RIFLEMAN'S JOURNAL - SEPTEMBER 2008


August 2008 | SEPTEMBER 2008 | October 2008
1940 - Monday, Labor Day Observed, 1 September 2008: Even more precious rezzzzt.

And then I see that Natchez has the Loadmaster on sale for Even Less, hm. Taking the Loadmaster and shellplate out of my Midway wish list - I may just buy the thing myself from Natchez next payday. And hey! Natchez has a wish list too! Unfortunately it doesn't come with a convenient URL already linked to my account but here is the press and here is the shellplate for the '06 family (which includes .45ACP (except I already have a Pro 1000 set up for the latter (which is why I'm not buying the whole press with dies and all))).

Reader sends:


Your suggestion to build arms off-the-reservation doesn't need to be a complicated process involving machine tools from Harbor Freight: It's as easy as mail-ordering a de-milled Romanian AKM kit which includes everything but the receiver. The demilled kit is not controlled by any means and you can literally pick one up with cash completely legally at a gunshow. At the same table you'll find the receiver 'flats', which also are not controlled and can be purchased with no paper work. It isn't until the flat is bent into a receiver that the receiver becomes a 'firearm' according to BATF rules. With the flat that you bend, and the kit (and some extras like rivets and a couple of US-made parts to comply with section 922r) you can home-build a totally legal off-the-reservation AKM. As long as you don't try to sell it, you're good to go, and you can build as many as you can afford (at least in WA and OR). This isn't something that is commonly understood (or even known about) by the average firearms fan, but there is a sizeable subculture devoted to this endeavor (of which I am a dedicated participant).

...And the only tools you need are a vise, a big hammer, and a punch.

Unfortunately, the last of the AKM kits that contain uncut barrels (imported prior to the 2005 imported barrel ban) are being sold as we speak.


I expect Market Forces, i.e. Tapco, will be providing made-in-USA barrels and trunions and whatnot soon.

CMP match this Saturday, working on the Queen - applying small amount of JB Weld to the spline grooves for the gas cylinder. If necessary I suppose a torch can get it off, melting the weld goop - if it even holds; I didn't do a very thorough job of degreasing. Also putting the nylon sling back on, the leather loop I got from the clearance bin just ain't working for me, which may be why it went in the clearance bin. Also trying to find room in the butt trap for the broken shell extractor. And repacking my ratsnest range bag.

Even more jackbooted thuggery. You cops must be real proud of yourselves. -Oh look, it seems the cops were black. Roughing up young white girls. For peacefully and lawfully protesting a black candidate. I warned you about this.... Of course actually pointing out racist behavior is considered racist these days, except when the other side is fabricating something against whites.

And screw New Orleans! Any city gullibile enough to reelect that incompetent bigot Nagin deserves to be flushed out to sea!

Ordering two spare firing pins for the EAA 1911 .22 conversion, and one buffer. EAA's online shopping is... buggy. Getting more magazines el$ewhere later.

1941 - Tuesday, VJ Day, 2 September 2008: Blech work.

Starting to lose patience with the ENDLESS STREAM OF AMAZINGLY DIM CUSTOMERS WHO WILL NOT LISTEN. And USELESS GIBBERISH from all those other agents whose messes I have to clean up several times every day.

And another Californian! STONED! AAAAGGGHHH!!!

Finishing JBU2, skimming over much of the second (fantasy) half. Next is... Heinlein's Red Planet, which I haven't read for quite some time - this edition claims to be uncut, and I recall in Grumbles from the Grave that there had been some notable editing in the original.

Reader follows up with Kalashnikov (and other) part sets. -I note at least one set comes with a grenade launcher....

Race riots, sez me? Don't just take my word for it. I ain't makin' this stuff up, folks! Stockpile. Now.

Red Planet, Del Rey 1990 paperback, pp12-13:


Phyllis waited for a lull in the grown-up talk to say, "Daddy?"

"Yes, Puddin'? What is it?"

"Isn't it about time I had a pistol of my own?"

"Eh? Plenty of time for that later. You keep up your target practice."

"But, look, Daddy - Jim's going away and that means that Ollie can't ever go outside unless you or mother have time to take him. If I had a gun, I could help out."

Mr. Marlowe wrinkled his brow. "You've got a point. You've passed all your tests, haven't you?"

"You know I have!"

"What do you think, dear? Shall we take Phyllis down to city hall and see if they will license her?"

Before Mrs. Marlowe could answer Doctor MacRae muttered something into his plate. The remark was forceful and probably not polite.

"Eh? What did you say, Doctor?"

"I said," answered MacRae, "that I was going to move to another planet. At least that's what I meant."

"Why? What's wrong with this one? In another twenty years we'll have it fixed up good as new. You'll be able to walk outside without a mask."

"Sir, it is not the natural limitations of this globe that I object to; it is the pantywaist nincompoops who rule it- These ridiculous regulations offend me. That a free citizen should have to go before a committee, hat in hand, and pray for permission to bear arms - fantastic! Arm your daughter, sir, and pay no attention to petty bureaucrats."

Jim's father stirred his coffee. "I'm tempted to. I really don't know why the Company set up such rules in the first place."

"Pure copy-cattism. The swarming beehives back on Earth have similar childish rules; the fat clerks that decide these things cannot imagine any other conditions. This is a frontier community; it should be free of such."

"Mmmm... probably you're right, Doctor. Can't say that I disagree with you, but I'm so busy trying to get on with my job that I really don't have time to worry about politics. It's easier to comply than to fight a test case." Jim's father turned to his wife. "If it's all right with you, my dear, could you find time to arrange for a license for Phyllis?"

"Why, yes," she answered doubtfully, "if you really think she's old enough." The doctor muttered something that combined "Danegeld" and the "Boston Tea Party" in the same breath....


And that's one of many reasons why we read Heinlein.

1942 - Wednesday, 3 September 2008: Tired....

You know how there are books you Should Read, but you kinda dread actually doing it? One page crawls interminably after the next? Not so Heinlein - you want to see what happens next. -Ditto Ringo, for perhaps different reasons - or even not. Next is Flint & co.'s Grantville Gazette IV.

1943 - Thursday, 4 September 2008: SCATTER!BRAINED!CUSTOMERS!

And then one who wasn't, but his computer was. Four hours! Ye gods. No solution. DIE BILL GATES! DIIIIIIEEEEE!!!!!

But, got back to the hovel just in time to receive the Konus 90x spotting scope. It's... good. I note the price has gone up since I ordered mine but OpticsPlanet honored the original price. Looking forward to actually seeing holes at 200 or even 300 yards for a change. There is a built-in twist-up rubber-ring eyepiece which I suppose will act as a camera adapter, though when my camera goes into power-save and retracts the lens something - likely the camera - might get hurt. Will experiment later - and will also seek an actual mounting bracket to eliminate that problem for future digiscoping.

1944 - Friday, 5 September 2008: Hmm....

Effing immature coworkers. Sabers. Parking lot.

1945 - Saturday, 6 September 2008:

I AM TEH AWSUMM!!!1!!

SECOND PLACE!
OF 26!

BY!
ONE!
POINT!

And I have photographic proof of my Awesomeness! Slow prone, 96/0X - note the sighters; I'd had the gas cylinder off and had to sight-in all over again, but the M1's vastly superior rear sight made that easy (since JB Welding the gas cylinder (which isn't holding, BTW, still some fore-and-aft - might try again later, or maybe something like the locking ring needs to be shimmed, or maybe the barrel threads are simply giving out) I've had to go up about 6 clicks from previous settings):

Rapid prone, 92/0X - note the two flyers; a spotter informed me that one came from each clip (2 & 8) but couldn't recall which round in the string - it would be interesting to know if it were first or last. I have a theory about why I might have jerked those two shots high; I know there's a tendency to shoot low in rapid prone, so much so that some shooters add a couple clicks elevation for this stage - but I might be overcompensating by shooting high, which theory is supported by my performance at Lone Oak last month:

Slow standing, 88/2X - three out of the black but I called every one, and when I looked through the scope it was right where I knew I jerked it:

My score compared to the field:

My final scorecard:

Getting $10 in prize money (1st was $15, 3rd was $5) from the match director:

ENDLESS PRAISE AND BLESSINGS UPON
TUCSON TOM
GENEROUS AND BENEVOLENT DONOR OF
THE QUEEN!

And let's not forget the Cool Action Photos, and maybe a little Art:

This is my 11th CMP Garand match to date. My first ever was the longer 55-round Course B, but all since have been the 35 round Course A. This is my best performance yet, tying previous scores in both prone stages and setting a new personal record in standing. It's also the highest I've placed overall so far, against some real competition, which normally would have whupped the field but for some reasons didn't today. Honestly I got lucky, making fewer mistakes than 24 other people. But it still feels good.

I'm wearing that shirt in every rifle match from now on. It was the shirt....

Product review, Konus 7183 90x spotting scope: For its price it's quite good, but note the qualifier. As magnification goes up, light-gathering goes down, dramatically; lots of backlash in both zoom and focus adjustments, which can be frustrating, and at maximum magnification, the usable focus adjustment is extremely narrow. When firing right next to the scope, i.e. in prone, the scope tends to go out of focus, and I suspect internal components (it's a mirror type) are vibrating in relation to each other from the shock, but it settles down eventually with no evident damage. There is a twist-up rubber ring to hold the camera, as previously mentioned, but even when all the way down, at full magnification, you really have to cram your eye down there to get full field of view. I haven't tried the ring for digiscoping yet and might never; I intend to get an actual adapter which will not require the camera to be in direct contact with the scope, so nothing gets hurt if the camera goes into power-save. It comes with a small plastic tripod identical to that which came with my 60x Simmons, and a semi-rigid carry case with shoulder strap, with a divider to separate tripod from scope. It is Made In China, which wasn't entirely clear when I ordered or I might have reconsidered, but it does work and it is 90x and it is affordable - at the sporting goods stores you'll pay near as much for 60x or less, even when on sale. This is my third spotting scope, after the Simmons (selling to Yuri) and the Tasco 15-45x (gave to sis). It is not the best scope ever made, by quite some distance, but it's quite a bargain. As an example, here is an unaltered photo (466kb) straight off the camera's memory card from just before the match - that's a standard SR target with 13" black at 200 yards, at 90x.

Review of a new .327FM revolver - six-shot, adjustable sight, from Charter Arms. Hmm, subversive....

Reader sends: Sabers are a cavalry weapon, best used from horseback. I think the 1860 Naval cutlass would be my choice. MUCH handier at close quarters. But this won't be close quarters; in a formal duel the extra reach would be appropriate. But hey, if the poltroon has a cutlass too, fair enough.

1946 - Sunday, 7 September 2008: New Orleans reader sends:


Hey again from just outside New Orleans. We survived the latest storm much better than last time. 3 years ago we had flooding and riots. Not this time. A new Republican governor made a big difference. Bobby Jindal handled it well. Nagin didn’t do as badly this time. He managed to scare most of N.O. into leaving, which was his goal. He had an empty city to protect. No riots. No looting in the city. He and Jindal came up with the plan for sending anyone caught looting directly to Angola State Prison to await trial, rather than NO city jail. Big difference, no one wants to go to Angola. They didn’t go far enough though. Looters should be shot. That’s what happened in Hurricane Camile back in the early ‘70’s and Betsy in the early ‘60’s.

We evacuated to just above Jackson, MS. The usual 3 hour drive took 7 to 8 hours, no fun. My wife, being a bit paranoid after the last flood, managed to squeeze most of our worldly goods into two vehicles. Traveling with a hyperactive 10 yr old and a 10 month old 75 pound labrador is no fun. Being crammed into a house with 20 stressed out relatives isn’t much better.

Anyway, we’re home, and we even have power and sewage. Turns out sewage is dependent on power, who knew? Businesses are starting to open again. Groceries are restocking. Gas stations are getting gas deliveries again. We even managed to go out to eat tonight. I have one piece of my gate to repair, and lots of branches to clean up. No complaints from me!

We’re lucky though. We have a place to go and money to get there. Many don’t. Many citizens ended up having to drive to Memphis to find a hotel room. That’s 7 hours normally, 13+ during evacuation times. Hotels cost $100 a night. How many people have $1000 lying around just in case they need to evacuate? Its not easy. Now we’re watching to see if Hurricane Ike comes this way... and we have to do it all over again....

Back to politics. Senator Mary Landrieu during the DNC blasted the ‘Bush Regime’ for poor handling of Katrina. She failed to bring up then Democratic Governor Blanco’s indecision in requesting federal aid during the storm and poor handling after. The poor handling of ‘The Road Home’ program was again a Democrat design fiasco. I’d like to see Mary Landrieu’s review of Gustav... Gov Jindal called and requested federal aid before the storm hit and anticipated fuel issues before people returned. He requested a release from the strategic reserve from President Bush and it was issued quickly. No problems. During Katrina there was an incident where FEMA commandeered fuel from MS department of Transportation at gunpoint. There were no inter agency fighting that I’ve heard of yet. Except for power restoration everything seems to be going well.

As far as New Orleans re-electing Nagin there was a factor not covered on the national news. Our evacuated citizens living in Texas were allowed to return to LA to vote in the mayor’s election. In many cases the Democrats provided a party-bus complete with free food and drinks for them to come home to vote. The next election will hopefully be different.

The media handled coverage of the storm poorly, including Fox. They spent hours with cameras trained on the levees in the 9th ward hoping they would break or be topped. No signs of failure and only a bit of water over the top. They didn’t bother covering Baton Rouge though. It got pounded. The New Orleans area got off light this time, Baton Rouge didn’t. Wind damage is severe. Power will take quite a while, maybe weeks, to be restored. The Gulf South with no air conditioning is brutal. We’ve requested every available line crew to come down, but they’re not coming in quick enough. I won’t get into lower Plaquemine’s parish’s damage. They’re at the mouth of the river and have no hurricane protection. That’s also where the oil infrastructure is, btw.

Part of our problem is the erosion of the wetlands. We used to have miles of wetlands to slow these storms down before they hit. The Army Corps of Engineers build levees on the Mississippi River to control its path, but it caused the wetlands to deteriorate. The other problem is Lake Pontchartrain. The tidal surge comes into the lake and threatens all the communities surrounding it. There’s a plan being discussed to cut off the three main channels coming into the lake from the Gulf- The MRGO (Mister GO as its commonly called), the Rigolets, and the Chef Menteur Pass. If we can put gates across these it solves the flooding problem. The levees become a non-issue even. The problem, other than cost, is the environmentalist. They’re afraid it will change the salinity in the lake or some such garbage. If N.O. floods again there won’t be anyone left living here to notice!

Don’t flush New Orleans just yet. With proper leadership it still has a chance of surviving.

Feel free to post any/all of this one, just post it as a reader from N.O.

BTW, on the shooting front, St. John Parish has banned ammo sales (still!). I’m sure that’s illegal somehow....


Commentary.

Chat (& show) every Sunday 1100PT. An Elf points out that ODFW is using Google Maps to show hunting areas. Seems harmless, and perhaps even useful, but we've learned to be automatically suspicious of any government program, and let's not forget how Google cooperates with communist Chinese censorship and oppression.

Never trust a cop of any kind.

Finishing Grantville Gazette IV, skimming over the nonfiction essays in the back, except of course the one on building a machinegun with 1633 technology (the recommended solution, as a got-to-have-it-now-not-ten-years-later stopgap, is the Requa volley gun). There is also a notice that this is the last edition of GG which will reach hardcopy in its entirety; the e-magazine is already several volumes ahead and I'll probably get a subscription in a couple more pay periods. Next is... more Heinlein, Between Planets.

1947 - Monday, 8 September 2008: Mumblers....

Work network NOT BLOODY WORKING!

1948 - Tuesday, 9 September 2008: Effing call volume. Effing bureaucrats calling for "staff reduction" with their "forecasts".

Heh.

1949 - Wednesday, 10 September 2008: One year perfect attendance today. Probably all I get is a cheesy certificate....

Got the parts for the EAA 1911 .22 conversion... and the firing pins don't bloody fit. Generally the right shape but the diameters at all three points - the bulb at the end to go into the steel cup to protect the aluminum slide, the main body of the pin through the channel, and the narrower striking portion protruding through the breechface - are too big. Not really worth trying to return them - maybe I can get some lathe time and turn one down. One thing I do notice is that the replacement is slightly longer than the orignal, which would solve the ignition problem by itself if it fit. Sigh.

1950 - Thursday, 11 September 2008: Seven years.

Indeed.

I am reminded that F x S = k. I'll take the F and make my own damn S. -Which Larry himself finally figured out.

Creeping dimness.... You ever see King of the Hill? Remember Boomhauer? I had that guy. For an hour and a half. Until his computer crashed and I, with much silent internal rejoicing, had an excuse to refer him to his third-party support.

And dim creepiness - Obama Hussein stickers on Priuses (Priusi?) on the freeway. Many. These people have jobs? They get out of bed in the morning and dress themselves and operate motor vehicles in public? Shudder. And then they vote. That's why I get rifle practice.

1951 - Friday, 12 September 2008: Reader says he prefers the term Prii (pre-eye).

I am Really Very Tired. Email backing up again, including a question from my reloading pages. ACSWW show (and direct depo$it) tomorrow morning, and I usually go to the range after for some reason or other - but now it's Public Sight-In Days, toward which I am ambivalent: bonus brass vs. "Sportsmen" waving their Remchesters about. However I am contemplating performing some Garand science, if I can find the gumption to whip up test rounds after a Friday afternoon commute, and Yuri wants some chrono time with his latest eee-vill-ness.

"Religion of Peace" My Ass.

Why do I get the mumblers...?

Sis sends loot from England! I didn't know books like that were allowed to be published there anymore....

Meeeeeanwhile, I have completed my case-prep station:

  • Scrap wood - $free in discard bin at home-supply stores
  • (2) chamfer-deburr tools - $5-$8 each used at shows
  • Lee cutter for Lee case-length gauges - $7
  • Lee case-length gauges for Lee cutter - $4 for each cartridge to be processed
  • Lee universal three-jaw chuck for Lee Zip Trim, & spinner spindle - $12 + $4
  • Cordless power drill - $youdon'thaveonealready?
  • ChiCom hot glue gun & glue sticks - $2.49 + $2.49 from craft store

    1) Drill appropriately-sized holes in appropriately-sized-and-shaped piece of wood.

    2) Insert chamfer/deburr tools in opposite directions, cutter in either direction.

    3) Glue the snot out of them.

    4) Clamp result in bench vise or C-clamp to table, or even hold it in your hand.

    Not the prettiest tool ever created but it works. Load one case in the chuck, guide it down over the length gauge. Spin - trimmed. Move; spin - deburred. Move; spin - chamfered. Done, and you're raking in the surplus Therbligs. Keeping the Forster though, don't have length gauges for Mosin or Mauser.

    Hah! Except they spelled my name wrong. And I haven't worn a tie in years. And shoulder holsters just don't fit me....

    Shirts.

    My first car, the old dead green '88 Escort, is gone - in a semi-random encounter someone knocked on my door and offered to haul it away for scrap, no paperwork, no questions asked. So be it. More room to park the Corolla and I don't have to worry about landlord or neighbor complaining about it. I didn't get anything for it but it had just been sitting there rotting for the last two years anyway.

    1952 - Saturday, 13 September 2008: Aaand the hot glue isn't holding, but the concept appears sound. I'll try some binary epoxy and plenty of it.

    Didn't get much at the show, though there was the usual amount of ogling and fondling - 5.5" .44 Redhawk, $575; a couple S&W M15s, .38-only K-frames with adjustable sights, ideal subversion/training/loaner pieces, $400-ish; Lyman repro .58 percussion, side-mount bayonet lug (Zouave?), $225. Got a nylon laptop bag for only $2 (haven't tried yet) (I'm also slightly shopping for a newer/faster laptop, though the ancient NEC gifted by sis has proven surprisingly useful), and yet another HKS #586A speedloader for $5. Yuri made a score though, finally getting his own Lee Pro 1000, which I helped him set up - he'll need more parts for other cartridges but he has all he needs for .357 (though he's having the same problem I used to with crimping; I'm using an old Herters speed seater and separate Herters crimp die, and I see that Lee offers their famous FCD for... Most Cartridges).

    On the way to and from the show, revenuers on both ends of the I-205 bridge. In the middle of the month? The city and county quotas shouldn't be due yet... maybe it's a fiscal year thing. Gotta shake down a certain number of peasants by the end of the quarter or they don't get a new pair of jackboots? I mean really, it's not like there's any crime happening around here.... >:-[

    I so don't want to do laundry. Next time I need (or am able) to relocate, I'm getting a place with my own private washer & dryer. -Yes, I know about portables designed for apartment use, there's no room for such.

    No shooting today but I have some science lined up if I can squeeze in between the Sportsmen. Maybe next weekend after pins.

    1953 - Sunday, 14 September 2008: Chat (& show) every Sunday 1100PT. Interview with Crimson Trace honcho; and commenting on what my reader sent about arms sales being suspended in St. John's Parish, LA, which appears to be some kind of local ordinance. The obvious solution is to stockpile first....

    Speaking of Louisiana and natural disasters and preparedness, also consider WATER, which may be the most important survival component. For example. (That's one of the chat room Elves, BTW.) Somewhere I have a bottle like this, from the Y2K scare - but my repeatedly-aborted bugout bag is... somewhere under the hovel junk, maybe I should just start over.

    Elf sends bumper sticker and poster.

    Last weekend, when I became teh awsumm, a reader asked which load I was using - it's the 50gr with the bullet crimped at the cannelure. The upcoming Science is two batches of 10, at 50 and 49gr, with the bullet seated higher to match OAL of M2 Ball, and crimped there with the same Lee FCD. I have some 50gr cannelure-seated rounds left besides, for comparison, and maybe I'll run some LC72 through as well.

    Now, if I'd'a been thinking, I'd've taken that EAA 1911 conversion, and the spare firing pins, to the show and given them to the Hobbyist to turn down the diameters. Next month I will. Not like I'm in a great hurry to start shooting the rimfire division on plates, my Witness is working, and I can still reassemble the 1911 as a .45.

    Applying epoxy to the case-prep station....

    Read the comments. Where I live now, and where I hope to someday move to, disasters of the Katrina/Ike flavor do not occur; but for you badgethugs working in areas where they do, be warned: We are getting really close to killing you in self-defense, like we would any other thieving, looting scum.

    1954 - Monday, 15 September 2008: The horror... first call of the week, a customer trying to replace the VERY DISTINCTIVELY SHAPED CONSUMABLES who cannot find the GREAT BIG SEMITRANSPARENT DOOR ON THE FRONT OF THE PRODUCT THROUGH WHICH ONE CAN SEE THE CONSUMABLES TO BE REPLACED. Then a customer from India (or Pakistan, which I'm sure matters to them with their nuclear arms race and half-century blood feud and all but not very much to me here in the cubefarm trying to use one-syllable words to convey multisyllabic concepts) and the language follies are inverted. For two hours. Sometimes I even get customers speaking Ebonics. [face in hands, whimpering] Mostly it's just RatsNestOS and customers who refuse to grasp that concept.

    And the technophobes. Some, I can sense, have, perhaps to a lesser degree or in a less-defined manner, the same kind of bigotry as hoplophobes - feeling unreasoned hatred toward functional adults who are not terrified by technology.

    And they call us bigots.

    In my reloading pages I include Dire Warnings about keeping your powder secure and minimizing its exposure to eee-vill atmosphere. The other day, when helping Yuri set up his Pro 1000, I reiterated. In return he has sent this article in support.

    1955 - Tuesday, 16 September 2008: Contemplating time off. Looks like I have 90-odd hours available.

    New chapter, and a long one. -Vanderboegh is certainly preaching to the choir, and that's a criticism: He doesn't seem to be accounting for the large proportion of sheeple who will lustily assist and cheer on the JBTs as they hunt down and murder our kind. Like Carpenter's A Well Regulated Militia, it's wishful thinking - there just is not that much popular support for the American principles of individual liberty, as Vanderboegh himself points out. (Okay, he does bring that up in the expository Constitutionalist bits - long chapter, still reading.) Other authors have addressed this differently - Kratman's ASoD had actual organized secession and military confrontation; Dean Ing's Pulling Through and Ringo's TLC had attacks or disasters reducing the population of the least-competent demographics, leaving the grownups in charge (much like Rand's Atlas Shrugged (or Kornbluth's "Marching Morons") had the incompetence itself serve as the disaster).

    That doesn't mean I'm not enjoying Vanderboegh's story. ;)

    Done with Between Planets, starting Requiem, a collection of Heinlein edited by Yoji Kondo and including Niven's "The Return of William Proxmire". "Admiral Heinlein doesn't let the Soviets build spacecraft." :) :) :)

    1956 - Wednesday, Constitution Day, 17 September 2008: Short story "Requiem", in collection Requiem: "It's neither your business, nor the business of this damn paternalistic Government, to tell a man not to risk his life doing what he really wants to do." There's the true American Way boiled down to one eloquent sentence. There will be starships bearing this man's name! Someday....

    Come now rumors that this contract will be yanked out from under as the last was. Mebbe I better use up my vacation time while I have it. -Oh, there would be an internal transfer to some other contract at the same call center, but almost certainly at a pay cut, and maybe a different schedule - not giving up weekends. Hm.

    Anime... can be very unsatisfying. Some of it can be a remarkable technical and artistic achievement, but more often they're so concerned with the plot twist they forget to have a plot. They should combine Japanese artists and animators with American writers. We know how to tell a story that makes sense. -A near exception: Cowboy Bebop. Still an unsatisfying ending - Americans like their mysteries solved.

    1957 - Thursday, 18 September 2008: Forty-one.

    In the news, RINO senator Gordon Smith is accused of having illegal aliens working in his frozen-food plant in eastern Oregon. His response? We should do the total Orwell and create a biometric database of all Americans. You get that? He's using his own criminal activity as an excuse to treat all of us like criminals. For this I register to vote?

    1958 - Friday, 19 September 2008: Vintage Heinlein. Sure, some of the science is hopelessly obsolete - but a lot of it isn't, and more to the point he's telling a good story. Novelette Destination Moon for example, a requested novelization of the film - actually the science, while not the path we followed (fission pile used to superheat water for reaction thrust), seems not unreasonable - but it's that Pioneering Spirit, Men With Spines Daring Great Things, that will have people seeking out this author's work for centuries to come.

    Appleseed in Yakima 18-19 October - contemplating taking the whole preceeding week off. With RSO status I can go to the club on an off day for practice and fine-tuning. Lots of brass to process first though. Good thing I got the big jug of BL-C(2) and the big box of Hornady #3037. Hoping for bench science after pins tomorrow in fact, with the seating-depth test batches.

    So... there's this remote-access tool we have, right? Which is useful. And what we do is, we send an email with an active link and the customer clicks on it and it takes them to the correct web page. Often the email is blocked by something so I give a simpler URL verbally. Now I want you to guess how often the customer types the URL into a search box instead of the address bar.

    1959 - Saturday, 20 September 2008: Pins! ...I sucked. Used the GP100 - not the revolver's fault. I just need more practice and there just isn't time - nearly every weekend I'm either competing or at a show or gumptionless.

    After, I wimped on the science - Yuri couldn't make it either - but I did stop at SW and got a box of .358/125 plated; I'll try to make light plate loads again.

    No pins next month, which leaves that weekend free for Appleseed. Still not entirely sure I'm going - need more load development (and practice) first, then need to load a lot of M2-equivalent.

    Cruffler sends word that Hussein has just lost the black vote:

    Objective fact ain't racist. "People who haven't worked for five generations." I've seen them at the supermarket, driving Cadillacs, wearing gold jewelry... and buying high-end groceries I, despite my spendthrift tendencies and Actual Job, can't justify the expense of, with Oregon Trail welfare cards. That's my tax money and yours too.

    1960 - Sunday, 21 September 2008: Chat (& show) every Sunday 1100PT.

    Cruffler sends tagline: "If G-d intended us to shoot crap-triggered plastic wonder toys of inferior caliber, He'd have had John Browning design one." My Philippine 1911 clone is still a 1911; my Witness is all steel, and largely descended from that same 1911.

    You may have heard that the Browning M2 .50 heavy machinegun was slated for retirement/replacement in our armed forces. Reader sends, Nuh-Uh. 87 years and counting. All Hail Saint John!

    Many moons ago I declared that vegetarianism is an unnatural act. Proof!

    Autumn equinox tomorrow, right? And right on schedule comes the Pacific Northwest RainTM. Won't be needing the clip-on sunglasses or windshield reflector for the next seven or eight months....

    Reloading question from an Australian reader about a .308 Winchester load. He's using AR2008 powder, which is evidently an Australian equivalent of Varget; he describes it as a stick powder. Using 42gr, a published minimum load, from a Lee powder measure and a 165gr Nosler Ballistic Tip (he says 168 but the Nosler chart tacked to the hovel's wall says 165 - unless he's using that new Combined Technology Silvertip...), seating the bullet to an overall length listed on a Lee chart. He believes he's getting a compressed load because he can't hear or feel the powder moving in the case, while he can detect same with 150gr factory rounds. The rifle is a Weatherby Vanguard, which IIRC is some kind of economy model of the Mk V, but anything with Roy Weatherby's name on it should be Exceedingly Difficult to blow up. He wants to know if the loads are safe. I realize there's some detail missing here - my suspicion is that he's using military brass instead of civilian, and that might reduce the case capacity enough to cause the effect he describes - but any comments would be welcome.

    Police are no longer police. Just a de-facto thugocracy.

    1961 - Monday, 22 September 2008: Effing power outage in the small hours, radio news reports 20+ blocks across. Fortunately it's not winter yet, and the water heater was adequate for my hot morning shower, but that had to be taken by the light of an oil lamp (which I fortunately have, and spare oil - I'm not completely grid-dependent; even have a butane stove but that could use more fuel cans - maybe I should get a propane stove, that stuff's easier to find...). Then I get to work and my work machine reboots spontaneously THREE TIMES before I can even clock in with the software timecard. I expect the Corolla to die again within the week, and/or to be raided by a joint BATFU/PeTA task force. 'Cause that's how the world works.

    Stoned Californian customers. Ebonics customers. And yes, stoned Californian customers speaking Ebonics. [whimper] I've applied for vacation the whole third week of October, also hoping to make Appleseed.

    26 October the pins dude has invited me to an IPSC event. I did one practice session with him last... year, sometime? Moving & shooting, barricades, nonstandard positions & stances, desirable skills which will increase my survivability against revenuers, Hussein voters, and other assorted societal parasites. Contemplating. Ammunition....

    Third world women waiting at bus stops - dressed in technically-not-burkha-I'm-sure-they-have-another-name-for-it-in-their-language. I don't get it - they come to America, land of freedom and opportunity, where we have women running states bigger than two or three of their pitiful little "nations" put together... and they continue to dress and act like slaves. What is that? Ringo touched on that in TLC, in the fictional episode Stones IIRC - some folks just ain't worth saving. "Make us your slaves, only feed us"? Is that it? Yech! -I think I get why people hate America though - like the hoplophobes hating us for not being emotional cripples like themselves, the thirdworlders (to include France, England, etc.) cannot wrap their minds around sovereign individuals minding their own damn business. Related maladies.

    BIRTHDAY L00T! I HAZ IT!!

    Dunno where I'm gonna put it, but I haz it. I CAN HAZ MOAR AMMO!!! More derelict computers to move to storage, so I can open up that whole side of the Dangerously Disorganized Reloading TableTM.

    If only.

    1962 - Tuesday, 23 September 2008: Up late finishing Requiem, still more old Heinlein in the stack. Never did get around to Yeager's second book, Press On. After seeing it referred to in so many other works, starting James H. Schmitz' The Witches of Karres - sequel also in the stack.

    Orrrr something else coming through on hold like Poul Anderson's The Van Rijn Method, evidently an omnibus of the Technic Civilization, which I mentioned wanting to hunt down some months ago after reading - what was it, Ensign Flandry? And now here it is in a convenient package, I think. (It appears to be the first of four volumes. Anderson wrote lots.)

    Haven't set up the Loadmaster yet, no room. Hope to schlep junk to storage after laundry after work, blech. (Maybe tomorrow.) According to the manual the mounting holes are the same as for the Pro 1000, so I might dismount one of those - but don't wanna, want all three progressives and my single-stage all set up at once. (Also need more bolts, washers, & wingnuts, but that's a simple trip to the hardware store.) If I move enough junk I can set up the Load-All as well, that would make all five presses operational at the same time. Besides, that side of the leaf-type table is solid, while the Pro 1000s are on a side that's divided - more strength for the heavier press and the greater force needed for hunnerds of pieces of .30-06. -Oh hey, the same shellplate can do 7.92 Mauser! And the .308 family of course. Mosin would be nice I guess but that shellplate would be $pecial order (which is why I'm keeping the RCBS single-stage), and as previously stated, since receiving the Queen my other rifles aren't seeing much daylight.

    1963 - Wednesday, 24 September 2008: The first story, chronologically, of the Polesotechnic League saga, is "The Saturn Game", describing the dangers of online RPG immersion... more than a decade before the Internet As We Know It, and about twice as long before WoW and the like reached it. Prophecy!

    Meanwhile, the Monday and Friday, 13 and 17 October, have been denied from my pre-Appleseed vacation request. Which makes the request somewhat pointless since I wanted the time to prepare for a trip to Yakima, i.e. loading the car during the day Friday and otherwise preparing myself for the trip by, like, sleeping in. The three days in the middle are approved and that would help I guess but dammit! Trying to get just the Friday and giving up the Monday.

    Yes, I've seen Office Space. No, it's not cheering me up.

    Blue-state customers are... unfocused. Red-state customers are inexperienced, but at least they pay attention and follow instructions.

    Generally. That can probably be broken down by counties....

    I'm getting the long calls, with old slow computers running RatsNestOS. In combination with Ebonics customers. Sigh. (Cosby's right. So why is he still a Democrat...?)

    Moved stuff to storage! Might have the Loadmaster running tomorrow-like - bolted to the table, assembling, testing. Things to tighten and adjust. I'd've written better instructions.... When you buy the bare press, as opposed to the complete package with a die set, it does not come with the primer system, but considering my experiences with and various reviews of the Pro 1000's version that may be just as well. It's not supposed to be perfect, it's supposed to be affordable, and Lee has always been that. Shellplate indexing is more positive than the Pro 1000, but kind of alarming the first time you look at it - also potentially more violent, increasing the risk of powder fling. Several parts are common to the Pro 1000, including the case feeder (which the bare press also doesn't come with), which I know can be made to work up to .308, but probably not with .30-06- um, maybe if I replace that one bolt with a longer one, hmm, that is a very good hardware store, but then the case might be so long it'll just tip or flip or something - experiment someday. The output of the Loadmaster is beyond the edge of the table, while the Pro 1000 actually points inward somewhat so you can just stick a bowl or box there - but I've already figured a very simple way to mount an Akro bin or like catcher, compared to the Special Part the manual is selling, photos later. Shellplates are vastly easier to change than the Pro 1000, with no index-tweaking required, and five stations is of course better than three - will likely order more turrets later. The case slider is different, and functions differently, but the feed tubes and their mounting block(s) (different sizes, and there's a third one for .223 and, presumably, 7.62x39mm - I have all three variations I'm aware of) are the same. Spent primers accumulate in the ram itself, rather than in the base, and there's a sliding door in the bottom of the ram for emptying.

    Email behind naturally.

    And Yuri still hasn't 'blogged about his own Pro 1000....

    Via WoG, the Lioness Method of defense against rape.

    1964 - Thursday, 25 September 2008: Sometimes I get decent customers (like the midwest homeschooler - they ain't dumb). Sometimes there's a long process, like downloading drivers, and policy requires that I call the customer back and take other calls until then. Then I get a not-decent customer and when that call is done it's time to call back the decent one... and I need a moment to shift mental gears, know what I mean?

    Eff. Effing. India. Tacked to my cube wall is a customer survey praising my work while explicitly denouncing outsourcing. That was some weeks ago. Today I had a case where the Indian agent appeared to have abandoned the customer after starting a driver download from the manufacturer's website. From what the customer said, I guess he bumbled around in the customer's computer for a while before or after that, but nothing like that appears in the notes of course. >:-[ Over two hours cleaning up the mess and then there was a conflict with an incomplete uninstall, and the customer no longer has the CD, and the full driver package is not available for download at the moment and the basic package won't do the job so I had to send a new CD and schedule a callback. (On the bright side, on this contract there's a separate team for callbacks so I don't have to do it myself.) But NUKE INDIA NOW! (See also the last few days of Dilbert, the Dobgert Technical Support thread.)

    Rough day at work. Burning out. Still trying to get the 17th off. I could go back to building widgets....

    Getting the Loadmaster running, trying to finely adjust the .30-06 sizing die using the cartridge headspace gauge - think I've got it. Anyway, for an autoloading fighting rifle, better too much sizing than too little. (Not very worried about head separation as I'll probably see signs during the processing process. Likely the neck would split first anyway and I'd toss the case at that point.) I'm also finding far less play in the turret - none perhaps, with the locking screw - compared to the Pro 1000.

    I believe it was Niven who described Poul Anderson as "a poet who writes science fiction." ...Elegant. With Kipling-vivid imagery. -Quote o' the Day, from "Margin of Profit": "In my day, we said 'sir' to the captain even when we mutinied." - Nicholas van Rijn

    1965 - Friday, 26 September 2008: Looks like the Marines are again cleaning their own house and bringing themselves up to date ahead of everyone else.

    No bandwidth at work, software tools not responding, yet I'm still expected to jump through umptysteen useless bureaucratic call-logging procedures while not taking any time to do so. Imbecilic.

    Still haven't cleaned the GP100 since pins, and I probably need to whip out another hundred rounds or so of .357 - I should have enough .45 for tomorrow, since I didn't use any last weekend. Still hoping for a chrono session after plates.

    Out about on time today, for a better end to the week. Team manager fighting for me to get the 17th off.

    Starting to use the Loadmaster, sizing Large Pile of .30-06 brass. Haven't built the case-catcher yet, using bucket. Not trying case feeder yet either with these long cases - some fine adjustment to the case slider may still be needed, and the timing may simply not work for such tall brass, but yesss, Great Improvement over the single-stage - just not having to remove the cases saves Many Therbligs, even if I have to place each one into the case slider first. -The properly-located bucket works too, might not bother with a catcher bin - well, I'll want one for live rounds when I get there, don't want those dropping half a meter. As for powder, no Auto-Disk, doubled or otherwise, will handle 49.0 (or 50) grains of BL-C(2) - will again rig mounting thing for RCBS measure and work two levers. Lee offers a Universal Charging Die but I think it only works with their Perfect plastic measure, and the last time I had one of those I was not pleased with its accuracy.

    1966 - Saturday, 27 September 2008: 1st Revolver! And 1st Intramural with the pin shoot but that's such a small field (two, in fact) it hardly counts. I need to win all the next three months to get the Revolver trophy again this year. It is within my grasp.... Didn't do as well with the Witness but that's not the pistol's fault - I'm so busy competing I have no time to practice, and my technique is getting sloppy, not least my sight pictures. -Well actually the Witness's single-action trigger could use some improvement.

    Wimped again on science after - too crowded. Maybe the 11th after the show, maybe the following week on vacation before Appleseed, but by then weather may be skewing results again. Besides the Important Rifle Science I have several handgun loads, .357 and .45, I'd like to test, and I want to develop a lighter .357 load again too - I still have Goex and Pyrodex rounds to test as well.

    Last night I watched Open Range, which was a better story, and contained better performances, than I would have expected from a major Hollywood production with stars known for anti-American stances and associations. Now I'm starting to watch The Atomic Brain, a low-budget horror flick from a half-century ago - and ignoring the expectedly-crappy production values and conspicuously shallow plot, right there in the prologue was a nugget expanded upon by no less than Larry Niven and Lois McMaster Bujold (the Vorkosigan saga) in their respective universes (and I think Weber is heading in that direction with the Harrington saga, sort of): Organlegging, the creation of a market for body transplants to keep wealthy and decadent brains living in new flesh. And it's happening now in communist China, except as quasi-official state policy. If science is the foot, does that make science fiction the open-handed b****-slap?

    1967 - Sunday, 28 September 2008: Zzzz....

    OAC show, theme Military Arms & Accessories, fine displays as always - that Red 9 C96 Mauser continues to beckon. Saw a Coast-to-Coast Model 545 semiauto 12 gauge, of the Auto-5/Remington M11 variety, marked $100 - looked like an alloy frame losing some finish but otherwise in good shape, but I have other expenses presently and for my Eee-Vill Fighting Shotgun project I think I want a gas-operated model to simplify bayonet mounting (see the Johnson M1941 for why). I did buy, for $34, a box of 36 plastic cartridge boxes, all of which I do or will have a use for, which considering current retail is quite a score.

    Chat (& show) every Sunday 1100PT. Various interviews as GRPC wraps up, yet more Heller talk, much in flux, lawsuits everywhere.

    Oh hey, Vancouver medium-sized show next weekend! Which would also give an excuse to try range Science before the weather changes too much. Except I have these expenses... well I can look.

    Continuing to size '06 with the Loadmaster, whee. If this goes on I'll need a bigger tumbler. Science - I've been tweaking my Garand load since I got the dies, and that's, what, over two years now? I have a good load but I want to know if that bullet seating thing makes a real difference. Then, once I get a really good load, I want to make a Really Big Pile of it (keeping an eye on the Midway sales, for the next time the 1,000-piece box of Hornady #3037 goes on sale). I have one of the best rifles ever fielded but I've rarely had more than a couple matches' worth of ammunition ready to use, except for corrosive surplus and some LC72 I'm kinda saving for rainy days. -Yes, you can carry more rounds in the field with an AR or comparable mousegun (and I do happen to be fully tooled, for the Pro 1000s, for mousegun fodder), but you'd need more such rounds to get the job done - there are a lot of M14s (the ones Clinton didn't send to Lithuania anyway...) coming out of mothballs for use in the sandbox. The Queen speaks louder.

    1968 - Monday, 29 September 2008: Quote o' the Day: "I have no notion of being hanged for half treason. When a subject draws his sword against his prince, he must cut his way through, if he means afterward to sit down in safety." - Colonel Joseph Reed, to Mr. Pettit, September 29, 1775

    Continuing The Van Rijn Method, Really Quite Good. Poul Anderson, besides being a Really Good Writer, was also a republitarian curmudgeon. Among the stack I also have Gingrich & Forstchen's next installment in their alternate Pearl Harbor (third wave), but I'll have to return it for holds. Next I'll go back to Schmitz' The Witches of Karres. Ooorrr back to The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors so I can finish that.

    Sound advice, unapologetically blunt. I'm already following it, are you?

    Gods I hate work. But I always have. My soul was meant for a life of leisure and occasional adventure! Dammit! Management... some people, all they do all day is sit in their cubes watching the real agents' handle times and modes on a screen so they can buzz the agents if they're not jumping through every nonsensical hoop in the correct order, no matter how long it takes the cursed network and software tools to respond. Over a year in this job now, longer than I usually do the same thing. I'm just not built for daily drudgery and I damn sure ain't rigged for sailing bureaucratic seas. :-\

    Yuri sends yet another incorrect repetition of the burst barrel incident from two years ago.

    Philosophy. "All we want is to be left alone."

    1969 - Tuesday, 30 September 2008: I do get the 17th off. Now I have to budget carefully for the Appleseed - that's typically a couple hundred dollars, counting fuel, motel, etc, and I still have to do the science to develop the load which I then have to make about 500 of.

    Chapter. I can hit a JBT-sized target at 200 yards, reliably; probably 300, though I need more practice, and I know the Queen will reach further yet. Don't have the facilities to try further (there are some around, I just haven't been there), but even 200 is a long way by today's standards - IIRC Muhammed & Malvo didn't break 150. -But that's just shooting. I could lose some weight....

    (I really should get back to work on the M100, with that 10x scope. The Loadmaster can handle .308 too....)

    Oh hey, more non-governmental space exploration! And here I am reading Anderson's Polesotechnic League. Sign me up!


    August 2008 | SEPTEMBER 2008 | October 2008

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