Monday, January 31, 2005

Cheek Weld

Had an interesting response from, what I assume to be a military guy.

In posting pictures of the scope set-up on my rifle, he had the following to say:

Scope looks a little high to me. I'd tape a couple of layers of closed-cell 1/4
inch foam on the cheek area until I had a cheekpiece built up that would give me
a heck of a custom cheek-weld. For Iraq-bound troops shooting scoped M14s we are
using green ammo-can foam and green duct tape. Put it on ONE layer at a time and
build it up. It will also keep your fingertips from breaking your lip under
recoil, by just moving your head up.IMPO, of course. You may have a chin like
Paul Bunyan.

In fact, I do not have a chin like Paul Bunyan; I don't even own a blue ox. SOL on that one.

The stock is laminate, so I hesitate to mount anything that is adhesive to it for fear of unwrapping it like an onion.

That being the case, a cheek-weld seems to be in order with a configuration as F***ed up as mine. The best I've seen seems to be from Brownell's: Same model but in variable heights.
This will take some shooting to determine what kind of eye elevation I require.

If anyone else has some brilliant ideas, feel free to chime in, becase I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Boomershoot hardware Update

I seem to have gotten my shit together to the best of my ability. I have a wacko Mil-dot scope mounted on your run of the mill deer rifle. You can see it here. Mine is still the most ridiculous looking in the bunch.

Kirk posted pics of his finally. Kirk's rifle looks like Kirk's rifle. It needs glass and all that, but I agree with replacing the bolt handle. So I guess I should just shut the fuck up.

Random Nuclear Strikes (or Nuculear, depending on your preference) posted pictures of his gun, but have since gone. He has a sweet bolt that I am sure he is probably tricking up at this point. If y'all have any leads, let these boys know.

Fourthly, Huffman is listing Rummel from Hell in a Handbasket as not coming. This is an unfortunate surprise. I was very much looking forward to meeting him, but it seems his attendance is not to happen in that fabric of time and space.

Sincerest Aplogies,


UPDATE: Unlike Mary Mapes, I have a strict standard of leaving posts up on my blog, no matter how idiotic they seem a day or a week later. This is one such post.

I have been sleeping quite a bit, in fact excessively for several days. I normally write posts under the influence of a couple of adult beverages. Looking at this post, I was just spaced out of my mind.

First off, I posit that my rifle "is still the most ridiculous looking of the bunch." The sentence makes sense, but this is before I mention other people's rifles. Therfore, there is no context to this statement.

Additionally, how I came up with the brilliant phrase that "Kirk's rifle looks like Kirk's rifle" is beyond me at this point. Who's rifle should Kirk's look like, if not Kirk's?

The whole letting the "boys" know about "leads" is just lint from a decrepit mind. I don't know what the hell I was talking about.

It is indeed unfortunate if Rummel is not attending. It is by no means a funeral dirge though. And from now on when I mention Joe or Boomershoot, I should probably provide a link, as context is the only thing that could have made sense of this shoddy post, but I failed to accomplish even that.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Ongoing Blog Debate

As to the ongoing argument about the actual worth of blogs and their influence, as I have been arguing with Kevin at Smallest Minority, there have been several decent arguments made today.

For background on this you may want to visit the comments sections of previous posts (Contradictory, Blog Infighting, and The Worth of Blogs) to find out exactly what our differences are. In a nutshell, I am not convinced that blogs have had or will have any lasting or measurable influence on the population at large. Kevin contends that blogs were integral to Bush winning the election and that they will continue to be a burr in the side of MSM.

Today, Jack Shafer has an article on the continuing self-gratification that bloggers are giving themselves. He apparently attended some forum at Harvard last weekend that included MSM types and the archetypal "rogue, independent" blogger that is out there digging for the truth on a daily basis. The forum included Jeff Jarvis who seems to have permanently thrown his dress over his head.

He starts with an obscure allegory to a video product that apparently was big with 3 people back in the 60's. As I never had flowers in my hair, I don't know what the hell he is talking about.

I hadn't witnessed such public expressions of high self-esteem since the
last time I attended a journalism awards ceremony.

His observations were somewhat denigrating, but passages like the above quote hit spot on. An alternative media ceases to be extraordinary if it parrots the elitist self-love that the MSM displays.

The whole article is worth reading, as Mr. Shafer takes a rather balanced approached to the whole thing.

Next up is Eric Alterman. This is sure to piss some people off because Alterman is...well...a dick. I read him everyday and find 90% of his commentary to be hideous and offensive. The man leads the "BUSH LIED, PEOPLE DIED" group.

At the same time, there is a reason I read him. He's a sarcastic prick and I enjoy that sort of commentary.

In any case, today he reports on a segment he had on MSNBC with Jeff Jarvis. In his analysis (and apparently on the appearance) he throws out the CIA, fake Iraqi blog thing. Admittedly, this is irritating. However I found the following mock discussion interesting outside of its slanted and distorting context:

Top CIA Guy: Ok, let’s go over the list.
Number Two Guy: Yessir.
CIA Guy: Torture?
Number Two Guy: Going just as planned, sir. We got
the little guys taking the fall, and we instructed Brad and Jen to break up
during the trials to keep the story off CNN.
Top CIA Guy: Good.
Death squads like the ones we created in El Salvador? Terrorist murders
like the ones we had so much fun with in Nicaragua?
Number Two Guy: On the
way, sir. That Mr. Negroponte is an expert on the stuff from way back and
the rumor mill even has Elliott Abrams coming back in. Happy days are here
Top CIA Guy: Well, get on that. Politicians purchased?
Two Guy: Well, we got our guy in the PM’s office and we’re handing out plenty of
bucks to get people to back our guy on election day. Lots of the same
Ilopango guys are happy for the chance to take out the old playbooks. If
necessary, some of the old Saigon coup guys are available for
Top CIA Guy: Okedoke. Have we taken care of the
opposition in places like Faluja?
Number Two Guy: Destroyed the village in
order to save it, sir.
Top CIA Guy: Ha, ha, ha, very funny. But you’re
right, we don’t have to worry about those votes. Got the journalists paid
Number Two Guy: You have to ask? Even those homos at the
Department of Education have picked up on that game.
Top CIA Guy: What about
them new-fangled journalists? What do you call them, buggers?
Two Guy: Bloggers, sir, bloggers. And frankly, I’m amazed at your audacity
at even imagining that we would ever compromise the beauty, the integrity, and
the power of this medium that is certain to sink the mainstream media dinosaurs
and replace them with the likes of Glenn Reynolds and those guys at
Powerline. I resign, effectively immediately, and not only that, I’m going
to tell Jeff Jarvis on you. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself
written about on Buzzmachine.
[Gets up in a huff and leaves the room]
CIA Guy: [Watches Number Two walk out and presses a red button on his telephone]
Have him killed.

Of course, this is in Alterman's typical, over the top style of accusing conservatives of waging an unfettered war against all that is decent and respectable in the world. Like I said, I'm not a fan. But I think he brings up an important point: Blogs don't make that much difference. In the Iraq war, most people I know don't know what a blog is, nevermind whether freedom minded Iraqis are blogging. This is not to crap on the efforts of the freedom-loving element of the Iraq population.

Of course, Alterman was arguing with Jarvis during this segment. His dress seemed to be over his head again, based on his posts on this. Jarvis is a "true believer" in the supposition that blogs are constantly changing the method in which consumers view news. Unfortunately, that's crap.

On Carson

I am in total agreement with Jeff on this one. The guy lived a long life and smoked a lot of cigarettes.

I didn't understand the Reagan thing; I mean he had been dying for a decade and finally gave up the ghost. Kudos, the guys in a better place. But Reagan actually affected history, Carson was a talk show host. My condolences to his family but who else gives a shit?

Even Peggy Noonan mentions him, in an aside that has nothing to do with her topic, (which I think is bad editorial form). The article is about how crappy the inaugural speech was. That's worlds away from the social-economic-political impact of some guy that cracked jokes late at night.

Jeff says it better so check out the link.

And, in case you were wondering, I didn't go into a week-long funk when Reagan died, although I know a lot of nutjobs who did.

Leave the dead alone.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Outermost Limit

What is your absolute ceiling on spending when it comes to a gun?

I've been advocating that the Old Man buy a Fulton Armory M-14, that is loaded to the tits. This exceeds his spending willabilaty. About $3,500 if you want a decent Krieger barrel.

His argument is that Springfields are more affordable and can be tricked-up from their out-of-the-box state.

Now the reading audience has to understand that the old man hates glass. He seems to deliberately buy weapons where scopes are either overkill or too eccentric to be of any real use. I respect the position but strenuously disagree. Especially with any kind of long-range precision shooting.

The one we are currently looking at is a Springfield Match-Grade rifle. This is a bit more reasonably priced and is still a gorgeous looking rifle.

I have proved to myself that, given the means, I will spend buttloads of money on crap that is total overkill or well beyond my ability to use effectively.

My question:

What's the most you have ever spent on a gun, what was it, and what was your rationale (your excuse to your significant other will do)?

Monday, January 24, 2005

Misc Comments from the Old Man

Couple of miscellanious comments on the State of the Blog:

Nice scope, ugly gun.

On the spotting versus sniper question:
The question was regarding the MILITARY relationship: Do spotters shoot? If so, when? Is the training the same? Are they armed the same, etc. Do they train together from start? Any first hand experience would be greatfully accepted.

Personally, I would be a little pissed if I was assigned the spotting duty with the knowledge that I would never shoot. If that is the case, more power to spotters!

Range Report on the Thompson:
A Fun Shooter!!!
Not good for hunting, not good past 50 yards, at 25 it is a nail gun, punching a four inch hole with no target left with a 30 round clip (reminds me of the old carnival shooting galleries where you had to punch out the red star completely).
Rapid fire, even with a semi, makes you understand what "dying in a hail of bullets" really means.

Thanks for the .22 comments.

The Old Man

Quote of the Day

This is not a regular feature but FreedomSight had this to say about my favorite blog

"yeast infection of the blogosphere", Wonkette

Sorry to delight in that, but the man spoke my soul on that one. Wonkette probably gets more hits than all of the useful gun blogs combined...and she talks about booze and ass-sex.

I think Jed has encompassed my feelings in a very accurate and short sentence.

This may be childish, but I like playing with the flippy FBI sniper lens caps. Posted by Hello

Looks good, but I'm a little worried about eye-relief. Posted by Hello

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Mil-dot scope

Got the Leupold Mil-dot mounted this weekend. I'm pretty sure I didn't fuck it up; but that remains to be seen. Range time might have to suffer due to an increase in work.

The scope makes the rifle look small. I will be attemping to post pictures.

Sniper/Spotter relationship

Me and the old man were discussing the relationship between shooters and spotters on several different levels. We have shot together since we have been shooting. We have our own commands as far as range safety and our own parlance when it comes to spotting shots. Nowadays, we are used to firing with everyone from a true professional marksman to a dipshit who wants to shoot a trashcan on the range.

Well the conversation progressed. I'm attending Boomershoot this year, barring any kind of gastrointestinal meltdown. My position partner is Kirk of Limpidity. We've never shot together or even met, but we will be spotting one another for three days. Full circle argument: Are there universal commands and prompts that I should learn? Or him, or both? As this is an eight hour event, I would like to be as well orchestrated as possible, and since we've never spotted for each other before, any recommendation would be welcome.

This leads into a military question: What is the relationship between a military spotter and sniper? Do they trade off positions or is the spotter always such? Does the spotter follow up on targets in the case of a miss? Also, is the spotter positioned laterally to the shooter or does he try to follow boresight by standing behind the shooter?

Questions. Sorry. The closer we get to Boomershoot the more obsessed I will get about this. Ask anybody I know. It's four months off and it's all I can talk about.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Blog Obituary?

Kevin at Smallest Minority brought to my attention that Mrs. DuToit has quit blogging. This is a disappointment, in many ways. She was always the voice of reason when crap like the Fish or Man debate was going on.

It seems to be completely off-line, as the link now states the following:

System Offline
January 20, 2005: This blog/site is no longer in service. I
apologize for any bad links which sent you here only to find this message. Thank
you to all who played and contributed over the years.
See you in
With warmest and best regards to all who deserve it,Connieaka "The

This is disappointing. Not only was Connie a good blogger, but she gave me the best advice when it seemed like the Wisconsin Laotian community was going to pool their resources to put out a hit on me.

Her reason and rationality was an asset that will be sorely missed.


Thursday, January 20, 2005

Range Report


Got out today and accomplished quite a bit. (If you are not into scopes, scroll to the bottom of this post.)

Before I go into the grist, I have been grooming my Ruger MKII 70 for the upcoming Boomershoot. Unfortunately, I have a crappy Simmons scope on there. It's relatively accurate, but the field of view sucks beyond all belief. As this is a problem, I scored a Leupold Mark 4 M1 Tactical scope with a Mil-Dot reticle. Well the scope showed up Monday. I failed to note that the crappy Simmons is a 1" tube diameter but the Leupold is a 30mm (how wide that is, I don't know, but the creator of the Metric system should be flayed.) Therefore I need new rings. Well I bought the rings.

At this point, I am going to accentuate the fact that this is a Ruger rifle. They like to be different. They have their own mounting system. No other company uses it. It is solely their firearms that employ this system that appears to be a bastard child of Weaver mounts and Standard tapped and drilled mounts.

Well, the Simmons is what was on the rifle when I bought it used, as I would never mount that scope on anything but an airgun. As I have had limited experience mounting scopes, I am unsure whether I should attempt mounting this scope myself 0r give it to the local gunsmith and, thus, rob myself of valuable trigger time for the next 6 months.

I am going to attempt it, but may very well be a mistake. Now on to the Range Report.

The Ruger .30-06 performed wonderfully. I shot the best group I ever have, while sighting it in. The scope, while shitty, was adequate enough for me to score a 2" group at 200 yards. I sighted and shot all day long.

I plan on the Simmons being the back-up scope. As the mount seems to be the same, regardless of what rings and glass you are using, I figure I can yank the Simmons off, while in the rings, and it should be relatively good if I need to employ it during a midday glass crisis.

Past that, the old man scored his Thompson. He was stoked, and I will give him it looks to be a sweet shooter. Unfortunately, I am gun-crippled (left-handed.) I did one magazine and the thing belched gas and filth into my eye for all unmitigated 30 rounds. This will not be one of my normal shooters.

I did get to clock some time with his Garand, as I am considering taking this as a supplement/backup rifle. We had a couple of weird jams, but on the whole, it performed well. This rifle needs to be fine-tuned, but I'm sure is up to the event, as long as I am not drooling out of the side of my mouth.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Worth of Blogs

Kevin at Smallest Minority and I have been arguing about the actual impact of blogs for about a week now. Most of this was through comments sections at this site but there were a few arguments made by email. You can review these arguments in these posts: Not To be Elitist and More Blog Infighting.

Obviously, Kevin and I have differences on the affect of what we do. I, basically, don't think there were swing voters in the last election. By the time the election rolled around, most people voting for Bush would not even consider voting for Kerry, even though they had never heard of Swift Boat Veterans or Rathergate.

This brings me to a further point, because in the midst of our argument Andrew Sullivan has managed to say something really stupid. His post today (scroll down and read What Blogs Can Do) contends that we are all partisan shills and never disagree with one another, because we are all goose-stepping bloggers.

Now I have to work, spend time with friends, and all the normal crap that happens in life, so blogging takes some time out of my schedule, as I would assume it does Kevin's. We have argued the crap out of this, and may continue to do so, Sullivan aside. Not all of us are former New Republic editors or NYT columnists, so there is probably more pressure on small blogs than Sullivan or even The Corner at National Review. That's their job (and if anybody wants to pay me to sit on my ass and type this shit, just let me know.)

To understand how wacky Sullivan has gotten, look at the final lines of the post:

But the blogosphere had the potential to be a solvent of this rigidity.
Instead, it has become yet another reflection of it (with a few honorable
exceptions). Or have I missed some blogs in this regard that deserve more

Now, Sullivan got on my tits around the election, with the "if you're against gay marriage, you're just a conservative homophope" crap. I don't care, really, just shut up about it. Well that is exactly what Sullivan would not do. Now he is completely obsessed by Abu Ghraib and does not hesitate to use the most hysterical hyperbole to describe it.

Now take a look at NZ Bear's Ecosystem. There are a lot of blogs out there. I get referrals from strange porn blogs and Mexican political blogs in Spanish. It's weird.

Main Point
For Sullivan to be so ignorant as to ignore any blog that scores under 150,000 hits a day is just elitist, and shows he's more MSM than anyone. As I previously stated, Kevin and I have been arguing for awhile and, I suspect, that he will change my opinion but will not completely change my mind. But if Sullivan will link to Wonkette (which I won't) and never Smallest Minority or TFS Magnum (who hasn't been blogging that long) or any number of fine blogs, that should show the shallowness of his scope.

And while I may me a 2A shill, can anyone doubt that Sullivan would use any argument, whether liberal or conservative, judicial or legislative, to accomplish his goal of state acceptance of gay marriage?

If he can't find a "solvent of this rigidity" in the blogosphere, he's simply as ignorant as Dan Rather is.

My final point is, that in the face of these kind of specious claims about bloggers, who of course are all right-wing hacks, I tend to side with Kevin on this. Powerline and Little Green Footballs had an influence. Our argument is a question of degree.

Sullivan's argument is just ignorant.

Monday, January 17, 2005

More Blog Infighting

Awhile ago, I posted this theory of my disbelief in the power of blogs. As you can see from the comments, Kevin at Smallest Minority had some minor disagreements with my evaluation of blogs in the 21st century.

As most of you know, Kevin is by far, a more thoughtful and influential blogger than I. Kirk at Limpity has gone so far as to insinuate that my typing fingers cannot operate simulatenously with my brain. Good point well taken.

I've gotten into arguments with Kevin before and he smites me like the cerebral titan that he is.

My latest response to his allegation that 4-5% of the swing vote were the determining electorate, is that they weren't. Fence sitters don't read blogs or follow Swift Boat Veteran allegations. They vote how they are convinced and Rather and muddy river boats don't enter the equation. As I cited in the above post, maybe, and I STRESS maybe 9% of the population read blogs. The swing vote maybe shares .5% as common demographics. Not only is it not enough to swing an election, it wasn't enough to bring the Swift Boat guys to the front. I read my copy of National Review every two weeks when it comes in, while eating a burrito on the following Saturday from when it shows up. I knew about the Swift Boat Vets but then NR has a circulation hovering around 160,000; barely over the line of victory in one state out of 50.

As a lot of the discussion was spent in private email, another idea occurred to me. When this happens, half of the arguments are usually buried in comments sections of old posts or through private email.

Why do people like reality shows or poker? The answer is is that there is conflict.

I have been contemplating opening another blog which would be available to anyone who wanted to mix it up with another blogger. That way, you could link to the site and hopefully 90% of the content leading up to the face-off would be available. I would think this to be eminently fair to the consumer who thinks XRLQ is a Zenith telvison part. Any suggestion would be apprecitated.

The False Promise of the .22

The old man and I were discussing the best way to introduce new people to firearms. Shooting seems to be a very intimdating thing to certain individuals, and initially, they may find it uncomfortable. We have taken stabs at potential conversions on several occasions, without success.

I have always thought that the best round/gun/configuration to ease people into is, inarguably, a .22 rimfire rifle or pistol. No recoil; accurate as hell; and the ammo is cheap if you are subsidizing.

Tonight, he disagreed. His argument being, that people are ignorant of guns. About the only round that fat, drunk Kennedy and the Brady people would be content with being legal is the .22. That's a "sporting" or "target" round.

His argument is that consequently, people do not respect the .22 and Newbies treat it like it was a Red Ryder BB gun. We had a recent guest who managed to point a Model 41 S&W at his own foot when he perceived it to have jammed. In reality, it had, but this numbnuts had no idea how to diagnose that and should have kept the muzzle downrange.

I had to concede this point.

The old man pointed out that, had you started him on a .357 Magnum wheel-gun, there is no fucking way he would point it at his foot.

The theory being that .22's have been relegated to the realm of airguns; guns that can cause a lot of physical damage, but that no layment takes seriously. Therefore, you are doing them a disservice by introducing them to this kind of firearm, as they may never understand good safety and might accidentally discharge and walk funny for the rest of their lives (of course, far worse could happen, but I'm trying to stay upbeat.)

By introducing larger calibers you may cut down on the follow-up quotient, but maybe that is natural selection at work, no?

UPDATE: As per usual, someone has thought this out well before I broached the topic. The old man and Len at One-In-Row seem to be in agreement on this topic, although Len seems to express it more in his speech and actions than we can muster.

UPDATE II: Deborah at Ten Ring has an excellent recollection of early gun experiences.

Kyle at Cerebral Misfire looks at both the lethality of the .22 round and the benefits of watching something die.

I need to reinforce that both of these bloggers have been shooting since their youth. I never shot regularly until my mid-twenties and most of the newbies I deal with are in the same boat. I wasn't one of Len's kids (see above link.)

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Two Questions

First off, me and the old man were wondering what rifle, configuration, scope, etc. the sniper who popped the t*******d over in Iraq was using? Head had a good post on it. I'm not asking for facts, though those would be welcome, but some of you military guys should know what the spotter was using and what the hardware involved consisted of. Greatly appreciated.

Second question: What is a good small canopy to score if you want to cover a shooting station? I don't camp and hate the outdoors so I am ill-equipped to shop for this sort of thing. An leads would be appreciated.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Blogroll additions

Several new blogs can be found at the sidebar.

Joe Huffman runs the Boomershoot event, which is how I first encountered the gentleman, as I hope to be attending. In addition to this, Joe runs an outstanding blog and posts more regularly than my lazy ass.

Also, I'm adding Len at One In A Row. Len seems to be one of those people who actually thinks before he posts weird crap. I cannot make the same claim.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Goldberg Addendum

I have waited a long time for this post.

Jonah Goldberg is by far my favorite conservative pundit. However, we has a bit of a wussified city-boy view of firearms. This analysis is based on the sparse commentary he has made on the second amendment.

I mean, think-tank consevatives actually live in Washington DC, the very idea of hell in the US to me. They mull policy wonk crap and while "theoretically" supporting the second amendment, they have no clue as to what they are talking about.

This is not meant to refer to Goldberg in an negative light. He is a GFW and he knows it. But the man actually had the stones to post on it tonight, if only from the Washington theoretical realm.


Thursday, January 13, 2005

Lazy, Linking not Thinking

It has been a rough week so I'm giving you my limited blog experience this week:

First off, I just got my vetrinarian (I may have spelled that wrong) brother to start a blog. A fucking dog-doctor blog. Sweet; I told him if you are into weird crap, you will find an audience. We also agreed that the first post should have a strong disclaimer as to taking any kind of medical advice for animals from his site.

Additionally, Head has made the best argument for limited gun control I have ever seen.

The Geek is still playing with plastic BB guns.

Everyone has seen the Million Mom fat-ass sack, but I am posting a link anyway. BTW, the pistol featured in this photo-op is a CZ PO-1. If anyone has any idea where to find a decent (LH) holster, please let me know.

Say Uncle bitches about 10 things that drive him nuts. I disagree with him on one important point: I piss into the water even if I am going out on a date. That's what fans are for. Also, if the chick happens to hear you pissing, that is nothing compared to the wrath that will come down on you if you spray the edge.

Check out my brother's site, if you get a chance. I know a lot of you own dogs and the like. I don't. I hate animals. But it seems to me, from my limited experience, gun-owners own dogs.

And I'm sure at some point he can fill you in on the fine art of performing a necrospy:

I wouldn't recommend you ask him what the hell this is.

Enjoy dinner.

Shit, I'm getting quesy.

Eye-Dominance, Parallax, and Len

I tripped over this blog tonight (well Len just left a comment and I check out his site.)

Len has an extremely interesting post about eye-dominance and parallax. Truthfully, it makes no difference to me. I have always been left-handed and left-eye dominant. This makes hardware more expensive and a pain in the ass, but outside of the hot-brass facial treatment that keeps me looking youthful and invigorated, shooting is pretty simple.

I know a guy who has no eye-dominance. He's right-handed, but can shoot anything with both eyes open or either closed. I don't get it, but hey, I'm still trying to figure out whether The Corner is a political blog or an extension of the Enquirer Public Forum.

In any case, give a hearty welcome to Len and his son and daughter, who can shoot better than I can.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

DuToit's Dilemmna (and a little advice)

Kim posted a link today that had nothing to do with guns, but which with I could completely understand.

His point was that he has a major client for which he ignored lesser ones. As time has passed, he believes these people really like him and will continue doing business with him, but there is an accounting SNAFU or whatever.

I read this post this morning and it got me to thinking about a company that fucked me over several years ago. Almost exact same situation: I'd worked for them for years on a contract basis, I knew them and their wives, and always asked how their golf stroke was, even though I couldn't pinch a small turd about the answer. Then they decided that I was too detail oriented and took too much time. Consequently, they told me to ship all of their shit in and that I was done.

Fine. Whatever. The fact that these people were a large portion of my business stung a bit financially, but what pissed me off the most was that these desk-jockies had no problem making the most ludicrous demand upon me and my time. And when I did what they asked, it was endless beaurucratic bullshit. I put up with it because it was a buttload of receivables. What ended up happening was too many eggs in a basket that got dropped out of an airplane, stomped on by roving Wilderbeasts, and runover by the guy who's banging my former...whatever.

Strangely enough, about an hour and a half after I read Kim's post, this self-same company called me up and told me I was the only decent contractor in the whole fucking state. This is a lucrative account and I had to bite my tongue while the words "No Habla Ingles" were welling up in my throat.

I accepted in the end; but with certain understandings. "I am but a humble boy but my story's sad and true," I have traded my pride for more receivables. BUT, and that is a big BUT, I will no longer trust these people, listen to their golf "adventures", or really give a crap about them. When you think about it, my work product will never be as good as it was when I felt some loyalty to them.

So, as far as unsolicited advice, if a company knows they are a contractor's only or biggest client, they will fuck them. Maybe sooner, maybe later, but one ought to watch one's ass. Laissez-Fair economics are what I believe in, but that also means you need the ability to look out for your own ass, because no one else is going to help you in that department.

Nerdy Gun Post

For the record, I have never shot long range. Generally, I stick to hunting and battle rifles that I take out to 200 yards. I'm fine with that.

However, Boomershoot, which will be my first vacation in 5 years, presents a different scenario than what I am used to. I usually think about shooting animals or people at relatively short ranges (250 yards and 10 feet, respectively.)

This long-range business is a bit more than I bargained for.

I've bought 100 rounds of Federal Sierra Gold Match King (165 gr.) to practice with. I'm not positive this is the ammunition I will stick with, but it should be a good start.

Today, I pulled up ballistic charts for the ammo and realized that 800 yards is a far cry from shooting a target at 200 yards when your rifle is sighted to 100.

If anyone knows of a good ballistic or long range scope site that explains some of this crap, please help me.

Not to be Contradictory or Elitist

I appreciate the part blogs played in the CBS scandal. Increasingly, though, their reaction is somewhat masturbatory. Yes, LGF and Powerline played an integral part of the Rathergate mishap. They unraveled what I for one would have ignored anyway. The TexANG scandal was given a good shake-down by Al Gore's campaign in 2000 and I viewed the Kerry version as a weak mixed drink.

Additionally, I don't think most people really gave a crap. The report was not exactly headline news this morning on the Today Show, et. al. Most people are far more interested in why Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston broke up than why Social Security can't last. Tsunamis and mudslides are also far more popular, as human suffering always sells.

I know I am being a bit cynical in a moment where the blogosphere seems to rejoicing. I've yet to read Hugh Hewitt's new book on the significance of blogging.

Individ brought up a salient point the other day. He points out in a post on blogs, that, at best, relevant political blogs are read by about 9% of the population (if you want backup Pew stats, hit his post, because my staff doesn't do that sort of research.) Given, this is probably the same percentage of people who watch Dan Rather. So, at best, 18% of the population even knows WTF is going on. People like my mother don't know and don't care.

So people invested in this "scandal" are a minority at best. I am in no way bagging on the blogs that brought this journalistic SNAFU to the front. They should be complimented for their vigilance.

I just don't see the "blogosphere revolution" as keenly relevant to today's punditry as some people do. Instapundit, Glenn being the root of this online movement and perhaps the biggest blog out there, shows a daily hit count of 152,000. This is applaudable, considering this site fetches about 44 readers a day for the last several months. This, however, is by no means some kind of revolution. 152,000 people is still a meager fraction of the population.

Forgive me, but I think the Onanism and self-importance that blogs have approached the CBS report with is a bit too congratulatory. I think this medium has an influence, a growing one at that, but they're not going to tilt the 2008 election so we should all take a deep breath and quit pretending that NRO's Geraghty is going to transmogrify the face of politics in America.

The guy writes a good blog. Let's leave it at that, for the time being.

UPDATE: Peggy Noonan, who I consider to be one of the better pundits out there, believes the "this changes everything" meme. I don't.

What the hell does your grandmother watch at 6:00 every night? O'Reilley? I doubt it. I bet of Rather's viewership, a larger percentage turns out to vote. You, your brethren, et. al. have to get groceries, go to work, pick up kids, etc. Old people watch TV and vote (and suck up public funds; "Hey let's set up another community center in my district and I'll get re-elected!").

And, yes, old people don't know what blogs are. For that matter, Boomers can't really figure it out.

So this life-changing phenomena called blogs that affect maybe 9% of the population (of which maybe half vote?) is going to sandblast the face of American politics?

I doubt it; at best.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Ninth Circus Rolls On

Unimpeded by classic jurisprudence, the Ninth Circuit reinstated the case against Glock.

Apparently, you are too stupid to handle a Glock. Even though every law officer in your county carries one.

The suit accused manufacturers of deliberately making more guns than the
legitimate market would support and selling them through channels that would
reach a "secondary market'' of private and under-the-table sales, with scanty
background checks. Such a system created easy access for illegal buyers like

So Glock sold handguns too responsible police officers. Those guns were sold off. Somehow a mutant comes into posession of it and it is Glock's fault.

What am I missing?

The ruling cited the suit's allegations that Glock Inc., maker of the 9mm pistol used to shoot Ileto, sold many guns to police that were unsafe for civilians, encouraged early trade-ins and ignored government warnings about high-risk distribution channels. That pattern was followed in the initial sale of the pistol to a police department in Washington state and its ultimate sale by an unlicensed trader to Furrow, the suit alleged.

I understand now. Civilians are ill-prepared to own or carry a "cop gun." Our kind should just stick to revolvers. I don't care how who was killed.

If I truly hated someone, they would be the prey of machete , not a 9mm. It sounds like a crime that deserves punishment, but Glock is...innocent...and they're Glock, for crying out loud.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Tiered Safety

The old man emailed me this story over the weekend. Apparently, hunting is a safer hobby than boating. This didn't surprise me much, as riding the bus to certain neighborhoods is more dangerous than hunting. Hell, eating fast food seems to be the real killing machine in the new millenium.

In any case, it got me to thinking about safety. I generally don't get near boats a whole lot. Every couple of years maybe. But thinking about my previous boat hosts, most of them were 3 sheets to the wind. In fact, outside of my parents when I was young, no one has ever outlined the basics of boat safety, like don't put away a twelve of Budweiser while navigating your family.

Contrast this to shooting. I have never let anyone fire any of my guns without first explaining not only what the NRA rules are, but what my rules are.

I did not shoot when I was young. I grew to the age of 12 in Chicago, so it plain wasn't an option. Once I got to the age of 14, the kinder among you would have considered me a Trotskyite. At the time, I was against the first Gulf War, if that gives you an inkling to how I ranked on the liberal-meter.

My first gun was purchased at the age of 27. It was a Glock 17 (I don't recommend this as your first purchase, BTW.) I was scared shitless of the thing. Luckily, some people I knew took an interest in teaching me about firearms (now I realize that this is common practice. If a newbie shows up at the range, I'll give up the whole afternoon to show him some things.)

The first thing I was taught was to tier safety. In other words, there isn't four arbitrary rules to follow, there are tiers of safety. You have several rules to back up several other rules. The lowest on the chart, of course, is a mechanical safety. Those are there in case you flub every other level of safety there is. They are not, as some people think, the primary safety, but the absolute last in line.

The second gun I bought was a Colt Commander. Pretty nickel finish and all that. I wouldn't recommend this as a first or second gun either.

As I was ignorant, I fell victim to the image of people cocking and uncocking 1911's at will. TV is a bad thing, but is worse if you're ignorant.

One night I decided I'd dry-practiced enough, I was going to start keeping the Commander loaded, but de-cocked. Needless to say, I have holes in my coffee table, entertainment center, carpet, and subfloor to remind me of how dumb I was being.

It took several weeks for me to tell the guy who had been teaching me what a numb-nuts waste of space I had been. His reply was that I didn't have any toes missing or dead people in my house, so I at least had the wherewithal to keep it pointed away from me or anybody else while I executed this particular piece of asininity.

This always reinforced to me that safety isn't an infomercial. "Don't drink and boat" may be a good idea, but it is not a well developed plan for safely using a potentially deadly device. One should set up buffers so that if one set of safeties fail, there is another one to back it up.

Also, one of MY gun rules, is don't try de-cocking a 1911.

Thursday, January 06, 2005


It looks as if I may be going to Boomershoot this year. Joe Huffman seems to be a gregarious host with a wonderful range and an insightful blog.

Kirk has brought this point home again and again and again. Apparently, it is my destiny (although Darth Vader is not my father; really.)

QUESTION: What is the best (or close to) Match .30-06 Ammo?

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

More New York Insanity

Some yahoo on the New York City council penned, presented, and manged to get passed a law basically making gun manufacturers absolutely liable for any injury that occurs from the firearms the manufacturer produces. How the weapon is procured from the FFL and how it makes its way into the hands of criminals is of no bearing to their measure of negligence.

For those of you without legal or insurance background, absolute liability is a real bitch. Certain inherently dangerous items (and these are defined by precedent mostly) are held to a higher standard of care than say, a ladder. Such things include explosives and some other stuff I don't remember. Whereas a construction crew is blasting a tunnel in a mountain and some explosives are discharged unintentionally, the manufacturer of the explosive cannot negotiate or argue that they were %20 at fault and the drunk with the plunger was 80% negligent. Liability is absolute. The manufacturer has to bite the pillow.

That is in essence what Councilman (I wish they called them Alderman like they do in Chicago; that word makes me think guilty, corrupt liberal) David Yassky has accomplished with this well thought-out piece of legislation.

"Starting today, if they don't clean up their act, they're going to face
stiffpenalties in courts of law and have to pay compensation to the victims,"
saidCouncilman David Yassky, the legislation's main sponsor.

What particular act Mr. Yassky feels needs to be cleansed is beyond me. The gun industry is one of the most over-regulated manufacturing sectors there are. So basically what dumbass is saying, and consequently passed into law, is that they should stop plying their trade or charge so much they can pay out enormous settlements. By the time my grandchildren are of age, a run of the mill S&W revolver will cost as much as a fucking Lexus.

The mayor said Wednesday the legislation would "help immeasurably" in
keepingthe city safe and he would sign it into law.

And of course that hard-nosed Republican bastard of a mayor is at the ready with the veto pen. Remind me again why New York even has a Republican party?

Other aspects of the package include a gun safety provision, passed 41-4,
thatincreases the fine from $10,000 to $25,000 for anyone using assault

So if you're thinking about cleaning out your gutters with that Browning .50 caliber, think again. What the hell does "use" mean? Not to get this going, but WTF is an assault weapon again? As far as I know, any federal definition of that term has been expunged.

They passed more asininity, like raising the legal age to purchase a rifle or shotgun from 18 to 21 and prohibiting the purchase of said weapons except at 90 day intervals.

I go back to my San Francisco argument. All of these things passed with an overwhelming majority. If these people actually value any of their rights, they wouldn't vote these assholes into office. You dig your hole, that's where you lie.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The Old Man's early birthday present to himself

As you may know, I have a penchant for "modern arms," while the old man's interests are a bit more historical. The common convergance is 1911's. If we get into an argument about .357 revolvers vs. Glocks, we usually resolve it by agreeing the 1911 was the greatest pistol innovation in the history of the last several centuries. It is the standard upon which all other semi-automatic pistols are based.

In any case, we agreed that we would split the cost of a Win. .22 Magnum lever action rifle as a Christmas gift to the both of us.

Of course, one also has to get oneself a little gift of his own. This is no secret in my family. As such, today the old man ordered an Auto-Ordanance M1 Thompson:

We are utilizing a kitchen table FFL for the first time and (knock on wood) this might be the way to go to avoid all the gunstore bullshit.

I'm going to see how the sale goes and then score myself the USP I've been blabbing about for months:

The Thompson we anticipate in about 10 days and the FFL is about 2 minutes away from the office.

The new year is looking pretty sweet, so far (knock on wood.)

No Sex Calendar

For the new year I prefer a StackedandPacked or Dillon Aero calendar.

My father was looking for a calendar that was based on guns but excluded gratutious busts (not the classical kind.)

If anybody has a lead on a none-babe gun calendar, suggestions would not only be welcome but appreciated.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Vacation update

Kirk at Limpidity has finally posted his travel plans. He is doing Boomershoot up in Idaho, which I had recently mentioned in my wacko vacation line-up.

As yet, I have made no plans, committments or promises as far as the vacation season. In the business I'm in, it is very hard to predict what the hell will happen a few months off.

Definitely check out the Boomershoot link (shit explodes!!!) and Joe's blog is definitely worth the time.

Bitchy, whiny post

One of the more underappreciated blogs is Posse Incitatus. His commentary is spot on, but I never see any links to the guy. As such, he's being added to the blogroll. He has bitched about this, and I understand.

Additionally, Jeff at Alphecca has recently gotten pissed. I mean really, really pissed. Apparently, people are dropping him. His response includes the f-word and I totally understand.

For me, I don't understand the politics of blogrolls, and doubt I ever will. To take a page out of Jeff's book, fuck 'em, I guess.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

This one is a beaut

I've covered the proposed "ban" to curb the ever-growing "knife culture" (as if they have clubs, weekend activities, or youth programs). Jeff at Alphecca has also covered this and I think Kevin at Smallest Minority has pretty much debunked the entire idea.

Well I had missed this little nugget until the old man had sent me the BBC's top "crap we didn't know about a year ago" list. Assailing the BBC for its asininity all around is piling on, but this made their number one factoid.

Apparently the proposed "knife control" our cousins across the pond are considering would include potato peelers.

This sounds like some of the retarded crap the TSA was trying to pull after 9/11, where old ladies were having their knitting needles confiscated. The difference being, of course, that the madness then was restricted to people who wanted to fly. This would be a ban on people carrying potato peelers to the mall.

Mr Blunkett also announced measures to include as banned weapons other
implements police say are used in street fights, such as potato peelers or

They are considering implementing airport-type security at malls and such. The article features two photographs: 1) a big, scary looking bayonet and 2) some dumbass getting off of an escalator at a mall.

Now I think a smart, British, homicidal maniac would have a better chance of killing someone by sending them directly to the first story of the mall and bypassing the escalator. After all, those ceramic tile floors are pretty hard.

But has anyone seriously researched how many times a person can be stabbed by a potato peeler before succumbing to the hereafter? Sounds like work for the British academia.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

SSN and the "Boomers"

A reaction to the old man's post.

I will give that much of liberalism and idiotarianism cannot be blamed on his generation. The generation before created the Social Security Program. Our generation is stupid enough to buy that the ice caps are melting while Gore is giving a global warming speech on the coldest day in New York City in 50 years.

I'll also give him that voter turnout is worse in our age group than it was for theirs when they were in the same demographic. I agree with Goldberg that low voter turnout for the college-age folk is a good thing. So it was a bad thing that all of those hippies voted back in the day. Logical, no?

Thirdly, you cannot blame the Great Society or the New Deal on the Boomers. FDR and LBJ were born a long time before my parents were. Mostly this can be blamed on the lame economic theory that many political decisions were made with.

That being said, the generation that holds power has to have some accountability. And outside of Bush's strident pursuit of the terrorists, their's is a pretty meager record. They are responsible for increased divorce rates, dissolution of the family (obviously I'm not talking about my own), affirmative action, racializing everything, feminzing everthing, the peace movement, radical liberalism, and hippies. I stress HIPPIES.

I can't run for Senator or President because of my age. I am precluded, Constitutionally. I don't have a problem with this, but that draws lines as far as what generation is accountable for what, in stark, demographic numbers.

The only other response I have is judging the young adult generation prematurely. Yes, Gates and Bush have had much success and made fundamental changes to the way we view the world. Kirk over at Limpidity, brought up the point that we may be the first generation in the history of this country that are not better off, economically, than the preceding one was. There are arguments that we are lazy and selfish, but one can't deny that the tax burden on us is cumbersome compared to our grandparents; and when the "Boomers" retire, that tax rate will become punitive.

Compromise is needed on the Social Security issue. Only greedy AARP types can deny that. Split the difference. Shut it down. We can't blame each other (especially conservatives and libertarians) about the hole that has been dug. It has not gone back one generation, but probably three. What chaps my ass is 55 year old people who won't compromise. If their benefits will be cut by 2% they freak the fuck out. An open and honest discouse is needed on this matter, and my feeling is, let's write off what we have paid into it and they can take a 50% cut.

End of my response.

Individ had very good response, him being a "Boomer" himself, to the "Goading" post.

Update: Zendo Deb also has an interesting perspective on this. Of course, none of us are economists, but I can balance my checkbook, which I think Krugman has to outsource.

"Boomers" Catch Crap Every Time

Comment from the "Old Man" - "Boomer" and proud of it.

I just get tired of "boomers" getting blamed for everything - social security, global warming, liberalism, the sad state of income tax, the great society, the Viet Nam War, pollution, obesity, smoking, the poor public education system, to anything else wrong you can think of.

I do know that us "boomers" put together the most successful and abundant economy in the history of the world. That our total tax burden and the price of gasoline is less than damn near any other developed coutry. It was "boomer" Bush that formulated the historic reaction to 9/11 and, won two wars in record time with few casulaties. It was "boomer" Gates that gave us the computer revolution that enables me to say these words. It was "boomer" Limbaugh that re-invented talk radio. It was "boomers" that invented rock and roll, the Big Mac, the cell phone, the transister, the computer chip, the mico wave oven, the AR-15, etc. And the list goes on (if you think about it, you can come up with some).

All the non "boomers" (with the exception of the troops in the military) basically sit on the sidelines and bitch about the state of the world. Just look at the under 30 stats voting in the last election. I would really like to see some of them looking forward instead of constantly looking backward in order to blame things on someone else.

End of rant.

Blogroll additions

I've made three additions to the blogroll. Two of which are way overdue (Individ and Texican Tattler.) The third one (TenRing) is brand spanking new and only has a couple of posts up, but I like it, so I added it. Check them out, they are all worth reading.

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