Thursday, May 29, 2008

BRITS: Hauling Rubbish in the Nanny State


A TEENAGE motorist was told to remove an England flag from his car by a police officer because it could be offensive to immigrants.

Ben Smith, 18, was driving back home to Ingram Road in Melksham on Thursday evening after filling up with petrol, when the officer stopped him on a routine patrol.

He checked the tax disc and tyres on his Vauxhall Corsa but when he noticed the flag of St George on the parcel shelf he told Mr Smith to take it down.

Mr Smith, who works for G Plan Upholsterers on Hampton Park West, said: "He saw the flag and said it was racist towards immigrants and if I refused to take it down I would get a £30 fine."
[ED:emphasis added]

A young, British mother is being forced to pay $524 because she impatiently placed her trash can at the curb a day early.

Zoe Watmough, 22, was hauled before judges and ordered to pay a hefty fine, reports the UK's Daily Mail.

"I am flabbergasted," Watmough said. "There are people committing all sorts of crimes and getting away with it. Yet I have left my bin out and have been fined the best part of £300."

Officials from the Bolton Council in Greater Manchester detected her green recycling bin and gray garbage can on Wednesday – a full 24 hours before collection – but the council firmly dictates trash must not be taken out until after 7.30 a.m. on garbage day.

"Everybody in this area puts their bins out the day before collection," she said. "I don't see what the problem is and can't afford to pay the fine."

After appearing in court, Watmough was fined $247, ordered to pay an additional $247 in costs and a $30 victim surcharge due to an increasing rate of arson attacks by children in the area. The price of extinguishing a bin fire is reportedly is £1,900, or $3,756. The incidents cost fire departments up to £3million, or $6 million, every year.

But wait, there's more:

Barry Freezer, a 73-year-old retired milk man, was found guilty of a violation when he dumped cabbage stalks in his bin and incurred the fury of the council waste-collection authorities, according to the UK report.

He claimed they treated him like a criminal, refusing collection of his garden waste and saying cabbages were kitchen waste. Authorities claim he broke a rule banning meat from being discarded with garden waste for composting, a regulation intended to prevent spread of foot-and-mouth diseases.

The same, strict council refused to collect garbage from partially blind military veteran Lenny Woodward, 95, because he defiantly put a ketchup bottle and an empty coffee jar in the wrong trash receptacle.
Rubbish Nazis?

How Low The Brits have Sunk!

Encoded Ammunition: Scant Faith

-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: m hoiriis
> Jerry,
> Please God tell me that I am just not following the posts on your blog properly... You cannot seriously be in favor of ammo encoding.....please assure me that I am mistaken....
> Mike

--------------- Geek Response ---------------

Hi Mike!

I have no idea what I ever said which could possibly have given you the impression that I was supportive of the Encoded Ammunitions bills which lately have been (egregiously) promulgated by Political Hoors in this great nation, but I want to assure you that I am not ... that is not Not NOT NOT! encouraged by these perfidious politickings!


The "Encoded Ammunition" bills would, if enacted, be the ruination of the Second Amendment protection which allows us, Citizens of these United States, to own and carry and use firearms for their many benign purposes: hunting, plinking, competition, self-defense, and protection against a tyrannical government are only the beginning.

One of my personal concerns is that those of us who choose to use firearms for ANY purpose must necessarily practice to maintain our gun-handling skills. The Encoded Ammunition bills would cause the financial burden of practicing with our firearms to become unbearable, resulting in a decrease in practice, and the atrophy of gun-handling and accuracy skills.

This is obviously not a benefit to us, and not a benefit to society. "Society" reasonably expects that if we choose to own, store or carry defensive firearms, we should at least maintain a minimum level of expertise, and these bills would obviate the practice necessary to that purpose.

In point of fact, given that Law Enforcement Units are or may be subject to these same restrictions, departmental budgets for LEO's may preclude even the minimal annual qualification of Law Enforcement Officers, with a resultant degradation of the already marginal skill levels of cops ... perhaps even the Military.

What's the "up-side" of this? There is none. There is, in fact, no benefit to society in these bills.

Indeed, despite protestations to the contrary, there is no benefit to "Crime Prevention", or even "Crime Solving", in these bills.

The Encoded Ammunition bills are (ipso facto) nothing more or less than a patent attempt to obviate the Second Amendment by imposing an unbearable financial burden on anyone who would use a firearm for any legal purpose.

Those who would use firearms for non-legal purposes, of course, are not handicapped by these bills. They are already, by definition, criminals; they are currently acquiring firearms by extra-legal means; they will only be required to spend another couple of minutes in their Home Burglaries to pick up ammunition as well as firearms, with the minimal consequence of ... nothing. The criminals have the guns, they have the ammunition, and neither acquisition imposes a financial burden, nor a legal risk above that which they have already accepted when they decide to steal a gun.

So: What have I written which suggests to you that I support the "Encoded Ammunition" bills which have been sponsored by immoral, perfidious (but I repeat myself) politicians?

I would really like to know. IF I have so poorly expressed myself to suggest such a bizarre impression of support, I need to know where I have failed to make myself clear, so I can go back and rewrite.

Thank you for bringing this unfortunate miss-statement (what ever it is) to my attention.

I obviously need to be more aware of the way in which I express myself.

Jerry the Geek

PS: Have I made myself more clear?

Carly Simon


I have never much cared for that word. It represents the unnatural state where one loves a person one has never met, never talked to, and to whom one remains a matter of complete anonymous indifference.

Yet if it is possible for a man to love such a person unreservedly, than I do love Carly Simon.

Carly Simon has never been a pretty woman, but she possesses an ageless beauty. She has written most of her most popular songs, and sings them with a precision and clarity which could never be matched by an imitator.

This paean to a chanteuse was inspired by, of all things, a recent Telegraph interview. There I learned more about Carly Simon than I needed to know.

Although she has lead an interesting (if chaotic) life, in truth, I am enamored of her music more than her person.

I first became aware of Carly Simon by her hit songs heard on the radio. Eventually I bought her "Reflections" album. Most recently I also bought "Film Noir", which is essentially an eclectic collection of 1940's Torch Songs (see her Laura, a lovely near-minor-key arrangement with appropriately repeated perfect flats, from "the film of the same name starring Gene Tierny)". I was disappointed at first, but after listening to the album several times -- most often as accompaniment to writing unrelated articles here -- I discovered that, although they were not 'her songs', she had made them hers with her magnificent voice and style.

All of this is just my opinion. You can decide by herself, as several of her better-known songs are available in the form of music videos. (And you can treat yourself to an small collection by going to the homage at Rolling Stones Magazine's website.)

Here's a selection of her music videos.

You're So Vain:

You Belong To Me: (Note: Poor video quality; turn up the sound)

That's The Way I Always Heard It Should Be: (Note: audio only; video is the album cover from "Carly Simon")

And finally:
Anticipation (from the album of the same name)

No tribute to Carly Simon is complete without The Heinz Ketchup Ad:

I hate to see Carly Simon contribute to the Teresa Heinz-Kerry fortune, but Simon did campaign for John Kerry.
Well, nobody's perfect.

Okay, maybe ....

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Special ARPC Matches: SS, Plastic Gun, Area 1

Sorry for the short notice, but in case you live in the PNW and you haven't yet been told, the Albany Rifle and Pistol Club (Albany, Oregon, under the auspices of Mike McCarter, the ARPC Executive Officer and USPSA Junior Director) is sponsoring two Special Matches.

On Saturday, May 31, 2008, ARPC will host the 12th Annual Single Stack Championship.
(Entry form available here. Alternate link for the Entry Form is here.)
Stage diagrams available here.

The next day, Sunday, June 1, 2008, ARPC will host the Oregon Plastic Gun Championship (formerly the "Glock Match").
(Entry form available here. Alternate link for the Entry Form is here.)

The schedule, and appropriate forms & information for all Special Matches in Oregon, is available at the Oregon Cascade Section website here. [Click on "Special Events" in the frame on the left.)

A recent (May 25, 2008) note from MD Mike McCarter:

Hi Folks,
There is still plenty of room for either match and I have attached the stages so you can see what I mean about fun. These are some of the best we have put together so come on out and play. If you want to be a competitor in either of these matches or both just email your application in and pay at the door. We hope to see you soon. If you are already signed up please let me know and I will check my entry lists.
We will be giving 3 Single Stack guns away to competitors at the Single Stack Championships and two plastic guns (one XD and one Glock) at the Plastic Gun Championships.

Mike McCarter
Executive Director
Albany Rifle and Pistol Club

USPSA Junior Coordinator

At the CCS Special Events page, you will also find links to information about the 2008 Area 1 Championship, [June 26 - 29, 2008] hosted by Tri-County Gun Club at Sherwood Oregon. Full information is available here.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Ian - Dundee - May, 2008

I like to show a lot of match videos after the weekends when I actually manage to attend a match. And because I tend to shoot with the same people, you tend to see the same people represented on the match videos I publish.

This is good for you, because the videos are typically short and to the point. These folks know how to shoot a match and don't generally spend a lot of time trying to find the aim-point which will hit the target. Translation: the videos are short, easy to watch, and don't embarrass anyone.

At this match we started out with 13 people on our squad. Curiously, the squad was whittled down to 7 members before we finished the match.

One regular shooter (Whitefish) discovered that we had more people in the squad than was typical, so he moved over to another squad, leaving 12 shooters.

We had one shooter ("Mike") on his first match who DQ'd on his first stage. Embarrassing as it was personally, he and his friend stuck around for another stage to talk about firearms and other gear which would be appropriate to USPSA competition. We may have both the DQ shooter and his friend back at a future match, and I may talk about how to respond to such questions as "what pistol should I buy, I'm on a limited budget?" later ... but I am encouraged by their interest. We always try to be of help to new shooters who want to play the game, but WHOO! it's not easy to give the best advice without knowing more about the prospective shooter than can be defined when the match is in progress. Eleven shooters left.

At the next stage, another shooter (who was competing in his Second USPSA match) DQ'd due to" breaking the 180". When he finished, he slightly pointed his pistol just a bit too far uprange. Easy to do; learning an instinctive awareness of "the 180" is an acquired skill. Ten shooters left.

Somewhere between the third and the fourth stage, another shooter wandered off. Nine shooters left.

At the end of the fourth stage, Trevor had to leave early because of a prior personal commitment. Eight shooters left.

And on the last (sixth) stage of the day, Evil Bill's Glock ... Blew up! (See below). Seven out of 13 original shooters actually finished the match with the same squad they began with, and we missed them all.

The New Shooter Who Stuck With Us:

At the start, we had one new shooter (DQ), one new shooter who had DQ'd on his first match (Mikey Scribbles, who finished the match safely and earned his certification), one shooter who had certified earlier in the month, but DQ'd today, and a "Broke-Dick Gun" (Evil Bill and the Penguin Gun).

But we had one competitor who entirely stood out from the crowd, and I think he deserves some special attention.

Ian speaks with a pronounced British accent. When I RO'd him on the first stage, he surprised me: the stage required a starting position "facing uprange", and when the buzzer sounded he pivoted on both feet and actually began the draw before having shifted his feet. I was startled and thought he was going to break the 180 on the draw, but he actually managed to move to a downrange-facing stance before the pistol cleared the holster; then he started moving his feet. It was a professional-looking move, and I was convinced that he was a 'ringer', an experienced IPSC competitor who was visiting the USA, and was much more experienced than he seemed to be at first blush.

Later in the match, I introduced myself to him and suggested that "you don't seem to be from around these parts".

Ian politely corrected me, saying that he in fact worked at "timber framing" locally, and in fact lived within a few miles of the range.

I do wish we had found the time to talk more, but the snippets of time available elicited the fact that he was an expat British subject, and had been an ardent IPSC competitor before the British Government passed laws making private ownership of pistols illegal.

He expressed his pique that, while he was serving as an Infantryman, he was obliged to guard British Army Armories, but when off-duty was forbidden to own a firearm for his own personal and home defense.

("Gee, this is just like DC v. Heller!" I remarked. "Yes, it is", he replied.)

Essentially, he put up with the Nanny-statism of Great Britain until just recently, and then he immigrated to America. Here he was allowed to own personal weapons, and so he was today competing in the first IPSC match in eleven years.

We chatted further, but not enough to satisfy my curiosity, and I look forward to seeing him in future matches.

Ian possesses a level of charm which is perhaps innate to the best of the British; I know I'll try not to introduce him to SWMBO. Perhaps more important, after 11 years away from IPSC competition he merged himself right back into the Realm of the Competent, which I have been battering against like a moth to a lantern for 20+ years. We claim to be involved in USPSA competition because we like to shoot, and it's true; but we often show up with some degree of regularity because we like the people we meet in the gravel-strewn pits of American shooting ranges, and I expect that this is one of the people who encourages us to show up month after month after month ...
... because you never know who you're going to meet in The Pits.

Here's a sample of Ian's performance on this, his first IPSC match in 11 years:

Glock KaBOOM! - Follow-up

Email from Evil Bill about the unfortunate demise of his "Pelican Gun":

Pictures of the kaboom. [attached to the email]

Jerry, you said you thought you saw something fall out of the gun? It was half of the locking lug. Or at least that is what's missing!

The "earth shattering kaboom"( I like Marvin the Martian quotes) didn't even flatten the primer much. Case has no cracks, not even a blown primer. It would sure be interesting to see a slo-mo of the kaboom---I still haven't figured out how the barrel jumped forward to allow the locking lug to go up, over and behind the locking block.

As near as I can tell damages are: Barrel, slide, locking block, locking block pin. Also think it sheared a screw on the Docter sight diode mount, but I think I have a spare.

Frame, comp, trigger components, mag release, recoil spring/guide rod, all the internal slide pieces look OK. Heck---I might beat the slide back into shape and use it on a steel gun. It's only bulged an eight inch or so, and the cracks aren't too bad.

In a later email:
Jerry, Got out the magnifying glass and a good light and checked the bore on the split barrel. I can see a ring in the barrel just past the second blow hole from bullet #1. Also a chunk of bullet jacket lodged in the crack just toward the chamber from the ring. Guessing that the jacket is from bullet #2. Neither bullet stayed in the bore. Evidently one of them impacted the target I was aiming at when the kaboom occurred?
That would explain the number of holes in targets.

The most important thing is that Evil Bill was not injured by this mishap. The only physical effect he found was a small black spot on his trigger finger; I can only guess that it was caused by exhaust gases (read: powder residue) blasted downward through the trigger port of the frame.

It bears repeating that, so far, there is no evidence that the KaBOOM! was caused by a structural weakness of the ammunition, the cartridge/caliber, or of the pistol.

We searched the ground in front of the shooting position to see if we could find evidence of a squib. We were looking for a bullet or bullet fragments. There were some jacket fragments within a few feet of 'ground zero', but we couldn't determine that they were even of recent origin, let alone related to this incident.

I remain unconvinced of the 'squib' theory, but I can offer no more likely explanation.

I have loaded the pictures to Jerry the Geek's Online Shooting Gallery, you can view them here.

Other KaBOOM! Links:

The Original KaBOOM! from August, 2006.

Dean Speir on the KaBOOM! Phenomenon, The Gun Zone, Glock kB! FAQ v1.35

It's only fair to point out that, even though Evil Bill zeroed the last of six stages in this match (match results here), he ended up 11th overall out of 64 shooters, and first B-Open.

In case you are persuaded by the earlier reporting, here is what Evil Bill's Penguin Gun typically looks like when shooting a stage:

RSS Feed to Cogito Ergo Geek

After all of these years, I finally learned the easy way to subscribe to the RSS Feed for Cogito Ergo Geek.

Thanks to Michael Bane, and his DRTV Gun Blogger Roundup.

(I'll add this to my sidebar, for your convenience.)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Glock KaBOOM! - Major Nine

At the Dundee Club Match (May 24, 2008) and on the very last stage of the match, Evil Bill Blew Up His Pelican Gun.

Bill was shooting the last stage of the day, and I was his RO. About 5 shots into the COF the gun failed to go back into battery.

Bill racked the slide to chamber the next round, pulled the trigger, and as I was watching the gun split into two pieces, attached to the grip, in a configuration reminiscent of a half-peeled banana.

Bill's later theory was that he had a squib, which was not obvious to the observer because the bullet got into the compensator before it was stopped. (He had been recently made aware that his powder measure was randomly loading lighter than normal charges; as much as almost 20% lighter than normal.) In fact, in this scenario it would not be a 'squib', per se, as much as a 'light load'.

Nevertheless, he suggests that the round which split the barrel and pulled the slide away from the frame did in fact result in excessive pressure which split the barrel from just behind the compensator to the chamber of the pistol.

I don't know that I accept that explanation. I counted the rounds, I think that the round he designated a 'squib' actually hit the A-zone of the target he was engaging. I could be wrong, he could be wrong, we both could be wrong.

I'll be interested if, when he disassembles the Glock, he can provide more information to describe the actual sequence of events.

Oh, yeah, I forgot one detail of the damage. It appears that the slide has also bulged, just forward of the chamber. Well, that's not surprising.

(Click on any picture to Super-Size it)