Category Archives: Administrivia

“We’re Not Wor-” uh, Humbled to Appear in Such Fine Company

Doug Ross at DirectorBlue has long done an annual award for the top 50 blogs on what he sees as his side of the blogosphere. We were absolutely shocked when one of our regular commenters, Doug (presumably not Ross), pointed out that we were on the 2015 Top 50 list, and we had to go see for ourselves.

Holy Mother Machree:


Well, we’ll be damned. For crying out loud, look at the guys we’re on the list with. Bob Owens has been around since Christ was a corporal. (Hmmm…. that’s an Army expression, but we wonder, what’s its etymology? Could it have been “since Christ was incorporate” or “corporeal” — and been corrupted by some Neanderthal-browed grunt? But we digress. And Bob’s not quite that old, we think). And, John Lott… that guy literally wrote the book, to wit, More Guns, Less Crime, and has had a formative role in the concealed-carry revolution that has turned something tightly permitted in a minority of states 30 years ago, into the law of the land everywhere except a few reactionary holdouts that cling to Jim Crow gun laws.

You know that thing in Wayne’s World, “We’re not worthy?” Yeah. Party on, Garth.

There’s also a “gun blog” category that’s also populated by heavy hitters, including, deservedly, Bob again (Bearing Arms is his site):


Bob, and The Stranger at Extrano’s Alley (who occasionally comments here), and The Truth About Guns, the irresistible site of the master of gunny clickbait Robert Farago and a cast of young and presumably will-write-for-food yout’s. Seriously, everything Farago puts on that site is at the red end of the “Wait But Why Clickability Scale,” even when it’s as wrong as a window crank on a submarine porthole.

waitbutwhy clickability scale

We’re just Indians in this tribe, and we can think of many we’d recognize before ourselves (which is part of why we have a Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week, which most of this years firearms/guns honorees have been singled out for, before). But we’re humbly grateful for the recognition. It’s nice to see your overnight success recognized after four years of daily blogging.

And if you followed a link here from Director Blue, stick around and see if agrees with you. There are anodyne blogs out there; we try to be, to coin a word, cathodyne.


Meanwhile, we’ve been singled out for another honor, apparently, by the SJW entryists running a library network in the dependably red state of Indiana. You can’t be anti-gun when you’re on the public nickel among the gun-happy Hoosiers, so look at the flimsy excuse they selected to ban us. Received by email:

You haven’t been seeing me around yur blog because it’s been kicked off the local server I use for wireless; it seems they think that military veterans talk too dirty:
Content Denied

Your current group (Indiana Public Libraries) and policy (Indiana Public Libraries) do not allow you to visit the requested site (

Sites in this category (Profanity) are currently blocked.

If you feel this is incorrect, please contact your content filtering administrator.


There is a category called Profanity, that’s surprise number one. And we’re in it, surprise number two. They’ve obviously never heard us do something to an RV-12 part (do you know if you get careless about securing the part you’re countersinking, you can actually turn a the 38th round hole of 40 or so that you were countersinking in a structurally vital stub spar into a figure-eight-shaped countersunk hole? No lie. There was profanity and blasphemy in the air). But that sort of profanity stays in the workshop (and Van’s always has a pleasant lady to take our call, which is 100% profanity-free, at $21 per stub spar and some $50 for next day air across the country. Wish us luck on the replacement spars). We try to keep it off the blog; we don’t censor the commenters, except for our single banished Nazi admirer, but they’re not a damning-and-blasting bunch. (Well, blasting maybe, but not that kind).

Obviously, they’ve categorized us as Profanity to serve some end other than protecting the virginal eyes of Hoosiers from naughty words. We leave speculation about what end that is as an exercise for the reader.

We suppose any recognition is nice, but on balance, Doug’s was a lot nicer!

Scatterbrained Sunday

Been feeling particularly scatterbrained lately, with a lot of things going on. Things get forgotten. “The center does not –” oh, wait, not our line. It’s not anything that triggers TEOTWAWKI or anything, it’s just annoying. We miss bids we intended to make to snipe stuff on GunBroker. We forget Small Dog’s schedule and wind up with an accident — not his fault, he’s just a small dog and accordingly a bit short-ranged if his humans don’t let him stretch his legs. Or we can’t find our copy of Balleisen’s Principles of Firearms, which we need for two projects. Or we get a call reminding us that the conference call we’re on has already started. “Uh, yeah, I was on another line.”

It’s a little white lie: we pretend we didn’t completely forget about the call, and our business partners pretend to believe us. Teamwork! Thanks, guys.

It’s not always bad. Sometimes a check comes in the mail for something we already forgot we did. Nice.

We’d think it Alzheimer’s if we hadn’t periodically been this way throughout life. (Hell, how many times has a sentence here trailed off in mid-

And we’re not the only ones. For instance, in the 90s we used to play a lot of coffee houses, and one song that was a guaranteed crowd-pleaser was I’m Just Looking for my Keys. Just about everyone could relate; if you’ve never lost your keys, even for a moment, you’re probably too anal to be any fun at all. (We now live in the sort of place where it’s not a temptation to the local diversity to leave your keys in the car; stray key problem solved).

So we have this funk of forgetfulness from time to time. And we usually snap out of it. Just like we usually find the missing keys.

Usually, while looking for some jeezly thing that comes up missing subsequently.

But right now, we’re feeling scatterbrained. Good thing it’s Sunday.

That Was the Week that Was: 2015 Week 51

That was the week that was TW3As the end of the year approaches, and the end of the week scrolls by, we’re rather satisfied with ourselves.

It’s been a good week and a good year, and this is the last week that will end in calendar 2015. (Week 52 ends Saturday 2 January).

Today was spent wrangling leaves again, which should have been done months ago, or hired out to one of those outfits that do that for a living. But two and a half hours of raking is excellent PT. (Well, that’s what the pain says).

We’re one inch closer to getting back into the cockpit, as we think we’ve cleared up a miscommunication between cardiologist and flight surgeon. Kids, one of the irritating things about aging is you have more doctors poking and prodding you and telling you about your bad habits (if we missed nagging, we could have just gotten married again).

The office is almost tidied up, and next week we get some cool ‘chinery running.

The Boring Statistics

This week’s statistics are slightly reduced by the holiday.  25 posts (about 3-4 less than usual) and about 18,000 words (down from last weeks kind of average ~23,500).  Our average post was 736 words long, and the median was 587, nothing really out of the ordinary. Post length ranged from 45 to 2294 words.

People are definitely reading the longer posts. We haven’t looked at individual post readership statistics, but our 1882-word post on M203 development drew 20 comments, none of which said, “Shorter, please!”

We knew that readership would be down this week, based on the fact that we posted only one (off-topic) post on the holiday, and the holiday itself: didn’t people have something better to do on Christmas Day? On a usual day we get over 6,000 unique visitors, so we were expecting maybe 1,000 on Hogmanay. Sure enough, readership was down — to 5,000 unique visitors (5,010, to be exact).

Comments This Week

Comments were lower than average at 276 by close of business Saturday. The previous week there were 329 comments at press time, and 60 more since then; but that wasn’t a holiday week, was it? Most commented post was Monday’s When Self-Defense is Outlawed, to Run Away is Your Only Defense with 47 at press time. Runner-up was Colt to Emerge from Bankruptcy with 30, posted on Tuesday (in the comments to that article, Shawn from Loose Rounds, whose well wired-in there,  hints at good things to come from the prancing horse brand in 2016). As we’ve noted, Monday and Tuesday points are most likely to have the most comments by Saturday.

The Week in Posts

Here’s the recap of our posts for this week: (live links to be added later).

Going Forward

We still have OTR posts coming on Castillo de San Marcos (yes, we haven’t completely explored it yet), on another installation in the same area, and on Fort Pulaski, that still shows the scars of Civil War bombardment. We have posts of our own on WWI tank warfare and maybe some SF holiday memories.

Next week, Monday or Tuesday we’ll show you what’s got to be a near record price for a scrap rifle sold as a parts kit.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Happy New Year.

Merry Christmas!

hog_manor_christmas_2015A warm Christmas to all of you from all of us here at and at Hog Manor.

May something splendid roost under your tree, and may your New Year be a blessed and prosperous one.

There’s still one post hanging fire from yesterday, a weekly roundup, that will be kicked onto the web (backdated to 2200 yesterday) some time today, but we’re not actually working here today, and we hope you’re not, either. (We know for a lot of our readers in the .mil and LE, it’s just another duty day — always a hard sell to your family).

For those of you who are the praying kind, we humbly recommend that you pray for the safety of the soldiers of the USA, France, Russia, and much of the Judeo-Christian world, along with our civilized Arab and Kurdish allies, deployed in harm’s way in the Middle East.

Sunday Sunshine

It continues to be a strange “winter” here at Hog Manor, with no snow yet (not that unusual, but not an every-year thing) and daytime temps breaking into the fifties (very unusual). If this is Global Warming, we say, burn more coal.

As we close in on the Christmas season, a warning that we will not publish on Christmas Day, or will publish only minimally.

Although we wrote this en avant, we’re pretty sure that, for a change, all Saturday posts (including the Matinee and the TW3) ran on time Saturday. We’re looking forward to 2016 already.

The big event in January is SHOT, at which we will not be. (Conflicts). Beyond that… who knows?

That Was the Week that Was: 2015 Week 50

That was the week that was TW3Another week has drawn to a close, and a new week is hopping up and down at the door, aching to be let out.

Down, boy. There’s still a couple of hours of Week 50 yet to go.

For us, it was a good week, with a return from Hog Manor South and a return to our PT program (at least by weekend) after a little bit of wobbliness. It’s easier to make the calorie cutoff (1700) here than eating two meals a day out, down there; it’s a little harder to make the exercise calorie burn (1000) with outdoor bike riding and swimming out of the picture.

We did very little plane work (the Blogbro was up to his neck in Nutcracker Week with his Dancing Princess), and no gun work, unless you count locking up all the guns while the window installers were here. 41 new windows installed — 40 successfully. The house is notably quieter and less draughty, and the bad old windows weren’t that old (~¼ century?) or that bad.

And, the continuing saga of the medical certificate continues to be a saga, with the latest snag seeming to have come from Your Humble Blogger’s misinterpretation of what he’d arranged with his cardiologist. If you do have a cardiologist, and we wouldn’t wish it on you even though ours is a fine fellow and an even better surgeon, write down what he tells you so you don’t lose a year waiting for something that’s waiting for you to happen.

Meanwhile, Obamacare hit the cardio drugs costs and one medication has increased by approximately two hundred times. Thank you, Mr President. You, we wish a cardiologist on.

The Boring Statistics

This week’s statistics are pretty close to the norm.  28 posts and about 23,000 words.  Our average post was 796 words long, and the median was 734. It’s interesting they were so close, as  there was a pretty wide range of post length — from 178 to 2388 words.

It’s conventional Internet wisdom that nobody reads a post longer than 300 words. Eh. Thanks, all you nobodies!

We did hit one big milestone: two million unique daily visitors for the year. And  two lesser milestones we hadn’t noticed creeping up on us: 4,500 posts since inception, hut at 1400 Friday, and 1300 for the year, at 1400 Thursday. We just do what we do, and the posts add up. And the readers come, for which we’re humbly grateful.

Comments This Week

Comments were in the average range at 329 by close of business Saturday. The previous week there were 303 comments at press time, and 43 more since then. Most commented post was Monday’s How Much Accuracy & Precision Do You Really Need?, with 56 at press time. Runner-up was In the Warrior Caste, We’re All Connected with 41, posted on Tuesday. As a rule of thumb, posts earlier in the week are more likely to rack up lots of comments by Saturday as they have time to be picked up by many of the fine blogs and forums that link us, like The Gun Feed or Ace of Spades or WRSA (Western Rifle Shooters), and then the readers come back here. We also got some Reddit linkage the last couple weeks, and we welcome our Reddit readers — stick around even if we’re not lefty enough for you, we’ve got plenty of technical gun info, and maybe you’ll convert us to state socialism or something. Have fun trying, the KGB did.

The Week in Posts

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

Going Forward

We’ve been promising, and last week renewed the promise of, OTR’s next installment of San Marcos. We’ve been promising that since Christ was a Corporal! Looks like the Redeemer got His third stripe. Also, we did promise OTR’s foreign trip report, that was the jump of Operation Toy Drop. (He’s been on several of these international jumps and says they’re the cat’s ass).

Next week: we have a gun control enabler who had to fold his tent and creep away when he was caught creeping out his female staff and clients; a Civil War carbine; a TW3 that’s also CW related; and a day off for all of us on Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Happy New Year.

Admin: Straight Busted; Readership Goal Made

Fun With NumbersYesterday morning, as we cranked up the admin interface to monitor, our unique visitors since we changed stats plug-ins was an interesting number: 2,345,768. Almost a straight! (In stats, you can’t reorder your “cards,” er, digits). But that led us to the discovery that our object of breaking 2 million unique daily visitors in 2015 was met sometime on the 14th, with our count at about 0630 on the 15th being 2,003,928, with only 1,302 having come between midnight and 0630, and 7,155 having dropped by during the 14th.

We predicted we would break 2 million unique visitors this year. We have, although the margins are closer than we like (looks like end of year will be right around 2.1 million). Right now, at the moment this publishes, we’re at around 2 million 15 thousand.

Hmmm. How do we beat that in 2016?



Sunday Skylining

Well, today we relocate back to Hog Manor. It will be good to recline in one’s own recliner, and see Small Dog’s holy-crap-I-remember-you-now doggy dance, and resume riveting and wrenching on the RV-12 project.

This afternoon, we’ll be skylining our way back home on an aptly named Airbus. Allegiant Air is flying into the former Pease AFB in Portsmouth, NH, which is much closer to Hog Manor than the previously available options (Boston or Manchester). Going into Boston even to fly is a complete misery drill.

Somewhere in there some actual work is going to get done, and there’s the ugly but necessary new fitness program (which is an old fitness program that was left to go slack in 2014 and 2015) to shake down.

It’s been a great week despite mostly rainy weather. We had your humble blogger, the Blogfather, and the Blogbrother all under the same roof for four days and three nights and no one has been strangled, run over with a golf cart, or fed to the gators. That’s a successful week off in our book.

Why No Tour d’Horizon Friday Night?

It all began with a bike ride. Your Humble Blogger was simply going to ride around the neighborhoods of the gated community, a place where the only crime is property crime committed by the Huddled Masses Yearning to Get Free $#!+ that staff the landscaping and cable installation trucks. Hadn’t done daily PT1. It was time.

It was about two miles into what was supposed to be a 9-10 mile ride — all flat, this is Florida, after all, where the only hills have J-shaped vents in ’em — when we ran into the Damsel in Distress.

In the community’s marina, where people either keep 60-foot boats they use once a year, or live on their 60-foot boats, a young blonde sat on the floor of the dock, shaking with sobs and occasionally saying something incomprehensible. Several adults were present, also agitated and making no sense.

What we got after about 20 minutes of elicitation was:

  1. His name was Chris
  2. He was 25, short haired, dressed in a blue t-shirt
  3. He was missing and drunk and “texted that he was going to do something horrible.” Any attempt to reduce that to specifics produced panic and waterworks. OK, kid’s gonna kill himself.
  4. The police (Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office) were on the way, and site security (unarmed old guys and gals in vehicle patrols) were searching.

They seemed to think that he had thrown himself into the inlet and drowned himself. This seemed unlikely. Don’t believe? Try it yourself. Unless you can’t swim and are unnaturally prone to panic — and we thought a kid from a wealthy family that spends time messing about in boats could certainly swim — you can’t drown yourself.

We tried to calm them down, got the number of the site security’s dispatch office — no, we don’t need to write it down — and mentioned that we’re riding around to every village in the community for exercise, and would keep our eyes peeled. The official searchers and the family thanked us.

We also stressed: “It looks bleak now, but these things almost always end well, in the end. Hang in there.” Nobody was saying that to these people (the Sheriff’s Deputies weren’t here yet).

Eyeballs + Bicycle = Knowledge of Where He Is Not

We figured we’d never see Chris, but it doesn’t hurt to look, right? So we rode through the wealthy ‘hood beyond the Marina, which we had been planning to do anywhere. It was a neighborhood of monster houses — NFL coach Bill Parcells used to live there, and a lot of people who are less famous but richer still do — and at 8 PM on a Friday it was deader’n Boot Hill.

The neighborhood is a cul-de-sac, and some time later we were back at the Marina.

Everybody was still distraught, and looking for his cold dead body floating in the inlet, where it definitely wouldn’t be. So we planted a few seeds.

“Has anyone checked the park? We came through the park, and didn’t see him, but weren’t specifically looking then?” Nope. “OK, we’ll check the park again. Anyone look on the island where folks keep kayaks?” Nope, but “gee, we should have thought of that.”

“OK, you check that, and I’ll go through the park.” By now, deputies had arrived and were driving the streets, but a bike could go on the golf cart trails.

Chris wasn’t in the park. Almost thought he was — someone was sitting on a swing set in the dark, but it looked like a woman, and had a big dog alongside. We called out from far enough away not to scare hell out of her, and told her to keep an eye out for Chris: “Tell him people are worried, not angry. But call security,” and we passed on the number.

The lady was very nice (and her Lab was sweet in the way a gentle Lab is). “Well, I probably won’t see him, but thanks for telling me,” she said.

“Probably won’t see him either, but we gotta look.” So we ran the length of the park trail with no other human contact. There was enough light that we could see he wasn’t hiding anywhere — he wasn’t a pro in a ghillie suit, he was a drunk and maybe suicidal kid. We came back, and saw the lady and her four-legged friend at the park’s bathrooms. We exchanged pleasantries and pedaled on.

So, Is He Chilling With the Kayaks?

Back to the distraught family. “Who checked the kayak island?” Nobody. “It’s really dark.” It wasn’t really, if you were an outdoors person. We always figured boaters for outdoors people, but maybe not.

“OK, got it.” After all, who’s afraid of the dark? So parked the bike, crossed the bridge, walked the perimeter of the island. There was no place for an amateur o hide; he wasn’t here, and we started back. As soon as foot one hit the causeway, we heard a shout.

Crap, that sounded like the nice lady with the lab.

Then, we heard a cacophony. “Hellllp! Call 911! Hellp! Call 911!” repeated over and over, in a young-sounding woman’s voice. That didn’t sound like the nice lady, but someone younger. The intonation in the voice bespoke shock and terror. It was matched by a a dog going crazy with barking.

Everybody and his brother was going to be calling 911, and the community was already crawling with deputies. We could not help by jamming the switchboard. Instead, we ran towards the screams. There is nothing worse than hearing a helpless woman scream.

The screams stopped suddenly. Christ, there is something worse.

If you read the PT stuff in the notes, you may have figured out that with one non-bending ankle, running is not part of our schedule. But damn, we ran.

Bursting out where the bridge emerges in a hedge, we were in the parking lot for the kayaks just as about five carloads of deputies jumped out.

We instantly stopped running. You can’t help from the back seat of a cruiser, after a thumping and a cuffing. The deputies looked at us — not 6’2″, not 25, not lean (way not lean) — and dismissed us as the guy they were looking for.

“Over there! A woman was screaming, ‘Help, call 911′” Literally one second later we were standing alone with five idling cop cars as a defensive line of blue shirts crashed through the hedge towards the park.

If the cops are ever closing in on you, tell ’em a woman was screaming over there, we guess. But in this case, it was exactly the right thing to do.

A few minutes later, it was all over. The deputies had Chris in cuffs, on his way to 30 days’ observation or whatever the FL equivalent is. He had a red mark around his neck.

We spoke again with the nice lady. It turns out Beth is actually one of the managers of the community, and she had been in the park mixing business: checking on a balky well that’s located there;  and pleasure: giving the Lab a chance to swim. She decided after we talked to her to check the rest rooms and found Chris in the men’s room, trying to hang himself.

The screams had come from Chris’s mother, who had been close enough to hear Beth shout, and apparently got an eyeload of the unforgettable vision of her son attempting suicide. No wonder the poor woman shrieked like that. Kid, you had better give an abject apology to your mom when they let you out.

He didn’t threaten anyone but himself, so there will probably be no charges. In time he will see that everbody who hunted him down did him a favor.

The PBCSO deputies did a fantastic job. They deserve credit for first-class police work — the kind that happens every day without hitting the papers. There was no brandishing of guns or throwing around of weight, just a bold charge towards where trouble cropped up.

But, while we’re pleased with our extremely minor part in interrupting an attempted suicide, and we give credit to the deputies and to the community’s unarmed but alert security, the real heroine of the whole thing was Beth, in our book.

She went into a room where a larger, stronger, irrational man might be, and that was the key thing that saved his life.

Afterward, there were handshakes all around, and everybody went their separate ways, pleased with how things turned out (well, maybe not Chris, but he’ll come around). The deputies went back on patrol, Beth and her pooch went home, and we, well, we rode another 12 or so miles in the dark, and then went for a half-mile midnight swim.

Life is good. Hope Chris realizes that before he’s a gimpy old guy.


  1. We’ve gotten a head start on health, fitness and weight loss for 2016. Objective: 1000 calories of exercise a day with no more than 1700 calories of food. So far, we have hit the exercise target this week. The food target? Well, down here, we eat out a lot…. nuff said. When we’re back in the swing of things we’ll try to do 100 miles of cardio a week (walk, Nordic Trak, Expresso bike, rowing machines, and when here, swim).

Sunday Sneakin’

Lotsa sneakin’ today.

This morning, we were sneakin’ around the house, trying not to wake the other inhabitandos. Especially the double-damned Small Dog, who has been hanging around with a new puppy buddy (friends’, not ours) lately, which has brought out his voice a bit more. He has discovered, eight years or so into his doggy little life, that a loud bark will usually get us to do something to shut him up.

We keep telling him that, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease,” is not an operative aphorism around here; more like, “The squeaky wheel gets greased.” And while there’s no real indication that he understands Word One of English, being of French ancestry and all, he is well enough attuned to our emotions to know just the right point to cease Annoying Small Dog Mode and rotate the selector to Adorable Small Dog Mode. Just at the point of max strangulation, the little manipulator can shift us into dog-loving squee. Just. Like. That.

Infernal pooch.

This evening, we’re sneakin’ out of town for a new round of Florida stuff. So we won’t be there when the company (which is about midway in between) undergoes an annual facility inspection. We hope to sneak through that, as usual, without any gigs.

Your reading pleasure at WeaponsMan should not be interrupted by our travels. We think.

PS  One last sneaky thing. Sometime today we will sneak the unfinished Saturday Matinee from yesterday (a British Korean War film that was recommended by a commenter!) over the finish line, and onto the blog. — Ed.