Aug 30, 2011

M&P9 - me too!

When I took my new shooter out last week, she tried the M&P9 - and as I was showing her the manual of arms, I noted that the white dot in the front sight was missing.

Good thing I have the TFOs to put in there.

Aug 26, 2011

Range trip, new-ish shooter

I reconnected with an old acquaintance earlier this week. We've known each other online going back to 2004 or 2005 thanks to LiveJournal, lived within 45 minutes the vast majority of that time, but had only first met (briefly) in 2008. Go figure. She dropped off the planet shortly thereafter, then last week we discovered we had several friends and acquaintances in common.

We went out for dinner and a drink Tuesday night, traded some EMS/fire war stories (amidst odd glances from adjacent tables - something about gales of laughter following stories that began with, "So there we were, no shit..." and usually included gore of some kind.) At some point she mentioned needing to shoot a pig head for some research she's doing (forensic anthropology), and we made quick plans to go to the range Wednesday.

Wednesday fell through for various reasons, so we went yesterday instead.

Fortunately, we had the range to ourself, as she started by partially degloving the pig head in order to document the existing wound (from slaughter).

I checked zero on a couple rifles, she chose to use the MkII .22, and we set the pig up at 50 yards. After she sent a few magazines downrange, we shot the pig. One shot, fifty yards, 36gr .22HP (Federal bulk pack, 1260fps?), and she nailed it.

For those that say .22 has no power, check out these two frames from the video (click to embiggen).
A few frames prior to impact:

The moment of impact:

Once that was done, we had some fun with other hardware...


Model 67:

I didn't grab pictures of anything else, but suffice to say she got to try several new pieces.

Some will complain about the stance... all I can say is this: listen to your shooter. My friend has had some problems with (and surgeries to correct) her back. A standard Weaver or isosceles stance hurts her back to hold. She tried this stance (I call it a bullseye stance, although that's probably not the right term) and found that it was the most comfortable. I'm well aware that it's not a solid defensive shooting position, but as we all know, new shooters should be comfortable first and foremost.

(Yes, we started with the .22s.)

All in all, a very good day.

Aug 22, 2011

State Farm Fail

This marks the second time State Farm has really screwed the pooch for us.

When we bought our house and got our homeowner's policy through them, they issued the policy, we closed, life was good. We got a letter two weeks after closing that they were terminating the policy. No reason, just terminating. Phone calls ensued.

They had visited the property, looked everything over, taken pictures, written the policy, and THEN decided that the un-sided garage was an unacceptable risk. We had thirty days to finish the garage. A couple thousand dollars and several full days of labor later, the garage was sided and the policy was reinstated.

Fast forward to last week. I got a call from my agent saying they needed a photo inspection of MrsZ's car for their file. Their hours are 9-4:45 on weekdays. I work two jobs and MrsZ works days. In other words, we're not going to make it down there on two days notice. I told the agent as much.

I got a letter on Saturday, dated the day prior to the phone call, stating that my collision coverage was suspended effective Saturday. Me, roof, through.

I called them this morning and as politely as possible said WTF?

Lady I spoke to said it had been sorted out and they'd received the paperwork they needed from the dealer. I told her to send (fax) me written proof of coverage. She called back and said they actually DID need a picture of the car. I told her it was parked at home. She wanted me to bring it down to the office.

Back the fuck up, lady.

YOU sent me a letter saying YOU SUSPENDED collision coverage on the vehicle. Now you're telling me to drive it down there? She says, "well, yes, it would be covered to do that..." I told her to give that to me in writing. She wouldn't. I asked who would cover it if I got in an accident on the way down to their office, since they had given me written notice that the vehicle wasn't covered? Silence.

It's parked in front of our house. Help yourself.

Now they want additional information that I can't give them immediately (odometer and a photo of the VIN plate). It'll be at least tomorrow before the vehicle is insured.

She tried to tell me it was the dealer's fault for not sending them a copy of the bill of sale. Not buying that, lady. She told me they had sent me a letter last summer requesting the information. We received no such letter. She faxed me a copy of the letter. Fine, you have a letter dated last year with my name on top - but that doesn't change the fact that I never received it.

In short: State Farm fucked up, they didn't properly audit their files - for a YEAR - and are trying to blame someone - anyone - else.

I've already started getting new insurance quotes. Completely unacceptable.

Fuck State Farm and Lee Newhart Insurance.

Aug 21, 2011

Bye-Bye NetFlix

After NetFlix's announcement earlier this summer that they'd be hiking pricing significantly (a 60% increase for the same level of service) I said I would be cancelling. The new price structure takes effect in ten days.

I just cancelled my service.

As is normal for subscription cancellations, there was a brief questionnaire asking why I was leaving.

Oddly enough, there was no choice for, "Y'all fucked up and wanted to charge too much."

I went with "Poor customer service experience" - it seemed the most accurate choice.

Aug 16, 2011

Politics, done right

This went through Team Discussion on ArfCom earlier today. Original writer lists location as "Missouri". I haven't gone digging too hard for confirmation yet, but I'd love to find it.

Our Chief of Police of many years retired about four months ago. Instead of promoting a local guy, who most of the community really wanted to be the new Chief, the city council in a lame duck bout of stupidity (Those in favor of not promoting the local guy have since all been voted out of office) decided to hire a recently retired State Highway Trooper. He spent 99% of his career working in and around St. Louis and rubbed a lot of locals the wrong way almost immediately with some of his new BS policies.

Today in a special council meeting where the new Chief asked for an ordinance, punishable by fine and CONFISCATION, against OC and visibly displayed weapons (no rifles or shotguns in the window rack of a pickup anymore) he was fired. I guess he no more got through making his presentation for all the new ordinances he wanted than the Mayor, and several of the council, including our lone council woman, produced hand guns and laid them on the table in front of them. From what I heard a motion to terminate his employment was made within seconds, seconded, voted on and, POOF, the Chief was the ex-Chief. The vote was 6 to 0, with the Mayor not voting since there was no tie, in favor of immediate termination. The City Attorney accepted his immediate resignation on the spot and had a letter of resignation ready for him to sign!

The guy had to call his wife to come get him since they took his City property, including his badge and the keys to his City car, from him right then and there. From what I've heard he was not at all prepared for this kind of reaction. During his little presentation he said some of them might not happy with what he saw as necessary steps to control "unacceptable behavior" in our town. Apparently there weren't!

Serving at the will of the people...

ETA: I'll reiterate that I have *no* confirmation of this. And the city council going group-Cletus with their heaters kind of twitches the smell test... but I'm keeping an eye on the thread to see if something new shows up. Lots of people have asked for verification from an independent source.

Aug 15, 2011

Huge news

If you have a Dragon Leatherworks holster, you're a lucky one. If you've got one ordered, you're still in luck. If you were planning to order one, you're going to be waiting a bit.

No, they aren't closing up shop - at least not permanently.

This is wonderful news for him, and I am jealous in ways that are hard to describe. It's not in the cards for me just yet, but someday...

The family and I (wife and kids) are moving out of New York State. Its too expensive here...taxes are onerous, and the only places where the cost of a home approaches something that could be construed as reasonably affordable are so far from the population centers that pay on the highest scales, that you need to live 70+ miles away, and commute to the better paying jobs.

Which I have done for the past 13 years...each day is an 80 mile commute ONE WAY (yes, you read that right...its a daily round trip of 160+ miles each and every day) just to get a paycheck. The costs of gasoline alone tops $600 a month. Add in the state income taxes paid to NY (for the *cough* privilege *cough*) to live here, and the state income tax paid to NJ for the *cough* privilege *cough* to be allowed to work in *that* state, and my monthly outlay in terms of net dollars topped $1000 a month. And thats not even considering the costs of tolls, monthly maintenance on the vehicle, insurance costs, etc...

Congratulations, Dragon! (Keep the beer cold for me, will ya?)

Aug 13, 2011


Linoge mentions the CDC and FBI being at odds about a few things - particularly flashlights.

Look, flashlights are a tool. A damn useful one. Human eyes are actually pretty good at low-light vision, but your imagination is NOT always the worst thing in the woods. Having a decent light makes all kinds of things a lot easier.

I've always liked flashlights. They multiply like rabbits. Little ones run by a button cell. Big multi-D-cell nightsticks. Cheap $3 hardware store specials. $90 do-it-all-but-the-coffee models.

The cheap ones get tossed everywhere - closets, drawers, toolboxes, gloveboxes, etc. The good ones I tend to be a bit more particular with. That said, I'm always on the lookout for something different. I happened to see these at work the other day.

Floating (and therefore waterproof). Includes a battery. 65-hour runtime. $5 - and therefore darn-near disposable, since a replacement battery is almost $4. Bright enough to be useful, long enough runtime to let the kids play with it. Beam quality isn't superb, but it's fine for general use.

Thumbs up.

Aug 12, 2011

Photos - Pull For Patriots

I mentioned that I'd shot a course of sporting clays two weeks ago. Since it was a benefit event, they did take some pictures, and these were passed along. I look like I have half a clue what I'm doing! (Tip o' the hat to Yellowfin for taking the pictures!)




Definitely on my "do it again" list.

Prepper Challenge

Challenge, kids:

You have $200 in disposable income to spend any way you like on preparedness items. Any items. Presume you already have a basic amount of food, ammo, firearms, etc.

What do you get, and why?

London Calling...

... for help.

Tam brings the enriched snark:

An article I read this morning (headlined "Britain's Cameron gets tough with rioters") says that "'nothing is off the table' — including water cannons, commonly used in Northern Ireland but never deployed in mainland Britain, and rubber bullets."

That's "nothing off the table"? Nothing?
Well, yes, when it looks like this:

This is "nothing off the table":

An M-16 A2 with 20 rounds of 55gr ball. (Image via Wikipedia.)

This is nothing off the table. (To Google search results.)

Water cannons and rubber bullets? When you're done with that, how about a real hard spanking and bed with no supper - that will show those nasty kids!

Aug 11, 2011

LaserLyte, again

I wrote a few posts earlier about my issues with the LaserLyte RSL. The new-in-box M&P9 had it pre-installed, and it had issues. LaserLyte promptly replaced that under warranty with no trouble.

At the range, it started walking out of the dovetail. I re-centered it and tightened the set screw as far as I dared, and it's held so far. Unfortunately, it's started other issues:
- it changes modes with each shot (off/steady/pulse/off/steady/pulse/etc)
- the switch no longer works consistently
- the battery cover has tried to work itself out

Clearly, this product, while neat, is NOT ready for the primetime. I very much need to get about finding a 'smith and having the TruGlo TFO's installed. Then I have to decide what to do with the LaserLyte product...

Aug 10, 2011

Blogshoot '11

A day late and a dollar short on the blogshoot roundup; suffice it to say that much fun was had, much noise was made, and I can't say thank-you enough to Jay for organizing, DoubleTrouble and MrsDT for hosting, Les for carpooling, and ALL the attendees for sharing their hardware.

I spent my time shooting and socializing (emphasis on socializing), and trying to inflict the 870 SuperMag on as many people as possible. (Running rough numbers through a recoil calculator puts those turkey loads around 70ft-lb of recoil energy. This is right in the same ballpark as a .470/.500 NitroExpress or .50BMG.) I think the standard response to the 870 was "holy crap" and/or "OW!" There is a reason I don't hunt with those loads anymore...

This year I got the chance to fire Wally's 57mm rifle (converted to .30-06), a belt-fed FA .22, OldNFO's SCAR-17 and tuned 1911s ... I don't even remember what else! There was so much pretty hardware to look at and play with...

The UN made an appearance, and didn't last long:

And I made sure to hit the trifecta:

(Please note, the "A" was after the "F", for safety's sake.)

Aug 3, 2011


Grandpa passed away yesterday; I intend to be generally disconnected for a few days. I'll still be checking emails, so if you need me, send one. The family is still pretty much in shock as this was relatively unexpected; the best thing that can be said for the situation is that he is back together with Grandma at last.

Bubblehead Les - yes, we're still on.

Aug 1, 2011

Monday Thought Provocation

Perc this one over as you work on the first cuppa:

Freedom: nothing or everything left to lose?