Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Robots Move Closer

Found this on IOTW: The latest minimalist robot, sort of an Alexis with a moveable face named Fur Hat. The first place I can see for "Furrie" is reporting the news, sports, and weather. Use a face appropriate to the job, and voila! you get to fire 3 highly overpaid talking heads. Think of it: A 50 something white man for the news, a 40 something black man for the sports, and a 20 something female for the weather. Just change wigs during the commercial breaks.

Watch the video at the link and think about the evening news.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Fun Shooting

My local club IDPA was today and the stages had carbine written all over them, so I used the carbine.
Here's stage 2 called Turkey Shoot, 2 targets, first one shot from 15 yards, seated at a table:
 Here's a closeup of the target.
Look carefully, there are 4 threats and 2 no-shoots on this and the threats are all at least 50% armored. Under the new rules, the no-shoots will cost you 5 points per hit on them so if you're going for head shots on that lower middle one, aim carefully.

Having fired 8 shots, 2 per threat with no misses I presume, the shooter moves up to the left side of the barrels, some 7 yards from target set #2
 and staying on the right side of the fault line, fires on the 5(!) threats while not hitting the no-shoot.
Again the threats are all at least 50% armored. I do not remember what the scenario story behind this was, but since the Rules state that all stages must have a story, I will obligingly make one up:

As a highly paid and highly alert security guard in the Phinias T. Phogbound Congressional office building, you are seated at your desk with your gun and all loading devices on the table in front of you when a scream from down the hallway alerts you to trouble. Looking up you see a congressional rules making committee attempting to grope 2 congressional aides. Without getting up, you engage the gropers without injuring the gropees. Hearing further commotion from around the corner, you scoop up your magazines and move to the corner conference room where you find even worse, 5 congressmen attacking a single aide. Again defend the aide.

There, see? Literature worthy of Larry Correia. Except that he would develop the personalities of every one involved, the gropers would be taken from the AD&D guide book, and he would have received a six figure advance before hitting a single keystroke.

Hmmmm. IDPA stages as basis for action adventure novels? Hmmmm...

You don't often see targets like these two in IDPA matches, but we're rather limited for space. The whole bay is 42 ft wide and 26 yards deep so each stage needs to fit a 21 foot wide area. It kinda cramps your style and places a premium on creativity.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

QOTD - Insults

Found this quote at Ace of Spades:
“When someone calls you a racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe because you happen to disagree with them about tax policy or same-sex marriage or abortion, that’s bullying. When someone slanders you because you happen to disagree with them about global warming or the government shutdown, that’s bullying. When someone labels you a bad human being because they disagree with you, they are bullying you. They are attacking your character without justification. That’s nasty. In fact, it makes them nasty.”
― Ben Shapiro
What Shapiro left off is the ending: Following an accusation of this sort, one should gracefully and politely acknowledge the accusers tacit admission of defeat.

Saturday, November 18, 2017


I just got an email from a lefty group announcing the impending end of at least part of their world.
Well you’re not going to like this: Funding for the entire government expires December 8. Donald Trump, Scott Pruitt, and fossil fuel cronies in Congress want to use an emergency bill funding the government to slash the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by 31%!
Only 31%? Fiddling small pocket change! As I suggested earlier, the swamp draining project is much bigger than we are being led to believe and the best way to approach it is the classic old car solution: Jack up the radiator cap and drive a new car under it. The analogy being that the Trump appointee to head the agency in question, in this case Mr. Pruitt, is the already new radiator cap. The solution is to reduce the agency's budget to whatever is required to pay the rent on its buildings, let everyone but the custodial staff go, and allow the new head to start over from scratch, making his own decisions as to what actually needs to be done in line with what the fed.gov is actually allowed to do.

Mr Pruitts budget might even include funding to add to the custodial staff enough extra floor sweepers to make up the committee to work up next years budget request.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Wildlife Update

With the weather cooling off it seems the local wildlife is moving in to the neighborhood.
Yep 'ol Wile E. has been spotted multiple times, and has eaten one cat and severely injured another and a small dog, all within a block of my house. My neighbor across the street tells me he has seen him emerging from between my house and my neighbors place presumably after checking out the chickens the fellow over the back fence keeps. All this during daylight hours so he's not impressed with anything or anyone yet.

These things are quite smart and quickly learn when trash day is in a neighborhood and will watch you from concealment across the street to get your garage door code for use later to get in and eat your Schnauzer while you're at work. If they haven't, it's only because they have trouble pushing the keypad buttons accurately with their noses.

It now seems prudent to accompany my dog when I let her out back to do her business, and D'wife is suggesting a noisemaker to help impress the coyote. Fine. I have both small and medium caliber noisemakers. It's illegal to discharge a firearm inside the city limits, but there are exceptions to this and Wile E. is one of them. Just have to be careful of the background. Now that I think about it, this may well be the situation for which a weapon-mounted flashlight is called for.

The Gun Crime Blame Game

England is noting a big increase in gun crime for some reason, as is Australia. In both cases, confiscation is the rule of the day which suggests to me that the approach not only doesn't work, it's counter productive. In the lands of the disarmed it seems, the man with the one-shot popgun is king.

Perhaps the next time a mass shooting occurs, or even a minor affray with only 1-3 bodies to stack, perhaps we should be just as quick to blame not the shooter or the gun, but those who made the situation not only possible, but attractive to the perp. Let's face it; people are neither predictable nor are they particularly rational, at least not often enough. As a result, we sometimes get "muckers" out to run up a new high score and more often we get criminals who favor armed threats to part people from their valuables. Guns are not difficult to obtain. The mugger probably knows a burglar who found some on one of his adventures. The mucker has only to ask around to be introduced to someone who needs money more than a gun and doesn't care what the purchaser plans to do with it. In most cases, the purchaser seems pleasant and normal to the seller anyway. They are also not all that hard to make from scratch.

In any case the reason mass shooters run up such high scores is not so much because of the rate of fire of their guns, but  that they 1) pick a high density target rich environment, and 2) pick one where they face a minimum likelihood of armed resistance. Mass shooters seldom seem to operate longer than 5-10 minutes, and when confronted, politely off themselves, thus minimizing the risk to the responder.

Next time a newsworthy gun crime happens, let's immediately place the blame where it belongs, on the enablers. Those who stand firmly on the side of the mugger, the rapist, the mass shooter and their ilk by demanding that their victims be completely unable to defend themselves. Around here that would include Joe Salazar, currently working on running for Governor. He famously came out opposed to allowing campus co-eds to go armed for fear that the flighty little darlings might get nervous at someone walking behind them and simply shoot them as a precaution.

Most gun laws are state level issues, and the enablers work in state legislatures, but there are several who work at the Federal level who can be legitimately blamed as enablers of mass shooters. Let's make it abundantly clear that what runs up the body count is not that someone has a gun, but that only one person seems to have a gun.

Sound like a plan?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Solving Colorado's Transit Problems

For probably only 2-3 times the cost of making I-25 and I-70 both 12 lanes wide over their full lengths, we can have a car-carrying hyper loop system which will make it so much easier for the tax paying public to flee the state before the full bill comes due.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Winter Shooting

IDPA shooting can get to be somewhat more of a challenge than usual in the winter at some of the ranges. The Clear Creek County Sportsmans Club is located in Clear Creek Canyon and nestled right up against the steep slope of the south side of the gulch. The individual berms are perpendicular to the canyon so as to use the mountain side as a back stop. Nice back stop. I rather doubt that most pistols could put a round over the top of it.

The bad news is that this time of year, the sun only barely clears the ridge line and if there's been any snow recently, it only melts back as far as the shadow of the mountain. Last weekend this meant that most start positions were right at the beginning of a sheet of packed snow about 1" deep. Also the sun doesn't actually become visible until about 9:30. Officially the temp was about 35 deg but standing on the frozen ground in the shade made it seem colder. One of my fellow shooters, bless his heart, gave me a couple of hand warming packets which kept my fingers from falling off as long as I kept them in my pockets.

Unfortunately we had a shortage of safety officers so I would up being scorekeeper for most of the match which meant handling the clipboard and noting the scores. By stage 2 the sun had poked over the mountain and things got a bit more reasonable. The next problem was that since most of the shooting was being done in the unmelted portion of the berms, keeping your footing was a big consideration. No one fell so I suppose the speeds were a bit slower than usual. The other thing was the brass picking. All the brass was landing in the packed snow where it promptly sank nearly out of sight and was frozen tightly into place. This resulted in a much lower than normal percentage of recovered brass for everyone. If I got 50% of mine back. I'll be amazed. My partner told me he didn't get any back at all.

I had brought my carbine for the side match, but the much reduced speed made it look like it would be rather late getting going, and the sun had already "set" on the berm to be used by 12:30. I figured I was cold and tired enough for one day so I flaked out.

Got the results. I finished just above halfway down which is doing well for me so I'm happy. Cold? Sure. Considering that it's at 7900 ft altitude and it's early November, I guess you can't be too surprised. A few miles further up the road and the ski resorts are open.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Texas Shooting QOTD

Found at Joe Huffmans:
November 5, 2017
Comment to At least 26 dead in South Texas church shooting, officials say

I am reminded of a comic (Wizard of Id) in which the King asks a kid what he wants to be when he grows up. The kid answers "I want to be a brave knight like Sir Rodney."
The King answers "Make up your mind kid, you can't have it both ways."

Saturday, November 4, 2017

PSA - Time Change

From a tweet on Kurt Schlichter:
Daylight Savings ends tonight. Don't forget to set your Glocks back.

Gun Sales - Feeling Safer?

As of October, gun sales seem to be in a bit of a doldrum, at least compared to last year when President Hillary was looking inevitable:
One might almost think that Hill has usurped O'Bummer's crown as gun salesman of the century although her influence only lasted one year and cannot, of course, be compared to his 2-term cumulative numbers.

November-December is usually busy at the gun show and I'll be there tomorrow so I guess I'll see. I had been noticing the place being rather under attended for some time though.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Selling Us Out Slowly

The Hearing Protection Act is currently languishing in a House committee with 164 co-sponsors and no vote in spite of house rules demanding one. The bill has been swept in its entirety into the SHARE act, which is languishing on Paul Ryans desk as he won't bring it to a floor vote.

Rep Jeff Duncan is the sponsor of the HPA and is proposing yet another mashup to try and get some movement for this suggesting that the HPA might be scrapped if National Reciprocity is added to SHARE. NR has less chance of passing the Senate than the HPA so either approach is legislatively pointless although forcing floor votes in both houses would provide advertising fodder for Republicans in the upcoming elections.

Duncan being the sponsor of both bills is trying to get some movement on SHARE this year.
According to Duncan, there are several options including dropping the silencer provision altogether and replacing it with other gun language. He said one idea could add language that would ban or require more stringent licensing for buying bump stocks, a plastic attachment added to semiautomatic weapons that allows them to fire far more rapidly.
Since the "bump stock" relies on 2 phenomena common to all semi-auto firearms, namely recoil and self-loading, any attempt to limit bump stockery would either be completely ineffectual or end up completely banning semi-auto firearms with a trigger pull weight equal to or less than the recoil force. Just what you wanted eh? A varmint rifle with a 12 lb trigger?

Paul Ryan is solidly in line with the Dems on this so if you want to see any movement, he would be the one to write or call weather you live in his district or not.

Hillary Wins Halloween

On Halloween, we're supposed to dress up as the scariest thing we can think of and go out and try to frighten people. Hill said she planned to dress up as "President of the United States".

O.K. Hill, you win, hands down. That's about the scariest thing I could imagine.