Category: Uncategorized

Is It Good For Society?

As the Rittenhouse trial goes into jury deliberations, Sean Sorrentino (host of the defunct Gun Blog Variety Cast), posted this question on FB:

One of my friends left a very good comment elsewhere…

“If he had stayed home, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Minding your own business is a critical self-defense skill, yet no one teaches it.”

My question is: “This is good advice for the individual, but is it good advice for society?

I think this is a ramifications of some trends in America: 1. The transition from a high-trust society to a low-trust society 2. The increasing Balkanization among certain segments of the society, particularly the political extremes 3. The loss of influence of traditional institutions that promote mutual aid 4. The muddled definitions of what is expected among upstanding citizens – especially among the men

When we can’t trust strangers because they are outside of our tribe, when we consider those outside the tribe to be dangerous, when we no longer participate in organizations that foster goodwill and charity, and when we don’t have common principles to guide us through demanding times, is it any wonder that it may be preferable to just mind one’s own business?

Friday Quote – Robert Heinlein

Every so often some idiot tries to abolish marriage. Such attempts work as well as repealing the law of gravity, making pi equal to 3.0, or moving mountains by prayer. Marriage is not something thought up by priests and inflicted on mankind; marriage is as much a part of mankind’s evolutionary equipment as his eyes, and as useful to the race as eyes are to an individual.

Sad Centennial

This week marks one hundred years since the worst race riot in US History. And I hadn’t heard about it until a few years ago when it was mentioned on a podcast. (Stupid memory. Dude making a version of the VP9. Included stuff from the memorial in the box. Stupid memory.)

Let’s steal from Wikipedia:

More than 800 people were admitted to hospitals, and as many as 6,000 Black residents were interned in large facilities, many of them for several days. The Oklahoma Bureau of Vital Statistics officially recorded 36 dead. A 2001 state commission examination of events was able to confirm 39 dead, 26 Black and 13 White, based on contemporary autopsy reports, death certificates and other records. The commission gave several estimates ranging from 75 to 300 dead.

Who Wants Some Links?

First, an article from Active Response Training on spotting a bad guy.

An article from Techradar asking how influential Babylon 5 was for today’s tv shows.

From Flatfile, we have listicle of common Excel mistakes.

From Popular Mechanics, an article about a very long missile shot.. This is interesting considering that I grew up with Tomcats and Phoenix missiles.

Finally, scientists and zookeepers in South Florida identified a new species of spider. The best part of the article is when they say it’s probably already in danger of being wiped out.

Thinking About Year-Round DST

I hate the “fall back” and “spring ahead” of the changing between Daylight Savings Time. I’ve been advocating for us to pick one and just stick with it. There’s movement among the states to go to year-round daylight savings time, and I was all for it. That was until I heard the host talk about when the nation tried it back in 1974.

It was 1974, and the energy crisis was cutting into the American way of life, with odd-even gas rationing, a national speed limit and shortened Nascar races. The Emergency Daylight Saving Time Act signed by President Nixon dictated that clocks would spring forward one hour on Jan. 6 — and stay that way for almost 16 months, until April 27, 1975.

By fall, the dark mornings were apparently wearing on the American people. Proclaiming “it’s for the children” — those scholars standing at bus stops in the predawn — lawmakers threw in the towel of gloom. Year-round DST was scrapped, and on Oct. 27, clocks fell back.

Empirical evidence of a failed national experiment is a pretty strong argument against year-round DST. Not sure if that would mean the same for year-round standard time. I know where my proclivities lie, which makes me skeptical of my position in the light of new evidence.

EDC Post 2021

Another in my series of seeing how things change year over year. I tend to carry a lot of stuff. It helps that I wear cargo pants pretty much every day. Here are my previous posts:

2018 post.

2019 post.

2020 post.

Wallet

I use a Saddleback Large Leather wallet.. I keep a Tool Logic Credit Card inside it. It’s not that I use it that much. Mostly, it’s because I’ve had the damn thing for probably twenty-five years, and my wallet feels empty without it.

Keys

My brother picked me up a Lifelong Ring 300 key ring system. I mainly use the main big ring and have all of my keys on the wire key rings. In addition to my keys, I have:

“Urban Kit”

This is one of a Maxpedition pocket pouch that I stash useful stuff. I keep the following:

  • First aid kit – Coleman Mini First Aid Kit– This handles handles minor emergencies, and I like the tin as a container.

  • Scissors and tweezers – Because sometimes a knife isn’t the tool for every situation

  • Bic disposal lighter – Must Have Fire

  • Lightning to 3.5 mm adapter – in case I need to use wired headphones

  • Anker lipstick battery – useful recharge for all of my little electronics

  • Short lightning cable for phone – Three foot or less, just long enough to use the lipstick battery

  • 2 Spare CR123 batteries – Mainly for my flashlights

  • Reusable twist ties

  • Lightning to micro USB adapter – So I can recharge my lipstick battery and not have to carry a second cable

  • Emergency cash – No, I’m not going to say how much

Pocketknife

Most of the time, I carry a Kershaw-Emerson CQC-10 along with a Gerber Dime multi-tool.

For the rare times I’ve had to go into the office, I’m carrying a Leatherman Skeletool. It’s a bit “friendlier” when dealing with coworkers.

Flashlight

Lately, I’ve been carrying the bigger Sreamlight ProTac 750 lumen flashlight. It’s too big to really be a pocket flashlight, so I carry it in the spare magazine holder.

If I have to go into the office, I carry an older Streamlight ProTac.

Pepper Spray

I carry a small Sabre Pepper Spray for when I need something between strong words and deadly force.

Earbuds

Currently, I’m using a pair of Apple AirPods Pro. Expensive, but worth the cost IMHO. I particularly like the “transparent” mode which allows more of the outside sound through.

Phone

I’m using an iPhone XR. I have the 256 GB model because I cram it with audiobooks. Lots of audiobooks. I use a simple case that has the texture of a MagPul P-MAG.

Watch

I’m using a 44mm Series 5 Apple Watch. I like the always on feature.

Pen

For the day job, I carry a Smith and Wesson M&P tactical pen.

Otherwise, I carry a CRKT tactical pen.

Sidearm

Unless I’m going to someplace I’m not legally allowed to carry, I generally have my Smith and Wesson M&P9 (First Gen) equipped with a Streamlight TLR-1 and Trijicon night sights. I keep it and the spare magazine loaded with 124-grain Speer Gold Dots (since that’s what the local cops use). I’ve switched to using a Bravo Concealment kydex IWB holster after the leather on my hybrid started folding over and preventing good holstering. I’m using a BladeTech kydex magazine holder for the spare magazine and the flashlight.

Christmas Truce

This has been a year the likes of which will go down in the history books as momentous. There will be historians publishing books on 2020 for decades. Particularly as the long term effects become apparent.

It is also a year where we have been at each others’ throats far too much. Sometimes over petty bullshit. Sometimes over significant disputes. Sometimes because of ginned up controversies so others could make a buck.

Yet, let us look back one hundred and six years ago. When men locked in a life and death struggle took the moment of a shared holiday to remind each other of their common humanity. Maybe we could take their example and just pause. Just try for a little while to not to kill each other.

It won’t last. The 1914 Christmas truce didn’t either. Yet, even a day or two of respite would be good for this country.