Monday, March 31, 2014

SIG SP2022 at the range...

I hadn't fired a SIGPro in... well, probably since Marko had that one in .357SIG; Clinton must still have been president at the time. That was a 2340, and although I haven't taken a tape measure to them, I'd swear that the grip on this 2022 is smaller in diameter, despite wearing the larger of the two supplied grips.

The original SIGPros also gave a choice of two grips: a hard plastic unit with a notional "texture" to it that was more visible than tactile, and a larger hard plastic one with patches of a tacky rubber-like surface here and there. Both the newer 2022 grips have SIG's grippy texturing just like on the current metal-framed P-series, which is not only "grabbier" to the touch, but also provides brand continuity in a showcase. (Sorry, thinking like a retailer is a hard habit to kick.)

I ran the gun with the "large" grip on it, but I may try the small one next time, as the gun tended to nose low when I extended it; it took conscious effort to bring the front sight up into the rear notch as I was coming on target. The smaller grip has more area scooped out at the top of the backstrap area, which might correct that.

The other thing that took conscious effort for me was getting the slide to lock back on an empty mag. See, the gun has a nice metal ledge more or less right where years of 1911 shooting have conditioned me to park my thumb, except this isn't a thumb safety, but rather the slide stop. I need to keep my strong-side thumb lower on the gun to avoid depressing it and preventing it from activating.

The double-action pull stacks pretty heavily towards the end of the pull and feels incredibly long to me; I thought that surely the trigger was about to bottom out against the frame before it went off. Single action pull is good and has a nice short, tactile reset.

A lot of people talk about Glocks or other polymer pistols being "top heavy", which is something I've either never noticed or paid attention to, but with the SP2022, I was aware that I was holding a fairly light piece of plastic with a lot of heavy, reciprocating clickety-clack going on atop it.

Mags dropped free cleanly and the controls were easy to operate, albeit in their accustomed SIG-like places, which is to say bass ackwards from the rest of the pistol world with the decocker ahead of the slide stop. Even shooting rather fast (for me, at least), everything stayed easily inside the A-zone except for two low shots that clearly said "Oh, hey, that's a long double action pull!" one each, from me and Shootin' Buddy.

I'll be taking it to the range again this week. I want to try the smaller grip, and I want to see how well I can run the controls weak hand only. See, I'm actually a natural lefty who shoots right handed only because, well, everybody else shot that way and it never occurred to me that you could shoot any other way; by the time I realized you could, all the right-handed habits had been ingrained. Some day I'm going to make a serious attempt at shooting southpaw...

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #81...

SIG SP2022 and Beretta 81 Cheetah, both on their inaugural range trip, and Old Faithful 22/45 on its zillionth. The Beretta and SIG will get their own posts later, of course...

(ETA: Wow, I didn't even notice that it was time to re-blacken the rear sight dots on the 22/45 with Sharpie. This will be the third application, but I guess the first two doses did their trick in helping me work on a hard front sight focus.)


Gone shootin'. Back later.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Lies and the lying liars who tell them...

CNN says they didn't cover the Yee story because... Pphhhht! State politics? They don't cover corruption scandals in state-level politics!
No word if the nomex undies they issue their writers are embroidered with the corporate logo or not.

Walking the Earf...

Excellent post on one guy's quest to better his gun-fu.

He's inspiring because he's not just talented; he also obviously knows the way to Carnegie Hall.


No sooner had somebody asked about battery life on my CTC Lightguard and I mentioned that it was past due for a changing then it started flickering.

Hooray for Amazon.

It's a good reminder to change the batteries in my Aimpoints, too. Even though they are rated for many tens of thousands of hours of operation (it's been joked that with the Comp M3 or M4 Aimpoints, you could issue a troop with a battery when he enlisted and give him another one if he decided to re-up) replacing them with the time change is cheap insurance that makes sure they have juice when you need 'em.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Helped to Death.

Over in comments at Silicon Graybeard's, talking about the state of the Governmental-Education Complex today:
"If the federal government made auto loans subsidized, guaranteed, and undischargeable by bankruptcy, a Chevy Sonic would cost $150k and you would need to show proof of new car ownership to get all but the most menial of jobs."

I got yer "voodoo economics" right here.

Unc points out the fantasies believed by the people who apparently think the economy is kept afloat the same way you bring Tinkerbell back to life: By wishing really hard and clapping a lot.

The real nation debt, if the government had to keep its books the way real people and businesses do, would be a number so big you couldn't say it without sounding like a bad Cosmos spoof; it has to be measured in kiloSagans. If you put enough hundred-dollar bills to pay it in one place, the pile would be so massive that it would collapse into a singularity and open a wormhole into an alternate universe where Keynes was right. At this point, that might be the only viable strategy left to the Treasury.

At least he didn't accuse them of being violent, because that really sets them off.

Both atheists and Christians like to claim that they're a persecuted minority here in America because being a persecuted minority in our country gets you mondo grievance points which can be exchanged for valuable cultural prizes. Meanwhile:
A Pakistani court has sentenced to death a Christian man accused of blasphemy in a case that sparked a riot in the eastern city of Lahore.
Thank you, Religion of Peace, for putting hair-pulling spats about creches on the courthouse lawn in perspective...

Overheard in the Office...

Me: "I mean, did you read the indictment? It reads like the screenplay to a gangster movie, and you're like 'Do these people really talk like this?'"

RX: "It's life imitating art imitating life, the same way people learn bad gun-handling from watching movies."

"Gonzo Political Corruption Stories"

"When you have gonzo political corruption stories, you cover them."-Rachel Maddow, the capo di tutti capi at MSNBC

But when I plug "msnbc yee" into Google? The only thing that gets covered is my screen, with blank space:
Three results. "msnbc christie" got 4,260.
I guess what Rachel meant to say was "When you have gonzo Republican political corruption stories, you cover them."

Thoghts and/or prayers appreciated...

Bobbi's mom was admitted to the hospital yesterday. Worried, but not panicked.

What media bias?

So, yesterday a long-running federal investigation culminated in the arrest of organized crime figures from shadowy Chinatown tongs and the indictment of a Democrat California state senator who was one of the prime movers behind gun control legislation in that state on charges of smuggling machine guns and rocket launchers(!) into the country from sources in Russia and Muslim terrorists in the Philippines. Dramatic stuff, with undercover informants and politicians doing perp walks and a 137 page indictment that reads like a screenplay for the sequel to Year of the Dragon.

So what was the #2 story on the Missing Airplane Show on NBC this morning? Hey, did you hear that a fatty-fat-fat Republican maybe did and maybe didn't close a bridge lane a couple months ago?


Thursday, March 27, 2014

What media bias?

You'd think the hypocrisy angle alone would make for some juicy scandal journalism but... crickets.

Subject Matter Expert.

I often deride anti-gun legislators for being absolutely ignorant about guns, but I might have to eat my words when it comes to California's ardent foe of the Second Amendment, state senator Leland Yee. It looks like he was actually something of a subject matter expert on the topic of criminal misuse of firearms. Check out this tasty excerpt from page 84 of the 137-page indictment, the whole of which reads like a Tarantino production of an Elmore Leonard novel:

Click to Embiggen

Having waded through over three quarters of this sleaze-a-thon this morning, I'm surprised Yee didn't have little dust clouds following him around like that kid from the Charlie Brown cartoons; he was that dirty. This guy ranting about the dangers of the criminal misuse of firearms is like Jerry Sandusky railing against the touching of little boys.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Carry gun...

It's nearly three years of carry with the M&P 9 now. Except for a couple months carrying the Glock 19 back in 2012 due to holster issues and a month of carrying the M&P 357 between the Crimson Trace M3GI and Blogorado last year, the bottom gun in this picture has been on my hip every day, and, boy howdy, it looks it...

That M&P has been worked a lot harder than any individual 1911 I carried before it, too. Even after I pared the 1911 stable down severely, the Pro or the old Colt or, later, the CCA custom, would spend maybe a month or three at best on holster duty before getting rotated to the safe or range bag, which was no biggie since the guns were set up pretty much identically.


So as I'm blinking my way reluctantly towards consciousness for the second time this morning, the opening fanfare for the Today show is playing on the TeeWee, and I cock an ear at it, thinking "Maybe it will give me something to write about today, because thank gawd that *&*^$#@# missing airliner won't be the top story anymore."

And the announcer says "French satellite spots debris field!"

That television's continued existence proves anti-gunners wrong every day.


It's like I'm interfacing with the world through a layer of wool batting. Not springing awake with the alarm, and haven't been for a couple months. Supposedly that's the key to a productive life: Not hitting the snooze button; engaging in conscious and volitional acts from the instant one becomes conscious in the morning. I'm failing at that of late.

This morning I kept trying to fall back asleep because in my dream I had, for some reason, traded the Subie and the Bimmer in at some little tote-the-note lot on a slightly ratty-around-the-edges AMC AMX. Because that would be a practical daily driver. Also, I didn't know how I was going to convince dream Bobbi to help me install a stereo in the dream AMX, because you can't expect someone to go on roadtrips without tunes.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

You guys! You'll never guess what it's doing out there!

Winter, stahp.
Yesterday morning was sunny, at least, but it was just trying to lure me out into the 20-something degree weather. Fortunately, I had to wait at home for the guy from the Death Star to come un-**** out phone and intertubes, which kept me inside and warm.

Now the data comes into Roseholme Cottage via a pipe that is almost six times fatter than before. Movies can be streamed while war is being cracked. Great big magazine .pdf files should zing back and forth at the speed of light.

Today's flurries won't amount to anything, and it's supposed to be back up into the fifties by Saturday. I hope so.

Monday, March 24, 2014

"Why won't you ignorant cousin-humping rednecks vote for us?"

Seriously? There are putative adults that think like this?

So, like I always do of a Sunday AM, yesterday morning I donned my hair shirt, rubbed myself with ashes, and sat down to watch Meet the Press. Then I got up and left the room because they were going on at length about the non-news of the Flying Malayman, the plane that remains resolutely unfound. I'll suffer for my sins, but not enough to put up with that nonsense.

When I returned, discussion had turned to events in Ukraine. Metrocon David Brooks thought that America should show willing by providing the Ukrainian military with arms and other supplies, and that this would bolster the ability of the gutted Ukrainian military to be more than a speed bump and perhaps send a signal that Ukraine would resist further expansion.

This sent David Gregory into a spasm of pearl-clutching:
"But here's the thing. Nobody wants a shooting war in Ukraine. If you're this administration, you don't want that. Why? Prospect of civil war, prospect of giving a cause célèbre to the Russian leader. What you want, the message, is to have a strong, prosperous Ukraine. That's the real tough message to Vladimir Putin, isn't it?"
 (emphasis emphatically mine) This pretzeled logic caused Alan Greenspan's main squeeze to emote in harmony:
"It is. And a couple of things, our Congress has still not voted even on the basic Ukrainian economic package because of a dispute over the I.M.F. unrelated. That sends a terrible signal."
Yeah, being prosperous is a much better way to thwart foreign aggression than having tanks; just ask the Kuwaitis. I mean, doesn't every New Yorker know that having hundred-dollar bills hanging out of your trouser pockets in a bad neighborhood is the best way to ward off a mugging? (And the land between Berlin and Moscow is pretty much history's definition of a bad neighborhood..)

For Vishnu's sake, were these people hitting a bong in the green room during commercial breaks?

I left the TV room shaking my head in disbelief and told Roomie what Gregory had just said, and her reply was perfect:
"What color is the sky up his ass?"
I came back in at the tail end of some folderol about NCAA athletes and how they don't have any money for food. That must be horrible; you can look at the front four of any Division I defense and see they're practically wasting away. I think one panelist thought they should be allowed to join the SEIU.

Then David Gregory said "Next, Andrea Mitchell is going to come back. She talks to Former President Jimmy Carter. And he doesn't mince words about his relationship with President Obama." and the only thing that saved the television was Rule Four and the fact that it would cost money to replace it.

I love you guys, but not enough to listen to Jimmy Carter before beer o'clock. Now that we've seen unfiltered Jimmy, Billy's alcoholism makes a whole lot more sense.

You keep using that phrase, Mister President...

So, as more "groups of armed men" (pronounced "спецназ" in Russian) overrun a third Ukrainian base in Crimea, our president tells a Dutch newspaper reporter that
The United States does not view Europe as a battleground between East and West, nor do we see the situation in Ukraine as a zero-sum game.
Except as someone on Facebook pointed out, national borders in Europe are absolutely a zero-sum game, what with the last unclaimed territory on the continent vanishing some time in the late Middle Ages. Land there is a finite resource: For a country to get more, another country has to give some up.

It's telling that this icon of modern progressivism, this standard bearer of the Gramscian Long March, doesn't see actual physical lines on a map as a zero-sum game, and yet does see income inequality as a zero-sum game, as though the economy were a RISK board and the only way for Bill the Janitor to get more fiscal territory is for Bill the Software Company Founder to give some up.

It's like President Obama is commenting on some bizarre photo negative of reality, or is actually the president of Bizarro America.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Automotif XXV...

Animal Farm
In the parking lot at Lowe's yesterday, some Fozzies were Forester than others. That tastefully sexied-up XT turbo (which, if the added gauges and 'spensive tires were any indication, was probably stuffed full of WRX-spec driveline bits) made me feel things I shouldn't feel about a station wagon.

Hard drive flotsam...

"But, Tam!" you ask, "What would happen if Gojira got in amongst the balloons at the 2012 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta?"

Well, they'd send a news helicopter to chase him off, obviously.

(Incidentally, departing ABQ with all those things in the air is interesting.)


Saturday, March 22, 2014

What happened to the TeeWee?

In explaining why she doesn't want it in the house, Bobbi points out that there are really only three kinds of things on cable (or satellite) TV:
"[T]he local stations you can get over the air for free, on-demand stuff my Roku/Amazon combo delivers at least as well, and crap Hitler/Alien/Mermaids/Seance channels that used to run science and history programs but gave up after realizing rehashed tripe, cold readings and program-length commercials for claptrap and quackery made at least as much money if not more and cost less to produce."

An entire worldview based on self-loathing.

Because, really, what self-respecting person wouldn't rather be foreign? Then you'd have a cool accent (which, as everyone knows, makes you smarter) and you'd get to eat ethnic food all the time!

Friday, March 21, 2014

First robins of Spring...

Going in to Twenty Tap for lunch today, I passed this BMW K1600 tourer and tasty little Honda CB400F Super Sport parked up out front...

...coming out, they were gone, replaced by this dead-sexy Triumph Bonneville with drop bars and bar end mirrors. I would do bad, bad things for this bike. (For that little Honda up above, too, actually.)

Hey, look! The weather was nice enough that Fat Dan's had its garage door open! Maybe time for a reuben again.


I haven't been so dismayed since I found out that Patsy and Edina were not being held up as examples for emulation.

It's too big to be a space station.

Hand-held snapshot a couple weeks ago in the back yard at Roseholme Cottage with the Canon Shower Pot. Galileo would have loved this thing. The faint silhouettes of tree branches in the foreground make it look to me like it's burning up on reentry, for some reason.

Dream an annoying little dream.

I am not kidding you: I dreamed imaginary internet drama last night. Internet Friend A had produced some sort of YouTube video that Internet Friend B and their friends all started making fun of. When I defended the video by pointing out that the perceived problem was one of camera angles and the way the video was shot, then Friend A jumped my $#!+ for running down their production values after they'd spent a bunch of money on a nice camera and some video editing software.

So then I went to eat greasy fried fair food with my ex- in an open-air restaurant under an awning in a park in a half-submerged, half-abandoned town on a small island, full of neat early 20th Century architecture. Like a lush, 3/8ths scale Detroit and New Orleans had a baby. You know, as one does in dreams.

Folks, when imaginary internet drama shows up in a dream, it's time to start thinking about hanging up the keyboard, or at least taking an internet sabbatical.

When one is more worried about avoiding the Legion of the Easily Aggrieved and their Outrage Crusade Du Jour than one is about writing and linking to what makes one laugh, it sucks the fun out of this like a shop vac in a Dixie Cup.

If your first thought was "She's talking about me!" then I probably am. If your first thought was "She's talking about *INSERT YOUR PET INTERNET FOE HERE*!" then, no, I was almost definitely talking about you. 

There are people I like as people that I find exhausting to interface with because talking to them is like fumbling around blindfolded in a dark closet with button-lined walls: You never know when you're going to hit a button, and I'm bad enough at social interaction cues when I can see people. Conversing with people entirely via text is, for me, like crawling on my belly through a minefield, probing for a safe path through buried sensitive issues with a fork, never knowing when I'm going to set one off.

Overheard in the Smallest Room...

SCENE: Roseholme Cottage interior. Night. The taller of the two residents has entered the restroom only to notice the nearly empty roll of bog paper and perform a quick about-face towards the supply cabinet.
Me: "Ha! I nearly fell for your fiendish trap!"

RX: "Trap? You're wearing socks, aren't you?"

Thursday, March 20, 2014

"I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years."

When I was growing up, my Dad said a lot of stuff that went in one ear and out the other. I’d give you some examples, but like I said, it went in one ear and out the other.

One thing that did stick with me was (and I’m sure after all these years this is a paraphrase) “Never borrow money for a depreciating asset,” or its variant “Never pay money to lose money.

It’s meant a life of, among other things, junky used cars, but they’ve been my junky cars, dammit.

QotD: It's Not Alternate History Edition

Larry Correia on complaints he receives from people who are hatin' on his hatin' on FDR in Warbound:
"And I’m still getting hate mail about how FDR rounding up a hundred thousand people to throw them in prison camps is just ripping off X-Men… Thanks American education system!"

The oddest Flying Malayman theory I've heard yet...

...was secondhand from one of Roomie's co-workers:

"He wants to know what's going to happen in a couple years when suddenly China releases a bitwise copy of the 777?"

"Um, tell him Chinese-flagged carriers already have, like, more than a hundred of the things. Why wouldn't they just copy one of those instead of doing all this James Bond stuff?"

The new normal...

Our Dear Reader reminded us yesterday what is most important in life, and that is that no matter what tumultuous events are occurring on the world stage, we should keep calm and carry on like normal. So, like the president, I am not going to worry about world events, and instead I am going to fill out my NCAA squeaky round ball bracket like a good American!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

You got Crimea before Ukraine joined NATO, Pootie.

...but if we roll over on Tallinn, we might as well give 'em the keys to Brussels, too.

In related news, it's often been joked that Japan could go nuclear during her lunch hour. You might want to think about knocking off for some noodles right now, Hiro, if you know what I mean and I think that you do.

Ghosts in the machine.

Skynet's writing poetry in my spam filter again:
We always have been and always will be. 
However, upon my arrival I was angler fish
For sale greeted by a busy car park 
And returned a last couple after 
Reverting to the dry fly once more.

The United States Of Bailout

Apparently there's some social media meme where the Yoof of America are whining about their personal debt loads, what with being underwater on everything from their Honda Fit to their Master's in Medieval French Lit. So, like some hybrid of an old INXS video and a Shopaholics Anonymous meeting, they hold up signs displaying their fiscal incontinence, thusly:

"I learned it from watching you, Congress!"
Naturally this is raising a stink, but look at what we as a country have been teaching these people!  Hey, we were fixing people's housing ****ups all through her high school and college years, so why should she think we wouldn't help her? 

The people in the house next door, the ones she baby-sat for, got bailed out when the payments on their NINJA ARM mortgage jumped and they'd both lost their jobs at the Kroger. The bank that practically chased her across the quad, tackled her, held her down, and forced the credit card into her purse her first day on campus got bailed out. Everybody gets bailed out; it's the ultimate magic unicorn Nerf universe, with reactionless actions and causality-free rewards. The Gods of the Copybook Headings are dead, or so the ad agencies and anchorpeople tell us.

Her whole life since she was old enough to understand the big words on the 6 O'clock news has been spent in the land of the bailout, and if you've grown up on participation prizes and scoreless soccer games, then there's no reason to believe you as an individual aren't every bit as important to the world as General Motors or Goldman Sachs. Heck, Congress does this stuff all the time, so where is her money, people?

"We are charging you under Article 58-10!"

Good thing the Core CPI excludes food and fuel prices, otherwise inflation would be really bad! That dratted George Bush, still wrecking the economy with his legion of saboteurs!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Going through some old pics, sorting and suchlike. Just noticed a neat detail in a pic of Ambulance Driver running his fowling piece. Here, let me zoom in on it for y'all:

Tab Clearing...

I don't know why this cracks me up so hard...

...but it does:

Self-driving cars are closer than you think, at least technologically, but there's a sociological canyon of Evel Knievel proportions to jump between here and there.

The whole thing makes me want to go hug a manual transmission.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #80...

A better picture. You can almost smell that new gun smell...

SIG Sauer SP2022 and CRKT Mah Eraser

Top. Men.

Reader ScottJ asked, not unreasonably, in comments:
"Ok, I'm feeling a bit dense on this. Why does the Crimeans voting (foolishly IMO) to rejoin mother Russia equal a return to the thermonuclear war fears from our youth?"
The validity of the election, its legality, whether it was rigged or not, and all the rest of that crap don't mean a fart in a windstorm against the fact that The Smartest Administration Ever is doing a half-assed job of flexing what's left of our war-weary military power in the face of Putin as though he's some sort of third-rate comic opera dictator like Ahmadinejad or Hussein were and not the guy in charge of almost half the strategic intercontinental nuclear warheads on the planet.

This isn't some guy you casually bully between fundraising tours for Congressional candidates and kiddie fitness photo-ops at the White House; we **** up with this guy and what's left of the human race is glowing in the dark and beating each other over the head with axes made of radioactive traffic signs. You don't put the junior varsity in against the Strategic Rocket Forces.


Oh, all you Millennial kids who were so smug about your silly paranoid elders and their worries about the looming threat of global thermonuclear annihilation, you are in for such a treat!

Good to see that region is all stabilized.

So, apparently Navy SEALs have seized a tanker full of Libyan oil that had been seized by armed Libyans before it could be shot full of great big oil-leaking holes by other armed Libyans and now the Navy is returning the ship to the Libyans. Not the Libyans who highjacked it; the other Libyans, the ones who asked for it back.

It's good to see that our time-limited, scope-limited kinetic overseas contingency operations have helped produce yet another stable and thriving democracy in the Mediterranean littoral. Maybe we can listen to the media and McCain and sometimes the president* and help do for Syria what we've done for Libya. I mean, if Syria doesn't finish doing it to itself first.

*Any issue that has both Obama & McCain on one side of it, you can be pretty safe looking for me on the other. Every moral compass needle needs an ass end, and they're mine.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

That makes as much sense as any other theory.

Sheila Jackson Lee is actually from Bizarro Texas.

Yes, spelling does matter.

Weak as a kitten.

We parked at the far west side of the Fairgrounds, and the Fun Show was out in the east end, so it was a schlep to get there and back. I had a spring in my step and a song in my heart on the way to the show, but after hours of walking the aisles and then loading my Maxpedition Sitka with 9mm and .22 ammo for the hike back, I could have pointed out the location of every screw in my shins and ankles.

I know part of it was that it was the first time this year I'd laced on my beloved Danner Melees. They're not exactly barefoot shoes, but they have no lift at the heel and relatively thin soles. Even the Asolos I wear in winter are like strapping boards to your feet by comparison. It's going to take some walking to get used to the lightweight boots again.

I feel like one of those emaciated grizzlies crawling out of its winter den all stiff and sore, except the grizzly's been burning calories and not spending all winter loading up on craft beer and pub chow. I need to hit the bike. I need to walk more than a few blocks at a stretch. I will be so glad to see this winter in my rear view mirror.

Houston, we have a problem...

...our desks aren't as cool as this kid's:

(H/T to Silicon Graybeard.)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Please let us know where to mail your internet.

Hey, this keyboard really is beer-proof!

BANG! Pulled the trigger.

I had threatened to buy a cheap, just-for-fun 9mm blaster at the show, and I followed through on that threat. I briefly considered a LNIB VP70Z, but the trigger on those things is like a mini Captains of Crush for your index finger, which sorta ruins the "just-for-fun" part. Another runner up was a well-worn Beretta 92 Compact with factory nights, which is a pretty sexy pistol, but this one's $459 price-tag didn't match its dragged behind a truck appearance.

For roughly the same money, you could get one of these brand new, also with factory night sights:

Haven't owned a SIG since I parted ways with my last 228 in '05 or so. I like the new grip on the revised SP2022; the old one was apparently made for people who had joints in different places on their hand than I do. Also, whose idea was it at SIG to include those cheesy Fobus knock-off holsters in the box?

It's fun show time!

Let's sing the fun show song!

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.
Today I am going to buy something just for fun.

Friday, March 14, 2014

QotD: *%&# Your Loser Talk Edition

From my friend Don, who I have known via the interwebs and real life for near a decade and a half, since a time when CCW in Illinois seemed an impossible dream, on his first day carrying on a Land o' Lincoln shall-issue permit:
I don't think my satisfaction at winning a 15-year political battle (for me--I have people in my local organization who were getting arrested at the Capitol 25 years ago) is unwarranted. There is a long way to go and more fighting to be done, and there will be wins and losses. But not today. Today is a huge win. You don't have to celebrate with us if you don't want to, but nothing you say is going to wipe the smile off my face.

The first time Illinois Carry's founder approached one of the main sponsors of this year's Firearm Concealed Carry Act, that downstate legislator from a rural district flatly told them that "People will never pass a law to let people carry loaded guns in this state." He wasn't even personally opposed, he just figured it was impossible.

But we have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty. Possibly we were just too pretty to lose. 
Alaska has won, Illinois is winning, California will win. Shut your mouth with the loser talk, hop out of the wagon, and help pull this thing.

Congrats, Don. Excelsior!

Wiki Tab Clearing...

Work Stuff

I recently acquired an inexpensive Android tablet, and the reason I did is so that I could proof my work on the online version of S.W.A.T. Magazine which is now available on Android.

There's a trial subscription offer going on right now where, I believe, you can buy a year's subscription and it doesn't bill your card for thirty days, so you can cancel any time in there with no penalty if you change your mind. There's also a few years of back issues that can be purchased and downloaded individually. I've tested them on my tablet and my Galaxy SII telly, and everything seems copacetic.

(And, yes, although I do work for S.W.A.T., I paid for my Android subscription up front just like I did my iTunes one because it's important to me to see the customer experience from the other end.)

Late night fun with the intertweets...

If either of the latter gets cited in a middle school history paper, my life will be complete.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

QotD: Key Graf Edition

Bobbi gives the perspective on SB 229 here in Indiana:
"(W)hat percentage of unlawful carriers are found out, do you suppose?  One in ten?  This law won't change their behavior; all it does is keep a forgetful parent from committing a felony by doing something that's already legal nearly every other place they visit."

I'm not making a statement; I just want a sammich.

I loves me some Chick-Fil-A, and the one up on 82nd near Castleton Square is an exemplar of the breed. It's squeaky clean and staffed by insufferably polite and chirpy kids and the manager will come around asking if you want a drink refill and take your tray to the trash when you're done. I try and stop there every time I'm out at the hobby shop or the Mountain of Geese.

It's gotten harder to get in there for lunch ever since "wanna do lunch at Chick-Fil-A?" became a sort of shibboleth in the ongoing kulturkampf, because nowadays at noon the parking lot is brim lippin' full of minivans and SUVs, every man jack of them sporting an Indiana "In God We Trust" license plate and a fading Romney/Ryan sticker. I just want a taste of home, not a #3 meal with a side of dogwhistle.

Anyhow, the other day I was sitting there enjoying my Chick-Fil-A sammich, doused in Tabasco like God and Mr. Cathy intended, with a side of nuggets, and surfing the 'nets on my iPad. Lo and behold, a couple sits down at the table next to me, discussing household budgeting matters at a can't-help-but-overhear volume.

She was saying that she wanted to get an iPad because it would be good for reading books, and she was going to look into how much they cost. "Surely the money will be in the budget because we're giving up television..."

"We're giving up cable," he corrected.

"...and we'll just see if we can find one on sale!" she finished.

At which point something happened that I had not experienced in all my borned days. The couple held hands over the table to say grace over the meal, which is not an uncommon sight in a Chick-Fil-A, but she then proceeded to act like she'd never read Matthew 6:5. Either that, or she thought God was hard of hearing, because she began to address her deity as though she needed to make herself heard over the ambient crowd noise at a fast food joint.

It started off with the normal request for God to add whatever nutrients to the food that Chick-Fil-A forgot, and then went on with a litany of requests, suggestions, and complaints until the patrons of the restaurant all knew far more about her family's bunions, boils, battles, and budget woes than any of us wanted to, I'm sure.

I sure hope this isn't becoming a thing.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"Stop Touching It!", Episode No. Whatever

I'm sure by now everybody's seen the news video of the small town Hoosier police chief busting a cap into his own leg. Thanks to the cooperation of the chief in question and the gun store where it happened, the video of the incident has been made available and is quite instructive, like a sort of Goofus and Gallant Gun Safety Video, only without the Gallant.

Let it be a reminder to yourself to keep that mental video camera running and recording your own gun-handling procedures for constant scrutiny. Unless, of course, you're the kind of person who doesn't make mistakes.

The time tags below are from the linked RTV6 video:
0:35 I'd feel a lot better if the gentleman behind the counter passed the firearm over like it was a deadly weapon and not a can of soup, perhaps with the slide locked back and the muzzle pointing down. Maybe I'm just sensitive about .380s in gun shops?
0:39 Going to lock the slide back, the chief drops the mag in the Glock 42 and then muzzles the bejeezus out of his off-side paw by reaching over the top of the loud end to run the slide. Considering the chief put a bullet through his own mitt in this fashion some years back, this seems to reinforce the saw about teaching old dogs new tricks.
0:49 Presses muzzle of Glock 42 against his weak hand. Granted, he just checked the chamber, but why? Why would you perform that motion with a pistol, loaded or not? What does it do except instill bad habits? I mean, I avoid casually doing that with blue guns for the simple reason that I want my right hand to be really nervous about what's going on whenever it has something that feels like a gun in it.
0:52 The chief draws his off-duty gun, a Glock 23, ostensibly to check the size of it against the 42. Again, WHY? You're in a gun store! There are probably half a dozen Glock 19/23/32s in the showcase you could use for the size comparison, so there's no need to clear leather with a loaded gat on the showroom floor. Stop touching it! Bonus points for appearing to muzzle his off paw again, this time with a loaded .40.
0:55 Chief goes to holster the gun again. No attempt is made to make a visual or tactile check of the holster's mouth. The off hand is not used to lift the hem of the jacket. Instead, vague motions with the muzzle of the gun are used to get it into the holster.
1:00 Realizing his gun may not be seated and that his jacket feels bunched up, the chief now pulls up on the hem of the garment, causing the toggle on the waist drawstring, which had been holstered along with the gun, to pull the trigger, giving the chief a .4" racing stripe down his starboard butt cheek.
So, lessons learned:
  1. Handle all guns like guns. Even the ones in the showcase.
  2. Don't point guns at yourself.
  3. No, seriously, don't do that.
  4. Stop touching it! Leave your loaded gat in the holster!
  5. You need to be able to verify by sight and/or feel that your holster mouth is clear before putting your gun away, and you need to be able to do this without pointing a gun at any part of your body. How you do this is going to vary with body type, carry method, and cover garment, but you need to figure out how to do it.
  6. If you feel any resistance when holstering, for the sake of Baby Odin, stop and start over again when you have un-****ed whatever was wrong.
  7. Cut the drawstrings off any garment you're likely to wear while carrying a pistol in a waist-level holster. Strings and triggers don't mix.
(And before everybody goes all "Ooh! GlockGlockGlock!", in the good ol' days this was caused by the straps on thumbbreak holsters getting into the trigger guards of double-action revolvers.)

Guys! You'll never guess what it's doing out there!

Of all the 12,800 hells, I never thought I'd wind up in the Hell Of An Eternity Of Pulling Your Long Johns On During The Today Show To Go Brush Snow Off The Cars Under A Gray And Spitting Sky.

Back in the land of the living, legends spoke of a season called "summer". Obviously a wish fulfillment fantasy on the part of the myth makers.


A line of heavy rain just passed over.

South of town it is 61°F and raining. North of town it is 31°F and the rain has turned to snow. The last time my legs hurt this badly, I was lying in the back of an ambulance with bones hanging out.

Seriously, $&#@ this winter.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Shake your bowcaster in the tyrant's face!

I've mentioned several times before that Michael Z.Williamson's Freehold is one of my favorite SciFi libertopias, by virtue of an interesting exercise in world-building, believable characters, and a lack of eleventeen-page soliloquies.

For the fans, a limited edition signed hardback release is coming out, and we're book-bombing it today. Mine'll go on the shelf next to my signed and numbered copy of Kings of the High Frontier. (Ownership of which is sort of a wookie nerd handshake...)

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #79...

.44 Hand Ejector, 2nd Model, c.1921
.38 Safety Hammerless, 3rd Model, c.1893
.32 Safety Hammerless, 1st Model, c.1900
I detest mother-of-toilet-seat faux nacre stocks with a vengeance. On the other hand, I've grown rather fond of real m.o.p stocks on old nickel Smiths, even though they're much more for looking than shooting when they're that old. Those N-frame stocks are worth purt near as much as the gun to which they're bolted*, and would likely crack to flinders under the recoil, being as how they're probably pushing ninety years old.

*If not more. I haven't checked to see what vintage stocks are bringing, vis-a-vis new ones, and that's not the nicest 2nd Model .44 H.E. on the planet, either.

The distant past of last week.

Brian J. Noggle links to the dusty corridors of his website from the previous millennium, with its essays and columns preserved under cobweb-covered tarpaulins.

My online footprint at the time was far less hip, being on AOL, and all...

Monday, March 10, 2014

Crazy Years.

One of the Bloom County strips I remember best from the days when the earth was young and freshly scrubbed and penguins roamed the front page of the Sunday comic section was the one where Steve Dallas laid out his rationale for suing the Nikolta camera company.

Fast forward thirty years from when that strip ran, to the dystopian future of 2014, when citizens of a Nu-Perfect America shop for cut-price goods manufactured by Chinese slave labor and drag them through the camera-monitored parking lots of a globe-spanning megacorp to put them in the trunks of their GPS-monitored hybrid cars.

While performing this activity in the parking lot of the megacorp's Avon, Indiana outpost, two women, along with a 3-year-old child, were abducted by a monster who proceeded to inflict upon them an afternoon night* of horror that reads like a crime novelist's fever dream.

In the wake of this, following the Steve Dallas Theory of Deep Pockets, the women are suing the megacorp that owns the parking lot that was the site of the initial abduction. I mean, there are cameras in the parking lot, right? What is all this constant monitoring by every entity, public and private, for if not to keep us all safe?

*11AM, 11PM... what difference does it make, really?

Saturday, March 08, 2014

This made me smile.


Thanks to the video here, I went to look up the ocean sunfish, or mola, here. That's where I learned that the cartoonishly-harmless-looking-yet-Mini-Cooper-sized sunfish has long, clawlike pharyngeal teeth back in its throat, which are nothing compared to what a moray eel keeps back there.

I rather expect Geiger-esque oceanic fauna to come visiting after lights out tonight.

"She is the champion and vindicator only of her own."

I've heard complaining that we were going to do nothing in Crimea.

Personally? I sure hope the complainers are right.

There's not much we can do. Certainly almost nothing without EU/NATO backing, and you can get great waffles in Brussels. I mean, London's entangled financially; Paris and Moscow have been seen holding hands under the table a lot over the last few years; and I could be wrong, but I doubt that de-nuclearized Germany is willing to shiver through the winters without Russian gas just to make a point.

If Putin wants to carve off Crimea and leave a Finlandized rump Ukraine, then that's what's gonna happen after all the posturing is said and done. Unless you're willing to go toe-to-toe with the Russkies over murky party politics in a country where we have no real national interests.

A lot of people have pointed out that it's a little hypocritical of the U.S. to get on our high horse about invading other countries, to which my rebuttal is that our invasions were classic models of Wilsonian post-war geopolitics: Soul-searching, consensus-building, going hat-in-hand to the League of Nations for resolutions. If Putin had done that, we'd still be stalling him in the Security Council and demanding to see the yellowcake.

Russia, on the other hand, is playing here by the rules of geopolitics as they have been since the founding of the first nation-state: Putin saw something within his sphere of influence that he felt was in his national interest, and he used troops to effect that interest with no more concern for what the neighbors might think than Queen Victoria would have felt.

My biggest worry right now is that all these dithering half-measures with lone destroyers and partial squadrons are ramping up the possibilities for an accidental incident with no real upside for us. We'd feel real stupid blundering into WWIII because imaginary patrol boats shot at the Truxton.

Die ganze Ukraine ist nicht die Knochen eines einzigen Alabaman Grenadier.

It's a funny ol' planet...

I was trying to google up a story from the Ambulance Driver Files, and stumbled across this headline, which was so precious I just had to share:

"Run! It's the 'bolance!"


Friday, March 07, 2014

Guys! Guys! Best idea ever!

Chipping in on pizza is passé. Who wants to go in on a turboprop nuclear bomber with me?

*checks pockets*

I got ten bucks. It's cool, though; we can do a Kickstarter or something.

Changing definitions.

Some words are so hard to define concisely that it takes a story or proverb to really explain the concept. Sisu, for example, which I remember mostly from reading the instruction manual for Crescendo of Doom in high school.

Another is "chutzpah", which is a Yiddish word for a certain sort of... Boldness? Impudence? But to the point of recklessness?

Anyway, the standard illustrative description of chutzpah for me used to be "The kid who murders his parents and then pleads to the judge for mercy on the grounds that he's an orphan." That takes chutzpah.

Like I said, that used to be my go-to illustration for chutzpah, but not anymore! Oh, no, it's been completely eclipsed. My new illustration for chutzpah is "The senator on the Intelligence Committee complaining that having her computer spied upon in secret by the CIA is un-American." That is just some gobsmacking, jaw-dropping, breathtaking chutzpah right there, Senator Feinstein. Haven't we just been assured by you and your fellow politicos that having one's private data sifted by the State Intelligence Organs is as 'Murrican as blue nitrile gloves or standing in line at the DMV?

"Being in the Indian navy is like taking a cruise..."

"...on the Carnival Triumph."
Indian navy
Yes, you can sail the seven seas
Indian navy
If you can put your mind at ease
Indian navy
Uses bargain electric wires
Indian navy, Indian navy
Has unexplained electric fires
Indian navy
Come on, protect the motherland
Indian navy
The CO2 leaks aren't so bad
Indian navy
The group insurance is pretty rad!
Indian navy, Indian navy, Indian navy (Indian navy)

Because I hate using my best material at an away game...

Robb quoted it yesterday, so I will, too:
The relentless pressure of centuries of party politics in the US has finally resulted in breeding a highly specialized strain of political animals.

Like a swaybacked dysplasiac GSD or a shivering teacup Chihuahua, they are perfectly adapted for winning a blue ribbon on election day and very little else.


I don't mean to be cocky, here, but...

...this dude's link spam is a little transparent, because he's just not selling me on his complaint:

Click to embiggen.

The first robin of spring?

Or just another winter soldier?

"Think I'll drive and find a place to be Surly..."
Surly Long Haul Trucker spotted outside Twenty Tap yesterday. Side streets still had reasonable amounts of slushy icepack in the shade.

We'll use the caption above for the segue:


Thursday, March 06, 2014

As things begin to shape up for 2016...

...I want this hung around Hills' neck like a frickin' albatross:

Hey, look! They already had a mug shot!

In response to the rather noisy year so far in Naptown, the IMPD has resorted to a "Flood the Zone" defense, calling in reserves to handle normal patrol duties one area at a time while the cops who normally patrol that zone squad up and fan out to round up the usual suspects.

I don't know if last night is a result of this, but while serving a warrant at what is being described as a "known drug house" in the 'hood in southeast Indy last night, four cops got shot up by a frequent flier who was killed DRT by return fire. None of the officers were seriously injured, although two remain hospitalized, but the news has implied that there were some vest saves to thank for that.

As was hinted at by the collection of mug shots of the deceased in a previous post, a combination of the War on (Some) Drugs, a revolving-door justice system, the plague of avoiding trials by getting pleas for lesser charges, and an undermanned and -funded* PD creates the typical big city problem: There are a lot of people walking around who should really be in jail, and everybody knows it.

This year in Indy, they've been killing each other at a fairly brisk clip, but unfortunately the incidents known euphemistically as "NHI" (for "No Humans Involved") or "misdemeanor murders" still count against the city's homicide total and therefore there is a public outcry, fanned by the cheerleaders in the media, to Do Something. And so something gets done, and you get what we got last night.

Personally, I find it hard to get all hand-wring-y and do-something-ish about murders of the sort where the cops arrive and know the decedent by name, but maybe that's just me.

*But don't come whining to me for more funding when your spending priorities with what you do have are so whack.

Sowing the wind...

So Hillary is trying to run around and buff up her Serious Foreign Policy Hawk credentials by comparing Putin to Hitler?

Are you sure you want to be drawing that comparison, Madame Former Secretary?

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

As has been mentioned before...

...the single most dangerous thing one can be doing in the city after dark is Minding One's Own Business, because apparently that's a surefire way to get someone to spray bullets at you, at least if the eyewitness testimony of survivors is to be believed.

The second most dangerous thing to do is Turning Your Life Around. Going by local news reports, if you start Turning Your Life Around, you will inexplicably wind up face down in a convenience store parking lot at 0300 with a bag of somebody else's money in your hand, a chalk outline, and half a magazine's worth of the taxpayers' bullets in your ass.

Primitives amazed by technology.

I had no idea that there was a big kerfuffle in some European countries about Google Street View.

I had heard that foreigners were ignorant hill tribesmen with bones in their noses that thought cameras stole your soul, but I'd always thought those were just crazy traveller's tales.

Photography is not a crime, remember, hippies?

That's the guy!

So, you might remember our little primer on "How To Not Wind Up A Homicide Victim" the other day, offering such easy-to-follow tips as "Don't Do Drugs" and "Don't Stand Around On A Street Corner Minding Your Own Business, Not Doin' Nothin', At 1AM."

The problem with both of these activities is that they exponentially increase your contact with criminals of the sort that might be a little hazy on the whole "Thou Shalt Not Kill" concept.

Some further things to avoid:

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Knowing Ambulance Driver...

...I can't believe his post title "Kids and Old People" was not intended as a reference to this scene from one of the most underrated comedy films ever:

QotD: Already On The Books Edition

Unc on the NICS changes:
(W)hy maintain a database of those who have been denied? I mean, it’s not like ATF pursues those people in the first place.
That would probably be too much like work. Besides, you have to go out and find those guys; it's easier to hassle FFLs because buildings are usually right where you last saw them.

Continuing edjumacation...

The other week we went to a class on Indiana firearms law. Next month, at the NRA Annual Meeting here in Indianapolis, the world famous Ambulance Driver is going to be putting on a class on Shooter Self-Care First Aid.

You should sign up! I did!

Bad faith discussion.

So a campus carry bill is wending its way through the legislature of the Gem State and the New York Times, obviously concerned with the goings-on of colleges 2,400 miles from Planet Manhattan, published a guest op-ed from Boise State professor Greg Hampikian:
In light of the bill permitting guns on our state’s college and university campuses, which is likely to be approved by the state House of Representatives in the coming days, I have a matter of practical concern that I hope you can help with: When may I shoot a student?
Ignoring the fact that the professor went on in the same vein, trying hard to be arch for another several paragraphs, my first impulse was to take his opener at face value.

Well, professor, since the whole point of campus carry is that you have the same rights on a college campus as you do elsewhere in the state of Idaho, understand that the Idaho Code lays out when you may shoot a student in Title 18, Chapter 40, under "Justifiable Homicide", 18-4009:
18-4009. Justifiable homicide by any person. Homicide is also justifiable when committed by any person in either of the following cases:
1.  When resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person; or,
2.  When committed in defense of habitation, property or person, against one who manifestly intends or endeavors, by violence or surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends and endeavors, in a violent, riotous or tumultuous manner, to enter the habitation of another for the purpose of offering violence to any person therein; or,
3.  When committed in the lawful defense of such person, or of a wife or husband, parent, child, master, mistress or servant of such person, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony or to do some great bodily injury, and imminent danger of such design being accomplished; but such person, or the person in whose behalf the defense was made, if he was the assailant or engaged in mortal combat, must really and in good faith have endeavored to decline any further struggle before the homicide was committed; or,
4.  When necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful ways and means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed, or in lawfully suppressing any riot, or in lawfully keeping and preserving the peace. 
Seems pretty clear.

Then I Googled up the good professor who, as it turns out, is not only a professor of biology but also of criminal justice, working with DNA evidence on the Innocence Project. Now, I'm generally in favor of seeing innocent people not incarcerated for crimes they didn't commit, but this guy has the earmarks of a crusader.

If you read some of his other opinion pieces on firearms, you begin to hope that he approaches biology with more rigor and logic than he does gun control, because his opinions on the latter are definitely shaped entirely by his widdwe fee-fees.

In other words, his whole "when may I shoot a student" thing is schtick. He knows damned good and well what Idaho law is on the subject, but he fears his own emotional incontinence and projects it onto everybody else, and that is why he refuses to engage in a good faith discussion on the topic.

Monday, March 03, 2014

The cherry on the icing of the cake of that story.

Truly the smartest people in the room.


I can't scream into a pillow because it would freak the cats out.

I am so done with winter it's not even funny.

Foregone conclusions.

Didn't watch the Oscars. I generally don't, but you pretty much can't avoid mention of them on the TeeWee this morning.

I'll admit that of the Best Picture nominees last night, I'd only seen Gravity and American Hustle. The former was a great cinema experience, but struck me as a little SFX 'splodey for a Best Picture; everyone knows that if you're having fun and sitting on the edge of your seat, it must not be Art. The latter, however, had a combination of great acting and moral ambiguity that should have been crack for the voters.

In retrospect, it never had a chance, of course.

I've got a script that should be sure-fire Oscar bait. It's just one dude sitting in a chair in an empty room, looking at the floor, and muttering "Racism... Racism... Racism..." for 90 minutes. Not a cracker in Hollywood would vote against that, for fear of appearing... well, you know. If I can get Spike Lee to direct, it'll be a slam dunk.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Sorry about that...

I was worse than useless this morning.

And this afternoon.

Fairly far into the evening, actually.

It's safe to say that Sunday was pretty much a wipe. We'll try again tomorrow.

Obviously, I took today as seriously as the leadership of the European Union took the Russian invasion of Ukraine, when they announced on Saturday that they would hold a meeting about what to do about it first thing Monday morning. Way to let Vlad know how important this is: "We're going to talk about writing you a stern note when we get into the office on Monday!"

From the
"This situation is so important we're going to have crisis talks... in a couple days."
Meanwhile, here's my impression of Secretary of State Kerry on Meet The Press this morning:

"Hold me back, bro!"

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Guns don't kill people, crazy knife-wielding maniacs do.

Strange Dreams...

I was living in some little suburb of some weird dream version of Nashville that looked more like Taos, New Mexico, only greener, with mountains ringing the horizon. I'd get together with some neighbors every Monday night to play Scrabble, and among these neighbors were Johnny Carson and Kathy Lee Gifford. I borrowed the USB adapter for Johnny's Kindle and had to sneak it back into his house one Tuesday morning without waking up his Lhasa Apso and triggering a spastic barking fit.

There was an early Cold War propaganda film about the US Navy's powerful new fleet of supercarriers that were going to keep the Russian bombers away from our eastern seaboard, complete with five or ten Forrestal-class carriers starting in stern-to-stern star patterns and steaming away from each other while launching synchronized pairs of F8U and F3D fighters.

There were also these giant fixed pentagonal platforms, like carrier decks on oil rigs, that had five outward-facing catapults launching A4D Skyhawks. There was no way the aicraft could recover on those platforms. I guess they were supposed to shoot down Russian bombers and ditch or fly back to the mainland or something? The whole thing was like some Brobdingnagian techno-mechanical Esther Williams production.

Later, I was standing in a park overlooking the ocean. The slope down to the waters of the bay was covered in loose rock. There was a plane overhead, an early prototype jet with twin tails like a de Havilland Vampire, that came roaring across at treetop height. It had a red fuselage and yellow wings and empennage. We were watching one of the first jet flights in the U.S. and the plane was moving faster than anything anybody's ever seen. I remember I knew the pilot and waved as the plane streaked overhead.

The plane pulled straight up and over into a loop, and then roared straight down into the waters of the bay a few hundred yard away at full throttle. Debris went flying everywhere, including something skipping and bouncing into the rocks on the slope below us. Someone else in the park went scrambling down to get it as my brain processed what the lime-green missile I had just seen lodge itself in the rocks below was. "No, don't!" I yelled, "that's his helmet!" And yes, like the airborne song, his head was still inside.

And then some other stuff happened.

And then I woke up.

I realized I had just had a dream that would make Absolutely No Sense Whatsoever to a human living a hundred years ago.