Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Still pissed at myself, not much to blog about.

I'm still pissed about the AR. 

I went shooting yesterday and that was nice.  Need do get back in the habit of weekly shooting.  Hopefully more later with a few pictures.

Finished a book last night, and I'll start Dead Six this evening.  Hopefully it will not disappoint.

Now, I'm off to work.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Well, that didn't go as planned.

I had intended that this post would be about how I'd just installed a free float rail system on my AR.  To be fair, I did manage to do that.  Sort of.  It wiggles, so I fucked something up.

I also managed to destroy my front sight post and in the process the barrel.  I'm going to hand the upper to a friend of mind and tell him to strip it anyway he can and sell what parts aren't completely fucked afterwards and give me half.  He is actually competent when it comes to minor gun smithing.  It is obvious to me at this point that I am not. 

I will never, ever attempt to add anything to a gun that is not a drop in part.  I just cost myself a good $400 to $500 thinking I was capable.  Instead I managed to fuck up a perfectly good gun. 

I thought I had done enough research.  I purchased the tools I would need need (minus one, but that is not what caused this issue).  I thought I could manage something so seemingly simple a task.  No such luck. 

It's clear to me I should have just spent a couple of extra hundred dollars and bought a complete gun.  Live and learn, I guess.

This fucking sucks. 

What little sympathy I had is now completely gone.

Watch this video at Wirecutter's place.  It's an interview with one of the pepper sprayed UC-Davis students who says, "We surround the police and told them if they wanted to leave they'd have to go through us."  Well, I guess you got your wish, Darling.   

Friday, November 25, 2011

Bad day.

Work sucked.  Stupid racist lady coupled with another customer who doesn't like the way the service she ordered works.

It's frustrating, and annoying, and also a bit stressing.  Oh, well.  You can't please everyone and things were going a little too well. 

Time for a beer or three.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

That's racist!

Study links wild fires to illegal border crossings.

Robert's Picks

Books:

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (excellent)

World War Z by Max Brooks (good)

Star Wars:  Millennium Falcon by James Luceno (very good)

Movies:

Ran

Yojimbo (good)

The Bounty Hunter

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

More discussion on the UC Davis pepper spraying incident.

Me and the proprieter of Random Acts of Patriotism have been going back and fourth over whether the police were justified in using pepper spray on the protesters.  I think it's a good discussion to have if for no other reason than people should be keeping up with what the police are doing, even to those we may not like.

Most of what I've said about the incident is in comments here at the original, here and here.  Please have read if you care too.

A few of things I've decided as a result of this conversation:

1.  I think we need to have a serious look at the public ownership of property in the country and what it means.  If 'public' property is in fact owned solely by a municipality, state, or federal government then it's not public, but private, and all private property laws apply (GTFO when the owner/s say so).  If it is on the other hand a communal property held in trust by government for everyone then we all get to use it, and no one group gets to use it exclusively without permission (like a permit).

2.  If a trespass is taking place, what amount of force is justified in removing trespassers?  In Alabama, my understanding of the law is that I may use 'all necessary force to remove a trespasser.'  Is pepper spray worse than physically dragging someone away, or if they resist beating them into compliance before dragging them away?  I say 'all due force' is correct and that pepper spray is no worse than being dragged or beaten and dragged (I've been sprayed, though indirectly).   

3.  Finally, I now even more firmly believe that 'qualified immunity' is a tool of tyrants and should go to the dust bin of history.  Further, I think civil rights violations should be criminalized and that every single use of physical force by an officer of the law should go before a grand jury.  Officers of the law should be held to a higher standard, in fact I feel that they must be.

Quote of the Day: Free Speech

From MikeW:

When the hell did "free speech" mean someone else had to buy you a microphone, printing press, space in the newspaper, or provide you with an internet connection free of charge?

Indeed.

HELP! HELP! I'M BEING REPRESSED!

So ten friends and I should be able to park our vehicles on the interstate, right? Park them in such away that you can't use it, put up signs that say "Occupy I-65" and the authorities should just let us as long as we're peaceful?  That seems to be the message I'm getting from everyone who is upset about the Occupy UC-Davis people getting pepper sprayed. 

When you break the law you get treated accordingly.  The lowest level of force the police can use is pepper spray (in most cases).  

Comparing this to the Civil Rights movement is thin, at best.  Sure, both groups broke the law.  Both went to jail (as they should have).  Jim Crow was wrong, and Civil Rights protesters were willing to go to jail in order to bring attention to that.  However, trespassing law is not wrong.  Nor are laws that say you cannot block the use of public roads and walkways without a permit to do so. 

If the OWS wants to bring attention to the problems they see with how Wall Street does business and how DC uses the power of regulation to run a protection racket then I am all for that.  But maybe, just maybe, they ought to take a long, hard look at the Tea Party, hire some of their organizers, and pull a few permits. 

Just as the Second Amendment does not confer on me the right to go into a park set up targets on the walkways for a little practice session, the First does not confer on anyone the right to block the walkways with their bodies in order to bring attention to their cause.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fire.

The more I read about them, the more interested I become in picking up a Kindle Fire.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Frightening though.

Given a choice between the OWS movement and the Wall Street/.Gov crony capitalist machine, I pick the Wall Street/.Gov machine. 

That scares the fuck out of me.  I need a third option, please.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My National Ammo Day purchase.


While I was waiting for the counter monkey to pull the pistol ammo I saw something in the gun case that made me smile!

Bad pic, but those are ARs in the WalMart gun case.

What we have here...failure to discriminate.

Imagine a man with no tags on his car was pulled over by police in Alabama.  Imagine that he spoke with a foreign accent, and that his only identification was a foreign ID.  Imagine he had no passport or proof of legal immigration status.  Imagine that man was arrested until such documents could be obtained.

NOW IMAGINE THAT MAN WAS WHITE.

He was white, and as soon as his legal status was confirmed he was released.

That's called 'equal protection.'  Oh, snap!  

Now, I have issues with Alabama's immigration law.  I don't like it.  However, I like that the federal government is ignoring the immigration problem (the need for enforcement and serious reform) a hell of a lot less.

National Ammo Day.

Is today.  Go buy some!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Do NOT speed at the Birmingham airport.

It will get you shot in the face:


Birmingham police Sgt. Johnny Williams Jr. said a man drove through the pickup area outside the terminal at a high rate of speed and had an interaction with a police officer. The man returned, again at a high rate of speed, and encountered the officer again.

The officer shot the man in the face.

Comments to the story suggest that the man attempted to run the police officer over.  AL.com is notorious for having very poor writing with few details.  It's like a blog written by a 14-year old.

Considering the story says the person shot did not sustain life threatening injuries I wonder if he was actually shot, or just hit with glass/metal fragments. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Climbing.

Climbed a little further out of the pit of debt I'm currently sitting in.  That's always nice.  I also opened up a MMA to dump some cash in for an emergency fund.  It's nice being able to pay all of my bills for this half of the month, pay half the balance on a credit account, open a bank account, pay for most of a plane ticket, and still have a nice chunk still left over for living expenses of the next two weeks.

Thoughts on HR822.

I'm happy to see it passed, but I'm not going to get my hopes up to high.  Even if it were to get through the Senate it did not make it through the House with a veto proof majority (and that won't happen in the Senate, either). 

Maybe the Senate will take it up and pass it, but I can't see President Obama signing it into law.  It won't make me vote for him and so he has nothing to gain from me or those like me.  There is a damned good chance it would result in a major backlash from a lot of Democrats. 

I'm going to be cautiously optimistic for now.  I hope it at least makes it to the President's desk intact and not buggered up.  It will be a hell of victory even it that is as far as it goes. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Choices and musings about the past.

My grandfather wanted me to join the Navy.  He'd really enjoyed his time in the Navy.  I think he regretted not making a career of it. 

I graduated from high school in 2003.  The Navy didn't really appeal to me all that much.  I had some bad memories of sea sickness as a child, and I knew I'd never be a pilot so I wasn't interested. 

I wanted to join the Army.  It wasn't a huge, burning desire, but it was something I felt I should do.  I thought military service was a good idea for a lot of reasons for a young man just finishing high school.  I still do. 

My grandfather spent a lot of time talking me out of it.  "You'll have to run a lot.  You hate running."  "You just won't like it."  He finally got his way when he said he'd pay for school as long as I'd go. 

Looking back, I think maybe he was more interested in shelling out thousands of dollars for college classes rather than taking the chance I'd be getting shot at in Iraq.  Maybe I'm wrong about that, but he was a protective old bastard.

Anyway, other things that I've talked about elsewhere kept me from joining later. 

Tonight my brother gave me a few items from my grandfather's time in the Navy.  He wanted them put up somewhere safe.  Looking over them it made me wish I'd talked to my grandfather more about his time in the Navy.

The Anchor and The Bluejackets' Manual

One thing I do remember is how much he loved Australia when he was there.  He gave serious consideration to emigrating there and taking me and my brother with him.  I'm glad he didn't, but I wish he could have visited again before he died.

It never even occurred to me until today that he had been trained on the M1 Garand.

There are so many conversations that I didn't have with the man who raised me as his own son, the man I call 'grandfather' in his absence but that I called 'Dad' almost my entire life.  I wish he hadn't been such a mean drunk in his last years and that I hadn't been forced to walk away from the chaos that was life at home.  I wish a lot of things.  

I think he'd have had a better and more fulfilling life if he'd gone career Navy.  I think he knew that, and I think he regretted it.  That may be why he wanted me to join up.

I could be wrong about all of it, but it's a gut feeling I have.   

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Larry Correia knocks another one out of the park.

Here.  Go Read.

Sexism.

If he were a woman, he'd have already been released from a mental health facility after being declared 'cured':


Ohio was poised Tuesday to end a nearly six-month break in its use of capital punishment by executing a man who fatally shot his three sons while they slept in 1982, shortly after his wife filed for divorce.

State and federal courts have rejected attorneys' arguments that 66-year-old Reginald Brooks of East Cleveland is not mentally competent and that the government withheld relevant evidence that could have affected Brooks' case.

The more cases like this I come across the more I begin to move towards opposing the death penalty.  It's not because I don't believe a good number of the people executed need killin', because I do.  It's because of how capriciously it is instituted.  The man in this news item deserves to die.  However, how many stories of women murdering their children every year do year hear about where she is declared 'mentally incompetent' and put into a mental hospital?  Too damned many.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

I weep for humanity.



H/t SayUncle

Impeach Judge James Ware.

He clearly thinks the First Amendment is no longer a part of the Constitution he swore to uphold:



Citing past clashes between Mexican American and Anglo students over their clothing on the Mexican holiday, Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware of San Francisco said school officials "reasonably forecast that (the shirts) could cause a substantial disruption" and were entitled to take steps to prevent it, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Of course, it's San Fransisco.  What do you expect?

If Mexican or Mexican American students have a problem with American students wearing the American flag, in an American school, in American city, in an American state, in the UNITED FUCKING STATES OF AMERICA, they should damn well be told to piss off, have their skulls caved in for the betterment of humanity, or simply be sent home from school if they can't act like civilized individuals.  Freedom means having to put up with people who you see as assholes, even on a day that is special to you. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Columbia pants suck.

Of the three pairs of Columbia pants I've purchased I've ended up with a tear in them perform I can even consider them broken in.  The last tear I got today, in a pair of ROC (Rugged Outdoor Chino) pants I've worn a total of three times including today.

In my experience these pants catch on things very easily and, in turn, tear very easily.  I like the Columbia brand in general.  I have two Columbia jackets I'm very happy with.  However, I will never waste my money on their pants again.

Veterans Day.

I hope as many as can have a good one, safe at home with their families.  For those who can't, I hope that changes soon.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's about damned time.

Jefferson County, AL has filed for bankruptcy:

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The Jefferson County Commission has  voted 4-1 to file an estimated $4.1 billion bankruptcy, the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

It sucks, and it's going to hurt everyone in the state, but it was inevitable and should have happened years ago. 

Robert's Picks

Books:

Death in the Long Grass by Peter Hathaway Capstick (excellent)

The Vigilantes by W.E.B. Griffin (good)

In Fire Forged (Worlds of Honor #5) by David Weber (very good)

Movies:

Thor (good)

Hannah

X-Men:  First Class

Sword of Doom

Rashomon 

Jesse Stone:  Innocents Lost (good...they put a curve ball in this one that I found highly amusing)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Colt formally announces new Colt Mustang.

Sweet.  I want one.

November Gun Giveaways

Courtesy of Aaron of The Weapons Blog.

Chris Costa leaving Magpul Dynamics.

Details at GearScout.

I have The Art of the Dynamic Handgun DVD set and I really enjoyed it.  It's no substitute for real training, but it's better than nothing and there is a lot of good information there.  Plus it's a good way to get a feel for a trainer's style.  I'll probably be picking up some of the other DVD sets at some point in the future as well.

On the Range #57: New AR

I took the new AR out to the range today to zero the iron sights.  I had a couple of different ammo types to check out on it as well.

I only shot 110 rounds, and 100 of that was steel cased Monarch brand ammo (Wolf).  It ate every bit of it with only one little hitch.  I had a light strike on one round.  It fired off just fine the second time around though.  Never had that happen before.

It didn't take much to get zeroed at ~25 yards.  I think I made three adjustments and I had the gun shooting as well as I'm capable shooting it.  The steel cased stuff I was shooting grouped find.  I also popped off ten rounds of Hornady TAP 75gr stuff.  I'm keeping 30 rounds of TAP on tap when it sit next to the nightstand.  It groups tighter but generally shoots to the same point of aim. that'll probably change a bit out at further distances, and I need to get some more to find out for sure.

All in all, shoots great!  I'm not a fan of the standard hand guard because those bastards get HOT after about a 80 rounds, but I'll be replacing that soon enough.  Need to pick up some gloves too.

Monday, November 7, 2011

That's unpossible.

Guns are banned there.

My new AR.

As promised, here are a few pictures the complete AR:


 It was fun to put together, and hopefully this is just the first of many.

I put this together myself, but I didn't go all out on the build.  Here's the parts list:
Spike's Tactical Complete Lower Reciever~$299.75 from a local Merchant of Death
Magpul MBUS Rear Back-UP Sight~$66 from a local Merchant of Death (probably could have got it cheaper, but I wasn't in the mood the wait for it to ship)

Call it $840.  I could have saved about a hundred off of that, if not more, but it's what I wanted and it was easier to buy it in pieces rather than try and hold onto the loose cash.  

Anyway, as I mention before I'm going to go all Magpul fan boy on it in flat dark earth (or whatever it is the cool kids are calling brown now).  I've got a Midwest Industries rail on the way, and after that it'll either be a sling attachment or an AFG.  Hopefully I'll be picking up an Aimpoint Pro soon.  I might make it a Christmas present to myself.  Of course, I'd kind of like a new tv too...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Things I've learned today.

1.  New Yorkers are apparently the arbiters of the level of politeness in the South.

2.  Telling a woman she looks good in tight jeans is a 'rape-like' comment.*

As to the first, yankees don't know a damned thing about the South.  I am in and out of people's homes all day long and it never fails that I'm asked, "Is there anything I can do to help you?  Would you like something to drink?" or told "Sit down, there is no need for you stand while you're waiting."  If it's around dinner time and I'm still working I'm often asked to stop and have something to eat.  Oh, and even though it's not necessary I quite often get cash tips most of which have been $20 and up. 

Outside of work I see men offer their seats to women everyday.  I see people holding doors for each other.  I hear please and thank you (and use them) along with 'yes, Sir' 'no, Sir' yes Ma'am' and 'no Ma'am.'  And it's not just from older people, either.  Even people my age and younger act politely.  It's not true of everyone, and there is enough rudeness to go around.

Are kids assholes in schools?  You're damned right.  You want to know why?  Because they get away with it.  If manners are failing in the South it's a direct result of the bullshit children get away with in schools.  Teachers used to be able to do something about students being rude in their classrooms.  Now?  Not so much.  Can't kick the little crotch dumpling out of your class room, he's got a 'right' to an education.

That said, I don't really see the decline.  Facebook and social networking sites, cell phones, etc. make it a lot easier for the rude and insulting things people have always said behind others' backs to get around more (and usually back to the last person the people saying them want them to get back too) but that doesn't so much show a decline in manners as it does a failure to adapt to change. 

As to the second, I can see how the comment could be creepy coming from the wrong person.  But 'rape-like'?  That's a bit much, if you ask me.  Let me let you in on a little secret ladies.  Chances are pretty good that if a non-relative male is giving you a compliment he probably wants to fuck you.  Won't be true in every case, but it's a good bet.  And just because a guy may want to fuck you doesn't mean he wants to force the issue.  If he was, he would, and we'd be having a totally different conversation. 

While the comment in question wasn't made by me I've made similar one's often enough to a smiling, "Thank you!" to feel comfortable with my position on what is generally an acceptable compliment.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fifth.

And it's finished.

Except for the rail I ordered Thursday night and the various things I'll be putting on it.  I decided to do a flat dark earth scheme and once I get the rail installed I'll pick up one of Magpul's AFGs and a flashlight mount.  This will be a home defense gun more than anything so I want a light on it.  I'll put a Magpul buttstock on it too, and at some point I'll be putting one of the Aimpoint Pro red dots on it.  

It's nice to have an AR again.  Pictures of it all put together (with a parts list) to follow soon, hopefully with a short range report.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

As if that will stop them.

DOJ:  We'll be honest, we promise.
The Justice Department says it is dropping a proposed rule that would have allowed officials to deny the existence of certain sensitive information, which critics said amounted to giving the government a license to "lie."

The decision comes a week after Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder saying the proposed rule "stands in stark contrast to both the president;s and your prior statements" about transparency and open government.
The fact that this rule was even proposed should be ringing alarm bells, but most people have completely ignored it.  It truly is sad how apathetic people are to governmental misconduct.

If you think this was anything more than an attempt to give the official OK to what has, and always will be, standard operating procedure in DC then I have to question your mental faculties.  This is right up there with 'anything that makes us look bad is a matter of National Security' and must forever be kept secret.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dry fire.

Dry fire is one place where I will admit I am one lazy bastard.  I just generally don't want to do it.  I like doing it when I'm doing (in a way), but I just never want to start doing it.

Last night I decided I was going to start (and did start!) doing daily dry firing following the basic outline found at Pistol-Training.com.  I plan to stick with it, and see how my shooting improves.  It should improve considering every trainer who has instructed me, and every professional shooter I've ever read says it will.

We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Damn.

Not much else I can say.

Training.

Unfortunately it's training at work.  We're easing our way into home audio/visual and networking.  I'm working a 6-day this week, which would normally mean a nice paycheck but two of the days will be training pay which is shit.  Oh, well.  Hopefully this will help me make more money in the long run.