October 2007 | NOVEMBER 2007 | December 2007
1649 - Thursday, 1 November 2007: Bleh, long after-work at the laundromat and such, not loading more cartridges tonight - mammoth session tomorrow and, since I'm not going to the match this Saturday, maybe more Saturday morning before going for practice, and if the Mosin stuff doesn't get loaded I just won't take the Mosin to the AvA. I have the Mauser rounds done so I can shoot the Axis side and I will use the Queen in both matches next weekend. Still priming '06 brass in fact - I have so much....

Email backing up too.

"I cannot live without books." - Thomas Jefferson -I'm about 1/3 through Dalmas' Soldiers, which is very much my flavor, but the library hold system finally coughed up the fourth volume in Drake's Leary series, The Way to Glory, and I dived right into it at the laundromat, yum.

Another thing: I was smart enough, before departing for the laundromat and library, to begin - on dialup - an actual Windows update, which appears to have worked. At work the (XP) box has automatic updates turned on and when logging off at end-of-shift, policy is to choose "Install updates and shut down" when updates are available - but work has a way faster connection and is a way faster box anyway. I surf a lot between calls, and though some domains are blocked (notably every video file yet encountered) I can read my own site, WoG, Yuri, and several others. So that's what it's like to have a modern computer.... I can't do file transfers from work though, due to the aforementioned Dire Consequences for USB drive possession and the like. And though I haven't had occasion to try, word is the USB ports on the cubicle boxes may be disabled.

1650 - Friday, 2 November 2007: Bleh. Work. Friday. Traffic. Too pooped to call Evil Government Institution for the return of my property, will call Monday.

On the upside my last call of the day, though it was another icky network call, turned out to be with One of Us, and while waiting for things to download and install we chatted of arms.

Blech, afteraffects of the bug - coughy/wheezy. Getting old I guess. Of course I'm not getting as much exercise since I stopped bicycling. Except isometrics from stress I guess. Furthermore I'm probably using my vocal cords more in the past month than in the previous six.

Public schools? Uh huh.

Meh. Did 83 rounds of '06 and stopped because: a) that's how many plain multi-fired LC cases I had processed (as opposed to Match, once-fired, civilian, or Greek); b) that's still enough for the Allied side of the AvA and 28 rounds left for sighting in tomorrow (plus 6 left over from the last batch months ago); c) that just about perfectly used the partial pound of BL-C(2) (the last few charges weighed as the measure neared emptiness) and my next pound is a different lot number; and d) I'm expecting to be issued CMP rounds, and required to use them, in the Garand match at the other club the day after the AvA. Not taking the Mosin tomorrow, and maybe not the Hawken either. But despite poopedness and sundry distractions I made a temporary sufficiency of Garand fodder. And I still have over 100 rounds of CMP LC72 and a full can of corrosive Korean.

I think that's the first time I used "meh" in over five years of 'blogging.

1651 - Saturday, 3 November 2007: Zzzz. And now the bug seems done. After ejecting a few more ounces of phlegm.

Drake writes the kind of book you just can't resist reading in bed, even when you have work in the morning. Interesting. Depite the (sometimes-)softer-than-I-like science.

Aaand I forgot to use the Lee factory crimp die on the '06 rounds, but I'm not in a hurry this weekend for a change so I'm doing it before I leave. In fact, all I have to crimp is the 28 practice rounds; since the other 55 are completed I can crimp then at leisure as long as I get them done in the next week.

Grunt. Looks like I have a ball powder load for the Mosin after all. If I'd checked my own notes I'd've got a pound of H380 instead of IMR4064 and maybe made some Mosin rounds anyway. 4064 is such a pain to handle, because it doesn't meter well; the long sticks bind in my RCBS measures, and I sold my Lee Perfect measure, which worked with 4064 but was not accurate enough for my taste. Maybe I'll donate the pound as a drawing prize at the Turkey Shoot this year. -And this comes up now because Yuri considers experimenting with H4895, which is a shorter stick which meters better but still not well. I have some IMR4895 from early in Garand load development and I might try some Mosin experiments with it. Anyway I did get Mauser rounds made, and I can whip out more Garand rounds any time (though the POI might be different with a different lot of powder and being made on a different day/phase-of-the-moon/whatnot), so I don't really need the Mosin for the upcoming matches.

Not taking the Hawken, then I'd have to clean it. Nice enough weather though, a bit of Indian Summer. (Ooo, politically incorrect! I'm sure the Sioux/Cherokee blood is going to leap right out of my chest and call the ACLU on me any moment! Whiny snivelling chronically-indignant mutter grump....)

Arrive about 12:30, no sign of the match at all, only a handful of cars in the lot - just the way I like it for serious practice. Chatting with other members, including the activities director; I'm on the committee for the Turkey Shoot, as last year (I expect to be running the 2x4 action-handgun shoot, as last year, based on the tournament format I use in the plate match), and there's a meeting on the 17th, which just got rescheduled because I told the guy I'll be at the Wolverton bowling pin shoot that day, so the meeting time is being pushed back until I expect to be done.

Allllrightythen. Garand, bench, 100yds, 1-inch grid:

And 200, MR52, with a 4" Leatherman SideClip for scale:

And the match targets will be the more-generous SR series. That oughta do. Gods I love this rifle. Get yer own. High Praise and Great Blessings upon Tucson Tom! FWIW, from the last batch's recorded sight settings, I went up one click and added one click of windage, which I then took off again. Awesome weapon. Another thing: 49.0gr BL-C(2) does not use the full capacity of a .30-06 case, even military brass - quite a lot of empty space still, maybe a quarter inch below the bottom of the shoulder. Yet there were no ignition problems and you can see the accuracy. Not mucking with this load, eh?

The VZ, OTOH, did not as well - but still acceptable. 49.0gr W748 uses more of a Mauser case but still enough room to easily avoid powder compression. The Hornady #3232 was seated to the cannelure, but not crimped. At 100, inch grid, through the scope (kinda fond of the camera my sister gave me too):

And at 200 on the MR52:

Actually that's pretty good, considering the condition of the bore, the heavier recoil compared to the Queen, the fact that I haven't fired this rifle for at least a year, and the fact that this rifle is not the Queen. The MojoVZ also has a Timney trigger and that is very nice - better than the Queen in fact. I guess the (less-expensive) Hornady bullets will do too. And here's a photo of the VZ with eee-vill bayonet fixed (bonus points in the match next weekend - I tried the M5A1 bayonet for a couple rounds with the Queen, and she still grouped, but POI was 3-4MOA high even with the rear sight bottomed out - and without the bayonet the Queen, with 4 clicks up from bottom, does 2MOA at POA at 100yds - not using the bayonet on the Queen in this match):

When I sold rifles to my readers I included bayonets with some, including a long P.1907 with the Ishapore, but I kept some for myself. :) There are also bonus points in the AvA for longest (and shortest) rifle/bayonet combination, but at least one shooter (who was also practicing today) is likely to bring a Mosin 91/30, and if he has the socket bayonet for it, it will win.

Yuri arrived about half an hour after me and I let him use up the last four practice rounds from the Queen, two each at 100 and 200 - not spectacular, probably he's perceiving the sight picture differently, not uncommon for that to happen. But then I put him on the VZ, with Mojo dual-aperture sights, and he did significantly better - on an MR31 at 100:

And another MR31 at 200, the last three rounds:

So what's going to happen is, since Yuri was having trouble with his Mosin 91/30 (sights, trigger, and surplus or Wolf ammunition), he'll be using my VZ in the AvA, and I just emailed the match director to ask him to put me in the 1st relay, so Yuri can watch, 'cause he hasn't done this kind of rifle match before, and Yuri in the 2nd relay so I can coach (therefore I only get one relay this year, but as you can see I have a great deal of confidence in the Queen at the moment). If Yuri gets enough dry (and position) practice with his Mosin in the next week, and then transitions to the more-user-friendly Mauser, he has a fair chance of medalling in the usually-underpopulated Axis side. Later he'll seek a Mojo for his Mosin.

After the range, burgers with Yuri, then Sportsman's Warehouse. Remember the Johnny Reb capgun? A reader asked me to grab one and send it to him. Trés un-PC and all. That will be on the way soon.

Primers: after chatting at the club I got the idea to add more primers to the future/when-I-have-a-chrono-again experiment. I won't use any "benchrest" or "match" primers but today I did get a tray of Remington #9½ - that will make six. SW was out of Federal large rifle but I can probably get those at Bi-Mart. -Except I don't want to use known-to-be-more-sensitive Federal in a Garand, hm, I might just not.

And yes, Federal primers are known to be more sensitive. Yuri's GP100 has Lots of Action Work Done, such that he doesn't get good ignition with anything but Federal. I've told him to get a heavier mainspring for it - that will take away from the action job some, but then he'd be able to use more loads.

In the Our Tax Dollars at Work department, I observed this, at 6:20pm, Saturday 3 November, in the parking lot of the Sportsman's Warehouse in Vancouver (Orchards), WA:

Uh huh. At these gas prices, what is a taxpayer-maintained Portland city vehicle doing at a shopping center, on Saturday night, in another bloody state? Well, as phrased, self-answering I guess. *&^% bureaucrats, stealing from us in so many ways it's hard to keep track.

Reader sends super-gadgety wristwatch. ...Yeah, want.

Reader sends BDA (sort of - more like bulldozing evidence at Waco) on the Israeli strike in Syria, which Syria is Still Not Talking About. Hmm.

My last rant about blueshirts might have seemed harsh to some, perhaps especially the bit about coerced confessions, fabricated evidence, etc. Let me rub the badgeboys' noses in this, from the latest online version of Gun Week:

Cop Charged in Murder Plot

From the "Only Cops Should Have Guns" file comes the story of a Chicago policeman who may not have been one of the city's finest, as he has been charged in a plot to hire a gunman to kill a former officer thought to have been helping a joint federal-state probe of the Chicago Police Department.

According to The Chicago Tribune, Jerome A. Finnigan was arrested by FBI agents at his home Sept. 26. He allegedly was recorded talking about hiring a professional hit man or even a street gang banger to do the hit. The conversation was recorded by a fellow officer who is reportedly now cooperating with authorities in the probe.

This isn't Finnegan's only problem, the newspaper reported. He already faces charges relating to alleged robberies and kidnappings as part of a unit originally designated to deal with drug trafficking and gang violence.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that the Chicago Police Department may have other dirty laundry, with a report of an investigation by federal prosecutors that homicide detectives gained murder confessions by torturing suspects in the 1980s.

I'm not making this stuff up, folks. See also fellow blueshirt-basher David Codrea's sentiments on similar news items. Where are the good cops condemning the bad ones? Can they be found next to "moderate Muslims"? They seem about as rare.

1652 - Sunday, 4 November 2007: Zzz. And Daylight Savings Time for bonus Zz.

From the lists, not least VCDL: Open Carry in Utah; Trigger-Happy Blueshirt (hey, what about the Lautenberg Amendment for domestic violence convictions? If one of us had loosed a round we'd be in jail and likely roughed up - but noooo, no, not someone who wears the Magic Badge!); and here's something from today's VCDL alert worth posting in its entirety:

12. Abusive entrapment?

Member Ed Johnson, who typifies the various police officers who are members of VCDL because of his justified pride of service to the community and his respect for our civil rights, sent me this email:


As a former police officer, I am angered at the Nazi-type tactics being used to trap gun carriers. In my police days, the concept of using a minor violation as a tool for investigating another offense, when no probable cause existed, was considered to be abusive. In some instances, courts ruled the practices illegal.

When police officers (who are supposed to serve their fellow citizens) are taught to use minor offenses as a guise for trapping citizens, their tactics often lead to illegal activity on the part of police officers. The questionable tactics lead officers to believe it is reasonable to do whatever they want as long as the ends justify the means.

An example of this attitude is in some of the southern states along interstate 95 where sheriff deputies along the "drug corridor" use any slight infraction to justify a traffic stop and then a search of the car. Too many innocent persons carrying large sums of money have the funds confiscated until they can prove the money is not the product of drug trafficking.

How can anyone prove they are not a drug dealer? When I was a very young man with a wife and daughter, I would carry several hundred dollars with me when we went on vacation. Why? Because back then on a police officer's salary, it was extremely difficult to qualify for a credit card. Since I carried money instead of credit cards, would that be considered probable cause that I was a drug dealer?

I have always believed that it is the responsibility of the police to prove a crime, not for a citizen to have to prove his innocence. When police use underhanded tactics to stop and detain citizens, they become a law unto themselves and they lose the reality of why they became police officers, or at least why the community needs and wants police. When law-abiding citizens become afraid of the police, they lose the valued support they need.

It should also be mentioned that many people do not know of their right to refuse a search of their persons or property. In many situations, people are afraid of the police and agree to do whatever the police want for fear that they will be assaulted.

Many years ago, I arrested a man for burglary and later, after he confessed, I found that he was innocent. His attorney who knew me well, came to me and told me that his client was innocent and asked me to talk to him again. The attorney not only permitted me to talk to his client, but wanted me to do so. When I asked the man why he confessed, he told me that he was afraid of me and thought that if he did not confess, he would be beaten or worse. Because I knew the attorney so well, and knew him to be an honest man, an innocent man was set free. I can tell you that I felt terrible that a citizen on the street was scared of me simply because I was a police officer. [emphasis added]

I believe in our Constitution, and that all of us are entitled to its protections. I believe that a police officer has a sacred duty to use his authority only in honorable ways and that when he finally retires, he should be able to look back proudly and take comfort that he did his best to do what was right.

Today, I look back and, while there were mistakes that I made, I can proudly say that I was an honest cop and I protected the integrity of the badge I wore. When I take that old badge out today, I am glad that I had the opportunity to serve my community and my country. I am proud that I never cheated anyone, and that badge is the finest medal I could ever possess.

So... the only good cop is an ex-cop from a previous generation?

Quotes o' the Day:

When the last deer disappears into the morning mist,
When the last elk vanishes from the hills,
When the last buffalo falls on the plains,
I will hunt mice for I am a hunter and I must have my freedom.
- Chief Joseph, Nez Perce Tribe.
Make yourselves sheep, and the wolves will eat you. - Benjamin Franklin

Also going 'round the lists; Obama not putting his hand on his heart during the National Anthem? Snoped, True.

The Chicago PD cesspool mentioned yesterday is already WoGged.


Reloading... it seems to me that some folks Don't Get It. You have to be consistent. You can't just use some o' this and some o' that and expect to get decent groups. You need to get all your stuff together first and make big batches, without interruption or distraction, all at once, under the same conditions. Don't leave the stuff laying about for hours either! Get it done, don't dawdle! Which is why, when making the Mauser and Garand rounds last week, I made batches bigger than were needed for the upcoming matches; I made them rather quickly, consistent with safe practices, so the powder had as little time as possible to be contaminated by humidity or anything else; set aside the number of rounds needed for the match; and got live-fire practice with the remainder of the same batch made at the same time, recording sight settings, so I can use the same stuff at the same distances in competition.

Same with factory and surplus rounds - you can't use Batch X in practice and Batch Y in competition and expect to do well. It doesn't work that way! Every load will have different performance and a different point of impact. Anything else is coincidence. That's also why I'm still using up the 5.6gr W231 .357 batch I made months ago, 'cause at the time I just sat down and kept making it, all in one session, 'til I ran out of components - and I buy projectiles in boxes of 500 and primers in bricks of 1,000. I don't know how many times I've seen people trying to compete, rifle or handgun, grabbing random rounds and stuffing them into their weapon, then wondering why they couldn't hit anything. Of course they're probably not really practicing anyway.

Furthermore, when developing a load, you carefully make small test batches first, and then you actually test them, recording as much information as possible - then when you find a load that works well you make a huge quantity of it. Which is exactly what I did with .357 (though it later turns out that load still has ignition problems; but as I've already 'blogged, I've developed another load to fix it).

Now I know, many people - occasionally myself included - will push the .38/.357 revolver, saying, "use .38s for practice and keep it loaded with .357s for defense". But that kind of advice is usually directed toward not-really-gunfolk who want something for the nightstand but are still, really, afraid it will crawl out of the drawer and shoot them in their sleep; someone who might fire half a box in two years, if that; someone who, if they ever need to fire, will likely do so at very close range where these considerations of accuracy and consistency do not apply. But a rifle match at 200 yards? Even a bowling pin at seven? "Speed is fine, accuracy is final." Yuri relates a story of talking with a blueshirt on his side of the river, and Yuri asked him what load he carried in his service pistol. The answer? "Uh, [caliber designation only]." And cops wonder why they can't hit anything and we ridicule them for it. We know better. Or should. We're gunfolk dammit!


Another quote: "How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessness. How unnatural. How cheap. How cowardly. How pathetic. Only a coward would want fewer good guys with guns on the street in today’s world. Only a fool would support - much less design - such a policy of helplessness." - Ted Nugent

Ah, peering at the witness marks on the receiver, actually I did leave that one click of windage on the Queen, compared to the last batch of handloads. And I will have to make another batch just in case; I've emailed the guy at the other club asking if I can use handloads and just keep the CMP rounds included in the match fee. The next batch of Garand rounds will be just the same as this one except, I'll have made it on a different day with a different jug of powder so I shouldn't be surprised if they go somewhere else. But the match includes five sighters and if I can't adjust, with a Garand with the Best Rear Sight Evarr, with five rounds, then I'm not a Rifleman.

Ahem, finally getting around to adjusting the M16 reload sequence in this excerpt from my SF story.

1653 - Monday, 5 November 2007: Gaah. Software tool Not Bloody Working. But I finally got a Vista wifi installation to actually (mostly) work! Astounding!

After, I ordered year-end championship trophies for the Plate Match. Between calls at work I had surfed onto this outfit, and a bit more research revealed that they have a store not far out of the way of my daily commute, so rather than fuss with their web ordering system to get the engraving right I just went there and ordered the things. I expect to pick them up in two weeks, meaning I should even have them in time to display in this month's plate match before awarding them next month. I got small ones, really, but still snazzy I think.

Then I had other errands to run on my side of town and by that time it was past regular working hours and again I didn't call the Evil Government Institution for the return of my property. Which is probably still being held as evidence anyway. Calling tomorrow.

Quote o' the Day: "If we desire to insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War." - George Washington (fifth annual address to Congress, 13 December 1793)

1654 - Tuesday, 6 November 2007: Another emotionally unstable caller with wholly unrealistic expectations of common warranty practices.

Another wireless Vista install, and while I was waiting on the other line for some extra help the customer somehow got it working. :-/ I've been pestering for hands-on training for this particular issue for weeks now and it's supposed to be on the way - I'm far from the only one affected.

Phone Evil Government (redundant, yes)... left message.

Yuri 'blogs his match preparations. I may have browbeat him some. :) But seriously, if you haven't done it before it can be hard, so if you don't suck at it you get warmfuzzies.

...Packing a box of LC72, with which I hope to sight in after the AvA, expecting to be required to use similar ammunition in the Garand match the next day. But also preparing to make as many more handloads as components allow (140-something based on one lot of powder).

1655 - Wednesday, 7 November 2007: Ye... gods. Last call of the day, an immigrant, from India or that region, even more incomprehensible than the "techs" at the India call center who are complained of by the other customers I get. After at least half an hour just trying to navigate through his hard drive to find a file, he puts his daughter on - and she speaks English, mostly, but has nearly no clue how to use a computer (not that the other guy did either). What was I in a previous incarnation, a redcoat?

Leaving work, the on-site rent-a-thug was seen prowling the parking lot with a digital camera, taking photos of cars parked an inch or so over a line. Power and control, no matter how petty, spiteful, or useless, that's all that kind can think of.

Back to hovel, message from DDA: as expected (a pessimist can only be pleasantly surprised), trial set back to the 19th, suggested I call on the 30th. -Hey, at least this one calls back. The first one rarely did. (-I wonder if she was a quota hire...?)

Laundry, library and groceries. Went a bit nuts at Grocery Outlet - got the second shrimp ring (one for a reader donation, one for my birthday from my sister). Stopped at a dollar store on the way back and went a little nuts there too, getting 4x6" photo frames for the award certificates I print for the regular plate match prizes each month - it's getting hard to find enough that a) match and b) are appropriately designed.

Local ARCO Regular $3.03. One isolated 76 station near library clinging to $2.99. I'll pay - not giving up the car.

Email is behind.

1656 - Thursday, 8 November 2007: I think I just had a... satisfying... day at... work. [scratching head] Is that supposed to happen? First, I had two wireless calls that were not complete disasters, or much of any other kind for that matter; call volume was low generally; the annoying person in the next cube, constantly giggling and thumping the floor or wall, was off today; and the last call of the day, long though it was, not only was resolved to the satisfaction of the customer (and my own standards) but resulted in a Significant Chunk of RevGen (revenue generation) to my credit.

Now watch the place burn down overnight. Or the Corolla will explode. Or the place will burn down as a result of the Corolla exploding. A pessimist can only be pleasantly surprised.

Finished The Way to Glory, swell action with Depth of Character, immediately starting the fifth and latest volume in Drake's RCN series, Some Golden Harbor. Next volume, When the Tide Rises, due out next year.

Reading latest Shotgun News, article on G43. They talk about production figures, design features, comparisons to the M1 and SVT40, details of deployment... and they Didn't? Bloody? Shoot it? The heck?

Also in this issue, volume 61, issue 31, page 95, full-page ad from ArmaLite: "...has again been awarded a multi-year contract to supply the Illinois State Police a special version of the ArmaLite M15 Carbine." Compare to Ronnie Barrett. No ArmaLite products for me. Yuri called for a boycott of California by the entire firearms industry after SchwarzenRINO signed microstamping and a lead ban into useless unConstitutional law; I call for wider action.

I have 151 pieces of LC Match '06 brass fully processed; a pound of BL-C(2) makes 140-something rounds; I have more than that many Hornady #3037 projectiles. As soon as the little heater fans get the hovel up to a reasonable temperature I'll start an ebook download from Wowio or something, then sit down for a big batch of M2 Ball-equivalent.

Cruffler sends, titled "The Real Miss America":

Reader sends:

Tuesday Turner Classic Movie channel had a marathon of "Man from U.N.C.L.E." episodes and I caught a few. I was too young to want to see it as a kid and my parents weren't fans so I didn't see much of it then.

It did make me a little nostalgic for the time when a thinking person could honestly believe in a benevolent and effective UN organization. Other than that, god it was lame. The Thrush villains seemed to be illustrating 'what not to do' for one of those Evil Overlord lists, and the heroes were doing the same for the Good Guy lists. When Thrush thugs showed up their outfits varied from scene to scene but they were always dressed identically making them look like they just stepped off the set of "Batman". Finally tactics sucked. I hate to think of how many times Thrush thugs showed up armed with M1 carbines and instead of forming into 2 or 3 squads to take advantage of their longer range and greater firepower and overwhelm the pistol armed heroes with fire and movement, they charge en masse taking heavy casualties then drop their weapons at close quarters in order to fight hand to hand.

Also, all those M1 carbines. I understand that at that time blank adapted M1s were cheap and easily available in the prop shops, but couldn't they have at least changed the outline by adding some appliques to the furniture?

Quote o' the Day: "It is only the warlike power of a civilized people that can give peace to the world." - Theodore Roosevelt

In the September 2007 Guns & Ammo magazine, a couple rants: an article on reloading 7.62x39mm, using .308 bullets in a .308 bore. Who the heck has that? Mini-30, yes, but I repeat, who the heck has that? -I've read that CZ offers some handy little bolt-actions in x39 - anyone know the bore diameter for those? (Insert rant on Sierra using .308 bullets for their load data for the 7.62x54R.) And, the Walther PPS, with a photo on page 65 of the magazine catch - and I'm thinking, the magazine isn't the only thing it will catch! Who designs this stuff? And do they ever set foot outside their cubicle and away from their CAD workstation?

Techno-geek reader sends super-duper-capacitors.

Okay, what I did was, I had dumped the dregs of the other can of BL-C(2) into the new one with a different lot number, then I rolled and rotated that can to thoroughly mix the contents. Then, weighing charges frequently, and every one of the last fifteen or so, I somehow ended up with 194 rounds, the last 43 in HXP brass which I had partly processed already. And that oughta last a couple minutes. Crimping later, whew. But that batch should take me at least partly into next year's match season.

At this rate, and with this income, it may indeed be time to invest in a taller progressive press, like the Lee Loadmaster (which is sold in .30-06 so I know it'll reach). Hmm. I'll keep an eye on the sales - Natchez in particular often has it, and I get their flyers. Since I have dies already, and can rig an RCBS measure over the press with the wooden stand as I used to, I can save some money by getting just the bare press, and the appropriate shellplate.

1657 - Friday, 9 November 2007: Less satisfying. Some customers seem to expect a magic wand.

What is it with customers that sound stoned? -Oh, right, the ones who don't, don't call tech support....

What is it with employees, in a telephone call center, who cannot grasp the concept of BEING BLOODY QUIET?

And another thing! What is it with oblivious doofi moseying through the cube farm and NOT LOOKING WHERE THEY'RE BLOODY GOING? Talk about two-legged prey animals! Totally lacking in situational awareness! Condition White all the effing time! Of course many of these are the multiple-facial-piercing type; many would be physically incapable of walking 500 meters (much less running 100) without requiring medical attention; and several fit both descriptions. And here I was feeling old and out-of-shape.

Seriously though, this job does have the potential to make one physically unfit. You sit in a chair all day with snacks in the drawer next to you. I'll have to give this some thought.

And then there's the last call of the day, a sweet little old lady who barely knows what a computer is. And the thing just refuses to work when it should go right in and I'm trying to navigate her through this and that and it's taking, I kid you not, about ten minutes for her to just get the USB cable plugged in.

On one end. I'm sitting there in my ¼ cube with a USB cable in my hand describing it do her. And Another Thing! When this poor sweet lady bought the thing, the particular model did not come with a USB cable and no one at the store told her it needed one so she had to go back there, and then they sold her some funky retractable (and doubtless more expensive) laptop-style thing that is probably not carrying the load, so she's taking that one back and getting a conventional cable (I hope) and we'll try again Monday.

And nearly every counter critter at every office supply store on the continent is now extremely fortunate that duelling has been outlawed. >:-[

Well. Overtime pay, and traffic sucked far less than expected.

Busy weekend. Bed early!

1658 - Saturday, 10 November 2007: Quote o' the Day: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." - Thomas Jefferson (letter to William Stephens Smith, 13 November 1787) - Reference: Jefferson: Writings, Peterson ed., Library of America (911)

And that's what I'm training for on this Match Day! Met Yuri at the show, blitzed through it with no money on me (which was probably ju$t as well, ya know) (saw a handsome .50 percussion, longer than my Hawken, non-anachronistically styled, and a reader donated some .50 ML stuff that I was supposed to sell for gas money but no one bought it and now I have a job...) (and heaps of ~$100 .22LR subversion rifles). The honcho of the show brought his laptop and one of these, in which I am considering investing. Readers have sent me instructions to build such as well, and there are many manufactured models to choose from; I have several relevant URLs bookmarked but am gumption-challenged. Then I hit the road, stopping at a bank for match fee cash, fuel cash for after, and to use my reserve can 'cause I had to (refilled it and the car after the match).

To the club! I feared the weather but it turned out rather nice, Indian Summer continuing. The temperature difference between last weekend and this did however cause a change in POI, but the Garand is a swell rifle and a couple clicks quickly compensated. The real disappointment, though, was the amazingly low turnout of only eight shooters! And I posted the thing on an area email list twice in the past week! I see why Fred is always grumping about folks not getting off the couch.

(I took the helmet and cartridge belt off before shooting.) And how did I do? With Mr. R. and Mr. E present, 4th or 5th overall; match results forthcoming from the director. 336/2X of a possible 450. But: some explanations regarding the course of fire are in order.

The first stage was a conventional slow prone, 15 shots in 15 minutes, worst five thrown out for sighters. The different weather caused a different POI (high), so instead of clicking the sight I held low - a bit too low actually, as I had a rather nice group for most of that stage, but still the majority were in the black and I got 91/0 on a standard SR target at 200yds:

The next stage was rapid prone, two strings of five in 30 seconds each, starting in position and loading off the clock. The first string was quite nice (for rapid fire) (and actually I fired quite rapidly); the second sucked more, as can be seen, for a total of 87/1X:

The third stage was slow standing at 100 on the SR1, but there were five sighters from prone allowed, and the worst of the total of fifteen were counted as sighters. My official result was 88/1X, but guess which ones I fired from prone and which from standing:

Peering at this photo (thanks again for the camera, sis - getting all kinds of use from it) and thinking back, if I throw out the real sighters I actually scored about 62/0.

The fourth stage was rapid prone at 100, on a paper target with ten bowling pin shapes, rather smaller than life. 15 shots in 105 seconds, 10 points per hit, and only two hits per pin counted. In consolation most of the field did poorly here; I got 70 of a possible 150:

Therefore, counting actual shots for score on conventional targets I figure I scored 240 of 300, for 80.0%, which isn't so bad. Anyhow! My failure to medal had nothing whatever to do with any shortcoming of the rifle or ammunition; I just wasn't that good today. In fact, during slow standing, I was jerking, and when I peered through the scope I saw holes in the paper exactly where I felt I had jerked them to. Nothing wrong with the rifle. And the competition was rather stiff - I didn't know a #1MkIII SMLE could shoot like that. (Overall winner Mr. R. got 100 in slow prone, and so did 2nd Overall Mr. E. with his Garand.)

I'm sending Yuri some photos too, and he took several with my camera which I'll be sending to the club newsletter. Eventually, on dialup.

Reader points out Islamic Terrorists Attack School, Murder Children - and crickets chirp on MSM.

And schoolteachers are not allowed to defend themselves or their students in places known to be targeted for mass murder and terrorism: armed teacher updates from WoG, MSM, local MSM, Newsmax, and OFF. And I just sent more money to OFEF, 'cause I'm not allowed to call the head of the Oregon Educational Association to the Field of Honor.

Paid bills online too, caught up. Rent should not be a problem, for a change. Mailing club dues as well.

Speaking of the camera sis gave me, when last I overspent at Grocery Outlet I grabbed, for ten bucks, a ChiCom USB card reader - sis also included a brand-name one with the camera - and the new one works also, so the one sis gave me remains plugged into my tower for use when I email match and other photos around as I often do (or just process them for here), while the new one is in the laptop bag. I'm also informed that a new power switch for the Vaio is being donated by the original donor (I never got off my butt and ordered one myself or took it in for service). I have three xD memory cards for the camera: 16Mb (came with, quit using after I got the), 256Mb (usually use) and 1Gb. The various uses are obvious; furthermore both card readers are multi-format. Of course I also have a 2Gb USB drive, but the one I have won't work with Win98; the card reader(s) are supposed to and the one sis gave me definitely does. So, if I have to suck files off or pump files into some machine in the field somewhere, I'm prepared, though juggling may be necessary.

In other news, in training I was given to expect having to work 26 December, when everyone opens their Christmas presents and no one knows how to use them; word is I may be working Christmas anyway. Thanksgiving, unknown at this time. ...Eh, I've never been a big holiday celebrant anyway. As long as I get my Saturdays - which I do - I'll get by.

Email backing up during Extremely Busy Weekend!

1659 - Sunday, Veteran's Day, 11 November 2007: Arrrggh!! 'Puter go blooey! Muddling along with the NEC. Most of my address book and personal files are trapped on an unresponsive tower. Trying to reinstall Windows; some HD juggling is likely in order. I should be able to continue updates and even check email with mail2web, but a lot of it will be backed up.

And that's as of 0715 this morning as I'm on the way out the door for Yet Another Match Day!

Returned to hovel about 1400, pausing on the way back to add coolant and fuel. How did I do? Not great - 6th of 12 - but not awful. Handloads were denied and issued LC67 rounds were required to be used. I didn't break 90 in any of the three Course A stages, but I broke 80 in all of them including standing! Pictures and details forthcoming if I can get the tower running again (WinXP reinstalling as I type, I hope). Got bonus brass too, known-once-fired USGI. Winner was Ed Perry, my club's CMP guy, and 3rd place was Mr. R. I scored a total of 249/0X of a possible 300, for 83.0%; 86 in slow prone, but at this club they count the sighters accurately and I got a 6 and four 10s for sighting shots, argh; 82 in rapid prone, a bit high and right but a group about the size of the black:

(Note the contrasting spot-stick thingies stuck in each bullet hole. They're nicely equipped for rifle matches at this club, albeit on a small scale. It would, alas, be a Significant Engineering Feat to put in something similar at my club - but I'll bring it up to certain people anyway.) And, gratifyingly, 81 in standing, better than expected - probably due to the freshness from yesterday's match and contemplating what I did wrong then. Not disappointed, really; I know there is nothing wrong with the rifle - I still cannot yet shoot up to the level of my equipment. But I expect I can make dead JBTs at 200yds with a rack-grade rifle and government ammunition:

The Lone Oak Rifle & Pistol Club outside Longview, WA, has a really classy setup for rifle matches - as I 'blogged a year ago. There are only seven lanes for match shooting, but they are in an actual pit where the targets can be pulled down by actual scorers for every shot. This is only the second time I've shot here but this time I got time in the pits, learning how they do it at Camp Perry. Photos and details, as I said, forthcoming.

Working the pit is almost as much fun as shooting, at least while the novelty hasn't worn off. There were three relays of four in the field of twelve; I shot in the first, worked the pit in the second, and sat behind the firing line filling out another shooter's scorecard in the third. A much slicker setup than I've shot before. -Of course some people were not up to speed; there were some, ah, pilot errors shall we say; the M1 works great if you know how to work it. For the bazillionth time I say, Know Your Bloody Weapon for Gods' Sakes! But for my part everything went quite well. I may not be a Rifleman yet but I don't think I'm a Cook.

In the news, via KABA: Gun-Cleaning Kit Prompts Evacuation. ...There is a part of me which sincerely wants to see that school burn to the ground with the entire digusting, psychotic, subhuman faculty locked inside. To cleanse the world of their foulness.

'Puter repair underway. Remember months ago, the last time something like this happened, and I asked if WinXP's activation feature was one-time-only-per-copy or if there was a certain time period after which it could be activated again? Evidently the latter is the case, though more trial and error than I have patience for would be needed to determine what that interval is. Another data point provided as a public service by your curmodgeonly neighborhood curmudgeon. -WinXP Home Edition v.2002 has been (I think) successfully reinstalled and now begins the tedious process of updating it, all the way to SP2, via dialup. Fortunately I have a Drake novel to read, and ebooks on CD which can be read through the NEC and probably even emailed to myself at work that way. But I think, after a couple-few more days, I'll have my regular machine, and (most of) its files, back. At worst I should be able to get the USB link going again, suck files over to the NEC, and nuke the tower's HD. Furthermore if the Vaio becomes operational, I believe it's hotter than the tower; I may just suck files onto that and plug in my regular monitor, USB mouse, and, um, are there USB keyboards? The Vaio has a (proprietary) docking port connection and three USB ports but no PS2 keyboard socket.

1660 - Monday, Veteran's Day Observed, 12 November 2007: 'Puter repair continues - I'll do the 75Mb SP2 download tonight as I go to bed, but it looks like it might work. As for the Vaio, the UPS Shuffle again, but this time the label has an option to sign for the driver to leave it on purpose.

Email is rapidly backing up because a) mail2web is not convenient and b) the NEC is really quite slow (though it was of tremendous use during the road trip and has also become quite useful in the pin shoot and plate match) ("slow" being relative because the work box (and bandwidth) is spoiling me now). I will attempt to transfer the .IDX and .DBX files to the new installation of Outlook Express - that worked once before - so I can keep my archived emails and maybe even not lose the ones I hadn't replied to before the crash, but that may not work.

Winter approacheth - wind and a little rain, nothing much to someone raised in Washington and having spent half my life in Oregon, but all these Californian doofi osmosizing up I-5 haven't a clue. The lights flickered once in the call center and it was like a flock of sheep smelled a coyote. On the drive back someone managed to get an SUV crosswise in my usual freeway onramp - judging from the relative positions and the speeds that could have been built up by that point, someone shouldn't have been allowed to breed.

The Spider-Man films: 1 was all right, 2 was better, 3 wasn't. And another thing! In the original books, Science Whiz Parker did not have mutant web projectors in his wrists - he designed and built projectors for webbing which he cooked up, and he had a utility belt to carry refills. I'm mildly ticked about that - recovering comicoholic, me. Of course these days a Hallowe'en costume featuring a utility belt will, I kid you not, likely prompt a school lockdown.

1661 - Tuesday, 13 November 2007: So I tried to download and install WinXP SP2 last night, and it didn't finish. So I tried again on the way out the door this morning, and it didn't finish.


Today I received an awesome donation from an awesome reader of an awesome whole computer. And I'm setting it up now. Already have the USB link running sucking files off the previous tower.

And during the transfer, AVG on the new machine is detecting "Worm/Allaple.A" on several incoming files I've never seen before even though the other machine also has AVG. Hmm. -Got the new machine online with dialup, downloading AVG update too.

Did I mention this machine is awesome? Details to follow after some exploration. Presently it's running Win2KPro but I may upgrade to XP.

Meanwhile, the awesome donation also included a replacement power switch for the Vaio! ...Which is Still Not Working! :( But I'm getting more lights than before, hm. It says it has AC power and that two batteries (I only see one...) are detected, but nothing's even spinning, no fan, no HD, hmm. And the thing was working when I got it! Argh!


Previously I was wise enough to download the owner's mannual for this Vaio AND! In the troubleshooting section it tells me to remove AC power and the battery, then use an unfolded paper clip to press the tiny recessed reset button underneath, then apply power again.





At long effing last! The icon (and the LED) says it's charging the battery, which is currently at 0%. Probably, like the NEC batteries, it's taken a set and won't perform well; but I have income and I may just buy another bloody battery for the Vaio. Which would be slightly less fiscally irresponsible than getting that handsome .50 percussion I saw at the last Barberton show.

And then I nudge the Vaio, preparing to finally replace the screw on the panel which holds the power switch, and it blinks off. And now I may be smelling smoke, or at least ozone. :( Probably something in the power supply, AC or battery or both. Setting it aside to mess with later. :( :(

File transfers from the old tower to the new are progressing but I'm still doing journal updates on the NEC and email is still way backed up.

1662 - Wednesday, 14 November 2007: Still transferring files to the new tower. Hopefully I'll have it mostly running by Friday. I may have to abandon the emails trapped in the previous tower's copy of Outlook Express though - XPHome vs. Win2KPro. Maybe I'll get lucky if both towers have the same version of OE.

Not looking at the Vaio for a while, I want to get my regular stuff back. The NEC still runs. -The hovel's wiring may not be sufficient to handle two towers, two conventional monitors, and a laptop on AC. That may also be what's wrong with the Vaio.

Yes! Smart me! Saved the emails and, because I'm Smart, and saved the something.whosis.thingies for setting up my email accounts in a text file that made it across, it looks like I'm back in business for regular email at the regular address. -Once in a while I get something on the old Iguanasoft address, but rarely anything other than spam; sometimes an old contact for matches or an older reader. I can't seem to find the setup for that, the server names that is - the old tower's MSOE was easily reading that and the .NAME address - but I can check that once in a while on mail2web if I feel like it. Meanwhile, anyone who's been reading this for a long time, do note the current email address in the Comment link at the bottom of the page. Now to see if I can get rec.guns back from usenet.... It'll be a couple days before everything is back where it should be, so don't expect email replies just yet. Furthermore I've lost my MSOE address book so I'll have to rebuild that, unless someone can tell me which file to transfer from the old tower.

1663 - Thursday, 15 November 2007: Keeping busy at work. Lots of callbacks - waiting for something to download, or the customers don't have necessary information, or frequently they're not at the bloody unit so we can't do troubleshooting. Sometimes it seems I'm doing more callbacks, or spending more time on them, than incoming calls.

Looks like the new tower is running well. Hitting the email (not done yet) - reader points out his comment (#17) on the gun-cleaning-kit-phobia story from the other day.

Yuri sends custom Mosin; a pristine Mosin; even more on the burst barrel; 'blogs that another manufacturer has joined the great Ronnie Barrett's boycott of California, but even moreso, not selling to anyone in the state.

Quote o' the Day: "Nothing... is unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable rights of man." - Thomas Jefferson (letter to John Cartwright, 1824) - Reference: The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Lipscomb and Bergh, eds., 16:48.

From OFF, another reckless bigoted newspaper seeking to destroy the privacy of gunfolk and expose them to various forms of attack and exploitation.

Reader sends:

Tucson Tom (and others) send Local Darwin Award Contestant.

From the lists, McCarthy was Right.

Reader sends sight height calculator, nifty.

Grump! Ends of the spectrum in the firearms industry: Barrett and STI bravely not caving in while, in the last Shotgun News, Armalite brags about a JBT contract; and on the back of this SGN Para takes a whole page to show their product in the hands of a door-kicking, dog-burning, peasant-oppressing, ski-mask-wearing ninjaboy. This from the same Para that offers RKBA pistols with partial proceeds to NRA. Schitzo much? ...Weeell, actually, and as I 'blogged when the Para RKBA pistols came out and as many have opined, NRA & JBTs ain't necessarily oil-and-water.

1664 - Friday, 16 November 2007: In Oregon it has begun to Rain and isn't likely to stop until June. Double-sucky Friday traffic therefore. Doofi.

Another wireless network installation - and I got it working, but at the end it felt like my brain had just run Curahee. And then! Reprieve! The Difficult Caller - the one the other day who could, literally, hardly tell one end of a USB A-B cable from another? Just as I was preparing to call back, I checked the service ticket notes - and someone was already in there escalating to a supervisor and closing my callback for me.

I will be getting Thursday the 22nd off, but likely without pay as I haven't been there 90 days. And I'll have to work Friday. Zzz.

Pins tomorrow! No zzz 'til Sunday!

Radio talk, something about John Edward$ whining about 35 million hungry people in America. I 'blogged something on a similar topic before- ah: Back up to the hurricane relief - this is the United States of America, the wealthiest and best country EVARRR. Anyone who starves in this country is a drooling idiot, or in the case of children, has drooling idiots for parents, said parents being in need of public flogging. Anyone who says people are starving in this country (in other than the aforementioned isolated drool-soaked cases) is a damn seditious liar, also in need of public flogging, or perhaps simply sabres at dawn. And back to Farnam and his commentary: "It is said by enlightened social scientists, ‘If it rained twenty-dollar bills every Monday morning, there would still be people begging for their dinner every Monday evening!'" Well compared to just about everywhere else in the world, it's pouring down Andy Jacksons all over America all the time. I have my own problems with money; I have accepted charity when offered, but I don't go around demanding that other people fork over for me. I've never taken food stamps and it's been years since I took Unemployment; I haven't taken Welfare since I was a minor dependant. They're my problems dammit! I gots me pride! But noooo, no, the limousine liberals and Gulfstream elitists want to raise our taxes to pay for the upkeep of social parasites - while taking their own percentage of course, or more often the reverse proportion, letting some token percentage trickle through to the people it's supposed to be for. And some folks wonder why we're arming ourselves, flying the Gadsden, and quoting the Founders.

Tell me again why we don't just nuke Mecca?

1665 - Saturday, 17 November 2007:



After a full day with Yuri I returned to the hovel, unloaded the car, switched on the new tower - and got power fluctuations, the machine clicking on and off. Normally I suspect the hovel's wiring. (Interesting that the Vaio is doing something extremely similar.) But after nudging this and jiggling that I get it to power on again and it says it's loading Win2K and then it gives me:

So I'm back on the NEC again contemplating yanking the drive from the previous tower and trying to complete the WinXP update.


...Meanwhile, 1st Revolver at Wolverton again, 4th of 11 overall, 41 rounds fired on 27 targets - I think that last is an improvement but I can't access that chapter of my own journal at the moment unless I wait for it to download. After, to Clark Rifles for the Turkey Shoot committee meeting - I'm running the 2x4 action handgun portion again and have been warned to expect a big turnout. -Let me tell you about the 2x4 shoot: an ordinary wood 2x4 is screwed by one end from a crossbar and an aiming point - last year colored tape, this year stenciled paint - is applied to the midpoint. A two-shooter team attacks this 2x4 to cut it in half, while another team races to cut their own. First team to sever the board (the bottom end is free to drop) wins and advances in a double-elimination tournament tree. No speedloaders for revolvers; one magazine only for autoloaders, but non-zippy loading tools (like the Mantis or HKS) allowed. No magnums over .44 Remington. The perfect tool for the 2x4 shoot under these rules is a large-bore revolver with swing-out (or top-break...) cylinder.

Half of last year's winning team mentioned at the meeting that he and his partner fired 500 rounds. So I have that coming up on the 8th, and my own regular plate match on the 24th and 22nd; time to make more .357 rounds. Collecting the brass from where I've salted it away, processing what was used in last month's plate match and today's pin shoot, digging out the last of the plated projectiles - Yuri and I stopped at Sportsman's Warehouse where the plated is still conspicuously absent but I blew some bucks on some unplated from the same maker under a different name; RN/FP, a different profile with a different length and different seating depth, but that will be easy to adjust with my current setup, using separate seating and crimping dies.

What was it... I thought of a good rant on the drive back - ah. Remember that reference to the "chronically indignant" in Dalmas' Soldiers? Eyeing enemy bumper stickers on the way back to the hovel it struck me that some of these people would be offended by having nothing to be offended by....

1666 - Sunday, 18 November 2007: Zzz.



Got Java downloaded to the NEC so I can still partake in chat while listening to Gun Talk. Meanwhile, tumbling .357 cases; cleaning the GP100; and taking the drive from the previous tower, which seemed to be working with pre-SP2 XP, disconnecting the possibly-infected drive in the new tower, putting the XP drive in, and trying to complete the SP2 upgrade. Which will take hours of course. I might even go buy a fresh HD and start from scratch, just to be sure. Hm, BestBuy has a Seagate 160Gb on sale for $50, but online only - and after buying those projectiles yesterday my funds are a little tight until payday next week (though I am by no means in another financial crisis). I'll juggle drives in the meantime and see what I come up with. If I can get SP2 installed I'll make sure AVG is up to date, then add the new tower's drive as secondary and see if files can be recovered.

In the news, Boston Police Plan Warrantless Searches. Tell me again why honest citizens shouldn't shoot cops on sight? That last link, the first hour of the show was an interview with the book's author. The few remaining Elves in chat were seething.

Contemplating the upcoming Turkey Shoot - the rifle portion this year places optics and metallic sights in the same category, which means the Queen, or rather the Queen in my hands, is unlikely to win another turkey. So probably I'll not enter the rifle portion, which will give me time during the day to take more photos and help set up the 2x4 shoot after the rifle shoot. And meanwhile I'll keep my eye out for, after resisting it for years, a scoped Remchester of some kind. Ideally in .308 or .223, mostly interchangeable with rounds I might scrounge from a future battlefield, but if I find a .243 or 7mm-08 at the right price, who knows - all I'd need is another set of dies. Or a .358 Winchester or some similarly underappreciated cartridge, hm, I can handload and net-order brass. The .243 and 7mm-08 are more appealing for reduced recoil though. .243s I expect will be hard to find at bargain prices, since it's such a popular chambering known for accuracy.

Examining the results from the last two rifle matches, taking that click of windage back off the Queen.

417 pieces .357 brass primed, Pro 1000 #1 all set (except for verifying powder weight) to load the last of the plated bullets (maybe 200, probably less), adjustment needed when I switch to the others.

Aw c'mon! I take the 75G drive from the previous tower, put it in the new tower by itself, turn it on, and get:

So! Scientific method: put that same drive back into the previous tower and turn that on... and it boots.


So! Scientific method again: pull the 120G drive from the new tower and put it in the old tower and... it does not boot ("FAILURE - INSERT SYSTEM DISK") but does not give a Blue Screen of Death. Therefore!

Put both drives in the old tower, with the 75G XP as master and the 120G Win2K (with extra software goodies) as slave. -Err, just the 75G, make sure AVG is updated, do a full system scan, then plug in the 120G and do another full system scan.

And while I'm typing this I'm doing a regular Windows Update on the NEC on dialup. And maybe eating something, I forget that sometimes....

Um - check the jumper on the 120G drive, it was set to Master w/Slave Present - yet it was booting as a single drive. Set it to single anyway, plug it in... BSoD. Hmm. Back to the 75G XP drive by itself - boots with pre-SP2 WinXP.


Eat food and read book while waiting for the NEC's update to finish so I can have the phone line for the tower. Oh, book: finished Some Golden Harbor, quality, now on 1634: The Bavarian Crisis, twisty-turny.

Actually, I will:

  • Boot the old tower with the 75G drive with old XP, with the 120G drive from the new tower physically disconnected.
  • Download AVG all over again because I've long since lost the registration key for the (older, anyway) installation .EXE on my USB drive.
  • Hours later, update AVG on the XP drive and do a full system scan.
  • Start the SP2 update on that drive again.
  • Go to bed.

    Oops! Different bullet shape (Xtreme plated vs. Silver State unplated), different internal volume - examining - no, though the COL will be slightly different the crimping points will result in the same internal case volume. Fine. Not that I'm worried much about pressure with a non-maximum load in a Ruger, but it's another thing to consider when changing loads. Not expecting POI to be the same of course, though at the distances this will be used at - 7yds for pins, 12 for plates, 14 for 2x4s - it shouldn't matter much.

    This old, slow little NEC laptop my sister gave me for the road trip has turned out to be, for all its relative obselescense, extremely useful - streamlining scorekeeping for two handgun matches at two clubs, letting me wardrive for high-speed wireless transfers, keeping me online when my other machines crash, and now while I'm waiting for stuff to download on dialup I'm using Excel to build a spiff signup sheet for the 2x4 shoot.

    1667 - Monday, 19 November 2007: Work shrug. Getting the hang of network installations, even writing a how-to doc for my cubemates.

    Forgot to pick up the plate match trophies. Tomorrow.

    So what happened was, the AVG download last night kept failing. So at the laundromat I used the ever-useful NEC to download it much faster (the one battery still lasts that long). Now I'll transfer that to the USB drive, stick that in the old tower, install it on the pre-SP2 XP drive, update it, scan it, and then try the SP2 update overnight yet again. Meanwhile I also ordered an SP2 CD from Microsoft - three bucks and change for shipping, no charge for the CD, but it may take a month to arrive. (I don't suppose anyone can point me to somewhere I can download just SP2 without having to connect with the same machine it will be installed on? Then I could wardrive for it and do the USB shuffle again.) Anyway then I'll have an SP2 disk to add to my toolkit. But for now I'm still on the NEC.

    Found a little more .357 brass processed except for primers. I'll probably load the Big Batch Wednesday or so.

    Awright, copy the AVG self-ex to the USB drive from the NEC.

    ...Scan the USB drive with recently-updated AVG from the NEC. Nothing found. Ahem.

    Stick the USB drive in the old tower, run the self-ex, install AVG. Connect dialup with the old tower, check for AVG updates - download & install. Close dialup connection. Remove USB drive from tower. Full system scan with latest AVG with only the old tower's 75G pre-SP2 XP drive connected.

    Found a gazillion (727 in fact) Worm/Allaple.A files. Which probably has something to do with the downloads failing these past few days.

    ...Put USB drive back in NEC and scan it again from there - nothing found.

    Well. At least I'm onto something.

    Okay, see what I'm doing there? With the notes and the step-by-step? That's what I do at work when troubleshooting, except I use abbreviations, rarely capitalize, and worry less about spelling, just getting it into the case file as fast as possible. I take notes dammit. Would that others did. Especially the ones in India. -No, really, there's a big call center in India and the entire chain of possession complains about them from the customers through the agents to the cube-farm managers and on up. Which is how I got hired at the call center here in what is, technically but still (but that's a separate rant), the United States of America, speaking Amurican dammit. One poor lady was so relieved to reach me and be able to understand me she insisted I get my supervisor on the line so she could compliment me. (That was the satisfying day a while back.) And the India Problem is industry-wide - as I'm sure most of my readers, who tend to be tech-savvy, already know.

    Okay, restart and rescan both machines - tower apparently clean (and that desktop popup asking to connect to www.if.ee is gone, hmm), NEC also evidently clean.

    Now a total of 580 pieces .357 brass in four headstamps (remember different makers make brass differently, which may affect POI and other performance - keep it sorted!) ready to load, plus small odd lots still unprimed. If the powder holds out I can fill all 580 with 158gr, plated or not; I have not quite 2lbs of W231 on hand (though they're different lot numbers). -Uh, yeah, 4,234gr for 580 rounds at 7.3gr each, I think I have enough powder. [eee-vill grin] I'll have to take a photo of the result, in hope that some mentally-ill antis will wet themselves.

    Reader donates a... really quite nice pair of cowboy boots! Thank you!

    Later, it appears that WinUpdate is resuming the humongous SP2 download from a previous attempt, saving heaps of bandwidth - and files are installing. Um, yay? More certainly, yay Grisoft free AVG.

    Not much later still - OMG I think it worked. Next - tomorrow I think - will be the dangerous part, connecting the new tower's 120G drive to this setup to see what can be salvaged. In the worst case I'll lose a few days' emails. Probably a good idea to do a USBlink backup to the NEC before connecting the likely-infected 120G - most of the files on the 120 are still on this now-apparently-clean-and-functioning 75G where they came from. Actually I'll start that backup right now.

    1668 - Tuesday, 20 November 2007: AAAAUUUUUGGHH!!!

    20 minutes before end-of-shift I get the nice old guy who probably fought Nazis and/or communists but has a Lot of Trouble navigating around in a computer. A full hour past my regular shift. Overtime, eh, but horrid traffic all the way back. More to the point though, I got the thing working like he wanted it to. Hah! Technology obeys me!

    Got the trophies. Small but decent, and not very expensive. And they got the engraving right. I've a good chance of taking one myself; if I win Revolvers one more time no one else has enough monthly wins to beat me there.

    Back (eventually) to hovel. Boot old tower with 75G drive only, full AVG scan again - all seems well. Scan the NEC again too while I'm at it (which now has copies of the files from that same 75G drive). Hop online with the tower to update AVG again, go offline, full scan again just to be paranoid. Power down, attach 120G drive as slave (cable select in this instance) - boots - XP wants to check the 120G, skipped. Boots normally otherwise - Explorer sees the drive but can't access it, corrupted or unreadable. Reboot, let XP check it this time - looks like a mess, I might not get anything from it including the assorted software goodies. :( But I should be getting most of my stuff back soon.

    As for the new tower... the honkin' huge power supply, the six fans, the couple dozen LEDs, etc., may just be too much for the hovel's wiring. :( But, like the Vaio I've had for months, I'll keep trying as time and gumption permit. Once I get the previous tower (an HP I got from Yuri a while back, which isn't all that slow really) back where I want it the next thing will likely be to transfer the wireless card and USB2.0 ports from the new tower, so I can have those capabilities in a chassis that doesn't threaten to burn the hovel down. :)

    XP's check/repair of the 120G completes and the HP boots. Explorer... sees files on the drive. [crossing fingers] No copying yet - another full AVG scan - nothing found. Explorer sees files and a few samples seem undamaged. Hmm.

    Set 120G as master, single - BSoD. 75G master & 120G slave - boots normally, files accessible. Ooookay. Rooting out the few personal files on the 120 that aren't already on the 75 and moving them, then hunting for the software goodies the donor installed (many of which are in the stack o' CDs the shipment also included). Another day or three and all should be relatively well. -I see from mail2web that someone has answered my question about downloading XP SP2 but with all these files to move, and restricted to dialup still, I'll wait 'til I get MSOE working right again before looking. Thanks though! Some 'blog comments backing up unread as well.

    1669 - Wednesday, 21 November 2007: The last two calls of the day were spooky-easy and I left at my scheduled time (though holiday traffic stunk). I swung by WinCo for groceries but even their huge parking lot was packed with last-minuters and I have enough to get by, so back to the hovel.

    Boot the HP tower, full AVG scan of both drives - nothing found. Scan USB drive - nothing found. Begin reinstalling. CuteHTML (no longer available as a free download), WSFTP, VideoLAN, Opera, Adobe reader, IrfanView. Rebuild my shortcuts and hotkeys in Windows Start Menu. I'm on my way to system restoration. Email is still backed up but I have it now. Even found my Opera bookmarks file.

    Big Batch of .357 tomorrow, after sleeping in (and after the little heater fans have a chance to warm the place up). No holiday travel for me this year, I'm working Friday and just getting across town today was bad enough.

    Downloading Java again, but saving it to USB this time against future need - also another field tool. Got my DVD drive running, watching video while dialup creeps along.

    1670 - Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, 22 November 2007: Zzz!

    Slogging through backed up email! Some may have gone astray anyway, with all the shuffling, so bear that in mind if you don't receive a reply. From readers, lists, and other sources:

    Government studies solar power satellites - only a few decades after a whole herd of SF authors laid it all out for them.

    Want. Will buy. Soon.

    Cambridge Hates Boy Scouts & Troops.

    A reader sent this story on Ramos, Compean, and the border. I forwarded it to Tucson Tom, who is there. He sent back the following insight:

    I am conflicted by this. We have two federal officers convicted of obstruction of justice by a jury trial. I find it hard to believe that the jury did not consider and properly weigh all the evidence at trial, a criminal smuggler's testimony not withstanding.

    As I understand it they shot at a criminal and they tried to cover it up. The cover up is what they are in jail for. Do we not want the law to apply to law enforcers the same as us peasants?

    Are there criminally liable over-zealous prosecutors? Yes, there are, and they may well be the most dangerous people in the US today. Nifong got off easy. Is this the case here? There is no question that the prosecutor should have handled the immunity deal differently.

    As I see it an over-zealous prosecutor (who should at a minimum be fired for malfeasance) convicted two law enforcers for breaking federal law using the testimony of a criminal drug dealer who is now in jail. At least no one was executed by amateur law enforcers (yet).

    More philosophy on self-defense.

    From Patriot Post, Quote o' the Day: "The gun has been called the great equalizer, meaning that a small person with a gun is equal to a large person, but it is a great equalizer in another way, too. It insures that the people are the equal of their government whenever that government forgets that it is servant and not master of the governed. When the British forgot that they got a revolution. And, as a result, we Americans got a Constitution; a Constitution that, as those who wrote it were determined, would keep men free. If we give up part of that Constitution we give up part of our freedom and increase the chance that we will lose it all. I am not ready to take that risk. I believe that the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms must not be infringed if liberty in America is to survive." - Ronald Reagan

    Yes, this is the same Ronald Reagan whose name appeared, along with Nancy's, on HCI's BoD; the same Reagan on whose watch the NFA registry was closed. But it was the same Reagan who ended (most, federal) record-keeping requirements for ammunition purchases, and who won the Cold War. We've had worse leaders.

    Something to be aware of if you're buying a cellphone for emergency use. Eh, like 911 ever helps anyway.

    Reader (from Switzerland!) sends this link to a 266Mb download of XP SP2! Only 11 hours on dialup.... The CD is supposedly on the way to me, and I have my current tower running now, but that link could be very useful in future.

    SCOTUS action on the DC ban. Stockpile now, everybody!

    Yuri sends story on a citizen disposing of two burglars.

    SurplusRifle.com Lives!

    Got the Iguanasoft address working again too, at least to receive - and I can switch accounts easily in MSOE when I reply. Continuing Windows Updates while I load the Big Batch. This time the .71 aperture on the Auto-Disk is throwing closer to 7.4gr W231 than 7.3 - close enough as long as they're all the same. Hopefully I'll have a chance to punch paper with the unplated load, and to compare it to the plated, to see if sight adjustments will be necessary.

    -605 rounds made; I miscounted my brass. 171 plated; 68 pieces of unplated left when the partial pound of powder ran out; the next pound is a different lot so I stopped there, mixing the dregs into the fresh pound. Still a hundred-plus pieces of brass primed. And, as promised, a photo of the eee-vill stockpile of ammunition:

    EEEK!  It's a STOCKPILE!

    Muua-hah-hah-hah-haaaa. Choke on it you bed-wetting freak antis! Plus there's another hundred-odd left from the last batch, also the heavier 7.3gr load, and even a handful of 5.6gr still - I'll use that up in qualifying at the plate match this Saturday. All together that's more live rounds than some "trained, professional" (BLAM!) badgeboys fire in their entire careers, including training & qualification. And I'm expecting it to run out sometime this spring.

    Oh yeah, a new bumper sticker, inspired by a cubemate (who has declared that she'll be putting it on a t-shirt):

    1671 - Saturday, 24 November 2007: Match Day!

    First a little something on yesterday - another long call at end-of-shift, a couple little old ladies whose home network lost its settings. I (eventually - took 'em Some Time to find an Ethernet cable) got the thingie working right wired but sent them to their service provider for wireless settings which should have autopopulated in the setup screen but didn't. Overtime pay, shrug. Traffic was very light for a Friday with so many people out of town or just not working on the 4-day weekend. Call volume was light too, though I heard it was expected to be heavy today - when I'm not there, heh.

    1st Revolver yet again! Encore l'... uh, do the French even have a word for Victory anymore? -Well, with that new guy in charge there, who knows. Chris Hall and his self-cocking Mateba were conspicuously absent so there was no one to stop me from stomping all over the rest of the Revolver division (including Yuri, whom I unmercifully whomped in the 1st round - though he qualified 2nd of 6 Revolvers (I was top qualifier there and in the whole match)) - though I had some tense moments when the last of the 5.6gr ran out and I switched to (previous batch of) 7.3gr; much heavier recoil (though still controllable, especially in a Ruger and moreso with the big fat grip module), worse shot-to-shot recovery, and a slightly different POI (some paper-punching needed, as aforementioned, to sort that out - didn't have gumption after the match today though). Yuri seems to have his Buck-Rogers-lookin' 22/45 functioning now and is beginning to close in on the usual winner Jim Breen (who took Autoloaders, and Overall through Rimfires), though there are a couple others he has to whup first. I've also clinched the Revolver champinship for the year, though I left the trophy on display in the RSO shack until next month's match.

    And I dropped my camera! :( It still works but the LCD is wrecked. I'll look into repair around here; it might be cheaper to just buy another camera. I sure got a lot of use out of it though, and it does still work - I can still run it through a TV on the RCA jacks if I really need to see what it sees, though I'm just guessing based on experience whether it's autofocusing or whether I have the flash set right. More to the point I'm familiar with it and spent money on cards for it (though with the USB card readers I have, the cards are not useless without the camera, and some current-production cameras take the same (xD) cards) (in fact Yuri stepped up with his camera and I sucked the files off his sD card onto the NEC).

    There are in fact lots of photos still on my camera's card which I still have to process, going back to the Veteran's Day Garand Match at Lone Oak. Now that I have a regular computer again I'll be getting to that. Still some email backed up too.

    WinXP SP2 CD in snailmail, added to the toolkit. Also AvA match results: 5th of 8 overall, 5th of 6 on the Allied side. Yuri took 1st (of two) Axis with my Mauser.

    OAC show tomorrow! And I just got paid! Dangerou$!

    1672 - Sunday, 25 November 2007: Zzz!

    Late to the OAC show, nothing much there, bought nothing. Maybe next month, and there's Washougal next weekend and Barberton after that before the Turkey Shoot. Probably ju$t as well, really.

    Also a little late to chat; no significant interviews on the show, just open lines.

    Want. Just because it would make the anti weenies and their badgeboy lapdogs wet themselves in abject phobia.

    Quote o' the Day: "Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of Americans. The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." - Tench Coxe, 20 February 1788 So take your "collective right" interpretation and shove it.

    Ooo, found a chunk of copper plating in the GP100's forcing cone! I'd'a photo'd it if my camera weren't damaged. Yay Lewis Lead Remover. Every serious handgunner, and especially every revolver shooter, needs this tool. And a stack of replacement brass-mesh patches. (Those for the old Hoppe's tool are compatible.)

    Beginning research on camera repair. This place doesn't look too bad, and they're roughly between the hovel and work so there'd be no shipping hassles.

    Yuri 'blogs Plate Match with videos! I fired 81 rounds, engaging 5 targets each in 15 runs counting qualifying - an average of 5.4 rounds per run. Not bad.

    Replacing last month's few .PNG images with .JPGs, with some compression; also compressing some of this month's .JPGs. A dialup reader complained.

    Email! Still! Backed! Up!

    1673 - Monday, 26 November 2007: Bleh Monday. Email still backed up.

    Response from the camera repair place; the replacement LCD would likely cost more than a whole new camera, and definitely would when labor is added. Bi-Mart will have something on sale soon.

    1674 - Tuesday, 27 November 2007: Not my best day at work.

    Trying to hit the email. Reader warns of Trojan Found in New Hard Drives Sold in Taiwan.

    Sis sends Historic Firearms Auctioned.

    Reader sends Big Brother Wears a Badge. Also sends more data on the Israeli strike into Syria, noting that "the entire Syrian regime needs a thermonuclear enema." In response I sent this story, discovered by a cubemate today, which prompted me to comment - and not for the first time - that we should simply nuke everything between Israel and India, partly inclusive, and have done.

    In my reading stack (after the new Kratman volumes) is this book. A work of fiction, right? Nuh-uh. Eek.

    Remember a while back when I said the Socialist Workers' Paradise of North Korea was resorting to cannibalism? Birds of a feather. Holy Crapping Crap. And they have Most Favored Nation trading status. How- what... gaahh!!

    Reader sends tale of legalistic theft. Get a rope....

    What is it with people NOT GETTING THEIR STUFF TOGETHER? At the match there was a new shooter who arrived with no speedloaders at all (S&W M686, using the same HKS model as my GP100 - I have five, I loaned him one). For an action handgun competition. And then at work, customers who are not at the unit for troubleshooting, who don't answer their scheduled callbacks, who should have been given service ticket numbers but either weren't (usually India's fault) or don't think to mention them (the customer's fault). And India more generally - one can barely understand what they type, much less what they say when they transfer a customer to you.

    And more! In line at the supermarket or bank or gas station, fumbling with checkbooks or debit cards, not knowing how to use the every-bloody-where-in-the-civilized-world card entry thingie and punch in your PIN for gods' sakes! HOW BLOODY HARD CAN IT BE?

    1675 - Wednesday, 28 November 2007: Tucson Tom sends:

    Quote o' the Day: "Republicans believe every day is July 4th. Democrats believe every day is April 15th." - Ronald Reagan

    1676 - Thursday, 29 November 2007: Ye gods I hate Vista! Dig it: customer has three machines, an XP desktop, an XP laptop, and a Vista laptop. Our product came bundled with our wireless upgrade accessory, a box which attaches to the product in place of regular USB and a wifi dongle which goes in your machine's USB port instead of the normal cable, thus eliminating (some) clutter. First, the customer wants his laptops' built-in wifi to work with the upgrade - and it might, but that's not supported; it's designed to use the dongle. Educate the customer therefore. Now, the customer already has it working as intended on the non-wifi XP desktop and wants it on his wifi Vista laptop. So I find the instructions for that accessory and follow them. First hurdle: the accessory ships with the XP CD and not Vista, because MicroSuck dropped Vista on the whole industry with little warning and less time to develop drivers for everything. Almost nobody has Vista CDs and even fewer products now on the shelves have them in the box. (In fact one of our products finally made the Vista drivers available on CD just this month.) So we get online and download the Vista drivers for the accessory. But before that, according to the instructions, we have to set the product up regularly with a direct USB connection, to get the product's drivers installed, so we have to download those first because that also came with only XP drivers on the CD. I get the product working on the Vista laptop with a direct USB connection, fine. Then we download the accessory's Vista drivers, and while that's going on I get the accessory working on the third machine, the XP laptop - and it works exactly as intended, yay. Then we switch the dongle between the XP laptop and the XP desktop and that works, just as though you were unplugging a USB cable from one PC and plugging it into the other, except without the cable, double yay. Now the Vista accessory driver download finishes and we launch that and - after the customer wandering off into some random corners of his mind and not being able to find the file he just downloaded - we finally launch that installation. And it's perking along and, just like the XP version, tells the customer when to plug in this and switch on that and I'm thinking, Yeah, break time coming up soon - and wham! Vista firewall stops the accessory installation software super-dead! The customer tries to disable it but it's just not working. Total call length (counting downloads, Vista-wrasslin', customer randomness, attempts to Focus, and a dropped phone connection at one point) about two hours. I gave him MicroCrap's number and will call back tomorrow to try to finish the accessory installation.


    ...Reader sends: "I think you have to cut the first time shooter [who brought no speedloaders to an action handgun match] a little slack! If you come down too hard too fast you will run a prospective shooter away. It takes some guts for most people to come out the first time or three. Very true.

    From the lists, a bit of perspective on race and "hate crimes".

    Reader sends a slightly different kind of blueshirt. Cops is cops, eh?

    Reader sends unstable freak in black robes.

    1677 - Friday, 30 November 2007: Vista still sucks. The customer couldn't get through to MicroPhooey and I'm calling again Tuesday.

    In the news, an F-15 disintegrates in flight and all Eagles are grounded. Now, DEMOCRAT Oregon governor Ted Kulongoski is demanding that President Bush supply Oregon Air National Guard with F-22 Raptors - the same expensive, super-duper-advanced fighter that Teddy Tax-n-gouge-me's DEMOCRAT colleagues have fought funding for since probably before it even existed. -Just pointing that out.

    Phone The Evil for the return of my property - left message. And that reminds me! For your viewing pleasure, a few images I've collected from around the net:

    Also in the news, a bomb threat and hostage situation at Hillary's campaign headquarters, if I heard right. I'll give even odds it's all staged. By that same campaign. So they can blame it on us. Cynical? Yes. I. Am.

    Worth a thousand words.

    October 2007 | NOVEMBER 2007 | December 2007

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