Just for the hell of it, I thought I’d do this meme even though no one (to my knowledge) tagged me with it:

1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!
2. Find page 123.
3. Find the first five sentences.
4. Post the next three sentences.

Now, I’m not going to post a picture of my reloading/blogging/websurfing area (it looks like the aftermath of a tornado), but bear in mind I’ve got books on just about every horizontal surface to my left and right – and one is a 7′ tall bookshelf with six shelves. But it just so happens that I have a book on my computer desk (under a pile of stuff) so that’s the one I’m pulling.

Here we go:

I am really, sir, the English public schoolboy. That’s an eighteenth-century product. What with the love of truth that – God help me! – they rammed into me at Clifton and the belief Arnold forced upon Rugby that the vilest of sins – the vilest of all sins – is to peach to the head master!

That’s a portion of an excerpt from Tom Brown’s School Days taken by James Bowman for his book Honor: A History in the chapter “Honor Between the Wars.”

Now I’m supposed to tag five others, but… meh.

Now (Finally) I Get to See if it Shoots

As promised, pictures of the Remington 700 5R with the Leupold on it, and an extra, added bonus:

As always, click for full size.

The rings are Burris Xtreme Tactical low mounts. Everybody I tried was out of stock on the medium height rings, but when the scope came in, I set it on the 20MOA mount and the objective bell cleared the barrel, so low rings would work perfectly – and those were in stock! Kudos to who not only had them, but had them for less than Midway and shipped UPS ground at no extra charge. The rings and that spirit level both showed up today.

The spirit level is courtesy of Ninth Stage, who offered me one of my choice of sizes back when I bought the rifle. After I ordered the Leupold I emailed him and asked if the offer was still open, and he sent me not one, but two – I now have a 1″ version I think I’ll put on the scope on my XP-100 pistol! They’re very nice. He still has a few left, so if you’d like to buy one I’m sure he’ll make you a good deal.

So the plan now is to make a trip to the range on Saturday to try out the Remington with my 175 grain Matchking load and zero the scope, and also to make sure my new 200 grain hollowpoint Rainier Ballistic .45ACP loads feed, function, and hit what I aim at in preparation for Sunday’s Pima Pistol Steelworker’s match.


(This is a gunblog, after all! It can’t be all politics, all the time.)

Quote of the Day.

Much like Eric Cartman, my hatred for hippies cannot become more intense without physically manifesting itself as a glowing orb which would follow me around occasionally bellowing things like “BRING ME THE HEAD OF ED BEGLEY JUNIOR!” or “MARTIN SHEEN MUST BE PUNISHED IN THE FLAMES OF A THOUSAND POUNDS OF STYROFOAM!” – Stingray from Atomic Nerds post Earth Day: Of COURSE it Pisses Me Off

I Cannot Argue With this Logic…

…and I don’t even drink beer!

From a friend in Europe:
“We in Denmark cannot figure out why you are even bothering to hold an

“On one side, you have a bitch who is a lawyer, married to a lawyer, and a
lawyer who is married to a bitch who is a lawyer.

“On the other side, you have a true war hero married to a woman with a huge
chest who owns a beer distributorship.

“Is there a contest here?”

Shamelessly stolen from Firehand at Irons in the Fire.

Suddenly my painful duty come November is somehow less painful!

OK, Who’s Telling the Truth Here?

Regarding Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, the Ben Stein documentary that I referred to below, we have two conflicting stories. One, as apparently told by the documentary, is that Richard Sternberg, a staff scientist at the National Institutes of Health and (former) editor of Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington was responsible for the publishing of a “a pro-intelligent design article” by one Stephen C. Meyer. Meyer is referred to as “a proponent of intelligent design” by NPR, but as “director and Senior Fellow of the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute” by the Institute itself.

It appears that the film, according to this site “claims that Sternberg was ‘terrorized’ and that ‘his life was nearly ruined’….” Further: “The paper ignited a firestorm of controversy merely because it suggested intelligent design might be able to explain how life began.”

NPR reports:

Sternberg says his colleagues and supervisors at the Smithsonian were furious. He says — and an independent report backs him up — that colleagues accused him of fraud, saying they did not believe the Meyer article was really peer reviewed. It was.

Eventually, Sternberg filed a complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which protects federal employees from reprisals. The office launched an investigation. Ultimately, it could not take action, because Sternberg is not an employee of the Smithsonian.

But Sternberg says before closing the case, the special counsel, James McVay, called him with an update. “As he related to me, ‘the Smithsonian Institution’s reaction to your publishing the Meyer article was far worse than you imagined,'” Sternberg says.

McVay declined an interview. But in a letter to Sternberg, he wrote that officials at the Smithsonian worked with the National Center for Science Education — a group that opposes intelligent design — and outlined “a strategy to have you investigated and discredited.” Retaliation came in many forms, the letter said. They took away his master key and access to research materials. They spread rumors that Sternberg was not really a scientist. He has two Ph.D.’s in biology — from Binghamton University and Florida International University. In short, McVay found a hostile work environment based on religious and political discrimination.

After repeated calls and e-mails to the Smithsonian, a spokesman told NPR, “We have no public comment, and we won’t have one in the future.”

The anti-Expelled site has a different take:

Expelled doesn’t even get the paper’s subject right. The paper was not about how life began; it was about the Cambrian Explosion, which occurred about three billion years later. The greater error is claiming that the discussion of ID generated the controversy. There was an understandable outcry from members of the Biological Society of Washington over the embarrassing publication of what they recognized as poorly-written, inaccurate science in their journal. The argument presented in the Meyer paper had previously been reviewed and rejected by scientists. Seeing this shoddy science in their journal indeed “ignited a firestorm”, but not for the reasons given in Expelled. For more on why the paper was bad science, see the review published on the Panda’s Thumb blog and the review in the Palaeontological Society Newsletter.

The first question asked by BSW members was “how did this paper ever get published?” According to the Council of the Biological Society of Washington, Sternberg failed to follow proper procedure in publishing the paper: “Contrary to typical editorial practices, the paper was published without review by any associate editor; Sternberg handled the entire review process. The Council, which includes officers, elected councilors, and past presidents, and the associate editors would have deemed the paper inappropriate for the pages of the Proceedings because the subject matter represents such a significant departure from the nearly purely systematic content for which this journal has been known throughout its 122-year history.” The BSW withdrew the paper in embarrassment, emphasizing that the paper was substandard science. It commented that the society endorsed “a resolution on ID published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (, which observes that there is no credible scientific evidence supporting ID as a testable hypothesis to explain the origin of organic diversity. Accordingly, the Meyer paper does not meet the scientific standards of the Proceedings.”

Though Sternberg claimed that he was the best qualified to handle the review process, science blogger Ed Brayton notes that this is not the case: (Quote omitted)

The fact that Sternberg published the Meyer paper in his second-to-last scheduled issue as editor, and that he didn’t follow normal procedure, suggests that he knew that his actions and the paper would be seen as objectionable by his fellow scientists.

It continues:

The Claim: “In October, as the OSC complaint recounts, [Sternberg’s supervisor] Mr. Coddington told Mr. Sternberg to give up his office and turn in his keys to the departmental floor, thus denying him access to the specimen collections he needs.” (Wall Street Journal editorial, linked from Expelled website)

That is correct per the WSJ piece.

But it’s apparently not true:

The Facts

According to Coddington in a January 2005 communication, “Well prior to the publication of the Meyer article and my awareness of it, I asked him and another Research Associate to move as part of a larger and unavoidable reorganization of space involving 17 people and 20 offices. He agreed. I offered both individuals new, identical, standard Research Associate work spaces. The other accepted, but Dr. von Sternberg declined and instead requested space in an entirely different part of the Museum, which I provided, and which he currently occupies.”

The Smithsonian wrote a letter to the Wall Street Journal, observing, “Dr. Sternberg’s characterization of his work conditions and treatment at the Smithsonian is incorrect. He was never denied office space, keys or access to the collections.”

In a January 30, 2006, letter responding to Sternberg’s concerns, Smithsonian Deputy Secretary & Chief Operating Officer Sheila Burke explained:

“As you know, as part of an effort to enhance security at the Museum, all researchers were asked to return their keys in 2004, and were issued coded identification badges to provide access to non-public areas. The badge you were issued, which provides general access to doors and elevators, is still operative. If you have any problems gaining access to conduct your research, however please contact the Security office at NMNH. In accordance with NMNH policy, please return your old keys as soon as possible to your sponsor, Dr. Vari.”

In short, Sternberg has turned two bits of bureaucratic minutiae affecting an entire division of the museum – a switch from keys to ID badges and a routine shuffling of office space – into a conspiracy to undermine him personally.

There’s more, and I suggest you follow the leads, but the way it appears to me is that Richard Sternberg pulled a fast one – for whatever reason – and it resulted in a firestorm of criticism that he has since blown out of proportion – with the willing assistance of the Discovery Institute.

And this isn’t one-sided, either. Watch this YouTube video of what happens when you oppose support of Intelligent Design:


You can bet that didn’t turn up in Expelled.

Quote of the Day.

From Van der Leun:

(T)he Internet makes it drop-dead easy to find at least 30 things that really piss you off before your first cup of coffee cools. I don’t care where you’re coming from, this axiom (15 Minutes Internet = 30 Things That Frost Your Cookies) is universal.

Here’s One I Hadn’t Heard Before.

Via email from a family friend:

A stranger was seated next to a little girl on the airplane when the stranger turned to her and said, ‘Let’s talk. I’ve heard that flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger.’

The little girl, who had just opened her book, closed it slowly and said to the stranger, ‘What would you like to talk about?’

‘Oh, I don’t know,’ said the stranger. ‘How about nuclear power?’ and he smiles.

‘OK,’ she said. ‘That could be an interesting topic. But let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff – grass – yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, and a horse produces clumps of dried grass. Why do you suppose that is?’

The stranger, visibly surprised by the little girl’s intelligence, thinks about it and says, ‘Hmmm, I have no idea.’

To which the little girl replies, ‘Do you really feel qualified to discuss nuclear power when you don’t know shit?’

How Did I Miss This?.(Quote of the Day)

Via Ninth Stage, from James Likeks, February 20:

On the radio today Medved and Hewitt both asked Obama supporters to call and say why they were supporting their man. Specifics, please. The replies were rather indistinct. He would end the division and bring us together by encouraging us all to talk about common problems, after which we would compromise. He will give us hope by giving us hope: for many, the appeal has the magical perfect logic of a tautology. It’s a nice dream. But compromise is impossible when you have a fundamental differences about the proper way to solve a problem. I believe we can achieve a fair society by taking away your house and giving it to someone else. I disagree. It is my house. Then let us agree to give away half of your house. Compromise! But that is not a compromise. You have taken half my house. We have compromised on your behalf with those who would have taken it all. Let us not return to the politics of division. There are strangers living in my spare bedroom. Then we have truly come together. Look, this isn’t a matter on which we can compromise, because we have conflicting premises. You’re pretending matter and anti-matter have the same relationship as Coke and Pepsi. They don’t.

If he wins, I do look forward to dissenting; since it’s been established as the highest form of patriotism, I expect my arguments will be met with grave respect. Shhhh! He’s dissenting.


I’ve GOT to Work on My Split Times…

I shot my second Tucson Action Shooters Club pistol match this morning. Again, I didn’t come in last – just eleventh out of thirteen shooters. I had only one malfunction – me, not seating a magazine properly – that cost me about ten seconds to fix, and possibly one position on the final score sheet.

I don’t miss much at all, but my biggest problem is my split-times – the time between shots when putting two on the same target. I really need to practice getting that second shot off, and accurately, fast. I watch a lot of the guys “spray-n-pray,” and it works for them, but most of them are using double-stack magazines with ten or more rounds. I’m shooting 8-round single-stack. I can’t afford to miss, or I’ll be wasting time reloading.

However, if you’ll note: Larry M. James and I (who finished 10th 8th and 11th respectively) took second in the team events. I’m pretty happy about that.