Some time ago, an acquaintance of mine expressed to me that she always liked me because I "have a serious amount of ‘I don’t give a f*ck’", and actually go out of my way to say things – to be specific, I put in to words what other are unwilling to unable to express, for a variety of reasons, and direct those words to people largely unaccustomed to hearing them, for any number of reasons. Amusingly, and not at all unpredictably, that acquaintance’s appreciation for my willingness to go where few choose to tread all but vaporized when I expressed my thoughts about her then-current course of action. Oh well. I was right in the end, so there is that.
Anywise, I like to think that is one of the few reasons you all kept reading this site over the past few years – my willingness to speak the facts, as plainly as I can, regardless of whoever’s feelings might be hurt. Well, with my time weblogging coming to a close – there are fewer than 10 previously-written posts remaining to be published – it would probably be polite of me to offer up another source for your fix.
If you have not met her already (and, at this point, Lord knows how you have not), allow me to introduce you to Erin Palette:
I do not need your permission to be who I am, and I do not seek your approval. I am not a placid doe-eyed submissive. I will spit in your face and laugh at your tiny penis, even as you try to rape me of my rights. And maybe you will succeed, but by God you will know you’ve been in a fight, because I’ll have bitten off your ear and gouged out an eye and squeezed your testicles until they ruptured.
Because fuck you, that’s why.
You fear me. You are scared of me and you want to weaken me, marginalize me, diminish me. You want me unable to defend myself and utterly at the mercy of men, so you seek to rob me of the great equalizer.
Here’s the lovely thing about rights: They aren’t up for a vote. That’s why they’re rights.
Oh, do not worry, she is not always like this – in fact, the majority of her site is largely dedicated to the appreciation of cartoon horses – but when she needs to, she can break out stuff like the above… and like this:
Freedom won. Liberty won. The Constitution won. And you lost so thoroughly that I will quote the movie Serenity to you:
"You know, in certain older civilized cultures, when men failed as entirely as you have, they would throw themselves on their swords."
But even with that, it is not all politics and pointing-and-laughing, even when it comes to the firearms; she also writes reviews, good and bad, and if you are into tabletop RPGing, there are whole series of posts dedicated to exactly that.
On occasion, you will see the words malum prohibitum and malum in se crop up at this site, and, like so many other Latin phrases that continue to linger in our lexicon waiting for someone to feel the urge to sound educated, it may not be immediately obvious what they mean. I think this situation sums them up nicely.
In short, malum prohibitum simply means that something is bad because it is prohibited, or, to phrase it in a more topical context, it is bad because it is illegal. This can range from anything to having a shotgun barrel that is 17 inches long without paying a $200 tax stamp and subjecting yourself to a comprehensive background check, to, apparently, letting some balloons go at a beach.
On the other hand malum in se is something that is bad in and of itself. Murder, rape, assault, arson, carjacking, robbery, burglary, and countless other crimes all fall under this heading.
The problem is when the former starts outnumbering the latter, and, worse, carrying stiffer penalties:
30 years ago, you’d just assume that anything that wasn’t obviously contrary to morality was legal. That is, you’d have a built-in default setting of assuming liberty. And that assumption of liberty would then propel you to take actions.
But now, you have to assume that many things that aren’t contrary to morality are illegal anyway. And so you now have — quel coincidence! — a built-in default setting of assuming prohibition. And that assumption that many of the things you’d like to do are illegal and criminal thereby reduces your desire to take any action at all.
Can you name all of the crimes in your state that are felonies? Can you name all of the crimes in your state that are misdemeanors? Have you ever uttered the words, "Is that legal?" without actually being able to intuitively guess whether it is or not?
Welcome to the club. And the problem.
We literally live in a society wherein it is legally permissible to imprison someone up to a year for daring to possess a metal box with a spring in it that is larger than some pencil-pushing bureaucrat feels comfortable with (citation to the right, since CA’s online law system does not appear to allow direct linking). And lest you think firearms are the only realm wherein private citizens operate at their own risk, "stealing" pine straw can land you in jail for more than a year.
America may still be called the "Land of the Free", but if we continue to allow small-minded autocrats the power to ban things simply because they do not like them, we should likewise stop lying to ourselves about our freedoms. Me, I am having a hard time thinking of a malum prohibitum law I could bring myself to support in good faith.
The original pictures of my pinkie finger after its first unwrapping are still available here, and still carry the “squeamish” warning. These pictures are not nearly so bad, however, so I figure there is probably no harm in sharing.
This is what I saw after I got home from work yesterday after having my sutures out first thing in the morning; the finger spent all day chilling in a bandage:
And this is this evening, after spending all day in a bandage plus a thick smearing of Neosporin:
Dead skin is already sloughing off from around the incision, as you can see from the pink, new skin directly below the intersection point. That was a bit concerning when I noticed it in the shower last night – “Crap, is that reopening!?” – but everything seems in order.
Range of motion and strength both still suck, but, realistically, neither are any worse than it was before the surgery, so I guess you can figure the swelling I was experiencing was no better or worse than having three inch-long cuts made in it.
(And since I know it will come up, none of the cultures or tests except the day-of-surgery ones have come back, and those simply stated “no bacteria seen”. No idea if they have managed to grow anything yet.)
I have an increasingly irrational, or perhaps irrationally increasing, desire to make a short-barreled, in-line muzzle loader rifle. Why? Because it would be fun.
So far I have determined that building one off a T/C Contender, T/C Encore, H&R 1871, Rossi S50, and a few other frames/actions would be a Very Bad Idea in the eyes of the government (at least, as I understand it, and it is probably always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to the authoritarian halfwits at the BATFE), that the muzzle velocity will, of course, suffer, and that the smokescreen from setting it off would be somewhere on the order of "epic". Is there anything else I should consider / be aware of, given my knowledge of black powder is… limited.
Anything other than "this is plain bonkers", that is.
Oh, and the serious reason behind doing this? Muzzle loaders, aside from the specific models mentioned above, are not considered "firearms" by the BATFE, and, as such, are not regulated in any fashion – you can, literally, purchase them online and have them delivered straight to your door. Likewise, they are not, so far as I can tell, regulated by the National Firearms Act, which means slapping a short barrel on one – arguably useless though it may be on a black powder rifle – requires no exorbitant tax stamp. Plus, with the general cost and unavailability of ammunition these days, BP might be a cheap way to get some actual trigger time.
I suppose one can conclude that we pro-rights activists have not encountered a viable, concerning threat to our cause in some time, given the time we apparently have to waste on the kind of pissant, internecine bullshit Barron documents here. Lord knows we have nothing better to expend our effort on…
Talk about “not helpful to anyone”… except, maybe, those who are working to deprive us of our rights.
(And, yes, I know the grandstanding armchair-quarterback responsible for all of this idiocy does read this weblog, so, after a fashion, I am doing exactly that which I warned Barron about – specifically, feeding the troll – but I am allowed the occasional “cannot look away from a train-wreck” moment…)
And does anyone recall what the only redeeming factor of that Day of Infamy was? The fact that none of our carriers were in port. Unfortunately, we no longer have battleships, which means the only things underway when that picture was taken were "small boys".
In fairness, that picture was taken during a Christmas stand-down, one of those ships is currently being converted into razor blades (the USS Enterprise, unfortunately), the USS Eisenhower (also in the picture) left on its deployment in February, and some of those flat-tops in the distance are technically amphibious ships and not carriers (even though they are as large or lager than World War II carriers)… but, still, that is an awful lot of Navy hardware all conveniently parked in a nice little line.
Apparently the Federal Government is still operating under some marked delusions as to how the internet works and what they can or cannot actually control. Granted, this time it is the Department of State Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance, rather than the White House, but you would think they would at least share notes.
The files have already made it to Pirate Bay, where thousands of "seeders" are ensuring it propagates to the infinite corners of the internet, and while I was doing my part to propagate the spread of the Liberator itself, in light of this, I have decided to pull that file for now; still, if a single person downloaded it, my purpose for hosting it was fulfilled.
And that is the problem the State Department, and the White House, face – once you put something on the internet, it is functionally impossible to remove it. Teenagers discover this all the time, but apparently they have neglected to pass on the lesson to their parents who work for / are the feddies.
Unfortunately, our problem goes a bit deeper than the files being yanked from DefCAD, as Joe Huffman endeavors to explain. I cannot say as though I understand the full details (and given that professional lawyers do not either, I am not ashamed by that admission), but the short-and-sweet is that the International Traffic in Arms Regulations were written way before the internet became what we know today, and now it appears that an overly zealous State Department official could potentially prosecute someone for an ITAR violation if that someone puts up a video of how to employ a hasty sling and that video is viewed by a foreigner.
Let that sink in for a second. Go read Joe’s post if you do not believe me. The concept of requiring all FFLs, firearm trainers, and everyone else even vaguely related to the firearm industry (up to and including we mere webloggers?) pay $2000+ a year for the "privilege" of engaging in that business, even though there may not be any export transpiring at all, should be enough to send chills down your spine.
"Gun control" failed as legislation, but damned if it does not look like they are going to try to shoehorn it in through regulation. I wish I could say I was surprised.
I wish I could also say I will be surprised when the First Amendment loses its case in the name of "national security"….
(Also, it is worth noting that the Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance did not at all care about Fast and Furious exporting actual firearms to Mexico. Interesting.)
Consider every “poll” you see suspect until you can see the source data.
Yes, that is an unquestionably bold statement, but bear with me a moment. To begin with, only 9% of those people called actually comply with the pollsters. Nine percent. This problem compounds itself with the majority of the non-responders typically self-identifying as “Republican” or “Independent”, but the fact remains that those who respond to polls are those who want to take them, which creates a certain level of bias in the results.
To be certain, pollsters have gotten tremendously good at “compensating” for that bias, but once you start normalizing numbers, the bias of the person running – or paying for – the poll rears its ugly little head as well.
However, that was not the real reason I wanted to write this post; instead, there is this small detail that far too many people forget, or never actually knew: pollsters cannot robocall cell phones. Or, rather, they can, but it is illegal for them to do so.
As Pew Research explains, or, really, rationalizes, this legal block drastically increases the costs of polling cell phone owners, because numbers have to be dialed manually, the pollster company might have to reimburse the cell phone user for airtime (less so these days, though), not everyone who has a cell phone is old enough to be polled, people tend to check their caller IDs better on their cell phones, and various other reasons. In the end, the vast majority of pollsters simply do not bother.
How does this affect things? Well, take a look at this report from the CDC (*.pdf warning) regarding how many households tend to be cell-phone-only (i.e. do not have a landline at all) and how that skews the demographics. Do note that this survey was conducted in person, so it it is arguably more accurate than robocall surveys.
In short, 35.8% of households are “wireless-only” as of JUN12, with the overwhelming majority of 18-34 year-olds falling under that heading. Men were slightly (3%) more likely to be wireless-only than women, the Northeast is significantly less likely to be wireless-only, and Hispanics were more likely than non-Hispanics. In all cases, the trend has been steadily increasing since 2003 (when the total wireless-only households were around 3%), and if the current growth continues, it would not surprise me to see the majority of all American households being wireless-only by 2020.
Now, with the younger generations being markedly underrepresented, the Northeast being overrepresented, and various other hiccups and speedbumps along the way, how do you think that will affect the outcome of polls, and specifically polls relating to firearms? The ranks of young recreational shooters are growing every year, and getting more and more vociferous about their hobbies and rights, while the Northeast is notoriously a bastion of authoritarianism and anti-firearms sentiment – one need only look at NYC for a perfect example of both.
Sure, now that the specific error percentages are known, pollsters can account for it – to some extent – but will they, and how will they? The farther and farther you get from the source data, the less accurate information can become; it all depends on who or what is separating you from the originals.
Which brings us back to my original point – if someone is unwilling to share their source data with you, and then show you how they got from point A to point B, I would strongly advise against believing a word they have to say. They might be correct, for all we know, but that is rather the problem – we do not know, and unless someone can demonstrably prove their case to me through a logical chain of facts and reasoning, I simply cannot bring myself to care.
(And, as always, our individual rights – as observed and protected by the Constitution – are not subject to popular opinion or poll approval. Even if the Second Amendment itself were amended out of existence, I, as a living, breathing, thinking human being, would still retain the rights to self-defense and ownership of private property, and from those rights the right to own firearms logically extends.)
Any long-time participant in the ongoing debate surrounding "gun control" and the unjust abrogations of our basic, Constitutionally-protected human rights will be familiar with the phrase Reasoned Discourse, but for those newcomers to the field, allow me to give you a short-and-sweet summation of the idea.
In other words, and in general, those cries for a "discussion" invariably resulted in "Reasoned Discourse" – a situation where only if you agree with those who support "gun control" are you allowed to speak your piece, which is hardly a "discussion" at all. If you want to read more about this particular behavior trend, feel free to dig through my archives.
To be fair, those of us who actively defend our rights – myself included – can be rather confrontational and brusque at times, but answer me this simple question: would you or would you not be "confrontational" with someone who wanted to have a discussion about enslaving you? Freedom from slavery and freedom to defend yourself are both basic human rights and Constitutionally-protected to boot; if a bit of an aggressively protective attitude is acceptable, if not encouraged, for one, why not the other?
Now, you will note that in the above paragraphs, I have been adding qualifiers like "in general", and "on average", and so forth. Why is that? Because I recently stumbled across this tweet linking back to this article at the Ruminator. Giving the article a quick skim at the time, I fired off a response tweet indicating that America is, in fact, not a democracy, was specifically designed not to be, and the rest of the article only goes downhill from there. This prompted a surprisingly reasonable conversation between myself and the man behind the twitter account (who, for clarification, is not the man behind the article; that site appears to have quite a few authors), and an invitation to write a guest post rebutting theirs.
At the time I declined, and they invited me to write a comment addressing the post, which I did… and the predictable happened. I got long-winded, the comment got verbose, and it ended up being a guest post anywise.
Take a moment and let that percolate a bit. I am certainly not going to say that the staff at The Ruminator are universally for "gun control" (though given it is a New Zealand-based site and most of the authors hail from there, Australia, or once-Great Britain, it is probably not incorrect to assume some/most of them do support it), much less rabidly so, but rather than nuke the comment from orbit – as other weblogs espousing "gun control" have done in the past – they went and made it a guest post.
Huh. It is almost like they actually want an actual discussion. How bizarre.
And speaking of, given that the author of the original post as well as one of their seemingly-regular commenters have continued that discussion (albeit misconstruing one of my main points), feel free to head on over and offer up your own two cents (though be advised that their system automatically moderates comments if they have too many links, just like mine does; this is not Reasoned Discourse, just good weblog management). However, I would request that you maintain whatever level of decorum you can and try to dial back the attitude a touch, as I did; these are not folks wishing for a missile strike on the NRA Annual Meetings, so please do not treat them like they are.
Given the relative price / non-existence of pistol-caliber ammunition these days (up to and including, shockingly enough, .22LR), the rational behind these awesome little toys is somewhat more… lacking, but, still, want:
Converts 12 gauge single or double barrel (break action) shotgun to use 9mm Luger
Rifled for accuracey
Typically shoot’s a 1 inch or less group at 30 ft.
Length of adapter is same length of a typical 12 gauge shell allowing to fit in ammo cases easily
Fits any brake action shotgun that can shoot a 2-3/4 or 3 inch shell.
CNC Machined for precision!
Made in Miles City, Montana USA !!!
Made from Alloy steel!
Three inches long with Rifling
Makes your 12 gauge more versatile for cheap!!!!!
The gentleman behind the ShortLane Chamber Adapters sells them in a variety of lengths (3″, 5″, and 8″), in rifled and smoothbore configurations (the latter being cheaper but less accurate), for basically all the standard shotgun sizes (10, 12, 16, and 20 gauges, along with .410) and even some of the whackier revolver calibers (.500 S&W and .480 Ruger), and capable of chambering pretty much anything from .22LR all the way up to 20 gauge, depending on the overall configuration. They are designed specifically for break-action shotguns – side-by-sides, over/unders, or single-shots – but I suspect, and the reviews seem to indicate, that the 3″ adapters can be used in any pump-action shotgun capable of chambering 3″ shells.
Obviously you are “wasting” at least 10″ of your barrel even with the 8″ insert, but I have to wonder what the shotgun barrel extending past the insert barrel would do in terms of the report… It is certainly no suppressor, but something will change*. And, in any case, you are greatly increasing the flexibility of your shotgun.
Which is what the folks at The Firearm Blog, where I found these little gadgets, were driving towards – making a “survival” shotgun a reality. A lot of folks automatically jump to “shotgun” as their default answer for zombies / bugging out / apocalypse / etc. scenarios, and there is a lot to be said for that particular platform… as well as one glaring problem: ammunition. Shotgun shells are large and heavy, and you yourself are not going to be able to carry too many (in addition to everything else you might be carrying). However, enabling your shotgun to shoot pistol-caliber ammunition while still having buckshot or slugs for more serious applications? That rapidly increases your potential round count while not significantly increasing – or possibly even decreasing, depending on the masses involved – the weight you are carrying.
And while I do not want to take business away from the originator of this shiny idea, I have to wonder if something similar could not be fabricated on a 3D printer… Obviously rifling would be impossible, and the lifespan of a plastic insert would be significantly limited, but if we are talking about “bug out” applications, it may not need to last long. And, of course, testing with a 3D printer and a backyard range makes my little footnote below still quite illegal, but a lot less easily noticed…
Now all I need is a break-action shotgun… I have been eyeing the Stoeger Double Defense series for a while now (Come on now, did you expect anything else from me? I just wish they made a Quadruple Defense, because that would be epic.) but now Mossberg has introduced the HS12, their own variation on that theme (though the latter benefits from not having a safety that automatically engages every time you reload the firearm – why do o/u shotguns have that bit of idiocy built into them?). Hey, at least double-barrel shotguns are something you can actually reliably find these days, though, of course, those two models are sold out almost everywhere…
Yes, I do have a taste for the peculiar. Why do you ask?
(* – On the flip side, I have to wonder how hard it would be to machine an insert like that and add 4-6″ of suppressor-like baffles at the muzzle end of it… Obviously such a thing would be strictly verboten without the appropriate licenses and tax stamps, but for someone with a lathe and a bench-press drill, it would not be that hard to make… or modify an existing insert to have.)
While you are at it, you may also want to download the DefCAD Mega Pack, but I am not going to rehost it here; the file is just about half a GB of 3D file goodness.
Be advised: I am not a lawyer and my legal advice is worth exactly what you paid for it; however, 3D printing a device that can discharge a cartridge of ammunition will likely result in you creating an Any Other Weapon (specifically on account of the barrel probably not being rifled) and thus in violation of the National Firearms Act (punishments of up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 to $250,000 in fines are possible). I am not sure if adding rifling would necessarily change this.
First, take a look at the right end of the table – those three large drum magazines and folding stocks? This quote from the news article confirms my fears:
The return count was nearly evenly split between pistols and rifles, and among the weapons turned in were three "street sweepers" — shotguns that include a high capacity magazine capable of holding twelve 12-gauge shotgun shells — and a military surface-to-air missile launcher.
The Cobray Street Sweeper is the American-made version of the Armsel Striker; both are drum-fed 12-gauge shotguns, both are semi-automatic, both are no longer made/imported, and both are regulated Destructive Devices and thus controlled by the National Firearms Act.
The last price I saw for a nearly-mint-condition Street Sweeper was somewhere in the $1300 range, in addition to the $200 tax stamp and 6-9 month wait for the BATFE to decide you can own the firearm.
Yes, ~$4000 of gun hardware just got "sold back" to the Seattle Police Department for a measly $300 in gift cards. Good Lord.
Unfortunately, the problem goes deeper than that, though. As I said, these firearms are no longer made, and I have every reason to believe that SPD will be destroying the firearms they "bought back", which will take another three Strikers/Sweepers out of an increasingly small national inventory. In other words, history is literally being destroyed by fetishistic morons.
Then, consider the insanity of selling a ~$1300 firearm for $100 in gift cards. Either the SPD just took advantage of someone who genuinely had no idea what they had in their possession (a despicable act in and of itself), or they just aided and abetted a criminal disposing of evidence, "no questions asked". Last I checked, a violation of the NFA (such as owning a Street Sweeper without the appropriate tax stamp and paperwork to go with it) is punishable by up to ten years in prison and possibly $10,000 to $250,000 in fines… but I can guarandamntee you the Seattle Police Department did not ask for the ownership/transfer documents when they took these guns.
What a wonderful way for criminals to dispose of inconvenient evidence and get away scott-free.
But even the Street Sweepers are just the tip of the iceberg – consider KOMO News losing their collective gos-se over the "military surface-to-air missile launcher". I will admit to not being as "up" on my MANPADS as I possibly should be, but I will grant the possibility that that launcher could be for a FIM-92 Stinger system; at the very least, it is some sort of shoulder-fired missile/rocket launcher.
No, you heard me right: so what? Without the actual rocket/missile that goes in that launcher – a missile that is 100% impossible for private citizens to procure through legal channels – it is nothing more than a rather expensive fiberglass or metal tube with some interesting electronics and probably very dead batteries hanging off of it. The worst someone can do with that thing is beat someone to death with it, and I dare say there are better tools for that particular job.
But, now, the Seattle Police Department can hold up this harmless tube on their news broadcasts, and proudly proclaim that they took this missile launcher of the streets of their fair city, thereby ensuring the safety of all travelers at SEATAC and beyond. In other words, they are going to further mislead the residents of the Pacific Northwet.
Now look at the rest of the "junk on the bunk" picture – in front, we have a folding-stock 10/22, a Tapco-ized SKS, something I want to say is another SKS but I have no idea, an AK-pattern rifle, a Sten gun (!), the evil noob toob, another SKS, some kind of bolt-action rifle, and an AR-15 A1. Assuming they are all in working condition, every last one of those is worth more than $100, with the A1 potentially pulling $2,000+ (depending on make and date of manufacture) and the Sten gun (if it is a real Sten gun) being somewhere in the $7,000 range (but still $500-$1000 if it is only a semi-auto knock-off). Did the people "turning in" these guns have a bloody clue of their actual value? Probably not. Instead, they were probably mislead by "gun control" fetishists, the media, and even the Seattle Police Department itself into thinking their particular hand-me-down, garage shelf find, or leftover from their dead spouse was, in some way, "evil", and it was their duty to "get rid of it".
I am firmly of the opinion that people should be free to do with their property what they will, but when they genuinely have no idea what they have, a public servant exploiting that ignorance and giving them $100 for a $7000 item is just disgusting.
Which brings us to yet another aspect of this disaster – with just those materials displayed on or leaning against the table, and assuming I identified them properly, the Seattle Police Department could make somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000 – $20,000. But they are not going to. No, they are going to drag these firearms – some of them literally irreplaceable pieces of history – to a smelter and destroy them. Why? Because the police department "wants them off the street".
Jesus wept. If you want them off the gorramed street, give them to me – I will not only keep them off any and all streets, I will at least recognize them for what they are, rather than demonizing them as "evil" deodands to be destroyed due to the misuse or negligence of their owners.
Even beyond that, though, if I had somehow destroyed $20,000 of the United States Navy’s property when I was active duty, I would still be cooling my heels in Leavenworth even to today. These public servants, however, get special dispensation because they idiotically claim this is helping "public safety" or whatever the going lie is these days.
Hell with that.
Think of how many original 1911s from World War 2 were brought back, shoved in a sock drawer somewhere, and then summarily destroyed when Granny found it after Pops died and wanted nothing to do with it. Think of the untold millions of dollars of machined aluminum, steel, iron, and whatever else that has been unnecessarily crushed, sliced, slagged, or otherwise completely and totally destroyed. Think of the irreplaceable pieces of history that belong in the ownership of someone who will actually look after them, but are instead reduced to waste metal (thankfully, that particular one was saved).
Yes, as an engineer, an American citizen, and a human being, I am pissed off at the very concept gun "buy backs", much less their execution. Why are you not?
(Oh, and just because it pisses me off, those magazines attached to the Street Sweepers are not "high-capacity" – those are the only magazines ever made for that firearm, which means they are strictly normal-capacity, a small detail the fearmongering morons at KOMO conveniently omitted.)
(This blood pressure spike brought to you by way of Joe Huffman.)
Katelyn Francis is all of 13 years old, and I have absolutely no hesitation whatsoever in admitting that she shot that stage far better than I could ever hope to at the moment.
Of course, that short video also neatly undermines a massive number of arguments put forward by your average anti-rights cultist – "assault weapons have no sporting purpose", "assault rifles have no sporting purpose", "children cannot be trusted with firearms", "high-capacity magazines have no sporting purpose", "no one needs an assault weapon unless they are going to kill people", "no one needs high-capacity magazines unless they are going to kill people", "all gun owners/shooters are old, white males", and so on, so forth. Unfortunately, as I say that, I assume we are dealing with rational people who can comprehend a reasonable counterpoint to their unreasonable claims and thus admit defeat; all evidence shows no aspect of that assumption to be true.
On a somewhat related note, this is perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the artificially inflated ammunition market, at least for me: I kept meaning to get into shooting sports like the 3-Gun competition Katelyn was participating in, and now there is absolutely no way I can rationalize throwing that much money downrange. Hell, I have not even been to the range since Christmas vacation, and I do not anticipate going back any time soon… When sending 100 rounds of remanufactured practice ammunition – just enough to get the shooter and barrel warmed up, in my opinion – downrange costs almost $30, how can you realistically spend half a day at the range with anything more than a .22?
This is why I am wholly behind the NRA’s notion to start .22 and airsoft variants of 3-Gun; any kind of trigger time, even if it is simulated trigger time, is better than nothing at all, and maybe it will help transition folks from one community, or no community, into the competitive shooting world.
So the surgery was not too bad. I remember being wheeled into the OR, then nothing until someone was calling my name. A few minutes after waking up, I was coherent, able to stand on my own & hold conversations, and felt pretty awesome (as I described it, like I had two glasses of wine).
Then we got to the hotel room and I took two Lortabs.
The next eight hours were spent wrapped around a toilet to the point where we had to call Oleg Volk and ask for recommendations for ERs in the Nashville area if I kept barfing, out of concerns over excessive dehydration (sorry about that random call, Oleg).
Thankfully, my stomach appears to have finally forcibly ejected the offending substance, and I’ve been able to eat and drink successfully today, so we are going to mark that off the list of drugs I should take and move on. I think next up is Tramadol.
The funny thing is my finger really does not hurt that much, which is kind of concerning on its own.
Anywise, it appears I can type faster on my phone than hunting-and-pecking on the keyboard, so maybe I will write something in addition to the scheduled posts. Probably not. And I promise I will get to your comments, but maybe not until Monday when that massive wrapping can come off. Good times.
One of the few commercials that stuck with me after the Super Bowl was this one by SodaStream, if only because it tweaked my WTF meter:
Apparently they had an even more in-your-face ad prepared that CBS did not allow them to run (you might need to click through to see it):
I have to give them credit for throwing down that gauntlet hard. But, as an engineer, an interesting concept and ballsy advertising scheme will only get you so far with me; does it actually make sense to go this route? Well, let us take a look at how much it all costs.
So, with all of those various prices for all of the various equipment necessary to run this little doohicky logged, what do 2L sodas actually cost me? If I am lucky, my local Kroger runs name-brand Mountain Dew for $0.89 a 2L, and if I am not lucky, their generic brand Mountain-Dew-knock-off is always that price (I do so love not living in Kalifornistan any more), so we will use that as our baseline for cost comparisons.
One carbonator will make 66 (we are fudging a little) 2L bottles worth of soda, which, in turn, will require 11 flavor packets, with the total cost being $239.37 for the Amazon route, $104.88 for the local store / SodaStream online store route. 66 2L bottles of name-brand, on-sale Mountain Dew will cost me $58.74.
Whoops. And that does not even count the initial cost of the Fountain device. That said, a standard bottle of 2L soda would only have to cost you $1.60 (not hard in Kalifornistan with its inflated prices and asinine CRV) for you to come out (slightly) ahead.
So how about something different? Monster energy drinks run about $2 for 16 ounce cans, regular price. There are about 68 ounces in a 2L bottle, so 4.25 cans, which means a 2L bottle of Monster would cost about $8.50. Wow. The Red Bull-equivalent flavor pack for SodaStream costs $6.99 for 12 liters, so running the numbers using SodaStream’s site’s prices gives us $126.88 for 66 2L bottles, or $0.45 a 16 ounce can. Well that is a hell of a difference. Unfortunately, I do not drink that much Monster.
Then there is the craziness that is cane sugar soda – around $2 gets you a 12 ounce bottle, so $11.33 for a 2L. Cane sugar cola for the SodaStream runs $9.99 for 6L (an important distinction), so 66 2L bottles will cost $269.77, or $0.72 a 12-ounce bottle. Why, that is almost rational. Not really.
The upshot of all this is that unless you live somewhere where 2L sodas are obscenely expensive, or you are a health nut who only drinks "natural" sodas, or you consume way too many energy drinks than are good for you, or you are way too hung up on the whole "green" thing and want to seriously diminish your empty bottle output, SodaStreams just do not make financial sense. Which is kind of a shame – the concept of building your own soda flavor profile does have a certain degree of appeal. Obviously your prices can improve if you can figure out how to hook up a restaurant CO2 bottle to the device (just remember you are dealing with pressurized gases which can asphyxiate you), and if you take advantage of the CO2 cartridge exchange service (not sure how much that saves you), but just the flavor packets alone almost cost as much as the 2L sodas would, for me (I understand the flavor packets can likewise be replaced with DIY options, but then the math gets really fuzzy).
See? We do not do just firearms here…
(Note: I do not own a SodaStream gadget nor did the company contact me in any way to write the article. I was simply going to do the math regardless and thought I would share.)
But I say that with the residual novacain and sedative still coursing through my veins.
Anyways, I had a post that was supposed to go up this morning letting you know I was headed into surgery, but apparently the scheduling failed. Here is the aftermath:
The upshot of all that is that my pulley is actually still intact, just “thin”, I had a lot of swelling and fluid on the dorsal side of the proximal interphalangeal joint (both of which were removed), and the doctor was able to get whatever tissue samples he needed for his cultures. Unfortunately, those cultures take about six weeks to process, and we cannot treat anything until we know what it is.
For now, I have lortab, that massive wrap on my hand (which cannot get wet, apparently, and which has to stay there for a week), and the promise of a really interesting scar.