Sunday, May 21, 2017

The slow slide toward civil war continues

On both sides. At this point, we're chumming for sharks nearly as much as they are. It was inevitable. I catch myself doing it.

Can we drag ourselves back from the precipice?

Ocular dominance

There's a topic you don't often see on blogs. :-)

I'm one of the 30% or so of the population who is cursed with being cross-eye dominant. In my case, it's left eye dominant and right handed. It was never a big problem until I took up serious pistol shooting. I have and continue to shut my left eye when shooting rifles, and did the same with pistols. I'm MOA accurate with a rifle and I was acceptably accurate with a pistol.

I wanted better than acceptable accuracy with my pistol. I should have decided I wanted to do something easy, like world peace.

I've been shooting right-handed for something like 45 years. Even though my Dad was naturally left-handed, he was forced to be right-handed. It's just how things were done back then. I show some left hand tendencies (I carried a wallet and wore my watch left-handed for example), but I am right handed. I can't recall for sure, but I may have been forced to be right-handed as well. At this late date it makes no difference. I am for all reasonable purposes right-handed and left eye dominant.

It's a curse.

After trying this thing and that thing, one professional firearms trainer had me start laying my head to my right, all the way to my shoulder, so that I have a right-handed presentation but I can sight with my left eye. It looks weird and can be awkward until you get used to it, which I have. Every amateur wannabe firearms trainer in the world takes me to task for it, and I'm over being lectured by know-nothings.

Really. Those of you who think you know it all, you don't. If you're not cross-eye dominant, try shooting with your off hand, without doing anything to get your dominant eye lined up with the sights or closing the dominant eye, and see how well you do. You'll find that you suddenly suck at aiming. So how about you shoot your targets and I'll shoot mine. Notice that sentence didn't end with a question mark.

A recent run-in with the know-nothings that I wish I could detail but can't or I would blow opsec totally out of the water did lead me to the question, "Can you change your dominant eye?" Well, Wikipedia to the rescue, or at least the starting point.

Although that article is short, there were three interesting things to note.  First, the dominant eye can be changed. That alone was worth the price of admission. Second, a tendency toward of left eye dominance and left-handedness in migraine sufferers. Not important, but as a migraine sufferer, interesting. Third, and most frustrating, a methodology to change eye dominance but with insufficient details on how to actually do it.

So. We have an appointment in a couple of weeks with NuNeurologist. I'm going to ask his opinion of that piece of research and if he thinks an effort to change eye dominance might cause issues with the migraines, or maybe lead to improvements. I need to go to the ophthalmologist anyway, so I plan on discussing the concept with him as a part of the larger discussion of "Can we finally fix my old eyes yet?"

One of the downsides to retirement is time on your hands. You tend to start researching things that you may have been better off not knowing about.

Back to the gardening theme

At least for a moment. If we should happen to get that mini-Ice Age some are calling for, this document from the Alaskan Energy Authority could be very helpful. Biomass Heated Greenhouses. It's a big pdf file at 94 MB, lavishly illustrated and covers the subject not in depth, but in breadth. I think the assumption is that if you live in Alaska, you probably have the brains to figure how the details if someone points you in the right direction.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Food for the Fighters

That's the thing about YouTube. You can spend an entire afternoon on it, wondering from one interesting thing to another.

Shooting the double action revolver the FBI way

(From the Ruger Facebook group)

From 1961, the FBI opines on how to shoot the double action revolver. Don't snicker, there's a lot in it that is still apropos today.

Need to learn something?

(From Reccomendo)

You might want to try Richard Feynman's methodology. If a Nobel Prize winning physicist could use it to reduce complicated subjects down to a level where they could be taught to nearly anyone, it's probably going to work for people like us.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Rethinking hostage rescue

(Via Michael Bane on Facebook)

For those among us who have had reason to be anywhere near those who work in this area, we know that this discussion has been taking place. The nature of hostage taking, at least when it comes to the big, world stage type events, has changed. The bad guys no longer want ransoms or media attention, they want body counts. In many ways, they have become more like our home grown spree killers in the US. Not that this is an improvement.

One of the big improvements in tactical doctrine following the Columbine shooting was a change in thinking from "Secure the perimeter and wait for sufficient backup" to "Get in there and take down the shooter/shooters". Even though this puts responding officers at increased risk, it lessens the amount of time the shooter has to carry out his work.

Hostage Rescue In The Age Of ISIS from the Havok Journal (yes, another link to add to the blogroll) takes an in-depth look at this subject from the eyes of a professional in the field. While I think it's aimed at the pros, it's something that anyone who is interested in armed self defense should consider. While an individual's chance of being swept up in one of these events is small, it isn't zero, and you would be well advised to know what to expect if it happens.

Myself, I see it this way.



 If you have the utter misfortune to get caught up in one of these events as a hostage, in all likelihood you are going to die. Accept the fact and own that bitch. Just be sure you take somebody with you.

Of course, I've lived most of my life now, and as such it's a little easier to say that. If you're in you're 20s or 30s and pissing yourself, trapped with a madman in the restroom of a nightclub, it's harder. But if there are enough of you, attack. Yes, some will die. The rest will disarm the bastard and stomp him into a greasy mess on the floor.

Let ISIS make political hay out of that.

This is getting to be too frequent

The gunny part of the blogosphere has lost another member, this time Bob Owens of Bearing Arms. It wasn't a frequent stop for me, but the loss of any of us diminishes all of us. Rest in peace.

Monday, May 08, 2017

You've got to be kidding me! (Putting up a 6m/2m/70cm beam antenna, Part 3)

So, I've taken the refurbed pipe die apart, and found...

That it has the "wrong" cutting teeth in it. In actuality, the teeth are just fine, they just don't seem to be the right teeth for for this particular die head. I can tell you they fit so tightly in their slots it's impossible to adjust them.  I've looked at several different videos on replacing the teeth and setting up these dies, and they all show them moving freely until you lock them down by tightening the screws that hold the die together. I had to very carefully knock these out with a hammer and punch after I had the die apart. I can't imagine that's right.

It's also not good that they're for "National Pipe Straight Mechanical" (NPSM) rather than the "National Pipe Taper" (NPT) threads that pipe fitting use, so that probably won't help matters when it comes to assembly time for the piece I already have already threaded.

I feel like Marvin the Martian--"Delays, delays."  The $30 replacement teeth should be here Friday. It would be cheaper if I just went back to work.

Gab is now open for business

Gab is now open to the public--1 zillion lines, no waiting! You don't need an invite to get in now, you can just sign yourself up and have at it. Come over and enjoy the fun. I can tell you that whatever you think it is, you're wrong and you're right at the same time. It really is a wide open platform where you can "speak freely". No censorship that I've seen, unlike some of those other social media platforms. If you find something you don't like, you have a couple of choices--exercise your free speech or use their filtering to turn it off. I've done both, and it's been a blast so far.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Welcoming to the blogroll...

For the most part, I've stopped noting when a blog or web site comes or goes from the left hand side of the page. However, I'm making an exception for the Raconteur Report. There is a lot of good stuff there, and worth twice the price of admission.

Further thoughts on why you stay away from demonstrations

(Via Michael Bane on Facebook)

We've talked about how your presence at one of the current crop of demonstrations violates Farnam's 3 Rules of Risk Management. I spent a bit of downtime today watching a live feed from New Orleans where a large crowd of idiots argued with another large crowd of idiots about something that started out about taking down Confederate monuments but has devolved into monkeys flinging shit at each other (IMHO). Fascinating stuff, but 10 minutes of my time was enough to tell me that I really don't want to be anywhere near these events. While I saw no violence, all it would take is one person with an overload of stupid, and *boom*.

However, this piece takes the question on why you should stay away in a totally different, and much more frightening, direction. I have to admit I hadn't considered that our darling government might/could/probably would use it as an excuse to push through laws, especially firearms laws, that they could never get through in any normal circumstances. That's scary as hell, and I should have seen it myself. Remember, never let a crisis go to waste, and this would be a crisis that would make the Watts riots look like the Girl Scouts had ran out of cookies early. As with 9/11, you could use it to push through a lot of evil.

So now we are faced with the concept that staying away from the feces flinging monkeys isn't only good for our personal safety, but for our safety as a group. It's also important because it allows the current state to keep a lid on things a while longer, allowing us more time to get ready for whatever it is that we all fear is coming. After reading this, I have to wonder if maybe we're all fearing the wrong things. How deep do the plans run?



I'm becoming more of a conspiracy theorist by the day.

OK, so it's one groups opinion

(From the AR15 Builder group on Facebook)

The Best AR-15 Lowers for Any Budget, early 2017 edition. Nice to see Anderson in there, since I have two of them that I'm going to do Form 1 builds on. Time, time, time.

So, how hard can it be to put up one little mast? (Putting up a 6m/2m/70cm beam antenna, Part 2)

Well...

Since the original post, where things went swimmingly, it seems the Fates have been conspiring against me to some extent.

First we've been contending with Weather Control, who have apparently gotten into my calendar and planned high winds, rain, high winds and rain, tornadoes and other fun manifestations of unpleasant weather for most of the days where I was planning on working on this little project.

Second, there was an unplanned but very pleasant trip to the beach. Third, it seems that the NuNeurologist and I may need to get together and compare notes--the damn migraine attacks are starting to increase in frequency again. And fourth there are all the other duties of living--the guns don't clean themselves, you know.

Click to embiggenate
However, in between all those things, there has been some progress. Knowing that that end of the Freehold had both the cable TV line (which no longer carries cable TV but does carry the all-important Intertubz connection) and the power lines buried along it, I decided that discretion was in order and put in a locate order with our local "before you dig" folks. That took a week, but I got some pretty painted lines and flags to show for it, along with knowing for sure I'm not going to hit a 240v, 200 amp service line by accident.

If you look carefully, you'll see my white "flags" that define my digging box, the yellow flag that is approximately where the bottom of the mast will be and the pretty orange and red flags/lines that denote the location of the cable and power lines. This picture is from nearly 3 weeks ago, and fortunately unseasonably cool weather has kept those bushes from growing much in the meantime.

Also click to embiggenate
While this was going on, as I noted earlier I needed a 1" pipe threading die. I was able to find a refurbed one, and since I haven't threaded pipe in 40+ years, a handy YouTube video to refresh my memory on the process. Obviously, I don't have the nice new tools the dude in the video has. I have a old Rigid 00-R threader, an old Nye 2N pip cutter and an old Reed pipe vise. Outside of the 1" die, which is probably old, this was all inherited from my Dad, who had plumbed several houses with it over the years. I also have all the various size pipe wrenches to go with it.

Mrs. Freeholder continues to ask why I keep this old "junk". Well, dear, because I can't thread pipe with your Precious Moments figurine collection.

Interestingly enough, although it's pretty frustrating at the moment, after threading the ends on the first pipe, we (Son is playing assistant pipe fitter) ran into a problem that I'm hoping I have the solution for. We started to thread the second piece and around halfway through the operation part of the newly threaded section broke off. We cut it off and tried again, and again, and again with the same result. Googling has provided me with what I hope is the solution, information that pipe threading dies must be "set" and another YouTube video that demonstrates the procedure to properly set the dies. I'm betting my refurbed 1" die wasn't properly set, as the problems ascribed to an incorrectly set die sound remarkably like what's happening to us.

Being that it's a Sunday, I'm not much on heavy work, but I may try the setting procedure and then make another try at threading tomorrow. If that works, then it's put the entire mast together, get the hole dug, place the mast and pour cement. After that will be drilling the penetration in the wall, which I have already found out will be far more entertaining than I at first expected. Not sure when ll this will get done, as there are other things that I need to accomplish as well while the outdoor weather is still Spring-like.

The joys of retirement. You have more work than ever to accomplish, and it feels like less time to get it done.

The Ranger Roll

If you Google "ranger roll", you're going to find two things--a method to fold clothes, which is really handy, and this:


This is how to pick up a totally dead weight companion and transport them without hurting yourself. It's a bit long to be a 5 Minute Prepping post, but it's Sunday, so we're going to roll with it.

And wheterh or not you're a SEAL, don't grab the guy's nuts. Just sayin'.