Friday, January 31, 2014

Yay for snivel gear!

I have tinfoil-lined slippers slippers so the NSA can't read what my toes are thinking!

I usually pad around here in fleecy socks with big polka-dots but the hardwood floors of Roseholme Cottage can get a mite chill this time of year. No, seriously: my hands encounter a noticeable thermocline when I'm doing toe-touches during the morning physical jerks. There could be Russkie boomers lurking at ankle height and my sonar would never spot them.

I needed slippers that were warm, easy to step in and out of, and with a sole that could handle stepping outdoors at this time of year, with enough texture to prevent pratfalls but without so much texture that any snow inadvertently picked up wouldn't get scraped off with a quick scuff on the sisal doormats. These deliver. And boy howdy are they toasty snuggly warm.

I went with the dude's slippers in black because they look more carbon-fiber-y and you want your house slippers to be all ninja and stuff, but the more traditional-looking women's ones are muy cheaper in some colors. (I've never thought that house slippers, like bathrobes, were particularly gendered articles of clothing anyway; you rock out whatever's coziest, and if it expresses your essential "you-ness" then, hey, bonus.)

That would depend on where you dropped the bomb...

And then there was the time that we almost nuked North Cackalacky.

Generally, nuking your own country would be considered a bad thing, but I know people who probably think that four megatons would be an effective urban renewal program for RDU or Moscow-on-the-Catawba.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

"I need to speak to your web person..."

Big coyotes out in Greenwood.
You want to be careful where you put the fold in your web stories, or next thing you know, coyotes are dragging families into the bushes, never to be seen again.

Wiki Tab Clearing...

  • Lajos Kossuth. This one was open because Kossuth Street in Lafayette always sounded to me like it was named after an elder god who lurks, eyeless, in a cavern on the dark side of the moon, and I was pretty sure that wasn't it.

  • Kepi. Military uniform tangent spawned from Marko's FB page.

  • Schoolhouse Blizzard. Thanks, Chas!

  • Cephalic index. I was double-checking the spelling of brachycephalic and fell into the wiki hole. Creepy-Ass Hoosier History Fun Fact: You could enter your little h. sapiens whelp for judging for breed conformity right alongside your 4-H cows and baby chickens at the Indiana State Fair up until 1932!

My breakfast means I love Hitler.

There are probably 1488 delicious, fatty, Applewood-smoked strips of racism there.
This is the problem with the gun-nut wing of the blogosphere being overrun by conservative Bushbots: Y'all get everybody talking about how much they love bacon while snickering behind your hands like you're getting everyone to chant "I'm Sofa King! We taught it!" because you realize that saying "I love bacon!" is just a secret racist dog whistle for "I hate Jews!" and we all fell for it.

Well, I'm not falling for your Hitler food trickery anymore!

(Incidentally, you know how dumb this sounds? This exactly how dumb it sounds to say that Democrats want to put you in concentration camps. "But, Tam!" you say, "I can trot out some progressive blogger who really does want to put bitter clingers in reeducation camps!" And I can go find a nutbag who likes guns and thinks The Joooz are running the world without even needing to power up my Google-fu, so let's not get into the whole I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I? thing.)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Post-Traffic Stress Disorder and other hazards of life in the 404.

As someone who organized her life around Atlanta traffic for years (live in town and work in the 'burbs, or work nights, kids! It's good for the blood pressure!) I looked at the pics coming out of my old stomping grounds and didn't notice anything amiss until I saw some of the vehicles were askew.

Kidding, of course, but the mid-day ice/snow storm is the big wintertime bogeyman down in Dixie. Growing up in Atlanta, all through my school years if flakes of snow began falling from the sky during the school day, we'd flock to the windows to see if the magic thing was happening: Is the snow sticking on pavement? Because if it was, we were going home early that day.

Never mind that this happened only once or twice in my k-12 career; hope sprang eternal in the schoolkid's heart. Luckily, we never had to spend the night at school...

Derp Still Sells: An Unfortunately Ongoing Series.

So there's some new gimmick bullet out whose makers followed the trail blazed by the mythical "Black Rhino" round: Shotgun out a press release full of hyperbolic claims, get the press worked into a lather, and... I dunno, it gets pretty Underpants Gnome-y from there. Maybe this is trolling for investors?

Anyhow, to anybody with a shred of knowledge about terminal ballistics, everything about these things is risible; from the part where it sheds most of its weight as underpenetrating fragments on impact to the part where the core goes on to leave a pencil-like wound track to the fact that the video tests don't appear to be in calibrated 10% ordnance gel anyway, so all the numbers they're throwing out seem to be pointless. Basically, what these dudes appear to have done is to have taken a bullet design with a proven track record, the Barnes solid copper XPB, and used an EDM machine or something to break it so it doesn't work right anymore.

Anyhow, the problem with this is that it has been shotgunned out to the conservative blogosphere, because conservatives are gun enthusiasts, right? And this has triggered firearms-related discussions in the comments of certain conservative blogs that are certainly... enthusiastic.

My soul hurts.

Jesus wept, this is why I hardly talk about guns on the internet anymore. The level of gun stupid in the comments sections at The Blaze, AoS, or Instapundit makes me long for the raw technical competence and hard factual knowledge of, say, your average Brand-Specific Fanboi or State-Level Gun Enthusiast forum like GlockTalk or INGO.

And then, of course, someone will wade in and denounce this bullet as a Joke Hyperbole Projectile, and my heart will soar, and then they'll turn around and say "What you really need is Black Talon!" and my soaring heart will plummet like a paralyzed falcon, because a twenty-year-old discontinued Gen 2 JHP design is apparently still a name to conjure with, thanks to the Winchester marketing department and the American media.

I actually saw a debate in one of these threads between proponents of Black Talons and Hydra-Shoks. No doubt everybody then jumped into their 5.0 GTs and drove off with Red Hot Chili Peppers CDs blaring from the speakers. Hey, 1991 called; it wants its ammo back.

To return to the original topic, massive strides have occurred in projectile design in the last twenty years. This bullet is not one of them. It's worth noting that the press release isn't even right when it says "The last round you'll ever need" because the last round you'll ever need is some goofy multipiece bullet that spins its bits on fishing line. This is just the second-to-last round you'll ever need.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

"If I had a hammer, I'd put it next to my sickle."

Where have all the commies gone, long time passing?

So Pete Seeger has finally become a New Soviet Man, if we take the Wikipedia definition of "a person with certain qualities that were said to be emerging as dominant among all citizens of the Soviet Union".

I find it interesting that his dad was a Harvard-trained musicologist who founded the music department at UC Berkeley before getting ash-canned for pacifism in 1918, then later held administrative posts in various New Deal agencies, including the Stalinist-sounding "Farm Resettlement Administration". This makes Pete practically the official little drummer boy of the Gramscian Long March.

Time machine...

Between studying up on the recent Smith and Colt acquisitions and all the books I've been reading about the pre-Dreadnought era lately, I've been finding myself mildly surprised to find it's 2014 and not 1898 every time I step outside.

Overheard in the Office...

The TeeWee announcer down the hall is talking approvingly about the Orwellian measures being enacted in the Capital District to protect the annual Hunger Games from terr'ists.
TV: "They will be scanning license plates all over the site, looking for people on the terrorist watch list. Of course, no backpacks. All trucks entering the area will be inspected to make sure they don't contain any weapons or dirty bombs!"

Me: "'Who's a dirty bomb? Who's a dirty, dirty bomb? Who's daddy's nasty, dirty little bomb?'"

Space Kablooie II: Atomic Boogaloo!

Today is the official release date for my friend Marko's second novel, Lines of Departure!

My pre-ordered dead tree copy should be on the way (thanks, Bobbi!) along with the dead tree copy of the revised version of Terms of Enlistment .I'm looking forward to seeing how the revisions affect the original.


They swear it's going to get above 0°F this afternoon.

Yesterday I started the car, let it idle briefly, put it in reverse and it felt like I hit a curb as the Fozzie stalled out. Realizing what had happened, I re-started it and rolled forward a few inches before putting it in reverse and revving it a little to hop the chocks of frozen slush that had dropped out of the wheel wells behind the tires overnight.

While out on my daily peregrinations I saw a dude walking from the grocery store to the swath of little apartments behind the Goodwill. He was wearing neither hat nor gloves nor scarf as he schlepped his sack of chow and sixer of cervezas homeward. I thought to myself "Dude, I admire your stoicism and all, but these kind of temperatures can do actual physical damage with enough exposure." I know someone whose hands still turn white when it gets cold enough, thanks to a good case of frostbite working on a towboat when they were younger.

In the back of the Subie, in with the Fix-A-Flat and the first aid kit and the jug of coolant and suchlike is a cheap pair of gloves, like the kind they usually sell at the grocery store this time of year. I think I'm going to toss a cheap scarf and knit cap in there, too. I try not to leave the house without cold weather gear at this time of year, but the added insurance can't hurt, should I find myself walking home or waiting for a tow unexpectedly.

Monday, January 27, 2014

So, who's up for some fancy learnin'?

Come the NRA Annual Meeting here in town, the legendary Ambulance Driver is looking to put together:
"...a little first aid class targeted for shooters, on CPR, self-care and first aid for gunshot wounds? Course would probably be less than 4 hours, and cost around $30-40, mostly for the cost of a blowout kit I'm trying to put together small enough to fit in a range bag."
I'm totally down for that because learning stuff rocks, but my organizational skills are legendary for their non-existence.

Any fellow denizens of Hoosieropolis have an idea for a venue? 


There are three Fahrenheit degrees outside, and the weatherdude said that those are all the degrees we're going to get today, and so we'd better like them.

He got out of the boat.

In the movie Apocalypse Now, the character "Chef" goes foraging for mangoes in the jungle along the river and has a memorable encounter with a tiger that leaves him shaking back on the PBR, repeating over and over "Never get out of the boat! Never get out of the boat!"

It's a phrase that can be applied well to borrowing trouble.

Which leads to our current example, in which a known dirtbag barged his way into a home invasion robbery wielding a rifle. In the ensuing scuffle, someone got shot, but the perp lost his rifle and fled into the pre-dawn dark.

While the shot dude sought help, another occupant of the invaded home noted that the dropped rifle was a .22 just like his own, and scooped it up, grabbed a flashlight, and headed out after the departed perp.

As it turns out, that was when he got out of the metaphorical boat, because sure enough, he found the perp. And when he did, he says he yelled at the perp to freeze, and instead, the homeowner says the guy made a move towards his waistband and the homeowner shot him, with eventually fatal consequences. The dead guy was a convicted criminal, had just shot a man in a strong-arm robbery, and was as clear a case of misdemeanor murder as you're likely to find on any given day.

Now, in a cowboy western, it would end there, but 21st Century Real Life Pennsylvania is not 19th Century Hollywood Arizona Territory. Further, there are problematic witness statements that have the homeowner saying he was going to "shoot that [blankety] with his own rifle" and even shooting the fleeing man in the back.  The local authorities seem to believe that the homeowner's mantle of innocence as the aggrieved victim ended when he scooped up the rifle and set off into the darkness to pursue the fleeing bad guy, rather than leaving that chore to the guys on the other end of the phone; the ones dripping with qualified immunity.

If he'd done that, then all the gun owners on the internet could be excoriating a cop for shooting an unarmed man for making a furtive movement rather than trying to defend a non-cop for doing the exact same thing.

Listen to Chef. Stay in the boat.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

It has its upsides.

Sure, sure, I had to spend fifteen or twenty minutes shoveling our walk (and the neighbor's, because that's how I roll) but life in Broad Ripple has its compensations.

For instance, after scooping the frozen stuff off the walks, you can dust off the Subie and putter down to the corner of 52nd Street and College Avenue... what is, in my opinion, the best breakfast joint in the neighborhood. And given the playing field, that's going some; I mean, you've really got to work to get a bad breakfast in the Ripple.

Above is the menu at Taste. Daily specials on the whiteboard to the left. In the foreground you can see the cases that are full of various "to go" dishes, pastries, and gourmet cheeses.

I had the egg white quiche of the day, which had prosciutto, feta cheese, asparagus, and chili pepper. It came with a fruit cup and I ordered a side of bacon because they use delicious applewood-smoked bacon that... well, yum. Bobbi got the chipotle pulled pork and eggs with home fries and avocado.

The bottle of hot sauce remained untouched. The flavors in my quiche were playing so nicely together that I didn't want to upset the taste bud feng shui that was going on.

That makes me a little happy.

I have written before about the qualification course at the end of MAG-40 (the course of fire is detailed here) and the hiccup I had halfway through the high kneeling portion of the qual.

Basically, at 10 yards you have to fire six shots from the cover crouch, six from high kneeling, and six from low kneeling in 75 seconds, and there are two reloads in there. I felt like I was cruising along with time to spare*, and then...

I had a failure to fire (dud primer) during the "high kneeling" part and when I ran the slide and got back on the sights, the rushed shot had me slap heck out of the trigger. It was counted as breaking the 8 ring, which might be generous, but I'll take it.

This meant that I was short one round to complete the string of fire. On the clock.

Now, the class is split into two relays for the qualifier, and your partner from the other relay is there to help you load mags and keep an eye on the timekeeper for you and whatnot. Feeling like the clock was ticking away the last seconds and thinking I was about to lose my shot at a 300, I kept the gun pointed downrange while waving my off hand behind my back and frantically yelling "MAGAZINE! GIMME A MAG!"

I felt the magazine full of Big Girl Bullets that I took out of the gun that morning get snatched out of my right hip pocket and slapped into my waiting palm. Duh.

Sure that the call of "TIME!" was about to end my chances at a clean score, I lined up the sights again and pressed off the last, expensive, Winchester Ranger-T 127gr +P+ shot.

As it turns out, I still had ample time. I really could have slowed way down for the whole qualifier and finished farther up in the tiebreaker standings. Anyhow...

It wasn't until just a month or so ago when I was looking at the target hanging on the wall in the office here at Roseholme Cottage that I noticed something that tickled me no end. Looking closely at the target, can you spot that last, hurried, under pressure shot from slidelock? The one I thought was for the whole shootin' match? Hint: It's the only JHP hole on the whole target...

Click to make biggerer.
*I commented to Bobbi that, had that been shot on a USPSA "metric" target rather than a B-27, it would have been definitely down three or so... Of course, had I been shooting at an A-zone, I also might have slowed down some, because my initial gut reaction on hearing that everything inside the 8-ring was full value was "All right! Hose city!" Targets don't come much more wide-open than that.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Le sigh.

Dammit, I just shoveled that.

If society had lapels, I'd be grabbing them.

click to you know the drill
Sean at NC Gun Blog had a response to the reports of Purdue University students complaining that their professors did not lock doors and turn off lights in response to the report of a gunshot on campus, instead choosing to keep calm and lecture on. Sean rightly points out:
If your teacher is not locking the door, get off your fat ass and lock it yourself. Every person sitting in that class (bar the occasional child prodigy) is an adult. Yet instead of getting up and making the right things happen, they allowed a teacher to tell them to do something stupid.
I do question whether not doing so was "do(ing) something stupid", however.

See, a lot of these students doing the complaining? They weren't even in the building where the dude got shot. Purdue is a big campus. Thirty thousand undergrads. That's the population of a decent-sized town, and the campus is physically larger than Broad Ripple proper.

The EE building is farther from the Life Sciences building than I am from the nearest crack house, or the nearest convenience store that's been held up within the last month. If I locked the doors, cut the lights, and crouched in a dark corner clutching an improvised weapon every time someone got shot within a mile of where I'm sitting, I’d never get anything done around here.

Get a grip, people: If this guy shot a coworker at Jake's Action Comics, you never would have heard about it, but because he shot a fellow TA at the Special Snowflake Warehouse, it bumped the unfolding Ukrainian civil war right off of CNN.

So, kudos to the sensible profs who were able to distinguish between “Bang!*thud*” and “Bangbangbangbangbangbangscreambangshriekbangbangbangtramplebangbangbang!” I'm glad to see that there is a vestigial amount of stiffness left in our cultural upper lip.

(Although the university is trying to apply some solvent in the form of grief counselors and suspended classes to get that stiffness out. Because that's totally how it's going to be in the real world, kids: Every time some total stranger gets killed here in Indianapolis, we don't have to go to work the next day and can totally scam a free Xanax scrip to go sell off down on fraternity row if we play our drama cards right.)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Wait, that doesn't help...

So, among the various achievements one's little homunculi can earn in World of Warcraft are ones for loving the various critters that flit around as background color in the world of Azeroth. You know, like the little eep frog I inadvertently slaughtered.

So my Pandaren monk, BruiseLi, was tooling around last night, righting wrongs and kicking ass (as one does) and as I would pass little critters of species for which I had not yet expressed my affection, I would type "/love" at them.

That little "slash" or "solidus" is important, for it is what separates action commands from random chatter. As witness the dialog box in the lower right* left of the screen in the shot below:

A kung-fu panda on his trusty riding goat, walking the earth.

*I blame CDD Syndrome: Caffeine Deprivation Dyslexia.

Monkeys weren't meant to live this long.

That's all I'm saying.

I've got...

Check that.

I was going to say "I've got to suit up to take the trash out to the curb in these moon temperatures," but according to my handy web page which I literally just went and checked, they don't want dudes riding around hanging half out of garbage trucks in sub-zero temps and have bumped trash pickup at Roseholme Cottage back to Sunday.

Well Happy frickin' Birthday to me!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wiki Tab Clearing...

It's that time again. Too darned many Wiki tabs open...

Talking points memo...

So, our very hierarchic and top-down opponents have been handed the term "ghost gun", referring to guns made via 3D printers and 80% receivers and suchlike, and commanded to go forth and wring their hands theatrically about the "Ghost Gun" Menace. They have dutifully headed out in search of cameras and microphones and delivered their "Anti Ghost Gun" speeches with more or less success, as we have all seen.

So, how gun-shaped of a piece of metal will they tolerate? 70% receivers? I mean, a relatively abstract lump of steel is a 40% receiver if you look at it from the right angle. Heck, Lowe's sells 90% Sten receivers on aisle 5.

This is what comes of people trying to outlaw a basic technology who have absolutely no understanding of that technology. (Or of the laws which already exist to regulate it. Parsing Senator Kevin's speech to what we think he was trying to say in English reveals a stunning lack of information on existing firearms law and regulation.)

Tab Clearing...

Absolute slack...

I read somewhere that zero is the temperature where all particles lose their energy, and it's now one below out there, which would explain why all my motivatons are locked into an immobile lattice.

*rustling of paper* *whisper*

I'm sorry, I am informed by the VFTP research staff that absolute zero is 0° Kelvin and it's currently -1° Fahrenheit out there, which is 254.817° K and therefore somewhat above absolute zero.

There is therefore, like cattle mutilation and continued belief in Obamacare, no scientific explanation for my absolute lack of motivation right now.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Fixing the Face of War

When I got my nose cut on last year, the doc proposed doing what is called a "pedicle flap" to replace the divot. In other words, he would cut a slice of skin free from my forehead, leaving it attached at one end to maintain blood supply, and twist the other end down to cover the boo-boo on my nose. After a couple weeks to ensure it had taken, it would be cut loose from its old location on the forehead and everything would be tidied up.

The idea of running around for a few weeks with my nose connected to my forehead was sufficiently disturbing that I asked the alternative. "Well, we could just do a regular skin graft, but it might not take. That needs a good blood supply, and with the smoking..."

"My nose is bleeding like a fire hydrant right now, and I can quit smoking. What's the worst that could happen? The graft doesn't take and we have to make another run at it in a couple weeks with the flap thingy." Because, brrrr... I wanted to avoid the pedicle flap.

Then again, if my nose had been blown off by shrapnel, the pedicle flap might have seemed not such a bad thing. After all, there are boo-boos and then there are boo-boos.

All this to explain the fascination with which I read this BBC piece on the advances in facial plastic surgery made during the Great War. You might find it fascinating, too, but you'll want to make sure your breakfast is good and settled first. They apparently had those special blue benches around the hospital grounds for a reason.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hey, I know that dude!

Geek Mountain State interviews famous essayist-turned-SciFi-novelist Major Caudill.

Speaking of self-inflicted gunshot wounds...

No, seriously, stop touching it.

We all complain about venues, be they local gun show or a national convention, that are posted NO CONCEALED WEAPONS, which therefore demand mandatory coonfingering outside the door in the name of safety.

The flip side of that is that if they let you carry your loaded gun inside, you need to be a big boy or girl with it, and that means not whipping your loaded heater out in a crowded room to check and see if your gat fits in that $8.99 nylon sausage sack real good. Leave your piece in the holster and ask to borrow a demo gun, for Browning's sake.

If you don't trust yourself to be able to keep from pulling your loaded gun out, or think you are a special snowflake who is SO SAFE that you would NEVER screw up, please consider not carrying to the NRA Annual Meeting, okay? Yes, CCW will be allowed in that venue here in Indy this April, but that is not your ordinary gun show. A ****-up in there really would be "the shot heard 'round the world."

Make Bloomberg pay for his propaganda, okay? He can afford it. Don't give it to him for free.

QotD: Self-Inflicted GSW Edition

From comments at Instapundit:
Finally, a group in Mexico the Obama administration will not sell guns to.
I find it interesting that the photos at the linked essay are now different to the ones I remember from the first time I looked at it.

Is it my imagination, or were there originally photos of vigilantes grouping up and loading into trucks en masse before the trip to the other town, and that it was largely composed of mobs of guys in white t-shirts with .22 squirrel guns and single-shot hardware store shotguns? I guess that's not very narrative-y.

Also interesting: Unlike photos from Chihuahua and Sonora, the armament down there farther south seems notably devoid of the thumbhole-stocked semiauto AKs and obviously commercial ban-era ARs that the administration assures us are the cause of All Bad Things south of the border. Every AK in those pictures looked to be the real deal and all the M1 carbines and M4s most likely arrived in cartel or vigilante hands via Mexican .mil or LE armories. Looks like the Templars are not on the BATFE's list of Our Favorite Cartels. 

Monday, January 20, 2014


Despite the less-than-stellar weather, a small crew made it to the Brewpub for food and a bit of raconteuring...
Experienced spacehand Roberta X remains oriented to apparent gravity. Also seen: Kerry, Fuzzy Curmudgeon, Old Grouch, Scout26. Not seen (because he hadn't yet got there, not because he was invisible) The Jack.
I had a pub pizza and a pint of their Red Bird Mild. I seem to be getting out of the wheat loop I've been stuck in since sometime last summer and making the seasonal shift into winter brews; the Red Bird was appropriately malty and quite tasty, but a little thin for the weather. When there's snow on the ground, I like beers you could eat with a fork.

Tab Clearing...

Three wiki tabs open again...
The last is my absolute favorite WWII... or any war, for that matter... Medal of Honor story: "You've heard about the guy who stepped out into the open and took on four tanks with his Tommy Gun and knocked one of them out, right?" (Apparently a round went through the vision slit and killed the driver and it drove into the gully.) .45ACP: It knocks out tanks.

Quit beating on the nail with the screwdriver.

So, expressing his doubts about Tsar Vladimir I's security arrangements at the XXII Winter Olympics, Senator King (?-ME) said on a CNN show that “I would not go and I don’t think I would send my family.

The news chirper reading the headlines at the top of the hour on the Today show intoned that the terrorist threat at the games was so great that a U.S. senator "said he wouldn't even send his family!"

Honey, that's not how that rhetorical device works. Put it back in the toolbox; you're scuffing up mommy's nice parquet floor. Either the situation was such that the senator would not send his family, or it was so grim that he wouldn't even send his worst enemy. See how that works? Now you try...

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Making a note in my phrase book...

I am going to change the expression I use for describing bemused, uncomprehending wonderment from "like monkeys staring at a monolith" to "like Cletii staring at a clearing barrel."
"I hate to interrupt your smoke break there, Jasper, but I need to use that there sand barrel in yore sittin' bench so's I can gas up my heater."
Fortunately it was too cold at this show to need to shoo any loiterers off the clearing barrels, at least on Saturday.

So... that's going to be cold, then?

Thursday's low will be below the ability of human instruments to measure, apparently.

I'll just be stealing that...

Awesome mnemonic device for remembering the Four Rules at The Gunner's Blog:
I use "LS/MFT," a catchphrase from my youth. Only now it means, "LOADED, STUPID! Muzzle. Finger. Target."
Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco!

Beer goggles wore off?

Some people expressed a bit of disenchantment with the demo Remington R-51s they had out for coonfingering at SHOT.

There were mentions that the slide looked like it had maybe been machined from an investment casting. Considering that Painted Ordnance is a member of the Freedom Group stable and the pre-production samples used at the Gunsite dog-and-pony show were rollmarked "Charlotte NC", I'd say it's a lead-pipe cinch the major parts are castings. I hope nobody thought they were getting CNC-ed from billet at that price.

They may work and they may not, but I tend to err on the side of cynicism in new gun introductions. Show of hands: How many people expected a <$400 pistol using a novel operating mechanism and most likely assembled from outsourced castings and MIM bits to be reliable right out of the gate?

I'm definitely buying one, but it's for novelty*. See, I've got two original 51s in .380, one of which doesn't run very reliably and the other of which I have no idea since I've never even loaded it but it sure is pretty. I'm buying an R-51 because it would be a neat accompaniment to them and, 30 or 40 years from now when I'm selling my gun collection to buy cat food at the old folk's home, maybe it'll have appreciated some. I imagine I'll take it to the range a few times but, you know, "in the world of new self-loading pistol introductions, it's safest to bet on failure."

EDITED TO ADD: The interesting thing is that there's no real reason to use Pedersen's action any more, other than novelty. The reason it was developed in the first place was that Colt held Browning's patent on the one-piece slide and breechblock and vigorously defended it. Remember: Pedersen was the guy who designed around Browning's patents. He was like Ginger to JMB's Fred: He did everything le Maitre did, but backwards and in high heels.

*Maybe they'll shoot like gangbusters, but single-stack guns too big to go in a pocket just don't have any practical use for me. Since I'm rarely in anything you'd call a "non-permissive environment" and I dress like a hobo, if I'm carrying a gun on my belt, it's going to be a service-sized pistol. The next size step down for me is "small enough to slip in a jeans pocket", which leaves out a lot of otherwise fine guns, like the P-239, Shield, or the 3913.

Happy Early Birthday to me!

The January Indy 1500 is the fun show closest to my birthday, so it's usually where I do my birthday shopping. This year was not a disappointment, as I picked up a couple of the oddest platypuses (platypii?) in the S&W family tree.

At the risk of revealing future Sunday Smiths, behold:

The top is a Model of 1896. It's the first Smith with a swing-out cylinder and the first gun chambered in .32 S&W Long. The lack of a cylinder latch is because you pull forward on the knob at the end of the ejector rod to free the cylinder. It's also unusual in that, rather than the patent dates and whatnot being rollmarked on the barrel, here they're marked between the cylinder flutes.

Below it is a .38 Double Action Perfected Model. It's a top-break with a thumb latch as well, and the only top-break with the trigger guard integral with the frame. It has the sideplate on the right, like a hand ejector, and the lockwork is more or less straight I-frame. They were made from 1909 to 1920.

They're neither of them the kind of guns you run into in the wild every day. Even at a big show like the 1500 I can't recollect seeing many Model 1896s, and this show had the first two nice Perfecteds I'd seen roaming loose in years. This one's in roughly ~60% condition; the 95%+ nickel one was way too rich for my blood, stickered at more than what I paid for both of the above guns.

Incidentally, that Model of 1896 demonstrates nicely the basic soundness of the S&W Hand Ejector action. It still times and locks up fine, which is something I would not necessarily take as a given from a top-break Smith or a Colt of similar vintage. That's the same basic mechanism scandium-framed, 8-shot, moon-clip-fed Smith revolvers still use today; that is the very definition of "mature technology".

Saturday, January 18, 2014

At the movies...

Went with Shootin' Buddy to go see Lone Survivor.

You'd think movie theaters would have HEPA filters to cut down on the dust in the air, but it got awful dusty in there, and more than once.

Fun Show Time!

Flintlocks and Flop-tops
And Number Three Russians
Black-powder Mausers
From jackbooted Prussians,
Shiny Smith PC's from limited runs
These are a few of my favorite guns.

Socketed bay'nets
On Zulu War rifles,
Engraved, iv'ried Lugers
That make quite an eyefull
Mosin tomato stakes sold by the ton
These are a few of my favorite guns.

Rusty top-breaks!
Smallbore Schuetzens!
And all of Browning's spawn
I just keep on browsing my favorite guns
Until all my money's gone.

Looking for a cheap top-break Smith to keep the others company, but I'm open to suggestions.

Friday, January 17, 2014


Sorry for the lack of blogging the last couple days. I've been doing work-type-work, helping get S.W.A.T. Magazine's SHOT Show video coverage out onto the intertubes.

I've spent two days pretty much glued to the computer monitor except for lunch breaks, and I had the iPad with me at Fat Dan's, so, you know..

Anyhow, several people have been very complimentary of our coverage of the show, and that gives me the warm-'n'-fuzzies. (And we've still got more video to sort through and see what needs posting!) It's good to get such immediate and positive feedback on the work.

The best part? This was just a shakedown run for S.W.A.T.'s SHOT coverage in 2015. It will be... and I hate this word, y'all... it will be epic.

Weather changes

The "dusting" of snow with "no accumulation" we were supposed to get turned into an inch or two that stuck just fine to unsalted roads when it hit right after morning, catching the DPW off guard.

I noticed an interesting phenomenon when driving to the bank in that people will habitually drife slowly and carefully on side streets, but then when they get to a thoroughfare like Keystone, they just step up to a normal pace by reflex. Uh, no, even wide roads are slippery when the plows and salt trucks haven't got there yet, sport.

The number of cars sitting slightly cattywampus with somewhat varying distances between the cars fore-and-aft at the red light at Kessler indicated a few might have tuck-and-roll upholstery in the driver's seat that they didn't have five minutes ago.

College Ave. was slightly better when I got there on foot to grab a burger from Twenty Tap, and the plows and salt trucks came by while I was eating.

The biggest indicator of how wrong the weatherman's prediction was could be seen in the Fresh Market parking lot. I don't think I've seen snow on their sidewalks and asphalt since they opened, but they had a couple kids out there furiously shoveling and salting, and the plow and salt trucks showed up as I was walking home.

Last Thursday, a few days after the big snow.

Monday, after the weekend's thaw.
Yesterday, and Ma Nature delivers a Thursday touch-up with more in the offing.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Attention, Gunsmith Bob:

Some interesting precision rifles at SHOT.

From Kimber:

...and Robar:

Overheard in the Kitchen...

Me: "I prefer squalene."

RX: "I like hexane."

Me: "Squalene: Otherwise known as shark liver oil."

RX: "So it's a real thing? So's hexane, although witches don't use it."

Me: "You'd think it's what Nanny Ogg used to run her barbecue grill."
The conversation had come about because of the headache-inducing effects of toluene fumes first thing in the AM. Naturally, "toluene" led to the discussion of other "-enes" and "-anes", like it does in most households, right? Right?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A fine domestic whine.

Dick Metcalf is still running to anybody who'll drape a crying towel over their shoulder for him.

Jesus, Dick, have some frickin’ dignity. This is beyond unbecoming.

Take your medicine like a ****ing grownup. People have stood in front of firing squads with more aplomb than you've shown getting a column taken away from you.

...but I still refuse to say "kit".

You have been warned!

Just kidding.

Actually, I have some of the Vickers/Tango Down baseplates and they're pretty cool. The extended mag release, though, is just absolutely Goldilocks.

The standard one on Glocks is stubby enough that it often doesn't release the mags cleanly for me, and the factory extended unit is too long and pointy and easy to push accidentally. I wholeheartedly endorse the Vickers unit; I'm happy I put one on my G-lock.

Mentally disabled commenter of the day.

Meet "Becky S."!
So you claim to be pro-second amendment, but then you bash people for being pro-second amendment? What's your stance, exactly - that we should all carry but on Facebook we should pretend like we don't? That we should all be ashamed of the fact that we'd die to protect our families? I don't think you really get to claim to be pro-gun if you're so obviously anti-gun. 
Although Becky obviously knows what the windows on the short bus taste like, she's apparently been allowed outside to play without her Special Helmet!

Yes, Becky, you have unmasked me. I am really anti-gun. I am totally against people letting anyone know they own guns on their Facebook page, especially.

Where do these lackwits come from, and how can we get them to go back there?

UPDATE: Someone apparently commanded the monkeys to fly!

"Juliet" says "Perhaps you are repulsed because you would rather see women as victims."

Curses! They're on to my plan! Someone else is patiently and politely explaining to me that it's okay to have pictures of guns and Second Amendment stuff on Facebook. I totally did not know that.


This modern life...

Allow me to open this post by quoting one from 2012:
People have funny ideas about manners these days.

For instance, yesterday I went with Shootin' Buddy to see Iron Man 3 again at the local cineplex. In the row ahead of me, two seats to my right, was a woman who spent the entire movie using her smartphone to post Facebook status updates, apparently along the lines of "zomg totally at the movie pissin off everybody around me luv u l8r"

Because I have manners, I resisted the temptation to wash out her little screen with 80 lumens of Fountain Valley's finest and then when she turned around, say "Annoying, isn't it?" I didn't do it mostly because it would be rude, and partially because it could have had unforeseen consequences, like her boyfriend getting all physical and then where do things go from there?
Sure enough, given 300+ million monkeys in the cage, someone came along to make the story come true:
In a dimly lit Florida theater, Curtis Reeves got into an argument with another moviegoer over texting. The two men exchanged words that gradually became more heated and Reeves felt something hit his face.

Look, texting in a movie is unbelievably rude. 

You are surrounded by other patrons who paid their own money to come enjoy the movie experience and you are metaphorically climbing atop your seatback and giving the stinkeye to the entire rest of the troop. In a state of nature, out on the African savannah, this would result in the movie being paused and the rest of the monkeys giving you the beatdown and returning to their bananas. A mere thirty years ago (coincidentally before the era of widespread CCW) this might get you asked to step outside and receive a poke in the snout.

Now? Now, as much as I'd like to tell you just what I think of your disgraceful lack of consideration for your fellow patrons*, the potential consequences of any escalation by Captain Entitlement are simply too great. It is not worth the risk of life in prison to ask you to turn off your cell phone, and so I just don't go to the theater as much and the barbarians have won another round.

I'm afraid that a lack of manners is an inevitable side-effect of modern civilization. Just as improved medical science has shielded the human race from the cruel effects of natural selection, so does the ceding of all order-keeping functions to the state protect the self-absorbed idiot from the consequences of his actions. To suggest that some other state might be desirable marks one as some loony-toon throwback; a sort of "behavioral eugenicist".

Ah, this modern life.

*"Fellow patrons", hah! Like "fellow anything" is a concept that would have any resonance in this world of movie stars.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Perhaps apropos...

Jeff Cooper: "Be sure of your target and what is beyond it"

Joe Biden: "[J]ust fire the shotgun through the door
Listen to Jeff, not Joe: Avoid negligent homicide*!

Let us hope the young man did not have a history of talking about how he was "dyin' to try that baby out", or folks might think he was just looking for an excuse.

*Fortunately the gentleman in question only winged his kid sister, but that was just fate looking out for morons.

I'm not sure how I feel about this...

So, somebody or another had a link up to a provocatively-titled hit piece called "The Startling Paranoia of the Gun-Loving 'Armed Mommy'", and I followed the link, expecting to point and laugh at the anti-rights types getting the vapors over a woman daring to think her children were worth protecting.

The article is chock-a-block with Facebook internet "posters" of women holding guns variously captioned
  • "Don't be fooled by that sweet smile... She'll shoot you dead if you mess with her family"

  • "I don't call 911so there won't be anyone to save you if you break into my house."

  • "My gun is loaded with Christmas cheer... in case you had plans to break in this year."
Okay, anybody could go cherry pick a few posters to make it sound like these people spend an inordinate amount of time coming up with new daily variations on clever ways to talk about shooting home invaders. Let's go check the Facebook page for ourselves.

Let's see... Pictures of people with guns, political stuff, abortion and global warming, the usual background noise of the parts of the web I'm most often on... and... again:
  • "How do I feel about gun control? Break into my house one night and find out!" 
Pictures of people posing with targets, NFL playoff chatter, anti-Obama immigration jokes, and... again:
  • "Why a handgun that shoots shotgun shells? Because wrong house motherf***er". 
And... again:

Jesus wept.

Did George Zimmerman get horsewhipped through the public square in vain?

I mean, look... I own a pistol and have a carry permit. I carry that pistol with me everywhere I go. I have spent a not-inconsiderable amount of time and money learning how and when to use it, and I've spent a fair amount of thought on why. I would like to think that implicit in these facts is what I would do with it should someone threaten my life and/or limb. But I do have one or two other topics of conversation I sometimes touch lightly on, you know?

Conversely, well... Gosh, where could that liberal writer have gotten the idea that the author of that FB page was a little obsessed with the idea of shooting people breaking into her house?

In the end, I'm torn. I'm always glad to see more people taking their Second Amendment rights seriously and getting hip to the idea of taking responsibility for their own safety, but at the same time, I'm vaguely squicked, and I can't put my finger on exactly why...

Please let them not really be that dumb.

National television personalities are monsters of narcissism, it being something of a prerequisite for the job, hence the various montages and retrospectives of "The world as seen through our eyes!" and "The year in review as reflected off us!"

There's a current "Aren't we important?" promo spot for the today show that features snippets of the the cast members doing Serious Journalism with very serious looks on their face. It includes Savannah Guthrie asking President Obama back in April "Is this the closest we've come to war...on your watch?"

I'm hoping that the stutter-step half-beat pause was an editing cut where they excised "...with North Korea..." to make it better fit the 30-second spot, because as it sits, it makes Ms. Guthrie (and, by association, NBC) sound a little thick. I'm not saying an RPG goes off in Afghanistan every time they roll that commercial but, you know...

Monday, January 13, 2014

Who could have seen that coming?

So it was a short news blurb, but it had an unexpected plot twist.

It started out pretty typical-like; just your basic everyday middle-age alleged mother of twenty in a tiff with some dude who was babydaddy to some fraction of her spawn. Apparently words were exchanged and he physically assaulted her and held her at a motel, and then the news story dropped the bomb, the totally unexpected plot twist...

Are you ready? You might want to sit down for this...
According to police, the man and woman were intoxicated at the time.
Whoah! Raise your hand if you saw that coming.

Fortunately, despite the woman having so many kids that she'd need to cut five to slide under the NBA's team roster cap, none were at the Motor 8 Inn during the drunken fracas that caused the po-po to become involved.

ETA: The Motor 8 Inn on Shadeland is just south of 38th, right between a liquor store and Weebles Bar & Grill. (I mean, in case you were in town and wondering where would be a good place to find a knife fight.)


High of 48 predicted today. Scribbling on the back of an envelope tells me that that's a difference of 63 degrees from last Monday, but only ten degrees warmer than Sunday the 5th. That's okay, though, because it'll be back in the teens tomorrow night.

This usually signals an enemy counteroffensive in the never-ending war on potholes. There was apparently one over by 86th and Ditch that accumulated a little "Boot Hill" of over a dozen hubcaps set upright in the plow drift along the shoulder; a sight far too photogenic to be missed by the local news.

The weather here is obviously on the side of entropy.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The post is done!

Revolvers are revolving over at the other blog. With many pictures!


The dollar hurdle...

Neat video for the forthcoming Beretta ARX-100:

I have a vague wantsies for it, in the same way and for the same reasons as the SCAR, but it suffers from the same problem faced by Everything Not An AR: Price.

Don't be fooled: If the AR-15 were released today, it'd probably hit the market at close to two grand as well, but the development costs are long amortized and builders can buy parts from a host of outside vendors and that's why you can get an AR for so much cheaper than the newer guns.

As someone who owned a Beretta AR-70 during the Ban Years, I appreciate the fact that the new ARX takes STANAG mags. We joke now about magazines for this gun or that gun being made of "unobtainium", but that's almost the God's honest truth about Beretta AR-70 mags ten years ago.

I searched and searched and found one guy on the internet who had some 30-rounders he would let go for $160 apiece, with the caveat that you had to buy the rifle he was selling, too; he wouldn't sell any mags separately.

Let's do lunch!

Well, it's not SHOT, but if anybody's in town for the Indy 1500 next weekend, why don't we meet for lunch at the Broad Ripple Brewpub? Say, Sunday at 3:00PM?

What did he know and when did he know it?

We must get to the bottom of this, and right now, and if the answer is bad, we had better begin impeachment proceedings!

What? No, I'm not talking about the thing with the guns and the deliberate arming of criminal gangs in a neighboring sovereign nation, getting friendly foreign nationals and American LEOs killed in a cheap and callous bid to boost the budget of a federal regulatory agency.

I'm talking about the important issue! The one where that guy may have known about the lane closures on The Bridge To The Navel Of The Universe.

Do you know how many Real People that may have inconvenienced? This is crucial! This isn't like dead Mexicans and Border Patrolmen! This is New Yorkers with slowed commutes!


"Bridgeghazi" is the headline story on Meet The Press. Extra Double Tone Deaf Pauline Kael Irony Points for the people in the media calling it "Bridgeghazi" who don't even acknowledge Benghazi as an actual, you know, scandal.

This is the closest I've yet come to actually bleeding from my eyeballs while watching Meet The Press.

What is with the media turning on their darling, here, anyway? I thought Christie was the RINO they'd picked to take a fall in the ninth against Hillary? Were they suddenly worried he might win or something?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

QotD: End Of The Beginning Edition...

You know how I hates me some negative thinking and loser talk, so I loved this analogy from ExurbanKevin in his look back at the battles of 2013:
2013 was the gun-banner’s Stalingrad, their El Alamein. It was the maximum push, their furthest line into our lines. Now is the time for Guadacanal, for Kasserine Pass, for Kursk. It’s time to go on the offensive and take back some of the ground we’ve lost.

You don't ever take sides against the family, Dick.

Since Dick went crying to the New York Times with a tale of how those extremist whackos in the gun industry had given him a wedgie for not being extremist enough, it's only fair to link to Claire Wolfe's rebuttal in the February issue of S.W.A.T. which, despite being penned weeks ago, is suddenly quite timely again thanks to Dick's latest bout of confabulatin'.

Tab Clearing...

Irony alert in the two pieces above: The millionaire's yacht of vacationing trust-fund hippies is no doubt full of bien pensant Progressives while the dolechequers of Owsley went for Romney by a whopping 81%.

Sneak preview...

Today's project will be somewhat involved. Here's a preview:

yeah, yeah, yeah...

I'm awake! I'm awake!

I've got to pull some clothes on and drag the trash cans back through eight inches of rapidly-melting slush to the back yard. Be with y'all in a moment.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Distilled essence of YouTube.

Needs more Affliction shirts and shaved heads, but it looks like their sunglasses selection skill fundamentals are solid.

Be right back; I need to go burn the leg of my pants so people will think I’ve been in the $#!+.

(H/T to Gun Nuts Media.)

Stop! Hammer time!

While I was at TAC in Knoxville, I got some pictures of an "Assembled In Portugal" High Power getting a beavertail welded up to protect the owner from getting blood all over his nice pistol. It was a pretty handy bit of welding and blending. If I had a High Power, I'd probably have had them do it just because.
Click to embiggenate.
As an aside, there's a valuable lesson here. See, the owner had already had the gun heavily customized: barrel, sights, Cylinder & Slide lockwork and safety, Cerakote finish, and a partridge in a pear tree. Then when he went out to shoot the gun, it ate up the web of his hand and he brought it back in for the beavertail, which is going to require the frame being re-finished again.

Unless your gun is stainless, it's easiest on the wallet if you do all the metalwork you think you're going to need to do all at once. If you're just going to have it done in a rattle-can finish like Duracote or whatever, it's not too bad, but if you've got to get it re-parked or re-blued more than once, it can be rough on your wallet and the gun.

Winter Wonderland

Where the sidewalk ends... at least the navigable portion of it. Connoisseurs of types of snow will note that this was the kind that blew against the side of the phone pole and then froze there.
After I got home yesterday, Bobbi and I walked to Twenty Tap for bowls of their yummy goulash. They had Pooka, a sour beer from Brugge Brasserie, on tap, and I enjoyed a pint. Then we crossed the street and picked up groceries at the Fresh Market.

Mediocre insulation makes for epic icicles.
The view towards the Grocery store from in front of Twenty Tap.
It was cold, but not unbearably so; probably in the high 20s? The walk isn't a long one, and is quite pleasant when no wading through snowdrifts is involved; even with the snow it was a pleasant diversion and hardly qualified as exercise, although I like to tell myself otherwise.

"Well, I bet you thought your little book was pretty clever."

I wonder how one would tell that a conversation with the author had been ruined, given the levels of tedious finger-wagging pedantry to which he appears prone?

I kid... mostly, but come on, that cover was just like a red flag in front of a bull. Seeing just the title on the spine, I had scooped it up hoping for an instruction manual, not a lecture. It was begging for a blog post.

Anyhow, as a side observation, Tamara's Third Law of Used Bookstores is "The enjoyability of a read is inversely proportional to the likelihood of finding it on the shelf." Despite McKay having an inventory that would shame a middlin' city library, you're lucky to find three or four Heinlein or Pratchett books at any time. Florence King? Fat chance. I scoured the shelves on my quarterly visits for years, looking for Fraser's Flashman books in vain, until I lucked into the place the day after someone had apparently traded in their complete set.

That a book published so recently is so well represented on the shelf speaks volumes. Sure enough, the Amazon reviews bear out my suspicions: "This book has the dubious honor of being only the second book I have ever thrown in the garbage, so that no one else would waste a moment of their precious time reading my copy." Ooh-kayy... I'll wait until it's on TV, I guess.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Speaking of the Russian Front...

There was hardly any snow on the ground worth speaking of until just south of Greenwood, and then suddenly it was like someone had flipped the snow switch and the guard rails were buried under the spoil from the snowplows.

Just north of Edinburgh, though, in the median on the oncoming side was another mute display of how quickly it went from pouring cold rain to frozen solid. A Volvo eighteen wheeler was just off the shoulder in the median with its hood hinged forward. It looked strangely shrunken until I got closer and realized that it must have slithered off the road when the rain turned to slush and buried itself to the axles in the mud, which then froze up, leaving it trapped like a Kraut Panzer outside Moscow.

Automotif XXIV...

A Ford towing a Chevy up I-75 in southeast Kentucky...

Never done that before...

Dithered in Knoxville and finally set out shortly before noon. It was maybe 15F and things were clear until I hit the mountains south of Jellico, where a lot of cars seemed to think the white salt on the road was the same as the white snow on the grass, and so you never knew when you'd come on a knot trying to pass a car 55-ing it along in the slow lane.

Once into Kentucky, the snow pretty much vanished, although the icicles on the cliffs of the highway cutouts attested it was still cold. Gassing up on the north side of Lexington, it was 21F according to the weather app on the portable magic elf box.

Heading west on 64 took me out from under the worst of the cold. Despite the walls of the steep cutout east of the Kentucky River bridge being draped with icicle sheets that would have looked more appropriate lining I-89 outside of West Lebanon, NH, most of the weather stations around Louisville were already reading ~32F.

Heading north into Hoosierland on I-65, the icy patches on the shoulders began getting closer to the travel lanes, while the petrified turbulence of frozen rapids in spillways leading into the roadside ditches gave mute testimony to how quickly pouring rain gave way to lunar cold earlier in the week.

I did something I never would have done before: At exit 29, bearing in mind the pictures from Indy traffic cams and Bobbi's reports of surface streets in the Circle City, I pulled off and got a motel room to shoot the final into Roseholme Cottage after rush hour the next morning.

Under regular conditions, I'd be maybe an hour from home. Realistically? I didn't want to tackle the last leg as it was getting dark, with the roads jammed with idiots* in a vestigial rush hour. It's supposed to get above freezing today, and I'll take the last bit after morning rush hour, fresh and rested.

*If it was just me? I'd drive that Subie home like I had a Finnish last name. But it's all those other people, the ones that want you to be part of their wreck, that worry me.

Derp Sells, A Continuing Series

I have never jumped out of a helicopter with a knife in my teeth, won any shootin' trophies, or designed a unique firearms operating system, but I've spent many years slinging guns across the glass, enough that I'm something of a Subject Matter Expert on the buying habits of Cletus. Speaking from that middlin'-lofty height, I feel comfortable in saying that it's a good thing this looks like it's going to cost more than $50, or the ranges of America would be covered up in bandaged Cletii...

The overlap of "people likely to want this" and "people able to afford it" is hopefully very tiny. If you can't spot several big problems with the very concept, I want you to go stand in a corner and feel bad about yourself while the rest of us talk about you behind your back. At least those ludicrous pistol bayonets will let you clear a malfunction without giving you stigmata.

What I want to know is how that guy busted all those ridiculous "gun kata" poses while keeping a straight face?

EDITED TO ADD: Well, first he disabled comments, then he turned off embedding, and now he's pulled the video from YouTube entirely. I hate it for him; it's gotta sting to hold your brainchild up for everyone to see, only to have people point and laugh. Obviously some time and effort went into the design and manufacturing, but time and effort alone don't make an idea good.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Tab Clearing...

...of a gun-related nature:

Cool Tool...

Traffic conditions in Indianapolis, including current average speeds and clickable views from INDOT traffic cameras, is available here.

More stuff is at the INDOT site proper.

Travel check...

Weather and road condition check: Anybody along the I-75/I-64/I-65 route between Knoxville and Indianapolis?


Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #78...

"I was told there wouldn't be any math on the final..."

QotD: Isn't This Where We Came In? Edition

Look, we already tried this experiment. We took a country full of people whose work ethic and obsession with ordnung is downright proverbial, and then we divided it in half and ran each half with a different operating system.

One side ran iAdamSmith and the other one was rebooted under MS-DAS Kapital, and just look how different the same hardware performed! In the words of a former resident:
Guess which half of the country had to put up barbed wire and minefields after a few years to keep its population from fleeing to the other half? Guess which half of the country ran its economy and environment into the ground?
Despite the fact that running the experiment under controlled conditions has always produced the same results, there's never any shortage of chuckleheaded douchebags, campus revolutionaries, and bored children of privilege ready to #occupywhatever.

Life in the panopticon.

Prep school in Danvers, MA goes to clear plastic bookbag rule after a bomb threat, treating the kids like they were common ghetto dwellers.

It's been fifteen years since the whole clear/mesh bookbag thing has been going on in some school districts.

Kid's been going through metal detectors and carrying a clear bookbag since he was 6, what is he going to consider an "unreasonable" search when he's 26?

Dating a dead horse.

I own a few self-loaders that bear the mark of the prancing pony, but they're not really my first love. When you cut me, I bleed blue and white, not blue and gold, so I was completely unaware that Colt's has added a serial number lookup service at their website.

For instance, I plug in the number on my older 1908 Vest Pocket, and it tells me that it was made in 1909, whereas the newer one dates to 1916. This saves looking for that tiny little blue booklet that always goes missing.

A factory letter including data on to whom the gun was shipped is still $75-$100, though. A factory letter from Smith is still $50. This is because Colt collectors are Fancy Dan rich dudes and Smiths are the workingman's collectibles. (If the workingman in question is a $75/hr union employee.)

(The post title comes from the time a guy brought in a Colt for repairs that looked like it had come up off a U-boat wreck. The gunsmith expressed doubts that it was worth the time. "But Shannon!" I said "It's got a prancing pony on it!"
"That's not a prancing pony," retorted Shannon, "That's a dead horse.")

Monday, January 06, 2014

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #77...

Colt M1878 "Frontier" (or at least most of one), made in 1879.
That Colt? It was for sale.

Wet firecracker...

Mother Nature made another half-hearted attempt at snow here in Knoxville. They had diligently brined every square inch of blacktop in the city and, since it didn't get below freezing 'til after midnight, not much stuck.

 Still, the Subie had a good ice crust that needed scraping, and the 33 Fahrenheit degrees we had at midnight are all the degrees we'll be getting here. They'll be removing them in onesies and twosies all day until we only have three left at midnight tonight.

It's a good day to be indoors.

Hey, is that old Colt for sale?

Sunday, January 05, 2014

I feel bad now...

...because I have managed to arrange to be out of town for Snowpocalypse, which Bobbi is liveblogging.

They're supposed to get a dusting here in K-town, but I haven't heard if they're expecting any accumulation or not.

Up late, slept late, slow start...

So, until I can get my thinkbox fully on line with caffeine infusions, let's go with potty humor!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

$#!+ Gunsmith Bob Says...

Me: "Team Conservative didn't exactly cover themselves in glory in the historical knowledge department regarding Mandela..."

Gunsmith Bob: "I didn't accuse him of [necklacing people]; I just said he was a communist!"

Me: "Yeah, but the other night you accused Krauthammer and George Will of being communists."

GB: "If the shoe fits! ...'designated hitter', my ass..."

*long pause*

GB: "No, wait, I take that back. I've read George Will's baseball books, but I can't recall if he supports the Designated Hitter Rule or not, so we don't want to go too far with accusations. But he's still a communist."

Friday, January 03, 2014

Overheard in Gunsmithing...

No $#!+, there I was...

I'm sitting there in gunsmithing yesterday, eating a slice of pizza, when in strolls one of those people who have graduated from customer to professional hanger-on. Every gun store has them; they're not employees, so you can't just tell them to leave, and there's always the chance they might start spending money and become a customer again*, so...

Anyway, I'm given to understand that this particular dude introduced himself as "The best AR builder."

"'The best AR builder in...'?"  I asked.

"No qualifiers; just 'The best AR builder.'"

"That's a pretty bold claim."

Anyway, this guy was dragging a .308 AR of some sort and asking what kind of modifications he needed so it would shoot with his buddies at a thousand yards. "You know," he says "Groups like this," gesturing with his hands. "It's all in the setup on the gun."

I looked up. "Wait... Groups like how?"

"Like this," he says, making a ~4"-5" circle with his hands.

"Dude, that's like, less than half MOA. At a thousand yards..."


"Your buddies should get together and put David Tubb out of business!" pipes up Gunsmith Bob.

"Who's David Tubb?"

Gotta love this stuff. Or you'll pull your hair out.

*Heck, I technically fall into that category myself, these days...

School today, I guess.

It looked like it was trying to snow in Knoxville last night, but I guess not enough little kids wore their pyjamas inside out to make it stick.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Quote of the Year (So Far)

Farmgirl in comments in the previous post hits one out over the center field fence and deep into the cheap seats:
"Welcome to the twenty first century, where working animals in the way they've been bred to work by our ancestors is inhumane, but sticking a camera up a guy's butt because a working animal thought he smelled drugs is fine"

I would give up a digit to have typed that.


What would you say is one of the most pressing problems facing the city government of New York? Wrong. Apparently it's the suffering of the horsies.

Mayor de Blasio, who ran on a platform partially based on a lack of decent jobs for working class schmoes in Manhattan, is making elimination of a bunch of those jobs one of his first priorities in office:
"We are going to quickly and aggressively move to make horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape in New York City," de Blasio said, according to NBC New York. "They are not humane. ... It's over."
No doubt the knackers will be very humane in converting Mr. Ed into kibble.

Things I Thought I Would Never Type In All My Born Days #712,863: How long before you see the first pictures of a smiley-faced Bloomberg waving over the caption "Miss me yet?"

Devolution continues apace.

(Via email.)