30 June 2014

I Think He Nailed It

I Wholeheartedly Agree!

RT if you agree: Women—not their bosses—should be able to make their own health care decisions. #HobbyLobby #NotMyBossesBusiness

Now, taking it as you meant it...  Explain how forcing women to buy health insurance from the government defined plans gives an actual choice to make a decision about.

"If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice."

Under Obamacare an extremely important choice is removed from the table.  Two really.  First, she cannot choose to make the "go without" choice even if she's able to afford care.  She may also not choose to not subsidize the health care of others.

Nice To See

It's kind of nice to see the left as pissed off at the Supreme Court as I often am.

29 June 2014

So Much For That Plan

I've gone as far as I can go in Metro: Last Light.

I am where I have to wait for the NPC to bring the raft so that there's an exit to the area I am in.

While I wait I am mobbed by these giant dog things.

They overwhelm me while I reload.  They run faster than I do so I cannot run away while I reload.

There are too many to lock myself in a corner and blast them as they get close because they mob me while I reload.

Nothing about the game up to this point gave any preparation for this scenario and the sudden spike in difficulty and the change from sneaking to hair-on-fire melee is frustrating.

It's especially irritating to know enough about game design to know that the time it takes for the NPC to arrive is programmed into the game and the endless bad-guys is a decision they made.

The purpose of this section is...?

The main reason that this section is especially jarring is prior to this the number of bad-guys is finite.  You can eventually get them all.  Which becomes triply irritating when it sinks in that you have infinite time to solve the finite bad guys, but this level is a new bad buy for as many minutes as it takes for the programmed stop to end.

There's no puzzle to solve.  It's a dexterity / hand-eye coordination / reflexes / stubbornness test.  I'm still sick of the last one from Call of Duty.  Levels like this continue until you get lucky and are not dependent on skills.  You have to keep plugging at them until the dice roll your way.

I'm done with this game.

What's In A Name

It's resurfaced again...

Ever since the European convention of naming cartridges with bore x case length in millimeters began, there've been revisionists trying to apply this convention to extant rounds.

They've gone so far as to call this naming convention "universal metric".

There's a huge flaw in it.

It's not universal because cartridges are named.

It's not universal because there are many more variables in cartridge dimensions than just the bore and case length.

The burr that keeps getting under my saddle is the retcon of changing .303 British to 7.7x56mmR.

It wasn't called anything metric the entire time it was issued, and that was a damn long time.  Historically inaccurate to use the UM designation and this retcon keeps happening in purportedly historical listings of the guns that use the round.  This revisionism is entirely one way too, always applying the UM to an inch round and never putting the Americanized common name to a metric one.

Likewise, .30-06 is not 7.62x63mm.  We won't even give a response to 7.62x51mmR.

The system really falls apart when you look for 8x50mm.  8x50mmR Lebel.  8x50mmR Mannlicher.  8x50mmR Siamese Mauser.

Cartridges are named!

Check out .308x1.5 sometime.

Cartridges accumulate aliases too.  This is what UM was trying to take care of.

.380 ACP is also known as 9mm Browning, 9mm Corto, 9mm Kurz, 9mm Short, 9×17mm and 9mm Browning Court.


On occasion, we talk about winning the lottery.

Being a car guy, "what car would you get?" comes up.

I'd prolly get a new Corvette.

Why not a Ferrari?  Aston Martin?  Lamborghini?

Dunno.  I think I just like the 'Vette personality better.

The ultimate lottery car, for me, would be a C5 or C6 suspension and drivetrain concealed under the body of a C3.  The reason it's a lottery car is you start with a complete 1997-2004 Corvette, a complete 1968-1982 Corvette and a special order custom frame then hours and hours of labor.

Loving the looks of the third generation Corvette is a symptom of my age.

I've also a hankering for a '40's style body on modern running gear; but it's a nebulous urge.  I've no specific car in mind just an ideal that doesn't coalesce into a consistent image.

How To Lurk Rhythmically

Apologies to Erin.

What I Did Yesterday

Road trip and visit to Drum Circle Distillery, makers of Siesta Key Rum.

I learned a lot!

I did not know that molasses is a by-product of making sugar and that black-strap molasses is the dregs of the molasses making process.

I tried a small sample of the rum as it came out of the still.  Yuck.  When its that raw it smells like rubbing alcohol...  I don't have a basis of comparison for the flavor; it really just evaporated off the tongue.  A neat experience though.

I'm not even a rum drinker...

It was very interesting learning about different ways of making rum he'd tried and discarded and the recipes he's still using.

I am not sure why I was surprise, given the number of craft beers, that there's a craft liquor industry too.  Rums like Captain Morgan and Bacardi are the Budwiesers and Millers...  With all the same baggage associated with quality underlined by penny pinching and making a consistent product in great volume.

It's much easier to make a mediocre product cheaply, consistently and in great volume than an excellent one profitably in small volumes.  That's not really a slam on Bacardi and Budweiser but an observation that the goals are not the same between the giants and the crafters.

Troy's tour of his business is a brilliant piece of marketing, even if he doesn't know he's doing it.

Hand out samples in the tasting room... give the tour while the samples have a chance to take effect... get them back into the tasting room and next to the stuff for sale while they have nothing else to do while they wait to make sure they're completely sober to drive.


More Reading

Some blogs you stop reading because the author updates so intermittently you assume they've quit.

Sometimes it's a refreshing surprise to stop in and see that they've posted while you've been away forgetting them.

27 June 2014


Some blogs you stop reading because the author is an idiot.

Some blogs you stop reading because the commenters are idiots.

Some blogs you stop reading because you become an idiot in comments regardless of how intelligent the post you're replying to is.

A New Record

Been up for an hour and I'm already pissed at the internet.

That normally takes two hours.

26 June 2014

Riding On The Metro

Anglave occasionally, generously, buys me a game via the gift mode on Steam.

He enjoys something, he wants to share.

His latest is Metro: Last Light.

It's a first person shooter and I am enjoying it a lot.


I did not enjoy it much at first because the first section where you're not essentially playing a choose-your-own-adventure-book the game became a slide show.

So I dial all of the graphics settings down to the bare minimums.

Slide show.

I update the drivers for my video card.

Slide show.

I look up the minimum system requirements.

My machine is just below the middle between minimum and recommended.


Anglave has been chatting with me the whole time and offering settings suggestions.  Suggestions that aren't in the video settings menu.

That gets me to remember that there was a "choose your gamma" right at the beginning of the game.

In the process of finding where to adjust that again I find graphics related choices in the "game" menu.

"Advance PhysX" is checked.

I uncheck it.

Game runs GREAT.

It doesn't look any different (except for the frame rate).

And that was true of most of the graphics settings changes.  Changing the resolution was noticeable.  Changing any of the other selections only affects frame rate.

These options consume smoke and return nothing.

25 June 2014

Just Sayin'

Victor / Victoria is a comedy; it is not a horror movie or cautionary tale.



I'm 45.

Am I a young Baby Boomer or an old Gen-X'r?

All The Way

Go to your local Waffle House.

Order "Hashbrowns all the way."

I skip the mushrooms because I am allergic.

You're welcome.

Racist Flags

This is the flag the Klu Klux Klan flies (alongside the Stars-N-Stripes most often).

This is the Confederate Navy Jack.  I'd have shown the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, but its square form is less commonly depicted as a "Confederate Flag".

One was created by racists to fly and promote racism.

Which one is more recognizable?

The Confederate flag is used more and is seen more because while some will use it for racism and some see it as racist, it was made to symbolize other things besides racism.

The KKK Flag has never represented anything but, and you just never see it openly flown unless there's real strength in numbers protecting the Klansmen from violence.

I consider that the Klan flag is rare a sign that racism really did die in this nation a long time ago.

Star Wars (Guardians of the Galaxy Style!)

h/t The Jawa Report

24 June 2014

I Wanna Do Over

What configuration your personal AR ends up in is, well, personal.

The popularity of them has given rise to congfigurations that didn't exist when I started.

AIM Surplus is selling an upper that I wish had been around when I built my first one.

Here are some pictures from their web site.

That's a dissipater configuration with the gas port in the mid-length position instead of the more "traditional" carbine location.

I've long felt that if you have to have a 16" barrel then a middy is the gas-system to run.  What a dissy gets you is a rifle's sight radius and longer handguards.  You lose the ability to mount a normal bayonet, but it's the lug that freaks the antis out, and it's still present.


When I go off my rocker and spew idiotic things, traffic sure goes up.

When I am rational and even keeled, fewer folks stop by.

I can't sustain crazy well enough to keep the traffic steady!

Pure Evil

Willard is gifting a friend of ours an AR kit so he can put one together himself.

The upper came fully assembled from the factory.

It is now taken apart to full field strip standards, including taking the extractor off the bolt.

Where the evil comes in:

I ask, "we going to tell him about the handguard removal tool?"

Willard replies by shaking his head 'no' and smiling smugly.

We're going to show mercy in the form of letting our friend put it together here, where my tools are and where he can ask for assistance.

My portion of the evil is deciding that he's got to ask for the help.

I am going to Hell.  But if I was going to Heaven I'd lose my chance to kick Robert Strange MacNamara right in the nuts.  I understand there will be a line, but I'll have eternity.  Heck my plans for Bob might even land me a job!


This is an FIE Titan.  A .25 ACP design by Tanfoglio of Italy.  After 1968 little pocket guns like this could no longer be imported, so domestic companies began making frames and importing the rest of the parts.

Prices vary wildly.  You can see them go for under $100 and I've seen them for selling for more than $300!  It all depends on finish, condition and the stock materials.  This finish with the wood stocks seems to be the rarest.  I am not sure if the finish is hard chrome or electroless nickel.

Contrary to internet rumor the slide is steel; the frame is alloy.

I had a twin to this gun when I lived in Iowa.  It's the first gun I (illegally because Story county was a no-issue zone) concealed carried.  My dad had (has?) one in blue with fake pearl grips; but I think his is a real Tanfoglio.

Something that stands out to me is the hammer blocks the sights when it's dropped.  Since there's no hold-open it might be intended as a visual indication that you're empty.

It's a bog standard, simple blow-back .25.  There's a trigger block safety and that's about it.  The magazine is a conventional heel release and holds seven shots.

Disassembly is simple.  Remove the magazine, check the chamber, put it on safe, pull the slide as far to the rear as it will go while lifting the back end up and out of the slots in the frame.  Let the slide go forward with the slide out of the slots and it falls apart like shown above.

Barrel proof marks.

23 June 2014

Monsieur Pieper

Nicolas Pieper is a Belgian gentleman from Liege.

He did what everyone in Liege does, designs guns.

This is a model 1907 Pistolet Automatique Démontant "N. Pieper" Modèle 1909 as near as I can tell.

Can it truly be a Forgotten Weapon if nobody's heard of you?

Update:  I forgot to mention what a finely made piece this is.  Everything runs smoothly against everything else, the trigger is a little stiff, but crisp.  And the machining...  EVERYTHING is milled.  This thing would cost $1,000 to make today.

Bunches more pics below the fold!

Escape From Man Hell

The store was open.

I got out my tools.

I did what needed to be done.

Parts are replaced

Something is repaired.

A friend of ours is moving back to New Jersey.  I know!  They are driving up to take care of their aging parents so don't need a household's worth of stuff.  Literally gave everything away.  We got their washing machine.

Unfortunately the mere act of turning the valves off caused the seals around the stems to start leaking.  Thag B L33T Plumzors (heh heh, heh heh; he spelled bleat).

Note to helpful Home Depot drone.  When I show you what came off the wall, that's what I want.  I don't want what I am "supposed" to have.  Supposed to have is for new build where they no longer use boiler drains for washer hook-ups.  I didn't want to convert from 1/2" female NPT on the pipes to 1/2" compression fittings just to use the spiffy chrome plated shut-off valves.  NPT is better.

By the way, that's $11.50 in valves and $21 in new hoses to completely cure the leaks.  The appliance place charges $50 just to come out to attach hoses, and they don't fix valves.  The plumber charges $150 for the first two hours (or part thereof), $50 for each additional hour plus parts which are triple what Home Depot charges (and they don't attach hoses).

It's nice not to be helpless in the face of home-ownership.

22 June 2014

Man Hell

Something needs repaired.

You know what needs replaced.

You know how to replace it.

You have the tools to replaced it.

The store with the parts is closed.

Rants And Rambles

The tags / labels for posts are more than just an organizational marker for me.

It never occurred to me that y'all can't read my mind and know what I mean when I tag something.  Telepathy training is mandatory and forbidden Troubleshooter...

"rant" and "ramble" are used to indicate that no filters were used when writing the post.

Filters that include, but are not limited to, rational thought, fact checking, logic, politeness, spelling, grammar or citations.

What these posts end up being is the placekeepers for further thoughts and a more rational regurgitation later.  Stuff that I want to talk about rationally, but am too emotionally chaffed about to actually be rational about; yet cannot sit on until I can think straight.

Sitting on it makes it worse.  It makes the posts less rational not more.  It makes posts that I am so damned ashamed of that the shame of memory-holing them is much easier to bear.

Can't Find It

I know I wrote a post about the Miller decision meaning that the 2nd protected military weapons strictly.

What I can't remember is WHERE I posted it.

No on Blogger, that's for sure.

Possibly on Livejournal, but searching that thing is near impossible.

Usenet?  Maybe.

A comment to someone else's blog?  Possibly, but I really think it was someplace of mine.

I know FuzzyGeff and I discussed it often.


The NRA is a massive organization.

Such creations do not turn on a dime.

The nature of this inertia means that sometimes an opportunity to do something small is missed but will save time and effort down the road.

I am willing to bet there's a whole department's worth of folks there who look back at those moments saying, "if only..."

I means that they kind of have to already be about something before it becomes an issue.

I freak out from time to time because the NRA is not an NFA organization.  They don't oppose NFA items and think they're neat like I do; but it's not what they're mostly about.

I want them to be more of an NFA org.  I fervently believe that if the NRA was a lot more active about it, then this whole thing where NFATCA and the rulemaking all went wrong.

NFATCA isn't a big enough gorilla.  The NRA is.  If they'd take the job.

Even as I type that.  Even as I want them to.

I wonder...

Should they?

It's nothing to cancel my membership over.

The only NRA thing we've cancelled here is The Lovely Harvey cancelled her subscription to The American Rifleman because I get it too and she wasn't really reading it.  Let them save the printing costs.

20 June 2014


When you get right down to it, crude oil is organic.

Kinda takes the wind out of organic food don't it?


"Ugly as homemade sin."

Rather than picture what that could be, it made me wonder how it compares to the looks of store-bought sin.

Quoting? Bill Ruger

The more than ten shots thing has been disputed by Tam.

Who has a copy of "The American Handgunner" September 1992, page 18?  He's reputed to have said:

"The best way to address the firepower concern is therefore not to try to outlaw or license many millions of older and perfectly legitimate firearms (which would be a licensing effort of staggering proportions) but to prohibit the possession of high capacity magazines. By a simple, complete and unequivocal ban on large capacity magazines, all the difficulty of defining 'assault rifle' and 'semi-automatic rifles' is eliminated. The large capacity magazine itself, separate or attached to the firearm, becomes the prohibited item. A single amendment to Federal firearms laws could effectively implement these objectives."

That's supposedly from "The Ruger Letter" dated March 30, 1989, sent out to Congress.  What I can't find is any reference to it in the congressional record, nor can I find a denial from Ruger.

From that and quotes from an NBC interview by Tom Brokaw;

"No honest man needs more "than ten rounds in any gun," and "I never meant for simple civilians to have my twenty- or thirty-round mags or my folding stock," and then said: "I see nothing wrong with waiting periods."

Quotes found on the internet.  But I remember being really pissed at Bill over the AWB back in 1992-94 and it wasn't about the size thing.  The quotes are oddly specific so finding a source to verify them is a matter of time and effort.

I lived through this shit.  "I heard it on the internet" is the same as saying I made it up.  Just because something is on the internet, doesn't make it true.  Just because something isn't doesn't make it false!

This should be easy for the bigger bloggers to get references to.  I know people hoard gun magazines, someone has that American Handgunner and a scanner.  But I don't think it's either of my readers.


I've found Neal Knox talking about it attributed to December 1, 1989.

Update Again:  Link from Tam.  I remember reading this before!  Better organized and cited than anything I've come up with.

19 June 2014

Moar SRS



Designed to do and intended use aren't the same thing.

Even if a firearm is intended as an offensive arm; it's designed to do the same thing as a defensive arm:
Propel a projectile at high velocity.

It's clip/magazine all over again!


I figured out why my knee jerked about the condemnation of the Open Carry Texas people.

Bill Ruger.

Bill was pro-gun, just ask him!  He owned a company that made guns, how much more pro-gun can you be than that?

Except he didn't think that unwashed civilians had any need for a gun they could hide or for more than ten shots. shots than ten. (Better?)

It was "pro-gun" folks like him that made getting concealed carry such a damned slog for so many years.  Look at the map and notice how many years pass where nothing changes.  Lost years because we kept own-goaling ourselves.

It was when we started speaking with one voice that progress begins to pick up speed and becomes an avalanche.

We're no longer speaking with one voice when it comes to open carry.

There are those who'd use the (proven) LGBT model of "we're here, we're queer"; those who prefer quieter and more subtle open carry demonstrations (like the FL Carry fishing events); those who are happy with the status quo and CCW and those who are actively opposed to open carry.

I checked.  Many of the same voices condemning OCT are those same people who disliked open carry all along.  To their credit, they're consistent; but this isn't really a reaction to a strategic marketing mistake by OCT but a confirmation of their biases.

Like Bill Ruger they don't see why anyone would need to do what they desire to do and oppose it as a bad idea for everyone.

They feel vindicated because OCT did make a strategic mistake in the way they demonstrated.  I personally don't oppose what they are trying to achieve, but I see now that they may have been going about it the wrong way.  Pay close attention to those condemning them and see if you don't notice they oppose the goal more than the method.  In the long run, those people really aren't on our side; like Mr Ruger.

18 June 2014

This Just In

It only takes the press, with hundreds of staff and thousands if not millions of dollars, only six years longer than the average dim-witted conservative to see that a single term 47-year-old senator with zero executive experience might not be up to the task of being president.

I've Got Yer Solution Right Here

Reading this.

The libertarians are correct.  As long as you are harming nobody but yourself, you can ingest, inject and inhale anything you want.

Here, I'll repeat the pertinent part, in bold and underlined.


Every evil about drugs the author goes on to list is about harming others and the libertarians agree with him.

What's really wrong is looking at legalizing drugs without changing anything else in the laws.

I've mentioned some of what needs to happen.

Anything you do while stoned becomes premeditated.  First degree.

Kill someone while high; no longer manslaughter but first degree murder.

Hit someone with your car while drunk who lives (and even recovers from their injuries); no longer negligence or reckless driving, but attempted first degree murder.

Punch your spouse while jacked up on crack; no longer domestic assault, but attempted first degree murder.

Pass out at the wheel and take out a parked car; no longer reckless driving, but malicious destruction of property.

Felonize driving without a license.

See how this works?  And since alcohol is just another drug now, same penalties for drunkenness.

I agree you can't just legalize drugs and declare problem solved.

Unlike the libertarian anarchist ideal society, my idea would require a government; making me a statist bastard.

17 June 2014

Day By Gone

The nifty little thumbnail of the Day By Day comic started malfunctioning when I accessed my blog.

Dang it.

Did anyone else have this issue?

The comic's web page opens with no issues.

Not Me

I am not that person.

I did not put in the effort to be that person.

I did not even want to put forth that effort.

I will never be that person.

I am this person.

I am not sure if this is who I wanted to be because I never really set a goal.

What I do know is that I'm actually rather content.  My wants are just that, they are not needs.


In lots of fantasy campaigns there's just no reason for the dungeon crawl; or for continuing to adventure once a certain level of wealth is attained.

When you're richer than the king, do you care if you're just fifth level?

In Magic Returns, I'm working on motive.

First.  Why are there dungeons?  First, they're not dungeons.  They are vaults.  The cyclical nature of the mana level created a need to store valuable magic items while the mana dropped to zero to prevent them from being damaged or lost because they were confused for something mundane.

The exceptionally long zero period the previous cycle had caused the collapse of society and the loss of many of these vaults.

Second, other than greed, why adventure in the first place?  It's an open secret of the mage's guild they seek very high mana zones to occupy.  Cash and knowledge rewards are given to mages who find and secure such zones.  Animals with magical metabolisms also seek such areas as they tend to not give up all of their magic during the zero times.

The Gods mandate the spread of civilization.  It is the duty of the priests and acolytes to bring the proper methods of worship to the barbarian wilderness.

This Holy Mandate has an effect on the mundane as well.  If you can carve a place out of the wilderness, secure it and hold it for five years the Princes will ennoble you and create your fief out of your holdings.

Of course, there's always good old fashioned greed; unfortunately this is a society without a middle class.  Social statuses of 0 or 1 are still commoners and cannot own land except under very limited circumstances.  A commoner's rights to own property and wealth are somewhat truncated compared to most nobles (taxation is very high).  But don't despair; there are several paths to nobility and one of them is flat buying a title.

The campaign TL is 1, bronze age.  One of the principality city states has achieved TL2 and there are a fair amount of TL3 items surviving from before the last zero time.

TL2 iron armor is made (x2 cost) but bronze armor is far more popular despite its 4x cost.  The reason (motive) is status.  Iron armor is more suited to mass issue to soldiers and city guards; bronze is a status symbol.  Recall that dressing and acting below your present social status can easily result in you becoming a member of that lower rank.

Iron weapons, on the other hand, are prized.  As are steel.  The TL3 steel weapons that have survived are nearly all highly decorated so will be far more expensive than the mere x4 TL differential.  This is because the weapons that are issued en masse aren't status symbols like swords but rather things like spears.

They All Hate Us

MS has an "interesting" code of conduct.

As I have said over and over, they hate us.  They only put up with us because we're a shit-ton of people with a shit-ton of money.  Given ANY excuse they will do anything they can to mess with our lives.

I don't recall any open carry demonstrations at the MicroSoft campus...

16 June 2014

Meanwhile At Weer'd's

Good News On The Puppy Front!

The antibiotics worked better than expected and it's possible we won't have to have his tooth yanked!

Fingers crossed while we give it a couple weeks to see if the abscess returns.

Look Ma No Wires

Got a Logitech M570 wireless trackball.

The ratfuck bastards discontinued the wired version of this form factor and the only wired trackball they offer now is the Trackman Marble, which is a very comfortable pointing device, but it lacks a scroll wheel.  Excellent for CAD, shitty for everyday surfing.

Today is day one of the supposed 18 month battery life.

If the experiment goes well, The Lovely Harvey will be getting one too.

Happy Father's Day

...to me!

The Boy has been listening to The Lovely Harvey plotting to buy gifts for our 14th Anniversary.

That's Ivory for those scoring at home.

He knows I like guns, he sees Mom looking at stuff.

"Get Daddy those!"

Boone Trading Company bonded ivory grips for a 1911.

They do look fine on a blue .38 Super, don't they?


"Writing for the majority, Justice Elena Kagan said the federal government's elaborate system of background checks and record-keeping requirements help law enforcement investigate crimes by tracing guns to their buyers. Those provisions would mean little, she said, if a would-be gun buyer could evade them by simply getting another person to buy the gun and fill out the paperwork."

ABC News

Take note folks.  If the process wasn't including some sort of hidden registration then this paragraph would be meaningless noise.

Even if it is meaningless noise then we've got to get on our congress critters to deregulate the gun laws and get things to where ATF is only enforcing the law.

We need to get the NRA to get it's ponderous ass in gear and start grading a B for politicians who merely keep the status quo and only award the A's for those who actively, I say again ACTIVELY, advance gun rights and reverse the 80 years of bullshit we call the federal gun laws.

15 June 2014

High Standard Of Training

From time to time the gun grabbers mention making training mandatory for owning a gun.

This bugs me because the only people who'll get the training are those who are planning on buying a gun.  In some places the training is only available to people who are in the process of buying that gun.

So a list could be made of the people with training and that should lead to gun owners.

I don't like that idea.

I do like the idea of people learning better how to use something with the inherent risks carried by firearms.  It's prudent to learn more about how they work and how to use them!

How to separate getting schooling from being a gun owner and that being a de facto registration?

It's in the first sentence.


Everyone learns it.

Every year from K-12.

Your high-school diploma would be proof of training.  Give a tax break equal to your GPA too!

It'll never happen, but it's amusing to consider.

The Art Of Camouflage

A Component

The following is not a response to Weer'd's response to my Angry post.  I'm venting steam out the safety valve here, stream of consciousness style.  There may be more chaff that wheat.

I think part of the problem we've made for ourselves is the differentiation of different types of guns legally.

Handguns are often treated differently than long guns.  This is especially true of carrying them.

Rifles with a barrel shorter than a legally defined length are treated differently from pistols, regardless of the pistol's barrel length or even overall dimensions.

I know I don't care what kind of gun someone has as long as they're not being threatening with it.

The mere presence of a gun doesn't make me feel threatened.  If that were so I'd never be able to go to a gun show!

Open carry cannot be the actual problem with many people because the vapors are completely absent when it's a policeman carrying the gun.

I'm of the opinion that arm means any arm and bear means in any manner.

It's a delicate task.  People who are unused to seeing arms in the hands of everyday citizens will not become accustomed to seeing them until they ARE seeing them.  It's like not getting into the pool until you've mastered swimming.  There are people who will never get used to seeing them.

At some point a foot must be put down and it needs to be said that rights trump comfort.

As I indicated earlier.  I've been at this a rather long time.  It's been a great deal of work for nearly no gain; with the threat of loss ever present.

It can lead to a sense of desperation.

Desperate people do foolish things.  Even if what they do is legal, within their rights and caused no real harm.

Something I mock about the gun-grabber side is their ever pointing out the potential of things to cause harm.  Especially in places where there has been no harm done.  Or of the potential to do great harm where little harm has occurred.

Sadly I am seeing that emerging on our side.

Some more history is required.

When The Wall came down in Berlin and the Soviet Union collapsed in on itself, one of the main factors was the people finally comparing notes and realizing that they were not alone in their conclusions and dissatisfaction.  They certainly did not learn they were the majority by waiting for Pravda to publish an article about the phenomenon.

As I keep saying:  The people who hate us will never be convinced to not hate us.

They are a tiny group, but they run the media.  They've no control over what you say to your co-workers and friends.  They don't control the blogs.  They don't even do a good job of manipulating Wikipedia.

We can win because we really are the majority.  We are merely frightened and convinced we're alone out there.  We must find the courage to stand up and connect with each other.

We must take some risks because like the swimmer cannot learn until there's a risk of drowning; we cannot move forward if we delay until it's the right day, the planets are in line and the entrails are favorable.  That day will never come.

But we will never move an inch while we worry about the comfort of people who hate our mere existence.  They are uncomfortable that we exist at all.  No accommodation will ease their discomfort and their game is the elimination of us.  Worrying about how they feel about the issue is playing their game.

14 June 2014

The Math

Today is the Army's 239th birthday.

If one does the math, one notices that comes to 1775.

Predating the Navy by four months.

Predating the Marine Corps by almost five months.

Predating the declaration of independence by more than a year.

Predating the United States under the present, oft ignored, Constitution by almost 14 years.


But whenever I hear the word "hero" loosely used, as it so often is a professional athletes and media celebrities and many people of done no more than wear uniform for a while, I think of Stanley going back into the dark.

George MacDonald Frasier.

Material Components

Mage's spells require the consumption of material components.

Magical energy is liberated from the special materials brought together.

Exactly what these materials are is deliberately vague because they range from esoteric to mundane.

The cost is $1 x the square of the prerequisite count.

If the prerequisite count is 0, then there is not material component.

If the spellcaster lacks the proper components add the prerequisite count to the energy cost of the spell.

Fireball, for example, has a prerequisite count of 4 it would cost $16 for the materials or add 4 fatigue to the cost of casting the spell (making it 5 per die of burning damage).  Note, that in the case of missile spells the material cost is per casting and the fatigue cost is per increment of damage.  It's a lot easier to just have the materials!

No additional materials are required to maintain a spell, but note that the fatigue costs are based on what you used to cast it; so the penalty continues for as long as you keep the spell going.  For spells with a fixed cost to maintain, add the penalty each time.  For spells listing the same or half casting cost; do the math normally from the penalized casting cost.

For ceremonial castings, like enchantments, the lack of components multiplies the time required to perform the rituals by the prerequisite count.

The material components are specific to each spell, but each spell in the prerequisite count includes the materials for the prior spells; so you could raid your ingredients for fireball from the materials for explosive fireball.

Clerical magic, being literally miraculous, doesn't require material components but this is offset by the limited number of spells available and the requirements to adhere to a particular lifestyle.  The Gods are fickle and what they give they may also take away.

13 June 2014


I get ticked from time to time about the pace of getting our rights back.

Since I started paying attention in late 1992 the AWB was enacted, expired and wasn't renewed.  Net no change.

Importation of evol guns has been banned by executive order, no movement to change that by law.  Some of those bans predate 1992...

Importation of ammo has been banned by executive order.

We got the protection of commerce act in the plus category.

NFA wait times went from over a year to a month or so to nearly a year again.

FOPA, which was a huge plus in 1986 (except for one thing) has been circumvented in the places where it's needed most (but that's at the state level really).

More than twenty years I've been active at this and I'm tired and bored.

I'm sick of the best we can get being not anti-gun from the Republicans.

I'm sick of the best we can get from the Democrats is not actively promoting gun control; because they will vote as they're told when the rubber meets the road.

I'm sick of the progress being reset because a whacko shoots someone.

I'm sick of the lopsided media.

I'm sick of our side panicking about something happening that's really machts nichts but lets the people who hate us feel better about hating us briefly.  It doesn't change that they hate us.

I am mostly happy at the state level, but I am getting sick of the predictable opposition of law enforcement organizations and an attitude of, "you've got x why do you need y".

I am sick of "BECAUSE LIBERTY" not being an acceptable reason; because at the heart it's the ONLY reason.

I am sick of the military being used as police overseas and the local police acting like soldiers.

I feel like we're not getting anywhere lately and it's really bothersome.

Edit: Am I just focusing too much on the negative that I'm not seeing the positive?  I hope so.

Theoretical Load

Either Dottie or Kaylee will be grabbed when SHTF.

The Tactical Purse carries six magazines.  For Kaylee that's 210 rounds total, for Dottie that's 175.

Kaylee, including the Knight's 600m folding sight (not the micro) is 7.3 lb. loaded.

Plus 6 for the spare magazines.
Plus 0.8 for the Aimpoint CompM4s.
Plus 0.2 for the Surefire X300.
Plus 0.3 for the MS3 sling.

14.6 lb.

Dottie has the micro 600m sight and a base for the SUIT installed.  8.6 lb. loaded.

Plus 7.8 for the spare magazines.
Plus 1 for the SUIT.
Plus 0.2 for the X300
Plus 0.3 for the sling.

17.9 lb.  I feel like a Jarhead now.

Also in my SHTF there is no body armor.  I own a PASGT vest and helmet but I don't plan on wearing them.  My tubby, gimpy ass can't really take the weight.  And truth be told this planning has a lot more to do with scenarios where the GM makes me play a simulacrum of myself than an actual war plan.  The purse supplies are really to have ammo ready in a hurricane Andrew scenario defending the house and property than a "take that hill from the evol gubmint minions" threeper deal.

It's fun to compare though.

Edited to add...

If I were rich again...  I'd swap out the SUIT for a Trijicon TA31H-68G.  That'd take 0.5 lb. off the gun because the mount is integral to the scope.  The scope itself tares in at 13.9 oz with it's mount (0.9 lb.).

So I'd get down to 17.3 overall.  For just $1,500 extra...


Does anyone have or know where to get an extractor and firing pin for a Beretta model 1915/1919?

Numrich ain't got 'em; and the ones they shipped out years ago are the wrong parts because they don't fit once we get almost all of the bag empty putting it back together.

Less Basic

The basic load I mentioned earlier did not mention accessories or optics.

The "standard" M4 will be getting what used to be called the SOCOM barrel and getting full-auto instead of three round burst; so they'll all be M4A1 SOCOM now.

13.8 lb. with 210 rounds.  Bare.  No sights, no optics.

An Aimpoint CompM4 (aka M68 CCO, not to be confused with the M68 CCO) adds 0.75 lb.
A Matech folding rear sight adds 0.18 lb.
Changing the handguard to a Knight's RAS adds 0.15 lb.
An AN/PEQ-16 adds 0.62 lb.
A couple of Knight's rail covers for the sides; 0.12 lb.
A Gri-Pod vertical grip; 0.44 lb.
Silent sling; 0.3 lb.

So we've added 2.56 lb. to the mess.

16.06 pounds for the weapon and ammo.

The Marines have it a little worse with their M16A4; 15.4 lb. with ammo and detachable carry handle (0.6 lb.) before we start accessorizing.

Their RAS is 0.3 heavier than the stock handguards because it's longer.
They use the Knights 600m micro rear sight for a BUIS when they issue one. 0.09 lb (replaces the handle for a net -0.51 lb.).
They issue the Trijicon ACOG TA31RCO (AN/PVQ-31) 0.62 lb. instead of the Aimpoint.
They also throw more rail covers at the problem. 0.27 lb.
An AN/PEQ-16 adds 0.62 lb.
A Gri-Pod vertical grip; 0.44 lb.
Silent sling; 0.3 lb.

2.04 lbs added to the gun overall.

17.44 lb.!  And if they decide to pocket the detachable carry handle instead of mounting the BUIS it's back to 17.95 lb. all up.  That's right back to where the M14 was in Vietnam (including 0.4 lb. M1 sling).

Update:  I forgot, to be able to USE that AN/PEQ-16 you're going to be needing a pound of AN/PVS-14 to see the IR laser.

12 June 2014

One Or The Other

If you have the capability to make cold rolled steel, you don't need to use a blacksmith to hammer out swords.

Stupid Game of Thrones.

11 June 2014


Without official guidance for decades, I made shit up about how hyperspace looked in Traveller.

I'd decided that you had to point the ship at the target world then hit "go".

The stars blueshift into black.

Then there's black.


Hyperspace is held inches off the hull and it's black.

A catamaran shaped ship with windows facing towards each other on the inside cannot see to the other hull.

Emergence is similar.

The stars reappear redshifting to normal and you're back in normal space.

Looking at the black is disturbing to most intelligent species.  The mind tries to put something in the black.  Rarely does the mind go to a happy place to fill the black.  People can and have gone insane staring into it.

Everyone but the Hiver.  When asked they reply, "There is nothing there.  Why should someone worry about nothing?"

Not Always A Disaster

As you know, I am not one of Gunsmith Bubba's fans.

Bubba has destroyed a lot of history over the years.

I have to concede that Bubba didn't ruin much of value when he did it.  The guns that Bubba attacked are nearly always the guns that Armies have dumped, all at once onto the commercial market.

A famous example is the .50-70 M1866 Trapdoor.  They were $12 new and dumped on the market for $2 each.  This during a time where a Colt SAA was $10 and a new Winchester '73 was $20.  Hella bargain.

Try finding one in original condition today.  What did it cost?  Just to give some perspective, $2 in 1873 is just a bit more than $38 now.

Perhaps more common in the US is a sporterized version of a Krag.  They were dumped by the Army for pennies on the dollar once sufficient supplies of the M1903 were available.  .30-40 is very close to the .30-30 in performance, so the Krag was considered a good gun for hunting once you lightened it up a bit and improved the sights.

And the improvements are real!  The quality of the work is superb in many cases.  Literally professional quality work.  Real money was spent upgrading these guns and that means that they are worth about 25% of what they'd be worth if they'd been left alone.  At the time they were converted, though, their value was enhanced greatly because they were more useful to the ends of the owner.

There's another category of the milsurp market that deserves at least a grudging respect.  A good sized hunk of the guns that are surplus are also wrecks.  You can use terms like patina, but in your honest heart you know the gun is effectively worthless even if it shoots and will never have any value because there's an abundance of pristine or very nice examples.

These are the "fuck it, I'm going to see if I can fix it" guns.

Sometimes it comes out very well indeed.


I've found plans for making digitgrade feet.

Now I need to learn sewing.

A K'zinti costume for a con would be just the thing for a fat-ugly mid-40's Sci-Fi fan to do cosplay in.


Would that make me a furry?

10 June 2014

Basic Load

Today, and ever since we started issuing 30 round magazines for the M16, the basic load has been 210 rounds or seven magazines.

How's that weigh?

M4 with the SOCOM barrel and 210 rounds.  13.8 lb.
M4 and 210 rounds.  13.3 lb.
M16A2 and 210 rounds.  14.9 lb.
M16A1 and 210 rounds.  13.5 lb.

Prior to 1969 the issue magazine held 20 rounds so the basic load was 9 magazines for the M16.

M16A1 and 180 rounds.  12.8 lb.

5x 20 round 7.62x51mm magazines.

M14 and 100 rounds.  17.3 lb.

13x 8 round .30-06 clips.

M1 and 104 rounds. 16.1 lb.

21x 5 round .30-06 clips.

M1903 and 105 rounds.  14.8 lb.

Rounds were carried in cartridge belts prior to the M1903

M1896 and 105 rounds .30-40.  15.1 lb.

M1873 and 21 rounds .45-70-405.  10.9 lb.
M1873 and 41 rounds .45-70-405.  12.6 lb.

And that's it for the infantry and cartridges.  I've omitted the similar Krag and Trapdoor variants.  This also doesn't cover cavalry guns.

This is also just the guns and their ammo, assuming a loaded gun.  No other field gear or accessories.

This is also not an accounting of what the grunts actually lugged about!  I've seen plenty of photos of them carrying a full issue load on their web gear plus two bandoliers.

Not The Same

Up top is an actual Browning Baby.  Down below is an FN-Browning Vest Pocket.  These are commonly confused for each other, they're both tiny .25's.

The Vest pocket is much older, dating from a 1905 John Browning patent.  Colt made a near copy of this gun as the Model 1908 Vest Pocket.  From what I read online, I guess that this example was made in 1922; if someone out there has firm dates by serial number for the Vest Pocket, lemme know.  The mild unpleasantness of the 1940's played hell with the records, I hear.

The Baby is, in a lot of ways, a look at the Vest Pocket with an eye to make it smaller and easier to manufacture.  Like the Hi-Power this is a joint venture of John Browning and Dieudonné Saive; production began in 1927 and continues to this very day.  This one was made in 1968.  It's got a magazine safety, with an extra irritation that I've never bumped into before; you cannot cock it without the magazine inserted.

Production overlapped with both guns being offered from 1927 through 1959.

All in all, I prefer the earlier design; but a Browning gun collection requires one, as does a .25 ACP collection.

Here's the Baby taken apart.

Small Things

There was once fierce competition to use the Eyore coffee mug.

I AM Eyore!  Why did she always try to take the mug that best personified me?

Then I realized.

She LOVES Eyore.

And I am Eyore.

Dear Target Guest Services

Just to note, the magical "no guns" field that is emanated by whatever little sign you plan on using when you ban firearms from your stores also affects my wallet and prevents any of my money from entering as well.

With a Wal Mart across the street from the nearest Target, it's a simple matter to spend my money there instead.

Or to drive to one of the several struggling Malls or K-Marts who would welcome my business and rejoice at your company's hardships.

It will not just be me who will shop elsewhere, but my entire family.  You might even notice the loss in revenue.

I understand that "doing the right thing" must take precedence over mere profits of course.  Oh wait, it cannot.  I see that Target is a publicly traded corporation and dropped from 56.91 to 56.86 today.

Personally I don't think I'd care to explain that those losses could be directly attributed to gun owners choosing to shop elsewhere.

Note: at 0930 09JUN14 TGT traded at $58.13.  Then the news broke.  They are trading at $56.86 at close today.  That's the lever you use.  The announcement from Mother Demand Something didn't increase the stock price even a little and until June 9th the trend was UPWARD not down.

Channeling Tam

As she says, condition is everything.

On top we have a Model 12 Airweight.

On bottom we have a Model 12 Airweight.

One's a cherished collectable, the other is a shooter.

Damn Willard!  Who is threatening to sue for the frequent use of his name and photos of his guns.


The loss of the Defective Special was bearable...  until I see that a Model 12 or snubby Model 10 is just about the same size.  They're definitely wider with the six round cylinder, but very close in most every other dimension as the J-Frame.

Cleaning Guns

It started as an article noting that carbon can build up on a NiB plated bolt carrier group on The Firearm Blog.

The comments have degraded into DI vs Piston gun design trolling.

I even commented...

Do you realize that the AR isn't actually direct impingement?
Have a look that the bolt carrier on an AG42 or MAS49 and you will see that the gas strikes or impinges on (hence the term) a pocket on the carrier's face and that sends it to the rear.
The AR has an expansion chamber inside the bolt carrier, and the bolt is a piston. The gas is not striking the bolt carrier, but passing through the gas key and into the chamber inside the bolt.
Time to stop using the term incorrectly in the gun world.
As far as popularity goes? I think that the only guns that use the Stoner gas system are AR's either AR15 or AR10 and their derivatives. And that's presently most of the 5.56 guns in existence for 50-25% the cost. Which is the real reason they've the taint of popularity against piston guns.
$800 AR or $2,400 SCAR? Quantify three times better than an AR and do it in terms of ammunition I might likely carry before any substantial difference in reliability will surface. Document it, show your work, PROVE the claim.
Or a claim is all it is. An anecdote.

Further down the comment chain someone is claiming that their piston gun saves them an hour of cleaning time.


What are you using for cleaning solvents?

This is something that's come up in my anecdotal experience too.  With a piston gun, no less.

There's an FN MAG machine gun coaxial to the main gun on an M1 Abrams.  It's called an M240 in the US system.  Using the issue Break-Free® CLP it takes hours to get that thing clean after a day on the tank tables.  This is because CLP's tend to be OK at each of the Cleaning, Lubricating and Protecting; but not actually good or great at any and normally much better at one than the other two.  Break-Free® CLP has an emphasis on the L.  It's an abysmal C.  LSA is a better C and it was developed when the Army issued three different products for doing CLP (Rifle Bore Cleaner, LSA and Cosmoline).

I don't have a MAG to clean with modern cleaning products.  But I do have ARs.  Break-Free® CLP took considerable time and effort to get an M16A2 clean; and we were tankers, we didn't shoot the M16 often or much.  Hoppes No 9?  Nearly no effort; but you have to lubricate the gun with a different product once it's clean.  And there isn't an hour's worth of cleaning to do.

Thus far the only CLP I've tried that seems to be pretty darned good at all three things is Frog Lube.  I didn't want it to be so either.  It ruins my, "C, L or P; pick one,"pithy line.

Still, if you want the carbon gone, a carbon solvent designed purely as such, will work faster and easier than any CLP out there.  Hoppe No 9 and Shooter's Choice are my favorites.  They're even copper solvents too.

Shooter's Choice and LSA cleaned a 1957 Ruger Standard that apparently had not been cleaned since it left the factory in about an hour.  You just don't get dirtier than a blow-back .22.  The main difficulty is getting to all the nooks and crannies to lift the dissolved carbon and not getting it to dissolve when you're using good solvents.

This comment thread raised the reliability thing again.

And again I am struck with, "how much ammo do you think you're going to be carrying?"

210 is the basic US infantry load.  That's a VERY low bar to pass.  How many rounds without cleaning is reliable enough?  Twice the basic load?  Five times the basic load?  Ten times the basic load?  210 rounds is 7 pounds of magazines and ammunition.  How much are you bringing?

And how subjective will our reliability tests be?  The obsolete and unreliable (if you read modern accounts) M1911 could barely choke down 6,000 rounds of ball ammo in acceptance testing and a randomly selected gun from each lot had to do 5,000 or the lot was rejected.  Issue load for anyone who got handed a 1911 in the US Army was a whopping three magazines.  22 rounds tops.

The main reliability problem with the 1911 in actual use was it rusting solid from being kept in a leather holster very rarely drawn let alone fired.

The more I learn about guns first hand the less I believe the internet.  The more I talk to people who were actually in combat with a particular weapon, the less I believe the internet.


I just read how there are fewer and fewer Hollywood productions coming to Florida because we don't offer enough incentives.

That means tax breaks.

Isn't this the same Hollywood that exhorts us to pay a larger portion ourselves?  With millionaire actors who criticize the "super rich".

Physician (on TV) heal thyself.

09 June 2014

Is It A Right

... or not?

Target says they're considering banning guns from their stores.

If it's OK because they have a right to control their own property and run their business as they desire...

Then it's OK to not make cakes for homosexuals.

Then it's OK to designate a seating area just for black people.

Private business decisions.  They've the right to run their business the way they want on their own property.


Or not?

This is one of the ugly warts of freedom.  It IS OK for you to refuse to do business with anyone for any damned reason you like, even racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, hoplophobia or homophobia...

(Technically though homophobia is the fear of sameness.)

Since the crying liberals have decided that no, we don't have a right to discriminate at whim we probably should beat them over the head about a right that specifically called out in an amendment to the constitution whereas the right to buy a cake or sit in the front of the bus isn't.

Make them live up to their standards like they beat us over our heads with ours!



Sanctity is the clerical magic's equivalence to mana level.

Power Investiture is clerical magic's equivalent to magery.

Every God will have Its own list of spells that are appropriate to them.  This is a tedious GM chore.

On the plus side, there's no prerequisite tree to follow and some of the spells can be very powerful.

On the down side, there are far fewer spells to choose from.

The ability to use these spells is subject to the capricious whim of mercurial Gods.

The major Gods: Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Athena, Demeter, Dionysus, Hades, Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Hestia, Poseidon and Zeus can grant up to Power Investiture 5.

The primordial Gods: Aether, Ananke, Chaos, Chronos, Erebos, Eros, Gaia, Hemera, Hypnos, The Nesoi, Myx, Uranus, The Ourea, Phanes, Pontus, Tartarus, Thallassa, and Thanatos can grant up to Power Investiture 3.

The Titans: Asteria, Astraeus, Atlas, Aura, Clymene, Coeus, Crius, Cronus, Dione, Eos, Epimetheus, Eurybia, Eurynome, Helios, Hyperion, Iapetus, Lelantos, Leto, Menoetius, Metis, Mnemosyne, Oceanus, Ophion, Pallas, Persus, Prometheus, Phoebe, Rhea, Selene, Styx, Tethys, Theia, and Themis can grant up to Power Investiture 2.

Any and all other Greek deities (but not Gigantes or any Mortal, Hero or Deified Mortal) can grant up to Power Investiture 1.

The Fates: Atropos, Clotho and Lachesis, although very powerful, grant no powers or spells.

Did I mention that Magic Returns is a Greek Myth Parallel?

It's emphatically not Greece.

I'll be revisiting this with spell lists afore too long, but not anon.

06 June 2014

The Picture On The Can Tells You What's Inside

Our sore toothed puppy needed wanted something softer while we finish up the pre-op antibiotic regimen.  His close relative looks so happy about being on the can we just had to pick THIS flavor.

He likes it!

He ate about half and the cat did get some, in case you were worried about her starving because of the selfish puppy.

He's actually not having any problem eating his dry food and isn't losing any weight despite the abscessed tooth.

The antibiotics have really made the spot on his face get smaller.

Still time to toss some change in the donation bin if you wanna help him out.


The NTSB Report for Lex's last flight.

It mentions things that he'd been concerned with and mentioned on his blog.

I am reminded, again, that if mil is going to use civilian contractors for dissimilar training, they should allow mil ILS on the contractor's planes or install a commercial ILS at the base that hosts them.

Either or would likely have allowed him to land instead of depending on the ground people to a precision approach when he'd mentioned they didn't seem able to absorb that the Kfir operated a lot faster than the Navy planes they were used to.

Dear Wilson Combat

I did not complete the order because I wanted to know how much shipping would be.

You're the ones who made it so I had to select the item and nearly complete the purchase before you'd admit to your rates.

The helpful "you did not complete your order" emails aren't really helpful.

Grab A Mirror

It's getting to be Open Carry Derangement Syndrome around here.

You know who's still talking about it?

The "pro-gun" side.

Making more noise condemning it than the anti's in fact.

I don't think you're making it better by obsessing on it.


Also known as it takes different strokes to rule the world.

Go to any vendor who sells AR accessories and just look at the variety that's available in pistol grips.

That alone should tell you that gun owners are not a monolithic one size fits all group.

Another area where personal preference hits hard is in re-dot mounting.

How far forward or back you place a red dot is entirely up to how you like things rather than there being a correct way to do it.  Really as long as you can see that damn dot you're golden.  The rest is a matter of how much scope body you want in your view and the ratio of through the tube and not you prefer.  I prefer mine so that the back of the scope is above the trigger, but I have marked my rail for when I am using the Po-Boy and have to place it at the forward limit.

The next thing that surfaces about red-dot mounting is that the scopes and the mounts are very definitely focused on flat-top AR-15s.

Lots of other guns have been adapted to rails; mostly a forearm.

You might notice that the rails begin far forward of where they do on an AR.

What if you prefer a more aft presentation for your red-dot?

[Cue fanfare]

How about mounting that scope in a "backwards" cantilever?

The cantilever mounts for an AR were originally for placing the red-dot farther forward so you had room between the red-dot and the BUIS for a magnifier or night vision scope.  The reason they are cantilevered is because there really weren't railed forearms back then and it needed to be on the upper.

However, it's not strictly a directional item.  It's for mounting the optic past where the rails end.

Even if the rails end to the rear.

D+ 25567

Even someone who was born that day is old.

One of the biggest frontal assaults against a prepared position ever mounted.

My hat has been off to these gentlemen since I've been able to understand what they'd done.

05 June 2014

Well Maybe Not Then

Every once and a while I think about going to GenCon.

I've been before.  When it was in Wisconsin...  Geneva even...

It was kinda neat.

I looked at the rules for the one that's nowhere near Gen...

Costumes & Weapons
Weapons and items that appear to be weapons are not allowed at Gen Con. Self defense, recreational and utility items such as knifes, tazers, pepper spray, BB guns, cap guns, air-soft weapons, paintball guns, water guns, martial arts weaponry, including wooden practice weapons, etc, are not welcome, even if it is lawful to own and carry them in other public places. Off duty security, law-enforcement and military personnel are not allowed to bring their weapons to Gen Con. Items resembling futuristic weapons, fantasy weapons and non-projectile boffer weapons may be allowed provided they are not handled in a careless, threatening or destructive manner against persons or property.
Questionable items can be brought to the Information Desk in the convention center during operating hours to be checked for compliance with this policy. Some events may provide exceptions to this policy under strict circumstances defined by that event. Items purchased in the Exhibit Hall that violate this policy must be wrapped and immediately removed from the convention premises.
20th & 21st century uniforms may not be worn as costumes. These include any uniform that can be construed as a military uniform from any country or a uniform worn in an official capacity, such as security guard, police officer, deputy, fire marshal, paramedic, etc. Active duty military personnel are permitted to wear their government-issued uniforms.

I don't think I wanna pay to be in a prominent gun free victim zone.

C'est la vie.


I'd always thought this was a Spanish gun from the name...


It's striker fired and has the most interesting grip safety I've ever seen.  When it's back, the gun is on safe.  When you squeeze it, it clicks forward and stays there and the gun is on fire.

If you want to put it back on safe, there's a cute little button that releases the grip safety where I'd have thought a slide stop would go.  There is no slide stop.

It's in .32 ACP.  The magazine is very neat, it's hard chromed.

Special thanks to Willard for bringing it by for me to play with.


One disadvantage to playing Barbie with your AR's is you end up rezeroing.

On the plus side, you get to go shooting!

I swapped uppers between Valentine and Dottie to get some mass off Dottie.

That meant moving the SUIT and swapping the rear sights too.  That means losing the zero.

The SUIT is a great optic, but it's cantankerous about zeroing.  You have to get it parallel to the barrel, so you aim an inch to the left of where you want it to hit.  Then when you make your windage adjustments you have to remember to flick the range lever to make sure the rear pads aren't binding and the adjustment you made actually moved the sight.  Such is the disadvantage of an externally adjusted scope.


I know that as long as you can get the rear sight to zero, it's not a big deal if the aperture is off center, but it challenges my OCD.

04 June 2014

The Mage's Guild

The Users of Mana, Order of Mages and Society of Magi is a guild/union of spellcasters who cast use the magic provided through mana and magery.

They do not include in their order those who've been granted a divine gift, such as an innate power or the acolytes and priests (and priestesses) of the Gods.

First.  If you have Magery 1 or highter or learned any spells at all you are required to join the guild.  This is mandated by the princes, the councils and ratified by the various High Priests and Priestesses in the names of the various Gods.  Persons with Magery 0 who know no spells are not required to join.  The punishment for casting spells outside of the guild is death, to be administered summarily by any guild member in good standing upon becoming aware of the transgression, as circumstances permit.

Because of this first rule, it's exceedingly rare for anyone to have learned a single spell without being inducted into The Guild.

The formal induction into the guild begins when a child not older than 13 and no younger than 9 is accepted as an apprentice.  Aura is cast upon the applicant and if they have Magery, they can be accepted for training.

The first step in the training process is to procure a silver dagger or small knife.  Because this will be a badge of membership for the rest of the mage's life and because their lives can be very long it is almost always decorated and will nearly always have sockets for powerstones to be set into it (even if the stones are glass or merely precious gems at the time of enchanting).  $400 buys a plain silver dagger with no provisions for setting gemstones.  $480 is actually the minimum price for an elaborately impressive decorated dagger made from silver.  This is why undecorated daggers are so rare, the price difference is small.  The first $480 is included with the price of Magery mentioned in this post; if the player wants a fancier dagger, they can spend more but it comes out of their personal wealth.  Small knives are 50% more expensive than daggers, so even a plain one will need some out of pocket expenditure.

Now the apprentice is sworn into the secrets of The Guild and Magical Imbuement is cast upon them and their dagger; forever binding them together.

Next the master begins teaching their new pupil the spells that are part and parcel of the mage's trade.

The Guild is an extremely powerful organization with minimal intervention and appear quite rarely (9 or less).  [7] points.

They impose a Duty, but rarely ask anything of their members past the policing of non-mages from casting spells (6 or less), [-2] points.

Apprentice mages (Magery 1 to 2) will have a patron in the form of their master (cost determined by the actual NPC's point value) who is responsible for them and an almost all the time duty (15 or less), [-15] points.

Journeyman mages (Magery 2 to 3) have completed their apprenticeship and are employed by a master mage.  This employment might rise to the level of patron and duty, but it doesn't have to.

Master mages and Magi (Magery 3+) are generally self employed or working for an entity outside of the guild, such as a court magician.

The casting of Magical Imbuement on an apprentice to make them a journeyman is at the discretion of the apprentice's master.  Going from a Journeyman to Master mage requires the consent of the local council of mages.  In the case of Magi the spell can only be performed on candidates who show particular talent to the Guild-Masters of the High Council.  The Journeyman and his employer are usually surprised when the offer to elevate someone to Magi is made.

Unresolved Conflict

The OC thing is creating an unresolved (and likely ignored) conflict.

The libertarian inside me agrees, it's the business owner's right to refuse service and his right to bar people from carrying guns into his establishment.

That same libertarian voice also says that he can do that for any and all reasons, including because the customers are gay, black or Jewish.

In reality, he dare not refuse to serve someone base on sexual orientation, race or creed.  Because rights.

If he can refuse to serve or bar guns, it's not a right based on how other rights are treated in the marketplace.

You can try it at home by changing the actors and seeing if the phrase you are using changes from reasonable to unreasonable.

Such as, "How dare they go out in public as Jews?" instead of "How dare they go out in public openly carrying rifles."  Is that illustrative?

With all that said...

Having the right to do something doesn't always equate to it being a good idea to do something.

It's perfectly legal for me to set up a firing range in my back yard.  If I start shooting, there's going to be problems with the neighbors at a minimum and a visit from the sheriff's department in all likelihood (prolly with guns drawn).

The balancing act is rights vs manners.

The businessman probably should have a right to tell black people to shop elsewhere.  It's rude and it's likely a poor business decision nowadays because he'll get backlash from people who don't care for racism.

To show that I learned what more than a couple people tried to teach me: What the OC people did was rude to their fellow customers and the business owner, by tolerating their further presence, risks a backlash from people who don't really feel comfortable around guns.  We'd have to basically guarantee Chipolte Grill that we'd make up for all that lost business if they let rifle OC continue.

A problem I've mentioned before is that these large corporations are far more worried about the loss of revenue from people boycotting them over the issue than the actual danger of the presence of the guns or the discomfort of people who've already paid.

The OC people provided the excuse to do what they'd been wanting to do all along, ban guns from their stores.  This excuse gives them the cover they need to avoid the backlash that an unprovoked ban would cause.  Think back to how Starbucks worded their press releases before they finally had had enough of us and how we rejoiced at their being neutral.

03 June 2014

Say It Right

Drink it with me.

The Cost Of Magery

Base cost of Magery is [5] for 0 and [10] for each subsequent level.

The staff/soul jar dagger is the focus of that magery.  That should make it a gadget.

A silver dagger is breakable, can be stolen and your dagger is the only one you get, so it's unique.

The dagger gets DR 6, HT 11 and 5 HP; so the breakable limitation is -10%.

If we figure it's 8" overall then it's a -6 size; so another -10%.

Since it can be stolen and a quick contest of DX or ST is needed to steal it, -30%; but since it's just a silver dagger to a thief, halve that to -15%.

Unique is -25%.

So a total of -60%.

This drags the price of magery to [5] for 0 and [4] for each subsequent level.

Now, the soul jar.

It's very close to the Unkillable advantage.  So Unkillable 1 [50] with the Special Limitation (Soul Jar -50%) for a total of [25].

Thus.  Magery 0, [5]; Magery 1, [34]; Magery 2, [38] and Magery 3, [42].

However...  If you're a Magi...  You get Magery 3 for [17]; the Special Limitation (Soul Stone -50%) is applied to your Resistant (Metabolic Hazards, Immune) [15]; Unaging [8] and Unkillable 2 [50] for a total of [90].

This is to start the campaign with these levels.  Time and money are what you need to get everything but Magery 0 after play starts.

The next hurdle is that to be a Magi at the start of the game means your master considered you worthy of being promoted from journeyman to master.  In a 150/50/5 game, that's far fetched since you're not going to be able to afford many spells on the 60/50/5 remaining.

And Then

There was the actual killer dungeon.

Standing Bear started the tradition.

It's a dungeon setting where you bring in any character that's been run in a previous world and everyone plays until everyone is dead.

Bear was, shall we say, more sporting than I was.

The situation was that I'd run out of material for MY world because they managed to bypass a couple of the problems I'd placed.  I needed the between session break to make more stuff up, but they wanted to keep playing.

So, they said, "run a killer dungeon!"

I said that it wasn't really my thing and I attempted to get out of it.

"C'mon!" they insisted.


I established some rules for myself.  Nothing that would just kill them outright, they got a chance for the dice to save them.  Nothing unless at least one person in the party had a defense against it.

The Maxim in an utter dome behind an illusionary wall got a lot of them.

Because Anglave's character had NBC Warfare and a MOPP suit, I threw nerve gas at them.

In short order, everyone was dead.

And they were pissed.  Well not Anglave or FuzzyGeff.

1, you asked for it.  2, I said I didn't want to play this; so why would I be merciful?

FuzzyGeff and Anglave were more philosophical because they understood that nothing that happened in this one-off killer dungeon affected their characters in the slightest in their home settings; and that most of the characters settings were no longer being run anyway.

02 June 2014

Three Gun Rule

Willard has presented a theory concerning marital bliss and firearms ownership.

Your first gun can be about anything.  It's a "one time" purchase.

Your second gun has to be pretty.

Your third gun has to be cheap, like Mosin cheap.

Once you have three, they morph into "the guns" and the average spouse can't tell the difference between them well enough to notice that three became fifty.

Test this wisdom at your own risk.  I assume no liability.

Magical Rituals

For this bronze age fantasy world...

Magery 0 is inborn.
Magery 1-2 is obtained when your master binds your soul to a silver dagger by casting Magical Imbuement.
Magery 3 is obtained by casting either Magical Imbuement or Create Magi.
Magery 4+ is a gift from the Gods and can be obtained through divine quests.

Magical Imbuement (VH) Enchantment; Resisted by Will + Magery

When cast upon a person with Magery 0-2 it gives them an additional level of magery.  A solid silver dagger is required for the spell and the recipient's soul is bound to that dagger as if Soul Jar had been cast; this dagger also gains the Staff enchantment with the Limit enchantment (can only be used by the person whose soul is trapped in the soul-jar.

On a critical success, two levels of magery are granted; on a critical failure one level is removed.  A critical failure on a recipient with Magery 0 gives five levels of Magic Resistance.

Magical Imbuement cannot be cast upon oneself; this is a master to apprentice sort of spell.

Duration: Permanent.
Cost: 250  per level.
Prerequisites:  Restore Mana, Soul Jar, Staff.

Create Magi (VH) Enchantment; Resisted by Will + Magery

When cast upon a person with Magery 2+ it gives them an additional level of magery and changes the effect from that of Soul Jar to Soul Stone; if the spell fails, the recipient dies.

Duration: Permanent.
Cost: 800.
Prerequisites:  Magical Imbuement, Soul Stone.

The above describes the process of becoming a mage.  If the character is a mage from the start of the game, purchase the desired levels of magery normally (5 for 0 and 10 each for 1-3).  The silver dagger is $400 for a plain one but ornately decorated is more the norm.

Someone who got to Magery 3 using Create Magi should also purchase Resistant (Metabolic Hazards, Immune) [30]; Unaging [15] and Unkillable 2 ( [100].

Status within the guild:  Magery 1 is an apprentice, Magery 2 is a journeyman, Magery 3 is a master and Magery 4+ is a grand master.

Magical Rituals on Magic p. 8-9 are modified as follows:
Skill 9 or less - Use of the soul dagger is mandatory.  It must be drawn and used in the mage's weak hand.
Skill 10-14 - The dagger must be on the casters person.  -4 penalty unless an item with Staff enchantment is used as part of the gestures.
Skill 15-19 - The dagger must be on the casters person.  -2 penalty unless an item with Staff enchantment is used as part of the gestures.
Skill 20-29 - -2 penalty unless an item with Staff enchantment is used as part of the gestures.  +2 bonus if the gestures are made with the soul dagger.
Skill 30 or more - No penalty for not using a staff enchanted item.  +4 bonus if gestures are made with the soul dagger.

While mages are free to wear armor they are penalized to the sum of the holdout number for the pieces they are wearing until skill 15+.  For skill 15-19 they are only penalized by hand armor and at skill 20+ there is not penalty for wearing armor at all.

Beware the man in full head-to-toe armor carrying a mage's staff!

This is a recreation of a post I foolishly deleted at the "Pay Attention To Me" swing of the drama whore pendulum (the other side is ever more elaborate creation of purity tests).

Hey, I'm binary and explosive, keep me away from myself...