Friday, November 11, 2022

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Battle of Lepanto post, R.I.P.

In case you  missed it, I made a post yesterday about the Battle of Lepanto, October 7, 1571. It had a link to the Wikipedia page (that link) and another to G.K. Chesterton's poem "Lepanto" with some excerpts from the latter. 

There was also a meme making a joke about putting your feet up on an ottoman while saying your rosary. (Link. It might work.)

Now I had a devil of a time with stray code showing up in that blog post, screwing up the formatting but I thought I finally had the stray code stripped out. However, when I checked this morning I saw that I had a couple big white bars there indicating there were some stray "div" references, so I went to edit them out.

And somehow screwed up the layout of the entire blog so that my let sidebar was just gone, and only some of the right sidebar was there; what there was, was at the bottom of the page.

I tried several things, but finally deleted that post, and viola! Sidebars are back. So for the eight or nine people that even know this blog exists, that's the story of how I lost a really entertaining, informative post, but also how I came to have a new theme on the page.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

MAG-80 Lessons Learned, Pt. 3

Lesson Learned #3: Sometimes the little things mean a lot. 

MAG-80 includes training on weapons retention. This is hands-on training in the strictest sense of the term, I try to grab your gun, you keep me from doing so, and vice-versa. Instructions called for a training simulator (i.e. Rings Blue Gun) and a "sturdy pair of leather gloves" for this part of the class, which was 2-3 hours every day.

My yard work gloves are in good enough shape for yard work, but getting raggedy enough I went and bought a new pair of leather work gloves, to be precise, Wells  Lamont Cowhide Full Leather Adjustable Work Gloves model #1132. Good gloves, you can get them at pretty much any chain or big box hardware store. If you look at the photo you'll see that they have the common strap across the back to adjust size; I bought a size large, which fit snugly enough I paid little attention to it...

Wells  Lamont Cowhide Full Leather Adjustable Work Gloves model #1132

...until during the retention training I was experiencing sharp pains in my hands. I thought my training partners were applying some Vulcan nerve pinch I had missed in the descriptions. I thought my hand was broken. I thought... I don't know what I thought. 

But if you take another look at the photo of the glove again you'll what it was. That little bead at the end of the tension strap? Enough pressure exerted straight down on the back of the hand wearing it in just the right place is very distracting...

Great if your actual assailant is wearing the gloves, bad if it's a classmate... 

EDIT To add: In at least one of the videos on the subject Mas showed us one of the assistant instructors was wearing these same gloves, and did not seem to have any problems. So the gloves are fine.

Friday, August 5, 2022

MAG-80 Lessons Learned, Pt. 2

 Still on the shotgun, but without the fancy language this time.

Lessons Learned Part 2:

2A. If circumstances require you to fire your shotgun one handed, you should do so from cover, using said cover to brace said shotgun.
2B. If, when doing so the slide opens upon firing, do not assume that it has opened far enough to pick up the next shell, even if it has ejected the fired one.

Mas had said that the slide opening was a possibility, for Remington 870s, and  seemed surprised that it happened on a Mossberg. I guess that spray-can gun lube is better than I thought, or the action on my Mossy is smoother than usual. Or, I suppose it could have something to do with having replaced the stock fore-end with the Surefire replacement, with light. 

Anyway, the slide opened, ejected the spent shell, I slammed it shut, not realizing that it had not picked up the next shell, and the bolt was closed on an empty chamber. Since the chamber was empty I had to depress the Action Lock to chamber a shell. On the range doing a drill, this merely slows me (and potentially everyone else) down a second or two, but when the excrement hits the rotary air circulation device...

BTW, if anyone has been following these drivelings for years, I can say that the Surefire fore-end gave me no problem this time around, so possibly the issues I had during the FAS Defensive Shotgun class back in 2015 were due to the Magpul sling adapter.

I was also able to acquire a supply of Federal Low Recoil Tactical slugs, and Low Recoil 8 Pellet 00 Buckshot with the Flite Control wad, which may have also led to a less-punishing experience. 

The other issue I ran into with the 'scattergun was due to having the "Persuader" version of a Mossberg 500, with the 20" barrel and full length magazine. The barricade/cover positions for shotgun call for bracing the front of the mag' tube against the vertical or horizontal cover as a rest -- thus Part B of Lesson 2 above -- but that full length tube puts the muzzle right there, which is less than optimal. Fortunately I had added an after market clamp-on forward sling adapter which served OK as a brace. 

Thursday, August 4, 2022

MAG-80 Lessons Learned, Pt. 1

Thou shalt take care when firing slugs from thy Shotgonne with rapidity, lest thy thumb slippeth out of position and ye giveth thyself a Fatte Lippe...

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

MAG-80 next week

 Yes, I'm stoked, balanced by not wanting to be "that guy".


(Actually, I don't think we had "that guy" in MAG-40.) (Uh-oh, we all know what that means...)

Friday, July 15, 2022

I'm glad that week is over. EDITS

At least, I sure hope it is...

A rare glimpse into Why Drang Drinks.

M-F, 0800-1200, FEMA Instructor Development Workshop via Zoom, two presentations evaluated by other students and instructors. Followed on Monday and Thursday by an additional 8 hour shift, starting at noon. (Fortunately, I was authorized to telework...)

And Mrs. Drang had an online class Tuesday and today. Except she didn't know that it was a two-parter when she signed up for it. Remember this, it will be significant...

Monday morning she discovered that the compressor had gone out on the fridge. So while I was slaving away over a hot internet connection, she was searching for dry ice and on the phone trying to get a repair technician to come out.

He did, finally, at 6 PM. And the replacement part he had didn't work. 

Expecting him to come out Tuesday morning, she got a text that he had been rescheduled to Thursday. A couple of angry phone calls later, she got hold of them and him and he showed up shortly after her class was done, and had the fridge running right away. It had finally cooled off to the point we could take food out of coolers nd put them in the freezer and fridge compartments at about 9 PM.

Somewhere in there I was informed that a package had been delivered to the office for me, and from the return address I deduced that it was course material. I managed OK with .pdfs, but I decided that rather than have it take up space on a (shared) desk, I would pop in quickly and pick it up...

...and discovered upon arrival that the the personnel scheduled to be in-office had 1) requested and been approved to telework due to illness  -- OK -- and 2) overslept and decided to telework to avoid being late. Without running it by anyone. Resulting on me making several phone calls, tracking down my boss -- who was speaking to the director -- and suggesting we needed to talk, being told to spit it out, and, of course, embarrassing my boss...

Also, one employee from first shift doing an hour of overtime, and me sitting in the office working the phones, in jeans and a t-shirt, when I was supposed to be off...

Then, last night (after I had gone to bed), the intert00bz died. 

I had already planned to get up early and put some finishing touches on my final presentation, but spent most of that time trying to get connected. My laptop with LTE connectivity wasn't getting a strong enough signal to connect, so I finally used my brand new (less than a week old!) cell phone as a mobile hotspot...

Which was about the time I learned about Part 2 of Mrs. Drang's class. So I told her how I had gotten online, thinking that would work for her...

And then she told me she needed my laptop AND hers to have two screens... 

(Fortunately I was using the desktop, with dual monitors. Which, BTW, can lead to odd behavior from Zoom...)

...And just as I was about to start my presentation she informed me (by screaming) that she was unable to connect...

I finished and talked the rest of the small group to give me a five minute break so I could try and get her online.

Which I did, by logging her into MY cell phone. So for the rest of the mornings Samsung's finest was providing internet for THREE computers. I am told that my audio signal garbled a couple of times, but was readable. 

So with that over with we called customer service to see if they could trouble shoot the "Home WiFi Gateway", the results of which effort was to suggest we take it to the local store and exchange it, "Or we can ship you one for delivery next week."  

Went to store, store said they couldn't just swap it after we had been in possession for over 30 days, but they can have one delivered to us "Next Day", which, this being Friday, probably means Monday. Which means she should be back online in time for Tuesday's class.

But I need a drink or three...

Edit 1, originally a comment: First World Problems all, of course, but the cumulative effect of multiple First World Problems within a short period can be just as detrimental.

Edit 2: Yep, Mrs. Drang picked it up Monday while I was at work, Mrs. Drang realized that we had left the old box and its power supply in my car, so we plugged it in when I got home. Connected to it, and... Nothing.

She had ANOTHER online class yesterday morning, which I didn't want to interrupt by calling customer service. She got done about the time I was leaving for work, so she called CS. She and the tech went back and forth, wound up Mrs. Drang reading stuff off the label, while the tech looked stuff up in "the manual". Eventually Mrs. Drang got to "SIM" and the tech says "A-ha!! What's the number?" and then "OK, don't hang up or mess with the box, I'll be back in ten minutes."

Apparently the sim card listed on our account had to be reset by them, before we could use it. Which was fine, but it should have been mentioned on some documentation in the box...

Monday, July 4, 2022


In Congress, July 4, 1776

In Congress, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


Button Gwinnett

Lyman Hall

George Walton


North Carolina

William Hooper

Joseph Hewes

John Penn


South Carolina

Edward Rutledge

Thomas Heyward, Jr.

Thomas Lynch, Jr.

Arthur Middleton



John Hancock


Samuel Chase

William Paca

Thomas Stone

Charles Carroll of Carrollton



George Wythe

Richard Henry Lee

Thomas Jefferson

Benjamin Harrison

Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Francis Lightfoot Lee

Carter Braxton



Robert Morris

Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Franklin

John Morton

George Clymer

James Smith

George Taylor

James Wilson

George Ross


Caesar Rodney

George Read

Thomas McKean


New York

William Floyd

Philip Livingston

Francis Lewis

Lewis Morris


New Jersey

Richard Stockton

John Witherspoon

Francis Hopkinson

John Hart

Abraham Clark


New Hampshire

Josiah Bartlett

William Whipple



Samuel Adams

John Adams

Robert Treat Paine

Elbridge Gerry


Rhode Island

Stephen Hopkins

William Ellery



Roger Sherman

Samuel Huntington

William Williams

Oliver Wolcott


New Hampshire

Matthew Thornton