Thursday, December 31, 2009

Y2K plus 10


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December 31, 1999, it is hard to believe a decade has passed since then. It all seems like such a short time ago. New Year’s Eve spent at work, safeguarding the potable water and wastewater systems, waiting to see if the computers of the world would cause a sociological meltdown at the stroke of midnight, contingency plans in place for potential equipment failures, anticipating possible acts of terrorism or vandalism. The world was on edge.


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Can you shoot .380ACP in a .38 Super? Can you shoot .38 Super in a .380?

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I am not sure why, but I have been getting many hits to this site using several variations of those questions. I ignored the first couple of hits, but after receiving many subsequent hits, I reconsidered.

The short answer is “no.”

The information below was clipped from this site.

The .380 is NOT the same as the .38 Super or .38 Auto or .38 ACP. They have longer cases and higher pressures. The big boys will not fit properly in a .380. Likewise, don't try to shoot a .380 in a pistol chambered for the .38 Auto or .38 Super. The case length of the .380 is .680" and the .38 Super (and the .38 ACP) are .900" long. For reference, the 9mm Luger/Para is .754" case length.
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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

“Ed’s Red” bore cleaner

Update 5/5/2010: Now available for purchase HERE, and some of the proceeds go to a very good cause. Hat tip to Grant Cunningham for the info.

This stuff is good but you can’t buy it; this is home brewing at its finest. It is the circa 1993 creation of gun writer / gun guru Ed Harris.  By nature, bore cleaners have strong odors and Ed's Red is no exception.  It seems to be no less than equal to the commercial cleaners and can be whipped together for a fraction of the cost.  It is especially worthy of consideration if you shoot wholesale amounts of corrosive primers or black powder (or black powder substitutes).  Black powder ot smokeless, I never let my guns stay dirty; I clean them after every outing. Ed’s Red is good for routine cleaning as well as the hopelessly tough jobs. I mixed a batch once to remove caked on crust from a sewage pump; nothing else worked, but Ed’s Red cleaned it right up.  Ed’s Red transformed the antique 16-gauge double muzzle-loader in the photo from a being a sad, rusty, carbon-fouled piece of junk into a decent  fireplace mantel gun.


The following was obtained from this site.
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CONTENTS: Ed's Red Bore Cleaner

• 1 part Dexron ATF, GM Spec. D-20265 or later.
• 1 part Kerosene - deodorized, K1
• 1 part Aliphatic Mineral Spirits  CAS #64741-49-9,
(or substitute "Stoddard Solvent", CAS #8052-41-3, or equivalent. )
• 1 part Acetone, CAS #67-64-1.
• (Optional 1 lb. of Lanolin, Anhydrous, USP per gallon, or OK to substitute Lanolin, Modified, Topical Lubricant, from the drug store)
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MIXING INSTRUCTIONS:

Mix outdoors, in good ventilation. Use a clean 1 gallon metal, chemical-resistant, heavy gage PET or PVC plastic container. NFPA approved plastic gasoline storage containers are OK. Do NOT use HDPE, which is permeable, because the acetone will slowly evaporate. Acetone in ER will attack HDPE over time, causing the container to collapse, making a heck of a mess!

Add the ATF first. Use the empty container to measure the otherainer to measure the other components, so that it is thoroughly rinsed. If you incorporate the lanolin into the mixture, melt this carefully in a double boiler, taking precautions against fire. Pour the melted lanolin it into a larger container, rinsing the lanolin container with the bore cleaner mix, and stirring until it is all dissolved. I recommend diverting up to 4 ozs. per quart of the 50-50 ATF/kerosene mix to use as "ER-compatible" gun oil. This can be done without impairing the effectiveness of the remaining mix.
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LABEL AND SAFETY WARNINGS:

FIREARM BORE CLEANER

CAUTION: FLAMMABLE MIXTURE -- HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED -- KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN

Contents: petroleum distillates, surfactants, organometallic antioxidants and acetone.

1. Flammable mixture, keep away from heat, sparks or flame.

2. FIRST AID, If swallowed DO NOT induce vomiting, call physician immediately. In case of eye contact immediately flush thoroughly with water and call a physician. For skin contact wash thoroughly.

3. Use with adequate ventilation. Avoid breathing vapors or spray mist. It is a violation of Federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with itsonsistent with its labeling. Reports have associated repeated and prolonged occupational overexposure to solvents with permanent brain and nervous system damage. If using in closed armory vaults lacking forced air ventilation wear respiratory protection meeting NIOSH TC23C or equivalent. Keep container tightly closed when not in use.
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INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE:

1. Open the firearm action and ensure the bore is clear. Cleaning is most effective when done while the barrel is still warm from firing. Saturate a cotton patch with bore cleaner, wrap or impale on jag and push it through the bore from breech to muzzle. The patch should be a snug fit. Let the first patch fall off and do not pull it back into the bore.

2. Wet a second patch, and similarly start it into the bore from the breech, this time scrubbing from the throat area forward in 4-5" strokes and gradually advancing until the patch emerges out the muzzle. Waiting approximately 1 minute to let the bore cleaner soak will improve its action.

3. For pitted, heavily carbon-fouled service rifles, leaded revolvers or neglected bores a bronze brush wet with bore cleaner may be used to remove stubborn deposits. This is unnecessary for smooth, target-grade barrels in routine use.

4. Use a final wet patch pushed straight through the bore to flush out loosened residue dissolved by Ed's Red. Let the patch fall off the jag without pulling it back into the bore. If you are finished firing, leaving the bore wet will protect it from rust for 1 year under average atmospheric conditions.

5. If lanolin is incorporated into the mixture, it will protect the firearm from rust for up to two years, even in a humid environment. (For longer storage use Lee Liquid Alox or Cosmolene). "ER" will readily remove hardened Alox or Cosmolene.

6. Wipe spilled Ed's Red from exterior surfaces before storing the gun. While Ed's Red is harmless to blue and nickel finishes, the acetone it contains is harmful to most wood finishes.

7. Before firing again, push two dry patches through the bore and dry the chamber, using a patch wrapped around a suitably sized brush or jag. First shot point of impact usually will not be disturbed by Ed's Red if the bore is cleaned as described.

8. I have determined to my satisfaction that when Ed's Red is used exclusively and thoroughly, that hot water cleaning is unnecessary after use of Pyrodex or military chlorate primers. However, if bores are not wiped between shots and are heavily caked from black powder fouling, hot water cleaning is recommended first to break up heavy fouling deposits. Water cleaning should be followed by a flush with Ed's Red to prevent after-rusting which could result from residual moisture. It is ALWAYS good practice to clean TWICE, TWO DAYS APART whenever using chlorate primed ammunition, just to make sure you get all the corrosive residue out.

This "Recipe" has been placed in the public domain, and may be freely distributed provided that it is done so in its entirely with all current revisions, instructions and safety warnings included herein, and that proper attribution is given to the author.
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C96 Bolo Range Review


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Colt 1991A1


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This blog entry contains some unfavorable comments about Colt Manufacturing Company, as I perceived them to be in the early 1990’s. Frankly, back then they pissed me off with three of their pistols that I purchased. How do I feel about Colt pistols today? IMHO, they are much improved.

Eighty years following the creation of the 1911 pistol, Colt introduced the Series 80 1991A1 as its entry into the low-end government-model pistol market. As incentives, the 1991A1 came with enhancements such as larger sights, a lowered ejection port, beveled magazine well, and they returned to the long trigger and straight mainspring housing. Supposedly, according to the gun periodicals of the day, Colt made refinements to the feed-ramp and barrel-throat to provide for reliable use of hollowpoint ammunition.

I bought this pistol new in November of 1992. As far as feeding hollowpoints, this pistol was a failure; initially it would not even feed ball ammo reliably. I’m not talking about a rare and random mal-feed or jam; there was a problem with each magazine of ammo. Colt’s customer support gave the same answer to each of my inquiries, “Just keep shooting it, it just needs breaking-in.” Yeah, right. Out of frustration, two months later I bought the first of my Springfield Armory 1911 pistols (for $100 less than I paid for the Colt) which proved to be 100% reliable with ball ammo right out of the box, and, at least in my unsophisticated hand, seemed to be more accurate than the Colt.

I persevered with the Colt 1991A1. Swapping out the recoil spring to 18.5 lbs and settling on Bill Wilson’s seven-round magazines finally made the pistol reliable enough for me to burn through enough ammo to break in the pistol (afterwards, it still occasionally would mal-feed ball ammo when used with quality eight-round magazines). The only hollowpoint ammunition that I found to feed 100% of the time was Winchester’s Black Talon (with quality seven-round magazines).

This pistol rarely sees use anymore; I have not fired it in over five years. It is not one of my favorites. If I ever choose to own another Wilson Combat wonder-gun, I’ll ship this one off for them to use as a platform to build on.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Naked Truth: Gun control agenda is alive and well


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The influential New York City Mayor, multi-billionaire Michael Bloomberg, has drafted a top-secret blueprint for federal action on guns. Shush, don’t tell anyone before the elections.
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Monday, December 28, 2009

Wauconda Home Invasion is a case of mistaken address

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CLICK HERE for a news update. It turns out the two home invaders were supposed to pick up a family member and somehow got the address wrong. When told that their relative was not there, they did not believe the homeowners so they forced their way inside in an apparent attempt to search the residence. After a scuffle, the homeowner shot both of the dumbasses. The homeowner has a FOID card so he is safe from prosecution on that technical aspect of Illinois nonsense law.
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A somewhat similar incident happened to me a few years ago. I was on the front porch enjoying a cigar one night when a neighbor (one I had never seen before) came roaring into my driveway, jumped out of his car, identified himself as “Tex,” and loudly demanded that I send his daughter outside immediately. He became more aggressive and agitated when I informed him that I had no idea who his daughter was and that she was most certainly not inside my house. He took two steps forward but stopped as I made a motion meant to warn him off. I then calmly suggested that he consider the possibility that he might have the wrong house. Loudmouth Tex then noticed that he had pulled into the wrong driveway (I am on a cul de sac, both my next-door neighbor and I have near-identical green GM vans parked in our driveways).
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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Aurora Illinois shark attack

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The Belly of the Beast. 

Attorney charged in Kane County Courthouse belly bump incident.  He pleads obesity.


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Wauconda Illinois homeowner shoots two home invaders

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Saturday night just before 6:00 p.m., two masked men pushed their way into a Wauconda home and refused to leave after repeated demands by the two homeowners. After engaging in physical altercations, one of the homeowners shot both of the home invaders.

I lived in Wauconda for 22-years. Unless things have changed there in the many years since I moved out, my guess is that a goon breaking into any house in Wauconda has around a 50-50 chance to wind up facing an armed homeowner. Home invasion is probably not a very good vocation to practice in that town.

Even if this proves to be a righteous shooting, even if that homeowner is a Saint with an unblemished record, if that homeowner does not possess the requisite Illinois firearm owner identification card (FOID) there may be substantial legal issues to face.
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UPDATE:  CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO REPORT (no new information, just a nice looking reporter)
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UPDATE: CLICK HERE for Daily Herald article. Both invaders were shot with a small caliber handgun. One invader was 49 years old; the other was 15 years old. Both apparently believed another family member was forcibly being held in the house. The only people in the house at the time of the invasion were the homeowners. The 15 year old was treated for his wounds and released from the hospital; the 49 year old is still hospitalized. Both will be charged. Charges against the homeowner are not expected, but have not been ruled out.
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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hard Times Investing Update 12/26/2009

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Well, it isn’t earth-shattering great news but I’ll take it; on Christmas Eve, by a mere 1/10th of 1%, my modest investment portfolio reached a new all-time-high. Dumb luck and divine intervention has recovered every penny of the losses I suffered during our recent market crash. Using the S&P-500 as a measure, the markets are still around 28% below their pre-crash highs, which means they need to jump roughly 39% from their current level of 1126 to achieve a full recovery. While I am sure that many retirees have fared better in the markets than I have, I know many others who have not been so fortunate. My hope is that blessings will soon descend upon us all.

I figure that I’m too old to be 100% in the markets and too young to be 100% out of the markets, so I guess I’ll just remain a half-assed investor for the near future. As a hedge against the downside, as the markets rose from their lows I took profits on two occasions and moved the proceeds to cash. Currently the portfolio sits with 53% cash and 47% equities.

OBLIGATORY DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this blog entry is advice on investing or finances.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone!





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No more blogging here until after Christmas; I’m not traveling anywhere; I just have much unfinished business to attend to.

Be safe. Thanks for stopping by.

Warmest regards,

Zack
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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Illinois Sheriffs’ Association raffling ISA commemorative M1A


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Yes, you read that correctly, the Illinois Sheriffs Association is raffling an ISA commemorative M1A rifle to the public (only Illinois citizens qualify).

Ticket will be drawn at the Winter Conference, February 2010
$20.00 per ticket, only 1500 printed, winner need not be present to win
(Must be at least 18 yrs. of age and possess a valid F.O.I.D. card)
For more information contact the ISA office at 217—753-2372 or email isa@ilsheriff.org

Illinois gun owners may want to consider supporting these people; they have thrown some support our way in the past. IMHO, this is a gutsy move on their part, certain to ruffle a few anti-gun feathers. I intend on supporting the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association as long as they continue to support us.
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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy Birthday!

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My good friend Steve in Minnesota celebrates his 60th birthday. Steve and I go back many years to the Fidonet Bulletin Board days and 2400-baud modems. Evolution to 9600-baud was awe-inspiring. We both have Tennessee roots and deep-seated affection for that state.

Cook up some home brew for me, Steve; I can fall off the wagon occasionally. Maria and I will get up there someday soon.
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Memphis Tennessee shark attack

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Attorney bites off man’s nose during bathroom brawl.  He claims self defense.
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Friday, December 18, 2009

The Copenhagen Summit, leading by example

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The Copenhagen Summit was a shining example of elitists indulging in luxuries while preaching piety to the masses. By their own standards, such extravagances left a large carbon footprint on our earth. It also left very bad taste in the mouths of the taxpaying citizens of the world. Perhaps our world leaders will consider multipoint videoconferencing in the future. They need to practice what they preach and quit sounding like a choir of whores.
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Albert Rasch blogging from Afghanistan

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Albert gives a brief update on another of his world class adventures.
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Uncle spins our meter

Thank you! SayUncle gave this humble blog a mention and the results shown by Google Analytics went polar north. Very kind of him.

Thank you all for visiting!

A possible farewell to our Australian friends

My guess is that our playground on Al Gore’s interwebz will be seeing a great deal more of this filtering. While understanding the initial intent of their internet filter, my concern is that it will soon extend to gun sites, political activists, “malcontents”, and others who do not fit into the ideal of what their government sees as a just and polite society. Without exercising exquisite care, it is hard to sort gravel from spilled grits without losing much of what is nourishing.

Yeah, I know that the politics of Australia is really none of my business, but Aussies are such great people that it just would not be the same here in the USA without them. My hope is that the filter does not close them off from the rest of the online world.



Underused Thomson, Illinois prison to Gitmo prisoners


A prison designed to hold the run-of-the-mill Illinois criminal (no, we are not talking about our politicians this time) will be tasked by our federal government to hold many ruthless, well trained, well practiced, world-class, wholesale murderers. While trying to keep those zealots on the inside, the prison must also keep well-trained zealots who may be lurking on the outside from trying to spring their buddies. Let’s hope the facility is more formidable than it looks to be in the photo, and that the federal prison-staff members are to be no-nonsense, Marine Corps sandbox veterans.





Monday, December 14, 2009

Al Gore tells Copenhagen all Arctic ice to be gone in 5 – 7 years




Start the clock folks. Let’s be generous and give it 10-years.

There already is a problem with Al’s prediction… it has no basis in science, and the expert that Al quoted never said what Al said that he said.

Am I enjoying this far too much? YOU BETCHA!





Global Warming ideas sell better during the SUMMER!



Good Lord, people! Did anyone really believe the American public was going to rally around the Copenhagen Summit in mid December? We are now getting our first heating bills for this winter season; WOW! The government needs to print some extra money for us all to burn so we can stay warm.

We will not be in the mood to worry about the world getting too warm until at least July. Check in with us then.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Illinois secretly releasing prisoners to save money

Perpetuating our banana republic stereotype, Governor Quinn today suspended a secret prisoner release program after the Associated Press discovered the details. Read the AP story; it is disturbing but not at all surprising. Our state government has long been out of control. If you do not approve, please let our politicians know and please make voting a top priority in your life. Only the citizens of Illinois can foster an honest and efficient government.







Sunday, December 6, 2009

Springfield Armory 1911A1


Can you make a full size 1911 style pistol your “only gun,” suitable for both concealed-carry and home-defense? With a modicum of dedication, forethought, and a couple of good holsters, you probably can work it out. Although I have been shooting them for a “good long time,” it is well beyond my qualifications to venture into promoting or dismissing the 1911 as the “ultimate fighting pistol.” It is a fine design; if it works for you, cool, if not there is a world full of other handgun designs for you to choose from.

There was a time when Colt held the majority of the 1911 market. Since there was not much competition, new pistols became rather pricey and the quality disappointing. Some folks resorted to buying
military surplus pistols imported from other countries; some were quite affordable at the time but have since become scarce and spendy. Buying used pistols can be perilous; unless one is especially familiar with the mechanics of the design one can never be sure if critical parts have been “tuned up” by some dumbass. When all of the parts function as intended, the 1911 is a very safe and reliable tool, otherwise, it can be cantankerous or even downright treacherous. Thankfully, today it should be needless to look to the used gun market to find bargains on 1911 models. It is safe for me to speculate that more companies today are making variations of John Moses Browning’s 1911 semi-automatic pistol than at anytime in history. If you have decided to purchase a 1911 model, it would be hard not to find something new that fits your taste and budget. What calibers are available and which caliber is the best? The most popular caliber for the 1911 pistol is the .45 ACP, but there are numerous other choices available, among them are the .38 Super and the 10MM. I’ll let others argue as to which the best is.

Should you go with a bare-bones bargain model or push your budget for something superbly tuned like the
Wilson Combat CQB? It’s hard to go wrong by buying the best gun you can afford. Will a better gun make you a better shooter? While it is doubtful that a finely tuned pistol will ever hurt the skills of any shooter, I am unconvinced that one is essential for survival. If buying top-shelf means adding to an existing pile of family debt, go with the more affordable gun. Now, I can hear what’s coming next so please spare me from the “how much is your life worth?” cliché. We can’t all afford to move to gated communities guarded by heavily armed private security firms and we can’t all afford bodyguards and armored limos. A $2,000 - $5,000 pistol does not make a person either bulletproof or a master-class gunslinger. Each of us holds the price of life very dear but we can only do the best we can with the money that we have available. What we hanker for does not equal what we truly need.

After that rather loquacious opening, it is high time that I get to the subject of today’s post, the
Springfield Armory 1911A1 (SA now calls it the GI .45). How good are these low-end 1911 style pistols? My ever-humble opinion is that they are darn respectable. This is my second SA 1911A1, the first I sold to a needy young Sheriff’s Deputy for half of what it was worth, and he only paid me half of that amount before being dismissed from duty and disappearing with the gun and the rest of my money. In any case, I was so impressed with the reliability and accuracy of that pistol that I bought another. It is a no-frills 1911 style pistol with the standard ejection port and unbeveled magazine-well. I find the Springfield Armory Parkerized finish to be durable and attractive. It has the small Mil-Spec sights, forged barrel, frame, and slide. I believe SA gets all of the parts from Brazil and assembles the pistols in the USA; the fitting is quite good. While the different makers of the 1911 style pistols strive for the same look and feel as the Colts, often there are differences whereby some parts are not interchangeable. For example, the SA 1911A1.45 ACP in the above photo uses a .38 Super firing pin (smaller diameter). The dust cover and front strap appear to be thicker than on a Colt.

Without using a
Ransom Rest to do an “all-things-being-equal” test, I cannot say for sure how the accuracy of this pistol compares to my other 1911s. On the rare days when I impress myself by shooting consistent small, tight, groups, it is usually with this pistol. Most likely, there are nuances to this no-frills pistol that enhance my mediocre shooting skills. The fact that the sights are so small and hard to see may be an asset; perhaps I tend to use the sights casually instead of obsessively. I shoot more often with this pistol than with the others, so maybe my instincts are more in tune with it. I have not compared the actual weight of this pistol to the others by using a scale, but it feels perceptibly heavier so there may be less felt recoil and muzzle-flip. There is a noticeable area on the outside end of the barrel, sized to the inside of the bushing. This I believe enhances the accuracy more than a just smidgen.

Whether marketed as a bargain-gun or a high-end defensive masterpiece, a 1911 style pistol must reliably feed hollowpoint ammo or it is neither a bargain nor a masterpiece. I don’t ever remember having a jam of any sort with this pistol, but the majority of my shooting with it has been with ball ammo. If I were to move this pistol to home-security duty, I would need to prove its worthiness by exercising it with a goodly amount of quality hollowpoints. I have no doubt that it would measure up.

CLICK HERE for Xavier’s review of the Springfield Armory GI .45




Thursday, December 3, 2009

Springfield Model 1903


Come on now. Give Bernanke some credit.


I don’t mean for saving us from economic Armageddon, I mean for causing it!

Ben Bernanke took a fragile but functional economy and single handedly demolished it by acting on his delusional fears of inflation. With all of the finesse of a pot smoking locomotive engineer, he locked the brakes instead of feathering them. You can find decades of bi-partisan action and inaction sewing the seeds of this catastrophe, but Bernanke was the man who chose to run the train off the tracks. I wrote about the warning signs
here, and here, and here.

Reconfirm Bernanke? Hell. Dismiss the entire Federal Reserve Board before they destroy the world. As I said in an earlier post, part of the reason that we have boom and bust economic cycles is because The Fed over-corrects on both the downside and upside. Unless he wants to step forward to accept a large chunk of the blame for our economic mess, Ben Bernanke needs to have a good old-fashioned cup of “Shut the fuck up!”





I love global warming


Dear Anonymous troll,

Thank you for your email. Sorry it took so long for me to reply, but your letter wound up in the spam folder. Somehow, you scrubbed your return address from the message header; that’s a very impressive trick. However, it does make for a one sided conversation. I’ll try to answer via this blog entry.

Although I find your ideas captivating, I am sorry to say that at my age I cannot possibly perform those sex acts on myself, especially using the items and animals that you suggested.

Seriously, I do hope the climate science that you so dearly love is true… but I hope that the Copenhagen summit falls flat. As a kid in the 1950’s and 1960’s, while slogging both to and from school through waist-deep snow, I grew passionately to hate the cold. As an adult, three decades of working outside in the brutal cold of winter took its toll on me. With each frost bitten step, I prayed that the world would miraculously warm. Today, if your scientists are truly righteous, carbon dioxide is the answer to my prayers. CO2, I love YOU! I won’t have to spend my retirement years in Florida.

Mr. (or Ms) Troll, please look on the bright side of global warming. If we no longer have winters, people will not need to pollute our planet by burning wood, coal, and oil for heat. Carbon dioxide emissions will be lower. Truly, I should win a Nobel Prize for my hypothesis that global warming and carbon dioxide are mutually limiting. I can draw a graph that looks like a hockey stick if you would like. Having no winter means longer growing seasons, which means more food for the hungry of the world.
Let them eat watermelon!

As for the projections of super hot summer weather, please bring it on. The rising sea levels should put the beach within a couple of hours driving time from my house. The oceanfront luxury resorts favored by our rich politicians will be long gone below the waves and make for some great offshore scuba diving sites.

Yeah, I dearly love this anthropogenic global warming thing. My descendents will thank me for it. Please don’t screw it up for them.

Warmest regards,


Zack




Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Green alternative to cremation

One third of all Americans are cremated after they die. According to the attached Reuter’s article on an alternative method, a standard cremation generates a whopping 880 pounds of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and uses enough energy to drive a car 500 miles. Perhaps the major players in Copenhagen will work something out so we can sell our carbon units into the cap-and-trade pool when opting for the alternative cremation method.