Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Man With Gun Nearly Kills Boy In North Austin!

Earlier tonight, a young boy reported seeing a man with a gun. The man was seen by the boy while the boy was riding his bicycle up and down the street in front of his house in Pflugerville, a Northeastern suburb of Austin. Despite passing by the man several times, the boy was not killed, or even injured, by the gun. The boy's parents report that none of the encounters between the man and the boy resulted in any injuries.


I had my Glock on my hip in a high-visibility (mostly YELLOW) holster pretty much all afternoon today. That includes the few hours I spent in the garage fabricating a set of bookshelves for #1's room to suit my Darling Wife's specifications. The kid who lives across the street was riding his bike up and down both sides of the street (on the sidewalk) and I noticed one time he was having a pretty hard stare at my hip. Another time, I told him, "Hi, Ant!" and he gave me his usual non-response. I know it's hard to believe, but the gun did NOT just jump right out of the holster and start shooting everyone. I mean, even when my Darling Wife had #1, #2, AND #3 out in the garage watching me work, NOBODY was shot! Can you imagine?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Obama: Your True Colors Are Showing, And They're RED.

An abortionist is murdered and the next day there is genuine outrage from the white house. An American soldier is murdered and another soldier is injured in an obvious islamist-religion-motivated attack in the US mainland, and we hear from the white house . . . crickets.

Iran, a country headed by a repressive islamic regime, had an election for President. It was obvious from the first DAY after the election that the incumbent stole the election. The citizenry took to the streets in protest by their hundreds of thousands. President Obama says he doesn't want to "meddle". It takes TWO FULL WEEKS, hundreds of murders and thousands of unjust imprisonments by the Iranian government (against political protesters) before Obama reads off the Teleprompter in a straight deadpan monotone that he is 'outraged.'

Israel, a democratic, tolerant, inclusive, FREE nation seeking only peace with neighbors whose stated goal is to wipe it off the map because it's full of Jooooooos, responds to indiscriminately murderous violence against its citizenry with surgical strikes against the people doing the killing. Surgical in this case means a few civilians die because they allow terrorists to hide in their midst. Obama tells BB to knock it off. He also refuses to acknowledge Israel's right to claim land they won in a war that the former landholding nations STARTED.

And now, in Honduras. . . . The President, a communist dictator tried to rewrite the constitution according to his own whim. The courts forbade the army from implementing the "new" constitution [see update, below]. The Army did the right thing (finally) and arrested the dictator and kicked him out of the country in his pajamas. What else could he do? President Obama the next day speaks out in support of the deposed dictator, and a chorus of voices from the lovers of justice joins him. You know, people like (socialist) Secretary Clinton, and (communists) Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.

You don't have to ask Obama whose side he is on. If you understood what I just wrote, it's plain as day whose side he is on. His own words to the contrary notwithstanding, it ain't our side.


The friend of my enemy is my _______.


Is this the change you were hoping for?


Update: I posted the above from memory. Uncle points us to a post by DirtCrashr describing more accurately what happened. It also shows the real reason Obama is so swift to react against the actions of the Legislative, Judicial, and Military branches of the Honduras government: he doesn't much care for proper checks on Executive power and this was the ultimate check on an executive.

USA Looks A Lot Like California

Mish always finds an interesting article to link up.

In this case, one telling about a Congressional Budget Office estimate that public debt could go as high as 750% of GDP and interest payments on it could be as high as 30%, if current policies are continued for one person's lifetime. Unless we do a bit of slash-and-burn on checks written that our collective ass can't cash, we're S.C.R.E.W.E.D.

Hmm? Icky numbers!. Hey look, Can You DUET is on! Don't you just love that show?

More News From The Place Where England Used To Be

There is a library in Cambridgeshire.

Some retired people meet there for coffee and socialization.

Some wee little babes from a local nursery go there for books and readinafyin' & whatnot.

Obviously we have to BAN the pensioners from having coffee at the library.

To protect the books? To protect the carpet? To protect the pensioners? No no, my friends, it is For the Children! You see, they might get coffee spilled on them by accident.

Next up: banning going outside, in case you fall down. Then, banning staying in because you might bark your shins on your coffee table. Then, we'll just have people kill themselves to protect themselves from themselves.

Hey NELS! Keep It On The Down Low Buddy!

It seems "they" found out I blog at lunch and sometimes during (required to be taken by Texas State law) breaks.

Uh, oh. Dang I guess using company computers for personal purposes at lunch is cause for political intrigue! Gee, that might be a problem if I wanted to take anybody's job (instead of just doing what I do) or if I was unproductive (as opposed to a slow day when I have few things to do, or things that take a long time & keep my numbers down).

Maybe it would be a problem that I sometimes log into my personal email at work also. Except that I can't use the company email service. . . . I can't even ping the company email server from my computer, so it's yahoo! or nothing.

Oh well. Like I said to a guy here who didn't like me making noise (metalworking): want me to stop doing something? Say "please stop" and sit back and watch the magic. I'm not a woman and I refuse on the basis of having X & Y chromosomes to pick up on subtle hints. The employee manual says no personal use during working hours. Lunch = working hours? Hmm? HHHhhhmmmmMMMMMmmm????!!!!??!/1/


This reminds me of the time Crazy New Daddy changed his wife-beating ways: I put in my diary that I'd call the cops if I ever saw another bruise on Flaky Birth Mother. SHAZAM no more visible bruises!

It also reminds me of the commercials where they substituted the brand name coffee for whatever the other person was drinking. ::whispered announcer dude voice:: we've substituted blog posts for direct communication within the office. . . let's see what happens . . .

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Airgun/Pigeon Gun Update

I tried a few rounds of the Colibri in my .22 in the backyard and it is no louder than my pellet rifles, but it would require re-zeroing of the scope, and the local only ones have some silly rule about firearms in city limits, so I think I'll stick with pellet guns.

I did note that the rifling in both pellet rifles' barrels is pretty well worn down, probably from shooting a million BBs through each when I was a boy. Lesson learned. :(

I have a Crosman 1389 "Backpacker" I hadn't mentioned heretofore. It was doing pretty well until the pellet retainer in the swing-out breech disintegrated from age and use. I made up another one but the elastomer I used was too soft, so the retainer squished ovoid on me and accuracy suffered when the pellets started hitting the feedthroat at strange angles. I will probably try making another block from something harder. I also found out that, with a different barrel and a few other parts, I could possibly convert the Backpacker to .22, which would be a beautiful thing.

My Daisy 880 is a proven killer and I spent just over an hour this weekend deciding that my inherited Tasco 4x20 scope is faulty, and the 4x15 that came with the rifle is too dim. I put the Redfield 4x40 back on and it's literally a night-and-day difference. Later, I took the Dasiy down to springs & pins and found out the reason the rifle doesn't "suck" as hard with each pump as it used to do, is that the seals are just about shot.

That didn't keep me from knocking a grackel off the fence with it! . . . and it went down into the neighbor's yard. Oops. I hope their dog found it first. Either way, remember kids:

Shooting is Good Great Fun!

Un Freaking-Believable. Cap & Trade Our Jobs To China PASSED! BOO!

There are a total of 219 Fools and/or traitors whom YOU PEOPLE need to kick out of office in 2010 for trying to destroy your way of life.

Unless you can afford several thousands of dollars EVERY YEAR in additional TAXES for energy use, that is. Or maybe unless you like the idea of destroying more jobs than you create, and creating jobs only sustainable with hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars subsidies each, as long as they are in good industries. Good of course being dictated by the Obama government.

The kneecap our trade bill passed by FIVE FRIKKING VOTES!. That's a multi-trillion dollar tax on YOU.

Still think your vote doesn't matter? Fine, then [deleted] DON'T VOTE. Leave the voting to people who give a [deleted] what kind of a country their grandchildren grow up in. I shake my head as I think, maybe it would be better if we had the elections for President and Congress and Senate all on different days. Then maybe only the people who care would bother to vote.

I consider it the patriotic DUTY of all Americans to besiege the offices of their Senators, especially the Democrat and squishy moderate "Republican" ones. Light their phones up and tell them to vote NO on the cap & trade measure, AND say "or else I will donate money to the campaign of whoever runs against you, no matter who runs against you." I think I'm going to have to agree with Tam on this one. Unless they are running on the Communist ticket, ANYONE is better than anybody who would vote for the Cap & Trade fiasco. ANYONE.

Disgusting. When do these people start getting shot? Not yet? Oh, okay, not yet. Let's wait until the economy is undeniably WORSE THAN EVER, including worse than the economy in the post-civil war Southern states. Then? No? We don't do that in America?

Oh well.


Vote for ME!

The Burden of The Valley of Vision, An Alternate Interpretation

While the meaning of the Burden of the Valley of Vision is widely disputed, most scholars will agree that the Valley of Vision is clearly another term for Jerusalem, Israel.

Now, understand please, Jerusalem is a very special city to God. He selected that place to be the location of the city he will make himself, from which to rule the world. God chose Jerusalem as the place where His people would worship Him, in the Temple. King David saw the destroying angel where he had stopped there, and according to God's instruction built an altar on what was previously the threshingfloor of Araunah the Jebusite. It was there, on Mount Moriah, that Abraham was tested by God, and a sacrifice was made by Abraham.

So of course, Satan hates Jerusalem. His pride caused him to war against God, and he still wants to be worshiped as God, or to have men worship something else, ANYTHING ELSE, besides God. For the Devil to have his own puppet worshiped as God, in the temple at Jerusalem, would be a real treat.

It may be a surprise to you, but that is exactly what is going to happen.

Okay, what's all that to do with the Burden of the Valley of Vision? Well maybe nothing maybe everything, but something occurred to me as I sat listening to the Pastor going over this Burden one night. They are on the housetops and joyous, and there is a great tumult in the city. Imagine the following scenario with me if you will:

The Dome of the Rock has somehow been destroyed. Maybe it was an earthquake, maybe a bomb, maybe a highly charismatic leader has persuaded the muslims to allow its removal. But it's GONE. A new temple was built on the Temple Mount. The daily sacrifices of the Jews have been restored.

And a new leader has emerged on the world stage. It seems he is able to get all sorts of disputes resolved, including "peace in the middle east". Almost everyone in the world LOVES this man. He is greeted like a rock star everywhere he goes. And he has gone to Jerusalem. The whole city is jubilant. Every window and rooftop along the route of his procession through the city is clogged with people wanting to see him! Every TV in the city is tuned to a constant, live, video feed of him as he goes through town. All eyes and hearts are turned to him. Thus:
"What aileth thee now, that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops? Thou that art full of stirs, a tumultuous city, joyous city . . . "

His destination is the Jewish temple, on the Temple Mount, right where it belongs. His announcement is . . . unexpected. He wants to be the one you worship. The daily sacrifice is abolished (again).

A few old mens' faces go pale. A few young mens' faces go as red as olive skin can get. And they RUN out of the city, because they remember the admonition of our Christ:
" . . . when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains: And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house: And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment. But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved . . . ."


I know I am not the greatest biblical scholar out there, and this is probably full of holes, but what a scenario! What a dramatic fulfillment of prophecy it would be!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Crushing Europe's Recovery One Plane At A Time

In addition to a little problem with vertical stabilizers FALLING OFF IN FLIGHT causing huge numbers of passenger deaths, Here's one more reason I want to never ever but never fly on an Airbus:

Airbus: Now Made In China! (Very High Kwarity! Good Bargain! You try, You like!)

Oh, THAT'S Why My Car Is Warm Inside!

I had a temperature/humidity sensor to test here at work. I think yesterday was day 10 of 100+ degree temperatures in Central Texas with a record of 105ºF. My car said it was 108º on the highway Wednesday evening.

Anyhow, I took this thing outside and stood around in the shade until it stopped increasing very fast (100ºF 50%RH) and then set it on the concrete steps in the sun and waited. When I called off the test a few minutes later, the temperature was still rising, but pretty slowly.

What do you think? Could your child or animal survive very long in a locked car with the windows up in an environment like this?


Sure it's dry heat. Dry like an oven. Even with a light wind, 20%RH is not enough to overcome 127ºF in the sun. Sorry, it's just not.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the country, crops are in danger from the record cool temperatures and high rainfall, and the Socialists in Congress are trying to pass a several thousand-dollar PER YEAR tax on you to stave off glowbul wormening at the same time Australia, New Zealand, Czechoslovakia and Poland are looking to back off their own environment-saving scams schemes. Spain of course would like to back out of the Green Revolution (as it's eating them alive) but they are too far into it to do so without political turmoil.

Call Your Elected Heroes

Congressman McCaul's office chickie "Jennifer" said the Congressman is against the Kneecap our Trade bill up for vote today.

I know because I called my Congressman's office to voice my opposition to a bill that is certain to drive us farther into this depression.

If you don't have another couple of thousand dollars PER YEAR laying around for carbon emissions taxes, call your Elected Heroes NOW. Go to house.gov and look up their number.

Or else shut up about the collapse of America (as a world super-power) when it happens.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gun Registration: Why NOT?

Oh, you silly conspiracy theorists! What's the worst that could possibly happen?

I mean, it's not like the .gov is going to machine gun your whole family in the town square, right?

I mean, right?

Incidentally, People Are Still Being Murdered In The Streets In Iran.

For political differences with the government. You want liberty? Here's your liberty for you! ::chop protester with a hatchet::

For those who want as close to actual reportage as possible, Pamela Gellar's Atlas Shrugs blog is a good news portal.

Unfortunately, the Iranians have figured out how to block the twitter feeds which seems to be the end of 1st person live reporting. Now, aside from the old soft-shoe from Iranian government-controlled outlets, we're left to watch the explosions from outside the country. May God (read: not allah) help the people of Iran as they struggle to be free from under the boot heel of muslim tyrants. It is evident that our President Barack Hussein Obama does not care to.

One may very well ask why, in light of the fact that they would have ratings through the roof, the state-controlled alphabet media networks in the USA have zero correspondents reporting "live from Iran . . .


For those who have missed the connection, the current bloody repression of purely political protest in Iran is a shining example of why the founders of our United States of America put in the Constitution:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

A Comment On Shooting Birds

When a pigeon is struck by a pellet, it makes a most satisfying thwack!* as the feathers break.

A contented "aaaaaahh!" with a small smile.


*Not to be confused with the disgusting crunch of a cockroach.

I Already Told You Not To Be Surprised . . .

. . . at anything the government does, after they elected a Marxist to the Presidency.

So don't be surprised that you are giving Mugabestan $73M. Oh, but because the Chairman is wise, he's using his powerful "just words" to ensure that it doesn't go straight into some government fat cat's pocket. Riiiight.

The Forgotten War Apparently Not Forgotten By The Losers

Nobody in the USA (aside from those who were in it) seems to know anything about the conflict in Korea. Well, it started on this day in 1950. We won by the way. The North Koreans signed an armistice with us in '53 and broke it this year.

The radio news says there was a big crowd in the North, protesting against us (or something) on the anniversary. I'm so sure they all gathered there spontaneously, on their own initiative. And have electricity in their homes. And indoor plumbing.

For those who have forgotten, This:

Was the reason we fought until we got This:

Socialism: 100,000,000 citizens dead at the whim of their own governments can't be wrong!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Seriously? A Frikken AFFAIR in Argentina?

Somebody with low enough morals to have an extramarital affair, and especially someone with such a complete lack of [deleted] sense as to disappear to Argentina and not say where he went for a week, so he can engage in said affair, while he's the GOVERNOR may as well not even bother with a run for President in 2012. Thanks, jerk.

Please Pray For My Darling Wife.

This morning she recalled me from work. We took her to the Emergency Department at the nearest hospital where she presented with pain in her chest and left arm, dizziness and nausea. Her O2 sat. was 100, her respiratory and pulse rates nominal, and nothing blatantly obvious to my untrained eye on what looked like a 6-lead setup.

God's plan for her is better than mine, but I think I have a preference in this matter.

Note: "Bad health happens to good people" just the same as bad people. We all shall die eventually from something, but the Christian is likely to avoid things like cirrhosis of the liver and STDs. Just because we are going to Heaven does not eliminate family history/genetic predisposition. If it did, that would constitute a definite proof of God's pleasure on his own people. As he wants a faith-based relationship, proof is not his style.

Still one can't help but take his wife to the hospital with a bit of trepidation. Keeping busy helps, but I have 4 children and 3 dogs to tend at home so I can't go to work. Both laundry machines are going and the dishwasher is waiting for a full load. The children are playing by themselves. People are called with prayer requests . . . what else is there to do when it's 104 degrees out? Parcheesi anyone?


They took her into an ER room between the time I dropped her off at Paralysis Point and the time I parked the car & unassed the ship. I gave them a half-hour to poke, prod, listen, whatever, and asked for an update. They said she could see visitors. I took the children to see her and she was sitting up in bed with what looked like a 6-lead setup on her and what looked like non-STEMI sort of heart shapes on the monitor. She was dizzy but that's better than in emergency surgery. They released her a few hours later and we made it almost on time to church. She's supposed to follow up with her regular doctor in a week.

Of course, she would have gone to her regular doctor today, but she's on a government health care plan. That means she can't get seen for chest pain without an Emergency Room visit. After the fact, the hospital says they don't take payments from the V.A. If they think we're going to give them some turnip blood ourselves, they've got a nasty surprise coming. It looks like a billing nightmare is in the offing, but thank God she's okay enough to go home, anyway.

Oh, the diagnosis? "We dunno what it is, go ask your regular doctor."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

You Know, They All Say That . . .

. . . but really, unless you hate your rifle AND yourself, don't shoot any ammunition in a gun not marked for use with it.

Photography: Photographing Inside Rifle & Long Gun Bores (and Pistols)

This type of photography is a pain in the ... if you have the proper equipment. If you do not have the proper equipment it is right next to impossible. This article is intended as a guide for those with less-than-ideal photography setups.

To prevent you wanting to use the rifle on your camera instead, you want to have, at least:
  • Bore light / itty bitty teensy flashlight
  • Camera with manual focus

    Also nice to have:
  • Tripod
  • Camera with full manual controls
  • A lens that can zoom in and/or otherwise provide for a DEEP focal plane
  • Good (bright, tungsten halogen) ambient lighting
  • Uncluttered background

    Initial Note: I consider a half-decent photograph of the inside of a rifle's barrel to show you ALL of the following:
  • The first few centimeters (to inches, depending on caliber) of rifling
  • Condition of the muzzle's crown
  • Condition of the very end of the outside of the barrel

    This is a marginally-acceptable muzzle end bore photograph
    Bore End Rifling

    And here is a marginally-acceptable chamber-end bore photograph
    Chamber End Rifling

    One thing you notice right away is that these bores are orange, and that is due to the orange bore light I was working with that day. A white bore light would be highly preferred to one that has ANY color. Note that an otherwise good photo to some extent mitigates the badness of having a severe color in the bore. Keep that in mind as you scroll down, taking note of the difference in those pictures taken with blue/violet lights. Photoshop can eliminate the color your light puts out, but if you don't know what you're doing, that can start to look inauthentic or "just wrong somehow" in a hurry.

    First rule of bore photography: have decent lighting and that means a bore light.

    No bore light: awfully hard to see what's going on in there!!
    Get a Bore Light!

    You don't have to use a purpose-made bore light. It can be pretty much any light source, as long as you can get enough light into the barrel. A purpose-made bore light however will have the advantage of not blinding you and your camera with extraneous light outside the barrel. Your bore light should be either adjustable or fairly bright. If it is adjustable, your job is that much easier: If it's too bright, just turn it down . When your light is not adjustable, you have to improvise. When it is too bright, you can either tilt the light source relative to the bore's axis:
    Tilt Your Bore Light

    OR separate the light from the bore by whatever distance is required
    Distance Your Illumination From The Bore

    Okay, but why does the brightness have to be turned down? Don't you want bright lights?

    Yes you do, and if your bore is badly rusted, pitted, or otherwise not mirror-bright, you will need as much light going in as you can muster, just to see it out the other end.

    Why wouldn't you be able to see it? Aren't you looking right at the light? How could you not see it?

    You don't want to look right at the light because you won't be able to tell what you're looking at in a photograph. Your eye can do all sorts of amazing things with its own lens, but a still photo does NOT convey the information you can see in a half-second with your unaided eye in person. This is what happens when you try to shoot a photo straight down the bore:
    Straight Down The Bore

    The blue is the measuring tape holding up the bore light (scroll up if you missed it). This is a view straight down the bore of our subject rifle, and out the other side. The brightness is useable, but unless your depth of focus is several INCHES, all you get is one spot of focus in several tens of inches of subject matter. Not very useful. If you did have a super-dee-uper lens, it's still not useful. All you would see is a bunch of spiraling lines really close together. Once again, not very useful.

    But all you want to show is the muzzle end, you say? Okay, then suit yourself! Shoot straight down the bore axis and focus on the crown. How much better is this?

    Business End

    Hint: not very.

    Angle the camera a little and you get this, which is MUCH better:
    Muzzle End Again

    Okay, so we're at an angle. But don't you want a really bright light?

    Unless you like wash-out, no, you don't. Unless you have a camera with full manual controls AND decent range of adjustment, you'll get this when your light is too bright:
    Washed Out Rifling

    But all you want is to show the rifling! just speed up the shutter to cut down the glare right?

    Tell me, is this
    Shutter Speed Too High

    better than this?
    Half Decent

    No? Then back off or dim your light. Then you use your third hand to operate the camera. Or if you are a normal human with only 2 hands, try setting things up so you don't have to use both your hands on the setup. Leave the light where you don't have to hold it. Prop it on something or lay it so it works for your shot.
    Look Ma No Hands
    Here Hold This For Me

    If your muzzle is not sitting high enough off the surface the gun rests on, you won't be able to look down its bore. No problem. do you have anything interesting-looking laying around you might use as a muzzle prop? I do:
    Not A Propeller

    Now on to the camera. If you don't have manual controls for focus but your camera DOES have a half-click on the shutter button which allows you to focus before capturing the image, you can set something next to the subject at the proper focal depth, focus on that, move the camera to look at your subject, then shoot. Almost anything can be used for a focusing target, but if it stands up at a 90 degree angle relative to your subject (in this case vertical), is flat, and has high contrast, it will be easier to pull off the shot. If you don't have manual shutter speed control, setting up your lighting intensity and angle is CRITICAL to getting good exposure. If you don't have manual aperture control, you're stuck, but once again setup is KEY to a good shot. If you can adjust the aperture, crank it as small as it gets to try to get a little more depth of field in focus. For a point and shoot camera with NO controls, a good bet is to back off as far as you can (here's where the tripod comes in especially handy) and zoom in as much as possible, which tends to increase the depth of field at the expense of angle of view.

    If your camera really stinks, lighting is that much more important, as you will have guessed by now. Ambient lighting that dims or brightens to suit your need can be a real help. This is something you will have to experiment with.

    Sometimes you can't have it all in one photograph. Note in this series, how different lighting yields VASTLY different results. At first glance, this old Marlin looks worn, but okay. A rusty bore looks like nothing much from a shallow angle with a flash AND a bore light, or with just the (violet) bore light, but give it a steeper angle and only a flash, and the rust POPS out at you.

    Nasty Is In The Lighting Of The Photographer

    That's another thing: rust. If you are trying to play to a gun's strengths, dont use a flash if you can avoid it. A flash highlights rust and other surface flaws like a Hi-Liter. Don't conceal a gun's condition by light trickery if you (like me) are trying to sell it, because that's dirty pool. But don't break a sale by showing the gun in its worst possible light. Your goal for a photograph to help a sale should be an image that approximates what your buyer would see in person, with reasonable ambient and bore lights available. If there is noteworthy rust but your images don't show it, remember to make a note of rust in your description. Heavy rust is often a deal-killer. In most cases, I prefer to show heavy rust even if it takes a flash or some other trickery to do it. If you do end up with rust that looks worse in a picture than in person, I say you're justified in using Photoshop to reduce it.

    It may be of some use to note that an adjustable-intensity flash may change color temperature as you turn it brighter or more dim. You will have to experiment with your equipment to find this out for yourself. If it turns yellow when you turn the flash down, that will bring the rust out even more. You might be able to adjust ambient lighting to mitigate this effect somewhat, but you may just have to back away, zoom in, and turn the flash back up. The other thing you can do to compensate for the colors imparted by a yellow flash, is speed and stop up the lens. F2.8/ and 1/60 second is a default flash-is-on setting on one of my cameras regardless of flash intensity. Stop that aperture to F8 and speed up to 1/125 second and the yellow magically disappears (along with some other, potentially interesting details in the image). If you are getting the idea that a lot of experimentation may be in order for you to find the right camera and lighting settings, you are right.

    Note: sometimes zooming out gives a much more interesting photograph, as well as conveying more information about a gun's material condition. Consider how many words you can eliminate with this one shot:
    Insert Wolf Whistle Sound Effect

    Sometimes you can't win for losing. Here's a micro-uzi with a frikken BEAUTIFUL bore. When you go look in this barrel with your eye, you will appreciate it in an instant. Shooting a photo of it was a bit confusing, until I realized that the lines coming out in the photos are actually reflections
    Mirror Mirror In My Bore Dont Get Cussed and Called a _____

    The Uzi's bore is so mirror-bright that it reflects itself back to itself repeatedly. This looks strange, so once again you will want to make a note of it in whatever text accompanies the photographs. Turning the light down reduces the reflections, but to eliminate them outright you need darkness, which is not helpful for taking photographs inside a hole.

    Sometimes you will have some funky texture in the bore. I find that a different angle can be useful. You can't see very far down a narrow bore at a larger angle, but you can definitely show a prospective new owner just what he needs to know (in this case, pitted rifling):
    Its A Feature

    That goes for bad, as well as good:

    If you want to photograph a shotgun barrel, good luck. If it's mirror-bright, all you get is glare.
    Sunglasses Required

    . . . and if it's not, it looks worse

    You have already seen some handgun barrels in the mix, but not any specific commentary about shooting photographs of a handgun's bore. The reason is that handguns present all the same challenges, but they are much easier to deal with than on a long gun.

    In the list of nice things to have, I included an uncluttered background. This one is just a "nice to have" but think: do you really want a distracting floral print taking eyes off your new masterpiece?

    A note on shooting the chamber, instead of the rifling: Good luck. Most of the tips I have given for rifling photos will not help much with chamber shots. You can't illuminate from the muzzle because there will usually be long shadows cast by the shoulder in the chamber. So it's bright direct lighting or none. You'll have to play with your flash a lot. If you had a ring flash around your lens it would help. If you have a separate light shining from close to stright-on, and shoot at a bit of an angle you might be able to pull it off. That's a deep hole to illuminate well. Unless you are a) far away and zooming in a lot or b) shooting straight-in (you wouldn't do that, would you?), any lighting not directly beside your lens is likely to wash out the breech face and not reach all the way to the end of a chamber, especially long chambers in higher-powered rifles. That said, unless you are concerned with showing damage, or showing off your madd photo skillz yo!, chamber shots may not be as important to a sale as rifling shots. Chamber problems may be fixable by a competent gunsmith; rifling problems, not so much.

    The last tip I'll give you is to experiment as much as you can in the time you have available for photography. You will be surprised how much difference you can find in just a few degrees' difference in relative angles when you move your camera, lighting, or subject. Play with the manual controls on your camera. Adjust your lights. Try shooting freehand or on a tripod. If all else fails, take a break and come back. You may think of something while you are downing your triple mocha latte venti with a twist of pistachio (or whatever).

    [Update 02/09/2011:]

    This article was intended for beginners with low-end cameras, and a few more notes may be useful for a somewhat more-advanced photographer or one with better equipment. Here are a few notes from the same author/photographer, a couple of years farther down the road:

    It turns out to be a big help to have a diffuse light source, go figure. I slapped a bit of scotch tape over the end of my little baby LED light. That turned it into a source of diffuse light, from the glare-O-matic it was before:


    The resulting bore shots in a smooth shotgun bore (worst case) are somewhat less-bad than before. I have a feeling a 3/4" diameter translucent white ball on the end of the light would be as good as it gets for lighting a shotgun bore from the "other" end.


    When using even an intensely-colored bore light, also using the flash and proper camera settings can yield good results. The colors surprisingly disappeared without having to do anything in Photoshop - the bore light in the following shots is the same violet light as before. This is what I got with a the aperture as small (F8) and the shutter as fast (1/2000sec) as possible. The camera was as close to the muzzle as the on-body flash would allow, which did fun things with the angle of the light from the flash, and was braced against the edge of the table. The background is moderately bright (around 500FC) near the muzzle, and it's by far the brightest shooting area in the house with hot spots around 1000FC. The background came out DARK, that's how much I used the camera's manual controls to crank down on the light input to the camera with these shots.



    Moral of the story:

    Shooting guns is fun, with bullets. Shooting guns with cameras can be frustrating. I don't claim to be the best photographer out there, and my equipment is a far cry from the best, but I hope this article is of some help to you.

    Note for the safety commandos: it should be obvious from the fact that a light is shining through the barrel that the weapons in these images were unloaded when they were taken. Don't hassle me about Rule 1 and 2 violations thanks.

  • Originally posted 06/23/2009, updated 02/09/2011

    Obama's Demagoguing Sophistry

    The president says it is not logical that private insurance companies say both that the government health care will not work, and that it will take all their customers away.

    This sort of argument works for those who get their news from the Daily Show. For those who think and understand, it's worse than a waste of breath.

    The problem is that a) he might buy it himself, or at least the TelePrompTer may, and b) he did get elected posing arguments at this (very low) intellectual level. These points bode ill for our country.

    One man's opinion. Take it for what it's worth, or your money back.

    Oh That's Fine. I'm Sure They'll Figure It Out Eventually. . .


    The White House has tried to gin up lots of enthusiasm about their proposal to save $80Bn on prescription drugs, creating a (small fractional) offset of the $1Tn+ cost of Obamacare.

    One problem. That 80 billion dollars is over ten years, and the details of the plan go something like this:

    Step 1: Save $15B on reducing costs of prescription drugs to seniors on Medicare who fall into the "donut hole"
    Step 2: ???
    Step 3: Congratulations! You save $80 Billion! Good Job Oh President!"

    Please excuse my lack of enthusiasm for this idea.

    One More Reason NOT To Go To Austin.

    In Houston, there is a program where tow trucks are always driving around, to facilitate execution of a LAW that requires any disabled cars on major thoroughfares to be removed within 6 minutes. This has lead to the death of at least one man (lost a game of "frogger" on I-10 getting a gallon of gasoline) but it keeps traffic moving.

    The other day in Austin, around 51st Street (downtown) there was a one car collision and the police shut the place down for EIGHT HOURS to "carefully" investigate a drunk driver running into a retaining wall all by herself.

    Hello? Sure there were a lot of skid marks. You people never heard of a digital camera? Sort it out AT THE OFFICE man come ON! APD has a reputation for being slower than cold molasses at clearing the street for traffic subsequent to a crash. Another amusing anecdote about their slow clean-up here. Of course it doesn't help that the drivers around here STINK.

    Monday, June 22, 2009

    Marksmanship Training for Girls (and Women)

    This weekend I put some advice into practice and found it to work beautifully. We took my barely-teenaged sister out in the front yard to do a little shooting, and my dad had her mount his rifle to her right shoulder. She couldn't see through the scope at all.

    I threw a red flag and had her give the rifle back to dad.

    I told her to make a gun with her hand and aim it at me. Left eye, right hand. That is the fastest test I know of to help discover what is referred to as cross-dominance. I said to him, "She's cross-dominant," and to her, "Shoot from the left shoulder." She did, with the resultant (expected) zero difficulty using the scope.

    As we found (for her using that rifle/scope combination), sometimes using a scope is near-impossible for a cross-dominant shooter using the "wrong" shoulder. Using open sights is somewhat easier but no less awkward, with the rifle on the "wrong" side. For someone with cross dominance, advise and train them right from the start to mount ALL long guns to the shoulder on the side that has the dominant eye. Most people have enough manual dexterity to be able to work the controls on a gun with their hands switched up.

    From what I have heard (from Col. Cooper I think) about half the women out there will turn out to be cross-dominant. Don't freak out over it, it's no big deal, just have her mount long guns on the other shoulder as required for easy aiming. Handguns do not require holding with the "wrong" side hand; they can hold with their dominant hand because all you have to do is adjust your head a little -which comes naturally- to use the "other" eye.

    Now get out there and train!

    Saturday, June 20, 2009

    Range Report 06-20-09

    I took the children to Dad's house while my Darling Wife went to a baby shower. One of my hopes for the visit was to see if his CB caps would go all the way through the barrel of my Marlin 60. He couldn't find the CBs but he did have some Aguila Super Colibris. I did some research when I got home and one retailer says it sounds like a loud airgun when fired. To me, it sounded quieter than my pellet rifle, but I didn't do a side-by-side comparison (yet).

    Everyone says to use it only in handguns, because that's what the lawyers had Aguila put on the box. I can tell you for certain, it WILL fire from a Marlin Model 60 or a Winchester Model 69B if the barrel is clean and in good condition. Both are full-length rifles and it fires them out with enough speed to smear the lead on concrete 40-ish feet away and make an impressive splash in the birdbath at that range. As expected and advertised, it did not cycle the action in my Marlin, and (due to the shorter overall length*) we had to hold it muzzle-down to chamber a round. My dad said he did see one of the rounds he fired veering like a curve ball out of his Winchester, but overall accuracy was suitable for backyard plinking (which is what we were doing).

    I'll have to see how they group out of my Marlin, but this might be THE solution for my pigeon problem**

    When we finished plinking, dad gave me a few rounds of the Aguila, and I gave him some CCI Mini-Mags to fill the empty holes in his cartridge box. Then we took my sister out in the front yard to show her the difference between the high velocity and the primer-only rounds. She shot a gnarly old oak tree with the Aguila and I actually saw the bullet bounce back straight toward me and stop in the weeds halfway. Then she fired a CCI mini-mag, which made a 2" blast zone in the bark and embedded the bullet at least 1/2" into the tree. When we went up to inspect the tree, we did find one little piece of bark was missing from the Super Colibri round's impact.

    *Difference in Overall Length:

    .22LR CCI Mini-Mag vs. .22 Super Colibri Aguila

    **The Super Colibri is short because it has a half-weight bullet. That's still 3x heavier than a standard .177cal. pellet (typically 7.9 grain), and it should hit much harder on a pigeon. Now I'm wondering if I can pull out one of the much cheaper CCI 40-grain bullets, dump its powder, and use just the primer to fire its bullet. That should be murder on crows. And pigeons. Oh . . . nevermind. That was a crow joke but you were government educated so you missed it.


    Anyhow, I crunched some numbers and they look good. The Aguilas are supposed to head out at around 500FPS, which gets around 10FPE on a bird. That is solidly middle-of-the-pack when it comes to .22cal. pellet rifles, but a 16 foot-pounds pellet rifle is about as loud as a .22LR rifle shot. The Aguilas are quiet. For comparison, my Daisy 880 (20th Anniversary Special Edition, with metal receiver and rifled barrel, thank you very much!) is supposed to launch around 700 feet per second a 7.9 grain pellet for a whopping 8 to 9 ft/lbs. of energy on target. Note that the smaller, faster projectile is a strategy for penetration, and as I have noted before, it does too good a job at that! Now if I could get a .22 caliber 40 grain bullet on a pigeon at a few hundred feet per second, THAT would pack a wallop! I'd have to make them count, though . . . the neighbors across the subdivision wouldn't appreciate finding a .22 in their car having gone through a window. The risk of hurting a person, I think is about nil but I don't want to send random bullets flying around the sky, that's just rude! The brighter glass on my Marlin would help with that whole "can't see it!" problem as well.

    Shooting is fun. Shooting subsonics in the yard is more fun.

    Friday, June 19, 2009

    Happy Juneteenth Everybody!

    June 19, 1865, a date which should be celebrated by all Texans specifically and Humans in general.

    If you don't know why, look it up.

    It shouldn't matter if your skin is closer in shade to the text or background of a page in a history book.

    Once again, I forgot to plan to go to the local drum corps competition. [deleted].

    Yahoo! Gets The Headline Wrong. Not 1 Billion Hungry People.

    Extra! Extra, read all about it!

    So there is a continually larger number of people in the world. It only stands to reason that a similar percentage of them would continue to be poor & hungry, right? That means it's only a matter of time until we reach TWO billion hungry people.

    I told my wife they got the headline wrong. I'm hungry, so that's 1,000,000,001. She said make it 1,000,000,002, and we both laughed.

    Look people, Jesus said there would "always" be poor people. Until he returns to institute truly competent and just government, with the resulting clearing-up of all the logistical and evil-related problems, this headline will be good for re-use just by changing the numbers and dates involved.

    Madness @ Work!

    Some of us here are convinced that some people must just like the smell of their own excrement.

    There are THREE (count 'em!) restrooms within 10 paces of each other, which have vent fans. There is ONE without a vent fan. That one is the only one with a hands-free automatic flushing urinal. Guess which one is frequently occupied by a toxic cloud of funk.

    Thursday, June 18, 2009

    Prepare For More-Confusing Economic News.

    Today everybody was all warm & fuzzy in the newsrooms over the slight dip in continuing unemployment claims. It's as if the recession is ending and there is light coming from the end of the tunnel!

    Hold on there.

    That's a freight train coming right at us.

    Unemployment lasts 6 months. 6 months ago, the mass layoffs started. Records show that a record HALF of everybody who took unemployment and ran it out the full 6 months, used it up and fell off the back end of their unemployment checks.

    To rephrase: half the people laid off in the January jobs massacre, did NOT find a job before their unemployment insurance checks ran out. They now have $0 income, and they still have credit cards that are maxing-out fast as well as car notes and mortgage debt that is not going away. If you think these people are going to be making a significant addition to the main driving force in the US economy (consumer spending) you are smoking crack.

    In the coming months, you may expect all of the following:

  • The number of people on unemployment will continue to rise, perhaps slowly perhaps dramatically, depending on when the double-dip hits
  • The state-controlled press will spin the falling number of continuing claims as hard as they can to try to convince you the economy is not caved-in still
  • Mortgage foreclosures to formerly-"good" borrowers will increase
  • Credit card defaults will skyrocket
  • The economy will NOT pick up steam any time soon, even if the double-dip does not hit very hard if at all
  • The "journalists" on the major networks will continue to fawn over the Obamas and try to distract you from all of the above with puff-piece journalism.

    You heard it here at Mish's Global Economic Analysis Blog first.
  • Gun Porn: Norinco NHM91 "MAK 90" AK-Pattern Battle Rifle

    This is one badass-looking rifle. Extra magazine included, empty casings not included unless you feel like paying me a little extra on the side.

    Thank you, thank you, please hold all applause for my excellent photography until the end . . . ::crickets::

    ahem. Anyhow, here is an interesting thing. It looks like an AK but it has a thumbhole stock. The stock (and the rest of the rifle) is in REALLY good condition:

    The only blemish that stands out is a scratch on the stock from disassembly, right behind the receiver cover:

    Don't believe me? Look closer then!

    Shooting an AK-pattern rifle with standard furniture always feels (to me) a bit like playing with a raw 2x4, but if you like the NHM 91 you might have to search for a while to find another one in this good of condition.

    Gun Porn & Review: Smith & Wesson Model 4043

    Update, many moons later: These guns all sold, and sold quickly. They are no longer available from this source, but keep your eyes peeled on gunbroker.com if you want one.


    I have the opportunity to get as many used S&W autopistols as I like for an absolute steal of a price. And I would get several of these guns at this price, but for one thing (scroll down to the bottom of this post to see what it is).

    These are in at LEAST NRA Good condition, sometimes bordering on Excellent. Some even come with serial number-matching S&W blue plastic padded lockable cases. All have one, two, or three magazines.

    Nice package, babe!

    She's got a hot box.

    The user controls are VERY simple, and I like simple on emergency tools. There is a slide stop/release lever, a magazine release lever (where John Moses Browning, PBUH, intended), a trigger, and that's it. Simple, simple, simple. Keep it simple, sir!

    I'm ready for my close up

    They all have TruDot night sigts (they're getting old but you can still see them when it's dark) which are beefy and don't look like they would be damaged by anything short of intentional blows from a medium-sized hammer. The hammer in the gun itself is a nice bobbed affair, rounded, preventing snags of any sort. There is a minimalist beavertail. Nice, nice, and nice.

    Control freak

    It might make disassembly for cleaning marginally more difficult, but I also like the "jab a goblin in the back and stay in battery" extra-long guide rod. I also like the checkering on the front of the trigger guard, which matches the checkering on the front strap.

    STAB YOU!  AI!

    But there is one thing that kills the deal for me.

    Hey Ma!  Lookit ME!  I frikkin' FAIL!

    The pistol shown in that last photo will NEVER fire.

    It has a "magazine safety" inside. If you needed that last shot during a reload, or if somehow you managed to release the magazine accidentally (some holsters do this for you) you would not be able to use this weapon except as a blunt force trauma-inducing instrument.


    Aside from that, the S&W 4043 is a great choice. It is all-metal for the polymer haters. It has an aluminum alloy frame for light weight (the steel frame models of the same type are a half-pound heavier). The edges are rounded to prevent snags. The size is just about perfect for concealed carry. If you don't mind a magazine safety, or if you don't mind disabling your own pistol's safety devices (and the attendant civil liability risk that entails), give me a holler and you might be happy with the price I can get for you. There are also some 4053 and 4046 models if those float your boat.

    If the price gets much lower, I might have to pick up a few in spite of the magazine safety, for emergency hand-out, trunk, or drop guns. Feel free to buy one for me, for one of those purposes.

    Make Your Computer Display Text Better

    Right-click on your Windows XP desktop
    Select Properties
    Click the Appearances tab
    Click the Effects button
    Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts: ClearType

    Now you like the way your LCD display shows text a lot better, right? It gets better.

    Click the Start button
    Click My Computer
    Open the Control Panel
    Open the Clear Type Tuning applet
    Adjust the settings to suit your personal preference.

    You're welcome.

    Would Texas Survive Post-Secession?

    We've got oil, wind, and natural gas, and we're not afraid to use 'em.
    We've got farms & ranches
    We've got clean water
    We've got warm-water sea ports
    We've got guns . . . boy howdy we've got guns. And pert' near everyone can shoot

    But would we stand against the drug wars in the South? Would we stand against the US Federal military? Would we stand against whatever tin-pot dictator wanted to try and take us over? International trade disputes?

    We'd have a go at it. But would we survive?

    Wednesday, June 17, 2009

    Headwork Takes Too Long . . .

    . . . which is why it costs so much.

    For the last *mumble* months I've had a cylinder head on my bench slowly, ever so slowly, getting a "port and polish" job done on it. This has become a hobby for me to pursue during my spare time; the only bad thing about that is my near-total lack of spare time. An hour, two hours, half an hour, maybe once or twice a week.

    The other side of the coin is giving someone else your coin to do the work. This is a $2,000 job if I paid someone else for it.

    I'll keep plugging away at it and it'll be done.


    Dog Training: That Dumb Dog.

    Tex seems to have come to an understanding with my Darling Wife and me:

    Wherever I am is the opposite of where he wants to be (unless a friend of his is nearby),
    He'll keep off the furniture, and
    He won't bite and he won't get choked out.

    That's about all I expect out of a half-trained puppy that's staying at my house for a few days. If that's as far as we get, that's fine. If we make friends, that'll be better for the next time (in 2 weeks) he spends a week with us.

    Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    Kenney's Health Care "Reform": The Opposite Of What We Need.

    Senator Ted Kennedy's "healthcare reform" initiative is a much more snuggly-sounding phrase than President Obama's Fascist Foot In The Door Act of 2009. What could possibly go wrong?

    Well let's see . . .

    The Congressional Budget Office has run an estimate (run it the cheap way, without employer mandates, by the way) and the CBO numbers put Kennedy's proposal at a ONE TRILLION DOLLAR deficit over the next ten years. . .

    . . . to insure that the federal government will PAY FOR health care for 16 million people. . . .

    . . . leaving 36 million without healthcare insurance still. . .

    . . . nevermind that they could all walk into any emergency room in America and get free TREATMENT, today.

    The proposal will also, according to the lessons of history as well as common sense, destroy the greatest health care system in the history of Earth. There will be NO WHERE to go when the American health care system fails. Thousands, even tens of thousands if not more, lives will be lost because of the substandard and rationed care they will be able to get "free" in what used to be a good system with some flaws.

    The doctors of our country know something President Obama and Senator Kennedy hope you don't know. That's why they BOOed the President during his address to the American Medical Association. Good for them. Good for us, too. Hitler had the Booers at his speeches beaten to a bloody pulp by his friends but Obama has not (yet?). Maybe there's still hope for America.

    They booed when he said he was not in favor of limiting malpractice lawsuit judgements. You know, the million-plus dollar awards given in court for "mental pain and anguish?" Those awards to plaintiffs are the reason that your OB/GYN has to pay $200,000 a year for malpractice insurance. If they didn't have to pay that much, they could charge that much less, n'est-ce pas? Would you need some insurance company to pay for office visits then? No? Problem fixed? Yes? Well then let's just convince the Democrats to go against one of their biggest cash-cow lobbying groups (the trial lawyers) and we'll have this thing wrapped up next year . . .

    Oh, wait.


    Update: The Congressional Budget Office says it will also kill the "private option" for 23 Million currently-insured people using current private insurance plans.

    Peaceful Protest = Terrorism. Alrighty Then.

    You may as well prepare to be arrested now, so it won't come as a surprise, next time you join a protest. Stand by for the .gov's armed response to your terrorism.

    Somebody tell me again, why a standing army in times of peace is a bad thing? Oh, wait, they're all fighting real terrorists overseas, right?

    I mean, right?

    Hat tip to Uncle

    I'm Not The Only One Catching Grief . . .

    . . . but I hope not to share in Midnight Rider's dramatic demonstration of why we wear sidearms in the house in our nice, quiet neighborhood.

    Carry your guns, people!

    Hat tip to Xavier

    Monday, June 15, 2009

    Iranin Election Results: Stolen! Ahmedinejad Landslide!

    Ahmedinacrazyguy is facing a good deal of civil unrest in his country, completely free of agitation by CIA officers on the ground in Iran.

    They are protesting in the streets, and the military is keeping a semblance of not-completely-gone-to-sh#t for the cameras. I have just one thing to say to the protesters:

    I stand behind you and your efforts to obtain liberty for yourselves and your posterity, but I do not envy your position. America has a shameful tradition of behaving like Egypt was alleged to do quite some time ago: We'll leave you to swing in the breeze. In Vietnam: we won and left. We made promises to return and help, then welshed on our word and the South was overrun by the Communists. In Iraq: we smashed the Iraqi army out of their neighbors' house, and let the Iraqi opposition think we had their backs. Then we left Hussein in power and they were all killed or "disappeared," just as we could have known would happen.

    Now you have people who are plainly standing in opposition to a tyrant in Iran with the military on his side. Well, it's been nice knowing you. Good luck with that whole staying alive thing.

    There Are No Black Helicopters.

    The conspiracy theorists like to talk about "The Unmarked Black Helicopters" that "they" fly around doing nefarious things in. Let me tell you for certain: they are NOT black.

    A U.S. Army officer informs me that they are in fact dark green. The markings are typical government aircraft markings, and also dark green. To see the markings you have to be so close you'll get arrested, but they are there.

    So there you have it. Now you can say you read on a blog on the Intrawebz about a guy who knows a guy who swears it was true! I mentioned it in passing before but it may have sounded like a joke at that time and I was thinking about it again, so here you go.

    Oil Is Going To Crash, And Soon.

    The actual crude oil market is a relatively small one, compared to the oil commodities exchange, and everybody not paying attention to world economic conditions wants to be in Oil. This causes pretty drastic price swings and we are at the top of one right now.

    The demand for oil worldwide continues to fall.
    The capacity to store oil around the world is nearing completely full.
    They are continuing to produce oil in anticipation of a soon economic recovery.

    We are either at the bottom, or nearing the beginning of the second down-slope, of an L-shaped worldwide depression.

    There is shortly going to be a glut of oil on the supply side and continuing-to-fall demand. Sell your contracts now, if you can. Do NOT lock in your winter delivery price yet, if you haven't already. There may be another spike when winter comes again and the same fools see a modest increase in price, but it will also have nothing under it.

    That's my $0.02 anyhow.

    Dog Training: Be The Alpha Right Off The Bat!

    We are dog-sitting for a family that's out of town. He's 40lbs. of "mutt of unknown parentage", looking a bit like a mix between a great dane and a german shepherd. He's almost a yearling and still has his testes.

    My Darling Wife went and picked up Tex and brought him home. I put our two chihuahuas outside and, when Tex arrived, let him sniff around the house with a firm hand on his lead. Everything was very interesting. Then I had my Darling Wife go pick up the barking rats and hold them while I held Tex, as we introduced them in the back yard. It went better than expected, with no barking and only a bit of growling. Tex walked around the yard (still on a leash) saying with various bodily emissions what he thought about the local pissing pecking order and then he went to say hi to the smaller dogs. They were a bit freaked out (as usual) by a larger dog trying to sniff at them, and jumped sideways. He would proceed to try to stand over their backs at right angles (dominating), which activity I interrupted by yanking his chain. Okay, inside we go. Into the kennel. No difficulties. Whew!

    Just as we were turning in for the night, Tex was whining to go out. He went out and, as he was being put back into his crate, he decided to growl at my Darling Wife, just a little.

    Hold on there.

    "Get out of the way," I said and moved her aside. I had a 3-D Maglite with me and shone it on my face to let him see I was staring him straight in the eyeballs. I started telling him what's what and he decided to talk back and snarl at my hand.

    I showed him the other use for a Maglite, right on the side of the muzzle. That quieted him right down and I did a bit of snarly-sounding talk of my own. I kept staring at him until he looked away and stayed looking away, with his nasty thang hanging out in submission. My Darling Wife commented on the similarity between my attitude and that of Tex's master, on our opinions of who is boss of that dog and how it is expressed.

    This morning, #1 (who is already friends with Tex) let all 3 dogs out in the backyard together, on her own initiative. I asked her is she wanted him to kill both of them. He hadn't (yet) but I put him in his room again straightaway.

    He's here for a week; we'll see how it goes.

    New Hit Single: Obama Good!

    In light of the highly sophisticated electorate in the United States of America, I have a proposal for a new "song:"

    Make it rap. Bass, and lots of it.

    The verse:

    Obama bama o bama good!
    Obama bama o bama good!
    Obama Obama Good!

    and the chorus:

    Obama obama obama obama


    Just so long as I get royalties. Obama 2012 campaign, talk to me. I don't want you to end up like the McCain 2008 campaign on this one!

    Sunday, June 14, 2009

    After-Action Report: 14 June 2009

    Shooting .177cal. pellets through tree limbs stinks.

    My rifle still hits when it has a clear shot

    One less female pigeon to lay another generation of flying-rat eggs.

    I had to wing this one (crushed the ulna or humerus) and it flopped out of the tree, where I killed it with a 2x4 to the head. Total suffering: single-digits of seconds.

    Friday, June 12, 2009

    A Sacreligious Mixing Of The Races!

    I mentioned before that I found a liking for Earl Gray tea. Subsequent to brewing some tea for my Darling Wife when she was starting to feel icky again, I had a used Earl Gray teabag.

    I made coffee the next morning. We found the Dunkin' Donuts brand coffee in bulk at Costco and that's pretty decent when it's drunk black. I figured, Earl Gray: good! Coffee: good! Mixing them: good?

    I put the teabag in with the coffee grounds and brewed up a half-pot of coffee. Mixing them: good! I told one of the men at work who is a big fan of a good cup of coffee and he promised not to tell anyone else about it (!) as well as saying I probably just liked the bergamot in the Earl Gray.


    Try it, you might like it. Just . . . don't tell anyone!

    Changing Minds, Changing Hearts.

    I've been working on* my Darling Wife, trying to get her to be more strict on the children and more lax on the housework. Making progress.

    I've been working on FOL, trying to get her to wake up and look around, maybe even get trained on self-defense with a firearm. Making progress.

    I've been working on WS trying to convince him of the true state of the economy. Follows a conversation we had on the instant message service. I think this battle is won.

    (14:42:14) VFD: News flash: either the bottom is nearing, or stand by for a potentially ugly double dip http://www.cfr.org/content/publications/attachments/2009OutlookFinal_Long.pdf
    (14:42:47) WS: appre[ciate] the link, but I dont see anything to turn it around
    (14:43:04) VFD: it's a bunch of pretty graphs is all, thought you might be interested.
    (14:43:15) VFD: I'm still waiting for the double dip myself.
    (14:43:21) WS: as am i
    (14:43:25) VFD: ...and expect a LOT of astonishment from the bottom-callers


    When I say "working on" I mean I've been making casual comments in the course of conversation, as well as (in some cases) prayer under my breath during and before/after a conversation. Thanks to Jesus for any success, I know where the true merit in me comes from!

    California Democrats STILL Don't Understand 2-2=0!

    They are (at least) 24 BILLION dollars in the hole for the upcoming budget term. And the Democrats and Union types still refuse to see that they have to do something about it. Insightful commentary and pithy quotes, as usual, from Mish.

    Thursday, June 11, 2009

    Bernanke Succeeds!

    . . . Oh, wait.

    So, congratulations taxpayer! You are the proud owner of 500,000,000,000 dollars of mortgage backed securities, purchased by Uncle Ben in a valiant attempt to stave off higher mortgage interest rates.

    Nevermind that mortgage rates are none of the Fed's business.
    Nevermind that the market is too large to affect with anything but the fundamentals.
    No, we're going to have a command economy NOW by gum!

    Except that this year it looks like 1.8 Million foreclosures or more.

    So President Obama, how's that whole "keeping rates low by beggaring our grandchildren" thing working out for you?

    "Jeezis! "

    The title of this post is a verbatim quote of what I said when I saw this.

    A few months back MV and I were shooting his .357 Magnum revolver and carbine, and had a generally uneventful shoot (aside from flying concrete fragments when the target gave way).

    Today, I noticed this:

    Split Case .357 Magnum

    That's a split case my friends. Right down the side, almost exactly half the length of the casing torn apart. There is another 1/4 length of casing with visible bulging and some funny texture in the grain of the metal right where the split begins.

    I inspected a few more of the spent shells and none have any obvious bulging. This is likely one of the reloaded cartridges MV had on hand that he wanted to get rid of (by shooting). As it turns out, he might have been better-advised to get rid of them by dumping them in a fire with a remote control robot or something. This could have ended up with one or both of us perforated in various unpleasant ways and a gun all KB'd to heck and gone.

    I'm going to give him a heads-up and hope he takes his guns to a 'smith for inspection. It *could* have been a bad reload or a too-old case. But maybe not.

    3 Men Die, 1 Man Lives

    Working on a building 11 stories up, the temporary construction elevator breaks free of whatever supports it. Two men rode it to the sidewalk and went splat. One man jumped out and landed on a 6th floor roof next door. Those three died. The one who lived suspected the imminent collapse, jumped out (presumably immediately) and grabbed hold of the ambient scaffolding.


    Wednesday, June 10, 2009

    Obama Orders FBI To Read Miranda Rights To TANGOES In Afghanistan!

    Nevermind that we are in a SHOOTING WAR and these are the guys shooting at us.
    Nevermind that they are NOT IN AMERICA.
    Nevermind that they are irregular, non-uniformed fighters NOT covered by the Geneva Conventions we signed on to.
    Nevermind that they have information which will keep our men alive if we get it out of them.
    Nevermind that they are faithful muslims Islamic Extremists

    No no, disregard all that. Good luck keeping it quiet PresBO: President Obama orders Miranda statements read to detainees in Afghanistan.

    No Blogging. I Mean It This Time.

    Okay so yesterday my non-blogging status was highly questionable. Today I'm less tired but feel more like doing nothing than yesterday. So, no blogging day moves back one but it's still here. Bleh.

    Tuesday, June 9, 2009

    Madness Hoplophobia @ Work



    I shall SUE!!!1!!*


    These were decorating the top of my monitor. WM called me into his office and said to make them go away. We have a "no self-defense from a safe distance" "No Guns Here" policy where I work. That includes ammunition. Instant job loss is the penalty for a first (known) violation. Silly me, I thought these lumps of used, dirty metal were harmless and inoffensive. Guess not.

    *(okay, not really. I volunteer to work here, and it's their property. I'm a good capitalist and as long as they don't go changing the rules in the middle of the game, and we agreed at the outset, my employment contract is binding. It's still stupid though.)

    Man's Head Avulsed From Body During Police Chase.

    In 2005 but I just heard of it. And let me just say, eeeewwwwwwwww.

    Police chase a Bad Guy. Guy runs, jumps over the side of the highway. The elevated highway. His head gets snagged on a pretty strong steel picket fence. His feet hit the ground, then his body, twisting slightly as the corpse falls causing much speculation from people bad at physics about to the veracity of the police version of the story.

    The body fell. The head? Still stuck on top of the fence.

    Mentioned by Neal Boortz just a moment ago. Rivrdog has the article and VERY GRAPHIC photos.

    No Blogging. Uh. . . Um. . . Yeah, No.

    #3 has molars on both sides of his top and lower jaws trying to break through. He was up half the night. Work today is going to be like . . . work, or something. Snark and Intravenous caffeine levels both critically low. Please check back tomorrow, because there's not likely to be much else here today unless something (exceptionally) outrageous happens.

    Monday, June 8, 2009

    Java (TM) Quick Starter Is Trying To Access The Trusted Zone. BOO!

    On my PC with Firefox 3 and Windows XP SP3 with ZoneAlarm, every time I started Firefox, the Java Quick Start FF addon would throw an alarm for trying to access the internet.

    Hold on there!

    Who invited you to the party, anyhow? If you had knocked on the front door and asked to be installed, you would have had the door shut in your face. But you snuck in the back door, didn't you? THEN you refused to allow a lowly user to uninstall the Firefox addon.


    Disabling this thing is easy. Log in to an account with administrative privileges and start the Control Panel. Open the Java applet. Click the Advanced tab. Click the plus sign next to Miscellaneous. Uncheck the Java Quick Start item. Apply. Close. Restart Firefox.

    All gone! Thanks to the Internets and Jesus and Google for helping me to find this.

    FYI this is actually a helpful little extension to Firefox, retrieving Java code before you need it, to speed page and program load times. But they went over the line of decency when they installed a program that reaches out to the Internet without asking. Bad form, Sun, bad form. Doubly bad when you realize that non power-users will ALSO have had the Yahoo! toolbar installed without so much as a by'er leave.

    Michelle Obama's Face: Botox, At Least.

    At first I just thought her face matched her words: hateful of America and the people in it. Then I realized she must be either a Stone Cold Bitch, or else using LOTS of Botox. Apparently I'm not the only one who has noticed.

    Comparison: Michelle on what should be the happiest day of her life. Eyes: squinted but NOT smiling, as usual:

    Compare to Mrs. Bush who was apparently either ecstatic at being out of the White House, or high as a kite.

    Images from UPI's His Last Moments In Office gallery. Click on them to see the images full size.

    European Civilzation Overtakes the USA: Labor/Left LOSES HUGE In Elections

    "To summarize: European voters realize that not American capitalism, nor free markets, but progressive, leftist policies are to blame for today’s severe economic crisis. Capitalism and free markets were declared dead alright, but not by voters but by journalists, most of whom are socialists."

    This Is The Downslope Of The End Of Civilization.

    Or at least (it is to hope) the end of the EU as a political organization. Pirate Party (that would be, intellectual property theft-loving type pirates) wins seat in EU parliament as part of the delegation from Sweden.

    Sunday, June 7, 2009

    This Thing May Be Coming To A Head.

    . . . and shall divide the land for gain . . .

    Binyamin Netanyahu has announced he will make an announcement on Sunday, 14 June 2009. He did not say what he will say.

    King Abdulla (in English that's King "Slave to allah") of Saudi Arabia has urged President Obama to "impose the solution" to the Palestinian problem, if required.

    Everyone but the people who reclaimed parts of their ancestral homeland by smashing an invading alliance of Arabian armies in 1967 seems to think it's a great idea that Israel give back what they bled and died to obtain that year. BB Netanyahu was elected and retains control of the government because he is supposed to be a hard-liner when it comes to NOT surrendering the apple of God's eye (Jerusalem) to the islamists, and he MUST be seen to stand for the settlements, or else his coalition dissolves.

    IF he stands up for his land, he will very possibly alienate our Dear Leader and risk loss of some or ALL foreign aid from the USA to Israel. I very much hope for my sake and the sake of my beloved America that Obama does not entirely forget on whose side of the debate over the validity of the Jewish State God sits.

    The Devil has tried before to rush the appointed time of the end of days, and been repulsed by God. This may be echoes of Antiochus Epiphanes. It may also be leading up to the end of the world.

    We'll see.

    "More Adverse Scenario" Unemployment Would Be Nice.

    The .gov's more adverse scenario of the economy in the USA for their bank stress tests was, as Mish puts it, "a cakewalk."

    If you think the government's party line (via the mainstream press) these days is about right, you might want to consider what their previous lines look like compared with reality as it sits today:

    Sucks To Be Here!

    Saturday, June 6, 2009

    Congress Shall Have The Sole Power To. . .

    . . . create a fiat paper currency and then crush anyone who points out the worthlessness of paper based on "faith and credit" like a bug.

    Using current money to mint Liberty Dollars will get your [deleted] locked up for 45 years.

    How DARE you make the people think that anything other than a worthless piece of paper they are paying interest on is worth actual MONEY! We're The Only Ones . . .


    You could have guessed this would happen, but it's pretty sad when you get in trouble for doing what Congress has abandoned its responsibility to do for the better part of a frikking century now. . . .

    Obama Is "Sort Of God" Excuse ME?

    The talking heads on the radio have been calling him "the obamessiah" for a while now, in reference to the fawning adoration of the 'liberal' leftist mainstream news reporters for President Obama.

    Now they are admitting their outright idolatry!

    Careful there Evan Thomas, you'll not like what the God has to say about this sort of thing!

    It Used To Be A Joke. Now You Can See What's Next.

    When most people in America hadn't been given over to reprobate minds yet, this was scoffed at.

    One of the arguments against the dilution of the concept of marriage went like this: If you let those queers say they are married, every whack job will want in on the act. Next you'll be getting cries from polygamists that it's their turn. After that, people will be asking to be able to have sex with children and animals!

    We used to think it would never happen here. Well, it's their turn now.

    Stand by. Next the pederasts will want to have legal consent from their boys, and the "animal lovers" will be coming into the spotlight demanding "equal treatment under the law" as well.

    You watch. If the courts allow the one group to call themselves "married", I defy you to give me an argument against any of the others.

    Writing Big Checks Is Freaky.

    I'm sitting here doing the finances and I'm about to write a check for just shy of a thousand ducks, just like I have done for the last couple of months, to American Express. I take it out of the bottom line in the log book like a check or EFT when I put receipts in, so it's already accounted for as "spent" long before I write the check, but. . .

    writing a check for something like an entire paycheck, it's unsettling. TIA.

    Tea, Earl Grey, Hot.

    Not just for Captain Picard!

    I was listening to Dr. Savage's radio show the other day on the way home from work and he related the story of how he had told a physician friend of his to drink black tea when he had diarrhea. The tannins kill the bacteria causing the diarrhea and temporarily knock back the symptom.

    So I went to the HEB and picked up a box that looked as plain as it could and still say Black Tea. It also says, in bigger letters, Earl Grey. I set a cup to steep and went into the garage. I came back inside and the house smelled wonderful! I had a sip before the afflicted family member put sugar in it: Tastes good! They put some sugar in it: Tastes good! Why didn't anyone tell me it wasn't just a meme from Star Trek, but actually a yummy food item, eh? I'm looking at you guy in the stained white t-shirt!

    Oh well, better late than never.

    Spring Must Be Here Because The Birds Are Hatching Everywhere

    These pictures are getting to be a couple of weeks old but what the heck.

    When the children and I were playing in the front yard, we heard this guy fall from his nest unable even to flap a few feet through the air. By a few hours later, he was about ready to fly back up. In the meantime, I had to shoo him out of the middle of the street. I guess that explains all the blue jay sightings in the front yard.

    Baby Blue Jay On a Branch

    I mentioned that Mrs. Cardinal was sighted earlier. Well, they had about a half-dozen hatch out . . .

    Baby Cardinals In Their Nest

    That ended up being just two fledglings . . .

    Fledgling Cardinals In Their Nest

    And now just a couple of weeks later, the nest is empty! Sigh. They grow up so fast!

    I managed to spot Mr. Cardinal doing his bit to take care of the family. Bringing home the bacon worm, as it were.

    Male Cardinal Feeding Chicks