31 July 2013


7.62x51mm NATO.

Because when empty a ten pound maul trumps a six pound frangible club.

Made Up Stuff

There was once a time when Scots were treated as if they were Irish.  Americans couldn't tell the difference.

No matter how many fights they got into over the differences; people still treated them like they were Irish.

And since a Scottish brogue kinda does sound like a drunk Irish one...

Well, Mac; meet Mick.


I just realized something.

Tabitha is chambered in 6.8.  She's one of the Brony lower guns.  6.8 delivers more energy down range.  How much more?

Let's just say, it's 20% more awesome!

Lookie What I Can Do

I get "The Movie Channel" with my Dish subscription.

This month they've got "Brokeback Mountain" featured.

I've discovered an interesting feature on my TV that people who write letters about the filth on television seem to lack: I can not tune that channel in while this movie I don't want to see is on!

Apparently others are forced to watch this film they find morally objectionable and the only thing that will save them is to have the government ban such content from being broadcast.

I've tried several channels now and the program on my TV matches the description of what is supposed to be on that station.  I have not once been automatically directed to "Brokeback Mountain".

This is because my TV is old and doesn't have an S-Chip, isn't it?

30 July 2013

Dear GOP

You run another Democrat for president I am voting Democrat.

Fuck you.

SAW 6.8

Not torture porn!

Where 6.8 might really shine is in the LMG role.

Here many of its down sides against 5.56 are upsides against 7.62.

And the Army really needs a new SAW.  The M249 is just not very good.  The M240 is just too damn cumbersome.

An excellent SAW in 6.8 could entirely offset the warts that changing over the rifle exposes.  You really want your SAW and rifle to be chambered for the same round.

There's no data because I can't just go out and make a machinegun on my own to be a hobbyist with.

Six Eight Debate

6.8x43mm SPC was developed by a group of SF soldiers to fill a need they perceived they had.

It failed in this limited role because the firearms industry made a couple of errors.  That's a debate for a different discussion.

The round did manage to capture the imagination of some dedicated hobbyists and they discovered the errors made and got the fixes adopted as the de facto standard for 6.8.

In fact, the new standard is so much improved it's caused a great many people to wonder if it should be considered to replace 5.56 now.

People have been wanting to replace 5.56 since about 1967, so this is not new.  What is new is that 6.8 seems so easy to transition to.  You don't even need to replace the entire gun!

Some history.  Just after The Great War The War to End All Wars World War One all of the involved armies looked hard at what guns they'd brought to the fight and if they'd been used in the manner for which they'd been designed.  Pretty much everyone agreed that they had not.  "What would be ideal for the war we'd just fought?" they all asked.  After killing a good many goats and pigs it was determined that a 7mm round with a max range around 600m would be about right.  The British were actually ahead of this curve having adopted .276 British for the Pattern 13 rifle just before the war.

"Oh shit there's a war on!" meant it was a bad plan to change over to .276 from .303 in 1914.  In 1919, there just wasn't any money to make any great changes, so .303 soldiered on until after WW2.  However, the studies led the US to adopt the .276 Pederson cartridge for the new M1 semiautomatic rifle.  10 rounds, clip loaded, gas operated!

"What about the mountains of .30-06 we have in warehouses?" asked Gen Douglas MacArthur?  Damn!  Well, 8 shots of .30-06 should do, no?  And it did.

Zee Germans were aware of these studies too, but were spending all their money on airplanes, tanks, ships and hiding that spending from the rest of the world.  They had a wonderful 7x35mm round from Switzerland they thought would be just perfect!  If only there were funding.  Well, maybe after the war...  They very nearly did adopt it during the war, in 1944.  That's when some irritating facts about tooling came to light and it became expedient to stay with a 7.92 caliber round; thus was born 7.92x33mm Kurz.

The Soviets were behind the curve, but aware of the studies.  When they decided that they'd like to take advantage of this knowledge, they hit the same tooling realities as the Germans and so their intermediate round ended up the same caliber as their old full-power round; so 7.62x39mm.

After the war yet another round of studying comes along.  AGAIN 7mm is identified as ideal and this time it's determined that riflemen very rarely shoot at anything beyond 400m so having a round that's lethal at 1,500m is unnecessary.  Everyone was impressed with the 7.92x33mm StG.44.  So much so that Fabrique National of Belgium designed the FAL round this round for NATO consideration.

The British remembered their research from 1913 and updated it with the 1945 material and came up with .280 British.  Then they adopted it and a rifle to shoot it.

But the US said, "Hey, those heavy thirty caliber rounds just won the war!  We shouldn't give up proven war winning capability just because nobody was utilizing it.  Plus they did fine in Korea too, so there!"  Enter 7.62x51mm...

Go ahead and keep your antiquated round say Belgium and Britain.  "Fine, pay for NATO without us!" says the US.  Thus the ideal round is tabled once again and 7.62x51mm remains our standard service rifle cartridge to this very day!

Wait... what?

There's another study creeping around the edges of the small arms design world.  Since it's mass times velocity squared, can't we substitute velocity for mass and get the same result?  Now we're in the world of Small Caliber High Velocity (SCHV).

This idea was embraced by a team at a little start-up splinter off of Fairchild Aircraft Corporation.  Armalite.  They downsized their AR10 into what's now known as the AR15 and pitched it at the Air Force, who were looking to replace their far from full-sized/power M1 carbines.

And Armalite made the sale!  They let out production to Colt and went around the world peddling their new whiz-bang space-age gun.  What emerges from the heady waters of Southeast Asian military sales/support is the wholesale adoption of the M16 over the "proven war winning standard" of the M14.  Enter 5.56x45mm M193.  The transition was neither smooth nor uncontroversial.  Reams have been written on it, but suffice it to say that 5.56 is a crown that rests heavy on the minds of many.

NATO was less than pleased by the US abandoning the standard NATO round.

The pesky Belgians enter into the fray again when NATO decides to adopt 5.56 as a standard.  They develop SS109 and L110 ball and tracer.  NATO put a requirement that any round that replaces 7.62x51mm NATO be able to punch a steel M1 helmet at 600m.  M193 couldn't.  SS109 has a steel portion to its core that does.  HUZZAH!  Everyone is happy for all time!


The US version of SS109 is M855 and it doesn't seem to do so well against unarmored people at much closer than 600m ranges, and this caused quite a stir in Mogadishu, Somalia.  Nevertheless, we stuck to our guns and called the situation there unique and not a good example of its typical performance.  After all, it seemed to work fine in Iraq.

Then there's the war on Tara (run Scarlet, RUN!).

The same sort of reports about M855 hitting, but not stopping the bad guys we saw in 1993 start happening again.  Then there are some reports that our guys can hit a long range, but the bullet is about useless out that far.

Several solutions to that have been put forward without changing chambering.  Mk 262 is a 77gr round based on a commercial hunting round.  Mk 318 is a 62gr bullet with a more conventional construction than M855.  Both seem to perform better on soft targets than M855 at all ranges.

Both the old M193 and newer M855 depend on the bullet flying to pieces when they hit.  A certain minimum velocity is required to cause that to happen.  It turns out that the impact angle of the bullet is critical too, and M855 is erratic about this.  Mk 262 and Mk 318 aren't and they fly apart at lower velocities which makes them more effective at longer ranges when the round has slowed.

6.8 is a solution to the erratic behavior of the M855.

The Army Marksmanship Unit helped develop the round and they dusted off the hoary old reams of data about the ideal round.  They wanted a round that fit in the M4 package with minimal changes.  They made lots of experimental cartridges.  They found that 7mm did the most damage and 6.5mm was most accurate and 6.8 the best compromise between.

So they finalized their design and Remington helped out a bunch and the wheels came off.

The commercial powder Remington used for the "issue" ammo was intolerant to the treatment it would receive in the hands of SF troops.  It lost velocity compared to virgin ammo and the round failed to perform as designed.  Failed experiment.

Remington got involved because they saw a lot of commercial appeal to a round that could fit in an AR with minimal changes.  Somewhere along the line, their submission to SAAMI contained an error in the chamber dimensions.  An error that raised the chamber pressures to dangerous levels.  To reduce the pressure, the amount of powder in the cartridge was reduced and thus velocity was reduced... another failure.

The AMU, SF and Remington all made the same error with regards to rifling.  A standard .277 barrel has 1:9 to 1:9.5 rifling because .270 Winchester has used this for decades.  It's less than ideal for the much lighter bullets required of the AR's magazine dimensions.

Enter the hobbyists!

The first thing that was attempted was to slow the rifling down.  It was immediately noticed that pressure signs on the brass were greatly reduced, so they experimented with adding more powder.  Velocities improved and pressures stayed in the safe range.  Increasing the leade back to where the initial order for the SF from Barrett had it also helped reduce pressure; so more velocity could be added.  This is now known as 6.8 SPC II.

In so many ways 6.8 is now far better than any 5.56 load.  Nearly twice the mass at 5/6 the velocity for a 115gr FMJ v M855.  Bigger hole even without fragmentation.  Reliable fragmentation at longer ranges with Sierra Matchking bullets.  Win, win; right?

Tactically, it's a huge win.  But amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics.

A single round of 6.8x43mm is 44% heavier than M855.  A 25 round magazine is the same size and shape as a 30 round USGI magazine, but is 30% heavier.  A 30 round magazine doesn't fit existing pouches and is 70% heavier!  This extra mass must be transported and carried.

Pound per pound you can carry 5.38 (so five) 25-round 6.8 magazines or just four 30 round magazines where the 5.56 equipped soldier is packing seven 30 rounders.  Meaning that a 6.8 equipped troop has 120-125 rounds instead of 210.  That means it needs to be twice as good, but it's really only about 20% better.

If we make our troop carry 9 25-round mags to get the number of shots back up (225 rounds), we've got to take 4.7 pounds out of something else.  We're already crippling our grunts with the loads we make them haul.

The thing is, this is attainable.  It could be done.  Should we?

We have mountains of existing ammunition.  There's an eager market for surplus that would buy it at more than it cost to buy in the first place.

There's a huge training gorilla in the room.  6.8 hits the shoulder just a little harder and that affects follow-up shot speed.  6.8 really shines out past 300m as compared to 5.56 and we don't train to hit out there.  Both of these things require more shooting in training and more expenditure of ammo; which we're already reluctant to do with the cheaper 5.56.

5.56 costs less than 6.8; but the present price disparity might be because nobody is making millions of rounds of 6.8 in any loading.  Still it will cost more, regardless, because it uses more material.

The time to change over is when a unit is turning in its guns from wear, in peacetime.  The very time when budgets are tightest and there's the most number of unissued guns available at sunk cost.

As you can see, I like 6.8 and think it's viable.

But we don't need to change to it.

Rounds like the Mk 318 SOST are showing that you can eliminate the erratic behavior of M855 and keep 5.56.  And that's all that needs done.  Dropping the gravel-belly Cold War requirement that the round punch a helmet at ranges we call for artillery fire for is all that's needed to let SOST become standard.  If it weren't for the rebarelling issue, I'd say go back to M193 (oh and it has the same erratic behavior with regards to entry angle).

We've got to decide what we want our infantry rifle to do and then train our troops to do that with it.  Presently we've not made that decision and our training is not serving a defined end.


I've been remiss about reporting it...

The Boy has been doing great at school!

Something he would not have been able to do without you guy's generous support!

Without July he would not have been eligible to participate in the school musical because he'd have missed too much practice.  (He can't carry a tune in a bucket but we'll clap and cheer like he was a solo tenor anyways).  He's going to be performing the male side of "You Better Shape Up" "You're The One That I Want" from Grease.

Thanks to Tam I've been reading about someone who's milked the heartstrings of their readers fraudulently.

It pisses me off!

Lots of people want to help, but when they read shit like Warrior Eli Hoax they can't help but wonder if they are being conned.

Here's Thag's no-con guarantee!  If you ever feel like your contribution was solicited dishonestly, I will refund it.  With the proviso that it might not be in one lump or happen very quickly because funds really ARE tight most times around here.  99% of the time we're doing OK, just the timing of the disasters is bad.

Apples Oranges Watermelons

The "why don't we dump 5.56 and replace it with 6.8" debate is raging (again) at Arfcom.

I have a whole diatribe about why we should and why we don't (and shouldn't) make such a change.

I might even post it soon, but for now...

Tam is correct.  Arfcom is a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

The logic of why we should keep 5.56 is roughly:

Apples are round.  Oranges are round.  Apples are red, therefore; watermelon.

Can't refute that logic!


What do the flight controls in a Traveller ship consist of?

For most things, it's a keyboard.  Let the computer and the autopilot do it because it's long and boring.

The game rules in OG LBB and G:T insist that the pilot is actually flying during the take-off and landing phase though.

How does he do it?

What I have envisioned...

To point the ship, there's the conventional stick and rudder.  A side stick (on the right side because FUCK YOU Airbus).

There are two controls for the level of thrust.  One is the big throttle lever (left of the seat) like we're used to seeing in a plane.  The second is a teeny thumb-wheel.  The teeny wheel is for fine control for precision work, like docking.

The Traveller maneuver drive is omni-directional.  To control the direction of thrust there's a track-ball like device in the center (where a conventional joystick would be).  The ball has soft stops in it so you have some tactile feedback that you've hit the cardinal points.  The ball is marked so you can look at it and see the thrust orientation and there's an indicator in the holographic instrumentation display.

On ships so equipped, there's a lever for the contragravity system.  Full back is off, full forward is zero weight and the mid-point is neutral buoyancy.  Since these effects are affected by the present mass of the ship, the engineer sets the true range this control has.

Thanks to high-resolution full-color holographic displays, a ship pilot can set up their "instrumentation" to be a chair hanging unsupported in space and have a full 360˚ view around the ship.  There are also conventional flat-panel touch screens.  What the pilot sees is very customizable, some pilots prefer to use the attitude and vector indicators and the windows at one extreme others prefer the full 3D wrap-around illusion; with every point in between as well.

Ray Of Hope!

Looks like them prayers work!

Sisinlaw Says:

Herk is off the ventilator now for almost 48 hours, just on regular oxygen and doing well! He is a terrible patient! Constantly trying to get out of the bed or chair and stand, but he is not used to sitting still so I can imagine his frustration! Showed him some pictures today and asked him to look for an object, he only participated for one but found the right one! Freely moved his right leg a couple times to get comfortable in his new bed. Just finished tucking him in at the new facility, will meet all the new Drs in the morning. Hopefully we are only here for a short time with the recent progress and he can get right to rehab!
Long ways yet to go, but this is the best news she's sent so far.

29 July 2013


My 1903 is refinished.

I had it done.

I did not hurt the value.

It's an anonymous 1913 made .32 with no particular provenance.

It was ROUGH when I got it.  You can tell how rough when you see how light many of the markings are after polishing; and theres still some pitting in evidence.  Previous owners must have really hated it.  I used to have pics from before, but they've gone missing.

Nearly Gone Pony

I was hesitant to buy it initially, but the internals were pristine.

It shoots quite well though.

Gnaw Ledge

I've found myself in an odd position a couple of times lately.

I know enough to tell that someone is wrong/incorrect/mistaken.

I do not know enough to refute them.

28 July 2013

Herk Daily

Herk was on CPAP all night and switched to regular oxygen about an hour ago, breathing all on his own through his trach collar! Last time he failed this in less than a minute. Sitting in the chair today when I got here and full of piss and vinegar! Giving me some all too familiar faces and hand gestures, actually making me laugh today! He is able to push himself forward in the chair to sit up and make himself comfortable. Today is much more encouraging than the last few, hopefully he is willing to follow some commands now too!

This seems a bright spot.  I'll attach some hope to this!

What If

One of the cool things you can do with Strike Fighters 2 is to make changes to the campaigns.

You're limited to inserting nations, squadrons and aircraft from the list that come with the game, but it's not a very short list.

I've been running the Israeli campaigns (Suez Crisis, Six Day War, Yom Kippur War, Lebanon War) with a USAF squadron with USAF planes that were available at that time.

For the Suez crisis I flew an F-100A.

For the Six Day War I flew an F-4D.

For the Yom Kippur War I'm flying an F-4E with the Agile Eagle upgrades.

I haven't decided what I'm going to fly for Lebanon.

For the Yom Kippur War, we exported F-4E's to Israel under Peace Echo I and Peace Echo IV and I've flown them in the game.  The USAF planes have the benefit of being modified based on experience from Vietnam.  The IDF-AF planes don't.

Nothing demonstrates this more than the US Phantoms having AGM-65A's available and jamming pods that are effective against the SA-2.

Ferrari Pics

You know, while my Vette can trounce that old 308 GTSi, nobody takes a picture of my car and posts it to the internet because I parked next to them.

Style and pedigree counts.

A Ferrari is a Ferrari, and a Vette is just a Chevy.

27 July 2013

Daily Bro Update

Herk is still in CPAP since yesterday and tolerating, they lowered the settings a bit today but he was breathing quick again so the put them back up. He is alert and moves his left side with intent (scratch his face or to adjust in bed) but still not actively participating in therapy or following commands, only moves for his own comfort. He is getting some pain meds to relax the rest of the night since he was stimulated a lot today.
Tomorrow visitation will be 12-4 only so therapy can work with him as needed and he can rest after all the stimulation.

I hate to break it to my sister in law's bubble of hope, but that is not alert. That is awake. And that's not up to conscious.

Damn, damn, damn.

Not Just Broadripple

Tam's spotted a Ferrari near her.

This pulled in next to me at Dairy Queen today.

308 GTSi.  214 screaming mechanically injected horsepower!  3,366 lbs.
Corvette Coupe.  436 multiport electronic fuel injected ponies.  3,256 lbs.

Time makes fools of us all, even Enzo.

No V6 Altimas were present for the kicking of sand.

Update:  It's park next to an Italian sports car day!

Marv found this a Home Depot.

Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggara: Ten pistons, 562 horsepower; 3,176 lb.
Mazda B2200: 4-cylinders, carbureted 85 horses, 2,725 lbs!


Once upon a time, I had my 1903 Pocket Hammerless refinished in a rich dark blue.

That makes the original plastic grips look as beat up as they are.

I've become obsessed with getting a set of ivory stocks for it.

I've also become appalled at the prices on the rare occasion that I've found a pair.

Just this evening I've discovered bonded ivory.  It's a lot cheaper.

What says the hive?

26 July 2013

Buy Me Some Damn Furniture

Jesus H Fucking Christ, if you're going to let me live in your dumb head this hard you could at least furnish the empty cavity.

I mean really.

It's pretty damn clear that you dedicate a significant amount of time worrying about me from your reaction to The Lovely Harvey wishing you well on your recent marriage.


To put it simply.  Some of the things you're clearly angry about did not happen the way you say they did.  Either the person who told you is mistaken or they're lying.

I'd be worried about whether I could trust them, but I'd stopped talking to them quite a while ago, not long after I gave up on you in fact.

You simply don't enter into my thoughts until someone else brings you up and you're only there so long as they persist.

Oh, and bonus points for forcing your daughter to unfriend The Boy.  Classy.

You're a piece of shit and I am happy I flushed you.

Open Water In Space-Ace-Ace-Ace-Ace

New movie in the pipeline.  Gravity.

Hangin In There

Rested on the vent all night, back on CPAP this morning with a little less support than yesterday. Followed commands for the Dr this morning and has been alert, showing a half grin and squinting his face when the Dr was inflicting pain to get him to move his right arm (he did it but I think he really wanted to punch him! Lol) Having some tests and scans done for infection today to find the cause for his fever, will be starting an antibiotic too. I asked for a reality check this morning during rounds and the reality is this will take 1-2 years to see what will be his new life and what he will regain. He could progress 60% over the next six months then plateau for a few months or 95% then plateau, there is no formula or way to predict his recovery. The last couple days have been uneventful but today is a little better so this will be the longest roller coaster ride of our lives!
It's heartbreaking to think of what he will miss with the kids and what they will miss with their father, but we can make up for two years lost as long as he can remain strong and work hard to get to a point where he can enjoy them again! I'm hopeful but the time will probably feel like its standing still! Keep all the positive thoughts and prayers coming!

If he wakes up he's got all my sympathy with dealing with his disability.

It took me five years to recover to 80% on my leg.  It took another ten to get to 90%.  And that's all the better it will ever get.

My injury was relatively simple compared to Herk's and mine was life altering.  I used to enjoy hiking, camping and bike riding.  I can no longer walk far enough to hike nor carry enough to camp.  I still have my bike, but...

Herk's got a stroke to recover from.  Broken femur, broken humerus, probably all kinds of soft tissue damage and I'll betcha a coke he's got neck and back issues the rest of his life because I've never seen someone go down on a bike and hurt their head who didn't.  Those impact forces do like to spread.

Fingers crossed.

25 July 2013

Herk Update

He was on CPAP all night and tired out by this morning so back on the vent for a couple hours rest then back at it again! No big plans for today, just cleaning him up a bit, changing some of his lines and hoping the Drs can pull some strings with insurance to get him moved sooner.

24 July 2013

Thanks Obamacare!

Insurance is being a pain in the ass, he is cleared to move from the surgeons but apparently there is a medical director reviewing his case at United Healthcare and they declared him unstable to move. The surgeons will call again tomorrow to argue with them again but it may not be until Mon/Tues afternoon. So it's another day by day thing which is awesome. He is still on CPAP and tolerating well at the current settings, which is progress from a couple days ago. Not willing to respond to too many commands today but moving around if he wants something. Gave him a fresh haircut and trim and he has been sleeping for the last hour or so. Just started eating again too.

I am not sure I'd call a feeding tube "eating".  To me eating involves tasting.

So, That's It Then?

Trach and feeding tube surgery went well. He will start eating again in about an hour. He is cleared to move to the long term care facility today so just waiting to hear if they have a bed and what time. They are still trying to wean him off the vent while he is here and will do some more breathing trials throughout the day but he is not strong enough to come off the vent yet. I'll update with any new details if they come up.

I just don't have any personal examples of someone who's come back from this.  I'm angry and saddened and just wanna break something.

The Whole Point

What got my looking hard at the contragrav units was the 400 ton Subsidized Merchant only pulls 1.03g with it's 158.38 dTon hold full of cargo weighing not more than 791.88 sTons.

It is VERY important to remember that a GURPS: Traveller dTon is a ton of liquid hydrogen and not water.

A hold full of water would weigh 2,470.65 sTons and reduce acceleration to a mere 0.47g.

Ain't doin' no VTOL take-off with that.

So I wondered...

Reduce the cargo ever so slightly (0.5 dTon) by adding a contragrav unit to the ship.  The Akkigish already costs 57,250,000 Imperial Credits; what's another 150,000?

The CG unit doesn't increase the acceleration any, but it does mean that I don't have to counter the planet's gravity and can apply my full thrust to getting to orbit.

And that's worth it!

For the record.  Adding more maneuver drive to make a ship with 1.01g with that hold full of water drops cargo space to 126.38 dTon.  That'd be a 2.01g ship with the standard break-bulk cargo assumptions.  It raises the price of the ship to MCr 62.37 though.

Contragrav is definitely more cost effective than more engines.  Especially since the 0.47g with CG gets you to orbit faster than 1.01g without it.

And another thing!

The ubiquitous air/raft is a CG vehicle!  CG is common throughout the Third Imperium, so why would they stop using this useful, common, technology at TL10 just because the maneuver drives make more thrust?

23 July 2013

The Mysterious Effects Of Contra-Gravity

Your ship is sitting on the pad.  You turn on the contra-grav system.

What happens?

GURPS 3e Space; p.120 says:

     This superscience technology allows the ship to "screen" itself from some or all of the gravitational pull of a planet or other body.  In practice, this means its weight is reduced to zero for takeoff or landing; thus, only a small amount of thrust is needed.
     A ship with sufficient CG lift can hover in midair, or float gently up or down into orbit.  To do this, it needs enough CG lift to neutralize its weight under the local gravity field.  A half-space light contragravity (LCG) system can neutralize up to 1,000 tons.  A one-space heavy contragravity (HCG) system can nuetralize up to 5,000 tons.  In both cases, this is weight under local gravity - a ship on a 2G world will need twice as much CG!
     It the GM wishes to make contragravity less effective, simply reduce the weight it can nuetralize.

GURPS: Traveller p.107 merely mentions that the normally TL12 contragavity is introduced at TL8.

G:T Starships says:

Contragravity Systems [TL8]
     Contragravity systems cancel out all natural gravitational forces acting on an object up to their rated lifting capacity, as discussed on pp. GT 107 and S120.  In GURPS Traveller, where reactionless thrusters are common, such technology is available but only necessary in very specialized applications.
     Each module counteracts 450 sTons of weight at TL8, 1,500 sTons at TL9 and 5,000 sTons at TL10+.  The module provides no lateral thrust.

And that's it!  That's all I got.

I was perfectly happy with when it was activated the ship just sat there until you applied some thrust.

Then Geff (real life fucking mentat) and Ben (doctorate astrophysics) started asking questions with their tasty chess club brains.

Geff emphatically stated that something with a weight of zero effectively has a density of zero so it's going to float on the local atmosphere, so activating the system means you're going to go up.  Quite quickly in fact.

The reason we don't float is that our weight exceeds the weight of the volume of air we displace.  Reducing the weight of the ship is increasing its buoyancy.  A Traveller dTon is 500 cubic feet.  The weight of a cubic foot of air is about 0.0807 lb. per cu-ft.  Thus if our 400 dTon ship's weight is brought below 16,140 lbs it's lighter than air and will move upward.  The standard CG module does 5,000 TONS of reduction.

Your vector as applied by the rotation of the body also applies.

These questions also raised other concerns that were never fully addressed.

If I cannot thrust straight out of the atmosphere, but I have a winged ship...  Can I fly out to orbit?  The reactionless engines in Traveller are unaffected by the density of the air and can make a constant thrust for years thanks to GURPS removal of the power plant fuel requirement.  Since the maximum air speed is indicated air speed, in theory I could keep gaining altitude and ground speed until I got past the point where I needed the wings.

Weigh in here if you have an opinion, but you're going to have to show your work not just make unbacked assertions.

I've been running the game on some VERY simplified tables and equations and lately I've been thinking they are a bit lacking.

Herk Schaivo

They are putting in the trach and feeding tube directly into his stomach now. No changes since yesterday in regards to movement or alertness. Unless significant changes happen in the next day or so, he will most likely be moved to a long term acute care facility so he can continue rebuilding his strength to a point where he can withstand up to 3 hours physical therapy a day. Once he is at that point he will be moved to an acute rehab facility for long term rehab. So it's likely by the end of this week we will be moving to another facility, just not sure which one yet, hoping he can go straight to rehab!

22 July 2013

Hard To Hang On To The Hope

CPAP trials today are still not showing enough improvement to be extubated, he tires after a couple hours. Unless there are some massive changes today, he is being prepped for a trachea tube tomorrow morning. Some come off the vent faster on a trach, so I kind of would have rather them prepared him for it today. His right side is weak so they are worried about the right side of his throat as well as far as protecting his airways. The tube being out may even wake him more. He has had his eyes open a lot today, let him read some twitter feeds and he responds to commands for me but not as well for the Dr and they are the ones that need to we it. Nothing else planned for today so I will update tomorrow. Visiting only until 5pm tonight so he can rest before the procedure tomorrow.

21 July 2013

Crash Bro Afternoon Update

He was put back on the vent about 10:30 and moved to a chair to sit up for a couple hours. His heart rate was a little high so they have him some anti anxiety and pain meds, moved him back to the bed and he has been out like a light ever since! Since this stuff takes so long to get out of his system this will be how he is most of the night. Tomorrow they will try to wean him off the vent again but he is still not cleared by neuro to come off since he is not alert enough. Chances are pretty good he will be getting a trachea tube tomorrow or Tuesday but they are trying and hoping to avoid it if they can. I will update after rounds tomorrow at 9am.

I Don't Think I Can

If there's a way to make it harder to tighten the belts on a 2002 Civic EX Sedan, we should give that engineer a creativity prize.

The anchor bolts for the AC and alternator aren't too bad, but you have to get at them through the wheel well.  It's the adjuster that's the pain.  It's a wing-bolt.  And it's just barely reachable from any place you can think of attacking it from, with no tool clearance at all once it decides to bind up past finger tight, but well before proper belt tension.

Good thing I am double jointed, huh?

Half turn with my 9" long needle nose pliers from the top, reaching in behind the radiator.  Then half turn with thumb and forefinger of my right hand bent around the core support from the wheel well...  Unglaublich!

The power steering pump is a little better, but there's one anchor bolt that's tight between the belt and the strut tower.  You can just barely get a 12mm 1/4 drive on a swivel in there.  The wing bolt on this adjuster is right on top so there's no problem getting a pair of pliers on it.

At any rate it's done!

I should have tightened them a couple of hundred miles after I replaced them when I did the timing belt.  They went more than a year without squealing, so I guess I shouldn't complain too loud.


If a Empress Marava with J2 and 52.22 dTons of cargo space costing MCr 37.66 is economically viable enough that they're common...

Then a Subsidized Merchant with a J2, 117.32 dTons of cargo space costing MCr 77.02 should be a shoe in; especially since the Imperium is footing the payments for a cut of the profits.

In thirty years of playing Traveller it never occurred to me until last night to put a J2 drive in a SubMerch.

Looking at my map of the Imperium, J2 is a far more viable drive for a merchant ship since it's very rare that you need J3 to get where you need to go, but J2 are everywhere.

Economics of scale are everywhere.  Notice that more than doubling the cargo space doesn't cost twice as much.

Crash Bro Daily Update

Sister in Law de la McThag sends:

He is on even less ventilator support than yesterday but is getting tired so will probably go back on in a little bit. He is still only receiving oral pain meds to help and avoid sedation. He moved his right hand to command at exam this morning. He "talks" with his eyes and facial expressions so its good to see him in there. Today and tomorrow he must be kept quiet with minimal stimulation to give his body time to get used to working on its own again. I will provide updates as something changes.

Oh and he pulled my arm around his stomach to bring me in for a kiss this morning! Awesome!
Things seem to on the better side of where they could be! Cautiously optimistic.


Yesterday was mostly consumed with making a set of service ramps for The Precious.

This is just about the only thing I actively hate about my Corvette.  It's so very low that you can't get any standard ramp or jack under the front end to do normal things like change the oil.

There are specialty ramps and jacks available, but they're very expensive.

So I made my own 6' long ramps.

This is actually the second set I've made.  The first set was stolen.

Since the grand total of all the wood is under $100 the cops aren't going to do anything.  It's not like it's as important as busting convenience stores selling illegal-by-county-ordinance-not-even-state-law synthetic marijuana.

20 July 2013



Herk is on minimal ventilator support today, they are trying to wean him off but he is still not alert enough yet. There will be minimal visitors, visits to be kept short and to immediate family only the next couple days. If he fails these trials he will have to stay on a vent, so it must be kept quiet. He is doing good so far, keep positive thoughts coming.
He went back on the vent at 2:30 (just after my initial post - Thag) because he was getting tired. Just took him off only for support again about 20 minutes ago. He is responding off and on but still pretty out of it. Just going to keep trying and rebuilding strength in his lungs.


Using the GURPS: Traveller Starships rules I have recreated the Kinunir Class Colonial Cruiser.

It's not really a cruiser...  It's more of a destroyer escort.

It's got 8x2 405 MJ lasers, 2x1 1.4 GJ Particle Beams and 2x3 500mm Missile.

Jump 4, 4g; just like the original design from Adventure 1 and Supplement 9.

What I lost was cargo space.

There are a lot of systems detailed in Adventure 1 that are included for nothing that cost space and mass in G:T.  22.75 dTons of unaccounted systems are in this design.

The black globe generator is MUCH larger in G:T than Book 5.  Like more than ten times as much.

Also you lose a significant amount of space streamlining the ship.

All in all I am happy with how it came out.

The price in G:T (1,063.1 MCr) is even quite close to that given in Supplement 9 (MCr 1,079.99)!

I can work with the G:T Modular Design System.

This is me officially declaring my G:T world is officially 100% GURPS now.


And of course I made an error.  I used the HP number for the surface area and that makes a lot of things bigger than they need to be.

Cargo space is now 41.13 dTon and final cost is MCr 869.1.

Update Again:

I fixed something that had bothered me from the original game.  The Kinunir in LBB had a 35 ton Pinnace.  Pinnaces are 40 tons!  Carrying a non-standard small craft made no sense.

So I decided I was either going to change it to a 30 ton Ship's Boat or a 40 ton Pinnace.

The pinnace is cooler sounding, don't you think?  Also it has 5g of acceleration!

19 July 2013

Better Than Yesterday

SiL Writes:

Stable last night. When I got here this morning he opened his eye to look at me. Told him I loved him and he turned and puckered up for a kiss! He is in there just taking time to come out. Tried to take him off the vent, he is breathing on his own but too fast, he could go into heart failure, so not awake enough yet to manage on his own. He is focusing a lot today on trying to itch "down there" so it's again another sign of Herk again! Lol Nothing planned for today, no new bleeds on the scans, just some meds, food and tying to get him to go to the bathroom!

That's positive, right?  Hope and stuff!

He is stable, acknowledging throughout the day, following some commands. Stats are showing his lungs are stronger and retaining air better. They will continue to try to take him off the vent daily as long as his stats support it. Next attempt will be tomorrow morning.

Things Are Bad

Real bad.

You can tell when the most intelligent thing you've read about a racially divisive issue today comes from Charles Barkley.

Charles "I'm Not A Role Model" Barkley!

You Know What...

Fuck 'em!

The pensioners from Detroit who are poised to get, if they're lucky, 10% of the pensions they were promised?

You bastards are lucky you aren't up on extortion charges.  Because extortion is exactly how those pie in the sky unrealistic return pensions were established in the first place.

It's really a hat trick.

You extorted, via threat of strike, raises.

Via the same means you demanded and got that salary promised for the rest of your life and got to retire at a ridiculously young age.

You kept voting for people who are masters at economic destruction, thus guaranteeing that the investments that were supposed to make money to pay your pension would fail.


18 July 2013

Lesson Learned

Something else I learned from the tribulations of George Zimmerman.

It is once again OK to blame the victim!

No more sympathy for rape victims because they should have stayed in the truck shouldn't have dressed like that.


Someone who had never played OG LBB Traveller might never notice while playing GURPS: Traveller.

The Tigress has been hamstrung!

She's a massive 500,000 dTon space Pac Man.

In LBB Supplement 9:  Jump 4, Maneuver 6.

In GURPS: Traveller Starships: Jump 4, Accel 2g.  Now that's disappointing!

I guess the 300 fighters on board are supposed to herd you into range of that massive 2.9 terajoule spinal mount Meson-Gun.

It seems that many of the familiar designs have been neutered by the new design system.  I wonder if it's worth it to go back through them and restore performance or not.

Not What I Wanted To Hear

Sis-In-Law reports:

"Recovery from surgery was fine last night, he is stable. Lungs and heart sound fine, if he was aware enough he could come off the ventilator but not the case so far. Neuro just took a look at him and are going to do some more scans of his head and neck. They reviewed the MRI in front of me from the other day seeing possible areas of stroke and showing me the areas of bleeding. Basically concluding that this will be difficult to wake up from and there are strong possibilities of disabilities for a long time, maybe forever. To what extent is unknown, he says some never wake up, some recover and can live a virtually normal life. Still have to go day by day to see if he can regain consciousness."

Dammit, that's not near so positive as the previous prognosis.

Many expletives expressed.


The 5 tons weight per 5 tons volume assumption seems pretty light until you consider that interstellar hauling of bulk materiel is probably not economical.

Why in God's Black Sky would you ever haul 730 tons of pig iron to another star?  Don't they have any asteroids?

When you have an entire solar system to use for raw materials, there's just not many reasons to import them.

Finished goods are going to be the profitable items.  Low tech worlds make low tech things and import high tech stuff.  High tech worlds import low tech goods that because of comparative advantage they can't afford to make themselves.

It means that some really low tech places are going to have iPhones, cell towers and horse drawn transportation...  The local TL will mean what they can build for themselves and not necessarily the TL of what's available for purchase.

Luxury goods are always importable and rarely very dense.

Ship Design

Trying to duplicate Erin's design was the first time, ever, I'd attempted to use the GURPS: Traveller modular ship design system.

It's not laid out as I would have liked, but it will suffice.

I think I can live with the change from the maneuver drive pulling a volume to pushing a mass.

There's a bit more book-keeping since you need to figure out the mass of the ship to get the acceleration and that can be a big factor on whether you can take-off!

The standard assumption is 5 sTon per dTon of cargo.  That's 10,000 lbs per 500 cu ft.  20 lbs per cubic foot.  Less than a third of the density of water...

Cast iron is 112.5 sTon per dTon.  Water is 15.6 sTon/dTon.  Bulk wheat would be 12.1 sTon/dTon!

So the 146 tons of cargo space in a Subsidized Merchant is rated for 730 tons of weight.  That mass rating means that just under 6.5 dTons of cast iron could be carried without affecting performance.  That's a cube of iron 14.8 feet per side or a cube of water 28.6 ft across.

A full (mass) load of wheat would take up less than half the cargo hold (60.5 cu ft).

Clearly the game designers weren't thinking of tramp freighters a bulk material haulers.  Bulk hauling really requires specialized ships anyway otherwise loading and unloading is a labor intensive chore.


Real world comparison:

C-5M.  Cargo compartment there is 73.359 dTon.  Max payload on that is a mere 135 tons (7.36 lb. per cu ft).

747 LCF.  130 dTon.  Max payload, just 44.673 tons at max fuel.  1.38 lb/cu ft.

747-400F.  43.34 dTon.  Max payload, 68.315 tons with max fuel.  6.31 lb. per cu ft.

It does very well against modern aircraft, especially when you consider it can pull 1.01g with that 730 ton load.  It's capable of out accelerating many modern fighters.

The jump drive still seems to work on a volume rather than a mass, so if you've some means of hauling the iron from the surface to orbit you can pack in 16,425 tons of cast iron where only being able to accelerate at 0.08g isn't QUITE the liability it is while parked on the surface.  From orbit it takes just a bit over 11 hours to get to jump distance from an Earth sized world at 0.08g.  If we restrict our cargo to the standard amount 1.01g carries us to the jump point from the surface in about three hours thirty minutes.

Traveller numbers in GURPS are still miraculous!

Update: the value of a 730 tons of... in USD today is:

Iron $429,240.
Wheat $223,635.50.

Hauling at the normal 600 Cr per dTon per parsec; 87,600 Cr.  Hauling that Cube of iron, 3,900 Cr, half a hold of wheat; 36,300 Cr.  Because there's such a loss in getting massed out, the shrewd captain treats hauling the block of iron as a charter and charges the customer for the hold that cannot be used because of the mass of the load.  The client IS using the entire hold after all...

It doesn't pay to leave the hold empty, so hauling the less dense breakbulk and containerized cargos is the way to go.  As we can see from our airplane example, such loads do abound.

17 July 2013

More News

His shoulder is a non operate-able injury that will heal on its own in about 6 weeks. Other than pain the injury itself would not prohibit the use of his arm in the long run. So just have to wait and see as it heals and is less painful if he is able to use it. His hand was X-ray'd for swelling but nothing broken there. Could be residual fluid from the IV that was there or just because he is not moving much for circulation but again, nothing operable. Heart rate is much better after receiving some blood today. He has been off sedation all day but doesn't seem to want to wake up or be very interactive today, only responding a couple times. But he is stable and will have surgery for the facial fracture at 6:30, so tomorrow might be a little of a lull day after the anesthesia again.

Old Traveller Ships

Erin has posted a neat modification of the old Empress Marava Far Trader.

Link to her design.

Mongoose Games is the successor to the original LBB Traveller from GDW.

Erin's ship under the present rules is impossible under the ancient rules I played under.

In book 2 we'd end up with this:

With Book 5 you get this:

The old rules give a lot less cargo space for a lot more money.  And if we were doing Book 5 combat rules I'd do two beam lasers instead of the one each beam and pulse because you get a Firepower rating of 2 for two beams which is better than two separate 1's on the table.

With the GURPS: Traveller; Starships rules you get... A lot cheaper, but it takes a hit in maneuver performance because GT uses thrust and mass to determine acceleration, I chose to give it about 4g empty and with 5 sTon per dTon of cargo it comes out a lot slower.  My fuel processors do 16 tons an hour, or 384 tons a day as opposed to MongTrav's 40 per day.

All three versions of Traveller I use don't give as capable a ship as the MongTrav.  That's got a certain frustration value built into it.

Double Quote

"One death is a tragedy.  A million deaths is a statistic."  Either Stalin or Goebbels depending on the accuracy of Bing.

"Of all the young black shooting victims in this country, you can name 1. Because you’ve been trained like a circus seal to bark on command."  Iowahawk.

And there you go, racists.

All of the effort you're putting into Zimmerman and Zimmerman alone is pretty damn telling.  Even if George is a rabid CENSORED-hatin' Klansman, the fact that you aren't worked up about a second named case proves it's an anomaly!  There's not one shred of evidence that George Zimmerman is a racist either.  Not even shit taken out of context.  I'd be in big trouble because there's lots on this blog that, taken the wrong way, would paint me as a grade A hater.

The second fact is there's so many black men killed by other black men that to name each individual instance would take days of non-stop reading of the names.  Yet no time at all is spent lamenting this unless you actually knew one of the people slain.

I can think of only a couple of instances of genuine race related violence (in the past 10 years or so) and in every single one the full weight of the law was applied and the guilty men punished to the fullest extent.

White on black violence is so rare as to be statistically insignificant.  It just doesn't happen any more.  Your absolute best barometer of that is the media most assuredly reports each and every instance with bated breath hoping for the race riot to end all race riots to garner both the coveted ratings and perhaps a pulitzer for their "brave" revelation that racism is not yet dead in the USA.

Well, it's not dead.  It's just reversed polarity.


Want to see an example of genuine racists murdering a black man in recent news? James Byrd Jr

If America is as racist as Sharpton and Jackson say, where were the mass lynchings in retaliation for the murder of Ken Tillery?

Double Update On The Brother

I think we're firmly out of the "is he going to live" woods now.  We've stepped into the "how normal will he be now" forest.

Herk slept nicely and had been off sedation for the last hour to check his responses (he is a slow riser - nothing new! He must be hitting the snooze button 30 times like at home!) He is getting some blood today because he is a little low and especially with surgery tonight they want to get his numbers in a better range. He has a mass/swollen part under his right arm so they are doing an X-ray now (maybe that's part of why that arm isn't moving well). Other than whatever it may take for the arm, just the facial fracture scheduled for tonight.

[H]e has a fractured humeral head (shoulder) and we are waiting for a consult from the orthopedic surgeon. Might explain why his right arm hasn't been moving well!
Personally I think I would have done a full body x-ray after such a major wreck.  Not finding the shoulder injury is a clear case of negligence where SiL deserves substantial financial compensation.

16 July 2013

Trayvon Lives!

Our beloved black Maytag has been restored to functionality.

The starter relay design seems to be a planned obsolescence item.  A metal plated ceramic disc between two contacts.  Well it had finally shattered.

A more conventional relay has been installed and we expect at least 30 days of trouble free service.

I I II I'm Coming Off Sedation

Excellent news!

Update: Herk was off sedation most of the day, got pretty active this afternoon, squeezing my hand, smiling to things I was saying, moving his legs and opening his eye. He has a fever and his heart rate is a little high so they will probably keep him sedated a little to relax him. He got to eat today and ate a lot for the first feeding! He is on the schedule for surgery tomorrow to repair his fracture in his cheek. It's purely cosmetic but without it, his eye would start to droop on his face. Otherwise he is stable and showing great improvement, his left side is still stronger than the right but showing progress. The neuro surgeon is not convinced that any part of his body (including the eye) is permanently damaged and he is very impressed with how much he has improved in such a short time.

More Detail

Some minor complications with fatty tissue from the femur and blood gas.  Extra oxygen and some time took care of it.

Not much change on the responsiveness front; but he's pretty heavily sedated.

New details on the cause of the accident.  He, maybe, went to pass someone and didn't realize there was drop there.  When they got to him his helmet was split in half and already laying off of him.  Good thing he inherited the MacTavish skull or he'd be dead.

15 July 2013


Herk is out of surgery for his femur.

Doing well.  Sedated to keep him calm.

Sister in law indicates just going to rest, no ballroom dancing or marathons.


Negative Image

Let's play "what-if."

If a white guy had beat on a black guy like it appears that Mr Martin was to Mr Zimmerman, it would be called a hate crime.

Notice that the possibility of calling Mr Martin's attack a hate crime never comes up?

There's your racism inherent in our legal system.

Proper Length Of Pull

It's never really come up before.

The length of pull has been whatever came on the gun.

With the Magpul SGA I have the choice of 0-4 spacers to adjust the pull.

They're about 1/2" each.

Three spacers is just about 14".  That matches the wood stock that I removed and fired countless rounds with.

It feels wrong with the SGA.  Two spacers and 13.5" feels good dry firing.  One spacer and 13" was not right for the single trip to the range since I got the stock.

Of course I forgot to bring the spare spacers so I couldn't compare them at the range.

I feel like Goldilocks.  Perhaps next week.

Some Excellent News!

The New Black Panther Party only got three people to show up to their rally for Trayvon Martin protest of the Zimmerman verdict.

Considering the rhetoric that was flying in the last three weeks I'd have expected a large turnout.

Perhaps the rhetoric was merely the venting of frustration?

I hope so.

Racist organizations should be made irrelevant.  Whether they be the KKK or the NBPP.

Brother Update

Text from Sister in Law:

Update: calm all night. Just checked by trauma surgeon and he is appearing more alert on the left side still with intent and is able to pull your arm away when you are inflicting pain. His left eye is contracting now but not tracking which is just not showing brain activity directing that eye yet. His right eye is completely dilated and may stay that way permanently due to where the bleeding in the brain is. The trauma surgeon said he wouldn't be surprised by his eye staying that way and basically being dead but we still have to wait and see. He is scheduled for surgery to repair his femur at 11am. I will update when I know more.

I am not sure how positive that is.

11:18 Update:
Update: nurse just did an assessment and asked him to squeeze her hand and hold up two fingers ( still on the good side, left side) and he did it! So nice to see a reaction! Right side still MUCH slower.


I weep.

I weep that all those decades of listening to the racists and thinking they were cracked; and they make sense now.

I look back and, yes, they WERE cracked.

Their clock is stopped, but twice a day the time will match.

It makes me so very sad to watch a portion of America living up to those extremely low expectations of people who are so very, VERY ignorant and savage.

They were once so very wrong about those whom they hated, but the objects of their hate changed over time to fit the racists mold.

Congratulations, Democrats!  You lost the election, then the war but you won in the end and eradicated all the promise of more than 10% of the population.

I see you want to help Mexicans now.

¡Huya!  Huya de porqué usted todavía puede.  Es un desvío.  Quieren hacerle apenas como el hombre negro.  Quieren esclavizarle.

14 July 2013


It's entirely too soon to get our hopes up too far, but the present news is encouraging.

The swelling is coming down and his responses are well inside proper ranges.

The docs are encouraged enough that they're working on the broken bones and not just working the head injury.

Fingers crossed!


Go thee hence and check out Digger.  Neat little webcomic.

Bro Update

Busted femur.  Cracked ocular.  Brain is swelling.  Swelling and bleeding is centered on the motor cortex.

Got some responses, but the vitals weren't happy with him coming awake, so they induced a coma.

He was wearing a helmet.

Nobody saw it happen.  They did a head count, like they do to make sure they've got everyone and He was missing.  They went back and found him.

Looks like he went over the edge of a ravine and down about 30'.

Fingers crossed.

The doc told my sister in law that it could go either way at this point.  All we can really do is wait.

And The Hits Keep Coming

My little brother is in a coma.

I don't have many details yet.

He was riding his dirt bike and had a bad fall.  Head injuries and a femur.

No prognosis yet and everything is still happening in the now.


I've been listening.

Paying attention.

I think that I might have a hypothesis about why there were no riots last night.

The tone from "white people" has been increasingly less tolerant of the bullshit lately.

At my wife's office the mood is palpable.  The swaggering arrogance from some of her co-workers has been decidedly muted of late.  The Lovely Harvey says she doesn't mind because they sure seem to work more when they drop the act.

At any rate.  The rumors and the murmurs and the tone and the mood all lead one place.

The next riot will be the last riot.


Tam is so right.  Zero to ovens faster than any society on the planet.

I can't phrase the attitude without touching on a well worn racist metaphor.

It's almost as if the indulgent parent has realized they've raised a spoiled child and this time we're not going to post bail because it's time for their child to grow up and face the consequences of their decisions.  I don't like phrasing it that way because the racists have been saying blacks are like little kids for decades.  Perhaps if we'd been better parents?

That's as much white guilt as you're going to get out of me.

George Zimmerman Killed My Fridge!

Our refrigerator conked out last night, just as the verdict was being read.

Ironically, our fridge is black.

Universe, can I have a solid 30 days without a catastrophe?

13 July 2013

Not Guilty

Well, Mr Zimmermann has been found not guilty.

No sounds of gunfire yet.

I am unclear if he's vulnerable to wrongful death suits or not.  I seem to recall that Florida law indemnifies you against such suits in cases of self defense.

Shotty Shooty

Took the newly Magpulated 870 out to the range this afternoon.

Marv took his new KSG.

The 870 shoots right to the point of aim, just like it did 20 years ago when I put it in the back of the gun safe.  Kicks pretty damn stoutly as I remembered too.  Bwahahahahah!

I don't think there was a lot of difference in how hard it hits the shoulder compared to the wood stock.  The lower mass and softer butt pad probably add up to the same perception.  Muzzle rise is definitely less than before.

The Choate sling mount and magazine clamp finally gave up the ghost though.  I've replaced it with a Magpul forward sling mount I bought from the range, but I didn't get a QD swivel because they were out.

I really like the KSG, but...

The magazine selector lever has a tendency to center, and in the center position, that's no feed.  It did it to me twice.  I short stroked it a couple of times too, but that was just being unfamiliar.

The inline arrangement was outstanding for recoil.  I loved that part.

12 July 2013

Stand By For The Awwwwwwwww


My wife and four other people all noticed this article and sent it to me saying that it describes my issues with sounds very well.

Wiki on the same disorder.

Does having this get me a seat at the Free Shit Army table?

11 July 2013

F-100A Super Sabre

If you should find yourself piloting an F-100A in a dogfight...

North American built them to a different design philosophy than is prevalent with modern fighters.  In the early 1950's speed was everything and the Super Sabre was definitely fast for its day.

Almost literally day with the pace of aviation development.

The F-100 was an extension of the same design philosophies that started with the P-51D, through the F-86 Sabre.  Faster-higher.

All three of those planes don't do well below a threshold speed and have a lot of trouble getting airspeed back once it's bled off.  Typical of their days, really.  Typical of American pursuit and fighter philosophy where boom and zoom was preferred over turn and burn.

The Super Sabre's threshold is about 335 knots indicated airspeed.  Get below that number and the J-57 is essentially a device for turning JP-4 into noise and a pretty orange flame.  Around 400 kias though she's agile and responsive, the engine also maintains and returns energy.

So what you want to do against a slower opponent, especially a straight winged one, is to make passes at them firing on the way by.  The ranging radar is pretty good about locking on and the gunsight settles down in time to shoot with about 200 knots closure.  Snap off a burst then turn around for another pass.  Speed is life!

In the 1956 Suez campaign, the only thing the Egyptians have that can hope to hang with you on speed even for a bit is their MiG-15bis.  And it can't hang for long.  Their Meteors and Vampires turn very small circles and are quite happy at 250 kias, don't fight them there!  You cannot pull enough g at 250 knots to stay on their tail and if you try they will get around behind you and ruin your whole day.


What fucking moron decided that the Zimmerman trial would start just before the NAACP convention?

Even worse, guess what city the NAACP is having their convention in...

Go ahead...


For those of you not familiar with Florida geography, Sanford, FL (where the Zimmerman self defense situation happened) is a suburb on the east side of Orlando.

The jury looks to be handed the case tomorrow and it doesn't seem like deliberation will take very long since the defense has already basically said, "Judge, I think we can stand on what the prosecution said; will you dismiss?  No?  <resigned> OK, we have witnesses of our own that are just as supportive of our side as theirs too."

These conventions aren't booked at the spur of the moment, normally it takes at least a year to book, oftentimes more.  It's possible the NAACP chose Orlando because of the Zimmerman/Martin event and pushed hard to book it in the year since; but it's more likely it's an unhappy coincidence that we have a racially charging press event and an organization of the race of the dead guy is having a convention near where he got dead.

But the damn trial most certainly was scheduled long after the NAACP booked it.  Waiting a month after circling for a year would have been an undue burden for a speedy trial?

10 July 2013

Veddy Interesting

Perhaps the most interesting thing I have read in a month.



I've been watching Deadliest Catch since the beginning.

I've watched some incredible displays of bullying.

Bullying in the name of hazing.

It's disgusting.

And I am not one to say hazing is wrong.  A new guy in a physically demanding job has got earn the respect of his peers and some shit will be flung.

But taking it to a level that deliberately hampers the job at hand?

You know what, bullies are fucking morons.

When that greenhorn says, "fuck it, I don't need this shit," it's not like you can just call Manpower and a new guy steps in.  You're down a man.  Guess why, Stupid.  Because you drove him off and changed it from a 4+1 to 4 on deck.

Of course there's two even bigger morons involved in this idiocy.  The deck boss and the captain.

You dipshits are supposed to be running the show.  Letting the hazing get in the way of doing the job means that you're not doing your job of managing.

Doing it any other way means that fishing is your means of funding being an asshole.

Kaylee Restored

The CORE-15 barrel nut went on in a textbook manner.

It stopped at the same halfway to a slot place but took much less torque to get it to line up.  I suspect the J&T nut might have bottomed out a bit.

Dialing the BUIS to line up with the Aimpoint gives a far more centered position for the windage on the rear sight.

Happy day!

09 July 2013

Now Without Warning!

Google has updated their adult content policy.

Being an asshole gun owner who fucking cusses is no longer grounds for being reported as adult content.


Carrying a gun to defend oneself presupposes that one wishes to live.

I no longer feel I need to carry a gun.

08 July 2013

If It Is Not Broken

Don't fix it, stupid.

Kaylee's rear sight is almost all the way to the right.  She was zeroed, but I was almost out of windage.

So I took it upon myself to see if I could shift the barrel a little in its slot in the upper so that I could get the rear sight a little more centered.

I have ruined the barrel nut.

At minimum torque, the slot in the nut is exactly one half a tooth off.  Torquing it down to the next tooth, like you're supposed to, sheared off several teeth.  Bunged up the delta ring but good too.


I'm not even sure where this nut came from originally either.  The nut has to have come from J&T because I'd never had the FSB off before today and the barrel came from them.

Walk of shame to Brownell's...  Going to give that Core 15 Stressproof ® barrel nut a shot.

07 July 2013


The 870 with wood furniture and 7+1 rounds 2 3/4" 00 Buck: 8.9 lb.

With Magpul furniture and 7+1 rounds: 8.8 lb.

Removing the extended magazine tube with 4+1 rounds: 8.0 lb.  Half of the weight reduction is the magazine tube itself!

115 Years Of Haole Occupation!

Today, in 1898, the United States annexed Hawaii.

Shell Length

Marv and I were comparing dick size our shotguns last night.

His KSG is very compact, lighter, carries many more rounds and can cycle the 1 3/4" Mini-Shells.

The shell lifter on my 870 drops before the nose of the mini-shell is in the chamber so it hits the edge of the breech mouth.

Even with the Magpul furniture, I am only into my Remington for $550.  Marv's pushing $1,500 with accessories.

Weather and Marv waking up before noon we're going to go shooting.

8 Years On

Eight years since the London bombings.

Chin up, lie back and think of England because you've seem to have lost the war there, old chap.

Philosophical Error

Via Tam with a h/t for Beerd

This is an idea that we've heard before; making gun owners personally responsible for the harm done with their guns should they fall into the wrong hands.

It's an error almost as large as the deodand.

It's all about tangents.  How many layers before I am absolved of the sin of the murder?

The killer is responsible, but often anonymous and absent.

We must punish someone!  The person whom this gun was stolen from is someone.  We must punish them!

Why stop at the legitimate owner?  The gun shop who sold me the gun should have known that it would be stolen and used to kill someone.  They share the blame!

The distributor should have known that the gun shop was going to sell it to someone whom would be a victim of theft.  They share the blame!

The maker of the firearm should have known that it would ultimately be stolen and used for murder!  They share the blame!

The foundry that made the steel from the raw iron should have known that grade was used in guns and that a gun made from it would be stolen and used to kill someone.  They share the blame!

The many intermediate steps involving shipping the materials, components and finished item all have guilty people as well.

But it's all bullshit.

The person who stole the gun is the first responsible criminal in this chain.  The owner of the gun is a victim, not an accomplice.  The thief might not even be an accomplice to the murder.  They don't necessarily know that the gun will be used for ill.  Their connection to the crime of murder has to be determined on an individual basis.

It's all part of that whole individual responsibility thing we gun owners talk about.  The very idea that one is only responsible for one's own actions is entirely alien and incomprehensible to the collective pushing anti-gun types.

The gun owner is not responsible for the murder because they did not kill anyone.  They are a victim of crime, not a perpetrator.  If there had not been a theft, there would have been no murder with that gun (but almost assuredly there would still have been the murder in question).

We keep thinking we can explain it to them because they seem to understand the point when you're talking about rape and how it's wrong to blame the victim.  It's merely the stopped mind clock being right twice a day.

06 July 2013

Shotty Workmanship

Being a lemminglike gun owner, I went out and got a set of Magpul stuff for my 870.  I blame Tam and George W Bush.

This is how my 870 has looked for the past 21 years.

Now it looks like:
I used two of the stock spacers and it's just a wee bit shorter than before.  To retain my heat-shield I had to grind off about a 1/16" from the top of the handguard.  This seems to be a recurring problem with Magpul not anticipating other accessories they don't make.

Now there's a place for a light.

And compared to Marv's KSG:

His gun has an 18.1" barrel, mine a 20".  There's a significant difference in overall length.  Even with twice as many shots, the KSG is still lighter.

Land Of The Chained Home Of The Cowed

TJIC...  Just, wow.

His plight does illustrate something I learned in Ames a long time ago.

Once the cops start to harass you, move.  It will not end until you're gone for good, prison is a respite if you're foolish enough to come back to the same place after release.

My story with the cops is here.

It just keeps coming up over and over again...

If most cops are the good guys, why is this issue so widespread?

Percolate on that.

What we're seeing in the Nevada case is an extension of it too.

Words are supposed to mean things, but you can get trapped in the details of the definition.  Want to bet that since the police aren't the military that their behaving in a manner consistent with a Redcoat will not matter if it goes to court?

When you get to define the terms, you don't lose in court.  Grab a law sometimes and look at the definition pages.  They have reams of definitions so that you can't walk by saying it was a 30 shot flingersoffer instead of a magazine.

But they've changed the definition of soldier sufficiently in the eyes of the law that they've worked around the third amendment as surely as they've eliminated the 9th and 10th.

1st is dead.  Been dead a long time.  If the first was still active then I could tell off color jokes at work and not fear for my job.

2nd is on life support.  I want a brand new M1918A2.  I can't just buy one.  But since I can still get a semi-auto clone then we'll call it a persistent vegetative state.

3rd just got stabbed in the heart.  All because we've entertained the idea that armed government agents with a specialized day to day job aren't a standing army.

4th is dead.  There a so many weasel routes around this right it's been decades since it was more than a facade.

5th is dead.  Pleading the fifth is de facto admitting guilt to a jury and there's Kelo stinking up the place.  Plus explain to me how if I am innocent of a crime I can still be sued for it; but if I am guilty I cannot.

6th is OK, I guess.  Except the defense you get from a public defender is sure to see you in prison unless the arresting officer will testify that you weren't there and didn't do it.

7th?  Did it ever exist?  Just watch suit after suit after suit go on and on and on until the desired verdict is finally reached or one side flat runs out of money after the nth appeal.

8th is dead.  All you need is to look at the Zimmerman proceedings.  Basically bail shall be set to ten percent more than you could ever hope to assemble and will be revoked should we discover it was set below what you actually could scrape together.

9th and 10th are dead because we have been reduced to just the 8 previous rights, as predicted by Hamilton.  Ever hear that driving is a privilege?  Do you accept that you don't have a right to drive your car?  Dumbass!  Show me where Congress is empowered to require licenses to drive.  You buy lunch because you're going to be a long time in finding it, and if you do it's likely justified under a tenth amendment shattering precedent.

I Welcome Them

I welcome our robotic insect overlords.

The range of motion is impressive considering how few articulations they used.

04 July 2013

TL 4

Hitting a brick wall with TL2 and TL3, but TL4 is conceptualizing well.

Cirilo di Faenza.

Master swordsman.  Sometime soldier.  Fancies himself a philosopher, but he's not very original OR well read.

But he can fence.

He has zero sense of humor and is incredibly thin skinned.

The kind of person whom you would have expected to die quickly in a dueling society.

Did I mention he can fence?

Others have tried to end him outside of duels but he never seems to be in the right place at the right time for some other fate to befall him.  His mysterious luck at avoiding lethal encounters from beyond sword range have earned him the nickname Cirilo il Gatto.

He is a barely competent teacher of fencing and that is where is meager income derives.

TL 3 is here.
TL 5 is here.
TL 6 is here.
TL 7 is here. 
TL 8 is here.

The fencing weapons made me look up how they work.  Here's where I spot another major difference between 3e and 4e.

In 3e parry was 1/2 your weapon skill, fencing weapons 2/3.  And there was a passive defense (PD) bonus.

In 4e all weapons are 3+(1/2 skill).  Where fencing weapons come into their own is they are -2 instead of -4 for successive parries per hand per turn.

The next big change is the retreat maneuver.  In 3e it was a +3 to any defense roll.  In 4e it's +3 to dodge and +1 to block or parry.  Fencing weapons are still +3 though.

With Cirilo's 17 skill with a rapier and combat reflexes he has a normal parry of 12!  Plus he fights main-gauche so he's got a 12 with the dagger too.  If he retreats he gets two parries at 15, then two at 13 then two at 11 assuming he's got six opponents...

Don't catch il Gatto in a bad mood (and he's always in a bad mood).

TL Project

Something that is being reinforced by my little project is how things get cheaper the longer they are around.

The Viking is just barely better equipped than the Parthian yet the G$2,000 for comfortable TL3 start works out to nearly the same stuff as G$3,750 wealthy buys (and for half as many points).


Today is Independence Day.

It's the national holiday commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

It is not Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, or Veteran's Day.

It is not the birthday of any of the branches of the military such as the Army (14Jun1775), Coastal Artillery (Feb1901), Marines (10Nov1775) or Navy (13Oct1775).

It is not the birthday of any of the quasi-military services like the Air Force (18Sep1947), the Coast Guard (04Aug1790) or Lighthouse Service (1910).

Today is the day when rich, privileged, white men sat down and swore an oath, "this far no further" and signed their names to it then mailed it to their sovereign.

For many it served a death warrant.  For others it led to ruination.

Yet they all stood and signed, knowing where it could lead in either direction.  They pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to the birth of a new nation.

Some did give their lives, some lost their fortunes, but all kept their honor!

We would do well to remember who we are honoring on each of the national holidays.

No More Kings

Joe Huffman posted the other Schoolhouse Rock that's appropriate for today.  This is the one I think would never be made today.

TL 3

Thorvald Bjarndyrson

A Viking.  His father's name was actually Ragnar, but he's been the son of the bear since his first fight.

He's a sailor and a merchant, but also a raider.  A slaver.

He's not down on his luck, he's just getting started in what he hopes will be a long successful career.  He's managed to augment his strangely tough skin with a jacket of mail and a helm; soon he hopes to buy a sword horse.

It seems like the price of a sword horse always eludes him, there's always something needing bought or fixed that depletes his savings.  Not to mention he loves to gamble and he's a generous soul to his friends.

His generosity and charitable nature may seem to fly in the face of his profession, but it means his captures are well cared for and healthy when they arrive at market.  To that end he's also learned the chiurgen's skills.

On the sword front I screwed up on buying wealth anticipating the armor to cost a lot more than it did and had money enough left over for a sword, but not so much I could drop the wealth from comfortable to average.

03 July 2013

Lucky Year

Today marks the thirteenth year of a two week relationship.

There were gifts!

I'm thinking, "Wow, Harvey really knows her man.  I can always use another .30 cal can!"

But there was stuff inside!

Gourmet coffee and an adorable little camp cup.

The ammo can is something I've never had before.  It's a NEW can!  Not a refurbished surplus can, but brand spanking new.