Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Good Day

Yesterday was just about perfect, it featured many of my favorite things and was pretty productive.  I had the day off because I was picking up a new (well, 12 years old) car.  Since I had the day to myself I was able to help some friends as well.  I took a friends bike in for it's inspection and dropped it off to her, lending her my soon to be extra car since hers needs a repair.  I cut up some branches dropped by the storm.  I enjoyed both a meal cooked by my wife and some Mexican food.  I re-dyed some gear that a friend and I dyed the night before that wasn't quite as dark as I liked.  I went to the range to try out some new 45 acp loads and get some general practice in.  I picked up a car I'd been after a number of years and got to drive it about.  I paid $30 for an oil filter for said car in anticipation of doing the first maintenance.  I helped a friend pull an engine out of his motorcycle.  I got to experience the joy of two hot showers and two (or three) fine American beers.  I enjoyed a bit of adult time with the wife. 

All in all, about the perfect day.  All days should be that good!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Why I'm not a Republican, Part 1

Because the way to get them on board with the migration bill is to ramp up the police state at our southern border.  They revel in the ideal of jackbooted thugs harassing people and demanding to see their papers

In general, I think the whole idea presented in the immigration bill is a bad one.  It creates a class of sub-citzen, something I'm in complete disagreement with.  And getting Republicans on board with that bad idea was accomplished by adding more bad ideas to the bill.  I'd much rather see our immigration system changed to allow for more legal immigrants and the borders opened up to allow for free travel.  This bill, while called "amnesty" is actually quite punitive to the people who are here working without having jumped through all the government paperwork hoops.  That's not progress at all. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Cheap Red Dots

Back in the day I got a couple red dots for $30.  They were both BSA brand, and they were both pretty junky.  The one I still use today as a sight on a single shot rimfire I use for kids- learning to put a dot on the target is easier than lining up sights, so it's a good gun to use on the first trip to the range, but it burns through batteries.  I have to keep a spare battery with it because it seems like I need to replace it every time I use it.  The other one was pretty much unusable out of the box.  On the couple guns I tried it on there wasn't enough adjustment to get it zeroed, you had to take it off the gun to change the battery, and the reticule was fuzzy.  Oh, and whatever they used for paint got sticky after a couple years.  I think at this point I actually discarded it.  At least I got it on sale.

But through those I learned that many "bargain" red dot sights are junk.  Just this weekend I witnessed a NC Star red dot have problems and it was pretty new.  I figured somewhere out there there had to be a hundred dollar red dot that was good enough for use on a 22 rifle or pistol, but there seemed to be few options between the garbage that sells for $30-$80 and the well-known quality options like Aimpoints and Eotechs.  I'm hard pressed to spend $400 on a sight for a $200 gun myself.

First World Standards

Here in the first world we've become accustomed to many services and products being generally available.  When they aren't, some people aren't sure how to act.  This was brought to light this weekend for me through a few instances.

First, we lost power again.  The last time this happened the neighbors came by to borrow lights.  This time we saw the storm rolling in and left home for a meeting we were attending anyway.  We just got to the meeting early and avoided getting soaked.  But we returned home to no power, and I wondered whether the neighbors had been by to borrow things again.

Earlier that day on of my neighbors came by to ask for assistance.  They've been there for a few years and I've always been friendly and helpful.  I've helped with the woman's car a couple times.  There is a guy who lives there as well, but it seems he's away from time to time.  I'm going to (probably falsely) assume he travels a bit for work, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't have a job.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

In a recent conversation with a friend, they expressed their dissatisfaction with having to wait to get certain goods.  We are at the tail end of a 6 month long panic buying run on many types of firearms, and many firearm parts have been generally unavailable as well.  It's been hard to find certain parts which has led to either having to pay a premium or order something (often at full msrp) and wait a month or 3 for it to be delivered.

I'm perfectly comfortable operating like this.  Perhaps I'm an old soul, but ordering something from a catalog and waiting for it to be delivered days, weeks or months later is fun.  And quite honestly, if anyone get get a thing any time they want, it can't be all that great.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Today on NPR the topic is again gun control.  As always, it's entertaining, if not necessarily informative.  Again their "advocate" for gun rights is our favorite astroturfer, Richarch Feldman from The Indpendent Firearms Owners Association.  You know, that guy I've mentioned before who claims to be the head of a gun rights organization who actually support gun control.  Displaying the opposition as being much closer to your opinion is how they try to shape public opinion by skewing what the middle ground is.

But my favorite part is the panel explaining why gun control efforts failed.  They claimed there was a conspiracy to stop the Manchin-Toomey amendment, that the only reason it didn't pass because people didn't understand what was in it.  (Their words, not mine.)

This highlights why they haven't been successful.  They aren't acknowledging reality.  They have this elitist belief than anyone who doesn't agree with them must be stupid, uninformed or delusional.  Sadly, by believing that they are embracing delusion themselves.  But that's OK.  As long as they continue to be delusional they aren't going to be effective at taking away any of my rights.