DISCLAIMER

No good can come of reading the contents of this blog.

Viewing or use of this blog or any contents or links contained herein by any person or entity within the confines of the states of Arizona and/or Tennessee is prohibited .

Violators of this policy agree to hold the owner of this blog, its contents and all links contained herein, harmless to any harm or offense taken or perceived.

Permission to use any content on this site is explicitly denied to Robert Farago, his family, his friends, his associates, his pets, and his employees and/or employer and/or their employees either in part or whole.

15 April 2014

So Old My Dice Have Gray Pips

An exchange with Siege about knives and GURPS smacked me in the face.

I've been GURPSing since it was Man-To-Man in 1985; even longer if you consider that we were dabbling with the lineal ancestor to GURPS, The Fantasy Trip in about 1980 or so.

In the intervening 29 some odd years I've accumulated a lot of inside baseball information about what the rules mean when they say something like "large knife" that's not actually stated in the published rules.

It's easy to forget that not everybody knows this stuff!

When I forget it makes what is meant to be an amusing aside a condescendingly snide remark.

Back to knives...

The knife classifications were not defined well in the original game and the names were sometimes at odds with historical names.

You can infer some of the inconsistency by noting that a machete uses the knife skill, not shortsword or axe-mace.  A kukri uses axe-mace and is treated like a hatchet...

Knife bayonets are usually given large knife stats, but fit the published definition of small knife better... Sword bayonets actually fit the description of large knife, but as far as I know there's no published stats on any sword bayonet yet.

Jim Bowie's cutlery actually matches the published definition of short sword (or a falchion if using Low Tech) better than large knife...

The good news is 4e has fewer places where these contradictions occur...  The bad news is they didn't fix them all.

I'm Your Huckleberry

Today is April 15; or Buy-A-Gun Day!

Up top, I give you Valentine.  The $100 a month 6.8 AR.  Just a tad over $900 total.  The first $700 had been spread over the past six years... Underneath, I give you Tabitha the ever changing M16A1 clone.


Valentine's selector markings.
These two guns were one gun last year.  The $100 a month for the past six or seven has been going towards making them separate.  The purple furniture didn't go with the retro receivers and the retro parts had been purchased with the intent of making an M16A1 clone back in 2008!

To finish Tabitha I needed a new barrel and a bolt carrier assembly sans bolt.  For Valentine we needed an upper, lower, lower parts kit and a rear sight.  All the rest was in the parts bin.  Selling off the parts that weren't going to be used in these two guns and weren't properly considered spares funded nearly all of it.  Retro parts have gone up in value a lot since I started accumulating parts in 2008!

Tabitha wore a lot of cast-off parts from other builds for while just to get her lower in use.  The barrel that's on Valentine was Dottie's original, for example.

While I say it's an AR on $100 a month; we spread the $1,850 total over a period of more than five years.  And no, shit; if you can't finish an AR in five years you don't want to.  No matter what you tell people.

You can tell from some of the other posts that these guns have been done for a while before today, but it counts as a BAG purchase because I didn't order the lower from Aero until we got our tax return deposited.

Officially No Longer Winter

The clear top has been placed into storage and the solid top put into service.

I love being able to see out, but the sun makes it miserable once the temps are consistently higher than 77 or so.

14 April 2014

Buggin'

I forgot to take a picture of it, but I washed off at least a pound of dried insect paste off the nose of The Precious today.

Many Corvette owners don't understand what I am talking about because they never drive their dang cars.  I'm going to make 100k miles in the next week or so.  All this since October 2007.

Still a completely enjoyable trip to Pensacola on the back roads more or less following the west coast of Florida up through the Apalachicola National Forest and past/through Tyndall AFB.  We even saw an F-35A doing touch and goes and some parked F-16's and F-22A.

The lower speeds of the back roads yielded an average fuel economy of 32 miles per gallon (Em Pee Gee in ad speak) and 29 mpg over all taking the interstates back down to Tampa.

I am constantly impressed with 436 horsepower getting 30ish miles per gallon.

Of Hunters

I'm with Tam.

The Hawker Hunter is very nearly the prettiest of the '50's jets.

Hunter F.5 of No. 56 Squadron


The Douglas F4D Skyray is also very attractive.

F4D-1 of VF-74 Bedevilers

13 April 2014

Did Any One Else Notice

That with the calls to increase minimum wage to unrealistic levels, there was no hue and cry to change the tax code to let the poor downtrodden min-wagers actually keep more of what they'd be getting?

It's almost an admission that if the economy is doing better, people make more money and when they do revenues go up even if the tax rates remain steady.

Almost...

What I Did Today

F/A-18A-12-MC 161955 and 1G1YY-3LT-Z51-MZ6
I drove under the wing of an F/A-18C and spent the day at the Naval Aviation History Museum in Pensacola, FL.  I took lots of pics.  Marv took lots of pics.




There is not a single complete F-8 or F-4 in the entire place.  That just shocks me.  I am willing to believe that we walked right past them without noticing, the place is HUGE and I was definitely in plane-geek sensory overload.  Like the Ford Tri-Motor in the background.  We literally walked UNDER THE WINGS to see something and didn't notice it until we got up on the mezzanine and saw this wider view.

I also sat in an F-4B cockpit familiarization trainer.



Marv attached a camera to my rear window...


10 April 2014

Squeeeeee

Hasbro has finally released plush My Little Pony dolls.  In two sizes!

The vinyl ones with the Barbie hair were teh suxxor.

To their credit, fan favorite Derpy Hooves was available.

I think you can tell which characters are most popular by what's missing from the giant bin at Wal Mart.

In the large scale there was not a single Princess Twilight.  The most common was Apple Jack.

Neither scale had a Rainbow Dash.

I got the single Princess Twilight that was in the small scale, she now guards Valentine on the M12 rack. (Another BAG Day teaser!)



I got a Fluttershy in each scale and Pinky Pie and Derpy in the large.


I am happy they had the three in large that I bought because it's a bit personal.  I present a Pinky Pie persona to the world to overcompensate for feeling like Fluttershy and end up accomplishing Derp.

Wildlife In The Back Yard



Sorry about the shaky cam, but I was holding a light and a smartphone.

Say It With Me

Swords are not made from castings.

Melting a steel sword down to the point where it is liquid and pourable doesn't yield the same metal as you started with.

HEADDESK Game of Thrones!

08 April 2014

Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been A Republican

I'm in an odd position.

I support gay rights.  Gay people are people and people have rights.

My position on gay marriage is that the government has no business defining what marriage is.  If two people want to be married, it's between them and their church and God.  If they want it to be legally binding, then make a contract.  More than two people want to try their luck, let them have at it.

It makes it hard to have a solid opinion about what happened to the CEO at Mozilla.

Tam compares it to Zumbo and Metcalf.  There's certainly some parallel there.

Robb takes an opposite stance in the comments.

I am uncertain.

I think that the capacity you made the statement under matters.  McThag as an employee of Lovely Harvey Ind. cannot make statements that are harmful to LHI and expect to keep my job.  McThag as a private citizen can say any damn thing I want.  But where is that line drawn and who decides what hat I was wearing when I said what I said?

A gigantic part of the problem here is Eich's political speech was made public because of California's laws requiring publishing who donated what to whom.  That's an issue that concerns me.  Mr Eich didn't have his CEO of Mozilla hat on when he donated $1,000 towards Prop 8.  Mr Zumbo and Mr Metcalf were wearing their Outdoor Life Writer and Guns and Ammo Columnist hats respectively when they offended the customers.  I think that distinction should matter.

It bothers me that Mozilla has taken an advocacy position about an issue that has nothing to do with the product they are selling; the same as it bothered me when McDonald's donated to Handgun Control Inc.  What does the political position have to do with your product?  Metcalf and Zumbo both took positions related to the product actually being sold by the magazines they worked for.

I think that it also matters that Zumbo and Metcalf were fired within days if not hours after they took their contrary positions.  Eich was let go resigned YEARS later and Mozilla had been aware of his donation for some time, it appears to only have become an issue because OK-Cupid had a snit in the last few months.

Are these distinctions without difference?

In all three cases the statements and donation have an effect on the employer's business.

But it seems clear that we are now free to discriminate based on political position.  I can't discriminate against age, race, sexual orientation, sex or religious affiliation (unless they're Christians), but I can discriminate on party affiliation!  I don't think that's right.

It further bothers me that if Mr Eich had donated $1,000 in opposition to Prop 8 we would not have heard a fucking peep from anyone!

Update:  I want there to be a fair and consistent way to resolve this.  I don't think that there is one.

Expertise

I mentioned it before.

Professionals get paid for it.
Amateurs don't.

Neither state makes one an expert.

Because I don't have a job, I am not a professional anything, yet I am still an expert in several fields.

A professional is also someone doing something as a profession, you know doing it for a living... That implies some sort of monetary compensation.

The thing here is that being paid for something seems to make people think you're an expert when all that means is you've convinced someone with money that you should be paid for what skills you have.

It doesn't actually make you an expert.

It sometimes leads to a situation where someone knows a lot more about it than you and will be unable to explain why your position is false because you're not an expert at all.  If you were, then you'd not need to told you were in error, would you?

I'd have prolly not pointed out the error, except someone following your "expert" advice will get themselves killed.

The truly hilarious part is I've mentioned it repeatedly in post after post and people never seem to register that really is my position on the willfully ignorant.  Ignorance is worse than stupidity because there's a cure for ignorant.

Bullshit Tag

Important note for the reader...

The bullshit tag might indicate that I am full of shit, not that the topic at hand is figuratively bullshit.

I apply it to myself as often as I do to the topic.

Gone

Nuked about twenty of the posts I am least proud of.

They're not too far gone since they were on the internet once, they'll be out there forever.

If you really feel the urge to find them, they're just things that confirm what a loser that I am and show zero redeeming qualities.

Dead Projects

Ain't gonna be no STEN or E4A silencer made here.

Got the plans all drawn up, parts dimensioned...

Interest evaporated.

If interest returns, I am jake to get tax-stamps though.

It's just been a sargasso of blah around here lately and I can't really get enthused about things that used to invariably make me happy.

A decent part of the funk is from the unintended.  I think I am doing one thing while in reality doing quite another; which much negative effect.

Thirty Four

Michigan might just have crossed the line towards a states requested Article V constitutional convention.

There may or may not be 34 active requests from the states for such a convention, and it seems that it's all about getting a balanced budget amendment going.

The terrifying thing about such conventions is there's no limitation whatsoever about what can be proposed and submitted as an amendment that is then sent to the states for ratification.


Article V
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
It's a blank check.

I have modest proposals...

No rule or regulation promulgated by any agency of the executive branch shall go into effect until approved by both houses of congress and shall be void if not so approved within a year of proposal.  (Congress should be forced to legislate and not just leave it to the regulatory agencies; this should also return some damned accountability for those regulations).

No elected or appointed official or agency shall be made exempt from any law that shall affect any common citizen.

No employee of the government, elected, appointed or hired may be a member of a union nor shall any department or agency of the government be unionized.  (Working for the government is a civic-trust not a means to financial success.  Government should serve the citizens not force the citizens to serve the government)

Law enforcement shall be limited to what arms and methods of carry available to the citizen at large via the same markets.  (If I can't have it, they can't have it.  If I have to spend $32,000 on an M16 and wait a fucking year to get it, so should officer friendly; which should be fun for him without his union).

I don't know how to word it...  But elected officials have to spend an equal time out of office that they spent in office once they leave that office.

06 April 2014

Disaster!

Took FuzzyGeff's AR, Olga out to the range to finally zero her scope.

The laser bore-sighter I'd bought had the windage dialed in, so it just took a few clicks in elevation to get it dialed in at 25 yards.  The 20" 1:9 Del Ton chrome lined barrel really likes the Double-Tap M855, by the way.

Then I dropped the rifle on the concrete floor of the range.  The table was too short to set the gun on the bipod like I had it, and it fell.  My fault for not securing it properly.

Put about a 15˚ kink in the scope tube on the objective end.

Well, shit!  I owe Geff a scope.

It was a 4-12x40 Bushnell Sportsman.  A discontinued 4-12x40 Bushnell Sportsman.

If I recall correctly, this scope originally came from Wal Mart and was on Marv's 20" AR.  When he decided he'd rather red-dot and have a 16" the scope was sold to Geff.
Double shit.

I guess I need input about what a good replacement would be.  The 4-12x40 Bushnell Banner seems to be identical and still in production with mostly positive reviews.

05 April 2014

Death Penalty

Pew says there's less support for the death penalty?

Betcha money it has a lot more to do with people not trusting the government to get the right person than a general spread of merciful good-will towards murderers.

Sourcing Parts

I actually kept records of where they all come from.

It's something of a mess.

I'm very inconsistent about where I buy parts.

Del-Ton supplied a bunch of kits early on.

The defunct Anvil Arms is the source of several lower parts kits.  That doesn't help anyone following me up...

Were I to start a build today I'd likely be back at Del-Ton and ordering a kit.  They irritate me with their "screw you builders, we're a (toss head) rifle company!" attitude when a rush starts and they stop selling parts, but they do seem to make have good parts.

Lowers are virtually a commodity item as the crappy makers have been culled brutally during the aforementioned panics.  Aero-Precision has a sense of humor and their limited run lowers are fun, so I'd go there first.

CMMG has been the maker of the past couple lower parts kits.  I like their trigger, but toss the 5/6 scale pistol grip and I prefer a properly sized flat-head screw to their socket head.

Stag is who made the 6.8 bolt carrier groups.  The retro guns are running vintage Colt bolt carriers.

I hope that helps the new builder.

Bravo Company and Spikes are other companies I trust for their parts.  Bravo is a bit more expensive on some items though.

04 April 2014

Moody

Stupid is a mood.

Alcohol enhances the mood you are already in when you drink.

If you're happy, you get happier.
If you're angry, you get angrier.
If you're sad, you get sadder.
If you're stupid, you get stupider.

Stupid is a mood.

Weapons Free

I've seen places blaming Clinton.  I've seen places blaming Bush 41.

Way back when I was in, Reagan was president...  And the only times we had guns and ammo together was when we went to the range or when we were on a real alert.

All other times we were kept separated from ammunition at nearly all cost.

This disarmed on post thing is not a new thing.

Fox Two

The Lightning F.1 is a thoroughbred.

Very fast.  Very twitchy.  You've got to think ahead of her or she'll depart and bite you.

Normal armament is two 30mm ADEN Mk 4 guns above the intake and two Firestreak heat-seekers on rails on the fuselage.

Lightning F.1 of No. 74 Squadron "Tiger Squadron" October 26, 1962 over Germany.

The Firestreak is a super advanced missile for 1957.  It's IR homing and the seeker head can be cued to the target by the plane's radar.  It's good for about four miles, but really that means launch within two.  It takes a moment to gather its thoughts after launch, so minimum range is about one and a quarter miles.  It was designed to blow up bombers, so these parameters are not too onerous (and slightly more generous than the US AIM-9B).

Cheerio, old boy!
This is not to say that it cannot be used on fighters, you just need to pick your targets carefully; as that MiG-21F-13 discovered.  The seeker head is just slightly better than the AIM-9B and I have better success with the Firestreak than a Sidewinder in 1962.

If missiles aren't working out for you, good news!  The rails and part of the fuselage are part of a pack that can be exchanged for either two more ADEN cannon or  a barrage of unguided folding fin 2" rockets!

F.1A shown doing the firing.

It's one of my favorite planes and I did a comparison of the various versions here.

01 April 2014

Two Years Moved

Got the first two years of posts from my LiveJournal migrated over.

Copy-Paste; Baby!

Plus much proving that I am not a robot to the Google servers.

Reading some of the old posts...  Yeah, some people who apparently were shocked at some of my posts and comments in the past couple of years would not have been if they'd seen the evolution of Thag over the past eight.

I am still me; I am not what they thought I was.

Cow Farts

This is how you tell that the environmentalists are focusing on the mental part of it.

If global warming was man-made then the only emissions we need worry about are those outside the carbon cycle.

Anything alive is inside the cycle so the net emissions are zero.

So, cow farts won't.  The methane produced will break down and be absorbed and used by plants, then animals...  It's a cycle.  Circle of life.  Blah blah blah.

By the way, greenies...

It's looking like the permian extinction was caused by the atmosphere going all CO2 from volcanism.  If CO2 is so completely bad... why is there life now?  Where did all that carbon dioxide go?  Even more fun: Where did it come from since Man had nothing to do with it?

Other Side Of The Line

Looks like someone has made a 5.45x39mm pistol and that's gotten importation of cheap surplus ammo stopped at the dock.

We've been here before with 7.62x39mm.  It looks like we'll be heading there again with 7.62x54mmR soon.

We're here because of NFA to be honest.

The people who are making rifle caliber "pistols" are essentially making short barrel rifles without the legally defining characteristics of a rifle.  These people are also kind of lucky I wasn't in charge of ATF; my position is that a stockless rifle isn't a pistol, so an AK without a stock is an SBR because the law says "designed to fire from the shoulder" and omitting parts doesn't change the design.

So a ruling from ATF that "pistols" in rifle chamberings are actually AOW or SBR would let the taps remain open for steel-core surplus commie ammo.

I am OK with that ruling.  Nothing is going to change with NFA until people get off their asses and make it an issue.  The NRA only just barely cares about it because hardly any of the membership gives two shits.  It's why 922(o) is still there; no peasants with pitchforks and torches at the castle gate.

The ammo rulings stand because the surplus shooters are still up against the majority.  Altering 921 to make sense would take political capital that I am not sure we have.  Look at how many A rated politicians are merely NOT anti-gun rather than actually pro-gun.  Why would a politician do anything for us when lukewarm lip service is enough to get the best rating?

Of course, if that self same lip service starts getting the C rating it deserves, those politicians would probably start being lukewarm anti.

It's a tightrope.

It's possible to get exemptions put into place.  M855/SS109 has such an exemption.  The question is; are there enough 5.45x39mm shooters out there to force the issue?

Covered

Based on a letter I got last year from the VA, I don't need to enroll in Obamacare.

So I didn't.

The VA being my sole healthcare provider is terrifying enough.  They've something of a reputation...

Especially since the last visit they mentioned hip replacement and likely knees too.

And thanks to Shineski, I have to start that process all over again.

Step one is getting the paper trail established to up my disability percentage.  That's also the biggest and most time consuming one.  A trail that just evaporated because unresolved cases made him look as incompetent as the worthless fuck is.

I hope I can still walk by the time this is resolved.

31 March 2014

Crap

If you're in the market for a bolt carrier, don't get the AR Stoner offering from Midway.

It's improperly finished and rough.

Likewise, DPMS seems to have forgotten how to make bolt cam pins.

I have the stuff to fix them, but they're supposed to be drop in parts.

3287

Terri's condition has not changed!

30 March 2014

Democrat Death Warrant

The Boy is on Medicaid because of his total disability.

Yes, we're part of the Free Shit Army (with the exception that we have someone paying taxes in the house).

Got a letter today telling us he needs to enroll in Obamacare and that could make him ineligible for the services he's receiving already.

This letter is also going out to every AARP member out there too...

I predict a bloodbath at the polls.

Fifi in Jax

Not my video; but it's still so very cool.


29 March 2014

Watch What You Think

If you talk to yourself you've got to think about what you're thinking or you'll be muttering it to yourself as your internal monolog heads for roomier places.

28 March 2014

Music

Wandering the library on the hard drive...

I am once again struck by the variety.

This harkens back to the "jeebus, high school is OVER" post...

Back then I was notable in the school for traveling in about fifteen social circles.  I was the confluence of the Venn diagram.

And in many cases it was music.

I did punk, Brit nouveau, more than one flavor of metal, a dabble of country and most especially the blues.

There's never a more awkward moment than being in a gay bar with a false ID to catch a blues act and bumping into the music teacher from school.

PS, in 1986 Iowa, if you were white and wanted blues and didn't want a beating, you were in a gay bar (whether you knew it or not).

There's even some disco and rap on the disk.  Not for regular consumption, but there's individual songs.

I like complex guitar and piano.  I like interleaved free-time.

Oh, and if anyone out there has a picture of me in my blue mohawk...  I'd like a copy.  Mom destroyed all the pics of it she could find.

Even more fun, how many of you, my oldest friends, knew that there was a blue mohawk under that hat?

Where Are They

I intend to get a Glock 17 sometime in the next year.

I used to have a 1st Gen, so that's got some appeal.

I can't find one for sale.  I can find a few 2nd gens.  Lots of 3rd and 4th.

This has me thrown for a loop, you can find just about anything readily on the internet and the older Glock 17's just aren't for sale?

Wow.

Are they so good that people are hanging on to them hard, or are they not aging well?

I dunno because I don't see one for sale.

I'd really prefer a 2nd gen gun because I don't care for the finger swells that start with 3rd gen.  1st gen is the nostalgia favorite since I've owned two of those.

Spoke too soon.

Search Fu Hint: Search for "Gen n" not "nth Gen"

Filling The Tactical Purse

I have a 5.11 Bail-Out Bag.

It was originally going to be my range bag, but I rediscovered the Tumbuk2 bag that Aunt Bat gave me, and it's more than large enough for my range supplies since my rifle case has huge storage compartments for ammo and magazines.

So I now have a shoulder bag with three magazine pouches, a generous main compartment and two end compartments.

I am at a loss as to what use to put it towards.

If I stuff the mag pouches with loaded mags, that means I need to keep a matching gun with the bag.  If this is my trunk bag, it means a trunk rifle.  I love my Vette, but that'd be very un-secure.

If I make it the home grab-it bag it's next to the rifles already.  Besides ammo, what needs to go in there?

Food seems ridiculous.  Maybe some snacks and a bottle of water?  The shelf life on the Nestle's water we get delivered is years.

Medical supplies seem more reasonable.  A blow-out kit is already in the range bag, I should invest in a couple more.  (This makes me realize that I don't have one in each car already).  Oh, blow-out kits are stupid cheap when you know registered nurses (even when there's no theft involved).

What says the hive?  What use can I put this thing towards?

27 March 2014

Bad Design

The battery compartment on the EOTech 552 might be the worst I've ever encountered.

The bridge that connects the two batteries in the front of the cover often becomes pressed down so far as to allow the battery to shake loose.  That breaks contact and lets the sight shut off.

This movement further pounds the bridge down so that it won't make a connection at all after time.

The Lovely Harvey loves the reticule, so I keep crutching it along.

Today's fix involved putting two little round rubber pads under the contacts of the bridge and taking away some of the slack in the compartment.  I hope that this holds up better than the previous repair of bending the bridge up a bit.

It makes me wonder how many of these things you see for sale used have some sort of intermittent problem like this related to the battery compartment.