Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Looking up.

So, after the doom and gloom yesterday with my car issues things are starting to look up.

First, I sold a gun today. It was a 6" Rossi .357 Magnum that I inherited from my grandfather. They gave me more for it than I expected, so I was happy. However, the offer for my Kimber Ultra Raptor was hundreds of dollars less than I was willing to consider so I did not sell it as I was planning.

Knowing that I'm in a tight spot my friend that I worked with lent me his car. He drives the work van to and from work and he and his wife have two vehicles so it's not his primary anyway. I'm going to have it through the week, at the least.

I swung by WalMart to pick up dog food and a few groceries for myself and decided to go ahead and pick up a copy of TurboTax to do my taxes. It's the same price as getting my taxes prepared professionally, and mine aren't complicated anyway.

I just finished my federal and state returns. I was very, very pleasantly surprised to find out that I will be getting a substantial federal return, more than enough to pay for the repairs on my car, and that I'm even getting a few dollars back from the state. I've always had to pay state taxes in the past, so this is good.

I'm guessing that my withholding must have been changed. Probably just an oversight by my boss. No big deal. I didn't even realize it, and it's going to help out in a real big way.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I need $1,000. No, really.

My car needs damn near a thousand dollars worth of work. Yes, that's a 1 followed by three zeros.

I've had some serious issues with over heating the last week or so. The result is being that I have to stop the car and let the engine cool every few miles. It royally sucks, and I am extremely lucky that work is only about 12 miles away.

I am also extremely lucky that the weather has been chilly. I actually wish it was just a bit colder, but I'll take whatever luck I can get at the moment.

I managed to get it into a mechanic today and the diagnosis is that I have a bad intake gasket that is leaking badly. It is apparently a common problem with the newer (2000-Now) Chevy Impalas.

I don't have the money to get it fixed right away. The mechanic's advice was to take it home and park it until I do. But I can't do that either. I have to be able to get to work, and I don't have another way of doing that.

I'm probably going to be parting with one of my guns. It's funny who things like this seem to happen almost as soon as I buy a new one.

Anyway, I'm selling some gun stuff on eBay:

Ruger Mini-14 Scope Rings

Galco Concealable belt holster for 3" 1911

Vertical Fore-grip

And some adult DVDs.

Quote made of win!

"As if millions of hippies suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced."

-SayUncle, on the advent of guns being allowed in National Parks (as allowed by state law)

We need more hot dog control!

No, really.

When 4-year-old Eric Stavros Adler choked to death on a piece of hot dog, his anguished mother never dreamed that the popular kids' food could be so dangerous.

Some food makers including Oscar Mayer have warning labels about choking, but not nearly enough, says Joan Stavros Adler, Eric's mom.

The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees. The nation's largest pediatricians group is calling for sweeping changes in the way food is designed and labeled to minimize children's chances for choking.


Nope, it's not a story from The Onion.

You want to know why kids choke on food, especially hot dogs? It's because kids, all kids, try to shove the whole fucking item into their mouth. Kids do stupid shit. That's why they're supposed to have, you know, fucking PARENTS!

If you're child chokes to death on dinner I have to ask where the fuck were you at?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

So...

I refuse to feel bad when someone attacks people who steal from me.

Laws requiring the reporting of lost or stolen guns.

Sebastian has a post up about the issue over at Snowflakes In Hell.

If we're going to pass these sorts of laws we should amend them so that rape victims are required to report the rape. Hell, let's make it a criminal offense for any victim to fail to report any crime.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

StarCraft II!

It's about damned time!



The ironic part is I just started playing the original StarCraft campaigns again yesterday after many years. I've been waiting for this since junior high!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

So I'm sitting in a church parking lot...

No, I didn't suddenly start to believe in god again.

My car has been overheating. Being the relatively poor ( and stupid) chum that I am I haven't taken it to a mechanic to diagnose the problem. I'm hoping it's a bad water pump belt.

Anyway, I'm on my 6th stop, and 8 figure it'll take two more cool down stops to get me
home. And it's between 30-32 degree F. Not as bad as some places, but it's frickin' cold to be sitting in. I'm tired. I just want to get home.

I need a new car.

Here's something: had a pair of local cops stop behind me when I was pulled over on stop number 4. They disarmed me, ran my plate, my DL, and the serial number on my pistol. The last part offended me a bit, especially considering I'd just given them my pistol permit and my car and DL had already come back clean.

Then the guy doing the talking asked me
if I'd open the trunk. At this point they've already done a cursory inspection of my vehicles interior which I let slide. But the trunk was off limits without a search warrant, and I told him so.

At this point he tells me he just wants to secure my pistol until they leave, and he didn't want to set it somewhere it would get scratched. My bullshit meter was pinging pretty loud but I figured I've got
othing to loose and I'd already given them a hard time. I popped it, he set the pistol inside, closed the lid, and they left.

I waited for them to get down the road and retrieved my gun, reloaded, and decided to get out of their patrol area.

Well, I may write that up in more detail tomorrow. Right now it's time to go a few more miles on the long trip home.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Unhappy Valentine's Day.

Those are the kind I've had most often, so I am sure you can understand that this is one of my least favorite days of the year. I've had maybe one good Valentine's day, and today wasn't it.

This one sucked a few orders of magnitude less than most, but it still sucked. I'd have liked to have spent it with someone I loved, or, barring that, someone I really, really enjoyed fucking.

Since neither was an option, I went shooting, had burritos for dinner, watched most of Munich, and then spent an hour or so reflecting on love lost and failed relationships since in myhand written journal (technically a diary, but I abhore the term for purely irrational reasons).

If today had been just another day it would have been a good day, but anyone who spends it alone is either forced to ignore the fact that today is the holiday of romantic love, or ends up missing or wishing for someone. I'm sure some people deal with being alone just fine. Usually I'm one of those people. But today is a day where I can let down the walls and admit with no shame that I am a lonely person, and I wish it weren't so.

Better luck next time, right?

On The Range #10: Magpul AFG and AR Drills

Today I decided to finally get the lead out and do a little AR shooting and give the Magpul AFG a run.

First up, the AFG (Angled Fore Grip). I like it. A lot. It's much more ergonomic than a vertical fore grip. I shot in a number of different ways, standing and kneeling in various positions. No prone today, as it's a little wet for that.

I used some balloons as reactive targets, moving from one to the other as soon as I hit the previous. It was pretty fun. I'm definitely going to have to shoot against a friend this way some time soon.

I also did a 'chair drill' that someone suggested on one of the forums I frequent. In essence you use a folding chair (I used something slightly different, as you can see) and shoot above it, below it, and around it as if the chair is cover and the openings you have are the only view you have to shoot from. Not bad really. It definitely forces you to shoot from some odd contortions.





One of the things that I learned today (or at least had re-enforced) is that just because your rifle SIGHTS are clear of your cover does not mean that your rifle BARREL is clear. It's something to keep in mind.





I ended my practice with a little shooting on the move (thinking that would be fun with balloons next time) and some just straight up standing slow fire to practice trigger control, sight alignment, and the like.

Another shooting in Alabama...this one won't make national news, I bet.

Four men suspected in a Thursday night home invasion near Moody face murder charges after a fifth suspect was shot and killed by the homeowner, The Daily Home in Talladega reports.

Three of the men entered a home armed with baseball bats in the Trails End community of Moody just before midnight on Thursday, the newspaper reports. The resident was assaulted, but shot and killed one man.


Good for the homeowner.

I'm undecided on Alabama's law about charging other suspects with murder if one of their number is killed during a crime, but I don't exactly feel sorry for them either.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cowards, plain and simple.

Just following orders? Excuse me? There is a 15 year old girl being beaten half to death and you're just going to stand there because you're afraid of getting reprimanded? Cowards.


Robb Allen, referring to the incident where three security guards just stood and watched while a teenage girl was beaten by a group of teenagers. He goes on to say:

Now, legally those guards are in the clear. I would never dream of being able to sue them for not putting themselves in harm's way. That's not how liberty works. But morally, those guards are beyond reprehension and should be shunned from society as cowards. As should Sgt. Urquhart.


I'm with Mr. Allen. I don't want to be a part of a society that forces you to put yourself in harms way, but I'll be damned if I won't call a coward a fucking coward because he used a bullshit excuse to avoid doing the right thing.
Harvard Hometown Plans Coercive Taxes, Veganism to Stop Climate 'Emergency'


Would it be appropriate to start puttin' heads on pikes in my yard if someone tries to pull that crap in my neck of the woods?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ugh.

I just finished Brad Thor's first novel. Wow. I mean...wow.

It's pretty easy for me to suspend disbelief. I really have no trouble with that. But I like a little realism, so on that account this book=FAIL.

The plot was a bit far-fetched. I'm willing to believe that there is a way for the President to be kidnapped. I'm not willing to believe if the president was skiing that there wouldn't already be infrastructure in place to deal with search and rescue after an avalanche. I'm not willing to believe that if the President went missing in such an instance all flights leaving the US from the area wouldn't be ground until the President was found.

I'm not willing to believe that expert assassins will miss every damned time they shot at the hero (especially when they are able to aim and fire without the hero know it..I could buy it if he spotted them before they shot and took cover, but come on!).

Even the last couple of James Bond movies had more realism in them than this book.

But, that said, I'm going to give the bastard the benefit of the doubt. I'm told his writing gets better. I'll read one or two more of his books to see.

Robert's Picks

Books:

The Lions of Lucerne by Brad Thor (meh)

Victory Conditions by Elizabeth Moon (good)

Movies/DVDs:

Terminator Salvation (good)

NCIS: Season 3 (excellent)

Cigars:

Gurkha Assassin Torpedo (good)

Drinks:

Sam Adams Cream Stout (good)

Chivas Regal (very good)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Well, it's more deserving than Obama.

The Internet has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Promoting 2nd Amendment issues not normal?

Weerbeard makes some good points about it.

Does anyone else get a little worried when people start using the word 'normal' in reference to ideology? That's one of the main reasons I own guns, to protect myself from people who think I need to be 'fixed' because I'm not 'normal.'

Sunday, February 7, 2010

On The Range #9: Dot Torture

Recently Caleb at Gun Nuts Media had a post up about Dot Torture. It sounded interesting so I gave it a try today with my new GI 1911 and my carry gun. It kicked my ass, and I want to do it again in the future.

So you can see how far I have to go to get anywhere near Caleb in the skill department, this is how I did with the RIA:



And this is how I did with my Kimber Ultra Raptor:



I did a lot better with the longer barrel, which makes sense, but I could do a lot better with either gun. A lot of my shots are going low. I'm thinking I may be jerking the trigger. I need to work on that.

Next time I shoot my plan is to do my 100 round drill with both of my 1911s, and maybe to Dot Torture as well. That's a lot of rounds, but it will be worth it. In the mean time I will be doing a good deal of dry fire practice with both guns as well.

Rock Island Armory GI 1911-A1


Yesterday at the gun show in Birmingham I picked up a RIA GI 1911-A1. I was on the look out for a commander sized 1911, but I wasn't willing to pay over a thousand dollars for a used pistol.

I cut a good deal with the man selling the gun and got it, spare mag, and an extra set of grips. I may have overpaid a bit, but considering the prices at the show and that I've seen around town I'm happy with what I paid, even if it doesn't match up to a lot of the prices I've seen tossed around. I'm not complaining.

I did a little shooting with it today (more on that later) and I was able to shoot a 1" group with it without much effort. I'm going to put it through the paces a bit more some time in the following month.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The DADT saga, revisited (along with a rant about feminism).

In my previous blog on the subject, I pointed out that I think DADT is stupid and useless (if not quite that pointedly). I linked to a post at VFTP that linked to a post at Atomic Nerds by LabRat.

I've agreed with LabRat's statements almost completely. I ran into the almost with this post. Specifically:

All that said, one comparison frequently brought up is women showering with straight men, soldiers or not. And it’s true, women are generally unwilling to shower with men they’re not sleeping with, and it IS different than showering with other women.



Part of it is that there simply is no context in our culture in which men and women are nude together that is NOT explicitly sexual. Either way, any woman learns by the time she’s done with adolescence and early adulthood that if she doesn’t want to be groped or worse, she needs to set and maintain clear boundaries- which definitely do not include hopping in the shower with a guy you’d mind having sex with. I’d mind showering with a strange guy not because it would really bother me that much to have him see me naked- I figure if he’s interested I’ve probably already been naked in his imagination anyway- but because absolutely nothing in my experience prepares me to trust that he will keep his hands to himself.


I find these statements insulting, and I replied in comments as follows:

“Part of it is that there simply is no context in our culture in which men and women are nude together that is NOT explicitly sexual.”

True, and maybe that’s part of the problem. Is a straight man’s discomfort with unwanted attention any more reason for segregation than a woman’s?

Don’t get me wrong, I think DODT is stupid, and I’ve agreed entirely with your previous posts on the matter. I think gays have every reason to serve in the military as straights do, or women as it may be. But there are reasons for segregation of men and women in the military (wrong reasons, imo). Do straight men (and women as the case may be) not deserve the same protection from unwanted attention by the same sex as they receive for unwanted attention from the opposite sex?

And yeah, I get that whether they realize it or not they may be getting it already, and it should be dealt with as any unwanted attention that crosses the line should be. But it raises a legitimate argument for ending segregation between the sexes as well, and frankly I don’t think anyone is willing to consider that no matter how legitimate it may be.

As you’ve said before, assault is assault. It should be dealt with accordingly. Shouldn’t all men and women in the military (and the rest of society for that matter) grow up and realize that being naked doesn’t mean “let’s fuck”? Sexual interest is a two way street, plenty of people are going to be interested in you that you aren’t interested in. Unless it crosses the line, shouldn’t people just get over it?

Personally, I think the best thing that could happen in terms of sex equality is complete ending of segregation between the sexes, but of course that’s just because I’m a lecherous man who wants to stare at naked ladies (let’s just ignore the fact that I can do that any time I want by getting online, or if I need the real thing going to a strip club).


I've said before that I'm a radical feminist, and that the biggest gulf between male and female equality is segregation between the sexes. I fully acknowledge that women are predominantly the victims of sex crimes, and that men are predominantly the perpetrators, but the solution to that problem is not building more walls between people (making guns harder to get doesn't stop criminals from getting them, why would making women harder to get stop a rapist?). The solution is harsher penalties for these disgusting crimes and working to convince victims of such crimes to stop protecting their rapists and molesters by destroying evidence and refusing to cooperate in sex crime investigations.

It is a well documented fact that most sex crimes go unreported. How the fuck is anyone supposed to stop a rapist they KNOW NOTHING ABOUT?

Yeah, some people blame victims. And some victims blame themselves too. Neither is a good enough excuse to let another person suffer the same fate.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

As if HK read my recent ACR post.

I think someone at HK must have read my recent ACR. The Firearm Blog is reporting that the HK556 is fucking $3,000! For a freakin' AR!

"Nein! Ve at H und K vill alvays hate you more that silly Shrubmaster!"

In my pockets.

Since everyone else seems to be doing it, I'm posting my own 'in my pockets' picture. This thing was started by Marko.



Now, while I could carry the gun in my pockets, I don't. So aside from that all this stuff does ride in my pockets daily (sometimes more...the more pockets I have the more I tend to carry).

Anyway, here's the the list:

-Kimber Ultra Raptor II .45 auto (carried in strong side holster w/two reloads on the opposite side of my belt)
-Mole skin reporter's notebook
-iPhone
-Kershaw 'Needs Work' assisted open pocket knife
-chapstick
-sugar free gum
-keys
-contact lens case
-front pocket wallet
-Coleman flashlight
-pen (I like the new Sharpie pens..apparently so does Caleb)

Yeah, I need a belt just to keep my pants up and I am a big fan of cargo pants.

Three Reasons Citizens United isn't the end of the world



H/T Instapundit

Said better than I could have.

LabRat has something to say about Don't Ask, Don't Tell:

Not using skilled, motivated resources available to us for a reason as petty as what they do in their bedrooms is just stupid.


I couldn't agree more. I don't advocate giving gays or anyone else special treatment in the military. You can either do the job or you can't. I think the biggest problem in the military right now is the special treatment women receive. They should be held to the same standards as everyone else and required to do the same jobs, up to and including signing up for Selective Service. Period.

H/T Tam
Tam has a good post up about good habits:

When I juice up the gun administratively, I check the chamber. When I pick up a pistol that has been out of my control or observation, such as when I get dressed in the morning, I check the chamber. Now, does that mean that I think that gremlins have sneaked in and unloaded my heater overnight? No it means I check because I always check; this is the purpose behind things like safety checklists for everything from pistols to Piper Cubs to pebble-bed nuclear reactors, you are removing the question of "Do I or don't I?" from the loop. You do. Period.

This is tied in to another thing I often read on the internet "You carry a gun to the (grocery store/restaurant/nice neighborhood/sewing circle/whatever)?" No, I don't. I don't carry a gun "to" anyplace; I just carry a gun. I put the gun on in the morning with no more emotional freighting or special foresight than my shoes. In fact, probably less, because I may wear different shoes, but I always carry the same gun.


I remember when I first started carrying a gun and people would question the places I carried (everywhere legal, then and now). I'd always shrug and ask, "Why not?"

"But at the bank?!"

"You mean the most likely place I go on a regular basis where I stand a chance of being the victim of armed robbery? Why yes."

Chamber checks? Well, hell, that's just a good habit like the turn signal or brushing your teeth.

Go RTHT and check out the links.