Monday, October 24, 2016

Overheard in the Truck Last Night...

Me: "Hey, everybody remember to push your buttons down, because you know what I don't want to do today? Get into a f****ing gunfight."

Stingray: "Oh, wait. We already did that."

Me: "Okay, you know what I don't want to do today? Get into another f***ing gunfight."

Where I've been all weekend...

ECQC started out at 6PM on Friday and ran through 10PM that night. We were sweaty and sore and grabbed a quick bite at Denny's before bedtime. Left the motel at 6AM the next morning, were on the range by 7:45, class started at 8:00, and ended at 7:30PM with me flat on my back on the caliche, wearing a FIST helmet and getting housed in the headlight glare of a couple of trucks.

Remember: At these distances, it's not your gun, it's y'all's gun.
Stopped for supper on the way back to the motel, and Sunday morning was a repeat of the previous day, with things wrapping up about six-ish with the final evolution of the class: A fight in a car. We went out for a class dinner and then it was time for the drive back to Los Alamos, arriving at Nerd Ranch shortly after midnight.

I didn't have a lot of time to write this weekend, but I'll be writing plenty about this class this week. It was nothing short of a transformative experience.

Friday, October 21, 2016

I don't care who you are...

...that's funny right there.

Breathtaking lack of self-awareness...

So, this happened...

There are no clich├ęs in a gunfight (or rather "there are no cliche's in a gunfight" because an apostrophe means "Look out! Here comes an 's'!" in internetese) is just gem-like; perfectly fractal in its utter lack of clue at every level.

There was only one thing left to do. Quick, Robin! To Teespring! (And by "Robin", I mean PHLster, who saw genius and seized the day.)

I've ordered two. Excellent apparel for SHOT or NRAAM. That is our mascot, Sheepdogwolfbear.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Historical realism...

Declassified testimony that had been redacted from Douglas MacArthur's Senate hearings paints a pretty grim picture of our overall military readiness posture during the Korean War.

Conventional interpretation is that somehow the Chinese benefited more from the limited and only-in-bounds nature of the conflict than we did. I was certainly never encouraged to think about, say, the effects on our supply lines of the Russian sub fleet at Vladivostok being turned loose to prowl the sea lanes between Japan and Korea.

(H/T to Weaponsman.)

No respecter of kings.

Here's a pretty interesting little piece on dysentery's effect on the monarchy of England.

It probably claimed more than one royal victim. A drafty garderobe or campaign tent in the field would be a hell of a place to poop your life out.



On my daily peregrinations about the internets yesterday, some photos from a travel piece on CNN caught my eye.

By Cristian Bortes - Salina - TurdaUploaded by Rsocol, CC BY 2.0, Link
Apparently an ancient salt mine in Romania has been converted into a sort of underground theme park, with minigolf and an underground lake and everything. Best of all, its name is "Salina Turda".

Tell me that your inner third grader would not just be in absolute nirvana paddling a rowboat around an underground lake and singing "Salina Turda! Salina Turda!" just to listen to the echoes.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

How it's framed...

The headline at CNN looked pretty grim:
Yikes. Well, NYPD pistol training is hurting pretty badly these days, and we all know what happens when you give an undertrained person a gun and a healthy dose of paranoia via hours of scary dashcam videos.

Then I read the body of the piece:
The woman grabbed a baseball bat and attempted to strike the sergeant, Nikunen said. The officer fired two shots, striking the woman in the torso, he said.
Wait, what? What's the problem here?

Look, y'all, if you see someone swinging a baseball bat at me and I'm not already shooting them, I'd be much obliged if you'd get to shooting them for me. I don't care if they're 16 or 66 or what bathroom they use or if they're white or black or a sort of tie-dyed color.

A baseball bat to the cranium is lethal force and don't kid yourself otherwise. You start lethal forcing at me and I'm gonna lethal force right back at you to make you stop.

EDITED TO ADD (because it came up in the BookFace discussion):

Ignore the "Why didn't he draw his taser?" thing. That's a red herring. The use of force spectrum is not like baseball. You do not have to touch every base. If you need to run straight home from second, that's perfectly legal. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


It's feeling pretty vacation-y today.

Maybe later.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Fry Your Fingertips

Patent Troll

This is one of those things of whose existence I was vaguely aware, but had never paid much attention to.

Now that I've actually stumbled across the patent while looking for something else, I have to think that Mister Albert B.Pratt of Vermont was trolling the patent office, or was completely off his nut.

Come to think of it, I'll bet the folks at the patent office get to deal with plenty of nutters.
How was the hat not supposed to fly off your grape under recoil?

As a side note, even limiting my search to patents issued prior to 12/31/1920, it's amazing how many were issued that contain "breech block".

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Saturday night's alright for fightin'...

Well, a roller derby bout isn't exactly a fight, but derby's definitely a contact sport...

At some point around the turn of the Millennium, roller derby somehow exchanged the trailer park for a loft in the arts district, and swapped PBR for IPA (unless you're drinking the PBR ironically.)

My hosts here in New Mexico are both heavily involved, Stingray as a referee and LabRat skating for the local Los Alamos team. The latter had its final bout of the season Saturday night, an away game against Albuquerque at Expo New Mexico, which I gather is the state fairgrounds. I have an affinity for fairgrounds, so I tagged along.

The lighting indoors was...let's go with "suboptimal", and I almost went and locked the camera bag in the truck, but I decided to keep it with me rather than risk window breakage on the Nerds' vehicle. Besides, I'd hate for a thief to be embarrassed by trying to pawn the contents of my Lowepro.

I had the D1X and the D200 with me, but the usual zoom lenses I keep on them for travel are painfully slow for the lighting conditions in the exhibit hall, and especially when attempting to do action photography. Oh, well, I dialed up the ISO and opened wide...

Los Alamos was ahead at the half, but they were short a few skaters and the home team blew it wide open in the second period in front of a wildly enthusiastic all-ages home audience that filled the bleachers, the chairs, and the floor in front of my seat. After the buzzer, the fans all crowded the track to exchange high fives with the circling skaters, home team and visitors alike.

After the bout, we repaired to the local Rudy's for some well-earned postgame chow: baby back ribs and prime rib and a Shiner Bock to wash it down.

And then it was time to drive back up to the ranch, listening to Wolf 359 podcasts on the truck's stereo.

It was a pretty good Saturday night, all-in-all, even if it did ensure that I'm going to have to save money for some faster glass.