Saturday, March 25, 2017

I've been trying not to go into politics

But I just can't help myself. Great Bleeding Ghu, how tone deaf do you have to be?

The nation votes in President Donald Trump, in part because they want Obamacare to die a horrible death sooner rather than later. However, the Grand Ossified Party, who has voted over 60 times to repeal that same law, when finally faced with a chance to do so and make it stick, comes up with a replacement that can best be characterized as Obamacare: The Sequel.

Paul Ryan, Speaker of the Dead Horse House, ignoring the hue and cry from all corners, including the Freedom Caucus within his own party, forges ahead, business as usual. President Trump for some unknown reason decides that the ones who got him to the White House suddenly no longer matter and signs on to this unholy offspring of the GOP and the insurance and healthcare industries. We're gonna close us a deal!

And it gets shot down. Never even got to a vote because Ryan would rather not have the vote than watch it go down in flames.

Personally, I'm glad they pulled it, and grateful to the people who helped kill it. I'm actually enjoying the glee on the other side of the street. I hope it stings like hell on our side--you idiots deserve it.

Now Trump has decided to go on to tax cuts (There's a stupid idea, with healthcare costs now scheduled to go to the moon, Alice, to the moon!), but he has said he'll be happy to work on a bi-partisan version of Obamacare repeal--as if the Democrats have any interest in that. They're all to happy to follow Napoleon's dictum, "Never interrupt your enemy when he is doing something foolish."

This was off to a fun start, but everyone took their eye off the ball. They've forgotten why they got elected and figured they could go back to the Same Old Thing and we'd put up with it. Wrong-a-rini. A few highly principled folks stopped you, and God bless 'em for doing it. Now stop futzing with taxes and go back to work and bring us real healthcare reform. Or 2018 is going to be a really fun election for you.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Can you train with 50 rounds?

Now that's an interesting question--Can you do effective training with 50 rounds of ammo? After all, many of the training drills we see require much higher round counts.

The answer is a qualified "yes". Of course, we're assuming that you already have the basics down, in that you can handle the basics of running your gun safely and can hit your target reasonably well. I wouldn't recommend this as your only training. There are going to be times you need a 200 round afternoon, or a 1000 round class. There is also a place for dry fire training (and allow me to note I have a NextLevel SIRT pistol, bought with my own coin, and it is a great dry fire training tool--but some of the Laserlytes are calling me), and you should do a lot of it, since it's cheap over time and it works.

Without further ado, live fire training on 50 round ammo budget.

How to train on a 50 round budget from NextLevel Training on Vimeo.

What a crappy day

Today hasn't been one of my best days. I woke up with a migraine attack starting up--something I haven't done in a long while. Even though the new neurologist, who specializes in migraine and associated disorders, has helped me improve by several orders of magnitude, the reality is that I have a have a neurological disorder that is going to be with me for the remainder of my life, and every so often it's going to make itself known. At least today it wasn't one of the Oh-My-God-My-Head-Is-Going-To-Explode attacks, it was one of the "new", much lesser attacks that I have now that I'm getting appropriate care. You feel crappy, but you can still function at a reduced level. And I only get them somewhere between every 5-14 days.

Hey, it beats having the OMG ones 20 or 25 days of the month, trust me. That isn't living, that is existing. I had one of those a few days ago, first one in months, and I honestly don't know how I was able to do the things I did, in terms of holding a job and such, for as long as I managed it. I guess I was good at hiding it or going through the motions or something.

At any rate, I decided that another day of burning brush piles wasn't going to be happening. Instead, I took on more domestic activities, like laundry (yes, retirement is exciting) and a lot of random walking the Internet. I've found a three things of interest.

The first two can fall under the headline of "Your Government At Work". Unfortunately, I don't think anyone really wants this to be how our government works. Encouraging police agencies to steal private property for profit and strong-arming some citizens to entrap other citizens into criminal enterprises just doesn't match up with the things I was taught in civics class about "how our country works". Neither of these is exactly news if you've been paying attention, but they both just felt like slaps in the face today.

The third goes back to a topic I've touched on any number of times, the impending disruptions and changes in society. This article is written from a leftist perspective and looks at the election of Donald Trump, Steve Bannon's part in it and in particular, Bannon's interest in Strauss and Howe's book "The Fourth Turning".

This particular piece can take a while to read, especially if you chase down all the linked articles. But it was interesting, because it shows that someone on that side of the street understands that the reason for Trump's pimp-slap of the Clinton candidacy wasn't just because a bunch of redneck pissed off white guys voted for him, and he isn't screaming for Teh Resistences to get out in da streetz and PROTEST! As you might suspect, I don't agree with the author's conclusion, which calls for us to in effect step outside of history and find some mystic group of people to help us "level up".

Spare me the gamer talk, please. We won't be stepping outside of history or, as he says we must, our genetics. While it's possible for individuals and small groups to do such things, asking the mass of humanity to do so simply won't happen. Think of it as a human form of inertia. You can't make 7+ billion people move easily, even with the threat of the dissolution of the old system and the fear of a new unknown system. Things are going to change, whether anyone likes it or not, but you can't control the change. If we can do anything in terms of effecting this change, we need to do what we can to keep it as non-destructive as possible, especially in terms of such things as large wars. Our war-fighting tools are a bit too effective these days, and things could get out of hand. That would lead us to one of the population bottlenecks he notes. This would not be a Good Thing.

At any rate, it was an interesting afternoon of reading, even if it was a bit on the dark side.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Glock G30--the results are in

This afternoon, I took my Neighbor and Daughter to the range. I also took the replacement Glock 30 and the gun that I'd purchased as Plan B, a Springfield XD Mod. 2 in .45 ACP. When I first got the word from Glock that they were going to warranty replace the G30, I felt a little foolish that I had jumped the gun with Plan B. After this afternoon, I don't feel so foolish.

I'm forced to the conclusion that there is something about the G30 Gen 4 that simply doesn't work with certain shooters. I find it difficult to believe that two guns produced at two widely different times would have the same malfunction. I also find it difficult to believe the gun is a "bad gun"; if it was the Intertubz would be lit up with that news, and it isn't. The gun may be stupidly ammo sensitive and it wouldn't be the first or the last. Whatever it is, I'm over it.

This particular example is both better and worse than its predecessor, if that can be said. Between myself and Neighbor, we managed 100+ rounds through it before calling it quits. With RWS Match ammo, it functions fairly well--I only took a single piece of brass, and that was off my right shoulder.  Neighbor took none. The PMC Bronze was a disaster when I shot. Nearly every round resulted in the brass hitting me before it hits the ground. Neighbor did better with perhaps 3 in 10 impacting him.

We videoed this from the start, slow motion on an iPhone 7. For the life of me, I can't see anything other than my oddball shooting stance that could be an issue. I'm doing a good job of controlling the recoil, not limp-wristing and so on. But from some of the video, shot from dead behind, if I had my head in a "normal" position, I'd be complaining about the RWS Match ammo as well, as I would have caught a significant fraction of it in my face. I doubt I would have caught much less of the PMC in that position.

The video shows both types of ammo ejecting in roughly the same patterns. There appears to be a difference with the force of the ejection--the PMC seems to eject less forcefully. I noted a distinct difference in the sound of the report between the two, with the PMC being a much sharper crack than the RWS. These two observations made me wonder if the PMC was loaded significantly differently, but a quick Google search shows that the manufacturers are claiming a muzzle velocity of 850 fps for the PMC and 853 for the RWS. While I could chrono examples to be sure, I doubt the difference is going to be that drastically different, so that's probably a wild goose I don't care to chase. I could try other brands of ammo, but I've done that before and I don't think this will make any more difference now than it did then. If this ammo was a problem, it should have showed up earlier with other guns--I've nearly finished off the case of PMC and I'm halfway through the RWS, and most of it was shot in other guns.

The Springfield, on the other hand, digested both types of ammo and performed with the sort of competence that I've come to expect from their pistols. The gun just runs.

I have three other Glocks, a 19, 21, and 23, that I have zero issues with and that I plan on keeping. This one, unless I have some moment of epiphany in the very near future, is going to be on the "thinning the herd" list. I hate it, because it's a very likable gun, if you leave out the whole brass in the face thing. It shoots well, the recoil is easy to manage and the size is easy to conceal. But when you keep getting brass in the face, you develop ugly flinch, and that's not an advantage in self defense situation.

Sorry, G30, you're getting kicked to the curb. I hope your next owner has better luck with you.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Home on the Range

I've been holding off on this, but it appears Brigid has taken the Home on the Range blog under wraps. I'm sure she has good reasons for this, and I probably missed them because I don't read my own blogroll often enough. I had hoped that this was a misconfiguration, but enough time has passed that it obviously isn't. It's unfortunate that she's had to do this; she was one of the best writers out there, and her voice will be missed.

Brigid, if you should happen by, drop us a note and let us know that things are well with you.

Edit, 3/21/2017: Well, the news isn't from Brigid, but from Jed of Freedomsight. It seems that the unpleasantness from the election spilled over onto the Home on the Range and Brigid had to take it under due to trolls. I find that pretty amazing because while she did sort of sideways mention her leanings, she never really got involved in politics. In these days of increasing tribalism, I guess that isn't good enough. If you want to see her take on it, plus a very good post on big round engines on planes, you can see it at .

I'm going to leave Home of the Range in the blogroll, just as a reminder of what we are in danger of losing.

Edit, 3/22/2017: I have heard directly from Brigid. She is well, and you can see a comment from her in the comments on this post. While she did not directly ask me to, I get the distinct impression that she would rather not have the site where is is guest blogging get passed around too widely. While I'm not the most widely read site on the Intertubz (waits for laughter to die down), I'm happy to cooperate in keeping the Cloak of Moderate I Can't Quite Make Out What I'm Seeing in effect. So I've deleted a couple of comments and redacted that information from my edit above. I'm always happy to assist a lady.

The Things the Intertubz Brings Me

(Via Clayton Cramer)

I never cease to be amazed. The Sagulator, a calculator that will tell you the amount of sag in a shelf under load for more types of wood than I knew existed, plus most types of manufactured wood products. Glass is a bonus.

Walther CCP Recall

From the Shooting Wire, there's news of a recall on the Walther CCP. No details are out other than the issue can cause a loaded CCP to discharge when dropped whether the safety is on or off. See www.waltherarms.com/ccp-recall for details on how to get your gun back in action.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

And some more on Kevin Ferguson

Remember Kevin Ferguson, the off duty LAPD officer who found himself the star in an impromptu production of  "Lord of the Flies"? Well, now the lead fly and his parents are suing him, claiming violation of civil rights and infliction of emotional distress. From what Google finds, this seems to be the latest development, and it's well over a week old. The only other development is that Ferguson has been taken off desk duty and is on non-field duty.

Everyone is sure taking their time with this, aren't they?

How does your (raised bed) garden grow?

Yes, time to get back to this spring time subject. It was a little hard to think about when I suddenly had to deal with snow (even though it was just a couple of inches and melted quickly) and an unseasonable cold snap that had me not only grateful that I hadn't carried the firewood back to the woodshed but carrying more wood up to the house. Someone in Weather Control should be appropriately disciplined.

While I should probably talk about season extenders, the next subject I had on tap was irrigation. Sure, you can simply drag around a garden hose and use a suitable garden spray wand and do it by hand, but do you want to spend an hour or three every so often doing it? You also risk damage to your plants by dragging the hose around (ask me how I know).

Better is an irrigation system. You can do this many ways, but the one I've come to like the best is drip irrigation. The best feature is that since it delivers water directly where its's needed, you use the least possible water, so you save water and if you pay for water, money. It's low flow rate means that it can be used with water main supplied systems, wells and with rain catchment systems. Because of the way it's put together, the parts can be reused to a large extent should your needs change. Using the commercially available gear it's not horribly expensive (my first foray into it, for ornamental plantings, paid for itself in a year), and if you want to go the DIY route, it can be even less expensive.

Here are a couple of videos, unfortunately each a bit longer than 5 minutes, on the subject. One is a general introduction using commercially available gear. While it's oriented to ornamental plants, the theory works for your raised beds.

The second is a DIY video is longer, since there is a lot more to go over. I really like the PVC version, and I'm going to look into building this one the next time I need more irrigation. My water is from a mains supplied system, so I have sufficient pressure for it to work. I suspect that it it wouldn't do so well on a low pressure system. They do a bit on raised beds, but not on raised beds used for square foot gardening. If you're doing square foot gardening, I think you'll need to do your holes differently.


Ah yes

When the Only Ones feel the bite, it suddenly sucks. Welcome to our world, former Police Chief Hassan Aden. You've just found out you're not an Only any more. You're stuck here with us proles. Sorry about the detention.

Friday, March 17, 2017

The end is near--maybe?

Those of you who remember the post about the New Gun Malfunction and its continuation post have no doubt been waiting for the thrilling conclusion. Well, so have I. While we're not quite there, the FedEx guy has just moved the story much closer to the end by dropping off a spanking new G30.

I've been waiting to do this update until this happened, but as fate would have it, it took a while. Once Glock had my original G30 back in hand along with the video I had shot, one of their armorers took it out and ran 100 rounds through it, and oddly enough, he caught brass in the face. Why this didn't happen to another armor who fired 60 rounds the last time will simply have to remain subject to conjecture.

The armorer called me and we talked the situation out. I have an odd stance, forced on me by my by being right-handed/left eye dominant. This doesn't help the situation. We discussed the internals of the pistol--it had the correct extractor and ejector and the appropriate recoil spring assembly. Once all that was disposed of, it didn't leave much room for tinkering with the original gun. To Glock's credit, they simply said they were going to replace the gun under warranty.

Folks, that is excellent customer service. That's how you make and keep happy customers.

Unfortunately, Smyrna didn't have the first or last G30 Gen 4 pistol in stock. I was offered my choice of several others, such as the G30FS, but I explained to them that I wanted the Gen 4 gun for some specific reasons. At this point, early in March, the next production run wasn't schedule until mid-March, but I was assured that I would get one of the first guns off the line.

That gun showed up today This one is an LE program gun, witnessed by the blue label on the case, and it came with the full kit--3 mags and so on. So even though this has dragged out a long while, those go a way toward soothing any irritation.

Checking the gun, I also noticed something. I've been reading Massad Ayoob's "Combat Handgunnery" over the last few days, and while I hope to write about it more in depth later, one of the things that struck me was the section on trigger finger position and gripping the gun. He advocates using the distal joint, just as Pat McNamara does in the video I posted a while back. He also advocates a "crush grip", which is basically holding the gun as hard as you can without shaking. This is what I was taught many years ago and far different than how my grip was changed in later years by other trainers. When I use the crush grip, I no longer have a problem getting that distal joint to the proper location on the trigger. That may just make this gun a keeper after all.

The weather here is warming (finally), so I'm hoping to get to the range this weekend and see if this gun demonstrates any random ejection issues. Cross your fingers. I'll let you know how it all comes out.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Just a quickie

I've been up to my armpits in Martians, as Bugs Bunny would say. Hopefully I'll be back and productive here tonight or tomorrow.

Some of the things I'm doing is some streamlining of my life--housecleaning, both figuratively and literally. I occasionally get in the mood for it, and I don't waste it when it occurs. One of the things that is gone is Twitter. They have slowly been getting more and more useless, adding in more and more rules about what can and cannot be said, who is allowed to say what and about whom it may be said and so on. The hell with them. I've deactivated my account (I think) and it should be deleted in a month. I've removed that feed from the sidebar.

I've also decided to take a break from Gab. I had high hopes for Gab, but just in the last day they've made a change in what I think of as a critical feature, and it was presented by Gab's management in a poor manner. I hope that the tone they took isn't indicative of how we as donors and supporters are perceived, but before I say anything really nasty and stir up an already well-stirred pot, I decided to just talk a walkabout.

All of this comes at a time when I'm withdrawing from social media to some extent. Not from any concern about security, but simply because it's a time suck and the signal to noise ratio is increasing to the point where it simply isn't worth any of my time. I'm still doing a little Facebook and I'm on LinkedIn for employment reasons, but all the rest of it can pretty much take a hike. Even though we're in the midst of an unseasonable cold snap, it will warm back up in a few days, and then I have range trips to make, work around the house to do, books I want to sit on the deck and read and all those fun things.

I may as well make the most out of this retirement thing as I can before some fool offers me another job.