2009.09.30 16:24 - Meatspace Stupidity, Toys, Pens, Whining
I started cleaning up a handful of fountain pens languishing by the spare sink on Monday. Most of them seem to be fine, but I did find a lot of dried-out ink in the Namiki Bamboo, and some ink residue in the converters of the Waterman Phileas and Parker Vector. The Bamboo is still soaking, but the Phileas and Vector got filled with some Mont Blanc 'green', which seemed likely to be the safest and most detergent-rich ink available to me. I have discovered a couple things:

1. The Namiki push-button converter holds a lot of ink, but is still an enormous pain to clean out.
2. Mont Blanc's blue-black ink stains surprisingly well. Better than anything else I have, actually.
3. Based on (1) and (2), using Mont Blanc blue-black in the Namiki Bamboo is contraindicated, and any pen filled with the ink should be flushed out as soon as it is empty.
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Seem to have gotten a couple ideas stuck in my head. 
2009.09.16 10:37 - Guns
  1. I'd really like to build a rifle or three from parts. Some sort of fancy-pants tactical AR-15 clone, maybe something built off the NDS-32 upper receiver (search or scroll down) from NoDak Spud, maybe an AK.
  2. I still have a few bits to buy for my AR-15. I'm down to rail-mounted accessories, though, which would all be movable to an ACR if/when those are available. Specifically, I'm looking for a vertical fore grip, a light, a laser sight, and an optical sight, probably a red dot (leaning toward an EOtech).
  3. I'd like to get my Saiga-12 converted to a pistol grip and folding stock. I'd like to do more than that, but I think I can do that much myself without having to have a machine shop, or even tools I don't already own. [Addedum: 922r compliance is silly. I mean, it's important from a keeping-your-butt-out-of-jail perspective, but the requirements are pedantic and ridiculous. Magazines count as compliance parts, so an American magazine is three compliance parts (follower, body and floorplate). That makes some sense if the magazine is fixed, but it seems silly on a gun with a detachable mag.]
... this is an expensive and addictive hobby I've gotten myself into.
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Just FWIW 
2009.09.15 22:17 - Guns
Federal's Tactical Buckshot does not so much make holes, plural, as hole, singular. Yikes!

... I'm not sure whether this applies to the Federal VitalShok buckshot I've got sitting in my ammo can. Guess I'd better take the Saiga to the range soon and find out.
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Genre Classification is Baroquen. 
2009.09.12 23:47 - Entertainment, Music, Internet Stupidity, Miscellanea, Whining
My iPod came with a default playlist called 'Classical Music'. Intuitively, it contains anything in my music library that has been classified as belonging to the 'classical' genre.

There are currently twelve composers represented in this list.
  • J. S. Bach is from the Baroque period.
  • Anton Bruckner, Georges Bizet, Modest Mussorgsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and Franz Schubert are all Romantics.
  • Fritz Kreisler and Gustav Holst are Moderns (though I'm using that term rather more broadly than the music geeks in the audience probably like).
  • Sergei Rachmaninov and Gustav Mahler are arguably Romantic and Modern.
  • John Williams is late enough that I'm not sure he isn't post-Modern, but I don't know that he's Post-Modern, either.
  • 'Traditional' is not a composer. And "The Star Spangled Banner" isn't classical, even if Sergei Rachmaninov is playing it on the piano.
I hate cddb. Not strongly, but enough.

And, for the record, that's about as music-geeky as I get. I can't particularly tell the difference by listening, but it turns out that I still remember a little of the music education I got in elementary/middle school.

Related: apparently, Frederic Chopin looked a bit like David Carradine (or so it seems to me). I had no idea.

[Edited: After much fixing of syntax, a terrible and over-used pun occurred to me, so I updated the title.]
[Edited again: Fixed some syntax.]
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Stripping the M1 Garand 
2009.08.31 09:26 - Guns, M1 Garand
Pole not included.

Seen over at SayUncle is a pictorial guide to field-stripping the M1 Garand, doing a partial detail strip of the receiver assembly, including a detail strip of the bolt.

I've done this a couple times myself, but I used the instructions over at the CMP's website. Short of disassembling the rear sights, I've had the rifle completely apart. It's fairly straightforward, but I do recommend having one or the other of the Garand combo tools. (I like the one that comes with the steel cleaning rod kit best, but the rod and other bits are useless and a half.)
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