April 27, 2016

Failures on Many Levels

There are many things in this story that are just wrong, it's hard to tell where to begin...
MILWAUKEE (AP) — A 2-year-old boy fatally shot his mother from the backseat of the car as she drove along a Milwaukee highway, sheriff's officials said Wednesday, less than two months after a Florida mother was shot and wounded in similar circumstances.
For the love of all that is pure and holy, SECURE YOUR DAMN GUN, people.  Under the car seat on the floor is NOT secure.
The child, who was sitting in the back seat, picked up a gun that slid out from under the driver's seat and fired it through the front seat, striking Price, the department said in a statement, citing witness accounts. A .40-caliber gun was recovered from the floor of the back seat behind the driver, along with a security officer's gun belt belonging to the victim's boyfriend, sheriff's officials said.
And while you're at it, SECURE YOUR DAMN CHILDREN IN THE CAR.  Had this child been properly restrained in a car seat, he would not have been able to reach down to the floor to pick up the gun that you didn't secure.

Also in the car were Patrice Price's mother and 1-year-old son, both in the front passenger seat. Officials said the 2-year-old boy was not riding in a car seat in the back. The statement did not mention if he was wearing a seat belt.
Children in vehicles do not belong in the front seat with another adult.  Sitting on Gramma's Lap is not an NHTSA approved method of safety restraint.



And the gun goes in a holster on your hip.

I'm very sad that this woman lost her life, and that the children lost their mother.  But this was an entirely avoidable tragedy, had she simply secured either her gun or her children or both.

April 25, 2016

That Doesn't Look Right

This past Saturday, being a blue-bird day in East Central Indiana, I took advantage of the fact that I was (mostly) caught up on chores and decided to head to the range for some much needed recoil therapy.

Took the Glock and the AR-15, left everything else at home, and grabbed ammo cans for each, targets, and the range bag.

Started out with the AR at 50 yards, and loaded a box of Winchester White Box 5.56 NATO into a new magazine I'd bought a while back but never used before.  This was a cheap imitation of a PMAG that I'd picked up somewhere or another for, like, 7 or 8 dollars.

Loaded the magazine, chambered the first round, sent it along... Hrm, about 2 inches low at 50 yards.  Sent two more, all three about the same spot.  OK, dial up the scope a bit, 10 clicks then back down 2, send another.  Ah, now that's better. let's commence to commencing.




OK, what's this?  Light primer strike, I suppose.  NBD, right, just a chance to practice malf technique.
Safety on, drop the magazine, pull the charging handle to clear out the...

What the hell?

The round looks like the bullet was forced back into the cartridge. Very odd.

Set it aside, put the magazine back in the gun, chamber a round...





OK, now this is getting to be annoying.

Safety on.  Drop the mag.  Pull the charging handle...

Two rounds from the same box of WWB did this.

I unloaded the rest of the rounds from the cheap-o magazine, put them into a proper Magpul PMAG, and they ran fine, as did a few other boxes.

Wondering what caused this.

April 22, 2016

April 13, 2016

Why Did I Start Work in IT?

One of our clients is a medical office practice, doctors and nurse practitioners and such.  They use a program for their Electronic Medical Records, and the last update of that software introduced some "Undocumented Features" (we don't use the term "Bugs" because someone might get all butt-hurt and need a safe space... or something) that they've been fighting for a few months.

Vendor released a patch week before last that is purported to resolve the inconveniences caused by the aforementioned Undocumented Features, and it has fallen to me to install said patch.

Which I did last night.

Or, at least ATTEMPTED to do last night.

Because the server upgrade went fine, but every single client I tried up upgrade crashed.  Hard.

So last night I was up until 11pm reverting their entire system back to the version with the Undocumented Features, and now I get to filter through one log file after another to find out what the hell went wrong.

Sometimes I loath this job.

March 30, 2016

Assorted and Sundry

1.  Finally managing to get the work load at the office under control.  We do IT Services for several small businesses, local non-profits or government entities (for example, a few local public libraries have us as their IT vendor), and so forth.  Basically, any local business that has IT needs, but doesn't need a full time IT department.  At any rate, since it seems that they all have Jan 1 as the start of their fiscal year, they all want to start their new IT projects at that time.  Servers need upgraded or replaced... New PCs are brought in... A different software program to handle some function or another... They all want it done in the first couple months.  Now, being a small business, we have 12 employees total.  That includes the two co-owners, who spend most of their time managing the business, leaving the technical work to us.  That brings us down to 10.  Of those, one is responsible for customers who need ink or toner for their printers, and one is the office manager and she handles phone calls, shipping/receiving, scheduling, etc.  From 10, we're down to 8.  Of those 8, there are three of us that are "Tier 2" or "Senior System Admin" and capable of managing the bigger IT projects.  I'm one of those.  So I've been busy.

2.  We're getting typical spring weather here in East Central Indiana.  Warm and Sunny, high temps near 70F, blue skies, green grass... And it's going to drop to the high 30's this weekend, with the potential for severe weather tomorrow night.  I really want to get out to the range, but it doesn't look like I'll have a chance until perhaps next weekend.  Oh, wait, that's right.... I'm on call.  Damn.

3.  Speaking of the range, I read MattG over at Better and Better, and a post over there made mention of a pair of Howard Leight electronic ear muffs.  I've used foam plugs and passive muffs my entire shooting time, but I trust Matt's judgment and ordered a pair from Amazon.  They arrived yesterday.  Can't wait to try them out.

4.  I've been making slow, but steady, progress on splitting up the logs from the Great Ash Tree Cutting Up of MMVVV.  WE had a ~60 foot ash tree in our back yard that got infested with the Emerald Ash Borer, and had to cut it down.  The local business I hired to cut it left it in long, intact, chunks.  They would have hauled it away for a few extra hundred dollars, but I saw no point in that.  At any rate, I've been working on splitting the logs into firewood, and I've made a good dent in the pile.

5.  In somewhat local news, Howard County (IN) Deputy Carl Koontz was shot and killed recently while serving a warrant.  While I honor Deputy Koontz and his service to our community and the sacrifices he made, part of me wants to scream at the television "He was shot because of our senseless "War on Drugs", you numb skulls!"  Seriously, he was serving a search warrant because of suspicion of drug use based on the presence of a syringe.  And that we as a society will put sworn officers in harm's way over a SYRINGE just pisses me right the hell off.  There are plenty of good reasons to put your life at risk as a public safety officer.  Some low life who wants to shoot drugs into his arm isn't one of them.  Requiescat in Pace, Deputy.

6.  I'm going to be doing some repairs and general maintenance on the Heep, then passing it down to Elder Spawn this fall once she has her license.  At that point, I'll be shopping for a small/medium truck.  I don't need any big monster huge (yuge?) truck like the F-350 or such... Thinking more along the lines of a 4 cyl Toyota Tacoma or perhaps a Chevy Colorado.  Any suggestions (pros and cons) are welcome.

That's all for now.

March 23, 2016

Indiana, Deer Hunting, and Hand Wringing

Well, they finally did it.

The Indiana Legislature finally passed a bill that allows Hoosier deer hunters to use something other than limited pistol cartridges during firearm season.

A bit of background is in order, I think:

For as long as I can remember, hunters who choose to hunt with a rifle during firearm season (a two week window, roughly, from mid-November-ish to end of November) had restrictions placed on the type of cartridge they could use.

From the 2015-2016 Hunting and Trapping guide, here are the restrictions:

Rifles with cartridges that fire a bullet of .357-inch diameter or larger, have a minimum case length of 1.16 inches, and have a maximum case length of 1.8 inches are legal to use only during the deer firearms and special antlerless seasons. Some cartridges legal for deer hunting include the .357 Magnum, .38-.40 Winchester, .41 Magnum, .41 Special, .44 Magnum, .44 Special, .44-.40 Winchester, .45 Colt, .454 Casull, .458 SOCOM, .475 Linebaugh, .480 Ruger, .50 Action Express, .500 S&W, .460 Smith & Wesson, .450 Bushmaster, and .50 Beowulf. Full metal jacketed bullets are illegal.

So, in other words, the most popular cartridges that have the best and longest track record for taking whitetail -- like .270 Win or 30.06 or 30-30 were verboten.

The rational, at least as far as common knowledge goes, is that these rounds can travel a long distance, and given that there's typically a farm house or barn or other such dwelling every 1200 yards or so in Indiana, they didn't want a hunter to let loose a round, miss the deer, and have the bullet impact Ol' Man Walker's chicken coop.

But see, here's the place where that all falls apart.  MOST hunters are hunting from a tree stand.  That is, they are shooting from an elevated position towards the ground.  IF they miss with their 30-06, the bullet is going to impact the earth.

Second, there are no such cartridge restrictions on rabbit, squirrel, coyote, or any other critter that might be hunted in Indiana.  T'were I so inclined, I could take my Remington 700 BDL in 30-06 and go after squirrel.  Sure, I'd not get much meat from the hunt (squirrel tartar, anyone?), but it'd be LEGAL.

And, lastly, the original argument falls apart if one understands the ballistic properties of their cartridge.  Let's go back to my 30-06.

I have a box of 180 grain Winchester Power Max bonded ammo for my 700.  According to the ballistics chart provided by Winchester, for a rifle with a 100 yard zero, the bullet will drop 26 inchest at 400 yards, and 53 inches at 500 yards.

In other words, even if I'm shooting from a ground blind over flat corn fields, and I miss completely, my bullet will fall to the ground before it reaches Ol' Man Walker's precious chickens.  Unless, of course, I aim up and take a shot at a deer up on a ridge while I am below it... In that case, I'm breaking Rule 4 and heck even a .44 Mag is dangerous in that situation.

At any rate, the new rules allow deer hunters in Indiana to use .243, .30-.30, .30-06, and .308 cartridges, along with a generic ".300" (which could be a .300 WinMag, or perhaps .300 Blackout, which would mean I need to get moving and finish my 300 BLK AR-15 build...)

In the end, however, I suspect I'll continue to hunt deer as I have the past three years: With my crossbow and my Mossy 500 with the slug barrel.  Because, really, the place I hunt is fairly thick with trees, and the longest shot I'll have would be 100 yards, max, most of them would be inside 70 yards.  And if you can't hit a whitetail with a rifled slug barrel at 70 yards, you should be spending your time on the range, not in a tree stand.

March 7, 2016

So long, Peyton

Easily among the greatest quarterbacks of all time to play the game, Peyton Manning has retired.

The video above is his press conference.

Thanks for the years of great football.  Thanks for never getting arrested for a DUI, getting in a bar fight, smoking dope, or beating your wife.  Thanks for always playing as hard as you could, winning and losing with class, and teaching generations of people what it means to put in the effort.  Thanks for the laughs and your humility.

Thanks for being you.  I will miss watching you play.

March 2, 2016

How did we get here

Saw this story pop up in my news feed on the Book of Face* and it boggles the mind.

A teacher at Union County High School has resigned after a student spread a nude picture of her through text messages and social media, according to Union County School District interim superintendent David Eubanks.  
Eubanks said a student got hold of Leigh Anne Arthur's phone and took a picture of a nude picture that was on her phone.  
He said the student then sent the picture out through text messaging and social media. 

So the student takes the teacher's phone, invades her privacy, and SHE is fired for it?

How the hell did we get to this place in our nation?

February 26, 2016

Well done, Mizzou

Remember that University of Missouri professor who berated a student journalist and called for "some muscle" to remove him from a protest?

She's been fired.

Good for Mizzou.

February 12, 2016

Requiescat in Pace

I've been processing the news that an old Grady EMS pal has shuffled off this mortal coil. While Brian Allen Shepler and I were friends, our relationship was more than "friends".

We were on the same team, part of something larger than ourselves. We were medics at Grady, and that carries, inherent in the title, a sense of family. Because we were both paramedics, it was rare indeed that we worked together, but we did work the same shift many nights, and on one night, the vagaries of scheduling and sick calls resulted in us working the same bus.

It was a weeknight, perhaps a Tuesday or Wednesday (being a decade plus in the past, my memory cannot recall), and well past the witching hour.  It'd been slow, nothing really going on. We were cruising our area, bored stiff, and the excess of coffee was taking its toll on my stomach.

We pulled up to the corner of 14th and Peachtree, and observed an APD officer making a traffic stop. Having nothing else to do, we just sat at the intersection, watching. The officer was alone, and he'd removed the driver from the vehicle for a chat.

In the blink of an eye, the driver was swinging punches, one of which connected well, and the officer fell to the ground. Brian, ever being Brian, and doing what would surely bring the wrath of our supervisors said "Oh, HELL NO", and stomped on the gas, turned the corner, and bailed out of the ambulance about three tenths of a second after it was in park.

I followed, because that's what partners on the ambulance DO, and Brian gets the driver's legs into a position that would normally result in a dislocated hip while I locked the driver's arms behind him (rumors that I put an inordinate amount of pressure on the Radial Nerve, rendering the driver's arm numb, are unsubstantiated), while the cop managed to get the cuffs secured.

We all stood (well, not the driver), took a few deep breaths, and I told the officer "Well, then. I think we shall take our leave, seems you've got it from here."

The cop, ever grateful, said "Wait a minute... I want to know your names. I'd like to thank your supervisor for your help!"

"Won't be necessary, Officer. As far as we can tell, you took the guy down by yourself, and we just happened to be here to provide first aid to this fine citizen's injuries. Speaking of, I'll get some gauze for that nasty gash on his forehead," replied Brian.

That was what he did... helped those who needed it, be it a cop who was getting thumped, or a drunk driver that Brian just thumped.

Requiescat in Pace, brother. We've got it from here. Code 7 for the remainder.