Category Archives: Administrivia

Subzero Sunday

OK, it’s only subzero here if you use the Centigrade scale; in good old American Fahrenheit it’s been up to 16º or so (about -9ºC). Since the wind is calm and the sun is shining, it’s a warm cold, which we appreciated when shoveling.

Small Dog MkII, conversely, stood in the door shivering and giving us that, “Hey, I put up with a lot from my trained feeder ape, but this is ridiculous,” look. We resigned ourselves to a puddle of poodle piddle, and perhaps a petite pile of poodle poop, on the kitchen floor.

The flying squirrels are back. Hearing one in the eaves a couple of weeks ago, we went through the early Kubler-Ross stages (with a heavy focus on denial). But shoveling the walk, we saw proof — squirrel tracks that began about thirty feet away from the house, and then scampered to a tree. One supposes we could jacklight them (really, blacklight them with the PEQ-2), but rather than explain to the gendarmes why the quiet Smalltown night is being punctuated by muzzle blast, we’ll ring the exterminators in the morning. They don’t actually kill the flying squirrels — they kill the deer mice, which the flying squirrels eat. Then the squirrels decamp to some neighbor’s house and eat his deer mice. It’s doom for the mice one way or another; a mouse is Atlas, bearing the whole food chain on his shoulders. Or it’s a protection racket and the exterminators and flying squirrels are in on it together.

After shoveling, Your Humble Blogger was hungry. Time to expend some of the leftover pre-Christmas 24-hour-sauce with some Trader Joe’s cheese ravioli and plenty of leftover meat, and it was good.

We’re not sure what this week portends. A lot of new releases are coming at SHOT show, but we also want to tell a (fictionalized) tale of Daniel Boone and describe where that tale fits in to our new, bleached-out nation where you can’t say “masculinity” without the prefix “toxic” or at least “problematic,” and where kids’ stories are ones where everything is magic and all you have to do for anything is just want enough. There’s an interesting new 9mm being released tomorrow, seemingly optimized so that fans of Glock and 1911 will both hate it. If we get clear of the embargo in time, we’ll have the story tomorrow. But for all the SHOT breaking stuff, try Ammoland for the press releases (unfortunately, they strip them of the links) or The Firearm Blog for more depth and detail. Go to YouTube if you want thirty seconds of information compressed into ten minutes! Or hang out here, we’ll still entertain you.

That Was the Week that Was: 2017 Week 01

That was the week that was TW3We’re going to make an effort to include these, this year. Last year we petered out on them pretty early; this year we’re going to try to make this weekly wrap leaner, so that it goes up on time and consistently.

As we said last time we published one of these TW3s last year, we do these mostly for our own edification, to review the previous week and try to adjust our performance in the new week. Perhaps it’s a bit obsessive, although we let it go when we haven’t time to do it.

The Boring Statistics

This week’s statistics were:

  • Posts: 28 posts — normal
  • Word count:  19,387
  • Central Tendency Measures: Mean and median were nothing special at 693 and 633
  • Posts below 100 words in length: 0
  • Posts over2,000: 1
  • Posts below 500: 9
  • Posts over 1000: 2

Significant milestones: Five years of daily publication (since 1 Jan 2012).

Traffic-wise, WeaponsMan.com continues to grow. If we finished the year at this rate, we would have over three million uniques for the first time (because of seasonality in the data, that’s higher than the number we’re actually projecting). We think that means people find entertainment and educational value in what we post here.

Comments This Week

Comments: 611 as of 0900 Sunday.

Most commented post: last Sunday’s Sunday ’17 — WeaponsMan Turns 5 with 76.

Second most commented (i.e. runner-up) was Monday’s When the Army Resisted the M16A2, Part 3 of 3 with 70 comments.

Thank you all for reading and commenting.

The Week in Posts

Here’s the recap of our posts for this week: (If the links are not live, they will be fleshed out later).

Going Forward

No promises, yet.

Sunday ’17 — WeaponsMan Turns 5

All of you who didn’t know if you’d make it to 2017, the answer’s in (one way or another). We’re still behind on setting up yesterday’s movie review, of a modern classic that’s a great, exciting film despite no explosions at all, no dual wielding whilst leaping, no machine guns, only one drably realistic car chase, and a really offbeat setting. But apart from that, we’re feeling pretty good today.

Yeah, we were sleeping when 2017 arrived here. The days of stay up till you can’t stand up are behind us.

But prior to Z o’clock, yesterday was a good day with most of the left wingtip going on the wing of  the plane, despite a slight miscalculation with an aviation tool called an edge breaker that creased one of the panels. (Still learning the ins and outs of paintless dent repair tools and, the important part, techniques).

State of Weaponsman

We are pleased to note that this day marks five years of continuous publication here at WeaponsMan.com, and that every day of 2016 (as in the immediate preceding years) we posted something for you, our dear reader.

We also note with pride that we had more readers and commenters last year than ever before. The numbers still need some crunching, but we believe we ended 2015 with 2.1 million visitors (2,108,544 to be specific), and were hoping for 10% growth (to 2.32M) in 2016, but were rewarded instead with nearly 2.5 million (2,493,821, but that doesn’t count two periods of stats-system outage, dinging September and November numbers). That’s about 18% growth. And the trendlines (the thin black lines, showing the linear trend for the blue ’15 data and the red ’16) show steady growth.

 

 

Now, in comments, we also saw steady growth. We had over 25,000 comments this year(!) which meant we averaged about 485 a week, and as the chart shows, the number grew steadily.

Two years ago in 2014, it was a big deal to get 200 comments in a week… most weeks, we didn’t. And we remember the excitement of the first time we had ten comments in a post, back in 2012. Was that so long ago?

Small Dog MkII says hey. He is not loving his holiday haircut.

We tell the groomer not to poodle him all up, but she says she can’t resist some degree of poodlification. He can scarcely show his face to the corgi across the street now. He does like the Bismarck mustachios.

After months together, he finally growled and snarled at Your Humble Blogger. It was amazing, because he’s a very placid dog, and only growled once before (at one an old commo man’s two German Shepherds, when they were too insistent on PLAY! at first introduction). He’s never shown food guarding or aggression, but found something he’ll fight (or at least threaten) for. The occasion? He was enjoying one of his Christmas treats, a rawhide chewy called Exer-Hides, and we made it a tug-of-war item with the little guy. He was not giving up his Exer-Hide.

We didn’t push it. One dog-related medevac is enough for a lifetime.

We’re not really sure what 2017 holds, except the certainty that you’ll see more stuff here at the blog, and Your Humble Blogger’s byline elsewhere, too. Our hope is that you all see peace and prosperity if it is possible… and victory and prosperity if it is not.

2017 Predictions:

  1. A couple of AR makers fold. This is trumpeted as the End of the Gun Market by media that wish ill to the gun culture. It’s really just normal markets at saturation punishing inefficient or undifferentiated competitors.
  2. Sales growth continues. The same media don’t notice. The manufacturers and dealers do, and grow because they’re bringing new people in, not fighting for decimal points of a fixed market share.
  3. With collectors pricing originals into the stratosphere, we’ll see more quality reissues or reproductions of historic firearms. This will actually increase value of the originals, as the repros bring out a new and larger generation of fans, the best heeled of whom decide to own the original — and get into bidding wars. Meanwhile, limited-run repros become collectors’ items in their own right.
  4. At least two states add Constitutional Carry options for their citizens, bringing the total to 13. The media predict crime waves. They are crestfallen when crime doesn’t wave.
  5. National reciprocity begins to be discussed in Washington. It won’t pass yet, because of feeble, wobbly Republicans — especially leaders — in both houses.
  6. Scalia replaced by a solid-on-rights Justice. Another opportunity could arise as soon as this year. But the real hay to be made is in the lower courts, especially on the appeals circuits, where there are many vacancies.
  7. Defeated at Federal level and in most state legislatures, Bloomberg, Soros, etc., and their professional staffers like Gun Ban Barbie, focus on initiative petitions and a media campaign. They succeed in raising their support in California, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey from 100% to 110%.
  8. Not everybody will be happy with what is revealed by a ground-up review of the enervated military and the seven or so ill-managed wars (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, the Philippines, Somalia, Syria and Yemen) that President Peace Prize bequeaths his successor. Some of those wars have to end, and the opportunity to end them on favorable terms has already been squandered.
  9. Fewer cases with some crumb who committed some unspeakable barbarity after a dozen-plus deportations and removals.
  10. After not reporting on American casualties for eight years, the press suddenly rediscovers their Bush-era “grim milestone” and “bereaved children” standing headlines. (Wait, we’re already late; the Washington Post is already starting). The media’s wheels will keep spinning ever faster, even as it loses more traction.

Sunday Starlight

A book that people have read for many years contains this passage:

She brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

May each of you reading this, be ye Christian, some other faith, or Godless heathen, have the best of days with family and friends; you may rest assured that that is what we are doing here in the Shire, where Christmastime still looks like a Currier and Ives print.

 

Sunday Shivering

Actually most of the shivering is over, for now; the 10-degree weather has gone somewhere else. Currently, the weather conditions are hypothermic rain a few degrees above freezing — few enough that the rain isn’t washing away the snow, just encrusting it.

Joy.

And the 10-degree weather is supposed to come back. Meanwhile, Small Dog Mk II has decided it’s too miserable to go out, when after all his trained feeder monkey has also been trained to clean up indoor waste deposits.

More joy.

There is joy in the Christmas season, except that the lights on the lighted artificial tree have expired, and getting them off to put new lights on turns out to be like doing root canals on crocodiles.

There is joy in reading, with the two most important current books being a Czech history of ZB and the new “Tom Clancy” book by Mark Greaney. (In the past we’ve noted that we prefer Greaney’s necro-Clancys to the ones written by Grant Blackwood. Neither is as good as Clancy at his best, or as bad as Clancy at his phoning-it-in worst).

In ongoing efforts this week: nothing much was done on book writing. Some small progress was made on the airplane (there really is something to paintless dent repair tools and techniques, although we’re beginning from a point of utter ignorance). And we struggled to get the book out.

As you read this we’re probably at a movie, which will put us two reviews behind. (No we’re not seeing Miss Sloane yet. That’s one where we’d take a free ticket, if the producers were offering, but they probably can’t afford to). Every gun-control activist has seen the movie, and every cast member’s mom… and from the box office, that’s it. Nobody else.

Turns out, a film made to Brady Gun Ban Group propaganda themes isn’t intrinsically popular. Who knew?

Anyway, we do have reviews of a couple of 2016 movies in the works, if not in the can.

So, we may be shivering here, but they’re shivers of joy.

Sunday Solitude

Solitude is on us again, “us” meaning Your Humble Blogger and his faithful Small Dog Mark II, after a few eventful days. With Small Dog, is it “solitude” or is it “dualitude”? Don’t cop an attitude, we just want to know.

Kid visited from Wednesday through today, and while he spent much of the time with his 17-year-old peers, he also spent much with his mom’s grumpy old ex, which made that man less grumpy than he’s been in a while. We’ve already recounted the range visit and Mauser/Luger shoot, but Saturday we hit not one but three gun shops: Kittery Trading Post, the SIG Academy pro shop, and our favorite kitchen table/transfer dealer (we had a rare Czechoslovak firearm to pick up). We have promised Kid a firearm for his 18th Birthday next year.

Everyone has low-cost ARs now (low cost being relative at SIG, though). The el cheapo king was probably the whole rack of DPMS factory demo rifles for sale at Kittery — typical optic-ready carbines for $450. .22 ammo is back on the shelves in quantity and in bulk packaging. And suppressors seem to be really taking off, even without the hearing protection act.

Plaintiff II showed up somewhat unexpectedly Saturday evening. She brought her nephew, a kid who has fallen on hard times. He’s not a bad kid but does not excel at looking out for Number One, consequently he’s in a jam — unemployed, broke, no car, and his mom, Plaintiff’s sister, just passed away after a long illness with many devastating complications. (Which is what brought Plaintiff back to NH).

Supposedly there’s a will, which no one can find. He’s selling off his possessions on LetGo to try to raise enough for his mom’s cremation (we said he was broke, we mean broke). Another relative helped him out with a GoFundMe page.

This kid is 26, he’s a one-tour Iraq vet who isn’t asking for much, but if you would like to help him out, the GoFundMe is here. Even $5 or $10 gets him closer to his goal. As you may see, Your Humble Blogger has made a contribution; we would not ask you guys without our own skin in the game. Nobody, not Darren nor us here at WeaponsMan, expects you to do this, nor will anyone think less of you if you aren’t able to donate, or would prefer not to do so.

With all the family eventfulness going on, we did not review a movie. In fact, we didn’t watch the GD movie we intended to. It’s been that kind of week.

Update at 2200

I did finally watch the movie, so there is that. Kid’s ride to the airport wasn’t as locked it as he thought so I got to spend an extra hour with him. He should be home it St Louis soon. Small Dog Mk II rode all the way to Boston in his lap, and most of the way home in mine.

Darren has raised the minimum amount he needed to get his Mom cremated (not accounting for the 8% GoFundMe gets, but that’s OK), and the lion’s share of it came from you guys. We are humbled by your generosity. Any extra that goes in should improve Carlene’s send-off (and put the cremains in an urn instead of a bento box or whatever the default option is!). And we’ll see if the kindness of strangers is what he needed to get his life going back in a positive direction.

Sunday Spuddling

“Spuddling”? The Phrontistery defines “spuddle” as “to work feebly or ineffectively; to perform shallow agricultural ploughing,” which is what it just felt like doing as we assaulted the sea of oak leaves in back of the house. By tonight, they all will be gone, except the inevitable stragglers. But you may be sure that it took rather a lot of spuddling.

Yesterday a young fellow with a truck showed up at Hog Manor looking for work. We have had no handyman since our last one vanished without a trace in 2011 or so. We made an arrangement, and he came back with a crew and leveled a sagging stone patio, and as a bonus fixed a dangling floodlight. He left a business card. I think we have secured a new handyman; there’s always something more that needs work, something any homeowner great or small has experienced. We’re rather proud of having done the leaves, winterized the fountain, and rearranged the garage to hold two cars and an airplane-in-progress without resorting to a checkbook solution. Next challenge may be the walkway lights. And at some point we need to winterize the mower.

Today, Your Humble Blogger is being a Bad Brother and Worse Uncle. His favorite niece is dancing her biggest role yet in a local Nutcracker, and one feels a bit bad about giving it a miss, but, the venue is a hassle to get to, and so we are exercising Crotchety Old Man Privilege. Next year, she may be Clara for the first time, and there’ll be no getting out of it. (Yes, she’s that good).

Our Saturday Matinee for yesterday will be backdated (perhaps this evening) for the simple reason that we ran out of time to re-watch the classic old film. Working on it! We promise it has lots of action, stars, guns, and Hollywood fireball explosions.

We’re going to try to have some useful infotainment for all of you this week, and we’re still writing on two books simultaneously. Life is good, and never dull.

Seasonal Sunday

‘Tis the season to be jolly, fa-la- wait, wait, wait. What’s so jeezly jolly about it?

Well, let’s consider that for a minute. We’re in a nation and a world beset by problems, and yet, and yet —

  • If you look at a newspaper from 30 years ago, there were horrible things happening… that never did come to pass. Newspapers (and TV) sell strife, discord, and fear. Yet, in most times and places, and in the long run, strife doesn’t actually prosper. Today’s newspaper counter-Cassandras will look similarly off target from a generation ahead.
  • If you are happy, unhappy, or have mixed feelings after elections here or abroad, bear this in mind: while elections do have consequences, nations survive greater calamities all the time; and election victory never brings the victors everything they want.
  • As gun folk, the culture is, slowly, moving our way. Some day, some bright spark in Hollywood will discover that there’s an awful lot of people with disposable income that they could be getting, if they told stories that spoke to us. That will be the signal that the preference cascade has overwhelmed the opposition.
  • We’re building a freakin’ airplane. That’s not exactly downtrodden and depressed. (Even if Your Humble Blogger did indeed squash a rivet wrong Friday, and we had to drill it out last night).
  • Fidel Castro kicked the bucket, after a long evilness. Pretty amazing to see the reactions: the President and Secretary of State seemed to be really saddened. On the other hand, more level-headed people celebrated.

You know, it is the season to be jolly. Fa-la-la-la-la, la la la LA.

Edited to Add: Yesterday, the Blogbro swung by and we visited a local guy who has a side business, with his wife, making and selling natural maple syrup in a sugar shack in their back yard (yes, a sugar shack really is a thing). Kids, that high fructose chemical crap that IG Farben or whoever makes and sticks Aunt Jemima’s picture on is not maple syrup. Read the ingredients! (Good luck understanding them without a couple of good undergrad chemistry courses).

When Guns Aren’t Outlawed, Let’s Give Thanks

It would be churlish, on this day of national Thanksgiving, to post some story about some wretch hurting himself or others in some oddball fashion, so instead, let’s consider the degree to which guns are not outlawed, and give thanks.

  • Let us give thanks to those who fought to preserve this right for us, from the Magna Carta which secured the right for King John’s noble vassals, to the lawmakers who have removed literally thousands of restrictions on self-defense and gun-ownership in the last decades, and the activists who fought, and continue to fight, for the rights of free men.
  • Let us give thanks to the peculiar circumstances that brought an unusually brilliant circle of republic-oriented Englishmen to these shores, to craft an experimental limited government, in the Age of Gilded Kings that was Europe’s Baroque Era.
  • Let us give thanks to the rough men (& a few women) who visit violence on those who would do us harm — and the gentle ones, who never seek violence but who draw a line around their homes and families, and will fight to keep them safe. (Every one of both of those groups makes every one of us safer).
  • Let us give thanks to the designers and business executives who bring us new and wonderful weapons, and to the engineers and production workers who turn their plans into solid reality.
  • Let us give thanks to the activists, not just our own but also the ones around the world who seek to bring the blessings of armed self defense to the good guys and gals in Mexico (which has held its first hearings to consider legal liberalization) and Russia and around the world.
  • Let us give thanks to the lawyers, scholars and law professors who have shaped gun and self-defense jurisprudence lately.
  • Let us give thanks to the collectors, curators and just general gun geeks and anoraks who preserve, decode, understand and interpret these historical artifacts for us.
  • Let us give thanks to the writers who use the written word and the photograph to extend our gun world beyond all the things we can own, shoot or do ourselves.
  • Let us give thanks to our enemies, for their general incompetence and obtusity. (Maybe we owe this to the Creator and His sense of humor).
  • Let us give thanks to our families, for putting up with us if for no other reason.
  • Let us give thanks to the religious refugees of the 17th Century, strange folk to our way of thinking, who established this tradition of harvest Thanksgiving for our nation, and the 19th- and 20th-Century leaders who revived it.

And above all, let us give thanks to our Lord and Creator, on this solemn and joyous day. (You atheists, you can give thanks to random happenstance and primordial slime, if you like. The Lord works in strange ways, his miracles to perform).

We give thanks to each of you, dear readers, and wish you all the delights of the day and the season. God bless you, one and all.

Sluggish Sunday

Here is a late post, for which, we apologize… a little.

Returning from NOLA on Friday noonish, we had an SF buddy and his lady arrive later than expected (they got nailed in Connecticut and Massachusetts weekend traffic on the way here) and went out for late seafood. They had lobster rolls, Your Humble Blogger had a scallop basket, all was good.

Back at Hog Manor, our guest produced a jar of moonshine. A splendid time was had by all.

Saturday, we missed the chance to get on the scale and spent the day wondering whether we’d put on 5 lbs in a week of fantastic New Orleans food, or more. Our guest and his lady went back into Boston so he could do the Spartan Race in Fenway Park (which he did, of course). Some interesting characters there, including Miss Vermont, who “looks about 18” but competed in the pro competition… she was complaining about slow guys getting in her way.

And Saturday Night we went out to a favorite vets’ haunt on the New Hampshire Seacoast, the 401 Tavern in Hampton. (Not Hampton Beach, but inland along Rt. 1). This 17th-Century tavern is a very vet-friendly place, with reserved parking for Enemy Marksmanship Badge (Purple Heart) recipients and regular parking for us cowards who kept our heads down. If you look you may see some certificates and memorabilia from SF around here.

We had the steak tips, our guest had his lady had seafood options. We were all very satisfied.

This morning, our objectives were simple (updated) :

  1. Get a post-pigout morning weight (mirabile dictu, we were only up 0.1 lb);
  2. Have a good breakfast;
  3. Get the guests launched towards home;
  4. PT (it was promised to be a lovely day, 50+ degrees F and sunny);
  5. Deal with the foot-thick layer of oak leaves on the lawn. Yeah, they started falling.

So we took our guests to breakfast, finding that we’d left both cash and cards at home, and had the embarrassing situation of having to ask the guest to catch the bill. (He’d caught the 401, and we’d caught the seafood Friday, so it was our turn). We’ve promised the best steak house on the coast on their return… which is also a good way to get two great guests back.

Then, we decided to do the leaves first. And while doing the leaves, we decided to act on our half-baked plan to eliminate an overgrown flower garden. You know how you can’t do anything in one easy step? It went something like this:

  1. High center the zero-turn mower on a forgotten promontory under the rosebushes we were bush-hogging.
  2. Fail to unstick the mower.
  3. Get pincushioned by the rose bushes. They did not go gently into that good night.
  4. Get truck and tow cable, back up to mower, connect cable.
  5. Let out clutch and SPANGGG!! break tow cable. Lash of cable gets revenge on remaining rosebushes.
  6. Go in to get some affection from Small Dog Mk II. Needed it.
  7. Is Tractor Supply open Sundays? Yes. Contemplating wire for making a new tow cable, saw that they had a 7,500# test axle strap for only $50, no assembly required.
  8. Pull out mower.
  9. Thank neighbors for their offer to help, and ignore their comment that it was a dumb-ass thing to get the mower stuck like that.
  10. Repair mower control part that was bent when it took the weight of the whole mower.

After that, we were ready to start on the leaves again… three runs (mulching, mower pickup, sweeper pickup). And the lawn will be covered in leaves by Wednesday.

PT tomorrow, honest.

We should have some good stuff this week!