Hunters and Shooters Club: Crazy Bullshit

I have a weird relationship with the NRA. They occasionally offer the life membership option at a discount for $300. I would give $300 for a life membership to the NRA. The price used to be $700ish for a long time, now it’s up to $1000. My parents gave my brother the discounted membership option, then wrote them a letter asking for another one for me. What I got was a subscription to American Rifleman, which isn’t bad, but they billed me for the $1000. I wrote CANCEL on the bill and sent it back and in typical giant company fashion, they kept sending me magazines and eventually a nastygram for not paying the bill. The magazines have since stopped, so obviously someone is paying attention, but I don’t understand the psychological imperative behind sending someone magazines who is wholly delinquent on their bills. Or a nastygram, it’s just not worth the effort, especially when their billing department is obviously not paying attention.

I was curious about the North American Hunting Club, but their magazine is more like a series of advertisements rather than any particular critical review. To their credit – their reviews of things like whitetail feed were spot on and thorough, but they follow the industry trends of “muzzleloaders are awesome, check out this inline” (not impressed), “check out this new camo pattern!” (illegal in PA), “Check out this scent blocker!” (go roll around in the mud). I don’t know, it’s hard to get excited about “ADVANCES IN HUNTING” when they don’t seem to know the basics. More to the point, when I did try their “trial membership” they were supposed to send me a game cookbook and spices packet. The spices packet was something from a ramen soup factory which didn’t differentiate between white and red meat, and the cookbook was a general How To Cook a Steak manual I could have found on the internet. Certainly it could have nodded towards the essential The Bounty of the Earth, but there’s not even a nod towards this classic of required reading for any hunter. When I canceled they also sent me a nastygram, I don’t get this trend.

While reading up on if Obama (voted “most liberal senator”) was supported by any conservative groups at all after his “vans handing out guns” statement – not to mention saying rural Pennsylvanians cling to “guns, religion, xenophobia” (notice he won’t use the word “racism”) – and the answer is that none of the legitimate ones do. He supports renewing the Assault Weapons Ban, thinks that gun dealers are “dumping guns” (I suppose as a socialist he doesn’t worry about people making a living by selling things), and hasn’t made a single positive statement towards gun ownership. So who does support him and is armed? Why, the American Hunters and Shooters Association!


Talking points on their site:

  • Keep Military Style Weapons in the military
  • We support Obama
  • Outlaw cop killer bullets (not even in quotes, not even used colloquially)
  • We support Obama
  • We dove hunt in Maryland
  • Oh god please don’t notice we have a lot more than 12 birds in that photo per person
  • We support Obama

Who wrote this crap and obviously doesn’t understand that there hasn’t been a rifle built which doesn’t borrow from military design? Ray Schoenke. World class idiot and meat-puppet. Once I figured this out I fired up my Google-fu and found a Michelle Malkin post rounding up the AHSA club and realized, Oh God, Obama is funding shill groups and taking us all as fools…

The Spoils of Wort: Orange Summer Sun

Alright, lets talk about beer! This brew comes from Clone Brews, which is a great jumping off point if you like a beer but think it could be better. The beer is based on Saison Dupont.

So what’s wrong with an A- beer? Not enough fruit. More specifically the complaints seem to be that there’s hints of fruit but it’s too bitter to be a proper belgian beer. So we’re going to fix that.

Process and Ingredients
1) Crush and steep in 150F water for 20 minutes: .5lbs German Vienna Malt. More of this is better, but it’s spendy.
2) Pull bag. Add…
6lbs Muntons extra light DME
1lbs Muntons wheat DME
1lbs Belgian Candi Sugar (rock candy)
1.5oz Goldings hops
Boil for 45 minutes
3) now add…
.5oz Goldings hops
.5oz Curacao bitter orange peel (more is better)
boil for 10 mintues
4) The original in the book calls for .25oz more goldings, I’m substituting .25oz bitter orange peel here. Boil for 5 more minutes.

Yeast is Wyeast 1214 (belgian abbey) but I think has been phased out for Wyeast Belgian Trappist since I couldn’t get the other stuff and saw no difference.

Ferment for two weeks and bottle with 1.25 cup of Muntons extra light DME in place of sugar.

Serving suggestion is a goblet @ 45F, most people seem to report that english tap is the correct serving style.

Fishing Marsh Creek

I was fortunate enough to get an invitation from Jim to go fishing on Marsh Creek. Craig came along also, which was good, since Jim could use someone who has fished from a boat before. I would like to think I provided help in the form of comedy relief trying to figure out what exactly needed to be done to maneuver the boat. Stipulations – Marsh Creek is a big bass lake, and it’s electric motor only. Bait was minnows, and they go for $7 for three dozen at Dick’s up that way. Jim produced red, kinked shank fishhooks, which I had never seen before, and they worked like a charm. Put a minnow on the end (the proper way is to pierce the minnows tail past the white organs but before the fin), toss it in with about two feet of slack on the bobber, and let him swim around until something eats him. I managed to land four, nicely sized crappie this way.

Marlin 1895 in 45-70 Government

Dad picked up a neat piece. It’s a Marlin 1895 in 45-70 government. Shooting Times gave it a positive review. My take on it is that it’s wildly fun to shoot.

Never heard of it? The cartridge was introduced after the American Civil War but never actually saw combat action. The cartridge was considered the ultimate sniper cartridge of the war – testing indicated that a skilled marksman could hit a 6ft by 6ft target (roughly a trench) at 3500 yards, or at a range of two miles could land a round at lethal velocities within 36 square feet. Keep in mind that telescopic sights were rare, but not unheard of. You would need either a keen eye or a spotter. The rifle was never intended to be used as a sniper rifle at these engagement ranges. The trick to the whole thing was that a company of men could roughly aim in a direction and fire as an artillery piece. This is why the rifle wasn’t wildly successful in the military – artillery quickly caught up and with explosive shells, 36 square feet for maybe killing the target wasn’t nearly as impressive as 36 square feet of hot slag from explosive ordinance.

So how does it feel to shoot a 500 (yes, five hundred, as in 1.14 oz) grain bullet?

Well, I expected it to have the kick like a 45 ACP, which shoots a 220 grain bullet, but as a rifle. In other words, I wasn’t taking it seriously and didn’t really set myself up for it. What happened was I just about flipped the gun over my shoulder and got torqued around on the bench. Subsequent shots led to a four inch group at 100 yards once I got myself figured out and started respecting the weapon. Final take is that this is a win. While the arc leaves a bit to be desired (33 inches of drop from a 100 yard zero at 200 yards – ouch!), a careful eye would make this a fantastic hunting rifle.

You too can have a load of fun – and a sore shoulder – with classic calibers.

Liveblogging the American Justice System

Just an update to this – After talking to someone In The Know, he said that it wasn’t likely I would be responsible under code 3733. He indicated it would be very unlikely that the DA would even sign off on prosecuting this. But, here’s the story…

This continues The One Day I Wish I Lived In Jersey.

I was actually sort of surprised that we have an investigation so quickly. It came down from my agent that this guy was madder then hell and calling the office every day asking where his money was. He was also trying to leverage the point that “He fled from the police!” as some kind of mantra. The insurance company either got tired of listening to him or happens to be very efficient.

I got a call from their accident investigation department. The agent tells you which number they will be calling from and advises you to speak to no-one else but someone from that number – apparently they’ve had a lot of fraud. The investigator was polite and asked if I was ok (it’s 5 days later…) and then asked some general questions about the accident. In Pennsylvania, there’s two unfortunate pieces of law: The insurance company gets draft copies of the police report, which you can’t get, and you’re not allowed to have a copy of the other guys story. They tipped me off he made two separate stories, which is why they were calling, and they wanted to record the conversation. Because of this, the investigator told me that they can’t release a copy of his testimony to them without a court subpoena, but they strongly advised me to seek one if it went to trial (it will, he’s charging me).

Thankfully in PA, seeking a subpoena for a trial is as simple as petitioning the judge, which means when I get a docket request (or warrant to appear) I copy down the trial ID number (docket number) and write a letter to the judge telling him why this is relevant and what he should expect to find and if it’s suitable to the trial in his view, he will initiate the discovery. When you’re served with a subpoena for materials in Pennsylvania, you have three choices: surrender the information, send an expert witness along with the information, or send a written objection to the subpoena justifying why you cannot surrender the information. You can’t just say no, but “overly broad” is a valid reason.

The cats out of the bag on what he said, however, since the types of questions were “We can’t tell you about his story but did you bake exactly 12 chocolate chip cookies” kind of questions. This came in the form of “Did you stop for the stop sign and is there damage to the front of your car and the side of his?” Ah, yes I stopped, no there’s no damage of that type. “OK then the other question is was he in the left lane and you crossed the line and rammed him into the divider?” Ah, this is how lawyers make their money, I’m sure. But I didn’t get a transcript of his testimony. We played word games like this for 20 minutes.

After that it was “So what happened? Is there anything else you would like to add?” I mentioned it’s posted 25mph and explained the whole bit about the police. Basically after he hit, he was behind us, we slowed down to pull over and he gave us the highbeams and horn. When we picked up the pace, he decided to pursue us, so we just kept moving (literally driving around the block) until the police showed up. Since our neighbors are a bit bitchy and have nothing better to do except yell at me every time I work on the car in the lot, they probably called the cops. For once in their miserable lives they were useful.

She asked if I was cited for anything (failure to stop, causing an accident, reckless driving, driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident). I indicated I have to go to court regarding a charge of leaving the scene of an accident, but the officers did not cite me for anything nor did they see fit to arrest me. The agent advised me that if I don’t have the paperwork in hand, I may not actually be charged. She told me they’ve had bluffs before where one party says they’re interested in pressing charges to the police, but then don’t want to pay the collateral for appearance so they just drop everything. The maximal fine is $300 as I understand it, both parties have to pay half up front as collateral for appearance which is good towards the final judgment or refundable if you petition for it. Although the courts here are generally accepting and I’ve paid as little as 10% on speeding tickets ($20) and had it accepted as collateral. However if this were a worse crime (leaving the scene of an accident with injuries changes the game to a much worse set of charges) the collateral for appearance may be as much as the total fine.

After we reviewed all this, the tape went on and we went through it all again. As far as the insurance company is concerned, they’re not giving him a red cent.

But, the story doesn’t end there. This would make it way too simple, right? The guy who hit me indicated he wanted me arrested and he wanted to press charges. This means that if I can’t get the police on the phone and didn’t pull over, I’m chargeable under PA state vehicle code. Specifically, section 3733 which concerns evading Johnny Lawman. Unfortunately for the guy who hit me, he doesn’t have the right to pursue me. His obligations end at getting my plates and sending the police after me. So as far as the police are concerned, there’s very explicit requirements for what is a signal to pull over and what is required of the person being signaled. Since the guy behind me wasn’t a cop, it counts against him to initiate a pursuit. Part C section 2 of the code says personal safety concerns are a valid defense.

So, we’ll see how it goes. I’m waiting for the summons to see exactly what I’m being charged with.

Get Smart

I just heard there was going to be a Get Smart movie from the guys at work.

My cast suggestions:

Keanu Reeves (or Aston Kutcher) as Maxwell Smart


Lindsey Lohan as Agent 99.

That is all.

Smash Brothers and Slanty Stuff

If you’re interested in Media Bias or wonder what the other side of the story is, recently made slashdot. It’s worth a read and I don’t see any obvious trolling on it. It does use static links for articles, so any idiot with a perl script could game it given enough motivation. Your mileage may vary. I did notice a tendency for the stereotypes to come out. A story on McCain talking about running a civil campaign was instantly marked as “conservative” even if it’s just him making observations on his relationship with the democratic candidates. My take on it was that it was a fairly centrist story since it’s not even about issues – it’s about how people treat one another on the campaign trail.

In other news, Smash Bros Brawl still tops the charts of wii games I play. The ADD factor of fast flashy lights is there along with simple controls (no stupid 20 button combos to memorize) and if that’s not fast enough, I just started playing with the speed and item controls. All bombs on 2x speed is insane. The custom level editor is also worth the buy but you can’t play them online using your friends list for whatever reason. This is probably a bug, since it works for anonymous matches. I believe it does work if you have the friend physically at the console, so Jon will have to wait to play DEATHPIT 5000 until this weekend’s unveiling.