31 May 2020

Are You Here?

Stolen from Libertarian Redhead via Erin's Facebook.

30 May 2020

Like A Trained Ape

Without the training.

For many months I have been unable to see The Mac from my Win7 laptop.

I'd been blaming a Windows update, but noticed that The Lovely Harvey's nearly identical machine running the exact same version of Windows was having no trouble connecting.

Turns out I'd managed to break something in the network settings while trying to connect to a friend's network-shared printer while I was in Iowa last June.

JT came over today and found a couple of settings on The Mac which were making it harder to diagnose the situation and many settings on Crispy that kept it from seeing The Mac.

Like all experts, he made it look easy.

I could tell from the look on his face and furrowed brow that I'd done an unusual job of messing things up.

He also mentioned it was refreshing that I owned right up to being the likely reason it was screwed up.


Damn The Media Be Supid

The attack on CNN's headquarters is a white nationalist psyop?

A cop in Minneapolis appears to have killed a black man.

Why on earth would white supremacists do anything but celebrate?

I don't think the media understands how the racist mind operates.

Of course, the media not understanding something is nothing new.

Spreading The Word

I notice there isn't even a whif of concern that the rioters are spreading Wu Ping Cough.

Almost as if everyone knows that the real threat of the CCP Virus is over.

I didn't notice this on my own, but it bears repeating.

It would bear linking to the person who pointed it out to me too.  If I could recall where I first saw it.

Take Off!

With a crew named Bob and Doug...

It's a beauty, eh?

Dragon crew has the USA back in the launchin' people (and Marines) business.

About fucking time!

Damned Ethics And Morals

Willard had left his Lugers here for me to take pictures of.

He stopped by today and asked, "Did I leave those with you?"

Compelled by honesty, I said, "Yes."

If I was better at being a scumbag I could have had two free Lugers!

Well, not free.  That's the sort of thing that costs a friendship.

Fuck It Kill Them All

The dipshit looters have burned Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction and Uncle Edgar's Mystery Bookstore to the ground.

That's it, I'm done with the idea of even considering these scum as human, and seriously considering rejecting them as hominids.

No better than, and likely far worse than, rats or cockroaches.

Extermination is fine by me for anyone who wantonly burns books.

Hiram Maxim solved for this equation.

Dereliction Of Sworn Duty

I am watching video after video of the riots and looting in three cities.

I am not seeing the cops engaging the lawless.

I am reading about the military activating MP units to step in and considerations for martial law.

So, Officer, you sure enjoyed the title of "hero"...  Time to do something heroic.

Get your ass between the citizens you're sworn to defend and those who seek to destroy them.

That is heroism.

Your safety is not, and never has been, paramount.

Getting your ass killed trying to save those who cannot save themselves is part of the duty.

It always has been.

Hiding from the lawless and waiting for the Army is the act of a coward, not a hero.

If you think I'm treating you unfairly, you'd better have a selfie of you manning the barricades and actually protecting someone besides yourself.

It's especially galling that there's lots of officers in many departments that do embody the selfless ideals and would stand between crime's desolation and the citizens they've sworn to protect.

Officers who take their oath seriously.

Your cowardly behavior dishonors those who are doing it right.

Slip The Leash

Reading this article on FoxNews.

The knowing that the people with no stake will not be punished and we'll have to endure this shit again next perceived slight against the moochers...

The more times it happens the less likely the people who're vested in the ownership of the nation are going to follow the rules and call the cops.

We're skidding hard for the moment when the rioters are not threatened with guns, but are fired upon without regard.

The only thing keeping those safeties on is the surety that they will be arrested for murder of the rioters.

The moment approaches where the people with the guns defending their property from rioters decide that anyone not helping them is also a foe.  Police that come to arrest them for defending themselves from rioters will also receive a fusillade.

It will be tragic, it will be bad, but it will not be unjust.

In too many places the cops have ceased to be what the citizens think cops should be, and for too long.

It's called a reckoning.

29 May 2020

Race War

Dear Hollywood Dancing Monkeys,

You don't want a race war.

War is the killer app of The State.

Genocide is the killer app of Western Civ.

It's not deployed often, but when it is...


Last time we had a real race war here, it culminated in casinos.

I've been researching this part of history and parallels between white and black relations can be drawn that hold up.

Even worse, if it starts this will be the second time we've had to have a civil war over the issue of what is to be done about black people.

When you couple this with a couple decades of anything a white person says or does is condemned as racism, you get white people who say, "Fuck it, let's be racists."

I am not looking forward to it, but it sure seems like one side of the political spectrum is pushing it hard.

28 May 2020


The 'hood I live in has, historically, been about 1/3 rental houses and 2/3 owned.

The rentals have long been something of a sore spot with the renters not bothering to take care of their temporary home and the landlords only doing the maintenance when it's time to attract a new tenant.

I've noticed that many of the rental properties didn't put out "For Rent" signs when they finished fixing them up this time.

There's "For Sale" signs out now.

Seems odd for a landlord to be selling in a depressed housing market.  Landlords don't sell in a depressed market, they BUY in a depressed market.

I think this might be an indicator.  A positive one.


The nice folks at Spencer's Western World in Pinellas Park told me to stop by and talk to their hat person, Larry, either yesterday or this evening.

I wanted to make sure I got it the way it's supposed to be and Larry said that he though he had it, and if I was willing to hang around for fifteen minutes he could knock it out with my feedback.

So I did!

That's how it's supposed to be, mostly.  The brim dips a wee bit too much and interferes with the sights on my Krag.  But that's something I'm confident enough to fix.


For the first time EVER (unless you count all the other times) more gun control has resulted in more gun crime.

I, too, am shocked.

Most telling is there doesn't seem to be an increase in police activity either.

New Zealand has, essentially, told their citizens that they cannot have a gun to defend themselves AND that they on their own to defend themselves from people with guns.

It kinda makes you wonder why we bother obeying any laws at all.

Low-trust society here we come!

Literal Headache

I'd forgotten that genuine fur felt hats need broken in.

I'd further forgotten that it hurts.

Worth it in the end...

I'm not ready to resort to the techniques I've seen for Order of the Spur "break-in" on YouTube.

Definitely need to get it reshaped to a more traditional rather than regulation shape.

NOBODY wears these things the way they come from Stetson.  I am baffled that Stetson still blocks them with a single crease in the crown and an even upturned brim.

There's a local western wear place that does hat reshaping for the princely sum of $20.  I think I will allow an expert to do this.

Hat as shipped:

Hat as desired:

Not a huge change, but forcing the brim down isn't ideal, reshaping it lets it assume the curve I want without putting stresses in the band and that will let it conform to my non-circular skull better.

Crazies Be Everywhere

Took The Boy to get our Wednesday Hate Chikin'.

We did curbside and ended up leaving behind someone who'd gone through the drive through.

This person was digging around in either their bag or center console and not actually driving.

I even commented to The Boy, "If you're not ready to drive, don't put it in gear."

They meandered around in the lanes leading to the exit out to the highway and when they got to said exit, rather than looking for traffic... resumed digging around in their bag/console.

Because there was no traffic to wait for, I gave them a hoot from the horn.

The took so long to react from the horn that they just barely made it out in front of the traffic which had shown up while they were doing whatever it was they were doing.

I waited for a space and ended up back behind them at the light in the leftmost left turn lane.  I needed to make u-turn to get headed back home.

This person is yelling and screaming and flipping me off.

I'm thinking, "You had your head up your ass, but it's MY fault?"

His agitation kept increasing to the point I started to become worried he was going to come back to the car and assault me.  So I got my pistol ready.

His agitation never rose to the point where he got out of his car, but he did manage to get the person in the rightside left-turn lane to ask him "what the fuck?"

This person instantly pivoted their raised ire to the guy in the next lane, who starts screaming back.

Then they start throwing things at each other.

The people in the car next to me were both recording on their cell phones.


I'm glad he didn't get out of his car.
I'm glad I had a gun on me.
I'm thrilled that I didn't have to use it.

I'm amazed, and saddened, that someone wound so tight lived old enough to reach the pedals.

I feel confident that if I had had to shoot this person that I'd have been fully vindicated by the recordings from the other car.  Again, I am thrilled to have avoided the need to talk to an officer about defending myself.

This also underscores that you don't get to pick when a self defense situation happens.  You can make choices that minimize the chances of it happening, but you can't eliminate all chances.

27 May 2020

No Sir I Don't Like It

Google announced that they'd be forcing us to the "new" Blogger in late June.

I gave it a short test drive.

The main change I saw was in the list of posts.  The added a giant letter from the first letter of the title, unless there's picture in the post, then they use that.

It puts about six posts where you can see them instead of 20.

The new design means a lot more scrolling to get to a post to see it.

Everything is going to icons.  You can hover to see what they mean, but...  If I have to hover, the meaning of the icon is unclear.

26 May 2020

I Have A Hat

The Boy bought me a Stetson for Father's Day.

He doth verily rock!

I'm already twisting and pulling and making it my own.  I might enlist a professional to really reblock it to what I prefer.  Plus!  Without someone ordering me about how to wear it, I can ditch the silly chin-strap until we actually have a hurricane getting close.

Thanks!  To The Boy!!

Damn That's A Consistently Recurring Percentage

Remember when I mentioned 13.9% infection rate not that long ago?

Antibody testing in New York has also arrived at 13.9% infection rate.

Extrapolating this to Florida gives an infection fatality rate of 0.076%; lower than the average flu.

That contrasts heavily to the stated 4.33% case fatality rate.

Greek poets most affected.

Operator Error

To get the scheduler to schedule a post, you have to, you know, schedule it...

Pick a date... enter it...


Otherwise you end up posting it the second you hit publish.

25 May 2020

It's Obvious When You Look At It

If it's OK for Wal Mart to be open limited hours instead of being open 24/7, thus compressing their entire business day into half the hours and condensing the customers to an effective doubling of density...

It was always OK for everyone else to stay open too unless there was something about the service provided that required close contact between the staff and customers.

That's starting to really piss me off.  I was just irritated before.

No Active Or Recovered

Florida isn't giving numbers for recoveries or active cases.

Just the running total of people who've tested positive.

51,746 at the time of this writing.

If the disease takes 3-weeks to run its course, if we subtract the number of cases from May 4th from the cumulative total we should get an estimate of the active cases.

51,746 - 36,897 = 14,849 active cases at most.  We should also subtract the dead from this...

12,597 at the most.

If it takes two weeks to run then it's:

51,746 - 40,982 - 2,252 = 8,512 active cases.

Since it averages 2-3 weeks then the number of active cases remaining is between 8,512 and 14,849.

People ARE recovering from this.  It's just not being reported much.

For The Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children, England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,

To the end, to the end, they remain.

-- Laurence Binyon

Today is not about sales. It is not about summer starting. It is not about grandma.

It's is about those who served and have passed beyond the vale.

I want them all back.

Bernie Canniff (Korea, in a car club together).
Carol LeFon aka Neptunus Lex (patiently explained both real world and flight sim military aviation to this tanker).
Davy McGuire (COB USS Whale, originally a friend of my Dad's, later me).
Fred Gabow (we served together, his wife hired someone to murder him).
Jerry Pournelle (you do read, don't you? Willing to be wrong and listened to my correction!).
Kevin O'Brian aka Hognose (our beloved Weaponsman).
Rabbi (Uncle Ben, another friend of Dad who got me a ride in an F-14A).
Rich Sickels (brother of my Father in law).
Robert Smith (uncle by marriage to Mom's sister).
Standing Bear aka William Dawkins (WW2 and Korea, who taught me gaming).

The world is better that you were in it and worse that you have left.

23 May 2020

Frightened But Willing

Friday we spoke with a woman who'd just bought her very first gun.

Interestingly, not the first gun she'd owned.

She told us she was originally from New Jersey and she'd sold her father's guns as soon as she'd inherited them.  Sold them to the police...  Including a pearl-handled Colt Cobra.  C'est la vie.

She said she was increasingly frightened about living alone in her neighborhood and wanted something more than pepper spray.

We'd met her on the day her waiting period had run out and was picking up the gun and wanting to know anything and everything about shooting it.

When the owner deferred to Willard and I as experts on a Czech Skorpion pistol, she started to ask us questions too.

She was definitely very nervous about going shooting and we tried to calm her nerves while also being honest about what she'd experience.

She was honestly astonished that we two strangers would offer advice and try to be helpful.

We told her that we're a community, and she'd just joined as a full member.

We also told her that she shouldn't be afraid to ask for help at the range.  Most of us are completely willing to get someone past the first gate of actually firing their very first gun.

We wish her the best and I kind of wish we'd had the time to accompany her to the range and give more help.


I remember in the way back days what limited my photographic urges was the requirement that I purchase both film and developing.

I might, maybe, have shot 256 exposures on 35mm film.  Total.  In my whole lifetime.

I have fired off almost 1,200 exposures in the three months I've had the M50.

The S5 IS I bought in November 2007 had 6,870 on the clock when I broke it in April 2018.

The SX20 IS has logged 1,139 from April 2018 to now.

I am completely uncertain about how many pictures I've taken with my phone since such things became possible.  I do know that it's shocking that my current phone is a better camera than my first two digital cameras.

I kinda dig living in a future that's surpassed the speculative science fiction of my adolescence.

Not The Same

The longer I wrench, the more I realize that simple ≠ easy.

Still, I will take a simple but hard job over a complex but easy job most times.

Fucking Murphy lurks among the complexity.

Patton Saber Revisited

In this post I called the M1913 "Patton" Saber an estoc.

There's just one teensy, wittle, problem.

The M1913 has a double edge.

It's length, weight, balance and such also more closely match a fencing saber.

It's not a chopper.  It's a stabber.

But, unlike the pattern 1908, it has a cutting edge.

GURPS would treat it as a Fencing Saber.

When you look up what George was up to in 1912, it makes sense that a sword he designed would favor fencing rather than broadsword.

Never you mind that ANY play with a sword is fencing...  That's the real world not GURPS.

Brace For Impact

Did you know that with the rolling 50 year qualification...

Guns made as late as 1970 are now Curios and Relics?

There's some damn modern guns that can be had under this.

Six entire years of Colt SP-1, for example.

I'm giddy.

Well worth the money for the Cruffler license.

22 May 2020

Mercury Is Elusive

This angle was perfectly clear an hour ago.

Because They're So Consistent

The Cav Hat that ended up being too small because I can't work a measuring tape took three days to ship from CavHooah.

Paid for 2-day Priority Mail.  Expected delivery shown was the 18th.

It left their local post office at 1:29pm on the 15th.
Arrived at their regional hub at 2:07am on the 16th.
Left their regional hub at 5:59am on the 16th.
Arrived at wrong Florida hub at 7:40am on the 17th.
Left wrong Florida hub at 10:55 on the 17th.
Arrived at correct Florida hub at 8:50pm on the 17th.
Left correct Florida hub at 11:16pm on the 17th.
Arrived at my local post office at 8:46am on the 18th.
Out for delivery at 8:57am on the 18th.
Delivered at my door at 6:38pm on the 18th.

The correct size hat is not moving so well.  Same 2-day priority mail.  Expected delivery shown is the 23rd.

It left their local post office at 2:41pm on the 20th.
It got to their regional hub at 2:35am this morning.
It left their regional hub at 9:06 am.

We're looking like Tuesday if they're consistent with last delivery's routing.  Even getting to the correct regional hub on the first try will still likely be Tuesday.

Yup.  Status didn't change to anything local overnight, so no possible way it's out for delivery now.

There's a new banner on the USPS tracking page, it reads:

"Alert: Due to limited transportation availability as a result of nationwide COVID-19 impacts, package delivery times may be extended. Priority Mail Express® service will not change."

21 May 2020

No Dawes Act

While most every Indian disappeared into Maka Tanka, there are a few who remained behind.

Most numerous are the five "civilized" tribes in Indian Territory, also known as modern Oklahoma.

Next most numerous are those who were employed by the Army as Indian Scouts.

Lastly there are the Commanche.  There is a lot of debate about this.  Their representatives say that they weren't invited.

With the great plains vacant of Natives and the "Civilized" tribes "happily" residing in Indian Territory, the frictions that lead to The Dawes Act never happen.

No Dawes Act, no Curtis Act...  No Curtis Act, no Tom Cruise movie.

The lack of the Dawes act also means that Sooners are dealt with harshly.


May is mental health awareness month.

I can't wait for June so I can go back to be unaware of my mental health.

Maka Tanka

Unless I find different doing my research...

The name of the world through the spook-hole is Maka Tanka, or Great Earth.

I don't speak Dakota Sioux, and only have the internet to look up words, so if you or someone you know does...  Drop a comment.

Here's Something You Don't Find Often

Still doing basic historical research for Sabers and Shamans.

Something that doesn't often get mentioned when you read recent treatises about the American Indian Native American is the outright hatred the plains Indians had for anyone whom wasn't in their tribe.

It's no joke that the word that most tribes use for themselves translates to human being, and the names we commonly use for these tribes are not this word.

Quite often the common name for a tribe translates to "those fucking prick subhumans," and it was given them by a different tribe.

One reason for a lot of the conflict is the inability of the various tribes to see anyone else as human, and therefore worthy of being dealt with honorably.

White men called Indians savages, but even a savage is still human.

It's also lost that the plains Indians are a territorial, warrior culture.  Pacifist societies whom never bother anyone until bothered first don't have a warrior culture.

The plains tribes were aggressive and expansionist.

So was America.

Conflict was going to happen, even if westward expansion had halted west of Minnesota/Iowa/Missouri.  The Indians would have tried coming east, eventually.

A key issue of this being territorial was a refusal to allow transit by outsiders.  For a good long time the only whites transiting the great plains were people trying to get to the Pacific Northwest.  Notice that the game "Oregon Trail" doesn't have a "stop and build a town" option?

It doesn't take too many times of a wagon train getting wiped out before "someone should do something" is intoned.

Wanna know something?  The first attempts were apparently successful and led to agreements to allow transit.

Guess how long that lasted and who broke the agreement first.

Hint, it wasn't the settlers, whose only interest was to (well) transit and be someplace else.

Warriors got to war and one does not war on oneself.

So the leaders who made the agreement were denigrated, the agreement discarded, and a war to repel the invaders organized.

"Someone should do something!"

"Hey, Chief, we mentioned that we'd be out here shootin' y'all if you wiped out any more people who'd managed to survive the dysentery, typhus, cholera and drowning."

This period also establishes, in the minds of American culture, that Indians are liars who cannot be trusted.  You know, because they lied and showed no trustworthiness.

LATER, when the cavalry was kicking their asses in earnest, the Indians did learn (for the most part) to take these agreements seriously.  This is also the period where The Bureau of Indian Affairs is at its most corrupt.  Much of what happens here is directly the result of the corruption in the government of The United States.

Lately we tend to focus on the evils of the white man without looking at the road that led to a place where such corruption could have such power over people.

There are reams of contemporary accounts who knew that what was being done was unjust, had valid solutions and were powerless to do anything because the government had divided things to facilitate the corruption.

Had either BIA or The Army been given sole responsibility over the issue, different outcomes would have happened.  The split responsibilities guaranteed conflict and buck-passing.  There was much "I've just created a problem, your job to fix it.  Bye!" going on.  It's so bad that one entity solving one of the problems they were responsible for would, almost to a certainty, create a new problem for the other entity.

It was a shit show for everyone.  We need to remember that.

Cameras Are Like Meteors

Just like trying to watch a meteor shower, getting the camera out to attempt to take a picture of Jupiter summons clouds.

I got one blurry disc.  Not worth uploading.

I got a brief, tantalizing look at a bright disc and the Galilean moons...  Then clouds never cleared enough again to actually get a picture.

Definitely have to try again later.

20 May 2020

No Academy Awards?

I just read that The Oscars will be suspended this year.

Now I don't know what I'm not going to watch.

I haven't not watched Baseball or Basketball in months.

Target Of Opportunity

When I was loading the car to head out to the pier to try to capture Mercury, I looked west and spotted this vista.

I am getting good enough with my camera to actually capture what I see.  It's gratifying.


Too hazy for little Mercury.  It should be in this picture, just below the visible Venus.

Cropping it reveals a crescent.  And pixels.

Where Have All The Carbines Gone

Willard pointed out that more than a million more M1 Carbines were made than M1 Garands.

There are Garands aplenty.

Carbines are so scarce that no less than two companies are making new ones.

Where'd they go?

We speculate that it's two-fold.

We handed out military assistance by giving loaning both carbines and Garands to virtually anyone who asked (and probably forced them on a couple of places who didn't.)

I think the first fold of where did the carbines go is they tended to go to places where there was fighting and that is damn hard on guns.  An 82mm mortar round blows up the gun as well as the person carrying it when it hits... for example.

Garands tended to land in places where there was a nervous peace, like proto-NATO nations.  These guns were rapidly replaced by new service rifles and warehoused rather than used.

The second fold is the M2 carbine problem.  With ATF's retarded standard of, "once a machine gun, always a machine gun," any M1 carbine converted to the M2 standard, and so marked, is forever an M2 and cannot be surplussed to civilian use.

It also probably didn't help that the M2 stayed in service long after the Garand left the party.

19 May 2020

Using Approved Doctrinal Disappointment

I am disappointed and relieved...

The Winchester I was thinking about appears, now that I've sent the infantry to scout ahead...

It's a Winchester Model 70 XTR Sporter and it's in .270 Weatherby Magnum, not .270 Winchester.

At $3.25 a shot, the great deal on the rifle is quickly lost in the increased price of ammo...

Still, there's an allure.

It'd be the third of four commercially viable .277 rounds in the stable with 6.8 SPC and .270 Win.

Prolly pass on it.

I'd Have More Sympathy If...

Ithaca, NY is facing an economic disaster...

I have two take-aways from this.

First is that they shouldn't have cheerfully driven Remington out of town on a rail.  This ties into the second point.

Diversification is good for your economy, overall.  That way when you have a disastrous shortfall in one sector, the others will keep the boat afloat.  Ithaca overspecialized in catering to the two large colleges in town at the expense of manufacturing...

A third take-away could be that every job is essential and that by clipping one from the market causes a ripple effect down to the smallest endeavor.

It was obvious, over and over, when I slogged through economics getting my BBA that while government really couldn't keep an economy running or really make it grow; it damn sure could do things that would fuck an economy right up, good and hard.

18 May 2020

But But But Their Brady Rating...

Shooting in NYFC are up.

It's almost as if the pro-gun camp has been right all along and gun control doesn't influence criminal misuse of firearms even the slightest.

No Mercury

The clouds did not cooperate.

Oddly, because I'd forgotten to pack the tripod.

Perhaps tomorrow...

Measure Twice Cut Once

We measured thrice and still didn't manage to measure correctly.

My noggin measures 23-1/2".  That corresponds to a hat size of 7-1/2.

Repeatedly we've measured my melon at 23" for a hat size of 7-3/8.

What went wrong?

There's a half inch starter lead on our tailor tape.  We've been measuring from the end of the tape to the markings rather than from the zero inch mark.

That makes all our, both Harvey and mine, measurements short half an inch.


This wouldn't matter, except The Boy decided that Daddy needed a new cavalry hat, when he asked me about my Sabers and Shamans stuff, for Father's Day.  Real live Stetson no less!

The hat arrived today and it's the wrong size.

That's when we noticed we'd been using the tape wrong.

Happily, CavHooah has an excellent return policy!  This must be a common error.

I'll get an RMA and pay return shipping and get a replacement hat the correct size.

The sad part is I should have known 7-3/8 was wrong because I have a boonie hat that's 7-1/2 that fits perfectly.

Out Of The Envelope (Update And Bump)

The Weber CL-41 seat in the CT-114 Tutor is not a modern, self-righting, zero-zero ejection seat.

In a level ejection you need 60 knots of airspeed and 60 feet of altitude minimum to even have a chance at a successful ejection.

This ejection was from a nose-down attitude and every part of that downward vector adds to the minimum altitude needed.

The rip-cord on the chute isn't pulled until seat separation is complete and that doesn't start until a full second after the seat clears the plane.  Then a drogue pulls the main canopy out of the chute pack then it inflates and the decent is slowed.


Two seconds after the seat clears you can just see the drogue pulling the chute out from the right-seater's pack.  There simply isn't enough time to get a chute left and she didn't make it.

Something else to consider is the design of this seat is from the 1950's.  First flight of the CT-114 is in 1960 and the last one rolled out the factory doors in 1966.  Seats were not designed for the weights of women back then.  They were designed for strapping young men of military age and fitness.

That Captain Casey was killed and the other crew member lived could very well be a factor of mass, despite being the first out of the plane.

She would have been ejected faster, thus being slower relative to the wind and that could have put the chute outside its opening envelope for too long to deploy before she hit.

Plus!  There's just no fucking excuse for Canada to still be using the 60 year old CT-114 when it's been replaced as an operational trainer by the BAE Hawk 115 (CT-155) and Beechcraft T-6A Texan II (CT-156 Harvard II) in 2000.

If it had been any other ejection seat equipped plane in the Canadian inventory; Capt Casey would be alive and Capt MacDougall would not be seriously injured.


It would appear that she was in the left seat, or the second one out, judging from how the plane with her name and PAO job is marked up.  That's a huge factor in surviving at low level.

More than a couple multi-crew aircraft have lost the last man out as a result of the seat sequencing.

I am not certain if the Tutor has automatic sequencing or if it's every man for themselves to pull their own handle.

I dimly recall a documentary about The Snowbirds where the pilot is explaining the ejection seats to the documentary narrator where the pilot says, "I will say eject, eject, eject, and you will pull the handles."  The narrator guy asks if he should confirm the command or something and the pilot replies, "If you even say, 'huh?' you're going to be talking to yourself."

That sort of implies that each seat needs to be fired by its occupant.

Bolt Gun Obsession

One of the local pawn shops has a post-64 Winchester Model 70 in .270 Win.

I think it's an XTR Featherweight and I don't know off the top of my head how post 64 it is by looking at it.

It's at an attractive price that, with the roof, AC and torque tube...  Just out of reach.


Adulting sucks!

I am seriously eyeing the gun cabinet and thinking, "how many Mosins does one need, anyway?"

Too Late For Jupiter Switching To Mercury

While I have it on good authority that my 300mm lens will actually capture banding from Jupiter, viewing conditions the next couple of days aren't expected to be very good.

Mercury, on the other hand, is trailing the sun.

I'm going to see if I can't snag him and Venus at sunset tomorrow...  Assuming the weather is cooperative.

17 May 2020

Personal Photography

For no apparent reason I started to compare all of the digital cameras I've owned over the years.

The first digital camera I ever took a picture with was a Sony Mavica FD-71.  It used a standard 3.5 floppy for storage.  It had less than a megapixel worth of sensor.

The first digital camera I ever owned was a Kodak DC3200.  Big ass, but laughably small capacity by today's standards, compact flash card and 1.0 megapixels.  5.4mm fixed focal length and crop factor of 7.22.

My mom bought a 4mp thing, first SD card in the bunch, that I inherited with the rest of her photography stuff.  Casio QV-R40.  It had a 3x optical zoom that would get a 35mm equivalent of 39 to 117mm with a 4.88 crop factor from an 8-24mm focal length!

The first camera I actually bought and paid for was my dear departed Canon S5 IS.  12x optical zoom going from 6 to 72mm focal, cropped by 6 to be equivalent to 36 to 432mm.  It rocked a gigantic 8mp sensor that could be almost completely occluded by a .22LR round.

When I broke that camera...

I upgraded to a Canon SX20 IS.  12mp, slightly larger sensor, 20x optical zoom!  5-100mm focal squeezed through a 5.6 crop factor to an equivalence of 28-560mm.

These first two Canons introduced me to filters.  The S5 took pictures of The Great American Eclipse in Tennessee.

Goofing with filters led to wanting to goof with lenses...  That led to the Canon EOS M50.  Crop factor is down to a mere 1.61 and I have my choice of oh so many lenses thanks to an adapter from EF-M to EF and EF-S.  24.2mp of APS-C goodness.

With prices coming down, thanks to the relentless progress to new models, I am half wondering if a full-frame Canon EOS RP isn't within reach.  RF lenses are stupid expensive, but like the M50, there's an adapter to the far cheaper EF and EF-S lenses.


When you confine a Wu Ping Cough population to a closed environment, like a ship at sea, you get around an average of 13.9% infected once you test everyone for the disease and antibodies.

If we extrapolate that to the population of Florida, we get almost three million people with CCPV.

That translates to an infection fatality ratio of just 0.058%.

Considering how often we've discovered that most infections are entirely asymptomatic, this is believable.

Time to reopen.

The Idea Would Sell

NYC has had significantly more and worse Wu Ping Cough than Florida.

It also appears that US Patient Zero was in NYC and nearly all cases stem from here to the rest of the nation.

Florida is starting to open back up, except for the Democrat strongholds in the southeast.

One key point to our success appears to have been making it slightly more difficult in fact for someone from infection hot-spots such as New York or New Orleans to enter the state freely.

We didn't actually turn New Yorkers back, we just "made" them promise, on their honor, to self-quarantine for two weeks once they'd landed at their Florida destination.

Interestingly, this cursory check DID discourage people from coming to Florida to flee their disease ridden homes.

Looking around I can see that the lack of fresh New Yawkers is giving people ideas about maybe making the checkpoints permanent and putting some real legal barriers in place.

16 May 2020

The Data Continues To Roll In

h/t Ace of Spades:

Most infections were asymptomatic.

It's been out there uncontrolled and we've been getting exposed and infected without knowing it.

Ain't no horses in the lockdown barn.

Surprised That Tam Didn't Link To This First

Using a Magpul MS4 sling as a camera strap!

Dave Portnoy Shutdown Rant

This Is Over

We're down to a 30 day doubling rate.

This is over.

With 44 thousand or so positive tests and under 2 thousand deaths among a 25 million plus population in Florida.

The number of people getting tested is slowing down even if the daily rate of new cases is running about the same.

The pattern of the infections tracks similarly to other influenza like infections and the death rate here wasn't really worse than an above average flu season.

That doesn't make it "just like the flu" but it does inform us that we could have weathered it out without all the closures.

Again, if it escaped in October, we really did weather it out for most of it.  The shape of the infection curve in that case also matches other historical influenza like viruii.

Let's get going on that economy!  I want to start living like an American again, not some fearful European Communist.

15 May 2020

Pack Rat Save

Two years ago, when The Precious' HVAC started having issues, I flipped the coin and replaced the HVAC control module.  It turned out that the controller wasn't the problem but the Body Control Module.

The replacement was from ebay and was an open-box AC-Delco replacement.

The display occasionally goes blank, but tapping the screen brings it back.

The thing troubling me lately has been it showing 77˚ no matter what the outside temp was.

So I tried a new outside temperature sensor.  No change.

Checked the resistance at the B terminal.  Good.

The next step is a Tech-2 and measuring counts.

Since one of the solutions listed is always "bad HVAC controller" I put my old one back in.

Voila!  Display works right.

One For Each Hand

One the left is a 1916ish made DWM commercial 9mm Luger.  It's a parts gun with several mismatched pieces, but it's a damn good shooter.

On the right is a 1936 made Mauser military contract P.08.  A couple parts have been forced matched.

Willard got the Mauser for a price that if you offered him double what he paid, you'd still be getting a deal on a Luger.  Yes, I hate him too.

Detailed pics of the Mauser are here:
Detailed pics of the DWM are here:

14 May 2020

Casting More Doubt

A friend works in forensics at one of the nearby county sheriff departments.

He mentions that the medical examiner cannot have tested every single "COVID" death just because the case load is too high and the labs cannot have worked through them this quickly.

Cause of death, without such investigation, is the informed opinion of the attending physician on the death certificate.

Which is basically, "sure seemed to be wu ping cough what killed them."

It also means that it could very well be something else with the same overt symptoms knocking their comorbidity over the line into the abyss.

Homeless Dead Stacked Like Cord Wood

My buddy, Grog, works overnight security in downtown St Paul, Minnesota.

I asked him:

You've gotten to know 'your' homeless people, right? Are they all getting sick from their lack of healthcare and sanitation?

He replied (spelling errors from his phone autocorrupting his voice inputs):
I see the same people day after day. They pack in the back of train cars (22 people in an eighteen person space), the sharing of blunts, very few masks (most don't know why they are wearing them) and of course when they need a bed and or a meal go to the hospital with ... issues. Also lots of hospital/ambulance runs for OD's and or bad drugs

These are the same people that light porta potties on fire (see my fb post) so now they pee in my skyway and poop in front of my door or the adjoining parking ramp

How's that for a detailed answer

Oh, and i know for a fact the shelters are full to capacity; 2 - 3 hundred in gymnasium size rooms - on mats 6 inches apart. No huge covid outbreaks

Stuff like this has me seriously doubting how virulent Wu Ping Cough really is.

Thanks Karen

That's An Excellent Question

Are there dead homeless people stacked like cordwood?

Now that he mentions it, it sure seems like there should be a disproportionate number of them affected than the general population for the reasons he cites; lack of healthcare and access to sanitation.

13 May 2020

"Broadsword" Comparison

Both are made by Cold Steel.

My Scottish basket-hilt tips the scales at 3 lb. 8.2 oz. with a 13.2 oz. leather covered wood scabbard.

4 lb. 5.4 oz. total.

My cavalry saber tares at 2 lb. 5.2 oz. with a 2 lb. 1.7 oz. metal scabbard.

4 lb. 6.9 oz. total.

GURPS time!  GURPS weights include the scabbard.

A Scottish basket is simply a backsword (basket hilt included).  It's supposed to be $550 and 3 lb. with scabbard.

Though... because a Scottish basket is double edged...  You could take the tack that it's a broadsword with the basket-hilt mod.  $625, 3.25 lb. with scabbard.

The M1860 is a cavalry saber with an open-frame basket hilt.  It's supposed to be $625, 3 lb. with scabbard.

Both of my swords are fine quality because they're made at TL8.

Both have the same Damage of sw+2 cut and thr+2 imp.

Both have the same Reach of 1.

Both need the same ST of 10.

It also turns out my -2 familiarity penalty is a standard 4e rule on p. 169 of The Basic Set.

For such similar weapons, they sure are different...

Pun Time

If you make a fishing pole out of an M79 grenade launcher...

Have you made a Blooper Reel?

It Would Sure Help

Looking over the Florida Wu Ping cough numbers that I've been recording daily from here.

At last update there were 42,402 people who've been tested and found to have the disease since testing began on March first.

Surely some of these people have gotten better.

They first started mentioning hospitalizations on April sixth, there were 1,719 then and 7,595 today.

Surely some of these people have gotten better.

They are only reporting the cumulative numbers.

The only cumulative number that's completely valid are the deaths (1,827) and even that's suspect because we don't know how thorough the testing has been to see what they actually died of.

The deaths are further suspect even if 100% of them died with the disease if we have no information about the comorbidities.

I strongly suspect that this crap was creeping around and being spread communally since at least December, and there's starting to be hints that it might even have escaped the lab as early as October.

If my suspicion bears out, then it means that this cower in place we slaughtered our economy with to "flatten the curve" was hermetically sealing a barn devoid of horses.

I also strongly suspect that those most responsible for the damage will not pay in the least.

Update: 745, or 40.8%, of the dead are from nursing homes.

Hybrid Saber

My Cold Steel 1860 Heavy Saber is not an 1840 Heavy Cavalry nor an 1860 Light Cavalry.

In profile it measures very closely to an 1840.

The hilt sweep and handle shape is more akin to an 1860.

The blade thickness is far too thin for an 1840 and a bit too thin for an 1860.

Because of this slimming, it ends up being the same weight as an 1860, but with the form of the 1840.


There's always a but...

The variations between manufacturers of these sabers often creates an overlap in actual examples.  The specification was rather generous on both blades.

12 May 2020

It's Magic

One huge change from our world to the Sabers and Shamans world is, of course, magic.

European magic is quick, dirty and chaotic.  While most of the energy that makes a spell go is ripped from the aether, it still requires much effort on the part of the spellcaster.

Something which became somewhat common, necessitating the retention of weapons like sabers, are missile shield and reverse missile enchanted items.

If you and your foe are equipped with such a device, you're left with closing to literal spitting distance and using good old fashioned steel to finish the job.

Indian magic is also capable of making such enchanted items, but their magic is more ritual based and it takes much longer to accomplish, but is less draining on the caster.

Roman Nose, for example, had a war bonnet with the missile shield enchantment with many ritual limitations assigned to it.

There are lots of affordable enchanted items available from both the sutler and mail-order houses such as Sears and Roebuck; as are potions and elixirs.

Alchemy is an actual science here!  As is thaumatology.

An old joke is, "what do you call someone who graduated last from medical school?"


This also applies to mage officers in the US Army.  The low and erratic pay does not attract the most talented or experienced mages, unless there's some external drive to seek adventure that doesn't regard the poor pay and conditions.

Enlisted mages are people with a trainable magical aptitude without the means to obtain training in civilian life.  They tend to learn a narrowly focused, utilitarian, and small, group of spells.

There are also "untrainable" mages in the ranks who've accumulated a few spells here and there.  These are mostly the people who's aptitude in magic is limited to a single discipline or by sun, moon and or stars.


Got my little nose to the research grindstone and waiting for more material to arrive.

There's lots written about the US Army and the Indians from the era I'm warping, much of it quite affordable because it used to belong to a library that's now closed.

But shipping times are Teh Suxxor.

I Have Some Provisos A Couple Of Quid Pro Quo.

"De Blasio just said on CNN that New York cannot reopen because it has no money to do so.  That is the first direct call for the federal government to actually fund the operation of major cities.  He is talking about roughly $7 billion and suggesting that NYC simply cannot reopen..."
--Jonathon Turely

OK, we'll get you going again.  Here's my list of requirements for NYC to receive funding.

First, you don't get control of the money.  You give us a list of what needs done and we pay for doing it.  "Pay these cronies," isn't necessary, so we're not paying them.

Second, if NYC is going to receive American money, it must return to being part of America.  That means the entire bill of rights will be respected.  Your 109 year old gun laws have to go, they were racist anyway.

Third, because crying for this money is an admission that you cannot handle the job, you will resign and be replaced.  We'll even pay for election monitoring to ensure that the elections are actually fair.

11 May 2020

Nox Repair

The Lovely Harvey's Equinox has no paint left on the steering wheel radio controls.

That means there's a large mint green light shining in your face all the time at night.

The most cost effective way of doing this is to replace the entire steering wheel!

Used wheels with like new switches are about the same price as just a new switch.

When I pulled her car into the garage to begin the swap the check engine light came on.

I read the code and it was the dread VVT solenoid.

Happily this is an easy job.

Unhappily, AutoZone doesn't list the part under the same name as Chevy.

Chevy calls it a Cam Actuator Solenoid.

AutoZone doesn't reference that name at all, but if you remember that it's part of the variable valve timing system they can finally figure it out.

This didn't happen last time, the counter person then knew the terms were interchangeable and looked up the VVT.

All better now!

10 May 2020

You Got Lied To

It keeps rumbling around in gun forums where there's cops posting.

Every time contract time rolls around and there's even a whiff that The People want to spend a bit less on law enforcement, particularly on medical insurance and retirement payments, there's a reliable cadre who complains.

I'd be upset if I suddenly had to foot the bill for my own health insurance.  I know I was when I was 20 and left the Army to discover that I would, in fact, be responsible for such things from now on.

I'd be upset, too, if I discovered that if I didn't put some of my paycheck aside for retirement, then there wouldn't be any retirement.

What they're complaining about is losing 100% paid medical with no out of pocket for them and a, by today's standards, a lavish retirement pension plan which they can avail themselves of as young as 38 which will pay them for the rest of their lives.

Here's the rub though...  Florida has a balanced budget amendment.

What that means is the state cannot pass spending for longer than a year.  You might think that it can, but it cannot.  That means that your multi-year contract is voided by the constitutional amendment for a balanced budget if the state congress decides to not pay it and puts the money elsewhere.

I think we're going to be seeing some serious LEO and other public union haircuts next session because revenues are WAY down thanks to tourism being tanked.

The state is going to look at these people and their unions and say:

The voters are going to be VERY sullen about departments who went out and enforced some of these stupid closures and will be supportive of clipping some funding too.

There's been a growing resentment of teachers too.

Both cops and teachers have the same problem.  There's the image in the voter and taxpayer's head about what teachers and cops should be that's conflicting far too often with what they actually are.

They feel that there shouldn't be any difference between what they want and what they get and if they aren't getting what they want then they shouldn't have to pay for it.

T&E All Over Again

A constant frustration with dealing with GURPS and mounted weapons has been "what does that weigh"?

Several of the machine guns have listings for tripods.

Taken by itself, no biggie.

When you learn that the same tripod can be used for several guns, you need more detail.

The actual mounting for many US MG's is gun + traverse and elevation mechanism + pintle + tripod.

Then I see that the official stats in High Tech just give me the weight of the tripod and gun...

I'm bumping into this incomplete stat problem again with the M1875 Hotchkiss Mountain Gun.

GURPS forgot the weight of the sights, and other sundry parts of the carriage and is off by 45 lb. at the end of the day.

Yes, that matters!

Happily, there are artillery nerds who have documented nearly everything.

The Riddle Of Plastic

I have noticed that there's a rather large contingent of people who unironically complain about how much plastic gets used in modern firearms without noticing how much plastic is on their favorite "steel" gun.

In some cases, their favorite was even a pioneer of non-metal, non-natural materials.

There's the exact same amount of plastic parts in an M16 as there is in most FALs.

The same is true with the G3.

Did you know that many (perhaps most) M14's didn't have a wood stock when they were finally turned in?  Where did you think all those beautiful surplus walnut M14 stocks came from?  Look up what 'surplus' means...

The M1911A1 didn't sport wooden stocks for decades of service.

I don't fear new materials in old applications.

But the new material must be applicable.

Metal injection molding (MIM) is a viable process for making parts, assuming that the part is designed with the material properties in mind.  It is not a substitute for a part where the material properties aren't possible with MIM!

Polymers are perfectly fine in many applications and are proving superior to metal there too.

Don't fear the new.  Understand it.  Grok it in its fullness.  Use it where it works.

09 May 2020

Jalousie Window Delete

The In-Laws no longer have any of those leaky and drafty crank-out windows on their house in the climate controlled portion..

Every single one now has a double pane, argon filled sliding window!

Work proceeded slowly because if you replace too many windows at once you have to get permitting and be up to the current hurricane code (read KACHING! and no self installation because of licenses and inspections).

So we did a window, waited the requisite amount of time, then moved to the next one.

The difference in noise from the outside and how much cooler the dining room is especially is amazing!

Special thanks to Marv for his unrelenting patience.

We're getting good at these window installs.

Less than an hour per window now.

When we did my house, a single window took all day.

Let's hear it for power tools and experience from doing.

Hognose Warned Us

If your local police are out there enforcing unconstitutional executive orders right now...

They will also enforce unconstitutional gun laws later.

The police are government, and if you don't trust government, you should not trust the police.


08 May 2020

They Were Made In Germany

"There isn't a Spanish bullet made that can kill me!"

Captain Bucky O'Neill

The 7x57mm round the Spanish were using in Cuba was German in origin.

07 May 2020

Dangling Swords

Attached the generously donated Cold Steel 1860 Heavy [sic] Cavalry Saber to my reproduction M1904 saber hanger...

It's clearly a light saber...

Clips to the saber chape just like expected.

This is the angle I expected it to hang at:
Notice all that slack in the rear strap?

It never does get taught before the scabbard hangs vertically.

By this time, the tip of the scabbard is dragging on the ground and the hilt is WAY too low to grab quickly anyways.

To keep the sword off the ground you take the upper loop and hang it from the hook on the hanger's clip.

This lets it hang alongside your leg and keeps the tip just barely off the ground for me.

At first I though that the reason for the odd hanging angles was because it's a cavalry hanger.

Then I started finding period pictures...

Let it hang down low with the scabbard dragging is how it's supposed to be worn!  This is also a massive tripping hazard, so I expect a lot of troops controlled the thing with their off hand.

This is the most "in the way" system of carrying a sword I've ever encountered.

From what I am reading, though, this thing was only rarely attached to the cartridge belt.  Normally it attached to the saddle and was carried almost vertically in front of the left knee.  From there, it's actually handy.

There's also a garrison tab so you can wear the sword on your uniform belt for ceremonial and guard purposes:

T'weren't Us

I was watching this video:

Her mention of how we geeks were unaccepting of girls and women rubs me very wrong.

I'm getting to be a silverback geek here.

I was in line to see Star Wars on opening day.  Notice that I do NOT say, "A New Hope"?  My opening crawl didn't even have "Episode IV" in it.  That was added to later distributions of the film.

Ashley was -4 years old.

I started before her, so I've got more miles on and I was older when the time frame she's talking about was happening.

Ma'am, we were always accepting of females wanting to be geeks.

The problem was that females didn't want to be.

Until, of course, you did.

But geeks aren't geeks any more.  Which is probably good, because geekery at the time was not exactly defined by extroversion.  There were externalities which sent the geeks to the fringes of the social order, and there just weren't girls there.

Now?  D&D is popular.  Fandom is popular.

The cool kids and the popular kids now do the stuff that the shunned and scorned did.

The beautiful people have come.

The problem she is describing isn't a geek or fandom acceptance problem.  It was the license holders not realizing that there was a huge, untapped, female market for stuff.  Stuff that Ms. Eckstein is presently marketing and selling.

She just phrases it as if it was the fandom that kept it from happening, and it was the same folks that lurved them some Weinstein who didn't cater to the female fans.

When the girls showed up and wanted to make characters we hit some snags.

Tabletop Role Playing Games are a form of interactive story-telling.  It's like writing a novel like a historian.  Like an author of a novel, you've created the world entire.  Like a historian, you're recording the activities of a few notable individuals and their affect on the world.

To join and enjoy a campaign, you have to want to be part of the genre being told.  If you're looking for epic fantasy with a romantic theme...  Traveller is not that game.  Explaining that, "we're not the table you're looking for," isn't being unaccepting.  It's trying to keep someone from hating the idea of roleplaying because they would be bored by the subject matter.

The first wave of girls were the same as us.  Ostracized and unpopular from the normal cliques.  Independent and non-conforming.  Fellow travelers.

The second wave of girls that came through, right behind their boyfriends, were popular and members of the mainstream social tracks.

Members of the very same groups that drove us to the fringes now wanted to be part of our culture and society?

It was offputting.

The lack of acceptance that Ms Eckstein refers to might just be sensing our suspicion that "the jocks" were setting us up somehow.  We'd been "included" in the reindeer games before only to find the sole reason for that inclusion was to be further isolated, humiliated and ridiculed.

I'd go out and participate in this new mainstreamed hobby more... but remember those externalities?  That didn't change.  I'm still socially awkward.  I'm still an introvert.

Plus, my world building goes where my world building goes.  They tend to the Hard R and often have racism, sexism and other nasty things because they are often created from real world examples.  There's sex, drugs, and violence.  Not for kids.  Not safe for work.  Inappropriate for using a table at the local game shop.  Self limiting.

Once More From The Top

UGH! at the link.

1. The firearm is always loaded.
2. Don't point it at something you wanna keep.
3. Double check that there isn't something you wanna keep behind what you wanna shoot.
4. Keep your booger hook off the bang switch unless you mean it.

I learned those rules before I joined the Army and I know they taught them to us in Basic.

I find it hard to believe that The Marines don't do likewise.

SGT Gallagher was doubtlessly taught the four rules and trained on them... and promptly forgot every single one of them in the process of playing grab-ass with his roomie.

I find little to no sympathy for him.

Just as I ask for no sympathy for my own negligent discharge.  Happily, I only hurt some drywall.

I was lucky and I learned a lot from my mistake.  I suspect that SGT Gallagher will absorb the same lesson and have lots of time to contemplate it from a jail cell.

Better to learn from our mistakes and follow them damn rules to the letter.

06 May 2020

Why Didn't He Just Drop It Off?

Ordered a book on Spanish American War equipment and got sent the wrong book.

Such are the risks of buying used on Amazon sometimes.

Shipping was slow, but I was surprised to see:

He has stamps to mark his books?

No, not really.  It's an old library book.

Berkeley, California, huh?  At least when eradicating history, they didn't burn it.

NOW I Am Ready To Assault Kettle Hill

There will be more on this M1860 saber and its hanger.


Thanks to the contributions of generous readers, like you, the air conditioning is replaced and life support restored to the domicile.

We really appreciate you!

The Lovely Harvey
The Boy

I Am Baffled

In 1975 when defense budgets were suffering from the downsizing from Vietnam...

We managed to convert an existing passenger aircraft into a tanker and put it into service in just six years.

The KC-10A is still in service.

In 2001 we decided that we needed a replacement for the KC-135 (when the newest one was 36 years old) and KC-10.

It took ten years to just pick the plane and going on another ten to actually enter service.

Even more astonishing is the same company makes a tanker on the same airframe as the KC-46 which is in foreign service right now.

It makes you wonder why we didn't just buy that and call it good.


Wu Ping Cough might soon be Wu Ping Sniffles.

It's kind of the nature of novel coronavirui to weaken, and it's been noticed before in them.

Eyes crossed!

05 May 2020

Paradigm Shift

If you have a $12,999 lens what you have is an interchangeable camera lens not an interchangeable lens camera.

It's also the sort of thing that if the wind takes the tripod, you hope that the camera sacrifices itself to save the lens...

Worse Than Hoped

Better than feared.

New compressor and air handler, installed: $4,000.

Going from 2 ton to 2.5 ton; 12 SEER to 14 SEER.

They show up tomorrow to do the work.

Eyes crossed.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the fund.

Donations will now shift to buying name-brand ramen for Starving Thag.

What Day Is It?


I am reading about the Army during the Indian Wars as research for Sabers and...

I am struck that the single day I spent running a powder charge from the limber to the guy who stuffed it into the gun is more training than many sergeants got in the 1880's.

My buddy, JT, is practically a master gunner by the standards of the day; he actually did a couple of impressions as a reinactor on a gun.

The outright neglect of the troops does help to explain a lot of things about this time period.

Some things are timeless and universal.  Others are specific to the time.

04 May 2020

Space Pen 1889

Years ago, The Lovely Harvey, gave me this pen:

It's long been a pen I treasure because of it being from Her, it's never been a pleasant pen to write with.

It finally stopped writing and I wondered at replacing the ink cartridge.

It turns out that it uses a cheap Cross Pen knock-off cartridge.

It also turns out that Fisher Space Pens makes a Cross Pen cartridge.

That Fisher cartridge now resides in my wooden pen.

It is so much more pleasant to write with it's not even funny.  Plus the move from medium to fine point makes it easier for me to write with.

I Hope Not

Tam posts on Canon rumors.

I hope that she's reading the tea leaves wrong about entry level ILC cameras going away.

I fear she's not wrong.

The problem with them disappearing is there's no place for someone who's not sure about getting a more capable camera to get one without jumping in with both feet.

The market is rapidly resembling a car market where you can buy pedal cars, crossover SUV's and Supercars.  With nothing between.

If my first mirrorless ILC camera had to be a full frame one, I'd still be saving for it, and I would have watched my savings go to other things twice since.

The EOS R is substantially more expensive than the EOS M50 I bought.

$600 with a kit lens vs $2,700 with lens.

Uh...  That's a lot of money to spend to see if you like taking pictures and swapping lenses.

Now that I've played with the M50 and am learning how to work a more fully featured camera, I can see a full frame mirrorless in my future.  Maybe an R or R5 because I like how Canon does things.

I worry that without a market that bridges the point and shoot and full-frame cameras, the market for those will disappear too.  It's already been contracting pretty darn hard as most everyone just uses their phones for all their photography needs.


We're not all the way there yet, but THANKS! To those who've contributed to getting the HVAC under control here at Casa McThag.

Also thanks to LEBill49901 of Idaho who donated a Cold Steel 1860 Saber to my cause!

I am continuously humbled by your generosity when things get upside down here.

It's still OK to hit the donate button!

You Have To Squint

This is not a 6" Anaconda in .45 Colt...

... it is PART of an air conditioner.

Lunar Distractions

Took these last night before I realized that the AC was locked up.

Ran these more exposed for FuzzyGeff who asked for one less dark.
Canon M50, EF 75-300mm USM, f/11, 1/25", 300mm, ISO 100
Canon M50, EF-S 55-250mm, f/11, 1/25", 250mm ISO 100

The next two were just to compare the EF-S 55-250mm on the M50 to the max optical zoom on the SX20.  Then cropping them both to as close to 1000x1000 as I could get.
Canon M50, EF-S 55-250mm, f/10, 1/80", 250mm, ISO 100, Cropped
Canon Powershot SX20 IS, f/8, 1/80", 100mm, ISO 80, Cropped

03 May 2020

FML Part Two

Looked up the part number of the dead compressor.

It's a 2-ton, 13 seer, R-22 unit.

From sites that sell compressors and air handlers the rule of thumb is 1 ton for every 500-700 square feet.

My tiny little abode is a mere 892.  2-ton would appear to be sufficient, right?

Wait for it.

There are a couple consumer protection type web pages that have more detailed tabulations for figuring out how much compressor you need.

a=sq ft


+10% if you have no shade, -10% if you are rarely hit with direct sunlight.

That comes out to 34,650 btu/hr here at the abode.


2.89 tons is what I should be running, because Florida not generic everytown house.

During this search for how much AC unit I need, links to Amazon came up.

3-ton, 14 seer, R-410a compressor and air handler:  $1,956 delivered.
2.5-ton, 14 seer, R-410a compressor and air handler:  $1,724 delivered.
2-ton, 14 seer, R-410a compressor and air handler: $1,656 delivered.

Not included: Heating element or installation.

But about that installation.  AC is not rocket science.  Marv and I do it on cars all the time.  Successfully, I might add.

You can just BUY R410a and have it delivered to your door.  No license required and the shit's even somewhat affordable.

The gauges are cheap.

What you lose in the DIY is the warranty on the units.

Part of me is thinking that three grand will do this.  Gotta get saving.

PS: Don't hesitate to stab that donate button.  Even a small contribution helps!

Fuck My Life

The outside compressor seized up and blew both fuses.

I am happy we bought two window units when we went buying window units.

We have the big one installed in the kitchen, where we hope it will cool the adjacent living room.

Fingers crossed.

Dammit, it was doing so well yesterday and today.

With everything going on, we simply can't get someone out to fix it.

Anyone wanna donate their stimulus check?

Beetle Battle

Before the AC croaked we were outside taking, yet more, pictures of the moon.

These beetles turned out to be more interesting.

02 May 2020

This Is Interesting

CDC downgrades Wu Ping Cough Deaths to 37,308.

Worldometers shows 66,414.

CDC shows 809 for Florida.

Florida Department of Health, Division of Disease Control and Health Protection says 1,364.

If this sticks it's phenomenal news.

Pattern 1908 And Or M1913 Cavalry Swords

Still uses Melee Weapon - Broadsword.

They're TL6 weapons which doesn't buy us much.

In essence, they're estocs with partial basket hilts.

Stats as per the estoc on p.66 of Low Tech except $625 from the addition of the hilt.

The pattern 1912 officer's sword should be the same except fine quality and it runs $2,125.

I'd forgotten that I'd managed to get some proficiency with the pattern 1908.

Not a single one of these swords I've used handles similarly enough for me to say they use the same skill.

I'm going to go applying the firearms familiarity penalty to change lines on the weapons table.

01 May 2020

Sick AC Going Into Summer

Yesterday I finished lunch and thought, "it's a bit warm in here."

I look at the thermostat and see that the AC is commanded 'on,' but there's no air moving.

The fan on the compressor is running, but the compressor itself isn't.

Panic activated!

Shanghai Marv and head to Home Depot!

Before I did that, though, I set the thermostat to 'off' and the fan from 'auto' to 'on'.  House temp shows at 80°.

Bought a couple of window units.

When I go inside to start preparing to install the first unit I notice that there's prodigious air flow in the ducts.

I change the thermostat to 'on' and we install the smaller unit in my bedroom.  House is at 82° and I seal off the bedroom because the cats will head out the open window while we're putting in the window unit.

A couple of hours later the central AC is still going strong.  House is down to the selected 76°.

I think we froze over from too much humidity being sucked up the duct and that caused the stoppage.

We're going to leave the window unit though.

Back in 2008 we had hired a friend, whom worked for an AC company, to save some money and help them out on the central unit.  I think it's been undersized almost since day one.  Any clear day with an outside temp above 77° and the AC loses ground and will be 78-80° by the time the sun goes down.

My idea is the window unit will take some load off the house unit now and allow it to run less since the location of the bedroom takes the full load of the sun all afternoon and has the computers cooking away in it.

Our theory about the freeze up is that because the unit, being undersized, never shuts off, it never gets a chance for any humidity on the evaporator to thaw out.  I like theories.

My idea is bolstered by the fact that without the bedroom in the loop it went from 82° to 76° in just a  couple of hours.  Prior to this it would take almost all night to shed from 78° to the desired 76°.  I've long had a little thermometer in the register in the bedroom.  It normally shows mid-sixties to low-seventies when the AC is running.  Since the thaw it's remained at 60° even!