Author: Derek

The US Military’s Shiny New Flying Things

This week, the USAF took the wraps off of the new Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider. It’s a spiffy update to the B-2 bomber and expected to be able to infiltrate the air defenses of the US’s strategic threats. Namely China.

What I find interesting is that this new plane is expected to supplant the B-1 and B-2, but not the B-52. Which the military has used more. And is constantly updating because no new B-52 airframes have been produced since before I was born.

Also this week, the Army announced it selected Bell’s V-280 to replace the venerable Blackhawk. I guess the Army felt a little left out of the tilt-rotor games? Let’s assume that Bell managed to incorporate lessons learned from the Osprey’s myriad of teething troubles, I can’t see the V-280 being able to squeeze into the same areas that the Blackhawk was able to put down into. Unlike Sikorsky’s Defiant offering. Which means either the troops are having to travel further on foot – or the Army will have an excuse to buy another new helicopter.

Don’t get me wrong. I like looking at shiny new toys as much as the next guy. I’m just not sure they’re the right toys for the right game.

Derek’s Mildly Useful Reviews – The Quintessential Quintuplets Movie

Last weekend, The Wife and I went to go see the dubbed version of The Quintessential Quintuplets Movie. I watched both seasons of the show, while The Wife had not been exposed in any way. Overall, we both liked the movie.

The movie is pretty much a finale for the main story that goes through the television series. This meant I understood all the callbacks and references, where The Wife was just trying to pick it up as it went along. It does answer the question of which of the quintuplets does Futaro marry.

The first half of the movie is set up with Futaro telling the sisters he would choose one of them by the end of the school festival. From there, it’s kind of a Rashamon going through Futaro’s encounters with each of the sisters over the festival. It lays the groundwork that he could choose any of them. The final choosing scene is very well done. I had the surprise spoiled for me by an article, and I’m not going to spoil it here. I will admit that the choice wasn’t the one I thought should have been chosen.

The second half of the movie is a lot of drama about the sisters and Futaro dealing with his choice. Personally, this felt a bit too drawn out. The movie goes deep into the sisters’ history with their mother, their stepfather, and their bio-father. Some of it was interesting, some felt overdone.

Overall, the movie was great for fans of the show, but probably could have been a half-hour shorter.

Monday Links

First some gun stuff…

First, from Fox News is an article about the doubling of people routinely carrying between 2015 and 2019. I can’t imagine that has slowed at all since 2019. Particularly with more states not requiring permits to carry.

Next, from the Volokh Conspiracy, comes the ruling that the SAF can challenge California on the state’s attempt to make people pay attorneys fees for challenging anti-gun laws. Not surprising it comes from Judge Benitez – who has been trying to tear down every crackpot gun law that comes across his transom.

From SAF’s own GunMag, a bunch of state AG’s want shipping companies to explain their new gun tracking policies.

Kind of gun stuff, but more civil liberty stuff…

Reason has an article that Mesa Arizona is paying the family of Daniel Shaver $8 million for shooting him. Unarmed. And crawling on his hands and knees while police were shouting contradictory orders. And the cop who shot Shaver was under qualified immunity.

I came across this article from The Civil Rights Lawyer blog. New source for me, but it says that the big hotels are getting into the tactical team game so it can do weapons searches on customer rooms. Oh that’s going to go so well. Better read the terms and conditions when checking in – particularly with large hotels in big cities.

Two more Reason articles for fun…

Elon’s rolling back Twitter’s rules on COVID misinformation. I’d be more sympathetic to the pearl clutchers if so many of the things they screeched were misinformation hadn’t turned out to be true.

Surprising no one who actually lives in Florida, the state is quietly making a deal with Disney to undo the legislation that revoked their special zone.

The light item…

Headstamp Publishing is funding a book called Clockwork Basilisk. About early revolvers. Early flintlock revolvers. Nifty stuff.

Thanksgiving Weekend

This year, Thanksgiving was held at SIL’s place. This required the dinner being pushed back to Sunday due to BIL’s work. The Wife and I both took off Black Friday, so we had a four-day weekend. Well, I had a four-day weekend. The Wife had use-or-lose, so she took off a bit more time.

Thursday, since we didn’t have a dinner, was more or less a standard day – except I didn’t have to work. The Wife’s Halloween/Fall/Thanksgiving decorations went into storage and the plethora of The Wife’s Christmas decorations came back to the house. Then, The Wife fired up her Cricut to do some party favors for the Sunday dinner. Little turkeys with M&M’s in them.

Friday was The Wife decorating the house. Decorations are her passion. While she was doing that, I took my grandfather’s 100-year-old shotgun and mounted it in my office. Yeah, we have different ideas of how to decorate.

Saturday was a cooking day for The Wife as she prepared what she was bringing for dinner. Namely her deviled eggs and “Christmas Crackers.” Which was kind of like peppermint bark on a saltine. Different, but yummy. While she was doing that, I actually finished a couple of scenes on my fantasy novel. Slow progress is still progress. Which helped with the frustration of watching the delivery status of my new iPad go from “By End Of Day” to “Delayed”.

Sunday morning was labor intensive. MIL’s been sleeping on the transformer couch bed since she moved in. She wanted something smaller so she could get a recliner into her room. A new bed was purchased, but we needed to move the transformer couch out to the garage. It will be retrieved by BIL at a later date. Yeah, that wasn’t a whole lot of fun. Particularly when it decides to transform in mid-move. Then I had to put together the new bed. That wasn’t too bad, but it had its moments. Frustration burns calories, doesn’t it?

The Wife’s niece and great niece came over to go with us to dinner. The toddler was generally well behaved. She played well with the kitten. For some reason, she was under impression that the most exciting thing at Ward Manor was to go up and down the stairs. Okay, not a problem as long as there was an adult to go up and down the stairs with her. Except, the only adult that was available was me. Going up and down the stairs burns calories doesn’t it?

My mom, recently retuned from the great white north, and The Brother joined us at Ward Manor. It was a chance for them to meet the new kitten and drop off some items from my grandmother’s estate. Plus that large print of Starry Starry Night that The Wife and I bought up in Idaho. And a box of ammo that I bought. Then we all convoyed over to BIL’s.

Shortly after we arrived, I got an alert that my iPad was delivered. Not wanting it to sit on the front porch, The Brother and I jumped in the Ward Wagon to fetch it. Except it wasn’t there. WTF? I looked at the picture in the delivery photo. No, that’s not my house. Unable to locate it, we returned to BIL’s house for dinner. During which, I figure out the issue. I fat fingered my address when ordering the iPad. It was delivered a few houses down. Jump into the Ward Wagon. Fortunately, the neighbor had the parcel. Success! I returned and we finished dinner.

Relief burns calories, doesn’t it?

Monday Links – All Light Items

I’m not really in the mood to go into the news today. So, just some lighter items I’ve found in the last week or so.

First, we have an article on the seventh anniversary of the grandma who accidentally invited a boy – now man – to Thanksgiving dinner. And he kept coming every year. It’s one of those heartwarming stories that I’m glad to see continue. It hits a lot of the more optimistic themes, such as altruism, chosen family, and putting aside differences to make human connections.

Next is an article on a new cat café coming to Tampa. It’s going to be relatively close to where my mom lives. Which bodes for interesting options when The Wife and I visit. Particularly since it’s no longer necessary to trek all the way up there to get my 5.11 fix.

From FEE, we have a listicle on “Six Books That Will Rewire Your Brain.” I’ve read most of them, but even those should probably go back into the “to-read” stack.

TFB has a review of the B&T TP9. This is one of those guns I want if I get “stupid amount of money.” Of course, like the author, if I actually could get one, I’d pay the tax stamp, SBR the thing, and turn it into a semi-auto clone of their MP9. Maybe pair it with my L9A1 if I did some kind of competition.

As for something else that I kind of want comes a company offering bullet shaped dice. Including revolver cylinder tray. I’d be more tempted, but my fun money is currently going to upgrading my Civ game for the iPad.