Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Dean Speir

I received an email from Dean Speirs, who wrote the articles (in The Gun Zone) which inspired the KaBOOM! article.

His comments were pungent (and I mean this in the very nicest sense), to the point, and informative.

In subsequent exchanges, he gave me his permission to reprint his email, which I do here in grateful appreciation.

Well, I must say... and well, again!
A friend found your Jerry-the-Geek KaBoom piece and passed along the link. My blushes!
Coupla comments on that particular blog entry:
  1. Gawd!, I wish I'd written "the tendencies of nervous, high-strung or over-stressed pistols to blow up during shooting," so I will add it to the kB! FAQ page somewhere with a (wholly self-serving) cite and link to your blog.
  2. Minor erratum:
    We saw that in the John Wayne western movie Rio Lobo, essentially a 1970 remake of the 1966 Wayne Western El Dorado
    Delve a tad deeper into IMDb, Brasshopper, and you will learn that both Westerns were very directly remakes of 1959's Rio Bravo, all three being written by Leigh Brackett, directed by Howard Hawks, and starring Wayne.

    And if you ever wanna see a more modern "plugged barrel KaBOOM!," rent a copy of The Girl Hunters, in which Mickey Spillane plays his own detective creation!
  3. Under the heading of "I was there and I'm surprised that you weren't:"
    The KaBOOM! factor was never important until some daring young man (probably Brian Enos) realized that the all-but-forgotten .38 Super cartridge could be used in a pistol which had higher magazine capacity
    I'm shocked... shocked, I tell you... that you don't know that the real culprit here was one Michael McCormick. He was the one who really pioneered the .38 Super in IPSC and almost single-handedly brought beards into vogue on the shooting fields of USPSA. "Chip" was the only one I saw at World Shoot VI in '83 shooting Super. I've since been informed that their may have been one other, but aside from a couple of Europeans shooting "Minor Nine," everyone else I saw was shooting .45 ACP. Chip finished 15th as I recollect, and seven months later, when I was at Steel Challenge, Super had been discovered in a huge way! (Yeah, I know... different power factors factor into this issue.)
  4. Continuing in that section:
    ...but with a longer cartridge case it had the capacity to legally "make major" ... if loaded with MORE POWDER and which avoided the IPSC rule relegating 9x19 cartridges as "minor power".)
    Now this is very definitely your realm, not mine, but wasn't the "If the headstamp sez 'Luger' or 'Parabellum,' then it's minor!" rule instituted circa '89 or '90, long after hoisted the Super flag?
  5. Persevering:
    At about the same time, they discovered compensators.
    Again I demur... I'm going up on the name of the South African shooter who actually got the ball rolling at the moment, but the shooter who (again I'll use the word) "pioneered" compensated guns here was Mike Plaxco, and that was circa 1981. WS VI two years later was still ruled by five-inch guns, however.
  6. You're getting pretty far afield when you get to the Glock stuff, but then perhaps I'm being "too critical here." But you do have a factual error or three there, mostly in the model designations. But then that'll just allow the Glock Flock to dismiss you as a crank.

    Just remember this: Gaston's sole motivation to entering the .40 S&W market was a big "neener neener neener" to Smith & Wesson.
  7. Glock has yet to adequately address the "not fully supported caseheads" problem.
I'll sign off here before you go on the nod.
Thanks for the kind words and the links.
If you're ever at a SHOT Show, I'll stand the first round... the second and third as well if Bane continues buying with his usual reckless abandon!

• Dean Speir <>
Formerly Famous Gunwriter / The Gun Zone Maintainer

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Annual Review

August, in Geekistan, is the month where we are encouraged to provide input to our Annual Review.

Since my boss has no clue what I do from day to day in the Professional Computer Geek Community, there are a series of categories in which I must Score Highly to achieve a salary increase. Among these are "User Support" and "Initiative". (More on this in a minute.)

I'm already overpaid for doing the thing that I like to do, which makes me a happy feller, so my contribution to this process is probably at the Underachiever level. I don't care. I have enough money to pay my bills and load ammunition for the next club match, and pay match fees. I plan to work until I die, so in happy grasshopper fashion I don't worry all that much about planning for my retirement. Social Security and my Pension, it says in my annual reports, will provide me almost as much money as I spend on rent today. So I'll go live under a bridge, just me and SWMBO and our XL650, and we'll live as long as we live.

Some people, though, seem to have problems.

For example, here's a story of an English Postman, who either got tired of carrying around a bunch of Dead Trees for not discernible reason, or thought his customers (the junk-mail receiving people on his postal route) may not enjoy receiving junk mail any more than he enjoyed delivering it.

At his own expense, and on his own initiative, he had some flyers printed up describing the procedure they could follow if they did not want unsolicited solicitations delivered to their mailslots.

Sounds like Customer Service, right?

But according to his employer (the Royal Mail) has suspended him pending an investigation.

A Royal Mail spokesman said that the Door-to-Door scheme was vital for the company's ability to compete on an equal footing with other delivery organisations. The company delivers a quarter of Britain's unaddressed mail. The spokesman said that the deliveries provided a much-needed service to small businesses and consumers.
Apparently, the British equivalent of UPS and Fed-Ex (which, come to think of it, are probably UPS and FedEx) are such strong competitors for delivery service, the Royal Mail is reduced to Doing The Job That Englishmen Won't Do ... delivering junk. And anyone who undermines that essential function may freely be considered a traitor to The Service.

I hear you saying: "It's The Economy, Stupid!"

Yeah, right. As a "customer" of the U.S. Postal Service, I could do with a whole lot less Dead Trees (Safeway flyers and offers to increase my manhood. Oh wait, that's Email Spam, right?) which go into the ashcan before I unlock my front door.


Here's another one, a lot closer to home:

The Firefighting Industry in Idaho must be experiencing a market-slump, because ...

SALMON, Idaho -- A federal firefighter accused of persuading a friend to set a brush fire on the city's outskirts has been charged with conspiracy to commit arson.
Sounds reasonable to me.

If your business is Fighting Fires, and there are no Fires to Fight ... Hey! Demonstrate your initiative by inviting a friend to start a few fires in a worthless clump of brush. You and your cow-workers can Make Good Money and Start Your Own Business by fighting manufactured fires.

Seems reasonable to me. Good training, and that clump of sagebrush was probably just a forest fire waiting to happen anyway. Why not? Heck, they pay you the same whether you're fighting fires or just sitting around the Station House.

But do they give you crediti for Initiative.


They want to throw your fanny into the hoosegow. Does that seem fair to your?

Me either.

Of course, I don't live in Salmon, Idaho. If I did, I might have a different attitude. But I live in Oregon, so what do I care if Idaho changes it's State Motto from '"Esto perpetua" (which apparently means "May It Live Forever" ... don't ask me! Like you, I thought it was an American State) to "French Fries, Anyone"?

Excuse me: "Freedom Fries".

So, if you're a firefighter in Idaho, you don't get bonus points on your Annual Review for "Initiative". Seems anti-American to me, but maybe it has to do with the State Motto being a Spanish Saying. I don't know. I don't get paid for this stuff, I just cut&paste the quotes.

It seems to me as if the only way to get ahead is to completely ignore The Rules, which don't make sense to an ordinary man, and just ... do your own thing. Make up your own rules. Don't worry about your Annual Review, they're gonna slaughter you anyway. Might as well have it done under YOUR terms, right?

Here's a story about the Iraqi Army, which seems to be more of a "regional militia" than a "National Army".

These guys are perfectly content to live and work in their home state/province/county/parish (I don't know what they call their area, do you?) but feel that moving to another state/province/county/parish as their AOR (Area Of Responsibility) is just asking too much.

You can't blame them. They know what they signed up for. Maybe nobody else knows, but THEY do! They were asked to "defend the Home Front", and that's just what they're gonna do. That doesn't include fighting people they don't know to defend people they don't know. They're just going to ... literally ... defend their home. They may not have been drafted by their "Friends and Neighbors" (read: people they grew up with, and know personally) but they have a pretty good idea that if they were born in southern Maysan province and are later requested and required to go defend Baghdad .... you gotta ask yourself: "Do I Feel Lucky!"

I'm going to assign this one to the category: "Know and Support your Customer Base", and I'll give them an 8 out of 10 possible points for knowing what their job is and who their customers are.

Okay, that's not on the form.

But it oughta be,.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Croc Match Update

Administrivia, Match Director Announcements & match start time,
Registration Confirmation, (recent addition: links to match scores and photos)

I'll keep this on top of the Blog for a while, for your convenience.


Entry Form (a PDF file)
Photos and Videos from 2005 Croc Match
Previous Geek Blog about the match.

There's a problem with the TeamCroc website, so the promised registratation confirmation didn't happen. You'll find it here effective (currently) August 24, 8:47pm PST.

Notes from the Match Director, Paul Meier:

Entry fee has been held to $65 for the match, sorry we couldn't get the word out faster.

Sat. morning check in from 8 am on, presentation address at 9 and shooting to follow. Sat. 5 stages with the last 3 left for Sun.

Wait until you see the shirts, they are outstanding. I have a limited number and everyone will want one. To start they are red polos and have a well you'll have to see them. This is the 10 th Anniversary so they are special! Since you know me I don't have to say any more.

Right now I have 96 shooters if everyone shows up. Next week is HELL week for a few of us to put every thing together.
(I don't have photos of the shirts, or I would include them here. Paul, are you listening?)

Registration Confirmation: 2006 Crazy Croc Shooters
(If your name is here, your match registration is confirmed. These are listed in the order in which the entries were received.)

Since the match has long been completed, I have removed the competitor list from this article. Many people don't like to have their names posted on the Internet, and out of respect for their privacy I have returned to my usual policy of not identifying by full name those who are not 'public images' or who have not already acquired a certain amount of celebrity in other internet sources.

However, you can see the match results here, and visit my Video Shooting Gallery here to see some photos and videos of the match.

-- end of competitor list as of August 24, 2006 --

Brits lose another 'subject'

The Hobo Brasser sent me another one of those "Second Amendment Lists" today. I read it, nodded, thought briefly about blogging it and then thought again. Everybody who reads this blog has probably already read a copy by the time I get it, so why bother?

Then I read the article in the Times Online which suddenly put a whole new face on it.

First, here's the List:


1. An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

2. A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.

3. Gun Lock: The original point and 'click' interface.

4. Gun control is not about guns; it's about control.

5. If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?

6 If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words.

7. Free Men Do not ask permission to bear arms.

8. If you don't know your rights you don't have any.

9. Those who trade liberty for security have neither.

10. The United States Constitution (c) 1791. All Rights reserved.

11. What part of "shall not be infringed" do you not understand?

12. The Second Amendment is in place in case they ignore the others.

13. 64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.

14. Guns only have two enemies: rust and liberals.

15. Know guns, know peace and safety. No guns, no peace nor safety.

16. You don't shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive

17. 911 - government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer.

18. Assault is a behavior, not a device.

19. Criminals love gun control -- it makes their jobs safer.

20. If guns cause crime, then matches cause arson.

21. Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control them.

22. You only have the rights you are willing to fight for.

23. Enforce the "Gun Control Laws" we have; don't make more.

24. When you remove the people's right to bear arms, you create slaves.

25. The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control.

26. ".. A government of the people, by the people, for the people..."

Sounds familiar, right? Pretty much a no-brainer for you and me. Cleverly worded, but the message is one we've been hearing and voicing for years.

The link at the top (right-click on the article title) points to the article describing how an East Londoner was rewarded for his refusal to let the Goblins in his neighborhood intimidate him.

Last January he was assaulted by "a gang of youths" (we call them 'Goblins'; in London they call them "Yobs" and feel they are fueled by alcohol and lack of curfews!), who slashed his face and his neck with knives.

He called the police, gave them names and descriptions, and carefully bagged his blood-soaked clothes to the cops would have physical evidence.

The police did ... nothing.

His fiance' called the police EVERY DAY for five weeks after the assault, with the result that the police ignored them, failing even to come pick up the clothes.

This week, the Goblins came calling again. This time they had a gun. They shot him dead on his doorstep, in front of his fiance' and their three-year-old son.

The media finally got into the act, and raised enough of a ruckus that ... the police showed up. They picked up the bag of bloody clothes, which had been sitting in the victim's cupboard for SEVEN MONTHS. Then they went away again.

As of four days ago, the word was that the police were investigating.

The police are investigating their own handling of the original assault.

The fiance's father said:
"I think Peter would still be alive now if the police had acted earlier. We were told the police were overstretched. I said to them ‘Where in the pecking order is attempted murder?’ As far as I am concerned attempted murder is quite a serious thing."

I agree. I bet you agree, too.

Let me see; the Brits made private ownership of guns illegal, to 'combat crime'. Crime still occurred, so they outlawed knives, too.

In response, the Goblins attack this poor man with Knives. When it became clear that the victim wasn't going to yield to their intimidation, and understanding that the police weren't going to arrest them for using one illegal weapon, they used another illegal weapon to murder him.

Chances are they'll skate on the murder charge, too.

You're thinking I'm being too harsh on the police. You may change your mind when you read this paragraph in the article:

It was revealed today that a 14-year-old arrested over Mr Woodhams’ murder this week had also been held in connection with the earlier stabbing.

Still think I'm being too harsh? These police are 7,000 miles away from me, and at that distance I'm not capable of physically pointing a shaking finger in their faces and screaming "J'Accuse!" with spittle flying all over their neat bobby uniforms. Still those yo-yo's in blue are as responsible for that poor man's death as the "14-year old" child ... who the police had ALREADY pegged for another knife assault.

Why wasn't the victim allowed to arm himself, since he was an obvious target? You tell me.

I know what the stinking British Government says about their Unilateral Personal Disarmament.

But I keep thinking about the sad case of British farmer Tony Martin who killed a burglar and spent several years in prison over it. (During his trial, Martin asked what else should he have done when he was invaded in the dark of night by two criminals ... for the second time. The State said he should have "shouted for help". Martin at the time lived on an isolated 350 acre property, nobody could possibly have heard him. The police couldn't possibly have arrived in time to protect him if he had called them, and if they 'chose' to respond. The dead burglar's accomplice was arrested and spent 18 months in jail while Martin was sentenced to life in prison. The government gave the accomplice, who had 34 other offences on his record, 5,000 pounds to finance his civil lawsuit against Martin. Martin was finally released a couple of years ago, but he couldn't go home. He lives in hiding, with the full expectation that his life will be taken by other criminals as soon as they learn where he is. The police have no other way to protect him except to keep him in an 'unofficial prison' for the rest of his life ... which means until the police allow their own security to be breached. How hard can that be?)

The Brits have a shameful history of covering up their own ineptitude when investigating the murder of their subjects (not 'citizens' .... 'subjects' ... see Rule 1, above.) Two years ago, a white 15-year-old Glascow subject, Kriss Donald, was murdered by an Asian Gang. The police chose not to investigate it because it wouldn't be politically correct.

I cite these few cases ... there are literally thousands of them available ... to demonstrate the Hell On Earth that life has become for an honest man in a nation (a former EMPIRE!) gone mad with misguided social engineering.

Going back to the list, the rules hi-lited in red are only those which most directly apply to the East London victim's situation. In truth, all of them apply.

When we ignore these truths, as simple and trite as they seem, we leave ourselves as vulnerable as those poor British Subjects who are forced by their Socialist, Totalitarian government, under threat of lifetime incarceration, to trust their personal safety to the care of an uncaring, incompetent, intrenched bureaucracy.

There's one more thing I have to say, and then I'll go outside and kick the neighbor's cat:

12. The Second Amendment is in place in case they ignore the others.