Sunday, February 27, 2011

Well, We ALMOST Escaped Winter Unscathed...

The Dodge Earth Sodomizer and I almost got in a major accident today. Almost.

While northbound on the US 95 headed home from Hayden, the weather got the best of a poor little black sedan headed south. I was driving a reasonable following distance behind another 3/4 ton hauling an rv. I saw the black sedan hit the black ice at 65mph and cross into oncoming traffic.

The driver of the 3/4 ton ahead of me managed to pull onto the shoulder so instead of getting hit head on he got hit on the tail end of the rv instead. I managed to pull over to the shoulder into a snow bank and escape getting hit head on myself (barely).

I watched the black sedan pass me, still swerving, and go into the ditch on the side of the road about a 1/4 mile down. Several vehicles pulled over to check on them. I pulled over and called 911 immediately. The dispatcher asked me to check on the driver of the truck pulling the rv so I pulled in behind him and found that the elderly man and his wife were okay. I waited by the side of the road, safely pulled onto the shoulder, for emergency services to show up.

After they showed up I finally noticed the damage to the Dodge Earth Sodomizer. The snow bank had caved in the lower portion of the rear passenger side door.


Compared to the damage that could have happened if I'd let the car hit me head on (which would have happened if I hadn't pulled myself onto the shoulder) I think I got off easy.


Certainly our insurance agent (and neighbor) is much happier with that outcome.



The rv in front of me was trashed (it actually got pulled partially into the ditch and into the reflective markers), the truck pulling it lost one of his equalizer bars,  and our truck's door got dinged, but nobody was hurt or killed. We got off easy.

Several things I learned from this experience:
  • 99% of drivers in North Idaho are responsible winter drivers. It's that 1% that's the issue.
  • Thank God Chris taught me how to drive on the ice early on in the season. Because I'd internalized "smooth and deliberate" I was able to avoid an accident without losing traction myself.
  • Since it was snowing and I was pretty sure there was ice on the road (it was 21 degrees out) I kept the truck in 4 wheel drive lock. If I hadn't already been in 4 wheel drive my emergency evasion would not have turned out as well.
  • Since I've been dressing for the weather and not for the heated truck I was VERY comfortable standing on the side of the road for an hour in 4 inches of snow. Shearling boots, wool socks, good jeans, and a coat rated to 20 degrees are all good things.
  • Good batteries (in this case 2 of them) make it so you don't worry about how long your emergency flashers will be on.
  • A GPS, even on a familiar route, will enable you to tell dispatch EXACTLY which two rural roads you happen to be between.
  • Emergency blankets and supplies kept in a truck enabled me to offer the elderly woman a warm blanket while she was waiting. If I wasn't dressed as well as I had been I would have been in need of a blanket too.
  • A personal relationship with our insurance agent and his phone number in our cell phones enabled Chris to call him after he got off the phone with me and meant he was at our house shortly after I got home to get the info and get the process started and off my mind.
  • Bonner County Sheriff's Office and Fire Department are some of the nicest guys on the planet.
This could have ended up much worse. I'm glad that both our truck and the truck in front of me managed to avoid a worse accident, because even though the accident wasn't either of our faults that wouldn't have made the possible death of the car's driver any less traumatic. Thank God we both managed to avoid a head on collision.

    Mel

    Friday, February 25, 2011

    Huh... never had that one happen before...

    So I got a notice this morning from UPS, that kinda knocked me for a loop.

    A shipment was delayed; which isn't exactly a rare occurrence during blizzards... so I was expecting "shipment delayed due to weather".

    Except what I got, was "shipment delayed due to train derailment".

    Probably this train derailment (how common can they be after all).

    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    In the middle of what will hopefully be the final blizzard of the winter

    Well, it started snowing last night, and we've got an expected 5-10 inches overnight; with wind gusting over 50 knots. It's expected temps will drop down to around 5 degrees, with a windchill of -25.

    So far we've seen about 4" today, with gusts into the 40s; and the temp is down to 16, with wind chill around -5.  

    The funny thing is, just a couple miles away, they're got winds much lower; like 10kts... Thats the joy of living in the mountains.

    For a while, the blowing snow had reduced visibility to zero; but now theres a few hundred yards. It's actually kinda neat when you've got a wall thats mostly picture windows, and the snow has turned them opaque.

    The storm is expected to continue through tomorrow night, with temps dropping as low as -10, with continued snow and wind.

    I love weather in North IDaho. For the last few weeks we've mostly been in the upper 40s during the day; then all of a sudden, 10 below. 

    Keeps you on your toes. 




    Constitutional Carry introduced in the Idaho Senate

    Idaho Senate Bill 1126 has been introduced; providing for permitless carry of concealed weapons, and providing additional civil and criminal protections for those who do carry (making it clear in statute that it is not a criminal act to carry a weapon, unless there is criminal intent in doing so).

    The summary and full text of the bill can be read from this link: http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2011/S1126.htm

    Idahoans can find their state senator here: http://legislature.idaho.gov/who'smylegislator.htm

    and contact their state senator here: http://legislature.idaho.gov/howtocontactlegislators.htm

    The committee members responsible for bringing this legislation to a floor vote are available through the NRA-ILA site press release here: http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Read.aspx?id=6309

    I have already sent an email to my senator, and each of the committee members expressing my expectation that they support the bill; and I ask all Idahoans to do the same.

    I don't know about anyone else, but Ke$ha actually makes me WANT to binge drink...

    If only in the hope that I can pass out to end the pain...

    Tonights "Glee!" was the "anti" drinking episode; wherein no-one could think of a good anti-drinking song, so instead they "sang" Ke$has "Tick Tock"

    They actually handled the anti-drinking part pretty well, with vomit and drunk dialing... all definite incentives against drinking.

    ...but as far as it goes, I'm pretty sure there's only one song that could ever make teens drink less:

    In other words, stop bitching

    Monday, February 21, 2011

    Well, it only took 20,000 rounds or so....


    That, would be my Yost Custom commander length 1911; built out of an early 2000s production stainless Springfield Champion.


    I've had it for about 7 years now; and I'd estimate I've put 20,000 rounds through it. I'm on my 4th recoil spring, and as of a recent training class it was clear this one is shot out as well, as I had a failure to return to battery with no real cause except insufficient spring pressure (I've got a couple of replacement springs in the air as I write this).

    I bought it some time in early 2004... around March, but I don't remember the exact date. It was the first 1911 I'd purchased since returning from Ireland (my first 1911 was a Wilson Combat 5" custom that I bought for myself in Kentucky, on my 21st birthday); and I bought it knowing I was going to mess with it.

    I experimented with some parts and configurations, and with the assistance of Gunsmith Ted Yost came up with the final configuration of it in late 2005.

    I've done rather a lot to it over and above a basic Commander. Some of the mods came with the Champion (an early 2000s production model when they were still using premium 3rd party components, instead of in house parts), some I did, some Yost did:
    1. Ramped, throated, polished, and hand fitted, fully supported Nowlin match bull barrel
    2. Titanium firing pin (there is no firing pin safety mechanism. It's a series 70 equivalent)
    3. Yost Bonitz Custom Ignition System (sear, hammer, disconnector), just under 3# pull
    4. Ed Brown, ultra short, ultra light, adjustable stop, serrated face trigger
    5. Tuned Ed Brown Hardcore extractor
    6. Tuned Wilson Bulletproof extended ejector
    7. Dual captured recoil system (Wolff 24# primary spring and 8# secondary)
    8. Full Wolff spring set
    9. Tightened, trued, and machined frame and slide rails, with polished contact points
    10. Smith and Alexander fine checkered arched mainspring housing
    11. Smith and Alexander magwell, hand blended into the frame
    12. Lowered and flared ejection port
    13. Lowered, extended, and thinned Wilson safety (switched out an ambi because it caught on stuff)
    14. Lowered, extended, and thinned Wilson slide stop
    15. Mild dehorning and edge breaking
    16. Slide and frame flats trued, polished, and brushed (the rounds are bead blasted)
    17. Recessed angle cut muzzle crown
    18. Novak lo-profile combat sights with tritium inserts.
    19. Wilson mags (47d) with steel ultrathin base plates
    20. Wraparound Hogue finger groove grips, with torx head grip screws (I've got big hands)
    An aside: I plan on putting a set of the new 1911 Crimson Trace laser grips on it when they come out this March. I've been waiting for them to revise the line, and I really like the new lower profile configuration and look of them.  
    I've had guide rod lasers before, and don't like their switching mechanism, and that they get very dirty and eventually obscured while firing. Now that the new laser grips are smaller, lower profile, and better looking, I'm going to pick up a set for each of my 1911s (when I can afford it anyway... they're about $300 a set).  
    I like having a laser as a training aid, and for use in the dark; especially since I wear glasses. It's a lot easier and faster to pick up the laser dot, when your groggy at 3am, and you can't find your glasses; than to get a good sight picture with a set of tritium 3 dots. I don't advocate using a laser as your primary sighting method, but it's a nice extra to have.
    The Champion was my daily carry gun from early 2004, until I picked up my Yost Custom Colt Defender in mid 2007 (with a similar set of modifications). From then I alternated between the Champion and the Defender (at least until I got my 340pd as a pocket gun in 2009. I generally feel adequately armed with a .357 in my pocket and don't need a .45 to go along with it)... but the Champion has been my number one shooting handgun the entire time I've owned it.

    I just like commander length 1911s. I like the length, the feel, the look, and the balance of them. I actually prefer them over 5" guns... yes, I know, blasphemy, heresy etc... 4" guns (or 4.25") feel better in the hand, and better on the belt; at least to me.

    The Commander has been around since 1951; I think 60 years is enough of a history to call the short models "traditional" as well.

    Also, I don't currently have a 5" 1911 in .45 (... blasphemy again... I have a 5" gun, but it's in 10mm); so the Champion gets the majority of my .45acp practice. I shoot it probably five times as much as I do any other centerfire gun (and I have four .45s).

    I shot probably 15k rounds through it in the first three years I owned it; and 5,000 in the last four (ammo prices, health, family issues etc...). Most of that was +p+ level carry ammo, or reloads designed to replicate the carry ammo. Think 185gr at 1150fps from a 4" barrel, or 200gr at 1100fps (I've gone back and forth between 185gr gold dot, and 200gr xtp, with my carry ammo preferences).

    It seems that finally, after about 20,000 rounds, I've managed to shoot it loose.

    I was detail stripping it on Friday; and I noticed, the lockup wasn't exactly rattly, but there was definitely more than "minimal discernable movement" when locked up. Worse, there's movement at both ends. Not much, but enough to feel it when specifically checking for it.

    I have noticed a falloff in accuracy; but frankly, with as little practice as I've been getting lately that may be me... or it may not be, because I saw it even when I was firmly rested. It's not a huge difference, but it's a difference.

    My first thought, is that my link is a little bit egged out and/or a little bit stretched; and that's causing the looseness. The muzzle end also seems a tiny bit too loose (it's a bushingless bull barrel), and the locking lugs maybe just a tiny bit too worn; but all that might just be the link.

    Looking at the slide, it seems alright. The locking lug cuts are still crisp; and the muzzle end doesn't seem to be worn; all the wear seems to be in the barrel. It's noticeable, but doesn't LOOK to be excessive... it's just a tiny bit too much play in the lockup that makes me think it might be too worn...

    Unfortunately, it being a conical bull barrel, at a "proprietary" length (Colt commanders are 4.25" this is 4" flat) with an integral Wilson/Nowlin type ramp, it would be somewhat difficult to replace.

    I think storm lake does them now, but I don't know who else might have a replacement barrel for this configuration of Champion anymore (some production models use a standard bushinged barrel, some ramped, some with a standard frame ramp).

    I'm thinking I might try a new, long link (It's currently fitted with a medium link; a #3 I think) and see if that fixes the lockup; but I may need to source and fit a new barrel.

    The slide is properly cut for a bushing (since some variants of the champion and compact use bushings and some don't, and they all use the same slide) and I may end up finding a ramped, bushing barrel instead.

    I'm ABSOLUTELY going to fix it though... this is still one of my favorite guns, and I want to make it right.

    Now, some may say "you're having a problem after only 20,000 rounds... buy a Glock" or to the other extreme "Ehh, you're just being prissy. The gun runs fine, and a tiny bit of accuracy loss is no big deal; why bother".

    Ok, valid points both...

    To the first point:I do a lot of rapid fire, with very hot loads, from a 4" gun. In an average shooting session, I might put 150 rounds through the gun, in less than 30 minutes (I've got 10 mags, and I usually shoot through all of them, reload, and shoot through them all again except my two carry mags). Given that I'm shooting well outside the original design parameters of the weapon; frankly I'm surprised the barrel hasn't loosened up long before this.

    I'm willing to bet that if I was just shooting 230gr hardball at 850fps, from a 5" gun, I'd have a barrel life measured in high fractions of infinite. That's not what I'm doing. This is a 4" gun. Colt Commanders had a barrel system (barrel, bushing, and link) design life of 10,000 rounds, with straight standard pressure hardball. I'm pushing that designs performance envelope with every round; it's not exactly surprising it will wear out eventually.

    To the second point: like I said, the wear isn't severe. It's not causing the gun to malfunction (it just eats recoil springs every 5000 rounds, which is normal for a commander length gun shooting +p); it's just enough to be noticeable. I think the looseness is caused more by the link loosening up than the barrel to slide fit... but the barrel to slide fit definitely has noticeably loosened.

    This is a high dollar custom buildup, done to my exact specs; any degradation in performance is unacceptable to me. I just don't like feeling that slop, even if it is just a tiny bit.

    So yeah... I AM being a bit prissy... it's my gun and I'll be prissy if I want to.

    ...So anyway, I was thinking on it more; and I decided to do some testing at the coffee table tonight while watching Sunday night TV.

    It seems that the slide is definitely not worn significantly; as there are only a few very small indications of wear-in on the inside of the mating area. There is however much more pronounced (not excessive, but definitely noticeable) wear-in on the barrel itself.

    This is actually both an expected thing, and a good thing.

    It's expected, because 1911 slides are hardened to between 45 and 52 rockwell c (depending on the manufacturer and the time period), most between 45 and 50; and 1911 barrels are generally hardened to between 40 and 45 hrc (other hard parts, such as pins, sears etc... are typically hardened to between 50 and 56 hrc).

    Also it's expected because barrels are final machined and final fit after heat treating (leaving a slightly softer steel at the mating surfaces which are ground and polished for final fit); while slides on production guns are generally heat treated after final machining (custom guns are often hand fit on the slide, bushing, and barrel; all after final heat treating).

    It's a good thing, because it means I have more options available to me if I have to replace the barrel.

    As I noted above, the slide is properly cut for a bushing; and because the internal mating surfaces are not excessively worn, I can still very easily fit one. This means I can use either a replacement bull barrel, or I can fit a barrel with a standard bushing.

    I verified that a standard bushing will still fit tonight, test fitting with a bushing and barrel from a different gun.

    That's good, because it's actually rather difficult to find a 4" bull barrel that will work; and as this particular Champion is cut for a Wilson/Nowlin ramp, the potential selection of stocked parts is reduced even more.

    I could get it directly from Springfield, but since I purchased my gun, they have moved barrel production away from Nowlin and Ed Brown (the two OEMs who did their outside barrels when the were still match grade. Mine is a Nowlin); first to several generic OEMs, then recently to Storm Lake (at least according to the various gun forums).

    Now, there's certainly nothing wrong with parts from any of those manufacturers; but none of them stock the part for retail sale... and besides if I'm going to replace the barrel, I want to do it with a barrel of as high quality as I possibly can right?

    With a standard bushing type barrel, you can pretty much get whatever length you want, and then cut it down, re-crown it, and fit it to a bushing. Unfortunately, because of the geometry: with a bull barrel, you have to find one that close to the right length to begin with. You can't cut down most 5" bull barrels, because the taper begins about 1/2"-3/4" behind the muzzle (some even less, just 1/4"). If you cut it down to 4" you'd already be in the conical section, with a reduced diameter and no flat mating surface for fitment to the slide.

    There are however several manufacturers that sell commander length bull barrels that will work, as they are only .25" over (actually less than that, but it's .25" nominal) ; and while some manufacturers (Kimber and Wilson for example) only provide a little more than 1/4" of mating surface before they start to taper, most give more than 1/2", or even a full inch. I'll just need to have the barrel cut down to match the slide; something any gunsmith should be able to do for whatever their minimum charge is.

    That said, I'm not sure if that's the best long term solution.

    I'm really seriously considering moving to a bushing and standard barrel.

    For one thing, it means I'll never have to worry about the slide itself wearing out. If there's a problem, it's most likely going to be with the bushing, not either the barrel or the slide; and the bushing is the easiest part to replace of the three.

    Also, it just really widens my barrel choice.

    Right now, the only Nowlin/Wilson ramped, commander length, bull barrels I can find stocked anywhere are from Briley, and Storm Lake.

    That's not a bad thing, Briley makes excellent barrels and would certainly be on my list, and as I said above, I think Storm Lake also makes good barrels... but I don't like having just those two choices. Though, on the plus side, Storm Lake ramped bull barrels are only $160 (the Briley ramped bull barrel runs $200).

    Oh and yes, even though Storm Lake OEMs the barrels for Springfield (or at least they did... they may have changed again since the last time I checked); they don't stock 4" barrels for retail sale.

    Bar-sto will make one for me, but for a ramped bull Commander barrel they charge about $260, and have a minimum 16 week lead time (I checked, they don't stock the part)... though they will at least make it a 4" with a proper crown for me, so I don't have to go to a smith to get it done afterwards.

    Wilson makes bull barrels, and ramped barrels, but they don't make a ramped bull barrel in Commander length (which is amazing, since they were the first to do it in the 80s). They even make a 4" bull barrel, but it's not ramped (it's for Kimber compacts).

    Clark and Kart don't make bull barrels (they do make ramped barrels though). Nowlin (who made the original barrel for the gun) makes bull barrels, but not ramped bull barrels. Ed Brown no longer makes ramped OR bull barrels (at least not for retail sale. They use them in their own custom 1911s if ordered).

    On the other hand, if I go with a bushing barrel, basically all of the major manufacturers except Ed Brown are available to me; again, with just a re-crown down to match the bushing, or possibly a 3/4" trim and then a re-crown; either of which any gunsmith can do.

    ... or for that matter, I could buy a threaded barrel and not worry about a re-crown; in case I feel like buying a .45 can (which I am thinking hard about doing at some point). Nowlin, Briley, and Storm Lake all stock threaded barrels for use with a bushing (and Bar-sto, Clark, and Kart will make one on request). Nobody but Schuemann stocks a threaded bull barrel (a few custom makers will make them, for threaded compensators though not cans), and they charge almost $400 for it; plus the threads are weird and incompatible with standard cans (because they're made for compensators), requiring a thread adapter.

    Also, if I stay with a bull barrel, I'm restricted to keeping the current proprietary Springfield Champion double captured recoil spring setup. I happen to LIKE the recoil setup; but I can only get replacement bits from Springfield (though Wolff does stock the springs). If I switch to a bushing barrel, I can use any recoil spring and guide rod setup I please.

    Now, I personally think an FLGR is a good thing for a commander length gun; especially if you're running a heavy spring for use with +p+ ammo (and I do; a 24lb spring in fact); so I'd probably stick with a full length rod, but there are a number of options out there if I want to change.

    With a bushing, you need to use a spring plug that sticks out about 3/32" from the front of the slide, so that the plug engages the halfround cut in the base of the bushing, to keep it from rotating (as with a standard, non guide rod type spring plug). Thankfully, the hollow plugs used by full length guide rods (which engage the bushing) are now a standard part stocked by most anyone.

    In Champion form, the recoil system uses a reverse cut spring plug (as do Colts bull barrels guns, Kimbers, and other manufacturers), which has a small flange that mates with a recess cut into the barrel hood, so the plug wont slide out forward; and the plug and guide rod are both trimmed to end flush with the slide. This plug style won't engage a bushing, so an alternate spring plug solution would need to be found. Thankfully, I verified with testing today, the original Springfield system works just fine with a standard hollow spring plug used with any standard guide rod and bushing setup.

    Though actually, I'm thinking about doing something non-standard.

    I'm actually very seriously considering a Briley Spherical bushing; not because I think they're more accurate than a well fitted standard bushing (it's been proven with repeated testing that they are as accurate, but not more so), but because they have very desirable wear and reliability characteristics.

    With a spherical bushing, the wear point isn't a sharp edged fulcrum as it is with a standard bushing, it's a full on, low drag, smooth and flat, and independently gimballing bearing surface that can maintain a shear film (yes, that's correct. Not a "sheer" film; shear as in slicing off) of lube. Then, as things wear down, you don't need to replace the barrel, or the bushing; just replace the spherical ring (which they sell for about $20).

    If I do go with Briley, I may just buy a matched barrel and bushing set from them. They fit the matched sets down to 1 thousandth (instead of the standard 2 thousandths for solid bushings on a standard barrel), and guarantee them as fully functional and reliable; and the set runs about $240, with minimal smithing required (I'm fully capable of - and have the tools necessary for- fitting my own barrel and bushing into a slide). Otherwise, the bushing alone (with a ring) runs about $60.

    Given that a solid bushing runs between $10 and $20, and any gunsmith is going to charge at least a half hours labor to fit a bushing; and that I don't have the right tools to properly fit the inside of a bushing to a barrel (at least not at match grade tolerances... anyone can fit a "drop in" or "semi-drop-in" bushing, but you never know how accurate that will be) I do rather like that option.

    And of course, with the Briley setup, I don't have to worry about precise multi-angle cuts as I would on a solid bushing (that would be the tooling I don't have); and I can just buy whatever barrel I want, mic it, and buy the Briley bushing that fits closest to two thousandths clearance.. or if the barrel is consistent enough, even down to a thousandth. Briley makes bushing rings with inside diameters between .577 and .583, in increments of a thousandth.

    'course I can also just get a prefit barrel and bushing set from most any manufacturer, and not have to worry about the fitment... some will even fit it the barrel and bushing down to the same 1 thousandth as Briley.

    I wouldn't do that with a standard solid bushing, because of the multi angle cuts at fairly tight tolerances required for proper match grade fitting (there are smiths that fit solid bushings to 1 thousandth, but you really should fit them to 2 thousandths to ensure reliability and prevent excess wear); but with the spherical bushing, you don't have to worry about binding or barrel spring, so as long as your barrel is of sufficient quality, you should be OK with a thousandth of clearance... just make sure you get a really good and consistent barrel measurement (another reason I may want to go with a matched set from Briley).

    Quick and dirty method of averaging out the errors to make sure you get the right sized bushing: Make 10 measurements of your barrel, with the caliper/micrometer at different points around the circumference (but make 2 measurements at each spot... or as close to it as you can get); then drop the highest and lowest, and average the rest. 
    If any of the normalized measurements is off from its pair by more than one thousandth, start all over again. If it's still off, either your instruments can't produce repeatable measurements, or you've got an issue with that barrel.

    Oh and it's not really a major consideration; but bull barreled Commanders are not IDPA legal; because the IDPA considers a bull barrel in a 4.2" or longer gun to be a muzzle weight, and Commanders have a 4.25" barrel. Switching to a bushinged barrel, or as with a Champion having the barrel be under 4.2" (the exemption was actually explicitly created for the Champion, and the Kimber compact; both of which have 4" bull barrels) makes the gun IDPA legal for the enhanced service pistol class.

    Originally, there was no exemption for guns under 4.2"; all bull/conical barreled guns were banned. The popularity of the Kimber compact, and the Springfield Champion as carry guns; and the creation of the special competitons for short barreled guns, where officers length bull barrels are very common (thus 3.8" or less bull barrels being legal in the "back up gun" category); caused a LOT of bitching. 
    This eventually (it took years) forced the IDPA to re-evaluate and create the under 4.2" exemption (and yes, they deliberately left it at under 4.2" to exclude commanders with bull barrels... They've got 4.25" barrels by default; but can be cut down flush with the slide face to be legal IF the bull barrels was initially offered by the factory). 
    Initially the exemption for barrels under 4.2" was only for the Custom Defensive Pistol class; but that ended up pitting compacts and Champions, against high end custom 5" competition guns; making them essentially useless for IDPA competition. 
    Again this caused mutch bitching, and really didn't make any sense; so they finally extended the exemption down to ESP. 
    Unfortunately, the IDPA still bans all true 1911s from the lowest "Stock Service Pistol" class, simply because they have a single action trigger (para-ordnance LDA pistols are SSP legal... showing just how non-sensical the limitation is).
    I like my bull barrel...

    I like the way it looks. I like the fewer parts involved in cycling the weapon, and there being one less bit to break. I like the tiny bit of extra rigidity of lockup it offers (when it's properly fit and isn't worn out). I like the little extra bit of muzzle weight to aid in recoil control. I like not having to deal with a stiff or stuck bushing; or with losing a bushing when field stripping. I like not having to worry about losing a spring plug, because the spring plug is captured in the slide (I think any long time 1911 shooter has lost at least one... flown across the room, or the range)...

    ... but maybe going to a bushing, especially with the Briley option; is the better choice for a replacement?

    Hell... if it weren't for the ammo cost and availability (the reason why in three years, I've only managed to put about 1500 rounds through my 5" gun...) I'd use this as an opportunity to convert the thing to 10mm.

    Friday, February 18, 2011

    Geekuendo


    Not quite as good as "Fuck Me Ray Bradbury", but I think more fun...

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    A name I want you to remember...

    Because her story doesn't fit the narrative, and is sure to disappear from the news shortly...

    This, is Lara Logan:


    This smart, strong, beautiful woman; has spent the last 15 years reporting from war zones and trouble spots (after growing up in one: Durban).

    And yesterday, she paid the price (from wikipedia):
    "In 2011, while covering the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, Logan and her crew were arrested by the Egyptian army in Cairo on suspicion of being Israeli spies. Logan later said of the incident: "We were not attacked by crazy people in Tahrir Square. We were detained by the Egyptian army. Arrested, detained, and interrogated. Blindfolded, handcuffed, taken at gunpoint, our driver beaten. It's the regime that arrested us. They arrested [our producer] just outside of his hotel, and they took him off the road at gunpoint, threw him against the wall, handcuffed him, blindfolded him. Took him into custody like that."

    On 15 February 2011, CBS News released a statement revealing that Logan had "suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating" while covering the celebrations in Tahrir Square following the resignation of then President Hosni Mubarak some four days earlier. CBS News indicated that she was overwhelmed by a mob, along with her camera crew and security staff: "It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into frenzy. In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew. She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers." Logan later reconnected with her team and returned to the United States the next morning. She is currently recovering from her attacks in a U.S. hospital."
    And that, is the arab world.

    That is the world of tribalism, barbarity, and brutality; that the left is so obsessed with defending.

    It's not about Islam the religion; it's about Islamism, the transnational system of theocratic political control.

    It's about the sixth century culture that the entire middle east (outside of Israel of course) has reverted to in the past 95 years since the British decided to put the Wahabbists in power in Saudi Arabia; so they could have a convenient party to deal with on the subject of oil.

    That, is the culture that todays pan-arabic islamism islam not only supports, but requires. It requires the abuse of women. The murder of homosexuals. The execution of blasphemers and apostates. The culture of gang rapes and honor killings. The culture of stonings for adultery.

    The culture where a womans testimony in her own rape is not accepted, but her attackers is; and where that woman will be stoned as a harlot, for "tempting" her rapist.

    That is the culture that the left reflexively supports, simply because the right opposes it... Even though, those same leftists would be killed on sight by the very people they make such a show of supporting.

    ...Because it fits their narrative of oppressor vs. oppressed.

    The brutal assault and rape of Logan, and her crew... these are not "a few bad apples" or "a small minority"... this is the pan arabic islamist culture.

    That, is the culture that the left is so exultant about, having "seized the power back for the people" in Egypt... Never mind that is in no way what actually happened.

    The culture which I'm sure we will shortly see massacring  "apostates" and "blasphemers" and "enemies of Islam"; followed by the establishment of a combined military religious dictatorship.

    But it's not just Egypt, or Saudi Arabia, or Afghanistan, or Iraq.

    It is happening all over Europe today; in Malmo, in the suburbs of Paris... Hell, it's even happening in Detroit.

    And the left says nothing; or worse, excuses it, saying we have to accept it in their cultural context...

    ...because it doesn't fit their narrative.

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    Yeah... That pretty well describes it...

    Came across this little post from an IT blogger: Nine traits of the veteran Unix admin

    Now, I've been paid to administer UNIX systems for nearly 20 years (my wife says that it makes me seem old when I say "almost 20" years, instead of the 17 years it actually is. Irritates the heck out of her).

    Though it isn't my primary work function anymore, I still admin a couple boxes at home, and a couple out there in the cloud.

    My primary work function now is to architect large scale, high performance, business critical systems (along with applications, processes, and procedures); that other people admin. As part of that, I need to make them easy to admin, easy to fix when they break, easy to develop on etc... and to do that, I need to have been a good admin, and know how good admins work.

    I'd also wager a fair portion of my readership are either UNIX admins (full or part time), or were at some point in their careers.

    So... I think the list might sound somewhat familiar.

    Veteran Unix admin trait:
    • No. 1: We don't use sudo
    • No. 2: We use vi, not emacs, and definitely not pico or nano
    • No. 3: We wield regular expressions like weapons
    • No. 4: We're inherently lazy
    • No. 5: We prefer elegant solutions
    • No. 6: We generally assume the problem is with whomever is asking the question
    • No. 7: We have more in common with medical examiners than doctors
    • No. 8: We know more about Windows than we'll ever let on
    • No. 9: Rebooting is almost never an option

    I'll just put my comments in numeric order here, but you should definitely read the full answers in the guys post:
    1. Oh lord yes I LOATHE sudo... I mean yes, it can be a useful tool when you have no other choice; but it's a major security risk (I'd rather have a properly audited system with a good su policy, than a system with sudo), and it encourages bad admin practices.   
    Go read "SUDO, considered harmful", if you don't know what I mean. 
    Unfortunately, people who "grew up" with Linux love using it, and even make things dependent on it. 
    2. I use VI for all my general admin editing; though I actually will use nano for a lot of things, because a non modal screen oriented editor is also useful. I use VI because it's a lot easier to make quick line edits with it, and do big regex edits with it, than with other editors. It's also on every system, and is the best editor to use "with great force" so to speak. 
    3. See answer above... and below for that matter. If you can't work with complex regular expressions, you can't work with unix administration, development, or security.  
    4. I always say a good admin, is a lazy admin. In fact it's part of my hiring test for admins.
    The ideal combination is someone who is deeply and profoundly lazy, clever, obsessively detail oriented, obsessively critical of everything including themselves, and has an absolute drive to get the right answer no mater what it takes.  
    Note: That is not a recipe for a nice guy to hang out with on a Saturday night. 
    5. See above, again. 
    6. Hmmm... well, as an admin, and as tech support, that is often the first assumption; and it should be. In a system with a solid stable baseline, you assume that whatever changed or broke, is the cause of the problem. But as an architect, I'm also thinking about total systemic interactions and issues. Sometimes, it really is zebras.  
    7. In some ways it's true, in some ways it's not... Hell, we often call our post incident analyses "post mortems". In security especially, this is can be very true.
    But.. I don't like the doctor metaphor.  
    I personally believe in the concept of building very strong foundations, and strong walls on top of them; then recording EVERYTHING that comes through them or happens inside them, rather than trying to shoot down mosquitos with machine guns.  
    When you start with as solid a foundation as humanly possible, and you know everything that happens, you can always roll back to known good, and then fix the holes you missed, highlighted by your tracking data. 
    Plus, you know, the lazy thing, and the elegant thing... 
    8. Oh boy yes... Having been stuck as the guy who had to fix the exchange box, or the primary domain controller, because I was the only one they could find at 3am on a Sunday who knew how...  
    I need to know windows as well as UNIX for my job, but I'm never telling someone I know exchange admin ever again. 
    9. Most of the boxes I've ever admined are remote, in a rack in some datacenter somewhere; dozens, hundreds, or thousands of miles away...  
    Never mind being business critical, theres just a damn good chance the thing isn't going to come back up, or it will come back up just enough that it screws things up even worse, while making sure you can't get back into it. 
    So... how well does the list describe you?

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Six Years... That's a long time...

    If we follow the standard 1 year = 35 years conversion factor; that's like 210 in internet years.

    So yeah, six years ago I mostly stopped writing excessively long forum and mailing list posts, and blog comments; and started writing excessively long blog posts here.

    Now I'm about three weeks short of hitting 2.5 million uniques, and i'm right at 3.25 million page views.

    I've slowed down some in the last year or so... but really, given what's been going on... Well, let's just say I think y'all understand.

    AS for life changes... well, I summarized the previous five years in my anniversary post last year; but it has certainly been an eventful 12 months:

    Moving to north Idaho, having my health issues go from annoying to "uh oh", the situation with the kids, another major re-org at work, my mothers issues, my brother dying, finding I have cancer...

    Yeah, it's been a year...

    But I'm on the right side of the grass, and moving forward. That's always a good thing.

    Frankly, I don't think I can say it better than I did last year, so I'm just going to repeat myself.

    Moments like this, I just look around me and I can't help but think how lucky I am. How hard I've worked, how much I've sacrificed, how many people I've helped or hurt, or loved, or fought with along the way... but most of all how lucky I've been.

    I simply cannot believe where I am, where I might soon be, and just how lucky I am for that.

    Thank you all for reading this stuff that spills out of my brain. It humbles me that so many people want to listen. I don't do this for you, I do it for my own sanity; but believe me, I appreciate you.

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Another good news bad news situation...

    Well, I just got off the phone with the endocrinologist, and it's another good news bad news situation.

    First, they confirmed the diagnosis of endocrine (thyroid) neoplasia, likely causing atypical paraneoplastic syndrome; which isn't a great thing, but it means there's something to treat, and it accounts for the endocrine symptoms I've been experiencing for the last few years.

    Also, they didn't see any active malignant activity from the FNA, which is good.... but...

    Unfortunately, the type of tumor I have is less common, a follicular neoplasm (about 15% of all thyroid tumors are follicular); and they can't tell from the FNA if it's carcenoma (malignant), adenocarcenoma (pre-malignant), or an adenoma (benign). I won't know until they take it out, and run pathology on the whole mass.

    In particular it's a macrofollicular neoplasm, exhibiting enlarged and malformed nuclei. This means it is more likely to be a carcenoma or adenocarcinoma; but only slightly, and again, they can't tell 'til they cut it out.

    Also, it appears to be a differentiated mass (meaning there could be more than one type of neoplastic cell growth, grown together), which is also not good; but again, we won't know until they take it out.

    The good news is, though follicular thyroid cancer has a slightly lower survival rate than the more common papillary cancer, it's still over 90%.

    Also, if it turns out to be an adenoma, they may not have to take out my entire thyroid. They may just do a thyroid lobectomy.

    The surgeon should be calling me early next week to set up a time for a surgical consult. Hopefully She'll be able to get this done quickly, so I can get past it and on to recovery.

    In a world where we have...

    Franks Red Hot, Louisiana Red Hot, Texas Pete, and the entire lines of Daves Gourmet, and Blairs Reserve; why does Tabasco Sauce still exist?

    Seriously... I mean if there's nothing else, Ok; but in comparison to every other hot sauce, it's watery, flavorless, and sour in a not good way (and this is coming from someone who drinks straight lemon juice).

    Just had $800 in additional Co-Pays...

    And that was just for what I hadn't already paid at the offices, just for December, when I had already hit my deductible limit.

    Well, it won't take long to hit that $8,000 out of pocket limit I guess. January and February together will probably more than do it.

    Joy

    Why'd they all miss so much?

    I've been looking at the feedback on Top Shot reloaded around the net, and it seems that the most common response was "why did these experts miss over and over again?. What happened?"

    The drill was to hit 8 billiard balls in a row, after running 30 yards, shooting from a specific position, with an obstruction in front of each ball, using a standard GI style service pistol that they had never shot before, and didn't get to sight in.

    ...What happened is, IT'S FRIKKEN HARD TO DO.

    I've done that drill using paper targets with billiard balls printed on it (it's called "billiards from hell" or "hells balls", and it's something particularly sadistic trainers and match stage designers like to do, or use a variant on the theme of), using a gun I know well; and it still took me a minimum of 24 shots to do it, from a standard shooters box (which is pretty big), and without having to run 30 yards to the target.

    It's hard to do with 8" pie plates, never mind billiard balls.

    Billiard balls are 2.25" across. Standing in a small box (not a standard shooters box. It looked like maybe 18"), using a GI style 1911 with it's horrible sights, and god knows what consistency of ammo and what hold, cold with no prep and no sighting in, and oh yeah theres an obstruction in front of each target, just as large as your target, and directly in line with it, so that you have to shoot at weird angles and positions... Oh and you have to run 30 yards, in the cold and wet, before each shot?

    Yeah, that's frikken hard.

    Master and Commander

    It's funny, but entirely independently, in response to the things I've been going through lately; several friends of mine have quoted this poem (notably, one of my favorites):

    Invictus
    William Earnest Hensley

    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate;
    I am the captain of my soul.

    It is indeed fitting. Some believe we are simply floating on the tide of events and circumstances. I know otherwise. Yes, the universe around us exerts a powerful influence; but it is NOT deterministic, nor is it entirely random.

    Our outcomes, are the result of our circumstances, the events which occur in our lives, our reactions to them, and our decisions as we navigate the waters.

    I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.

    Wednesday, February 09, 2011

    20 years...

    This month marks a couple of significant milestones in my life.

    20 years ago this week, I started my first "real" job; cleaning buildings with my uncle, at night. I'm not sure exactly what the date was, but it was on a weeknight, two weeks before I went to visit my grandparents in Florida.

    I know exactly what date that was, because 20 years ago the week after next, February 19th, 1991; I lost my virginity. In Disneyworld.

    So in the course of two weeks, I lost my virginity, and started working...

    Funny, the symbolic relationship there...

    It's been a long 20 years... hard... sometimes more than I thought I could take.

    I've been rich; I've been broke. I've lived in luxury on other peoples dime; I've been homeless, living in a tent in the woods, or out in my car. I've been beaten, drugged, stabbed, shot; had my body torn every which way. I've been a manwhore, and I've been a father and family man. I've been loved, and hated. I've loved, and lost... and lost.. and lost... and loved again.

    There were days I didn't think I'd ever get to sleep, and days I thought I wouldn't wake up to see the next. There were days I wanted to never end, and days I couldn't wait to wake up for.

    It's been an interesting ride so far.

    Right now... I'll be honest, I've had a bit of a hard time of it as of late.

    A month ago today, my brother died. My mother... most days she's not my mother anymore; and I honestly have to thank god that at least she won't be suffering too much longer.

    The same week we had my brothers memorial, my uncle Thomas almost died on the operating table... stage 4 kidney cancer. The surgery wasn't successful. They might be able to go back for more... not sure yet, but he's not strong enough for chemo.

    Three days after we get home from my brothers service, I found out I had thyroid cancer.

    A few days ago, my grandmother called me up to disown me, for writing about my family in public. She told me how much she hated me and never wanted to speak to me again.

    So yeah, that was great.

    I'm about to take a month off work, in the middle of a re-org... that's never a good thing. Yeah I've got short and long term disability, and the company is supportive... but it's still never a good thing. Firstly, I can kiss any thought of a bonus goodbye. But it's more than that. Workloads are being distributed right now. Assignments are firming up. Impressions are being formed with the new management. My being gone for a month just at this time...

    I was in a position to become a leader of this new group. To really set myself up for career growth, and to have options open to me. Now, that's not going to happen.

    Outside of work and family... not much fun going on right now either.

    Earlier today... yesterday I guess... a man I thought of as my friend, betrayed me for political convenience; to avoid essentially meaningless conflict with others. I was in the right, they were in the wrong, but I compromised, and I thought we had resolved the issue to everyones satisfaction. Then, I find out they've been backroom maneuvering playing "if you're my friend you'll support me/ I won't let you hang out with us if you don't support me" type games; and my "friend" threw me under the bus. Petty bullshit, with zero stakes... which is of course, the most vicious.

    Frankly, I don't give a damn about the result, it's how it happened that I'm angry about.

    Then there's the couple hundred thousand dollars of legal bills that we've gone through the last couple years. That bit doesn't bother me so much, as the small mountain of debt (about 25% of the total) I've gone into to support that. I'm going to be trying to pay that off for years, meanwhile it's preventing us from doing the things we really want to do... sometimes need to do.

    ... and man, I miss my kids...

    And now, there's the cost of this treatment. Yes, I'll only be paying a small fraction of the total... The total is going to be well over a hundred thousand dollars, probably more... I'm only going to have to pay $8,000... but that's $8,000 I don't have. That's $8,000 I'll be spending on my treatment.

    Funny enough, $8,000 is also what we owe for legal and medical bills in the custody case.

    20 years of work.. hard.. DAMN HARD work. Sacrificing my life, my time, my brains, my health... and right now I've got nothing but debt, payments, and rentals, because of that. Every penny I ever made, ever saved, ever invested since then... it's all gone into that...

    It's like I'm running on a treadmill... and every time I manage to run a little bit faster, somebody turns the speed up and I fall behind again.

    20 years of work, and nothing lasting to show for it, at least materially. YEs, I have my experiences, and my relationships, and my friends and my family, and those are all wonderful things, important things, things that I cherish...

    ...but after 20 years of work, I don't own anything. I have nothing to point to and say "that's mine". I have so much I want to do, so much I could be doing... but I can't, because of all that.

    ...And I hurt. A lot. My body has had enough abuse over the past 20 years, and it's abusing me back. So I hurt, a lot, all the time.

    ...And my heart, my soul, they hurt. A lot. I've abused them too for 20 years; and they're abusing me back... So I hurt, a lot, all the time.

    So yeah, as of late, it's been a bit rough.

    I'm a strong man. Hard in ways. I've had times I thought I wasn't going to make it... but I did.

    I've never once thought of just giving up.

    I've got my wife, thank god. I've got what's left of my family. I've got what's left of my friends; and let me say they are damn good friends.

    I'm going to make it now too... it just hurts like a son of a bitch.

    But you go on... you make it... because there is no other choice. Giving up... not a chance. Failing... never in life.

    You may be beaten, but you are never defeated, until you allow yourself to be. The only one who can defeat you, is you. You only fail, when you give up.

    Tuesday, February 08, 2011

    Top Shot Reloaded

    Ok, for those of you not regular readers coming here off a google search etc... full disclosure; I know (at least electronically) a couple of the people who were on the first season of Top Shot.

    Also, although I liked the show in general, there were some things I really didn't much care for in how they handled the whole season.

    I didn't like the editing style, or the manufactured drama, especially the way the eliminations were conducted.

    ...but...

    If it weren't for manufacturing that drama, they would have had less than half the audience they had. Very few non-shooters would have watched, and even among shooters, without the drama the only ones who would have watched it would be the total gun wonks like me.

    So, I get it. I still don't care for it... or reality TV in general (except Food Network stuff, which I generally enjoy) but I get that it has to be that way to build and maintain an audience.

    So, onto today...

    The wife and I both watched the first episode of the new season tonight, and in general, we liked it.

    The challenges were interesting, and I dug the fact that they threw a curveball from jump. Again though, I didn't like the editing. It was too choppy, too forced feeling.

    I was happy to see a few Air Force vets there this time around (I'm sure my friends in combat control are happy this evening, having an active, and decorated, CCT in the mix); and it seems that the level of competitors is mostly good.

    Though... a Golf Instructor?

    A well trained golf instructor yes... but...

    Sometimes the reality producers are a little too obvious in setting up a bad guy...

    So, did y'all watch? Will you watch in the future? What did you think of it?

    Monday, February 07, 2011

    Just how big can a tumor in your neck get, before someone notices it?

    ... as it turns out, Pretty Damn Big™


    The tumor in my neck (whether it's benign or malignant, won't know til Wednesday or Thursday), is 8.8cm long, 8.6cm thick, and 7.8cm deep.


    That potato, is within a couple millimeters of those dimensions. I've included the blackberry for scale.

    HOW THE HELL DID MY DOCTORS NOT SEE THIS.

    How the hell did I not see this...

    I can understand, the water retention masking it, but how dod a doctor not do this simple examination even once in five years...

    I'm a hard man to make angry... but damn...

    Seems I can never do anything small

    So I had my biopsy this afternoon.

    The tumor (the docs stopped calling it a mass or nodule at this point) is bigger than we thought; 8.8cm long 8.6cm high and 8.2cm deep... about the size of a large lemon or a small russett potato.

    Yeah... I was rather shocked something that big could be growing in my neck for what has to have been years, and noone noticed.

    The pathology report will be done Wednesday or Thursday; but given the size, and composition, there's little doubt it's cancer. The question is, which type, and is it malignant.

    At least we'll know soon; and because of the size, it'll be surgically removed no matter what.

    That should put me on the road to getting better.

    It's Fine Needle Aspiration Time

    We're heading out to Spokane this afternoon to get the thyroid biopsy done so the pathology can be done so the surgery can be scheduled. The results will determine if the surgery gets scheduled at the surgeon's convenience or if someone else gets bumped.

    The good news is we have a doctor and a very good surgeon working together on this within the same hospital. The other good news is that insurance will be covering 80% of the costs over $3400 (the remainder of our deductible) and 100% once we reach $8000 out of pocket. Also Chris has paid time off, short term disability from his employer, and long-term disability coverage that we opted into. We will not be screwed over by this.

    Moral of the story? When benefits enrollment comes around, run the numbers, compare the plans, and sign up for the extra shit if it's offered. Even if you're "too young" for anything catastrophic to happen to you (you aren't). Otherwise you might find yourself faced with a $100K emergency and imminent bankruptcy.

    As it is, there's enough to worry about. But not having to worry about the medical bills killing us lets us focus in on more important stuff, like kicking this problem's ass.

    Wednesday, February 02, 2011

    Oh look! Now DiGiorno comes with breadsticks...

    Somehow while doing the most basic task of picking up Chris's prescriptions from the Super Walmart, I developed a case of the diet Fuckits.

    5 years of calorie restriction. 5 years of diet drinks, Splenda in my iced tea, limiting our carb intake, and avoiding the junk food aisles because if it's not in the house, we won't eat it. 5 years of cooking from scratch, limiting our fat intake, and only occasionally having dessert.

    5 years of going to doctors, and being looked at as if I was the enabler. 5 years of the "self control and calorie restriction" speech from doctors. 5 years of disapproval and unwillingness to listen.

    Now we know why. Now we know why his blood pressure and blood sugar are normal. Now we know why his heart is healthy. Now we know why he gained over 200 lbs over 5 years. Thyroid cancer can do that. The edema caused by the cancer can do that. We shouldn't have been asking why he was gaining weight, we should have been asking whether it was fat or water he was gaining.

    Now we know a huge amount of it is water, and now we know why.

    Chris developed his case of diet Fuckits Wednesday night following the scheduling of the biopsy. He requested steak, potatoes, crusty bread, and apple pie.

    My Fuckits arrived today, in the middle of Wal-Mart, when I wanted a bag of Cheetos. Maybe some Doritos. Oh, and what's in the freezer section these days...

    Chris will most likely be having surgery within the next 4 weeks, and then all of these problems might go away. In that time I may gain another 10 lbs just in emotional eating. I don't think I care right now. I think, for a short time at least, the junk food aisle can be my friend again.

    Also, it's time for new toys for the doggies, and I think the reactions Jayne and Zoe have to new toys are worth about $1K of therapy...

    Mel

    It really does get better... VERY NSFW

    And now it's time for another post in which I irritate my socially conservative readers...

    Watch all the way to the end please, and listen... unless rather serious vulgarity and profanity offend you in which case don't watch the video, or just skip to the end spoken word bit:



    I'm not gay, and I wasn't bullied in high school even though I am the worlds biggest geek... But it wasn't out of the inherent kindness of teenagers. I wasn't bullied, because I was the biggest and strongest, and sometimes the meanest kid out there. I was the one who taught bullies a lesson... and believe me, I taught a LOT of lessons.

    I'm not big on the "anti-bullying" bandwagon currently gathering steam in America. AS it is, it seems to be a politically correct hysterical reaction, combined with an unhealthy dose of overprotective parents, liability obsessed administrators, and fame seeking psychobabblers.

    But, I still think forcing someone to pay a price for non-conformity, is wrong.

    I don't care whether you disapprove of homosexuality or not; this isn't really about being gay, it's about being different. About not conforming to the social conventions and constructs enforced by the institutions we laughingly call educational in this country.

    I wont say there isn't some value to those social conventions and constructs; society operates smoother with them, and when they are generally followed. A society without a commonly agreed upon set of social conventions is a society that quickly collapses in on itself.

    The problem becomes when those who choose not to follow those conventions, in essentially harmless ways, are FORCED into doing so; or are actively persecuted, or actively hurt, physically, financially, spiritually, and emotionally, for not doing so.

    That, is the very definition of coercive restraint of human liberty; and it is flatly wrong.

    You don't have to support someones choices; but you have no right to enforce your choices upon them.

    As people who love liberty, we would not tolerate such behavior from the state; but what is the state but a collection of individuals acting in concert... We should not accept this behavior from individuals, any more than we would from the government.

    The message of this video is, if you choose another way, and you are being hurt because of it, it get's better. And unfortunately, until we can destroy those so called educational institutions and rebuild them into something that supports liberty and freedom and individual rights, giving kids that message is the best we can do.

    Remember folks, in our fine institutions, it's those who love liberty who are the minority. The ones who don't fit in. We are the threat to the social order.

    I don't see how anyone who says they're for freedom, liberty, and individual rights can not support this; because supporting freedom, liberty, and individual rights, means doing so for everyone, even if their choices are completely abhorrent to you (so long as their choice is not infringing on your rights).

    It's not about gay or straight, it's about free or not.

    Must be an Idaho sheep...


    ... or maybe Montana.

    Sadly the guy who writes the stip is a psychotically leftist PETArd

    Tuesday, February 01, 2011

    A bit chilly...

    5 degrees, clear and damn cold; with gusts pushing the windchill down to -14.

    I believe they call that brisk.

    Just...

    Thinking about my brother.

    Fixed my blogroll

    Though I still need to do some manual editing, as this was an import from my RSS feed.

    Fixed my sitemeter too.

    Oh and from the state of it, looks like I REALLY need to clean up my RSS feed.