Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

AR Build Update.

I found a barrel today!

16", mid length gas block, 1:9 twist, Chrome lined


I really figured I'd be waiting till at least late February or March before they came out of the pipe line again.

Kudos to DSG Arms out of Fort Worth, TX, and Armalite.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Quote of the day

Comes from Old_NFO over at Nobody asked Me.

Regardless of how bad we percieve things to be, we are still looking down at the daisies, not up at them; so we're ahead of the game as far as I'm concerned...

Merry Christmas to all.

Merry Christmas everyone!

I'm finally home. My six day Bahama trip turned into me flying all over the hemisphere. After dropping off the passengers in Nassau, we quick turned back to Oklahoma, then I proceeded to see the following airports:

(in no particular order)
Las Vegas
Edmonton, AB
Panama City, Panama

I slept in Nassau twice. So, I saw the hotel and no time for anything else. The other airplane that went to Nassau spent the entire time sitting there. I think they bribed the schedulers. I don't have any proof, but I've hired the Pinkerton Detective Agency to ferret out the truth. Oh yes, I will know the Truth!

My employer is gracious enough to give me tomorrow and then I head out again for 3 days.

Hug your loved ones.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A little blast from the...

from the (aviation) past. I had this forwarded to me from one of my flying buddys. It does put a different light on flying doesn't it.

December 1917

Another good month. In all, a total of 35 accidents were reported, only six of which were avoidable. These represented a marked improvement over the month of November during which 84 accidents occurred, of which 23 were avoidable. This improvement, no doubt, is the result of experienced pilots with over 100 hours in the air forming the backbone of all the units.


1. Avoidable accidents this last month:

a. The pilot of a Shorthorn, with over 7 hours of experience, seriously damaged the undercarriage on landing.He had failed to land at as fast a speed as possible as recommended in the Aviation Pocket Handbook.

b. A B.E.2 stalled and crashed during an artillery exercise. The pilot had been struck on the head by the semaphore of his observer who was signalling to the gunners.

c. Another pilot in a B.E.2 failed to get airborne. By an error of judgement, he was attempting to fly at mid-day instead of at the recommended best lift periods, which are just after dawn and just before sunset.

d. A Longhorn pilot lost control and crashed in a bog near Chipping-Sodbury. An error of skill on the part of the pilot in not being able to control a machine with a wide speed band of 10 MPH between top speed and stalling speed.

e. While low flying in a Shorthorn the pilot crashed into the top deck of a horse drawn bus near Stonehenge.

f. A B.E.2 pilot was seen to be attempting a banked turn at a constant height before he crashed. A grave error by an experienced pilot.

2. There were 29 unavoidable accidents from which the following are selected:

a. The top wing of a Camel fell off due to fatigue failure of the flying wires. A successful emergency landing was carried out.

b. Sixteen B.E.2s and 9 Shorthorns had complete engine failures. A marked improvement over November's fatigue.

c. Pigeons destroyed a Camel and 2 Longhorns after mid-air strikes.

COST OF ACCIDENTS Accidents during the last three months of 1917 cost #317 10 shillings and sixpence, money down the drain and sufficient to buy new gaiters and spurs for each and every pilot and observer in the Service.


No.1 Brief:
No. 912 Squadron, 3 December 1917, Aircraft type B.E. 2C, No. XY 678, Total solo - 4.0

Pilot Lt. J. Smyth-Worthington, Solo in type -- 1.10.

The pilot of this flying machine attempted to maintain his altitude in a turn at 2,500 feet. This resulted in the aeroplane entering an unprecedented manoeuvre, entailing a considerable loss of height. Even with full power applied and the control column fully back, the pilot was unable to regain control. However, upon climbing from the cockpit onto the lower mainplane, the pilot managed to correct the machines altitude, and by skilful manipulation of the flying wires successfully side-slipped into a nearby meadow.

Remarks: Although through inexperience this pilot allowed his aeroplane to enter an unusual attitude, his resourcefulness in eventually landing without damage has earned him a unit citation.

No. 2 Brief:
No. 847 Squadron, 19 December 1917, Aircraft type Spotter

Balloon J17983, Total solo 107.00. Pilot Capt. D. Lavendar, Solo in type 32.10.

Captain Lavendar of the Hussars, a balloon observer, unfortunately allowed the spike of his full-dress helmet to impinge against the envelope of his balloon. There was a violent explosion and the balloon carried out a series of fantastic and uncontrollable manoeuvres, whilst rapidly emptying itself of gas. The pilot was thrown clear and escaped injury as he was lucky enough to land on his helmet.

Remarks: This pilot was flying in full-dress uniform because he was the Officer of the Day. In consequence it has been recommended that pilots will not fly during periods of duty as Officer of the Day.

Captain Lavendar has subsequently requested an exchange posting to the Patroville Alps, a well known mule unit of the Basques.

No. 3 Brief:
Summary of No. 43 Brief, dated October 1917.

Major W. deKitkag-Watney's Nieuport Scout was extensively damaged when it failed to become airborne. The original Court of Inquiry found that the primary cause of the accident was carelessness and poor airmanship on the part of a very experienced pilot. The Commandant General, however, not being wholly convinced that Major de Kitkag-Watney could be guilty of so culpable a mistake ordered that the Court should be re-convened. After extensive inquiries and lengthy discussions with the Meteorological Officer and Astronomer Royal, the Court came to the conclusion that the pilot unfortunately was authorized to fly his aircraft on a day when there was absolutely no lift in the air and therefore could not be held responsible for the accident. The Court wishes to take this opportunity to extend its congratulations to Major de Kitkag-Watney on his reprieve and also on his engagement to the Commandant General's daughter, which was announced shortly before the accident.


Horizontal turns. To take a turn the pilot should always remember to sit upright, otherwise he will increase the banking of the aeroplane. He should NEVER lean over.

Crash precautions: Every pilot should understand the serious consequences of trying to turn with the engine off. It is much safer to crash into a house when going forward than to sideslip or stall a machine with engine troubles.

Passengers should always use safety belts, as the pilot may start stunting without warning. Never release the belt while in the air, or when nosed down to land.

Engine noises. Upon the detection of a knock, grind, rattle or squeak, the engine should be at once stopped. Knocking or grinding accompanied by a squeak indicates binding and a lack of lubricant.

WATCH THAT FIRST STEP The First Marine Air Wing had this write up in their Safety publication Wing Tips:

It was conceded by all that the pilot had accomplished a brilliant piece of work in landing his disabled machine without damage under the circumstances. It is not with intent to reflect less credit upon his airmanship, but it must be noted that he is a well experienced aviator with over 40 total hours in the air, embracing a wide variety of machines, and this was his seventh forced landing due to complete failure of the engine. It was doubly unfortunate that upon alighting from his machine he missed the catwalk on the lower airfoil and plunged both legs through the fabric, straddling a rib, from which he received a grievous personal injury.

Some thought should be devoted to a means of identifying wing-traversing catwalks to assist aviators in disembarking from their various machines."

Saturday, December 20, 2008

On Charity and Guilt

In one of my posts I had a commenter state we should boycott the Japanese auto makers.

Here's the quote:

How about, All the Japanese owned manufacturers, plus BMW and Mercedes? My reason for this suggestion is: They gave absolutely ZERO, to help out after 9-11. The American car companies, donated MILLIONS.

This got me to thinking on the nature of charity.

It seems to me that charity should be something that you get a good feeling out of doing. The act itself is its own reward. But that seems to be an obsolete mentality. Now-a-days people are made to feel guilty about everything. It goes along with the criminalization of life, I guess.

You didn't give to charity? Well, shame on you. We're going to tar and feather you and run you out of town on the nearest rail.

That's a scary attitude. At least to me. If you gave or didn't, what difference does that make. Yes, yes, yes, I know all the poor charities will suffer just that bit more, but that's not the point. What we're talking about here is punishing someone, a company in this instance, for not doing something that is in reality a OPTIONAL act. (Unless you're catholic, than you're tithing anyway.) The second you start imposing penalties, you are compelling the performance of the act. Or, in smaller words, when you start whacking me for not doing something, it ain't my choice anymore. Charity then becomes a duty, an onus, the failure bringing penalties and punishment. It's ultimately not charity anymore, but a form of robbery.

Maybe that's the point. Taking all the enjoyment out of living life. Do people believe that since they aren't happy, they must take away any enjoyment from others. But I digress.

Looking up the definition of charity I came across an interesting reference.

often Charity Christianity The theological virtue defined as love directed first toward God but also toward oneself and one's neighbors as objects of God's love.
Is that the crux of it? By attaching punishment are we trying to remove love (Greek agape and philia, as opposed to eros) from society? Remove that and is there such a thing as community left? Again I digress.

During this season of giving, what are our motives? When I was growing up we used to give our dad a gag gift every Christmas. One year it was ties. I mean the most gawd awful, blaring, ties we could find. One year, it was bags of shelled nuts (my dad loves those) and we hid all the nutcrackers. We gave real presents too, but we got the biggest laughs out of trying to figure out what the gag theme would be for that year. What's my point? Giving was fun, we gave and felt good inside. It was an expression of our love for each other. We didn't feel relieved that we were off the hook for another year, we felt excitement for this year's fun and anticipation for how to top it next year. Strange, I know. But, hey, normal families are boring. When you walk by that guy ringing the bell outside of the grocery store, do you drop the buck in because you feel guilty if you don't? If you don't, do you feel eaten up inside all the time you're shopping?

And what about the rest of the year. When you write that check to $CHARITY, do you feel better for doing it, or relieved? If all you feel is a weight being lifted off your shoulder, then maybe you should take a minute and think about why you're doing it.

Charity (to paraphrase an old saw) is as charity does. If you donate for it's own sake, it's true charity. If you're giving to relieve a burden, than you're being robbed and it's not charity. Calling to boycott a business because they didn't give to your pet charity is in essence a form of strong arm robbery.

And before you get all "What about Cooper" on me, giving to a politician is nothing like giving to a charity. Giving to a politician is an act designed to get the guy who'll do what you want into a position to do it. Pretty self centered if you ask me.

Random Thoughts

Does anyone else think the talking thumbs AT&T commercial is creepy?

Have you seen the new "commemorative Barack Obama Coin Set"? They've got Barack on one side and JFK on the other. What comparison are they trying to draw between the two. I'm fairly certain that these two are COMPLETELY different versions of a democrat. Well, a democrat and a marxist/socialist really.

ABC is hyping the living hell of a new show about Homeland Security/TSA. What brain dead mother fucker thought this would be a good show? Let's show how a bunch of undereducated, under trained schmoes can rifle through luggage, steal laptops, harass innocent travelers and corner the market on toenail clippers and tubes of toothpaste? Great! Shoot 13 episodes and we'll put it up against CSI.

The new Geico ads with the stack of money with eyes. All the while the background music is "somebody's watching me". Yeah, that's a little creepy too.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday mind game.

Since I'm going to spend most of the afternoon and night flying I figured I'd better get this up now. So, you could, you know, get a full weekend of sanity destroying listening done.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Out of Pocket.

Starting tomorrow, I'll be spending 6 days in Nassau, The Bahamas. Aside from the whole cloud in the silver lining part of no friends and family during the season of friends and family, it ain't half bad. I spent Thanksgiving in the Caymans and now I'll spend Christmas in the Bahamas. Not knowing what the internet connection will by like, I may or may not be able to blog over the next week. I just wanted to wish you all a Merry (or Happy if you're Canandian or British) Christmas while I had the chance. I hope you get what you want from Santa.

Edit: As usual we're up to plan D right now. We're turning right around and coming back to head back out there monday. So, it's two days in the Bahamas instead of 6. Thems the breaks.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Today in History

Orville and Wilbur conducted what is considered to be the first successful powered flight by a heavier-than-air craft. The flight lasted 12 seconds and covered a total distance of 120 feet. The flight might have lasted longer but TSA screening took longer than expected at both departure and arrival and the Wrights spent most of the day searching for their lost luggage.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Another great post from the sandpit.

Abby has done it again. Go and read. It has got to be one of the best written insights into Iraq today.

Monday Gun Shop Crawl

So, today, I'm doing my normal Monday gun shop crawl about town looking for good used or unusual acquisitions and I'm in one where the manager is cleaning. He's sweeping and dusting and going through the back and bringing stuff up front. When he comes tromping up front with two brand new DPMS AR lowers.

"These have been back there for months now. Call these guys and see if they still want them."

What are the first words out of my mouth? "Dibs!"

I'm so pathetic. I'm not half way done with the first AR build and I have another one to start. Of course I've got all the special tools now so it should go quickly. Maybe I'll build a standard A2, 20" barrel out of this one. Decisions, decisions.....

On a side note, if we all keep doing stuff like this the VPC should start spinning fast enough to hook up a generator to them and power someplace. Like Pella, IA or somewhere. I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A little whine

with my Sunday brunch.

Sorry for the silence yesterday. I was prepping for a late night run to Las Vegas and back. And by late night I mean finishing at 5 am this morning. The 120 knot headwind out didn't help much. But it sure was nice coming back. The hard part is trying to get to sleep after and then trying to get up early enough not to be a zombie all day and keep my circadian rhythm on some semblance of normalcy.

I'm failing miserably.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday mind game.

It's that time of the week again. Crazy yet? Just asking, 'cause, you know, the whole world domination thing has a time table and if I could just get a little help on your end, it'll go off like a dream. Appreciate it, luv ya babe, don't ever change.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Big Three Bailout.

Well, it seems the members of our esteemed .gov have pulled another one. There will be enough pork for all in this one, because the last 800 billion wasn't enough. You know what. Enough. Let's do this. Since the automakers don't think they need to be competative or other such nonsense. Let's boycott them. That's right, let's not buy another auto from these guys. They've already gotten a butt load of our money through the .gov, let's draw the line. Not another penny. They're already getting my money, through the .gov, but I'm not going to subsidise them any more than that.

I've just had it.

In fact, let's not stop there. Any company that feels it's better to be nationalized than to try to be competative should be added to the boycott list.

Bank of America.

Please feel free to tell me who else belongs on the boycott list. I'm just not up to researching all the names.

Edit: Looks like the bill is dying instead. Good. The more they try to prop up bad businesses the worse the eventual crash is going to get.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Seasons Greetings

For My Liberal Friends:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2009, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. And without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

Legal Disclaimer:
By accepting these greetings you are accepting these terms. This greeting
is not subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no
alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to
actually implement any of the wishes for herself or himself or others, and is
void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the
wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual
application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a
subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to
replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the

For My Conservative Friends:
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

This has been floating around the web for years. But I still get a chuckle out of it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

AR Build Update.

Or The Tail of the Barrel.

I'm getting word from the various AR manufacturers that I'm looking at anywhere from 12 weeks to 9 months for a lead time on the barrel I want.

WTF over?

Edit: This is an official Bleg. If y'all know of anyone out there with a 16" GI contour AR barrel with a mid-length gas block, please let me know.

My day

has gone to hell in a handbasket. I expect the week will follow.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Is another day of remembrance. On this date in 1941, the US could no longer even play lip service to isolationism or neutrality and entered into World War II.

Remember the Arizona

Remember Pearl Harbor

Remember it wasn't the start, it was the turning point.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A good day w/ AR build update included at no extra charge.

Guess what today was!

Nope, not range day. Every day should be range day, but that's fodder for another post.

No, today was gun show day. Wanenmacher was last month, this was one of the Sooner gun shows. Only about half as big, but there were some deals to be had.

I picked up an upper receiver for my AR build. It's a Del-Ton with M4 feed ramps. I wavered back and forth about M4 feed ramps. I've heard both good and bad about them. Some people feel they aren't necessary and some feel that they help with some types of bullet shapes. From what I've learned they shouldn't adversely affect performance so I didn't let that stop me.

I also found a deal on an Ergo Ambi soft rubber pistol grip. Nice feel with the plug for the battery compartment included.

A good day.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Yeah, its one of those days.

Friday mind game.

In the spirit of the season, this friday mind game should get you sick of the songs in short order. I command you to hear it over and over and over.


I thought we'd been over this before. Just hit replay a bunch of times. Come on, a little effort here.

Yeah, yeah yeah, evil laugh, I know already!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Talking about the right thing.

David Codrea over at War On Guns has a post up on Remington's response to the H-S Precision/Lon Horiuchi debacle. I've been quiet on the topic up to now just because better bloggers than I have already chimed in and gotten the ball rolling. But this struck me as a Wow kind of thing. Here we have the CEO of Remington caught in a cluster fuck that was none of his doing and he's doing what he can in the best manner possible. Kudos to Tommy Millner both for his response and his willingness to deal with the problem quickly. Kudos also go out to Ahab, Breda, and all the others who brought this to the web's attention.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The aftermath.

Yesterday, during my weekly gun shop crawl, I was talking with my gunsmith Mike. He said something that's been running around in the back of my head. And it's gotten me thinking not so much about the decision to protect myself, but about it's aftermath.

He said:

"A concealed carry gun doesn't need sights. Because if you've got time to use your sights, you've got time to run away."

Which will cause no end to the arguments on both sides of that thought. But it wasn't that that's got me thinking so much. It was what he finished that thought with. He finished it this way:

"And the DA knows that."

That's the scary point. I live in Oklahoma and as friendly we are to guns in general and carrying and self-defense, the politics of the city I live in suck. I've got the only mayor in the entire state that belongs to Bloomberg's idiocy against guns. And the DA she hired is in lockstep with her. If there is any way for him to make a case against a self-defense shooting, he'll take it to a grand jury.

The fact is, a self-defense situation doesn't end after the cops show up. It's just starting. I'm NOT a lawyer or associated with law enforcement in any way. I'm a private citizen. I am not qualified to give advice about what to do in the aftermath. I will offer no advice other than to suggest that there are people who are much more qualified by virtue of training and education (hint, hint, Lawyers) to give you advice. If you don't talk to one before the situation arises, you better talk to one as soon after the situation as is humanly possible. And even that will be cast in a bad light by a cop or DA if he/she is so inclined.

Log Jam.

I'm apparently suffering from a slight case of writer's block. I mean the last week has been chock full of stuff that would normally set my rant off.

Mumbai attacks.

H&S Precision using a murderer to endorse their products.

Introduction of Open Carry laws in Texas.

A sudden influx of gunmetal fingernails.

But I'm just not moved for some reason. Maybe it's a seasonal disorder or something. Maybe I'm just uber-lazy.

Monday, December 1, 2008

AR Build Update.

Today I picked up a Rock River NM 2 stage trigger. This leaves just the buttstock (An Ace ARFX) and swapping out some ambi parts for standard ones on the lower.

In related news, Sarah Brady and the VPC are spinning in their graves a little.

A little weirdness

You want a little weirdness for today?

I dare you to google "Obama Bible Code"

I'm just saying.