31 August 2011

A matter of principle

If you hire me to do work, I will do it.

I expect you to compensate me for my work.

I will not ask a penny more than what was agreed.

I do the work correctly and on time, you pay.  It is not my problem that I am a subcontractor and the people that hired you have not paid you.  It is not my problem that you forgot to buy stamps.  It is not my problem that the check the people who hired you sent was held by the bank for five days.  It is not my problem that you "got busy".  It is not my problem that you are not going to profit from this job.

None of those things are my problem.  Those are your problems.  You strung me along and it felt like you lied from the very beginning.  I am especially unsympathetic about your failure to make money from the job.  That's mismanagement.  I made money on the job; I know what I am doing here and how much to ask for the work.

If you don't like these realities, you should not be running a business.

It is especially sad that you will likely be needing my services again and I will either decline to work for you or demand cash up front.

It is also especially galling that I took the job without a time constraint and you called every night asking if it had been completed; now you acted put out because I am called once a week to see why I didn't have my payment.

I was very patient with you about getting paid.  My end of the work was finished in June, 2010.  Near the end of October 2010 you told me that payment was eminent.  Goody!  Two weeks later I ask about a timeline.  You say soon.  Then you ask to confirm my mailing address.  I do so; thinking it must be soon.

So I wait 8 days (one day is a holiday).  You claimed to be out of checks and had no chance to get to the bank; but would be doing that the next day.

So I waited 6 more days, plenty of time for the bank to send you new checks and for your check to arrive here.  Nothing.  I ask, WTF!  You say that there was a five day hold put on the check they sent you.  Gee, that shouldn't have mattered since you said you had the money 6 days ago.  You claim to have gotten a money order drawn.

So I wait a week (on holiday day).  You tell me to calm down.  You claim you are at UPS "right now" and are overnighting it.  You claim you've been "busy".

I ask you, did your mortgage get paid?  Did your electric bill get paid?  Did your water bill get paid?  Did your sewer bill get paid?  Did your phone company get paid?  Did your cell phone bill get paid?  I am betting those all got paid because they don't take excuses.

Yeah, I got paid, but this was excessive.  I even waited nearly a whole year to post the rant about it to make sure I was still pissed off about it.  Yup.  Still mad.

Miss will do...

Remember when Barbara Boxer, junior senator to the state of California, demanded to be called "senator" instead of "ma'am"?

Allow me to retort.

Bitch, we don't assign honorifics to the fucking help.

And don't mistake it, you are the help.  The perspective might be temporarily skewed at the moment, but we will put you and your kind back in your place.


I wholeheartedly and enthusiastically endorse any plan that gives you the same rights I have.

I also wholeheartedly and enthusiastically oppose any plan that gives you more rights than I have, either by giving you more or me less.

In short, I am fine with being your equal, I will not submit to being your inferior.

This is regardless of nationality, race, sex, sexual orientation or religion.

What you do with the equality is up to you, but you don't get a position of superiority because you were once oppressed.

30 August 2011

A little late...

It's not that the wheels are coming off our political process.  Those wheels are long gone.  It's the cinder blocks that the process was resting on are coming off.

29 August 2011

Mice Guns

I kinda collect .25 ACP guns.

They are cheap and interesting.

I am not going to say they are an effective choice for self defense unless merely having any gun at all will do.  Heck, didn't we have a gun blogger choose using a cup of hot coffee over the .25 in his pocket?

Because I collect and accumulate, I tend to not shoot them right away.  It's not like I have to be in a big hurry to make sure they work before the warranty expires.  My newest .25 is the Beretta 950BS made in 1992...  The box and owners manual don't mention the name "Jetfire" anywhere but everyone calls this gun a Jetfire.  I like to think my gun predates the name.

Today I took that Beretta and my FN-Browning 1905 (1922 made) out to the range.

Both work, both print fist sized groups at 10'.  I am pleased!

All in all I don't like the Browning 1905 as well as it's close relative the Colt 1908 Vest Pocket.  JMB (PBUH) sold the design to each maker and they adapted them independently.  The Colt is just nicer.

Really, kill NASA.

I've been reading about our lifters.

Turns out there are a couple of proven heavies that could readily carry the Orion capsule.

They were not even considered because they were not man-rated.

They were not man-rated because NASA didn't want there to be competition with their jobs program, the shuttle.

Considering the epic cost to launch the shuttle we would have been better served with disposables.

Maybe someday...

NFA Update.

The news is there is no news.

Used to be they cashed that check the day it arrived.  Now, not so much.

Until the check is cashed, it can't go pending.

The very nice lady on the phone says they are averaging eight weeks from receipt to cashing and then another three months from that to approved.

There are a whopping ten examiners for the entire country.

She said that volume is up substantially since the beginning of the year.

I looked up some of ATF's stats.  Silencers are getting to be VERY popular out there.

27 August 2011

Words Mean Something

You'd think with all the acrimony about the whole clip vs magazine issue that gun rags would be a little more careful about terms.

Mr David Bahoe of Special Weapons for Military and Police: .338 Lapua is not an intermediate round because it's roughly halfway between 7.62x51 and .50 BMG.

Intermediate rounds are halfway between battle rifle ammo and pistol cartridges.

.338 is a lot more sporty than bog standard 7.62 NATO thus going the wrong direction to be called intermediate.

Another possibility is the author is unaware of the term.  In that case he should not be paid to write for a gun magazine.

25 August 2011

Drug Testing and Welfare.

Florida is a state that has decided that if you want to be on welfare you have to pass a drug test.

While I don't care if you're doing illegal drugs, if you can afford drugs you can afford food.  If you can afford food, why do you need welfare?

Quote of the Day

"Dad never let me play with incendiaries in the house. That's what the garage was for."

Dave H in comments to this thread at Jay's.

Customer Service

There's a hierarchy that an employee who deals with customers should follow.

In order of most important to least.

Helping a customer standing at the counter.
Helping a customer wandering the store.
Helping a customer on phone.
Stocking the shelves/cleaning.
Personal shit.

This is why the internet is kicking your ass.

For stores that don't really have an internet option, you are aware that you have competitors within a short drive from here, right?

If you make me wait longer than it takes to drive to the next closer store, why don't I?

24 August 2011

A note...

You should probably take notice that Republican and Libertarian are not the same word.  Not even the same root.

If you are a libertarian and expect the Republican candidate to be a Libertarian, you should reassess your expectations.

If you want a Libertarian candidate, you do know they have their own party, right?

Let's not pull another Perot, huh?


One of my favorite bloggers, Neptunus Lex, has scored a dream job!  He's getting paid to fly dissimilar air combat with a contractor.

As something of an homage, I fired up Strike Fighters 2 and took some screen shots of Kfir C2, very similar to the plane he's flying.  The plane he's shown pics of was with the Smashing Parrots squadron, and so is the plane in my shot (I got a different tail number, his is 820).

It's silly, but what the heck.  I didn't have the education or drive to pursue getting a set of wings in the military; so sims are all I have.  Prolly for the best, flying has no cure and only one treatment, I never caught the disease.

A prediction

The Baby Boomers are getting to the point where they are going to demand the shit they were promised.

One clear way to get that shit paid for is to tax the people still working ever higher.

They will notice that there's a large number of people who are competing with them for the Federal Teat™.

People who could SHOULD be working to pay taxes to keep their asses in the shit they were promised!

Retirees are damn reliable about voting.  He who votes decides who is elected.

Just a thought...


Do you think you keep your hands pretty clean?

Go clean your steering wheel.


23 August 2011

Something about being rich.

I've read several places now that the number of people reporting very large incomes has dropped quite dramatically.

This is based on income tax filings.

What group of people can handle just quitting and not having an income for a while better than someone who was filing for taxes on a multi-million dollar income last year?

If you made $200 million last year (after taxes) and had zero income this year, you still have that $200 million.  Think about that Mr Soaktherich.  I could make $200,000,000.00 last the rest of my life.

22 August 2011

Basic Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearm Example.

This is a retread of a pic from my LJ days.

A list that supposed to be the top 100 SF/F books.

BOLD THE ONES you've read.

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert
5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
6. 1984, by George Orwell
7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov
9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman (Seen the movie lots, though.)
12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson
15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore (Just saw the movie, thought the ending was all wrong.)
16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein
18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
19. Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick
22. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood (Not SF, according to the author.)
23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King
24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke
25. The Stand, by Stephen King
26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
28. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein
32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams
33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey
34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein
35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller
36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne
38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys
39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells
40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny
41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings
42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson
44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven
45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin
46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White
48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
49. Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke
50. Contact, by Carl Sagan
51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons
52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
54. World War Z, by Max Brooks
55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett
58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson
59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold
60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
61. The Mote In God’s Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind
63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist
67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks
68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard
69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
70. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
74. Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi
75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson
76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke
77. The Kushiel’s Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey
78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin
79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson
82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks
84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher
87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan
90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock
91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge
94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov
95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson
96. Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony
100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis

H/T Baby Troll Blog

Full-Auto vs Semi-Auto

Weer'd is talking about the legality.

Be sure to watch the video!

He quotes the VPC about it too.

Semi-auto fire is more lethal than auto.

An aside, we have "full auto" because of the Browning Automatic Rifle.  Some versions have a "Slow-Auto" position on the selector; so you had "Full" and "Slow".

What does full-auto do that semi doesn't?

It keeps heads down.

The North Hollywood bank robbery is a decent example.  How long were those guys shooting?  How many people were killed?  In 44 minutes the robbers only managed to kill one person (one of themselves).  The only other person killed was the other robber and the cops shot him.  Eighteen people were wounded by the robbers, but not killed.

What they did manage was to hold up the police from arresting them for almost an hour!

This is what full-auto is good at in the real world.  The military would have had someone flanking the cops while they were being pinned down.

In the video, Mr Hickok fires 30 rounds to take out three targets in auto and 4 rounds for four targets in semi.

Belt-fed type machine guns aren't even designed to be all that accurate in a rifle sense.  They have dispersion built into them because a machine gun is an area weapon, like artillery and grenades, not a point weapon like a pistol or rifle.  It's undesirable to have all of your rounds go through a small area at range, you want them spread out more than with a rifle.  The good news about designing this in is an open bolt gun is shaking around a lot throwing off the aim pretty good and widening the pattern.

21 August 2011

Most Tactical Loadout... EVER!!!

You may call me Ace.

I am kicking ass and taking names with Strike Fighters 2.

Currently playing the Rolling Thunder campaign flying an F-4C Phantom II out of Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base with the 45th Tactical Fighter Squadron (Hoosier Hogs).

I had previously been flying the  F-100C and F-100D from the same squadron in the '50's and early '60's campaigns.

I loathe the F-100D.  It's just not the fighter I want it to be against the MiGs of the era.  Adding the AIM-9B Sidewinder doesn't help much since it's envelope is super narrow.

At present I have more kills in about a year of this campaign than there were in the entire ten years of the US being in Nam.  The rules of engagement aren't what they were in the real conflict and the Vietnamese are far better supplied with planes than they really were.  Aimed at making it more enjoyable to the player, I am sure.

Strike Fighters is a wonderful survey sim, realistic enough you have to learn some skills but not so real you have to learn to operate the actual systems.  Stop by Thirdwire and throw a measly $30 on a super enjoyable combat flight sim.  It's four stand-alone "games" (Fictional Middle East, What-If Europe, Vietnam and Israel) ranging from 1956 to 1982 that can be merged ($30 each) with two expansion packs (Israeli and Europe) for $25 each.  You can buy the games in any order and add the expansions to the appropriate game at your leisure.  On top of that there's some additional aircraft for $3-7 that just add to the fun.

Some other screen shots after the break.

20 August 2011

First Amendment Rights.

In a nut shell, they are the right to say any gorram thing I want without fear the government will come an arrest me for saying it.

With political correctness, sexual harassment and hate crimes; we don't have much of this right left, huh?

The above are violations of the first amendment, they are keeping me from saying what I would like to say.  I cannot say those things anywhere where someone may be offended.

Refusing to link to a web site is not infringing on someone's right to say something.  They can still say it.

The first amendment is all about being able SAY what you want.  It gives no guarantees that anyone will listen or take what you say to heart.  It does not require that I tell people you've said things and where to find what you have said.

Here's your link, Bob.  Just so you can't say you were black-listed.

When I first started this blog I was a reader.  Weer'd told me the place was anti-gun.  I honestly didn't understand what he was talking about for a long, long time.  Then I heard a faint whistling noise.  Mr Farago is dog whistling pretty damn hard over there.  If you are cued to hear it, it's pretty blatant; if not you're like I was and just see the face value.  Obvious once it's pointed out really.  Weer'd has the examples that will tune your ear, so I will let him!

The first amendment doesn't let you steal others words.  Most of us bloggers will let you use them, but you have to give attribution, preferably a link to the original post.  Best practices is to quote a paragraph at your page and then make it a link to the original post, with a h/t to under it.  "They don't link to me!" is not a positive defense!

This is a place for ME to say what I want.  It is not a place for others to say what they want, but I have a pretty liberal comments policy.  I will allow debate, even if I am not very good at it.  I do have one caveat about comments, if your comment is longer than the post you are replying to and/or it contains scores of supporting links and data: you need to start your own blog because you clearly have something to say.  Your privilege to comment can be revoked for any and no reason without warning; because this is mine not yours.  I reserve the right to delete comments and posts, but I don't care for memory hole tactics.

19 August 2011


I learned that the process of making scotch starts with making what is essentially beer.

The beer is then distilled to get the alcohol out.


But you get scotch.

Does this mean that in every beer there's a scotch trying to get out?

How can we NOT?

I am so confused.

I don't know why this baffles me so, I've known for years that this is how brandy is made.  You make wine and then boil the alcohol out.

I think I will have a shot of rye with my beer tonight to celebrate what could have been.

18 August 2011


Socialism does not work.  It has never worked; it will never work; it cannot work.  Putting the right people in charge will not make it work.

It is much like trying to breathe water; you're not going to find the right person who can do it.  That person doesn't exist, cannot exist and will never exist.

All you get from trying either socialism or breathing water is misery and death.

Idle hands, Devil's Workshop

My 14.5" conversion of Kaylee is on hold while I wait for ATF to lick the stamp.

I'm staring at my Early M16 (R604); Charlotte and wondering if I would prefer an XM16E1 (R603) clone.

Yes, I would.

Do I want to convert Charlotte?

At first I did.  It's real simple.  The difference between an early M16 and an XM16E1 is the upper receiver and the bolt carrier.

But I don't think I want to lose my R604 clone.

I realized that I enjoy it because just about nobody clones an early R604.  Lots of people have done and are still doing R601 and R602 clones which are the other two slick-side-upper rifles.  The retro rifle world is inundated with all the variations of the R603.  She's kind of a rarity.  Especially with the chrome plated bolt carrier.  That's a fairly scarce vintage part.

An attitude problem happens with clones of the R604, I think.  It's not associated with any "been there, done that" units.  The vast majority of them went to the Air Force, with a scattered few going to the brown-water Navy guys and the Seabees.  A very few are rumored to have gotten into Army hands when XM16E1 production was falling a bit behind.  The USAF units who "went there and did that" carried XM177's or GAU-5A's.

It's hard to summon romantic martial notions about a rifle that probably spent its entire life slung on some kid's shoulder in North Dakota guarding B-52's.

17 August 2011


It's very difficult to take someone seriously when every single post they make contains multiple spelling errors.

Like they let their word processor do the auto-fill on most words.

Thinks Things like 'our' when the context says it should be 'out'.

If you didn't take the time to review the text before you hit post, did you take the time to get your argument right?

15 August 2011


There are some things you do just for the symbolic value in them.

They show resolve or that you didn't make an oversight.

Like tipping a poor waitress a penny.  It shows you didn't forget to tip.

I'd like Congress to vote themselves a 50% pay cut and a 50% reduction in pension payments to former congresscritters.

It's symbolic because it's not that large an item in the budget.

It shows, however, that they are serious.  That the pain is shared.


I wonder what the primaries would look like if you were required to vote for the party that's on your voter ID card.

Something like marker that tells the polling place that you voted in the primary and that casts your vote for the party line automatically for every election you chose a primary candidate for.

It would certainly prevent people from changing party affiliation just to cast poison pills in the primary election.

I don't really advocate it, but it might be interesting.

14 August 2011

The Power of Words

Words mean something.  They have definitions.  In a living language, the meanings can change, but they will still have meaning.

Some words are offensive.

Some words are an accurate description.

Some accurate descriptions are offensive.

It is impossible to live your entire life without giving offense.

If someone is offended at an accurate description the problem is not with the describer.  It is with the described.

We should not refrain from describing things accurately out of fear that someone may be offended.  Like in libel or slander the truth is a positive defense.

If you don't like being called a two bit whore you should stop having sex for quarters.

Forcing someone to use euphemism to say something does not make them civil.  I have seen a racist say "sir" with no doubt that he was saying "CENSORED" to the customer.  And the customer damn sure knew it.  The racist did not actually SAY CENSORED, so I guess everything is OK, right?


The racist was still a racist and was still free to be uncivil even though his choice of words had been truncated.

You will not be able to eliminate incivility by censorship or changing the meanings of words.

"Haters gonna hate," as it were.

12 August 2011

Teaching New Shooters

For a decent sized segment of the people I know, I am "The Gun Guy".  I am the only person they know who owns a gun (that they KNOW; they'd be surprised...).

That means I get a lot of never-fired-a-gun-before questions.

I do my best to answer them honestly and simply.

Then we progress to going to the range and letting them shoot one of my guns.  I let them pick what they would like to shoot from my collection and bring a couple I like too.

If they have fun with that (most do) most of the time they progress to buying their own gun.

This means a trip to the gun show.  I advocate that they handle every single gun in the category of firearm they are considering and pick the one that feels best.

The evaluation by feel in the gun shop or show might not be a good indicator of how well that gun performs for an individual at the range; BUT it's nearly impossible to get a new shooter to buy a gun that feels wrong there.

It's only later, after they've been shooting a while, that they start considering other factors.

I'm not a super high end trainer.  I'm just the guy all my friends know is into guns.  With only a handful of exceptions, the ones that keep shooting after buying their first gun are no longer shooting that first gun.

I've noticed that most new shooters need to learn one thing at a time.  "This feels wrong" is too big of a distraction at first to let them learn.  Later once they've learned things like breathing and how to align the sights can you demonstrate why the "feels wrong" works better.  As was said here; "feelings lie."

11 August 2011

Auction Rant

The purpose of an auction is to sell your item.  That is all.

There's a psychological component to auctions where there's competition in the bidding that can get more for the item than its market value.

On online auction places like ebay or gunbroker it is very common to have a reserve price.  Basically this is the minimum price the seller is willing to take.

An irritation that's surfaced for me lately is sellers who set a relatively high reserve price against an extremely token start price.  So if you make a token bid, it doesn't meet reserve and you have to keep rebidding until you cross the threshold price.

Wasting my time.

Time and time again, my $5 bid on your started at 1¢ but didn't meet reserve is the ONLY bid that item gets.  You relist and I bid $5 you don't make reserve...  I can keep not spending $5 forever, dude.  Why don't you set your start price at the min price and save everyone some time?

09 August 2011

Nagasaki Day

66 years ago the last atomic bomb used in war was detonated.

We don't often think of it as such, but WW2 was the first nuclear war.  So far, it was the last.

08 August 2011

NFA, some more...

Reading on Arfcom the other day about what takes so long for the BATFE to process a Form 1 or Form 4.

Link to thread.

It would seem that they really do only do the NICS background check and sign it.  Ten examiners for 120,000 NFA transfers?  Wow.

I think I will do the unthinkable and call my congress critter and ask for the funding for the NFA branch to be increased so they can get a bunch more people hired.

Perhaps even changing the NFA branch back to treasury would be a good idea.  After all, it is a tax.

I do love me some conspiracy

Execution of SEAL Team 6.

Was the RPG fired from a grassy knoll?

Do the shadows converge too quickly towards the horizon?

The posting speculates that a lot of things were known and announced too quickly to be believable.

While doing the same thing about what we know about the crash...

There might be a conspiracy there.  If there is, he's pissed off a group of people who are good at getting into heavily defended buildings and killing the source of their anger.  That would be hilarious!

Here's the originator of the story: Sorry, can't link to one article you have to scroll.

She clearly doesn't understand how Army works.  A National Guard CH-47 was a back up bird.  She wants to know where the 160th SOAR MH-47G went.  How about it went tits-up?  That happens with depressing regularity.  The MH-47 goes on the fritz, the NG CH-47 is called up BECAUSE IT'S THE BACK-UP and they in turn get whacked.

I also note that many pundits are talking about this NG aircrew like they were second rate.  National Guard pilots almost invariably have more hours in their type than the regular Army folks.  Almost all of them are in the Guard because of a love of the flying.

No amount of training will save you from the bullet with your name on it.  The golden bb is not a myth and sometimes there ARE snakes in the cockpit.  Helos crash for no reason at all all the time, getting shot at does not make them safer (although they are amazingly safe compared to the '70's).

07 August 2011


We should be fair.

The problem with fairness in things like welfare is a matter of being deserving.

Most people know of at least one person (or family) who does not deserve the assistance.

Most people will agree that those who don't deserve the help should not receive it.

A principle problem with the way we are doing this is that a remote entity is making the decisions about what is fair and that the criterion for that determination is so broad that nearly anyone can qualify for the benefits.

Dragging this decision to a more local entity would have a positive effect in many ways, being closer to the people in need would allow the decision to be made more on merit than body temperature.

Traditionally this function was performed by religious charities.  This is the principle reason that churches got a tax exempt status.

Another positive thing about the churches running it was they could establish hard rules about receiving the assistance.  Break the rules and you're on your own.

There have been and still are non-religious charity organizations in America as well.  They enjoy the same tax-free status as churches.

What the secular and religious charities have in common is their financing is optional by the donors.  If they start supporting people I don't want to see supported, I can withdraw my support until they return to my way of thinking or I can simply give my money to someone more deserving.

With the government, at any level, providing the charity; the option of opting out of the program is eliminated.  They will take my money through taxes and give it to whom they decide is worthy of support regardless of my opinion of the matter.  I am left impotent in my objections because my only recourse is to vote against 1 of 235 representatives, two of 100 senators and the president at the national level.  Even if I get my way with the congress-critters I can vote for, there's 332 out there I have no say about.

I don't mind the idea of charity.  I have donated my time and money to several.  I have never claimed the tax exemption for my donation; my motives weren't to get that exemption.  I wanted to help.  I would not stop you from helping with your time or money even if I disagreed with the recipients of your generosity.

That's more than the government can say.  There are two charities I used to volunteer at that are no longer there because they were regulated away.

Sighting in.

What is it about zeroing that so baffles so many shooters?

Time and again I've helped people zero their rifles at the range and had them effusively thank me for performing my magic.

It's not that hard.  In fact, the instructions are marked on the sights for many guns and scopes.

In its most basic instance what we are trying to do with zeroing is to align the bullet's flight path with the line of sight.

This is a little complicated in principle, but pretty simple in application.  Bullets do not travel in a straight line, they travel in an arc.  If the barrel is level the bullet begins to descend as soon as it exits the muzzle.  If the sights are also level, then the round will hit below the point of aim.  To make them match you have to either point the sights down or the barrel up.  This actually amounts to the same thing.

Most people seem to get this part.

On a scope the adjusters are normally labeled telling you what direction makes the impact point go what way and how far per click at what range.  i.e. "1/4" Left at 100 yards".  Nearly every shooter I've seen can handle that no problem.  Most troubles with scopes seem to be getting on the paper in the first place because their scope is not mounted well.

Iron sights are where people have the most trouble heading the right way.  Even if there's an arrow pointing clockwise and an engraved 'R' they don't know what direction to turn the wheel.

Here's the "magic" formula for iron sights!  Move the rear sight in the same direction you want the impact to move.  Move the front sight in the opposite direction you want the impact to move.


Example.  An AR-15.  The AR adjusts for elevation at the front sight and windage at the rear.  To make the impact move up I need to screw the front sight down, or clockwise.  To make the impact move right I need to turn the windage drum clockwise; thus moving the rear sight right.

I think what gets some folks confused with the AR is rear sights based on the M16A2.  These sights have an adjustment for range on them.  You don't adjust that to zero the gun.

06 August 2011

Happy Hiroshima Day!

I can almost call this a day of lies.

You read about the nasty long term effects of radiation on people that don't reference the real-life experience of the residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  People do indeed live in both places today.

For the most part a nuclear explosion is no different from any other explosion.  They are simply just larger. They do have some unique properties, but those are quite minor compared to the kaboom.

04 August 2011

Context matters.

Sarah Palin has said, "shoot president Obama."

OMG!  We always knew she was a violent racist, didn't we?

But, wait, that's not the whole statement.

In context it's, "If we were really domestic terrorists, shoot, President Obama would be wanting to pal around with us wouldn’t he?"

Changes the entire character of what's said, doesn't it?

h/t Here.

02 August 2011

I Just Fucking Shot Myself - The Musical

h/t Tam


In my earlier post, I mentioned a principled stand.

Standing against overwhelming odds in the face of defeat is one thing.

Declaring you are going against your party before a consensus is formed is a principled stand.

Waiting until your party is certain of victory without you and then declaring your opposition is not.

01 August 2011

Public Transportation


Every home owner in Hillsborough County pays for the HART buses.

It's not a lot per year, less than $50.

Want to bet that HART's principle customers aren't homeowners?

How about we charge every single renter $45 a year to fund my car?

Oh yeah, my car is funding the roads that these buses are driving around on, isn't it?  HART gets their fuel road-tax free.

Explain to me again how this is a benefit to me and not just an unwilling subsidy to others?

I recall that buses and trains used to run at a profit in America.  What stopped that?  Who killed it?  The demographic that's dependent on them hasn't changed.

Is NFA, is made of money...

Robb is agog about the price of suppressors.

Every point he makes is true.  Sadly.

WizardPC's purchase of his suppressor includes the cost of establishing a trust.  It's expensive out of the box, but reusable.  He'll never have to establish that trust to buy an NFA item again.  Me too.

At least WizardPC is paying $200 to register SOMETHING.  I've paid $200 each to have nothing.

For the first SBR I paid about $44.44 per missing inch and the second is $133.33 per inch of air.

All of the stuff on the NFA list are "gangster" weapons.  Prohibition era gangsters.  Great Depression era gangsters.

These items really were being used by criminals.  Bonnie and Clyde used Colt Monitors (Browning Automatic Rifles) cut down for concealment.  The Thompson is notorious for its use by mobsters.  EVERYONE knows that only assassins use silencers.

Sound suppressors are on the gangster weapons list because the movie version of gangsters used them rather than in real life.

Are you a "gangster"?  I'm not.

That $200 tax was supposed to be a crushing burden that made you say, "screw this, that's not worth the money."  The background check is supposed to be onerous enough to make you say, "this is more trouble than it's worth."  The goal is to remove these items from common usage.  I don't accidentally use that phrasing.  Common usage is exactly how Heller v DC described what guns one had the right to own.

It's working isn't it?

Economics plays into it here too.  Every person who refuses to buy an NFA item that's still being manufactured makes them more expensive because that lowers the volume made.  If AAC sold twice as many cans they'd be cheaper.  That $200 tax and background per can are barriers to purchase that many people don't wish to climb.

But consider this: if you have a conceal carry permit, you've already submitted to this "anal probing."  You've also demonstrated that you can pass the probe.  What did that permit cost?  Is it an ongoing expense or one-time?  Virtually any cost or privacy objection to NFA can be applied to a carry permit.

CCW has something else in common with NFA: We shouldn't have to pay special for it!  The price of buying the gun should be the only cost to carrying it concealed.

Why do many meekly submit to the process of getting a carry permit then turn around and rage about the intrusiveness and excessive cost of getting a sound suppressor?

Sorry to pick on you, Robb.  You're not the first person I've heard with your complaint, you just happened to wake up my muse about it.

On the demise of Borders...

Truly it was Amazon.com what killed them.  They failed to adapt to the new paradigm and were as doomed as mainstreet v Wal Mart attempting to go head to head on price.

Brick and mortar v the internet has to be fought in terms of service.

The product will be the same and the physical store will charge more for it.  You have to offer the customer something to make that extra cost worth it.

Ever notice that gun shops stay alive in towns that also have a Wal Mart selling guns?  Gun shops sell expertise (founded or not) and customer care in addition to guns.  You ask the gun counter drone at Wal Mart, "Is x good for y?" and most of the time you won't get an answer.  The gun shop owner has an opinion and will happily share it with you.  Sometimes a BS answer is even better than a real one since the story is worth the time spent listening.

But I digress...

What the Borders failure means to me...

I hate Amazon for buying books.  Amazon is a poor place to go to get books on gun topics, for example.  Will the title, "Guns of the Navy SEALs" cover the Stoner?  The China Lake pump-action grenade launcher?  The cut down M60 they modified in the field?  The XM148?  Buying from Amazon, you don't know until you've paid your money and waited for shipping.

In a store I can see that I those items are not part of this book but will part of a future volume (that sadly didn't make print).  This is the future of books for me.  Spending more money on books that don't add to my knowledge due to repetition and likely more because fewer actual books are being printed.

A contributing factor to Border's demise though: people who treat the place like a library.  It was a business.  A business whose purpose was to sell books, not provide a space for people to read them in their entirety for free.  Every person who sat in the store reading and not buying has no room to complain that the place they weren't supporting financially is now gone.  And don't try to defend them by saying, "they bought other titles, so they were supporting them," in that case they are a bit less guilty.  Consider that the title they read instead of purchased could have been never stocked, saving the place the cost of having it there since they were never going to pay for it.