Saturday, April 19, 2014

The lowest form of single-celled digital life...

I think the families of those still missing should be allowed to troll the perpetrators right back. With tire tools. It would be extremely lulzy to watch the Cheeto dust fly while they whimpered "It was ju-u-st a j-joke! P-p-please! Not the face!"

Looking up...

It's been a long, depressing winter for a host of reasons, and as bad as it was, the weather was the least of them. Still, the mill wheel must turn; if you can keep from drowning while it's got you dunked, it'll pull you up out of the water on the other side.

Got a phone call from Farmer Frank last night. He got his discharge papers from the rehab place in Chicago (honorable ones, mind you!) and is now continuing his rehabilitation work closer to home, in Lafayette, IN. I don't know if it's true or not, but I've heard that being on Hoosier soil is, for Frank, like the light of a yellow sun is for Clark Kent.

Woke this morning to a glorious spring day. Kept to my morning exercises, to which I need to add more, got some chores done for work, and then rode my bike in to Broad Ripple Proper for brunch at Brugge Brasserie and a stop at the grocery store on the way home.

If this keeps up, I may even be able to write something.

The Broad Ripple SUV in it's natural habitat. The sunny weekend has brought the tourists out in droves.


Ice cream machine's all jammed up this morning.

Maybe later.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fear and Loathing in the Circle City.

With the local network channels having taken inexplicably late notice of the fact that the NRA Annual Meeting is scheduled for our fair burg later this month, Naptown media outlets have been struggling to find a handle to attach to the story.

Indy's Fox affiliate finally came up with one yesterday, to the effect of "OMG! With all the police-action shootings in our city this year, what are we to make of thousands of gun-toting NRA members coming to town?"

Perhaps unfortunate story timing on Fox59's part, since the biggest danger to IMPD officers yesterday, April 17th, turned out to be other IMPD officers.

As a side note, you'll note the further evidence that restraining orders still aren't bulletproof:
"Question is to whether or not she was safe, she was, in fact, we were protecting her. We also made sure with the protective order in addition to, provided protection to him," Hite said.
Perhaps an unfortunate choice of words, Chief Hite.

So anyway, Fox59, I don't think you have much to worry about Cletus and Lurleen coming to town to "Ooh!" and "Ahh!" at Fudd guns; I think there's enough muck to rake right here inside the county line without having to look elsewhere.

Speaking of a vanished time...

Before S&W had a "Model 27", it was just called the ".357 Magnum". When it debuted, it was a special order piece that cost sixty dollars at a time when Smith's next most expensive firearm sold for $45 to your mailbox.

To put that in perspective, a nice Ford 40A Deluxe coupe would have only been $535, if you just paid sticker and didn't haggle.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Irony is dead.

While I'd seen a bunch of the chatter about it on the 'net, I hadn't read Bloomie's self-aggrandizing wankery about how he was going to buy his way into Heaven by taking my guns because he assumes JHVH is as down on the Second Amendment as he is. I didn't feel like paying any attention to the "Look At Me!" bellows of the dinosaur as it stares at the inevitability of its own extinction.

However the quote over at New Jovian Thunderbolt's place nearly made me put the claimed water- and/or coffee-proof qualities of my keyboard to the test:
“This is not a battle of dollars, this is a battle for the hearts and minds of America so that we can protect our children, protect innocent people,” former-mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
It takes a pretty exotic combination of chutzpah and tone-deafness to announce the spending of fifty million greenbacks with "This is not a battle of dollars."

I went on and found out that he thinks he's going to build a grassroots organization with top-down money, proving that it's hard to understand what exactly "grassroots" are when you're fifty floors up in Manhattan and there's not a blade of grass in sight.

Bloomie is obviously yet another person with a bad case of Elvis Syndrome and in dire need of a Smithers.

"Smithers, go buy me a swelling in the hearts and minds of the little people."

"Uh, sir, I don't think it works that way."

He said he only wants to stop criminals and the mentally ill from buying guns but you know that, to Mike at least, the very desire to purchase a firearm marks one as one or the other of those two categories. Sometimes I have to resort to boxing my own ears to make the steady drone of bull$#!+ stop.

Interesting times...

With all eyes on Ukraine, what happens if China gets froggy in the Ryukyus?

Does the PLAN have the wheaties to elbow aside USN and JMSDF forces in the area? If they confined themselves to southern Ryukyus and didn't go as far as Okinawa, would we honor our treaty commitments to Japan, or would we just...



...would we just impose sanctions on China?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Changing times...

I just got a copy of the September 1965 issue of National Geographic from Amazon. I had this issue 'way back when I was in grade school and last remember reading it on the school bus in the '80s. I've kept an eye out for it since then at used book joints and antique malls, but finally cheated and went to the 'net.

What a different world is on display in this magazine, and how differently it's presented than the current iteration of the same rag!

There's an article on the Alps that mentions the tunnel through Mont Blanc as an engineering achievement and not a horrible symbolic rape of Mother Gaia with blasting charges and boring machines. A couple pages away is a picture of some riders in the Tour de France wending through the foothills of the Alps in their soft brimmed caps and nary a helmet in sight. None of them actually appear to be puffing a Gitanes while they pedal, but you can't see the guys in the back too well.

What I bought it for was the huge article on the U.S. Air Force, complete with a color fold-out of all that service's currently serving aircraft, including the no-doubt-soon-to-be-in-service XB-70 and XC-142. The National Geographic reporter flew along on close air support missions in Viet Nam, describing the Skyraider's rocket runs and napalm strikes in terms that made you feel like you were right there with him, raining fire on godless commies. His plane got holes shot in it from Victor Charlie's return fire. He flew along in missions in KC-135s and B-52s. He saw a YF-12A take off on a test flight and rode in the back of an F-4C.

And before the USAF article is a seven page piece penned by none other than Curtis goddam LeMay, the very thought of which should make the average Nat Geo-subscribing fair-trade hemp-wearing SWPL choke on their half-caff latte and spray it all over their May 2014 special issue on sustainable organic agriculture. You could smell the smoke of GEN LeMay's cigar, mingled with a faint whiff of the ashes of Tokyo, coming right off the page: "Peace Is Our Profession, War Is Just Something We Do For Kicks."

Ah, National Geographic, you always were good at showing us looks into lost civilizations; who knew it'd be one so recent, though?

Like a layer cake of fail...

 A puzzled hit piece on open carry in the UK's Telegraph is headed with this photo. Let's check the boxes:
  • Kimber that is uncocked (and most likely chamber empty) in a
  • Serpa with
  • 1.5" belt loops flopping around on a 1" leather belt from TJ Maxx.
The only way that picture could give me more lulz than it already does would be if that gun were some special laser-engraved Gadsden Flag edition with a magazine full of Extreme Shock Fang Faced Anti Terrorist rounds. 

I mean, I applaud the foresight to have some sort of retention device on the openly carried blaster, but if you gotta keep the Serpa and the fashion belt, could you at least adjust the Serpa's belt loops down to fit the belt? They can do that, you know.


There's a lot of harshing on the Walther P-22 among gun snobs for being a cheaply-built plinker, which draws impassioned defenses from happy P-22 owners, and a lot of the same phenomenon of detractors and defenders has carried over to the very similar Ruger SR22.

I've expressed puzzlement about the sales success of the SR22 when Ruger itself offers a base model fixed-sight 22/45 for a street price not much over $250, which is about as much literal bang for the buck as there is in the gun world.

Sure, a Mk III 22/45, with its mag safety and loaded chamber indicator and chintzy plastic frame, is not the first thing that springs to mind when one is thinking about heirloom-grade .22 plinking pistols, but it will stand up to an incredible volume of shooting and beg for more. Why would somebody pay more for less gun? The answer, of course, lies in the expectations of what a gun needs to do.

In comments over at PDB's place, a guy wrote:
I’ve been shooting an SR22 for close to three years and have yet to have a FTF or FTE in over 3,000 rounds.
Ah. I think I see now.

From where I'm standing, 3,000 rounds is not a particularly busy summer for a .22 plinking pistol; I'm pretty sure my 22/45's used up a third of that total and more just in one Blogorado. To somebody else, it might be a lot of shooting. That's cool and okay and all, but it's definitely going to shape one's opinions of a gun's durability. Three thousand rounds might be one person's three years of shooting and another person's minimum cleaning interval.

(Also, not a single FTF or FTE in 3,000 rounds of rimfire? Dude, tell me what brand of ammo you're using, because I need to switch to that stuff.)


Stayed up way late and my oversleeping was only interrupted by getting up to feed the cats at 0600 before returning to slumberland.

Dreamed of a giant tree trunk, dead and with no branches, so huge that it had a bayou in the hollow at the top of the trunk, with trees and fallen logs and a fishing shack on stilts and everything, like a swimming pool on a skyscraper rooftop only with Spanish moss and cypress trunks and a couple of little gators instead of a jacuzzi and cabana boys. How the gators got to a bayou hundreds of feet in the air is something of a mystery, now that I think about it.

Anyway the fallen tree trunks floating around up there were all precariously balanced and these two Marine snipers in ghillie suits were climbing around in them looking for a place to set up a hide, setting the whole mass to bobbing and creaking precariously and getting my acrophobia all spun up, so I went in the little fishing shack. And then I woke up.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Can't win if you don't play...

Despite never winning so much as a door prize in any drawing ever in my life, this 75th Anniversary contest from Brownells is tempting to me, because a Wilson Wombat CQB is a no-kiddin' nice pistol.

All laws are about fence-building or rent-seeking.

When last we left Don Davis, owner of Don's Guns, former Hoffa bodyguard, and all-around douchebag and general tool, he was engaged in an attempt to guard his indoor range rice bowl by enthusiastically speaking up in favor of expanding the ban on shootin' in the old Indy city limits all the way out to the Marion county line.

Well, how does it feel to want, Don?
But a ban has been on the books in ­Indianapolis since at least 1975. It prohibits target practice, hunting and random shooting of guns. Violators are subject to a fine.

City lawyers discovered that the ordinance was actually “void,” or unenforceable, because of the state law. Councilwoman Angela Mansfield pressed ahead anyway with an ordinance that would expand the ban to the outer county. She said those once-rural areas are now developed and populated and it was dangerous to allow guns to be discharged there.

Councilman Will Gooden said state law allows citizens to sue municipalities that pass their own gun laws.

“My concern is we are exposing ourselves to extreme consequences, ­extreme liability and extreme costs,” Gooden said.
Boom. Taste the preemption, beeyotches.

Overheard in the Hallway...

Winchester .45-cal 260gr PTHP, with sabot for loading in .50-cal muzzleloader

Me: *gesticulates wildly with box of muzzle-loading sabot bullets* "This is a regular .45 caliber 260-gr Platinum Tip Hollow Point, same as you'd get in a .454 Casull round, only they sell them with sabots for using in your muzzle loader."

RX: "Wait, did you have those?"

Me: "Yeah. For my muzzle loader. Who doesn't?"

RX: "Most people can't hear some random type of ammunition and go 'Wait, I think I have some of that up in the attic.'"

Me: "I have some of the Knight's sabots, too, but I couldn't find them."
I keep seeing references on Team Our Side to the guy in Washington, D.C. who was sentenced for "Antique Replica Bullets" or, as Emily Miller called them "simply pieces of copper, you know, from an antique, Revolution-era type gun." That's not factually correct; he was charged with having "ammunition":
§ 7-2501.01. Definitions (2) "Ammunition" means cartridge cases, shells, projectiles (including shot), primers, bullets (inc luding restricted pistol bullets), propellant powder, or other devices or materials designed, redesigned, or intended for use in a firearm or destructive device.
Even the NRA called them "antique replica muzzleloader bullets" and you'd think if anybody should know Fudd guns, it's the NRA. Only they weren't MiniƩ balls, they were modern Barnes pistol bullets, just sold to frontstuffer hunters in blister packs instead of bulk packed for handloaders.

Now, D.C.'s law that treats ammunition components, such as brass, primers, and bullets, as "ammunition" which needs special permits and licensing to own is ridiculous and unconstitutional and needs to be overturned, but at the same time, saying the guy was arrested for musket balls is no more factually correct than saying he was arrested for having an assault clip full of shoulder things that go up.

ETA: Of course, let's not forget that David Gregory did not get proned out in his studio by D.C. Metro SWAT for waving around an actual assault clip capable of holding thirty Think Of The Childrens in front of God and everybody on live TV, thereby endangering Americans in living rooms all across the nation by exposing them to the sight of a weapon of mass destruction.


Guys! You'll never guess what it's doing out there!

That's right, it's spitting snow from a leaden sky. No lunar eclipse watchin' for you last night, Hoosiers! The sunny seventy-degree weekend days were just a tease; back in the cooler with ya.

Latest snow since '01. Today's predicted high of 40 will tie the record for the lowest daily high temp on this date in Indianapolis, set in 1928.

I swear, I am about ready to take out a restraining order on Old Man Winter.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Don't start none, won't be none.

With the news that Detroiters have recorded seven EKIA in as many weeks and a DPD spokeswoman noting that
"The citizens of Detroit are very tired of being bullied by these thugs, for lack of a better word. They're defending themselves and their property and they have every right to do so."
the usual handwringers and pearl-clutchers have crawled out of the woodwork, shambling into comment sections around the internet moaning "BRAIIINS! we have no BRAIIINS!" For instance, check out this one guy, whose Facebook profile alleges that he may have attended the U.S. Army's War College. He wrote:
well, it's certainly cheaper and faster than the old arrest/detain/trial by peers/judge/jail program we have for burglary in most states huh? I say we just allow home owners to be judge+jury+executioner all the time!
You know, if that's the kind of critical thinking that comes out of the War College these days, our sweeping successes in central Asia are starting to make a lot more sense. "Hello, JAG? Is it cool to shoot back at these guys yet or not?" 

Hey, I've got a foolproof, guaranteed 100% successful plan to avoid getting shot dead in some stranger's living room in the middle of the night. See if you can guess what it is, MAJ Einstein.

Trim Tab Clearing...

I wasn't the only person taking airplane pictures, apparently...
Pix at the linx, so clix, thanx.

ETA: Bonus! Boneyard!


Did you know about the paddlewheel aircraft carriers of the USN? Among other chores, they were used to test early Navy attack drones.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Thunder, Thunder, Thunderstreak ho!

Not a lot of flat surfaces or sharp corners.

You can see the openings for the nose-mounted Browning .50s quite nicely.
It may border on blasphemy to say this, but I think the Republic F-84F Thunderstreak is much prettier than the North American F-86 Sabre.

Hollywood likes reboots...

Fresh out of original ideas, studios have reimagined Star Trek and Superman, Batman and Bond. Now, thanks to Obama and Putin, maybe we can look forward to a reboot of Strategic Air Command!

Tom Hanks is a little long in the tooth for Jimmy Stewart's role, though, and I don't think it's really a part for Depp. Maybe DiCaprio?

Anyway, here're some pics to help get you in the mood:

It's like a giant flying '50s Detroit hood ornament full of thermonuclear bombs, Jimmy Stewart, and "America, $%&# yeah!"
Despite the looming threat of global thermonuclear war, somehow the future didn't suck back then. What the hell happened? I blame hippies.

...that you do so well!

McDonnell F-101B Voodoo: Two-seat all weather supersonic interceptor, keeping America safe from Bear and Bison through the Sixties and Seventies.