Category Archives: Administrivia

Seaside Sunday

So, there we are, lounging by the sea. If you’re not envious, you have no idea what you’re missing. The only bad part of this is that it is in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts.

Here’s hoping all of you have a great Sunday.

Off Buying Guns

Sorry for limited gun content the last couple of days, been finalizing a deal to buy a small US WWII collection, all original stuff except, alas, for the M1 SMG, which is a recent Kahr-produced Short Barreled Rifle.

It’s kind of embarrassing to admit we never owned a 1903A3 before. It was actually still part of SF Light Weapons training back when your humble editor stumbled through that evolution.

As far as the Kahr is concerned, we’ll see if it’s any good when the Form 4 clears, sometime around when the Sun goes nova at the rate ATF has been doin’ ‘em. It’s a small fraction of the cost of buying one (and a small multiple of the cost of the one we’ve rented in Manchester from time to time). If we don’t like it, we’ll GunBroker it off.

We’re working on something others have worked on before us: trying to pin down what was the first submachine gun. The candidates are the Villar Perosa, which we discount on not being a shoulder-fired individual weapon; its individual-weapon offspring the OVP and Beretta M1918; and our original candidate for the honors, the German Bergmann MP.18. We only know the name of the designer of the Bergmann (Hugo Schmeisser). As is usual on any real quality post, it takes time to research these things, and not enough of the primary sources are digitized and online.

Sunday Scouring, Scrubbing, Scrapping, and Simplifying

Yep, it’s That Time at stately Hog Manor, where the pile of unread mail (and undeposited checks, and maybe an unpaid tree-service bill they’ve been kind enough not to call about) gets dealt with, the chaos in a closet or three gets wrought into order,

Then, there’s the grounds, in just the state of Midsummer Overgrown that requires attention of the lord and master of this place, unless he wants to hire more lawn minions, which seems inadvisable. (We’d have to pay their health insurance and social security, right?)

Free advice: fountains are beautiful. Leave them in public places where others can maintain them. In one’s garden, they are a pain in the glutei.

On the plus side, they do draw hummingbirds, so there is that. If we don’t accomplish all objectives today, we were probably watching a hummingbird. Or the wild turkeys. Or just playing with the dog. Or talking to a cattery.

Or we fell down the stairs into the gunsmithing side of the basement.

That is to say, expect little from the blog today. Maybe a bit of comment replying and maybe not. We have queued up a few Interesting posts — revolving rifles, the first nuclear cruise missile, and we want to do one on early SMGs. Plus, we have a hairy eye on developments worldwide, some of which affect us directly.

But today, your humble blogger is getting dirty in the service of making his abode less so. And goofing off, the rest of the time. May you also be enjoying a good weekend with simple and quantifiable tasks.

Oh, and since it is the Lord’s Day, pray for the soul of Vladimir Vladimirovich — that whoever has got it returns it to him. He clearly hasn’t consulted it in a while.

That Was the Week That Was: 2014 Week 29

That was the week that was TW3Good heavens, a timely TW3. What will we think of next? As usual, the links may not be live when the post goes live, and until they are, you’ll have to scroll back to see the posts — the usual is four posts a day except Sunday. We hope that the links will be live by Sunday midnight, if not sooner. We conduct these weekly post-mortems, time permitting, to keep track of our own performance on the blog, but we hope they’re useful to you. Especially, take a look at the list of articles — you may have missed something that interests you. All past TW3s can be found in the Administrivia category. Enjoy!

The Boring Statistics

With the year well over half over, we have posted about 750 posts, and we’ve been fairly consistent. This week was slightly heavier than usual, thanks to the Ukraine shootdown. Our article count was 29, at the high end of “normal.” Last  week’s was 25.  Word count was about 20,000 words, up from 17,000. Seven to nine posts (we haven’t got the word counts on this and the Matinee yet) were over 1,000 words, but none of them over 2,000. The mean and median post sizes were 669 and 653, compared to last week’s 740 and 585. Having those two measures of central tendency converge suggests a fairly strong consistency in post sizes. There was only one sub-100-word post, and 10 total sub-500-word posts. We exceeded our self-imposed minimum of 19 posts by 10. So far this year we’ve had roughly a half-million hits, 750 blog posts, and over 4,200 comments.   Comments were 172 as of press time; as of this time last week we’d noted 130 on last week’s posts, so this was a more conversational week with you guys. On the other hand, the long tail of comments has brought last week’s total up over 150 by now. Thanks for commenting!

Most Commented Post of the Week

Our most commented post was, by a mile, Breaking: Civil Airliner Downed by Russian Missile, with 29 comments and On this Day in 1962: Infantry Nuke Test tied with Three Reasons Not to Use the Blackhawk Serpa Holster with 129 each. Together, these are nearly 40% of the week’s comments.

Referrers

I’d like to thank our top referrers, at least according to the meatball statistics our plug-in gives us. Apart from the big search engines (we got a lot of hits on Crazy Lady Shannon Richardson this week) we’re grateful to Western Rifle Shooters, Ace of Spades, James Wesley, Rawles’s Survival Blog, and the aggregators The Gun Wire and The Gun Feed. We thank them all for linking us and sending their much larger readerships our way. All of them sent us 1,000 or more readers, and Western Rifle Shooters actually edged Google out. And we’re only Western compared to Europe around here. (Well, technically, there are some islands a few miles east of here. That’s it till Ireland, though).

These are all informative and entertaining sites, and very different in their subject matter, so please repay them with a visit and you will probably find one or more of them indispensable to you.

The Week in Posts

Here’s the recap of our posts for this week:

We hope you enjoyed this week’s content. We enjoyed bringing it to you!

Here’s how we did on last week’s promises:

The overdue and the underdelivered:

  1. X A major post on Gerald Bull’s awesome space-capable artillery that seems to have entrenched itself on the back burner.
  2.  To post 3 x day x 6 days. Exceeded.
  3. One gun-tech or -industry post and one SOF/UW post per day x 6 days. Depending on how one classifies posts, we did this.
  4.  To post a   X WWWW, a √ TW3, and a √ Saturday Matinee, before COB Saturday. Everything but the Matinee.
  5. One back Saturday Matinee. No, sorry ’bout that.
  6. Our never-finished series on the Greek Civil Wars.

This is pretty much going to be a standing set of promises until we have a reason to improve them.

For Next Week

Our goals are unchanged:

  1. to catch up the long-festering back posts mentioned above, now back up to just two features (Gerald Bull, and the Greek Insurgencies). We also have some other stuff that has sat way too long in the draft queue.
  2. to post three times a day, six days a week, of which:
  3. one gun-tech or -industry post and one SOF, UW, or war-related post up daily.
  4. a WWWW, on Wednesday.
  5. a Saturday Matinee, and a TW3 before the week ends at midnight Saturday.

The draft queue is 258, down from last week’s record level. See you with a TW3 on Saturday, if all goes well!

That Was the Week that Was: 2014 Week 28

That was the week that was TW3This is a backdated TW3, and the first we’ve done in weeks, so expect brevity.

The key feature of the post, the links to this week’s stories, will be all there.

The links will not be live when the post goes live, we apologize for that. For the time being, you’ll have to scroll back to see the posts — the usual is four posts a day except Sunday. We hope that the links will be live by Sunday midnight. Enjoy!

The Boring Statistics

Our article count was 25, a fairly common amount (and more than last week’s 22), Word count was about 17,000 words. Five posts were over 1,000 words, two of them over 2,000.

The mean and median post sizes were 740 and 585 respectively, reflective of a lack of very short posts and an overall tendency to longer ones. There was only one sub-100-word post, and 10 total sub-500-word posts. We exceeded our desired objective of 19 posts by 6. So far this year we’ve had almost a half-million hits, over 700 blog posts, and over 4,000 comments.  

Comments were 130 as of press time.

Thanks for commenting!

Most Commented Post of the Week

Our most commented post was, Never Transit a NY-area Airport. Ever., with 14 comments and She looks like a naughty girl, doesn’t she? close behind with 12. Together, these are about 20% of the week’s comments.

The Week in Posts

Here’s the recap of our posts for this week:

We hope you enjoyed this week’s content. We enjoyed bringing it to you!

Here’s how we did on last week’s promises:

The overdue and the underdelivered:

  1. X A major post on Gerald Bull’s awesome space-capable artillery that seems to have entrenched itself on the back burner.
  2.  To post 3 x day x 6 days. Exceeded.
  3. One gun-tech or -industry post and one SOF/UW post per day x 6 days. Depending on how one classifies posts, we did this.
  4.  To post a   X WWWW, a √ TW3, and a √ Saturday Matinee, before COB Saturday. Well, the TW3 (this post) and the Matinee were late.
  5. One back Saturday Matinee. No, sorry ’bout that.
  6. Our never-finished series on the Greek Civil Wars.

This is pretty much going to be a standing set of promises until we have a reason to improve them.

For Next Week

Our goals are unchanged:

  1. to catch up the long-festering back posts mentioned above, now back up to just two features (Gerald Bull, and the Greek Insurgencies). We also have some other stuff that has sat way to long in the draft queue (there are 219 posts there right now, net plus 10 since last week).
  2. to post three times a day, six days a week, of which:
  3. one gun-tech or -industry post and one SOF, UW, or war-related post up daily.
  4. a WWWW, on Wednesday.
  5. a Saturday Matinee, and a TW3 before the week ends at midnight Saturday.

The draft queue is 262, a record level; a lot of them are probably worth only deleting.

See you with a TW3 on Saturday, if all goes well!

Sunday after a Mental Health Day

That was the old joke when a family member was a school teacher: any day off taken without good reason or even a flimsy excuse was, ipso facto, a “mental health day.”

That was, pretty much, yesterday. We posted once, and it actually went up very late in the day even though it’s time stamped 0600. We may catch up today — and we may not. Them’s the breaks.

This week: we look at an agency with Pistol OCD, we reverse-engineer a polymer bicycle part just to show you that it can be done, and some of the ways to do it. The applicability to gunsmithing should be obvious.

Slow-Moving Sunday

You know that old Simon and Garfunkel song that starts off, “Slow down, you move too fast”? Our objective for today is to make sure that nobody has any cause that song to us. We’re going to move slow. Were going to do very, very little. We’re gonna get honked at by snails and turtles (and we would, by the US Mail, if it were running… er, ambulating… today), as if we were the Winnebago on the hilly road of life.

We’re going to recover from the fly-in yesterday and all the other stuff we did yesterday, like resurrect a dead car and finish a product for a government client.

We have no further ambitions than maybe posting yesterday’s missed Saturday Matinee and cooking something for dinner. We’re not even going to the range.

Tomorrow starts the crazy anew.  That’s soon enough.

Stumped Sunday

It’s Sunday, and we got nothin’.

Sometime today we will queue up some stuff for this week, when we expect to be buried in work. And we hope to plug in a Saturday Matinee and TW3 that we didn’t get to yesterday.

But other than that, we can’t think of anything to say, let alone anything clever. Maybe tomorrow!

Sunday Shellshock

You’ve probably noticed that the optempo around here has slowed down a bit, partly due to travel, and partly due to the optempo elsewhere picking up… more than a bit.

A Sunday off is badly needed, but we have a Sunday full of obligations.

It did not help that a rather large training contract evaporated on Friday the 13th, but on the up side, everyone involved on our side is safe. Our counterparts may not be faring so well.

Small Pleasures

Home again, and the small pleasures include:

  • If you have to do a long drive, a comfortable car is a plus. Toyota Avalon hybrid: 3000+ miles, 35.2 miles per gallon, mostly with cruise set on 79 MPH. It’s smaller than the previous Avalon, and the hybrid cruft erases half the damn trunk. Like most hybrids, the mileage goes up when you get off the highway — weird by welcome.
  • Chance encounter with an old unit buddy in a Fayetteville, NC, pawnshop. Of course, Fayetteville is to SF guys like Capistrano to the swallows, without the seasonality, but still, hadn’t seen Gus since, we figured it out, in Puerto Rico in 2001. Before the war. He was in town to shoot in a match, and we were checking in on a few people.
  • Finding new stuff on the radio. In this case, a trumpet concerto by Leopold Mozart (father of the Mozart, Wolfgang A.) that turned out to be very pleasant traveling music, and Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony somehow eluded my ears before now.
  • Windshield time lets you catch up on some of those folks that you’ve been meaning to call… unfortunately not all of them.

The displeasures include:

  • Finding out that Sirius XM got rid of “40s on 4,” and now there’s no big band channel in 200-odd bands (to be sure, about half of them are sports talk and 30 more Spanish-language yabbering). Big band is a unique American music and a lot of fun to listen to, even if its original audience has nearly completed the transition from nursing home to shady glade.

Our secret weapon for travel used to be rolling the XM tuning dial from 40s to 50s to 60s. When they played something awful, we’d just roll the dial to another decade. It took incredibly bad luck for something lame to be on the air on all three channels. The new resident on Channel 4 is Billy Joel, who joins Elvis and Sinatra as singers with dedicated channels. (The Sinatra channel plays a lot of stuff only tangentially connected to Ol’ Blue Eyes, and the Elvis channel seems to enjoy playing the worst of his decades of album filler). #FirstWorldProblems = dissastisfaction with the selections on satellite radio.

  • Coming home to a lawn that’s a little too thriving. And a lawnmower still hors de combat in the shop. (Worked around by using a push mower. Hell, needed the PT after the drive. One gets spoiled by zero turn riders, though).
  • Not being able to see the old man (unit, not family) as he’s up for surgery. In fact, every one of our planned visits went awry on this trip. But the unplanned visits made up for it.