Flying Rats

I think I’ve told this story before, but anyway…

When I was at The Englishman’s cottage in Cornwall, I had the rare pleasure of hanging out with the Sorensons (Mrs. Sor is “The Catholic” in Comments) for a couple days.  I walked down to the kitchen one morning to find Mrs. Sor sitting alone drinking tea.

“Where’s Himself?” I asked.
“Down by the harbor, feeding Tesco plastic bags to the seagulls.”

He hates seagulls, and so do I.

When I read this sorry tale, I just shook my head.

Monique Sveinsson, 46, from Cambridgeshire, was on a mini-break with her friend Emma Wilshaw when she was attacked by the hungry seagulls at Brighton beach on August 3.
The mother-of-two, who runs her own planner and diary company, described how the aggressive birds circled above her before launching themselves at her food and flying away with the chips.

There is a way to deal with these airborne rodents, and anyone who is going to the seaside (or anywhere seagulls are in abundance, e.g. the Great Lakes) should avail themselves of this advice.

  • Go to your local Goodwill or thrift store, and buy an old tennis- or handball racquet, the older and more battered (therefore cheaper) the better.  (Tennis is better, as it has a longer handle.)

  • Leave it in the trunk of your car.
  • Then, when going to any place where there are seagulls, take it with you.
  • When the gulls start to pester you, swat them like flies.

I had to live in San Francisco for a couple weeks on a client assignment, and my walk to the office from the hotel took me through a couple parks.  The fucking crows and seagulls didn’t just annoy me, they attacked me, pecking at my head.

So on the way back from the client I stopped at a junk store and bought a racquet.  Then when I  went to the park the next day, the little bastards attacked me again.  Miraculously, however, they stopped attacking me after I’d popped three of them out of the sky. (It’s just a little more strenuous than playing badminton.)

Some stupid Karen took offense and called the cops on me.  When the cop asked me what I’d been doing and I told him, he stifled a laugh and said, “I’m going to have to confiscate that weapon.”  Then he winked at me and said, “I’ve been wanting to do what you did for ten years.  Enjoy your stay.”  And he walked off, swinging the racquet like a billyclub.  I think he was daring the birds to attack him.

As with all my advice given on these pages, there’s a “you’re on your own if you follow it” warning.

But I have to tell you, it’s almost as much fun as shooting them with a shotgun.

Posture

I see that the cops charged with riot control both Over Here and Over There are being encouraged to “take a knee” (i.e. kneel down before the rioters, to express sympathy for The Cause).

Well, of course that’s all a load of old bullshit.  Reader Quentin (who is a Brit) has this suggestion:

…whilst The Englishman takes a more old-fashioned view:

(AP Photo/John Robinson)

…but I, of course, prefer a still-more old-fashioned knee-taking (for the Brits, that is):

As for us Murkins, we generally prefer to do things with mechanised equipment:

…but for those who do want some human interface, we could always borrow this idea from our Brit cousins:

(I like the thoughtful touch of adding a trough-shaped flash deflector, so as not to set fire to the driver’s hair when shooting at Nazis, fuzzy-wuzzies, Commies, college faculty members [some overlap] and other assorted filth.)

Additional suggestions in Comments.

Friday Night Movie

You all have one, right?  Right?

Here’s a decent video of the history thereof.

Admission:  I don’t have a full-sized Ka-Bar, just the shorter “USAF Survival” version.

But I think I’ll be looking at one of the full-sized ones, maybe as a “suggested” birthday present from the kids.  Here’s the USMC model:

 

Anyway, enjoy the movie.

RFI: Crossbows

The other day, a friend asked me to give him advice about crossbows — specifically, serious hunting crossbows, not the recreational (toy) type — as he’s been invited to a bowhunt for wild turkeys (I think) later on in the year, and for various reasons, a “regular” bow wouldn’t work for him.

It irked me that I couldn’t tell him anything — my interest in launching deadly projectiles has always involved gunpowder — so I turn to you, O My Readers, for advice.

He doesn’t have any budgetary constraints (lucky bugger), so he’s looking for the best you can get, with all the info related thereto:  bow brands, draw weight, the proper arrowhead type for turkeys, sighting device, etc.

In Comments, please.

Swarms

Some time ago, I was pondering the state of our air power in terms of its being able to police Third-World conflicts.  Frankly, it made no sense to me (and still doesn’t) that we would need to spend x million dollars to send a jet fighter (or even an Apache chopper) just to drop a missile on an Afghani wedding party, when even a simpleton like me could see that the same job could have been executed by a WWII-era P-51 Mustang for about a jillion dollars less.

Seems like someone in the Pentagon has been having similar thoughts:

US Special Operations Command is moving forward with its armed overwatch plan, independent of the Air Force’s light attack experiment, inviting industry for a briefing on a proposal to buy an estimated 75 aircraft.
SOCOM will hold Industry Days March 4-5 for the Armed Overwatch program, which will “provide Special Operations Forces deployable and sustainable manned aircraft systems” that will be used for “close air support, precision strike, and SOF intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance in austere and permissive environments.”

And here are the stats on one of the bad boys they’re considering.

My only question is:  why only 75?  Why not five hundred and seventy-five? I mean, instead of sending a few missiles from one plane onto a target opportunity of fuzzy-wuzzies, why not go Full Dresden and rain a hundred missiles or so on their turbanned asses?  I’m not talking of big, expensive missiles here;  just some little Radio Shack-type sweeties that can get the same message across for far less money.

And let’s not forget the magic word “jobs” (pilots and navigators/fire-controllers) which would flow from this expansion — one more stat God-Emperor Trump can add to his next employment report.

By the way:  I love the paint job on these planes, although in today’s .dotmil, they’ll no doubt be outlawed because they frighten the enemy too much.  Don’t get me started.

Oh, and one last thing:  “deployable and sustainable aircraft systems”?  Whatever happened to simple expressions like “aircraft” or even better, “airplanes”?  Fucking nimrods.

Home Defense Options

Some honchos in the gun world have weighed in with their home defense choices:

Keeping all of this in mind, we sought out a variety of professionals to comment on their particular home-defense guns, and more importantly, why they have those guns — simply telling you they use a 12-gauge isn’t very helpful. You don’t have to be a Special Forces guy or SWAT ninja to consider their rationales, so our hope is that after you read this piece you’ll evaluate the contents of your own nightstand. While there are some brand-names mentioned, think of each configuration as a loose guideline for a given situation and not an internet special, where all the parts and pieces have to match exactly. This is about choosing home-defense equipment, not points on the ‘gram. Still, we’ll disclose all of those parts and pieces, because we dabble in gear nerdery.

Sheesh.  Talk about space-age stuff.

I’m not one of those “heavy hitters”, nor do I get free shit thrown at me by any manufacturers [sob]  so here are my home defense suggestions, based in my own circumstances.

Bedside:
DA revolver in .357 Magnum, because as I’ve said countless times before, your “people in the house, grope in the dark” gun has to be like a fork:  when you pick it up, it has to work simply and without any chance of failure.  My only “accessory” (which I don’t have at the moment) would be one of those laser pointer thingies that are activated by squeezing the grip.

Home defense:
AK-47.  I live in a suburban apartment complex, so there’s little call for any kind of animal varmint reduction.  Human  varmints, however, may be another (albeit remote) situation even in my affluent location, and I prefer an AK over a shotgun because 20 rounds are better than 2 (I don’t have a pump- or semi-auto shotgun, only a side-by-side).  (Also, nothing  says “RUN AWAY!” like the sight of an AK pointed at your midsection.)

Accessories:
Fenix FX-PD35TAC flashlight, because of the 1000-watt beam and the strobe option — which is so disorienting it actually causes nausea at the naughty end.  I carry one of these bad boys in my gilet pocket, and keep another next to the bed.

Sjambok for controlling angry dogs and/or assholes.

That’s it.  I have other options, so to speak, but the above are what I always keep (very) close at hand.  Well, they would  be kept close at hand, except for that unfortunate canoeing incident on the Brazos River a few years back.  This is just my wishlist.