Carping Comments

One of the things you folks don’t see are the comments that get stopped in the SPAM queue or held in “moderation”. Most of these are the ‘typical’ things like “F-Bombs” or the various porn sites. Many are just link laden advertizing for all sorts of crap. WordPress has a pretty good SPAM filter, and manages to put almost all of those into the SPAM queue. I don’t know their method, but from the couple I’ve seen ‘make it through’, I think part of it is ‘the vote’. In the Moderation Queue I can just click “spam” and things get dumped into the spam queue. I suspect that a “count” is kept by person / IP and if enough folks vote you a spammer, well, you go to the spam queue. More on that below…

There is also a daily barrage of Cyrillic. For a while I tried to puzzle out what they were saying. But between my Russian class having been about 30 years ago, my not having done all that well in it anyway, and the Russian taught in “1A” not being the same as modern “web hustle and bump” Russian, well, I gave up. I can still read “PROTON” on the side of missiles or “Hello Friend”, but “hot xxx videos” is not in my lexicon… Then for a while I ran some through Google translate. After a few months I decided to just delete anything in the SPAM queue in Cyrillic… Lately a couple of other odd alphabets have started to show up too. I think the idea is that most folks will just let them through not knowing what they say, and thus a successful SPAM hits the public. I just delete them, too.

What does this have to do with you?

Well, I thought I’d put a small sample of some of this stuff here for you to admire. Also, there are several non-SPAM comments that are in a ‘problematic’ state. On the cusp between trash and “barely OK”. Not bad enough to just delete without thinking about it ( I’ve too much moral center for my own good some times…) yet not really contributing to the “ambiance” or moving understanding forward. Often just “carping”. Thus the title of this bit. Some are clearly just bear-baiting. A few may be trying to get me to make statements that could be used against me. Trying to get me to “talk dirt” so it can be mixed with water and they can then “fling poo”…

What to do with them?

So I’ve decided to put some of them here, with commentary.

A note or two on “moderation”. There are a variety of settings for the ‘moderation queue’. I’ve chosen to let “regulars” comments just flow through. Someone comments for a while and their stuff is “clean”, they get an open mic. Other folks go to the moderation queue and sit while I figure out what to do with them. Sometimes that can take a few days as I may be AFK for a long time. Last night was a party at a friend’s home. I’m Away From Keyboard for about 8 hours, all told. Then home and just enough time to prep for bed, but… I see this odd quake pattern. I can barely squeeze in a quick posting about it and still hope for 6 hours sleep. Is that really the time for me to spend 2 hours forming a decent response to someone’s “bait” taunts in the Moderation Queue? To pull someone back from the SPAM queue when they have had a load of other folks “finger” them (or they would not be in the SPAM queue)? Is that really the best use of my time? Or ought I to get an informational posting done, and catch some sleep? There is, after all, only one of me.

In an amusing sort of way, the folks most prone to “grumpy carping comments” are also most miffed when they don’t get immediate air time or immediate feedback on their carping. As the saying goes “not my problem”. They had a choice: Be polite and personable and get the fast queue vs. be a pain and take the slow lane. Some times they start out nice enough, but when things don’t go their way, they start the ramp up to the chute down…

No, I don’t know why folks are as they are. No, I don’t care any more. They just are. If they would read the “about” box they would know that my purpose here is to have a ‘party at a friends’ atmosphere. They would know that the guy getting loud by the punch bowl will likely be gently escorted out to the pool where he can talk to the neighbor’s kid… and if he gets belligerent about it, will find a nice taxi at the curb with his name on a sign. And when the neighbor’s kid shows up and wants to rant about the evils of, well, me: He will find himself by the pool talking with / ranting at the belligerent punch bowl guy… My thesis is simple: “Life is too short to drink bad wine.” If someone is “bad wine”, they don’t get much attention from me and certainly don’t get to dominate the punch bowl.

OK, enough preamble. On with the show. There will be examples of several kinds here and I hope they help to amuse as well as educate about the nature of running a blog.

Cyrillic Spam

Here is an example of Cyrillic Spam. I’m going to leave out some things, like links and addresses, so that the Spammer gets “no joy” in Mudville tonight.

20]Такая технология эффективна не только с точки зрения защиты изделий из металла и придания им эстетической привлекательности, но и с точки зрения экономии.
Он пробовал учиться на печатника, жил у издателя Миллера, но душа не лежала к типографскому ремеслу.
Евреи служили в различных подразделениях сухопутных войск, в экипажах, обслуживающих военные самолеты, в военно-морских силах.
Однако каждый тип в отдельности гарантированно повышают комфорт и уют в доме.
В зависимости от состояния порядок работ может оличаться.
работа в спб [link removed]

OK, so what is that? Here’s the Google Translate:

20] This technique is effective not only in terms of protection of metal products and give them an aesthetic appeal, but also in terms of savings.
He tried to learn from the printer, lived in Miller’s publisher, but the soul does not lie to printing trade.
Jews served in various divisions of the Army, in carriages serving military aircraft in the Navy.
However, each type separately guaranteed to increase comfort and coziness in the house.
Depending on the order of operations can olichatsya.
work in St. Petersburg [link removed]

You get a lot of that. What is often text pulled from random postings (or the posting the comment is aimed at) that almost looks “real”, then a link or two with a tag line that is what the Spammer is pushing. In this case, a jobs site (that may or may not be a jobs site and may just be a porn site or who knows what).

After you translate a few dozen of these, it’s a whole lot quicker to just hit “DELETE”…

I like the idea of running a ‘multi-lingual’ show, and don’t mind at all including comments in other languages, so it pains me to just wholesale delete anything in Cyrillic. But at 100% crap over months, well, “that’s a pattern”.

Gratuitous Compliments

There are a few dozen daily “gratuitous compliments” of a generic form. Often the “link” in the name / address field makes it clear that they are crap / spam. You get things like “Love that idea!” with the name of “Buy Shoelaces Online Cheap!!!” (cleaned up some from what is often there…).

I guess the idea is that folks can’t easily turn down a compliment?

At any rate, I now take any short ‘gratuitous compliment’ and just pitch it (unless it comes from ‘a regular’). For a long time I’d inspect the name, the site address, sometimes even the IP address. Often the use of language is a giveaway to a non-native speaker. Again, the pattern was overwhelming.


After study a number of of the blog posts in your website now, and I really like your approach of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website listing and might be checking back soon. Pls take a look at my web page as nicely and let me know what you think.

This had a name of “Liquid Diets” or some such and a link to a site pushing diet crap.

Sometimes you get the various approaches mixed, like this ‘gratuitous compliment’ in Cyrillic:

Ваш блог мне очень понравился, только допишите эту статью

which translates to: “Your blog I liked, just append this story”

The name gives it away: секс форум which even I can read as “sex forum”.

To the bit bucket…

The Problem Child

Then there are the folks who are just a mech… a droid … endlessly spitting out the same failed strategy. One is named “World Spinner”. It usually puts up 3 or 5 a day of “Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing”, then takes a break for a day or two. With one line from my posting in it as camo. It doesn’t hide much. Bit bucket.

There are a couple of more like that, but W.S. are the worst.

FWIW, I suspect that simply having some of the spam as quoted material will cause a ‘jump’ in the quantity I get as their bots will detect it and think they were able to get some through, not being bright enough to realize it’s an “avoid” slam and not a success…

Slightly more interesting are the ones with a library of sayings that they spout, with the link to their site. So this is from a site selling ringtones. “If you don’t like something about yourself, change it. If you can’t change it, accept it.” The only ‘giveaway’ is that it’s completely off topic and has a link / name that are all full of the word “ringtones”.

There are a couple in this class pushing “party planning” that always start with a droid paragraph of garbage and down in the last 1/4 have their tag line and link. Trying to hide in the bafflegab.

Existing in the Capital has it’s advantages although comparable with all stuff, there appears to be naturally a draw back as well! Living in the heart of the act is essential, as soon as you have got to be in the circle. My chief, Armando, always mentions these things. In truth, he spends the better part of the daylight hours to imagine just about stuff like this.
[… crap elided and the link too]
Life needs us furthermore us all call for every now and then some crucial leisure, to have the option to sustain in the midst of this daily hassle!![… identifier elided]

After a while you get to where you ‘sight recognize’ the block without even reading a word of it. This text has not changed much in a month or two.

Why mention this stuff?

Because more than once while clicking along on “Delete Permanently” a dozen times in a row the finger has hit that button JUST as the eye recognized that this particular bit of posting was NOT spam, but a wayward bit of someone’s text who I recognized.

If, for whatever reason, your stuff ends up in the SPAM queue, there are non-trivial odds it will be auto deleted by The Twitchy Finger as I’m rolling through a couple of pages of the above type of dreck… so please forgive if not all wrongly tagged as SPAM comments get rescued. I think you can see that wading through the above stuff can be a bit mind numbing and you really want to just hit that “dump all” button at the bottom without even looking…

How can you tell if you hit the spam queue?

Postings that are approved show up in the comment list.

Postings that are sent to the “moderation queue” show “in moderation” above the comment and only you can see it.

Postings that hit the spam queue just silently evaporate. Gone. No feedback. Nothing. And I won’t even know about it until I bother to wade through the spam dreck, and that may be next week some time…

The Voted Off The Island

There are some folks whose ‘stuff’ always goes to the spam queue. All I can figure is that enough other WordPress Moderators have hit the SPAM button on them enough times that they have been voted off the island.

There is NOTHING I can do to change that.

If you end up in that condition, I’d suggest spending less time annoying folks with whom you do not agree.

An example? This guy:

Rob Ryan

Hmm. Commenters (and the author of the original post), among whom there is a distressing lack of mathematical and physical sophistication combined with an unbridled enthusiasm for showing it off, should read […]

His stuff goes to the spam queue. Now I’ve got a dilemma.

Do I over ride the WordPress function to fish out a comment that is insulting?

What does it add to the topic? How is it helpful? Heck, it isn’t even entertaining. So I leave him out by the pool talking to the neighbor’s kid…

Sidebar: That “distressing lack of mathematical”…”sophistication” is just SO wrong. I’d love to spend time ripping it, but then I’m just taking “bait” and things degenerate into that “four voices shouting” and folks, like me, hit the “jump” button on the remote. FWIW, I’ve received a math scholarship, gotten ‘straight As’ in math in high school where we went through the whole curriculum and in the “advanced math” class went on to calculus as we had a couple of months ‘left over’… In university I had statistics as well as calculus through integrals and partials. I love math and I’ve been known to do it just for recreation. One of my major complaints about AGW is the broken math behind it, but few folks want to talk about that… See:

Insults that have no value from someone “voted off the island” can only consume and waste my time, and “time is the fire in which we all burn”… So given a choice of making them happy by fishing them out and trying to clean it up to be presentable to polite society, or just hitting flush… decisions decisions… FLUSH…. Next?!

FWIW, the same poster had this one too:

Rob Ryan
Adrian Vance:

“At Stanford, every physics lecture begins with a five to 15 minute presentation by a “Green” indoctrinator.” Really? Please present evidence of this implausible claim. I don’t think it would be credible even if you meant “lecture series” as in course, but every lecture? If you provide evidence, I will apologize for my skepticism regarding this claim, but a physicist saying something regarding climate physics or taking some other position with which you don’t agree will not suffice.

So someone makes a slightly hyperbolic remark, and this guy wants to make it a legal fight… Sorry, too many voices shouting at once is a “jump” trigger, so I don’t see where this adds much. Interestingly, he goes on to manage to even get my name wrong. Heck, it’s only an Initial. You’d think one little letter would not be that hard, and it’s kind of plastered all over the place, but no…

D.M. Smith:

I assume that one of the two other folks who, in your estimation, posted with rudeness and insult since my comment isn’t here. I actually made a claim.

Finally, if using “radiative forcing function” will put this red herring regarding terminology to bed, I’m quite willing to use it.

In answer: Yes, rudeness. Calling people stupid is rude.

I also note that calling a clear statement that the language is being used badly a ‘red herring’ is also none too polite. You can go find somewhere else to start a fight. Though I do find it promising that there is evidence that learning can happen. That “forcing function” is different from “forcing” even inside the arcane world of math jargon and maybe it would be a good thing to use ‘forcing function’ when you mean ‘forcing function’. Otherwise we’re off in the land of Humpty Dumpty where things only mean what YOU choose them to mean… and that doesn’t work very well.

So, do I take the time to fight these petty little battles with folks who want to ‘fling poo’? Or just leave them be and let them wash out with the tide as the spam queue is drained? Decisions decisions… And, especially when I’m fighting network issues and looking to move forward the horizons of understanding, well, “servicing the carping comments in the spam queue” is very very low on the priority list.

In a similar tone was this comment:

Michael Tobis

Have any of you taken an undergrad differential equations course?

Why, yes. Two of them. Both the non-engineering and the engineering versions (after I changed major and found that the first was not acceptable for an engineering degree). Then went on to partials and integrals and… But starting with a gratuitous insult does not gain one favor… Oddly, WordPress seems to have some sense of taste as this was off to the spam queue too…

“Forcing” has a very clear and precise mathematical meaning.

Yes, it does, but it is not the same as what “Forcing FUNCTION” means. You have confounded two very different meanings… If you are going to claim “moral superiority” and superior mathematical precision, at least get your jargon right.

For a completely general differential equation such as

f(u,t) = A(t)

A(t) , the part of the equation independent of u, is called the forcing.

Specifically, climatologists mean that u is the Charney climate system (atmosphere, ocean and sea ice), t is time, f is the system of equations that describes how the system evolves given the present state of the system, and A is inputs to the system from outside the system (solar variation, vulcanism, land use, greenhouse gases, dust, continental drift, stray comets, whatever).

Hope this helps.

This “explanation” also leaves out that the FUNCTION is a GIVEN (which in the real world is not given) and that it must be entirely dependent on the variable of TIME only. Not solar. Not vulcanism. Not land use. Not dust. and certainly NOT “whatever”.

So again I’m looking at this thinking: Snarky carping comment that’s got it 1/2 wrong. Fish it out and let the food fight begin or do something more important that actually matters? Sometimes I think about this for a ‘long time’ and things get some age in the queue. Often, at that point, the carpers can really carp. Oh Well.

The Hard To Teach

Then there are the most problematic of all. The folks who are usually reasonably polite. Often have a decent idea or two. Even take some guidance reasonably well. But can’t let go of a bone even when it’s long past ‘ripe’.

For example, there had been some exchanges with Peter Offenhartz where I’d pretty much laid out all the detail behind the notion that convection dominates (including a load of links to things like peer reviewed published papers showing heat flow in the same day and showing convective instability all through the sea and atmosphere on a daily time scale; and including simple human visible examples, like clouds and sail planes.)

And he wants to keep worrying that bone…

Dear me, you seem to willfully misunderstand my statements.

Here’s a clue Peter: It’s a bad idea to accuse your host of being a willful liar. You are likely to find yourself standing by the pool talking to a 12 year old kid about the merits of G4 and caffeinated alcohol slammers.

(a) The atmosphere is well-mixed because of convection, not despite it. Perhaps you misunderstand the meaning of well-mixed.

Then he follows up with an accusation of being a bit slow to comprehend. Never mind that the very existence of convective cells show things are mixing and not mixed. No, better to ignore that and flog the dead horse some more… Look at any thunderstorm. Cloud. Hail. Rain. Right next to it sun, dry. Well mixed? Not a chance.

We then get a mini-lecture on his view of things. Turf well turned already. So, let this through to continue to fester into a food fight, or not? Let it through without any counter or comment? Hoping others will do the work (that I’ve already done a couple of times) or sink yet more time into this black hole? Hard choice. Easy one is just let it sit and go do what really has benefit for a while and “come back later”. Oh, I also note that “well mixed ocean” has now mutated into “DEEP” ocean…

It means, specifically, that all components, especially water vapor, have the same concentration in the column, and that the temperature profile follows the adiabatic lapse rate, which insures the heat capacity of the entire column is effective in moderating the surface temperature. (b) The top 50-100 m of the DEEP ocean is well-mixed. I surely didn’t say the deep ocean is only 50-100 m deep. I really am not that stupid or ignorant.

I have a challenge for you. Freeman Dyson has said that the effects of rising carbon dioxide will warm the night more than the day, and warm the winters more than the summers. In other words, low temperatures will rise a bit but high temperatures will rise less. Does your data analysis confirm this? Note that checking out Dyson’s assertion does not require accurate or consistent thermometers, which is why I thought you might find this a worthwhile investigation.

Good luck!

We then get a request that I run off and do a load of lab work and sink a few days into finding out what Freeman Dyson actually said and doing a proof or rebuttal. Gee, that’s going to get all my other tasks done…

FWIW, I’d expect that the 4th power radiative function would cause hot things to dump heat faster, so cold things would “warm” more and hot things would not. Furthermore, heat rises, so hot air rapidly heads up and dumps it’s heat at altitude. In fact, that’s what we saw in the study of daily heating cycles. Sun rises. Land gets hot, air gets hot, heat rises, dumps at altitude. ALL in the graphs in the cited paper that was clearly ignored. Night comes, it all cools down again as that 4th power bites the other way and as convection halts. Over and done in 24 hours or less. No “heat in the pipeline”. Solar in, heat out. CO2 is just not relevant as it is convection that moves all that surface heat to altitude (as shown in the graphs and analysis in the ignored paper).

At MOST, CO2 can increase the effectiveness of the radiative transfer to space at the top of the convective layer. My best guess is that it does effectively nothing as water and convection completely swamp it and solar variations drive the variations in the atmosphere.

But I’d already said that. A couple of times.

Do I keep shouting it at everyone else in the hope that this time Peter will read, will look at links, will learn?

Do I let him just dump his load and leave it there for all to see?

So some “stuff” came up and while trying to decide which way to take this (in the small time allowed for such ‘problem child’ cases) we get the carping escalation set in:


Am I correct in assuming that rather than answering my last post you have deleted it entirely?

I just want to know what you think your role as ‘moderator’ encompasses.

And I think I may have learned something important about the nature of your character.

This has been educational! Thank you!

We get the feigned politeness of a “Sir” and the sarcastic “Thank you” after a character slur.

BTW, things in the moderation queue show as “in moderation” so he could easily SEE it was just sitting a long time “in moderation” and not deleted… but has not eyes to see.

OK, now if I was having a moral dilemma a while ago, it’s just gotten somewhat easier.

First off, AN ANSWER IS EXPECTED… Peter, some friendly advice. “Expecting” at folks will only cause you grief. Folks are who they are and do what they do. Your expectations tell more about you than about them. The reality is that I was busy with a load of things that were just more, how to put this delicately, more… more important than you and your expectations. I’d not deleted anything, just not had time to pampers you. (No, that is NOT a typo.) Everything I really had to say had been said. Go back and read it. Understand it. Would you really be happier if I’d said that? Does it advance the discussion for everyone else to say that? Does it improve the ambiance of the “party” to have that kind of confrontational tone? Does your attitude lead me to think maybe I ought to just ‘give up’ on you and not bother posting a load of links and explanation? Especially when you seem uninterested in seeing what it says and more interested in a food fight? Out to the pool for the food fight, there is a 12 year old neighbor kid who I’m sure would enjoy it…

Next we get a “challenge to authority”. Just what and who do I think I am? OK, here it is:

I’m the guy who owns this site. I run it for my own amusement and edification and for the entertainment of friends. The intent (as documented under the ABOUT tab up top that you clearly haven’t read either – or perhaps read and ignored) is to have a ‘lawn party’ atmosphere. A polite place where folks can share and enjoy. Not a food fight. Not a fling poo insult match. And not a place where I take your orders to do whatever work you think I ought to do to counter your attacks. I don’t care if folks do not agree with me, I’m sure I’ve got several bits all wrong and would welcome insights. For example, I’m still horridly unable to connect the dots from Solar UV variation through to AO and AMO variation. There’s just too much going on. Stratosphere and Mesosphere moving temps in different directions (and often not in the direction or degree that models predict) with chemistry going on as well along with, as Vukcevik has pointed out, electromagnetic charged particle interactions). So I’m FINE with someone saying “Hey, I think you missed this bit”. But I’ve also got a pretty good “people reader” and I’ve had my fair share of folks looking to start a fight, or make someone look stupid, or generally just being ‘ill mannered’. So when I detect that, you go to the ‘slow line’ and eventually to the ‘spam queue’. My job as moderator is, in essence, to keep the place pleasant. To make sure the punch bowl is sweet and the wine is good. A guiding light is “Life is too short to drink bad wine.” and that means: You don’t want to be sour grapes… as sour grapes get tossed.

And finally, we get the gratuitous implied insult to my “character”. Well, it’s actually simpler than that. My network was sporadically dying at the same time I was up to my ears in holiday duties. “Character” had nothing to do with it. But Peter is prone to running off cliffs of conclusion and not looking where he’s running and jumping up and down excitedly a lot when he doesn’t get his way. The idea that maybe, just maybe, he was not very important and last on the ‘work queue’ and there were a lot of more important things ahead of him and, well, that maybe it wasn’t all about him and not even about me but simple time management… well, that never crossed his mind… (A lot of things seem to not cross his mind…)

But now I’ve got some Snark and insult (with a ham handed attempt at a disguise over it) added to the “failure to progress” and that ‘SPAM” button is just sooo easy to click… what to do what to do….

Frankly, that I’ve bothered to take the time to even think about it is well beyond what most sites do. At any rate, now you get a little window into what happens behind the scenes with “problem child” postings. As there is only one of me, if I just let them plop on the floor and lay there, the place would end up pretty stinky pretty quick, so that isn’t an option. Early on I had a more ‘open door’ policy and when I hit TV, had a load of folks assigned (near as I could tell, though they might have self volunteered) to come ‘talk dirt’ at me and make attack postings. Double and triple teaming. (I did some contact tracing and some other forensics and there was some reasonable evidence of coordination. One or two were randoms, but some were not. There was a clear “on” and “off” activity switch on certain events.) The end result was that I had to turn on ‘moderation’ and decide some folks just don’t need to get the microphone. Didn’t want to, but got forced into it. To not do it would have meant that the place was dominated by insult artists and snark. (At least one Australian site I love took a ‘walk about’ as, IMHO, a result of the crude and nasty snark that resulted from an ‘open mic’ policy. A lovely polite lady who did not need that grief.)

So, folks who don’t clean up their act can go somewhere else to carp. I don’t need stinky rotting fish here.

But some folks just won’t give up.

So on the posting about Blitzer and Giffords, Peter is back trying to turn the discussion away from why Blitzer is a turkey and why things ought to be focused on that fine lady Giffords and her family, and away from why it’s really stupid to be slamming Sarah Palin about any of it…. over towards gun control.

Yup, he wants to start a gun control ‘food fight’. Sorry Peter, that attitude gets you a quick trip to the SPAM queue as it is just being a Troll. This is a Troll Free Zone. Why? because I want it that way.

Peter Offenhartz

I see that you say you are not “radical right wing”, and surely not a nut. They why, oh why, is there not a single critique of those (mostly republicans) nuts who deem a Glock 9mm an acceptable weapon for civilians?

Peter seems to not know that Ms. Giffords, a Democrat Civilian, owns a Glock for self defense….

So do I taint the page about Ms. Giffords and my wishing her well with starting a gun control food fight featuring her choice of weapons? Do I just let it ‘pass’ and deal with the inevitable food fight that will break out from such trolling? Do I sweep it to the SPAM queue and just hit “FLUSH”… My that SPAM button is an easy choice…

But since I’ve brought it up here, I’ll answer the question:

I’d love to have a Glock, in .40 S&W preferably. I’ve shot one a couple of times. Reliable. Accurate. A superb self defense weapon ideal for those folks not very familiar with handguns. It has a rather unique and highly effective “safety” mechanism that is ideal for folks who don’t shoot regularly. There is a little ‘extra trigger’ on the trigger. No finger on the trigger, no bang. It’s that simple. You don’t have to learn about double action safety being down while single action safety is up or any of the other dozen and one bits of arcania. Just point, finger in guard on trigger, pull. And THAT is why so many Police Departments use if for police “self defense”. Training time is much reduced. safety is increased. It also makes a fine gun for various range competition shooting events.

Why don’t I have one? Simple. It has no “soul”. It’s just a bullet dispensing appliance. Shooting Tupperware. It works just fine, but it does not ‘speak to me’. I like the .45 ACP Colt 1911A better and I like the “race guns” based on the CZ 75 for smaller caliber. Honorable mention to the Beretta line. They have a grace and artistry that is missing in the square plastic tupper-shooter. Oh, and the SIG is just wonderful too, but way too pricey for my modest means.

BTW, a VERY large number of private CIVILIAN ‘rent a cop’ security agencies also use the Glock for the same reasons of low maintenance, easy training, and higher safety.

This gun is not designed for hunting,

News Flash kiddo: The 2nd Amendment is NOT about hunting nor about shooting Bambi. It’s entirely about the CIVILIANS being armed to prevent the GOVERNMENT from thinking it can ignore the rest of the constitution.

You may not like that, but that is the history and the meaning. Until not that long ago, folks owned private CANNON and explosives. When I was a kid you could buy dynamite at the hardware store (and farmers around me did so. It launches stumps out of the ground “right good” ;-)

That you bring hunting into it indicates some significant ignorance about both guns and the constitution.

That tells me that letting that can of worms be opened will result in a very non-polite and decidedly not pleasant food fight.

So, to let that kind of posting through? In the context of the already established “failure to advance” and snark?

nor is it designed for self defense.

Flat out wrong. It was designed specifically for self defense. A handgun is used in the military specifically as a last ditch self defense weapon. Anything more than 20 yards away is much better dealt with via a rifle or something bigger. They are typically issued to officers and folks who do work that requires them to not have a rifle to hand exactly for self defense. The Police use them first for self defense, then for defense of others. The dictum is to “shoot as a last resort and only to stop the attack”. That, sirrah, is “defense”.

It is designed, quite simply, for killing as many people as possible in as short a time as possible:

Clearly has no experience AT ALL in combat or self defense. A “Cop Friend” (my Sensei) had a story about one of his more experienced officers who had made a traffic “stop”. Perp got out of the car and drew a gun.

This trained and experienced officer emptied his gun and never hit the guy. Post event study showed one round “in the ground” next to his boot. He’d started pulling the trigger as he was pulling the gun from the holster… The next was a foot or two out in front of his foot. Next was in the ground near the bumper of the car. Next was in the trunk of the car. That’s 4 rounds and he’s not even near the target…

That is the way a gun fight typically goes. Folks get excited. VERY excited. The idea that “high capacity” is for military only ignores the fact that most folks can’t hit the broad side of a barn and get worse with adrenalin.

BTW, they caught the perp too. His gun was empty too….

Now, of particular interest in the case of the NutJob who shot Giffords is that he DID aim well. No adrenalin jitters. No excitement. Just calm methodical one after the other. You can see a wonderful example of that in a gun fight in the end scene of “The Unforgiven”. Inexperienced folks shooting and not hitting. Clint Eastwood as the old hand gun slinger taking careful aimed shots. That is how you survive a gun fight. BTW, most police carry a “high capacity” gun (15 – 19 rounds if possible) and at lease TWO extra magazines. That’s 45 rounds minium. They then have at least one ‘backup gun’. Some cops I’ve known carry 2 main guns, 2 backups, and 2 magazines for each. “Self defense” is not just ‘5 rounds in a single action revolver’…

But, back at Sir NutJob: He was very inexperienced. Yet did the slow aimed fire routine. That says he was emotionally ‘disengaged’. I.e. he is deranged.

Does any of that discussion add to the topic of the Giffords discussion? Nope.
Does any of that discussion enlighten about the loony left and Blitzer with their attack dog attitude toward Palin? Nope. ( I suspect that with “Blame it on Bush” dying as Bush is retired, they are trying to find a new person to blame / vilify. Watch as they rotate through ‘targets’ trying to find one that works).

Is there a risk that such frank discussion of my attitude toward guns could offend and alienate some folks? Oh yes. Could it be that there is a desire to bait me into such behaviours to get dirt for a ‘fling poo’ usage later? Possibly. My, but that SPAM button is looking mighty nice. One little “click” and the who bag of slime and worms is gone and we can go back to our nice, polite, quiet little discussion / lawn party….

a military weapon, surely, but not a civilian weapon, at least not outside the realm of a “well ordered militia”. But, from you, not a word. Shame on you, Sir, shame.

Now we get even more insults. I’m directed to be ‘shamed’. Yeah, that’s the way to get invited back in to the punch bowl and away from the kid by the pool. Tell the host to be ashamed. That’s just the ticket….

Other than the complete stupidity of such a behaviour, one also has to note that the comment is quite wrong technically. Yes, the Glock is used by the Military. But: there simply is NO difference between military and civilian guns. The distinction is purely a fiction and purely in the minds of the gun restriction nuts. It’s the “ugly gun” syndrome. I’ve lived under it in California for a long time. You could get exactly the same gun with a ‘pretty wooden’ stock but it was banned with an ‘ugly plastic stock’.

Substantially EVERY ‘hunting gun’ from the beginning through W.W.II started life in the military. From Mausers to M16 and from Springfields to Sniper rifles. (In fact, for many years, the best bolt action hunting rifles were prized for sniper use, and had roots in prior military sniper rifles. Only lately have dedicated sniper rifles been designed. And they would be ideal for things like Elephant hunting).

The comment also again misses the mark by failing to realize that civilian guns are NOT about murdering Bambi. (I’ve been hunting. I’ve shot things. I’ll never do it again. One of the saddest moments of my life was looking a beautiful dead deer. Another was looking at a beautiful dead rabbit. The world is a better place when they are alive… I understand the folks who do like to hunt, and I understand folks who need the meat for food. I accept them. I just don’t have to be one of them. FWIW, I’d have been able to shoot the NutJob wacko with no qualms at all. A careful aimed shot with no emotional baggage afterwards. He was evil. I can not shoot an innocent animal. I’ll eat grass first.) The civilian right to bear arms is specifically about defensive weapons and specifically about the ability to field a militia for combat. (And militia does not mean ‘national guard’ as it didn’t exist when the constitution was written.)

So my take on the Glock? A fine personal defense weapon, well suited to private use, to military and police use, and especially friendly to folks with a low training level. Highly reliable and effective. Just not very ‘sexy’. I’d love to have one (or two or three ;-) but keep finding other things I’d rather spend the money on (like that last Mercedes I bought 8-} or a trip to Florida…) I’d highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn to shoot and use a handgun. Great for target competition and I had a great grouping doing paper targets at 15 yards with one in .40 S&W. Good for various sport and competition uses. And no, not a shred of “shame” at all.

I note in passing the attempt to ‘bait’ into a second amendment debate over what was meant by a ‘well ordered’ militia. Sorry, not going there. It’s a preamble, not a restriction on the right. Also those rights not enumerated are reserved to the people. So in all cases, it’s a pointless waste of breath.

OK, now I’ve got someone clearly angling to bait me into a 2nd amendment debate / food fight. Using taunts to do it. Well, what to do, what to do. At that point, I hit the SPAM button.

And yes, I know that Gabrielle Giffords has been an advocate of minimal gun control. I guess that is the acceptable position for a politician from Arizona. But that doesn’t excuse her or the rest of the pols from voting for the same absurd (NRA directed) position. Self defense, I can understand; hunting, I can understand. But what social value does possession of a glock semi-automatic have?

And here we can see the shortage of “clue” for its final pass. Still not grasping that a Glock semi-automatic is an absolutely stellar self defense weapon. Completely out of touch with the technology and how to use it. Also foggy on the idea that the NRA is a collection of citizens who act to preserve their rights and not some corporation out running around on its own.

As a final comment on that comment: What social value does possession of a Chevy have? What social value does possession of a private home have? What social value does eating meat have? What social value does being a football fan have? To quote my other Sensei: MU! (whack!) Roughly translated as “the question is ill formed”. There are a large number of practical things we do that have no “social value”. The very concept is a broken one. What social value has a newborn baby puking and pooing on you? What social value does even Einstein’s work have? He did enable the nuclear bomb…. Practical things often have ‘no social value’. Take my mud boots, for example… please, they need washing… :-)

So; to engage that kind of significantly broken reasoning? To give it air time? To put my time into it instead of into something like another airport tarmac vs grass study or a better study of change of freezing level over the decades? Which has the higher value? IMHO, the “food fight” has nearly none. A better handle on Freeze Level over a 60 year cycle has a great deal…

So Why This Posting?

If it’s in the SPAM queue, why dig it out for this? Well, it was time to dump the SPAM, and I got to see it ‘ensemble’. Got the idea that it gave an insight to what it’s like running a blog. How folks are quite happy to walk into your party off the street and want to start food fights, insult the host, and do a variety of things they would never consider in ‘real life’. Seemed like it might have some interesting properties as a posting. Soo….

I’ve gone ahead and put the comments here, along with my ‘take’ on them, for two reasons.

1) So folks could see what goes on “behind the scenes”. You can ponder it. Provide feedback on if you would rather have seen, or not seen, that kind of thing. Realize what it means about ‘managing a blog’. See the kind of baiting and games in which some folks indulge. Decide if you like things as they are or want more of that stuff. Appreciate the ambiguity of the context and the fine line that has to be taken to separate ‘reasonable’ from ‘unreasonable’ at times and how sometimes it’s just a matter of doing what makes you feel best.

2) So that the folks ending up in the SPAM queue can see EXACTLY what gets them there and exactly what my answers would be to their enquiries; while at the same time not polluting otherwise polite threads with a lot of off topic and irrelevant dreck / food fights. (And no, there will not be an open thread food fight here, either. This was for ‘display purposes only’ and not an invitation to said folks to re-engage on those topics.)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Carping Comments, Human Interest and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

83 Responses to Carping Comments

  1. j ferguson says:

    Thanks much for this insight into the stuff we don’t have to see here. I found that adding “longer” to the forbidden words in email titles got rid of most of the junk coming my way.

    commenting seems to have very haphazard results. I’ve really thought I’ve gained from reading reactions to things I’ve written especially in improving the specificity of my words, but even after I thought I’ve been quite plain, I get beaten up for what the commenter thought I’d said, but not at all what was actually there.

    Some of the guys at Bishop’s think that a lot of the off the wall things are written by people under one chemical influence or another, or maybe they’re really tired.

    I don’t see so many of those comments with regard to your stuff maybe because you write clearly. Maybe the regulars understand your views in many areas and either agree or agree to disagree. And maybe the guys that write the rude stuff are first-times and get seen before they are heard.

    Too bad de-spamming is necessary.

    thanks for this extra effort. john

  2. John F. Hultquist says:

    Very interesting. Thanks. All I have done as a blog author is post a daily update on my wife’s health status beginning when she became seriously ill in December of 2009. I set that for no comments as I knew I could not deal with any, even the nice ones. After open heart surgery she is stable and interacting with relatives and friends on her own. I had guessed of some of the stuff you have just written about but not experienced it.

    I have the link to your postings in a folder called ‘science’ even though I realize you post more broadly. But that is a clue that I anticipate learning something here and have found that so. I share the motto: “Life is too short to drink bad wine.”

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    @j ferguson:

    You are most welcome. The “de-spamming bots” have gotten better, but are still not perfect. It’s not too much of an issue, but I still put it off for days (weeks?) at a time…

    Per “my stuff”: For one thing, I can be painfully careful to leave no ambiguity is what I say. Decades of practice. (And, truth be known, for about a decade I took great joy in deliberately finding ‘reasonable misinterpretations’ of things folks would say and use that to make a joke. Funny for a while… along the way got very good at recognizing how someone could do that with what I said… and developed a very precise ‘style’.

    For example: One is very appreciative of another person, and finds that they have great meaning in shaping you, and your view of the world. You can say:

    “John, I love you!”

    Open to clear “issues” in interpretation.

    “John, ‘I love you, man!'”

    A bit more folksy and has a ‘metaphor tag’, but still can be made the butt of a joke.

    “John is an inspiration to me and I value him deeply”

    Only opening there is a rude crude joke on ‘deeply’ soooo… final version:

    “John is an inspiration to me and I value him greatly”.

    Attempt to warp will be ‘forced’ at best.

    So with a few decades of that under my belt, yeah, I can ‘write right careful’… ;-)

    Oh, and from the “moderation queue” is an example I’d not yet dealt with:

    The Tragically Flip

    “Dear Wolf Blitzer: Nazi is a short form of National SOCIALIST Party.”

    I know Jonah Goldberg wrote a book about all this and it must be true because it was in a book, but is that really the extent of your proof that Nazis weren’t right wing?

    First off, the “funny name”. OK, some amount of hiding is OK… but it’s a clue that things are going to be ‘a problem’.

    Then we get the email. “returntosender”? And they think that’s going to just be OK? Do I really want to even TRY an email ping to see if they got a trite email adress that works but looks broken?

    (FWIW, my email falls in the category, sort of… so I’m a bit OK with that… but now I’ve got to decide how much time to put in to validation of this guy…)

    Though, in fairness, I didn’t know about the Jonah Goldberg book, so I’ll have to look it up. Ought to be a decent reference and will likely save me some time. I think it’s this one per a google of name and topic:

    Things go rapidly down hill from there. We’ve got the “cheeky” semi-cute insult “in a book so must be true”. For some reason a lot of folks think that kind of thing is “smart” when it’s really just “smarmy” or perhaps “tragically flippant”… and we’re back into demands for proof and doing research or legwork for their benefit.

    Look, if someone says they are a socialist, acts like a socialist, has the same programs as the present socialists (not 100% but a lot of overlap), and generally IS a socialist, well “Quack Quack” it’s a duck…

    There actually follows a mostly cogent argument that maybe the Nazis had ‘issues’ with the other socialists. If presented with a bit more manners, it would have been a quick ‘read and approve’, but wrapped in snark and with an apparently bogus email and an anon name? Hmmm…

    North Korea is actually the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”, East Germany was the “German Democratic Republic” were/are either of them democratic societies? Maybe totalitarians misuse political labels to promote their agenda? The Nazis are noted for their propaganda abilities and their penchant for lying, could it be the “socialist” bit in the name wasn’t sincere?

    After all, among Hitler’s first deeds on the passage of the Enabling act was to round up and lock away or kill all the actual German socialists, who most definitely did not see the Nazis as allies in the grand struggle to seize the commanding heights of the economy and so forth.

    The US right wing aren’t Nazis and liberals like me can easily admit this, but that’s partly because the modern left wing aren’t Stalinists.

    A few too many ‘maybe’ and ‘coulda woulda’ for my tastes, but still, a reasonable case. (I’d counter with the fact that socialist goverments often eat their young but … that would be rude… )

    If you really aren’t an “extremist”

    We have a “Have you stopped beating your wife?” argument… Oh joy. Just what you want at the lawn party punch bowl with the family and friends gathered about…

    you could admit that Hitler and the Nazis had more than a few beliefs and activities that align much more closely to US right wing thinking.

    And we’re right back into equating the US “Right Wing” with the Nazi’s…

    Reasonably ‘well played”. Has a mis-direction, then a ‘beating the wife’ followed by “you must admit republicans are Nazis”….

    So, would that thing the Republicans share with the Nazis be the freeing of the black slaves in America? (Done by a Republican…). Would it be the right to keep and bear arms? Oh, no, the Nazi’s did gun “control” early on, then confiscation… Would it be the right of anyone to go start their own business? Oh, wait, the Nazis shut down Jewish businesses among others…

    Do I really want to get into that “food fight”? And to what end? And with a probable Anon-y-Troll?

    Also, different topic, Blitzer doesn’t rant about anything. He’s not someone I have any particular affinity for but he’s practically a vulcan for all the emotion he ever puts into anything.

    Well, he was trying as hard as he could to rip Sarah a new one. Yes, he has a generally ‘dead fish’ persona, but he was chomping at the bit on this one. Maybe my people reader just works better on subtle folks. (I’ve been accused of being low key myself, so I’m good at picking up what others don’t even see).

    At any rate, a “rant” does not require a rabid disposition.

    Further, this ignores the substance that Wolf was “on the hunt” for Sarah and had ‘smear bombs’ ready to throw and was tossing them.

    So we’ve got someone who does not claim to have actually seen the bit, using an ‘appeal to reason’ that Wolf can’t get worked up or have a rant. Do I really want to get into that “he said / she said”? The bottom line is “I saw it”. He was clearly “on the hunt” and with great bias and biggotry trying to toss smear bombs at Sarah and at Republicans for something with which they had NO Relationship.

    OK, I’ll surrender. It wasn’t a “rant”. He was too unemotional. It was a Jihad or a pogrom or a witch hunt. Your choice…. Feel better now?

    So that one is still sitting in the moderation queue as I try to decide to “go there” or just hit “spam”…

  4. Jerry says:

    Wow, never had really thought about that side of having a blog. You have great patience – I would be out by that pool with a Glock in one hand and a baseball bat in the other administering attitude adjustment :) Your blog is just fine the way it is IMHO so DOUBLE thanks for what you do!!

  5. Your blog I liked, to escape reality pls visit my web site.


  6. E.M.,

    Sorry about the weak joke cluttering your moderation queue. Some are just hard to resist!

    Thanks for the peek behind the scenes. By the way, SWMBO and I are looking at increasing food stores, courtesy of your posts on storage.

  7. Earle Williams says:

    Ugh! Make a joke and forget to clear the realclimate web site from your handle. Mea Culpa! Karma kickback I reckon. I should know better than to mess with the Chiefio. :-D

  8. Doyle says:

    There’s also the socially underdeveloped kid who is sitting on the floor beside the couch listening to the grownups speak about things he is only slowly beginning to understand. he appreciates the hospitality of the host but won’t eat the appetizers or drink the punch until he learns how to make a decent plate of goodies himself!

    Now that I have driven this analogy right over a cliff, I’ll mention that us lurkers appreciate the general civility here(and the effort that takes on your part), which is why we keep coming back.

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    @Earle Williams:

    Nice, very nice…. I see, though, that you have discovered that “change a token go to moderation” applies ;-)

    I’ve freed it from ‘pending’…

    Oh, and on food: Just did a COSTCO run and have about 6 months of noodles and coffee. Prices still at pre-inputs rise state. So we’re pretty much set with grains (rice, oats, misc) and noodles with ‘beverages’. Hope the quake doesn’t come and the prices moderate before the stocks are gone. And while “Hope is not a strategy. -E.M.Smith” inventory IS a strategy 8-)

    So I’m set with “Feed and Fuel” along with “Bullets and Beans” and even more lightbulbs than I can use in a lifetime… (to quote Microsofts support site when talking about a bug I was trying to fix “This behaviour is by design” ;-0 as I want no impact from ‘green laws’ in my life).

    I hope you find that having food inventory is as comforting and as much of a money and time saver for you as it has been for me. The “easy route” is to pick some items you use all the time, and when you would buy one, buy one case instead. Use a pound of rice? Buy a 20 lb bag at Costco for $10 and put it in jars (or even gallon sized plastic bags to start). Use a can of green beans? Buy 12 at bulk and put them in the back of the shelf.

    In no time at all you will have The Day when you are “stuck” and instead of a panic run to the store at 2 x the price, you pull a can of green beans and some rice out of the “other” cabinet and add some fish from the freezer and call it dinner. One trip to the store avoided. A couple of bucks and an hour of lifetime ahead of the game. Peace of mind? Priceless…

    FWIW, I have a ‘gallon sized’ or so can of olive oil and a giant plastic bottle of dehydrated garlic from Costco as the “emergency” sauce for the noodles. Aglio con olio is fairly decent made with dehydrated garlic…


    You have good taste in guns, but might I suggest taking a look at the Cz-75 and Cz-85? The 85 has ambi-safety, so a 75 on the right hip and 85 on the left is a really nice rig… were I a patrol officer, that’s what I’d ask to carry… One with Winchester Sivertips for great “one shot stop” numbers, the other with 149 grain? “subsonics” for penetration of things like thick glass.

    For years, the Cz-75 was made of “UNobtanium” as Czech was part of the Warsaw Pact. A large number of “race guns” were created as a ‘knock off’ of it due to the stellar performance and the lack of supply. The race guns are availalble in many calibers (with .38 Super being popular for reasons I don’t quite ken… ) some with up to 20 round magazines. The “OEM” job is a 15 round in 9mm. One of those on each hip, with 2 spare mags each on the belt, and you’re at 90 rounds… Add a small ankle ‘backup’ Beretta with spare mag on the holster and you are well over 100 rounds total.

    My Sensei was once “nose to nose and belly to belly” with some drug dealers. He: a lone wolf motorcycle seargent… but also an excellent black belt… When it’s “one on many” having your own “backup” is a nice feature. Needless to say we practiced “multiple attacker disarms” a fair amount ;-)

    But yes, I can hear “Patience, grasshopper, patience… in the fullness of time… breathe… in… out … in… now slow time… and… MOVE!” some times even when just sitting at a keyboard…

    Sidebar: For anyone who has not been here long, some history on me. I was a “Law Enforcement Eagle Scout” and trained with law enforcement. Uniforms, ride in cars, exposure to Nerve Gas (the real stuff, not pepper spray) in training of how to use it. I like to ‘hang out with cops’ as they are generally pretty cool folks. That does not mean I am a cop, I’m not. But I’m pretty well steeped in the culture. Oddly, it’s not like most folks think. Most cops are not very ‘hard assed’ unless forced into it somehow on the job. Just pretty realistic about life. We did do the ‘policing’ at Jamboree, but that’s a story for another day…

    So anyone wondering why I have this interest in armament can put worries to rest. I just expected to need it to stay alive. A later career path change shifted that a bit… Oh, and the family history of 101st Airborn and Combat Engineers (one on each side) doesn’t hurt either ;-) We’re a family that can capture a bridge in a night raid by air, blow it up if over run, and rebuild it the next day; all while under constant ‘incoming’…

    And some guy wants to tell me I can’t own a Glock? Sheesh… I can make high explosives from yard chemicals (and have) and I can make poison gas from cleaning chemicals (and have). Oh, and I can make a very dramatically toxic arrow poison from some seeds I’ve got in the freezer too… but haven’t, as “that would be wrong”… not to mention it would put my life at significant risk as the “stuff” in question has no antidote and is lethal in trivial doses… but I digress…
    I have it because it makes really pretty flowers and leaves, but haven’t planted it as I have bunnies…

    That’s the thing that the “gun control” folks just don’t quite get. There are a million and one ways to die and more than that ways to cause someone else to die. Guns are the easiest to learn, but not the most effective. Not by a very long shot. So ban guns, you will just get ‘worse’ as the result. Karate exists as peasants weapons were banned in Okinawa. Nunchuks were a rice flail. The ‘side handle batton’ was the handle from the well. Capoeira came about as the black slaves in Brazil were forbidden to pracitce martial arts. So they hid it in dance. And one of the most lethal martial arts was born. Escrima in the Philipines has a similar history when sticks were substituted for the swords banned by the Spanish. There is a very long history of failed ‘arms control’.

    You can “control” all the guns in the world and a person could still kill thousands. How many were killed with an airplane on 911?

    So, not to ‘go off’ on you, Jerry, but the simple fact is that ‘control’ is a steady hand and good site picture. A bunch of folks like to pretend that isn’t so, but that is from ignorance of the history and inexperience of the reality of combat. The good news is that we have the lucky circumstance that most of our population has never ‘had a bad day’ of that sort… So, why do I have the patience and not show up with the metaphoric Glock and the Baseball bat (carry a ball, so it’s not legally a weapon…) at the pool? Training… Experience and training…

    Oh, what the heck, one other minor side bar: On one (or maybe more like three…) occasions I’ve thought of applying to various TLAs (Three Letter Agencies). Only once did I actually do it. (Just post 911 when they were up to their eyeballs in volunteers and did not need more.) But some fair quantity of my ‘spare time’ has been spent in preparation for “That Day” should I ever be needed. What can I say? It’s a very interesting hobbie and you learn a lot of neat stuff. I’m from a military family history. It’s “what we do” in that half of the family. (It does make for an odd ‘strain’ with the pacifist Amish side of the family… but that’s a “whole ‘nother story” ;-) The reason to mention this? There are a lot of families like that.

    That’s the whole point of the Citizen Soldier, of The Militia. You can not contain ‘knowing’. It is best spread widely. When an “aw shit” happens, those disbursed folks will step up and make things right. After the quake, some folks will direct traffic in skirts and spandex. After the hurricane, some folks will form local ‘police’ from hunters and sportsmen. After the shooting starts, some citizens will tackle the NutJob and take him down.

    And one of them had a gun. I saw the interview with him. It was priceless. He came out of the drug store, heard the shooting, and walked toward the shooting. When he got there, the badguy had already been tackled by two other folks so he “did not take my gun out as I saw no need for it and didn’t want to make anyone worried” (as a paraphrase). But if that badguy had NOT been already taken down by “citizens”? Then another armed citizen was ready and able to take him down by force of arms. Long before any Police might arrive.

    I’m one of those kinds of folks. “Just plain folks” who will do what is needed when it is needed. Just like a whole lot of other folks. THAT is what is America, and that is what the EuroSocialists don’t quite ken. Taking choices and equipment away from us does not make the world a better place, it makes it much much worse. Anyone who does not believe that needs only look at history.

    So, go get that Cz, OK? Tupperware is for the kitchen ;-)

    I like the original plain Cz-75, but they have a whole bunch of variations now… Possibly THE best handgun in the world. (And I don’t say that lightly. I’ve got a lot of experience…)

  10. E.M.Smith says:


    I just fig’rd that was part of the ‘schtick’… If you would like it to be something else, I can edit it. It’s your ‘pun’ so you are in charge…


    Go ahead and have some punch and snacks. You need to educate the pallet to know that what you make is right!

    “This life is not a dress rehearsal. Take BIG Bites!”

    Honest. Drink deep and take big bites, this is the only show in town and it ends suddenly and without warning.

  11. xyzlatin says:

    The sort of people who would just be politely ignored and just excluded from general society in the past now have access to millions via the internet and blogs and the comments sections of newspaper stories and articles.

    They were tolerated but avoided and laughed at in a small village, or left lonely and alone in a big city, and were usually unable to do much damage to others. Often this is the sort of oddball person used in British comedy to great effect. Eccentric was the word used to describe them.

    Their brains are different. Whether is it some form of autism, or result of damage to the brain by birth or drugs, there is definitely something different with them. When that difference becomes abuse to others in any form, it is time to exclude.

    It is a form of education to them and a kindness. Often through no fault of their own, they are unable to imagine other’s feelings. They have no empathy. They have no “Theory of Mind”. They are to be pitied but not tolerated if you want to have a high quality blog.

    Never feel you have to apologise for this. This is evolution at work through your brain. The best have to select the best to raise the standard.

    I occasionally go to different sites and blogs to stretch my mind to new ideas. If there are swear words and poor and abusive language allowed in the comments, I know I am dealing with poor thinkers and I never go back.

    Thanks for an interesting, informative, thought provoking, clean blog.

  12. David says:

    I like that on your site I don’t have to wade through gibberish in the comments that follow. They are related to the topic and enhance the discussion for the most part. Most sites discussing anything controversial are followed by a string of people lobbing insults at each other. I don’t think you need to make any justification for keeping it that way.

    If you have a statement to post about something such as firearms ownership there is no point in debating most people. It is similar to religion and politics. Rarely are people swayed by the other’s opinion, they just want to make sure theirs is heard.

    The first signal I get that someone doesn’t have a compelling argument is when they start calling people names. It is the same as saying “I don’t posses any facts that I can challenge your position with, so I’ll revert to what I learned at the age of 5”.

    I’m the happy owner of a Bushmaster and Springfield XD. I happen to think the Bushmaster is beautiful, but I have a soft spot for black guns. Living in a potential 8.0 plus seismic zone, I’m comforted to know that no one will be profiting from the despair of my family or my neighbors after such an event as long as I’m around. Watching what happened in New Orleans confirmed my justification for owning the hardware.

    Finally, I’m in IT security and I can almost assure you that all of that traffic you see is created by bots. I do often wonder why things are posted with no links, but I think your analysis that these are probing attacks is spot on. They target a million sites and then use Google searches to find which sites they were able to post on. Then they post the phishing links. There are some very large bot nets operating that all of this ties back to. It is a serious mess. You do your readers a service by keeping them off your site.

  13. Sera says:

    Heck of a rant, E.M.- I think I’ll pass on starting a blog if this is what I have to look forward to. The 1911 is a great choice and designed to last (obviously). I have the .38 ACP 1908 model (not a Super). Funny that the best handgun I’ve tried IS the .38 Super. Still looking for one that does not cost an arm/leg. Keep fighting the good fight.

  14. P.G. Sharrow says:

    A gun is just a tool no different then a hammer or a brush knife. Never had much use for a hand gun, I prefer long guns. But then I am a country boy from out in the open country.
    I am glad to hear that you are armed and dangerous.
    I believe that an armed society is a polite society.

    After reading of the ” fun” of keeping the peace on your blog site. I think I will pass on my own, at least for now. pg

  15. Sera says:

    Edit time: I own a .38 ACP Model 1900- according to the serial number, it was manufactured in 1908. It is cold as heck here in ATL, and my brain is as slow as the ice is thick. Or visa-versa. I also have a Krag 30-40 stamped 1898 Springfield (Armory?). I do not use them for defence, just for fooling around at the range. Still can’t say enough good things about the .38 ACP Super- I want one!

  16. H.R. says:

    Thanks for sharing, E.M. I had no idea.

    It’s hard to swing a long gun in a hallway. Shotguns with 00 shot cut down on the marksmanship requirements.

  17. j ferguson says:

    Sera, I don’t know if this the right place but I’d love to hear more about the Krag. The guy who taught ROTC had one. I was very interested in whether the magazine arrangement with the rounds sort of climbing around the receiver on their way to the chamber was reliable. And that incredible spring and the “side-door” for loading. Second question, do you reload your own ammunition or is it available.

    I was a shooter for many years, almost entirely 22 target. Gun was a ww2 surplus single shot Remington with the 7/8 barrel and very simple iron sights – not the ramp type. Brother owns a 44 magnum, a single six which shoots .410 rounds and a Glock in 45 ACP. I would have thought that accuracy would go away with the 40 year vacation I’ve had from shooting, but it seems to come back very quickly and it looks like I can get back to causing very concentrated damage pretty close to where intended in one magazine – and not 30 rounds either.

    You’d think that this is a skill that would go away with disuse, but then I spent 2 nights per week at the range at the nearby Naval Air Station for about 5 years. I miss the Hoppe’s #9.

    I moved on to other activities – but to be clear, it wasn’t moving up, more sideways.

  18. Sera says:

    @j ferguson-

    Yes, it has the side load (holds six) and is very reliable. I just open it and drop six in, and snap close. I do not load my own, but you can find ammo on the net easily. Great grandad used it during the Spanish-American. The barrel is slightly pitted but still in good shape. I fire it once a year during the holidays, and then clean and put it away. The ammo for the .38 ACP is another story- still trying to find that. I, too, can still smell the Hoppe’s. Thanks for asking.

  19. Larry Geiger says:

    “I just want to know what you think your role as ‘moderator’ encompasses. ”

    Well, I guess that he knows now :-)

    That line is just plain funny. Just read one or two entries here, and if you have any sense at all you should be able to tell what’s going on. Thanks Chief!

    We seem to have some movement on the truss issue. Looks like the tank may actually get fixed this month and they might actually light it off. Some have been suggesting just pull the thing off and pop on the spare. I don’t know about that stuff. Really too bad about our mission commander’s wife. Hope that you get to see it go.

  20. Pascvaks says:

    So many good points! Thank you for your fantastic Blog Site and all your hard work!

    If, as we are all only human and occassionally wake up on a different side of the bed some days, you ever come across a remark that is “out of line”, then do as you have always done without a second thought. (As I’m sure you will;-)

    Once again, thank you for your fantastic Blog Site and all your hard work!

  21. E.M.Smith says:

    @Sera & P.G. Sharrow:

    You can set postings to have a log in requirement and / or to be password protected. That lets you do things like have a ‘by invitation ony’ blog for family and friends.

    There is also no “need” to ever look at what ends up in the SPAM queue. It has a ‘delete all’ button and many folks simply hit that with not a single look at the contents.

    I tend to be excessively detailed, so I look at each one to assure that no valid comment got tossed. But you don’t have to be like me…

    There are also some places where you can put individutal text markers to automatically put things in the SPAM queue or into the Moderation queue. So if there are a list of words you don’t want to see, list them there, and any post with those words goes to SPAM or to Moderation. They you can just click the ‘dump all’ button on spam and flush it, sight unseen.

    The point?

    I’d encourage you to go ahead and try a blog. It isn’t all that bad really. Most of the time it’s quite pleasant. I get about one “lost boys” person or one “voted off the island” per week or two. They usually don’t hang around once they discover it’s not an open mic for them.

    (And for reasons I don’t understand, they tend not to just go make their own blog where they can talk all they want… they could just click that “” tag under “META” on the right side, take 5 minutes to set up a blog, put up their opinions as postings and instead of being in the spam queue just make a comment that says “I don’t agree and I’ve put details here: linktext” and be much more successful… but they don’t want to listen to my advice ;-)

    So while this ‘sob story’ makes it look bothersome, it’s not all that hard, especially if you can be ‘cold’ enough to just have an ‘all spam dumpped’ policy…


    One of the things learned in Karate class was “Every weapon has a range”. For handguns it’s about 1 foot to 20 feet. Maybe out to 20 yards for folks with some experience. At 100 yards, you are talking professional skill level, not practical use. Long guns are more from the 20 feet out to 100 yards range. Thus the ‘typical’ western pattern of a handgun on the hip and a long gun on the saddle. Different tools for different ranges. And as you pointed out, a hallway is far less than 20 feet wide ;-)

    Good long range hunting rifles and their near twin the sniper rifle can move that range out to 100-1000 yards, but the skill level needs to go up. Between 1000 yards and 2000 yards you are in the range of ‘exceptionally skilled AND lucky sniper team’. It would be easier to just use a smart bomb or artillery…

    BTW, the ‘combat shotgun’ used by police is a very nice compromise. It’s range is limited to about 50 yards and the shot does not penetrate too much (so you have lower risk of hitting someone 2 houses away after passing through all the walls….) yet it works OK up close. The ones with folding stocks and / or pistol grips and the 18 inch bbl even work in hallways. You have to be able to ‘take the kick’ though… I’ve sometimes thought one of them in 20 Ga. would be really nice… But it was easier just to get low power practice ‘clay bird’ rounds in 12 ga. instead… (After 3 or 4 hours of shooting a 12 guage, you want less kick… I’ve done the ‘magnum’ rounds, but only one box per day…)

    @J Ferguson:

    I’ve got an old bottle of Hoppes #9 that I take out from time to time and open just for a moment…

    @Sera again:

    Perhaps you can explain why folks love the Super?

    I’ve looked at the ‘specs’ and clearly they don’t carry the whole message. Some of the race gun guys just won’t live with anything else… so, what’s the deal with it?

    (Not that I need yet-another-calibre to deal with …)

    FWIW, one of my ‘favorites’ is in .32 ACP. The ‘smaller guys’ can be really fun to shoot and things in that .32 to .38 ACP range are really comfortable… though I have to add that the .45 ACP is not a problem either. I think the ‘low pressure’ rounds all share that feature.

    But I look at the 9mm vs 38 Super and just don’t ‘get it’…

  22. pyromancer76 says:

    Excellent primer on what it takes to develop a blog followed by intelligent commenters from many perspectives, or, perils and pitfalls of blog ownership. Few seem to enjoy sorting out the detritus as well as keeping up the internet conversation as much as you. Sent your comment-to-a-comment on survival training while young, along with some gun talk, to Son. Hope he makes use of it for his kids. We are a family with hardened wilderness people/hunters with three-generation military background, along with more pacifist-types (even with military background) who feel for Bambi and stay away from all guns — until now. Very much enjoy the multi-level conversation here.

  23. Jeff Alberts says:

    I run several web sites on my own leased server, so I’m painfully familiar with spammers.

    Spam on my sites comes in slightly differently, since registration is required on most of them. One in particular, a site I run for my local community of about 100 residents, has lately been getting several new user spam registrations a day. Not a lot, by any means, but since I approve each new account, it’s easy to keep them out. If they haven’t entered valid homeowner information, they go bye-bye.

    These are manual registrations as well, I believe, since my site has Captcha requirements for new accounts. It would seem that after a year of not being able to create an account on a site manually, the idiots would move on.

    Most of the email addresses used are from Gmail, which I use as well. Obviously I can’t block all Gmail accounts, so it’s difficult to put in a deny rule to stop these things. Blocking IPs is also fairly useless, since it’s likely the attempts are coming from zombie PCs taken over with trojans and the like. I’ve also tried reporting the email addresses to Gmail so hopefully they could nip things in the bud, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to report such activity to them.

    What I don’t get is the motivation for posting all the links in these comments. Do they think people will actually click them? Is it enough that 1 in 1000 (that might be too generous a number, perhaps it’s more like 10,000) people MIGHT click one and they get their payoff? Or do they get paid for simply posting links? It’s got to be more than just virtual vandalism.

  24. j ferguson says:

    One of the sites I frequent,, no longer accepts new registrants using gmail accounts. It seemed pretty extreme, but the guy who minds the store said the amount of junk that seemed to accompany legitimate accounts based on a gmail addresses was excessive.

    why gmail in particular? he didn’t know.

  25. Jeff Alberts says:

    As for guns, I never really owned a gun before joining the Army in 1981. After that, I’ve owned several.

    My favorite has always been the .44 magnum. I’ve owned a S&W 29, but currently own a Ruger Super Redhawk (9 3/4 barrel, you could use it as a club if needed), and a Taurus PT92 9mm (basically a Beretta clone). The accuracy of the Redhawk over the Taurus is pretty significant. At 25 yards I get about a 12″ grouping (if it can even be called a grouping) with the Taurus, and about a 4″ grouping with the Redhawk. That’s using a standing position with no bench. I’m not an expert marksman by any stretch of the imagination, I shoot for enjoyment, and to remain familiar with my weapons.

    My other weapon is a Cobray Street Sweeper, .12 ga riot shotgun. It was banned shortly after I bought it when I lived in VA some 17 years ago or more. Since then, I was supposed to be contacted by the BATF to give me options (relinquish, or obtain a Class III license), but they never contacted me (and yes, I bought it legally at a large gun shop in Chantilly, VA). I bought it as a novelty gun, and in all that time, I’ve only taken it out shooting once. It’s not bad to fire, but reloading is a major pain in the sphincter. I don’t get the reason for the ban on this particular type of weapon. Sure, it’s got 12 shots, but it’s slow to fire for a semi-auto, and the reloading issue. Someone with a Mossberg or similar semi-auto could do a lot more damage in a shorter amount of time.

    The reason it’s difficult to reload is this: The drum magazine is non-detachable and rotates internally. Empty shells do not eject from the magazine or receiver, they stay in the chamber of the magazine. To reload, you have to first flip open an aperture, turn the magazine one click, eject the shell manually, load a new shell, rinse and repeat, 12 times. There’s no way you could even reload ONE shell without getting jumped. In a combat situation you’d be better served to drop the Street Sweeper once it’s spent, and use a backup weapon. It IS cool-looking though, with the folding stock and big drum mag, but that’s about as far as it goes.

    I still don’t know if I can legally own it. I’m looking to sell it to a local gun store…

  26. Jeff Alberts says:

    @J Ferguson

    I don’t know either. It used to be that Gmail was by invitation only, but since it was opened up to anyone… Google needs to provide a way for site owners to report abuse of the Gmail system when you’re not a user of Gmail.

    I’ve blocked anything from a .ru address on all my sites, nothing good ever comes of those.

  27. j ferguson says:

    Since we might have a quorum of experienced shooters here, i thought I’d ask a question. Did any of you notice that the sniper in Saving Private Ryan shot left handed? I did because I do. My left eye is the one that works. It looked like Private Ryan sniper was using a standard Springfield.

    Reaching over the top to operate the bolt doesn’t lead to ease of getting off successive shots with sustained accuracy. I also read a book about sniping in Viet Nam, named something like “Shooting in the Oklahoma” Guy in one of photos was shooting prone position left handed but it looked like the army (or someone) had fixed him up with a Winchester with the bolt on the left.

    Any experience with this issue? For me it’s right hand (actually both now) for hand-guns.

    One last thing. with all this kerfuffle about semi-automatics, do double-action revolvers really take more time – aside from reloading issues?

  28. j ferguson says:

    Jeff Alberts,
    The first night that the climategate file was on Jeff Id’s site, it had an ru at the end of the address. I saw it was 490 megs, started to download it, having no idea what it was but thinking highly of Jeff’s site, and then cut it off worrying that might be some really astonishing trojan.


  29. Peter Czerna says:

    Thank you for explaining to me why I have never started a blog and why I never will. Wish I had half your energy.

    “…walk into your party off the street and want to start food fights, insult the host, and do a variety of things they would never consider in ‘real life’”.

    Perhaps it happens because blog visitors are essentially encapsulated and anonymous, just as they are when they get behind the wheel of a vehicle. The mild mannered person at the lawn party who would be the first to apologize if you spilled their drink would run you off the road for some imagined slight.

    I hereby copyright the term ‘blog rage’. Use it without acknowledgement and I’ll beat the crap out of you.

    BTW: Thanks for fixing the images so effectively.

    @Doyle. You’re not one of these loners are you?

  30. PhilJourdan says:

    This seems like a good place to make some observations about your blog.

    The tone of comments is usually set by the blog meister. You have some that invite flaming, others that are as cold as ice, and still others that seem like a nice chat by a warm fire (for those not in Sunny California!). Yours is the latter and I prefer it for several reasons.

    First, while some of your topics are hot, your tone is always moderated so that it is an analytical discussion of the topic, not a flame fest.

    Second, you usually take the time to respond to almost all comments, and at the very least you respond to all posters.

    Third, you avoid inflammatory words when more neutral ones will convey the same meaning – but with less emotion – work.

    So that is why your blog is one of my must reads. A quiet fireside chat where we can all laugh, cry, and even rant at times, about the events of the day.

    Reading your writings, I find that we have a lot in common, both politically and experience. And the latter is probably the more appealing. I enjoy a good debate with those having opposing views (but rarely find ones that can keep things civil). I am also a stinker and will be a nit picker at the time and place of my choosing (usually on the “hot” blogs”).

    But I am far past the firebrand stage – and it appears so are you from this writing. The tempering of experience has lead you (so it appears to me) to quietly analyze issues and state positions – not getting drawn into a heated argument, but more of a reasoned discussion or debate.

    My only request is that you keep doing what you are doing. If I feel like a fight, I will go to a fight site. And if I want to blow a gasket at an issue, I will rant about it at my own site. But here I look for insight, enlightenment, nostalic reminiscing, and yes humor!

  31. E.M.Smith says:

    @j ferguson:

    I think the military now supply left handed bolts if needed. Most non-bolt guns in military use are being designed with ambidextrous features. I guess they finally figured out that 10 to 20% of their folks could shoot better with their favorite hand / eye… and that the rest could benefit if they were injured in their dominant hand in battle.

    I’ve also noticed that a lot of “lefty” folks learn to deal with a right handed world and do just fine shooting right handed guns. I’m an “ambi” so I’ve done it a few times too. Not that much of an issue once you practice a bit. Slower, yes, but sniping is a patient art…

    Revolvers fire just as fast as semi-autos. A good “speed loader” and you can do a reload in less time than an auto as you don’t need to rack the slide. If you watch revolver speed competition, it’s just astounding. One guy (who’s name escapes me) gets off more aimed shots per minute than some machine guns… The biggest difference, IMHO, is that a double action revolver has, well, a double action trigger pull. It takes some practice to get a hard trigger pull to shoot straight. Frankly, I’d rather just do it single action for the precision. (You can cock the hammer during the recovery from recoil and not lose much speed at all…)

    Ah, I think it’s this guy:

    However… for a non-practiced person, they can get a semi-auto to dump more rounds faster than a revolver and they have probably not bought 5 speed loaders nor practiced with them… but they usually don’t hit anything anyway and would benefit a great deal from taking time to aim.

    Oh, and revolvers come in some Very Large Power sizes. It always causes a bit of annoyance that the Gun Restriction folks want to ban “Saturday Night Specials” in favor of Revolvers. They have no clue that the .25 ACP of a lot of those SNSp guns is a wimpy unlikely to kill round while that .357 Magnum revolver is going to kill a Buick…

    (I worked in hospitals for a while. Most SNSp cases were a patch up job. Magnums? Usually just a ‘pronouncement’ and the meat wagon if hit anywhere that mattered… 9mm was in between and depended on particular round and placement. Military use prefers a wound as it takes 3 folks to care for one wounded. Killing is the less desirable outcome in military use as the dead can just be ignored. That, too, is lost on the folks who decry “military” guns…)

    Just like the ’10 round limit’ just caused folks to ‘upsize’ their calibre to .40 S&W (or more!) and causes more lethality, not less.

    It actually bothers me more that these decisions are done stupidly than it does that they are attempting to deny a right. I know, it’s “wrong” of me to feel that way, but I do… Rather, as the song goes, “like the French, who don’t care what you do as long as you pronounce it properly”. If you are going to have gun restriction laws, at least make some that work properly…


    Thanks, I needed that ;-)

    Hmmm… a bit of google time found a site with this stuff on it:

    FWIW Bob Munden can shoot his SAA faster than his 1911.

    The revolver, not as clumsy or random as an auto, an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.
    IIRC, the record for speed shooting is held by Ed McGivern, for 5 shots from a revolver (can’t remember which type) in 0.4 seconds. That’s a cyclic rate of 750 rounds/minute. While a machine gun can beat that, I doubt a semi-auto shooter could.

    McGivern sounds more like the name I was remembering… And yes, he got 5 shots ON TARGET in less than 1/2 second. It’s just astounding. I’m lucky to get one on target from a semi-auto and get back near the target in a bit OVER a second…

  32. Sera says:

    @ E.M.

    The ‘Super’ is prettier. All kidding aside, I’ve been told that it is close to or more powerful than the .45 ACP. Comp shooters swear by the accuracy, but these guys load their own for the most part. Easier to port or compensate? I don’t know, but from my experience it is just easier to shoot (less recoil) and far more accurate (five” barrel). Maybe it’s just a case of being more expensive and less common, like a status symbol? I don’t shoot for defense, just for fun (I’m not a gun freak). I had a Spas 12G for a year (mom loved it), but my idiot friend lost the ‘O’ ring so I sold it for a loss. It was fun for about five minutes, but you had to use 4½ dram loads to work the gas. Thanks again for the ‘blog’ advice, and thanks again for such a great, very diversified site to hang out.

  33. j ferguson says:

    Have you read Spetznas? If not I’ll email it. Book length pdf. Written by a graduate, and verified by another who I worked with while I was still afflicted with employment.

    I wouldn’t count on the any worrying about their wounded if we ever have to contend with the guys that like metallic curtains.

    Let me know. It’s book length and very enlightening. the gist is that if you are out there killing people, why be nice?

  34. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. Well, since no one else is sticking up for Peter Offenhartz, let me step into the breech. Peter says “why, oh why, is there not a single critique of those (mostly republicans) nuts who deem a Glock 9mm an acceptable weapon for civilians? ”

    Heck, personally I agree with Peter on the Glock thing. Why would a civilian carry a 9mm Glock when the free market makes it possible to purchase a nice Kimber 1911 style, .45 ACP, with tritium sights and lovely rosewood grips? Heck, why carry a 9mm when you can get a nice Glock in .357 Sig?

    Just to make you go “hmmmmmm” I would like to point out that I am a vegetarian, I do not hunt and I have crypto-Buddhist leanings. I also think that every man, woman and responsible child should be (if they wish) armed with anything up to and including shoulder launched anti-tank weapons. No, I am not kidding.

    I draw a very distinct and clear line between aggression and defense. Anyone who cannot see the difference between those two will no doubt also be confused by the distinction between rape and consensual sex.

    An essay that was important in firming up my views on self defense was Jeff Snyder’s “A Nation of Cowards.” Very much worth reading, or forwarding to anyone you may know who is fence-sitting on the issue. Another great essay is this one by L. Neil Smith, “Why Did It Have to Be Guns?”

    Either God or nature has gifted me with authority and ownership of my life. It is mine, and I intend to protect it. There is no ethical high ground in espousing that millions of people be left disarmed of the means to protect themselves from sociopaths. Even a cursory reading of history reveals what happens to those who allow themselves to become powerless. Disarming civilians is a great evil.

    If you have a desire to, I would urge you to read “A nation of Cowards.”

  35. Mike Patrick says:

    E.M., I realize this post is not primarily about firearms, but I wanted to let you know that you have a pretty good Sensei. Police reports are rife with shootouts where no one was hit. I spent 37 years as a cop, sometimes in high crime areas. The career started out with an issued S&W .38 Police Special revolver. It took about 12 years before the department allowed semiautomatics, but that did not keep me from carrying a Beretta M84, in .308 caliber, as a backup. I always felt it was a gun with soul, and those 14 rounds, plus two extra magazines, were a comfort when being forced to carry a six-shot revolver as a primary firearm. Our early semiautomatics were S&W 9mm. We finally changed to .40 caliber S&Ws right before I retired.

    One of the first things I learned as a cop was that we could not be everywhere. Response time is important. If someone is kicking down your front door, a ten-minute response time (which is considered pretty good most places) means the we arrive in time to take a report and clean up the mess. Most of the time, the caller was the mess to be cleaned up . . . unless they were armed.
    My whole career, I never worried about an armed, law-abiding citizen. They came in handy a few times over the years. It is a shame that there were not several present at that grocery store where Mrs. Giffords was shot. It may not have helped her, because she was his first victim, but it may have save some of the others.

    Your cop Sensei is aware of a common police saying: I would rather be judged by twelve than carried by six. The civilian population should give some thought about that. Those who fear firearms should spend more time fearing for their safety.


  36. E.M.Smith says:


    OK, I can see the easier to reload. IIRC it headspaces on a semi-rim, so you don’t have the ‘taper’ issue of a 9mm. Higher pressure than the .45 ACP and I *think* it’s got more umph, but in a lighter bullet so it’s taking it as V^2 not M (meaning you get less recoil to deal with… thus your ‘shoots easier’…)

    I think I ‘got it’ now…. Like an easy to reload nice to shoot 9 with better manners than a .45

    And just glad you enjoy being here 8-)

    @J Ferguson:

    I’ve not read it. Please send…

    @Mike Patrick:

    I’m not much of a stickler about “topic” anyway, but I raised the topic, so it’s wide open anyway. Besides, I like talking about guns….

    Nice to have the “confirm” from someone who’s been on the street…

    I like that particular Beretta, but never quite managed to buy one before California went to the 10 rd thing and I went ‘up calibre’. It’s on my ‘someday maybe’ list. It’s just ideal as a police backup gun. Not too much penetration, so saves the innocents, but enough to deal with the perp in front of you.

    FWIW, in class once, we were having a demonstration of a firearm takeaway. All facing the ‘bad guy’. Being the inquisitive sort, and being prone to ‘helping others’ I asked:

    “That’s fine, but what if he has the gun on someone else and I’m behind him? How do I deal with a takeaway from behind?”

    He proceeds to have me face away from him, toward the class, and stick out a ‘finger gun’…

    “Hello Floor!” Class appreciates they they now know how to do this. Me? I’ve seen nothing. Me? I’m slow on the uptake… ME? I say “I didn’t see what you did, what did you do?” You can see what’s coming…

    He has me face the class again.

    “Hello Floor!!”…

    But at least that time I was able to notice that he first grabbed the gun hand / forearm with upward momentum and “took the arm somewhere” as I was leg swept to the floor… and I think something grabbed my neck… and he did explain that THE thing to do was to control the gun hand…

    This guy was about 6 foot and about 200 pounds and we’re standing on the same mat, same ‘skin’ of surface. I didn’t hear or feel a thing prior to being rapidly headed at the floor with the gun hand straight up at the ceiling and the wrist in a vice like clamp…

    I have slightly greater than 180 degree vision and didn’t see a thing either, other than the smallest of blurs below my arm as I headed down…

    Last I’d heard he was about a 4th or 5th degree black belt and had a lot of street experience.

    Nicest guy you’d ever meet and a treasure to the planet.

    Just don’t ask him “how did you do that?” ;-)

    BTW, IMHO, the .40 S&W is the ideal Police round. In ‘hardball’ it will punch through a windshield (the FBI ‘had issues’ with that with 9mm, so adopted an overly powered 10mm that’s basically a .40 S&W with more powder in it. They had a shootout where a bunch of 9s bounced off the window of a fat American Car. Back in the days of laminated safety glass and very sloped rear windows. Basically, a composit armour of sorts..) It also will generally stop anyone with one shot as well as just about any round can. BUT it doesn’t go through as much stuff (like kids bedroom walls in the next house over) like a magnum will.

    Also, FWIW, the Winchester Silvertip in .32 ACP (yes, the dinky little 32) has the same “one shot stop” statistics as military .45 Ball. Partly that’s because ‘ball’ is a crappy bullet design, partly it’s because a little .32 usually appears suddenly 6 inches from the target, but partly too it is because the Silvertip is a very well engineered product. If you still carry as ‘reservist’ you might consider the 380 in Silvertip, department allowing… As a hollow point, it also ‘blows up’ quick if it hits a wall, so less tendency to carry into the innocents room next door.

    Finally, FWIW, after dealing with Sensei for a few years I came to appreciate just how limiting a gun is. Just how limiting several attackers can be. After you’ve swept one guy into two others and stepped off the line of attack, there is so much you can do so much quicker than if you were fumbling around trying to grab a chunk of metal from an ankle holster… I’d still like to have a carry permit, but frankly, it would be for the purposes of holding the attackers after then were on the ground. It would also help when dealing with a gunman more than 10 feet away, but I’ve never had need of that… Still, I saw Sensei cross 9 feet of floor and take down someone with a plastic ‘knife’ or ‘gun’ faster than I could put a hand in my pocket and pull it back out. What well trained Police can do is amazing…

  37. E.M.Smith says:


    The .38 ACP is the same case as the .38 Super, so you could always just reload your own. I’ve done reloading, and it’s not that hard. (I find it easier than making a decent loaf of bread… or changing the oil in my car…)

    It is basically just a low power loading of the same round.

    These guys have them for $40 a box custom loaded:

  38. Jerry says:

    @ E. M. Smith

    “‘So, not to ‘go off’ on you, Jerry, but the simple fact is that ‘control’ is a steady hand and good site picture.”

    Huh?? I feel a bit ‘gone off on’ and ‘gone off half cocked’ IMO to boot!

    Are you thinking I am in favor of gun control based on the sentence in my post referring jokingly to attitude adjustment with a Glock and baseball bat? Not So! Guess I need to work on my clarity, so here goes. I have been a Life Member of the NRA for well over 40 years. Got my first handgun when I was in the ninth grade – a High Standard Double Nine (9 shot .22 revolver). Spent 2 years in the US Army, 18 months of that as cadre on the AMU (Advanced Marksmanship Unit) team shooting both Rifle (M14) and Pistol (.45 Colt) both hand built Match Grade weapons. First big iron a S&W model 29 .44 mag – 4 inch barrel (heavy load of Herco shot late afternoon will make a fireball to rival Little Boy). Currently own 2 match grade .45’s (a hardball and a wad gun) built by the AMU pistol armorer and a match grade M1 Garand built by the AMU rifle armorer plus a S&W mod. 41 .22 target gun. Also a Ruger Mark I bull barrel, a .32 Colt revolver, .32 ‘pepper box’ 4 barrel belly gun (with 7 notches in the back strap – history unknown), a Beretta .22 short belly gun and a few others. Not even to mention long guns, though a 12 ga, pump 8 shot riot gun lives by my bed (full of # 4 buck – 35 – 40 .24 inch pellets). The Glock lives on the other side of the bed and in my vehicle. The Charter Arms .44 special Bulldog Pug lives on my ankle. Concealed carry – nobody needs to know that but me. Never had a ‘bad day’ and will try to avoid having one, but just in case, my intention is for the other guy to have a much worse day. I may not score a 7X clean in a firefight but I will get some 7’s and 8’s that will leave a mark. Laser sights are nice – Crimson Trace will even send you a freebie self defense CD.

    You are a ‘just plain folks’, that is cool. I am a bitter clinger East Texas Redneck prol – as in Proletariat – as in one of those unenlightened, great unwashed masses that Marx and the boys realized needed a real firm hand. Problem is us prols in the USA are mad as hell and armed to the teeth. And that is the raison d’etre for gun control.

    I have heard of the Cz but never shot one and don’t really need anything else at the moment, besides Tupperware takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

    If this is food fight fodder feel free to send it to the ether. I am not mad and will not be mad if you delete this rant. But I ain’t going to the pool and talk to a stinking neighbor kid. :)

  39. Jeff Alberts says:

    @J Ferguson

    I did notice the left-handed sniper in SPR.

    As far as revolver vs semi-auto… In my experience semi-auto definitely fires faster in general. But, my experience with revolvers is in larger calibers only, so it may not be valid.

  40. j ferguson says:

    Jeff Alberts,
    I about fell out of my chair when I saw him. I’ve always wondered if he was “left-handed” for framing up the shot in the movie or was honoring someone known to the movie crew.

    I would have loved to have had a left handed Remington, but in those days – late ’50s and our economic plight, it was out of the question.

    I do miss it though. Logistics of life don’t allow you to do everything. ah well.

  41. E.M.Smith says:


    I was just being unclear in trying to be more brief. Even I can have a moment of unclarity…

    A more accurate statement of what I intended to say would have been:

    “I’m about to launch into a bit of a rant levering off of what you have said, and it has only a tenuous connection to you, Jerry, in that you sort of mentioned something that has sent me off on a tangent, and with which I agree… but I’m going to try putting a subtle bit of humor in it by suggesting that the Cz is far superior to the Glock and you ought to upgrade”.

    so ‘not to go off on you’ was meant to say “unrelated to your position, I’m going to go off on something else”…

    Sorry for the confusion.

    East Texas? My “Uncle Ken” is near Tyler… You near Tyler? I like it near Tyler… they make good BBQ…

    BTW, my wife’s side of the family is about 1/2 from East Texas and 1/2 from just over the border in Oklahoma… we visit fairly often. Almost moved there more than once, but didn’t land a job. I’d still move there in a heartbeat (though I like Hill Country just a tiny bit more… but the fishing isn’t as good there.)

    So to make it up to you, next time you see me say we’re going to visit Texas, just suggest a meeting spot and I’ll buy the pitcher of beer.

    Oh, one bone I do have to pick: Everyone needs a Cz. They just don’t know it if they haven’t shot one yet. ;-)

    BTW, a small Beretta is my ankle job. A Wakizashi, like a short Katana, is by the bed.

    I don’t need my glasses on to find and check the safety on the sword, it needs no light to see the sights, it never ‘runs out of ammo’, it’s silent, and I can swing it in the hallway… it is also visually ‘impactful’ and with a simple wrist twist can be used to side slap or back whack when non-lethal is advised. If making a bit of noise is OK, then the ankle can be put on (velcro… I need something quieter…) with the sword close to hand if the process is interrupted.

    I can also engage more targets in less time with it :-} Oh, and it fits up my bathrobe sleeve if I need to wander out in the yard… With a Maglight 4 C-cell up one sleeve (The C cell Maglight is slimmer and lighter so swings a lot faster…), it in the other, and the ankle if needed, it’s a pretty good setup.

    Club / shield / blinding via the Maglight. Both protecting forearms for arm strikes / blocks prior to ‘deployment’. Non-threatening / no-tip-off ‘presentation’ at first look. If the “range” is beyond swinging distance and the other party has a gun and I can’t retreat, the sword can be thrown to distract / disable while the crouch to the anke is performed. While unlikely, if ‘surprised’ and told to drop the sword, an “I’m placing it on the ground” puts the hand next to the ankle… and I can draw while rolling.

    Somehow I think we’re both pretty well prepared 8-)

    I do need something with some kind of night sights, though… maybe a new Cz in .40 S&W …

    BTW, I’m “California Impared” so can’t put anything in the car… but, did you know that case law in California has held that a Machete is a ‘gardening tool’ and not a sword? So IF one just happened to have a grass stained machete in the car, next to a potting trowel… and an emergency flashlight… useful to know if you visit here. The other one is that Bear Spray and a park location map go well together… With a ‘camping shovel’ and a rock hammer you are pretty well set too… (Shield, battle hammer, nerve gas with 25 foot range and multiple shots.)

    Hope that helps smooth things out a bit…

  42. Sera says:

    @ E.M.-

    I’ll check out the Cz next time I’m at the range, I just don’t go very often. I had given up looking for the .38 ACP round years ago (on the web), and every gunsmith I spoke with refused to make loads for me. I really appreciate the link- enjoy your beer.

  43. E.M.Smith says:


    Thanks, I will!

    BTW, you don’t need to do the whole several hundred dollars press, bench, scales, tumbler, etc. route to start reloading.

    There is a little gadget called a “Lee Loader” that is rather like what cowboys used to do on the trail…

    has a good picture of one. You clean up your brass ( I started just using baby wipes… they remove just about anything ;-) and then “size it” by putting it in the metal ‘die’ and whacking it with a plastic hammer. The metal rod is used to push it back out and nock out the old primer. A new primer is put in with the red handle thing. (Place primer in gizmo, place brass over primer, squeeze handle) Oh, just before you prime it, the small metal rod with a tapering nose is gently tapped into the case to ‘flare’ the mouth… OK, after priming, the little plastic ‘dipper’ cup is used to measure a fixed amount of powder that gets dumped into the round. A bullet is placed on the top and pushed down into position, then it goes back into the metal die to squash the case (crimp it) back to the bullet.

    You’re done.

    A lot of hard core precision shooters will ‘talk dirt’ about the lee loader as you are not weighing the powder and it’s slow. Well, I’ve used dippers for years and they are just fine unless you are a competition shooter.

    No, it’s not as perfect as a $400 set up. It also doesn’t cost $400 and makes pretty good ammo. And I get the impression you are not the sort who needs to have 2000 rounds every weekend… These used to be about $10 but it looks like they are up to $20+ now (a ‘mear’ 20 years later ;-0 )

    Frankly, I’d get one to have with the gun just in case someday I couldn’t get pre-made rounds.

    I started with 3 different LEE loaders (that I still have) and eventually graduated to a press. I still use the LEE loader for the ‘odd’ caliber … I made 9mm with it that did just dandy and shot quite small groups too. Got to where I’d knock out a box of ammo while watching one TV show. (It does involve some plastic hammer noise, so don’t do that with other folks watching the TV too ;-)

    At any rate, now you have options.

    Happy shooting!

  44. E.M.Smith says:

    @Jeff Alberts:

    I forgot to mention… on the question of why do they do it…

    Many sites are set up to just auto approve all comments. Even those that are moderated have some percent get through. Then it’s just a numbers game.

    Say they get a penny for each advertizement that is seen. If they spam a billion spam, and 1:1000 gets in, that’s a million up. If each one gets a single curiosity click (even just from a moderator checking it out) that’s a million pennies. Call it $10,000 and for near zero cost (some old PC and a network connect).

    You can shift the decimal around, back and forth, and get $100,000 or $1000. But that dominant thing is that the cost denominator is essentially zero. So $1000 from $0 invested is a near infinity rate of return…

    The way to stop it is to raise the cost of spamming to be significantly non-zero…

  45. Sera says:

    This just keeps getting better and better- then a ‘Lee Loader’ it shall be! Now, it’s off to Wally World to heed some advice on light bulbs…

  46. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. “BTW, I’m “California Impared” so can’t put anything in the car… but, did you know that case law in California has held that a Machete is a ‘gardening tool’ and not a sword? So IF one just happened to have a grass stained machete in the car, next to a potting trowel… and an emergency flashlight… useful to know if you visit here. The other one is that Bear Spray and a park location map go well together… With a ‘camping shovel’ and a rock hammer you are pretty well set too…

    An additional suggestion which has been passed around in more than a few emails is the use of wasp insecticide spray as a deterrent. A good aim can get a ten or fifteen foot spray to the face.

    As for the Lee loader, I have been curious about those but have never done any reloading. That sounds like a nice, inexpensive way to dip a toe into the water. Speaking of such matters, I did not realize until recently that the good old fashioned pellet gun has improved since my youth. Some of the new models will spit out a .22 pellet somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 feet per second. Not as powerful as a regular .22 rifle, but very suitable for small game such as rabbits, squirrels, street lights, etc. Quieter too.

  47. E.M.Smith says:

    @Jason Calley

    As for the Lee loader, I have been curious about those but have never done any reloading. That sounds like a nice, inexpensive way to dip a toe into the water.

    They are, and they work well. I found that putting a ‘cutting board’ of wood on the floor or lap was enough work bench for smaller rounds.

    If you are doing very large or very tough brass, the ‘pound it’ method is a bit of too much work for me, so things like .308 Winchester are not as easy / comfortable. But little pistol rounds? Easy.

    Once you are doing 4 boxes at a time, it’s too slow (at least if you are impatient and / or have someone asking why you haven’t gotten the lawn mowed and the car washed…) and it’s time to start looking at a real press and tumbler. I still use dippers even with the press (the whole set cost something like $5 ? and it’s pretty darned accurate… I’ve tried and I’m not significiantly more accurate with a scale. Then again, I’m used to measuring bread flour in a cup and keeping the ‘packing’ constant…)

    BTW, with a press, ALWAYS get carbide dies. They are just so much better than anything else it’s just not worth it.

    Speaking of such matters, I did not realize until recently that the good old fashioned pellet gun has improved since my youth. Some of the new models will spit out a .22 pellet somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 feet per second.

    Look up the history of Lewis & Clark… They used an air gun as it meant they did not need to carry powder. With a mould, they could reform bullets recovered from things shot and reuse the lead. Essentially a ‘forever’ solution. IIRC it was a ’30 something’ calibre round ball.

    Oooh… This page as more than you could ever want to know about it:

    “Not as powerful as a regular .22 rifle, but very suitable for small game such as rabbits rodents, squirrels, street lights, etc. Quieter too.”

    There, I fixed it for you. Rabbits are for petting ;-)

    (While often thought of as a rodent, the rabbit is actually a lagomorph. Insted of the rodent “two on two” tooth set, they have “4 on 2” with a set of top teeth that go both front and back of the bottom teeth making a very effective shears. They are also cuddly and smart and like to have their ears stoked, gently and rythmically… and a bit of a rub around the base of the ears, back of the neck, once they get to know you… at which time they will indulge in ‘mutual grooming’ and start to gently lick you while you stroke them. That is when you have been accepted as a fellow rabbit, even if your ears are too short and you can’t see behind yourself properly…nobody is perfect…)

  48. Verity Jones says:


    :-) This thread is a good example of why this is great place to hang out. Interesting, ‘conversation’ even when it’s not really my thing (guns – would like to, perhaps someday).

    On spam – yes moving from commenter to blogger was quite an eyeopener. Spam is in proportion to traffic so I only get a few per day/week depending what I’ve posted.

  49. Pascvaks says:

    O/T For you consideration at a future date:

    Oxford and Cambridge Are Dying?

  50. E.M.Smith says:


    I suppose it can make for an odd amusing vision to picture a slightly pudgy middle aged and somewhat jovial semi-pascifist fellow standing in his bath robe in the yard, suddenly transformed … adopting the Crane Stance with Katana in one hand and Maglight held high in the other ;-)


    Fascinating article. It touches on one of my ‘hot bottons’… the notion that one can subsitute Left Brain analytics for Right Brain understanding. (It does not work). I went through this at several valley tech companies, including in the Advance Technology Group at Apple (largely an R&D think tank).

    We had to study ‘fish bone diagrams” and ferret out “root causes” and produce “performanc metrics” and all sorts of crap that did nothing to fix the bugs in vendors code nor install the new hardware correctly.

    I’ve a long story about being assigned to waste 2 days in one such class… with my whole team. The “bottom line” is that we had an ‘exercise” where we were to disassemble some kind of chinese wood puzzle, send the bits through a metal hoop and reassemble on the other side. Each group was to assign roles, design a method, do the deed, review resutls, make fish bones and excavate roots and then we would do it again to see who was fastests and which achieved the most gain…. My group looked at each other and I said “We’re going to go as fast as we can and folks do what they think is needed. I’m going to disassemble.” Everyone picked somthing to do and the starting gun was given. As might be expected, disassembly finishes before passing and assembly are done, so I adapted to assembly part way through. Everyone ‘adapted’. We were done in about 90 seconds. The next nearest group was about 3+ minutes. Some were up to 5+. “Teacher” was not ammused when we announce our “method”. But, with knowing look proceed to analysis and ’round two’ sure that we would be beaten.

    For round two I looked at the group and said “Everyone has some experience. Do what you think will work better this time.” One person swapped from ‘assembly’ to ‘passing’ at the start… another said ‘get me that center part earlier’. I did a ‘major split’ instead of ‘take parts off’ at the start and another person could work on the second major bit sooner. Nobody discussed it nor did fish bone diagrams. We were done in 56 seconds. Next group? About 2 minutes. We announced our improvements: “Everyone was told to use thier experience and do it better and faster”. Teacher was not ammused… and made her self happy by announcing that someone else had improved by more total minutes… which is easy when you start off at 5 times slower than the fastests guys…

    What that article describes is that same stuff, but with more layers of government cruft and manipulation. Remind me never to work in a UK University…

    This is a major issue in my life, as I’m an ambidexter with both halves of my brain functional. Sometimes the Right Side is just better at something that the Left Side. Yet all our organization and control systems are based on Left Brain analytical tools, not Right Brain understanding. And those tools are prone to a hideous kind of failure.

    IMHO, you see that same failure playing out in the Global Warming arena where an analytical tool (climate models and temperature series fabrication) are telling lies that are being believed by folks who can’t just go look out the window at record cold, rain, and snow and see a sun in shutdown and “put it together’ into a geshtalt.

    And Lord Help You if you try to get a Left Brain person to think anything other than Left Brain Linear Analytics has value… and don’t even think of trying to convince them that sometimes the Right Brain is more right…

    And that is why bean counters can count all the beans and assure you have made sufficient of them, but can’t tell which ones taste better, which ones are going to hold up in storage, which ones are going to rot in cold soil (nor that the blue pod ones will grow nicely in cold soil), nor that it’s a really bad idea to only have one variety in inventory.

    No, they will with great precision tell you to only stock one kind, and only plant green pod varieties as it has higher yields. Right up until the cold snap and you die, all the while eating less flavourfull mealy beans…

    And that is why we have floods without new dams in Australia (but with desalination plants in mothballs). It’s why we have hardware stores selling clothing and candy. It’s why we have agriculture headed ever more steadily toward a monoculture of a half dozen varieties of a very few species. It’s also why civilizations collapse (as ours is doing) as we can’t get a metric that properly says “Spending all your money is stupid” nor “Eating your seed corn is a bad idea” nor “Governments grow until they collapse as folks give up and stop producing”.

    Because while people have both a left brain and a right brain, our systems do not, and they are overwhelmingly brain dead left brain processes that have no insight.

    (Those last two paragraphs, BTW, are the Right Brain synthesis / insight translated into Left Brain linear words… “That’s what I do”… and it’s probably my only real ‘gift’. That the two sides talk to each other…)

  51. j ferguson says:

    Ah “fish-bones.” It’s so good to know that I wasn’t the only one subjected to this stuff – and from people who didn’t have to accomplish things every single day like I did.

    similar story, and forgive me the imprecision of the details, friend was taking upper level computer science course. The exam was to develop a routine to expose data to some function which the tester thought needed to be derived.

    Friend asked if it could run on an intel 386. “Yes”

    His code was three lines, one to call the function which was resident on the chip.

    He was flunked because he didn’t do it the “right”way.

    He protested to head of department who backed the instructor.

    Friend quit, went to Boston to do code architecture for company which would become significant in the CAD business and at least then had the wherewithal to live happily ever after.

  52. Mike Patrick says:

    E.M., Your mentioning right and left brain harmony reminded me of a quote from on of my favorite authors, Robert Heilein:

    “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

  53. E.M.Smith says:

    @j ferguson:

    I had a similar experience with a Sociology class at University. All the stated ‘system’ gave me a passing grade but the prof didn’t like how I’d done it ( I’d not been properly indoctrinated) so my final was regraded down a couple of grades. (You could see the erasure of the prior grade). When I pointed out that even with that, I passed, based on their published point system and my other accumulated points, I was told they were making an exception… An appeal to the “Academic Review board” gave “we are professors who support other professors even when they are clearly full of crap and it’s and injustice.” (Or: “Yes, you are right, but the instructor has discression in grading.” in brush off speak.)

    I repeated the class (it was a 500 person class so easy to hide. You could repeat up to 12 units with the prior grade being flushed, per student career.) from the same instructor (but a different “T.A.”) and went into complete “BS & Bafflegab” mode in my ‘Intellectual Journal’ spouting complete crap but all with heavy PC seasoning. “Age stratified social injustice” and “sexual dimorphic disequilibrium states” and who knows what else. (Tequila and Espresso can be a potent mix ;-)

    Got a B+ in the class, an A on the journal, and a load of “Original Thought!” and “Good Insight!” in the margin of essays.

    That was when I knew that “PC BS” was more important that “clear thought and analytical skill” in the field and never took another class anywhere near the subject…

    @Mike Patrick:

    One of my favorite quotes of all time. A foundation stone of how I have tried to live my life. Not sure my sonnets are up to snuff, and haven’t had to test the final item… but I like to think I’ve got a ‘check mark’ next to the rest of them.

  54. Jason Calley says:

    @ Mike Patrick Great quote, one of my favorites. I am pleased to say that I actually met Heinlein (briefly!) and his wife many years ago. I can honestly say that reading his books had more influence on me than either teachers or parents.

    @ E.M. Very interesting info on the Lewis and Clark airgun; thanks for the link! Got to figure out how to get something like that… By the way, did you see the page on using grease eating bacteria to clean guns? Brilliant!

    Like you I have noticed that many very bright people do not seem able — or willing — to make the jump from accumulating information to actual understanding. They can be very dangerous when they have authority over others!

  55. j ferguson says:

    After flunking out of a first rate university and working a year in a factory, I went to a third rate university to try to get my act together. This place required that we all take Health Education, taught by the phys ed department.

    We were given a written exam on the first day of class and told that the results would be used as the “before” assessment to be followed by another exam at the completion which would establish how much we had learned.

    I looked it over and thought I could do 100% so i did. At the end of the course, we were again given the exam, and I set out to get 0%. This wasn’t as easy as it sounds, given the witlessness of whoever had compiled the thing – but I think I was successful.

    It took another couple of months for them to work up the courage to call me in to find out why I’d done it. I told them I only wanted to see if they’d pick up that I’d done it and if they did, what would happen. They didn’t think it was funny. I also suggested that maybe they should have let me test out, but that wasn’t in their cards.

    This same place required sociology. An exam from those folks included “True/False? Sociology is a science equal in stature to chemistry and physics” I wrote “both?” on the exam and again got invited to a seance to find out why I hadn’t learned this item that they’d tried so hard to impart.

    I don’t doubt that they ask the same question in the climate science exams.

    I went back to the first place and finished.

    On writing nonsense. We had an architectural history course taught by a tenured guy who had lost it years before but was on the academic dole pending retirement. One of the books for the course dealt with Gothic architecture and was written by Nicholas Pevsner. I hope his heirs will forgive me the following slander.

    Professor never actually read the papers we were required to write which had been only suspected until confirmed by a classmate who included “three blind mice” in middle of a term paper, which went uncommented.

    I wrote my term paper off the top of my head in one night assisted by chemistry – dexadrine, i think it was. Paper included “neo-platonic aristotelianism.” (I could spell it then). I looked at it the next day and it sounded just like Pevsner, but it was total nonsense. Classmates agreed and we all wondered if Pevsner had written his book the same way i did. And maybe Pevsner’s stuff really was nonsense.

    And just like your effort, E.M., mine was highly regarded and marked “good to see some original thought here.”

  56. Jeff Alberts says:

    “The way to stop it is to raise the cost of spamming to be significantly non-zero…”

    Or to go after those who are writing the checks.

  57. ClearAirTurbulence says:

    Hi EM,
    A fascinating and most enjoyable thread to read over a cup of freshly ground strong coffee on a Saturday morning. Great to see a thread about blog ownership and more particularly guns that does not degenerate into rants and food fights.

    Most of my contact with guns was a long time ago in my teenage years as a member of the Air Training Corps (junior Royal Air Force) I had target shooting badges for .22 and .303 rifles ( a venerable Lee Enfield) and assorted handguns mostly .22 single shot match pistols and 9mm semi automatics. Never had the pleasure of using a revolver though.

    As a country boy living on a farm there was lots of rough shooting for vermin with a dinky 410 and slightly larger game with a 12 bore. Taught me to respect the guns in pretty much the same manner that using a chainsaw for woodland management and scrub clearance teaches you respect for the chainsaw.

    There is also nothing quite like seeing your first dead rabbit up close to teach you what guns can do to another living creature. It has a visceral impact that holes in a paper target do not. That empathy with the target (actions/consequences), if that is the right word to use is perhaps the most important part of learning how to use guns properly.

    The one time I came face to face with a fox was at a range of no more than five yards (what can I say, my stalking skills were quite good at the time). The very relaxed fox was lying down in the shade of a small copse of trees and shrubs in the corner of a field. The fox yawned, looked up at me, got up and slowly sauntered off. A quite magical moment and I am glad that I decided not to shoot it. If it had been edible it would have been dead.

    There is at least one hunter in Belarus who is probably wishing that he had not pulled the trigger when he saw the fox. Tricky little beggars foxes, very capable of defending themselves….when they get the chance!;_ylt=Anaio1QYos_5VVn.0OJI1nJzfNdF

    That is one hunter who will wish to remain forever anonymous. I would like to think that I would not rechamber a round and then leave the safety off when going to use the butt of my gun as a club. A valueable lesson learnt at someone elses expense.

  58. Tim Clark says:

    E.M. You’re doing a good job at eliminating garbage links.

    Testing 1 2 3

  59. Tim Clark says:

    Thanks for sharing, E.M. I had no idea.
    It’s hard to swing a long gun in a hallway. Shotguns with 00 shot cut down on the marksmanship requirements

    And are tactically handy when the barrel is cut to 2 inchs beyond the working machanisms (legal).

  60. Roger Sowell says:


    This is a great read. I also have some of the same experiences you related regarding comments and commenters. My blog, though, gets far less traffic and far fewer comments than yours.

    Like you, I do my own moderation for comments, and try to do the same type of classification of comments. It can be a drag, as they say.

    I do especially enjoy the posts on the science behind measuring climate. The march of the thermometers series was quite an eye-opener. I regularly refer others to those postings.

    All the best,

    Roger Sowell

  61. H.R. says:

    @Tim Clark

    “And are tactically handy when the barrel is cut to 2 inchs beyond the working machanisms (legal).”

    I did not know that. I guess I have some metalworking to do now.

  62. E.M.Smith says:


    Be careful how you interpret that statement. I think he’s talking about the ‘mechanism’ meaning ‘including the tube magazine on a pump gun”. The legal limits are, IIRC, an 18 inch barrel measured from the end of the chamber furthest from the breach and 26 inches overall (so you could have 18 inches of barrel, then 8 inches of chamber and mechanism).

    Randy Weaver had his family murdered by the Feds for cutting off a shotgun bbl a bit shorter than the legal limit (per the claim – though I think later it was found to be in fact legal length…)

    Personally, I’d just get a shotgun already made as a defensive weapon with a pistol grip and the short bbl from the factory. Much less grief that way and they are darned short. A stainless steel version is sold for use on boats…

    You can have under 18 inches if you pay a $200 tax and jump through a lot of registrations and are in the “right” state…

    Personally, I like the 20 Ga rifled 18.5 inch bbl as it’s going to spin and spread a shot load. Part number: RBL7595 a ways down this page. Further, before I’d chop a good bbl, I’d just buy a factory spec 18 incher…

    Yes, my “riot gun” has a very short rifled bbl on it. Alternating shot and slug loads let you hit “far” and “wide” alternately… and it has sights on it.

    See the second picture down here for about as short as you can get:

    Realize that a 12 Ga. shotgun inside the home is going to leave you increadibly deaf for a fair length of time. At night, the flash is likely to leave you blinded for a bit too. A pistol grip takes a lot of practice to master. Slugs or buckshot will go through a couple of walls into exacly who’s bedrooms?

    Thus, my preference for an edge as first contact choice…

    And if outside the home, then a standard stock is much more comforable and usable and a longer bbl is not an issue. So my ‘riot gun’ lives in a locked safe and will never be taken out unless, well, there is a riot OUTSIDE the home… and that’s substantially never going to happen.

    But it looks cool, and it’s fun to polish, and it’s really hard to hit clay pigeons with it ;-)

    Basically, every weapon has an ideal range, and for the shotgun that is about 20 feet on out to 200 feet. Very few folks have anything that is more than 20 feet away inside the home. And inside the home, the ‘shot column’ is not going to spread. You will hit about the same area as a .45 ACP slug or two from a handgun.

  63. j ferguson says:

    Having no shotgun experience – none – I can yet relay the advice circulating in part of the Miami community in the ’90s. Get a shotgun with tubular magazine which cocks by sliding the forearm was the advice. There was a particular model but I don’t remember what it was. You load it with double-ought as you’ve noted above, but you aren’t very likely to get the opportunity to see what it does. The recommended techniques is to chamber a round after you hear the miscreants on the other side of the door. The sound of so doing is well known in the criminal world and usually recognized on first hearing.

    Friend who had the opportunity and did as advised said the guys on the other side of the door yelled not to shoot and that they were leaving right now. And they did.

    Best part of this scheme, it works, even if like me you can’t see for the first five minutes after getting out of bed.

  64. j ferguson says:

    This story may be apocryphal. I was living in Miami when it happened. The most interesting details were not reported in the Herald, but are here included.

    Guy was getting a haircut. When he came out to get his car, it was gone.

    Soon he was standing near the street with several friends waiting for the police.

    His car drove by, he produced a gun and shot the driver dead.

    The police arrived and initial enquiries (as they say in England) were made. The shooter was forgiven without further machination ie. no manslaughter prosecution, no hearing, no nothing.

    The rationale that explained how this could be was that in an under-policed area such as that neighborhood certainly was, a citizen could take any action that was appropriate for an officer to take and that resisting assault by automobile was an excusable action. That the trajectory of the assault vehicle passed the shooter allowing the shot through the side window didn’t seem to affect this disposition.

    How he happened to be carrying in ’89 when this would still have been subject to all manner of paperwork was never explained.

    This very much sounds like urban legend, and maybe it is, but if it isn’t, it would be a good thing to look into in your locale if you think you might someday need to send someone to an earlier reward.

  65. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. “See the second picture down here for about as short as you can get:

    If you look down one more picture you see a Mossberg Mariner. I bought one years ago for use on my boat. Nice shotgun. I no longer have the boat, but I still have the shotgun. Right now it has the original synthetic stock on it, but if needed I can put on a nice stainless and synthetic folding stock with pistol grip for really close quarters.

    @ J. Ferguson “This story may be apocryphal. I was living in Miami when it happened.”

    Miami must be the place to be… I have never had to unholster a concealed weapon, but the closest I ever came was in Miami. Bad judgment on my part left me in a near-empty parking lot in Miami at 3:00 AM. A young thug charged at me across the lot in what seemed to me an imminent attack. I popped open my jacket and put my hand on my Ruger 9mm, at which point the young man stopped dead in his tracks. I think he must have had some form of air brakes in his shoes. One quick look and he turned around and made a hasty retreat. Situation resolved, no shooting, no beating and no police report.

  66. PhilJourdan says:

    j ferguson
    on 14 January 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I had to marvel at your ingenuity and wit! Sadly I have no stories to match yours or EM’s as my rebellion was more front door (I was not as quick witted), so usually met with stonewalling or at other times, a grudging acceptance of some minor point.

    Now, perhaps I can get my youngest son (the only one left in College) to try some of your tricks!

  67. j ferguson says:

    I suppose I can take the blame for the “Health quiz” but the Pevsner knock-off was done in an atmosphere of hysteria. Architecture schools have studios in which the entire class, say 5th year and 20 students, does its work. We were together from 1:00PM to about midnight almost every day, (local bar ’til 1:30 Saint Louis closing in those days) and things like the history term papers were somewhat collaborative.

    The best paper done for that term was written by Lanny Jakoff who invented the entire career and works of Filippo Ragazzini, an actual Renaissance architect of whom nothing is officially known. We were a bit looped and we made up everything including plans of his best works – especially how he was able to design a greek-cross church entirely through the use of ellipses.

    Sadly, all of his best efforts were destroyed in the abortive streetcar token riots of 1927, a long forgotten Roman insurrection.

    Lenny got an A for it, and I think the Prof actually did read it – the drawings, don’t you know.

    On the chance that anyone here has ever read Celine, we Irish have expanded his admonition “If you can’t be rich, then at least appear to be useful” to end with “, failing that, try to be funny.”

    I doubt that I could have survived my career in construction had I not thought a lot of the happenings really hilarious.


  68. @j ferguson
    “If you can’t be rich, then at least appear to be useful” to end with “, failing that, try to be funny.”
    Really a good advice: That would be the future of “retirees”: To ramain useful, funny or to starve… :-)
    We already live that in SA.

  69. j ferguson says:

    rich isn’t bad either although the problem is that if you didn’t fall into it, you have to decide fairly soon. Combination of reasonable net worth and happiness at a very low annual expenditure can’t be beat.

    i know our host is very thoughtful about “getting by with a very low profile and at minimal expense.”

    I do have to say that his commitment to operating a nationwide motor-pool does suggest a bit of confusion in this regard, but then he’s still quite young.

  70. j ferguson says:

    At a fairly late point in my extended education, i realized that it was much more efficient to do what was asked. It took about 25% of the time I had been spending actually trying to learn and understand the stuff. I have to read most things 3 times to really “get” it. Not everyone has this problem.

    Toward the end, my entire being was devoted to getting out before my hatred for the system overcame my willingness to keep my head down and do what I was supposed to be doing.

    I made it too.

    And this was a very good architecture school at a very good university. It was just that I had a bunch of interests that only occasionally overlapped the bunch that they wanted me to “learn.”

    I can tell you, though, that my daughter, now Dr. Ferguson, did the same sort of stuff during her tour at Antioch and then Cornell. I think some of the things she did were much more insidious – and funnier than anything I ever thought of.

    This was without coaching from me – entirely on her own.

    Be wary of leading your son astray.

  71. j ferguson says:

    I see a not to PhilJourdan has gone into moderation. could it be mentioning Cornell or Antioch?

  72. j ferguson says:


  73. Jerry says:

    @ E. M. Smith

    Seems all we had there is a minor and mutual ‘failure to communicate’ so we are smoothed out, made up, square, even steven, and cool. However, a beer summit, That Works For Me! :). We can, in most civil fashion, discuss the relative merits of the Cz and the Glock, agree to drool over the HK MK 23, and maybe even settle the question of which is best – the .270 or the 30’06. Lets not invite Obama, unless you just really need to talk to him about Liberal Fascism, or some such. I am in Lufkin, Texas – about 80 miles south of Tyler, 100 miles north of Houston. You probably know this already but I would advise against visiting your wife’s side of the family during the OU/Texas game:)

    Passing on a word to the wise: everyone involved in the Guns/self defense/reloading discussion – just use factory loads for self defense situations – prosecutors and especially personal injury lawyers just love to paint someone as a sadistic loon if they happened to load up some hollow points.

  74. E.M.Smith says:


    There is no way we can settle the .270 vs 30’06 question, but the .257 Roberts could probably settle it for ‘deer sized animals’ ;-)

    No, when the OU/ Texas game is on, it’s best to be in Florida or California… They take that stuff ‘right serious’…

    Per the reloads and S.D. – One of my favorits is ‘bird shot’ in a shotgun. Then you can say “But it was only bird shot” and they have to explain that at less than 20 feet it’s a 1 ounch packet of lead still in the cup… Similarly the “Glazer Safety Slug” dumps all its energy in about 9 inches (i.e. very effective) but you just have to love that name…

    But yeah, never put a hand load in for ‘standby’. Being pictured as an evil daemon crafting hand designed murder is, er, not good. And saying “I was doing it to be cheap” doesn’t help. Better to be able to say “It was what the guy at the sporting goods store said I ought to buy.” is much better.

    Oh, and a ‘truncated cone” is about the same as a hollow point for most uses and can be bought as a ‘target round’… “I only bought the ones for paper targets… that’s all I wanted to do.”…

    @J Ferguson:

    There is always an “attitude question” and that depends on the jurisdiction. Out in “my old home town” the local beat cop would just ‘make a judgment call’. Here in Silly Con Valley, it would likely have me talking to the DA and the outcome would depend on who was running for what office and how my headline might fit into the picture. A friend had a run-in with a sword. The result was that the sword went off to ‘evidence’ and he was asked if he ever wanted it back? He said “no” and that was the end of it. Part of my interest in swords… Guns? You are likely to spend a while in jail as they decide who did what to whom and why…

    In Florida some time ago? Well, folks Forget that Florida is “Southern”… They have more “local” and “immediate” justice in The South… BTW, an ‘assult’ need not be a successful one for you to defend against it. I could easily see “He was headed at me with the car, I jumped out of the way and shot” being a ‘free pass’. A car is counted as a “deadly weapon” and use of reciprocal force is OK. The assult is not over until the threat is neutralized and the guy was still driving as he “missed”…

    BTW, a 1979 paid for car sitting in a garage in Florida costs me exactly $100 a year in car insurance (as the 4th vehicle) and about $70 of registration. Far cheaper than even one rental one time. It takes a $400 ‘tune up’ about every second year or crossing of the country… Tires? I’ve got tires on it that I took off of the wife’s car about 5 years ago. They just don’t wear out… Saved more on hotel rooms than the cost of the gas coast to coast and didn’t have to deal with the airlines telling me what I could and could not take. (See above discussions of “lawn & garden equipment”…) and now I can fly in near naked to “my kit” whenever I want to…

    It’s a convenience and empowerment thing…

  75. j ferguson says:

    Having a car in every town is a bit like the Vanderbilts having a “cottage” at every “camp.”

    One of the wonderful excesses in the design-build boom of the late ’70s at our shop was a Cessna 421 and “beaters” in the towns we had projects in. A beater was an immense Oldsmobile or Pontiac from the late ’60s that the local airport FBO’s were paid to keep running. The boss thought this made more sense than renting cars – knowing that our choice would have been Mustangs or Camaros. He believed it better to maintain the proverbial “low profile.” My partner in crime, (I was Design Manager, he did the sales) for these industrial projects hated these things.

    Earl Schieb had a car painting operation in Fort Lauderdale and for about $80 would paint any car a simple color like bright orange. This might have looked ok on a VW, but it was exceptional on the Pontiac Bonneville that my partner had it put on. The car became the toast of the Boca airport. Everyone knew about it and finally the boss heard about it.
    We were shortly back in rental cars, mustangs.

    E.M. Does your buddy in Orlando read “Musings?”

  76. j ferguson says:

    i might add to Woody Allen’s famous “80% of Success is showing up” that the other 20% is paying attention.

    Thats why I have this stock of silly stories.

  77. E.M.Smith says:

    @J Ferguson:

    I’ve gotten him to look once or twice. But mostly, no. He has a job and is kept busy by many home demands as well.

    BTW, the “Florida Car” is affectionately nick-named “Banana Boat” as it is a station wagon (“boat”) and is very much a “Banana Yellow”…

    It didn’t cost me much at all to buy it, and at first I hated the color, but it kind of grows on you after a while and people tend to get out of the way ;-)

    But distinctive? Lets just say it’s Real Easy to spot in a parking lot…

    BTW, this is the second or third? Yeah, third.. time it has made the round trip to Florida. For the first two I was working on contract there doing I.T. Project Management.

    More than once I was doing the ‘Red Eye’ in to Orland and hitting the airport parking lot in the dark after a ‘weekend home’… and it was kind of nice to not have to struggle to figure out where the car was… and not have to deal with any counters or forms or anything.

    And it always “just runs”…

    I have trouble thinking of a Mercedes as a “beater”… more like a ‘well loved classic’ ;-)

    Come Mister Tally Man tally me bananas…

  78. j ferguson says:

    I envy you Banana Boat. the name and the car.

  79. Larry Geiger says:

    Zach was in shotgun merit badge class at summer camp. He had the highest score for the week. On the last day the shotgun instructor (an old grizzled military guy) let the guy with the highest score blow away something with a pistol grip shotgun. Sort of like in the movies, I suppose.

    So up steps Zach. He’s given full instructions. Hold it at waist level, just like this, etc. The instructor takes one small step back and says go. Zach, just like he was taught, raises the gun to near eye level, and as the instructor reaches out to lower the gun, pulls the trigger. Boooooom. Top two front teeth embedded in upper lip. Blood everywhere! What a mess. Zach survived but I don’t think that his mom let him keep the bloody T-shirt.

    My son is an architect. I have been trying to understand the concept of “poetics” in architecture. I am pretty sure that I still don’t get it. (I’m not sure he does either but he architects mobile launchers and launch pads and lightning towers and stuff :-) ).

  80. E.M.Smith says:

    @Larry Geiger:

    On one occasion I was teaching my Mom to shoot. Small .22 Cal Beretta in small female hand. We go through all the protocol several times, and I’ve demonstrated a couple. Now it’s her turn. I talk her through the ‘site picture’ as she is doing it. Tin Can at 20 paces in the sights… BANG! Can in the air.

    And she turns to me excitedly saying “I hit it, I hit it!!” all the time pointing this ‘belly gun’ at my belly with finger on trigger…. I, calmly, say to her “Look at the target.” She turns to look, taking the gun with her, as my hand closes over it, thumb between hammer and breech…

    Note To Self: One Shot Loaded At A Time Only! for Newbies.

    I don’t think you could pay me to be a firearms instructor… though I might do it with a flack jacket and helmet with lexan shield…

  81. PhilJourdan says:

    E.M. – LOL – Mothers – Got to love them!!

  82. Ed Moran says:

    Robert Heinlein wrote “An armed society is a polite society.”
    I can’t argue with that.
    I can’t argue with a lot written above.

    Thanks for the moderating insights.

  83. Sera says:

    Any thoughts on nickel vs brass casings for reloading? I’ve lurked through a few forums, and all that I’ve found is that the nickel can ‘chip’ and this can ruin steel dies (mine are carbide). The reason I ask is because the only SuperComp rimless casings I can find (in stock and less than 500) are made of (plated?) nickel.

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