Monday, April 23, 2018

April 23, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"When Volcanoes Almost Killed a Continent | The 6th Century Dust Veil"--Suspicious Observers (3-1/2 min.). A quick look at how major volcanic eruptions can swiftly change temperatures for a period of up to a few years. Long time readers of this blog will remember that this has come up over and again in looking at cooling events from Bronze Age Egypt to the cooling of North America and Europe by the 1815 Tambora explosion.

  • It is time to seriously discuss common sense car control:
  • "China may backslide on deleveraging if trade war looms"--Reuters. In plane English, China may return to borrowing and risky banking practices to grow its economy.
  • Add this to your "must-read" list: "Guide to Concealed Carry Holsters and Accessories"--Active Response Training. A reader directed my attention to this article by Greg Ellifritz discussing common concealed carry positions and holsters for each (e.g., belt holsters, inside-the-waistband holsters, appendix carry holsters, etc.). He includes some general considerations and thoughts, as well as some specific advice. For instance, as to the belt holster he notes:
         There are many different ways to keep your gun in the holster.  Some of the methods include the thumb break, tension screw, Serpa lock, ALS lock, and rotating hood.  For concealed carry, I would generally avoid open topped Kydex holsters that have no retention other than the friction fit of the gun.  In a fight, a bad guy will take your gun away so quickly that you won’t be able to implement your weapon retention strategies.
             This advice applies even more to the FOBUS PADDLE HOLSTER.  Don’t use it!  I haven’t had one make it through any of my high intensity fight scenarios.  Don’t believe me?  Watch this short video.  The holster breaks completely off of the paddle.  Save the Fobus paddle and open top Kydex holsters for the range only.  Don’t use them to carry your defensive guns.
    • A couple articles that mention the CZ 807 in military service:
    • "Pakistan Is About to Buy a Half-Million New Rifles"--War Is Boring. Pakistan is looking at replacing their HK G3 rifles (which are made under license in Pakistan) and AK style rifles. One of the favorites is the CZ rifle. Although the article specifically names the CZ 806 Bren 2 (a 5.56 mm weapon), the article suggests that Pakistan may be interested in a 7.62x39 version, which would be the CZ 807.
    • "Upgrades for the Beretta 92: A Different Gun?"--American Rifleman. If you have a Beretta 92/M9, this article suggests a couple changes to make the weapon a bit better: a lighter trigger spring, and G-10 grip panels to make it a bit thinner around the pistol grip.
    • Some (very) basic tools for home repairs and projects: "The Definitive Tool Box--Essential Tools For Any DIY Job." An infographic discussing a few basic tools and projects for which they can be used. It is oriented for the British market, and notes: "Did you know that a handyman can charge between £25 and £45 to replace a light fitting? Or between £30 and £55 just to hang up a picture or mirror?" I've never even thought about hiring someone to hang a picture or mirror or replace a light fixture.
    • Time to pressure retailers to stop carrying Yeti products. "Yeti Coolers Ends Its Relationship With The NRA"--Weasel Zippers. This seems to be a particularly stupid move on the part of Yeti inasmuch as there are now several competitors offering comparable products. 
    • "AR15 Rail Buyer’s Guide: Budget Edition!"--The New Rifleman. If you are building an AR or thinking of replacing your handguard, this article has the author's reviews of what he considers to be the better quality, yet relatively inexpensive (i.e., sub-$200), free float handguards out there.
    • The elites are really pushing gun control: "Amalgamated Bank Pressures Ruger To Support Gun Control Measures"--The Captain's Journal. I can't tell if this is a sign of desperation, or that the elite feel so confident that they don't feel the need to hide their behavior.
    • "LifeCard® by TrailBlazer Firearms: Weekly Product Review"--M.D. Creekmore. This is a review of a small, single-shot .22 that folds down to the size of a pack of playing cards. It is interesting to me to see the surge in interest in such weapons. For instance, The Firearm Blog today took a look at a prototype .380 Derringer that folds up to a 3x5 package.
    • Not necessarily, but it provides a standard for comparison or compatibility. "Is Mil-Spec Best?"--All Outdoor
    • Ignoring the elephant in the room: "Murders in the USA - the "Behavioral Sink" in action?"--Bayou Renaissance Man. Peter Grant suggest that John C. Calhoun's research into population density and rats explains the disparity in violent crime rates in the U.S. between dense urban areas and surrounding suburban and rural areas. Only problem is that there are plenty of examples of equally dense populations that don't experience the same levels of violent crime as those areas mentioned by Grant. Grant is from South Africa, and still feels the guilt of apartheid. However, that is no excuse for missing the obvious reason why certain dense urban areas in America have higher violent crime rates than suburban or rural areas.
    • "7 Forces Driving America Toward Civil War"--Townhall Magazine. These are: (1) the U.S. is in a post-Constitution era that either ignores the Constitution or treats it as infinitely malleable; (2) tribalism, relieving members of a tribe having to consider other opinions or views; (3) too powerful of a Federal government which forces nationwide conformity and prohibits local variances in government ("When people are unnecessarily forced to live under rules they find abhorrent because the federal government has become an octopus that has inserted its tentacles into every minute crevice of American life, it creates discontent on a wide scale."); (4) moral decline ("When America faces a challenge bigger than we can handle because of ineffective politicians and our 'amusing ourselves to death' population, there are no guarantees our republic will survive."); (5) national debt; (6) lack of a shared culture (i.e., not only do the left and right not want to talk to each other, but even if they did, they wouldn't understand the other); and (7) gun grabbing ("When it is discussed on the Left, there seems to be an assumption that lone resisters might get into firefights with dozens of police or soldiers, as opposed to ganging up with other formerly law-abiding Americans to waylay gun confiscators, politicians and anti-gun activists at THEIR HOMES in guerrilla actions that would be silently applauded and supported by hundreds of millions of Americans concerned about their freedom.").


    1. RE: Basic tools. I do a lot of home repairs, so I'll weigh in with my experience. The two tools I use the most are a quality multi-tip screwdriver/nutdriver ( and Channellock 317 long-nose pliers ( I have made many appliance repairs, and saved a lot of money, with just these two tools. The Channellock pliers have served me well for probably 30 years now.

      The next most frequently used tool is a small multi-tip screwdriver (e.g. for disassembling smaller items like many electronic devices. Next in terms of frequency of use are a Fluke multimeter, an 8-inch adjustable "Crescent" wrench, and some some Vice-Grip locking pliers.

      Of course, I have many other tools, including common general purpose tools and some specialized tools.

      I try to buy quality tools. Cheap tools don't hold up, or fail at critical times. Unfortunately, cheap doesn't necessarily equate with low prices, quality doesn't necessarily equate with high prices, and most tools are now made in China.

      I have also learned that there are some specialized tools that are invaluable - they allow you do to repairs that could not otherwise be accomplished, or they dramatically simplify the repair process. For example, strap wrenches simplify some plumbing repairs, and hose-clamp pliers ( can save time and frustration for some appliance and automotive repairs.

      I freely admit that I sometimes buy tools at Harbor Freight, too. Some Harbor Freight tools are very good (not professional grade, but excellent for home repairs), and some are absolute junk.

      1. Thank you for your comments. I too find myself most often going to a screwdriver with a large selection of removable bits for both home and firearms. I also frequently use my socket wrench--and prefer the deep sockets over standard for most jobs. I find that more amd more I need to use Allen wrenches and torx headed screwdriver bits or wrenches. Most of my handtools are Craftsmen, but I've picked up some tools at Harbor Freight such as inexpensive sets of Allen wrenches that fold up that I can throw in my range bag. I've not had good experience the few times I bought power tools from Harbor Freight, and when I had to get a new hand drill a couple of years ago, I bought a DeWalt.