Friday, May 22, 2015

Mining in Outer Space

As we rush toward the future, the future is rushing toward us at warp speed.

My family history is full of miners.  I look at the post civil war photos of my antecedents and wonder if they thought the technology of their time was "as good as it is going to get."  A century from now, will our descendants look at photos of us and wonder what we were pondering?

What marvels and challenges await the great great grandchildren of our children?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Super-smart computers are no longer science fiction. Get ready for a heck of a ride into the future.

Since the super-intelligent humans are worrying about super-intelligent computers, I assume that it is time for the rest of us to worry.

How do you prevent "something" from taking control of "everything" when the "something" is immeasurably smarter than any collective group of humans?

Which government will be the first to have one or more super-smart computer systems?  Will it be the Russians, the USA, the Chinese, the Japanese, or other?    What happens if the CIA or KGB go rogue with a super-smart computer.  What happens if a CIA or KGB super-smart computer goes rogue on its own?  Nuclear launch codes and computer system air-gaps are pale safeguards against a super-intelligence.

Which corporate giant will be the first to have a super-smart computer?  Will it be Google, IBM, Apple, or some lesser known entity.  Will governments try to confiscate the systems or regulate these corporations?

Will a super-smart, autonomous, sentient computer system experience feelings of compassion and beneficence?  Moreover, is it possible for a computer to become downright nasty and evil?

What happens if super-intelligence proves there is NO GOD?  What happens if super-intelligence proves that THERE IS A GOD, but that GOD is not quite like what most folks had in mind.

The possibilities are beyond the limits of my imagination.  Perhaps your imagination will do better.

Friday, May 15, 2015

I lost 25-pounds in 8-weeks

I gained 25-pounds over the winter and my body decided to stage a coup.

The rapid weight loss was intentional; salads 7-days-a-week.

Another 25-pound loss is pending.

Stepping on a scale and weighing in at 175-pounds is my earnest goal.

This blog will have periods when it is very low on my priority list.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Glock 43 range review number 2

My Glock 43 learning curve continues.  With the exception of the lowest target on the right side of the sheet, 5-rounds of standard pressure 115-grain 9mm were fired at each target.

During this range session, each press of the trigger was SLOW and DELIBERATE, which was very unlike my initial range session with this pistol.  I also experimented with different ways for me to grip this skinny little handgun; some ideas / methods work better than others.  I will not be practicing any one-handed shooting until I arrive at my desired two-handed skill level.  This entire range session was with the flush-fit magazine, which I find more difficult to use than the magazine with the pinky-extender.

I have not yet hit my comfort level with this handgun so my decision is still pending whether to use it for concealed carry.  Any pocket carry that I would do with this pistol would be with the flush-fit magazine.  Other carry methods likely would be with the pinky-extender mag.

The Glock 43 has all of the makings of turning into a classic.  It may sound weird because of the lack of visual similarities, but when handling and shooting the Glock 43 I get a distinct flavor of a Walther PPK (thankfully, minus the hammer bites and slide cuts).

Will the Glock 43 replace the nearly ever-present  Seecamp 9MM Kurz in my righthand pants pocket? Maybe on occasion.  The Seecamp .380 is somewhat of a talisman for me.  I do sometimes move it to my lefthand pants pocket to make room in my righthand pocket for something more substantial (usually a snub J-Frame .38).

At the heart of the soft recoil of the Glock 43 is a compound spring that makes up for some of the lack of slide-mass.  This idea was patented by Larry Seecamp back in the 1980s and is used my almost every manufacturer that makes small, powerful handguns.

 Anyway, back to the range session.  The top 2-targets were set at 15-feet.

 The middle 2-targets were set at 21-feet.

The bottom 2-targets were set at 30-feet.  Long ago I was taught that I learn absolutely nothing unless I am brutally honest with myself.  The tale these photos of the targets don't tell is the CLEAN, OFF-PAPER, MISS that I tossed low on my first shot at the final target on the right hand side.  It was a latent, lazy, undisciplined "eyes wide shut" flinch; I knew that I did it as soon as the trigger broke.  The remaining 4-rounds of hardball were in the red, as were 3-rounds of +P 124-grain Gold Dot hollowpoints that I threw at the target just to make sure that I wasn't regressing.

Ammo tally:
90-rounds on 4/28/15 (60 of them +P)
33-rounds 5/5/15 (3 of them +P)

I suffered my first operator induced Glock 43 pistol malfunction during this range session; I had my thumb tight against the slide-stop during one string of fire; the slide did not lock open when the mag went empty.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Glock 43 range review

This wonderfully slim little powerhouse was more of a challenge for me to shoot accurately than I had anticipated.  Recoil was not a problem at all; for me, maintaining a solid, functional, non-twist grip all the way through each trigger-press will take some dedicated practice with this new treasure. It is simply my lack of familiarity with this new pistol (along with my shooting as fast as I could sight the target).  Using the finger extension magazine, my second target of the range session (photos above) was my better effort.  The three post-it-notes were the intended targets at 15-feet, 21-feet, and 30-feet, 10-rounds of +P 124 grain Gold Dots were aimed at each. 

I am really enamored with this handgun!  I believe it has been a while since I spent an entire range session sporting a big fat grin on my saggy old mug.  The Glock-43 is a fun gun.

While using the Glock-43 with the flush-fit magazine on my first target of the range session (photos above), my two-finger-grip on the pistol was not very good and I was tossing rounds low and left. While my shooting the 10-rounds at the 15-foot target post-it-note was not too terribly bad, the 10-rounds I targeted at the red center at 21-feet was a sloppy washout; my shooting 10-rounds at the 30-foot post-it-note was even worse.  The one round that hit the 30-foot post-it may have been from the 21-foot group, I honestly don't know for sure.  Two rounds were out of the scoring zone at the bottom of the target, in the black low to the left.  

I'll be spending significant time on learning to use this pistol with the flush-fit magazine.  It is quite a bit easier to shoot with the finger-extension magazine, but that flush-fit mag makes for an easier pants-pocket carry (with an appropriate trigger-protecting holster, of course).

My third target of this range session (photos above) was just for the fun of it and set just a bit under 25-yards; 73-feet is as far as I can stretch things at my local indoor range.  I switched from the 124-grain +P Gold Dots to standard pressure 115-Grain Aguila cartridges.  All 30 of the rounds I fired were on paper;  all 30-rounds were in the black; only 3-rounds were outside of the scoring area; luck put three rounds in the center post-it-note.  Although I have seen serious handgun shooters achieve amazing groups at this distance, I am far from being in that league.

There we have it!  My first fling with the new Glock-43, 90-rounds total, and other than giving me a blister on my trigger finger, the pistol performed flawlessly.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Holster Review: Bianchi Professional 100T for Glock 26 (also fits G27 and G33)

Normally I try to use a holster for a long period of time before writing a review, however I have owned a G26 for years and this is as close to a (for me) functional G26 IWB holster as I have yet found.  My initial impression is that this ~$40 tuckable works for me, kind of, sort of.  I’ve had this holster since November of 2014 but only recently started giving it a serious shakedown (photos taken 4/12/15 and reformated today for this blog entry).  Located on the sole wing of the holster, the single adjustable polymer C-Clip is set away from the thickness of the pistol; I like that.  It is far too soon for me to speak on the durability of the clip.   I cannot find replacement clips listed anywhere on the Safariland Group (Bianchi) website.

The suede-like finish goes next to the body and is intended to help keep the holster from sliding around.  I dislike the suede style finish on my IWB (and pocket) holsters; it gets grimy and (IMHO) it does little to serve its intended purpose.

This is a very substantial sweat-shield, IMHO it is very well done.  It helps keep the carry nice and comfy.  The carry pretty much disappears from my consciousness when I am sitting / driving.

The C-Clip is sized for a 1.5’’ wide belt but initially it did not fit the double thickness of my 1.5’’ gun-belt; I had to use my 1.25’’ wide gun-belt to get the C-Clip to fit for these photos.  A few days after I took these photos, I altered the top portion of the C-Clip (using a sharp side-cutter and a sharp pocket knife) so it would fit my 1.5’’ belt; it is still a C-Clip but now is much closer to being a J-Clip.

Even though it is only secured with the one clip, the holster does keep the handgun where I want it, even when I spent the afternoon doing the gymnastics required to remove and reset a couple of dozen bricks on the front patio.

Presto, when I put on a shirt and tuck it in, that thick little G26 is substantially concealed.

Keeping my shirt tucked in during activities with a lot of bending and stretching is close to impossible for me.  For polite activities when I cannot wear an un-tucked shirt or a covering jacket or sweater, this tuckable may prove adequate.  Aside from being a tuckable, it does serve as a decent enough regular old IWB holster.

I have not tried wearing this G26 IWB holster while riding a bicycle.

I have only worn this holster for walks of less than 1/2 mile; I have no idea whether it is a comfortable carry during long hikes.

As a matter of personal practice in reholstering with an IWB holster, I remove the holster from my waistband, I holster the handgun (not just with Glocks) and then place it back in my waistband.  This is to avoid accidentally tucking a shirttail or anything else into the trigger guard while reholstering.

As I gain more experience with this holster I will append anything meaningful to this blog entry.