Seventy One Years Ago

In case you don’t immediately understand I will let someone who has a much better way with words than myself explain it.

And then you see her on the port quarter, what little there is to see of her above the water from an acute angle: The number 3 barbette of the USS Arizona, the watery graveyard of 1100 men and a mute testament both to perfidy and unpreparedness. Sixty-odd years after she went down, little rainbow pools of oil still bubble to the surface from within trapped spaces and voids, footless passageways embracing the mouldering bones of sailors whose names are known but to God. The old salts say that these are her tears of rage and anguish, her tears of loss and bereavement. They say that she is weeping. They say that she is weeping still.

Go read the whole thing, it’s definitely worth the time.

Orwell Was Right on the Money…

So flying back last week I had to fly back commercial.  I flew out of Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) Terminal B, while waiting for boarding my coworkers and I grabbed lunch.  While eating one of them said, “TMM, look up to your right.”  I looked up and I sat there in astonishment and damn near devolved into a full verbal rant on the spot.  For you see, what did my wondering eyes see?  This pile of propaganda.


(fine print: In Madrid, smarter surveillance helped cut response times by 25%.)

And there was more than just that, around the entire terminal were these ads all relating to the same big brother type mentality.  What I find most ironic though was the company who the ads were for:


That’s right folks, the company responsible for that propaganda campaign was none other than IBM.  Why did I find it ironic that it was from IBM, well from their historical role with Germany during World War II.

That first picture though and it’s blatant propaganda is almost down right unbelievable.  Then I remembered that I was standing in an airport with A Security Theater at the front and everyone believes that they are actually accomplishing something.  Never mind that anyone with half a brain who can actually red team the issue knows that A Security Theater ultimately doesn’t really do anything to stop terrorism in the end.  It just makes us all live as slaves.

Nothing says free like being left to cower in front of someone who wants you dead and hoping that someone will show up and save you. I have a better idea, sling lead at over 800 fps and give the criminal a reason to choose a different profession.

The Canary is OK

I got an email last night from someone inquiring about the canary in the coal mine.  It seems he’s having hosting issues.  I figured I’d at least drop a note that the canary is alive, well, and is not currently sitting in jail.

What this means for you, it’s business as usual and the internet sucks!  Well at least Joe’s hosting does anyway.

*Irony is my website went down as I first attempted to post this.

Sometimes You’re Lucky

So I got a new toy over the weekend.  This one is specifically going to be geared for competition.



That is a shiny new XDm 5.25 in .40 S&W.   The reason it is bi-tone and in 40 is quite simple, “Because Race Gun”.

Now I have the title of this the way I do for a very good reason.  Especially for other USPSA shooters who may get a new toy.  I got to the range and showed it to a couple other shooters while still in the case before setup began.  In other words I showed it as pictured above.  Neither I nor the CRO I was talking to really thought anything about it at the time.  It was in it’s case, no one was actually handling it, all should be well.

Evidently not.  I got an email from the other RO after he was thinking about it last night and got a forwarded message from an NROI instructor on the topic.

The key is “was the trigger available”?  The answer for most cases is “yes” therefore DQ unless done at a safety table.

Currently I’m a bit lost because there is no rule in the rule book that would cover this that I can see.  The closest is 10.5.1 and 5.2.1, except the gun never left the case, it was just opened.  However according to NROI instructor if the trigger is visible you’re off to Dairy Queen.  I’m going to send an email off to get clarification on this one.  That said, be advised and be safe.  If you have an XDm and you leave it in the stock case to take to a match, don’t open it except at the safety table.  It could bite you.

Quote of the Day – Anonymous (11/29/2012)

Reverse Reactive Power is a quantity defined by the IEEE and we know it is real and exists because the lights are on.

Anonymous – Discussion during a meeting

[We spent more time arguing about this subject than should have been allowed, the instigator just wouldn’t let it go.  He couldn’t understand the subject at hand and felt that the usage of the words were wrong.  Never mind every last power engineer in the room was saying it was perfectly descriptive of exactly what was required for the specification.

For an idea of how bad it was, I was waiting for the meeting to get physical as the instigator became very aggressive about his issue and ignoring the responses because he didn’t understand it.  The person running the meeting was becoming notably upset at the unnecessary delay to moving forward and the fact he was ignoring the responses.

The person couldn’t grasp the concept of directionality coupled with reactive power.  To him it was imaginary it didn’t exist, current either leads or lags.  He couldn’t understand that while it was imaginary in a mathematical sense, it was real, and it results in things such as heat and other issues.  What really got him though was the idea that power has a direction.

Finally one person restated, yes I said restated, that the IEEE has defined this term explicitly and finally justified his point at the end by noting that the fact lights over our heads were working and so obviously Reverse Reactive Power does exist.

It was about this time I was doing everything I could to suppress laughter.

There are days I both love and hate this job.  I will say I’m saving that quote and will paraphrase it when I find a situation like this again.

We spent lunch working on educating him on all the details of what it was, how it was measured, and why there was a direction involved.  He was a bit better but was still a little confused.  I will say it was probably a good thing I was my father’s son instead of my father in this little incident.  I will say I heard his words in the back of my head, the phrase “You obviously have the intelligence of a banana slug” flashed through my brain in my father’s voice.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s smart and sharp, but he knows jack about power, power systems, and what goes into protecting them.  Truly smart men recognize what they may not know and listen instead of insisting everyone else is wrong.  Especially when the others can mathematically show and prove their point.* -B]

*Geek out moment, Reactive Power is explicitly a mathematical quantity.  It is the complex or imaginary portion of Apparent Power.  Forward and reverse is applied merely to indicate the direction of power flow relative to a location.  For example which direction is power flowing in a power line?  To people in this industry directionality is what makes the world turn.  You need to know if the fault is in front or behind your monitoring equipment.  Well if you’re looking at the output of a generator and you see power flowing into the generator (reverse), that’s not a good thing and very rarely intentional.  Something is going to get very warm if you don’t do something soon.

Another Mini Meet…

Last night I met A Girl and TSM.  We had organized a plan which almost appeared to fall apart, but alas luck won out.  My meeting ended on time and the TSM finally got out of work as well.

The drove up and we went out to dinner and since I was on the opposite coast I had some Atlantic Salmon.

A Girl and TSM had Trout.  I didn’t get any pics of that though.  We had a nice long dinner, as in we finally split up after about 3 hours of chatting about kids, life, adventures, and other general shenanigans.

Eventually I got dessert, took me trying 3 choices, but eventually that had something.  I also convinced A Girl to add another thing to her EDC tools, a Crème brûlée torch.

It was great fun and then as an added bonus I got back to the hotel just in time to catch Pale Rider in time for my favorite line, “Nothing like a good piece of hickory.”

Time to relax and get ready for another day of fun tomorrow.  Though the real fun will be Thursday with the TSA.

Blogging Might Be Irratic

You see I had to hop on one of these yesterday morning.

Thankfully the travel time was only 3.5 hours to our wonderful destination.  Yes, we were hauling ass and here’s the proof.

It is nice to not have to waste a whole day traveling, too bad the return trip isn’t going to be as nice.  Here’s the gallery of pictures from the flight, including the sunset at our destination as we arrived.

Luckily there’s some fellow bloggers in the area, one of whom I got to share company with last night for dinner.  Tonight I’m going to try and get together with another, assuming the meeting doesn’t run long.

Annoyingly the hotel I’m at doesn’t provide free Wi-Fi and wants a chunk of change for a mere 2 Mbits.  I have a better idea, “Smart Phone activate!”  Oh, is that a Wi-Fi access point my computer now sees.  I don’t need the fastest stuff in the world, but I would like decent reliable internet if I’m occupying your establishment.

I’ll blog when I can and I’m trying to get stuff scheduled up, but at the same time I’m going to be busy.  Check the people over on the side bar if you need a fix and I’m not providing.

Happy Thanksgiving All

Be thankful for what you have.  Most importantly your friends and family.

And lets not forget the original… So awesome.