31 December 2023


It is 1:23 of 12 31 23.


27 December 2023

RIP Herr Gaston

Gaston Glock has passed on.

I've owned a couple of his products over the years...

20 December 2023

Last Post

Unless the muse wakes her ass up, this will be the last post of the 2023 calendar year.

Only Game In Town

For a good long time I was the only person who was willing the be the gamemaster.

I was aching to be a player, but nobody else would deign be creative and make a world to make characters for.

I rather thought I was good at it.

Turns out, I was mistaken.  I was just the only one dumb enough to take the extra time and do the job.

Why, yes, I am bitter about that.

It also turns out that I would not be welcome at the table over some slight from nearly three decades ago.

So be it.

But if we're talking about shit where I should have walked away...

How's about not bothering to make characters...


Something is clear now.

Every time I came to visit and offered them a world to play in, they had not bothered to make characters until I showed up.  It was a stalling tactic, hoping we'd run out of time before we could start playing.

Well.  I feel better knowing that.

A little sad, but.

I wonder what I can get for these books on ebay?

18 December 2023

According To The Stats

I see I must have new readers beyond the the normal thousand a day or so.

So you might be forgiven for not reading the rules over there to the right or noticing the numerous posts like this one explaining to the audience that you MUST SIGN YOUR POSTS.

Failure to sign is the number one way to get the content of that comment deleted regardless of what you said.

Please, though, get butt hurt that your witticism was deleted.

Comment again complaining about it without signing it.

Mocking your inability to read the rules (which are both on the sidebar to the right and repeated in a large block in the comment section) gives me something to do on a slow news day.

17 December 2023


Xmas is Christmas.

Therefore "Train Xing" must be "Train Christing."

Because it's not Crossmas.


After the Civil War, lots of officers were demoted if they remained in service.

George A Custer is a famous example going from Major General to Lieutenant Colonel.

To prevent losing too much face, they retained their higher rank as a brevet rank.

The losses in rank was not applied evenly across the Army.

There was more than a little resentment over whom retained their original ranks and who got breveted down.

Something I've noticed more than once is a brevet who should never have had the higher rank in the first place on account of The Incompetence™.

Custer is, again, a famous example.  The man was famously and fabulously lucky; but he was rarely accused of being good at being a commander.

Surely, though, there must be people breveted who were solidly competent, but didn't have the favor of the people making the decision.

I don't recall any stories about them.

I am thinking of making a 1st Lieutenant brevet Colonel who's a good commander, just unlikable.  Nothing but competence.  No social graces.

The kind of guy who shines when the bullets are flying, but is a disaster at the officer's cotillion.

Pure Nostalgia Bait

Eddie Murphy is back as Axel Foley in a fourth installment of Beverly Hills Cop.

The first thing I notice is that he's still rockin' the High-Power!

The next thing you notice is everyone but Eddie has aged significantly.

I'm sure to watch it.

Damn You McCollum!

Gun Jeebus reminds me that I missed the PMM for my T2K to GURPS conversion.

High Tech had the stats already, but I had forgotten them, and a citation, in my conversion.

Ian's vid gives additional details about the pistol that will be handy for the T2K user too!

16 December 2023


With Zoom meetings being a thing, I wonder if I can reconnect with the gaming group in Ames without the attendant trip to Iowa.

Sabers and Sorcery needs some playtesting.

15 December 2023

Pontiac Delete

While the G8 headlight switch granted functionality to the fog lights, the red back lighting bothered me.

Marv, being a deft hand with a soldering iron and knowing what resistors to substitute, changed the LED's on a second switch thusly:

Now it looks much more like a Chevy switch!

Bonus points if you know why the red and green lights are the way they are.

Is This Something?

This sure looks like it has the potential to be something.

Not Very Green

The Tesla model Y battery. It takes up all of the space under the passenger compartment of the car.

To manufacture it you need:

--12 tons of rock for Lithium (can also beextracted from sea water)

-- 5 tons of cobalt minerals (Most cobalt is made as a byproduct of the processing of copper and nickel ores. It is the most difficult material to obtain for a battery and the most expensive.)

-- 3 tons nickel ore

-- 12 tons of copper ore

You must move 250 tons of soil to obtain:

-- 26.5 pounds of Lithium

-- 30 pounds of nickel

-- 48.5 pounds of manganese

-- 15 pounds of cobalt

To manufacture the battery also requires:

-- 441 pounds of aluminum, steel and/or plastic

-- 112 pounds of graphite

The Caterpillar 994A is used for the earthmoving to obtain the essential minerals. It consumes 264 gallons of diesel in 12 hours.

Finally you get a “zero emissions” car.

Presently, the bulk of the necessary minerals for manufacturing the batteries come from China or Africa. Much of the labor for getting the minerals in Africa is done by children! If we buy electric cars, it's China who profits most!

BTW, this 2021 Tesla Model Y OEM battery (the cheapest Tesla battery) is currently for sale on the Internet for $4,999 not including shipping or installation. The battery weighs 1,000 pounds (you can imagine the shipping cost). The cost of Tesla batteries is:

Model 3 -- $14,000+ (Car MSRP $38,990)

Model Y -- $5,000–$5,500 (Car MSRP $47,740)

Model S -- $13,000–$20,000 (Car MSRP $74,990)

Model X -- $13,000+ (Car MSRP $79,990)

It takes SEVEN years for an electric car to reach net-zero CO2. The life expectancy of the batteries is 10 years (average). Only in the last three years do you begin to reduce your carbon footprint. Then the batteries have to be replaced and you lose all the gains you made in those three years.

Player Character

Michael Fassbender's character in The Killer is a player character.

I highly recommend it.

Oh! Sweet Nuthin' (2015 Remastered)

I am kinda surprised my dad didn't introduce me to The Velvet Underground.  It's his speed.

14 December 2023


The insurance inspector came today.

He found nothing that should disqualify us from getting our insurance renewed.


We have a fuse box instead of a breaker panel.

Apparently some companies freak out about that.

I think we're grandfathered because of the build date of our house.

Random IDF Helmet Camera Footage

I notice some Tavors in this too!

I guess it was lack of footage making it to the internet than a lack of the guns, but still mostly M16 derivatives.

Hot Rod History

Camaro... for when you wanted a Vette, but your wife insists there be a seat for the kids.

Or you're single it's the only V-8 rear wheel drive car you can afford because they made metric shittons of them.

I've had two 2nd Gen Camaros.

A '76 Type LT and a '79 Berlinetta.

The '76 was affectionately known as The Rust Monster because it was rusted a foot up from the rocker panels front to rear.  Ruined maroon on the outside and red inside.

She's the car I really learned to wrench on.

305 cubic inches and the factory 2-bbl.

Me and The Bat kept that thing running far too long.

We replaced it with The Silver Bullet.  Same 305.  Same 2-bbl.

I did a lot more with this car.

Put a '72 350 from a pick-up in it.

Put too big of a Holley double pumper on it.  Twice.

Bought the wrong intake for the first too big carb.

Hooker headers, thrush pipes!

Three rear ends.

Subframe connectors.

Then I got serious!

A buddy of mine, dying of AIDS, offered his help and we went nuts!

When I let her go, she was a sleeper.

We'd got a Jaguar rear from someone who had a dead XJ in their barn.  Gay Eric knew how to weld (he's the one who installed my subframe connectors) and he replaced the wagon springs in the back with the Jag's suspension.

His uncle redid the front suspension geometry.

The Bullet could corner like it was on rails.

I got to hate it.

The raw performance was great.  It was too damn loud, sprung very tight and the race seats would grind your ass and back to a nub.

I sold it for far too little, and I cried a bit.  OK.  A lot.

I only missed it a little bit, after a time.

The next hot rod was a '91 Caprice Classic.

305 a-fucking-gain!  But this time throttle-body-injected.

That car morphed into The Biscayne and got the drivetrain from a '95 Impala SS put under her.

I really loved that car, but I couldn't afford to keep her and The Precious.  But she's found a good home with the friend I got The Beast from.

13 December 2023

Parallel List

 I am sure that every hot rodder has their own list of nevers in their cars.

Mine is:

1: No Ford, Mercury, Lincoln.  I am three for three in negative experiences with the brand.  I got to drive the '73 Mustang a whole 35 miles before being arrested because I'd bought a stolen car.  Mercury Lynx is an Escort and teh suxxor.  And I had a real Escort too.  Sours one on the brand.

     Exception:  There are a couple of really old Ford bodies I'd own, but they'd have GM engines, transmission and electric in them.

2: No red interiors!  The Rust Monster and Lynx convinced me that it's the most brittle and delicate plastic color in the world.

3: 305 never again.  I have gotten rid of two of those misbegotten emissions compromised engines and replaced them with 350's and I would have been money ahead both times shopping a little harder for a car that came with the larger displacement mill.  It's not like a 4.8L LS motor.  You can get decent performance from a 4.8, not from a 305.

4: Throw away all the wiring in any MOPAR.  Even Ford does better with electrical systems.  Only Lucas does worse.

5: Nothing German.  I like simplicity over "elegant engineering".

6: No carburetors!  It'd have to be special to give up multi-port fuel injection.  My complaints about computer controls is being locked out of making changes and not that there's a computer running the show.

7: Yellow is not a good hot-rod color.

Some strange things appeal to me.

I have a recurring desire to replace an old Chevy inline 6 with a DOHC inline motor.  If only the Atlas engine had a more common transmission bolt pattern.  If only Toyota had not farmed out their latest I-6 to BMW.  If only.

Willard Has A Building Clearing Philosophy Too

IDF clearing rooms and analysis.

Willard's method doesn't involve going inside at all.

WW2 methods involved lots of grenades and spray with automatic fire.

Interestingly, house clearing as depicted on TV shows like Combat! (In Color!) showed actual tactics because they simply did what the vets on set said they'd done.

Doesn't Live Up To Its Name

Holden had a fun name for a color in the early '70's.

Lettuce Alone.

Cool name, I think, and it lets me break another of the Skeezer Rules.

Sadly, Lettuce Alone is best described as "baby poop" green.

Funds for paint aren't going to materialize for a good long time, but it's fun to plan.

We're oscillating between green and blue.

Green for the rules violation and because The Boy is a mini-hulk when he's in meltdown.

Blue for the car's nickname, The Beast which is what color Hank McCoy's fur is in X-Men.

I Think Not

No, Fox News, I will not be making a free account to read the rest of the story.

Your advertisers will have to figure out how to reach me on their own, thankyouverymuch.

You can blame the other websites who tricked me into giving them my email address for this.

But, another way to look at this is, your advertisers don't want me to see your content.

If I cannot see the content, I will stop going to your page.

If I stop going to the page, I will not see the advertising.

If I don't see the advertising, why would they keep paying you?

I lose little by not visiting a given site, what do you have to lose by driving me away?

But Where Are You Getting Stable Neutronium

Like dogs returning to their vomit, FuzzyGeff and I keep circling back to the apparent operation of physics violating drives in Traveller.

Whether they intended it or not, the maneuver drive in LBB Traveller moves a volume at a given acceleration regardless of mass.

Later versions applied a thrust to the mass, so a heavier ship will accelerate more slowly with a given drive than a lighter one.

LBB Traveller's drive allows something with normal physics thanks to how it seems to behave.

You can get a pretty massive mass going quite a clip with the maneuver drive.

Steer it into some magnetic loops and collect the energy of slowing it down.

You get an energy profit from this.

We know this because we know how much hydrogen is consumed in the power plant running that maneuver drive.

And this is just one of the simpler ways of getting free power out of the maneuver drive.

When you break physics there are implications beyond the effect you're looking to achieve.

If you want out of the hard equations you need to break physics.

Hard science fiction lacks a certain flare that space opera has in metric bucket loads.

Used To Getting Their Way

The Democrats appear to have lost the ability to negotiate.

I remember the Reagan and Tip O'Neill days.

Ronnie wanted more defense spending and Tip would get social programs in return.

Still dealing with the latter, but we got the military that ended the Soviet Union and defeated Iraq in a timescale unpredicted and unbelieved until it happened.

Now they want more money for Ukraine.

Ukraine does need it.

The Republicans are saying, "fine, but we want that border closed and aid for Israel and East China Taiwan."

And the Democrats are throwing a fit.

I'd be, "OK, leave the border open, but the NFA and GCA get repealed before another dime goes to Zelenski."

I'm OK with supporting Ukraine, but I think I want something for ME out of this... for a change.

12 December 2023

Almost Forgot!

Happy birthday to the US Cavalry!

Being dragoons and calling themselves cavalry since 1776. 

Actually, I did forget, but I can back-date the post to hours before I posted it!

It's my blog and I do what I want!

Not The First

Way back when...

The Impala SS / Caprice club I was a member of had seen the Australian Super Car series late night on Speed.  Remember Speed Channel?  SIGH...

At any rate, we'd previously been unaware of Holden and that a branch of General Motors still made proper front engine, rear drive 4-door cars.

The Holden Commodore VT was made from 1997 to 2000.

Hot Wheels made a model of one of the Super Car series cars.  A Holden Commodore VT SS.

So my Commodore VF SSV is my second 1/64 scale Holden.

Something else I noticed going through my little car collection...

When I look for a car I own, I end up with a cop car more often than not...

Near as I can tell, Racing Champions is the only company to have ever made a skirted bubble Caprice.  In this case a Miami PD car from Fast and the Furious 2.  I removed the lightbar.


Only five years after it left production, Matchbox has made a Holden Commodore VF SSV.

The Caprice PPV is a lengthened variant of the Commodore.

The VF series is equivalent to the WN Caprice, and mine is a WM which corresponds to the VE series, so this model isn't quite The Beast in this scale.

It's likely as close as I will get.  The only WM/VE car they made was a Ute (read Aussie El Camino).

I found several for sale on ebay and bought two.

The one pictured above came on a blisterpack card, like you'd see at the local store.

The other set off a wave of nostalgia when I saw the listing.

The Matchbox box!

Back when I was a little kid, getting a new Matchbox car was something of a deal.

You didn't pluck one off a rack in the toy section.

You went to the photo counter of the local Osco/Jewel and there was a display case of, maybe, 12 cars in it.

You asked the person behind the counter to get you the one you wanted and they handed you a little box, like the one above.

It seemed more formal than today.

11 December 2023

Quite A Curve

Thanks to Home Alone and Irish we know that a particular cart of groceries went from $19.83 in 1990 to $77.28 today.

389.7% inflation over 33 years.

Annualized, that's just 4.208% inflation, since the goal is 3%, that doesn't seem so bad.

The problem is that cart of goods was $44.40 last year.  That's an annual inflation of 2.4755% from 1990 to 2022.  Below the Fed's desired rate, good for us, bad for the national debt.

That means we had 174% inflation in one fucking year.

Did you get a 174% raise last year?  I didn't.

The politicritters are trying to convince me that the 3.2% increase in my VA disability is big money.

But it isn't keeping up with Bidenomics.

Now Ticks!

In addition to all the other, previously defeated, diseases returning to America with all the unculled illegal aliens...

They're importing ticks with rocky mountain spotted fever.


Thanks Joe!

10 December 2023


FuzzyGeff got himself a new set of Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones.

He got a deal on Amazon and recommended them to me.

I missed the deal he got, but got the same price because for shelling out to pay for Prime.

They arrived today.

The first thing I noticed is they didn't have the odd echo chamber effect on the person I was calling's end like my wired headset has.

The second thing I noticed was the noise cancelling fucking works!  They have a 3.5mm jack and I plugged into my computer to watch a movie.

All I could hear was the movie.

Color me impressed!

Transitioning From Roll To Role Playing

A pivotal point in my TTRPG experience was FuzzyGeff's brother when we were all in high school.

We asked an NPC in his AD&D world why we would want to take on the adventure and the NPC replied, "for the experience points!"

Even at that young age I found that a little too meta.

But it was a turning point, because I really was playing the character to get experience and advance in levels, but maintaining a thin veneer of role playing to justify my actions.

This expanded into Champions where who the character was mattered more when we were trying to replicate comic book heroes and not playing pieces on a board.

It led to us doing more of an amateur theater improv than strictly following the game rules.

Adopting role over roll.

We thought it was a lot more fun, actually.

We measured success in how well we adhered to our character's personality and background rather than how many experience points we gained or levels we attained.

LBB Traveller made that real easy, it's experience system was nearly non-existent.

GURPS made it even easier, because you could codify much of your characterization in the advantages, disadvantages and quirks.  To the point that I found it difficult to stay in character without those built in crutches.

It led to some conflicts.

But it was also rewarding.

The battle of the turkey was one such reward.

Another was being slain by a giant spider as I delivered a mortal blow to it while defending a helpless maiden.  I remember being thrilled that my character had died!  He'd died honorably, a hero's death.

Just playing the rules and a playing piece would not have given such a reward.

Wrong Focus

The research on the Indian Wars I've been doing has led me to believe that it was a mutual animosity that led to conflict and not entirely the fault of the white man.

But most of the narratives focus on this time period and blame whites for everything.

I'm of the position that the true evil done to Indians happens after the wars are over and they're confined to the reservations.

Killers of the Flower Moon is a movie about one such evil.

It's a movie, of course, but the main strokes of the story are true.


David Drake has passed on.

As a tanker, it was nice to have war science fiction about tanks instead of battle suits or some kind of space Navy.

.410 Brace

Even though all the ammo shown is 2-1/2", both guns are chambered for 3" shells.

I am not saying anything in this picture is practical.

I am saying don't avoid things that delight you.

The KSG410 is kinda a pistol caliber carbine similar to .44 Magnum in performance... kinda, sorta.

The wee little slugs are 3d+1 pi+ out to 100/1,200.

.44 Magnum from this barrel length gets 4d+1 pi+ to 620/3,600.  From a revolver, .44 does 3d+1 pi+ to 210/3,200.  That's right, this shoulder fired gun is outranged by a handgun!

Light projectiles and moderate velocities do that.

09 December 2023


I returned an item to Midway on October 27th.

It made it to my local post office and was picked up by someone the next day.

Then the tracking goes dead.

I complained that their choice of UPS Postal Innovations led to its loss and they should file an insurance claim for the lost package.

They refunded my money and agreed it was lost on November 22nd.

I kept the tracking number and have been checking every few days.

Today I checked and it shows delivered on December 7th!

Florida is a long ways from Missouri, but not that long a ways.

Definitely not six weeks away.

08 December 2023

Rack 'Em

The ready magazines for boarder repelling were always falling off the shelf.

Harvey heard my growls of frustration and got me some organizers.

Only good for PMAG's, but those are what I've decided on for social purposes.  They're not intended for the 40-rounders, but they, obviously, fit well enough.

This is in addition to the magazines in the grab-bags.

Selling One Gun Makes You A Dealer

The comment period just ended.

I didn't even bother to comment this time, it never matters.

That it never matters is a violation of the law that requires a comment period...

Who watches the watchers?

But the rule being proposed essentially makes you a gun dealer for selling even one gun.

We can thank Congress for not actually defining "engaged in the business" so that it could not be perverted by lawyers and ATF.

We can further thank them for opening the door to this rule with the more recent Safer Communities act.

Because the gun grabbers are fond of saying we should make buying a gun more like buying a car [sic] I find it odd that I can find the clear line between selling a car and being a car dealer, but I cannot find this line in the law about being a gun dealer.

The same applies to selling my house vs being a realtor.  Helping Harvey dye her hair vs being a hair stylist.

The examples are endless.

I think we have a good case to make for the "engaged in the business of" being constitutionally vague when a clear line between just selling a gun and operating a business cannot not made.

As others have noticed, this is clearly an attempt to chill private sales and force people to start using FFL's for every transfer to shield them from prosecution.

In other words, they're trying to back door universal background checks and build a registration list.

That list has been made illegal so many times now...

Other Priorities

Marv has got hissef a silly .410 shotgun.

Kel Tec's KSG410.

Pictures to come.

It's renewed my interest in a Savage 42.

I stock .22 WMR for the Savage 93F and .410 for Bubba's Taurus Judge already.

I've always wanted a drilling bockbüchsflinte!

The $600 price of entry for a silly want like this keeps me away, especially when we've been doing home maintenance like madmen.

Maybe She Found Out MLK Was A Republican

Racist Right Wing KKK White Male Gun Owning Conservative tries to burn down Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s childhood home.

I don't actually know if she was a racist, but she isn't a white male.

I'm honestly shocked we didn't get a headline like my tongue planted firmly in my hyperbolic cheek from the mainstream media.

Demand for racism constantly outstrips supply.

I don't think they have a motive yet.

Just a black woman caught red-handed on camera doing the crime.

07 December 2023

Beginning Of Infamy

82 years ago, this moment, the first wave of Imperial Japanese Navy bombers began their attack on Pearl Harbor and awakened a sleeping giant.

Less than four years later they unconditionally surrendered on the deck of USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

Appropriately, Missouri is currently berthed next to USS Arizona today.

06 December 2023

Buck And Ball

Silly .410 revolvers have spurred a renaissance for buck and ball ammunition.

Hornady has a 2-1/2" round that fires a 115gr hollow point followed by two 65gr, .35 caliber round balls.

Pretty much, bog standard buck and ball.

I have rules for that!

The bullet should do 1d+2(0.5) pi++ and the balls should do 1d pi.  Ranges are, as is typical, pathetic.

160/1,600 for the bullet and 44/890 for the balls.

That does over power and outrange the disc and BB loads Winchester makes, but at the cost of losing the RoF hit bonuses from 19 projectiles heading down range.


You can’t truly call yourself “peaceful” unless you’re capable of great violence.

If you’re not capable of violence, you’re not peaceful. You’re harmless
Important distinction.

I love My Mortgage

I am reading about a low income housing development going in somewhere not too far away.

1-bedroom apartments will start at $950 a month.

I'm 20 years into a 30 year note and we're not paying that much including the escrow servicing.

It really underscores that you need to get your ducks in a row and get to owning rather than renting.

I overpay my mortgage with extra principle every month and I'm still $200 less than a 1-bedroom apartment every month.

What.  The.  Actual.  Fuck.

Owning seemed more expensive at first, but as time goes even our sub-prime fixed-rate seems to be good now.

05 December 2023

Entirely Too Cool

 LLTV Simulator for X-Plane!

This is why I love flight sims.  Not that I own a computer that can handle much of one anymore.

I Win The Internet Today

In a long YouTube video complaining about the historical inaccuracies in the new Napoleon movie, I expressed disbelief that Ridley Scott had failed to show Emperor Bonapart's three day absence to San Dimas, California.

I got real history buffs to stop and start rebutting before they caught the joke.

They then laughed!

If that's not winning, I don't know what is.

I Keep Forgetting

With Venezuela threatening Guyana, and C&Rsenal's supporter pre-release talking about Argentinean Mausers, I am reminded that South America did not enjoy as much or as long a period of peace as the three nations of North America.

The lack of nations up Norte could be the explanation all by itself.

Of course, we stuck our big noses into South American politics a couple times, and often with no regard of whether it was good for the residents of the area if their interests were in conflict with an American business interest.

It appears that quite often foreign nations contributed to wars starting down there as much as natural conflicts.

It's very European.

04 December 2023

Gotta Mention Those Titles Of Nobility

Megan Ranney, MD, Ivy League, Moms Demand Action.

Currently the dean of the school of public health at Yale.

She's got an opinion about guns.

She's yet another medical professional who only sees the negative aspect of what guns can do because they worked someplace where they patched bullet holes in people.

This is in opposition to the pro-gun side which predominately sees the positive aspect of what guns can do and since it so very rarely involves putting new holes in people, she never saw it.

Therefore it must not exist!

If she were merely wrong, it'd be one thing.

But she gets treated as if she actually knows something because MD and gets quoted on FoxNews when the NRA representative contradicts her.

I wish they'd figure this out.

You wouldn't quote me about how to do surgery or prescribe drugs.

Why quote an MD about something non-medical?

Unreliable Memory

When I was a wee lad, I used to have a pistol that fired yellow rubber bb's.

It most reminded me of the Mauser HSc.

But the Rayline Zebra II is not based on a Mauser.

It looks a lot more like a Whitney Wolverine.

It's the swoopy trigger guard that throws me.

I Should Make A Character!

I've been thinking about AD&D characters and GURPS fantasy settings and I considered making a character, or two.


I have several already made from when I started to convert from 3eR to 4e.

Including a passel of NPC's I made for a pretty conventional fantasy world which also happened to be set on a ringworld.

Most fit well under the 150 point limit suggested by 4e.

The Ogre Magi don't.  But it sure was fun to make!  I used this character to figure out how much heavier armor would be for larger than human, but still humanoid, races.

I might just make a few anyway, but the Joneses cover three necessary slots in a party well.

Actually Read Them Rules

The armor table on p. 110-111 of GURPS: Low Tech 4e includes the appropriate padding.  Such included padding does not cover the chinks with any DR, so you need to take the DX penalty for layered armor if you use a more substantial arming jacket under your plate.

Historically, lots of people DID wear something under their plates or mail which rates DR in GURPS.

Spinning Wheels

I've been catching up with my reading, so there's not much time to be posting.

Still alive though!

Hip does not like the stalled front on top of me at the moment, makes it hard to get to sleep.

03 December 2023

It Deserves Mention

Sandra Day O'Connor passed on.

She was the first person with a double XX chromosome confirmed to the US Supreme Court.

Surprisingly, she was not submitted to the seat by a Democrat.

Ronald Fucking Reagan?  The Ur-Conservative President?  BWAH?

She also retired at an appropriate age.  That marks her as a Republican, Democrats cling to their seats unto death.

Cough cough RBG.

Who Wants To Live Forever

I was nearly 80 when they finally perfected reading a mind into the machine.

It was an accident that I could afford to do so.

There were too many memories attached to the three properties that'd kept me from selling for so many years after everyone else had passed on.

Winning the genetic lottery means that you will outlive everyone you know.

It's not fun.

But old age is not for sissies.

I am finding that immortality is much harder than being old.

02 December 2023

Quite A Moll

This group has a ton of songs done in anachronistic styles.

It's damn good fun!



FAL Or Not

Should you get an FAL?

Of course!

They are a fine example of what a battle rifle could be in the early to late 1950's.

They are not a fully modern, modular gun.

Don't go into owning one thinking this is something that it isn't.

It's interesting that few people get into owning a Garand thinking they're getting a modern, modular battle rifle; but expect an FAL to be.

Not being modern or modular should not dissuade you.

They're great guns.

Magazines are not cheap and plentiful anymore, though.  Hmmmm, just like 7.62x51mm surplus ammo isn't cheap and plentiful anymore either.

I'm quite content with mine.

Ship Shape And To Code

The fascia on the front of the front porch's roof is, professionally, repaired!

Now we can call up an inspector to have a wind mitigation survey done so we can keep our overpriced insurance another year.

But it's nice to have it all repaired and good looking for the first time in years.

01 December 2023

Thank The Cleric

My favorite, local, brewery is coming back from the dead tomorrow!

I am thrilled!

The reason it died is a sordid story, and it's not my story to tell.

But one dissolved partnership, one new incorporation, new lease, several new licenses under the slightly different company name and et viola!

Liquid Garage Brewing Company is open!


Coming Soon!

The Florida legislature is going to be in session soon and the gun bills are already being filed.

 Bills and synopsis copied from article:

HB 17: Rep. Joel Rudman, R-Navarre, wants to establish what he calls a “three-day shot clock” that will limit the waiting period for a firearms purchase to three business days. This would allow a buyer to acquire a firearm whether or not a mandatory background check has been completed.

SB 96: Filed by Sen. Shevrin Jones, D-Miami Gardens, the "Self-Defense Restoration Act" would effectively repeal Florida’s landmark “Stand Your Ground” law and prohibit the use of deadly force when a person can safely retreat without the use of force.

SB 130/HB 209: Sen. Lori Berman, D-Boynton Beach, and Rep. Michelle Rayner, D-St. Petersburg, want to ban guns from buildings, facilities and programs funded by a government entity, including playgrounds, hospitals, residential facilities and libraries.

HB 279/SB 15: Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, and Sen. Lori Berman, D-Boynton Beach, propose a ban on the sale or transfer of an assault weapon or large capacity magazine. The proposed ban covers 15 weapons in the AR series, 21 in the AK series, and 40 other specific assault weapons and magazines.

SB 176: Sen. Tina Polsky, D-Fort Lauderdale would revise regulations for the safe storage of firearms to make it a criminal offense for a minor not to properly secure and store a firearm.

SB 180/HB 145; SB 182/HB 155: The two proposals from Rep. Dan Daley, D-Fort Lauderdale, and Polsky would establish "Jaime's Law," named for Jaime Guttenberg, one of the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018. SB 180/HB 145 imposes a background check for the purchase of ammunition; SB 182/HB 145 is a public records exemption for people who made a legal purchase.

SB 206/HB 489: Sen. Danny Burgess, R-Zephyrhills, and Rep. Kaylee Tuck, R-Lake Placid, want to clarify that a minor must have been adjudicated delinquent of an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult to lose the right to possess a firearm, ammunition, electric weapon and carry a concealed weapon.

HB 259/SB 270: Rep. Katherine Waldron, D-Wellington, filed a stray bullet bill that makes it a first-degree misdemeanor when a target shooter’s bullets leave the confines of their property.

SB 518/HB 291: Polsky and Rep. Christine Hunshofsky, D-Parkland, want stricter requirements for background checks on purchases, and the safe storage of firearms, along with a mandate that all firearm sales and transfers be conducted by and processed through a licensed dealer.

HB 485: Rep. Robbie Brackett, R-Vero Beach, would require the county sheriff or local police chief to return to a suspect upon request any weapon confiscated during an arrest. The measure prohibits law enforcement from requesting a court order to release weapons.

I tend to agree with GOA's Valdez that we have a supermajority up there, why can't we get genuinely pro-gun laws passed?

Not Even Close

Texas Instruments says both of these calculators are Ti-36X's.

The one on the right is older.  The button layout and functions are identical to an even older Ti-36X Solar that I'd owned since high school.

They changed the case to what you see here, but naught else.

I'd gotten it as my desk calculator and the older, smaller cased one, stayed in my dice box.

Alas, that one finally died.

So the one pictured became the gaming unit and I sought to get a replacement for the desk.

They don't make an equivalent anymore.

I've had the Pro for a while now, and I'm only recently setting myself to getting familiar with how it works.

Unlearning decades of habits.

30 November 2023

More Puck-Like

Added a sticker to the puck antenna to give it more resemblance to a hockey puck.

Go Bolts!

So That's It Then


I have survived another hurricane season!

Now to get the people I hired to fix the damage from last season to come by so I can get surveyed to keep my insurance.

Florida is shitty like that.

Bite Me Hank

Considering we're still dealing with one of Henry Kissinger's biggest mistakes, forgive me if I leave the flag at full mast tomorrow.

Never mind letting Rhodesia hang out to dry so fucking Communists could take the place over just to placate white guilt.

EDC Blades

I agree with Mr Chappell.

Knives are tools.

Kershaw Cyclone and Victorinox Explorer.

The Swiss knife rarely gets called on to cut with either blade.  It's more commonly employed as a screwdriver and bottle opener.

I don't carry either to have a fight.

Both lack anything to keep my hand from slipping forward over the blade.  The Swiss one doesn't even lock!

I'd much prefer a weapon for fighting.

Why would you bring a knife to a sword fight?


29 November 2023

Subtly Different

A remix of ...And Justice For All with the bass tracks brought back up to audible.

It's very subtly different and a little better, I think.

Will Your FAL Make It To The End Of A Match

The common opinion is that an American made FAL will not make it to the end of many 2-gun matches.

I wonder why.

Willard suspects that following FN's directions on setting the gas regulator is the problem.

FN says you should start with the regulator wide open and fire single rounds until the bolt locks open on an empty magazine then close it two more clicks.

I go three.

This works great for a range toy.

Willard closes his all the way and, like a man, takes the increase in recoil.

There's something to his theory.  Using all the gas all the time means it's going to keep running until it just can't anymore.  That's a lot farther than if you use half the gas and it keeps getting dirty.

I also wonder if it's the proliferation of the short gas tube on American made guns.  As sloppy as the threads in the gas block are, I can see that thing being soldered in crooked.  Just enough that it balks when it gets dirty, but not so much that a casual range session sees it.

But I'm too darn old to enter a match to prove mine will make it.  Timing out on every phase because I can't run doesn't really test the rifle much.

How Many Again

The next thing that keeps coming up is the number of weapons you need to be packing with you.

Your main pistol.

A back up.

A fixed blade knife.

A locking folding knife.

Some add even more to this.

This is added to testing that makes a list of pistols which can fire 2,000 rounds without cleaning or maintenance.

So, which is it?

That gun the gunwriter is recommending is so reliable that I don't need a spare.


That gun is so sketchy that I'd better have two guns because it's going to fail.


Those guns are so sketchy that I need to supplement them with melee weapons?

Again, are we preparing for a likely scenario or something that's akin to winning the lottery by the odds?

I've also noticed that the advocates of packing this much shit live someplace that has Florida spring temperatures for their summer.

You can wear a lot more clothes in that kind of weather than you can survive wearing in Florida summers.

The goal is still to survive, right?

Two pistols and a brace of knives to win the gun fight, but die from heat stroke seems a poor plan.


Officer Gramins says he was carrying 47 rounds that fateful night.

10 of them in a Glock 26 (though I suspect that's 11 because 10+1 capacity).

That leaves us 36 rounds to account for.

His primary was a Glock 21.  13+1 capacity.

40 rounds for a loaded gun and two spares like the article says.

I'm getting 51 not 47.

I'm not saying he's mistaken or lying.

But I'd like to see how he came to 47.

It Keeps Coming Up

How much ammo are you packing?

Can your gun fire that many shots without malfunctioning?

If yes: then your gun is reliable enough.

Is that number of rounds smaller than the most shots ever fired in a gun fight?


Is it more than the number of rounds fired in nearly all gun fights?


"Wait!" you say, "Thag doesn't know how many rounds I'm packing."

That's because most gun fights use the ammo in the gun, no reloading.

Should you carry more ammo?


Should you insure your car for a thousand times its value?


It's playing the odds.

There's a cop who's carrying more than a hundred rounds every day.  More than triple the number of rounds he was carrying the day he had a gun fight.  He gets cited by gun writers all the time.

Do you need to carry 147 rounds, like he does?

Probably not.

Cops, by the nature of their jobs are going to be encountering more people who want to shoot them than you or I.  At least, that's my goal.

28 November 2023

Nostalgia Is Not Objective

There's a couple of guns in my pile that are there from pure nostalgia and not because they are the best gun ever made.

I might not even like them so much.

I might not even shoot them well.

They might not be suited to my home defense or daily carry.

Nostalgia does not care for utility.

An example that keeps coming up is someone on a forum asking if they should get a Beretta M9 or a model 92.

For me, the answer was simple.

M9.  I was issued one, briefly, and qualified on it.

Because of nostalgia the, small, differences between an M9 and a model 92FS matter.  I even replaced the grip screws to better match my issue gun.  You don't get more machts nichts than that.

But is the M9 actually any better than a model 92FS?

I don't think so.

Without the nostalgia fuel, I'd have gotten the cheaper one.

Actually, without the nostalgia, I wouldn't have gotten one.

I did not care for the M9 when I was in.

I have only come to appreciate them now that I have learned quite a but more about shooting than when I was in the Army.

The nostalgia urge is why I have a 2nd gen Glock 17.  It's as close as I can get to the first gun I ever owned.  And the first handgun I owned as a civilian.

Those were both Gen 1 Glock 17's.  I cannot afford those rare collectables now; nor the newer clones.

Do not be ashamed of making a nostalgia purchase.

Owning guns does not have to be grimly utilitarian, let it be enjoyable and fun!

27 November 2023

It's Unnatural

I just figured out what's wrong with helicopters.

They're the only aircraft that counts on a flat spin to fly.

RIP Chuck

Way back in November 2011 I posted about a fund raising effort to bring a dog out of Afghanistan.

This dog:

2011 Pic


More recently

Chuck made it to the states and has spent the past 12 years with a loving family.

Sadly, it was cancer that got him.

I am assured that Chuck was a good dog.

26 November 2023

No Plan

The Dumpster Fire Family has procured transportation so that the matriarch may get to her court date tomorrow.

She refuses to consider that she may found guilty and taken into custody to begin her sentence.

Admittedly, that's a worse-case scenario, but it's a possibility.

She's equating unlikely with impossible.

I'm putting it at probable because of her financial history and tomorrow being the very first day she's ever spoken to her attorney.

Near as we've been able to tell she called the public defender's office the one time and then sat back and waited for them to call her back.

If this is more than an arraignment, she could be in a world of shit.

Update: Today was just the arraignment.  I wonder what she pled.

Useless Adventuring Gear

The pike is a real weapon.

It was used on many battlefields for centuries.

It is not a useless piece of kit, but its use has a couple of caveats.

First, it's not a one on one weapon.

You need a bunch of friends for a pike to be useful.

Some of them should not have a pike, but a big shield and a shorter weapon.

En mass is how pikes are used.

But AD&D has stats for them.

GURPS has stats for them.

They are not close quarters weapons, like you're going to find in a dungeon environment.

The dungeon environment will not be found in a history book.  Nor will adventurers.

Even a spear is pushing the envelope for the typical dungeon.


Admitting you don't miss your manual transmission to the Hot Rod community is a bit like admitting your a pedophile to normal people.

But here I am, not missing the "fun" of rowing my own and having three pedals.

Slushbox forever!

Electric Cars

The first electric car designs that I paid any attention to at all were from the Steve Jackson Games' Car Wars.

Member of the AADA since 1985.

 Each wheel had its own pancake motor.

They had 200 mile ranges.

They could go as fast as you'd like.

They could be made to handle very well.

They mounted machine guns, spike droppers, oil slicks, flame throwers, rockets and other sundry social distancing enforcement systems.

There, that's what would make a 200 mile range electric car interesting.

It should also take care of a lot of the irritations of driving.

Drive offensively!

Car Shopping

Marv and I went to look at a '13 Caprice PPV this afternoon and discovered a hot rodder oddity.

The car was in bad enough shape that it was not worth the $5,000 the owner wanted.

But we both noticed that $5,000 would have been a decent deal if you wanted a solid, running, LS engine and good 6L80E transmission.

Not worth it as a running, driving car; but worth it as a pile of parts going into a different project.

Neither of us has such a project, so this was a pass.


RIP Marty Krofft.

He and his brother, Sid, provided a lot of entertainment for me when I was growing up.

25 November 2023

If You're Going To Be Stupid

You'd better be tough.

Harvey's friend who got evicted at the end of September...

She got pulled over today.

They impounded her car.  The cop didn't have a specific reason other than her plate came up in the "seize the plate" database.

This is normally an issue with unpaid moving violations, insurance or registration.

This is the family's only working vehicle.

Did I mention she's got a court date on Monday, and no vehicle to get her there?

Fun, huh?

I think her husband is about done with this shit.

Antenna Farm

All the roof holes have something in them with a seal.

L -> R Factory AM/FM, XM (not connected) and Commercial GPS (not wired).

That should keep the rain out and be more durable than the rubber plugs.

I have a Tampa Lightning sticker pack coming so we can make the GPS antenna look more like a hockey puck.

23 November 2023

Giving Thanks

I am thankful for so many things that I cannot make a list.

A list would imply an order to how thankful I am, and that's not how I feel about these things.

I'm going to go eat until I can't move, see you tomorrow!

22 November 2023

Boom! Headshot

Let's all get maudlin about some dead president because it's been an even number of decades since he got his brains blown out.

He was dead before I was born, so I never really got a chance to buy into the aura of JFK.

Some of the shine was tarnished by the antics of his little brother.

The rest is corroded by the conspiracy theorists.

There are only two believable scenarios.

A.  Oswald did it alone.  This is our Occam's Razor theory.  It fits all the facts and is simplest.  His attempt on General Walker is an indicator.

B.  The mafia had him rubbed out.

Those are the only two cases where absolutely nobody would have come forward in the intervening sixty years spilling the truth and revealing other conspirators.

The fucking CIA does not, would not and cannot keep their mouths shut that long.

Nor can any other US government agency.

Plugging Away

Cops drill holes in their cars for things like antennas and lights.

I put an XM antenna in one of the roof holes back in June.

Now to attack the hole in the trunk lid!

What prompted this was the advanced state of decay the rubber plugs in the holes were showing.

The remaining roof hole is 1" and a new plug fit well.

The 3/4" hole in the trunk lid was loose, so I didn't trust its weather integrity.

So I got an NMO mount on Amazon from an early Black-Friday deal and saved $25 because $10 off the mount and free $15 rain cover.  You can get that rain cover for a lot less than $15 from other brands, but we'll take them at their word.

It installed easily:

 I coiled up the cable and tucked it under the lid's structure in case I ever wanna install a CB or something.

Then the rain cap screws on like an antenna would:

In this I discovered that the GPS canoe style antenna I'd gotten for the remaining roof hole has a significantly different contour than the roof.  Not sure I wanna pull the sheet metal up that much to conform to it.

I'll have to shop around for a different contour.

Terror Attack?

Someone went splody at the US-Canada border at Niagra.

Shockingly, the FBI has not ruled out terrorism OR blamed right wing white men. 


The FBI has ruled out terrorism.  Expect a description of someone with Mohammed somewhere in their name soon as the driver.


There are a whole lot of people who've never met a holocaust survivor, and it's fucking obvious.

Because Pi Equals Three

Not-Weaponsman compares .222 Remington to .223 Remington.

I plugged the numbers into Douglas Cole's interior and terminal ballistics spreadsheet.

GURPS cannot tell the difference between them.

They're both 5d pi rounds with the same range stats.

GURPS gun stats can be a bit boring because of the granularity of the system.  Often the only significant difference between two rifles is the weight and if the Bulk stat has an asterisks from a folding stock.  Bulk doesn't come up that often, so go with the lighter gun.

Wait For It

With several dancing monkeys being kicked to the curb for spewing their hateful bile, I wonder when the "Jews control Hollywood" meme will resurface.

Because it just can't be because being a hateful bigot got made you unemployable.  It has to be a vast Zionist conspiracy.

Dancing monkeys just aren't very smart, they're vulnerable to this sort of scam.

We should return them to the protective custody of the studio system.

In addition to keeping the monkeys from pushing their vapid half thoughts on us, the movies were better made under that system.

21 November 2023

With One Eye Open

 Shadow has taken over the recliner and claimed Brenda.


Got a little bit of a groan out of the rear end of Moxie last night.

A groan could be a sign of something bad, but since it was only happening when I was in a low-speed wheel-lock turn, it was likely just old fluid in the differential.

All wheel drive is just an unneeded complication for a 2nd gen Equinox, but it's there, so we service it.

I happened to have a bottle of 75W-90 on the shelf and all the tools, so I decided to change the fluid.

Moxie reminded me that she's from Iowa again.

The fill and drain plugs both require a 10mm allen wrench to remove.  The hex-hole in both were caked with rusty crud.  That was a pain to get out.  But I endeavored to persevere and got a 10mm allen socket on there.

Whereupon the fill plug refused to move.

Add PB Blaster.  Wait a sec.  Try again.

No bueno.


¡Eso está mucho mejor!

Once broken loose, all went smoothly.

It gave one last groan turning left onto the road leading to the local grocery store to do some figure eights to get the fluid stirred up and coating the gears.

Smooth as butter now.

Just Too Inconvenient

Bass Pro in Tampa has decided that handgun ammo and .223 need to be behind the gun counter.

The very busy gun counter.

It defeats the idea of impulse buy, so I decided to let them keep their bullets and shop elsewhere for it.

If I want to wait to buy ammo, there's cheaper online places.  Like Widner's.  Bass Pro has never supported the blog.

20 November 2023

Yes You Were

Just had a spat on Fecesbook.

Someone got accused of virtue signalling about the difference between crating a dog and abusively caging a dog.

The post they replied to was about how if you're going abuse your dog with that kind of caging, perhaps you'd be better served with a stuffed animal.

He indicated what a great person he was because he knew the difference between crate training and abusive caging.

A couple of people thanked him for his virtue signal and missing the point of the original post.

He then denied that he'd virtue signaled.

I tried to explain that he had.

He then proceeded to virtue signal harder to prove that he had not.

I pointed it out.

He deleted his responses and blocked me.

I call that a win.

There's Fireballs Then There's FIREBALLS

AD&D's Fireball is notorious.

It makes a sphere of fire 20 feet in radius.

If the room is smaller than the 33,000 cubic foot volume of that sphere, it will go down halls and holes until it's filled out that volume.

AD&D maps are made from 10' cubes.  Each of the squares on the map is 1,000 cubic feet, so a fireball will fill 33 of these squares and do the damage indicated by the spell level to everyone and everything in them.

I saw my first total party kill when a new player with mid-level magic user said, "I cast fireball on the kobolds."

The screams of, "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!" from the rest of the party were not heeded by the DM and everybody died.

The GURPS Fireball spell is a lot... um... more user friendly.

It's a fist sized globe of fire the mage lobs directly at a point target.

There's an Explosive Fireball too, but its effects are a lot more restrained than the AD&D one.

Rain of Fire comes closest to the AD&D spell, but the area can be closely tailored to the geography with GURPS that's not possible with the older game.


If you start a war and it suddenly doesn't go your way, in a big way, the time honored procedure is to surrender.

Because, "suddenly not going your way in a big way," is another way to phrase, "you done lost."

Demanding the other side stop kicking your ass so you can get your shit together and reverse the fortunes shouldn't be afforded to you; otherwise you're not going to learn to stop starting wars.

If you can't figure out you've lost, there's also a procedure hallowed by time.

It's called destruction in detail.

It makes you unable to start another war for a good long time.

I think the smarter people reading this can figure out the parties I'm referring to and which side has every right to proceed to the destruction in detail phase without pause.

I've Got The Perfect Vanity Plate For It

Sarah N Tuned has a video up where she finds an old Kaiser (looks to be a '46 to '51 Frazer Vagabond) in a salvage yard.

I agree with her that someone should save that car.  It's got all the makings to be a killer hot-rod.

I'm not the person to do it.  I'm a poor.

But I have the perfect license plate for it.


19 November 2023

What About Crossbows You Ask

The ST 14 adventurer we mentioned earlier could use a ST 14 crossbow every 4 seconds.

6 lb. $150.

2d imp to 280/350, Acc 4.

If, as is typical, the crossbow has a stirrup on the front a ST 14 crossbowman can use a ST 16 (using one leg) or a ST 18 (using both legs).

2d+1 imp to 320/400 for ST 16 and 2d+2 imp to 360/450 for ST 18.

But wait!  There's MORE!

Slowing the rate of fire to once every 20 seconds a goat's foot will let them use a ST 20 crossbow.

3d-1 imp to 400/500.

Slowing the rate of fire to once every 36 seconds with a windlass lets them use a ST 42 crossbow!

5d+1 imp to 840/1,050.

A ST 14 crossbow does 2-12 raw damage, 0-8 will penetrate doing 0-16 damage to the body.  Average hit will roll an 7 which gets 3 to penetrate for 6 damage. 

A ST 16 crossbow does 3-13 raw damage, 0-9 will penetrate doing 0-18 damage to the body.  Average hit will roll an 8 which gets 4 to penetrate for 8 damage.  

A ST 18 crossbow does 4-14 raw damage, 0-10 will penetrate doing 0-20 damage to the body.  Average hit will roll an 9 which gets 5 to penetrate for 10 damage. 

A ST 20 crossbow does 2-17 raw damage, 0-13 will penetrate doing 0-26 damage to the body.  Average hit will roll an 9 which gets 5 to penetrate for 10 damage.  

A ST 42 crossbow does 6-31 raw damage, 2-27 will penetrate doing 4-54 damage to the body.  Average hit will roll an 18 which gets 14 to penetrate for 28 damage. 

If you're only shooting twice a minute...  Maybe the stupid strong crossbow is the way to go.

GUNgeons And Dragons

First, I have to mention that there are firearms at TL3.

The gonne is TL3.  It's a cannon lock mini cannon stuck to the end of a pole.  They're dreadfully inaccurate and difficult to use, but it IS technically a firearm in the classic fantasy technology range.

Not that classic fantasy has black powder at all, but...  Didn't Saruman use a bomb?

A gonne can use lead bullets and a bolt similar to a crossbow's.

Bullets do 2d+1 pi++, bolts do 1d imp.  Ranges are 55/550 and 75/1,200 respectively.

It's 6.9 lb. and costs $240.

How does that compare to a longbow?

A REAL English longbow has a ST of about 17 (real men those archers). 

It's 3 lb. and costs $200.  It will do 2d imp out to 255/340.

The bow is more accurate; 3 vs 1 Acc.

The bow fires a lot more often, firing every other round instead of once every 30.

But most adventurers aren't going to drop 70 points on ST.

ST 14 is more likely for an adventurer.  While a ST 14 longbow isn't any lighter or cheaper, it does do less damage and has less range.  1d+2 imp and 210/280.

Against someone wearing everyday medium scale armor (DR 4) they will do:

A gonne bullet does 3-13 raw damage, 0-9 will penetrate doing 0-18 damage to the body.  Average hit will roll an 8 which gets 4 to penetrate for 8 damage.

A gonne bolt does 1-6 raw damage, 0-2 will penetrate doing 0-4 damage to the body.  Average hit will roll a 3 and fail to penetrate.

ST 17 Longbow does 2-12 raw damage, 0-8 will penetrate doing 0-16 damage to the body.  Average hit will roll a 7 which gets 3 to penetrate for 6 damage.

A ST 14 Longbow does 3-8 raw damage, 0-4 will penetrate doing 0-8 damage to the body.  Average hit will roll a 5 which gets 1 to penetrate for 2 damage.

A gonne isn't looking too bad here, is it?

But it's the rate of fire that adds up fast...  Except.  Arrows are bulky.  A quiver will only hold 20 of them (2.5 lb).  Skill will matter, but even if every arrow hits a ST 14 archer can only expect to do 40 points of damage before running out of ammo.  Recovering arrows is chancy.

Black powder ammunition is a lot more compact but a bit heavier.  20 shots is 3.4 lb. plus what you carry the powder in.  On top of an already heavier weapon.

But what if we let the TL advance a little bit?

A matchlock Caliver does 3d+1 pi+ out to 85/870 and has an Acc of 2 at 6.6 lb. for $135.

A caliver bullet does 4-19 raw damage, 0-15 will penetrate doing 0-22 damage to the body.  Average hit will roll an 11 which gets 7 to penetrate for 10 damage.  Once.  A.  Minute.  Half the rate of fire for the gonne!

I figure the Dwarves will have figured out wheellocks.

A wheellock carbine does 3d pi++ out to 80/800 and has an Acc of 2 at 6.5 lb. for $290.

A carbine bullet does 3-18 raw damage, 0-14 will penetrate doing 0-28 damage to the body.  Average hit will roll a 10 which gets 6 to penetrate for 12 damage.  Rate of fire is a bit better than the matchlock with one shot every 40 seconds.

What this means is, in a dungeon melee the gunner will get to fire once and be reloading for the entire rest of the fight in all likelihood.  That also means that it's unlikely that guns will much supplant archery in a typical adventuring setting.

It's actually the same problem with using a very high ST crossbow and any of several mechanical devices to draw the bow.

It's A Problem

I've been observing things and noticing that most calls of sexism, racism and homophobia stem from how the "wronged" person takes the remark than how the remark was intended.

I am coming to believe this is deliberate because you cannot account for how a message is received regardless of your intent when delivering it.

When the recipient gets to decide if it's offensive, anything can be.

"I'm sorry, I did not mean it that way," should be a positive defense when someone has unintentionally offended.  It should be noted that it was a legitimate defense during a time when you could be challenged to a duel for your slights!

Those dueling societies also made note of people who took offense at the slightest and provoked duels by refusing the apology.  They often found themselves shunned and not able to be out in polite society.

18 November 2023

Everyone Experiences The Upgrade Differently

If the armor the players are expecting the knight/paladin to be wearing is TL4, why not just make the campaign TL4?

A weapon that becomes preeminent about the same time:  The gun.

While I don't think they would cause too much of a problem in the game, they don't match expectations.

Matching those expectations is how we ended up having Henry the VIII's jousting armor worn on foot in a dungeon.  Page 39-40 of GURPS Loadouts Low-Tech Armor has the suit that everyone thinks of when they "full plate".

The 15th Century German Ritter full suit is 46.7 lb. and runs $21,860.

The French 14th Century Chevalier is prolly what a TL3 dude would wear.  110.7 lb.  $6,610.

Higher TL is better.

There's a trite solution.

Dwarves or Elves figured out a way to make steel in larger quantities.  Typically I decide the Elves figured out magic and the Dwarves the blast furnace (perhaps with magic too).

But nobody advances to TL4 in chemistry and there's simply no gunpowder.

Elven and Dwarven plate is TL4 and available, and it's double cost because the base campaign is TL3.

Easy peasy.

Why Swords And Not Plate

Using bloomery iron to make steel makes exceedingly small amounts of steel.  A couple of pounds for a week's labor on top of about a week of smelting.

Crucible steel makes, on average, five days to get three pounds of steel.  This steel can then be hammered into the shape you want.  Going for more output increases the chances that your heat fails and you are left with something worse than bloomery iron.

You needed about 10 pounds of steel to make a breast plate and that's difficult to get in one go from a crucible furnace of the day.

Risk management.

But in the grand scheme of things...

If you get strict about holding the players to TL3 stuff they have a wealth of choices in armor.

Scale armor is common historically and offers decent protection.  Medium Scale is DR 4 and torso coverage is 28 lb.

Heavy Mail is also common historically and is DR 5* and just 18 lb. for the torso.  You should be wearing something under the armor too.  This is normally something like DR 1* Padded Cloth and will add 6 lb.  24 lb total and an effective DR 6*.

* means it's flexible armor.  That means that hits that it stops can still do some blunt trauma damage...

Plus you can add magic if it's available.  It's almost a no-brainer to cast the first level of Fortify for a +1 DR because it's VERY affordable.

17 November 2023

Magic Technology

Plate armor is a staple of the typical fantasy world.

That's not quite right.

STEEL plate armor is a staple of the typical fantasy world.

There's a disconnect though.

Most fantasy settings are based on societies that haven't advanced far enough to have developed the blast furnace, and until you've got a blast furnace, you really can't make steel in sufficient quantities to make large plates.

Before that you're either pounding and folding bloomery iron or, if you're lucky, reshaping a crucible pig.

It's just not economical to make a steel plate from even crucible steel because the quantities are so small. 

Now that I'm thinking on it...  Several of the polearms we take for granted don't really show up until plate is common.  Their predecessors will be iron.

In GURPS the blast furnace is one of the items that marks that you've made it to TL4.

TL3 is the norm for fantasy settings.

But magic...

Is there a combination of spells that can replace the blast furnace?

The key for making steel with magic is knowing what steel is. 

The Heat spell is sufficient to get to the temperatures that the crucible requires, but it's not really economical either because of the fatigue costs for the mage.

You could get your iron and charcoal mixture heated to the needed 2,100° in just 102 minutes, and spend 204 fatigue to get there at the normal casting rate of 20° per minute.  You can heat it at 60° a minute for triple the cost and get to heat in 34 minutes for the same 204 fatigue.

That's much faster than building the crucible furnace, let alone running it over night.

That's also the endurance of 20 average people working themselves to collapse; and one very tired person.

There's way to store up this energy for use all at once, but...  The simple way is to have 20 mages working in a chain.  That makes steel at TL3 with magic a lot more expensive than bronze which is readily made with conventional means from expensive materials.

Create Earth then Earth to Stone at double cost can be used to create metals from thin nothing, but just simple metals like iron or bronze.  This might have a significant effect on the price of bronze because you won't need to find, process and ship tin around, let alone the much cheaper copper.

I am not sure if spells like Shape Metal can get you the composition and crystalline structure needed for weapons and armor.  Shape metal will certainly revolutionize the making of high-end mail.  In effect you can have welded rings without actually welding them.  It's up to the GM if each ring needs a separate casting (that'd be cost prohibitive).  But I could see a mage starting with a block of iron and, in effect, forming the wire and rings as he goes around a pattern and using the spell to cut off each, now continuous and homogeneous, ring as they go.

Riveted mail is a high-labor item already and a mage is as much a master tradesman, so the pricing might end up being similar.

It's "Won't"

San Francisco proved to be more than able to clean up the homeless / druggie situation for when Winnie The Poo came to visit Governor Newsom.

I'm old enough to remember when they sat on their hands saying they couldn't do anything because their hands were tied by the courts and the law.

Just one more thing they're lying about.

Or creating a truth that makes the lie.

16 November 2023

Should I Hold My Breath

Anti-Semites assault DNC headquarters.

Do you think they will be as thoroughly hunted down and prosecuted as the January 6 people?

Especially since the Jan 6 "insurrection" wasn't even violent.

This attack most certainly was.

Two things are going to come out of this if they aren't prosecuted.

First, it will be established that being violent in America is the way to get your way.

Second, the right wing will start doing it too.

Considering how apt the analogy of the dial vs switch on violence is; we don't really want that.

But, as some politician once said, "if you make peaceful change impossible, you make violent change inevitable."

And it's odd that the change being asked for on the right is a return to civilization from incipient barbarism.

The rule of law is better than the rule of man.

Shadow Update


Shadow is settling in, but we had a bad day today.

She peed in my bed.

The issue appears to be the location of cat-pan #2.

It has been relocated and she's used it twice on her own since the relocation.

Beeper has been relentless in expressing to Shadow that she's unwelcome here.

This feeling is not shared by Bear.

Now, look at the grid she's sleeping on in the first picture and you get a sense of how big Bear is.

I think I introduced everyone a bit too fast, so I'm backing up a little bit and letting Shadow own my room for a few days while everyone can sniff under the door.

Shadow needs some time to adjust and Beeper needs to not be disputing who owns the bedroom.


Persians were making crucible steel way earlier than expected!

Swords made from crucible steels were considered damn near magical in Europe.



Exploratory Surgery

I compared the two dead door latches I have with each other.

I have the recently deceased front left and the older rear right.

Except for the housing being mirrored from right to left sides of the car, the lockwork is identical.

The front housing has a different electrical plug and an extra arm for the key tumbler to engage.

The plastic cover can be swapped front to rear from what I can tell.

That means if I can find any latch for the side that breaks, I can use it!

That opens up using door latches from 2008 to 2009 Pontiac G8's!  Which apparently differ in the cover but not the latch housing.

15 November 2023

How's It Doing

I've been watching the Israeli invasion of Gaza with half an eye.

I'm not seeing many photos of troops with Tavors.

I am seeing M16/M4 variants.

Is this because of the types of units with embedded photographers or a preference for the conventional gun to the bullpup?

Is it because the Tavor isn't performing as well as the older design and it's being, quietly, relegated to second line troops?

Is it because I've just not been looking hard enough for pics of the invasion?


But I would like to know how the Tavor is doing.

The Problematic Part

The latch, which is plastic, will not engage with whatever pawl holds it closed on the striker pin, which is metal.

I think it's a wear issue and will become a real problem if these things only last 12 years.

This will be my second latch and the third since it left police service.  The friend I bought it from replaced the driver's rear.  I replaced the passenger rear and will be replacing the driver's front.

I foresee getting the passenger front for when it, inevitably fails.


I went to the liquor store to get some Destihl's Suckerpunch pickle gose because it's National Pickle Day.

My door on The Beast refused to latch.

Worse, the store didn't have the beer I was after.

Manfully holding the door closed with my hand I drove home and we cleared out all the stuff we'd let accumulate in the garage since The Precious died.

Good news!

The Beast fits!  This is important because with the door unlatched, it's unsecure and will let water in.

The $150 part is on its way from Rock Auto.

This is why I am still running the stock exhaust.  I'm barely keeping up with the minor annoyances.

The worst part about this is the part is, apparently, discontinued and I might have bought one of the last ones.

14 November 2023

Just Like Clockwork

Stellantis is making buyout offers to the non-union salaried employees.

This happens every time the unions strike.

The unions constantly misunderstand how businesses really work and it's never them that pays the price for their sinecures.

They use the word "deserve" a lot when they talk about their pay and benefits.

I don't see them getting what they deserve.

13 November 2023

Best Michelada

Use Destihl's Dill Pickle Sour for your beer.

Deliberately Misunderstanding

Pink seems to have been able to procure a supply of books despite their being banned.

Missing the fact that the books were never actually banned.

If he were still alive, I'm sure that Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn might be able to inform her what REAL book banning looked like.

I'm also pretty certain that Ms Moore will not be jailed for distributing these books at her concert.

Nor are the publishers or authors of the tomes being punished.

The "ban," for those who don't know, isn't a ban.  It's simply removing the books from public school libraries where children who are too young to understand the material.

Worst ban evah!

Both Sided

Do you have a KE Arms KP-15 and are frustrated that the QD socket they sell can only be mounted on one side?

Are we no better than rutting cavemen?

Worry no more!

What you're going to need:

1x Magpul MAG-333 Sling Mount Kit Type 1

1x Magpul MAG-332 Sling Mount Kit Type 2

6x #8 Washers.

Use the 5/8" long screw from the Type 1 kit.

It's the second shortest one in the pack.

Burn off the locking compound or you're never going to be able to get the screw all the way in with the tiny amount of QD socket you'll have to grab onto!  Use good old Loctite Blue instead.

Put the screw through the QD socket from the Type 1 kit and then place three washer on the screw.

Shove it into the hole in the stock, it doesn't matter which side.  I used the 1/8" allen key to guide the screw to make it easier to hit the hole.

Place the other three washers on the screw from the other side.

Now screw on the QD socket from the Type 2 kit.

Et viola!

The hole in the stock is too deep for a Magpul QD socket, so you need the washers for two reasons.  First to get the mouth of the socket out far enough that the sling swivel will lock in.  Second to eat up the length of the screw so it doesn't keep the swivel from locking in.