June 2008 | JULY 2008 | August 2008
1878 - Tuesday, 1 July 2008: Bleh work. Network failing. Again.

My reading is off - call volume is higher and the calls are longer. Half-skimming through Carnage and Culture. Author draws some interesting parallels between one Age and the next. Who was it who said "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme"? After Salamis and Themistocles, the author chose Gaugamela and Alexander, accusing the latter of perverting the Greek ideal of individual liberty and concentrated, decisive warfare; next comes Cannae and Hannibal, which I'm trying to read more closely. The author's message in this chapter is that even when a Western army gets wiped out, it rebuilds and gets back in the fight. I'm no historian but examples come to mind: the US Army after Chosin or Kasserine Pass, the US Navy after Pearl Harbor of course; the Continental Army after... nearly everything before, what, Saratoga? Trenton certainly; Washington's escape from... how many would-have-been disasters? Lee's escape from Antietam - two more years of slaughter after Gettysburg.

...So Western Culture has stick-to-it-ive-ness. But not just us: look at Japan in 1945, the thousands of aircraft they had reserved for kamikaze use, the schoolgirls training with bamboo spears. Other cultures... don't know when to give up, irrationally; Western culture refuses to give up, on purpose. Example: after Appamattox, Lee, the man of honor, very deliberately made efforts to prevent just the sort of years-or-decades-long guerilla resistance, and attendant atrocities, he knew his fellow Southrons were prepared, physically and emotionally, to undertake.


I've been reading PJM from work and here's some tidbits:
Will Smith is a whiny America-hating racist ignoramus - but he's a Hollywood actor so that goes without saying;
Rape-enablers are mentally unstable - but they've been proving that for decades;
And of course: Sink the Island and Start Over. These lefty loons exhorting us to be tolerant of Islam will not grasp that Islam is the most intolerant philosophy since probably ever.

Another installment. Hey - should we start calling ourselves the Sipsey Street Irregulars?

No comments on the Lee Loadmaster for .30-06 yet?

1879 - Wedenesday, 2 July 2008: The customers seem even more stoned on this product line. Wouldn't'a thunk it possible.

Sink the island already. And my sister will be visiting there later this year! I've warned her....

So I'm calling the mentor line for technical assistance... and the supposed senior is rambling on about FCC regulations and federal software law when what I need to know is WHICH BUTTONS DO I TELL THE CUSTOMER TO PUSH TO GET THE PRODUCT TO WORK. Duelling should never have been outlawed! Sabers at dawn would solve so many societal problems today. Or even sabers at lunch in the parking lot. -And spinoffs! Rope off a designated area. Install bleachers! Sell tickets and popcorn and video rights! That's a Revenue Opportunity! -Have the combatants sign organ donation waivers, perhaps for monetary consideration to their next of kin! I've created a whole new industry with Vast Economic Potential! I'm a GENIUS!

Meanwhile, a few days ago WoG pointed out a Good Cop. There ain't many but in the interest of fairness there's the link.

And in the interest of fairness consider this glimpse inside the cop mind, in their own cop words.

Eco-freak bureaucrats tell asthmatics to choke to death. Get a rope.

New club newsletter and more changes to the Buffalo shoot CoF - apparently all three categories (scope, open, and tang sights) will shoot at all three distances. Still cartridge only, officially, but my Hawken has been invited. Two sighters and ten for score in fifteen minutes at each distance - that's 75 seconds per shot, and I should be able to do that with either PRB or Miniés. I'll probably want another jug of 777 2F anyway - pay Saturday, I'll get it on the way back after the Garand match.

So a buckhorn rear sight. I think I know how to use that: The notch at the bottom like a pistol sight; the middle of the area enclosed by the horns like a too-large ghost-ring; and the tips of the horns like a too-wide conventional notch sight, for three different distances without adjustment. The Hawken's sight has a traditional stepped slider for elevation - when bottomed, seems about right for the loads I've been using so far at 25 and 50 yards, meaning I should have adequate adjustment for longer distances and then I can use the small notch for a more precise sight picture. Need Many Live Rounds at Different Distances to get those settings though, and I might use different powder charges besides, hm.

Hanson compares Cannae to Pearl Harbor: Surprise, shock, humiliation... outrage, deadly resolve, awakening titanic military might leading to the eventual annihilation of the attackers. Hm. Read Kratman's Caliphate - we could go there. And I'm not sure which would be worse - if we turned hard nationalist/imperialist as Kratman describes... or if we don't. Think that through.

1880 - Thursday, 3 July 2008: Vanderboegh. ...Yes.

So today I had a customer trying to install the product and, as often happens, it's RatsNestOSTM. But first, the previous agent (who appears to have abandoned the customer at some point) made a total mess of the service ticket (for one thing the product was showing out of warranty and there's a process to follow in that case which of course was not followed 'cause those other agents are doofi) which, as usual, I had to clean up. Then, the same supposed tech senior which inspired my duelling rant yesterday babbled on endlessly when I called for assistance to get that other incompetent agent out of the ticket so I could start cleaning. Then, in the remote access session, the customer signs his name "PhD" - but this customer is Really Quite Dim, not responding to my inquiries, not describing what he is seeing or doing, not giving the exact wording of the error messages he sees. And I have a theory why this "PhD" seems so dim.

First, he's a government employee. And second... he sounded like an Affirmative Action hire. You know what I mean? Walter Williams he wasn't, nor Thomas Sowell nor Larry Elder neither. [shudder] It's like the dimness creeps in through the headset. Good thing I have books to read (some vintage Heinlein in the stack), and rifle practice scheduled, as antidotes.

Hey, was it H. Beam Piper or some other author of that period who skewered degree holders in a couple of his stories? With the ivory tower angle as opposed to the Real Men protagonists who had to clean up the dreamers' messes? Something like, "...but that's not the most important question: Does he have his doctorate?" That was in a short or novelette where Terran colonists had to deal with unruly natives on a distant planet and the Almighty Planners had no clue what was actually happening on the ground. Maybe it was one of those Flint/Baen reissues like from Christopher Anvil.

Via WoG, more evidence that law enforcement and government, institutionally, nationwide, are approaching the same level of unrestrained abuse that caused our first armed rebellion in 1775 and our second in 1861. This is not "just a few bad apples". It's the inherent nature of the barrel. Reading the VCDL report makes me- makes me... want to watch The Outlaw Josie Wales again. "You know there ain't no forgettin'."

And it's starting to look like some people are just born that way.


Quote o' the Day: "Show me a boy who likes to shoot, and I'll show you a good American." - Herb Parsons, exhibition shooter, Guns magazine, July 1958

There's a Herb Parsons section at the Cody Firearms Museum, downstairs. Or there was thirteen months ago. Nickel-plated Thompson even. Oh hey:

Someday, really - like after I get reliable high-speed access - I really honestly will make the road trip photo gallery pages.

Post-match analysis: During the plate match I found myself getting distracted, during my reload, by what was happening in the other lane. Don't do that. When I was young I was very fond of Magnum, P.I., and over the past many moons I've re-watched the entire series on library DVD. In the very first episode there's a point where Magnum is picking a lock at Robin's Nest and Zeus & Apollo are closing in, and he says to himself, "Don't look at the dogs, work the lock." Remember that.

Annoyance with the Uncle Mike's replacement grips for the GP100: The factory original's screw can be removed with a cartridge rim (or coin), meaning that no tools at all are needed to do a significant field-strip. The Uncle Mike's screw won't even take a dime. Maybe I'll widen it. Alas the threads are different so I can't just swap them.

Examining Hawken. Not as much elevation available as I had thought - only three steps, the current position is in the middle of the slider and if the slider is withdrawn any further, to choose a lower step, the pressure from the sight leaf no longer grips it. Hm. Might end up using that buckhorn at 300 after all - I expect neither PRB or Minié will have a particularly flat trajectory.

Opera 9.5 is buggy, particularly with file transfers. It continues the download but the Opera screen locks up. Might be RatsNestOS on the HP box too though, hard to tell.

1881 - Friday, Independence Day, 4 July 2008:

Read the Declaration of Independence Here

Zzz first, then off to the range for Serious Rifle Practice!

...Aaand it was a full day and I got back late and there's a match tomorrow. Adequate Garand practice, interesting Hawken practice, details tomorrow, going to bed.

1882 - Saturday, 5 July 2008: CMP match!

But first I should 'blog yesterday's practice. The Queen did her usual at all three distances - I just have to get the elevation right for the current phase of the moon and alignment of the stars. (More on that later.) What I spent the most time on yesterday was the Hawken. I won't give a tedious shot-by-shot breakdown but, expecting the traditional-equipment requirement of PRB, that's what I started with - and I got much worse results than I recall from previous sessions, with both on-hand thicknesses of patches, over 60gr 2F 777:

That's an MR31 with a 5¾" black at 100 yards. And then I switched to Miniés with the same charge:

Uh huh. (It helps that the Hawken has a Pretty Good Trigger.) I even got on the paper at 200, though not spectacularly. So I'm about 4MOA with the second string, and under 3 for the first. The Hawken's rear sight is not going to be adequate for long-range shooting (i.e. past 100 yards) in any case; I'll be looking for a tang - but again I see the Hawken has real accuracy potential, compared to what web research has led me to expect from muzzleloaders. And to the reader who donated the Minié mold: Dude. Thanks. Ditto to the one I traded the .38 brass for soft lead.

Hawken practice was interrupted by club mascot Venison:

Then I was told that my muzzleloader has been disinvited from the Buffalo shoot for time and safety reasons - and during practice I was forced to agree: Especially since I'm not really used to muzzleloaders, there's no way I could safely keep up with the breechloaders while complying with club rules for muzzleloader operation. But there is some kind of m/l event in August - I've emailed the indicated person but no response yet.

After practice I visited Yuri for fireworks and cheddarwurst. We didn't actually set off any pyro - there was plenty to watch in the cul-de-sac, and quite a display of civil disobedience with illegal Washington aerial items on the Portland side of the river on the drive back (fine view from the I-205 bridge) - but we did watch his rented copy of Transformers. Which I will now review:

It was not a complete suck. But I wouldn't pay to see it. First, the slapstick parent/teen nonsense went on interminably - we actually fast-forwarded through much of it. Some of the effects were quite good but IMO there was Too Much Detail and things were sometimes going too fast, so you couldn't really tell what was happening or which character it was happening to. I'm sure some CGI nerd somewhere is very proud of himself but I wasn't impressed. The portrayal of law enforcement and government authority was interesting, fitting the unrestrained, immoral JBT stereotype they've been constantly reinforcing for themselves. Constant product placement was annoying. Most of my DVDs are of older films, ya know? From before Hollywood got lazy and incompetent on the one hand, and wacky freaky commie on the other. They're completely out of ideas.

This morning I dragged out of bed again for the match. Pretty good turnout, looks like 23 entries studying my photo of the overall scoresheet. Not my best performance though.

In the match I proved once again that there is nothing wrong with my rifle. I set up my spotting scope, took an educated guess on an initial elevation setting, and started firing. Light conditions, and the inexpensive Simmons 60x (I am Really Close to spending More Than I Should on a 90x Konus from Midway), prevented me from seeing holes in the black - but I felt I was doing pretty good.

Until the first stage (15 rounds in 15 minutes prone, worst five discarded for sighters) was over and I went down to score.

And discovered that while I was firing on the correct target, I was spotting a different one. So I had a pretty good group down in the 8 ring.

Well, learning experience. Windage was good - you can see if my elevation had been correct I'd've been in the mid-to-high 90s. Nothing wrong with the rifle or my loads.

Next came rapid prone, 10 rounds in 70 seconds starting from standing - and I overcompensated, going too high with the elevation knob - but I did still get decent results:

The horizontal stringing was my fault of course. Poor position control I reckon.

The match was interrupted by the other club mascot:

This one had spike antlers in velvet. I therefore dubbed him National Match Velvet. ;) -I learned to pun in the SCA, from holders of the infamous WOAW.

In standing I had a hangfire, the first I can recall with this load using Winchester primers, causing me to flinch and fling the front sight who-knows-where, resulting in an actual miss, though the other nine rounds of the string all scored:

Total was 250/1X (ironically the X was in slow-standing):

Besides this there was the occasional Cool Action Photo, some taken by Yuri with my camera:

Official match results (no way I medalled this time) and the latest in a stack of CMP certificates later.

After, went all Jeffersonian spendthrifty at SW again; I now have a full clip of A-Zoom .30-06 dummies, to help train newbies in the next CMP match (10 August at Lone Oak, 6 September at Clark Rifles). And that new pound of 2F 777, since the Hawken will hit stuff with Miniés; and from the clearance bin, not quite the right sling - 1" instead of 1¼ - but for ten bucks an actual military loop sling with the hooks and keepers. (The GI nylon tends to slip down my arm and is difficult to tighten to prevent same.)

And now I'm going back to bed.

1883 - Sunday, 6 July 2008: [roll over, go back to sleep]

Out shopping, late to chat, but listening in the car I heard Tom Gresham criticizing Da Law and referring to Ruby Ridge. -I missed the whole (Special Heller Edition!) show last week because I was at the club picnic, I'll have to go download it.

Another report from the Sipsey Street Irregulars. And from it, the Quote o' the Day (expanded a bit via Wikipedia):

"Decency, security and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subject to the rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen. In a government of laws, existence of government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, omnipresent teacher. For good or ill, it teaches the whole people by example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law. It invites every man to become a law unto himself. It invites anarchy. To declare that in the administration of the criminal law the end justifies the means - to declare that the government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal - would bring terrible retribution. Against that pernicious doctrine this court should resolutely set its face." - Justice Louis Brandeis, dissenting in the case of US v. Olmstead, 277 U.S. 438 (1928)
Get it, badgeboys? There will be no kristallnacht in America. You can murder us, like you've been doing since at least Kenyon Ballew... but we'll take you with us. Possibly wholesale. Is your pension worth your life? Now some of you are in fact not truly evil. Some of you are actually worried about what you're doing, who you're doing it to, and who you're doing it for. To those I say, and I do hope you listen: You're on the wrong side. Make a career change.

Hm, somehow I seem to have missed this installment of the story. Goodies! As for the stuff being viable after all those years, remember the TurKrap Mauser ammunition? That was dated 1942. I also had some Greek stuff dated 1939. It all went bang. And then there's the Twin Cities M2 Ball a club member donated to me, from 1950-something, which not only worked perfectly in the Queen (which is of a similar vintage) but was also at least as accurate as I was capable of demonstrating in competition.

Sink the island! Now!

WRSA's blog should be added to your daily reads, for a variety of technical and philosophical reasons.

I am now cleaning the Hawken, which was fired exclusively with Hodgdon 777 on Friday. Some Before pics:

Using hot soapy water as I usually do for blackpowder cleanup - and the stuff is coming right off with little if any evidence of rust that wasn't probably already there when I bought the rifle in Idaho. 777 is more expensive than Pyrodex, and maybe sometimes harder to find, but I think I'll stick with it. Post-treating with Hoppe's #9 and CLP, which I did last time, which appears to work well. I also dismounted the hammer from the tumbler, and the bridle from the lock, swabbing what I could and hosing with solvent what I couldn't.

The flash cup I picked up during the road trip helps some, but there's a lot of stuff flying around on firing, and more than once some kind of backblast blew the fired cap right off the nipple. Once it even blew the hammer back to half-cock. It seemed to me to do that more with PRB than with Miniés - something in my loading procedure? An air gap perhaps? I'm using pre-lubed patches and not noticing difficulty loading, and my ramrod is marked; also, after several PRB the Miniés still slid right down (they come out of the mold sized just right for a snug but easy fit after being tumble-lubed with Lee Liquid Alox). The cup prevents the use of a nipple wrench, meaning I have to use plier tips on the flats of the nipple. The lock design is well-engineered and sturdy - not traditional inside, using coil springs and machined parts, but that doesn't bother me a'tall. And an After pic:

As mentioned when acquired, the color case-hardening had been blasted off by cap flames long before I purchased the rifle. The rifling still looks new, at least at the end that can be easily seen, and for as far as can be seen. Not seeing any problems with the use of Lee Liquid Alox either, meaning I won't have, or have to apply, soft messy goop on my Miniés in the field. Checking again for rust tomorrow.

I'd love to be able to recover a fired Minié for study....

While cleaning, listening to Gun Talk archived program from last week, interviewing Gura, Gottleib, et. al. on the Heller decision. (No mention, of course, from Tom Gresham, of NRA actually opposing this case going to SCOTUS....) So What Does This Mean? For optimists: The pendulum's swing toward tyranny has been reversed and, though much work remains, the future of human liberty is bright. For pessimists: The Enemy will now panic, react, and force violent conflict in their endless quest for absolute power and total control. For realists: I have no effing idea, keep reading WoG and WRSA.

Opera 9.5 definitely has bugs in file transfers if not elsewhere. And as I type I'm notified that v9.51 is available. Well, at least they seem to be trying. And it's not like I can ask for my money back.

This has been a busy and tiring three-day weekend. Email is, of course, behind. But, via Yuri, another reason to sink the island.

1884 - Monday, 7 July 2008: Phooey.

Quote o' the Day: Not to put too fine a point on it, but exhorting people to vote for McCain with the "he’s less bad than Hillbama" argument is like urging them to pick rapist #1 over rapist #2 on the grounds that #1 is a little less well endowed, and that he promised to let you pick the position.

DAMMIT! The agents on the other product line are INCOMPETENT LIARS who tick off the customer so much when I finally give the customer the correct information I lose hundreds of dollars of sales! Sabers! Parking lot!

Hey look! Saddam had uranium! Who'd'a thunk it! Oh don't worry, it was only FIVE HUNDRED FIFTY TONS of yellowcake - nobody could make a weapon out of that....

1885 - Tuesday, 8 July 2008: Stupid customers. Stupid "mentors". Stupid traffic. Grunt.

Opera v9.51 does seem to have fixed the file transfer bug (and some image handling issues), and at least one of the undocumented tricks I got used to in 9.2x is back too.

Via WoG:

Lessons learned.
1. Don't wait for the cops. They at best are 5-10 minutes away. If and when they respond, most of them lack the cajones to do anything. Look at Columbine and Virginia Tech for proof....

And speaking of the War on Gunfolk, a pessimist can only be pleasantly surprised. Heller isn't as big a victory as some folks want to believe.

Even more bad cops, including a story about LAPD firing one of their own for being Christian while off-duty.

Quote o' the Day: "The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of the republic; since it offers a strong moral check against usurpation and arbitrary power of the rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them." - Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 1833

Founders' Quotes Search Engine!

Okay, got a fistful of library DVDs so I'm doing my best to blow out the email now so it can back up all over again. :) Of particular note, yet another in a too-long list of reasons to, as the sender puts it, "Sink the Island. Raise it up, and sink it again." -Which is better than anything I can come up with because I am disgusted beyond the capacity for coherent criticism. It's right out of Huxley!

A reader sent this video - which I have not watched in its entirety due to bandwidth - of what increasingly appears to be a typical Only One roughing up a kid. In the ensuing email exchange he quipped: "Ya know, last year, seeking a cushy county job, I applied for Correctional Officer One. I came in third out of three hundred on the written test. I passed the lie detector, and the physical. And flunked the psych test. I'm beginning to take that as a compliment."

1886 - Wednesday, 9 July 2008: My reading is way off. Setting Carnage and Culture aside, since it's a reader donation and not from the library, and trying to reread Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. I have a bunch more, largely Baen of course but also some history, stacked up. The new product line has longer calls and more of them, leaving less free time between.

Ordering the Konu$ 90x $potting $cope. Under $90 with free shipping, eh? It should arrive in time for the Plotner match on the 20th. -For which I'll need more ammunition! Meaning I'll need more practice! Meaning I'll need more ammunition! Argh! And now there's no way I can afford a .30-06-capable progressive until after the Plotner match! Probably I'll break down and use some of my reserve once-fired HXP66 from the April 2007 Appleseed, which is fully processed and needs only assembly. Yeah, what else am I saving it for? Fred Almighty himself says it's better to have 100 rounds of ammunition and 900 rounds of experience, than to have 1,000 rounds of ammunition, and the 1/2/300yd Plotner match, all slow-prone and self-spotted, should give me some useful experience. Okay, that's less work than I feared 'cause I did most of it a year or so ago (sizing, tumbling, trimming, chamfer/deburring, removing primer pocket crimp). Awright, making, um, three test batches at 49.0, 50.0, and 51.0gr BL-C(2) with the usual Hornady 150gr FMJBT and standard WLR primers (that hangfire in last weekend's CMP match bugs me...). Ten rounds each batch or twenty? Chronograph of course... hmm. Practice this Saturday (with my Simmons 60x spotter) after ACSWW and the Big Bore shoot, then more practice on the 19th after Wolverton pins perhaps, by which time I hope to have the Konus 90x. -Need to get that loop sling installed too, and dry-practice with it. Sportsman's Warehouse does stock a 1.25" version but it's marked Brownell's and it's also marked $55, yikes. The 1" was ten bucks on clearance. -Bi-Mart might have an Uncle Mike's, they used to back when I had Ishapores....

Hm, GP100 or Witness for pins on the 19th? I have Kydex for both.... That event doesn't allow multiple entries like mine does. Witness I think; I had good qualifying times on plates with it and probably got psyched in head-to-head. But then another concern; pins need much hotter loads than plates and my loads are deliberately mild, hm.

The customers for these (multifunction) products are Even Dimmer, which is quite the accomplishment. But that's all right because my new coworkers match them anti-lumen for anti-lumen! AND THE SUPPOSED SUPERVISORS AND TECH MENTORS TOO! GAAAHHH!!!

Training Friday, with a shifted shift, grunt. At least I won't be taking calls.

CURSES! OpticsPlanet emails that the Konus is out of stock! Ship date unknown.

Sis emails: "The other day there was a hand-written (in broken English) note in my mailbox on top of a pile of my neighbors mail asking me to deliver my neighbors mail to him. I put the note on my outgoing mail clip with the response, 'So--WHERE'S MY MAIL???' And these people earn more than I do!!!!" I gotchyer "civil service" right here.

1887 - Thursday, 10 July 2008: Via WoG, another good cop.

Another installment! And from it the Quote o' the Day: "The Constitution is not an instrument for government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests." - Patrick Henry

Do you get it, you jackbooted scum, you elitist "public servants"? The whole idea behind the creation of this nation is that government must be restrained and people must be free. You hate that, don't you? You can't stand the idea of anyone doing anything without your permission, supervision, and approval. And paying a tax on it of course.

That's because you're evil. And sick.

...Not unrelated, here's a plan of action. Not pretty, but I do prefer the boisterous sea of liberty over the calm of despotism.

New activism image - click to enlarge:

Yuri informs me that a Red Dawn remake is in the works. Let me guess, the villains will be white heterosexual Christian oil executives and the heroes will be Oppressed Ethnic Minority Misunderstood Agrarian Reformers from the Religion of Peace who are also Environmentally-Conscious Vegetarian Marijuana-Smoking Homosexuals.

1888 - Friday, 11 July 2008: Not the most exciting training, or trainer. Government schools....

More Heller analysis.

And then the call volume spikes and training is cancelled and I have to deal with the Dim Ones again all day. This place, the left and right hands have never been formally introduced. Now my whole schedule for the day is off (but it was anyway). And I need a haircut and I have to do laundry and I need to make test batches for the Queen for practice tomorrow and....

All the above was typed at work and emailed to the hovel. Got out about a quarter past 7 and traffic was still a mess, didn't get back 'til near 8. Then, before gumption ran out, I:

1) Made three 10-round test batches of Garand fodder at 49.0, 50.0, and 51.0gr BL-C(2), for bench testing at 100 yards for velocity and accuracy tomorrow;

2) Cleaned the Queen from the CMP match last week, ahem;

3) Put the Corolla on the ramps to see if that sound from underneath as I was plummeting down US26's Sylvan Hill was one of the driveaxle bolts letting go (it wasn't);

4) Finally relaxed from a long busy day with refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough.

Reader comments:

Red Dawn Remake: the agrarian (ad nauseum) protagonists keep getting their asses kicked in the beginning because even 'Helen Keller' the blind and deaf German Shepard can find their camp due to the pot and incense smells. Later on, they continue to receive ass-kickings because the sun reflects off their crystal pendants. Because they're deathly afraid of 'offense' they let anyone join, including actual terrorists who think that killing any American is a good thing. Then there are the ones who get caught and killed because they've forgotten that Homo Sapiens are omnivores, and without sufficient animal protein, they cannot hump a forty pound rucksack all day. Finally, the remnants wake up to reality and join the NRA.


1889 - Saturday, 12 July 2008: ZZZZCIENCE!

Show first - I have a good muzzleloading rifle but for $150 each I saw, at separate tables, a Lyman .54 percussion Very Obviously drilled & tapped for a tang sight, and some 20th Century reproduction - probably Spanish, i.e. Jukar - .44 flintlock long rifle right out of Dan'l Morgan. Sigh. Also saw new 1911 parts - since the ambidextrous safety I have now tends to separate I'm thinking of going back to a single-side extended (the one it came with won't lock positively) - as low as $35. Maybe next month. One vendor had a Garand, SA 3.7 million, which he believed to be an early-1960s match rebuild: he had it broken down so you could see that the stock (showing evidence of bedding) and the trigger group were numbered to the receiver; the sights were marked "NM", the front was skinnier than the Queen's, and the rear aperture was not hooded but was smaller than standard, and checkered on the rear surface to reduce glare. He said he paid a thousand and was asking $1,800. ...No. I am adequately equipped where the M1 is concerned, about which more presently. Oh, and there was a splendid display (large photo) of Lugers. The cased one at bottom right had an American Eagle chamber crest and I'm pretty sure it was a .30. The Iron Cross was marked 1914. Note the variations - grip safeties, barrel lengths, stock lugs, magazine bottoms, etc. The one at center top, with the 6" barrel next to the tooled leather holster, was marked "MAUSER PARABELLUM" and had shiny bits suggesting commercial production.

And I put a down payment on a Tanfoglio ("FT - MADE IN ITALY", just like my Witness) .22LR conversion kit for my 1911! It has the exact same low-profile adjustable rear sight with square white outline, and a plain black front ramp which I will paint. Total $180, paying off at next month's show. One magazine but I'm sure I can order more. Newish-in-box. And then I get one of these (which would require me to go back to a non-ambidextrous safety) and some kind of dot and then I'm equipped for all three divisions in my own plate match! (Not to mention the Cultural Subversion possibilities inherent in a .22 handgun.) At which point Yuri will be able to directly whup me in at least rimfires, since his 22/45 is finally fixed and not quite cutting cloverleafs at 14 yards from the bench.

Now for the SCIENCE. Eventually Yuri arrived and we went on to the range, just as the Big Bore Buffalo Shoot was wrapping up; just in time for me to get some photos which will appear in the club newsletter eventually. After the Sharpses and 1885s and whatnot cleared out (someone was using, probably, a Sharps percussion breechloader; I found spent musket caps; but the loading procedure for that would be far closer, for safety concerns, to an actual cartridge breechloader than my Hawken would be, so fair enough), I set up the Queen and the chronograph:

It is fortunate that I had twenty rounds of the old 49.0gr batch left as a control, before I started with the new test batches made last night. First a string of ten of the old stuff, on an MR31 ('cause that's what I had) at 100 yards from the bench (only checking velocity and accuracy this time, distance practice after pins on the 19th after making a big batch based on these results):

Now that just ain't right. I haven't had to touch my windage knob for maybe a year. Could be the weather; very hot for several days. The queen might have taken an impact, I dunno. It caused me to cock an eyebrow but I didn't panic; the M1 has the Best Rear Sight Evarrr and as long as she continues to group I know I can just click her right back into the black. Except she wasn't grouping. But there was an explanation for that too: I'd left the cartridge box in the car while I was at the show and the cartridge temperature was Above Ambient, actually warm to the touch. Scientific Method: Remove Variables From the Equation.

So I left the Queen, and the cartridges, on the bench in the shade for maybe an hour, wandering the range searching for the brass that is bonus - and scored at least 100 pieces of good .308 civilian and FC-marked 7.62x51mm! (What doofus leaves that laying around these days?) Chatted with various others, ate some oranges someone left in a box marked "FREE" in the RSO shack, observed Yuri re-sighting-in his 22/45 after changing red-dot reticles.

When I came back the remaining cartridges felt about ambient and I resumed the Science, with the other ten rounds of the previous batch as a control, and actually made a windage adjustment (there was wind today but I don't expect it to have that much effect at only 100 yards on a 150gr Spitzer boattail crowding 2,800fps):

Better, yes. (That's a 5¾" black on the MR31; those would, geometrically, be 9s or better on the SR in a 200yd CMP match.) Now the first of the new batches, which is exactly the same as what I just fired except for the astrologic sign it was made under:

At least one of the string was inadvertently fired on the previous target (I had two, one above the other, and got distracted) (a while back I bought boxes of target pasters, for sale in the RSO shack; now, to record targets for later examination, I don't need to take the actual targets home, I just take photos with my Pretty Durn Good A580 camera, paste the holes, and continue shooting until the target is no longer repairable) (which also saves me money on targets). That's more like it. Elevation is off but I don't worry at all about that; the Plotner match on the 20th has 5 sighters for 100yds, and 2 each for 200 and 300, which should be plenty with the M1's aforementioned Superior Rear Sight.

On to the next batch, 50.0gr BL-C(2):

That is Extremely Interesting, is it not? Again I see that my $20 Garand can Shoot Really Good (Praise and Blessings be upon Tucson Tom the Benevolent). Also interesting, a very small increase in velocity over the 49.0gr, but the ejection pattern is different: with the 49.0gr load the Queen deposits her empties in a surprisingly neat little pile about three meters forward and right, about 1 to 2 o' clock. With the 50.0gr load she flings them a) farther and b) 90° further clockwise, toward 4 o' clock, but not always; they were going all over really, some coming down in my lap almost.

Finally, the 51.0gr load:


No hangfires or any other operational failure throughout the 50-round experiment, hm. And the particular WLR primers I used were well over a year old, won as a drawing prize by my sister a couple club Turkey Shoots ago - they'd been sitting in my cabinet since then (she doesn't handload) and I paid her for them when she came down last month so I'd have Yet Another Brick of Large Rifle Primers, which I seem to go through with alarming alacrity these days.

So! Over the next week - ideally if the weather moderates some - I'll blow out the remaining hundred-odd prepped cases with the 50.0gr load.


Numbers of course:

.30-06 test loads
M1 Garand
150gr Hornady FMJBT #3037
Hodgdon BL-C(2) powder, WLR primer, military brass, Lee crimp die

Load 1: old 49.0gr, LC Match brass, heated
Load 2: old 49.0gr, LC Match brass, de-heated
Load 3: new 49.0gr, Greek HXP66 brass
Load 4: new 50.0gr, Greek HXP66 brass
Load 5: new 51.0gr, Greek HXP66 brass

\/ Round# Load->12345

Note the slight, but real, drop in velocity with the exact same load made at the exact same time between having left it in the car and then leaving it in the shade to cool. There's yer scientiffy proof of that phenomenon. Also note the relatively small increases in velocity (.01-.02%) with a full grain increase in powder charge (~2%). Science-y!

So I'm done with the Queen, not least 'cause I'm out of rounds - but over the last several weeks I've accumulated a whole clip's worth of A-Zooms, so, now that Yuri has his CMP certificate and he can start saving for his own M1, I gave him some dry practice loading and unloading and using the SLED and 2-round match clip and suchlike. Then... he had been practicing with his Simonov on the other line, having been chronically wrestling with the red dot he has on it, and since my chronograph and bench and target was still set up, he chrono'd the last five of his handloads. And the results were Very Interesting and I don't mean the numbers. See his 'blog for details.

Also I found, on the bulletin board, finally a course of fire for the muzzleloader event on 2 August:

  • Traditional rifles use patched round ball (inlines (turning up nose and sniffing disdainfully (except BATFU doesn't like (at least some) inlines so by "NATO doctrine" I must defend their manufacture, sale, and use)) may use conical or sabot)
  • 3 sighting shots for each stage
  • First stage: Two strings of 5 shots in 20 minutes each, 15 minutes between strings, on a "Poker" target at 50 yards from the bench
  • Second stage: Two strings of 5 shots in 15 minutes each, 15 minutes between strings, on a "Buffalo" target at 50 yards, offhand, shooting sticks allowed

    So the Miniés are out. But! Chatting with an RSO the idea arose that PRB, which has been chopping cloverleafs at 25 yards and not much worse at 50, may simply become unstable at 100, as I saw, while the Minié is vastly more stable. So I think my Hawken will do well in August. 26 shots total; the pre-lubed patches I use should accomodate that and I'll be more concerned with ignition failure as the flame path becomes fouled - but another cap usually fixes that. Might get more Hawken practice on the 19th - no, then I'd have to clean it before the Plotner; on the 26th then after plates. Both patches and round ball I can get at Bi-Mart or SW, and caps & powder I have. I was getting hangfires last time, which will totally wreck me in offhand even with shooting sticks (which I'll have to make from something) - any suggestions for caps? The usual choice here is only CCI #11. Sometimes I find #11M "magnum" - yup, have a can of those. I also have, um, I think, some Remington, somewhere, but those might be #10; some old-looking CVA in a blue plastic can from a blister-pack card, and (rummage-rummage) one can of RWS #1075.

    Then back to the hovel and a bunch of typing and photo cropping.

    From the Department of Assault and Moonbattery, "Black Hole" is racist; Bible Publishers Sued for Anti-Gay References. Mentally ill.

    1890 - Sunday, 13 July 2008: Precious zzz.

    Ah, Midway does have the Aimtech mount, for less than Brownell's. Into the cart.

    Chat every Sunday. Interview with Fjestad, publisher of the Blue Books. In the chat room, a moonbat you may have been reading about on Yuri's 'blog. I simply plonked him (there's an "Ignore" button) - not the type to argue for the sake of argument, and in this case it would simply have been wasting my time and annoying the pig - but the other Elves seemed entertained. I did loose one arrow of my own though: [Yuri] and I were talking about this at the range yesterday, and it's something I blogged briefly some weeks ago. What kind of person wants everyone around them to be incapable of defending themselves? The kind who wants to attack and abuse those same people. In the dark and poisoned corners of their souls, Cliff and his kind are the thieves, murderers and rapists. They're mentally ill and potentially violent, and they cannot comprehend that us grown-ups are not sick like them. They project their own disorders onto the world around them, never realizing that they're the ones who are evil, and the rest of us just want to be left alone.

    Might have to get me one of these. My A580 oughta do in the meantime though.

    Lots of Ruger .22 pistols at my plate match, and several of those are the MkIII with a magazine safety, which is of "dubious utility in a combat pistol" (Ian Hogg, Military Small Arms of the 20th Century, Browning GP35 entry) and annoying at best in any other kind. If you happen to have one such, here seem to be instructions on disabling it.

    Hey - those activists suing the bible publishers the other day - are they going to file a similar suit against publishers of the Koran? Press charges against Ahmadinejad for executing homosexuals? I don't think so.

    Hey - what's this stuff? Got two bandoliers a few matches ago, evidently M2 Ball, in Garand clips:

    The bullet is long, like the other GI stuff I've seen, as opposed to my handloads with the Hornady which has a higher cannelure; the jacket is brass colored and otherwise unmarked (i.e. just FMJ, not T or AP or whatnot). The bandoliers say "LC", the stuff might have been repackaged. Aha! But how'd it get up here? -And is it corrosive? Heck, is it reloadable?

    1891 - Monday, 14 July 2008: Effing Monday. Effing incompetent illiterate coworkers. Effing government schools.

    Forecast calls for less-hot weather later this week, that would make a good time for the next Big Garand Ammunition Batch. I seriously need a progre$$ive pre$$ that will handle .30-06. Hunnerds 'n' hunnerds of 'em to resize now. And HEY! HAS ANYONE TRIED HONDA RED LABEL MOTORCYCLE CHAIN LUBE AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR EXPENSIVE HORNADY ONE SHOT CASE LUBE? $8-$9/can for the Hornady around here. -Awright, fine, I'll get some and try it. Here is where I got the idea - search the messages for "Honda".

    Finally actually rereading The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. It's Heinlein, 'nuff said.

    1892 - Tuesday, 15 July 2008: FFRRREEEEEAAAKKSS!!!!

    Freaky customers. Freaky co-workers. Freaky "mentors". Freaky network. Freaky products!

    ...Freaks.... [twitch]

    Got tentatively recruited to the Callback Team, meaning I get to jump into other agents' unfinished messes with a big electronic mop. ...Why did I accept that offer? The team manager appealed to my competence. What a dirty trick! My comptence, me who has been grumping about my new "co"-"workers"' incompetence since I got here. "The only reward for good work is more work!" :-\

    Sink the bloody island already.

    1893 - Wednesday, 16 July 2008: 127 rounds M2 Ball equivalent completed at 50.0gr BL-C(2). All prepped brass - and gumption - expended.

    1894 - Thursday, 17 July 2008: Even More Sink the Island. And more yet: 'We must get back to the time when members of the public accept that even if they have done nothing wrong, and are not carrying a knife, they must not object to a police officer questioning them and in some cases searching them,' [Ian Johnston, president of the Police Superintendents' Association] said.

    I follow WoG daily, usually from work where I have more bandwidth, but since Codrea is doing such a fine job as war correspondent I usually don't bother duplicating his efforts here (even when I'm the one sending him links). But this one just drives me totally fangs-out. What's the difference between this two-bit thug and a mobster running a protection racket? Nuthin' but a badge, and my tax dollars.

    Okay, a product, all right? Which connects to a computer with an A-B USB cable, square on one end and rectangular on the other. Right? And another similar device. One works, the other doesn't. So, try the known-good cable from the one, on the other. And you know what the customer does? Unplugs the rectangular computer end of the known-good cable and tries to plug that into the other product's square USB port.

    That was a three-hour call, nearly two of which were past my end-of-shift. I'm going to bed!

    -But first hey! While researching a progressive press for the Huge Pile of .30-06 BrassTM I've discovered that I was right on with my load! So the current batch might be a little hot - though the numbers suggest otherwise - though I have no way of measuring pressure.

    1895 - Friday, 18 July 2008: Busy weekend: Pins tomorrow morning, Garand practice tomorrow afternoon, Garand competition Sunday morning. Then next weekend is plates again, with Hawken practice after, and maybe the Expo show (or not - that place crawls with blueshirts - how many of them are shaking down the vendors for free samples? "Nice table you got here, wouldn't want anything to happen to it"); then Hawken shooting (maybe not "competition", no prizes mentioned in the flyer) the weekend after that. I need to go to bed earlier but a reader has just sent more fascinating videos on DVD. :-/

    Something funny with that CMP forum link last night, I think I fixed it. It was supposed to point to a particular thread with a lovely list of Garand loads all the way up to 180gr, which also happens to show my 49.0gr BL-C(2) load for 150-ish.

    Canada Sucks. Will the Canadian Human Rights Commission sue me for saying so? Down here in the "colonies" we have this "free speech" thingie. I guess they've never heard of it. Make sure you read the second page of the article, describing how HRC's lefty activists troll supremacist websites, post racist remarks, then charge the site with racism and sue third-party 'bloggers who point it out. What's the word I'm looking for? Stalinist?

    No word on the Konus 90x, which obviously will not arrive in time for the Plotner match. Budgeted, not billed. Sigh. The Simmons 60x will serve out to 200, usually, but at 300 I'll only see the hole if it's out of the black - hence practice tomorrow after pins.

    Uh huh.

    The recent video loot came with an Atlanta Cutlery catalog, featuring this. Drool. -Though I notice Numrich, of all people, has it at the exact same price, ditto scabbard, huh.

    I have posted a (very short) new segment of my story, something my muse has been chewing on since I read Paul Chafe's Genesis and was ticked off by it. Chafe's previous work, Destiny's Forge, which could serve as a clean ending to the Man-Kzin Wars, was Really Quite Good; but Genesis was... just... lame, sinking into what I viewed as eco-freakyness, Ludditism, and Christian-bashing-by-proxy. Hence this tiny little rebuttal. Once you reach orbit you're halfway to the rest of the 'verse, and riches the human mind can scarcely comprehend. Chafe - and the Vloss - appear to have never grokked that. -In fairness, Wikipedia describes Genesis as first of a trilogy and Chafe does have a chance to pull out of the dive. We'll see.

    1896 - Saturday, 19 July 2008: Piinnnss! With the Witness. -Nothing wrong with the pistol, even had one near-perfect run. My loads might be a little light for pins, and if the front sight blade were narrower or the rear notch wider my sight acquisition might be faster. The controls are a bit difficult to reach, requiring some shifting of the grip to eject the magazine, but not awful. The only reloads I did today were mandatory, IIRC. 5th overall of 12; fastest total for engaging 27 pins in 5 stages, 37.40 seconds; my time 47.53. Just need hunnerds & hunnerds of rounds more practice is all. The Fobus SG21 Kydex worked well, though the roto part tends to drift - not a big problem. The Uncle Mike's Kydex magazine holder also performed adequately. Zero failures of pistol or ammunition, maybe 50-odd rounds fired.

    On the way back I stopped at an I-5 rest stop whose road sign said "WiFi Hot Spot" and I think the failure of my little ad-hoc hovel network, NEC laptop to HP box, has something to do with the NEC. The HP's Belkin card, with stubby little desktop antenna, is detecting one of the new hovelplex tentants' (secured) 2WIRExxx; the NEC isn't detecting anything anymore. Tried the DLink N card too, nothing. Hmm.

    Then lunch, then to Clark Rifles for rifle practice - the Cast Bullet Association match was packing up as I arrived, no photo ops. Garand practice was delayed by chatting but eventually I settled down at the bench with much-patched MR31 targets at all three distances. My first three rounds at 100 were very encouraging:

    I made adjustments to the sight and continued... getting puzzling results (a little hard to see, digiscoping - enhanced with MSPaint):

    Eventually that seemed to settle down, then I went up two clicks and fired four rounds at 200:

    Then up another two and four rounds at 300:

    And then I quit for the day. According to the newsletter and the flyer on the bulletin board at the firing line, the first stage will be at 100 yards with five sighters. I know the rifle groups if I do my part, and those first three shots today strongly suggest a cold bore won't be much of an issue; I get two sighters at each further distance and I know I need only 2 clicks up for each. I should not suck in the match tomorrow. I have the windage knob quite tight though, to compensate for the worn disc for the elevation click adjustments, hm.

    (Any readers expecting to find me in the chat room tomorrow, I won't be. Except maybe near the end.)

    Hey look, backed-up email!

    Quote o' the Day: "The problem isn't a shortage of fuel; it's a surplus of government." - Ronald Reagan

    WSJ interviews Gura.

    This forum thread may answer my #11 cap question from some days ago - I'll try the RWS #1075 caps (which, I discovered today, are stocked at Sportsman's Warehouse) in Hawken practice after plates next Saturday. (Got Hornady (already have Speer) .530" LRB and more pre-lubed .010" patches.)

    Yuri reports that the burst barrel from nearly two years ago is still going 'round the 'net, apparently now picked up by the United States Navy. I have got to start watermarking my pics with my URL.

    More from the Sipsey Street Irregulars!

    Reader sends: PSI = (CUP reading x 1.51) - 17,902. (See also.) Hodgdon's powder data engine says 39,700CUP for 49.0gr BL-C(2) under 150gr jacketed, which translates to 42,045PSI; and that's their starting load. Hodgdon maxes at 54.0gr for 48,600CUP/55,484PSI. TM 43-0001-27 says M2 Ball is rated at 50,000PSI. Forum chatter says JCG tested the M1 at 120,000PSI and couldn't blow up the rifle. All the burn rate charts I've seen put BL-C(2) well within the range recommended for the M1. Therefore, my 50.0gr BL-C(2) load with Hornady #3037 150gr FMJBT should be entirely safe. But it bugs me that such a small change in powder (+2%) gives an even smaller change in velocity (+~.02%), yet displays so much change in ejection pattern. Weird. (Same reader also sends internal ballistics insight.)

    Reader sends:

    I have seen reports on two M1905 bayonet reproductions.

    Neither of them looked good up close or properly locked onto any rifle they were issued with.

    You could, by looking around, find a real one for not much more than that repro.

    Sink the Island. There's no end to these examples.

    1897 - Sunday, 20 July 2008: On this day in 1969 Americans set foot on Luna! ...So why haven't we gone back since 1972? There should be vacation resorts by now! >:-[

    ...Car didn't start. Like some months ago, lights come on, seatbelt warning buzzes, but only a click from the other side of the firewall. Rolled it back and forth some and eventually it started. Eek? -More on that presently.

    Match day! On Sundays I usually sleep in, listen to Gun Talk and inhabit the chat room but this is the Chet M. Plotner match, all slow-prone at 100, 200 and 300 yards - a good test of my ability and equipment.

    Started overcast and a bit unwarm - my breath was actually fogging when I arrived at the range. That didn't last and heat soon became a factor. The morning sun was in just the right position to make my Simmons 60x nearly useless even at 100 yards, and remained so through the first relay. (Since I don't have the scoped M100 ready I only shot the one. Maybe next year.) The Queen functioned perfectly as usual but with the light conditions I had very few clues how I was doing.

    1st stage, 5 sighters and 10 for score in 15 minutes on the SR1. It looked like my sighters were hitting the black, maybe a little high, so I started engaging the other target. Windage was holding at where I left it yesterday, within the limits of my skill, but with the light conditions and heat waves I could not see a .30 hole in the white at 60x at 100 yards. Furthermore the plan was for the entire relay to complete its three-stage course of fire before anyone went down to actually eyeball the targets, therefore I could not verify whether I was in the black or off the paper. Eventually viewing conditions improved enough to discover I was going too low, drat. Another learning experience.

    Hey OpticsPlanet! Where's my 90x Konus? :-\

    2nd stage, 2 sighters and 10 for score in 12 minutes on the MR52. That black is about the size of the SR, but the scoring rings are far tighter. Again with light conditions; could not tell where they were going. I had guessed up 2 clicks from 100 but went up and down one or two more repeatedly throughout the stage. At this point I noticed that my ejection pattern may have changed again - now she puts most of them in a neat pile right at 3 o'clock, huh. Except a few go forward, 12 or 1 o'clock, a few toward 4 or 5 o'clock, and one or two came straight down and bounced off the rifle. Huh? Note the one inside the band of my wristwatch - that's where it landed:

    And here's the ejection pattern for the 3rd stage:

    The original plan for 200 was to fire the two sighters at one target, then the ten for score at another, but range geometry prevented that for some shooters and the course was changed so that everyone fired all twelve on the upper target, discarding the two worst. Visual aid:

    The viewing conditions never did improve throughout my relay; I was getting glare off the front sight too, I'll have to start blackening it regularly. On to 300 in the third stage, and as you can see above, it's a tight fit over the 200yd berm. Since I couldn't see anything through the scope at that distance, even though a Shoot-n-See color-reactive target center was used, I feared I was hitting that berm, and guessed and second-guessed my elevation setting. Finally done with my 39 rounds, with trepidation I hiked down to score.

    At 100 I got 80/0X - five sighters below, ten for score above:

    At 200, 69/0X - but on a CMP SR I'd've scored far higher:

    And at 300, 79/0X, which is pretty good for that distance under those conditions. Two photos here, first showing the Shoot-n-See with Very Small color reaction which also could not be seen at 60x, then the actual score on what is usually the 200yd SR; the Shoot-n-See was to help people spot their hits, while the SR behind it had the actual scoring rings, which were smaller:

    In sum, still nothing wrong with the rifle, decent event, didn't embarrass myself, I'd go again. The match director was somewhat new to match directing but I expect he'll get up to speed soon enough. My total score 228/0X; winning score 299/15X, by Mr. R. of course, with an übercustom M700 sporting an humongous (Sinclar I'm told) rear sight:

    After the match, the car started. Huh?

    Down the hill, stop at ATM... car didn't start. Dammit! Got it roll-started, yay stick shift. Nothing wrong with the engine, once it gets started. (My next car may very well be another Toyota.) Drove to Sportsman's Warehouse, bought some particular projectiles for my biggest donor.

    Car didn't start.


    Fortunately one of the club's board members, and one of the regulars at the small local shows, were running a FoNRA event in the SW lobby and I got one to help push-start again. Straight back to the hovel! That man first suggested that the starter motor needed to be thumped a couple times with a hammer, which I happened to have aboard - didn't work. Then he pointed out the heavy corrosion on the battery terminals; so maybe there's enough contact to get the lights and buzzer working but not enough current to engage the starter motor. Back to hovel, park car, switch off, wait a moment, switch on - car doesn't start.

    Getting worried.

    So I get the baking soda and water and brushes (I have an actual terminal brush) and have at it. One problem is that the + terminal's split-end cable is not firmly gripping the battery, and of course the bolt and nut are a lump of oxide, which sheared apart in the course of trying to loosen. Hike to hardware store, get replacement nut & bolt, hike back, reassemble. And it works! Double-yay gunfolk for pushing my car and correctly diagnosing the problem!

    By which time I'm too emotionally and physically drained to do laundry or groceries as I had planned when crawling out of bed this morning. But I have enough to reach tomorrow. -Now watch, I'll get the FourHourCallFromHell at end-of-shift 'cause that's how the world works.

    Meanwhile, in webitorial cartoon land: Mm-hm.

    The CMP match director, a participant, also affected by the viewing conditions, asked me, the computer guy who's always taking photos, if it would be feasible to rig a remote camera, by WiFi or CCTV, to view targets downrange as they are shot, on a monitor at the firing point. Which is an idea I had part of already, using my damaged FinePix A345 for digiscoping. Suggestions? There is AC power available at both ends (there are bright red strobes at each line of target holders on that range for additional safety, besides the usual flags). Then the newsletter guy asked me about a good provider for bulk email, i.e. to send a link to download the latest newsletter or other club business. One obvious solution is a Yahoo group but do you-all have any other notions?

    Bumper sticker idea: PATTON/ROMMEL '08. But I'm too pooped to work on it now.

    Tweaked my version of the Bill of Rights to include Incorporation a'la 14th Amendment, which is one of the arguments the control freaks are using against the Heller decision.

    I used the leather loop sling today, having hastily installed it last night with web instructions; and it's not quite right, a bit short in front methinks, and no holes at all in the rear portion. Which may have been why it was on clearance for ten bucks. Tuesday - now that my car seems to be running again and I don't think I have to shop for a new starter motor - I'll see if there's a 1.25" Uncle Mike's like I had on one of my Ishapores once.

    Saturday the 26th is plates. Sunday the 27th is a match run by Mr. R., paper-punching with both rifle and pistol, based on USN qualification according to the flyer:


  • Prone Slow Fire: 10 sighting shots in 10 minutes "Target A" (aka 5-V) at 200 yards
  • Standing to Prone Slow Fire: 5 shots in 5 minutes (same target & distance)
  • Standing to Prone Timed Fire: 10 shots in 70 seconds (ditto)

    Then handgun, drawing from holster:

  • 12 shots in 26 seconds on the B-21 target at 3 yards
  • ditto at 7 yards
  • 12 shots in 24 seconds on the B-21 at 15 yards
  • 12 shots in 45 seconds on the B-21 at 25 yards

    Then back to rifle:

  • Standing to Kneeling Slow Fire: 5 in 5 minutes, same target & distance
  • Standing to Kneeling Timed Fire: 10 in 70 seconds, ditto
  • Standing Slow Fire: 10 in 10 minutes, ditto

    I do have enough Garand rounds left in the current batch, and will probably have enough .45 left after plates as well, and I know the Witness is accurate. Hmm.

    1898 - Monday, 21 July 2008: Car started, after brief hesitation like a CCI #200 hangfire. Drove to work, switched off, waited a moment - car started again without hesitation. Buying more baking soda later. -See? Gunfolk are Better People. Pushing my car! Sending me unsolicited loot!

    Still thinking about that rifle/pistol event on the 27th. While dragging out of bed and staggering to the shower this morning I'd pretty much convinced myself not. (Don't read Heinlein in bed with work in the morning.) Still undecided. Eyeing budget too - still Strongly Desire tall progressive press for .30-06, the empties are really piling up. (Can't shop Midway or Natchez from work, unless I use one of the (unstable RatsNestOS) break room machines.) Expo show that weekend, OAC show also that weekend (theme "Gunleather", I think I can safely miss that, besides it's a morning show and of course the match starts in the morning). ...Nnnaah, not shooting on the 27th, need sleep and might hit Expo after all. 50yd PRB Hawken practice after plates, which will probably not leave time for Expo Saturday.

    60-odd rounds left from the last .30-06 batch - next CMP match 10 August at Lone Oak, and CMP rounds are included in the match fee, and required to be used. Then CMP at Clark Rifles again on 6 September, the usual 35-round Course A; then the next match will be the AvA in November. So I won't need to make more rounds until October-ish but the way the election is shaping up I sure want to.

    Nearly every time I get into prone, I get bruised at the lower-left corner of my ribcage, ow. I've tried military prone with both legs straight, and Olympic prone with the strong-side leg bent to roll my torso and spread the weight on that whole side - sometimes the latter works for me but not yesterday. The particular sling may have something to do with it at this point - I had to get the loop all the way down to my elbow to get the butt in my shoulder, with the hooks in the very last holes. Or maybe I'm just not doing it right.

    Only a one-hour CallFromHeck right at end-of-shift. Car started fine.

    Watching donated copy of Unforgiven. Little Bill Daggett was way ahead of his time.

    1899 - Tuesday, 22 July 2008: Car still starts.

    News, wolves returning to Oregon. "There hasn't been a documented case of a wolf attacking a human in over 100 years." Yeah? "Good! That's because I blew it out of the *&^%$ airlock!" Effing bureaucrats seem a tad fuzzy on that cause-and-effect thing. Three S's folks: Shoot 'em, Shovel 'em, and Shut up. -Like cougars: I'm a cat person and would never hunt one for sport, but I recognize they are dangerous animals, that human lives are more important than animal lives, that investments in land and livestock are also more important than the lives of wild predators who will (and do!) breed rapidly if not controlled, and that the most realistic way to control those dangerous animals is through sport hunting; therefore I vote against restrictions on cougar hunting.

    Effing cube move. No warning, and my internal certificate hasn't propogated yet so nothing bloody works, as usual.

    ClickHappyLittleOldLadyCallFromHell at end-of-shift. How many is that consecutive now?

    And the car doesn't start - juiceless this time. Got a jump start in the parking lot - started right away with external current. I don't leave my lights on, awright? Drive across town, stop at library - car starts. Shopping - car starts. Back to hovel, alert Veteran neighbor I might need a jump in the morning. Maybe the battery is just old and tired? I can get one at Bi-Mart, typically $60 with, evidently, a $10 core refund.

    Not ordering 1,000 Hornady #3037 from Midway at this time. :-\

    Meanwhile, muzzleloader event director responds with a copy of the flyer, which I have screen-shotted for easy viewing. My club is always having matches of some kind but not many muzzleloading events:

    Jealous yet? :)

    The other day on library disc I tried to watch The Crescent and the Cross, the History Channel's 2005 take on the Crusades. Gave up after about half an hour of blatant Christian-bashing. And I ain't one even. :-/

    1900 - Wednesday, 23 July 2008: And the car starts instantly this morning. Huh?

    Author's intro to Absolved.


    But, CallFromNotHeck at end-of-shift! Got out almost on time nearly! Gah!

    And the car starts. Shrug? If it doesn't give more trouble by the end of the week I'll place that Midway order.

    From a reader, Quote o' the Day: "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." - Winston Churchill

    That and the Obama stickers I'm seeing everywhere. Thulsa DOOOOOMMM!!!

    Reader sends. Heh.

    Adjustable M1 gas plug? Comments?

    1901 - Thursday, 24 July 2008: Car starts.

    Finished The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. RAH. Next I think will be The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, about those destroyer units at the Battle of Leyte Gulf - one of the History Channel programs I (tediously...) downloaded touched on that and included the author. Might not be able to finish it before due date though, someone else wants it.

    Recently Vanderboegh wrote a LTE which seems to have upset the digestion of some appeasers. What's the huhu? Haven't we all been saying the same thing to each other since the Clinton years? And now some folks are flustered because it's been said in public. Dudes. Pick a side already. "They" certainly have.

    TSA goons are... goons. We knew that. But it may not have been entirely clear that they are petty, spiteful, immature, vengeful, criminally, treasonously incompetent goons. And I suppose that's going to get me on a "no-fly" list? Go ahead you two-bit thugs, prove me right.

    And people are upset about Vanderboegh's letter? Dudes. Pick a side before it picks you!

    And car starts. Huh.

    Email behind, tired from the hypermumblyfreakies.

    1902 - Friday, 25 July 2008: Vroom shrug.

    Entitlement... this culture of free handouts and expecting other people to provide everything is destroying not only this nation but humanity worldwide. Look at England, if you can stomach it - "free" healthcare where patients outlive their doctors waiting for their appointments, total perversions of justice where burglars can sue homeowners who defend themselves. Here we have "people who haven't worked in five generations", wearing gold jewelry, driving new Cadillacs, and loading up on obese-making groceries with our tax bucks. More personally we have parasite thug burglars who get a wrist-slap if they're not white and their victims are. (Oh sure, there were plea bargains and that one's locked up for other things, but I certainly didn't get any satisfaction, getting violated as much by the system as by the burglary, between which I'm seeing less difference by the day.) The point of this ramble is I'm sensing the same entitlement philosophy in some customers - gimmegimmegimmewhyisn'titdoneyet, from people who, I'd wager, couldn't - and wouldn't - change a flat tire to save their own lives. Sigh.

    And speaking of the system, this is one of a long list of reasons why I hate cops.

    Man, that Vanderboegh letter is really hogging the bandwidth. Well, this sort of thing is needed, to determine where people stand. Codrea expands eloquently. Pull yer heads out, folks. -I watched Gibson's The Patriot again last night. The flag decal on the Corolla's back window is a Betsy Ross over a Gadsden, ya know? -Now realistically, no man knows how he will react until he comes out the other side of a crisis and runs the gun-camera film inside his forehead, but I like to think I wouldn't embarrass myself. I do attempt to train toward that end. I'm no David Tubb or Jerry Miculek but I know which end the hot stuff comes out of, and I can still move when I have to, even with the spare tire.

    By the way, cop holsters often have a retention feature of some kind, to prevent us peasants from liberating the tools. Some Bianchis have a lever below the trigger guard area, activated with the second finger, much like those Blackhawk synthetics; some of the Uncle Mike's models have a fixed protrusion inside which engages the trigger guard, requiring a twist of the butt in toward the body to release. Just passing that along. And you've all studied tools other than the ones you own, right? Particularly those carried by your local Authoritah figures? You know your way around an AR and Glock and SIG and Beretta 92 and Mossberg 500/590 and Remington 870 and whatnot? Knowledge is power.

    (Some) Backed-Up EmailTM!

    Reader sends tip on helping recover your tools after a theft. -Buuut, that presumes honest authorities who actually try to get your stuff back, as opposed to the evidently-usual sort.

    Yuri sends postal match.

    Mild weather forecast tomorrow, good, we could use a break from the scorching plate matches.

    Uh huh.

    Aaand the hovel adhoc wireless network is functioning again. I don't know why. Bridged to the dialup connection even and, evidently, automatically running Windows Update (carefully deselecting SP3 (besides which it's dialup)...). Looks like AVG update works through the bridge too, I don't recall that happening before. Encore l'shrug.

    And then it quits again. :-\

    Stossell on Heller. 10Mb if you use SaveTube.

    Insert Bad Product Review for the Caldwell ~$20-$30 electronic earmuffs. My latest and last-ever pair (the previous came apart "under gravitational stress" (that's a line from an old SF story, about the "OFFOG" (oh hey!))) stopped working - corrosion on one of the battery terminals. In the course of attempting repair, one of the solder connections, to the opposite side's speaker from the main circuit board, broke. China of course. Might have to inve$t in the Peltor. Electronics are particularly useful in match shooting, to hear the director's commands; and a necessity if you are the director. Tomorrow I'll have to muddle through with the old dumb Silencios. Eh, I want behind-the-head anyway and the Caldwell won't. But $80?!

    ...Hmm, plotting Midway order and pondering loading for Garand. Look at the very first review, at the bottom of the list. I have the Lee Factory Crimp Die which, sez the box, will create a cannelure; and I have genuine DEN42 M2 Ball to measure from. Hmm. There Will Be Science! Later.

    1903 - Saturday, 26 July 2008: Match day!

    (Partial) VICTORY! 1st Revolver, 2nd Autoloader, 2nd Intramural, and 2nd Overall. Pretty good day. Nothing wrong with the Witness and the GP100 is holding its own. Yuri took some pics and video, as did I, but he had to split for family stuff before we could swap files.

    Cool Action Photo:

    Anyone asks why you can't "silence" a revolver, there's yer answer. Also an instructive safety-training image, sent it to the club's hunter-safety guys. A year or three ago, 'round the net went the tale of a tyro who wrapped his support hand around his Taurus Raging Bull. Last I heard he lost the use of a finger or two.

    After, I was offered the opportunity to try the Mateba:

    It had an excellent single-action trigger, very low recoil (chambered for .357, using .38 +P), and no noticeable flappy-twisty-thunk like a conventional autoloader; though the upper part, barrel and cylinder, recoils along the lower frame to index the cylinder and recock the hammer, you had no indication it was doing it. Remarkably smooth, and fast; I still haven't captured the recoil with my camera, though I did capture the hammer in mid-fall:

    Likely far more accurate than I was able to demonstrate too. (By the way, it was the Mateba's owner who gave me most of the .38 brass I traded to a reader for the soft lead for my Hawken Miniés.)

    And speaking of the Hawken I stayed after to practice with it, from the bench at 50 yards (as in the event next weekend), finally (since I pack tools in my range bag now) adjusting the rear sight for my chosen recreational load, PRB over 60gr 777 FFG. I drifted the entire rear sight out of its dovetail and bent it to restore spring tension so I could get more elevation adjustment with the traditional stepped slider thing, with promising results. I also tried to compare Speer RB to Hornady. In very limited testing (only three Hornady all day) I got this (before some further sight adjustment) (Speer on top):

    Hmm. My patches (.010" pre-lubed with .530" ball) seem all right:

    After whacking the sight with hammer and brass rod I got a pretty good group on a fresh target (sticking with the Speer), maybe 6MOA, maybe less, which the club secretary implies is Actually Rather Good for PRB. Then I fired three Miniés to doublecheck, and they were way low and left (the PRB was shooting right and I adjusted windage accordingly) but well under 4MOA, which, it was also implied, is Actually Rather Good for muzzleloaders generally. Then another three Speer PRB, which were back at POA and back around 6MOA. And drat! I was then in such a hurry to get back to the hovel and the Tuna Helper that I forgot to get a photo of the results! But I feel confident about the ML event next Saturday...

    ...If I can address the hangfire problem. I tried the RWS caps and they threw lots of sparks - rather too many for my taste, and didn't fix the hangfire. I tried a couple old CVA caps, no improvement. CCI #11 Magnum seemed, of the choices I have, to give the least-bad results. The problem is likely in the nipple, which is Really Beat Up. A reader has sent some revolver nipples specifically to address that, but a) I don't think they're the right thread size and b) I've misplaced them in the aptly-named hovel.

    Not going to Expo, I spent too much money at Midway last night. I'll tell you what I bought when it gets here. I have a little project.... Next Expo early September, maybe after CMP. OAC show tomorrow too, "Gun Leather & Accourterments" - nah, no money left and I need sleep.

    More email (including car tips) still backed up. Must clean Hawken now....

    Hoppe's #9, I find, seems to work well as a preservative - no Hawken rust as I've been treating the various bits with Hoppe's after cleaning and during reassembly. I'm also finding it useful as a penetrating agent, like Kroil, only perhaps moreso; my Leatherman SideClip's smaller blades have been very stiff for months with various pocket-and-other gunk, but a couple drops of Hoppe's and the whole thing works fine.


    Double argh.

    Reassembling Hawken without nipple so I can take it around to find a replacement that fits. ...Aaand I might have found part of the problem: the cleanout screw in the bolster, which was a wreck when I got the rifle, which I replaced with a stainless Phillips from the hardware store? The replacement was kinda long like, and may have been blocking the flame path. Sawed it off with the Dremel but dunno if that will help until the 2nd. I figure I'll hit SW and maybe no-longer-G.I. Joe's next week for a nipple.

    Reader sends, via Cruffler due to email trouble, that Harbor Freight has electronic earmuffs, which are probably the exact same model as the Caldwell but may be cheaper and therefore more disposable should they fail again - yes they are, hm. Cruffler reports there is such a store not far out of the way from my week-end-ly commute to the club (as opposed to the two on my side of the river, one of which is in the Bad Part of Town and both of which are a long drive otherwise).

    1904 - Sunday, 27 July 2008: Zz.

    Eh, hitting OAC briefly after all. -Nothing there I could afford but I did sight a S&W M25, "Model of 1955", meaning .45 Colt I'm pretty sure, 6.5", lovely - $650 I think it was, sigh. S&W should make a 625, not in ACP, something you can actually take out and play with instead of handling with linen gloves and storing in an inert atmosphere. And of course they need to dump the Zit, phooey.

    Chat/Show; guest host Alan Gottleib; interview w/John Lott, and with Michael Guzman of Concealed Campus. -Snort! One of the Elves quips: I'm suffering from electile dysfunction. We know where McCain stands.

    Michael Bane weighs in on the Vanderboegh letter. Dig also the linked Cooper essay, particularly the two paragraphs re-quoted. In fact it's worth re-re-quoting here:

    "Individually, we do not bear arms because we are afraid. We bear arms as a declaration of capacity. An armed man can cope, either in the city or in the wilderness, and because he is armed he is not afraid.

    "This is the root of hoplophobia [the pathological fear of firearms]. The hoplophobe fears and, yes, hates us because we are not afraid. We are overwhelmingly 'other' than he, and in a way that emphasizes his affliction. There is not much room for compromise here...." - Jeff Cooper

    You don't see this on TV anymore. >:-[ Use Savetube to snag your copy.

    Another mass shooting in a "Gun-Free Zone". Compounding the irony, the particular "church" (more a political outfit) involved is fully on board with the Brady Campaign to Eliminate Self-Defense. ...No one there gets that? Hello? ...Buehler?

    Lil' somethin' from Yuri.

    Sis reports she's on her way to England. Worried. Not safe there, from either end of the equation. The out-of-control Muslim and/or commie demographics might have at her just for being an American, while Authoritah might lock her up for... the same reason, really; they can't let someone from a (supposedly-)free nation infect the subjects with dangerous individualism. -Damn! I shoulda sent her a stack of business cards with my URL! Hey sis! "Jeffersonian dot name"!

    Awards page updated. Yeah, I even got a piece of the match winner's scoped racing rimfire with my open-sighted revolver, winning one run out of three. Fuzzy & warm.

    Here's the next Garand Science: On the left, my current handload, Hornady #3037 150gr FMJBT, to the cannelure, over 50.0gr BL-C(2) in military brass with WLR primer. At center, the nekkid projectile. At right, genuine CMP LC72 M2 Ball:

    Concerns are: Runout, since the Hornady will not have as much of the case neck wrapped around it, though the Lee FCD should address that; and case capacity, especially where previous ignition problems are concerned. Hm.

    1905 - Monday, 28 July 2008:

    Vanderboegh comments on the 100th birthday of the Federal Bureau of Incineration. Hey, you control-freak gubmint types lurking here? All we want is to be left alone. Look up what historical figure said that, and what it led to.

    (And what do I see in the latest American Rifleman? "Counter Sniper: A History of FBI Sniper Rifles". I suppose Vicky Weaver was holding an Evil Assault Sniper Baby? No mention of escaped murderer Horiuchi of course, but they do have the Kimber SIS all over the back cover. Whatsamatter AR, don't you want another juicy product endorsement for advertising bucks? "Buy the rifle preferred by 3 out of 4 JBTs!" Rope. Lamppost.)

    (Oh, and a blurb about Lauer and Duracoat and Bloomberg, what, a year or more after how many complete circuits of the gunblogosphere? For this I'm making payments on life membership?)

    Yuri wins! Gonna borrow The Gang from him (he has my factory copy of Red Dawn at the moment).

    More Backed-Up EmailTM!

    For the M1's adjustable gas plug, three responses:

    Comment? Yeah, check your email archive. I pointed that out, IIRC, twice. If nothing else, it'll allow the use of 155-168 grain loads, which should kick serious ass at longer ranges. If not heavier bullets, since BL-C(2) is a slower burning powder than 4895, or any of the other more 'normal' propellants that one finds in Garand loads, you might be able to adjust where the empties land. And if nothing else, it's SCIENCE!!!1!
    The adjustable gas plug is an ingenious solution to a non-existent problem.

    Unless you are shooting long range (800, 900 & 1,000 yards) there is no need at all for this device!

    150 gr. to 168 gr. bullets are fine for everything out to 600 yards (or more) unless you are getting into long range and want a more stable bullet like the 175 gr. to 190 gr. bullets.

    Most of the people who use this thing are either experimenting with different powders and cast bullets, are long range shooters that enjoy doing it with an obsolete rifle for that use or are pure cheap BOTTOM FEEDERS and want to feed the Garand with whatever cheap surplus powder they can manage to find rather than get the right stuff.

    If you are buying canister powder like you are, there is no reason at all to have to use this thing on a Garand.

    Have more respect than that for "The Queen"!

    Keep in mind that I have never used one, but I HAVE owned an adjustable gas rifle [Hakim] before, and shot my buddy's G43 and Tokarev T-38/40, and I think they're a flawed design. In extended firing they tend to build up carbon and/or adjust themselves. On a range trip it's annoying, and in combat could get you dead.
    I have four (functioning) magazines for the Witness: Two marked Mec-Gar and two marked "T" (for Tanfoglio) in a triangle. All work, and all drop free when empty, but the Mec-Gar seem easier to load, and to seat when fully loaded.

    1906 - Tuesday, 29 July 2008: Need more sleep. Gotta keep working, somewhere in Sonora is a family of 14 depending on my taxes....

    Reading Hornfischer's The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, pretty good, not unlike David Hackett Fischer's Washington's Crossing so far, illustrating the personalities involved, carrying the reader along, not a dry narrative. -The United States military has always stepped up and stood fast against whatever odds the enemy threw. Oh sure, there's the occasional Kasserine Pass or Kip's Bay - and of course Pearl Harbor - but those generally just make us mad. We pick up, reorganize, dig in, and eventually utterly crush the foe. Then toward the end of the war we get behavior like Taffy 3, with just the right amount of Victory Disease to charge not-blindly in, the survivors coming out covered in righteous glory. Hoo-aah. The moral of the story being, Don't Tick Off the Americans. There's a reason our fuses are so long. Something about Minimum Safe Distance methinks.

    Some folks just don't get it. Kinda looks like Mastroianni does though.

    Stopped at Bi-Mart - they had a Butler Creek leather military sling, but it was a) $24 and b) still 1", hm. Also the only muzzleloader nipple they had was ¼x28. SW tomorrow.

    Cruffler sends:

    Reader sends, re: PhDs (this reader, in the past, had opportunity to peruse large quantities of microfilmed dissertations):

    And then there were the angry, semiliterate belly rumblings masquerading as actual thought from the people in fields that end in the words "studies" or "science." You know, "Womyn's Studies," "Political Science," and closely related fields of interest to out-and-out moonbats: sociology, literary criticism, revisionist history, psychiatry (my favorite was the 400-page rant condemning "biological reductionism" in the field then going off on bizarre tangents about reincarnation and "alien abduction"), or, oddest of all, "deep ecology." Yes, there is some school in Toronto in which students can choose that as a major and get a doctorate. I wonder what they think they're going to do for a living after graduation. "I hear there's a big ecology factory being built in Calgary, eh?" That same school in Toronto had lots of Libyan and Iranian nationals studying nuclear engineering and designing more efficient isotope-separation centrifuges, for purely peaceful purposes, I'm sure. I saw some astonishingly brazen bullshit being passed off as profound thought, and the part that I still lie awake thinking about seven years later is that by the time I saw any of these, the college board had already approved the thesis and awarded the doctorate. Of this stuff the best that could be said is that it was usually nominally grammatically correct and free of misspelled words, though I suspect the credit must be given to MS Word's spell-checkers more than to the authors.
    Yyyeeaaah, not goin' back to college anytime soon.

    Tucson Tom sends .22LR Science.


    1907 - Wednesday, 30 July 2008: Vanderboegh. (I have A Bug's Life in my library hold queue.)

    Yeeesss, SW had 6Mx1 nipples, Traditions, $3.99/pair. (While there I also grabbed a pair of Musket size, $6.99, what the heck, if I really want to address an ignition problem.) And one of my wrenches finally fits even with the flash cup, no more plier tips! Now a tang sight (and a better front) - looks like the Hawken's tang holes are 1-13/16" apart, center-to-center, and the tang appears flat between, or very slightly curved with some humongous radius.

    This evening I have taken the Sony DRU-540A DVD/CD R/W drive from TowerZilla (whose appetite for AC the hovel's wiring finds insatiable) and placed it in the old HP box I got from Yuri when he needed cash and I needed a machine that could run XP without choking. And now I'm fiddling with it. The HP box came with a DVD-ROM, on which I've been watching DVDs since I got VLC downloaded. The reason for the transplant is that this drive, if I can get the proper software for it and figure out how it works, can burn DVDs. And my Canon A580 already takes 640 video at 20fps. If I can figure the correct burn settings, and which type of disc (i.e. +R, -R, etc.) to use, I can have my very own little video-propoganda factory. So far I've downloaded DVD Shrink, SoThink, and Handbrake, and am just starting to experiment with them, trying to make a straight copy of a factory DVD. Any other software suggestions? Free is a very good price of course. Ideally I want something that can create menus so I can hand the DVDs out like brochures and people can pop them in their $33 Wal-Mart players and they'll work. Editing, i.e. cutting and splicing various clips from various sources, is also most strongly desired. Yuri might be ahead of me on this, I know he's been experimenting along these lines already, and I know the reader who donated TowerZilla knows what's necessary....

    1908 - Thursday, 31 July 2008: Today I had some new-product training.

    And it was a Really Bad Design. Now I may be spoiled, since I own 1) the M1 Rifle designed by John Cantius Garand, 2) the M1911 designed by John Moses Browning, and 3) the EAA Witness derived from the CZ75 by the Koucky brothers and distilled from the best features of every pistol before it; but this product was extraordinarily bad. The consumables tend to expire if you leave them out of the product for a couple hours, like to take one to the store to make sure you're getting the right replacement; the construction of the unit makes it possible to install those consumables incorrectly, several different ways. Furthermore, when trying to get the unit to do a self-test with a button code, the prototype in the classroom crashed. This was probably designed by committee so there's no one person to call to the field of honor....

    Meanwhile, while at Sportsman's Warehouse yesterday getting my Hawken bits, I grabbed a free copy of On Target magazine - and at a couple places inside is blatant pandering to the Only Ones, advertising free copies to LEOs. Also some eco-freaky ads protesting various mining endeavors, with the "conserving nature" angle. Talk about schism - the anti-mining, anti-drilling, anti-industry crowd is generally the same as the anti-hunting, anti-self-defense crowd; and when Sheik Obama outlaws eee-vill black rifles and your granpa's scoped pre-'64 M70 eee-vill sniper weapon too, it will be those very badgeboys who will consider their pensions and obey the order to go door-to-door stealing your property as has already happened.

    Sink the Island. And my sister's over there now! Haven't heard from her since email Sunday. For all I know she never made it past the TSA thugs at SeaTac, or the equivalent at Heathrow. Sis! Email meee!

    Cruffler sends:

    OpticsPlanet responds to my email saying the 90x Konus should be along in a couple weeks, which is what Konus told them, and I'm not the only one who's been asking. Fair enough, and a prompt response.

    Downloading and fiddling with more DVD software. Also contemplating buying a package such as Vegas Movie Studio or Movie Edit Pro, ~$50 each.

    And again contemplating wireless. Opening the hovel door and stretching the Belkin G card's stubby little antenna as far as it will reach, I have detected another signal - unsecured "linksys" - but am unable to establish a stable connection. Anyway I know the card works. Getting reader tips on buying or building a booster antenna. I barely know this stuff and I probably already know more than the doofi at the stores....

    Also contemplating other upgrades to the HP box, a 1.8GHz Pavilion 523n currently carrying 512Mb RAM. Plenty of HD space for now but cramming more RAM can't hurt. Eyeing TowerZilla again... the right size physically, but the box just BEEEEPs when I try one, different speed maybe - besides I'm reluctant to further cannibalize the donation, hoping to actually run the thing someday. Looks like Frys might have the right stuff priced within reason.

    Reader sends bumper sticker.

    June 2008 | JULY 2008 | August 2008

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