Thursday, December 31, 2020

UH oh

 Low on fodder, high on happy pills.

Health report, I guess.

No neck brace.  Doc didn't want one on me.  "Just try not to bend or twist your neck.  Don't lift anything over 15 pounds."

I better get groceries delivered then.  I'd go crazy taking one bag in at a time.

And I can't read in bed.  Chin goes too low.  That's bending.

He warned the annoying part won't be in the neck, but in the shoulders.  And boy howdy those are stiff.

With no reading I am watching DVDs and pirated Hulu.  Saw all of Fargo Season 4.  Was good, but they could turn on a light!

So, TV, with lots of supporting pillows and naps.  Not quite enough stamina to play vidja games to pass the time.  

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Kolchak!

 The Night Stalker!

I had never seen these shows, I love Darren McGavin, and I got the set for Christmas.

For those that don't know, Kolchak is a reporter for a small independent news service in Chicago in the early 70s.  He investigates strange phenomena.  X-Files type stuff for those of you alive in the 90s.

The first ep, from the fall of 1974, is The Ripper.  The theory is this homikidal maniac with superhuman strength terrorizing Chicago is the same Ripper from 1888 London.  

One of the guest stars is a lady-reporter, real name Beatrice Colen.  Everyone describes her as fat.  What?!  Maybe 1970s fat.  Maybe Hollywood fat.  Her face is kinda round. No she is not supermodel skinny.  But is all the fat people in 2020 looked like her we wouldn't have a fat problem.

"So where's the gun content, T-Bolt?"

I was just getting to that.  Dozens of Chicago cops are chasing the Ripper guy across 4th story rooftops.  At night in poor 1970s incandescent light.  And there is constant shooting.  Cops on the left shooting toward the right, cops on the right shooting toward left, a handful of shotguns shooting up to the rooftops.  Where are all those missed bullets going?  Chicago isn't known for hills, those .38s could sail quite a distance.  Or into fellow officers right there.  It's a madhouse.  Just dozens of bullets winging about, at a man armed with a sheathed sword cane.  

I guess people thought that normal enough in 1974.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Didn't get much for Xmas

 But didn't expect much.  I did get a small air fryer to play with.  My counters are full but I found a spot.

Small learning curve.

First attempt at fries:


Second:



Monday, December 28, 2020

But seriously.

The ravages of Syphilis are no laughing matter.  And there is no real cure.*

I don't have the dreaded Syph, or even the Drip, but I suspect my spine issue are congenital.  It goes a lot to explaining my lack of athletic skill, or progression in same even when I work at it.  The passaged for the nerver branching off the main trunk are more constricted than average.  And that constriction has always prevent proper enervation.  The muscle may be toned, hard, and fit, but if the signal isn't there, it can't do its job.  

It's a flaw in the electronics, not the hydraulics, in other words.  Not enough to keep me out of the military, but enough to keep my Physical Fitness scores in the basement of passing.  Similar issues probably also afflicted a bunch of other PT slugs you knew.  They weren't all just Lazy Sacks that lacked the fortitude.  

Which is no big deal.  Not everyone is destined to be a Marine, a SEAL, or a Ranger.  Some are blessed with good athletic acumen from day one, others, not so much.  But you need folks in the motorpool and watch standers aboard ship, and ATC monitoring the radars.  


* Information garnered from a 1939 Funk and Wagnalls encyclopedia.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Seymour and Philis

 Sy and Phillis

Wait, women with the clap carry?  And they like carry 1911s?

Aslo remember to never point your Floozy and anything you don't wanna get a dose, keep your finger out of the Trollop until you wanna have to get a short-arm inspection, and beware of your Doxie and the next Doxzie you chat up.



Saturday, December 26, 2020

Update.

 Weaning myself off the Oxy.  I want to save it for nighttime sleeping, and there is a finite number of these glorious little things.

Throat slightly scratchy inside, partly because I was intubated.  I feel the swallows, but not painful enough to stop me. 

Incision area feels, and is, bruised.  This is the most painful area.

Motion is consciously kept to a minimum, and my upper back and shoulders are stiff.  The brain surgeon said that was expected.

Doing fine.

Song of the Lark

 


Thursday, December 24, 2020

Surgery Today

 Wish me luck.  Merry Christmas. Posting might be sporadic from here on out...


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Cured

 This season has cured me of Facebook ads.  

I must admit, the ads were good, pushing products that I found fascinating and got the wants for.  

But the slow boat from China, and the Navy style deck coat made out of thin cloth with a zipper that zips from the wrong side was the final straw.  Cheap.  Make a decent layer under something else, or I could wear it instead of a fleece pullover when the heat in the house is turned down in the winter.  So, no extra regret, but there is still buyers remorse.

Ooo, these make me wanna....

No no, back to the subject.

A wool blanket comes in the mail?  I barely remember impulse clicking that. I like wool blankets.  This one is a fine wool blanket.  Not a Woolrich, but not bad either.  The price was ok, too.  The thing is, I have more than enough of these.  I already had enough blankets for the end times when the power and gas goes out.  Including spares to give away to people.  Plus the car, cuz you never know when you might get stuck.

Even if all these social-media advertised products were top shelf in quality... I don't need the big damascus meat cleaver kitchen knife.  It is cool, but keep my pay-pal in my pocket.  Resist the ads.  

A lesson learned and relearned from as far back as adds in comic books and Boys Life.   Ooo, wait, you mean I could have muscles like Charles Atlas?



Monday, December 21, 2020

Stress?

 Am I under stress?

Assuredly.

I've been essential worker since the start.  Working in an office constantly throughout.  Didn't miss work (until RIGHT now), didn't miss a paycheck.  Been very lucky that way.  Couple dozen in my building alone have come up positive for Covide.  No bad outcomes from the recovered, a few are in transit, so to speak.  

Many folks were given the option to stay home.  Their job didn't require they touch office machines, or they could stay home while others, like me, carried the load.  Which isn't as bad as it sounds.  These folks were the ones with other health issues, or just plain scared.  

I noticed prior military service folks just rolled with it.  Generally.  Didn't take the free days off.  Folks that had already thought about their mortality at work and from work, I guess, long before they landed in a civilian office job.  At least the WuFlu virus wasn't burying explosives under their parking space, or sniping from hidey holes in the woods, or lobbing inaccurate rockets sporadically at them.   For me, I wasn't going to fall off the office unnoticed and drown or get sucked into any machinery.  

So, there is that.  Plus the stress of this surgery.  Right?  Christmas alone, after.

And the non-disease news in the paper is ugly-ugly.  

The question is, how bad?  How bad is this stress?  That I, personally, am experiencing.  Am I doing ok? 

Well, it's hard to self diagnose.  I think I am rolling with it alright.  But I am no shrink.  I could melt down into a puddle.  Do a Hawkeye from the last episode of M*A*S*H.  Fall apart.  Or get PTSD symptoms, even mild.  I'd sleep great if my back didn't ache so.  

I am not witnessing any death.  Or death of people I know.  

What am I doing instead of doomscrolling?  Reading fiction on a Kindle.  Often in setting from 100 years ago.  In the car I listen to podcasts, when I commute.  History ones, read short stories, and Old Time Radio.  I drink less, because of the pain and subsequent need to be less fat in physical therapies and be healthier in all the recent doctor visits.  So more self-care.  Unless it is a Zoom happy hour.  Then a little Basil Hayden gets savored.

You take care of yourself, too.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Before Surgery

 You have to get a Covid test.  It isn't for me, to be sure I don't have the added burden of a nasty virus while also recovering from surgery.  No, it's to sure I don't give the brain surgeon and the surgical staff the bug, knocking that avenue of treatment for other patients out of action. 

And that's fine.  Good.  

And then don't go out.  I'm on lockdown.  Awesome, no work.

I do have to say, they sent me to what they described as one of the better testing joints.  An urgent care center that just does this now.  More out of the way, less foot traffic.  But I have to say the place made me squick.  Of all the place I've been to in the past year THAT one felt the 'dirtiest'.  The biggest risk of covid was inside that place.  They did all the precautions, but it still didn't feel very clean. I touched nothing I didn't have to and used the hand sanitizer six different times in there.   Yuck.

The swabs up the nose wasn't as bad as people told me.  It was fine.  No problem.  Don't be afraid of that.  

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Midway

 Anybody see this?  Is it worth renting?


Friday, December 18, 2020

So Neck Surgery is in Less than a Week

 That should fix that part.

How bout the back?

Meh. I think the steroid shot is wearing off.  The back ache isn't pain, yet.  But it is keeping me awake at night.  No bueno.  Might have to drop the meloxicam and go back to ibuprophin.  I can take the Vitamin I before bed.  Meloxicam is one pill a day sorta thing.  And it really doesn't last all day.  

But there may be other pain killers with the surgery.  While those last the back might do great and be the least of my pain management worries.  Then the back doc follow up in late January.  Where I could get scheduled for another round of the shot.  I have heard it can take a few to 'take'.  I hope that is the case.  

After that, if that doesn't work?  I dunno.  More surgeries?  I hope not.  

I'm on lockdown now.  No contact with anyone outside my home until the day of surgery.  To be sure I don't have the WuFlu and spread it to the brains surgeons, or suffer with it so soon after a neck bone operation.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

But that was in Louisiana

 I wonder if the local DA would be as understanding if 4 felons home-invaded a house in Maryland suburbs of DC?  Or if a jury here would be as understanding as a jury there.

Technically, they should.  There is Castle Doctrine, even in Maryland.  But only for the past dozen years or so. We used to have a duty to retreat.  Even in our own home.  

With regards to the justice of the thing, they should.  

But you second guess em here.  I bet you wouldn't sleep at home that night.  If you were lucky, you would the next.  

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Erasing The Cleveland Indians Erases American History

 Yes.

Ok, that is a bit better

 I was determined to go back after the last disastrous 2-magazine range day.

A bit better on 11 December.  Concentrate on the basics: relax, front sight, make trigger go good.  29 fired (all I wanted) no malfs.  8 yards.   1288 through the gun since I built it.  I think this 1911 is turning into one of those guns


See?  Not great, but much better than last time.

There was a big wait to get a lane.  Half capacity last wee cuz of Covid, quarter capacity starting this week.  Had 4 rifles for sale on the wall where 80 go, and a dozen pistols in the cabinets where 80 go. 

Next range day will be post neck-surgery.  Assuming I survive that.  

---


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

I wouldn't be 'that guy'

 If I took my 1911s to a gun class.  I was checking my shooter logs.  

You know.  'That Guy' the guy that brings a 1911 to class.  Just one.  And 4 factory magazines, and no loader.  And his gun breaks halfway through and was never reliable up till that break, and he spent all his time frantically reloading and never really kept up.  The gun was, say, a Kimber?

I'd not have that problem.  I'd bring a couple dozen after market magazine I have tested through multiple range days.  I'd bring 2 guns. Duplicate set ups.  Those are tested too.  

The T-Bolt 001 gun has over 1200 rounds logged through it.  Zero malfs.  Never cleaned, yet, either.  I have oiled it a few times.

The Springfield backup 1911 I rebuilt has over 1300 logged.  I learned not to shoot Semi-Wadcutter though it.  It doesn't feed that ammo reliably, and I don't count those as malfs in the 600s.  Self-defense stuff works fine.  I lean toward Federal HST 230g, and American Eagle FMJ.  Three malfs in 1388 for this gun.  This gun has not locked back on the last round 3 times.  #442, #544, and #1369.  I am watching the mag I used on #1369, the next thing to look at is the slide-release geometry, obviously. 

I'd bring to the log to class to allay the fears of the instructor.  If it was more of a plastic doublestack class and not geared to 1911 fossils, I'd make arrangements for the proper pistols to come with me and leave the 1911s at home.  But if it was 1911 friendly class "as long as it is reliable" then hell yeah, I'm bringin' em.


Monday, December 14, 2020

I coulda swore

 I had a post scheduled for today.  I did not.  Drat.  


I am reading a Brigadier Gerard book.  From some author named Doyle that wrote detective fiction.  Gerard is a Frenchman in the Napoleonic wars, so the gun content is on the slightly boring side.  The sabre content is exciting

Sunday, December 13, 2020

I've known three

 One back in May, One in July, and one recovering now.  Two had co-morbidities. None died yet. All three lost their sense of taste as their Big Initial Clue.



I spoke too soon

 They have revised the graph on deaths.  When I first noted on the 9th I posted this













Nothing over 40 then.  

Since then Maryland has revised the numbers up a bit.  A few lines now exceed 40.  



 





You guys ready?

 We better get goin if we wanna stay head of the weather.



Got some storms coming, mebbe?  The one that might leave significant accumulation is Wednesday.  Which is rough for me, what with my spine being all jacked up, getting that cleared.  As long as I can get to the Covid Testing Center by Friday so I can get surgery on the 24th.  On my spine. 

I took care of old guys a few years back and thought about paying folks to help with shovelling their stuff.  You know how much they want?  There is no kids that go door to door offering to do it for $5 or $20 or $40.  But for $300...  The old guys would have rather let it melt.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Jutland

 It wasn't until youtube animations came around that I really got a hold of what happened at Jutland apart from the post-action conclusions.  I'd look at the charts and diagrams with lines and times and never get the proper gist one short film can show.  That's on me, and the way my head works.

Now I am on about, "exactly how useless were the ship designs leading up to Jutland?"  Not so much the Grand fleet (British) or High Seas fleet (Huns).  The better ships were all together in those groupings, for the most part. 

But ships in the navy not up to the standard of those fleets were often ineffective even when brand new.  Well ineffective unless going up against similarly ineffective opponents.  Forward gun turrets couldn't be operated at speed because too much sea was shipped over the bows.  Secondary aramaent of other ships were in barbettes or casemates on the sides of the hull.  Like old time sailing warcraft and their broadsides.  Also, in any type of speed or any type of seas because smooth as glass they were swamped and unusable.  On British ships.  German ship designs were slightly better.  And guns slightly bigger on the smaller classes of warship.  This can be attributed to the Germans starting from zero and going on a building spree, while the Brits were working with a giant legacy fleet, often adequately employed controlling their colonial empire.  You reluctantly retire older classes because they were good use in many applications besides World War.  

But there was lot of that going around in the Brit fleet; guns mounted that can't be used.  To me, a significant design flaw.  (I dunno about you.)  A flaw that they only got around to solving just a few short years before the Great War.  If they laid down the keel in 1910, then all the guns will be employed even when the ship is moving.  Ok, that may be an exaggeration, but only partly.  

I know the concept is new, but they only seemed to get a handle on what a Destroyer is, and could do, and should do, a few years before the war.  Then the submarine menace knocked that all into a cocked hat and Destroyers had to deal with that, too.  But they don't install depth charge racks at the yard until the S-Class in 1917.  I'm way back in the H classes, designed less than a decade prior.  10 years, and so much changed, including the forward turret that can work.  

Friday, December 11, 2020

Falling into Battle

It's a book.  In a series called the War to End All Wars.  Four Brit midshipmen on the St. Vincent get promoted to sub lietenant and sent off on their separate ways.  In 1914.  Well, three.  One just doesn't fit in an is not promoted. This loser leaves naval and joings the national guard, or Territorials because his father insists he make something of himself or get cut out.  One Toff gets assigned to the flagship Iron Duke, one orphan with an inherited private income gets a Destroyer, and the other gets a Cruiser in the South Atlantic, the Good Hope.

It starts a little over expository, and does a decent historical job. It's about the events surrounding in 1914, and less about the people.  I want more detail on lives from 100 years ago.  Details we are quickly losing if not lost already.  No mention of shaving brushes or brands of razor blades.  What tobacco products they use.  But that's me being picky.  There is some of that, it's not just a history book, the personal narratives are more than adequate.  

This book concentrates on the Destroyer man and the Terrier (and Army life suits him, despite being reflexively lazy until things start to go down), more than the other two.  Though the poor Cruiser guy has SO much foreshadowing...  That's a thing.  Shocking how the end come.  The Destoyer man, Sturton, watches a sister ship hit a mine and then the screws drive the ship under.  All hands, gone.  Submarines are pooh-poohed until they sink 3 combat ships in quick succession in the North Atlantic.  The Brits underestimate them because their own subs had so little luck.  So much death.  That happened.    

And ship design was awful.  The Acorn class forward 4" gun could not be used when the ship was moving at any decent speed.  So many of the older ship were obsolete, yet still put to sea to fight, filled with old reservist men and boys.  If the subs didn't sink them they stood no chance against modern combatants.  THESE were the ships tasked to patrol and sally out.  The modern British vessels were holed up in Scotland waiting to go big fleet versus big fleet against the Hun.  Just and awful way to run a war.

Thank God for Jackie Fisher or there would have been many more obsolete ships on the lists to be victimized.  

Anyway, the book itself.  It's not Otto Prohaska novel, but it is still pretty good.  I recommend to any interested in the Great War.       



Thursday, December 10, 2020

ALL IN THE SAME DAY?

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Maryland Deaths Per Day

 Well, that's a scary bit of mid-November spike that is hopefully heading in the proper direction, now.  Trending as spike over.  Too soon to really declare.  Hopeful.  I'd love a low flat Spring, even without a vax.



Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Witnesses

History - Pearl Harbor: The Last Word - "The Attack on Pearl Harbor: Battleship Row" from hsc.tv on Vimeo.

40mm

 I thought this was a stage shot, but there are explosion clouds at the end that didn't come 40mm ack ack shells falling back to earth.  There might be burning aircraft plummetting, but it is hard to tell. Looks like the Germans were trying to hit the logistics tail of the beach head.  The battery pointing to sea and all that.  

I was surprised the Germans has much to throw at the beaches by 1944, resources for aviation assets being shunted to the Eastern Front pyre, and all.  The Lawton B. Evans had to shoot back at some planes, tho, making my assumptions wrongheaded.  Can a Liberty ship be an ace?


My dad was 6 when this happened, but all these men sorta look like him.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Sneak Sky and Sea Raid on Pearl Harbor

"America lost 3 destroyers."

"Oklahoma and Utah"

"Here is the actual bombing of the USS Arizona" Lucky hit.

Note the newsreel doesn't mention the there other two sunk Battleships? Don't wanna give up too much to the enemy with a proper damage report... Or be too disheartening to the folks at home.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

These People

 These people aren't attacking Senator Ted Cruz.  They are attacking YOU.



And man, that is a nice rack.

Sears

 Saw a Meateater article. "An Ode to Department Store Guns"

Shocking!

You could buy a gun at the same place you bought back to school clothes!  And it wasn't WalMart.

Hey, most of these are BB guns.  I thought is was a catelog of mostly GUN-guns.  Guess you gotta go further back to have em be mostly proper firearms.  There are a few .22s and...

Hey wait.  That shotgun might be the very model and price paid by my dad back in 1968 when rioting got him to buy a gun.  Just in case.  Dad got 20 gauge.  And it may have been Montgomery Wards. 




Saturday, December 5, 2020

Old Eyes

Saw this article on the internet.

"Pistol sights for old eyes"

When I first started out, I liked the 3-dot sights, but my preferences evolved as I learned more and trained more.  I tried out many pistol sights over time.  But am pretty much settled on plain black rear sight with no dots or lines.  And a pretty side aperture so I can see 'light' between the notch and the post of the front sight.  And then the front sight has something.  It's not just black, there is a dot of some kind on up there.  

"Three dot sights are probable not the best pistol sights for old eyes." Yeah, I've come to the opinions they aren't the best for any eyes.

And it turns out, as my vision deteriorates as I age, (and it is...) that is a decent setup.  But hell, I'd go for that with my 30 year old 20/15 vision.  

I've always liked the idea of tritium sights for low light shooting, but if the light is low enough to need glowing sights it's too low for target ID.  'Liked,' past tense. Yes, tho, my bedside gun has a glowing front sight.  Anyone in the house besides me in the dark is a legit target.  No way my rear sights of the bedside gun are becoming part of it in low light.  They don't glow.  But my other easily accessible firearms available have flashlights on them.  A light bright enough to make the room light enough to use regular fiber optic sights.  That is probably your best bet.  That and knowledge of your home turf in the dark.

My eyes, personally, are still pretty good. I can drive ok without glasses, I just don't prefer to. I have to get too close to street signs to read them.  So, shooting without glasses is also not a problem for self-defense ranges.  I don't keep my glasses in my bedroom.  I don't normally need them when to home.  Just for TV to look good.   

"How about a red dot on your pistols, T-Bolt"

Meh...  That would require serious smithing.  None of mine are ready for a mount.  And then it would require a buncha training with the sights, and then practice to get good.  I'm not agin the idea, but it would take some doing.  But Tam believes in me!  She thinks I can do it!  And if she is for me, who can be against me?

"Training?"

Oh yeah, I still make those muzzle circles like a noob.  But I've also seen noob later get the knack, and red dot like a house afire.

"Ya know, T-Bolt, you can just BUY a pistol with the optic dovetail already cut on the slide..."

Quiet you!  That's enough of your sass.

Friday, December 4, 2020

9mm vs. .45

You know, I've heard this discussion over and over.  I've been at this gun stuff on the internet long enough to, for certain.  Every jot and tittle, ad infinitum.  So when it comes up I usually just skip right past.  

No need to waste my time going over the same tired ground.  Whipping the same zombie horse. 

But how will I ever know, now, if something fresh, new, and novel enters the argumentative fray?  I'll miss out!

For instance, I am sure this is well presented, but I didn't watch any of it:

Can someone tell me if there is something new to add to this whole thing?  

Thursday, December 3, 2020

434,000,000

 That's a lotta guns.  For just one country.  

And Instapundit it right.  If they could keep the inventory up in the gun stores over the last decades panic-buys that number would be half a billion.  

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Well, Crap

 Now I posted a second one yesterday instead of today.  And I am still wanting for content.

Uhhh, a buddy has a MAB Model D, which is similar to the FN 1910.  It fired one and now don't fire no more.  Broken spring?  Reassembled wrong?  Who knows!

Do I know an active competent gunsmith with his own bidness and business insurance?  No I do not.  Am I wary of doing gunsmithing FOR him?  Yes I am.  If the gun blows up in his hand after I touched it, then, well, I am in the stew.  

Solution?  Risk Covid, and have him do all the wrench turning while I observe.  A broken spring is obvious and replaceable.  A flaw in the field stripping technique could also be caught just watching.  Plus, I know my limitations.  "Yeah, that's next level stuff.  Let's look harder for a gunsmith.  Not like anyone specializes in these.  I don't have to take you to a top end 1911 custom builder for this, but, it's beyond us at this point."


Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Suppressor

Cool.  The Army has been improving the suppressors for a their M240 7.62x51mm machine gun.  It's doesn't make it quiet, obviously, just less annoyingly loud.  A suppressor on that machinegun has to stand up to a LOT of stress.  I wonder what wonder-improvements they included

Have your ever fired a rifle with a suppressor?  With glass on it?  Indoors.  I know a lot of you haven't had the privelege.  Suppressors are fun, but not plentiful.  Heck I have to use someone elses. I don't own one yet.  

It kinda sucks.  Well, after the first one or two shots.  The suppressor gets HOT and puts out a lotta heat waves, obscuring your target.  If you want to shoot a few mags, stick to iron sights or your red dot.  Even then you will notice the heat mirage on non-breezy ranges.  

Just something to think about.  

(And I am still thinking on the DeLisle reproduction.)  

Gun, Golden

 I had never seen The Man with the Golden Gun other than in bits and pieces over my life.  Never sat down to watch it beginning to end.  I had seen the opening, the funny spinny car jump in an AMC, but not the whole kit and kaboodle.

I noticed right off, this viewing, the belly dancer dressing room scene (Pinewood Studios?) where the dressing table mirror got bumped.  And I could see the film crew.  So that was kinda fun.










I was very jealous of the Portuguese in Macao and his gunsmith workshop.  Very nicely set up.  You gotta watch the whole scene to drink it all in.  This sample is inadequate.



On the whole, production values felt kinda low.  The 50 years since this movie...  A person with an iPhone can shoot a better one, it seems, the tech has improved that much.  HiDef from a film from this era feels like bad videotaped news productions.