Friday, December 31, 2010

Year End Retrospective.

2010 sucked.

I've spent the vast majority of the year in the red in every single category.  I dumped my savings, tax return, and what credit I had left into getting my car fixed twice because the first person I took it to was moron.  A week after my car was fixed I got laid off from a job I really liked.  I found another quickly, and it pays more and has benefits, but I went five weeks with no income and no savings.  I'm just now getting back on top of things after nine months.

My romantic life went, well, nowhere.  Probably my fault more than anything.  Was very, very tempted by someone I cared a great deal about, but I just didn't have the time to really get to know what being with her would be like.  She wanted too much to fast and it ended badly.  I regret that, but I don't see how it could have ended differently.  Every other attempt at dating or a relationship has ended in abject failure.  I take full responsibility for that.  I'm bitter and mean, and that's not something anyone deserves to deal with.

I met not a single one of my goals that I'm aware of.  I was hoping to be in a new (to me) vehicle about this time.  That didn't happen.  I was hoping to be most of the way out of debt.  That didn't happen.  I hoped to meet someone that made my heart stir.  That sorta happened, but I fucked that up too.

It wasn't all bad though.  While I had to let a lot of my guns go I was able to pick up a cheap 1911 pistol that I really like.  I've been spending a lot of time on the range.  Not as much as I'd like, but more than I every have before.  I'm seeing definite improvement in my shooting.

I worked today, and I'll work tomorrow.  My feet hurt, and I'm tired.  I'm going to have a few drinks, eat some wings, and go to bed.

See ya next year.

Acute failure of the victim selection process.

Here.  Sorry about the stupid advertisement.  I would have used the YouTube version but the AP cut of the story there was atrocious.  CNN's is much better.  Take a look at it for a little education on spin.  All the facts are the same, but the conclusions are different.  All with a little careful editing. 

"Of course it's silly. I mean, all they got was a $150 and one of them got shot for that.  It's not worth it." 

If only more people shared this guy's attidtude...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

With all due respect.

With all due respect to Col. Cooper and the Scout Rifle concept, I've never seen the point in a bolt action M1A.

I'm honest enough to say I don't spend a lot of time lugging rifles around.  I wish I did, but I don't have the rifles to do it.  Being a bit of an outdoors man I do understand the need to keep weight to a minimum, but for a rifle around ten pounds, with optics and a full magazine, doesn't seem so bad to me, especially if you have a sling to carry it on. 

YMMV

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Quote of the Day: Gun Safety

For the love of John Moses Browning, don’t get your toys that go bang and toys you like to bang mixed up. -Jennifer, at In Jennifer's Head

'1911s Suck.' And they hate you.

Found this post via Robb Allen's blog. The gist of it seems to be 1911s don't work and even if they did you're too stupid to carry a single action pistol:

It’s a 100-year old design. It needs tools to disassemble. It has unreliable magazines. It is finicky about ammo. And, as a single-action pistol, it is unsafe for 95% of its users to carry.


In my original complaint, I forgot to mention the issue with slide-stop failures, and the whole internal extractor/external extractor situation. Either of which would be serious enough to kill any other design’s reputation in the shooting world.

I'm not going to bother defending the 1911, anymore than I would defend a Glock or an HK if I carried one of those (I did actually carry two HK pistols for about a year each).  What I will say is I have not experienced the problems he describes aside from having to figure out what magazines work best and how often to clean it to avoid failures.

As I said over at Robb's place:

Meh. The 1911 doesn't work for him. Good that he's realized that. Too bad he has not realized the simple truth that what works for him, or doesn't, will not be true of everyone else.

Larry Corriea wrote that same post...about HKs. I'm sure there is one about Glocks out there somewhere. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

On The Range #36

Today being such a pretty day I had to get outside for a little shooting.  Pretty it might have been, but it was also on the chilly side.  I stayed mostly warm in a flannel shirt and fleece vest but the breeze could be a bit biting.

I wanted to do two things today.  One was to see how tight I could get my RIA to group at 25 yards from a rest.  The second was to shoot Dot Torture again at 7 yards.

I shot five groups of five rounds each from a rest at 25 yards.  My 'rest' was a rolled up fleece jacket on a tool tray and a stool to park my butt on.  Nothing fancy, but it worked.






There is the visual evidence.  I'm partial to blaming my own shooting, but I don't do enough rest shooting to really know.  I was able to get a couple of tight groupings (1.25" on the second group, 2" if you count the fifth shot low left) but nothing consistent.  Also had a few wide flyers.  
Just for a comparison I shot a 5 rounds offhand at 25 yards just to see how I'd do.  As you can see, not very well.  

Moving in to 7 yards I burned through twenty rounds to see how fast I could keep my shots on target and work on reloading as quickly and smoothly as possible.  I need to work on maintaining my grip and smoothing out my reloads. 

Here is the result of those 20 rounds:


Finally, I shot Dot Torture at 7 yards.  My final score was 27/50.  Pretty terrible, but still an improvement over the first time I shot it at 7 yards.  Hopefully I can keep on improving.  

Robert's Picks

Books:

More Than Honor by David Weber and various authors (good)

Worlds Of Honor by David Weber and various authors (good)

Changer Of Worlds by David Weber and various authors (good)

In The Service Of The Sword by David Weber and various authors (good)

Crown Of Slaves by David Weber and Eric Flint (good)

Movies:

Savior (very good)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Movie Review: Savior

Savior is a 1998 film starring Dennis Quaid.  I dropped it in my Netflix queue a while back because the story sounded interesting.  It arrived a couple of days ago and I had the opportunity to watch it tonight.

I was completely blown away.  This is one of the most emotionally gripping and heartrending movies I have ever seen.

With the war torn Balkans as a backdrop Dennis Quaid's character is a mercenary who has lost everything, and just doesn't care anymore.  His sole purpose in life is to kill.  As it's Muslims who took everything he loved, it's Muslims he seeks out by taking up arms with the Serbs.  It's easy to see how a man faced with what he was faced with would become exactly what he became, and also how he found his way back.

I guess this movie hit me hard because I could easily relate to Quaid's character's motivations.  It was with a certain satisfaction that I watched him walk out of the room in the US embassy in Paris where his wife and son's bodies lay in caskets, victims of a bombing by Muslim terrorists, down the city street to a Mosque and coldly start shooting Muslims at prayer.  Yes, a horrible thing.  But I could understand it.  And I don't know that, faced with the same situation, I wouldn't be severely tempted to do the same.

I highly recommend this movie to anyone wanting a look at an ugly war.

Firearm Purchase Plans for 2011

There are a lot of guns I want to buy in the future.  A LOT.  However, as is typical, funds aren't available for all the things I want.  There are a few things I'd like to pick up in 2011 though. 

The first is another AR type rifle/carbine.  I had an S&W M&P-15t which I loved, but I was forced to sell it after being laid off.  I wouldn't mind picking up another but they've gone up in price a bit since I purchased mine.  I remember admiring the S&W MOE ARs and liked them quite a bit, and recently Bushmaster started making a version.  I've decided, unless I happen to come across a better deal, to pick up a Bushmaster MOE:

 
I like the Flat Dark Earth, but I might go with classical tacticool black. 

Another purchase I would like to make is another 1911 pistol.  I can think of no more appropriate purchase in 2011 than a 1911 pistol.  I've gone back and forth over various 1911 I'd like to have, and generally I'd like to have all of them.  I can't.  For 2011 I want to pick up either a STI Trojan or an STI Ranger II:

 STI Trojan
STI Ranger II

Both are in the $1,200.00 range MSRP-wise.  That's about all I feel I can really put into a 1911 pistol in the next year or so.  I'd love to drop a few grand on some super custom job but I just don't have the funds, and to be honest I've been more than a little impressed with my Filipino slag gun.

My first instinct was to go for the full size gun, but I've always wanted a commander size 1911.  It'll be a coin toss when it comes time to buy, and hopefully that time will come sooner rather than later.  

For the moment I have a serviceable 1911 carry pistol that I'm very happy with so my first purchase off this list will be the AR.  I've considered picking up a .30-06 or .308 caliber rifle.  I want both of these at some point, but having had an AR before I know that they are a both a lot of fun, fairly cheap to shoot, and handy.

So there you go.  Those are the guns I plan on picking up in 2011.  

Saturday, December 25, 2010

It's raining.

For Holiday cheer I suggest you look to many of the fine blogs to the left on the sidebar.  I'm afraid it is a fault of mine that I am lacking it, for while I realize there are many others whose Christmas day will be far worse than mine, and mine won't be all that bad, spending it alone still sucks and knowing it sucks worse for others has never made me feel any better.

However, I did get to sleep in...I find that bad of money and I just might smile.  Maybe.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Eleven hours.

That was work day.  Eleven hours, no lunch, up since 4:30AM not home until after 8PM.  It wasn't a bad day except the last job was stupid and the hardest of the day, and it's Christmas Eve. 

It's possible I may be working tomorrow.  I won't know until I wake up and check to see if I've been routed. 

Bah-fucking-humbug.

All I Want For Christmas...

Is to sleep in, and to wake up to a large bag stuffed with hundred dollar bills.

I'll consider myself lucky if I get either.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On The Range #35

This past Sunday I wasn't routed for work so I decided I'd get a little shooting in.  My friend Logan joined me.  I hadn't done any shooting since before I went to Florida for work, and I was happy be on the range again.

I did not shoot Dot Torture, but I let Logan shoot it.  It's helped my shooting a lot and I think it will help his as well. 

What I did do was about 50 rounds of press outs.  I also did some shooting on the move, and some bull's eye shooting at 7-8 yards.  Nothing impressive, and I can see that trigger control remains my biggest foe.

  
I also took the time to send my iPhone straight to Hell!


After I finished shooting I cleaned my gun for the first time in a while.  I also let Logan detail strip just to show me how it's done.  


Logan needed the practice, and I needed to actually watch someone do it up close and personal.  I'm still not all the confident about doing it myself, but I think when I hit two thousand rounds I'll make the attempt to give it a good cleaning inside and out.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

New(ish) execution drug.

I actually think Weer'd suggested this on VC when the whole (deliberate) shortage of sodium thiopental came up:

(CNN) -- An Oklahoma death row inmate received a drug commonly used to euthanize animals Thursday because of a nationwide shortage of sodium thiopental, the drug usually used as the sedative in its three-drug execution cocktail.
Where there's a will, there's a way.  And now that we have a successful test of this stuff it's going to make it harder for future challenges to carry any weight.  That OK judge was rather savy in that regard.

The Focus it is.

After doing a little research into the two new phones I was interested in it's become clear to me that the Samsung Captivate is a POS.  There seems to be a serious issue with the GPS, which is one of the most important features for me as I use it often at work.

Instead, I'll be purchasing a Samsung Focus running WP7.  I'll probably be going to pick one up in the morning, after which I will be disposing of my dead iPhone.

Yesterday.

Was a good birthday, all in all. 

I've never been one to make a big thing of my birthday.  More often than not I'm working. 

Yesterday I took it easy, did a bit of reading, and a little window shopping.  I decided to pick up a Samsung Focus running Windows Phone 7 to replace my iPhone, and I picked up a book.  Also had lunch at Five Guys Burgers and Fries.  It was good, but no better than a good small town diner.

I came home and did some more reading while smoking a Romeo Y Julieta Vintage Maduro which was quite good.  

My friends John and Jennifer had me over for a delicious dinner, and surprised me with a birthday cake.  I had a good night.  It was nice to spend some time with friends after being out of town for a week and half. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Decisions.

I have some decisions to make when I get home.  The one good thing about this time in Florida is that I've had plenty of time to think.  Especially about stuff I don't particularly like thinking about.

There are things in my life that have to change.  I'm not on track, my course has gone awry, and not to the better.  Sometimes the unexpected comes along and that's a good thing, but for the most part it hasn't been.  It's time to get away from short term and start thinking long term.  Everything needs to be better evaluated.

I'm about to be 26 years old.  Where am I going to be when I'm 30?

I'm working out of town, but frankly the money is not what I was led to believe it would be.  There just wasn't enough work down here to justify sending four of us.  As a result I'm barely getting the work I'm supposed to be getting at home, and that's working 6 days rather than 5.

It's really frustrating, and I don't think I'll ever do this again.  Not to mention the management staff has made it a very hostile environment.  Either they're being extremely anal about stupid, meaningless shit or they're playing childish games.  The end result is I don't want to work with the office/management staff and as a result of avoiding them I'm suffering in the money making department.  I can't wait to get home.

The 'Ick Factor' is not a legitimate basis for laws.

We have a lot of stupid laws in the country.  I would posit that more than a few are the result of someone going, "Ick!  We can't let people do that, that's disgusting!"

Which brings us to this.  David Epstein, a Columbia professor, has been arrested for incest.  Definitely ick.  However, here is the rub for me.  The 'crime' was committed with his adult (24 years old) daughter.  She has not been arrested (equal protection, anyone?).  Incest between adults is, quite frankly, a malum prohibitum issue.  It's icky, and in general none of us want to think about it, but when it comes right down to it I am a libertarian.  Some Lib Prof and his adult daughter making the beast with two backs in no way affects my personal liberty.

I have the same reaction to this story as I do to people eating bugs or seafood.  Should I advocate laws against the eating of bugs and seafood?

Let me use a better analogy.  I've engaged in sexual acts with other consenting adults that 'go against the Bible.'  Should I go to jail for those actions because someone finds them icky?  Hey, there are people out there who get off on smearing themselves in shit or throwing up in each others mouths.  It's fucking disgusting, but the idea of making it illegal for them to do that if they choose to is even more repugnant.

Maybe I'm jaded.  Maybe I've read too much Heinlein.  Or maybe I just really mean it when I say people should be left alone as long as they're not hurting anyone but themselves.

That said, I don't want to hear a single fucking joke from any liberals and/or Democrats about cousin humping hillbillies and rednecks.  Ever.  Again.  Because I can and will bring up Epstein penetrating his daughter's delicate flower with his pulsating tower of patriarchy. 

H/t Instapundit

Cuteness overload.

Here and here.

On the bridge of the Titanic, shortly after impact...

"Captain, I'm worried we're running low on caviar and champagne!"


The idea that it's this that might jeopardize social security, and not the fact that is faces constant jeopardy because it's a fucking Ponzi Scheme makes me think of a village of prehistoric humans getting nervous because Ugh Jr. decided he wasn't going to leave an offering at the foot of the smoking volcano.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I'm looking at you, Fox News!

Military personel killed in action are NOT 'military victims.' 

They were referred to as such by the dumb twit on Fox News tonight when reporting on a story about wreaths being placed on graves at Arlington. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

A.R.S Knives

I just found out from a friend of mine that A.R.S. Knives is a Birmingham, AL company.  I was unaware of this even though I had heard of them.  You may have their advertisements if you read the gun rags.  I'd actually considered picking up one of their Dog Tag Survival Knives.


The friend I just mentioned was recently hired by them as a machinist.  He's been looking for a job since he finished gunsmithing school in Colorado.  From what he tells me they've applied for an FFL and are going to be branching out into firearms starting with assembling ARs.

Anyway, check their website out at the link above.  They've got some really nice looking stuff.  I may see if I can get my hands on one or two items to review.

Why you should carry in your home.

Home invasions happen quickly, and you probably won't have time to retrieve a gun, especially one that it unloaded and locked up.

Two men initially forced their way inside the residence in the 1800 block of River Road, which is west of Helena near the Bibb County line, according to the sheriff's office. Then two more men entered and began looking for items, authorities said. Cash, three guns and a TV were taken. The incident was reported at 5:30 p.m. The married couple, whose names were not released, suffered minor injuries.
Read the comments.  These people lived in a rural area, not in some ghetto in the city.  They owned firearms, but obviously didn't have them to hand.

I admit I don't always have my gun on me when I'm at home, but I do always have one within reach.  And I've always got one in hand when answering the door when I'm not expecting visitors.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Just so we're clear....

WAR EAGLE!

Empathy.

I'm feeling it right now. A friend is going through a rough time. Probably one of the worst times ever. I wish I could help, but when it comes right down to it you usually have to face the hardest things in life alone because only you can suffer what you suffer, feel what you feel, live your life. No one else can do it for you. Even if, like me, you'd like to take a little of the burden upon yourself.

Maybe wanting to is enough. That, and knowing that it's not yours to carry no matter how much you want to help.

Friday, December 3, 2010

I'm here.

So I made it into Florida and checked into my hotel room a couple of hours ago. Took the time to hit the local Wally World and got a six pack of Dr. Pepper and some Snickers bars.

Yeah, this kind of sucks. I'm having to share a room, something I was not informed of until this morning. I'm not happy about that. The room I was given is a smoking room. I don't smoke. I hope the guy I'm rooming with doesn't either (he hasn't arrived yet) because I won't be able to handle that. That would be absolutely, totally unacceptable.

On the plus side the hotel has free wifi.

Cracker Barrel

One of the better parts of traveling by car in the South is the Cracker Barrel County Store and Restaurant. They are as common as McDonald's in states like Alabama and offer food that is typically Southern and of a much better quality than any fast-food.

I'm currently sitting in the Cracker Barrel in Greenville, AL. It's bustling with activity, an ant hill pouring forth with fluffy biscuits and hearty entrees, like Country Fried Steak and Chicken and Dumplings.

I'm sure when I finish my meal I'll take a few minutes before hitting the road again to browse the country store, maybe even pick up some candy.

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On the Road.

I'm heading to Florida for work. I may be gone as long as two weeks. Hopefully my hotel will have wifi.


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