talking on the phone. There are, like, four people on the planet that I seem to be able to talk to on the phone for more than five minutes without wanting to open a vein, and one of them is blood kin.

So no, Luke the Feedback Guy at Craft Holsters, you may not have my phone number...

Does anybody else think a social-media dude for a company with five FB friends is sketchy af? Yeah? That's not just me?

Okay, so anyway, I'm fixing to write up this review the other morning when the landline here at Roseholme Cottage rings...


"Is this Tamara?"

"Er, yes?"

"Of the booksbikeboomsticks?"


Okay, the landline number here at the house is not only unpublished, it's not even my phone line.

If you're going to be hawking holsters that are Tagua-grade hot garbage, not quite up to basic DeSantis quality even, despite nearly Galco-tier pricing, then maybe you want to make up for it by not being a pushy jerk with serious boundary issues? I'm just throwing that idea out there for free, run with it if you want.

Personally, I'd staple up some milk jug plastic and fashion belt loops out of duct tape before I'd purchase a holster from Craft.

So there's your holster review. Good day, sir.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Smallest Minority...

...will fit in a concentration camp about 6'x3'x2', unfortunately.

Holster Review, Part One...

Thumbnail sketch of my morning yesterday...

I got an email a while back from some dude repping for a holster company asking me if I wanted a free holster to review.

I get a lot of emails like this. A lot. Like I usually do, I didn't answer it.

Dude emailed me again, wondering why I hadn't replied to his email. I binned that one without response, too.

Dude emailed me yet again, wondering why I hadn't replied to his email wondering why I hadn't replied to his email.

This happened maybe one or two more times (I am clearly ignoring you, can you not take a hint?) before I replied.

I told dude that I was fixing to do a 2000-round test on an HK P2000SK and asked if his company had any holsters they would specifically recommend for AIWB carry. He sent a straight-drop, tuckable single-belt-loop holster.

It had...issues...that made it less-than-suitable for the intended role, in my opinion.

Then the P2000SK displayed its cycling issues, causing the test to be called off, at least temporarily.

I explained to homie that there was, at the very minimum, going to be a delay because I'd need to send the gun off to get fixed. He replied that he understood, and that I should just contact him with a link to the review piece when I got it done.

In fairness, I haven't exactly been communicative over the last couple months, between other work projects and then benching myself for the summer with a busted collarbone.

The emails started up again, wondering where the holster review was.

And then this morning I get this...well, in context I can only describe it as missive from the guy:

No, you may not have my phone number.

But you're right that I promised you a holster review and you obviously want it very badly, so here it comes:

This holster is absolutely unsatisfactory for the requested role of appendix inside-the-waistband carry (or any inside-the-waistband carry, really) for the following reasons:

  • The holster mouth is completely unreinforced. The only thing keeping the holster from collapsing after the gun is drawn is the structure of the holster itself, which is a single layer of not-terribly-thick leather.
  • The sweatguard is a single-thickness piece of the same leather, which means that unless the wearer has abs as flat as the Texas panhandle, that sweatguard is going to collapse faster than the Falcons' defense in Super Bowl LI. Of note, while the sweatguard lacks the rigidity to remain vertical after this, experimentation proved it was still rigid enough to pull the LEM trigger on the subcompact HK.
  • The point of attachment is a single belt loop connected to the bottom of the holster via a single strut made of a stitched-together double layer of leather. Unfortunately two layers of this leather aren't much more rigid than one in this particular role; the holster was able to shift around rather more than I like. 
So, thank you for the opportunity to try your holster, but I would suggest the above areas be tended to in order to render the product suitable for carry.

Then comes this morning, to be discussed in Part II, to follow...


I am indeed a hobbyist.

I tried to give Dark Star Gear money for this shirt when I first saw it, but they didn't let me. Next time I'm using a pseudonym.

"Oh god, it reeks of murder... Mustn't panic..."

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

QotD: Things Are Different Now Edition...

The late 1990s were only twenty years ago. Gas was less than a buck a gallon. Also, you could watch TV for days without hearing about our crumbling infrastructure. Some folks saw things looming on the horizon, though...
"In meetings at work during the run-up to Y2K, I made a number of suggestions about power conditioning and UPSes. They were pretty routine and most of them were implemented before the year 2000. In making them, I pointed out the power-distribution infrastructure was aging and there was a lot of construction around our two main sites, concluding, "we may be entering a time when commercial power is less reliable that we're used to." There was much harrumphing at that crazy notion. Now we're getting two or three glitches on the power every week, and ugly hits that take a fair amount of rebooting slam us a dozen times a year, despite a big UPS that carries the critical loads. I'm not happy about being proved right."

"Hi, $blogger! We're looking for reviewers!"

Here be no dragons...

"No planes, no interstates, and no hotels. And definitely no chain restaurants." These are the rules a Harvard prof uses in introducing Ivy League students to flyover country.

Go read the article. It's surprisingly fair, even sympathetic.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


So, to set the stage, it's important to understand the toilet tissue arrangements at Roseholme Cottage. We use only the best: Charmin Sensitive, the Cadillac of bumwipe. This is stored in an under-counter cabinet down at the far end of the galley kitchen.

If someone is fetching a replacement roll from there and notices we are down to three or four rolls left, they push the appropriate Amazon Dash Button, and a fresh case is summoned to the front doorstep in two days' time. Three, tops.

Anyway, yesterday morning, Bobbi had done her morning puttering-about and headed out the door to physical therapy. I was home alone when my morning coffee had its salutary effect on my still-sleepy digestive tract.

I got up and ambled into the bathroom, only to be greeted by a toilet paper roll with maybe three squares on it.

Not being Sheryl Crow, I ambled with rather more urgency toward the aforementioned kitchen cabinet, only to realize with dawning horror that it was empty.

By this point, my innards were starting to get a little insistent.

Fortunately, there was the latest shipment of toilet paper, still sitting in its case lot box in front of the cabinet.

Normally these boxes are in sorry shape. Containing three 8-roll packs, they are not insubstantial packages and usually burst open somewhat on impact with the front porch.

Not this one, though. This box was as mint as a comic book collector's prize possession, all edges un-rumpled and all corners square. All flaps still tightly glued shut.

Further...and this was a first...the box was sealed shut with clear packaging tape. And I mean it was sealed like the tomb of Amenhotep IV. And here I was in my pyjamas, without a pocket knife ready to hand.

I waddled briskly off in search of a pocket knife and returned to the kitchen, desperate to get into the box. I stabbed at it with the pocket knife in my one good hand, but the packing tape must have been kevlar reinforced, because the box just skittered away from the knife, across the tile floor.

Bracing it against the cabinetry with one foot, I managed to slice through the packing tape, only to discover that the Charmin plant must have bought their box-sealing glue on sale, because they sure weren't sparing in their use of it to glue the package shut.

Just before I had to declare an emergency and kiss my socks goodbye, the box flap tore in the middle, rather than giving way at the glue seal. I hauled out a plastic-wrapped package, tore it open one-handed, and headed for the smallest room at a butt-clenched sprint.

I was successful. It was a small success, but these days I'm taking them where I can get them.

And this was the Great Toilet Tissue Incident of 2018.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Low-hanging fruit...

Can't say the man's not consistent in his belief that illegal immigrant children should be kept with their fathers.

Family resemblance...

When Pentax jumped into the mirrorless interchangeable lens camera craze in 2011, it's pretty obvious from where they drew their styling inspiration.

The Pentax Auto 110 of the late-'70s and early-'80s was pimped as the tiniest interchangeable lens SLR on the market, using the little 110 Instamatic film cartridges Kodak had introduced in '72.

Pentax marketed the Q-series digitals the same way. Ironically, the teeny 110 film negatives are the same size as a Micro 4/3 image sensor, which is much larger than the little 1/2.3" sensor chosen for the initial Q models. (The later Q7 and Q-S1 had slightly larger 1/1.7" sensors.)

From Wikipedia.
The small sensors are going to cause problems with noise at higher ISOs...

click to embiggenate
The above image is using the 3.2mm f/5.6 03 fisheye lens on the Q-S1, which has the later, larger sensor. It's a 1/6th second exposure at ISO 3200 and is obviously noisy as dammit.

Despite being an interchangeable lens camera, the Q-S1 uses the same 1/1.7" sensor size as my late, lamented Coolpix P7000, a higher-end compact. (The original Q and the Q10 use a smaller sensor, the same size as the one in the old Canon ShowerPot SX500 I've since handed off to Bobbi.)

Sunday, June 17, 2018

So are "titular" and "prognathous"...