Sledgehammer's Cycles

Sledgehammer's Cycles
Sledgehammer's Performance and Custom Cycles

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


There's a reason the old command is "Fire!"

Barrel Length and Powder Burn Rate

We've talked about it. Here's an example.

Click to biggify. H/T to Miguel at

So what has Obamacare done for employment?

350,000 jobs lost:
Businesses are cutting jobs due to ObamaCare, according to surveys by several regional Federal Reserve Banks.

Health economist John Goodman noted that "three Federal Reserve Banks in Philadelphia, New York and Atlanta have surveyed the folks in their area and roughly one fifth of the employers are saying they cut back on employment.

“Roughly one fifth are saying they're moving from full time to part time,” Goodman added. “More than one in ten are saying they're doing more outsourcing - all this because of the new health care reform."

Doug Holtz-Eakin, former Director of the Congressional Budget Office, said “for the smaller employers -- those that have between 20 and 49 employees -- you get a negative impact on jobs, you get a negative impact on wages in those jobs. What this means for small business as a whole is over $22 billion of earnings gone for their workers and 350,000 jobs."
Man, nobody could have seen that coming.  All the proof that you need that the GOP is the Stupid Party is that you don't have campaign ads 24/7 on this, featuring people who have been put out of work.  #GOPTooStupid2Live.

Outstanding overview of Global Warming for the layman

If you want to get a second opinion, then this is a very good starting point that will make you more knowledgeable than 95% of the people you will run across.  My opinion is that this is the most important thing you will see there:

The yellow band is the model predictions relied upon by the IPCC.  The black line is the observed temperatures as recorded by the RSS Satellite system.  Note that the observed temperatures have been outside the 5% - 95% confidence interval since the early 2000s.  At the same time, we see this:

Atmospheric carbon dioxide has been rising monatomically each year.  These two are what you whip out when some idiot sneers at you that everyone knows the Greenhouse Effect is settled science.  Personally, I find that sort of arrogance to be more than a little annoying.  A sweet reply of "Well then why do the satellite sensors report there's not been any warming for almost 20 years?  After all, the Greenhouse Effect is settled science."  The results of that are usually pretty gratifying, but then I'm a horrible denier-type person.

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 16: Cyclone

More specifically, the 1959 Cadillac Cyclone.

Yup - Harley Earl was here.  390 cubic inches of big block goodness and a bubble top.  It had an anti-crash radar system (really!) hidden in these cones.

From back when Detroit dreamed outsized dreams.  This month we're dreaming outsized dreams about beating prostate cancer.  There are two weeks left in the fundraiser.  Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Monday, September 15, 2014

So where's the pot of gold?

I was told that there was would be a pot of gold.

I believe that I shall send a strongly worded letter to the appropriate authorities.

Comcast says that if you use anonymity services that you're a criminal

Well OK, then:
Reports have surfaced (Via /r/darknetmarkets and another one submitted to us) that Comcast agents have contacted customers using Tor and instructed them to stop using the browser or risk termination of service. A Comcast agent named Jeremy allegedly called Tor an “illegal service.” The Comcast agent told its customer that such activity is against usage policies.

The Comcast agent then repeatedly asked the customer to tell him what sites he was accessing on the Tor browser. The customer refused to answer.

The next day the customer called Comcast and spoke to another agent named Kelly who reiterated that Comcast does not want its customers using Tor. The Comcast agent then allegedly told the customer:
Users who try to use anonymity, or cover themselves up on the internet, are usually doing things that aren’t so-to-speak legal.
Are there any ISPs that aren't miserable Quisling bastards?

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 15: Nice shape!

This is so sweet I could feel myself getting a cavity just looking at it.

That's a 1935 Bugatti Type 575 Competition, designed by Jean Bugatti (son of founder Ettore.  One of these was recently discovered and sold at auction for 3.4 Million euros.  I guess collecting these is like collecting Picassos or Rembrants.

There are two weeks left in the fundraiser.  Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

This is what winning looks like

#1 Son and I shared some Newcastle Brown Ale.  The bottle cap made me laugh.


So I've been off the grid, and my posting shows it.  I've been in training for a trip to Panama City Beach at the end of the month for the motorcycle rally.  I've done nearly 300 miles this weekend, which is good practice for the 350 or so miles to PCB.

Ouch.  I'm looking at an Ibuprofin cocktail ...

So heads up - anyone want to meet up in PCB at the rally?  It's between October 1 and 5.  Leave a comment if you think it could be a good time.  And how cool would this be, painted on the bike or a helmet (or a patch for a jacket)?

After a little self-pitying moaning, I'll get back to the regular blogging schedule.

Barrel Length and .45ACP

Tam has started posting again. Here's a range report on .45ACP and the effect of different barrel lengths on bullet velocity.

It's good to see the posts, but she has turned off comments. Even though I understand the reasons, it takes something away from a blog to not have the interaction that comments create.

You can load .45ACP specifically with a longer barrel in mind and see some increase in velocity, although it is not going to be that great. The case size is also a limit on how much pressure you can develop as the powder begins to burn.

The volume in a larger case, like a rifle cartridge, allows the pressure generated to have some place to begin it's expansion before the bullet has moved. Once the bullet is moving, the ongoing burn continues to generate pressure behind the bullet so that it continues to accelerate. In handgun cases, that volume isn't there. Trying to generate an ongoing pressure behind the bullet to take advantage of a longer barrel results in a dangerously high pressure in the early moments when the volume is limited.

This is what limits carbines in .45ACP to lower velocities even though they may have barrels of 16 or 18 inches. In some cases, the bullet velocity peaks in the barrel and begins to slow down before it exits, the powder having been consumed and no additional pressure being created. Here's a link to ballistic tables for various commercial .45ACP loads in barrels from 18" down to 2". It's the same sort of testing Tam was doing, taken to 11.

Ballistics by the Inch is a great resource on the effects of barrel length on handgun ammo and I am adding it to the sidebar.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

She Told Me To Get Out of the House

What a Saturday! She was having a group of friends over for lunch and a meeting. She told me to be gone and stay gone. Well, okay then.

I packed up early and went to the range. Took lunch with me. Shot some of mine, shot some other things. Had a lot of fun with some .22s that a friend had brought out. One of the most interesting and fun things I got to shoot was a Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22.

Built from the design phase as a .22, it's not an AR-15, but it looks, feels, and has controls like one. Shoots and cycles with standard .22 ammo. Plenty accurate and a good way to get rid of all the .22 ammo in your stockpile. I had seen them in the shops and at the shows. This was the first time I had gotten to shoot one.

I don't foresee getting one, but anytime one is available, I'll bring my own ammo.

Life, Death, and Barkley

I finished reading The Book of Barkley last night. It begins with a puppy. and it ends, as it must, with loss.  It is shot through with fine writing, wisdom, and love.

You can get a autographed copy by being one of the first 20 people to donate $50.00 to Kilted to Show My Bird Legs Kick Cancer. Be sure to select Team Borepatch.

Or just buy a copy.

The author is one of the best writers blogging today and if you are not taking the time to read her on-line efforts, you're missing something valuable. Her nom de plume is Brigid and she posts at Home on the Range. You should go now. She has cookies.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 12: Back To The Future!

I missed yesterday's kilt picture with all the family drama.  But those of you who know me know that I'm nothing if not obstinate, and so it's back to the future!

That's a 1970 Lancia Stratos HF Zero, the only one of the cars that I'm been posting where I actually have a price tag.  This one was purchased in 2011 by the Petersen Automotive Museum for a cool €761.600 (around $850,000).  Yowzer.  The keen eyed among you will remember this car from Michael Jackson's 1988 film, Moonwalker.

But the car pr0n (and the kilt, err, pix) are just the surface trappings.  The fundraiser is the thing, and Justin at Kilted To Kick Cancer says that all y'all have donated over $3,500 so far (across all the teams)!  And there are still two and a half weeks to go.  It would be great if this year blew previous years away.

Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

What does winning mean?

Great comments yesterday on my post, and on ASM826's post about conflict in the Middle East.  It's made me think long and hard on what it takes to actually win a conflict.

We did it in World War II, where we demolished the mythos of the Übermensch and the similar mythos of the Samurai.  We did this by destroying their will to fight, to support the fight, and to want to do it again.

The questions for the Middle East are:
  1. Who fights?
  2. Who supports these people?
  3. Who wants to keep doing it?
If we look at it this way, things get more complicated, and simpler.  The answers are:
  1. Lots and lots of people.  ISIS is only the latest of a long like of jihadis.  We can treat them as the Übermenschen or followers of Bushido.  In the short term, all we can do is kill them in bushel loads.
  2. Lots and lots of people, most importantly the royal houses of the Gulf States.  Not only do the royals not like us, but they have been keen to play the game of shipping their malcontent jihadis off to die fighting us, not at home.  It's no accident that 18 of the 20 9/11 hijackers were Saudi.  We will need to cause these people massive pain to get them to stop supporting the jihadis.
  3. Lots of people.  Large overlap with #2, but also includes Iran, most of Europe's Intelligentsia, Russia, China, and most of the geopolitical stage.  We will need to carefully analyze which of these we can peel off, and how to twist the arms of the others.
I posit that #1 is immediate and tactical, and actually air strikes may not be a bad approach - although we will need serious air power, not the pin pricks likely from the current Administration.

#2 is the most urgent strategic goal.  The approach we should take here is a list of demands for the Royal Houses - round up and kill these jihadis, throttle back on Wahabi exports, dry up the flow of money.  The "Or Else" is that we will (a) open public lands for oil fracking, aiming to drive the price of oil down to $70/bbl (lower than that it's not economic to extract the oil) and (b) withdraw entirely from the region.  No more protection from the US Military for the Royal Houses.

Whether this will work or not, there will be a lot of late night discussions in Riyadh and Qatar.  And in Moscow and elsewhere.

Europe likes to natter on about how we exercise "hard power" while they exercise "soft power".  Well OK, then.  Check out this soft power, biatches.

This game is about changing how people think, just like 1944-45 was about changing how people think.  We will never change that without changing how we think.  Whether the US Government is up to the task is a question for another day.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Problem of Non-State Enemy Combatants

Several comments to my post suggesting we should declared war back in '01 after the September 11th attacks questioned my assertion. I think this sums it up pretty well, "On whom were we going to declare war? How would we know when we've won/lost/tied? Who would sign the peace treaty for the other side?"

I would reply that we committed our troops, our nation's military resources, and our money without a declaration of war or an answer to any of those questions. Instead of putting the question to Congress, and following our written Constitution, Pr. Bush committed us to an undeclared war, with no defined goals, no defined enemy, and no idea of what victory would consist of.

We spent the lives and health of some very fine men and women. We spent money we didn't have. We wore out our military and our equipment. And we accomplished almost nothing. If we could not find answers to those questions, then we should not have gone at all. If we, as a nation, could not decide to defend ourselves through our Constitutional process, we should have buried our dead, marked it up as acceptable losses, and moved on.

That declaration of war would have put the questions you are asking front and center, kept Congress in it's proper role, and allowed the citizens of the States to hold their Congress members to account for the decisions they made, the votes they cast, and the rationale they offered for those votes.

Instead, we got nation building. Mission creep. Thirteen years of undeclared war with no end in sight. We still have troops in battle, we are still taking losses, we are still spending money we don't have, and now we are getting ready to do some more.

And for all of that, I totally agree with your questions. Even today I want to know, "How will we know when we've won/lost/tied? Who is going to sign the peace treaty for the other side?"

A Public Service Announcement

Any other family members who think I'm an a$$hole, please take a number.  The line forms outside.  You can take the door in the back.

Don't let it hit you in the butt on your way out.

This Public Service Announcement has been brought to you by the Ad Council in association with Foxtrot Oscar, Ltd.  We now return you to your regular scheduling.

If you used a debit card at Home Depot, change your PIN

Banks see spike in ATM Fraud after Home Depot compromise:
Nearly a week after this blog first reported signs that Home Depot was battling a major security incident, the company has acknowledged that it suffered a credit and debit card breach involving its U.S. and Canadian stores dating back to April 2014. Home Depot was quick to assure customers and banks that no debit card PIN data was compromised in the break-in. Nevertheless, multiple financial institutions contacted by this publication are reporting a steep increase over the past few days in fraudulent ATM withdrawals on customer accounts.

The card data for sale in the underground that was stolen from Home Depot shoppers allows thieves to create counterfeit copies of debit and credit cards that can be used to purchase merchandise in big box stores. But if the crooks who buy stolen debit cards also are able to change the PIN on those accounts, the fabricated debit cards can then be used to withdraw cash from ATMs.
If you've used your debit card at a Home Depot in the last few months, change your PIN.  Better safe than sorry.

Thirteen Years

Thirteen years after the attack on Pearl Harbor it was December 1954. The risk of an attack by assets of Germany or Japan in December 1954 could reasonably be called low.

We are thirteen years past the attacks on the United States that occurred on September 11th, 2001. Would anyone be surprised if the United States was attacked again today? Tomorrow?

George Bush's biggest mistake was not going to Congress on September 12, 2001 and asking for a declaration of war.

Does Politics stop at the water's edge?

Congress is making huffing and puffing noises about military action against ISIS:

The president who ran to end the Iraq war announced a broad, aggressive military campaign in the region to stop a new terrorist threat on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

In a primetime address to the nation Wednesday night, President Obama forcefully laid out plans to dramatically expand U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq well beyond their original missions and to extend the aggressive military action into Syria — all in a “relentless” effort to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

“Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, [the Islamic State] through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy,” he said in an address from the White House's State Room.
When Democrats say this, they mean airstrikes and only airstrikes.  These are photogenic, providing great pictures for the nightly news, but won't be effective.  They never are, without boots on the ground.  And here's the dilemma: since the Democrats haven't supported boots on the ground since LBJ, we can expect a lot of explosive futility from this.

Politics stops at the water's edge hasn't been true for nearly half a century:

The Democratic Party's base is strongly anti-war, having shed pretty much all the Scoop Jackson Democrats and anyone who isn't ideologically pure.  It hasn't been an America focused big tent since, well, since Jimmy Carter drove the party into a ditch.  It's nothing but coercive identity politics now.

And so pardon me if I hesitate in supporting sending our Guys into harm's way under these circumstances.  If I thought that the Administration had a plan other than a flashy media campaign to get this out of the polls, I'd feel different, perhaps.

But I don't trust President Obama on this.  He didn't show any of the "care" he talked about here.  He didn't do any of it.

I don't trust Secretary of State Kerry, who has always been clear what he thinks about the military (and no, this isn't the I voted for it before I voted against it quote).

I don't trust former Secretary of State Clinton, who doesn't support the military any more than Kerry does.

This isn't the rank and file, this is the top leadership.  None of them are interested in doing what it would take.  All of them have been happy to not let politics end at the water's edge.

And so I find that on the anniversary of 9/11, no - I don't support more military action over there.  I don't see how we can ask some kid to be the last guy to die to Barack Obama's poll numbers.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Not Over It

I was working in a university multimedia department in September 2001. We had access to the video feeds from the satellite dishes on the roof of our building. Just before 9 AM, we heard that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. We turned on a monitor. I was standing there watching it when the second plane hit and the world changed.

We routed a couple of the satellite feeds to display on monitors, and starting watching whatever was been sent along with several of the network channels. The news kept coming, the Pentagon, then Flight 93, and we watched people die. Managers in the national news rooms made the decision not to air what was coming off the satellites. The news crews in New York were sending it, but it was just too much to put on the air.

Because people were jumping. Right up until the building collapsed, people  trapped above the fire made the only remaining decision in their power and chose not to burn.

Vera Lynn - White Cliffs of Dover

Accompanied by some Rolls Royce Merlin engines.

Yes, I'm a sentimental old fool.


The doctor called, and my PSA is (still) elevated.  Getting referred to a specialist.  Gentlemen, this is why you get screened.

Or get kilted to kick cancer.  Or donate.  Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Christine Lee Hanson

Today I hold Christine Lee Hanson in my memory. She is the youngest person to die as a result of the terrorist attacks of 9-11-01.

She was flying to Disney World with her parents on United 175. Her father was on the phone with her grandfather, holding her in his arms as the plane impacted the World Trade Center.

She was 3.

The years go by and the world moves on. Christine would be 16 now. Her parents should be worrying about her dating and driving in cars with boys. Her grandparents should be visiting at the holidays and wondering if they will still be around when she gets married.

There's a Federal Law Enforcement Training Center was dedicated to Christine in Glynco, Georgia. Christine's grandparents were there for the dedication three years ago.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
 --Laurence Binyon
UPDATE {Borepatch] 10 Sep 2014 0838: I posted about the children of 9/11 in the very early days of this blog.