Friday, February 27, 2009

The Tea Parties

For those interested in getting into the activist action, the Philadelphia Tea Party is happening at Independence Mall at noon tomorrow. Geek with a .45 says that he will be there. Unfortunately it's probably too late to get one of these bumperstickers for the drive.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dangerous Women Circa 1925

When I said dangerous I meant it, these ladies from the University of Maryland beat the U of M. men's team that year:
U. of M. Coeds Defeat Men in Rifle Match

Co-eds of the University of Maryland Proved themselves better marksmen than the male students at the institution in a rifle match Tuesday at College Park, according to a "post-mortem" examination of the score today.

The score showed the men had made a desperate effort to avoid defeat, registering 497 marks out of a possible 500. But the female of the species proved "more deadly than the male" with the rifle - at least the girls came off with a score of 499.

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.

However, the vanquished team had forgotten that its triumphant adversaries had a reputation for marksmanship to preserve in the contest Tuesday. The reputation was won when the girls gained third place in the nation-wide intercollegiate competition last year, although it was only their second year of shooting at targets.

The five girls who made the best scores were Miss Thelma Winkjer, of Washington, captain of the team, who scored 100; Miss Helen Beyerle, of Baltimore, a former pupil at Western High school, 100; Miss Rebecca Willis, of Washington, 100; Miss Julie Louise Behring, of Washington, 100; and Miss Mary Harbaugh, of Washington, 99.

Washington Post, Feb 12, 1925
And just to point out how times have really changed, this picture was probably taken at a rifle match that included these far homelier Drexel Girls. The match was held at George Washington University in Northwest DC.

The Kindle 2.0

If they sold them with "Don't Panic" written on the cover, I might consider it.

Frankly $349 is a lot of money to spend upfront in order to read books more cheaply later. That's the cost of forty to fifty paperbacks. That's at least a year's reading for me. I don't think I want to spend that when the Kindle 3.0 will almost certainly be out in a few years.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

1911 Upgrades

I ordered an arched mainspring housing from CDNN for the low low price of $15 plus shipping. I tried putting it in last night. One of the pin holes is either misaligned or simply too small and while I got the housing reassembled, I can't get it mounted on the gun.

I checked with the old housing. Sure enough the mainspring pin will drop right in. New housing? Nope, even with the guts taken out it won't go through. I should be able to fix this by opening that hole up with a needle file but I want to order a pin kit and a spring kit from Brownells first. I[m going to want them anyway and they're cheap.

The nice thing about the 1911 mainspring housing is that it really isn't a stressed part. When the gun is cocked, load from the mainspring is actually transmitted directly to frame through the housing retaining pin. That's why many of the manufacturers can get away with using polymer housings, especially on "lightweight" pistols. Aluminum also works just fine.

UPDATE: I opened up the pin hole with a some files I already have. Unfortunately it wasn't just too small, it was also misdrilled so the frame and mainspring housing holes won't align. More filework is necessary. Remind me not to buy a mainspring housing from John Masen (also known as the JTM Company) again.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

No Mention of YouDee?

Wow two whole threads bashing stupid college mascots and not one mention of the Delaware's Fighting Blue Hens.

Via Instapundit.

Obama Joke of the Day

What's the difference between Jesus Christ and Barack Obama?

Punchline. Rimshot.

UPDATE: Don't you wish they had a version of this video for politicians?

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Relationship Pop Quiz

I saw this over at Hube's and thought it was cool.

What are your middle names?
My middle name is Allan. Amy's was her mother's maiden name, but now it's her maiden name. I'm not going to divulge either because Amy has a thing about giving last names on the internet.

How long have you been together?
We'll be married 3 years this May, dated six and half years before that.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
About a year.

Who asked whom out?
Neither that I remember. We sort of grew into a couple. Amy made some of the first moves to show her interest though.

How old are each of you?
I'm 31, she's 29.

Whose siblings do you see the most?
Mine, she's an only child.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
We're still getting the hang of arguments. We grew up with very different styles of communication especially regarding the vocal tones you use when you're irritated.

Did you go to the same school?
Yes, we're both UD grads and initially met when we were living in adjacent dorms.

Are you from the same home town?

Who is smarter?
Me, but Amy's a smart cookie.

Who is the most sensitive?
She's cries at every wedding on TV, even if they're cartoon characters or Muppets.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Chinese, but that's mostly takeout. After that it's probably the Vietnamese place in Newark.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
The cruise we took to the southern Caribbean for our honeymoon.

Who has the craziest exes?
She does. Although they're mostly harmless.

Who has the worst temper?
Dunno. Probably me although she spends more time mad at me than I do at her. She's never seen me blow my top though.

Who does the cooking?
She does although it's mostly because she gets home first and has a stricter diet. Sometimes I cook when I have the day off. I also do the majority of the baking.

Who is the neat-freak?
I am.

Who is more stubborn?
She is.

Who hogs the bed?
She does although I may steal more of the covers when she isn't rolling herself into a bedding burrito.

Who wakes up earlier?
About the same. I sleep in more when I don't have to get up, but she's definitely the bigger sleepyhead in the morning.

Where was your first date?
I don't even remember. She probably does though.

Who is more jealous?
She is.

How long did it take to get serious?
We dated for years before we really thought it was going to work out over the long haul.

Who eats more?

Who does the laundry?
I have mine, she has hers.

Who's better with the computer?
I'm better with the purely technical parts, but she's a better with some software than I am.

Who drives when you are together?
I do. Amy hates driving and is always afraid she's going to get lost.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Political Corruption

I recall a conversation I had with a Democrat several years ago. He said he was proud to say that the Republicans had become as corrupt in ten years as the Democrats had become in forty. Well buddy, it's taken you guys a scant two years to surpass the Republicans. Let's hope that the Republicans don't feel obliged to try to surpass you when they reclaim Congress. At this rate it hopefully won't take too long to find out.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mmmm Flatbread

When I recently stumbled across some Kontos brand flatbreads at my local BJs, I was in heaven. Before this, the closest I could come to flatbread was flour tortillas and that isn't really close enough. I thought about mentioning my discovery here, but I haven't seen them at BJs since and I doubt many of my readers have BJs memberships anyway. But I recently found them in my local Safeway, so they must be out there somewhere.

The products themselves are called Pocket-less Pitas. I assume this is because some marketing exec at the Kontos thought "flatbread" was not a concept that has sufficiently permeated WASP consciousness. They're white or wheat flatbreads sold in packs of five to ten (to the ton at BJs). The five or ten pack is a pretty good size, the BJs massive pack is a bit large and dominates too much of my fridge space.

Straight out of the package, they're a little doughy but I find that twenty second zap in the microwave dispels that entirely and leaves them with a nice fresh-baked feeling. I'll often cut one of these into eight slices and eat it with garlic hummus. It's like a Mediterranean chips and dip. I think it's a bit healthier because nothing is fried (or heavily salted) and a single flatbread gives you built in portion control. I like built in portion control.

I also use them to make personal pizzas using the flatbread like a Boboli pizza crust. For conventional pizza, apply tomato sauce and the appropriate toppings. You can also go Mexican with salsa, pre-cooked taco meat, and cheddar jack. I like to use fajita or taco leftovers up that way. Cook it in the microwave until the cheese melts (about 45 seconds for me). If you want a crispier crust then the oven is probably the way to go, but I haven't tried that yet. As long as you're not a lover of thin or cracker-crusted pizzas, I think you'll be happy with the results.

I like having options and I'm a bread freak, so I'm really happy that I stumbled across this stuff and that I can get it at my local grocery.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

And the Blogosphere Goes Wild!

I first saw this clip at Tamara's place, but the gunblogosphere has been going nuts for about a week over it:

That's a March 2007 clip of present White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. He's many different types of stupid. Renew the Assault Weapons Ban even though it did nothing to stop crime, but lots of things to reduce individual liberty. The political right is beholden to special interests even though the NRA is driven by millions of members donations and controlled by member's votes. The equivalent organizations on the left are funded by large endowments and controlled not by elections but by appointees. But the crowning moment the suggestion for legislation using the anti-terror list to prevent gun sales.

Lets ignore the fact that a person is not put on the No Fly list through an act of due process. So using the list in this way is an unscionable infringement of fundamental enumerated rights without due process. Let just discuss the fundamentally flawed nature of using the list itself.

Amy has an uncle that gets nothing by trouble from the No Fly list. He isn't a terrorist. He simply has a common name. The No Fly list is quite literally just a list of names. If someone with your same or a similar name is on it, you have to spend an extra hour or two in the airport every time you fly. Whether you did anything or not. God help you if you don't plan beforehand. Rahm Emanuel knows how broken this system is, because everybody that gets this treatment writes his congressman about it and Emanuel is a congressman.

But hey, the 2nd Amendment isn't a civil right people should have anyway, so who cares if the government infringes on it? A lot of people actually and I have to wonder how those people are going to express their dissatisfaction if laws like this go through.

Concealed Carry Holder Databases

I suppose I should be really pissed about a Memphis newspaper publishing a list of concealed carry permit holders. It's irresponsible, violates the permit holders privacy, and does nothing to improve public safety. In general it actually reduces it because some of those people have guns for a reason. Like hiding out from abusive ex-husbands.

I say I should be pissed, but I'm actually envious. You see in Delaware you are required to post your name and address in the News Journal before you even submit your application for a concealed carry permit. State law mandates this for us, only in slow motion.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Press Conference

I caught bits and pieces in between watching other better programming. The fragments I've seen have been utter bullshit. Obama either talked long enough that no one noticed he didn't answer the question, or he commits multiple logical fallacies to shift blame/justify himself, or he just has no idea what he's doing.

I swear the man said things like "what we need to do next is" when he's about to spend 800 billion-with-a-B dollars. There is no "next" after that. Once you spend that much, you're done. You're out of cash. You might be able to re-regulate, but you can't spend more money. If you're going to put that kind of money down, you need to do it right the first time.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Needed Improvements

I'm thinking about making some changes to my 1911. After looking around for hipower carry gear and coming up empty, I've realized that I want the 1911 to be a viable open carry gun. It just isn't. The first step is the GI sights which are starting to get to me. I'm seriously considering an upgrade to King's Tappan Combat Sights, which look like this on the gun:

They're express sights so you dot the "i" with gold front and white bar on the rear. Unlike most express sights like the XS units, the Tappans still have a workable post and notch as well. They're only about $30 although I'd need to budget for installation as well. I want to make a few other changes to the pistol, like new springs and possibly breaking a few sharp edges on the frame and mainspring housing. I've also relabeled my mags so that I can track any feeding problems with them on the mags themselves. I numbered them previously, but I never had a notebook to keep a failure record with so having mags 1, 2, 3, and 4 meant nothing.

I'm also need to get the sling mounts on my .22 rifle. It came without, but I finally have all the parts to fix that problem. Sling, swivels, and studs all came from different places, but now they're all in my basement. The bad news is that I need a vice to drill the pilot holes for the studs. I don't have one. So I'm either going to wait until I can visit my parents or I'm going to have to front burner putting together my own work bench.

If I get things together, I might be able to do the 1911 sight upgrade myself and the simple stock work to add the sling studs.

Getting Back into the Range

I got to the range for the first time in far too long on Saturday. January was just too cold to get me outside for an hour at a time and December was dominated by the holidays. I did ok. Just ok. Sometimes you have a tack-driving day and sometimes you have days like yesterday where you keep everything on paper and call it ok.

I did get to cycle a box of the Winchester 147 grain hollow-points I've bought as self-defense ammo through my Hipower without a hitch. I disregarded Ommelanden's 10 round rule and shot 15 rounds out of each of my mags. Nobody noticed. I'll probably do this again before I really consider the system trustworthy, but since that gun has never malfunctioned on me, I'm pretty confident in it. Now I just need to figure out a lock box so I can stow it in the bedroom safely in case things go bump in the night.

Prime Time Annoyance

Obama's holding a press conference in prime time tonight. He appears to be following the Jimmy Carter rule book on how to annoy the electorate. You either already know what's going on in Washington or you don't want to know. Both groups will still want to watch their favorite shows tonight. Instead we will be watching Obama look presidential and try to sell his stimulus bill to an increasingly cynical populace.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

A Steaming Pile of Glorious Crap

No not the stupid stimulus package. That's just a steaming pile of stinking pork. No, Amy and I finally got around to watching Live Free or Die Hard. The movie was a mix of completely stupid scenes followed by completely stupendous action sequences in which most of the named characters should have died at least twice. This is a film where breaking someone's fall generally means banging off of big solid pipes and duct work on the way down. But if you really want to see Justin Long, Mac from those Apple ads, get beat up and knee-capped then this is the DVD for you.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Sick of the Game Already

The Cardinals seem to be getting kicked by the refs when they're already down. The redbirds were just called for roughing Roethlisberger after the Steelers QB intentionally grounded the ball to avoid the sack and loss of yardage. Enough. I set the DVR to record so I wouldn't miss the commercials and went looking for something else to do.

So on a completely different subject I stopped by Circuit City this afternoon to peruse their increasingly discounted wares. It made me realize why the chain went under. Even with a 10-50% discount, they weren't offering me any real deals. I did get to play around with some netbooks though. One was a Lenovo and the other an HP. The Lenovo felt squished and forced into its form factor, the keyboard wasn't very good and the touchpad was worse. The Lenovo's touchpad buttons were stuck so far down, they were actually on the corner of the case. Using it felt like the computer was trying to crack my thumbs open like little eggs. The HP was something I'd consider buying though. Its keyboard is wonderful and I typed on in as well as any other laptop. The touchpad was decent if a bit small and the buttons were placed to the sides of the pad to save space. I'd consider buying it if I wasn't waiting for the netbook tablets.

Yes a netbook tablet is essentially an overgrown iPod Touch, but I'm fine with that. I want the bigger screen, the real keyboard, and I still consider a notebook computer the size of a small science textbook "small." Amy dislikes netbooks because she prefers full laptops with horsepower. Eh. She might have a point with how slow the latest Firefox is running on my computer at home. But I still like 'em.

UPDATE: The Cardinals lost but kept it close, good for them.