Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Get 'em started young...

Also from the design exhibit at the IMA, here's a great dresser for the kid's room...
...at least if you want your kid to grow up to be Hunter S. Thompson. (And who wouldn't, really?)

I can't decide whether it's cool or creepy.

From the design exhibit at the IMA:

Oddly sculpted wingback chair looks like it might be a pleasant place for reading a good book...


Aspirated toast crumbs.

Spent most of the first hour-and-a-half I was upright today hacking and coughing and retching and making Bobbi wonder if she remembered the Heinlein maneuver. I'm sure the stream of Diet Mountain Dew Code Red-colored spit into the trash can was momentarily alarming for observers; pink frothy stuff coming out of people's mouths is usually a Very Bad Sign.

Today's VFTP ProTip: Bread may be the staff of life, but you can't breathe it. Your lungs should be gluten free,

They say the definition of insanity...

...is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Time and again, gun registration schemes lead to massive non-compliance, are ignored by criminals, and eventually turn into a handy checklist for confiscating authorities to come by and pick up the guns.

Every time a registration scheme is proposed, gun owners point this out and get derided as tin-foil-beanie-wearing yayhoos, and every time it keeps happening just like it did before.

It is an easily demonstrable fact that gun registration does nothing... indeed can do nothing... to prevent crimes: I will write my name and address and the serial number of a gun on this sheet of paper and hand it to you. Then I will leave the room. Using that piece of paper and nothing but that piece of paper, stop me from shooting something with the gun. I'll bet you twenty bucks you can't.

The only way you can use that sheet of paper to stop me from shooting something is to hand it to another person with a gun and tell them to come get mine.

And maybe that's what you wanted all along, right?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Creepy-Ass Crackers.

Well, it looks like them kooky Chechens are up to their old antics in Tsaritsyn Stalingrad Volgagrad. I think I can safely point the finger at Chechens without being accused of racial profiling because I don't reckon it's possible for me to racially profile somebody from the, you know, Caucasus.

Jane Pauley and Bryant Gumbel are in the next room, anchoring the Today show for old time's sake. It'd be interesting to go back to 1980s me and see the reaction when I was informed that in thirty years' time, the people blowing up Russians would be the bad guys.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Ell. Oh. Ell.

I hate open carry so much that I did it all over New Mexico in October.

How one can go through life with such a huge persecution complex?

Get down off the cross, Marty; these other kids here need the wood to build a treehouse.

Poor, white, undereducated? Don't know what's good for you?

Relax, 'cause this guy does!

A lot of young people in the early 'Aughties called themselves "Libertarians" because they knew Ron Paul was against the Iraq War and in favor of pot legalization and the Democrat party was full of squares like Mom and Dad.

It doesn't mean they didn't want to "help the little guy" with your money, though, and when they found out what a big pack of heartless meanies libertarians were, they shed the label like a high school class ring.

Derp sells well, especially if it has velcro on it.

So somebody comes up with some inventive new specialized way to carry a gun in situation X. It doesn't matter what the situation is, somebody's come up with some special gear solution for it.

Sometimes it makes sense, such as pistol harnesses designed to be strapped to the outside of cold weather gear in bear country. Sometimes it's of dubious utility, like "car holsters". Sometimes it's downright dangerous, like that holster that straps around your upper arm so that you can carry a pocket pistol upside down, pointed at your brachial artery for no reason that is ever adequately explained.

Regardless of the type of strange carry, if you criticize it on the internet you will inevitably encounter some dude who comes along and explains to you that he has spent dozens of hours running drills and scenarios with video and stopwatches and bunches of different shooters that totally justify his use of this system.

Heck, I've apparently spent fewer hours at the range in all of 2013 than some of these guys have perfecting their technique of drawing left-handed against left-handed carjackers approaching from the passenger side rear, and that's even if my range time total includes the hours I spent sleeping on the Crimson Trace bus at the Midnight 3 Gun match because I went out to walk the stages on media night and couldn't find a ride back to the hotel.

(Apparently I should have had a special "Sleeping On The Bus" holster to do that, so I was doing it wrong anyway.)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Once again, life imitates The Onion...

In Our Dumb Century, Onion writers did spoof newspaper front pages from every year of the 20th Century. 1937's faux front page featured an adorable German cartoon character for der kinder, Kampfy the Uberhund, with his message that "turning in Jews is fun!"

You gotta get the kids when they're young, you know.

Fast forward seventy-some years and we've got a new creepy thing about which we need to make the young 'uns feel comfortable. We have to teach them when it's okay for them to let a strange grownup take their toys away, paw through their stuff, and touch their special area.

Understandably, after telling kids from the time they're old enough to parse English that they should run and scream if some stranger tries to touch them in their naughty places, it was time for the government to once again draw inspiration from the pages of The Onion.

Separated at birth?
 It's okay, kids: There's no stranger danger from Pervy Uncle Sam. You can always trust the government's cartoon dogs to tell you the truth.

"They look like dorks!"

I'm not some sort of rabid anti-open-carry zealot. If you don't feel like throwing on a gun burkha just to go about your daily business, that's up to you.

With that disclaimer out of the way, nothing says Aspie quite as loudly as riding your Segway around the grocery store while open-carrying your "SIG .45".

At least he's "within safety parameters", whatever the hell that's supposed to mean.

I wouldn't even try starting a discussion with that dude; like the mentally-handicapped kid engaged in a furious bout of self-gratification in the middle of a church service, there're just some things you pretend to not notice because nothing good can come of calling more attention to them.

There's a difference between just carrying a gun, and carrying a gun at people.

Overheard in the Kitchen...

RX: "Would you like a bagel?"

Me: "Yes, please! Although you didn't get any cream cheese..."

RX: "Ewww!"

Me: "How are you supposed to eat a bagel without cream cheese?"

RX: "Why don't you just put some mayonnaise on it?"

Me: "What?!? They don't taste anything alike!"

RX: "They're both unpleasant-tasting white substances."

I guess this is payback for my comments about rice and legumes.

Friday, December 27, 2013

This is why I love Wikipedia.

So, as I may have mentioned, there was a news story on this morning about a bunch of people getting various bits eaten off by piranha. Did you know it's only two wikijumps from a type of factual carnivorous South American fish to the most famous fictional international crime syndicate?

From there you can go in direct steps to Persian cat to Khorasan to Seljuk Turks to Alp Arslan to Manzikert. You can start out reading about fish and wind up reading about the capture of a Byzantine emperor.

*raises hand*

If there wasn't stuff we desperately need from the grocery store... And I guess the dishes won't do themselves. But that's about the height of my ambition today.

Well. I am surprised.

Watching the national news this morning, hoping for inspiration (or at least people getting eaten by fish) I heard the announcer say that a United States Senator was demanding that the federal government stick its fat, unconstitutional nose into the UPS delivery delay mess.

"G_______t, Schumer! Can anything happen that you won't turn into a grandstanding vote-begging photo op?" I yelled at the TV. How in the name of James Madison anybody can think this is a matter for the United States Senate is beyond me, but once Senators start scrutinizing jock urine, I guess anything's fair game.

Turns out it wasn't Schumer, but the junior toolbag from the Nutmeg State, Richard Blumenthal (Douche-CT).

He's a newbie in DC, so maybe he doesn't know how dangerous it is to get between Schumer and a camera? As soon as Chuck is done demanding that the victim get prosecuted in the Target affair, he'll be on this with a co-sponsorin', speechifyin' vengeance, no doubt.


My homunculus is the one with the horns. It makes a goblin look taller.
Spent the afternoon of Christmas day hanging out virtually with the Atomic Nerds. My second level 90 character; a pretty big day for a relative WoW n00b!

Wiki Tab Clearing...

In an ongoing effort to cull open Wikipedia tabs...
Hi-Point firearms was from looking up gun production numbers, and confirming the names of the companies who manufacture the various pistols sold under the Hi-Point brand. (Beemiller, Iberia, and Haskell.)

Society of the Cincinnati was the end of a wikiwander that started out looking at the early Roman civil wars that, in retrospect, foreshadowed the eventual death of the republic.

Can't remember why I was looking up Qutb.

Abscam was because Shootin' Buddy and I went to see American Hustle on Christmas Eve. Excellent movie. Brilliant... no, career performance by Christian Bale.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Awesome story in the ABQ Journal about Deputy Robin Hopkins, who got shot taking the fight to a bona fide dirtbag back in October.

I'd be happy being a tenth that tough.

Holy cow.

I knew that Ruger's little LCP was the Cabbage Patch Kid of guns a few years ago, with everybody wanting one and stores having difficulty keeping them in stock, but it wasn't 'til I went looking for BATFE numbers for a discussion elsewhere that I got an idea of how many they sold.

According to BATFE manufacturing data, Ruger made almost 177,000 pistols in .380 caliber in 2011. The only .380 they made in 2011 was the LCP, and they made enough of that one model to arm every man, woman, and child in Knoxville, TN or Providence, RI.

That's a lotta guns. That's as many LCPs as all .38 revolvers manufactured by S&W in all frame sizes plus all P3ATs made by Kel-Tec plus all Diamondback .380s. That's a lot of guns.

But the Brady Bunch says that gun ownership is shrinking...

Yeah, keep tellin' yourself that, Sparky. I'm sure all those little plastic .380s went to longtime collectors looking to expand their collections; I'm sure it has nothing to do with first-time CCW buyers and the expansion of self-defense laws. Whatever gets you through the night.

Boxing, my butt.

Hey, look what Santa brought me! A second Monday!


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Far, far away.

Bobbi has a Christmas SF short up at her other other blog. Illustrated!

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #76...

Lots of discussion material on this unusual heater. Guess away!
I'll come back and edit in a full description later... 

It's a .223 FAL built on a Williams Arms aluminum receiver by a guy who goes by the handle "Meeper" over at the FALfiles. The Williams Arms "Combat Elite" alloy receivers were pipe bombs in .308 because the locking lugs on a FAL mate up with recesses in the receiver. In the .308 version, every shot would increase the headspace slightly until, somewhere around 200 rounds later, BAM!

.223 has a lot less boltface thrust and, while one assumes it would eventually start opening the headspace, too, I'd heard reports of 7k+ rounds when I bought this one back in '02. It had a DSA alloy lower, Williams alloy upper, Galil .223 barrel, and even a Volunteer Ordnance Works alloy folding charging handle. Weighed slightly less than 7lbs empty.

It was interesting, but a pain to get the gas system dialed in, and I eventually sold it. But not before Oleg took pictures!

Rob Pincus with flyweight FAL. Photo by Oleg Volk.

Glock fans get a lump of coal in their stocking.

A late, expensive entry into a market segment dominated by products designed to appeal to quality-insensitive cheapskates? Good luck, Glock; thanks for the look at your marketing department's clay feet.

Did anybody think to call Kahr to ask what their P380 sales figures looked like?

Fearless Prediction: Like Colt's Mustang reissue, this is destined to appeal only to loyal brand fanbois; it will sell well mostly among people looking for the next thing to match their "G"-logo tattoo. They'll be filling orders out of NOS by 2015. (When I was still working retail and ordered a 10mm or "C" model gun in with my annual Stocking Dealer order, it wasn't unusual for it to be a year, two, or more older than all the nines and .40s in the box.)

( H/T to Unc.)

Merry Christmas!

I'd still be in bed, but I had to cash in an Amazon gift certificate.

"On what?" you might ask.

Duh. It's Christmas! Remember the true meaning of the holiday? "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!"

Merry Christmas to all of y'all from all of me at VFTP!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Gentlemen, we cannot allow a PEW!PEW!PEW! gap.

Now you know how those companies in the SPIW program recouped the R&D costs from their failed entries.

You've had enough; I'm cutting you off.

Photo by Oleg Volk
Behold the Webley & Scott Pistol Self-Loading .455 Mk.I N.

The magazine release is in the heel position, but it operates via pushbutton. There are two holes in the rear of the magazine. Push the release and pull the magazine down until it locks in the second hole, so that the top round is low enough that it won't be engaged by the slide.

Now the absence of a cartridge in the feedway will cause the slide to lock to the rear after each shot. When the slide locks to the rear, drop another loose cartridge through the large open square ejection port on the top of the slide and thumb the release and then shoot another spear-wielding savage trying to close with His Majesty's troops.

If it looks like the wogs are about to overrun your position, press the magazine release again and seat the magazine fully home so that you may go to rapid fire from the reserve rounds in the magazine. Be sure to save the last cartridge for yourself and God save the King!

Photo by Oleg Volk
Much is made of the magazine cutoffs found on early British, American, and French repeaters, usually by people who think that every great weapon ever invented originated between the Rhine and the Elbe. "The Mauser '93 was designed to be fired from the magazine only, without a cutoff!"

The Mauser 71/84 sure had one, though, and from a certain standpoint, these made a sort of sense at the time, at least within the context of the issuing nations 19th Century military experiences.

When you're manning a fort with a company of infantry in the Khyber Pass, southern Algeria, or the New Mexico Territory, and each case of fat, heavy .45-70 or 11mm cartridges has to come by mule from a distant port or railhead, fire discipline becomes kind of a Big Thing, because disciplined use of those thundersticks is the only thing standing between you and getting overrun by the locals.

The M1903 and SMLE were issued to armies whose experience was subduing natives on distant frontiers across the oceans; the Gewehr 88 and 98 were issued to troops who were going to fight the enemy across the Rhine. By that time the last rifles with cutoffs were actually in use, a time when transport was becoming more motorized and individual cartridges smaller and lighter, the magazine cutoff had become a vestigial thing, but it did originate for a reason.

Wiki Tab Clearing...

Four Wikipedia tabs open again for some reason.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Kick Lenin, too, while you're at it.

Instead of milk & cookies, they left him a keylogger...

Overheard in the Office...

Me: "Oh, god, I can't hardly watch this because of that helmet..."

RX: "That man know the taste of the windows."

Me: *laughing so hard tears are running down my cheeks* "Stop! I'm gonna poo myself!"

RX: "Like he hasn't already done that. 'I made poop!'"
If you're trying to do a video demo of something, shouldn't you edit out the takes where you get it wrong? Or at least note it? "Hey, I fumbled that one; don't do it like that."

At least his Special Safety Hat gives him a place to mount the camera.

Well, I made it ten minutes.

Somebody was going on about how magwells on 1911s will zomg get your CCW gun spotted while a "bobtail" frame made it oh-so-concealable.

Personally? The idea that a bobtail vs. a magwell is somehow going to make a huge difference in concealability on a service-size handgun just doesn't ring true with observed reality for me.

I'm almost to the point where my opinion is that a trained observer is likely going to spot the 1911 either way, and Joe Sofaspud and Suzy Soccermom are likely going to be oblivious either way (and often don't even notice an un-covered IWB-carried pistol.)

Unless you're undercover po-po or carrying in a non-permissive environment, I think people worry WAY too much about the minutiae of concealability. As long as there's a gun burkha blocking direct view of the gun or holster, it's almost like it doesn't register with most folks.

(I've worn pullovers that would let you tell what LPI the checkering on the frontstrap was and not one person has ever mentioned the heater.)


...as part of my quest to write posts that won't trigger butthurt by making a large chunk of my readership think I'm directly insulting them, let's talk about something different!

Puppies: Are they cute, or what?


Sunday, December 22, 2013

I'm just a Debby Downer on guns lately...

"Hey, Tam! Check out what I scored at the last Fun Show!"

"Hey! You got a new gun? Awesome! Oh... it's a... um, Mini-14/Henry Big Boy/Norinco 97*. Hey, that's great. I bet you're happy."

"You don't sound too enthusiastic?"

"I'm not faking it very well, am I?"
And you know, under a lot of circumstances, that's just me being bitchy.

I mean you didn't come up to me and say "Hey! Look at my new Mini-14 I'm going to shoot High Power rifle matches with!" or "Hey, look at my new Henry Big Boy I'm going to take to a 1,500-round carbine class!" or "Hey! Lookit my new 3 Gun shotgun!" did you? No, you didn't, because that would be stupid and my friends are not stupid people.

You got it because you thought it looked cool, and it's perfectly up to the task of riding around in a pickup truck and whacking the occasional 'yote or going to the range to shoot tin cans and paper zombies every other month. Not every gun needs to be up to the rigors of shooting a zillion rounds a weekend because most guns don't.

Grandpappy's deer rifle could bag two Bambis a season, plus sight-in shots, for most of a century  and not use a half-case of ammo, and these days, a surprising number of them seem engineered to do just that and nothing more. If that's all you're looking for the gun to do, it's really a pretty low bar: Be able to keep the bullets on a pie plate at a hundred yards and go BANG! a couple hundred times without breaking anything.

That said, I really do think that the average consumer vastly overestimates the ruggedness of a sporting arm vis a vis firearms designed to survive rough handling and high round counts with sketchy maintenance in a service-type environment. "I've got my (Mini-14/Henry Big Boy/Norinco Winchester 97 clone) in case of the zombie apocalypse!" My personal rough rule of thumb is that if a firearm can't be disassembled without tools, then it's an indication that it was meant to be cleaned and serviced someplace where there was a light and a workbench and a stool on which to sit.

Darryl "Nyeti" Bolke summed it up nicely when he wrote:
I am a big fan of "the ability" to use "sporting guns" in a defensive role, and find it to be critical for those who live in highly restrictive, gun averse, and heavily regulated areas of the country. On the other hand, they are, in fact, sporting guns and are not designed for heavy field use with little maintenance. We also find that they don't temporarily "go down" in class where a little wonder lube in the right place or a quick take down and clear out and you are back on the line. We have found when these things "go down" in class (or worse,in the field when being deployed) they need to go to a gunsmith or the factory.
 If you're just buying a gun for pride of ownership, as a bit of a dreaming aid, a range toy, the yearly hunt, then obviously the availability of spares or whether it starts stringing shots when the barrel heats up or the fact that it can't be fixed without the right Torx bit for your screwdriver doesn't matter. But if you think you might need more use out of it, it's something you want to think about.

*And don't get all wrapped around the axle over "Mini-14/Henry Big Boy/Norinco 97" being used as the example here; there are dozens of firearms you could plug into that blank and it would work just as well.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Tell me who's watchin...

That elf with the fishing pole just asked if I had any good dynamite recipes.
Who's watching
Tell me, who's watching
Who's watching me

I'm just an average elf
With an average life
I work in Azeroth
Hey, hell, I pay the price
All I want is to be left alone
In my online home
But why do I always feel
Like I'm in the twilight zone?

And (I always feel like)
(Somebody's watching me)
And I have no privacy
(I always feel like)
(Somebody's watching me)
Tell me, is it just a dream

When I log on at night
And call my mount to take flight
PvPers walkin' down the road
I'm trying to avoid
But are NPCs really NP?
Or am I just paranoid?

When I'm in Sholazar
I'm afraid to leave my lair
'Cause I might turn around
And find NSA standing there
People say I'm crazy
Just a little touched
But maybe this all reminds me
Of The Matrix too much
That's why

(I always feel like)
(Somebody's watching me)
And I have no privacy
Whooooa, oh-oh
(I always feel like)
(Somebody's watching me)
Who's playin' tricks on me

[Instrumental Interlude]

(Who's watching me)
I don't know anymore
Are the critters watching me?
(Who's watching)
Well, are my guildies watching me?
(Tell me, who's watching)
And I don't feel safe anymore
Oh, what a mess
I wonder who's watching me now
The DHS?

(I always feel like)
(Somebody's watching me)
And I have no privacy
Whooooa, oh-oh
(I always feel like)
(Somebody's watching me)
Tell me, is it just a dream

Tab Clearing...

Friday, December 20, 2013

Korth is making a what, now?

Oh, gawd, a Korth 1911! Sure, they've wedged a roller-lockingdelayed top end on it, but that frame is 1911, bigger'n dammit.

 I'll bet I know some ausländerpistole fanbois that are making "LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!" videos right now. I'm going to the kitchen to pop a bowl of schadenfreude and wander around the gun dork fora to wash it down with their tears.

Another bottle of Hippie Tears, waiter.

It never fails to amuse me to watch people get spittle-spraying incensed over an issue on which they are so gob-smackingly, self-evidently, completely uninformed.

Seriously, it's like watching a rhesus monkey upset at a conclusion in a physics paper.

Isn't that always the answer?

There was just a piece on the Today show about terrorist recruitment in middle America.

I ran in to watch it because I was hoping for some pointers on what to do the next time some guy in a keffiyeh sidled up next to me at Twenty Tap and asked "Hey, baby, wanna strike a blow against the Great Satan?"

It was actually about Somali kids in Minneapolis running off and getting themselves killed playing Call of Duty: Qu'ran Commando after getting their heads packed full of nonsense by some guy promising them a machine gun and that they'll totally get to pick any MOS they want.

The reporter announced "This is Little Somalia in Minneapolis, a quiet midwestern neighborhood..." while standing in the middle of a bunch of the kind of concrete high-rise Section 8 buildings that tell sensible people that any car left unattended will be up on blocks and short a stereo faster than you can say "Allahu akhbar!"

He talked with the uncle of some kid who'd gotten good grades in high school and seemed a pretty normal 'Murrican yoot, only to run off and get himself smoked playing jihadi in Mogadishu, and then the reporter came back to the studio for the wrapup. His conclusion?

To paraphrase: "These people want to keep their kids out of al Qaeda and al Shabab, but those organizations have millions, and they have nothing. They need federal tax money!"

Jesus, is that the only thing that comes out when you yank these people's strings anymore? They're like little walking PBS telethons: They can't open their little sucks without asking me to reach for my checkbook.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Warm spell...

Well, lower-mid-40s, at any rate. Enough breeze to keep the fog at bay.

I've mentioned before that I know it's a primal reflex left over from elementary school days, but the snow melting off the yard makes me sad, like there's gonna be school tomorrow or something.

Ya buncha weathervanes.

ETA: I endorse this post.

QotD: No Thanks, We Got This. Edition.

Bobbi on why she doesn't need a City Department of Snow Shoveling:
Every dime the City has, they took from the pockets of you and your fellow inhabitants.  By the time they'd've gathered up a Snow-Shoveller Corps, uniformed them, issued shovels, inspected them for disease and degree of imbecility, worked up a manual of arms for Shovel, Snow, Official, m. 2013, trained supervisors, hired a department head, etc. etc., my taxes would have gone way, way up...
RTWT for an excellent example of a wookie-suiter pragmatically interfacing with the other monkeys in the cage.

Derp sells well: A continuing series.

Here's a video. The derp starts early, so you don't have to watch the whole thing; I sure didn't.

Here we have the classic YouTube Gun Enthusiast Review of a product that anybody with a shred of knowledge about terminal ballistics, or even just basic hands-on experience of shooting things, will realize has some serious flaws built right in to its basic concept.

How does dumb stuff like this survive on the market? (And the hypetastic claims made about this junk are tame compared to the supposed abilities of some boutique BBs in the past.)

Because a lot of people are buying a gun as a fetish. And by "fetish", I'm not talking about the kind where you hang upside down covered in Saran Wrap while a midget in a clown suit throws pickles at you while yelling "Verboten!" but "fetish" in the anthropological sense, where certain powers, in this case strength and protection, are attributed to an inert object.

The gun is no longer just a tool for making holes in things at a distance, but a magical object that projects strength and wards off danger all by itself, and you can buy a power booster for it in a blister pack for only $24.99!

A gun doesn't keep you safe, okay? Guns don't "save lives". Guns don't save lives in the exact same way they don't kill people. A gun is a tool you can use to help keep yourself safe.

This seems like a good place to link to Kathy Jackson's timely "8 Ways To Spot A Bad Self-Defense Product Before It Kills You" essay.

Like the Romans used to say: "Caveat emptor, baby."

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"My approval numbers are what, now?"

On the news that Obama's NSA panel is going to release a report saying "Whoops!":

You know how little kids aren't sorry they took the cookie; they're just sorry they got caught with their hand in the jar? Yeah, like that.


Toddled off to the store today...

Despite being so 2011, Galaxy SII takes a mean snapshot.
 Pretty idyllic-looking here in SoBro, no? But not so fast! Treachery lurks right beneath the surface!

Notice that some of our neighbors, in this case SWPLs whose landscaping is Just So in the summer months, are a little dilatory about clearing the winter off the walk. See that footie-printed stretch of sidewalk directly ahead?

Saturday's predicted "three-to-five inches of snow" in Indianapolis was more like "two-to-three inches of slush". It landed atop whatever the neighbors had already left uncleared from an earlier snowfall, causing the sidewalks to look as though an Italian ice machine had thrown up on them, and then froze rock solid that night.

A little dusting of snow then came along to make it look okay to walk on but it is not! Those are fossil footprints! Note all the dark ice sticking up around the footieprints in the bottom photo.

Those sidewalks were rock-hard glass-slick crater-covered ankle-twisting boobytraps.

Don't be a douche, SoBro; clear your walks. If you don't want to deal with that part of city living, go live out among the Applebee's-Americans where they don't have sidewalks.

Talk amongst yourselves...

Taking roomie's mom to the doc. Departure was snakebit; all door latches on Subie were froze, but we got it sorted out.

Currently at St. Someplace, waiting on the docs to do their doctorin'.

More later.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Speaking of sales...

...Amazon is running one on the Surefire X300 weapon light right now, which is pretty much the gold standard for pistol lights. They are just unbelievably solidly built.

(The main reason my backup M&P sports a Streamlight TLR-1 isn't because I think it's better, but because I think it's reasonably good and it was almost a hundred bucks cheaper than the Surefire unit. But at $159 for the X300 instead of the ~$200 they usually bring? I'd have picked it over the TLR-1 any day of the week and twice on Sunday.)

For the roundgun lover...

Smith & Wesson Hand Guns, by Roy McHenry and Walter Roper (Yes, that Walter Roper.)

Enjoyable S&W history book, written before the company was even a hundred years old. It'd make a swell last minute Christmas gift for any wheelgun nuts you know.

Incidentally, the discerning Smith nut will note that although the book was originally published in 1945, the cover photo on this softcover reprinting features new-production "classic" Smiths: No knobs on the ends of the ejector rods, three-screw sideplates, and the contour of the frame around the hammer are your giveaways.

Derp sells well.

Some clownshoes stuff over here. A friend elsewhere wondered why sometimes some very smart people can be taken in by some of the more woo-woo shooting instructors. I replied:

You know, I've gone over this in my mind many times and I think it boils down to the fact that shooting a pistol even moderately well is hard, and takes practice. I mean, compared to the average shooter on the public range, I shoot like a frickin' ninja, and then I go to a match or gun school and it's like going from watching Wheel Of Fortune to Jeopardy. One minute I'm on top of the world, at least relatively speaking, next thing you know I'm struggling to get a "Thank You For Participating" prize.

It can be a cold bucket of ice water in the face to find out that, yes, one does really suck with a pistol, and there are two ways to deal with this: Put in the work to make yourself at least reasonably un-sucky, or go to some guy who'll let you dump a bunch of unsighted, un-timed rounds into un-scored targets at arm's length and tell you reassuring things about "Yeah, that's how it is on the street."

And, you know, he's probably right, at least inasmuch as the monthly NRA rag is full of the stories of Ida Blascowicz, who scared the baddie off by fetching her dead husband's service revolver from the sock drawer. It doesn't take a high degree of skill to survive that encounter, and that's what people want to hear. They don't want to hear tales of bad guys that return fire or don't fall to hardball, or whatever. It makes their .45LC/.410 lucky rabbit's foot feel less reassuring.

People talk about police handgun qualifications like they're hard; they're not. Similarly, every state handgun permit qualification test I'm aware of is pretty basic; back in TN I used to tell people not to worry, because if they could stand flat-footed and shoot at the ground and hit it, then they were golden.

Massad Ayoob has a qualification in his MAG-40 class that serves a real purpose, in that it's basically cobbled together from stages of well-recognized LE qualification courses, which looks good to juries. My first thought looking at the course of fire was that if you didn't get a 300/300, you should know why. I got a 300/300. I also shoot in the bottom half of the class at TLG's AFHF and the last time I walked a prize table at a match, I had a hard time picking between the prizes that were left and the tablecloth, which probably cost more.

Being good with a pistol takes work, and defending yourself with a pistol, at least statistically speaking, rarely requires being very good with it. But what if it does? How much time and effort are you willing to expend on being good with a pistol? I guess a lot of it boils down to how enjoyable you find it.

At the end of the day, I do this because it's fun, and because I don't like being sucky at things I think are fun. And who knows? It might even come in handy some day.

That soft whistling noise you hear...

...is the wind sighing through the space in my head where post ideas are supposed to be.

I see that Gropin' Joe Biden is being his usual self, and yet is roundly defended by the War On Women crowd because he has the excuse of being Not George Bush. Being a Democrat can get you out of much worse allegations than a little inappropriate fondlin', after all.

I hardly even have the heart to make fun of Joe anymore, because it's about as challenging as going on safari at the petting zoo, but while we're discussing Wars On Women, can I note that the Kennedy family actually has a body count?

Monday, December 16, 2013

QotD: Shoot Back, Dammit! Edition

Tim at Gun Nuts writes:
Unlike Newton, the intended slaughter of innocents at Arapahoe quickly turned into a gunfight. I’ve said this before but it bears repeating: Any time an intended slaughter turns into a gunfight, the situation has improved dramatically. A guy bent on slaughtering the innocent who suddenly has to face incoming gunfire can’t get his murder on with anything near the level of efficiency he’d like. I don’t care how bent on destruction someone is, incoming gunfire has a way of grabbing your attention and screwing with your game plan.

If you liked $THIS, you'll love $THAT!

So, via some roundabout linkage through Borepatch, I wound up at a blog called The Worst Things For Sale, which takes a look at some of the truly stupid, weird, or awful things being hawked on the internet today.

Bobbi spun her chair around and we scrolled through a full six pages of the awful, like driving slowly past a car wreck, and I had actually clicked on a couple of the Amazon links to see the awfulness in all its [click to enlarge] glory. It wasn't until I found myself looking at the Drink And Food Energizer Orgone that I realized what I'd done to my Amazon browsing history...
Me: "Oh, gawd! I've clicked on a whale dildo, a spandex santa gimp suit, and some kind of crystal magic thing to put positive waves in my food! Based on my recent browsing history, Amazon is going to suggest items appropriate for a retarded pervert!"
If you'll pardon me, I have a bunch of "do not use this item for recommendations" boxes to go click.

This country is nuts.

You couldn't make up irony like this: The same week they planted Nelson Mandela, you can go to your very own Apartheid Santa in Los Angeles!
"The Crenshaw mall now has both a black Santa and a Spanish-speaking Latino Santa"
While I doubt Rich's or Davidson's had a Latino Santa, I'll bet they had black Santas in the Jim Crow-era South, too. I guess it's a Democrat thing; they seem pretty hung up on race.

Minus ten diversity points for no bearded Lady Claus.

This country is nucking futz.

And before some dude pops up with some wharrgarbl about how the white man built Santa for the world and we should be happy for it, can I take a moment to remind everyone that...

(...send your kids away from the monitor; spoilers follow...)


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tab Clearing...

I usually have two Wikipedia tabs open at any given time, but lately there have been four, and they've been open to the same things for as much as a week or more now because I've been meaning to fall down the wikihole on each of them and just haven't gotten around to it yet.

I need at least two of the tabs for something else, but I'd lose them if I bookmarked them, so I'll just put them here for my future reference...


Naked Wings

For motorcycle buffs my age or younger, the words "Gold Wing" evoke an image of a pair of happy retirees, possibly towing a trailer, meandering towards the horizon on a gigantic two-wheeled conveyance sporting every wind-blocking, heated, ventilated, electronically-connected comfort feature one could put on a motorcycle without it falling over. Near-half-ton luxobarges with a reverse gear and only one cubic foot less trunk space than my BMW Z3, the Gold Wing is practically the type species for "plushbottom touring bike".

So it's always a surprise to see an O.G. 'Wing in the wild: A bare-knuckle musclebike with a kickstarter for its 1,000cc liquid-cooled flat-four, it was one of the apex predators of the UJM era, a sort of ur-V-Max.

Red plug wires make it look snappy, and may be good for an extra tenth in the quarter.
All that power meant it could push a fair load of saddlebags, passengers, and fairing through the air, and Vetter sold a ton of Windjammers for them. Thus it was probably only a matter of time before Honda followed where the aftermarket led and turned it into a purpose-built touring bike.

(All this history is, incidentally, why I thought the Valkyrie Tourers were just the funniest examples of a marketing department chasing its own tail that I'd ever seen.)

Going in for the easy layup again...

The pump-priming effects of perverse incentives.

Who says that the government can't create jobs?

For instance, the men in Albany and at 260 Broadway have worked hard to ensure there are plenty of jobs in New York City's vibrant and energetic cigarette smuggling industry.
New York City has a citywide tax of $1.50, making the combined state and local rate $5.85, the highest in the nation.
To put that in perspective, the state and local taxes alone on a pack of cigarettes in NYC are greater than the entire retail price in Indiana.

At the apogee of its arc, Solyndra only employed 1100 people; surely there are at least that many entrepreneurs feeding the Big Apple's nicotine jones.

Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed...

Aspirin? Check.
Multivitamin? Check.
Caffeine? Check.
1-inch Lexan shield in front of TV screen? Check.

Okay, got all systems more-or-less spun up to standard operating pressure and temperature and safety devices in place. Almost time to go and watch Meet the Press and check my cerebral arteries for thin spots.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Overheard in the Office...

For this to work, you have to understand that the desks are arranged in the office so that our backs are to each other. I can tell when there are bursts of activity from Bobbi from the keyboard and mouse clicks, but then there are occasional silences...

*clickity, clickity, click*

*Bobbi reads half a line from a post of mine sorta aloud...*


*long pause*

RX: "Well. That's certainly... odd and pretentious."

Me: "What, my whole blog?"

RX: "Yes, the whole entire thing."
(Actually, she was looking at the Best Made website...)

Overheard in the Hall...

RX: "That would make a good tweet. 'Decline of the Republic: Twelve Tables, three shells... whatever.'"

Me: "I don't..."

RX: "Twelve Tables, three shells..."

Me: "Twelve...? Oh! I get it!"

RX: "I guess for it to make sense, you do have to know Roman history..."

Me: "...and Sylvester Stallone movies."

RX: "Doesn't everybody?"
It gets pretty nerdy around here at times.

Why We Fight

Let me set the stage, here.

What we have to open the ball is a pair of six- or seven-figure urbanites, people with individual "carbon footprints" bigger than the entirety of, say, feudal Japan, disagreeing politely over whether the greater existential threat to planet Earth is income inequality or climate change:

Gaze Upon the Face of the Enemy: The "meteoric... up and up" journalist and the guy with his own TV show bemoan "The Elites".
Then someone pops in to point out that both are caused by Capitalism! Disagreement solved!

Rubbing his chin thoughtfully, still another commenter points out that it all really started with tools and fire and it's been a downward arc of poor stewardship since then, especially with the excessive capitalist marketing of shiny technology consumption.

In other words, this deeply intelligent and more-reflective-than-thou individual tweeted that technology was bad. Most likely on an iPhone.

Put that in your bong and smoke it.

Irony is dead, hit in the head with a sustainable, hand-crafted, artisanal Best Made shovel.

Burning the village to save it...

With the War on Poverty stalled in heavy fighting in the urban center of the Great Society, we opened a second front on Drugs. Among the collateral damage was the lower class inner city family; killed in the crossfire, helped right to death.

Here is the Google street view of the corner of 27th & Clifton on the north side of Indianapolis, east of the river and west of "War Zone D":

View Larger Map

The hard 'hood. Scorched earth in Lyndon Johnson's cynical vote-buying campaign; the back forty of the Democrat plantation.

Just a few doors from here, where it was initially reported that a three-year-old child had been shot answering a stranger's knock on the door, it turned out that... well... maybe the mother's initial 911 call hadn't been what you'd call "entirely truthful" and the child hadn't been shot by some randon door-knocker:
Detectives with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Aggravated Assault Unit determined that the gunshot originated from inside the residence. Police were initially told that the child was shot after answering a knock at the door.
I'm going to guess it was the current boyfriend for whom the lie was fabricated as a cover, and not the child's biological father, but now that's just me being cynical. And I hate being this cynical around Christmas, but there you go.

Luckily, the kid's gonna pull through. He'll get to compare bullet scars with his friends at fifth-grade recess. Thanks, Lyndon.

Friday, December 13, 2013


"Valid Cultural Differences", my arse.

From the BBC this morning:
The polio worker was shot on the outskirts of Peshawar.

The attacks are the latest in a series targeting polio teams in the country.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Taliban oppose the polio vaccination schemes, which they see as a cover for international espionage.
You know, why are we even bothering? All the blood and treasure flushed down the sewers of that rathole and these people are still taking their medical advice from an unholy union of Jenny McCarthy, Alex Jones, and Mullah Somebody-Or-Other.
I remember when I was with Special Forces... seems a thousand centuries ago. We went into a camp to inoculate some children. We left the camp after we had inoculated the children for polio, and this old man came running after us and he was crying. He couldn't see. We went back there, and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile. A pile of little arms.

Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just kinda happy to see me?

Browning's tiniest spawn: The Colt 1908 .25 Auto.

McThag on some differences between the Colt and FN variants of the gun, as well as a takedown tip.

RCOB Moment.

The network morning show is in full wallow down the hall, with their Gucci hairshirt cosmetically daubed with the 364-day-old blood of dead children.

(The actual anniversary would be tomorrow, but ratings are better on a weekday. Also, there are college sports tomorrow.)

News trucks and reporters are descending on Newtown to exploit the almost-an-anniversary by interviewing residents about how they don't want news trucks and reporters descending on them to exploit the almost-an-anniversary.

Not one mention of the fact that not a single piece of antigun legislation proposed since then would have even slowed the killer down. Not a single mention of the fact that making a desperate loser the Single Most Talked About Person On The Television is only adding fuel to the fire of the next guy, who already has his spreadsheet laid out with the numbers to beat.

Hey, all you nobodies! Wanna bump Obama and Mandela right out of the headlines? Faux-emoting Matt Lauer is in the next room telling you how right now.

The season of dry-fire.

Winter temperatures have settled in over Hoosieropolis, and I have a confession to make: I haven't busted a cap in almost a month.

Holidays, cold weather (cold enough that I hear Iggle Crick didn't even open last weekend), one thing and another, and it's all been dry fire practice in the basement for fifteen or twenty minutes a day.

I could go freeze at MCF&G, or I could drive down to Beech Grove Firearms (is Pop Guns still open out on the east side?) This town is desperately short of indoor ranges. Don's doesn't count.

Modern turning target carriers. Neat!
BGF has a wonderful, clean, modern, well-ventilated facility, but driving there from Broad Ripple is something of a pain; either navigate cratered surface streets straight south through the worst of the 'hood to emerge in Beech Grove, or take the freeway down through town and back around on 465; akin to driving from Indy to Nashville, TN by way of New Orleans.

I need to pencil out one day a week and make myself go shoot.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

André Maginot Memorial Elementary School

So the Today show is running a story entitled "Code Red Lockdown!" about an allegedly forward thinking school in the 'burbs of (where else?) Chicago, where the students practice huddling packed together in locked and darkened classrooms, in case a visitor with ill-intent gets past the background check at the front desk. Because there's no way a bad guy could pass a background check; they're like magic.

Anyway, in the event the secretary up front feels hinky about the strange visitor, she
can also hit a panic-button under her desk and alert local police. In fact, there’s a panic button in every single classroom.
I can only imagine what would have happened if there was a "Call The Cops" button in the classroom when I was in grade school, and it wouldn't have been pretty.The reality is that, should the worst happen, that button will summon people to clean up the mess and identify the suicided gunman. The one thing that could be kept in the classroom that could actually stop the gunman is verboten on campus in the Land of Lincoln.

But what do you expect in a world where even a glimpse of holster on a university campus can turn thousands of young adults, people who are old enough to vote, marry, or jump out of a flaming C-47 into the darkened skies over Normandy, into a panicked mob sending nervous texts from the school library while police choppers orbit overhead chasing ghosts?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Under pressure.

Once I'd gotten enough time with Crimson Trace lasers on my gats, I got kinda spoiled by their "grab-and-go" simplicity. Anything required to make the gun ready for action should be activated by grasping the gun in a firing grip, which is why guns with manual safeties put them under the strong-side thumb and not, say, out on the dust cover someplace.

For that reason, I was pretty happy when this item showed up from Amazon the other day:

The sweatguard on the RCS Phantom required a bit of Dremel surgery to accommodate the DeltaPoint. The Taylor Freelance baseplate hasn't fallen off the gun yet. I'm moderately impressed.
Sorry for the unglamorous photography, but it's early yet.

It's all been dry-fire thus far, but it'll be seeing plenty of range use. It's a vast improvement over fishing for the paddle out by the front of the trigger guard.

Activation is simple and interference with my normal grip is minimal, especially since my CCW gun has a Lightguard switch there. I think the relief cut at the rear of the M&P trigger guard is a little more tolerant of these things than that on the 3rd Gen Glock frame, especially since the M&P doesn't have finger grooves to complicate things.

Installation required needle-nose pliers, a room temperature IQ, and every ounce of strength in my feeble thumbs, but that's the price of a modicum of water resistance.

As soon as I can get a daily high temperature with a first digit of at least "3", I'll get this thing to MCF&G and put some rounds downrange.

Farewell to Kings, Hello to Midgets

Say what you will about monarchs, there's always the chance they didn't want the job. Same with businessmen or bureaucrats: They may be there because they've been gently bumped along through an ever rising series of canal locks, buoyed on a tide of dull competency.

Not so with elected officials: They all had to actively want the job, and from dog catcher to senator they are driven by a lust for position and power, and filled with an overweening sense that they deserve it. Monsters of narcissism, they are the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral, no more conscious of the wants or needs (or even the existence, really) of others than an infant with an empty stomach and a full diaper.

Exhibit A:
Such perfect self-centeredness at the ultimate "popular kids' lunchroom table"! Unglaublich!

Friend staghounds related a tale in comments:
When King Edward VII died in 1910. former President Roosevelt happened to be in England and was invited to attend the funeral. It was a huge pageant and procession, which was governed by ancient medieval rules.

The various presidents of republics, having no titles of nobility, were assigned to march behind the Emperors, Kings, Dukes, and Barons.

The President of France found it unreasonable that he had to follow a bunch of titled nobodies, and told Roosevelt so.

T. R. said,

"For God's sake, keep quiet. This is a funeral."

We'd be better off with names picked from the phone book than being cajoled by these dwarfs.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Protocol Officer's Nightmare

They cut in on the local morning news, which was telling us important things like which schools would be closed and where the wrecks were, to show President Barack "The Bride At Every Wedding" Obama get up to speak at Mandela's funeral.

When it became obvious that Captain MeMeMe was going to drag out his oration, they cut back to the local news.

On the stage with all the regular heads of state was President-For-Life Robert Mugabe, a glowering reminder of what exactly the big deal is about the man they're planting today: Say whatever you will about the state of South Africa today, it could have been Much, Much Worse.

Communist fossil Raul Castro was there, and Obama shook his hand as he made his way to his seat, which should give the internet plenty to talk about today.

Not known if there is any truth to the rumor that the protocol officer responsible for the seating chart was found in a closet, hugging his knees and whimpering as he rocked slowly back and forth.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Least Surprising News In The World...

So one of the largest chat rooms on the internet has undercover intel guys snooping around in it and everyone seems surprised.

Like I said on Facebook:

"Hey, I know! Let's go plot our terrorist attacks in Azeroth! The NSA will never look for us there!" Seriously, who thought that it was some special "Olly olly oxen free!" no-cop zone on the internet?

It's pretty obvious when you think about it, and the problem is that it would be very difficult to patrol cost effectively. It's a virtual world, after all.

 I imagine you could probably get interns to do a bunch of the... er... legwork? mousework? ...if it weren't for the whole security thing, so I'm sure somebody was getting paid to run around video game worlds with an ear to the ground.

You know what would be awesome? Getting paid to powerlevel my tauren druid. "Nope, boss, I still haven't found any al Qaeda tangoes, but I did get my herbalism skill up over 450 last night!"

William Gibson has got to be smiling.

Going for the easy layup again...

MAJ Caudill decorated for merit.

Marko's debut novel was #6 on one website's list of the fourteen best SF novels of the year.

And to think, I knew him when he was just Major Caudill...

Holidays On Ice

I accompanied Bobbi when she went to check on the stardrives yesterday, and when we walked back out to the car, the blacktop parking lot was deceptively slick. "This could get ugly tonight," I ventured as we negotiated the Roundabouts of Hamilton County on the way home.

And get ugly it did.

"I know how to drive in snow!" is something you hear every winter, but unless you're wearing studded tires or chains, ain't nobody knows how to drive on glare ice. Or, more correctly, you can know how all you want, but the ice doesn't care what you know. Oh, sure, you can creep along, but any control input could be the one that ends up with the car sliding into the ditch. Or the firetruck.

When the surface goes as frictionless as a physics 101 thought experiment, anti-lock brakes just ensure you'll slide sideways into the middle of the intersection with all four wheels turning instead of locked up tight.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Overheard in the Office...

RX: "Scriptophobia: The fear of writing in public."

Me: "I thought it was the fear of Hollywood adaptations?"

A rough night's sleep...

Exhausting amount of dreaming last night.

I was at a get together with a bunch of people I know from blogging, and it was in a park. I got there late, and I guess it was a Halloween thing, because half everybody was wearing costumes? I wasn't. The paths in the park, and the pavilion where we were gathered, were lined with Stonehenge-esque menhirs.

Anyway, we'd apparently only rented the pavilion in this park for a certain amount of time and by the time I got there it was about time to go because the next party to have rented the pavilion was showing up. It was like a cross between some Irish-Catholic Fraternal Benevolent Association and a high school marching band, because they didn't just show up, they came snaking in in processional lines, weaving in and out amongst the standing stones. I had to jump between some of them and through a flower bed, disrupting their conga line, just to get out of the park. I suggested that our group reconvene back at my place.

One of those dream segues happened and there was a part of the dream that involved a lot of blimps. Later, I was in a checkout line at a Kroger, commiserating with the cashier, whose register was positioned such that she had to squint into a blinding shaft of morning sunlight streaming through the skylights just to talk to the customers, and hold a hand up to shade the display on her register to read it. A huge dirigible flew between the sun and the skylight, giving her a moment's respite while I was there, but the beam of light returned as it flew on.

There was a bunch of dream sequence that was obviously World ofWarcraft-inspired, because it was third person POV, and involved spying on some sort of ancient Egyptian throne room before using a special stealth mode that made my skin all blotchy and shimmery to go swimming down the middle of a lake to report back to turn the quest in while being shot at by Amazon archers on one bank and orcs on the other, who knew I was there and jeered at me but couldn't do more than shoot arrows at the general area of the lake where they thought I was.

And then it was morning.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Is he serious? He can't be serious...

By that benchmark, here are a couple other things that are easier than writing code: Manhattan Project. Apollo Program.

Top. Men.

Bow wow!

Seen at the IMA: A whippet bench.

Tab Clearing...

  • Being a provincial Hoosier, I hadn't quite realized that NYC's mayor-elect won on a campaign platform that was actually to the left of the NYT editorial board. Man, it's gonna be interesting to see just how long they can feed the masses on magret d'oie aux œufs d'or before they run outta geese.

  • We reduced Japan to a pile of radioactive smoking rubble in 1,346 days. It's now Day 1,355 and, despite promises to do likewise to the healthcare system, they're still working on it. The FDR administration built almost a hundred working aircraft carriers faster than the Obama administration has managed to build one working website.

Tangled up tentacles.

Reminiscent of the unit patches found in the book I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed By Me: Emblems from the Pentagon's Black World, Bobbi discovered a patch for a recent NRO satellite launch that seems particularly tone-deaf in the post-PATRIOT Act, post-Snowden world.

Conversely, this being December 7th, I wonder what the shoulder patch for Pvt. Lockard of the sooper-seekrit Signal Aircraft Warning Company looked like?

Go Slow: Eye opener ahead!

I've frequently heard the recommendation that if one wants to feel like a new shooter all over again, practice weak-handed. Since I sometimes shoot as much as a third of my ammo WHO, and being naturally left-handed to start with, running the gun southpaw doesn't feel exceptionally strange.

As a matter of fact, since I switched to the M&P from the 1911, I don't know as I've ever used my left thumb to trip the slide release, since I just naturally use my trigger finger when shooting left handed.

But, man, holstering left-handed is hard. Was it this hard right-handed at first? I can't remember. Dang. The Summer Comfort has a little more cant than I've been using for the last couple years, and it's slightly more snug than kydex, but that doesn't account for all of it; most of it is it's just a very unfamiliar task for my left paw.

If people try to rush this, no wonder folks get themselves shot.

ETA: I just also ordered a blue gun to supplement the Umarex M&P. I can't believe I hadn't done that yet. But if I'm going to be doing a crazy lot of left-handed draw-and-holster practice, the inert blue gun will be helpful. There goes a big chunk of my fun show money for January. Anybody want to buy a magazine article?

(See? It's all this ancillary gear that made me so reluctant to change handguns for so long. If it was just "Swap out the gun in my 'carry rotation'," that'd be one thing, but it's the gun, the spare gun, the other spare gun, the IWB holster, the gamer holster, the LH holster, the .22 trainer, the blue gun, the thirty-eleven magazines. I already had all that stuff for the 1911.)

Taxi ride.

So I was flying in my dream.

Not the cool kind of flying in your dreams, but the kind of flying that involves the TSA and screaming babies.
Photo of Lockheed P2 Neptune water bomber taxiing by, taken from inside the gate area at RDM, just for Ancient Woodsman.

The airport terminal in my dream was modeled loosely after RDM, right down to boarding the plane via airstairs. The thing about the airport itself was the terminal appeared to share a large runway complex with a bigger and newer facility, and so there was an interminable amount of taxiing to get to the departure end of the runway.

Like, a lot of taxiing. And all this taxiing was down narrow little tree-lined taxiways paved with cracked and weed-shot asphalt that seemed way too narrow for the undercarriage and which looked suspiciously like the Monon Trail.

The seating was six abreast, and I was in 1E, which meant I didn't have that great a view of the trees flashing past the wingtip but, since they hadn't closed the cockpit door, I could see rather more trees off the port bow through the windscreen than was comfortable. I pulled the emergency info card from the bulkhead pouch, and amused myself by reading the abandon ship instructions for the creaky old 707, which had a very That '70s Show rust-and-tan (or "counterculture and draft card") color scheme and was operated by Colvin Air according to the card.

Despite the fact that we were racing to get out before we got closed in by an ice storm, there were innumerable interminable holds where we just sat there in the woods. During one of these, I absentmindedly fumbled a cigarette out of my purse before remembering duh, airplane. The young woman in the aisle seat, who was on her way to visit Farmgirl and who could have been her doppleganger, pulled out a Marlboro red and started smoking it more or less right at the flight attendant. I woke up before that little scene reached its denouement.

ETA: I remember where the color scheme came from! When I was working at SmithKline we had a 310 Quebec that was tan with dark brown striping that was a hangar queen. I used to amuse myself late at night by going out in the hangar and chasing down a tennis ball I'd bounce off the wall. I saw a lot of that old Cessna.

Friday, December 06, 2013

QotD: Kulturkampf Edition...

From an insightful post by Grant Cunningham:
Today we listen, watch, and are entertained not by ourselves or our peers but by people who get paid to do those things: the professionals. I’m sure you can think of other examples from your own experience. Is it any surprise, then, that people delegate their safety to professionals rather than learn why they need to do it themselves?
It's an interesting angle. One wonders what the burgeoning DIY fad, with people tackling everything from beer-making to chicken-raising as a home endeavor, will have on this?

Tangentially related, I noted in comments at Sebastian's yesterday that I find it interesting that pretty much the entire waitstaff at my local in-town hipster pub are shooters. Further, while dining there just the other day I overheard two women at the next table over, and who stereotype would suggest were in a very liberal demographic, discussing one's plans to purchase a P-226 in .40S&W, which she described as her "dream gun". I found this rather heartening.