Archive | September, 2009

>I Believe This Man Is High

30 Sep

>Really, it’s the only explanation: high. From “taxpayer-owned airways” (nope — gummint-regulated and using largely privately-owned infrastructure at both ends, at least here in the States*) to “…for years wildly conservative voices at places like CBS, NBC, and ABC Sunday talk shows consistently overwhelm progressive voices.” Riiight. This would be at the networks whose newsies compete to tongue-shine the current President’s shoes, just as they did throughout his campaign. Okay then.

High. At least he’s not trying to drive anything other than public opinion.
* Also, I’m pretty sure an “airway” is a preferred route on a pilot’s map or the thing the paramedic uses so you can breathe despite having a constricted windpipe. “Airwaves,” maybe, except they work in a vacuum, too. Like, oh, I dunno the one inside some writer’s heads.


>This…Is London

30 Sep

>D. W. Drang links to yet another tale of adults-treated-as-toddlers, sharp-object phobia from the UK. This is gettin’ ridiculous; I expect every day to read that ordinary Britons have taken to wrapping up their nanny-bureaucrats in cotton wool, excelsior and bubblewrap and mailing them off to disused oil platforms and Maunsell Sea Forts for everyone’s own good. But I dream.

(Blogheadline stolen from this guy, who could put you right there using nothing but a microphone, his mind and his voice and who showed the world the tough, commonsense side of those important islands, long, long ago).


30 Sep

>No, not a Garand; I was opening the back door, hand on my key, when my purse slid down my arm.

That would be the key that cracked last week, the one I soldered up ’til I could get to a locksmith. Now with the key part stuck in the lock and the grip part still in my fingers.

This is why I wear a Leatherman tool; had the working part of the key backed out in a trice, the hard part being getting it lined up where it is free to slide out.

Tam pointed out Big Box Hardware/Materials was open and off we went…. Hey! they even had blanks that looked to be the right profile! Win!

Took forever to get a $D00D over and when he did arrive, he was like life in a state of nature: nasty, brutish and short. Took one look at the key and said, “Whoa. Can’t do, we can’t match that.”

His boss, tall, older (by weeks) and with a nice collection of prison tattoos and an equally-winning demeanor shook his head. “Can’t help yuh.”

Tam was fuming, holding onto a blank that matched her house key. Shorty chimed up, “If the boss says we can’t, we can’t.”

They traipsed off, perhaps to offer the same level of service to other soon-to-be-disgruntled customers, while Tam and I held a confab at the key counter. Eventually bossman showed up, just as happy as during his earlier visit, and Tam held up a blank. “Look, this matches.” She’d had me get my broken key out and lay it on the counter, “And it matches hers, too. I really think this will work.”

He gazed upon the keys in vague distaste tinged with loathing and favored us with the same. “I’ll do it but you can’t bring it back if it don’t work.” (We’re talking a $3.00 key copy here…).

We both replied that was fine and good, we’d be happy just to try, la dah dee, smile, smile and he took the key and loaded it in the machine, ran it while helping another customer, gave it a lick-and-promise deburr and slapped it into my hand, assuring us, “Won’t work.”

We checked out at the self-service and on the way to my car, Tam remarked on how very pleasant the young men were not. I agreed. (Geez, do I hafta start wearin’ somethin’ low-cut to get decent service? Or wazzit the “Father knows best” thing with those two?)

Went home and tried the key. It’s not great — I even filed on it a little, with Tam wondering how wise that was (probably not very but hey, I’d rather fail trying, it’s a geek thing) and it worked marginally better. It’s still not great.

But it does work, and will do until we can run by a real locksmith.

Lowe’s? Big Box Hardware And Attitude? Not my first choice for lock work, now more than ever. Come to think of it, rarely my first choice for anything; they’re close and they sell water cheap.

>Faux Toes

29 Sep

>Would I lie? First, a small sampling of badging; as you can see, bloggers are a creative and variegated lot. Or is that “vegetative?” No, I think not.

It was a splendid day in Broad Ripple, mostly sunny but coolish, air as crisp as fresh apples. That being the case, we encamped upon the terrace. Or patio, or veranda (no, that’d have to be elevated) — loggia? H’m, ‘spect not, implies a formal colonnade not fronting a building…. Fine: outdoors. However you’d say that in Belgian (actually, you’d have to say it twice, so that’d be two words I haven’t got instead of just the one).

There is a very nice outdoors area at Brugge, which looks toward a deck that overlooks the Monon Trail and past it to Broad Ripple Village proper, vide:I sort of blinked (flinched? Reminds self: cameras have no recoil) and must therefore apologize to Wayne and Mrs. Shomes, who are mostly out of frame to the right. We are, at the time of the photo, after first drinks and just before food, which I should also have photographed but was, in fact, too busy inhaling; which is to say the food there is goooood. We will be back!

See you at the next Indy BlogMeet? It’s already pick-an-October-Sunday time, so let me know what’ll work for you!

>BlogMeet Photos?

29 Sep

>…Later. I spent too much time on laundry and fooling with the Sistema. Old grip screw bushing out, best of my removed old ones in, this time with Loctite (purple). We’ll see how it does. If the grip slips, I’m gonna put a shim under it.

>No More William Safire?

29 Sep

>Aw, darn it. Another one lost. Safire On Language was always worth reading. Still is; he has shuffled off his mortal coil but he left us stacks and stacks of very well-arranged words, which you should read.

(Another fellow whose work you should read — and you can still send him a fan letter, too — is James J. Kilpatrick, whose column The Writer’s Art was perhaps the best single reason to read a newspaper; and if there was Safire column in the same edition, oooo, two reasons!)

>Sights For My Sistema

28 Sep

>After giving a lot of thought — and a lot of shooting time — I decided to have big sights (nice Trijicons!) put on my Sistema Colt. It returned Saturday (what a coincidence!) and I took it to the range Sunday afternoon prior to the BlogMeet. What an improvement! The old Argentine 1911A1 is very nearly a tackdriver even in my hands, and that’s sayin’ something. Looks nice, too.

The gunsmiths also fitted the safety to the sear (remember the drop-in Cylinder and Slide kit I installed?) so it’s got a nice detent now, did a relief cut on the sear and generally touched it up. They even staked the grip bushings. (One worked loose at the range, probably a bit short on thread engagement — I had to retap the frame earlier and it may be there wasn’t enough metal there for the staking to hold. I can’t blame the ‘smith for that!* Maybe it’s time to think oversize). Trigger pull is now even better than before, smooth and consistent.

I’m told my gun received a few admiring looks. It’s very much what I wanted it to be, a traditional “old school” 1911A1 with modern lockwork and good sights, improved enough to function well but not all glammed up. I’m happy with it.

This gun is simply nice to shoot, and I say that as someone who was never all that fond of calibers that start with .4; at the range, I was going back and forth between it and my Ruger Mk. II .22 and it really is amazing.

I still need to buy more good magazines — I’ve got two modern, padded-base ones, a couple of good old mags and a stack of generic gun-show beaters, good enough for the range but not dependable enough to carry. Can you ever really have enough magazines?

PS: BlogMeet photos this evening; these were already uploaded.

PPS: I’m kinda proud of gettin’ the front sight in focus in the shooter’s view photo. Only took two tries!
* Normal test-firing wouldn’t have found it, and didn’t — I was four or five magazines in before it worked loose to any noticeable degree, just the least slippage as I shot. Yeah, I’m picky.