Category Archives: Administrivia

Sawdusting Sunday

So, the Gunsmithing Lab needs to move a few feet that way, and new fluorescent fixtures have to be installed above their new location. The stuff in the stacks over there is a mixed bag of old DVD cases from a family member’s failed software venture, and boxed-up music CDs from a friend’s failed album project. (We have the master tapes around here somewhere, too).

And about 12′ x 4′ of furring and pegboard needs to go up behind the gunsmithing bench and machine tools to hold “stuff”.

And a new 6′ x 3′ bench is going there where the gunsmithing area was. That’s the bench Van’s recommends for an RV-12 kit construction area. We’ll build it here until just before the components are too big to fit out the bulkhead. Then it moves to a hangar at one of the airfields nearby for final assembly. Duration of project: 2-3 years.

It’s going to be… interesting… maintaining sterility/segregation between the gun works and the plane works. And there’s also some exercise equipment undergoing overhaul (OK, let’s be honest, it’s down here but the overhaul’s been stalled for a year and we have another rower in the gym already).

Thanks to Linkers, Commenters… and Reddit

chainNow that we have stats running, again, we’re pleasantly suprised to see that we’re more popular than we were before our stats plugin went tango uniform in August. We attribute that to our genial commenters and to the sites that link to us, among them:

  • Ace of Spades HQ. We’re grateful to be frequently linked by such a well-regarded (and, not coincidentally, well-trafficked) site, and hope we’ll always have something of interest to Ace readers.
  • The Gun Feed. We could never decide which of the Gun Link Aggregators we liked better, but now that the other guys have joined the Choir Invisible, we know it’s The Gun Feed. If you’re ever hard up for a gun-news fix, the Feed is your dope.
  • Raconteur Report. By our own prolific commenter, Aesop, who’s quite a talented blogger his own self.

Recently, we found a few of our posts linked by Reddit’s /r/guns. That’s led to a surprisingly long tail of interest on the posts, one a pair of training videos and the other our write-up on the Sokolovsky Automaster. We welcome all Redditors who share our interest, and are glad to see that technical posts, like the Sokolovsky post, that may have disappointed us with the lack of reaction they drew when new, actually have some legs on the net.

Sunday Somnambulism

Well, it feels like we are sleepwalking here. Maybe ‘ not. Maybe we’re actually awake, and just wish we weren’t. But it does feel like sleepwalking.

Or does it? We don’t have any recollection of sleepwalking, ever, and have never been accused of any such thing. Consequently, we have a degree of skepticism that such a thing even exists. It sounds like the sort of thing psychologists make up to sound clever, and hide the fact that nobody knows a damned thing about what goes on inside a homo sapiens’s brain housing group. We’d better look it up.

Heh, apparently it is a real thing. Mayo Clinic says so. So does the National Institute of Medicine.

Guess we better start believing in it.

Symptoms of sleepwalking include:

  • Acting confused or disoriented when the person wakes up
  • Aggressive behavior when woken uip by someone else
  • Having a blank look on the face
  • Opening eyes during sleep
  • Not remembering the sleep walking episode when they wake up
  • Performing detailed activity of any type during sleep
  • Sitting up and appearing awake during sleep
  • Talking in sleep and saying things that do not make sense
  • Walking during sleep

Wait, what? “…saying things that do not make sense?” We guess whoever wrote that never experienced an election year

Sunday Slackin’

This is a Sunday for doing the most routine things around the Manor, like replacing the kitchen faucet (wait, aren’t we supposed to have people for that sort of thing?), blowing the leaves and mowing them up, and that sort of thing. So we took our sweet time putting up the Sunday nothing-much post. (And didn’t even look at a few overdue Saturday posts we have).

This may be our last unseasonably warm weekend of the year, and the bicycle sings out its desire to be ridden, and the dog needs a walk, and looking at glowing rectangles seems like an awful use of the day. So we won’t.

They come here searchin’ for:

"The game is afoot, Watson!"

“The game is afoot, Watson!”

According to the new stats plug-in (Rich Counter remaining dead as a mackerel) we’ve been serached out by various users of Google and Bing (alas, nobody from Baidu yet… where’s our Chinese gun bros?) using a variety of search terms. Some of them make more sense than others:

  • 1944 m1 carbine – We’ve written ’bout these from time to time, but we don’t think we’d be the most informative target of that search.
  • tactical shelf plans – We’ve shown pictures of such things and links to their makers, but no plans. Sorry ’bout that.
  • arfcom bolt carrier group –  Is there such a thing? And it’s better than a GI BCG exactly how?
  • PSP GLOCK 45 — (caps his). Yeah, we’ve probably had more detail on the Pennsylvania State Police’s hard-luck pistol program than anybody. For example, here and here. That is, it’s hard luck if you believe in luck. We think people make their own luck, mostly. Incidentaly, they’re still hunting Eric Frein, and he’s still on the loose, but we have a feeling it’s in the end stages for Frein.
  • yarborough knife history —  We don’t think we’ve written this up, but probably should, now that it’s been around for a few years the legends are already growing. On the other hand, we’re old enough to have received our SF certificate from the hand of Yarborough his ownself, which is kind of cool. A lot of classmates didn’t realize just how cool it was.
  • gunsmith classes – frequent subject of discussion here. Hope we hooked the guy up.
  • weapons man – now, there’s the search engine doing like it’s s’posed to! This one comes up a lot.
  • NRA Life Membership Deal – we offered up one of these years ago, and are not sure it’s still valid. We’ll check.
  • 5.56 documenting reality – There is a site called Documenting Reality that has linked here in the past — not sure why, as it’s basically a war-gore site, a descendant of a site called which was shuttered in 2006 because the first amendment apparently doesn’t apply in Florida. (Now that’s … you know what). Anyway, it’s a membership site so we don’t know exactly what’s up over there.
  • young naked – [Gunny voice] Some perv wound up on the wrong blog. [/Gunny]  But it turns out we have several blog posts that include the words “young” and “naked,” including one about a perv busted by cops (wait, he was a cop too: a chief of police, actually), one about a busted cop who was a perv, and one with the text of a well-known Great War poem, by a poet who was arguably a little light in the loafers. NTTAWWT; he was a success as an infantry officer and as a poet, at least so long as his poetry dwelt on the war. His postwar poetry was rather pale, although he had a pair of decent prose romans à clef.
  • no limits hairy armpits — We don’t think this is the blog that cat is looking for, either.
  • eaten by dogs idema — yeah, we knew Keith Idema, and that’s one of the rumors about his death. (Also, that he died of AIDS in Mexico. That is, in fact, what his death certificate says). We wrote it up here, and were deluged with quasi-literate Idema fans. He was the most greatest special opstitute ever, they explained. Sure.  We don’t believe he was actually eaten by dogs, we believe the US Department of State made some arrangements or other for his remains.

A Sunday with Nothing Clever to Say

That happens sometimes.

Yesterday’s Saturday Matinee was done but we botched getting the screenshots, so we may get it up today, and may get the TW3 done as well.

It’s sunny and might be one of the last bike-riding days in shorts. And there’s a traveling family member’s lonely cat to visit, and oh yeah, there’s a tax extension running out this week so all those ducks have to be in a row for the inevitable audit.

This week: more on fakes, a Civil War rifle you might not know, and the latest on the Rangerette thing.

Sunday Spirit

We always thought that Rio de Janeiro Christ the Redeemer statue was a gigantic slab of concrete. It turns out that its face is covered in tiles of mortared soapstone. (It was designed by a sculptor, but built by engineers). And every once in a while somebody’s got to go up there and maintain those tiles, along with the lightning rods that prevent God from doing what Muslim iconoclasts would to this one of the 7 wonders of the world. And this is what that looks like:

We don’t believe there’s any SF guy (or SEAL, Ranger, Marine, SAS, GSG-9, you name it) fellow who’s ever looked at Christ the Redeemer without thinking about how very cool it would be to climb, or rappel off.

Considering we’re descended from arboreal apes, there’s something terribly human about the way any of us can walk a 2-foot-wide path completely unthinkingly (indeed, while talking on the phone and sipping a drink), until that path is a hundred feet in the air.

If Christ the Redeemer was in, say, Reno instead of Rio, for one thing the view would blow, and for another, swarms of lawyers from the Atheist Criminal Lovers’ Union would be trying to tear it down. (Has a lawyer ever, in all recorded history, put something up? Or are they simply the termites of civilization?)

Or their goal would be, if not tear it down utterly, to put some saint of their religion, like Martin Luther King, or Chairman Mao (or both at once, as in the statue in DC) in His place. One suspects that the Brazilian atheists are typically laid-back in carioca style, unlike ours who have all the proselytizing and judgmental power of their forebears, Cotton Mather and Elmer Gantry.

Fun fact for Vietnam vets: there’s a similar sized, albeit differently designed, Christ the Redeemer statue in Vung Tau (formerly Cap St. Jacques), in the nominally atheistic land of Vietnam — an Australian base and R&R destination during the war.

Scablands Sunday

OK, we’re actually in one of the wealthiest zip codes in the glittery end of the Atlantic Coast, but we just discovered the word “scablands,” which so aptly describes the areas where much of a long military career was whiled away, and we could not resist using it. Sure, there are scablands inland of us, but we’re in kind of anti-scablands. But there is no foul in unleashing one’s inner child sometimes.

Especially when one’s outer adult is up against unpleasant circumstances. The basic issue here is that a very good pair of parents, a blessing we’re keenly aware is far from universal, are at the stage of life where every day seems to bring a new hardship, a new limitation, and perhaps worst of all, a new indignity.

Ezekiel Emanuel, one of those guys who comes out of nowhere (well, not nowhere so much as a small cluster of eight private institutions of learning in the Northeast, who promise their graduates a sort of droit du seigneur over the serfs1), seems to think that a certain age is old enough, especially for the proles, and they ought to just be prepared to check out, optimally before Age 75. (Emanuel’s ideas are subtle and complex, often expressed in parables or thought experiments containing dilemmas requiring a physician or the public to balance or rank antagonistic and competing kinds of “good”. His ideas have been exaggerated by both supporters and opponents).

Life is harder for some people than for others, and it’s harder in some stages of life. There is no equality in suffering, no direct equivalency in consequences. Personal decisions (smoking is the classic example) can have consequences so deferred as to be intangible, and some may dodge the bullet entirely, which may be why people keep playing this chump’s lottery. But there’s no escape for the emphysema sufferer, even if there are treatments and medical devices available today that were unimaginable 10 years ago. Yet, today’s elderly grew up in an era where a doctor might advise a person to take up smoking. Far from the vilified criminal-class marker of today, it was thought to be a milepost to adulthood and a badge of sophistication.

One wonders what modern thing, that we now know and love, will turn out to be such a Judas as a simple cigarette was to the generations before us.

For the elderly, everything is an enemy. Your own physiology is no exception. Your lungs may fail, your skin break out in knobbly cancers, your kidneys give out after a lifetime of high blood pressure. Senses dim and fog. The earth itself turns on you; gravity becomes a deadly enemy for brittle bones. These things may not happen in isolation: you may indeed experience all of them. Life becomes a dreary routine of doctor visits and dialysis; medications and side effects; pain and effort.

And yet… and yet. And yet, joy springs from the light of the sun, the call of a nocturnal frog on the lawn (loud enough to penetrate the most elderly ocular system), the laugh of a child, a turn of phrase in a book.

As long as joy lights up a person’s world, even if there is only one part joy to ten parts suffering, who are we to do aught but support that person? As long as the thready beat of life exists, our parents are not helpless.

They have us.

May God be merciful with them.



  1. True, they can’t take the jus primae noctis (which doesn’t seem to have actually existed as a law anywhere; it seems to be an ancient version of an urban legend, given new life by revolutionaries looking to damn old systems; but we digress). Instead they just screw you metaphorically, all day every day.

Road Trip Report

road-trip-signIt was an interesting road trip. Averaged ~38 mpg at 79 mph on cruise control. Stuck to the highway (mission, mission, mission) but got to see some interesting people — and guns — along the way.

Got to visit an old friend, whose happy family lives in nondescript midatlantic surburbia, in a small Cape above a basement with more gun safes than some of our readers have guns. 

Finally got to meet cartoonist Chris Muir (his strip is at face to face. Chris is an entertaining guy in person, as you might expect. Unlike many entertainers (except perhaps editorial cartoonists, which he once was) he does not bank strips in advance; he hits it fresh every day to keep it topical. Like us, he’s become more politicized over the last few years, and doesn’t like that feeling much.

Both friends had reason for pessimism about the nation and the world. We gave each, and now we give you, our Internet friends, the following Exercise for the Reader which may recover some of your innate optimism. Remember that optimism and pessimism is as good a division of humans, better perhaps, than liberal vs. conservative, right-brained vs. left-brained, or even really serious ones like Yankees vs. Red Sox (wait, isn’t that BOS vs NYC: “liberals vs. liberals”?)

Didn’t fall asleep in the car, except when it was safely parked, so people can use the car again. All LEO encounters were highly positive. The weather was beastly — lots of rain. It’s nice in FL.

Obligatory Gun Content

I got a good look and a little paws on, on a rare HK sporting rifle, an HK SLB 2000 in .30-06. The SLB stands for Selbstladebüchse, “self-loading rifle,” using the word for “rifle” that generally carries the connotation of “sporting rifle.” (In German, “Buchse” is for shooting Bambi, and “Gewehr” is for shooting Frenchmen or Russians). Some time we hope to go over it in more detail, because it’s like nothing the company ever built — or anyone else, for that matter. It was a rare gun that we had no idea of. How many others like that are there?

Back to the rambling…

Not everything is going so swimmingly. Tax extension is running out, no more procrastination, let’s get it in so we can get our due audit.

Naturally, plowing through a rainstorm in Virginia, the phone rings. Herself has somehow slain the wi-fi at home. Can a weapons man fix it by telephonic advice?

Hey, it’s a radio, we’re only crosstrained in commo, and all radios are FM. Can’t knock sense into it by brainwave. You were expecting Uri Geller?

This is three for three on WiFi ghosting when the laird of the Manor was over the horizon on a trip. Couldn’t fix it from those places, either.

Posting may be desultory for a while. We will try to make it not so, but…

Setting in Sunday

What’s setting in?

  • Fall is setting in, and winter is in the air at Hog Manor. The blogparents are departed to their three-season digs in Florida, after a summer that would have been perfect, considering, if it hadn’t been for that broken hip and pelvis. Aging is tough.
  • The school season is setting in. Kid has runner’s knee and he is unhappily warming the bench at x-c meets. (Usually, in this sport, everybody can run). This is a Teachable Moment (“Make yourself useful to the coach and manager”).
  • Various end of year activities need to be cued up so they can execute on command in just three short months. Tax documentation. Security paperwork. A call to NFA branch, “where is….”  That long, huh?
  • Dissatisfaction with the summer PT program, which went out the window even before the folks had their bolance ride, is more than just setting in. On the plus side, the fix-a-flat they stuffed into the ailing ticker last year appears to be working, so far.
  • The need for fall planning is setting in. When does the lawnmower get stored on trickle charge; when to shut down the fountain, which delights us with hummingbirds in the summer. Will the contractors get the last couple tasks done on the exterior this year? What sort of gun building will make the long nights entertaining.
  • Election year is setting in. This is an off election, so it’s probably no worse for us than for all of you. Presidential elections are different, and they start getting bad two years out. Most of the people we know here in NH have given up their landlines because of the surveys and robocalls that come with the nation’s first primary. A relative who bitterly clings to the landline is already getting one call a day, usually at dinnertime, usually some drone who wants you to take a 20- or 30-minute survey for a pollster. So next time you see a poll, remember that they only got the people with landlines, who don’t mind having their dinner rudely interrupted, and have literally nothing better to do that listen to a poll for half an hour.

That list probably sounds curmudgeonly, and things aren’t all that bad.

There are benefits to seeing the folks go, after all. Dinner is no longer at 5:30 (5 if they think they can get away with it). But it’s all bittersweet; one of these good-byes will be the last, and either you will all know it’s the last one, something that’s unpleasant to contemplate, or you won’t, something that’s even worse to contemplate.

Perhaps we’ll contemplate gun building instead.

Road Trip this week, exact days uncertain, along damn near the full length of I-95. Posting may be enfeebled as a result.