Wednesday, 17 February 2016

13:40 – Another inch or three of snow overnight, although it’s currently just over freezing so it won’t last long. Our front lawn was solid white this morning, but it’s already mostly green/brown.

Barbara’s in the den putting together Petri dish bags for biology kits while she watches the last-ever episode of Mad Men. I gave up on it after the first two seasons, which were decent. It jumped the petunia in season three, and has been getting worse ever since.

Question from Jen. She’s been reading a lot of prepper fiction, and it seems as if the characters always have $600 red-dot sights (if not $4,000 NV sights) on their AR’s and AK’s. Jen wanted my opinion about whether I thought they needed to spend so much money on these things. I told her that, speaking as someone who’s never been in a firefight, I thought these expensive sights were a low-priority item. Jen and her family all make decent money, but I told her I wouldn’t spend $600 per gun let alone $4,000 unless and until they have the basics very well covered, with redundancy. I suggested that she instead do what I did: buy a small container of UV glow powder and us it in colorless nail polish to coat the tip of the front sights and outline the rear sights of each of their weapons. That gives them reasonably good night sights for all of their rifles and pistols for under $10 total. The best glow powders (green) remain bright enough to be visible in the dark for several hours after brief exposure to direct sunlight, and they can always buy a few $3 UV FLASHLIGHTS to activate the glow powder as needed without destroying their night vision.



39 thoughts on “Wednesday, 17 February 2016”

  1. I’ve got an EOTech for my rifle and a chinese copy for my shotty.

    I don’t know about longevity on the china one, but the eotech is sturdy gear.

    They are very easy to reacquire when the gun moves, but I’m not sure if in a home defense situation you are doing much more than point shooting anyway.

    I got mine as part of the package, and I probably wouldn’t have paid extra until I’ve spent at least double that on training….

    nick

  2. High-quality red dot sights (Aimpoint and EOTech) can significantly increase hit potential over iron sights when conditions are less than ideal–firing from awkward positions, poor lighting, aging eyes, target shooting back, etc. They can also be useful for getting a new shooter up to minimal competence.

    That said, good red dot sights are expensive. Assuming that “the basics” have been met in other prep categories, I think the time to start shopping for red dots is only after you have a reliable long gun and handgun for each shooter in your group, plenty of ammunition and magazines, good holsters, and weapon lights. (I’m not going to open the can of worms that is night vision.)

  3. I suspect that Apple already has (or knows how) to ‘backdoor’ an iPhone. They could probably do it, but don’t want to admit it.

    That said, I have no problem with handing the phone to Apple, and then Apple hands back the information requested. There is no need to ‘give’ a program to anyone to do that.

  4. in re: sights on weapons: I mostly agree with RBT and 100% w/Mr. Dan.

    As for NV scopes, it’s on my wish list, esp. if prices drop at some point. Boy, would that be nice to have! But wicked expensive for now.

    Get to the level where you can disassemble, clean and maintain the long guns and handguns for each member of the group, and training/practice regularly, preferably weekly, but monthly is good. Something other than stationary targets in daylight with no wind and no stress. Dryfire at home is good, too, esp. trying stuff from different positions, on timers, etc. Lots of drills available online. As Mr. Dan mentioned, solid and reliable holsters and slings! Don’t forget BELTS!

    Buying spiffy red-dots is down the list as far as I’m concerned. But great stuff when you’re ready.

  5. Good link there, Mr. nick; generates a decent spreadsheet file for the freq listing on whatever state/county. Got one for this county, most of which I already have programmed into the radios, of course.

    As ever, listening is WAY more important than talking. Still working my way through the ham license stuff; hope to get to Tech by April and General by July. Antennas here are gonna turn out to be as interesting as the gardening has been….i.e., limited….by space considerations and desirability of low-profile.

  6. Night Vision Scope ? Not rich enough for that. Way too much stuff I need to get first. Besides, night vision scopes require lots of training, are bulky, eat batteries, and are a big negative the half of the day that it’s light. I’m saving up for a cheap, $200 or so, night vision monocular. Lots more versatile and useful than a scope. Just bought another set of Motorola MR350 radios to equip my son with so we have the same units.

  7. @RickH
    No, Apple can’t do it for them without reveling the fact that they can do it. Then it would never stop.

  8. “Night Vision Scope ? Not rich enough for that. Way too much stuff I need to get first.”

    Ditto, and I like the idea of the separate monocular. NV scopes cost at least much, and often two, three or four times the cost of the rifles. There’s also an NV gizmo that connects with yer iPhone.

    http://www.flir.com/flirone/

  9. I suspect that Apple already has (or knows how) to ‘backdoor’ an iPhone. They could probably do it, but don’t want to admit it.

    It is an easy task for a systems engineer. Create a new operating system release that does not invoke the login utility. Push the new release onto the device in the lab. Reboot.

  10. As “promised” earlier, a short reading list that pretty well covers “how we got to where we are today” in this country:

    How We Got Here Reading List

    Contemporary:

    Buchanan, Patrick. “Suicide of A Superpower: Will America Survive To 2025?”

    West, Diana. “American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character”

    “The Death of the Grown Up: How America’s Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization”

    Historical:

    Wilson, Clyde N. “From Union to Empire: Essays in the Jeffersonian Tradition.”

    Rothbard, Murray. “Conceived in Liberty,” (four volumes)

    If only time for three books: Buchanan’s, West’s “American Betrayal,” and Wilson’s book of essays (he’s our greatest living historian now).

  11. @Lynn
    Well that gets you past the user password but what does it do for encrypted data?

    The NSA can get that for them. But apparently if the login fails a certain number of times, it erases the data. So they just need to get around the login feature.

  12. Re sights and laser dots and such, I’ve never been in a gun battle as a civilian, but I have pointed pistols and shotguns at people and I have been shot at. Distance was six feet or less. A laser dot won’t help you hit at that distance but it’s intimidating as hell when you put a dot on someone’s chest and tell him to freeze.

    I have no civilian experience pointing a rifle at a human. I was shot at only twice (and hit once, which pissed me off more than anything) at a distance of maybe a hundred feet. It was at night but I was well lit by a streetlight. (It was an ambush by a guy who incorrectly thought I was doinking his wife.) I don’t have much useful to add regarding aiming add-ons for rifles; I assume military experience of stomping around hunting people has very little to do with the typical home defense scenario. (I’d hope not, anyway.)

  13. Red-dots, night sights, etc.

    I’d put these pretty low on the list of things to do, but not off the list altogether. In most scenarios, I would expect a defensive posture where field-of-fire and overlapping fields would be the goal. Keep their heads down with fire. In such a case, the defender would have a tremendous advantage over an aggressor. Night-sights would be nice, but not necessary. My night-combat training (30+ years ago? Sheesh) focused on natural night vision and knowing the AO well. Maybe we didn’t have it back then.

    Unless you’re a sniper or infiltrating a well-defended position, I don’t see a pressing need. And if you are such a person, your training is probably such that such niceties are already something you would have or understand well.

  14. Um, I got a night vision scope for <$400. Twice.

    Sold the first one. Kept the second. Don't have it mounted and probably won't unless things get much sportier. Or I move out to the country.

    In both cases, they were at the city surplus auction.

    The first was huge and used mostly for surveillance but was a genuine scope, with exchangeable reticles.

    The second is still pretty big, and has an onboard IR laser illuminator too. It still has the "lollipop" reticle and came on a scope mount.

    They do come up on ebay. That's where I sold the first one.

    Genuine scopes are less common than NVGs or consumer "scopes" built from an IR illuminator and a video camera but there are some available.

    They are bulky. NOT something you want on your rifle all the time, that's for sure.

    nick

  15. @Lynn – The NSA can get that for them. But apparently if the login fails a certain number of times, it erases the data. So they just need to get around the login feature.

    Thanks, I’ve read that and should have remembered.

    Walled in, DRM infected and overpriced. What’s not to like?

  16. She’s been reading a lot of prepper fiction, and it seems as if the characters always have $600 red-dot sights (if not $4,000 NV sights) on their AR’s and AK’s. Jen wanted my opinion about whether I thought they needed to spend so much money on these things. I told her that, speaking as someone who’s never been in a firefight, I thought these expensive sights were a low-priority item. Jen and her family all make decent money, but I told her I wouldn’t spend $600 per gun let alone $4,000 unless and until they have the basics very well covered, with redundancy.

    First, buy lots of guns (3 to 10) for each person in the compound and lots of ammo. Then buy more ammo. 10,000 rounds per person is a good starting place. JHP is very nice but FMJ will do just fine in a crunch.

    As you have mentioned, you might have to supply your army XXXX neighbors with guns and food. Better have enough to share if you can afford it.

  17. I seem to remember that the current NSA de-encryptor array is called BigCruncher or something like that. I have no idea if it is Linux or some custom one off O/S.

    The NSA is reputedly the largest purchaser of hard drives in the world, I suspect that they are also the largest purchaser of video cards (CUDA / GPU) in the world. They are probably keeping AMD alive with all their black purchases.

  18. SteveF wrote:

    “…I’ve never been in a gun battle as a civilian, but I have pointed pistols and shotguns at people…”

    What about the time an angry father asked you to “take care” of his daughter’s rapists and one or more of them accidently got shot?

  19. Miles_Teg, you’re mixing up an incident. I went to talk to the first rapist, turned out all three were there, one of them pulled a gun on me, and the end result was they all died of broken necks.

  20. “Miles_Teg, you’re mixing up an incident.”

    Ah, okay.

    “Getting old is hell.”

    Glad that they were taken care of, one way or another.

  21. Yep, she know what she’s doing. Nice Judo or Ju Jitsu throw to start it off.

    I had to hunt for the back story. Apparently, he said something about her on Facebook that she didn’t like. She confronted him, and he “threw water on her”. The video apparently starts with her reaction to that. From the info available, it’s hard to say whether it was justified.

    Regardless, that’s one kid who will be thinking harder about his Facebook posts in the future…

  22. I have to say I was caught off guard by the demographics. Not what I am used to seeing when I click on clickbait about girls fighting in school…..

    I love her situational awareness too, covering her face for the camera.

    The school statements are very strange. If they’re reported correctly, there is something going on here that is not in the article, that the school is aware of. It’ll be interesting to see if the male gets suspended. Normally under ‘zero tolerance’ rules, both parties get a suspension, no matter who started it, or who was the aggressor. Most likely, unless there is a racial component, we won’t see any more on the story.

    nick

  23. Oh so much fail in this article:

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3452573/Texas-M-University-apologizes-High-school-visitors-racially-abused-students-toured-campus.html

    “According to reports, the incident was sparked when one A&M student spotted one of the high school children carrying a University of Texas bag.

    While others touring the campus say they heard white A&M students telling them to ‘Go back where you came from’ and used other racial slurs.

    A counselor from the tour group is thought to have called the police after the incident, and a campus officer came and investigated at the scene.”

    The poor little snowflakes were “racially abused” by having a flag waved at them, or being approached by someone wearing earrings! Then there was name calling.

    OH MY, better start the grovelling, oh and call the police!

    Note the media calling them ‘children’.
    Note that the incident started when one of the ‘children’ carried an article with the logo of hated, despised, and vilified UT which could have been the impetus for the “back where you came from” but we gotta assume it was racial since it’s now a ‘racial slur’.

    Oh the counselor must be groaning under the white man’s burden of protecting the delicate sensibilities of those ‘children.’

    I’m getting tired of it.

    nick

  24. Normally under ‘zero tolerance’ rules, both parties get a suspension, no matter who started it, or who was the aggressor.

    I hate zero tolerance policies. I first encountered them as a 2nd Looey in Uncles Army. Then all through K-12 with the kids. Nobody take responsibility anymore. Especially public school principals. Just say “zero tolerance” and kick everybody out. Yet, your tax dollars pay the douche’s salary.

  25. I’m with ya, and dreading the next 10 years of school….

    Home school them when they hit middle school. The home schooling groups in Fort Bend County (Sugar Land and Katy especially) are STRONG. There are many private teachers for subjects that you do not feel comfortable with. We hired out Chemistry and Calculus for our son.

  26. I’m inclined toward home school anyway, but wife isn’t. It would take some sort of ‘incident’ at school to convince the wife.

    We’ve got several families in the neighborhood who homeschool, and they typically move in and out of regular school too.

    One of the things we look at is that thru elementary the kid’s biggest influence is home and parents. After that it’s peer group, so it’s gonna be important to have the right peer group.

    nick

  27. Home schooling, gack. I see the need, given the quality of the US public school system, but my impression is that you have to pretty much build your life around the schooling process. Even if you are fortunate enough to have a good local home-schooling community, you will spend endless hours involved in the process, and (worse) involved with the people involved in the process. My wife and I see a picture like this, and both of us say “let’s move there”. I would rather find a good private school for my kids, and spend the freed hours working more, to pay for it.

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