Thursday, 27 November 2014

10:42 – Barbara picked up a Saturnalia tree on her way home from work yesterday. She’s decorating the tree right now with lights, ornaments, and the traditional stuffed panda sitting on top. Barbara’s heading over to her sister’s house for Thanksgiving. For me, this is just another work day. Barbara will bring me food later.

Work on the prepping book continues. Right now, I’m writing about hardening your home by such means as installing longer screws in door hinges, planting thorny bushes around the perimeter, and so on. One major problem for many homes is that their walls provide little to no resistance to bullets. I actually did some informal testing on this back in the 70’s, and found that even a .22 rimfire bullet penetrated most common residential wall types. The exceptions were concrete block and brick veneer, both of which stood up pretty well to anything up to and including .308/30-06 AP rounds. The block or brick was damaged, and couldn’t stand up to more than a couple heavy-caliber hits in the same place, but it provided a reasonable barrier.

Not really expecting to find any authoritative information on the subject, I just went out and did a Google search. I was surprised to find a technical report on just this topic from the Canadian Police Research Centre. They actually built examples of different types of residential walls and fired bullets from various pistols and rifles at them. In the conclusion I found this sentence, which sums things up nicely: “Walls finished with either a clay brick or concrete brick veneer prevented all but the .50 Browning from complete penetration of the wall assembly.” And that “all” included the 7mm Remington Magnum and the .375H&H.

32 thoughts on “Thursday, 27 November 2014”

  1. Happy Thanksgiving to all the US readers.

    So, ATF set up a storefront in Milwaukee as a fencing operation. Got robbed at night, an agent had 3 guns go missing from his car (including a full-auto rifle), paid such high prices for guns it spiked the crime rate, and when done left the place trashed and refused to pay back rent – threatening the landlord with criminal charges if he pursued it.

    And when this came out, other landlords came forward.

    Time to disband this group of incompetents. Or at least take away their guns.

    Edit: Here is a link to the story:

  2. We gots solid brick walls here but geez, rounds can go through the windows easily…unless we spring for ballistic glass or heavy-duty shutters that close and lock.

    As for the ATF, I spit on their reputation since Waco and other travesties; not to mention they hired a former police officer colleague of mine thirty years ago who was blatantly incompetent and a coke user/dealer. I heard through the grapevine that she finally retired on disability, thus soaking the taxpayers until the end of her days. Also a tramp, who did anything that moved if it advanced her “career.”

    We got about four inches of heavy wet snow on the ground and apparently double that on the vehicles for some reason.

    Cooking for tomorrow and watching football.

  3. Dunno about you, OFD, but our ground was above freezing, so the snow on the ground melted quite a bit. Snow on the vehicles much less, at least as of this morning, when Son#1 cleared the driveway and one car.

    (I’d told him to wait, as more would have melted by the time our* guests would be arriving, but he wanted the exercise. High-carb cafeteria food has him weighing a bit more than he thinks he should, with “a bit” meaning 20 or 30 pounds. Son#2, too.)

  4. The weight-loss business – I seem to have to have fallen into something that works, and my elder son immediately identified it as “Mediterranean diet”. To an extent, he’s right. It also resembles Atkins and paleo diets. Firstly, I just seem to have lost the taste for carbohydrates. Sandwich? Nahh – not interested. Flatbread (like Lebanese bread, or a wrap), or a bread roll (love both) … No thanks, not really… if I try, I lose interest halfway through, strip out the filling, and toss the carb. Crackers? No thanks, not interested any longer. Half a small potato, half a cooked carrot.

    So, what it ends up as, is meat trimmed of fat, salad greens or steamed veggies – mostly non-carb, pickles, pickled cukes and olives, and occasional fruit. The meat doesn’t HAVE to be totally fat free – salami and pepperoni are fine, ham is good but I trim the fat and eat the meat and skin. Grilled steak, pork or mutton, chicken or fish, trimmed after or while eating.

    Ends up somewhat like Chuck with his olive oil – I have a few pickled mixed olives, a few Kalamata olives, oil rich, nibble, nibble, nahh… I’m not hungry any longer. Most of the deli salads are not to taste though because they’re loaded with carbs.

    I hope it keeps up (and the weight keeps heading down).

  5. Alan, thank you! I rarely drink fizzy stuff, but prefer real sugar to HFCS.
    I’ll get a case next time I find it.

  6. Some thoughts on diet and weight loss from a techie (Part 1 of 4):

    “What I’m going to do here over the next few days is write a sort of metadiet book. It’s a method of determining what exactly allows you to lose weight. In the process, you will write your own diet book. It will have an audience of exactly one, and thus is unlikely to become a bestseller. But it may well be the best book you ever read.”

  7. I have suspended the diet until the turkey and cornucopia are gone. Probably through the weekend. Back to olive oil suppers around Monday.

  8. “I have suspended the diet until the turkey and cornucopia are gone.”

    The only meat items at our T-Day dinner tomorrow will be the turkey and a small localvore ham. Everything else is veggies and fruit, including the stock I use for the dressing/stuffing.

    I’m not on any diet and couldn’t possibly care less; I’m down to 233 from 265 with 122/72 BP and good haht rate and temp. I just need to get out for more exercise but I worry about Charlie in the wire or crimigants or local meth and crack-heads. I’ve been told the odds are tiny about this but me and the other vets worry anyway. Oh well.

    Snow ain’t gonna melt around here for a few days, maybe Sunday, when it will supposedly hit fotty.

  9. I was with close family friends today. They cooked the bird in one of those deep fryers made for Butterball. I am used to oven cooking for 4 to 5 hours or longer. This was a 12 pound bird done in under 40 minutes.

    I think I need one of those gizmos. I love cooking duck and Cornish hens, but usually do it in the crock pot, however, this frying method may win out over that. Crock pot is not convenient when one’s main meal is at noon. If you put it on before bed, it cooks too long; if you put it on first thing in the morning, it does not cook long enough.

  10. I believe you can hook the crockpot up to a timer, and have it start up whenever you want at whatever setting.

    Only two guests we are having tomorrow, so fah as I know, are MIL and Princess. But sometimes Princess just decides to bring along one or more friends down here, so we’ll see. No notice, of course; we have to run around and re-arrange stuff accordingly. Maybe I’m just being cynical…

  11. Hey Brad, I just finished “Take The Star Road” by Peter Grant. Thanks for recommending it!

    Very good, I gave it 4 stars out of 5 and have ordered the second and third books in the series.

    If you like Libertarian Heinleinesqe space opera then you might want to try “Freehold” by Michael Williamson:

  12. Don’t worry about Obola, Monica Lewinsky’s boyfriend’s wife is waiting just around the corner to finish the job.

  13. Talking about limiting carbs on turkey day, the horror of it! Especially when I just had a double helping of turkey and oyster habanero dressing for supper. Yes, I had giblet gravy on top of it. On top of the four XXXX five XXX who is counting? pieces of homemade pumpkin and pecan pie for desert this afternoon. My wife is a saint. And a great cook!

    After all, I’ve got 11.5 months until I see my cardiologist again.

  14. Oh, Dad That’s pretty lousy of the teens. Our boys have had to occasionally jump in and help out at a public event. Even if they really aren’t wanting to, they paste a smile on their faces and make the best of the situation – it’s part of life in this family. That the President’s daughters are unwilling (or unable?) to do this is pretty pathetic…

    @Lynn: Thanks – I found that series just a few weeks ago – good stuff! IIRC the next book in the series is due out at the end of year. Freehold, I think you recommended that before, and I read it then.

    A while ago, I bought this discounted collection “Stars & Empire”. It’s a huyge collection of stuff from a pile of different authors, some slush, but some good stuff. I just finished the book “The Empire’s Corps”, by Christopher Nuttall. It’s a good yarn, and also the first book in a long series. I’m only half-way through the collection – hopefully, there will be even more gems in there!

  15. “Strategic Relocation Briefing—Kentucky and the Daniel Boone National Forest”

    “Your choices in Kentucky are broader than you think, but the important thing is to follow these general criteria: 1) find land with basement potential, 2) good water resources (well, spring, or creek), 3) a mix of forestation for shielding and open land for cultivation, and 4) the home site should not be visible from any main or secondary paved road.”

  16. Hey Brad, “Stars & Empire” looks good but there is no dead tree version. I spend all day hacking XXXXXX cracking XXXXXX programming on PCs so the last thing I want to do at the end of the day is read a book on one. I have about 400 books in my SBR (strategic book reserve) and am constantly adding to it, much to the sainted wife’s unhappiness. Something about more books being added than taken away.

    OK, I forgot that I had recommended “Freehold”. How about “The Dragon Variation (Liaden Universe®)” ? This is another Libertarian space opera with Heinlein leanings. The books are almost all 5 stars and this one is three books for the price of one.

    Warning, read one and you will want to read all twenty books in the very loose series. And the order of publication is not the order of the books.

  17. @Lynn: thanks – I’ll give “Dragon Variation” a look today!

    Re “dead tree” books. If you haven’t, you should give a Kindle with an e-ink (not LED) display a try. The first book you read feels a bit strange, after that, it’s really pleasant. My only complaint is that organizing books on the device is more awkward than it ought to be.

  18. Crock pot is not convenient when one’s main meal is at noon. If you put it on before bed, it cooks too long; if you put it on first thing in the morning, it does not cook long enough.

    What about putting the crock pot on a timer, so it starts around 2am?

  19. Good idea. Don’t know why that never occurred to me. And I have one sitting in a box of miscellaneous stuff I never unpacked.

  20. I believe you can hook the crockpot up to a timer, and have it start up whenever you want at whatever setting.

    Savvy shoppers buy crockpots with built-in timers…

    I don’t know of any slow cookers with delayed start features. It’s not safe to put food in it and delay cooking. However, both of mine have a countdown timer, then they switch to keep warm mode after finishing.

  21. That’s the kind of timer I’m referring to. Cooks, then keeps warm. I agree that delayed starts isn’t a good thing.

  22. My son has one of the Kindles with e-ink. The screen on it is beautiful and the first screen that I can see in the daylight. But, still too computery for me. My son does say that the battery lasts forever also.

    I am not sure that the screen can show graphics so it may be a reader only and not an internet terminal also.

  23. Last year, did one turkey in the Charbroil InfraRed Big Easy ( ).

    Nice and crisp skin, juicy inside, easy, no fire risk . I liked it better than the one we did in the over the same time. (Had a big gang over.)

    You can add wood chips for smoking, or do chickens, etc. Used it that spring for baby-back ribs….those were excellent!

  24. Well, my ancient Kindle does do graphics, but of course only BW. It also has a Web browser, but let’s not go there. Book reader, one purpose, that’s it..

  25. I’m getting a sous vide system via a kickstarter and it is wi-fi/smartphone enabled. I probably won’t need to use the link much, I’ll just use the front panel.

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