Category Archives: Administrivia

Gone Shooting!

Trying out a new range. It’s an hour plus away, but it’s supposed to be good. Kid and I have three objectives, well four objectives:

  1. Check it out. Do we want to join?
  2. Test fire the lower that he built. Does it function with live ammo?
  3. Test fire the Afghan build M4 and maybe zero the iron sights.
  4. Blast away with an M9 for sheer shits and grins.

Talk at you later.

Sunday Services

The word service is a remarkable one.

You can be in the service, get your car serviced, follow a preventive service schedule. Artillery crews learn the Service of the Piece. You can do a small service or a great one, as befits your capabilities and intentions. While we were in the service, we occasionally were called upon to service targets.

Much like a bull is expected to service a cow.

After all, without that you could never “try the veal!”

You can go to services. Many of us will today, or another day as our faith traditions bid us.

And you can try to be of service. That’s what we’re trying to do right now. Expect the level of posting to pick up, and tomorrow we kick off with a guest post by Andrew Branca, featuring one of the most bogus and laughable self-defense claims in the long, grim history of murderers trying to wriggle out of the consequences of their actions. This wriggling commenced with the question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” and it has not let up from that day unto this.

In the Scripture, the question is not accepted as an answer. You might say it was not of service.

Heads up — light posting is possible

Due to a family emergency, we’re going to be in travel, busy, then travel mode for approximately 10 days. We’ll try to maintain the posting schedule (4x weekday, 5x Saturday, 1x Sunday) but we expect that reductions are going to be a fact of life.

We’re pulling an all-nighter tonight with bills and tax paperwork. How much fun is that? Short answer: less than it was thirty years ago.

There’s a very large number of people that have offered links, ideas and even parts for builds in the comments or via email over the last few months, and if we get some downtime on this trip we hope to contact you, to thank you if nothing else.

We’re also trying to help a plan come together so a dad can surprise his son on a big day. Nothing to do with the family problem, but we’re touched that someone reached out for us to find just the right firearm for the occasion, and we take great joy in putting seller, buyer/dad and recipient/kid together. We’ll write about it afterwards.

Sunday Sunshine

We’ve finally had two or three days above freezing… two of them in a row, even. And yeah, the record snowfall has indeed produced one roof leak here. $#^!!

But the sun is expected to shine, off and on, today, and we’re expecting to enjoy several days in the forties this week. Hmmm… where’s the dusty, neglected range bag?

Sunday Silence

The cap of snow in the yard hasn’t melted a bit, but it’s about 40 inches lower. (It had gone all the way to cover the bare trunk of the arbor vitae that’s most beloved of the local deer; they’ve eaten everything they can reach, and the poor thing just has a bit of greenery above buck neck-stretch. The snow had been up to the green, and now it’s about 3 feet 4 inches lower). Some of the invisible undulations in the ground are now reflected, a little, and you can now see little humps where the stone walls lie.

The silence of winter is mirrored here inside the home, as Plaintiff and Kid are off on a skiing adventure, Kid’s first. So Small Dog is distressed to have less than his usual attention.

Not feeling joyous about the plane work today, even though we got the whole horizontal stab spar, which is quite an interesting built-up box structure, test-fit and clecoed together. We’ve ordered better countersinking tackle from Cleaveland Aircraft Tools.

Our movie review is unfinished for the best of reasons: the movie itself was put on pause last night, and we embarked on a nocturne: steeplechase through dreamland.

Sounds like the title of a dreadful, unlistenable ’50s bebop album.

We’ll be back tomorrow with dreadful, unlistenable gun stuff. Until then, mind your topknot.

Sunday, Still Snowing

Global Warming my @$!#^!!

OK, we get that it’s winter in New England, and that means it snows some, but this is ridiculous. We’ve spent hours removing drifts that are, in places, 4 and 5 feet thick, from our roof. Lest it collapse.

That is very seldom required around here. In fact, this is the year we finally unboxed and assembled a snow rake we bought in 2012. Or maybe it was 2011. We haven’t had enough snow to use it since them.

Snow! We are damned sick of the damnable stuff.

At least the Germans at Stalingrad had the flimsy excuse that someone had ordered them to go there. At least the Russians were at home, so they were used to it.

We have dealt with this much snow in February before. But that was in Harstad, Norway, at 68º 48′ N.  We are at 43º 00′ N. Why, that’s even south of Stalingrad!

Lord Love a Duck.

Sunday Shoveling, or is it Sniveling

snowflake 2Again. We got another 14″ or so of Global Warming dropped on our heads last night. Mind you, it could be worse: the Manor’s roof holds up fine, the plowman cleared the roads and the driveway, the cars and other ‘sheenry stand clean, warm and dry in garage and shed, the ‘lectricity still comes on in the wires, the water pipes have not burst, we’re toasty and warm inside. (We do regret reconfiguring the fireplace as Ye Doglet Bed, but that’s a sunk cost now, as the wood pile is somewhere under the permafrost). Life in the First World is still a fine thing.

Meanwhile, we see that the weekend before a holiday week is the best time for Feds to make a power grab, and the Feds are not disappointing us The ATF has moved to ban standard AR-15 ammo (M855 Green Tip and its lead-free “green” successors), which we may have an unprecedented second Sunday post on; and the FAA is making some kind of a move to ban drones. Like we noted, they pick a weekend to do this, and one with a snowstorm paralyzing the Northeastern media, not that media  brownnosers would ever develop any curiosity about any initiative by their own pet administration.

Apology for Delayed Post

We were hoping to begin today, as we were hoping to begin Monday, with our concluding post on the early development of antitank guided missiles (ATGMs). This one deals with missiles in the Yom Kippur, or October, or Ramadan War (there are many names for the war, depending on where you are when you take sight of it). After this war, the value of missiles was not in any doubt at all, and all arms-developing nations went all-in for them, while arms-using nations sought them to the extent that they faced combined-arms or armor threats.

The post is taking a while to come together, in part because it’s been a blast finding new sources about an old war. One that has quickly become a favorite is Eilam’s Arc: How Israel Became a Military Technology Powerhouse by Israeli former paratrooper turned defense executive Uzi Eilam. It’s kind of a specialized book and so is long out of print; we paid $35 for a used copy. (NB. When buying out-of-print books from Amazon sellers, watch the feedback ratings. The outfit with the lowest price had a feedback rating of 88% — anything that low suggests a problem seller).

To give you some meat to tide you over, here’s what you get when you search for Sagger  — the NATO reporting code for the principal Soviet ATGM used in 1973, although some poor bastards went to war with AT-1 Snappers, to the regret of their widows — on DTIC. There’s some good stuff here, including AARs and declassified information, and that should help explain what’s taking so long:

Heh. See you in a while.

In a completely unrelated matter, anybody who knows why the SAC was walked out in New York yesterday, drop us a line, willya?

Sunday Slippage

shoveling-snow-safelyAs happens all too often, the end of Saturday’s posts have slipped into today. Sometime today we hope to post three incomplete Saturday posts, including the matinee (a fun science-fiction flick with a mix of plausible technology and impossible physics), and the TW3.

So what else are we doing Sunday?

The answer should include “church,” but Plaintiff II is shoveling the church, and the Laird of the Manor is slumming as a groundskeeper these days. How come? The National Weather Service sends us this:

…Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until midnight EST
Monday night…
* hazard types…snow.
* Accumulations…snow accumulation of 10 to 15 inches.
* Timing…light snow will continue without much break through
Monday evening. The heaviest snow is expected Sunday night into
Monday when 6 to 10 inches are expected.
* Impacts…roads will become snow covered and slippery. The
additional snow will continue to add weight to any heavily snow
covered roofs.
* Winds…northeast 10 to 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph.
* Temperatures…15 to 25 above.

And it rolls on from there. Here’s a few clues from the 5-day forecast, which is much like the 5-day “backcast.”

Sunday 02/08 day: 100% probability 1-3 in snow

Sunday 02/08 night: 100% probability 3-5 in snow

Monday 02/09 day: 100% probability 3-5 in snow

Monday 02/09 night: 90% probability 1-3 in snow

90%! We have a 10% chance of getting lucky.

Tuesday and Wednesday, probably no snow.


Thursday — we get nailed again.

Um, noot?

It is, of course, snowing at this moment.

But the Times Said it Wouldn’t….

For your reading amusement, here is the New York Times’s Porter Fox bemoaning, one year ago, “The End of Snow.”

Europe has lost half of its Alpine glacial ice since the 1850s, and if climate change is not reined in, two-thirds of European ski resorts will be likely to close by 2100.

The same could happen in the United States, where in the Northeast, more than half of the 103 ski resorts may no longer be viable in 30 years because of warmer winters. As far for the Western part of the country, it will lose an estimated 25 to 100 percent of its snowpack by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are not curtailed — reducing the snowpack in Park City, Utah, to zero and relegating skiing to the top quarter of Ajax Mountain in Aspen.

The bare slope he illustrates the article with is, to our surprise, a mountain we skied in 10th Group days. (It was near the inter-German border, and there was a signals intelligence site at the top that was an occasional exercise target. You know you were in SF when you skied up a ski slope in the wee hours of the morning, when all the skiers were mating in the downslope chalets). But even in the 1980s, when the same climate models by the same Chicken Little PhDs had us headed to an ice age,  the hill struggled to keep the slopes open some years. Memo to Fox: there are both variability and secular trends in climate that predated human activity. Or did the ice ages end when Prometheus brought fire down the mountain?

And what could be more New York Times, the paper written by wealthy, pushy Manhattanites for other wealthy, pushy Manhattanites and their wannabes, than this:

Poets write of the grace and beauty by which snowflakes descend and transform a landscape.

You don’t say.

Powder hounds follow the 100-odd storms that track across the United States every winter, then drive for hours to float down a mountainside in the waist-deep “cold smoke” that the storms leave behind.

How does one do this? Oh, wait, it’s the Times. One taps the trust fund. Silly us.

Obviously, if the routine vicissitudes of changing weather patterns threatens a trustie’s preferred recreational activities, the (paugh!) working class must be taxed to their skivvies so that The Professionals can manage snow back into existence with inside-Beltway spending.

[I]t led people to ask me, “Why save skiing when there are more pressing consequences of climate change to worry about?” The answer is, this is not about skiing. It is about snow, a vital component of earth’s climate system and water cycle. When it disappears, what follows is a dangerous chain reaction of catastrophes like forest fires, drought, mountain pine beetle infestation, degraded river habitat, loss of hydroelectric power, dried-up aquifers and shifting weather patterns.

Mr Fox says it’s not about skiing, but his article notes that he moved and selected his career to maximize his powder skiing, and the capsule bio at the base of the article notes that he is the author of a book called Deep: The Story of Skiing and the Future of Snow. Oh, and that career? “Porter Fox is the features editor at Powder magazine.”

We got your powder, knucklehead.