Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Day Off In January

I don't know what other people yesterday, but I went to the range. There were only three of us, my gun buddy Dan, his son, and I. So we spread out and got comfortable. Set up targets on stands at 7 yards, used the backer boards at 25, 50, and 100 yards for others. Shot standing, prone, from the bench, rifles, pistols, revolvers, all sorts of various calibers.

My favorite gun of the day was an old Palma rifle, built on a 1903-A3 receiver. This one is chambered in 30.06. I don't know who did the work, but I know the long time owner. He shot it in long range competitions out to a thousand yards with handloaded ammo. His dope for the load he used is still on the yellow tape on the side of the rifle.

These rifles were modified in the 1950s and 1960s when long range shooting was not yet F-Class and military surplus rifles were so common that they were stacked in barrels in gun shops. Now there are beautiful, very expensive, purpose built F-class rifles and calibers like 6mm-BR that are so accurate that a backsheet behind the target is moved for each shot. That makes rifles like mine into relics, neither fish nor fowl. No longer accurate enough to compete in F-Class and so modified from the original rifle to be of no interest to collectors, they exist in a limbo of almost being unusual enough to be collectable. Just the right rifle for a duffer to take out and enjoy making tiny groups on a cold January day.

Infinite loop

n.  See "Loop, infinite"

MIT Wizz Kid: his "Smart" gun design is "relatively reliable"

Buried deep in a glowing review of MIT freshman Kai Kloepfer's "Smart gun" startup, the reporter unexpectedly stumbles onto why this has for decades been a technology in search of a buyer:
“Good intentions don’t necessarily make good inventions,” said Stephen Sanetti, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. They’re the main trade group for companies that make and sell guns.

Sanetti expressed concern about the reliability of any firearm that depends on battery power.

“The firearm has to work. And a firearm is not the same as a cell phone,” Sanetti said. “The consequences of a cell phone not working are inconvenience. The consequences of a firearm not working could be someone’s life.” 
Kloepfer said his gun is “relatively reliable.” 
“I know, like, when I’m using it, when I’m testing it, it functions almost every single time,” Kloepfer said.

But not every time, as we saw firsthand when Kloepfer’s prototype -- a modified Glock .22 – failed. 
Other than the minor detail of the gun not working, this solution is awesome.

The only thing new about this is that CBS News is reporting both sides of the debate.  But Mr. Kloepfer scored a sweet $50,000 to dust this idiocy off.

Monday, January 16, 2017

I hope that the Brady Campaign doesn't find out about this

They'll want background checks for sure.

Probably has the shoulder thing that goes up in there, too ...

(Seen on the Book of Faces by the Queen Of The World)

Don't want to get hacked?

Don't use "123456" as a password:
The security industry's ongoing efforts to educate users about strong passwords appears to be for naught, with a new study finding the most popular passwords last year were 123456 and 123456789. 
Keeper Security wonks perused breached data dumps for the most popular passwords when they made the despondent discovery. 
Some 1.7 million accounts used the password "123456", or 17 per cent of the 10 million hacked accounts the firm studied.
Dad used to say that the reason that history repeats itself is that nobody listens the first time.

You want a good password that's hard to crack and easy to remember?  Use a "passphrase" where you take the first letter of each word in an easy to remember sentence.  For example, if you take the first character of each word in "123456 is a lousy password and will get you PWNED!" you get a password of "1ialpawgyP!" which is pretty dang strong.  It's also pretty easy to remember.

Me, I haven't used a password in over 15 years.  Instead, I use this technique and I recommend it to anyone who thinks that "123456" is a bad password.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

John Bull - music for the Elizabethan Court

John Bull was an English musical genius, sometimes compared to Bach for his contrapuntal virtuosity.  While he never composed music for Good Queen Bess' coronation (crowned this day 457 years ago), he was one of the most famous musicians of his day and in fact Court Organist.  It seems that he was sent by the Queen on spying missions to the Continent.

He was also a lot of trouble.  He lost his job because he had a child out of wedlock and finally had to flee England, charged with adultery by no less than the Archbishop of Canterbury and pursued by King James' men.  He spent his final decade uncharacteristically quiet in Antwerp where he died in 1628.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Old Dominion - Song for Another Time

Image via Rolling Stone
What is "real Country music"?  That's a question that is evergreen, and like sports rivalries will get the debate going hotter than a hoochie coochie.  Long time readers here will know that I tend to fall on the traditional to middle of the road side of things: Waylon, Travis Tritt, Today Keith.

But sometimes I wander into the brambles of the current over-produced Nashville pop.  A while back I posted a mashup of 5 top Country hits which showed that they're really the same song.  You can just see Pistolero rolling his eyes now.

But every now and then I run across one that I like.  I like this one a lot.  Old Dominion got their start writing songs for other artists (The Band Perry and Chris Young, for example).  They started touring with bigger names singing their songs.  When they were opening for Kenny Chesney, they had the idea for a breakup song where they lyrics told the story with a bunch of song titles.  The way they take these titles and knit the together to paint a picture is something that I think is very clever; add in a catchy upbeat rock tune and you have what really can only be described as the best of the modern Nashville.  It's just plain fun.

Even if it hit #1 on the Billboard Country chart.

And as a note to Pistolero - there's a Hank Sr and a Willie song in here, so shake not thy gory locks at me ...

Song For Another Time (Songwriters: Brad Tursi, Matt Jenkins, Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen)
Right now we both know
We're Marina Del Ray
Planes gonna fly away
And you'll be on it
And by this time tomorrow
I'll be singing yesterday
The sunshine's gonna fade
And we can't stop it
So before we turn in
I can't make you love me
Let's be brown eyed girl sweet Caroline
Free fall small town Saturday night
Before you lose that loving feeling
Let's go dancing on the ceiling
Keep on living that teenage dream
Paradise city where the grass is green
Pretty soon I'll be so lonesome I could cry
But that's a song for another time
Just for one more day what do you say
Baby be my pretty woman
'Cause we know Sunday morning's coming down
Let's take a drive you and I down some old country road
Talk about growing old in one of those pink houses
Yeah we might be a candle in the wind
But let's pretend we're
Brown eyed girl sweet Caroline
Free fall small town Saturday night
Before you lose that loving feeling
Let's go dancing on the ceiling
Keep on living that teenage dream,
Paradise city where the grass is green
Pretty soon you will be always on my mind
But that's a song for another time
So before we're singing I will always love you
Let's sing
Brown eyed girl sweet Caroline
Free fall small town Saturday night
Before you lose that loving feeling
Let's go dancing on the ceiling
Keep on living that teenage dream,
Paradise city where the grass is green
Pretty soon I'll be so lonesome I could cry
But that's a song for another time
Yeah, that's a song for another time (brown eyed girl sweet Caroline)
Yeah, that's a song for another time (free fall small town Saturday night)
Yeah, that's a song for another time

Wednesday, January 11, 2017



Seen on Facebook by the Queen Of The World.

Beware of Amazon's Alexa

Alexa is a device that listens for voice commands and can tell you the weather, order you pizza, and other Jetsonsesque living in the future things.  But it looks like the system is either too perfect or not perfect enough:
Which is exactly what happened today during CW6 in the morning when Jim Patton and Lynda Martin were talking about a child who accidentally bought a dollhouse and four pounds of cookies 
“I love the little girl, saying ‘Alexa ordered me a dollhouse,’” said Patton. 
As soon as Patton said that, viewers all over San Diego started complaining their echo devices had tried to order doll houses.
I can see spammers using malware executing .WAV files to have Alexa order stuff.  If you want to take a walk on the bleeding edge of technology with Alexa, forewarned is forearmed.