No Surprise

So it turns out that a current Brit politician, the scumbag socialist Jeremy Corbyn, was once in the pay of the Communists. As a member of Parliament, the traitorous bastard is supposed to have passed on State secrets to the Commies in exchange for cash, according to the Commie spy who enlisted and paid him (as well as a couple other Labour MPs, by the way).

Needless to say, this revelation has been met with indifference and silence by his fellow-travelers in the BBC.

Both the above, of course, would be familiar to Older Readers who will recall that we had the same situation Over Here when it came to light that Sen. Ted “Swimmer & Traitor” Kennedy had actively been in contact with the Soviets, working to undermine then-President Reagan’s policies — a revelation that was largely ignored by his Commie fellow-travelers in the mainstream media as well.

Were it to be discovered that Republican Senator Bob Dole (for example) had been in similar cahoots with, oh, say ChilePres Pinochet, our ears would still be ringing from the screaming from the Left and Dole would no doubt have been imprisoned.

But selling out to the Commies? Yawn.

As always, my suggestion is simple. In the good old days, traitors were hanged, drawn and quartered. As we now live in a (supposedly) more civilized age, I’ll agree to forego the drawing and quartering, with regret, and just go with the hanging, thus:

Black Hole

For some unknown reason, the foul MS Outlook has been misbehaving over the past couple of months. For no reason, emails from some people were getting through, while others languished, uncollected, on my webmail server.

So I tried to re-install the blessed thing from MS Office, whereupon Outlook apparently got into a snit and disappeared from my laptop forever. (It would also have taken my address book as part of the divorce settlement except that in a moment of rare foresight, I’d backed up my contact list a little while ago, so while I may be missing a few recent additions, the majority of them have been saved.)

Thanks to Tech Support Wizard (TSW) BobbyK, I waved goodbye to Outlook

and managed to install and configure Thunderbird as a replacement, getting in the process something like seven hundred emails that I’d never seen before.

So please excuse my apparent rudeness in not replying earlier, but I never saw your emails because Outlook. [200,000-word rant deleted]

All those who were unable to register to comment here have had their emails passed on to TSW for his attention. If you’re still waiting for a response from me on some other issue, please do me the favor of re-sending your emails if it’s still germane or necessary. Ditto if you’ve only recently started to correspond with me, so I can add your addy to Ye Olde Addresse Booke.

As for MS Outlook:

Extra Ammo

Some wiseguy said this:

“I still don’t get the fascination for high-capacity mags in a non-military / non-law enforcement scenario. I mean, seriously: if the average gunfight is pretty much over, one way or another after three rounds have been fired, the remaining dozen in your double-stack mag are superfluous.”

That was in response to Tami Keel’s article about the low-capacity drawback of the 1911 as a carry piece.

But lo and behold, she’s just come out with a new piece which agrees with me, sorta:

Let’s get this out in the open: You can count the number of private-citizen defensive gun uses in the U.S. when a rapid reload made the difference between a dead good guy and a live one without taking off both mittens.
Reloading a handgun mid-gunfight, outside of a military or law enforcement context is pretty unlikely. Although he’s talking about carbines rather than pistols, a great quote from trainer Randy Harris springs to mind: “If you empty one 30-round mag in civilian-world USA, you’re going to be on the news … if you empty two, you’re going to be in the encyclopedia …”
Another trainer, Claude Werner, studies the reports of private-citizen defensive gun uses as collected in sources like the NRA’s Armed Citizen column. Over time, he’s found the average number of rounds needed in these encounters is low. One month, May of 2017, the average round count across seven reported gunfights was only 1.43 rounds per incident. That’s not a lot. Unless you find yourself caught up in the middle of an action-movie shootout, you’re highly unlikely to need that reload.

And of course, we both agree that having a spare mag is nevertheless A Good Thing should the one in the gun malfunction: the “drop [the mag], clear [the gun], reload” mantra is repeated endlessly in training, with good reason. (I myself generally carry two spare 8-round 1911 mags, by the way, because terrorist assholes / spree shooter possibilities and for another reason that I’ll discuss below.)

But I love the pic which accompanies her Recoil piece:

I think I saw that guy at the range a couple weeks back.

I know all the arguments for carrying spare mags but there’s only one sound reason I do, and it’s not because I’m likely to face off suddenly with a dozen rabid coyotes or the Plano chapter of MS-13, either; it’s just in case my hitherto-infallible PowerMag becomes suddenly fallible. Everything breaks, sooner or later.

And let’s be honest: the aforementioned terrorism / spree shooter thing is probably even less likely to happen to me than a mag breakdown. Any of these scenarios may be unlikely, but experience also tells me that most of the time, you don’t need a fire extinguisher in your car; but when you do need it, you need it really badly. Ditto ammo, hence my 16 spare rounds. I’m just not going to carry around a hundred spare rounds in ten 10-rounders — it’s heavy and spoils the look of my trousers. (Yeah, that’s me: Mr. Fashion Plate lol.)

Of course, the one qualifier to all this is geography. If your business trip takes you to or through unsavory neighborhoods full of gangs and similar goblins, why then, take as much ammo as doesn’t cause your trousers to fall down, with my blessing. There’s no need to be stupid about this issue, after all.

As with all things, your opinion may differ from mine (and in this case from Tami’s too), and that’s fine. Just don’t think you’re somehow deficient if you’re the only guy at the picnic who’s not bow-legged because of an overloaded ammo belt.

Just To Mess With Ya

Here’s an interesting math situation, wherein I prove that 2=1:

1.) Suppose you have quantities A and B, and suppose they are equal. That is,
A = B

2.) Multiply both sides by A:
A^2 = AB

3.) Now subtract B^2 from both sides:
A^2-B^2 = AB-B^2

4.) Factor both sides:
(A+B)(A-B) = B(A-B)

5.) Divide both sides by the common factor (A-B):
A+B = B

6.) Now, remembering that A=B, we have
B+B=B, or 2B=B

7.) Divide both sides by B:

And now, children, you will understand how Congress creates the national budget.

/Lewis Carroll


Back Then

Before I was born — hell, before my father was born — women dressed in the fashion of the day without regard to what it actually looked like. (Yeah, not much has changed.) Here’s one example, from the Roaring Twenties:

Of course, while that was what women wore in public, in private was a whole ‘nother story, as they say. Here, for your delectation, is a series of pictures of some of the Ziegfeld Girls of the era — most of whom were physically tiny, by the way — dressed (or rather, partly-dressed) in some private fashions.

This all came about when I was looking for some reference pics for a novel I’m working on — I needed to describe how a female character dressed back in the day, and suddenly, as so often happens on Teh Intarwebz, I ended up looking at these.

I’ll get back to the research any day, now…

Dramatis personae, from the top:
Adrienne Ames
Jean Ackerman
Olive Brady
Madge Bellamy
Lillian Bond

Seriously Bad News

I heard this news with the greatest shock imaginable:

Gibson guitar company, which has been a staple brand among various musical instruments since 1902, is facing bankruptcy.
According to the Nashville Post, Gibson’s chief financial officer, Bill Lawrence, left after six months on the job and just as $375 million in senior secured notes mature and another $145 million in bank loans become due if they aren’t refinanced by July. The departure of Lawrence was seen as a bad sign for a company trying to re-organize.
The company, which generates $1 billion a year in revenues, recently moved out of its Nashville warehouse, where it had operated since the mid 1980s. 

To call Gibson guitars a “staple” in music would be guilty of the world’s great understatements. The only equivalent I can think of would be “Mercedes Benz, which has been a staple brand among various automobiles since 1899, is facing bankruptcy.”

I have to say upfront that I’ve never owned a Gibson guitar myself — I was a bass guitarist and the Gibson basses never did it for me as much as my beloved Rickenbacker 4001S — but good grief, some of the greatest rock music ever performed was done on a Gibson. If I were to show pictures of famous rock guitarists playing their Gibsons, we’d need extra storage space for this website on the server. Let just one sample thereof suffice:

And the EDS 1275 isn’t even my favorite-sounding lead guitar, either: that honor belongs to the SG Deluxe.

I know, that’s not a Deluxe (it doesn’t have the three humbucker pickups, as below):

And I’m going to hear it from all the Les Paul fanbois now, but as a rock musician — and lest we forget, the Les Paul was originally designed as a jazz guitar by (duh) Les Paul — nothing beats the clarity and crunching sound of the SG at full throttle. (AC/DC’s Angus Young seemed to like it, and even though I hate the band’s music, Young’s guitar sound was beyond-words incredible.)

That said, I also loved the Les Paul when our guitarist Kevin played his (even though I preferred the sound of his Fender Stratocaster). This isn’t Kevin:

By the way: a guitar’s sound is such a personal thing; please don’t get offended if you prefer the Flying V.

…and don’t even get me started on the smooth, mellow sound of the venerable Gibson 335:

And even though I’m a totally crap guitarist (of the 6-string genre), I’ve always wanted to own a Gibson Montana Rose:

Yes, it has a voluptuous shape akin to Nigella Lawson. Go ahead and laugh at my oh-so transparent lusts…

Perhaps only now can you imagine the despair I feel at the terrible news above. I know, I know; the company may fall over, but the guitars will live on, somewhere, somehow. Still…

And never let us forget that Barack Bastard Obama spitefully (and illegally) unleashed his goon squad on Gibson for using “endangered” woods in their fretboards (they weren’t), simply because Gibson’s boss was a Republican donor. Just to make up for that piece of political thuggery, Gibson Guitars ought to live forever.

Dramatis personae:
On the SG: Nancy Wilson of Heart
On the Les Paul: Gretchen Menn of Zepparella
On the Flying V: Grace Potter
On the 335: Miki Berenyi of Lush
Not on the Montana Rose: Nigella Lawson