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.

America's Paper Of Record

Starbuck's offers special recognition to their Jewish customers.

While I Hope She Gets It...

The neighbor across the way is trying to sell her house.

She's been a raving loon for weeks because of it.

Clearly she's not from around here because October and November are usually when it finally gets cool enough for home improvement work to start.

Shit like replacing the facing on my front porch.

I've got it all torn apart and am awaiting the professionals we hired to come do the actual repair.

She's, loud enough to hear two houses down, proclaimed how bad it looks and how this is affecting her chances of selling the place.  She's also insinuated that we're breaking the law for not having a permit displayed.

I've kept my trap shut, but I want to go over and say, "neighbors who fix things are good neighbors for property values."

Oh, and we don't need a permit for this kind of repair.  We checked because this stuff affects our wind mitigation survey and you want a permit if it's required when the insurance company sends their drone.

12 November 2023

Wait I DID Know Who He Was

I'd seen Douglas Murray in this interview before.

He strikes me as someone who's seeing things as they are rather than as we would wish them to be.

Worth The Watch

No idea who Douglas Murray is, but he's compelling.

11 November 2023

THE BUSH TOOB: Rhodesian FN Auto 5

Veteran's Day

Today, in the USA, it's Veteran's Day.

A day set aside for those who went in and came out.

It seems odd to have to say it, but today is not for the fallen in the USA; that's Memorial Day.

It isn't for those whom are still serving; that's Armed Forces Day.

If you know a vet, buy them a beer, take them out to dinner, get them laid.

Remind them of all the freebies available!

When you hit the places giving out freebies, be gracious and buy something that's got big margins (like a beer) because it wasn't so long ago that nobody but us and the post office remembered Veteran's Day at all.

Plus!  Tip the wait staff like you'd paid for the meal, not on just the cost of the beer.

Also, let the stolen valor people go.  This is the only validation they're getting in their pathetic lives, can you think of a harsher punishment than letting be what they are?  Don't save them!

10 November 2023

A Day Late

Happy Birthday Lex!



We miss you, and remember you.

Happy 248th

Happy Birthday Jarheads!

We won't mention that your current iteration was born on July 11, 1798...

Oh wait, I just did.

Well, have a crayon and a smile!

Gone Shootin'

Harvey got her new glasses, so we went shooting to test them out.

She's shooting much better now that she can see the front sight without pointing her head straight up to use the reading portion of her glasses.  New glasses are readers so she can look straight ahead.

It's even more impressive when you consider that Captain Vulnerable doesn't give you a nice, distinct, aiming point like the target I have pictured below!

I took the M&P 9 out and did some more "dynamic" shooting.

Fast I could, two rounds per circle, write a big T.

ReLoad is talking about doing a bowling pin shoot soon, I want to get back into that too.  Getting on the clock is a good skill builder, I think.  And I'm too crippled for 2-gun.

Socialized Medicine In Action

There's this story.

I feel for the family.

This child is almost certainly doomed.

The British National Health Service has decided that they won't continue to treat her.

That'd be a bummer in and of itself, but they've also decided to forbid anyone else from trying.

Even worse is they appear to have made the decision to stop care based on the costs and likely outcomes and then refused to let others take the case and pay for it themselves.

This is what you get with socialized care.

Well, anything the government decides is theirs.

Once upon a time the cops were just the people paid to enforce the peace.  A professional auxiliary to the people with no more power or authority.

Now they hold a monopoly over that power, without even a formal abdication from the people.

Medicine will go the same route.


OMFG Air Force!

The T-7A Red Hawk is just entering service and we're already screwing up the designations...

They wanna make a fighter version.

They're bound and determined to call it F-7.

There's precedent for changing the T to the new role...  The T-37 Tweet became the A-37 Dragonfly, after all.

But F-7 is taken.

The XF2Y Sea Dart was redesignated F-7A in 1962.

Is Protesting Good Or Bad

As was mentioned in the comments, whether a protest is good or bad is a matter of perspective and personal politics.

But I says that's not all of it.

People illegally blocking off a road when I just wanna get home aren't going to arouse my sympathies to their cause.  They're going to make me angry.

Angry at THEM.  For blocking the road.

Not for their political position, but because they're fucking with me when I have no power or authority to give them what they want or to take it from them.

I'm not researching their position.

I'm not making logical arguments for or against their position.


What Happened To B-3 through B-20?

Why have a designation system if you're not going to use it?

To be honest, the Air Force hasn't used it since MacNamara made their system mandatory service-wide.

F-111 and F-117 prove that.  Those should be A designation aircraft.

Then there's F-35.  Should have been F-24.

Now we have B-21 which should be B-3.

48 Years

And the hull broke open and they all drowned like rats, as their lungs filled with water...

-Alternate lyrics.

48 years ago today the Edmund Fitzgerald went down with all hands.

Global warming and SUVs to blame.

Bush administration slow to respond.

08 November 2023

It's Starting To Happen

People are getting sick of protestors fucking with their everyday lives and no longer thinking about the consequences.

Not here, yet, but...

Miltary Accessory

An odd thing to call a military accessory is a sling.

But I just noticed that most old "Fudd" guns rarely came with provisions for a sling.

EVERY military long arm does.

How did the antis miss that one?

07 November 2023

LS Lecture!

The only 5.7 liter LS engines are the LS1 and LS6 from Corvettes and F-bodies.

I've seen it come up before.

There's confusion in the truck world because the old small-block 350's were still available as the LS engines became available.

The L31 lasted until 2002.  If you have a V-8 from 2003 onward in a non-Caddy GM you have an LS based engine.

Odds are, if you have a '99 onward truck, you have an LS based engine.  4.8 and 5.3 liter are most common with a scattering of 6.0 engines.

The Bigot Test

How can you tell if something you're reading is written by a bigot?

Simply reverse the race/gender/LGBT status and see if it would suddenly be considered offensive when it was OK before.

A case in point is the manifesto of the Nashville shooter.

Change the races and the specific slurs...

Look!  A bigot!

Also it's proof that bigotry isn't limited to racists who hate a different race.

There's plenty of self-hating bigots too.

There's some Jews marching in support of Hamas.

06 November 2023

Calling In The Pros

I started to take apart the facing on the front porch.

The structural parts are in great shape!

The sub structure that holds up the decorative flashing...  Not so much.

I removed most of the rotted wood today to see how bad it was.

I think I could get it repaired, I don't think I can make it look good.

So we've called a local handyman to come look at it.

Fingers crossed.


There are a lot of hate groups in America.

More than are "tracked" by the Southern Poverty Law Center because a lot of them are sanctioned by the media to hate all they want.

Yes, there are neo-Nazis, but not very many.

There are KKK and racial separatists, but not very many.

The non-Nazi hate of Jews has, recently, been shown to be very large and mostly of a single party.

There's substantial hatred of straight white men out there.

You can hate on Christians all you like.

Essentially, if you're the right kind of bigot, you can hate openly.

There's a veneer of shame over it, because they're still using synonyms when describing their hate.

Trust me, the targets of the hate are aware of it.

The equilibrium is not quite to the critical mass for a punctuation to happen, but it's getting close.

One sided enforcement is prolly going to push it over the edge as large group realizes they've nothing to lose hating back and noticing they outnumber the haters.

It will be a bad time to be wearing a badge, by the way.  It's people wearing those badges doing the selective enforcement, after all.

I Hesitate To Point It Out

Pramila Jayapal doesn't understand.

Let's address the elephant in the room.

The anti-semitism the Democrats are displaying is the main reason they're having problems with the polls at the moment.

So, embracing a block of voters who hate Jews right now would be a stunningly stupid move for them.

Especially when they're such a tiny block of voters compared to the people who despise anti-semitism.

Besides, Pramila, where are they going to go?

The Republicans don't want them.  This block hates too many of them to extend a welcome mat.

Keeping them risks losing the twice as large Jewish voting block, who are more than welcome with the Republicans.

When the LGBT crowd, fifteen times as large, figures out what Islam has in store for them, they might stay home rather than support Democrats.  Many are surprised that they're welcome with Conservatives when they find out it's pedophilia and child mutilation the Republicans, as a whole, oppose and not boys kissing boys.

But that would mean talking to someone outside the group-think of Democrat media outlets.


GM Displacement on Demand motors are, apparently, a ticking time-bomb.

What fails is the lifters on the four cylinders that allow the cylinder deactivation.

They are $43.79 each and I'd need eight if I was to replace them as preventative maintenance.

The stuff I need to replace as part of the job of gaining access is another $214.79.

For a total of: $565.11.

Lore says that this fix is good for 50 to 90 thousand miles.


I can delete the DoD and perk up the motor with a slightly hotter cam.

Kits seem to start at about $1,000.  Plus $100 to deactivate the DOD electronics.  Perhaps more to tune the motor to perfectly match the cam, but there are several choices the PCM's stock programming handles just fine.

Going with a milder cam and keeping up with maintenance means I can prolly get...  Lots of miles from the DOD delete.

The thing is...  There are documented pick-up engines with 300k miles on them with the original lifters still running fine.

I am far more nervous about the cheap ass needle bearings in the rocker arm trunnions than the springy lifters.


Today I found out that the main bearing caps on an LS engine are directional.

They have little wings on the outside edge that show their orientation.

The front four have the wings facing aft and the last one the wings face forward.

I found this out from a picture on Facebook where someone had put #4 in backwards.

05 November 2023

Bet They Assumed I Wouldn't Check

Reading this.

Rep Cory Booker references a 2019 Quinnipiac poll.

So I went to Quinnipiac's web page.

Found the poll.

Found the question. 

"50. Do you support or oppose requiring individuals to obtain a license before being able to purchase a gun?"

Yup.  That's what Quinnipiac says, alright.

Why don't I believe them?

Something about this is very suspicious.

I found the problem.

They called land lines.

So they found just over 1,000 people who would answer their land line to give their poll and got those results. 

That's a small group of a small and shrinking group.

Between 30 and 40 percent of the USA had a landline in 2019.

In 2023 it's 28.7% have a land line.

53% of them are older than 65.

People in the Northeast are more likely to have a landline.  42.9% of landlines are here.  23.7% are in the south, 26.6% are in the west, 28.3% are in the midwest.

So, the people reached by this poll are most likely retirees living the the northeast.

I doubt this is a representative sample of America.  I think they know it.

You Had One Job

It's great they rebuilt Monte Cassino and all; but why did they rotate the entire site 90° to do it?

I Can't Be The Only One

I remember when Ronald Reagan announced the Strategic Defense Initiative.

The press mocked it, calling it Star Wars.

I cannot help but notice that we're actually doing stuff mentioned in the SDI plans.

Stuff like intercepting ballistic missiles outside the atmo.

04 November 2023

Bled White

It looks like KE Arms is coming to the end of their legal battle with GWACS.

It also looks like they're going to win.

But the punishment is the process here and they've been bled white by the process.

I hate that.

I'd feel better if one of their more prominent employees wasn't walking hand in hand with antisemitic organizations.

I think I've made my position clear about antisemitism.

I made my mind up about that at Dachau.

More than thirty years ago.

Will Russel be let go or will KE Arms be counted amongst such luminaries as Illinois Nazis?

Choosing Evil

I note that it wasn't Jews celebrating on September 11, 2001.

It was not Jews flying hijacked airliners into packed skyscrapers, killing thousands.

If Hamas and Palestinians are "good" then I choose evil.

My "don't care who kills you, as long as someone does," meter was pegged that day watching you cocksuckers celebrating the deaths of thousands of my countrymen.

You want my sympathy, you need to be sympathetic to my injuries.

But you celebrated that I was hurt that day.

I celebrate that you will suffer at the hands of those you recently wronged.

Your celebration nullified my cares that you might have been wronged in the past.

You decided which side I would be on.

03 November 2023

We Didn't Break It

A comment that didn't get published because they didn't sign it... said, to the effect of:

It's western Europe that is at fault for the middle east being all fucked up.

They even mentioned things like the Sykes-Picot Agreement.

While it didn't make things better for the Middle East, it didn't actually break the place.

The Ottoman Turks make a hobby of fracturing the place and keeping it messed up in a manner that JB Tito made a ghostly emulation of.

Notice the relative ease that TE Lawrence had in convincing the Arabs to rise up against the Ottomans in WW1.

But it needs be noted that the Ottomans were able to keep them at each others throats and bounce them off each other because they were, and are, still tribal and not national.  They came pre-fragmented and ready for conquering.

For example:

They are not Middle Easterners.  They are not Arabians.  They are Bakr, Hawazin, Tamin, etc.

After WW1 France and England did draw borders without regard to the tribal identities of the occupants of the land.

Kurdistan is the classic example that was erased by the Turks and remains erased to this very day.

Nothing Western Civ has done in the region addresses this core issue with the people living there, except perhaps, favoring one tribe over another to the point of the favored tribe being able to take and hold power because they were friendly to the favoring.

They get kinda bitter when they get replaced for forgetting to be grateful.  <-Sarcasm alert!

Unfavored tribes get kinda bitter for being unfavored and being supplanted or replaced by the favorites of the day.

The fastest way to settle it would be to pump in weapons to every side until the shooting stops, then murder the winners and take over.

Did I say fastest?

That might be the only way for it to get settled.

As a people they get vendetta at a level only seen in Sicily.

And I Thought Their Shipping Was Slow

I am in the process of returning an item to Midway USA.

Postal Innovations is slower with an RMA label than when you make the initial order.

I'd have been happy to pay for something faster that would probably have been cheaper, but they don't do that for returns.

How a Steam Locomotive Works (Union Pacific "Big Boy")


I knew much of this, but didn't know how the mechanisms worked.

These computer models make visualizing things so much easier.


Something occurs to me about how things are going to look out the bridge windows of a Traveller ship doing a fuel skim on a gas giant:

The horizon is going to go flat a long time before you're low enough to really see details at the same resolution as the same horizon here on our little rock.

This will definitely become a "trust your instruments" item during flight instruction.

All of your visual cues will be wrong.

Well They Do Look Cool

My experience with bullpup rifles is limited.

I got to do a demo-fire of am H&K G.11 prototype when cross training with the West Germans.

I got to handle an FAMAS and an L85A1 when we went to the field with the French and Brits. 

I got to handle an FN FS2000 at a Rottfest.

FuzzyGeff once owned a Bushmaster M17S.

That's the limit of my real-world experience with the things.

There's almost no reason to choose or avoid one in gaming.

I made a couple of British characters in T2K who had an L85.

FuzzyGeff once made a T2K character with a G.11.

On the whole, I don't get the allure.

The length of pull is always a bit too long.  The balance is odd.  The manual of arms is different.

Something that is for certain is the idea is polarizing.

If you like them, you like them.

If you don't...  well...

What I have noticed is damn few armies have replaced their bullpup with another one.

Interestingly, two that have are using variations of the same bullpup, the Steyr AUG.  Austria and Australia.  And here I thought they were sick of people getting them confused.

The AUG is the first bullpup to get wide adoption, way back in 1977 as the Austrian StG.77.

02 November 2023

What Caliber For Hamas?

Willard asked, and I think that 340mm is the correct answer if we're stupid enough to get into the shooting side of this conflict.

Right or wrong, I am sick of half measures with the fucking middle east.

I'm also sick of ignoring the true culprits.

No more nation building.

Don't care about hearts and minds.

I really don't care about the moral high ground anymore either.

I want peace and perfectly willing to use the Curtis LeMay methodology, "I'll tell you what war is about, you've got to kill people, and when you've killed enough they stop fighting," and, "There are no innocent civilians. It is their government and you are fighting a people, you are not trying to fight an armed force anymore. So it doesn't bother me so much to be killing the so-called innocent bystanders"

That second quote is because the people we'd be killing in this case have no compunctions about killing innocent civilians themselves.


I've long held we need to have fewer than more foreign entanglements.


It should be safer to eat white arsenic than hurt an American.

I could be persuaded to stop giving any support or trade with any nation which isn't a democracy.

And de facto democracy, not de jure.

And if we must be involved in foreign entanglements, then put our own interests ahead of all others.




By reversing where Shadow scampers and Beeper sleeps...

We have managed to get both of them to relax and for Beeper to stop attacking Shadow.

01 November 2023


The place that was tasked with repairing the dent caused by forgetting the fasteners on a car...

Forgot the two fasteners on my car.

A buddy spotted that two M6-1.0x30 screws were missing from the headlight capsule.

Lowe's carried a suitable replacement.

Shadow Boxing


Little Shadow is fierce!