Friday, February 27, 2009

Show Us Your Rack!

Bicycle rack, that is. Competition to design the coolest bike rack.

Today In Science ...

James Chadwick

February 27, 1932: the neutron is discovered, paving the way for critical mass, chain reactions and atomic bombs.

In a related story, world population now 6.5 gigabods.

From Wired.

Girls Gone Wired

Joss Whedon's new show on Fox, "Dollhouse".

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Solar-Powered Theramin in an Altoids Tin

Must-have! Can't live without it.

"Please don’t get too concerned about your safety...

"I tell people: Please don’t get too concerned about your safety. They don’t care about you. The only thing that can happen is to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Interesting story about effects of Mexican narco-war.

Great L.A. Air Raid

Sixty-seventh anniversary of the Great L.A. Air Raid.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Congress May Repeal D.C. Gun Laws

Washington Post report on an amendment to a bill that would allow D.C. to have a voting representative in the House of Representatives (instead of the current non-voting "delegate"). Sen. Ensign (R-NV) added an amendment to repeal what remains of D.C.'s handgun ban. Could be voted on in the Senate tomorrow. Similar language introduced in the House.

Dilbert... Perfect!

Who Are The World's Worst Drivers?

From a comments string on a web story about the Spanish Armada:

Speaking as a Brit I am always humbled at my nation’s level of mastery of naval tactics, from the early 'near supersonic' artillery mentioned in this article, to the modern... "Just ram the fuckers with a submarine" approach that we employ today... *wipes tear*
- by D-Cypell

I blame the French for driving on the wrong side.
- by _Shad0w

How rude of the French to attempt to steal the title of worst drivers from my fellow Chinese.
- by adamchou

Ever seen the traffic in India, pal?
- by zbharucha

I am currently living and working in India..... and I approve this message.
- by D-Cypell

Apparently none of you have ever been to Massachusetts ...
- by tgd

Blasters! And Lots of 'Em!

It Came From Beyond Pluto!

We have a new Avid video server to replace the Pluto.

It looks like a RAID server, like the Pluto, but in every "drive unit" there are actually two complete 500-gig servers. And there are sixteen of these units in the rack.

Sixteen terabytes of storage on gigabit ethernet optical. Thirty-two IP addresses.

The whole thing fits in a nineteen inch rack; it's about seven inches high.

This better work!

Monday, February 23, 2009

More Frame Battering?

I noticed this when I was cleaning the Kimber with the aluminum frame this evening. Look at the worn area on the frame, just below the barrel ramp. It looks like something is peening it pretty bad. I put another 100 rounds through it today, Winchester 230-gr JHP, with seven different magazines (3 Wilson 47s, a Novak, a Pro-Mag, the original Kimber, and a Les Baer) and only the Kimber and Novak had metal followers; the other five had plastic followers. So what's causing this wear?Below on the left is the gun on Feb 1, and on the right is the gun today, with 720 rounds through it.
I blogged about this three weeks ago, with only 100 rds through the gun.

Edited to add: the Witness with the 38-Super upper ran faultlessly today and sent 150 rounds downrange without a complaint. The Springfield nine had half a dozen failures to extract; tough to clear, 'cause I had to lock the slide back, drop the mag, rack the slide to eject the spent shell, lock the slide back again, insert the mag and release the slide to chamber the next round. Oh, well. Malf-drills are part of it, too.

Self-Reverential Humor

No, really!

Oscar-night coverage from E-Online:

"I'll give [Sean] Penn this: He admits to having known, admired and liked Mickey Rourke for more than 25 years. "He's an excellent bridge-burner at times," Penn says of Rourke without a bit of self-reverential humor."

Oh, yes, it's all that!

Where Does The Time Go?

Phoebe Cates ("Fast Times At Ridgemont High") and Kevin Kline ("A Fish Named Wanda", "Silverado", "The Big Chill" and many others) at the Oscars tonight.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Big Clock

This is an old clock that I bought about twenty years ago because I needed a clock that had a face through which I could "fly" a camera lens, directly into the gears and such.

It's very pretty on the inside; notice the circular glass tube in the upper right corner; it contains mercury. Once a minute it "flips" and drives a circuit which advances the minute hands of the "slave" clocks.

With the stained-glass door opened, even more of the mechanism is exposed to view.

Notice the rotating switches for the electric Westminster chimes, and the little black arm which halts the mechanism after each quarter-hour sounding.

The knife switches allow the minister to silence the clock's chimes during sermons.


A good cry never hurt anybody. Go ahead. Click on it. You know want to!

Firearm(s) Unloaded

They're unloaded for now, but I'm callin' in sick tomorrow and goin' to the range instead. With (top to bottom) a 38-super Witness, a 45-ACP Kimber and a 9mm Springfield 1911.

(They charge by the hour, so I load the mags at home.)

Lots o' Blastin'.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Build Your Own Pirate TV Transmitter

It's a class at the Berkeley Art Museum.

And it's SOLD OUT!

Leather Cthulhu Mask

Kinda creeps me out.

h/t boing-boing.

Steampunk Frankenstein Computer Case

Oh, Lord, hear my plea: give me one of these, and I will be good for-EVER!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Kittens! Eeeeeek!

D.C. Residents Eligible for Pa. Carry Permits?

Is it possible?

D.C. Examiner.

Like Tearing Canvas

... except very, very loud.

That's what a Ferrari V-12 sounds like.

Today is Enzo Ferrari's 111th birthday. He is shown here at the 1967 Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

h/t Wired.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Quote Of The Night

"Damn it, Your Honor! This is America! Justice should favor the rich!"
C. Montgomery Burns

Lions, Lambs and Wolves

In Memphis, the Commercial Appeal has published on their website a searchable database of holders of concealed handgun permits. This endangers thousands of holders of these permits who have, as we all do, an expectation of privacy when all we want to do is act responsibly and legitimize our right to carry a firearm to defend ourselves against assault. Low-level workers in the criminal justice system (bail bondsmen, parole officers, etc.) who do not qualify for the privilege of a free permit routinely granted to their superiors (prosecutors, clerks and judges) have had their privacy violated by exposure in the MCA. The same for persons fleeing from abusive intimate relationships. Worse, the MCA has placed this database alongside other databases for sexual predators and the like.

The NRA's Chris Cox wrote a letter to the MCA, which they have chosen not to publish, so it's up on the NRA-ILA's website. I particularly like this quote from the late Charleton Heston:

"... in a world where wolves cannot distinguish between lions and lambs, the whole flock is safer."

Nicely put!

Monday, February 16, 2009


Bacon strip, that is. Cool bacon stuff.

h/t Breda.

La Copa Turonistani

Congratulations to Ted, who traveled to the Indy Blogmeet from exotic Atlanta, Georgia. Ted is the latest winner of the coveted Cup of Turonistan, given each meeting (when we remember) to the person who travels farthest (when we can figure it out) to the Blogmeet (when we hold them). This month's prize was a nifty pocket-tool from Harbor Freight. Thanks to Roberta of Roseholme, who provided the prize, and thanks also to James of Hell In A Handbasket for initiating The Cup last year.


We haven't seen so much excitement in Turonistan since the Bronze Age.

Made it!

At 6:54. Yay!

The cabin attendant says that the pilot's luggage was stolen, not lost.

There is a guy on board who takes up two seats. I've never seen that before.

They Closed the Door ...

I think we might be leaving. Soon.

We're Back On Board!

And I didn't even have to start dropping names.

We'll Be Re-boarding ...

... at 5:00.

Live-blogging U.S. Airways

The flight was due to depart at 4:11. We boarded at 3:45 and sat until 4:20. Then the intercom announced that the pilot's luggage with his docs and flight logs (or whatever) had been lost, and as soon as said luggage was found, we would take off.

At 4:25 another announcement that another "F.O." was on his way to fly the plane, but he would not arrive until 5:45. So we have all de-planed and are waiting at the gate. It's now 4:35 so it looks like we'll be here another hour, at least.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

I Just Heard Inna Gadda da Vita!

... at the corner of Guilford and Broad Ripple Ave. Takes me back!

Maybe make it a new "best first lines": "Last night I dreamed I heard Inna Gadda da Vita again."
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tribute To JMB


h/t Say Uncle.

[Update: one commenter on adds this editorial:]
Yeah, but still....!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

UMd. Coeds Defeat Men In Rifle Match (1925)

The campus yesterday was a dismal place so far as men were concerned. Vainly they tried to show resignation, or smile or treat the whole affair as an accident. It was hard to realize and acknowledge that girls had beaten them.

from Shorpy via Say Uncle.

Hot Chicks With Douchebags Not Defamatory

Yes, it's official!

The Volokh Conspiracy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Quick! Go Dig A Hole!

Hilarious suggestion in the comments of Reason Magazine:

The Boeing 747 is Forty Years Old Today

From the BBC.
Right-To-Dry Advocates Are Organizing

In her 20 years of drying clothes in her Van Nuys backyard, Kathy Arnos is happy to report she has yet to receive a death threat. "Nobody has ever complained, because it's completely private," said Arnos, who is line-less, preferring to hang her clothes from patio chairs and umbrellas. "And even if they could see my clothes, I seriously doubt it would lower my property value."

L.A. Times

El Pozolero (The Stew Maker)

Families Want Answers From Man Who Says He Dissolved 300 People

For the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of families of people who have vanished amid Baja California's drug wars, the search for justice has been lonely and fruitless. But their hopes have been buoyed recently by the Jan. 22 arrest of a man Mexican authorities believe is behind the gruesome disposal of bodies in vats of industrial chemicals.
Santiago Meza Lopez, a stocky 45-year-old taken into custody after a raid near Ensenada, was identified as the pozolero who liquefied the bodies of victims for lieutenants of the Arellano Felix drug cartel. Authorities say he laid claim to stuffing 300 bodies into barrels of lye, then dumping some of the liquefied remains in a pit in a hillside compound in eastern Tijuana.

Charming; from the L.A. Times.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Cracked Slide?

As I was putting away the Witness last night, I noticed a crack in the 10mm slide. Here are some photos.

Photo #1: From above
Photo #2: Edge-on

Photo #3: the interior crack is barely visible here, although it is quite easy to see in the metal itself. That prominent line perpendicular to the ejection port is a casting mark.

To my eye, the crack appears to go right through from the exterior of the slide to the interior. The external crack is highly visible in these photos, but the internal crack was very hard to photograph.

What say ye? I bought this gun new in April '08. It has about 500 rds of ammo thru it, mostly Double Tap. Is it still under warranty?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Range Report Sunday 2/8/09

Got up at 2 A.M. At work at 3:30.

Dramatic sky, eh?

Home by noon. Off to the range by 1:00. Fired 150 rds of Remington 230-gr JHP through the Kimber, then 20-rds of 230-gr Hydra-Shoks. Had a FTE on rd #3 with the Kimber mag and another on rd #76 with a Wilson 47OXC mag (!). No other failures. No failures with the Hydra-Shoks at all, but it was only 20-rds; those things are pricey! Used six mags: Kimber, Pro-Mag COL1, Tripp 7R-45-WO, two Wilson 47OXCs and a Wilson 47OX. All mags worked well. The cheap Pro-Mag was a pleasant surprise: no failures at all, and this mag has a skirted plastic follower and a little "pinkie rest", although it holds only six rounds. The Tripp mag is built like a Mack truck, but the Wilson 47OXC mags worked beautifully AND loaded like butter; they just felt like "quality" - I think I'll stick with the Wilson 47OXCs. The Wilson 47OX is the same mag but with a larger base plate. That makes a total of 520 rds through the Kimber and it shoots very accurately, for me anyway!

I have "retired" the other two magazines, the Chip McCormick and the Wilson 46. They are both high-quality mags, but not for an alloy receiver like this Kimber.

Also put 100 rds of 10mm through the Witness. Had four or five failures-to-feed: the round got caught on the feedramp. Three factory mags in use here, so a defective mag seems unlikely to be the cause. I polished the feedramp last week using 400-grit sandpaper wrapped around a 3/8" wooden dowel, finishing with 600-grit, then a GENTLE polish with jeweler's rouge and a felt "bullet" on a Dremel (I know, I know! But lightly and gently.)

Check out the firing pin impressions. It looks like the firing pin still hasn't retracted when the casing starts to eject. All of the 10-mm rounds looked like this. Maybe some new, stronger recoil and firing pin springs would be in order; the Witness still has the stock springs. The Kimber's firing pin impressions were perfect; no smears or "commas" there.

Then out to the back porch with the laptop in 66-degree weather (yes!) to write this post alfresco! Coffee with whipped cream, a Drambuie and a fine cigar ... life is good!

You know what else is good? Arriving at the range with a heavy range bag and leaving with a much lighter range bag!

Saturday, February 7, 2009


More magazine tests tomorrow, with some serious carry ammo this time.

On Connecticut Avenue

Went shopping today...

Just When I Thought, "America Can't Possibly Get Any Weirder"

Sharpton Calls for Justice Outside Madoff's Home
Wanda Sykes used to joke, "Sometimes when I'm walking home alone at night I try to avoid taking a short-cut past the Goldman-Sachs building, and I'll cut through the projects. 'Cause if you get mugged in the projects, all they'll get is what you have on you that night."

Honest to God, can you imagine trying to pitch a screenplay of the current national mess to a Hollywood producer? 'It's like "Bonfire of the Vanities" meets "Road Warrior"!'

Nobody would believe it!

Wish I'd Said It ...

Am I on the list? Are you? Also, recently overheard at a gunshow : "Why does the government assume that they are the only ones with a list?"

H/t: The Breda Fallacy

Friday, February 6, 2009

Dung It!

Cleaners throw out scientist's 35-kg collection of lizard excrement.

He says the dung represented seven years' worth of field work, and its loss ''left me reeling.''
The university said Friday it had apologized.
Bennett says he rejected the university's compensation offer of 500 pounds ($750) and will ''see them in court.''

Hell, yes! Sue the bastards!

Twinkies Goes Bankrupt?!

Why wasn't I told?

Amazing Photo

From the wing of flight 1549 in the Hudson River. Damn!