30 September 2014

Here We Go

First case of ebola in the wild in the US.

Aren't you glad we spent the past five years dismantling our health care system for political reasons?

Oh and that the border is merely a line on the map?

I wonder how many will die.

A Star A Star Sitting On The Net

A bit ago I lamented the fiscal realities that keeps me from buying that rather affordable Star B from J&G Sales.

The main motivation for the want is...  Ordering a handgun from the internet that will be delivered straight to my door without even so much as a "by your leave" from NICS or FDLE.  Yet still being entirely legal, since I have a C&R FFL.

It's the situation, not the gun itself, fueling the desire.

The Shi Shu's tooth is the real priority around here.

I wonder that the estimate for his tooth being so similar to the price of that Star is the universe telling me to consider my priorities more carefully.

Incendiary Quote Of The Month

My home is my castle. It doesn’t belong to you, and it doesn’t belong to the state. If you are law enforcement and want to come in my home, call and make an appointment. Got it? If that isn’t good enough for you, if you think there is evidence of something or other you want to see, then put good detectives on the job (like you did at one time in history), watch for me to leave, detain me, and then take me back to the home and let me use my key to the front door. Or get a locksmith. In other words, use your brains to gather evidence. Otherwise, I don’t care if you lose that evidence. I only care about my safety, and the safety of victims like Mr. Guy.

I've often said that if evidence of the crime is so ephemeral that it can be eradicated completely if the suspect isn't taken by surprise in their home: is it really a crime?

29 September 2014

Alone And Unafraid

RF-101B heading north.

No missiles.  No guns.  Just guts and speed.

Fuck You Robert Strange MacNamara

F-111B on downwind.

"There is not enough thrust in all Christendom to make a fighter out of that airplane."  Adm Tom Connolly.

It's not as bad as all that, but it's still a pig.  I've yet to successfully bring it back aboard the boat.  It just will not bleed off airspeed, and I suspect the model has the hook done wrong and it's not catching the wires.

Voodoo Chillin' In B

Combat Ace has a download section so you can add-on planes to Strike Fighters 2.

I went a bit mad and completed the century series.

McDonald-Douglas F-101 Voodoo!

It's a rather complete package.  It took a bit of ini editing to get things working as they should.  For some reason the F-101B missile shelf would only take AIR-2B Genies, and that meant that in most scenarios you could only carry two Falcon.

In the "stowed" position showing two AIM-4G IRM.
Transitioning between positions.
In the "open" position showing two AIM-4F SARH missiles.
The radar is very weak.  You are lucky to get a lock on a medium bomber like a Tu-16 Badger at six miles, four or less for a fighter.  That makes it hard to get off a shot with the AIM-4F because it's got a minimum firing distance and takes a short amount of flight time to start maneuvering.

Some impotent rage here.  I've fired both heat seekers and both radar guides.  What I don't have is a gun, because this is an F-101B.  The F-101A and F-101C have guns, and can't carry air-to-air missiles.
A neat feature the model maker added.  When there's weight on wheels, using the air-brake pops a drag chute!

Actually No

The new female Thor is not Thor any more than Beta Ray Bill was.

It's like the press doesn't know comic fans are obsessive compulsive and pedantic or something.

The Oklahoma Beheading

Actually, it is workplace violence.

It was violence and it took place at the victims place of work and the perpetrator's former place of work.

That fits the definition of workplace violence.

Just like a square is also a parallelogram...  A square is also a rhombus.

While this is workplace violence, a parallelogram, other factors are at play making it a particular kind of violence, a square.

When people see a square they very rarely call it a rhombus or parallelogram.  Insisting that the rhombus is not a square despite the right angles makes it a lie.

27 September 2014

A Bit Stunned

Considering that I've garnered $750 in donations (maybe more because of people who can't follow directions)...

I'm not an underdog for Kilted...


Considering that AD is out of prize consideration, I'm very close to being eligible for loot!

I'm never eligible to win.

It's knowing that I can't win that lets me donate and cajole without feeling guilty for asking.

Existential crisis in thirty seconds...

The Original Gun Barbie

Marv was dissatisfied with the Pachmayr stocks that came on his Mk IV.

So as a "thanks for babysitting on short notice because our sitter bailed so we could go celebrate our anniversary" I offered him the pick of my take-offs and didn't likes.

He chose the walnut stocks that originally came with my Springfield USGI and some stainless screws I'd gotten at the same time as a spare set of bushings.

Apologies to FuzzyGeff for forgetting what night it was tonight when I told him "call me tomorrow" last night.

26 September 2014

LEGO Always Shoot First (Guardians of the Galaxy + Star Wars + Firefly)

I Am Such A Girl

Today is the anniversary of my first date with The Lovely Harvey.

I remember it every year.  She almost always forgets.

This year she remembered!

We're going out and are going to marvel at where 17 years has gotten.

An odd thing, not a single place we went to on that first date is still open.  I guess we can go look at the new buildings that replaced them.


Team McThag has garnered $700 for KTKC!

You guys rock!

Special thanks to Tam for the plug on her blog!

Since we broke $500...  I've got to dunk my junk.

Video will be coming soon.

Casual Mention

I mention to Marv that how the Pachmayr grips cover the front strap on his 1911 prevent easy insertion of magazines.

He mentions he doesn't really care for that cover anyways, but the Pachmayrs are all one piece.

I have several sets of 1911 stocks around here, so I go to take off his Pachmayr...

And the screw bushings unthread instead of the screws!  Then nothing I am willing to try out of fear of ruining the bushings will separate them.


I skittered down to Deer Hunter and got a replacement set of bushings.

Armed with the knowledge that no matter how bad I mess up a bushing, I have a spare...

Viola!  They come apart with modest effort and are still perfectly serviceable.

Win win!

What About Us

Tam mentioned once, something to the effect, that government cannot summarily fire someone because due process.


Where's my due process about the hiring?

25 September 2014

Sample Size Of Two

"The series 80 ruined the trigger..."

"1911's are unreliable."

Top is Marv's MK IV Series 80 .45; bottom is my Government Model Series 80 .38 Super.

Marv's is old enough it even has the barrel collet!  It was originally bought by Willard in 84-85...  Then sold to Marv in the mid-90's.

It's never failed Marv, but apparently wouldn't feed ball ammo out of the box.  Willard got warranty service on it and a free trigger job was thrown in.

My .38 Super has had two failure to feed the first round when I tripped the slide stop and those were in the first three magazines.  No other problems to report.

Both guns have excellent triggers, with Marv's being borderline too light.  Neither gun is completely stock...  Marv did sights, I did a trigger swap (no changes to the sear), stocks and mainspring housing.

All in all we're pleased with our acquisitions.

It's been fun comparing how they came from the factory.  The older gun was A1 all the way with Pacmeyer grips.  Mine had a flat mainspring housing and long trigger on an otherwise A1 gun and the colletted barrel had long since been discarded.

Trivia, what made the Series 70 a Series 70 was that collet!  Calling pre-80 Series or guns without the firing pin block "Series 70" is something of a misnomer.

Rifles From Lands Of Ice And Snow From The Midnight Sun Where The Hot Springs Flow

Top, Finnish Kiv-28/30 by SAKO.
Bottom, Swedish Gevär m/96 by Carl Gustav Mauser.

Willard scored on that Swede.  Numbers matching, bore looks very nice.  The only thing "wrong" is there are tapped holes on the rear of the receiver for a Lyman sight.

NOT a Lyman.  One of these rear sights!

I won't say how much, but if I wasn't saving to fix the puppy's tooth (and begging for help) I could have gotten it.

24 September 2014

TATTOOING Close Up (in Slow Motion) - Smarter Every Day 122

Of Eagles And Tomcats

If you want a discussion with less venom, just talk about politics or religion...

Well, this actually is a religious discussion.

This is a continuation of what I started here.

Which plane is better?

This all started because The Aviationist published gun camera footage from an F-14A with the guns pipper squarely on the helmet of the pilot of an F-15C...

Notice that the elevons are full deflection on the Eagle.  He's pulling for all he has to get away.  On the right is the range scale.  The 1 is a mile, the little > at near the bottom of the scale means they are CLOSE.  On the left is the closure rate scale in 100's of knots.  Notice how the < is just barely above the zero?  That means this is no boom and zoom kill.  He's in the phone booth with the knife and he's maneuvering with the F-15C.  Jose "Hoser" Satrapa knows his job and knows his plane.

Let's be cold and calculating about it.

The Eagle has much better engines.  In pretty much every respect the F100 is better than the TF-30.

The Eagle has better thrust to weight and has less bleed for a given g at a given speed.

The Tomcat has much better radar and a dedicated operator for it and is a lot better at low speed, low altitude.

Those little factoids add up to the time honored, "do not fight as your enemy fights."  It's something that every armchair aviator seems to forget.

Fighter pilots, being fighter pilots, never wish to acknowledge any personal failing that led to being shot down...  But you can get them talking honestly.  The Tomcat drivers I've talked to have admitted that getting an Eagle in 1v1 guns is WORK and it was mostly the skill set the Navy promotes with it's culture that gave them enough edge to pull it off.

This is somewhat confirmed through pilot exchange programs.  The differing cultures between the USAF and USN tend to make different rates of aggressiveness.  I've read that this is because the Navy's approach is, "as long as there's nothing prohibiting it, it's OK to do" and the Air Force is, "unless it's specifically allowed, it's forbidden."

Back to plane v plane.

If you're willing to use an AIM-54 on a fighter, the Tomcat wins about 4:1 before the F-15C can even see the Tomcat.  Some people say that it should be a higher ratio than that.  Into Sparrow range the Tomcat has a slight edge because the AWG-9 and RIO combination really helps get the first shot in, but not by more than a split second.

Once all aspect sidewinders appear, there's no difference.  Prior to that the Navy's Sidewinders were better than the AF and if the Tomcat got into trail, the Eagle was at a bigger disadvantage than if the opposite was true.

At guns ranges...  Given an equal stick the Eagle wins.  Consistently.

In exercise after exercise the Eagle wins too.  The armchair pundits like to point this out as proof but it fails to account for something very important.  The Navy put lots of performance restraints on the F-14A in peacetime training so as to not affect airframe life.  Those things are expensive, see?

When the artificial constraints are removed, the F-14A starts winning, consistently.  And it comes down to the Navy having a better training program than the Air Force when it comes to dogfighting in the late '70s and early '80s.

As training became more equal, the F-14A+ (aka F-14B) and F-14D starting coming down the pipe.  The engine in these versions of the Tomcat are derived from the same engine the F-15C uses.  The Tomcat community stopped referring to beating an F-15 as WORK, but they will concede that it was still not a sure thing because the Air Force guys were getting better skill wise through the '90s.

More On F4D

The F4D-1 has guns.  Four 20mm Mk.12 guns in the wings.

What it lacks is ammo!  260 rounds total for all four guns (65 rounds each).  Each gun fires at 1,000 rounds per minute, so that's a total of 3.9 seconds of shooting.

The Skyray can be equipped with air-to-air rockets and sidewinders.

The rockets are useless.  Unguided rockets fired in a massive salvo were stylish in the early fifties for interceptors, but they turn out to be a idea that looks good on paper.

The AIM-9B Sidewinder is nearly useless against anything that can pull even a modicum of g to get away.  The seeker heads field of view is narrow and cannot gymbal very fast to keep tracking, never mind that the gymbal limits are also very narrow.

It was an interceptor, the AIM-9B works like a charm on bombers.

That was real world, the next is a game.  A simulation.

What I am finding in my what-if Suez crisis is the Egyptians don't have much for bombers.  I've gotten a couple of fighter kills with the 'Winder but it's mostly luck.

That the majority of my kills are with the gun says something of my accuracy since I don't have many rounds to play with.  That I can actually take time to aim says a lot of the mount.  The Skyray can maneuver with the Soviet fighters of 1956.

23 September 2014

Worth The Price Of Admission

The scene in the kitchen with Quicksilver makes the purchase price of X-Men Days of Future Past worth it all by itself.

It also underscores that Bryan Singer is the only X-Men director who gets them.

Spoiler below:

Return Of The Ford

F4D-1 Skyray, also know affectionately as the Ford.  The Skyray didn't come with any official Strike Fighters release and is the product of dedicated hobbyists.

She's a hot ship for 1956 and is seen here over Israel.  I'm doing a what-if scenario where Washington sends a squadron (VMF-114 Death Dealers) of USMC Skyrays to help with the Suez Crisis.

The Suez Canal looking north.

I've flown this what-if and this plane before.  What I lacked before was knowing about the pitch trimmers that are on either side of the exhaust.  They are assigned the same control axis as thrust vectoring on the harrier and with that wheel in its normal full forward position, it gave nose-down trim that got stronger as more speed was added.  That's why I had no pitch authority when I played previously!

Edit to show the pitch trimmers...

I'm Not A Birther

But isn't it worth getting him to say amabO on the off chance that it DOES send him back to the fifth dimension?

Just sayin'...

22 September 2014

Raining And Pouring

The anti-biotic regimen for Shi-Shu beat back the abscess for a while.

It's back with a vengeance.

So we're back to begging for assistance.

Stab that pay-pal button if you've the means to donate to a very small, specific charity.

You can see under his left eye where the abscess has come up through his cheek from the bad tooth.

Our goal is a meager $400.

21 September 2014

Miserable Son Of A...

The main reason that prick down Okeechobee way should die in a fire is the closing of comments on Tam's other blog.

Now I can't ask questions except indirectly here and hope she sees them.

I'd like to see how the linkage for the cylinder stop works in the top of the frame on that .32 Hand Eject.

The Most Important Words In Science

Huh, I didn't expect that!

Unexpected results advance things farther and faster than experiments that confirm expectations.

It's because you've found something new.

20 September 2014


The Deal

While I prefer the OSX operating system, I don't consider myself a fanboi.

It's a preference and I've no problems with using Win 7 or XP.  I have a boot partition set up for Win 7 on my Mac Pro, in fact.

'Twas the threat of Vista that drove me to Mac.  I was perfectly happy with XP, but if you wanted a new computer at the time with the latest hardware; you got Vista or OSX.  (Or Linux which I am not knowledgeable enough to operate).

I started with a Mid 2007 15" MacBook Pro model A1226.  The video card died.

The warranty coverage warned several times about backing up my data because if the computer was too dead they'd replace the whole thing with a new one and my data would be gone.

So I bought an Early 2008 15" MacBook Pro model 1260 to replace it.

For a while I had two laptops once the 1226 came back from warranty.  I preferred the 1260 because it had a 2.6 GHz Core 2 Duo and 512mb of VRAM compared to the 1226's 2.4GHz and 256.

A while back the video died on the 1260.

No warranty left.  Back to the 1226.

A burr crawled up my ass and I decided I liked the touch-pad of the 1260 better and it had a 200gb 7200 rpm drive instead of a 5400rpm 160gb.  The 1260's screen was in better shape too.

So I did some parts swapping.

Just the other day the 1226 video card died again.

I just found out about the recall that was in effect when the 1260 died, but has expired now.  It pisses me off that Apple didn't send an email to people with affected computers to tell them that they'd recalled them.  The reason for the recall is two-fold.  First the ATI chipset they bought was not well made and sensitive to the heat levels that Steve Jobs seemed to think was acceptable.  Second the Chinese slaves who soldered it to the logic board didn't do a good job.

Right now I am looking at $270 to buy a refurbished logic board for the 1260.  It's 2.5GHz instead of 2.6GHz but it has the 512mb video.  The good news about refurbs is ATI did manage to make a chipset that could take the heat and the refurbishment centers are doing a good job with the solder.

Time to do some saving.  The laptop will have to get in line.  I have $750 to save up and drop on tires for the Vette and $150 for front tires on the Biscayne.

Cluttered Desk ATF

Oban, Rocky Patel Howitzer and a Colt .38 Super Series 80 Gov't Model.

With some random items that routinely clutter my computer spaces.

How Low Can You Go

When there's no risk of actual life and limb and zero threat of disciplinary action, buzzing the tower becomes routine.

Once Upon A Time

My gaming group in Iowa tended to specialize in what we called "nexus worlds".

These are worlds were circumstances allow off and out worlders.

With GURPS' ability to seamlessly let you create anything you can imagine, we did.

Standing Bear was running one of his standard fantasy worlds with the twist that we could play any character we could conceive of as long as it didn't break the 3e 100/40/5 limits.

I made a Marine from Twilight 2000.

The highlight of this campaign was a dealing with a local merchant.

He was ripping us off and we knew it.  Appeals to the local authority revealed they were in cahoots.

So I upped my bid.

I offered to trade the merchant the entire pile for a "magic egg".

This egg, if you pull this ring here, at exactly, precisely at midnight of a new moon would grant one wish!  A split second too soon or too late and you're dead!  Oh and you must be absolutely alone, if there's anyone within so much as 20 yards you're dead!

The merchant solemnly agreed to the trade and I repeated my dire warning several times.  By the end I even had the local authority asking the merchant if he was sure he wanted to take the risk!

As you may surmise, the "magic egg" was an M67 fragmentation grenade.

When the thing went off three days later at midnight of the full moon, two people were killed; so they assumed he'd not followed the detailed instructions I'd given!

Four More Years!

Today is the 4th birthday of this blog at Blogger!

250k visits since then.

19 September 2014

He's Lurch Not Satan

Rick Scott might not be a great governor.

He isn't.

The problem Charlie Crist has going for him is he has already been governor, and he wasn't a better governor than Rick Scott.

Running ads telling me about how awful Mr Scott is when I am aware of how bad Mr Crist was... Doesn't work.

Especially since many of the dings that the various organizations against Governor Scott cite, are things that Governor Crist signed into law.  Oops!

The most damning thing Mr Crist has against him is he was a Republican when he was governor, a republican in the primary for a US Senator seat, then an independent when he lost that primary and now he's a Democrat to be governor again.  All in the short span of four years.

It pissed me off when he kept the campaign donations from his senate run that were garnered before there was a primary challenge.  I wager that many of those donations were intended for the Republican candidate in general and not specifically for Charlie Crist.


Fifteen Men on a dead man's chest. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil had done for the rest
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.
the mate was fixed by the sosun's pike
The bosun brained with a marlinspike
And cookey's throat was marked belike
It had been gripped by fingers ten;
And there they lay, all good dead men
Like break o'day in a boozing ken, Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Fifteen men of the whole ship's list, Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
Dead and be damned and the rest gone whist!
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
The skipper lay with his nob in gore
Where the scullion's axe his cheek had shore
And the scullion he was stabbed times four
And there they lay, and the soggy skies
Dripped down in up-staring eyes
In murk sunset and foul sunrise, Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

Fifteen men of 'em stiff and stark, Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
Ten of the crew had the murder mark! Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
'Twas a cutlass swipe or an ounce of lead
Or a oawing hole in a battered head
And the scuppers' glut with a rotting red
And there they lay, aye, damn my eyes
Looking up at paradise
All souls bound just contrawise, Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Fifteen men of 'em good and true, Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
Ev'ry man jack could ha' sailed with Old Pew,
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
There was chest on chest of Spanish gold
With a ton of plate in the middle hold
And the cabins riot of stuff untold,
And they lay there that took the plum
With sightless glare and their lips struck dumb
While we shared all by the rule of thumb,
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

More was seen through a sternlight screen...
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
Chartings undoubt where a woman had been
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
'Twas a flimsy shift on a bunker cot
With a dirk slit sheer through the bosom spot
And the lace stiff dry in a purplish blot
Oh was she wench or some shudderin' maid
That dared the knife and took the blade
By God! she had stuff for a plucky jade, Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

Fifteen men on a dead man's chest, Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil had done for the rest
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
We wrapped 'em all in a mains'l tight
With twice ten turns of a hawser's bight
And we heaved 'em over and out of sight
With a Yo-Heave-Ho! and a fare-you-well
And a sudden plunge in the sullen swell
Ten fathoms deep on the road to hell, Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Research Project

This one is going to hurt my brain...

As near as I've been able to find, so far, the statutory language that requires NICS is nearly identical to the language for the anal probe of NFA.  At least as far as who can own such an item goes.

For Title I firearms NICS (or state run equivalent) is required by law if you're buying from an FFL.  There is no law requiring anything that a 4473 or 5320 asks for.  Everything on those forms is because of regulation created by BATFE.

At their core they are affidavits that the buyer is not a prohibited person.

It raises all manner of questions.

Not least of which, which came up recently...  If I am not a prohibited person, and I fill out the form wrong, I've broken no law but I have violated a federal regulation.  It chafes because all legislative authority is vested into Congress and none to the executive.

This is a research work in progress, so what I have here might be amended as I delve deeper into the rabbit hole.

Great Britain Remains

Scotland has decided to stay a member.

My heart does yearn for a free and independent Scotland.


The reality of the political situation is that going on her own would almost definitely been a disaster.  An epic disaster.

The two leading parties being Socialist of the Promise-The-Moon stripe meant that there'd be some heavy doses of reality and/or disaster coming down the pipe.

In short, Scotland is a house in disorder and could not stand on its own.

Perhaps some house cleaning and shoring up and we should revisit this issue.

Next up, Florida Independence!  We have all the makings of a third world shit-hole AND the traditional weather!

18 September 2014

Today's Oxymoron

Premium Haggis

I Just Noticed

There's no difference between a screen shot taken with a slide-show like frame rate and one running seamless and smooth!

No real sense of action.  But you can see the wingtip vortices triggered by pulling some G.  The studied eye can even see that the tail-planes are down and a slight roll to starboard is starting.

I yo-yo'd over the top and rolled in behind this MiG-17 "Fresco A".

It was something of a turkey shoot because his flight was low on gas and basically had to hope I had run out of ammo or something since he couldn't spare a drop for maneuvering.

It also demonstrates the need to stick with your section!  If he'd had a wingman I might not have been able to tuck in with impunity like I did.

You may also notice that this is the fourth plane I've had in this campaign.  I get target fixated a bit and forget to check-six!

PS, it's really hard to get good action shots in this game because you have to do them as you're playing.  My mind tends to be more on the flying and less on "this would make a perfect Kodak moment!"

Silver Lining

My blog finally gets more comments than Tams!

In other news, my glass is also 1/100th full!


I now have two dead MacBook Pro 15.4"!

I have an A1226, 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo with 256mb of VRAM and an A1260, 2.6GHz Core 2 Duo with 512 mb of VRAM.

Both are dead at the video card.  This is a well known problem with these models.  Both machines have even been through the recall repair too.

If one cannot afford a $320 Star B, one cannot afford a $270 logic board.

There's nothing huge in my life that's wrong.

It's the steady accumulation of small shit that I can't seem to shift that's bringing me down.

17 September 2014

Shark Mouth On The Gator

VF-111 Sundowners used the shark mouth on the noses of their planes.

It should be an aligator mouth on a Crusader since it's nickname around the boat was "gator".

Much Better

An F-8D (F8U-2N) is much better equipped to handle the Godless Soviet hordes than the F-4B is during the Cuban Missile Crisis if it had gone hot in Europe.

Here's my third mount in five days...

It's a rare close-air-support mission to blow up tanks near Hamburg.  Zuni rockets kind of suck, but I did manage to get one tank by salvoing all eight.

The Crusader, unlike the Phantom, was designed from the get-go to bring guns to bear on the target, in fact the sidewinder rails were nearly an afterthought on the F8U-1 (F-8A).  This means that it can successfully be used in a dogfight at low level!

A note...  While Strike Fighters 2 does a decent job with the squadron markings most of the time, VMF(AW)-235 should have more red and stars on the nose.

PS: Also much better is the new RAM.  With 2x1gb from before plus 2x2gb I just got from Newegg, I have 6gb!  As they say, more RAM never hurts and often helps.  Frame rates are up and lag is down.  Plus I have two more 1gb sticks coming from Ebay.  Then I'll have two empty slots...  What's to do?

16 September 2014

.22 Conversion At The Range

While the swaging job Marv and I did wasn't enough to keep the ball captured, it wasn't a total loss at the range.

We kept reading that you needed to use "high velocity" ammunition and there was a 200+ round break-in.  200 rounds of CCI "Mini-Mag" and 50 rounds of Remington Viper "Hyper Velocity" should do.

The second round short cycled.  The rest of the failures seemed random.

A total of four rounds that nosed into the feed ramp (1 Rem, 3 CCI) three short-strokes and fail to feed a new round or cock the gun and one that ejected then just sat there with the next round almost loaded.

I've definitely fired less reliable guns.

Accuracy was fine, POI was about an inch below point of aim at 7 yards.

Even left-handed!

Willard gave some aluminum cased .45 ACP ammo a try in his various commander sized guns and a Sistema Colt.  As is typical for 'luminum...

This was the only failure out of several boxes!  Huzzah!


We didn't stake the detent ball in enough.

Drop back and punt!

15 September 2014

Fucking Crooks

Someone stole my information it seems.

Snipers Online UA of Green Bay, WI has been given $40 of my money in $10 increments; three on one day.

It'd be one thing if I'd donated to them, but it's quite another to find the money's been taken when you go to balance your checkbook.

Didn't Prove What You Think

An Arsenal SAM7SF is not an AKM.

Hornady 123gr SST is not 57-N-231.

You didn't prove the AK was as good as an AR.  You proved that a very expensive and very well made AK variant with optics is as good as any AR variant I can get from Wal Mart for about half the money.

That you have to take the care that Arsenal does to make the AK equivalent to a commodity AR affirms the idea that the AK is an inherently less accurate design.  That they succeeded doesn't dispel it at all.

Powered By Spirograph

14 September 2014

It's Getting Close To Halloween

So Marv is prepping his 6.8 AR for zombies.

Hecho En Argentina

Willard may or may not have stopped by and may or may not have dropped off a .22LR conversion kit for a Browning High Power.

That looks like this:

In the box:  Take-down tool; slide assembly; conversion slide stop; and ten round .22LR magazine.

The conversion is a housing that looks like and replaces the slide of the host gun with a new slide and barrel assembly inside it.

The barrel "bushing" threads onto the barrel and is how the assembly is adjusted for fit to the host.  Tightening or loosening the bushing moves the hole in the barrel to align it with the slide stop pin hole in the frame.  A ball detent keeps the bushing from loosening during shooting.

Alas, someone did not swage the ball in correctly and Murphy caused Willard to lose the ball and spring one fine day.  It's probably a standard size ball and spring, just need to research a bit.  It's a standard 3/32" ball detent.  And for about $50 I can get 20 of them with springs from Brownells.  Now I look to see if I can find some cheaper locally.


Shoot Straight Tampa had the ball, but no spring.  A Bic Mini's flint spring is about the right diameter, but way too long.  I did the planning and acquisition; Marv did the installation and swaging.  We even have a spare ball and lots of extra spring.

Put together you can see that it doesn't have the same contours as the FN slide and transforms the appearance to something vaguely Smith and Wesson...  The ejection port is way farther to the rear than stock too.

Range report to come.

Two Things

First, I don't need another gun.

Second, I can't afford another gun.

The problem is J&G Sales has an intriguing price on a Star Model B in 9x19mm.

$320 for hand selected plus shipping and handling and C&R eligible!

That's November scrapings not today scrapings.

Surprisingly there's very little about the Star out there on the internet.

And a dearth of information in my library too.

This was fun:

13 September 2014

Share The Road (Revised)


Share the road...

Keep saying it.

Maybe someday I'll start believing it; because by and large the people not sharing are on two wheels.

Let's just discuss bicycles as vehicles-same-as-cars.

First:  Minimum speed limits do exist and are generally 10 under the speed limit.  Are you holding that speed on your bike?  Obstructing traffic is something you can get a ticket for in a car.

Second:  The same as another vehicle concept breaks down when you consider, no license, no registration, no insurance.  Things that every motorist is required to have before pulling out onto a public roadway.  This lack of regulation and thus lack of enforcement is why the critical mass pricks have people so damned pissed off.  I did bother to look up the rules for bicycles, they have single file rules, keep to the right, get off the road and let traffic pass rules...  It appears that enforcement is the problem here.

Third:  That road is paid for mostly by taxes on fuel.  Fuel that your bicycle is not buying; therefore there's some justification that bikes are free-riders on the system and...

Fourth:  Those roads and the roadway system were designed and built for motorized traffic traveling at or near the speed limits.

Fifth:  If there's a bike path or bike lane use it and stay there for as long as it lasts.

Sixth:  I ride many miles a week so I am not saying this as someone who's just an irate car driver.

Because I am a bicyclist, I tend to pay more attention to cyclists and give them the same courtesy that I would like drivers to give me.

Realistically, what I am on a bike is a rather fast pedestrian and the physics are not on my side, same as riding a motorcycle, so it behooves me to pay more attention to the environment to protect my chubby pink skin.

Batting At The Bare Bulb

Today marks the 10th Anniversary of the expiration of the [so called] Assault Weapon Ban.

It also marks the 20th Anniversary of me being politically active.  I remember talk/politics/guns

A lot has changed in those 20 years.  Mostly for the good (more than 1994 me would believe).  Some bad (much less than 1994 me would have expected).

Fifteen Years

You might not have noticed, but the moon has been gone for 15 years today.


In Revision

Rant about bicycles is in revision.

It will return once I've marshaled my thoughts better.

It sounded better in my head when I was typing it, but didn't read near so well once I'd walked away for a bit.


Willard has a .22 conversion for a High Power.

After showing it off he asked if, "I wanted to hang on to it for a while to play with it."

Cold meds make me make the wrong decisions!

Now that he's taken it away, I desperately want to take pictures and play with it.

Maybe he'll bring it back over so I can now that I'm not feverish and in the grips of the Big Fucking Q.

12 September 2014

Mac Pro Adventure

The little boards that hold the RAM have little LEDs on them that light up red to show you what stick of RAM is defective.

That you can only see if you open the case while the machine is running.

If one of your RAM sticks goes bad, the system profiler shows the pair with the bad stick as empty slots not as bad.

The cheap no-heat sink 240 pin 1gb PC2 6400 FB-DIMMs I bought way back in 2008 only lasted six years I'm actually impressed.  Of course the heat-sinked RAM that came with the machine (2x 1gb) is still clicking along...  Correction:  I realized that I couldn't find the soda straw from the canned air I dusted the thing out with so I opened it back up and noticed that it's the OEM heavily heat sinked RAM stick that's dead and not the Kingston RAM I'd added.  Fascinating!

So I ordered the smallest amount of RAM with heat-sinks that I could to replace the single dead 1gb stick...  2x 2gb sticks.  Since you have to do RAM in matched pairs on a Mac Pro the single good 1gb of my previous upgrade is trash.  Installing the new RAM will give me a total of 6gb of RAM instead of the previous 4gb.

I guess that's a win?

In fact I settled on 4gb way back because my Bootcamp partition was for XP-Pro and going for more than that was a waste.  I'm running Win-7 Ultimate (64) there now, so 6gb will get utilized.

The waiting for shipping is all.


I know a couple of my readers have more read blogs than my meager abode.

Iffin y'all could pimp me a bit for Kilted To Kick Cancer, I'd really appreciate it.

JayG is a great guy and all, and he really drags in the donations, but the man isn't even partially Scottish!

Give a Scot a chance to get ahead for a change!

11 September 2014


I'm not going to go maudlin.

I'm going for pissed off.


Because we didn't ever get payback and defeat the problem that started it lo thirteen years ago.

We got bored?  Lost focus?  Refused to look it in the face and see it for what it is?

When it happens again, it happens because we let it because we refused to accept what war is and that war can be waged against you even if you refuse to wage it back.

We don't win wars anymore as we get ever better at winning battles.  We win battles then squander the victories and waste our best on nothing.

10 September 2014

Five Cents

My county just voted to add five cents tax to every gallon of gasoline sold in the county.

Their cut of a gallon is now 12¢.  It used to be 7¢.  The counties to the south are still 7¢ and the county to the north is 9¢.

They claim it will just be $37.50 more a year to the average driver.  We're above average here at Casa de McThag, $73.45 is the increase from our average consumption of fuel.

They claim "But the impact, $37.50 a year - the implications of that are less than the cost of Starbucks coffee a month."

That's half a million lattes a month that aren't going to be bought folks.  Or Big Macs, or 1/4 Pounders...  Opportunity costs and the Gods of the copybook headings will not be ignored.

Pick something that you can no longer buy because you're paying 5¢ a gallon more for gas.

Interestingly the deciding vote was cast by a long hold-out on the issue mere days after he lost a primary challenge.

Also of note: the murmuring to up the gas taxes to maintain our roads coincides with the vote to allow the county employee's to unionize.

But the huge problem is really back on the County Commission's lap, they decided to no longer make developers pay for the impact new developments would have on the infrastructure.

Luckily, I live very near the souther border of the county I live in, I can take advantage of the cheaper gas

09 September 2014

Going For The Heart-Strings

The bald guy here is Garry.  Garry is, at present, a two time survivor of prostate cancer!

We're working on the third time right this second, dammit.

The treatment he's getting is experimental and we're told primarily funded by generous donations like KTKC generates.

It's obviously not cheap, but we like Garry and would like to keep him around a bit longer; if only to terrorize the wait-staff at Cuban Breezes for the INC meetings.

The other person in the picture wants to keep her grandpa around too.

Donate early, donate often!  Be sure to say Team McThag!


From: http://www.cracked.com/photoplasty_1054_20-famous-stereotypes-that-are-statistically-b.s./
In 1970 the census said there were 203,392,031 people in the US.  The 2010 numbers state 308,745,538.

If 1/2 of households had guns in 1970 and 1/3 have them in 2010 that means that the number of gun owners stayed pretty steady at about 100 million households.

I posit that the reason we're seeing this steady state isn't because the percentage is getting smaller, but that gun owners are less likely to admit they own a gun than they used to be.

I certainly would be reluctant to admit it on a survey and I post pictures of my guns to the internet!

Cheap Guns

What constitutes a "cheap gun"?

I've long held that you should own the most expensive gun you can afford.

But then I noticed something.

There's nothing wrong whatsoever with getting a Glock 17 and never buying a "better" handgun.  The Glock is far from the most expensive thing out there and with police trade-ins, a used Glock with plenty of life left in it might be a lot cheaper than a new "cheap" gun.

There are quite a few handguns out there that cost a great deal more and don't really offer much improvement (if any) in accuracy, capacity, reliability or toughness.  Many are far worse on all four counts and cost 4 to 10 times as much!

This repeats in rifles as well.  An AR might not be the best rifle you can buy, but it's solid and its vices are well known.  This is the problem the Army is having with the carbine competition.  Costs more, doesn't improve (much) upon the gun in service is a hard sell.

Tam deftly put it, and I am quoting from memory, for most people you could sell them a gun that turned to dust after firing round 100 and they'd never know that it did that.  They have the gun, the box of ammo they bought the day they picked up the gun and one magazines amount of cartridges missing from the box when their kids start going through all of their stuff after putting their parents in the home.

Even the much maligned Hi-Point can cross that bar!

07 September 2014

More On F-35

"Rearward visibility is poor and is going to get pilots killed."  Paraphrased from a few years ago.

Today's reply:

Here, put on this helmet, hit that switch, look down and tell me what you see.

"Hey, that's the runway!"

Now look over your shoulder and down; tell me what you don't see.

"Hey, I can't see the airframe."

Welcome to the dispersed aperture global view camera system!

They've compromised the Mk 1 Mod 0 eyeball system, yes, but the camera system should make up for it.  The best part about it is the hardware is nothing special, thus displays (pun) damn near tedious reliability.  The new bit here is the software, which I will admit is chock full of bugs and teething problems; but every report about new revisions is showing positive and steady progress.

I think this little monster is going to be a winner someday.

I only wish that it wasn't so constrained by the USMC part.  Looking at what the F-35 program costs I sometimes wonder if it wouldn't have been cheaper to pull an SCB-125 on the LHDs and LHAs; tell the Marines they were getting the Navy version and said the same thing to the Air Force.

You have to admit the Phantom II was a wildly successful program and it remains the sole example that all three tactical aviation arms bought.

Dear Brain

Dear Brain,

There's the path I want this post to take.

I want you to stay on that path.

Yes, I know there's pretty butterflies and frolicking squirrels way over there off the path.

The flashing lights and bright colors are likewise enticing...


Thank you.
The Muse.

06 September 2014

Well That Didn't Work As Hoped

Decided to try the Europe goes hot during the Cuban Missile Crisis campaign with VMFA-314 in an F-4B.

In 1962 my air-to-air weapon selection is the AIM-9B Sidewinder and the AIM-7D Sparrow.

The AIM-9B is useless against a maneuvering target.  The AIM-7D is useless below 2,500' AGL and in nearly all look-down scenarios.

The first mission was an intercept 8v8 looking for enemy Il-28.  They attack nape of the earth so the Sparrows are out.  They are escorted by 8 MiG-17F; so now it's 8v16.  There's another four ship of MiG-17F and a two ship of MiG-21F-13 in the area as well; 8v22!  You need 50% of the guys you're supposed to be shooting to count it as a win.  I got two Il-28 with sidewinders and 3 MiG-17F (but not the escorts!) with the sparrows.  One of the wingmen managed to take out a single Il-28.  I am now done accounting our kills.  Once I was out of missiles I disengaged and one of my wingmen was shot down before I landed and three had taken some sort of damage.  Once I'd taxied back to the pad I ended the scenario (and prolly saved my wingmen since the game doesn't kill them once the player leaves the game).

The second mission was to find four MiG-15bis before they could take out friendly armor.  Low level again!  I got lucky with one sidewinder on the first Fagot but missed with the remaining three.  I fired an AIM-7D at a passing MiG-21F-13 who was perfectly lined up for the shot by pure chance; got him.  Then I got nailed by a MiG-17PF.  KIA with posthumous Purple Heart.

I think that next time I try for 1962 in a Marine jet I am going for an F-8C.  Having a gun of some sort sure would have made life a lot better.

05 September 2014

Off To A Great Start!

The standings for KTKC are posted and we're doing great!

$195 for Team McThag and $1,530 total.


Now I have to go back and see if I promised anything for breaking $200...

Defense News

I tire of breathless reports about the failings of the F-35 program that don't mention which variant they're talking about.

It's actually three different planes.  There's so little commonality between them they should have been the F-24A, FV-25A and F/A-26A instead of F-35A, F-35B and F-35C respectively.

Never mind that it should never have kept the -35 designation from the X series anyway!  If I get on a designation system rant I'll be all day since I don't think that F/A-18E or F and the related EF-18G should be -18 but should have gotten a new designation number.  But the politics of acquisition spoke louder than using the defined system...

F-35 has a bulkhead crack!  Some F-35B have a crack, and it is likely related to stresses from the front lift fan and the ginormous barn door on top.  I've yet to read an explanation as to why they changed to that large door from the smaller ones.

F-35 tail-hook ineffective!  That's specific to the F-35C.  The emergency hook on the F-35A works just fine.


04 September 2014

Gaming Stories...

I've got a few...

For teaser purposes... Titles.

Warren and the security booth.

Warren and the UH-1H.

Warren and the windshield.

Rhonda and the tail.

Fuzzygeff, Vacuum, Hyperspace and Tie-Downs.

Anglave and the Trusting Tenderfoot.

How much are the complete stories worth?

Make a donation and mention how much in the comments and see if you've unlocked the achievement!

A Suggestion

Willard says that instead of ugly guys in kilts, we should have hot school-girls in leather.

Make a big enough donation and I think we can make that happen.

Y'all will have to settle for 18+ school girls because we're only so creepy here.

Guess Again

Concerning the lens flares in Star Trek's reboot by JJ Abrams.

Yet, a lot of people walked out of that really fun, exciting movie unable to do anything but complain about lens flare. Ultimately, that's a good thing: Abrams made such a good movie that the biggest problem most viewers had is that the lights did a stretchy thing across the screen.
Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/4-public-apologies-we-shouldnt-accept/#ixzz3CLxTUnkw

Actually no.

We started noticing and focusing on the lens flares because we'd checked out from the "fun and excitement" already.  With nothing else to do, we started noticing things that should have been in the background.

People just don't notice bad camera work and poor lens choices when there's something on the screen engaging them.

Risk Management

In no way should saying, "this is why you were selected as a victim," be taken to absolve or mitigate the responsibility of the criminal for their actions.

Once the criminal has gotten to the victim selection portion of the event, they've already committed themselves to the commission of the crime.

Someone is going to be a victim and the best you can do is make yourself less enticing to them.

Sometimes there's nothing the victim can do to reduce their chances because the decision to commit the crime is tied to committing it on that person.  Stalking falls into this category.  The stalker doesn't start with "I'm going to stalk, oh... that random person there."  They back into a justification of stalking a particular person based on specious at best reasoning.  It's rarely the "at best" scenario.  Most of the time the rationale is bug-nuts.

It's a fine line to tread about "blaming the victim."  The blame and fault is entirely on the criminal for the crime.  It is not, however, unhealthy to ask, "what could I have done differently?"

If every girl walking home drunk from a bar through a bad neighborhood while wearing a slinky cocktail dress and heels gets raped; but not a single sober female jogger in sweats does...  There's a pattern to be aware of.


We were at $75 yesterday morning.

If we keep up the $25 a day pace we should pull $750 by the time this closes!

Y'all can do it!

There are 15 followers down there, $20 each and we're at $300.

200 people hit this site on average every day; even a BUCK from each of you is $200.

You've got a dollar, don't you?

Leave a comment for ideas that will incentivize you.  As long as it's legal and I won't injure myself past embarrassment I'm likely to do it.

03 September 2014

Your Participation Is Required

In every single crime, the victim is a participant in the victim selection process. In Perfect World®, there'd be no behavior on the victim's part that made them more likely to be selected by the criminal. In real world, there are things you can do that increase your chances of being selected. Wishing that wasn't so doesn't change this.
If I give you my PIN number and ATM card to pull out $20 and you take $200, who is at fault? You. But how much could you have stolen if I'd not given you the card and PIN?
This is the core of the nudie pics drama. If you don't want someone to see pictures of you nekkid; never EVER take a picture of yourself nekkid. That applied before there was an internet. The reason is that there are thieves and scumbags out there who will be more than happy to share them with the world should they ever discover how you've secreted them away.
Celebrities should be aware that all of that doubly applies to them and the security measures that keep a picture of my nekkidness secure are meaningless to someone with real motivation to see them, and the mere fact of celebrity means that motivations exists. That means that celebs need to take extraordinary measures to secure their data. Why? Because we don't live in Perfect World®!
So we lecture the victim and punish the thieves! To skip the lecture assures the victim will be selected again. Becoming self-rightous and indignant when someone points out the victim's participation in the process makes you a fool.

Figured It Out

The reason that President Obama can't come to a decision about ISIS...

Thanks to Bill Clinton they no longer know what 'IS' means and it's in ISIS twice!

02 September 2014

I Just Bleeping Stabbed Myself

Bought me a spiffy kopis style Cold Steel machete.

Hacked at an unwanted tree limb in the back yard, because that's why I bought the thing.  It effortlessly sliced right through the limb and because it didn't slow down even a bit, I wasn't prepared to stop it before it hit my poorly placed foot.

In a flip flop...

This could have been so much worse!

Hi, my name is Thag and I am stupid.

Testing a GE J79 with afterburner

01 September 2014

Not Invited

Clicked on Tam's blog and got...

This blog is open to invited readers only
http://booksbikesboomsticks.blogspot.com/It doesn't look like you have been invited to read this blog. If you think this is a mistake, you might want to contact the blog author and request an invitation.
You're signed in as mcthag - Sign in with a different account

I'd been on my best behavior lately too! Took showers, used deodorant, chewed with my mouth closed...


Apparently she's quit and this is how a retired blog looks.

Fair weather and calm seas, Tam!


I was just reading that the flight of a bullet gives of an rf signal that a radio can pick up.

That's neat!

I guess the copper of the round passing through the earth's magnetic field is responsible.

Attempts to Google more information have hit the typical wall...

KTKC '14 Is ON!

Click on the pic to your right, don't forget to click the box for "This donation is made as part of a Fundraising Team" then select "team McThag" from the drop down menu that will appear.

I'd be pleased as punch to have $1,000 channeled through my name this year.  I'd be nearly as thrilled to have just $20, but that doesn't do near as much good for the recipients.

We hit $500 and I'll do the "dunk your junk" bit!

The Dog might have to translate anything I say after that though...