Mar 31, 2014

Prelude to a loophole report; serious gun question

For astute readers with Sig experience. Or even without:

Should a fellow acquire an as-NIB Sig 11 Carry (in .45 ACP, of course) at a net cost to himself of $671? Even if it requires parting with a very nice Savage 99 for whom his affection keeps growing?

Would it help to add that the Sig comes (a) with three magazines and (b) from a dealer whom the would-be buyer likes, one who has given him more than one good deal over the years? (It does not, however, have a Picaninnnineeheehee Rail, nor a laser pointer, nor, for that matter, even a USB port.)

I'm a little embarrassed to post a personal quandary for all the world to see because I am ordinarily quite capable of making my own decisons about the proper relationships among myself,  my Federal Reserve Cartoons,  and my blue steel.

But, gee, this has become a series of existential moments, and I've never been too good at resolving conflicts via the philosophy of gay French navel gazers.

Mar 28, 2014

The Corps of REMFs Speaks Out

Congress is about to give His Ineptness a billion dollars. The president is to forward it to the Ukraine. Where the money goes from there God only knows, but a fair bet is Putin's left hand out for a hefty share, maybe the whole pie. A Makarov will occupy his right. After all, the Ukraine owes him money.

It is absolutely cynical of you to reason that (a) Russia grabbed a hunk of the Ukraine (b) putting the Ukraine further into a pickle and (c)  therefore  it is your job to pay Russia.

But what really caught my attention is

"We must target those guilty of aggression against Ukraine and stand by our allies and friends to ensure peace and security in Europe," the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, Rep. Ed Royce said."

Congressman Royce happens to be  a serious war hawk, sometimes called the most pro-military legislator in the U.S. House. So far, not much of a problem.

(Somebody has to finance those sweetheart deals between the nation's admirals and a Malaysian thug. Not to mention the the three-star gambler caught with fake casino chips. (Couple of generals, too, on the hook for hosing babes in their commands, I hear, but I'm Navy. Let the damned land lubbers sort out their own messes.)

More important, the militaristic Mr. Royce seems to have achieved his warrior-hood at a most convenient time -- after he passed beyond combat age and found himself in power. When you get there you can be as macho as you please without that nagging fear that someone might hand you a gun and order you to sit in a hole while people shoot at you.

He was about about 22 when the Sand Box began overheating, prime age for a dedicated patriot to leap to his nation's defense. He found it more amiable to stay in California, hustle tax breaks for a living, then get elected to something.

Mar 21, 2014

Obama in a Vacuum

This is one result of a general desktop clearing, a real desk top with dust, odd pieces of paper, bent paper clips, and a somewhat dry sandwich segment.

"No matter what congress does, I am the President the United States and they expect me to do something about it."

It is an accurate quotation because I wrote it carefully in script which is readable even after weeks or months. Unfortunately, I can't recall the issue. Therefore I don't know exactly what the president was talking about. Of course, he probably didn't either so I don't feel too bad. 

It does make me wonder what he taught about the Constitution when he was a Professor of Constitutional Law to supplement his income from organizing street corners in Chicago.

Thirty Seconds More than Tokyo

Headline: AP Stylebook Takes a Dive; Facebook Furor Ensues

The Stylebook, one of America's traditional bulwarks against flabby couch-potato language, is no longer eating its peas. It decrees that "over" and "more than" may be used synonymously when reporting numerical values.

For this travesty it mounts a Twinkie defense: "We  can't fight a trend." It is but a matter of time before AP sanctions "over" and "more than" as all-purpose synonyms.

Somwhere, More Than the Rainbow, starring Li'l Debbie Garland.

More than my dead body.

Mar 12, 2014

What's the frequency, Kenneth? (More bizarre than...)

This does not bode well. A trigger-lock company trying to buy Remington?

Aside from writing like a bunch of long-winded nerds...

("This model, which takes advantage of market trends, technological advances (Most of you will want to stop reading the red print here; I just wanted to give serious language students enough jargon and cant to convey the full buzz-word flavor) and industry consolidations to fuel profitable growth, presents a value proposition that is perfectly suited to the military armament industry, an industry that is heavily fragmented and evolving rapidly toward a RFID/WiFi-enabled technology platform. In this dynamic environment, we see enormous opportunity to consolidate this market with a program of targeted acquisitions, including the proposed Freedom transaction. Technological convergence is the future in the cyber/smart arms arena and we're eager to leverage our proven history of success by helping Freedom and others navigate the transition from analog to digital.")

.. .the predator company says things which make a guy scratch his head. Among its other bragadocci we find:

Global Digital Solutions is positioning itself as a leader in providing cyber arms manufacturing, complementary security and technology solutions and knowledge-based, cyber-related, culturally attuned social consulting in unsettled areas.

 "culturally attuned social consulting in unsettled areas?"  If there is any actual meaning  there, it escapes me. So I'll make something up.

GDS buys Remington. After a short R and D period, it sells you a  a G5 or 6 or 7 cell phone with an accessory clip for a Model 700. When in an unsettled area you can either shoot at stuff if you can remember the code to tell your phone to unlock the trigger. or you can just settle yourself on a lonely stump and text.

UPDATE: I think we can rest easy.  GDS doesn't have enough money to buy the rusted Remington 742 I picked up for parts last week. The release wasn't satire, but it was the CEO's way of crying out for help. "Oh look at me. Please. I am so pretty."  'course, if you want to take a chance, you can buy a share of the company stock for 86 cents.

Mar 11, 2014

Beer for the warriors; no REMFs need apply

By late October, 1944, all was foretold on the great battlefields of Europe. The death of the Nazi was a matter of when, not if.

But Winston Churchill was still a busy man, overseeing Montgomery on the left  and Alexander down in the Mediterranean. Not to mention fighting the opening skirmishes of World War III,  telling Stalin, "No. You may not have Greece and Poland and Istria, (etc.)."

So an old grunt develops a certain affection for the guy facing all that who still finds time for:

Prime Minister to Secretary of State for War         23 Oct. 44 

A serious appeal was made to me by General Alexander for more beer for the troops in Italy. The Americans are said to get four bottles a week, and the British rarely get one. You should make an immediate effort and come to me for support in case other departments are involved. Let me have a plan, with time schedule, for this beer. ...  The priority issue is to go to the fighting troops at the front..."

Properly exercised power can be a wonderful thing.

 Prime Minister to Secretary of State for War    20 Nov. 44

Good. Press on. Make sure that the beer -- four pints a week --  goes to the troops under fire of the enemy before any of the parties to the rear get a drop.

Nine months later the voters sent him packing.  No wonder we call it the place where Great Britain used to be.


Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy, H/M BCE, 1953, pp. 705, 709.

Mar 10, 2014

The Belgian Countess

She could have worn white to the ceremony, and the snickering old gossips in the back pews would have been wrong.

Fulfillment ensued.

Replacing the lanky older model .


The original 6-incher had been abused by excessive dry-firing and possibly too many shorts without careful chamber cleaning. Some finicky work put her back in shooting shape, but she never had my full trust. I ran the internet for replacement barrels and found none.

But Saturday, at the Wells (Minnesota) school-house loophole, there she reposed at a price about one-third what I would have expected. I haven't stopped grinning since.

Mar 8, 2014

The demigods among us

On May 27, 1944, just ten days before Overlord, he found time for:

Prime Minister to Minister of Fuel and Power

"I hope you will put a stop to nonsense like this. (Reports in the Yorkshire Post that that a householder was fined one pound, with two guineas cost, for having borrowed coal from a neighbor.) Nothing makes departments so unpopular as these acts of petty bureaucratic folly which come to light from time to time and are, I fear, only typical of of a vast amount of silly wrongdoing by small officials or   committees. You should make an example of  of the people concerned with this."

Winston Churchill in Closing the Ring, H/M 1951 BCE, p. 714

On second thought, this is of merely historical interest here in 21st Century America where we have entirely disposed of petty satrapy.


I'm somewhat embarassed about linking Overlord to Wiki, but who knows when a dedicated member of the National Education Association might stumble across the post?

Mar 6, 2014

Radio Shack

Radio Shack is going broke, closing about 1,000 stores in a drive to streamline itself back into some sort of shaky solvency. I should feel worse about this than I do, but in my view the company died about 1980.

Earlier, about the time I left the Navy, the fad among young college bucks was to build a hi-fi set with the innards showing, lined up on a shelf unit with our most intellectual-appearing paperbacks. It was supposed to impress chicks, the glowing vacuum tubes an avant garde space-age substitute for romantic candles as Sinatra crooned.

You had two basic supply choices. One was the excellent Allied Radio catalog.

Radio shack was almost as cheap and more fun because you could get your stuff right there on Main Street. Besides, the salesman (and it would be a man)  knew more about audio electronics than you did, and you usually did well to take his advice.

So I spent some money at Radio Shack, 6n6s, can capacitors, tube sockets, and pref-steel chassis. This went on for a decade or so, including a period when I kept a decrepit five-channel mobile CB on the air with over-the-counter RS parts.

Than along came those damned transistors and binary and the furshlugginer Japanese.

Radio Shack and I began an amicable severance of our relationship. It  became fractious the  first time I wandered in asking for a "common" tube I needed to put an ancient and discarded Associated Press Wirephoto telephone amplifier in order. The little creep behind the counter sighed and picked his nose and told me nobody used tubes anymore but maybe he could order it  or maybe not and could he interest me in a bubble packed transistorized solid state radio controlled Corvette instead? All the cats were doing it.

Our local RS went broke three or four years ago. There's one about 15 miles away -- a good place to sign up for overpriced cell-phone "plans," but if you happen to want a 100-ohm +/- 5 per cent resistor, you are SOL, buddy.

So my sadness is muted at seeing Mr. Tandy's dream on extended death watch.


Tandy? The hide peddler? Yes indeed. Once, I can't remember where, I was in a large store, half devoted to pre-digital Radio Shack electronics, half to piles of cowhide and leather-tooling supplies. Bliss.

Stephan's Gunslinger was right. The world has moved on.

Follow the ruble

In the great counting house of Moscow, the accountants are breaking out the vodka. Boss Putin's economic enhancement plan is working.

--Russia announced it would charge Ukraine more for natural gas.

--Secretary of State Kerry immediately went to Kiev with a billion dollars in hand to help the peasants pay Russia for higher priced gas. (He added a promise of "technical assistance," price tag unspecified.) So if you want to think of the Ukraine as a big pipeline for whooshing your money to Russia, I will not argue with you.

--The European Union then announced it would add $15 billion to the Ukraine kitty if the IMF also kicks in, which it will. It is useful to recall from time to time that the United States provides at least 17 per cent of  IMF money.

--President Obama is not to be outdone in personally saving Ukraine. He is moving heaven and earth to ramp up exports of  America's new natural gas. It is better, he decides, that the U.S energy bonanza be directed to the benefit of central European peasant hovels. Cold hovels in Minnesota are of less concern. For one thing, he believes, warm American homes are largely responsible for global warming and the concomitant damage to snail darters and spotted owls.

Short the greenback. Go long rubles. Get yourself a wood burner.


--The citations are here and here and here.

Mar 5, 2014

Be careful what you point, kids

Nathan is 10, goes to Devonshire (Ohio) Alternative Elementary School.

He just drew a three-day suspension for pointing his finger, or, as the school czars call it, a "level 2 lookalike firearm."

I salute the school authorities with a stiffly raised adjacent finger. Call it a level 2 lookalike one-tine pitch fork if you want.

And, just horsing around here, what happens to a sixth-grade guy who becomes suddenly and, shall we say, pointedly aroused when the short-skirted little knockout in the next chair crosses her legs? Maybe an NFA violation?

H/T Joel

Mar 3, 2014

Jim's Beauty Secrets

And here you thought I was going to advise you to irritate an authoritarian statist every day, didn't you?  You should, of course, because that makes you smile, and a smile is about the sexiest thing going.

But I'm really talking about skin beauty. This time of year my hands get all crinkly. When I pick up my 1943-issue 1911 A1 in order to irritate an authoritarian statist it sounds like a class of junior high kids wadding up their D-minus English essays. You  don't want  that. For one thing, it might alert the statist and give him time to hide.

My usual beauty aid is Corona, sometimes known as horse liniment. It works pretty well, and if you use it while drinking Mexican beer you might break into a syncopated Corona Corona improvisation. That would be sexy too, especially if your date is named Juanita or something like that.

Last night, however, I found something better. I went to an auction and came home with a professionally done 1903 Remington sporter. It needs a spa day too, but that's okay because dirt cheap. One problem was the sling, high quality leather but drier than high-noon Yuma.

Dry leather requires mink oil, and I used my fingers to smear great gobs of it all over the strap. It's still soaking in, but, ooh lah lah!  My silken hands. I dare not go to the WalMart today lest droves of lady associates swoon.

Mar 2, 2014

Geopolitical grabass?

Grinning Russians in the Crimea. Smug Havana political thugs showing Russian sailors around town. It could be serious.

Or it could be like the locker-room games in 6th Period PE. Big jocks identify the chess club nerds and snap their butts with wet towels. The weakest  and most excitable get the worst of it.

The  idea is more to humiliate than to hurt.

So. Who has Putin identified as the easiest mark in his campaign to restore Russian respectability after his own nation's humiliation in our Reagan years? Could it be a ward heeler who lucked out and opened his hope-and-change reign with a world apology tour?

Mar 1, 2014

Settled Science - Quote of the Day

Commenter Mr. Galt at Joel's place:

If Mr. Newton’s Law of Gravity is still up for debate, by God so is “global warming”.


Recommend RTWT.

There's a wuss in my mirror

I've made some stupid and imprudent trips in my life,  by land, sea, and air. Once in a while minor drama occurred, but nothing threw me or mine into a serious "survival" situation. Propose a journey and my default answer is, "Let's go."

Maybe some parts in my middle are shrinking.

The best the weather guessers can do for me tomorrow is big wind, maybe a little snow and a high of four below.  So I'm reluctant to load up the dog and the check book for the 80-mile run down to Humboldt, meaning I'll miss what could be the gun auction of the decade for any blue-steel tinker.

"The following guns have a little to a lot of rust and deterioration, most will need work or be for parts:

"Ruger Single 6 revolver, .22 * Remington 48, 12 ga. * Winchester 42, .410 * Browning light 20, 20 ga. * Savage 99, .284 * Remington 1100, 16 ga. * Stevens 94C, .410 * Remington Viper 522, .22 * Marlin 49DL, .22 * Ruger 1022, .22 * Browning BPS, 12ga. * Winchester 12, 12ga. * High Standard Sport King, 12 ga. * Mossberg 20, 20 ga. * Winchester 59, 12 ga. * Christoph Funk O/U, 16 ga. * Remington 1100, 12 ga. * Winchester 77, .22 * Christoph Funk, 28 ga. * Remington 700, 6mm * Winchester 12, 12 ga * Winchester 59, 12ga. * Marlin 39A, .22 * Remington 121, .22 * Remington 550, .22 * Winchester 69A, .22 * Remington 31, 16 ga. * Remington 552, .22 * Ithaca 37, 12 ga. * Smith + Wesson 1000, 20 ga. * Winchester 42, .410 * Remington 550, .22 * Wards Westernfield 560, 12 ga. * Winchester 1400, 16 ga. * Mossberg 540, .22 * Smith and Wesson 1000, 12 ga. * Winchester 12, 12ga. * Winchester 77, .22 * Winchester 69, .22 * Marlin 25, .22 * Squires Bingham 16, .22 * Ruger 1022, .22 * Remington 31, 12ga. * Ithaca 37, 20ga. * Ithaca 37, 12 ga.. * Remington 1100, 12 ga. * Remington 1148, 12ga. * Remington 1100, 20ga. * Ruger 77, .306 * Marlin 60, .22 * Winchester 12, 16 ga. * Winchester 12, 12ga. * Ruger 1022, .22 * Winchester 55, .22 * Winchester 67, .22 * Winchester 12, 16ga. * Ithaca 37, 16 ga. * Winchester 12, 20 ga. * Marlin 783, .22MWR * Winchester 12, 12 ga. * Winchester 77, .22 * Ithaca 37, 12 ga. * Marlin 883, .22 * Winchester 12, 20 ga. * Savage 24, .410 * Remington 582, .22 * Remington 742, 30-06 * JC Higgins 25, 22LR * Remington 514 .22 * Remington 4, .22 * Stevens 77D, 16 ga. * Marlin 883, .22mag * Remington 03, 30-06 * Ithaca 37, 20 ga. * Stevens 67, 12 ga. * Browning BPS, 12 ga. * Remington 878, 12 ga. * Winchester 12, 16ga. * Winchester 25, 12 ga. * Winchester 59, 12 ga. * Savage 357, 12 ga. * Newport WN, 16 ga. * Mossberg 46, .22 * Mossberg 342A, .22 * Stevens 94, .410 * Winchester 77, .22 * Remington 514, .22 * Mossberg 44, .22 * LC Smith 12 ga. * German 22, .22 * Mauser 98, .22 * Mossberg 152, .22 * Mossberg 64KA, .22 mag * Iver Johnson, 410 * "

Sure, a lot of crap not worth an hour of fixing time, but get a load of the Winchester 69s and 77s, the old Rugers, the 1950s Mossies. Given the weather -- and the general decline of gunners willing to dirty their hands at a work bench --  you would expect a light crowd and probably dirt-cheap prices.

In the non-junk listing lurk a couple of Garands, some Mausers ,and a "1936" Luger.

If you guys really loved me you would organize a fleet of St. Bernards with brandy flasks and station one every few miles along the way.

You would also provide me a house sitter. The life-support systems in the  Commandant's Quarter's here at Camp Jiggleview require a certain amount of babysitting when global warming becomes this severe.


ETA: I'd really like to inspect that "deteriorated" 6mm Remington 700. I badly want a 700 short action for the new take-off .222 barrel gathering dust in the shack.