Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot,
by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse.
" -- Me

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, October 5, 2015

Mass Shootings

Chris Hernandez, who is a career cop, has posted a fairly lengthy piece about mass shootings and what can be done.

You should go read it.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Martian, the Movie

(Yes, I read the book)

I got home a little while ago from watching the movie. Given that the mass-market paperback is 448 pages long, they had to leave some stuff out. And there are a couple of "Hollywoodish" touches that are, well, stupid and for which somebody should be smacked around.

But as for a film-to-movie adaptation, I think that only the 1973 Day of the Jackal hewed closer to the book. They did an excellent job of capturing the spirit of the book's portrayal of astronaut Mark Watney.

My recommendation: Get thee to a theater near you. See this one.

For if you're interested in space and space exploration and you don't see this movie, there is something seriously wrong with you.

Thou Shall Not Weaponize a Cat

Click on it to enlarge, derrr

From here, naturally.

Some Asshole With Guns

Some Asshole shot up a community college in Oregon this week.

Stand-in photo of the Asshole:

I'm not going to get into my usual rant about how the press is effectively glorifying this turdlet by publicizing every aspect of his life.

But note one point that they've raise: This particular Asshole studied mass shootings before he undertook one.

These Assholes are psychopathic predators. While they may be insane and are certainly monsters, they are not stupid. They are doing their killing where their prey can be found in large numbers and where their prey have no effective means of defending themselves.

The answer would seem to be rather obvious and simple to implement. And after a few future Assholes die unremarked, maybe this problem might begin to go away.


With almost Gaullic-like disdain, Jake contemplates the limited menu choices.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

"You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda," But...

So there I was, 0600, out in my driveway, picking up the newspaper. There's a bit of a wind, 47°F outside, the sky is lighter in the east as sunrise is a little less than an hour away. About 500' or so down the road, there's an intersection.

A motorcycle is there at the cross street. The rider accelerates and turns, going past me. He's riding a Harley with "chopper" handlebars. He goes through three gears at full throttle, blaring the racket from his pipes as he goes.

There were no other vehicles on the road. There was no need for that putz to do that. But he did, down a quiet residential street in the pre-dawn hour.

There once was an advertising slogan: "You meet the nicest people on a Honda." Maybe that was hype.

But it seems clear to me that Assholes Ride Harleys.

Confirmation about Benghazi

The investigations by Congress were never about what happened there. They were only motivated by politics. It was truly a McCarthyite smear job.

For this is what Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who hopes to Speaker John Boehner, ttold Sean Hannity of Fox News:
“What you’re going to see is a conservative speaker, that takes a conservative Congress, that puts a strategy to fight and win.

“And let me give you one example. Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?

“But we put together a Benghazi special committee. A select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known that any of that had happened had we not fought to make that happen.”
Of course, McCarthy's clean-up detail is trying to walk back his comments. But there's no walking that back, except in the minds of the faithful viewers of the Fox Propaganda Channel.

The crap about Benghazi and now the email server is all about politics, folks. It's about a GOP smear campaign. And it's all pretty damn despicable.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Interesting Gun Development; CCW Edition

The Ruger LCR in .327 Magnum.

The .327 Magnum sort of reminds me of the .41 Magnum: A round that has its uses, but is mostly overshadowed by its bigger and older (and usually cheaper) brother.

In this application, though, the .327 gives the user an extra round over the .38/.357. Which has its value, for the same reason that many folks prefer a Colt Detective Special over a J-Frame Smith in .38.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Legal Bribery

Big donors are demanding that candidates listen to them and take their "suggestions" to heart.

Seems to me that "here's money, do what I want" is skating on very thin ice as far as the definition of bribery goes. But since the Federal Election Commission is more toothless than my cat, don't expect them to do anything more than watch porn and eat lunch. I'd be very surprised if those clowns do anything more than come into work at 10, drink coffee, surf the Internet, and then knock off for the day at 11:30.

It should be clear to all by now that the politicians serve the oligarchs. The only reason they listen to the rest of us is that they have to stand for election from time to time. The 99.9% get lip service and promises of hand-jobs. The 0.1% get what they pay for.

Today is a Sacred Holy Day for Sailors and Marines.

Celebrate the Elixir of Life!

(Yes, it's a thing. And as a marketing ploy, it is far less pernicious than the "Hallmark Holidays" or the parasitic sales on days to honor those who have served their country.)

Monday, September 28, 2015

More Majick Fairy Dust From the Donald

After weeks of vowing to raise taxes on "hedge fund guys" and high-income earners, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump unveiled a tax plan Monday that would cut rates across the board and reduce the amount paid by wealthiest Americans and corporations into the U.S. Treasury.It's the same old GOP elephant dung: When a Democrat is in charge, they scream "budget deficits". When they want to be in charge, or are in charge, it's "tax cuts for the rich" and "deficits don't matter."

The infrastructure in this country is falling apart. The Republicans, of course, all seem to want to spend more and more on the military and engage in new and better wars around the globe, all the while handing out more and more tax cuts to the rich and to corporations.

Where the fuck do they expect the money for the military and infrastructure to come from?

The answer is "they don't care" because they figure that enough Americans are of the mentally-challenged variety that the politicians won't have to answer it. And the bill will come due long after they are out of office (looking at you Chimpy and Ronnie).

As H.L. Mencken said:
“No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.”

Carly Fionia: The Pro-Torture Candidate

Carly Fiorina has swallowed and is parroting the pro-torture caucus line that torturing people works.

Oh, and she's also pro-NSA.

Shit, if we're going to elect a Californian who is pro-torture and pro-NSA, why not just elect DiFi? At least that way, there'll be somebody who understands a little bit about how the legislative process works.

I Don't Want the "Internet of Things".

I don't want it. I don't want my refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, car, garage door opener, washing machine, thermostat, lighting etc., etc., etc., going online for any reason whatsoever.

And if that means that I'm condemning myself to a world of second-hand and refurbished stuff, so fucking be it.

That is all.

"Destructive Device" Ruling in 3....2.....1.....

The XM42 Flamethrower.

If bills haven't been introduced in at least a dozen states to outlaw flamethrowers within four weeks, I'll be very much surprised.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

MS Spyware

Borepatch refers to a post about spyware that Microsoft is trying to install on Win 7/8 machines under the guise of routine updates.

You might want to disable them, if you've installed them, or block them if you haven't.

They are:
Go read the posts to find out why you should not have those updates running.


Did the final Bullseye match of the year for my club. I shot a 750-5x with my iron-sighted K-22. That's a 51 point jump over my first outing with the gun.

I had a really good slow-fire relay at one point, shooting 90-1x at 50 yards. Too bad that I couldn't have been consistent.

It's probably not terribly rational that, with a perfectly good Ruger 22/45 that has a red-dot and a trigger job, that I'm shooting an old revolver, but that's where I'm at.

Perfect Headline

The obit.


Kittens at a no-kill shelter. All fully-weaned.

All ready to bring maybe two decades' worth of joy to your life.

Friday, September 25, 2015


They're a widely used trick in television, carried over from the movie serials. The season ends with the hero (or some other character) in mortal danger.

Thing is, I rarely remember them. This season of NCIS opened with the aftermath of Gibbs being shot. I didn't remember that he was shot. If it wasn't for talk on one of the gun forum, I wouldn't have remembered about the question of whether it was Branch or Barlow Connolly who got shot in Longmire.

If the idea is to ensure that viewers return in the following season to find out what happened, it's wasted on me.

Away at Class, Dammit!

I'm in class and I can't react to Boehner's plan to resign. 

Live boy? Dead girl? Tired of dealing with the jackasses in his caucus? Impending indictments?

Stay tuned.....

Because It's Friday

Steel-on-steel can sometimes be a bitch for getting traction.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sure, You're Not Selling Out. Keep Telling Yourself That; Craft Beer Ed.

Anheuser-Busch, now known as "InBev", is buying a craft brewer in Los Angeles. The co-founder of the craft brewery says they're not selling out:
"This wasn't a sellout move for me," said Meg Gill, president and co-founder of Golden Road. Gill said she hadn't planned to sell to a beer conglomerate but "as soon as we saw that vision, both companies were excited to be a part of what the other was doing."
Yeah, sure. What InBev was doing was probably offering you a boatload of cash.

Sure, it's a good fit, since InBev is mostly known for passing off watered-down horsepiss as beer. And they have a lot of cash.

Mostly because they have a lot of cash. Gill clearly found her "golden road".

Smooth Move, Shkreli

Well, it seems that the Worst Person in the World is in the sights of a Federal prosecutor for financial fuckery worthy of jail time.
According to the court records and people with knowledge of the case, the allegations against Shkreli that are under investigation involve insider trading, disguising the purpose of corporate payments for his benefit, defrauding shareholders by snatching business opportunities for himself, destruction of evidence, failure to disclose material facts to shareholders and other potential crimes.

One of the key elements of the investigation involves allegations that [Martin] Shkreli appropriated cash from Retrophin and used it to settle litigation from institutions and individuals who were investors in his hedge fund, MSMB Capital Management, and then illegally classified them in the company’s books as consulting payments. In essence, if the allegations are true, Shkreli stole money from the company to resolve lawsuits that had nothing to do with Retrophin, then lied about what he did in filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission by misrepresenting how and why the cash was spent.
His lawyers have probably been screaming "What part of 'keep a low profile' was unclear to you?"

The DoJ has been under fire for awhile for being reluctant to go after financial pirates like Shkreli. Shkreli just transformed his case from something that might have gotten a two-minute blurb on the news into a high-profile case. If there was a chance of his defense lawyers negotiating a favorable deal for him, that just evaporated.

Except he painted/tattooed it onto himself.

Free Ice Cream From Marko

The Cake Whores of Mars.

Double your money back if you don't like it!

Two! Two! Two!

That is all.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Modest Suggestion for an Addition to the Dictionary

This is mine:
Shkrel·i n: A greedy mother-stabbing father-raper

The Difference Between a Sociopath and a Humanitarian

According to Forbes, Jonas Salk, by not patenting the polio vaccine, walked away from at least seven billion dollars in royalties. Albert Sabin, maybe up to twenty billion. It probably didn't really occur to either one of them. They were medical men, humanitarians, who saved millions of lives and improved the lives of hundreds of millions more. Their names have been revered and will be for decades, if not centuries, to come. They eliminated the scourge of polio from most of the world (pockets remain, thanks to the fucking CIA).

In contrast, people should spit on the ground after Martin Shkreli passes by. He is a walking, breathing argument for a socialized health-care system, if only to put villainous fuckers like him out of business. Hell, he even looks as though he should be a villain in a James Bond flick.

Remember, Shkreli said that he needed the money "for research", but his business model is nothing short of extortion. His idea of "research" is finding old drugs, only made by one company, buying that company, and then jacking the shit out of the prices. Because he's nothing more than an Albanian pirate, operating on the fringes of legality. His companies are nothing more than wretched hives of greed and villainy. One would hope that the shade of Alan Turing would haunt that little fucker for appropriating his name.

Shkreli, a scum-sucking, wretched, despicable bottom-feeder, just announced that he'll lower the price of the drug, but apparently he's going to wait until everybody stops hating him so much.

"Happy Birthday" is Now Free

None of the companies that have collected royalties on the "Happy Birthday" song for the past 80 years held a valid copyright claim to one of the most popular songs in history, a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled on Tuesday.

In a stunning reversal of decades of copyright claims, the judge ruled that Warner/Chappell never had the right to charge for the use of the "Happy Birthday To You" song. Warner had been enforcing a copyright since 1988, when it bought Birch Tree Group, the successor to Clayton F. Summy Co., which claimed the original disputed copyright.

Judge George H. King ruled that a copyright filed by the Summy Co. in 1935 granted only the rights to specific piano arrangements of the music, not the actual song.
They're not the first group of clowns who have tried to gravy-train on copyrights forever. The descendants of Arthur Conan Doyle got slapped down for doing that; they were charging a license fee that was small enough that most publishers opted to pay rather than fight. Until Leslie Klinger, an author, refused and sued, winning his attorney's fees in the process.

It's good to see some of the Shkrelis of the world lose these cases.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Brit Online Timewaster

The History Bunker, where you can buy uniforms spanning several centuries.

If you're in the UK and you want to kit out your wedding party in WW2 uniforms, they can do that.

I got here because of Tam's Pooh cartoon and curiosity about where one buys a pith helmet.

VW Wasn't Just Fucking with the CARB and the EPA

VW sold eleven million vehicles that were rigged to pollute more than the laws allowed, including those sold in the EU and South Korea.

There must be an unofficial requirement to be a heartless sociopath in order to run a company, as we're seeing in the pharmaceutical industry.

Our Allies. Comrades-in-Arms. Pedophiles.

Our Afghan allies routinely rape young boys. American soldiers have been ordered to shut up and ignore it. Those who don't ignore it have been punished by Big Army.

"In the United States Army, We Don't Rape Children, We Help Those Who Do."

Another Empty Seat on the GOP Short Bus

Scott Walker quit the race. He blames Donald Trump, I guess for being better at running for political office than Walker is. Since he was polling somewhere between Lindsey Graham and the Herpes virus, well, even billionaires have limits on wasting money.

His plan apparently is to resurface at a divided convention. But hell, even Willard Romney is harboring that dream.

There hasn't been a "brokered convention" in over sixty years. The hope of Dead Candidate Walker and Flip-Flop Mitt that one will come to pass is proof that the only cure for fire-in-the-belly is embalming fluid.

But beyond that, if the party bosses seize control of the convention and lock out the people who have been the force behind the GOP gaining the Congress, look for them to stay home in November in large numbers.

Monday, September 21, 2015

If Martin Shkreli is Not the Worst Person in the World, He's Certainly on the Short List

There's an old drug that used to treat a parasitic infection, the kind of infection that sometimes happens to AIDS patients. The drug, Daraprim, cost $13.50 a pill.

Or it did. Until Shkreli, a former hedge fund guy started a pharmaceutical company, bought the rights to the drug and jacked the price up to $750 a pill. And the asshole has the nerve to wonder why, all of a sudden, he's the living, breathing face of uncaring greed.

He's not the only greedy motherfuckering douchebag out there. Doxycycline, which is used to treat Lyme disease (BT,DT), went from $20 for a bottle of 500 to $1,849. That's a jump from 4 cents a pill to $3.68 a pill or, if you want, from less than the cost of a .22LR round to the cost of a .50 BMG round-- apparently, you can thank a bunch of greedy crooks operating under the name of Teva Pharmaceuticals for that.

At this point, it should be apparent that the difference between American pharmaceutical companies and the Mexican cartels is just a matter of degree.

125 Million Reasons to Legalize Pot

That's what Colorado expects to reap in taxes in 2015 on the sale of marijuana.

Don't forget that it was the promise of revenue that brought lottery games to almost every state in the country. Other states aren't going to be able to resist the pull of being able to both add hundreds of millions per year to their state coffers, as well as cut out a lot of the expenses for a segment of the Fiasco Against Drugs.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Farmer Frank's Forty-Four

A little over three years ago, I blogged a little about wanting a 5-shot .44 Special revolver. Frank W. James responded to the second posting, as you can see (2nd link).

He did indeed have a Smith & Wesson 696 that he was willing to sell. It was an early "no dash" model that S&W had sent to him for evaluation; Frank liked the gun enough to buy it. In the last few years of Frank's ownership, he used it as a farm-truck gun.

So we e-mailed back and forth about the price. I did a little research and told Frank that his asking price was too low, that he could get much more if he sold it on Gunbroker. He said he didn't care about that, he had stated his ask and did I want the gun or not?

I did.

Over time, I stopped carrying it. The value of 696s isn't anywhere near Python ranges, but they're very pricey nowadays. So the gun has been in the safe, mainly, for the last two years. This weekend, I took it out and carried it in Frank's memory. I'll put some rounds through it soon.

Frank's favorite caliber was the .41 Magnum. He carried .41s for over 40 years. So that .44 must have impressed him a little.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Now for something completely different:

A "blade off test" of a Rolls Royce Trent 900 engine, which power the A380.

With a service contract, those engines cost almost $50 million apiece. I'd guess the cost to RR for the engine was probably less than $20 million.

Those puppies put out around 80,000 pounds of thrust. Only the engines on a 777 are more powerful.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Shorter JEB: "I Know How to Get Involved in Pointless Wars Because I am a Bush."

Ol' Johnnie Ellis "Low Energy" Bush must be sinking pretty low in the polls if he's desperate enough to clamp onto Chimpy's legacy.

Turning a budget surplus into massive deficits. Getting the United States into two pointless wars, costing trillions of dollars. Plotting the commission of war crimes in the West Wing of the White House. Oh, and stealing elections, can't forget that. Much to be proud of.

His dad had the political guts to do what was necessary to fix the budget and he paid for that with his job. Neither Chimpy 1.0 or 1.1 have ever shown that sort of courage.

Fifty Years Ago

The Eve of Destruction was the number one song in the U.S. for the week of Sept. 19-25, 1965.

It doesn't seem as though things have changed considerably.

Arrr, Me Hearties! Today be the 19th of Septemberrrr. Arrrr.

Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Why Sept 19th? That's the birthday of the ex-wife of one of the founders. The day took off when Dave Barry wrote about it.

Talk Like a Pirate Day is now a religious holiday, for those who are members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

To corporations, every day is Talk Like a Pirate Day. For companies large and small, old and new, all seem to believe that the law doesn't apply to them.

The latest, of course, is Uber, a company that believes that wage-and-hour laws and laws regulating for-hire vehicles and their drivers don't apply to them. Because they're a corporation, or they use the internet.

Presumably Uber can't just go out and start killing people. But there doesn't seem to be anything in their logic that says they can't.


Jake asserts his control over the bed: "Mine! Mine! Mine!"

Usurpation happened soon after.

Friday, September 18, 2015

German Engineering At Its Finest

VW and Audi had software on their diesels that could detect when the cars were being emissions tested. (If I had to guess, it could have been as simple as determining when the drive wheels were spinning and the other wheels weren't.) The software would then turn on the full emissions-control system. But when the cars were being driven normally, the software would then shut off the emissions-control system.

VW has admitted to it, because they were caught red-handed.

All of those cars, almost half-a-million, will be recalled. And VW/Audi faces fines of up to $37,500 per car, which is around $18 billion.

There was nothing "inadvertent" or "a minor oversight" about this. Sock it to them, guys.

What Do I Keep Saying, Over and Over and Over?

Never talk to the FBI.
A friend of the alleged Charleston church shooter pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of lying to investigators and concealing information and his bond was set at $100,000. ... Court documents unsealed Friday said Meek told an FBI agent that he did not know specifics about Dylann Roof’s plan to shoot churchgoers during a Bible study in Charleston, but the FBI says that was a lie.
Or, for that matter, any other Fed. (Unless you're in a regulated business and you have to.)

Good Question

Who, indeed?

Because It's Friday

Down in the engine room of a steamship.

Note the lag time between when the Bridge orders a bell change and when the engine responds. A good Conning Officer has a feel for how long it takes for the ship to respond to an engine order.

Pugulistic Punching for Pacifism

There is something rather incongruous about pacifists resorting to force to get their way.
TOKYO — Legislators scuffled in Parliament and demonstrators took to the streets on Thursday as Japan’s governing coalition moved to secure final passage of contentious legislation that would loosen decades-old limits on the country’s military.

The package of 11 bills was still tied up in Parliament’s upper house late Thursday night, past an initial deadline set by the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has spent considerable political capital trying to convince a skeptical public that Japan should play a more assertive role in global military affairs.

Scenes reminiscent of a rugby match played out in the committee chamber where lawmakers have been debating the bills for weeks. Opposition politicians tried to prevent voting by piling on top of the committee chairman and wresting away his microphone. Lawmakers from the governing party pulled them away and formed a protective scrum around the chairman to allow him to call the vote.
Punching people in the cause of peace--- Dick Cheney should sue them for copyright infringement.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Frank W. James Goes West

Frank W. James, 69, of Wolcott [Ind.], passed away at 7:34 p.m. Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at his home surrounded by his family.
Frank had a stroke early last year. For awhile, it seemed that he was improving and he had even blogged a couple of times.

He was a prolific gunwriter and a well-respected authority on submachine guns.

I had a couple of dealings with him, even though I never got to meet him. I thought he was a true gentleman.

Rest in peace, Frank.

(By the way, if somebody offers you the job of "shooting editor" at Shooting Times, run like hell. Frank James was named to that job a few months before his stroke. His predecessor was murdered.)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

NaNaNaNaNaNa I'm Not Listening NaNaNaNaNaNa

The 2nd GOP debate is tonight.

The only way I would even think to tune in would be if they were to start assaulting and killing each other on the stage, and then the winners feasted on the corpses of the losers.

That would be great television. But nothing short of that.

Wasn't There Supposed to be an Invasion of Texas?

Jade Helm 15 ended yesterday.

No doubt the tinfoil-hat crowd is onto their next bit of conspiracy/wackaloon frenzy. They probably believe that the only thing standing in the way of a military takeover was a bunch of fat-assed white guys who had their tricked-out bargain-basement ARs all ready to take on the 101st Airborne.

Snake Oil. Gun Oil.

Some spectrographic testing is apparently showing that some expensive gun lubricant called "FireClean" is pretty much just canola oil. Which you can buy by the quart for just a few bucks.

FireClean. $20 for 2oz.

Walmart canola oil: $6 per gallon. Which works out to about ten cents for two ounces.


I got an e-mail from Gun Digest touting some book written by a guy whose been a cop for a century or so and who said this:
I am convinced the .45 caliber, magazine-fed, semi-automatic pistol shooting Federal Hydro-Shock ammunition represents the apex of defensive handgun design.
If my memory serves, Hydra-Shoks were first offered over 25 years ago. They (and Black Talons) might have been the shit back in the day, but it doesn't take much research to see that bullet design has evolved significantly since the first Bush was in the White House. Sure, you can still buy Hydra-Shocks and Black Talons (now Winchester Ranger SXT*), but why would you want to?

Ammunition design changes. A few decades back, it was normal to see .38 lead round-nose cartridges used for self-defense. Then it shifted, slowly, to hollow-point .38+P semi-wadcutters, a/k/a "the FBI load". Neither are very good choices anymore.

A digression: There are some good HPSWCs cartridges. Some, like the Nyclad, aren't made anymore. Others are, but the buyer has to do a bit of research because if the lead used is too hard, then the bullet won't perform well.

Anyway, times change and so does bullet design. Worse, so does the need for someone who wants a decent-performing load to do research and find independent test results. There is a lot of snake-oil in bullets out there (the "R-I-P" bullet comes to mind).

Caveat emptor is really true in this game.
* "SXT" = "Same eXact Thing", because the Usual Suspects got their panties in a wad over their belief that a single round of Black Talon would kill you deader than a Star Trek phaser set to "liquefy". Winchester pulled the Black Talons and then renamed the bullet to placate the hoplophobic morons.

Texas: Racist, Crazy, or Both.

So a kid in Irving, Texas built an electronic clock out of parts. He took it to school to show his teachers.

But, because the kid has the name "Ahmed Mohammed", everybody freaks out, the cops get called, the kid gets hauled off in handcuffs and they may charge him for bringing a fake bomb to school.

No matter which room that kid is in this process, including the courtroom, he'll be the smartest one in it. Which may not be hard in Texas.