Saturday, April 22, 2006

One other thing about Med-Fair,

is the people you meet and see year after year. Speaking of such, I mentioned the folks who have Fenris, the wolf who likes to drink from my forge bucket. Meet Shelley

I have to tell you, this picture does not do her justice. Woof, in other words.

Yes, she's married. Large, formidable guy. Nice guy, too(see, Darren, I'm being nice!). Matter of fact, he sent me the shot. "Shelley, I need a picture of you in your fair outfit, I'll make you famous!"

Next time, she'll believe me.

I WAS going to go out tonight,

to a bookstore or maybe to a bar for a drink, but after hearing
a: the 3-car crash(from the sounds) about two blocks away,
b: the near-crash right out front,
c: the two fire trucks, one ambulance and a PD unit going to a:,
I'm staying home.

And now, for your daily dose of idiocy,

if you really, really need it, go here. Then read as many of the comments as you can stomach.

Ah, us corrupt, evil, baby-killing conservative types and the bloodthirsty, Armageddon-seeking President, how do we do it?

NOT how a criminal justice system is supposed to work

Looking around Stephen Pollard's place I found his post on and link to this :
"A WIDOW who was repeatedly raped and beaten during a “pitiless” attack by two teenage burglars spoke yesterday of her determination to rebuild her life.

The woman, aged 65, was alone at home when the 19-year-old men — high on alcohol and drugs — forced a window and embarked on a frenzied attack. Armed with a knife and screwdriver, they bound and gagged their victim, forced her on to a bed and raped her several times."

Ok, two scumbags who deserve to be tied up to a whipping post- for a start, anyway- commit a horrible crime. How bad?
"She was “crippled with terror” and suffered “horrendous” blows to the face before her young attackers fled with jewellery, cash and a mobile phone.

The woman had passed out from the pain and regained consciousness to find that she was alone. She dragged herself to a telephone, called the police and was taken to hospital for trauma and severe facial injuries."

In this case, the two wastes of oxygen were caught:
"Seven months later the grandmother was at Teesside Crown Court to see David Humphrey and Lee Beazley jailed for life yesterday." Hurray, the bastards are going to prison! For life(it ain't the noose they deserve, but...)! But hold on, don't cheer yet, for it turns out:
"They were told that they would serve a minimum of six years in prison before becoming eligible for parole. They were placed on the sex offenders register for life."

Six years. SIX STINKING YEARS of their 'LIFE SENTANCE' and they're elegible for parole. Oh, but we shouldn't be too hard on them, for they DO repent of their sins:
"Humphrey told police that he was sickened by his actions. Beazley, the court was told, regretted his “despicable and inexcusable” behaviour." AND they'll be on the sex offender registry, I'm sure THAT'LL be a problem for the little bastards, won't it?

Friday, April 21, 2006

Anybody else have this problem with Remington?

For the second time, I've bought Remington 12 guage #4 buck and found the crimp open just enough to leak the buffering material out. Which caused me to have to a: clean out the shotgun action and b: dump the buffer out of the other box and use some superglue to seal the shells.

Hey, Remington: not good, guys.


I mentioned in the '6 things about me' post I once tried to talk someone out of suicide. This was a nurse who'd had a marriage end in divorce. She started calling me at times, always late night, to ask how I'd do it. I always tried to move it to "I've had bad and good, but it hasn't been worth that", which irritated her. She'd never speak of why she asked, she'd just call up and ask.

One night it got more specific: "If you were going to kill yourself with a .32 pistol, how would you do it?" followed by "in the mouth, in the temple, where?" Scared hell out of me. I'd known she was thinking about it, this time the questions and voice said she was near to it. Spent a while trying to talk around it/out of it, starting with "I wouldn't", until she got pissed and hung up. Tried to call her back, no answer. Tried to call some people. No good. Finally called the police and described the conversation and they said they'd check(yes, strictly speaking it's anyones' right to check out; I was so rattled I wanted to do something to prevent it). PD called back a while later- it's now about 0230- to say she'd answered the door, said she was with a friend, and had no idea what the officer was talking about. I figured at this point if there was someone else there she was less likely to do it, so I went to bed.

Next night, got home to find a message: "I'll make a deal with you. I won't bother you with my problems again and you won't send the police after me. OK?" And no further calls.

About three weeks later I found out she'd done it. She had a good job, lots of friends, but had decided that if she reached this birthday without being a: married and b: pregnant, it wasn't worth going on(found out all this after the fact). Day before the birthday she'd borrowed a gun from a friend "to go target shooting". He wasn't suspicious because she'd done so before. On her birthday she put on a nightgown, sat down on her bed and blew her brains out.

I mentioned she was a nurse; that's important- to me at least- because of the method. She had access to drugs of all kinds, and could have ended her life with any of them. One of her closer friends(one of those who'd said "as long as she's talking about it, she's not going to do it") related that she'd mentioned that if she did it, she'd use a gun 'to make sure she couldn't be saved'. I call bullshit. I think she decided that if she did it, as many people as possible were going to be affected as much as possible("I'm not happy so why should anyone else be?"), so she borrowed a gun so the friend would have to live with it for the rest of his life. Which pissed me off enormously.

Still does.

And yet more insanity in Britain

Was at Hell in a Hanbasket and found a link to this article simply titled "It's This Bad". It details several 'third time 'round the toilet' situations. In two, lives were destroyed and the punishment for those responsible? A few months in jail. In another, some delinquents are setting a fire in a dumpster and when a lady calls to report it a: the police don't want to take a report, b: finally take a report, c: "This was not the end of the matter. About 15 minutes later, a more senior policeman telephoned to upbraid her and tell her she had been wasting police time with her insistence on satisfaction in so trivial a matter. The police, apparently, had more important things to do than suppress arson. Goodness knows what homophobic remarks were being made while the youths were merely setting a fire that could have spread, and in the process learning that they could do so with impunity."

Oh, the 'homophobic remarks' were made about a horse; yes, he covers that, too.

His summation:
"The newspapers confirmed what I had long perceived before I left Britain: that the zeitgeist of the country is now one of sentimental moralizing combined with the utmost cynicism, where the government’s pretended concern for the public welfare coexists with the most elementary dereliction of duty. There is an absence of any kind of idealism that is a necessary precondition of probity, so that bad faith prevails almost everywhere. The government sees itself as an engineer of souls (to use the phrase so eloquently coined by Stalin with regard to writers who, of course, were expected to mold Homo Sovieticus by the power of their words). Government thus concerns itself with what people think, feel, and say—as well as with trying to change their freely chosen habits—rather than with performing its one inescapable duty: that of preserving the peace and ensuring that citizens may go about their lawful business in confidence and safety. It is more concerned that young men should not smoke cigarettes in prison or make silly jokes to policemen than that they should not attack and permanently maim their elders and betters.

One definition of decadence is the concentration on the gratifyingly imaginary to the disregard of the disconcertingly real. No one who knows Britain could doubt that it has very serious problems—economic, social, and cultural. Its public services—which already consume a vast proportion of the national wealth—are not only inefficient but completely beyond amelioration by the expenditure of yet more money. Its population is abysmally educated, to the extent that in a few more years Britain will not even have a well-educated elite. An often cynical and criminally minded population has been indoctrinated with shallow and gimcrack notions—for example, about social justice—that render it singularly unfit to compete in an increasingly competitive world. Not coincidentally, Britain has serious economic problems, even if the government has managed so far—in the eyes of the world, at least—to paper over the cracks. Unpleasant realities cannot be indefinitely disguised or conjured away, however.

Therefore I have removed myself: not that I imagine things are much better, only slightly different, in France. But one does not feel the defects of a foreign country in quite the same lacerating way as the defects of one’s native land; they are more an object of amused, detached interest than of personal despair."

It's really sad to read. And a real big flashing, horn-honking warning to us.

"We should be more like England"

say the people like Kennedy and Pelosi and Schumer. Well, Brit mentioned this in the comments to 'Show your carry gun' and I found it:
"Knife scanners to be used UK-wide

The use of metal detectors to catch people carrying knives is to be extended by British Transport Police across the UK, the BBC has learned.
Operation Shield was launched in London two months ago to target those carrying knives on the Tube network and trains."

This really shouldn't be a surprise. Many crimes you don't even get a jury trial anymore, the police can search you just about any time they please and you have no real right of privacy or self-defense. So of course the cops are going to set up scanners to hassle anyone carrying enough metal to set them off. And do you really think they care whether it's a Swiss Army knife that you carry to open boxes with?

"It will be across the country," he said. "It won't be there all the time. Obviously local police have to use their judgment as to when they deploy officers on the scanning equipment." If you've followed some of the history that Kevin tracks over at Smallest Minority, you've read of long waits for police response to reports of crime; but I doubt they'll let little things like that keep them from spending manpower and money to run their 'knife scanners'. After all, nobody has any legitimate reason to carry a knife, now do they? Oh, there's cutting string and rope and opening boxes and cutting paper and lunch and... but those don't matter! You could wait until you have some scissors or something! So say your betters!

Now look at this:
"But London community worker Shaun Bailey said that many young people carried knives because they felt uneasy."

"Where the real problems start, with the young people in particular, is when they carry a knife for use of defence," he told BBC Radio Five Live.

"They're called offensive weapons for a reason - you cannot defend yourself with a knife, you can only ever attack someone - but lots of young people carry them for a fashion statement because they feel uneasy.

"What needs to be looked at is why so many people feel uneasy, and then carry a knife."

"Home Office figures released in January showed violent crime in England and Wales rose 4% between July and September last year."

For the moment let's pass over the idiocy of "you cannot defend yourself with a knife, you can only ever attack someone", and get to the heart of this: "...why so many people feel uneasy, and then carry a knife." How about because they're scared? How about because crime rates over there are bloody awful? How about because it's the only kind of weapon an honest citazen- excuse me, 'subject of the Crown' can obtain? But instead of busting criminals and putting them in jail and keeping them there, by God they're going to war on the "knife-carrying culture".

Kevin's put it well in the past; it ain't the tool, it's who's using it and why. A sub-machine gun in the hands of an honest citazen is a threat only to those who would attack others; a bottle in the hand of a criminal is a threat. But they just don't seem to give a damn about this, or maybe it's just so much easier to target objects than to actually, I don't know, do something about the criminals?

And just to touch on it, there is no such thing as an inherently offensive or defensive weapon; it can be used for either. To go back in history a bit, a sword could be used to defend yourself; and you could kill someone with a shield just as effectively as with a sword. It's not the weapon; it is how it is used. We've got our idiot politicians too, with their 'only good for killing' rhetoric about firearms. Never mind that killing someone who attacks you in your home is a legitimate use of force; to them all weapons are bad. Unless it's a government minion carrying it, of course.

Brit, you're right. Our Constitutionally-noted right to arms is a precious thing. And we need to defend it from the idiots who would take it away.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

"Show your carry gun", says Xavier

Here's his, and here's mine. Kimber Compact .45

Worn spots on the frame, worn areas on the slide. Holster and shooting wear. I bought this pistol when I decided to get my carry permit(still pisses me off that honest people have to get a 'permit' to carry for self-defense), and it's been all over with me. Around town, on the highway, range, woods. Not as shiny and clean as it used to be, but hell, neither am I.

After having tried several different types/brands, I settled on Speer Gold Dot 185-grain hollow points for my ammo. Barring special circumstances, I shouldn't need to shoot through car doors and such, the lighter bullet gives me a bit less recoil for faster recovery and less penetration; in an urban area, generally a good thing.

I've carried others at times, but this is the one that usually goes on my hip or under my arm.

Ok, Head

Having been tagged with this, ok, let's see...

1. Every so often I get an incredible craving for fries. Fresh, hot, crisp ones. Like the ones at Outback in the cheese fries.
Dammit, that made me hungry.

2. In junior high, I decided to fill in a biology exam 'appropriately'. According to my sense of things. Unfortunately the teacher did not enjoy embellishments like spelling 'jellyfish' with shaky letters.

3. Attempting to teach myself something of oriental martial arts- with no books or lessons(except for Kung Fu) I once, on a high kick, hooked my heel over the clothesline. It stayed up there. Until the wire bobbed back up and that leg levered the other off the ground. You know that sound effect of someone hitting the ground flat on their back? It really does sound like that.

4. I once tried to talk someone out of suicide. It didn't work.

5. Did you know that if you pick up a piece of steel that's hot enough, you really do hear a sizzle?
I learned that. Once.

6. My daughter once noted that if I were missing, she'd have a real easy time listing identifying scars and marks. No tattoos, though.

But I'm not passing it on, I have quite enough people who don't like me already.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Easter trip: also a supply run

'Supply' in this case meaning steel. One type in particular. I use 3/16" square stock to make the roasting forks I did the post on the making of, and it's hard to find. Oh, it can be ordered from a couple of places as key stock; but only in 12" lengths. And since it takes 30" to make one of the long ones, that doesn't work too well. And gets expensive.

I used to get it from a salvage yard here in town in 12' lengths. That's enough to make four long ones and one shorter from the 24" piece left. Then that place closed. I finally found another place that sometimes carried it, and for the same price. Until now. Just before Medieval Fair I needed some and found out that a: the stuff they now had was 10' sticks, b: the price had gone up and c: they were, after my buy, out of it. And may or may not get more.

So I had asked one of the folks I'd be staying with to, if he had time, call some steel suppliers in his area and see if it was available. Lo and behold, he found one. So while down there went by and bought 20 sticks for the price I used to get up here. And then...

I asked the guy if they could cut it, he said sure and went out to see "If I have that many in stock". I figured cut them at the 60" mark, that'd give me 20 5' pieces and 20 7' pieces, much easier to put in the truck(no, I did not like the idea of driving down the highway with seven feet of steel bar bobbing up and down behind me). Then he came back in & said "It's ready". "You already cut it?" "Yeah". He had cut it all in half instead of asking me how long I wanted it cut. It was still a better price, but dammit! Each of the pieces would give me two 30" pieces with 12" left over, not long enough to use for much.

I mentioned to the guy carrying it out that I wished the guy had asked for size before cutting, and he stopped and asked if it was a problem. I said yes, and explained why. He (who turned out to be the owner) said to wait a minute and went back in. Came out a couple of minutes later with a question, and I clarified what I used the stuff for. He said to wait while he did some more figuring and went back in. Friend and I discussed this, and decided maybe he was going to give me a discount on the stuff. After about five minutes he came out with a short bundle and said "Twenty two-foot pieces, will that take care of it?" He'd cut up a little over three sticks to make up for the error. I stammered something along the lines of "Very well! Thank you!" and we loaded up and left.

So at this point I can recommend Metal Supermarkets in Fort Worth. Any business can make a mistake; it's how they handle it that counts. And they handled it well.

More followup on the New Orleans firearms thefts

And I deliberately use the word 'thefts'. A thief takes something that doesn't belong to him. Not only did various 'law enforcement officers' take people's firearms, those people are now not being allowed to have them back, or being told to jump through hoops. Or the agents are not answering their phones. As the one victim says, "I won't ever see that gun again believe me," Taplet said. "It's gone like everything else in that storm."

Except this property was not destroyed by nature; it was stolen by the minions of the state. Who, it seems, have decided to keep it for themselves.

I've got a question. What happens if, as in the case of Mr. Taplet, he goes to his local agency and files a theft report on his missing shotgun? If the people who took it say they don't have it, then they either lost it or it was stolen. Will his local agency take a theft report?

The chief of police of NO is a damned disgrace to the very concept of law enforcement. He's lied, he's broken the law, he's tried to cover up his actions. The mayor who was involved in this is equally vile and criminal for this and other actions. And every 'law enforcement' officer involved in this should have the badge ripped off their chest. Just before they're thrown in jail. This, of course, after their victims sue them for everything they've got.

Speaking of overpriced OEM parts,

I give you Kawasaki brake rotors. With tax, right at $300. Each.

As opposed to, for instance, EBC rotors for about $135 each. And these are a forged aluminum center with steel friction rings.

I don't care how damn proud these companies are of their name, it doesn't make the parts worth that much more.

To properly salute someone

who's really pissing off the BPMs, you should go here and enjoy. A bunch of BPM hackers caused his site to go down twice, but he's back! He's Better! He's AARON!

Monday, April 17, 2006

By the way, Carnival of Cordite #55

is up at Gullyborg

The Sheepdog's War

Found a link to this post at Confederate Yankee which contains the text of an e-mail sent to him. Very much worth reading. Deals with sheep, wolves and sheepdogs, and the differences between.

I'll add in something about the sheepdogs; when possible, they try to give some of the sheep fangs and claws. They may not shift to sheepdogs, but they are much less likely to become a victim.

I've dealt with people who flatly choose to be sheep; and some who decide to become, if not sheepdogs, one of Churchill's 'well-armed sheep'. The former are just about hopeless; the latter decide that they'd rather be armed and a little spooked by it than be unarmed and scared. I mentioned a couple of posts back that I've been teaching a friend to shoot. She's not interested at this time in sport shooting; she's interested in protecting herself. One of the things I've worked on with her is pointing out that if it comes to worst case, she's got to be able to look down that gun barrel at another human and pull the trigger. As many times as it takes.

I guess that's one of the big dividing lines; the line between those who say they could never hurt another person, and those who face the possibility and say "If I have to, I can". For the first group there are no goblins or orcs or vile wastes of oxygen that need fighting(although they often seem to see the President as such) because 'violence is always bad' and so forth; the second group generally hates the idea of hurting others, but will do it if need be. It's not a pleasant thought, there's nothing 'adventurous' or noble about it, it's just what has to be done.

I've (happily) never been in the roothog-or-die situation, I don't know if I'd qualify as a low-level sheepdog or just a feral sheep who knows the wolves are there and grew horns. I do know that when a friend once expressed horror that I'd taught my daughter and son to shoot, and do anything else necessary to protect themselves, she was horrified. She's one of the peace-at-any-price people. I want my kids to be sheepdogs.

Tough ones. With big fangs.

Just to mention another reason why Cabela's is evil,

in the Gun Library, they had two things. One was like this:

a Krieghoff Classic Big Five in .470 Nitro Express. The other was a Pedersoli Sharps in .45-120. Both absolutely beautiful examples of the gunmakers art.

I hate that place.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Ever heard 'Year of the Cat'?

by Al Stewart? If not, why not? Kim had a post a few days back on the subject of music 'then and now', most specifically about Genesis. And I spent the weekend, while driving to, from and around TX listening to, among others, Stewart and the Alan Parsons Project. And it reminded my why I hate so much 'modern' music so bad.

On a morning from a Bogart movie
in a country where they turned back time,
You go strollin' through the crowd like Peter Lorre
contemplating a crime.
She comes out of the sun in a silk dress running
like a watercolor in the rain.
Don't bother asking for explanations, she'll just tell you that she came
in the Year of the Cat

Current crap with lots of bass and distortion and screaming 'singers' you can't understand just don't measure up.

He brought out his first album in 1967, and he's still out there working. More albums than I'd realized before I looked at his site. How about a verse from 'Song on the Radio':

I remember the first time I saw you
Alone in the dark with a drink
With a candle flame burning before you
And your thoughts closed in
You were staring out into the distance
Not seeming to hear what I said
Why did you put up such resistance
Like all the lights are red

Cause you and me baby
I saw you there
Straight away I knew
There's really no hiding
I'll tell you right now
What we're gonna do
We'll go collecting the days
Putting the moments away
You're on my mind like a
Song on the Radio

I was in that fairly disgusting period known as being a teenager when I first heard his work, and I've liked it ever since

Back from Texas

Friends in good shape, nice trip. Amazingly, no really bad traffic either way except for a backup- about ten minutes worth- on 820 in Fort Worth, for a Friday hardly worth mentioning.

I have to give advice to those of you who may not be aware of this: Cabela's is evil. Probably not just the store north of Fort Worth, but all of them. EVIL, I tell you. You walk in there and almost wherever you look are things calling out to you, "Buy me! Take me home!" And there were SALES on, dammit, and clearance bins! I made it out with my hide intact, but just barely.

And just to give Kim some warm & fuzzy feelings, the folks I stayed with I helped get started back to shooting a while back, and helped pick out their sidearms. Which are still happy members of the family. Sniff. It's always emotional to know you helped someone attain the status of 'prepared goblin-whacker'.

So I'm home, and the sprinkler's on in the back yard, the dogs are fed and petted. I've got some reading to do.