27 January 2020

Too Soon?

What did Kobe Bryant know about Hillary Clinton?

That's as moving a eulogy as you're going to get out of me for any sportsball player.

26 January 2020

Instypotting

Giving this recipe a try.

Fingers crossed.

Instant Pot is the Apple of cookware.  Very limited instructions to go with lots of capability.

25 January 2020

Age Of Wonders

Reading Si Graybeard's post.

We live in an age of wonders.

My late 1968 birthdate saved me.  I was over two months premature.

The only way to save a baby who came out that early was to put them in an oxygen tent just a few months before the new procedures used on me were invented.

An ex-girlfriend of mine is blind from that oxygen tent and she's barely a year older.

My mother in law has a messed up leg from polio.  That contributed to her fall last year and a shattered knee and shoulder we're still scheduling surgeries to fix.

That we can schedule surgeries to fix her shoulder and knee are part of this age of wonders.

100 years ago, if you were a woman it depended on where you lived whether you got to vote.

200 years ago, if you were a woman, it was unlikely you could own real property.

50 years ago a 436 horsepower car could be purchased.  They still exist and we would not call them "driveable" today.  Their brakes are very weak because the cam required with the displacement needed adds up to little or no vacuum to help the pedal.  They use carburetors to mix the fuel with the air and get atrocious mileage.  If you're foolish enough to run the air condition in temperatures that warrant using air conditioning when the traffic is stop and go, you'll overheat the engine.  With depressing regularity you had to adjust the points on the mechanical distributor or your mechanical advance would stop working correctly.

Even if all this is working as designed, the way carbs mix the air and fuel caused the oil to be washed off the side of the cylinder walls and if an engine lived to see 50,000 miles it was a miracle.

Today, 436 horses runs in Florida with the AC at full blast, gets 20 miles per gallon with stop and go traffic, doesn't overheat and doesn't even need tuned for over 200k miles!  You will have to replace the spark plugs at 100k or so...

That fuel wash-down thing I mentioned?  That meant the piston rings needed to be looser in the bores, so there was a lot more blow-by from the power stroke and you needed to change the oil every 3,000 miles if driving in town, and 5,000 if doing nothing but highway miles.

Using full synthetic oils means you can go up to 15,000 miles between changes.

I like this age of wonder.  I won't go back even to when I was born!

Discounted Advice

Just like not consulting France when asking "how do you defeat Germany?", I think we can discount advice from people living where gun rights are virtually non-existent as to how to fight the battles to secure our rights.

Discount, not ignore.

Because if the advice is, "here's what we tried that didn't work," that's useful.

But if they're advising you to do the same thing they did that failed...  They're really anti-gun and you should treat them as agents of our opponents and not the allies they claim to be.

Likewise, ignore people from your own geography parroting the same advice.

I Blame Open Carry

The outbreak of novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China has 1,422 confirmed infections and 42 deaths.

While that seems scary, that's just 3% fatality and it's hardly anyone has caught it.

Compare this with Spanish Flu that had a 10-20% fatality rate or Ebola which averages 50%.

For a wonder, it looks like China is actually sealing up the areas where the infection is concentrated.

I don't think we need to panic yet.

24 January 2020

T-Shirt Idea

Picture of a cricket.

"Official Mascot of WWIII 2020"

Holster Drama

I wandered over to Tam's to see what she's up to.

She's fisking Aesop over his affection to the drop-leg holster, especially for in the car.

The topic of IWB holsters and pinching and binding came up.

Dude.

NEVER tell someone who wears a bra about pinching and binding being something that's never acceptable.

I'm reliably informed there's just not any form of carry that's less comfortable than a bra.

But...

For the car.

I think I agree that a drop leg is going to slam my elbow into the seat back with the gun half drawn.  I'd like to add that something hanging on my leg and hitting the center console would get old fast.  Plus, it's open carry and not suitable for Florida at this time.

I don't IWB on the strong side because Chevy didn't leave room for anything between my ass and the center console but the seatbelt latch.

I don't appendix carry because my gut is a massive retention device.  I really should fix that.

I do carry in a shoulder holster when it's cool enough to do so.  Florida's heat limits when you can get away with wearing enough to cover such a rig.

I have a brilliant IWB cross draw holster that I carry from time to time.  The good belt that held it well died and I simply haven't replaced it.  This is fine with a t-shirt in full Florida summer and for some damn reason Chevy left lots of room for a gun between my ass and the door's arm-rest.

I pocket carry (in a pocket holster) in the summer a lot too.

More Mixmaster

Went through Marv's M1911A1 today and ID'd all the components.

1944 Remington-Rand Frame
1943+ Remington-Rand Slide
Type 1 wide Colt 1911 hammer (1911 to 1914)
44-45 Remington-Rand mainspring housing
Colt M1911A1 safety
High Standard barrel
Coltwood 1 left grip
Keyes Fiber 5564063 right grip
Late, punched spring plug
Late spring guide
Rev-6 rear sight
43-45 Remington-Rand stamped trigger
Post WW2 grip safety
Type-3 magazine release
43-45 Remington-Rand slide stop

My ID session is here, for comparison.

23 January 2020

How's This For Nostalgia

I had a "I can't believe I saved these!" moment.

Right before we turned in our M1911A1's there was an attempt made to get all of them running with what resources could be applied at the battalion level.

Old 1164935 got new stocks as a part of this.  For some reason I pocketed the old ones.

For some reason, I hung onto them for the past 30 years.

While looking for something completely unrelated to guns I stumbled across them.

On a lark, I've put them on my CMP M1911A1.


That, there, is genuine wear from a main battle tank's hatch coaming!

Happy JMB Day!

Happy 165th birthday, Mr Browning!

I know I've gotten a lot of enjoyment from your inventions.


Out of respect for your Mormon beliefs, I will restrain from toasting you with an adult beverage and sip some water.

22 January 2020

OCD It's Not Just For Breakfast Anymore



Drawn in AutoCAD, exported to pdf, screenshotted for here.

FuzzyGeff has the best quote, "Not nearly as artsy as the book map, but far more useable as a, you know, map."

Part of the artsy map I augmented and replaced...


It's fuzzy in the original pdf too.  We spent too much time squinting and zooming with this included map; so I made a clearer version.

Old hands will recognize I reverted back to the LBB system of showing the worlds.

It's clear.  Why wouldn't you want clear?

Gun LARPing No Longer OK

Yeah, it's just black people who're allowed to carry their AR openly.

Everyone else is now part of "The Derp Brigade".

Oh. Well.

It didn't take long for him to revert back to form.

21 January 2020

Gun LARPing Now OK

Some folks who're openly packing AR's in Richmond yesterday have been lauded by a blogger who formerly described the practice as "idiotic gun LARPing".

While the optimist in me hopes this is a change in his position on the topic...

The pessimist suspects that it's either far enough from his backyard it doesn't affect him OR that the people he was lauding were black.

If it's the latter, that's racist.

He can't even take a, "well it's different when minorities do it," stance because the individual is the smallest minority.

Glutton For Punishment

The map that came with Interstellar Wars contains most of the Sol Sector, aka The Solomani Rim.

The subsectors coreward and trailing were omitted.

Lord knows I have the world locations for them.

But while the physical world will be the same, it IS almost 3,500 years from the date of the ISW campaign to the normal LBB Traveller era.

Things will have changed.

Look how much England has changed since -1500!

It's a double whammy.

I have to convert from Traveller, sometimes between versions of Traveller, to get the numbers in a digestible format; then convert them to the ISW format.

It's a slog.

I'm also going to the effort of changing the name from those applied during the Rule of Man and generating Vilani for them.

AND I am making a map with AutoCAD because the one included in the game is just not big enough and the stupid background makes it hard to read.

LBB rocked for clarity.

20 January 2020

Jinxing It

So far, so good.

No violence at the Richmond rally and what news I've caught is not calling us names.

They sure sound disappointed that there hasn't been violence and there aren't "white nationalists" to focus on.

They are mentioning the death in Charlottesville two and some years ago every chance they get, but that's from their hate, not from our actions or anyone who showed up.

There's people open carrying lawfully, which means they are carefully outside the exclusion zone.

All the photos of them so far have them being smiling and friendly.

While the day ain't over yet, I am cautiously optimistic that we're not going to have the riot that several "pro-gun" people predicted.

So far, I haven't seen the guaranteed slander they predicted either.

Fingers crossed.

Update:

Looking outside my normal news haunts and find that CBS post about the rally went live at 0737 this morning under the headline, "Credible threats of violence as pro-gun rally is held in Richmond, FBI says."

It got an update at 0758 and that's all CBS has to say about it today.

What they wanted didn't happen.

19 January 2020

Travel(ler) Mug


If you're a Traveller fan, you know what's on my beer glass.

That's "The Other West Coast" hazy IPA from Escape Brewing just up the road in Trinity.

Get Your Manipulators Off Me You Damn Greasy Bot

Beans points out that in LBB Book 8: Robots, it specifically mentions robots being used as navigators.

Mentioned almost in passing as they explain that some robots don't need any kind of motive system because they're built into a ship.

There's a 'navigate' application which allows a robot to perform the task.

Because we'd been playing almost ten years by the time Book 8 came out, we kind of ignored robots.

I think were kind of trying to avoid making our Traveller game Star Wars and didn't want C-3PO and R2-D2 to take over the game.

As we got older and science fiction changed, we were also dodging the "why no cyberwear" question too, and if the robots are sufficiently sophisticated, then cyberwear just naturally makes sense.

LBB jump:

Someone (or something) with Navigate skill reads the sensors and instruments then inputs data into the Generate program.  This creates a flight plan.

The Navigation program is run and the flight plan is inputted.

The Jump program is run alongside the Navigation program and the jump takes place.

It's probably it's 1977 roots showing as to why the instrument and sensor readings are being performed manually by a crewman rather than being automatically fed into the computer using the Generate program.

In effect, bolting a robot with the navigate application unto the navigator's station does automate the inputs to Generate, but it's still using the interface that a human would use.

But it's 2020, not 1977 (or 1986) now...

Computers no longer take up rooms.  If a complex task can be automated, it will be.

I needed a reason for there to be a crewed position doing the navigation job that wasn't just cultural, because all the major races have manned navigation stations.  Even the Hiver.

Come to think on it, why is there a meat pilot for most of the trip?  Even today there's very little for a pilot to do in space launches, everything is computer controlled and automated.

In effect, the ship should be a huge robot.

I might be making some paradigm shifts in the required skills to operate things for my GURPS 4e Traveller: Interstellar Wars.

Computer Operation/TL9 or TL10 is what you'd need to generate a flight plan and make jump calculations.  The ship's computer would then execute those calculations to fly to the jump point and make the jump.

Piloting/TL9 or TL10 (High-Performance Spacecraft) would be manually flying the ship.  There's rarely a need to do this.  I can see a cultural attachment to having a qualified pilot for routine work.  What if something goes wrong?  Even if that something happens so rarely that books and films get made about it because of its rarity.

The Hiver would abandon meat operation wherever possible.

Navigation/TL9 or TL10 (Hyperspace) would be the skill to manually calculate the jump using sensor readings and reading instruments.  Measuring star angles and looking up planet positions in a database and such.

I've a bit to think about.

Precision

"That's impossible, even for a computer!"

Turns out, it IS impossible for a computer, though a navigation computer is an essential part of hyperspace navigation in Traveller.

No matter the tech level, a navigator is required to roll against their navigation skill.

In GURPS: Traveller (3e) this is Astrogation.
In Traveller: Interstellar Wars (4e) this is Navigation/TL (Hyperspace).
In LBB Traveller it was Navigation.

All three versions mention the programs needed to be loaded into the computer to make a jump.

The question is: Why does there need to be meat in the loop?

GURPS has Computer Operation/TL for operating a computer, but doesn't call for this skill to run the navigation program.

The pilot is not called on to make a roll with any penalties, so it must be simple and easy to get the ship where it needs to be and pointed in the right direction.

In my Traveller universes, it's because the nav-comp is actually a psionic device.

A jump is a mechanical process.  You align the ship very precisely to be pointed at the destination system.  If there is no mass large enough to precipitate the ship out of jump-space along the line the ship is pointed at the distance the drive is set for... you spend a week in jump-space and go nowhere.

Space is big and a 100 diameter sphere around a star is small, very small.

Because jump travel is routine and reliable... and the precision needed to aim mechanically is very high...  Something besides mechanical aiming must be going on.

That's the nav-comp.  The navigator uses the main computer to generate a flight plan and the navigation program uses this, positional data and sensor data to calculate the jump which is fed into the nav-comp.

The nav-comp is actually part of the jump drive.  It's reading what the navigator meant and that adds precision to the jump that's not evident in the precision of aiming the ship.

What this implies is there are disadvantages which preclude someone from using the nav-comp, or even learning the requisite skills.

18 January 2020

Fallacy

Stating that something existed in a lesser form before something else makes it worse does not invalidate the argument that something made it worse.

There's probably a named debate fallacy for this.  What's the name for, "You're wrong because of a reason that doesn't actually prove you wrong"?

Example from a deleted comment (paraphrased):

Because the mafia existed before prohibition, prohibition did not make them larger and more powerful.

Because some euphoric drugs were illegal before prohibition or the war on drugs, the small gangs did not grow into large cartels.

Making drunk driving illegal changed people's behavior, therefore prohibition must have been effective.

These three "arguments" were contained in a multi-paragraph meander that didn't actually refute what I had posted, but did manage to tangent but hard.

What do the rules say about going off on a tangent?

Ballot Initiative Not Doing Well

To make the ballot, a constitutional initiative must cross two barriers.

It needs valid signatures that number more than 8% of the number of people who voted last election statewide.

AND

At least 14 of the 27 congressional districts must also get more than 8% of their voters to sign off on it.

The Ban Assault Weapons Now initiative is not clearing either bar.

In the 53 weeks it's been gathering signatures, it stands at 138,467 of the 766,200 signatures needed with a mere two weeks to go...

Passing that law to reduce signature collection fraud seems to have worked!

So far only three of the MANY proposed amendments have made the ballot, that's a huge change from last election and it shows how few of these things have been pushed from local demands.

100+

100 years ago, yesterday, Prohibition went into effect.

It marks one of the first national attempts to ban something to get people to change their behavior.

Like most roads to Hell, it was paved in good intentions.

Not only did it even slow down people's drinking, it changed local gangsters into regional, and in some cases, national criminals.

Criminals who would murder each other to obtain and maintain market share.  Criminals who, in the course of their conflicts, inflicted massive collateral damage on anyone in the area.

When it became clear that prohibition's unintended consequences were too large and worse than the drinking (which was unaffected by it) they repealed prohibition...

But the monster they created in the Mafia remained.

Slow clap.

The parallels with the war on drugs are many.

Local criminals are now multinational cartels.

Multinational cartels who will retain the wealth and power they accumulated thanks to the creation of a lucrative black market.

By the way, drug use is largely unaffected by its being illegal.

Gee, Don, Ya Think

Trump says Second Amendment is 'under very serious attack' in Virginia ahead of gun-rights rally

Let's file this under, "no shit, Sherlock!"

Where the fuck have you been the past... my entire life, Don?

More specifically, what have you done for gun rights since you were elected?

I'm racking my wee little brain for something you've done for us and I'm not finding anything.

Related:

Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia. That’s what happens when you vote for Democrats, they will take your guns away. Republicans will win Virginia in 2020. Thank you Dems!
Except, Don, we tried that here in Florida.  Supermajority both houses, governor...  Got more gun control.

Then there's what you did "for" us with bump-stocks.

17 January 2020

Little Things

It's the small things that drive one nuts from time to time.

Lego 75153 is an AT-ST from Rogue One.

Lego 75254 is an AT-ST from The Mandalorian.

When I put them side by side, it was obvious that 75254 was closer to the "real deal" in stance and structure.

The problem with using 75254 to represent an Imperial AT-ST was it being "Mad-Maxed" by Klatooinian raiders, so there'd have to be a LOT of finding of the correct color parts to convert the kit back to Imperial Army gray.

Lego 75201 is a partially destroyed AT-ST from The Last Jedi.

75201 has almost the same legs as 75254, but in the desired light gray!

Alas!  75201 has a stance problem as well, but it's easily fixed.  Substitute a couple of bricks from the bin and move the rear leg attachment point back half a stud and viola!

Now I have a more correct Imperial AT-ST from kit-bashing the legs from 75201 with the turret/head from 75153.

75254 on the left, kit bash on right.

The difference in angle is slight, but very noticeable with it fully assembled.

You And Your Emergency Vacc Suit

A real spacer is going to be wearing their skin-tight and their only concern in an emergency decompression is where their helmet is.

If they're surprised, they're going to pull their flexible space helmet from the pocket dedicated for it.

They're also going to dive for that skin-tight should they be caught in the shower or something.

But not everyone is a spacer, let alone a real spacer.

They let their guard down and wear just clothes aboard ship.

In the event of a real surprise explosive decompression, there's the rescue bubbles (see Ultra-Tech p.77)... but you can't do much more than wait for rescue from inside one.

An emergency vacc suit is halfway between a skin-suit and a rescue bubble.

They're closely related to what's, derisively, referred to as a tourist suit.

It's a baggy coverall until you add power.  Then its liner compresses and it becomes a counter-pressure vacc suit.  It stays fitted to the wearer until power is applied again, so a dead battery doesn't doom you.

It's the equivalent to a TL9 or 10 civilian vacc suit, but lacks almost all of the controls a spacer expects.  Temperature?  Preset.  Mixture?  Preset.  Pressure?  Preset.

It's not a working suit.

It's to save your life, or to keep a tourist from fiddling with the controls and killing themselves.

It's less flexible and more cumbersome than a normal civilian suit.  -1 to DX and DX based skills.

Both the tourist and emergency suits comes with a bubble helmet at TL9, with the emergency suit getting a flexible space helmet at TL10 (see Ultra-Tech p.180).  Both include the appropriate TL small air tank (see Ultra-Tech p.176).

TL9 tourist or emergency suit is DR 4* $7,000, 37 lb. running on 2C for 24 hours.  4 hours of air.
TL10 tourist suit is DR 4* $7,000, 37 lb. running on 2C for 24 hours.  6 hours of air.
TL10 emergency suit is DR 4* $5,500, 32.5 lb. running on 2C for 24 hours.  6 hours of air.

16 January 2020

It's Vice But

This is potentially good news.

Antifa is one of the groups I was most worried about starting shit with VCDL.

If they're actually joining the protest against the laws...

That's something.

Eyes crossed.

What Could Go Wrong

Found an animation for taking apart the FN/Browning 1903 aka Husqvarna m/07.



Seems easy enough to get the slide and frame stripped down for rust removal and conservation.

Keeping track of the pieces while it's apart...  That should be simple too.

14 January 2020

Cities WIll Burn

They will?

All we got to do to get our opposition to burn where they live is to vote like we were going to vote anyway?

Don't throw me in the briar patch Brer Eric.


Fake News

Virginia Dems drop AR-15 Confiscation.

Wasn't the "pro-gun" blogosphere just talking about the only thing that could result from showing up at the capitol was being called racists?

Didn't they say it was certain that the media would only report on the Klan robes and Nazi flags?

Didn't they say to not go to the capitol because of that?

Hmmmmmm.

Almost as if they were completely wrong.

Just remember how wrong they were when you read their opening paragraphs insulting everyone who did show up and got something accomplished.

Alright Who Open Carried And Wore A Klan Robe

Or... barring that open carry causes all gun control and there wasn't a rally where every gun owner was reported to be a card-carrying Nazi...

Who's a rent-boy for Mike Bloomberg?

Bill Galvano?

I want you to note that even without a rally where racists show up and the press focus on them, white nationalism gets mentioned with the gun control bill.

To the media, they are identical.

Cowering from the media will not change that.

I guess the good news is barely 200 of over 3,000 bills ever make it through Florida's legislative process and The Florida House has not yet bothered making a companion bill.

Also of note: the "we're fucked for sure, no doubt, no escape" constitutional amendment ballot initiative that will ban every semi-auto barely has 1/6th the total number of signatures, and is missing most of the districts, needed to get on the ballot.

Gun control isn't popular.

Gun control, however, has big money for politicians; and money makes the world go 'round.

Repeat after me:  It's the money, not people open carrying.  It's the money, not that there's racists out there.  It's the money.

That money makes it very hard to get the word out, because it buys radio and tv stations.  It buys the places on the internet where we can talk and keeps our voices from going past our own screens.

What good does it do to preach if only the choir can hear?

13 January 2020

Bad Drivers

The Snowbirds are, by and large, careful drivers.

Let's face it, they're old and want to hang out in the waiting room a bit longer before realizing their life of avarice and sin did not lead to Heaven.

Being careful among the normal Florida driver makes you screw up the flow.

Florida drivers are, by and large, not good drivers.

My recent post about how DamnYankee Mainers thinking being called a Yankee was a compliment wasn't an endorsement of the typical Florida driver, but rather frustration at being able to scream an appropriately insulting obscenity at the offender.

If we're going to talk about shitty drivers with an utter lack of awareness and ability to participate in traffic flow and navigate while driving...

Seattle, Minneapolis and Atlanta (in order from worst to "best") take the cake, hands down, from my experience.  I even say this after being able to read all of The Lord of the Rings in six sittings in the back of a cab going from my per diem hotel to a CIA vault near DC.

The worst of the Snowbird drivers here are from Canada.  We have a lot of them from Quebec and Ontario.  It seems like nobody tells them that the traffic laws are completely different here than back home; like the US is a different country, or something, with its own laws and customs.

Christmas Is Just Around The Corner

Not sure where I'd put it...


Unfair Line Of Questioning

The nurse at the VA always asks if I've had suicidal thoughts or wondered if the world would be better off without me.

It's patently unfair to ask that question around Christmas!

EVERYONE wonders if the world would be better off without them with Christmas Carol, It's A Wonderful Life and Scrooged running in near constant rotation!

Research

If you leave your Husqvarna m/07 in an unsealed plastic "ammo can", in its holster, outside in Florida humidity...

You get a rusted Husqvarna m/07.

Dammit!

The guilty party has been chastised for their actions.

So I am doing the research to find out how to detail disassemble it and conserve it.

C&Rsenal's sub-channel Anvil is guiding the way.

It looks like, once you get it apart, you wire brush off the big chunks of rust, boil all the oils out of the part, hang it in a steam bath to convert the remaining rust from one kind of iron oxide to another, coat in a rust bluing solution, put it in a hot swamp box, steam bath again then take a carding wheel to it.

Simple!

It looks straight forward enough.

I'm going to give it a try.

It Doth Cut On The Return Stroke As Well

At the end of the day, in Florida, 2nd Amendment sanctuaries will be declared null and void because they're local gun laws and the state has a preemption on such.

The preemption law is successful in keeping local law from being worse than the state laws, but it also means that you can't make your local laws better than state law.

Preemption cuts both ways, but this might be the first time I've seen it cut against the pro-gun side.

Of course, the sanctuary being nullified by Tallahassee doesn't mean that the local sheriff or police chief is going to go out and enforce those laws they find abhorrent...

There's a preemption from the state capitol over illegal immigrant sanctuaries too that's being flagrantly ignored.