Saturday, October 27, 2012

I'm going to take some heat over this one

Glock Myth Laid to Rest: Uberfail Over The Beach Test - YouTube

Some of my best friends shoot Glocks.

When I was in College, there was a saying:  "Friends won't let friends vote Republican".
Forty years later, that had changed to: "Friends won't let friends vote Democrat".

Well, people change and so do their politics.

When I was riding motorcycles, it was "Friends won't let friends ride a Honda".

Okay, so maybe not everything changes.

During the past 25 years, I've tried shooting a few Glocks but I just didn't like them.  I had been spoiled by the 1911 frame and ergonomics; the Glock fits my hand no better than does a spade.  (Or a vacuum cleaner, for that matter.)

However, I do NOT subscribe to the "Friends won't let friends shoot Glocks" meme because ... hey, I'm older now and frankly, I don't much care.   You shoot what works for you; I'll shoot what works for me.

In defense of their hoplofilial choice, my Glock-shooting friends often point to the plethora of tests which show that Glocks will continue to perform under any circumstances.  Dump them in dirt, throw them in a swamp, your beloved Glock will continue to perform "no matter what".

As if your life depended on it.

(Yes, I HAVE seen the You Tube videos of Glocks being subjected to a variety of torture tests.  I have no intention of attempting to explain the differences between those videos and this one.

The video I'm featuring today seems to contend that the "no matter what" contention is as valid as "When seconds count, the police are only minutes  away".


I've mentioned in earlier articles .. years ago, I have no intention of looking up the specific articles .. that the 1911 was designed by John Moses Browning  to function under "combat conditions" .. including being dumped in a mud puddle.    I don't know how true that is.  I haven't tested either my own 1911 (ca: 1918) nor The Beloved Kimber (ca: 1998) nor any of the STI 2011-style pistols I've used in competition.  At least, not under "combat conditions".

But these guys (see below) have tested a loaded Glock by (1) pouring dirt into the works via the ejection port, and then (2) dumping it into yucky water "until the bubbles stop coming up".  Then they pulled the pistol out, let it drain, and tried to fire it.  Actually, it worked fun when just dirty.  But when it got wet, it functioned for only a limited time and then experienced several failures to feed, and just plain failure to fire.  I think I did hear it go "CLICK" some times, but no joy in the "under any conditions" department when the conditions included moisture.

Full Disclosure:  When they had managed to get it to fire several times -- enough to dry it out -- it started functioning with a greater degree of reliability.

You can see the whole thing here.   Then you can draw your own conclusions. 
I'm not saying that the Glock is a POS ... but they are.

(Sorry, Embedding has been disabled by request of the contributors)

Oh, and BTW, I'm appalled by their casual attitude toward safe gunhandling.

Friends won't let friends try this at home!

Friday, October 26, 2012

I'm Gonna Getcha, Sucka!

Somebody came phishing in our pond here at Geek Central.    I received an email from someone who claimed to be from PayPal Customer Service and Support.  There was a return address on it and everything.  The email started with the salutation to "Dear PayPal Services User".

It was a long email, announcing that PayPal had rewritten "over 60" policies and replaced them with just two, which were shorter and easier to read.  They asked me to download an attached file and .. well, here's the pertinent text:

- How can I read and accept the PayPal policies ?

It's easy:
1. Download the new policies attached to this email.
2. Confirm that you're the owner of the account.
3. Read and accept the Privacy Policy and Merchant Services Agreement by clicking the "I Accept" button.

Please note:
You have to read and accept our new policies within the next 10 working days, however, if you don't comply to accept our new policies, we (PayPal Inc.) will be forced to terminate your account.
[I underlined the part that was the 'kicker' .... it was an attempt to induce me to comply using fear tactics.)

The email had an attached file, which I did NOT open!

Instead, I went to the PAYPAL website, found the page on "SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS", and forwarded the entire message including the attachment to

Later, I received the following message from PAYPAL:

Thanks for forwarding that suspicious-looking email. You're right - it was a phishing attempt, and we're working on stopping the fraud. By reporting the problem, you've made a difference!
Identity thieves try to trick you into revealing your password or other ersonal information through phishing emails and fake websites. To learn more about online safety, click "Security Center" on any PayPal webpage.
Every email counts. When you forward suspicious-looking emails to, you help keep yourself and others safe from identity theft.
Your account security is very important to us, so we appreciate your extra effort.
Four things alerted me to this obvious phishing expedition:
  1. The salutation ... if a vendor sends me 'official' email, they use the identity with which I had subscribed to their service.   They don't use some generic salutation.
  2. The technique; Download a file to read the policy?   And how would I confirm that I had read it?   It's just bogus ... any legitimate vendor would have a webpage on their official (and Safe/Secure) website.
  3. The threat .... no legitimate vendor would cancel a subscription because their customer didn't reply to an email.  Suspend an account, perhaps, under special circumstances.
  4. The address .... I DO have a PayPal account, but it's not related to the email account to which this email was sent.  In fact, none of my business accounts reference any of my 'public' email accounts.
So no, I didn't open the attachement.  As soon as I received the confirmation from PayPal, I permanently deleted the original email and the attachment.  They were already in limbo, because the FIRST thing I did was to mark it as S*P*A*H*M (deliberately misspelled) because the domain name was obviously bogus.

Companies like PayPal and EBay all have these kind of security concerns.   But we have to do our part, too.   If YOU ever get an email that you think may be bogus, the first thing to do is to not click on any links, and not open any attachments.  Not all email providers have protocols as safe as they should be, and Microsoft Outlook is just the most obvious example of software which may open files without instructions, if you don't have the highest level of security settings activated.

In the meantime, I'm feeling just a little smug tonite.  Instead of them getting me, I got them!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"You Are Not Special"

How I wish someone would have told me this 49 years ago.

Instead, I had to learn it the hard way.   Although, I probably wouldn't have listened.

(Hat Tip to "The Hobo Brasser")

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Blog Stats

I'm still twisting in the wind, trying to (a) figure out what features of the Old Blog I want to include in the New Blog, and (b) then figure out how to make it happen.

I already tried to put the hit-counter on; as you can see by looking in the right-hand sidebar, where it says

Hits since December, 2004

... they aren't displaying.

According to my stats counter account, this blog has registered 369,000 hits so far.   Compared to Kim De Tuit for example, who use to get that many hits in a single day, that's nothing.  But for me, it's encouraging that I'm not completely ignored even if my blogging has been haphazard over the past couple of years.

Well, I've been distracted.

All I know at the moment is that for the first week of October, 2012, I had 15 unique hits.   But for the month so far, there were 800 hits.  Somehow, I think that the next 300,000 hits are going to be very slow in coming, because I have lost most of my usual readership.

Most of the hits I'm receiving are because people the world over are being directed to my website when they search GOOGLE for subjects which I have addressed in articles going back for years.  Most of them are related to IPSC/USPSA, or firearms/ammunition/reloading/competition in general.

Also, I'm reminded because this blog came about after I had been 'blogging' on The Unofficial IPSC List, which now posts even less frequently than I do.  You see, I have been known to Have An Opinion, which I often expressed in great length.  My dear friend Bumstead once commented about a 3,000 word post I submitted, and a few other contributors gently suggested that I was using too much "bandwidth".  That is a misnomer, but I did get the point.

Thus I started Cogito Ergo Geek on December 4, 2004, and after almost eight years I'm still struggling to intersperse opinion articles with a few items which people might actually find interesting.

What I find interesting is that, going back to my email archive, I find I've saved 1,301 articles (this will make 1,302) and all told they consume a mere 15 MB of storage.  That includes embedded photos.

(the actual total number of articles is larger ... considerably; see below)

Oh the other hand, I've got text-versions (or html text) of 500-page books which only occupy 25kb.  I'm not sure how they compare to my Blog entry, but the html version of "Clean Your Gun Regularly" consumes 8kb.

But how many articles have I actually WRITTEN?  Including those which never made it past the "DRAFT" stage?         3,298

Published?  1,907

Over the past eight years, I've averaged about 240 published posts a year, or 20 a month.

The biggest year was 2007,  with over 400 posts.


Incidentally , my computer died and self-rebooted while I was writing this article  It restarted without problems, and I did send an error report to Microsoft, but I don't have any idea what happened.  Another problem is that my sidebar (which so far only consists of my archive links) doesn't always display.

One of the reasons I didn't convert to New Blogger earlier was because I was trying to avoid post-development glitches in the software.  I didn't expect them to have all been sorted out by the conversion deadline,  but I think those are two serious problems which one would HOPE that Google will manage to successfully address Real Soon Now.

While we're waiting, I wish to add that I am grateful to those die-hards amongst you who have continued to stop by with some frequency during The Lean Years.  Your very presence has encouraged me to get back into the normal routines which I had all but abandoned while Life Happened.  I promise to work harder at finding pleasure in my old once-comfortable habits.

And you think YOUR job sucks?

The scariest video you have ever watched in the name of science - YouTube

I don't know about you, but it makes my belly rumble just to watch this.

Following people who are running and gunning, shooting live ammunition? No problem!

Climbing a pole which is a quarter of a mile high (1700 feet .. okay, a third of a mile) .. uh-huh! not me!

Power Factor

Vortex cannon -

The definition of POWER FACTOR in USPSA is bullet weight, times velicity, divided by 1000. Which to say is:

MV/100 = PF

Or, to use an example, for a .45 ACP "Hardball" (military) round of ammunition:

Bullet Weight = 230 grains
Velocity = 800fps (feet per second)

So the "Power Factor" is calculated as follows:

230 grain bullet, and 800 FPS velocity:
PF = 230 x 800 / 1000
PF = 185,000 / 1000
PF = 185

That's the standard load (circa 1960) of the .45acp in a 1911 Browning-style pistol, using "BALL" ammunition.  And it falls well within the "Major Power" designation, according to the 2008 USPSA Rule Book, which requires a minimum of 165 PF to make "Major Power".

However, if you reload it with 200-grain (semi-wadcutter bullets,usually), you get a recalculated Power Factor ... assuming the same velocity:

200 grain bullet, and 800 FPS velocity:
PF = 200 x 800/100
PF = 160,000 /1000
PF = 160

Unfortunately, USPSA requires a PF of 165.00 or greater to achieve "Major Power".   You can see from this example that you need to work your reloads and then calibrate them, to determine whether you are likely (or not!) to be calibrated as Major Power at a Major Match.

I realize it's difficult to accept that one may be competing in a USPSA match with a .45 ACP cartridge, and still be shooting "Minor Power".

However, that's the way it is.
If you are chronographed as "Minor Power, your A-zone hits will still be with 5 points.  But your B/C-zone hits will be worth 3 points, not 4.

And your D-zone hits will be worth 1 point,not 2.

Well, that's just the way it is.

And of course the "Minor Power" floor is PF= 125.00

Consider a 125 grain bullet being pushed through a 9mm.  In order to achieve Minor Power, that bullet must be choreographed at 1000 fps. 

Oh, and in case you were not aware .. if your PF is under 165, you will be deemed to be shooting 'Minor Power'.

If your PF is under 125, then you are deemed to not meet the Minor Power Factor floor ... and you are shooting 'just for fun'.  Unless you DQ during the match, your scores WILL be recorded .. but they will be recorded as ZERO points for every stage in the match.

Sorry, Charley.  Fun, challenging .. but competitive?  No, hardly.

So what do you think about THESE Guys, with a Vortex Cannon?

Right. Shooting just for fun, and entirely 'not competitive'.

Second presidential debate: Assault weapons ban - CBS News Video

Second presidential debate: Assault weapons ban

In Tuesday Night's Presidential Debate, someone actually asked the question about "gun violence" ... wow!

And the incumbent president, AND his challenger .. actually addressed the issue!  Wow!


Obama called for re-instatement of the Assault Weapon Ban; the original version of which was cancelled after the five-year 'trial period' proved that it had made NO difference in the incidents, injuries, or deaths which it had been intended to do.

You may recall that this cancellation was due to a 'sundowner' provision which had been demanded by Republican Congressmen before they would allow it to be passed.  At the time, we howled at the moon because we felt that our elected representatives had betrayed their constitutional rights ... as if that was something new!

But after 1999, when the law was repealed, we breathed a small sigh of relief because we thought:

"Wow!  It was tough, but experience has proved that this is NOT a viable approach to the problem of Gun Violence, so at least we will never have to experience this particular version of Liberal Hope-and-changeism!"

Or something like that.

Stupid stupid stupid us.

The gun-grabbers and the liberals (but I repeat myself here) will never give up.  They will NEVER stop believing in "Hope and Change" even when events prove that their efforts have no greater effect than taking guns away from law-abiding citizens.  The Crazy's and The Bad Guys will ALWAYS have guns, and will carry them anywhere ... including (and especially) into "Gun Free Zones".

Let me make this perfectly clear (to paraphrase that great Presidential wimp, George Bush the First).  You can NOT manage "gun violence" by taking weapons away from honest, decent, law-abiding citizens.  You just cannot accomplish the stated objective.  You only make the entire country one great "Gun Free Zone" and we know how well that has been working so far.   You cannot reduce Gun Violence by reducing the number of GUNS; you can only reduce Gun Violence by reducing the amount of Violence.  And in this, the country which is viewed by the rest of the world as "The Wild Wild West" .. is just not going to happen without a huge effort and an enormous amount of governmental financial resources (and intrusion) to reduce the violent tendencies of the American  (or any other nationality and/or ethnicity) Citizen.

Witness Zimbabwe, Jamaica, Sudan, El Salvador ... well, gee, I guess it's not just Americans after all, is it?  It's just "people".

But Mitt Romney, bless his heart, is not as namby-pamby and placating as Obama.  He took the bull firmly by the horns, hitched up his britches, stood in front of the American people on National Television and said ...

oh dear.  This is awful.

And then he changed the subject, never again to tread amongst area on the Political Map marked HERE THERE BE DRAGONS!

I'm sure there are lessons here, and the first among many are these two:
  1. Obama will do anything he can to re-institute gun-grabber national policies; ignore the wimpy-fisted acknowledgements of the rights of  "... hunters and .. uh .. people who just want to defend themselves ... ".   He doesn't believe in it at all, it's all just political rhetoric, and he will do whatever he can do to retain his power.
  2. Romney is afraid to even talk about the subject.   The man has no personal guidelines to ethical action as a man or as the president of the most free nation in the world.  He just wants the power.
What are the differences between the two men?  Well, for starters ... at least Obama will actually take a stand, even if it is wrong-thinking and politically motivated.

Romney, at least, is lizard-brain smart enough to recognize that Barack Hussein ("I Am The Only One...") Obama has just shot himself in the political foot, at least as far is the 2nd Amendment is concerned, and is willing to let the point ride; in the meantime, he'll merely preserve the delicate balance and do absolutely nothing to upset it

Presidential?  I think not!

Sly?  Weasel-Worded?  I would never accuse a politician of those execrable approaches to leadership!

Obama was elected to the office on the campaign platform of: "I Am Not George Bush!"

Romney is running on the campaign platform of "I Am Not Barack Obama!"

The only difference?  Romney is playing to a different audience.  Other than that, they're both mendacious, without honor, fearful of saying what they really think, and capable of debasing themselves by toadying to the Lowest Common Denominator of political thought.

In other words .. typical politicians.

What a bunch of Maroons!

In the interest of full disclosure .. both candidates discussed the value of, essentially, the "Nuclear Family" and education, as well as increased job opportunities, as important ways that the crazies can be brought into mainstream America.  I do agree that this is an important step.   It won't eliminate all of the causes of "gun violence" in America, certainly.  But if we ever do get a President who is committed to improving the quality of life of lower-earning families, it will make a difference.

The crazies, however, are still with us.  And until we recognize that FACT, we will never acknowledge that the single most effective way to reduce the death-toll from people who just want to kill other people is to get rid of the Kill Zones .. aka "Gun Free Zones".

The single greatest group of "lone killer-type" people in America, those who commit  the most atrocious mass murders by guns, are not the disaffected nor the disenfranchised; that group is comprised of the people who just want to go out and kill somebody .. anybody ... out of pure rage.

And they are Evil.

Could it be that George W. Bush had got it right?  That there ARE people out there who are so evil that they will laugh with monomaniacal glee while they conduct the slaughter of the innocents simply because enjoy it?

The only way we can protect ourselves against them, is to kill them before they kill us.

And that .. as Edith Ann has so often said .. is the truth.