23 September 2023

Ogre Or Bolo

The first cybertank is in prototype.

The question is: Will it follow Kieth Laumer or Steve Jackson in its vision.

Sinking Feeling

Thanks to glacial rebound, my home is sinking into the ocean.

At a rate of about 0.6mm per year.

I'd better start shopping for a house farther from the water soon.

The water will be up to the front yard in just 9,144 years!

Duncan v Bonta Take Like Five

Last time i mentioned it.

It would appear that Judge Benitez has ruled, again, that banning magazines by capacity is unconstitutional.

He had to rule again, because it got tossed back down because of Bruen.


Here we are.

Looks like a 10-day stay to let California make their near certain appeal to the ruling.

If I recall correctly, the path will then be a 3-judge panel of the 9th Circuit then an appeal to an en banc hearing of the 9th then to the US Supreme Court.

Again, I think...

It took about three years for that to wend its way up to USSC last time, I wonder if it will be quicker this time because it was a remand.


California's gun grabbers will take the loss and limit the "damage" to just California, because a ruling from the 9th that agrees with Benitez's ruling means the whole 9th Circuit loses their magazine bans, meaning Hawaii, Oregon and Washington.


They press this all the way to the Supremes again and... we add California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont's magazine bans to the burn barrel.

I think I need some popcorn!

21 September 2023

Stone Age

Something of an update.

Sabers and... is still progressing.

I'm just so dang buried in world building that I'm not to the point of outlines or plotting, though I do have some good characters.

Trying to get Sioux culture right is vexing, because there's been some sanitizing over the years.

They've got some skeletons in their closets and some activists should really stop casting aspersions at the evol whyte mahn.

Slavery, misogyny and (possibly) cannibalism.

But no matter, my Sioux don't have to be the real, historical, Sioux any more than my 77th Cavalry is a real, historical, unit.  (Hint, it's not)

But what hit home in my research is the American Indian is a TL0 culture.

They have access to TL5 technology, but they cannot make any of it.

The Googoo are also a TL0 culture without that access to high-tech.

I think the distinction I'm going to hang on the GooGoo is they're going to be, effectively, at TL0+1 society because they don't have a myth-parallel hanging over their heads forcing their society from changing thanks to ready access to magic.

Magic SHOULD change society markedly, but the myth-parallel keeps history on track without significant changes to the outcomes.

Like Kennedy still getting killed despite having an active missile-shield in place.

For the Sabers and... universe, the myth-parallel is intact until the mass emigration through the gates to Maka Tanka.

Read The Disclaimer

If your on-topic, non-offensive comment isn't getting posted and says, "this comment removed by a blog administrator," you forgot something.

Something that's in the sidebar.

Read the instructions.

It pains me to keep reminding people.

But just in case you're new here, I spell out my commenting policy over in the disclaimer.

My Own Form Of Snobbery

Yesterday, at the range, a light bulb went on.

We were shooting at 7 yards on the 25 yard range.

There were several people with AR's shooting at the 10 yard line.

I see this a lot and didn't really make note of it.

What I noticed was that I never see these people on the 100 yard range.


While I'll use the shorter ranges for zeroing, I always hit the longer range to confirm them.  Most of the time I have to make adjustments to the zero too.

I feel the same way about never shooting a rifle past pistol ranges as I do about taking a ranged weapon into melee combat.

You're doing it wrong.

Even better, when your groups at 100 yards start shrinking, you really feel like you did something!

I will admit, though, there's a liberal application of glass between me and the target most of the time now.  Getting old ain't for sissies.

19 September 2023

Gone Shootin'

The daughter of a friend is into guns in a big way.

She's just learning, but has the eager support of us all.

Especially her grandpa.

Sold her this fine, 1947 made, 1911 he's owned for... as long as anyone can remember.

It was nearly bound up from old, solidified lubricants.

So I gave it a detail strip.

It's been a while since I'd had a 1911 apart that far and I, of course, got the sear spring in all wrong.

I did that the very first time I detail stripped one in the Army too, and I had supervision for that!

I got it unfucked, but it's frustrating when you do that with both the sear and disconnect springs UNDER the parts they're supposed to be on top of.

I still don't know how I did it, but...

Proof I got it back together properly.

18 September 2023

Decline To Renew

Got a letter from my house insurer saying they weren't going to renew our policy because we'd failed to respond.

"Respond to what?"  I wondered.

It must have been among the dozens of "don't forget we're here for you" letters they spammed out right after Ian and Nicole.

Called my agent and it's they want us to get an inspection to make sure our roof will last another 5 years.

That will be awkward.  We're still making repairs from Nicole because we can't find a contractor who will show up thanks to rampant new-construction in the area.

We've stabilized the front flashing that was damaged and were planning on putting up new wood as soon as it fails to hit 90 by noon.

I'm not too bad at carpentry.

That'd Be Sweet

John Lott speculated that Hunter Biden's defense to the gun charges will be that background checks are unconstitutional.

It'll strange to be rooting for a Biden to win.

17 September 2023

On The Mind

There's a bit of confusion out there about the Galil and it's identical cousin the R4.

The ARM is the "basic" rifle with a bipod and a bayonet lug.  The loaded 35 round magazine is 1.8 lb., the 50 rounder 2.3 lb.

That gives us an 18.1" barreled gun in 5.56 that weighs 11.3 lb. loaded with 35-rounds.

The AR is almost identical.  The wire-cutting bipod and the folding carry handle are deleted, but the 18.1" barrel is retained.

This is a 10.4 lb. rifle loaded with 35-rounds.  It's the "police and support" version.

The SAR is the short barreled version of the AR with no bayonet lug.  Vehicle crews, staff and specialty troops get this one.

This is a 13.1" barreled rifle weighing 10 lb. with 35-rounds.

The Vektor made guns are:

The R4 is the same* as the ARM.  The R5 is the same* as the SAR.

*- Yes, there are differences, but the basic configurations is what we're on about here.

Yes, the Galil is very heavy for what you get.

As It Turns Out

Now that I've done some wrenching on both my Australian Caprice and Canadian Equinoxes, I have to retract something I said earlier.

It is not NEW cars that are difficult to work on.

It was a 6th Generation Corvette that was hard to work on.

I am led to believe that the 7th Gen makes The Precious seem easy and the 8th Gen is figuratively sealed up to keep the home mechanic out.

The alternator/ac belt on the Equinox wasn't hard at all.

The belt that only ran the AC on The Precious took three times longer and involved a great deal of cussing.

The way the radiator had to come out still pisses me off.

I am coming to the idea that the Corvette engineers over thought things to the point that they created problems they didn't need to create without noticing.

Teacher Salary

Our local teachers are fomenting for more pay, again.

One of them posted what our county spends compared to neighboring counties, trying to show they deserve more.

My first thought was, "well then move to where they're paying more."

My second thought, though was under the heading of "per student spending."

My county spends $22,000 a year per student.

Classes are limited to 30 students per room.

$660,000 per classroom per year.

Teachers get $48,225 to $75,000 a year.

Assuming the top pay grade...

WHERE THE FUCK IS THE OTHER $585,000 GOING?  I think we're getting ripped the fuck off here.

First, it shouldn't cost more than half a million bucks to educate 30 kids.

Especially since we're spending more than half a million per classroom and failing to educate them in stuff they're going to need when they're turned loose on the world.

Time to write the congress creatures again.

16 September 2023

Where's The Belt

The Lovely Harvey sent me a picture of her dash with the battery light on.

Gee, wouldn't it be nice to have a voltage gauge?

She got it home just as the battery lost its last erg.

It's a good thing the water pump isn't driven by the serpentine belt, because it was MIA.

No apparent damage from its departure from the car, thankfully.

Putting the new belt on is awkward, but not overly difficult.

I have a bit of a leak at the crank seal I need to keep an eye on too.

14 September 2023

Drink From Your Own Skull!

With high-resolution medical imaging and 3D printing, there's no reason but cost to have a skull mug made from a scan of your own noggin.

Considering how often we're our own worst enemy, it'd still be drinking from the skill of an enemy!

It's All Relative

Accelerating at 4g for a day gets to about 1% the speed of light.

That got me to wondering if I should be accounting for time dilation.

I found a table showing the X axis as a percentage of the speed of light labeled in tenths with 1.0 at the far right.

That had a sharp curve for the time dilation in the Y axis and 10x dilation at the upper right corner...

"Holy BLEEP!" I says.

Then I realized.

1.0 is 100%...

There's hardly any time dilation at 1% the speed of light.

According to that graph, even 90% the speed of light is around 2x dilation.

It's not near the issue science fiction led me to think it was with anything close to a plausibly realistic engine.

Unrealistic engines almost always come with a faster than light drive that takes the worries about relativity off the table.

Edit to add:

That graph I referenced should not be taken to mean that there's "only" 10x time dilation at the speed of light.  That line is near vertical there and isn't quite at c.  The closer you get to c, the more dilation you get, forever.

13 September 2023

Sippin' Fuel

The two Size A engines on the Assault Scout appear to pull 4g for two days just by devouring one10cm diameter sphere of U238 apiece.

That's a total of 20kg of Uranium.

That's not much.

And it's JUST Uranium consumed from what I can fathom from the rules.

That description conforms to the fission fragment drive from Vehicles Expansion 1.

But those drives are not lightweight at all.

The engines in Star Frontiers are as realistic as the Epstien drives from The Expanse.

And The Expanse has fusion...

Star Frontiers FTL

Star Frontiers has a near instantaneous FTL drive.

You spend three to fifteen seconds in "the void" once you've accelerated to 1% light speed.

Like so many other games, I don't think they did the math very well.

The assault scout's atomic engines can accelerate at 4g.

It only takes 21ish hours to get to 1% C...  So basically two days to make a jump.

Ion drives accelerate at 1g.  So, about a week.

Chemical drives also get 1g, but don't have enough fuel to get get to speed.

The system is not detailed very well.

I am considering doing some conversions to GURPS: Vehicles.

An interesting thing about Star Frontiers that didn't stick right away back in 9th Grade...

No fusion.

The atomic drives are explicitly fission using uranium or plutonium as fuel.  No mention of reaction mass.

Ion and chemical drives are using hydrogen.  Ion engines use the hydrogen as reaction mass, chemical drives also have oxygen tankage.

It will be interesting if I can recreate the game's performance numbers using hard-science assumptions.

The wee little engines on that assault scout hold enough fuel for three jumps.  So I only need to figure out about a week's worth of thrust total...  Wait...  That's a LOT of reaction mass with an atomic engine.

Gonna be fun?


Using hard science numbers for the drives, I can't even get 1% of a G for the 42 hours needed to get to 1% C and back down to system speed for a jump.

It's the reaction mass.

The Assault Scout is supposed to be in the neighborhood of 9,000 cubic-feet.  I can't pare that down hardly at all.  Staying within the size constraints I can get 2 to 2.5 G for 15 minutes.

The equations, they be HARD.


The new Star Wars show has the bad guys using a thousand year old map to find the location of a person missing just a few years.

They need the old map to input data into their modern navigation computer.

It really felt like, "Boy!  Hand me my Antikythera mechanism, I need to program the Garmin to get to the store!"

12 September 2023


Here's Sol through a DIY solar filter!  Very cropped.

Compared to my store-bought filter.  I think I got a better focus with the store-bought one.

Because It's Always GURPS

An 18.5" barreled Galil ARM and 35 rounds will do 49.56 points per lb. with ball ammo.

This compares with 30 rounds from a 14.5" AR with 57.14 points per lb.

An M16A4 with optics and light pulls 47.66 points per lb.!  It's more likely to hit though.

The similarly configured Tantal will get 53.33 points per lb.

Because You NEED One

James River Armory makes a clone of the Galil made from South African R4 parts kits called the Gallant.

You get your choice of wood or plastic handguards and if you have a bayonet lug or not.

What you don't, normally, get is a bipod.

The Galil ARM came with a bipod.  The AR and SAR did not.

The front sight that comes with is from an ARM, so it will accept a bipod.

The bipod on the Galil is singularly useless as these things go.

The length of the legs is predicated to allow the 50-round magazine to clear the ground.

If you're shooting level, you're WAY above the ground.

If you're hunkered down trying not to get your ass shot, the muzzle is aimed at Mars.  This is sub-optimal.

What the bipod does really well, is pose the rifle for pictures really well!

That alone justifies getting a bipod for your ARM clone.

The same thing is true of the clamp-on bipod for the Tantal.

Both Atlantic Firearms and Classic Firearms have Gallants for sale for about $1,000±$50 for the bayonet lug and/or wooden handguards.

If you've got the scratch, you should get one.  And a bipod for pictures.

11 September 2023

Not Devers

My old T2K stuff calls the M3 Bradley the M3 Devers.

I remember that was the plan and the guys at 1/4 Cav kept correcting the guys from 1/16 Inf about their new tracks being Devers and not Bradley's.

Whelp, turns out the grunts won another one over the scouts.

The M3 is officially the M3 Bradley, not the M3 Devers.

I'd not bothered to recheck that in decades.


DIY Solar Filters

You start with this film.

You cut it into circles.

You put the circle between two UV filters. 

You fail the first time when you forgot your fingers leave prints.

You fail the second time when you find that holding the thin and fragile film while cutting with scissors ruins the film.

You fail the third time when you realize that your Exact-O blade is dull.

You succeed the next three times for 2x 58mm and 1x 67mm filters!

Laying on the floor of the garage aiming at the LED tri-light.

I'll check them against the sun for artifacts tomorrow.

This film is incredibly fragile compared to the stuff I used before that makes an orange sun.

This stuff is supposed to give a white disk, but...

Sun with finger prints and damage from holding while cutting with scissors.

Fingers crossed the three that look good with the LED lamp look good with the sun.

22 Years

22 years ago, this very moment, hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 was piloted by terrorists into the North tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.

To this day I do not think we've gotten our pound of flesh back for this.

I can think of a couple three places to pop nukes should something like this ever happen again.

In Point Of Fact

No, you did not "do it in a small town."

You did it in your normal habitat, a large, Democrat controlled, city.

Chicago is hardly a small town.

10 September 2023

If They Really Used It

The Army has decided against the M1A2 SEPv4 and is going with the M1E3...

Just us T2K geeks bothered to learn the numbering system and it's been bugging me for years that the military doesn't bother with it.

Shit like the X-35A becoming the F-35A.  Should have been F-24A.

The X and F number series aren't the same and shouldn't interchange like that.

B-21 should be B-3A.

But they're touting the use of E3 as a return to the old way of doing it.

And showing they STILL don't understand.

Post MacNamara A is accepted, E is experimental.

Pre-MacNamara A is main variation, E is sub-variation.

Using the post system the M1E3 would be developmental and when accepted and type classified, it changes to M1A3.  Wanna bet they don't?

And it really should be XM1E3 if you really use the system properly, because it's a substantial revision.

The WW2 system would have the SEPv's rolled into E numbers.  M1A2 SEPv1 would be M1A2E1, SEPv2 would be M1A2E2 and so on.

Observed Phenomenon

The drive to The Lego Store yesterday reminded me of something I've been watching for a while.

People will routinely drive 10 over on the 6-lane 45 limit road.

When the speed limit goes up to 55... they can't get past 50.

But will punch it to five over for the short 60 mph section.

Then keep going 60 when it drops back to 50 for a few miles and drop to 50 when it returns to 55.

I don't get it.

What Did He Mean "Slow Of Mind?"

A long, long time ago, I can still remember...

We were on the top level of the Memorial Union parking ramp bullshitting after the end of a marathon gaming session.

For some reason, "How hard would it be to shoot the cross across the street?" came up.

I said it'd be easy.

Others disagreed.

A roving Karen with an ounce of authority told us we couldn't be loitering up there before we could really debate the question and it was forgotten until now.

It's a 50m shot.

So, yes.  It is an easy shot with a rifle.

Moderately difficult with a pistol.

This Came Up

Scientist altered their paper to make sure it would be published.

That's not how science and scientific publications are supposed to work.

If you are altering your work to conform to the bias of the publication, you have compromised your principles and all of your work is now suspect.

That you'd have to make such a compromise means that peer reviewed publication is now a useless benchmark.

Quoting something from one of these publications has the same scientific merit as quoting my high school year-book.

Wait What?

I support gun safety but there is no such thing as a state public health emergency exception to the U.S. Constitution. https://t.co/6GfbOZLc7g

 — David Hogg \uD83D\uDFE7 (@davidhogg111) September 9, 2023

Fucker is getting dangerously close to taking a red pill here.