Just a quick note. I’m up in glacier park, from Monday until Friday….so no posts, I’m afraid. Back to our regularly scheduled brain droppings on Friday.
,Rawles linked to this article about Greece. Pay close attention to this paragraph:
Greece’s health insurance system relied on pharmacists like her buying full-price medicines on credit and distributing them at heavy discounts before claiming the difference from the state. As the state-run insurance schemes have gone bust, that money has stopped. She has not been paid since September last year. The 31-year-old kept faith with the old system until the money owed her topped €50,000 (£40,350). That debt is about average and the reason 1,500 pharmacies have closed since 2009.
The day before, a patient had come in needing Seroquel, a medicine for schizophrenics. They could not afford the €42 fee for the fortnightly treatment and had to be turned away. “I feel very bad, but if I get into debt with suppliers, I’ll go to jail,” she says.
So pharmacist buys [drug] for $50. Sells [drug] to patients for $20. Government gets the bill for the difference of $30 (plus, presumably, some profit for the pharmacist.) When government has no money, pharmacist is on the hook for the $30. Choice is then to either sell the drug to the patient at the price the government was being charged ($50 + profit) or stop buying drugs when patients can’t pay for them. This is a perfect example of what I meant a few posts back about why austerity measures are hated by these countries populace. Faced with the ‘real’ cost of their medication, Greeks cannot afford them. Without the government subsidizing the cost of the drugs, the pharmacist won’t buy them because they’re not going to buy what they cannot sell. The result, very predictably, is that there are now drug shortages looming.
Any business or industry, in Greece or anywhere else, that relies on ‘easy’ government money to make things function is skating on thin ice these days. As things progress I think we’re going to see more situations like this in more countries where government has artificially been keeping prices low through subsidies and can no longer afford to do so…pissing off the population who, having come to rely on those products and services at low prices, will be outraged at having to pay ‘their fair share’. Political fallout, naturally, will be severe.
I suppose it might be a good idea to analyze and examine our own systems and see where such weaknesses are so we can have workarounds ready for when/if this sort of belt-tightening comes a-knocking at our national door.
The teen and his brothers and sisters were at home alone at their residence at 55th Avenue and Baseline when a woman rang the doorbell Friday. The teen didn’t open the door because he didn’t recognize her, Police Officer James Holmes said Saturday.
Soon after, the teen heard a bang on the door, rushed his siblings upstairs and got a handgun from his parent’s bedroom. When he got to the top of the stairs, he saw a man breaking through the front door and point a gun at him.
This apparently seems to be the way these things go…someone knocks on the door politely, and when no one answers the assumption is made that the home is empty and forcible entry is made. I always answer my dooor…not because I’m worried about this scenario happening, but because I’m an extremely inquisitive individual – I have to know weverything. But, sometimes, the wife prefers her solitude on her days off and won’t answer her phone or the door. It’s less likely to be a problem now since Nuke will just bark at the door and hopefully that will deter whomever from wanting further entry. Of course, should someone decide to spin the wheel and take their chances with kicking in the door…. well, we’ve kinda been down that path before. (Comedic followup.)
Here in Montana, the majority of crimes are non-confrontational ones. People get stuff stolen outta their cars, have their houses burgled, etc, etc. But the incidents of confrontational crime…the kind where you’re face to face with a bad guy…..are pretty rare. I like to think it’s because no one is goig to try and stick someone up at gun/kinfe point and take the chance that the potential victim has a howitzer in their back pocket.
Anyway, if this story actually is as simple and straightforward as it appears (meaning these weren’t people looking for dads stash of drugs and cash he keps hidden in the bedroom) then I peg it as a heart-warming story of ‘instant justice’, individual fortitude, and excellent critical responses by the lad at the center of it all.
Another Fabulous Firearms Friday……
I would guess that the most ‘fun’ firearm a person can own is, in my opinion, a .22 pistol. They’re cheap to shoot and, for some reason, I find handguns to be much more fun than most rifles. While ‘fun’ is a great reason to buy something, I’ve hit the stage where I’m pretty much buying only stuff that has ‘practical’ use. Fortunately, the .22 pistols are quite useful.
I’ve owned a mix of .22 pistols over the years….RG, Ruger, Smith, etc, etc. Over the years I’ve had some pistols that were quite nice, some that weren’t, and some that were just ‘okay’. I hate to sound like a shill for Ruger, but the EOTWAWKI .22 handguns tend to be Rugers. Not necessarily because I like Ruger, I’m actually more of a S&W kinda guy, but the simple facts are that Rugers are durable as heck, and depending on the model they have excellent aftermarket support and logisitics.
Ruger, in a position that is rather unique, manages to hit all the high points in .22 pistol offerings – singleaction revolver, double action revolver, semi auto pistol, semi auto ‘unlimited’ pistol (“Charger”).
The Charger is a 10/22 with no stock and a short barrel. Oh, there are some minor differences to keep you from dropping it into a 10/22 stock but otherwise it’s a pistol-gripped 10/22. (This has actually been done before with the ill-fated Intratec ‘Scorpion’ .22 autopistol that took 10/22 magazines back in the ’90s.) It’s nice that the Charger can use the same magazines as the 10/22 but the Charger really doesn’t fit the niche normally occupied by ‘handguns’. It’s really more of a specialized pistol. However, if a person didnt mind the paperwork, it would make an excellent candidate to SBR with a little folding stock. They’re interesting, and I think I’ll wind up getting one eventually, but they’re a low-priority compared to other pistols.
My first handgun was a Ruger Single-Six. These little guns usually came with a spare cylinder to allow the user to fire .22 LR or .22 Mag. Six sots, single action, reliable and handy, these are excellent guns for carrying around in the sticks for popping squirrels, finishing off wounded animals, plinking, and just about everything else that you would use a .22 for. Drawbacks are the six-shot capacity, slow reload time, long lock-time of that hammerfall, and the barrel-light weight (IMO). To be fair, there arent a lot of circumstances where you need a fast reload or more than a half-dozen shots in a .22 pistol that your’re not shooting at zombies.
Ruger used to offer some double-action .22 revolvers off-and-on over the years. I always thought it was a little odd that Ruger would try to position themselves as having the broadest product line of any manufacturer and then neglect the DA revolver angle. I’m a revolver kind of guy at heart, and their new .22 DA revolver looks pretty tempting. Why a revolver over an auto? No real reason except that there’s no worry about magazines.
The Ruger series of .22 autopistols seems like everyones ‘go to’ choice for preparedness. Their latest incarnation is the Mk III which I’m not a fan of. The MkII had a long history, plenty of aftermarket support, and great mag availability. With the introduction of the MkIII, which uses a completely new and non-compatible magazine, Ruger managed to muddy the waters. Still, for my .22 pistol needs this is the gun that goes to the top of my list. Ruger makes (made) enough variants to fill just about every need, running the gamut from basic no-frills models to target/competition models. I like the simple 5″ heavy barrel models. The taper barreled ones are probably just as good but I like the extra weight up front. Whenever I can find a MkII at a reasonable price, I’ll buy it.
Smith and Wesson, for a brief time, made a series of pistols that I was very fond of. These were the ’22′ series of pistols….622,422, etc, etc. They were all modern variants of the old S&W Escort model. I think they were great guns..lightweight, flat, compact, accurate and cheap. It’s kind of sad that S&W discontinued it. I have one that I bought solely because the price was right and there was no paperwork attached. It is lightweight and handy enough to go into a backpack when hunting and fishing with almost no notice. I understand S&W doesn’t carry spare parts for these things anymore (the guns were, as I understand, actually contracted out so it isn’t surprising Smith orphaned it) so it is definitely not a choice for a long term relationship.
Colt made the Woodsman and some variants thereof, as well as the Cadet/Colt .22 pistols. The Woodsman (Woodsmen?) are great guns but for my needs there has to be a good logistics base behind a gun for me to actaully drop money and buy one. Same with High Standard…those things were great guns but I want something where I don’t have to call Gun Parts everytime I need a rear sight screw.
The only other non-Ruger auto I have is a Beretta 21A. Yup, a mousegun. Bought it back in..uhm…’94 I think. It’s been mostly a safe queen ever since. I carry it very rarely since my S&W 640 is about the same size and a better caliber. I bought the Beretta back in the day because I wanted the smallest possible gun I could stuff in my pocket for when I was still making trips to the Big Eastern City and wanted something discrete. It’s a reliable gun as long as the chamber is kept clean and high velocity ammo is used. I use CCI Stingers in it. About the only thing I use it for now is stuffing it in my vest pocket when I go hunting in case I need to put a hole in Bambi’s brainpan if the .308 didnt do an instant kill. Even then, I usually take the Glock or P35 with me so this thing really is just a safe queen but I cant bring myself to get rid of it.
Other guns I’ve had are an amazing RG-22 that was the textbook definition of a Saturday Night Special. ( I say ‘amazing’ not because the gun was accurate or well-made, just the opposite…I was amazed that something of such design and construction was considered worth the hassle of serial numbering. I think the fit, finish and quality was slightly less than your average $39.99 Crossman CO2 pistol.) I think I paid $20 for it and immediately had buyers remorse. I literally could not give it away. I think I shot it once in my basement, with CB caps, just to see if it worked. I should have mailed it to a friend in NYC for a gun buyback program and split the difference. Same story with a couple Davis derringers in .22 that came my way. (Those were a little easier to give away. This was back when a new one, dealer price, was around $79…so you could actually use them as stocking stuffers around Christmas.) The wife has a little NAA minirevolver and I gotta admit..its cute. Surprisingly well made for something so tiny. We keep it in the truck in case we hit a deer and need to put it down. I think when she was still doing uniformed patrol she carried it around in her bag for the same purpose.
I know some folks are gonna chime in with “What about………” and then mention their favorite. Hey, I can only comment on the guns I’ve actually owned. I’m thrilled that youre happy with your Taurus/Rossi/Smith/Sig/Whatever….but I can’t give opinions on guns I havent owned so if I didnt mention your favorite it’s probably because I’ve never owned one.
A bit sensationalist but, hey, I’ll run with it…….
Young children as well as the elderly waited in line in Athens to collect the parcels of fruit and vegetables donated by farmers from Crete to help ease the devastating austerity faced by many Greeks.
But as hungry people collected food, a few miles away a new conservative-led alliance was formed, vowing to renegotiate the country’s strict European bailout in a bid to breath economic life back into the debt-stricken country.
Among the people lining up was Panayiota Sidera, 31, from Athens. She said she has been unemployed for two-and-a-half years and her husband is also out of a job. The couple is living on a (euro) 250 monthly disability pension and rent from an apartment they own, and has a (euro) 540-a-month loan installment to pay.
Prolonged recession, lengthy unemployment as the bills pile up. And thats…Greece? Sounds like the same conditions as here. An excellent case for eliminating as much personal debt as possible, trimming some fat, making the most of every dollar you have, and stockpile food to the rafters.
Speaking of austerity measures……..
Something to keep in mind…when we read about ‘austerity measures’ you should keep in mind that among those measures are things like reducing or eliminating government subsidies. Some countries keep the prices of certain goods….fuel, bread, grain, cooking oil, etc…artificially low. When those subsides stop and the natural market prices come into play, that loaf of bread that cost pennies is now out of the reach of many poor people. The natural consequence of this is dissatisfaction at its best and revolution at its worst. This is why those subsidies were there to begin with – to keep the poor fed and relatively content so they wouldn’t get their Castro on. This is why countries with…unstable…populations resist these conditions that are imposed by the folks willing to bail them out.
Don’t think this country doesn’t do the same thing…we just dress it up as SNAP, Section 8, SSDI, and a handful of other programs that give resources to people who can’t make it on their own. I’m not saying whether those programs are good or bad, I’m just saying that when government, local or federal. has to stop sending money to those people they’re gonna get pretty angry and they’re going to take it out on someone.
There’s going to be more admin stuff going on over the next couple days. Biggest thing is that I’m going to try and develop a custom theme for the blog, move some stuff around, throw in a feature or two…that sort of thing.
A few obvious changes…:
Calendar page on right menu bar. Personally, I find these to be a nice way to quickly check and see how active a blog has been. It may seem like I hardly ever post but, according to the little bolded numbers on the calendar, I spew brain droppings at a fairly consistent pace.
Yeah, there’s a Donate button at the top of the menu bar. You may not like it, but then again, you dont have to click it either. Honestly, I don’t care if you read, comment, engage in a few discussions and never kick in a buck or two for bandwidth….that’s not why I do this. But, if you want to kick in a couple bucks, or want to help me get a cool piece of gear to beat the crap out of and report on….it’s there.
There’s a subscription page. (Its the rightmost link just under the graphic at the top of the page.) I guess if you want the latest posts emailed as they occur, you can subscribe. Not sure why you would, but it’s there. At least, I think it’s there…I haven’t really tried it yet.
Okay, I’m calling shenanigans on these frellin’ migrations/upgrades. Here’s the good and the bad of it:
Good: Looks all the posts (nine years worth!!) migrated over, new WP means I can use newer version with features and plugins I’ve been wanting, I have more flexibility to change the look of things.
Bad: Virtually none of the comments transferred over.
But, I’m just going to have to learn to live with it. The important, to me, thing is that the posts all made it over and that was my biggest concern.
I’ll be screwing around with appearances and a few other things over the next day, so don’t freak out if things look different or you get an error message. Im working on it.
Friday = Guns, so……..
It’s a personal preference, to be sure, but for me and a lot of other folks that keep an eye on the uncertain future the .22 rifle of choice is the ubiquitous Ruger 10/22. While Ruger makes a few variants of the 10/22 that are a bit more…desirable…for our specialized needs, none has all the features I figured I’d want. Fortunately, and this is one of the strengths of the 10/22 platform, there are enough aftermarket accessories out there that I can tweak the 10/22 into exactly what I want. Oh, it may not be cheap, but it’s possible. In retrospect, what I was after was essentially a Ruger 10/22 that had all the features and styling of the M1 Carbine – Protected aperature sights, side mounted sling, etc.
First step was the sights. Optics are nice but for the average effective range of a .22 LR, which I figure to about 100 yards and not much further, I figured a good set of open sights was the way to go. The standard sights with the Ruger are all right, I suppose, but I wanted a few special features. First, I wanted a longer sight radius. This meant a rear sight that was mounted back on the receiver, not on the barrel. I tried an aperature sight from Williams, which was my first choice, but found that it just did not have the range of elevation adjustment I needed. I wound up going with the TechSights and I’m quite pleased with them. Easy to install, protected rear and front sight, same sight picture as one my AR and PTR-91, accurate, and plenty of adjustment. Only thing I didnt like (other than the price) was that the sights weren’t made in the US. Can’t have everything, but when I buy gun stuff I like to buy American….firearms ownership is uniquely American, I feel the accessories on my gun should be too. Or, at least, not made in China (or Taiwan, although Taiwan is a bit more acceptable to me, but not much more.) (Two posts on the Tech Sights)
After the sights, I wanted better options for the sling. I don’t really like traditional sling mounts that put the sling on the bottom of the gun. I much prefer the side mounted slings since they let the rifle lay comfortably flat against the back. There were a few options but most were replacement stocks, which I didnt really feel was necessary, or plastic replacement barrel bands for the front of the gun. I don’t mind some plastic parts, but a part that was going to take the stress of a sling should not, in my opinion, be made of plastic. Fortunately, this ProMag Ruger Barrel Band caught my eye. I ordered one up and it arrived last week. The reviews mentioned that one of the rail segments would probably butt up against the stock in such a manner that some fitting might be required. Indeed, that was the case. Options are: remove metal from the band or remove wood from the stock. Wood cuts easier than metal so I removed some wood. Didn’t bother me, I have a bunch spare old 10/22 stocks sitting around. Once mounted, the barrel band took a SureFire Scout just fine.(Although in reality, I have no need for a light on a .22 rifle, I just wanted the side sling mount….but I suppose if you’re heading out to the chicken coop at 2am to see what the fuss is about, it might make good sense to have a light on the end of your Chicken Defense Carbine.) Now I just need a sling bar on the back end of the gun to go with the side-mount sling at the front. (There’s a company selling an M1 Carbine-style stock for the 10/22 that would be perfect but Im just not ready to spend that much coin.)
Once sights and a sling mount were taken care of, all that was left was to swap out the standard magazine release for an extended AK-style release and we were done. A solid little 10/22 that was a bit easier to carry, had a better set of sights, and could field a a couple tacticool accessories like a light and bipod in case the gophers ever decided to get their act together and go Zulu on me.
Total outlay is around $120~ but the majority of that is in the sights, and I don’t mind popping the money for sights if theyre good, durable, and do what I want them to. I doubt I’ll be tweaking out all my 10/22′s like this one, but the one that I did tweak out a bit has been fun and accurate to shoot. If I had the money, I’d probably swap out the barrel for a threaded version to add a suppressor to, but thats a buncha money that is way down the line for right now.
A similar graphic for Montana would be a lot less complicated. It would start off with a decision diamond and go like this:
“Do you own a gun?”
Yes -> Have fun
No -> Buy One
I’ve a buddy that moved himself and his gun collection from San Francisco a few years ago….he has never looked back and often dreams of buying himself some grossly overpriced Class III goody because…well…he can.
What, you thought I was done?
- Zinn & the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance – There are three bicycle books listed here, in order of recommendation. The first two are very good and cover almost everything, but they’re illustrated with b&w photos or line art….useful, but not perfect. The third book isnt as detailed, although still a very good book, but is lavishly illustrated with color photos to show how things are done. If you’re on a tight budget, get the Zinn book, if you can spend a bit more get the Haynes book as well. I’d recommend all three if you can afford it…with these three you should be able to build a bicycle out of nothing but a pile of junked parts.
- The Bicycling Guide to Complete Bicycle Maintenance & Repair: For Road & Mountain Bikes – Extremely detailed. Like aMerck Manual for bikes.
- The Bicycle Book (Haynes Automotive Repair Manual Series) – Excellent photos and great details about the specialized tools needed. The book is a bit simpler than the other two, but is an excellent companion to them.
- Cottage Water Systems: An Out-of-the-City Guide to Pumps, Plumbing, Water Purification, and Privies - A well-illustrated but basic text on how water systems work…heavy on explanation but not very heavy on how-to. Worth reading before you start trying to dam up the creek and bring water to your BOL.
- The Home Water Supply: How to Find, Filter, Store, and Conserve It - Much more intensive than the previous book. This one goes into greater detail about interior plumbing and other things not covered in the previous book. Definitely a better choice for it’s overall completeness, but not as well illustrated and not as easy to understand.
- The New Create an Oasis with Greywater: Choosing, Building and Using Greywater Systems – Includes Branched Drains – Very crunchy…reminds me of a bunch of articles clipped out of Mother Earth News. But, if you can ignore the hippy feel to it, this is a good source of information, with diagrams, on how to dispose of greywater in a manner that isn’t wasteful and winds up saving youw ater in the long run.
I must say, its kind of a pain to pull books off the shelf, look ‘em up on Amazon, link ‘em, put ‘em back, etc. I think I might have to do this in a more orderly fashion..five books, once a week or something…………