Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Obama puts Putin in his place

Vacationing in Hawaii during the Holiday season, Obama puts Putin in his place.

Let the battle of the shirtless leaders begin!

Friday, December 19, 2008

The nature of repair

I was also repairing a broken hard drive (well, attempting to) yesterday. An idea came to me as I was driving to have lunch, you don't need to understand how to fix most computer related things.

Most computer things you just follow directions for a tool. You don't need to know how the tool works, how the hardware/software works, or anything. If it is a software issue, you replace the software. If it is a hardware issue, you replace the hardware. If it only a slight failure, you use advanced software to fix it.

The big skills for those kinds of repairs are reading comprehension and fast forum browsing. Well, and a lack of fear about what you are doing so that you can attempt stuff that is sure to break it if it fails.

SpaceDev RIP

SpaceDev was recently sold to a privately held company. As a really really small shareholder, they didn't bother to ask me what I thought about it. (I didn't want to sell).

I am basically back where I started with SPDV, I made a bunch off of the SpaceShipOne launch, then lost all of the gains during a spring break (I was in Mexico and didn't know that the price tanked until mid-week, and then couldn't do a thing about it (moral of the story? don't have open positions when you go to Cancun!)).

Bye SPDV (or SPDV.OB as Yahoo calls you).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Repair work

I was making an adapter to fit together two threaded things. I discovered two very useful tips.

1. Use superglue to hold together items that you are going to JB Weld together. This helps alot if you do not have clamps or a helpful friend.

2. An electric drill chuck makes an excellent vice/holder for small objects that you want to sand/grind/superglue/JB weld.

Blog posts

I have found myself writing blog posts in my head.

Then I don't write them down.

So, in my mind, I had tons of new content on here. It was really good content (trust me!)

but its gone now. I'll work on getting them from head->interwebs.

Outing in the woods

We had a great time out in the woods.

I got to test the M-44. We tied it to a tree with the stock against the trunk. I used some rope that I rescued from Yajeev's scissors (rather than untie knots, he was going to cut it off, not thinking of the future potential of using the rope to tie a gun to a tree). It fired no problem. The case did look a bit bulged on the tapered portion of the case. We fired at a 6-8 inch log about 40-45 m away. I hit it the first try. I was pleasantly surprized to see that windage seemed to be perfect with the bayonet in (I had the sights set at 200 m, with the ammo I had, -1inch -> +4 inch drop over 0-200m). As I fired more rounds, the cases kept looking better and better. I'll take it to a range with some paper to figure out how accurate the M-44 is with the ammo I have.

If you ever let go of a helium birthday ballon, it ends up in the woods in north georgia. We saw two balloons in the woods. One was used for target practice at about 100 yards (not really sure how far it was, there is debate).

Monday, December 08, 2008

I pryed it from an Ivan's cold dead fingers...

My friend mentioned that his friend was in the market for a rifle. A gun show was chosen and I was invited to go. I had three "holes" in my collection that I deemed worthy of filling. A bolt action in a useful caliber (.308 equivalent +), a .22lr for plinking, or a PF-9 for pockets.

Thanksgiving happened and I saw an exquisite M1917 Enfield with family history. I started leaning toward the bolt action. I figured that something WWII era would be ideal. American/British was out of the question due to price, so I was looking for a K-31, Mauser k98k, or Mosin-Nagant variant.

I acquired a Soviet M-44 Mosin Nagant. It was made in 1946 at the Izhevsk plant.
This is it when I got it home.

I wanted to show all of the cosmoline on it, but it did not come out in the pictures. The bottom of the barrel was positively goopy. I'll substitute two pictures of the bolt.

The action is actually quite cool, except that the safety SUCKS. To quote Arthur's Hall (Michael Z. Williams):

It does, in fact, have a safety, but it's quite hard to engage. But this is not a complaint
one would ever voice in the Red Army. Your officer would reply, "Safety? Safety? Is gun! Meant to kill! No warrior should know he has safety on gun, because he should be killing enemies of homeland! Safety make loud click to aid enemy in locating warriors! No safety!" while pounding his fist on the table.

And the Mosin can kill enemies of homeland. The muzzle blast will vaporize green growth within a few feet of the muzzle, and even if you miss, the enemy will be reduced to shouting "WHAT?" to communicate. You'll need a recoil pad or shooting jacket. Ordinarily, this might be considered unmanly, but this rifle has a short stock for using while wearing several layers of wool for a Russian winter. It is acceptable to wear padding to fire a Mosin.
The ball of flame is real and can readily be seen in youtube videos. I will writeup the comparison in recoil between 12 gauge slugs and this round/gun combo. I bet the shotgun still wins.

I took it apart. Better instructions that I could make here. The only thing I did not take out was the extractor from the bolt head, the bayonent lug, the front sight, and the rear sight assembly. I could not get the pins out of the rear sight assembly. The extractor really shouldn't be removed, the front sight is designed to stay in (it is staked), and the bayonet lug is also staked.

And cleaned all of the metal parts with mineral spirits. I could clean the nooks easily, but I had trouble with the crannies. I discovered one of the greatest cleaning tools known to man. The toothbrush. I could get all of the crannies. After the parts dried, I gave them a good dose of CLP (gun oil). The toothbrush again saved the day, as I could get the oil everywhere that I wanted it.

There was no rust except a small amount on the recoil bolt. I checked my firing pin protrusion after I reassembled the bolt. I used the "tape" method of headspacing (bolt closed on round, round + 1, round + 2, but not round + 3 pieces of scotch tape). I recommend using a gun smith to check headspace.

After the long cleaning session, here it is ready to load and fire:I'll try and post a range report when I figure out how accurate this thing is.

Our minds perception

I was sitting down after a grueling day of holiday shopping and looked up at a design on the side of the starbucks counter.

I am going to show you the shape first, as I wasn't that close to it.
At first I thought it was a dog thing?

But turns out it was a dove.

And the Original.

The orientation might be off from how it was on the wood.

Weird how our minds work.

Friday, December 05, 2008

remote execution

So I am working on this project where the code runs in a virtual machine using python. To make some of the code faster, we could pass it "outside" of the VM and let it run natively.

I was just musing and asked, can you get an object that is a python closure. Then, we could serialize the object, send it out, and execute it on the outside?

I doubt its possible, but its interesting.

A quick look at google suggests that you can not pickle a closure. (Assuming that you dont want to follow Greenspun's 10th Rule expanded to include python)
Heh, I can't imagine writing the code to pickle something like a closure.

gah, I have been infected! is there no cure?

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Emptying my photos, I found these gems:



Tuesday, December 02, 2008

note to self

dress pants are very thin and not compatible with 32 degree weather and a 45 mph wind.