Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday mind game.

Yes, once again. After a long week stuggling away at work. When you wits are at their limits. I'm here. Pushing them that little bit further into breaking. As a thank you for going slowly insane I give you this:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Well I feel better.

I came across this bit of news on the local front today.

Legislation passed by the House could better protect paramedics from violent patients.
The proposed bill would consider attacks a felony, and land offender in prison up to two years.

The House passed the measure passed unanimously , and now its up to the Senate to approve.

Meantime, Tulsa EMSA paramedics are arming themselves with self-defense tactics. Per EMSA policy, paramedics do not carry guns. Though some medics do wear bullet proof vests.

Last year, 26 EMSA paramedics were attacked, and 14 were critically injured.

"I've been hit, I've been kicked, I've been spit at," said Paramedic, Chris Stevens. "We don't want to be too aggressive, but then again we don't want to end up in the hospital ourselves."

EMSA Spokeswoman, Tina Wells said she expects the proposed bill to be passed sometime this week.

I think the author of this article has mistaken protect with punish. Protecting EMS personnel would involve preventing attacks. All this will do is punish the offender after the fact. I'm sure a paramedic put in the hospital and missing work and pay will feel much better. Since assault and/or battery are already illegal, this is just another example of feel good/do nothing legislation. Way to status quo.

Word to the Liberals

Just spot on.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Standing on the Edge.

If any of you have watched the new, and like I have to, deciphered it. You'll have noticed that the situation in Mexico is getting, well, chaotic would be a nice way of putting it. You'll also have noticed that the chaos is moving north across the border into the US, and I don't mean just the border cities. Places like Phoenix, Albuquerque and other cities hours north of the border are seeing violence perpetrated by Mexican cartels and gangs.

Bayou Renaissance Man has been doing an excellent job of tracking the situation and posting updates on it. Those are just some of this months posts. You get the idea.

Now, while it's all well and good that border states like Texas are making contingency plans for any coming disaster. My thought is that isn't this an international border?

One of the few jobs of the national government that it originally had and still does is protecting our borders. For that little job, I'll refer you to the U.S. Constitution, Art. I, Secs. 8.1 & 8.15

So, where are they?

Why are they so reluctant to militarize the U.S./Mexican border? We've protected the borders of S. Korea/N. Korea, East and West Germany, North and South Vietnam. What's so different about our own border? The national .gov seems perfectly willing to abdicate it's responsibility and leave it up to the individual states' national guard troops. Oh wait, those have already been nationalized and sent off to Iraq and Afghanistan to do the job over there.

Don't get me wrong. I do believe that the job our troops are doing over there is a necessary one and as a veteran myself, I understand the sort of job it is. But, aside from some contingency studies, I can't find any information on what the national government plans to do if Mexico melts down. Where are the pre-positioning of supplies, material, or troops? But, I could be wrong. I'm not one to be included on those little jobs.

Aside from a measly chain link fence.

A Mexico lost into lawlessness could see large bands of well armed and possibly well trained groups under independent warlords pillaging across the country. Don't think that's some sort of doomsday Hollywood scenario. Just look at Kosovo or Somalia for recent examples. What would stop those groups from striking across the border at fatter U. S. targets and escaping back? Nothing right now.

Realistically we need to make the risk of violating our border for the possible reward too great to think about. An ounce of prevention vs. a pound of cure and all that.

As an aside, militarizing the border would have the added benefit of interdicting drugs, illegal aliens and possible terrorists crossing the border much easier.

But those are the pervue of the DEA, INS, and FBI. Right?

I'd argue that we're looking at a situation that's not about law enforcement but a martial one.

Let the respective agencies deal with the refugees, criminals, drugs or whatever. The military units can turn them over as they interdict them. But I seriously doubt a pair of border patrol agents in an unarmored SUV are going to be able to do anything about a renegade Mexican Army armored troop carrier armed to the teeth crossing the border. Other than possible get hurt or killed.

Militarizing the border is a good thing. Defending our union from outside aggressors used to be an important and highly regarded use for the military. Only in the last generation or two has liberalism made having a completely permeable border an, in my opinion ill conceived, ideal

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Morning News.

I got up this morning and scanned through the morning headlines. The one that leapt out at me was a local blurb of teens driving around with "BB Guns" shooting out car windows and at homes in midtown.

There's a lot of issues and thoughts I could blog about concerning this, but what scares me the most is danger. In the moment, it is very hard to distinguish a BB gun or paintball gun from a "real" gun and these asshats are running the risk of getting shot and killed for a little vandalism thrill.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My monthly off week.

The place I work at being the way it is, I get a week off a month. It was either that or two 3 day "weekends" that usually fall on a Tuesday through Thursday. Anyway, my off week is spent trying to get caught up on those lists of things to do that I've had to put off for the month before and a bit of time for stuff that I like to do but can't while I'm on and have to be close to the airport. So I've been to the range, both pistol and rifle. I've been to the movies. I've been to a restaurante to eat an unhurried meal that I want to. (I still want some good Thai.)

This is all in the way of apologising for being sporadic on the posting.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lolcat of the day.

I'm a big fan of TCM and classic movies. So this just got to me.

Bear of Very Little Brain Award

It's been a while but I couldn't ignore it any longer. The travelling BoVLB trophy goes to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for this little gem of fear mongering.

Just so you know. The census bureau in it's last moments of non-partisanship puts the US population at 305,831,116 as of this date. That means there's going to be chillun's born into joblessness. How can that be? Something must be done and now! What? Nobody has a job when they're born? They're infants? That can't be right.

Granted I'd give the entire politician class of 2009 the trophy for the debt stumulus stumble us pork stimulus bill, or maybe the current messiah, but in the first case I'd hate to see them fight over it and in the second case I'm supremely confident that he's gonna have bigger idiocies coming.

Blogmail, and it's dirty too!

You know who you are.

You know what it's about.

You have 23 hours.

Edit: She broke after only 8 hours. Seems sort of anti-climaticle now. Fer shizzle my triggle.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday mind game.

Without further ado...

What does that mean anyway? Without further ado. Was there ado before? Would that be preado? Or should that be pre-ado? And how often do you get more ado? I mean is someone going to say "with further ado." It's like there some conspiracy to short change people on their ado. That's not fair! I paid for my ado just like everyone else. I demand my fair share! Down with ado hoarders! Long live the revolution!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A question of ?

Why was the census bureau taken out of the Dept. of Commerce and place under Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel?

In 1812, the then governor of Massachusetts, Elbridge Gerry signed into law a bill redistricting his state to the benefit of his Democratic-Republican party over the Federalists party.

The cartoonist for the Boston Gazette likened the shape of the new district to a salamander. The editor called it a Gerrymander.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Continuing Weirdness.

By day a mild mannered charter drone, but at night, when evil calls, I am

Armed with my trusty twig, Mr. Pointy, I seek out evil and poorly cooked meat products to vanquish them. Thus ensuring our continued... something. Honestly, I'm just out poking people at random. It's just funnier.

h/t to Ambulance Driver

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

If I were a beer.

Not surprising really.

AR Build Update.

It's been a while. But the Brown-Truck-o-Goodness came today! And behold!

The lower, she is finished! That's an Ace ARFX skeleton buttstock and if you squint really hard you can see the Norgon Ambi-Mag catch. Pretty cool, huh. I think I increased the VPC's spinning another 10 or 15 rpm. Bonus.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Illusions Leading to Spatial Disorientation.

As a pilot we learn that sometimes the body and it's sensory systems can lie to us.

Everybody, unconsciously, use three sensory systems for orientation: the visual system, the motion sensing system in the inner ear; and the position sensing system involving nerves in the skin, muscles, and joints. With the visual system being the major sensory organ for orientation while moving. All this adds up to a feeling we have about our position and it's situation relative to our surroundings. Simple.

But sometimes through a combination of visual cues, motion, and body movement we can create orientation signals to the brain that are incorrect to our actual orientation and "illusions" happen. In no particular order some of them are:*

The Leans - Basically, a bank may be entered into so slowly that the fluid in the "roll" semicircular tubes in the inner ear aren't set in motion. An abrupt roll correction sets the fluid in motion causing an illusion of a bank in the opposite direction

Coriolis Illusion - An abrupt head movement made during a steady turn may set the inner ear's fluid in motion in more than one semicircular tube creating an illusion of turning or accelerating in an entirely different direction.

Somatogravic Illusion - A rapid acceleration, especially during take off, can create the illusion of being in a nose up attitude. A rapid deceleration can have the opposite effect, with a feeling of being in a nose low, or dive, situation. This is part of why you feel like the airplane is really climbing during takeoff in an airliner. Even though the deck angle may only be 8 or 9 degrees.

Autokinesis - In the dark, a stationary light may appear to move about when stared at for a period of time.

There are others, they all deal with the visual cues, inner ear or body movement not agreeing with the airplane's attitude.

Don't worry, I'm getting to a point here.

Anyway, as pilot's learn to fly, we train to recognise these illusions and cope with them. The biggest of the coping mechanisms is to use the flight instruments and rely upon them. We're trained to ignore what our feelings are telling us and rely on the facts as relayed by our instruments. With very few specific exceptions, the airplanes instruments don't lie and we train to read them and rely on that information.

While our feelings may be saying one thing, if they don't agree with the instruments, we have to disregard them and believe the instruments. Did you get that, feelings are one thing, but they aren't the only thing. And in some cases they may be the wrong thing.

There are other professions that teach that. My career as an engineer is one. Numbers don't lie. Statistics are another thing. I'm sure there are others, but let me get to my point. (Yes, I know, finally. You don't have to sound so relieved.)

That's whats wrong with a lot of people these days. They haven't been trained to tell the difference between their feelings and what the facts are. I've bemoaned the loss of logic and argument classes that used to be taught in school, this is part of the consequences.

Hoplophobes cry that guns are bad and, sometimes psychotically, ignore the fact that crime rates drop in states that allow concealed carry.

They are convinced they are right because they feel that it is so. The facts must be wrong because they feel that they are. So, they merrily go along holding tighter and tighter to their world, railing against reality that must, MUST be wrong, because their feelings tell them so.

What can stop this cycle? I don't know. Try to present the facts and they shut you out with their feelings. Showing them the reality outside their door won't work, they just view it through the colored lenses that their feelings have placed over their eyes. Would a severe shock to the system work? I'd be afraid that it would just cause them to curl tighter into their cocoon of feelings.

Listening to their feelings makes them feel safe. And safe is supposed to be secure and happy. Pilots are trained to overcome that sometimes terrifying sense that relying on outside information for the real situation can cause. The problem is that feeling safe and actually being safe are two very different things. Feeling safe and being safe are as different as a quiet night flight and an abrupt stop followed by a write up in the aviation safety journals.

AC 61-27C - Instrument Flying Handbook, USDoT FAA

The Black Widow

My apologies for not putting a picture of the P-61 up when I mentioned it in a previous post. I tend to forget that not everyone is as complete a propeller head as I am. Anyway, to rectify the error, here is a picture of one. It links to the wikipedia article on the aircraft. Also, if you want to read more, here is a link to Amazons available of books on the aircraft.

by the way: Bayou Renaissance Man does a weekend wings series that is outstanding. If you have time go and read a few of them. He covers everything from planes to engineering to missions to, well, I guess A to Z (or Zed for him) would be the quickest way to say it.

Ambulance Driver...

Damn you AD. You and your entertaining writing. Your engaging writing style with it's wit and heartfelt moments. I hate you. A burning hate of a thousand bibliophiles forced to wait for the next book. I shall hunt you down. Hunt you down and treat you like a redheaded stepchild. And so help me, if you are one day late on the new book's release, just one day, I shall resort to cheap Monty Python quotes and maybe even a few ni's tossed in for good measure.

(Life, Death and Everything in between: A Paramedic's Memoirs receives the seagull's 4 barrel rolls of approval. Now when does the new book come out?)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I'm back

And in one piece too! As for as charter trips go, this was one of the better ones. We got 24 hours in the DC area and I met up with Old_NFO for a bit of fun. We went to the Sully wing of the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum. The cool bit is Jim knows a lot of the cool back stories of some of the airplanes there. Like the P-61 Black widow is in there because someone wanted to get married in front of one and he donated $500,000 for the privilege. Of course, the airplane was just rolled in, no restoration work was done on it at all. But there it sits.

We picked up the usual tourista doodads, they're in the mail tomorrow Rita.

After the museum, Jim casually mentions that he wants to go pick up a Winchester lever action that he dropped off for a cleaning at his smiths. We go in, and in a sort of "oh, by the way" way, he says he'd like to pick up a ambi-mag catch too. I'm turn to him and ask, "is that like the Norgon ones I've been looking for?" He looks at me like I'm crazy and says this is the place were the guy invented them.

It was a major DUH moment for me.

Let's see, I want to by Norgon Ambi-Mag Catch... they're made in Virginia... I'm in Virginia... Jim originally told me about them... Nope, I got nothing. Is all this supposed to mean something?

I met the inventor, picked up a ambi-mag catch at a great price and Jim's just chuckling away because apparently I can't put 1 and 1 together to make 2.

In my defense, 1 and 1 can equal 3 for sufficiently large values of 1.

We swung by a gun shop where I picked up more ammo. This time just a brick of CCI .22 ammo.

I then scammed Ambulance Driver's book Life, Death and Everything In Between: A Paramedic's Memoirs and an S.M. Stirling book out of Jim's library. I finished Conquistador this morning. I've got a plan for it too. More on that latter.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Are you sitting down?

North Carolina has Ammo! .45ACP, .223, .380, 9mm! Compared to the ammo dessert that was the DFW area last weekend, woohoo!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Blogging is...

expected to be light and sporadic for the next 3 days. I'm off on a goat rope around the eastern seaboard. On the plus side, I'm hitting the D.C. area saturday and if I can get ahold of Old_NFO, I plan on having a good nosh and chat.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Quote of the day

From TOTWTYTR comes this little gem:

"Impose term limits on politicians. I favor one in office and one in prison,"
Hear hear!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

AR Build Update.

Does anyone know where there are Bolt Carrier Groups available. And I don't mean at outrageous 300% markups. It's enough to make a man depressed even.

Monday, February 2, 2009

States and the State of CCW

This last weekend I traveled from my humble home in Oklahoma to the Big D in Texas for a major shindig at Phlemmy's. And being the conscientious CHL holder that I am I went online and looked up the differences between OK's and TX's CCW laws. Wait for it....

Which got me to thinking.

I've heard rumblings every so often from forums and blogs about having to worry that something you do carrying in one state might make you a criminal in another and there should be a national CCW so we don't have to worry about differences in laws from one state or municipality to another. Some of the same people will also cry that that's just a backdoor registration and our second amendment means we shouldn't need any CCW license at all. They'll also state that their CCW means they've been vetted and are therefore less likely to commit a crime and more legal and they should be hassled less etc.

Which struck me as a cake and eating situation. And having the likes of Lawdog, JPG and Matt in the same room seemed like a unique opportunity to bounce my thoughts on the matter off of some experts.

It seems to me that we have a mission creep problem here as well.

First off, if there was a national CCW law, which state should be base it on? Omitting IL and WI, because they don't have any, the states run the gamut from AK and VT with none required to CA, NY, and NJ where you need the agility of a circus performer to jump through the hoops required and a personal phone call from the Great Pumpkin to boot. Whose do we use? Or do we take a middle of the road stance like TX, KS or the likes, which should equally piss off everyone.

But, you cry, what about driver's licenses? They're accepted in every other state. Why can't CCW's be like that.

The thing is, when you travel to another state, you have to abide by that's states driving laws. If they have a no turn on red law, you comply or get ticketed. Which brings me full circle to the beginning of the issue. A national reciprocity law would not relieve CCW holders from knowing and complying with whatever the state laws are when they get there.

Secondly, having a national CCW law could very quickly be turned into a database used or rather abused by those with other agendas. Where could the law be set so that couldn't happen? Lawdog had a good idea. If I remember it correctly, there would be a random set of numbers, if one came up, the person being queried wasn't okay to carry, any other number meant they were. Careful, I didn't use the words allowed or not allowed. I'm severely over simplifying a simple plan here too. Perfect right? Sort of. While there isn't a database per se with peoples names, every time a LEO called a check in, there would be an instance of a name and a "gun inquiry" What happens to that record transaction. What's to stop that from being saved and later used to build a database of sorts. The fact is, and I agree with the fear behind it, every weapon confiscation by any government has been preceded by a registration.

Also, this will get me in all sort of trouble. Why do they point to the second amendment and decry the CCW laws? To me, the second amendment is there to protect us from a tyrannical government. Whether it be a foreign or domestic one. It does not guarantee us a right to self-protection. That's a concept so basic, so fundamental, that it shouldn't need enumeration. If a goblin is after your shiny or whatever, there isn't any question that you're allowed to resist. Asking permission to pull your hand out of a fire is just as silly. The issue of registration isn't one of self-defense, it's one of defense of the people from tyranny . My opposition to registration is there and not in the CCW arena.

Finally, crying about CCW's infringing on your rights and then using the same CCW to crow that you're more law abiding seems a bit hypocritical to me. Do you hate it or like it?

And Great Fun Was Had By All

Others have done a much better job of saying what a great party it was at Phlemmy's this last weekend. Friday's meat orgy at Texas De Brazil was a blast. Everything's better when wrapped in bacon. Saturday the party started at 1 and never stopped. I'll admit I went all fanboy when Lawdog and AD showed up. These two won't admit it, but they're a couple of the best story tellers in the blogosphere.

I spent the weekend developing my art.

I call this one "Everything's better with Breda's Pig Candy."

This I'm entitling "Love the Pig Candy"

Do Not Question My Art!

Finally, here's a group photo of everyone at the party:

Sunday, Phlemmy, Matt, Farmgirl, AD, JPG and I went had us some shooty goodness at the range. Here's my impression of Phlemmy:

Let's try the Browning .22
Click-click ping, Click-click ping, Click-click ping, Click-click ping, Click-click ping

Try the S&W Airweight
Ping, ping, ping, ping, ping

Here's a .17HMR
Ping, ping, ping, ping, ping, ping, ping

Shoot at the golf balls
ping-whizz, ping-whizz, ping-whizz, ping-whizz

Try this AR-15 at 115 yards
Bang ping Bang ping Bang ping Bang ping Bang ping

Try to miss the log at 120 yard
Bang ping bang ping bang ping bang ping
Me: No, I said miss...
Phlemmy: I'm trying, I can't

I snapped a pic of her at the range Sunday.

We definately need to do this again.

I promise.

I will post tomorrow. I'm just beat right now.